Lately, I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like. Like everyone else, this shelter-in-place/stay-at-home/stay-indoors/quarantine/pick-your-homebound-term life has disrupted a lot of my normal flow. Creative work still haunts me, but it’s easy to find myself distracted and not doing the stuff I want to be doing. I know I’m not alone. A lot of my fellow creators are feeling it as well. That being said, it’s odd—in all honesty, the day-to-day in the Alexander household hasn’t changed all that much. We’re both fortunate we can work from home, and work has certainly continued. Recently I’ve gotten a few questions from readers, so in the vein of John Scalzi, I’m going to answer those questions through a self-interview.
So hey, where’s Gleam Upon the Waves?
Hmmm, right off the bat, eh? I figured this question would come, and I have an answer for it. Work has continued in fits and starts, despite me feeling weirdly oppressed by the world right now. It’s sitting at 106k words—which means it’s grown a little (sidebar says it was near 100k when it was “done”) as I’ve clarified or added bits and pieces to the whole. It feels like it’s in a pretty good place now. The initial goal was to try a launch in 2020. But, like everything else in the world, I’m playing that by ear now—we’ll have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, I’ve also started working on some short stories set in the universe as well, and I’ll be releasing those for free. So stick around. Follow along, we’ll be back to the Territories before you know it.
What about map stuff?
I haven’t completely abandoned my mapping projects. But they’ve taken a backseat to other creative work after finishing my goal last year. I’ve found a few wonderful sources that I feel will be great additions to the set as a whole, and I’ll keep plugging away with the intent to release more sets. In the meantime, if you’ve used my brushes in your maps, please shoot me a message and let me see ’em! I love seeing how they get used.
Also, over on Twitter, John Hornor Jacobs asked if I had any brushes to help people map out dungeons. I don’t, but the request got me thinking. I could see some benefits and uses in floorplan-style brushes. As with my other sets, I’ll want to make sure they’re historically accurate and rooted in antiquity. So, we’ll see how I do finding sources.
Anything new around here?
Yeah, actually. I have a few new posts in the works, and I still have more Raunch Reviews coming. I have a Trip Report queued, but I haven’t launched it yet. It documents our trip to Portland we took back in January for Kari-Lise’s birthday. It was a blast and mostly filled with loads of eating. But, it feels kinda odd looking back now, with the world in so much turmoil January was like a lifetime ago. So I keep hemming and hawing over releasing it or not—I will eventually—but it makes me miss restaurants, people, and normal life.
There’s also a plan in the works where soon I’ll begin interviewing my writer friends. They’re good people, and they write good books, and—since I don’t have anything fresh right now—I decided I should step out of my own book world and promote them. So stay tuned!
So, like… how are you feeling?
Fine, and yet weird. Kari-Lise and I are both healthy. I’ve been dealing with some allergy issues, but they’ve mostly subsided. We’ve been at home for three weeks now, and as I said, our day-to-day hasn’t changed all that much. I’ve got some low-key anxiety these days, which isn’t something I’ve really experienced before—mostly me worried about the health and livelihood of friends and family.
I know a lot of freelancers, artists, and small business owners, and the economic downturn has been particularly rough on all of them. So please keep them in mind when we emerge from this. Those books, movies, music, poetry, art, and so on—those things keeping us sane as we’re all at home—yeah, artists made those. Art is essential, especially in times like these, let’s remember that on the other side.
Hopefully, that answers some questions. If you have anything else, you want to ask me, feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment below. Life in my household has settled into a bit of a rhythm. We’re looking into making our own masks for the times we need to get out of the house. We avoid social media these days. Seattle remains on lockdown for the foreseeable future—at least through May 4th, but I think it’ll be extended. I honestly don’t see how any of this changes until widespread testing is available for everyone. Until then, we’ll all be living in a perpetual state of what-if and rolling the dice with the health of friends and family, and it’s hard to operate in a society where that is happening.
I’m very grateful for our governor and the local officials handling the virus here in Washington State. The response has been phenomenal, and I feel very proud to be a Washingtonian. They made hard decisions early, and it’s made a big difference. Seattle was once the hotspot for this outbreak, and every day we fall further down the list. Staying home saves lives and it shows.
I know I’m not alone in feeling grateful for the doctors and nurses who face this daily. Those people are heroes, and they deserve our utmost admiration and honor. I’m also thankful for the people still making sure we have power and internet and running water. I’m grateful for the folks who make deliveries, carry the mail, pick up the garbage, and work in the grocery stores. They’re also heroes. It’s been encouraging to see validation that “low skill” workers are, in fact, critical to our society. They should be compensated accordingly for their labor and service—I just wish it didn’t take a pandemic to open some people’s eyes. My hope is we’ll see a change when this is all over.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Wash your hands.