Thursday, July 7, 2016

Well, it was fun while it lasted...

A journey that began seven years ago this month has come to an end. I was informed via email last Friday that Examiner.com, a site I've written for since July 2009, was shutting down. Effective immediately, no new content could be written, and "Examiners" (what the site called its writers) were urged to go about archiving their work.

I'm not devastated by this news. Over the last couple of years, my contributions to the site have
waned, as my interest in my chosen topic, MMORPGs, has waned a bit (the shutdown of my all-time favorite MMORPG, City of Heroes, back in 2012 undoubtedly had something to do with that). In fact, for the last little bit, I'd really only been writing articles so I could keep my account active, to keep my options open in case my MMORPG writing ever really took off.

Initially, however, I was very excited to have this "job." Getting paid to write is, of course, my ultimate dream, a dream I sabotage by not actually writing enough. Granted, Examiner.com never paid (me) a whole lot, although there were some months when I got more than I'd expected. And it did lead me to writing a few articles for MMOSite.com, which paid much better than Examiner.com's click-based pay scheme.

All in all, I'm glad for the experience. Over the years, I've learned how to write more professionally, guided by Examiner.com's somewhat inconsistent coaching. Granted, it wasn't difficult to find pretty amateurish work on the site (misspellings, bad grammar, etc), which always somehow embarrassed me, but I always tried to do a good job and I'm proud of my work.

So, over the last few days, I've been going through my Examiner.com articles and archiving them (using Evernote and its excellent Evernote Web Clipper extension). Most will never see the light of day again, but some I will probably try to do something with. Maybe I'll post them here or over on my neglected Hubpages site.

It's been interesting, reading through some of those old articles. I'd forgotten about much of them, but it's nice to see chronicles of important events in the MMORPG field (the launches of Champions Online and Star Trek Online, various World of Warcraft changes like lowered level requirements for mounts and a built-in quest tracking system that WoW players now take for granted) written in my own words.

Examiner.com never paid a lot, but that wasn't the point. It was an outlet for my writing. It opened up a couple of other opportunities for me, and it did generate some (not many, but some) comments from readers who were enthusiastic about the subjects I covered. I'm not devastated that it's shutting down, no, but I will miss it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wynonna Earp off to strong start on SyFy

I have a confession to make. Even though I've known Wynonna Earp creator Beau Smith for going on 20 years now, I've never actually read any of the comics featuring his badass Wyatt Earp descendant and her quest to rid the Earth of various supernatural threats. The main reason for this is my very sporadic comic book reading habits over the years; Wynonna and I just never crossed paths.

As much fun as I'm having watching the new SyFy series based on Beau's creation, however, I'm regretting never picking up her comics. The first episode, "Purgatory," did a great job of laying the groundwork for the series and establishing a backstory without feeling like an exposition dump.

With the second episode, "Keep the Home Fires Burning," however, the series really takes off. Each of the main characters, from Melanie Scrofano's Wynonna to Dominique Provost-Chalkley's Waverly and Shamier Anderson's Agent Dolls, gets plenty of screen time and some hilarious lines. Tim Rozon also kills it as Doc Holliday, whose mysterious mission is one of the most captivating things about the show.

If a show centered around a tough-as-nails, beautiful woman and featuring great supporting characters, a liberal amount of foul language, and bad guys from hell (literally) sounds like your cup of tea (or whiskey... yeah, make that cup of whiskey), you owe it to yourself to check out Wynonna Earp. The next episode airs Friday at 10pm on SyFy and you can watch the first two episodes on SyFy.com.