A is for Imagination

Imagination.  As a writer, there are few things in the universe I cherish more than imagination.  Love, maybe.  Some good dim sum.  But imagination is way, way up there.

So when I see something that can not only inspire imagination, but foster it, I always sit up and take notice.  Especially now that I am a dad.

I have a three year old son named Bryce, and, full disclosure, he’s kind of great.  Watching him fly a tiny little Millennium Falcon around the house, making whooshing noises, takes me immediately to my happy place.  And last night, he was singing along to “O-O-H Child” from The Five Stairsteps, and my joy was beyond measure.

So when I see an opportunity to share imaginative things that I love with him, in a way that is appropriate and fun, I jump at the chance.  I came across The ABC’s of RPGs in author Ivan Van Norman’s twitter feed.  Ivan is someone I’ve been following for a little while, mainly because he is generally awesome.  He was a contestant on King of the Nerds, and then as a recurring guest on The Gamer’s Tavern podcast and on various productions from Geek and Sundry.  And every time I’ve seen or heard him, I’ve been taken with his passion and affability.  Basically, he comes across as the type of guy you would want to hang out with.

I know Ivan is a recent dad himself, and that is what led him to this project, alongside artist Caleb Cleveland, to create the ABC’s of RPG’s.  “I love reading books to my kid. However, I’ve had a hard time finding a book that will allow me to share my favorite hobby with my favorite person,” he said.  See?  How can you not like this guy?  Charming!

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And you can see Caleb’s art here, and it is amazing!  The images are full of imagination and humor and are just magical.  I want prints of almost everything I see.

ProductsThe ABC’s of RPG’s is a collection of two books.  The first is a rhyming ABC book, meant to be read out loud.  The very first page I saw of the book has a group of kids walking through the woods, and the lines “A is for adventure.  May you always be on one!” This is such a simple, beautiful statement to wish to a child, and the perfect start to not only a book, but to any day.  I want to say that to my son in the same breath I tell him “good morning” or “I love you.”

The second book is an activity book featuring coloring, mazes, paper dolls, masks, and more.  My son Bryce has a special love for monsters and Halloween, so the adorable creatures in here are going to make him lose his tiny mind!  And I’ll be honest, the idea of a little paper doll kobold is pretty cool.

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Is that even a valid question?  Who would choose a plain kobold when you could go fancy?  I mean, seriously.  It is adorable.  I cannot wait to make one.

With Bryce.  Totally with Bryce.  Yeah.

The artwork is beautiful.  The writing is inspiring.  It is exactly the type of thing that I want to share with my son.  But more than anything, it is the spirit behind the project that I love.  It is not only a chance to share an interest, it is a chance to value imagination.  And I will always appreciate that chance.

The kickstarter for the ABC’s of RPGs has a couple of weeks left to go.  The good news is that they have already funded, but there are some wonderful stretch goals out there to unlock.  More importantly, it’s a chance to show Ivan and Caleb that what they are putting together here is indeed something truly special.  So head over, pledge, and get your own copies of these awesome looking books.

Then maybe soon we can play dress-up kobolds together.

Until next time, keep finding things you love.  And then, if they are truly special, share them with someone little, and inspire their love for it as well.

-Mark

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