So, we find ourselves a couple of years into this decade. The same few years since I last posted. And the world has gone more to shit that any of us thought after the shit show that was Brexit and Trump becoming the US president.
My last post here was shortly after COVID hit. That was a wild ride, the eeriest thing was during the first lockdown (I was classed as essential so worked all the way through) driving down the M1 and there being no other vehicles on the road.
Work has continued.
We’ve been to a couple of in person cons again now, and it’s been good to see old friends and make new.
Oh – yes. I almost died. That’s right. Can’t forget that. Did it at the best time too – 10pm on a Friday night. Like A&E isn’t busy then at all. Nope. I’m mostly ok – drug cocktails for blood pressure, the threat of statins. The usual.
I hinted at introducing Jeb and Viktoria three years ago. What was meant to be a short story has kept growing. Slowly to be sure. The working title is Wolf. I wrote a scene with wolves in first and that kind of stuck as a working title. There are no other wolves (yet). It’s a classic sword and magic fantasy with a portal to another world, I’m enjoying writing it and people who’ve read some bits seem to like it.
The last three years I’ve done a few things around writing.
1) Novel In A Year – with Jenny Kane. I’ve known Jenny for a few years (ok – maybe 10 years now….). What I started with for the year didn’t survive. I fell out of love. But Jeb and Viktoria came to the rescue.
2) Northmoor writing retreat. This was co-run by Jenny and Alison of Imagine. Beautiful Manor House with a lot of land. Chat, writing, and good food.
3) After lockdowns finished and my work moved the office to the city centre, I started going to a self serve wine bar on a Thursday after getting out of the office. Yes – self serve. Dangerous. But words did get tapped into a laptop.
4) Various self catering holidays. Some of them with no internet and poor mobile signal. Words came.
I’ve not gone back to a writing group. I realised the “Just Write” of Calgary just didn’t exist in Nottingham when I looked. I should maybe look at setting one up here. The structured meet-ups didn’t actually work that well for me when I look back. Yes they got me writing something out of my norm – but no progress on what I wanted to progress. So I’ll just continue with the wine bar after work occasionally for now.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve also managed to start getting to a few gigs since the world opened back up. Best acts from the last year(ish) if you ever get the chance, if you don’t like the music just for the show!
1) Devin Townsend
2) Baby Metal
I’ve been on a bit of a reading dry spell. OK – stranded in the middle of a desert. There have been a couple of books (series) that have drawn me in though. You’ll notice some of those are Japanese light novels. Yes I need to read the English translation. As much as I’d love to learn to read Japanese – not gonna happen any time soon unfortunately.
I have been working though the Spice and Wolf books again as well. Still one of my favourite works – in both the book and anime form. I’m not sure how I feel about the anime reboot that’s coming in 2024 – but we shall see.
1) This Is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
2) Didn’t I say to make my abilities average in the next life? – Funa
3) Wandering Witch Elaina – Jougi Shiraishi
4) The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady – Piero Karasu
The Anime series which I’ve really picked up in the last few years, there’s been a lot of good (and equally a lot of shite). So this is just a small list for the sake of a small list.
2) Eminence in Shadow
3) Spy x Family
4) Bocchi the Rock!
5) Lycoris Recoil
I started to play Azur Lane back in 2019. Still playing, got a 100% collation. Fav Ship Girl is Montpelier.
I’ve also dipped into Genshin Impact but as of now still don’t have Ho Tau or Eula (edit – got Ho Tau bout 10 mins after writing this), and am spending more time elsewhere in Hoyoverse over at Star Rail – currently running a Sushang main, with Kafka, Silver Wolf, and Nat competing my main team.
What else is new?
Not a lot, I live a nice boring life. And I like it that way.
What is in the future?
The world is still going to shit, and I suspect we’re on the cusp of civilisation collapsing. But while it does I’ll keep drinking my wine, tapping way at a keyboard when I’m able. Words flowing. Maybe a gig or 2, more Cons (next is Bristol Con), and more book reading and Anime watching.
Hopefully the next post won’t be three years from now. But I make no promises.