It is with a heavy heart that I am going to miss the Grand Masquerade this year.
Earlier today, I read a twitter friend's comment about how he's done some of his best writing when he didn't have anything but the writing. That is, no games on his computer, no Internet, no nothing.
These two things go together in my mind, because I got my start writing Werewolf: the Apocalypse fanfiction. Oh, Werewolf: the Apocalypse. I still own over two hundred source books for that game, plus a good showing of titles from other White Wolf games. There was a time in my very early twenties when I had no Internet, and a computer so Frankensteined it would only run WordPerfect.
I learned something important about entertaining myself, writing very earnest, fair to middling tales of darkness, gore, and the limits of the human spirit. (plus shapeshifters!) Which is, of course, what White Wolf games tend to be about. And now, thanks to those same games, I'm a better writer. White Wolf helped me find my themes. It kept me hanging on through some very difficult times in my life, provided me a mental landscape I could use as an escape until I learned to construct my own.
So thank you, White Wolf. In many ways, you helped make me who I am.
Here's an excerpt from seventeen year old me:
"Testing the hearts of all gathered, She found that only Red Talon had kept himself pure, free of the Weaver and the Wyrm, and She set the great wolf at the edge of Her territories, charging him with keeping the tainted apes from spoiling Her bounty. Ever since we have guarded her Wyld places, never forgetting our sacred duty as so many others have. So, when you ask for a single place sacred to the Talons, that I can't give you. Our sacred places are all the places of Gaia still Wyld and free."