Category Archives: Other Side Projects

That happened

Sooooo… I finished a draft of the isekai-style novella. In like, a month. Granted, I tore through the last 40% or so while I was home sick with what turns out to not be COVID (hooray!), as a way of distracting myself from the situation. Still, like… wtf, universe? I take six years to write a book in this series I’ve been super attached to for decades, and I whip up this frothy little dessert of a thing based on a joke, and it just sails out in a month? Whatever.

what just happened

A brave, slightly annoying new world

This is mostly a test post – it means I’ve managed to log back into the site from my new computer. I’ve had the same desktop computer for … something like ten years now?… as well as a li’l netbook that I used to take out to coffeeshops, back when that was a thing.

This reasonably powered laptop should replace the desktop, once it’s all set up. It’s a much-appreciated anniversary present from my extremely patient spouse. 13 years is supposed to be “lace” or “textiles”, but this time it’s electronics. <3

Anyhow, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been noodling around with a new, completely unrelated story idea in a different fantasy subgenre, and have written four chapters and outlined a few more. I’m only aiming for 13 chapters – a long novella or a short novel – so at this rate, it should be a nice detour for a couple of months before I get back on the road. (Fingers crossed.)

And I do intend to get back to it; after backing up all the files from my old desktop, I got sidetracked reading bits of The Healers’ Road. I still really like it. Maybe that’s weird. Too bad. I can also see how The Healers’ Purpose is different from it, and I’m okay with that too.

So let’s see if this works, in more ways than one.

Well, fire up the kettle, it’s inevitable

Laid-Back Camp is not only about camping.

It’s about camping foodies. Who also camp in cold weather so you can bundle up and huddle around a fire, instead of my experience of summer tent camping: sweating your face off while being attacked by mosquitoes.

I did not know this when I started the series. All I knew going in was camping. I assumed summer.

So it’s also a foodie show. Cooking, camping, cold weather, and truly enormous scarves. So basically it’s perfect? Turns out I started it at exactly the right time of year, too.

So there’s that.

Gave up on Disco Elysium because of the bug/crash/freeze, for now. Started Slay the Spire, after getting used to the simplified card battle mechanic in Ooblets. So far I have only gotten through it twice, both times with the same relic – so I’m not good, is what I’m saying. [It’s the pyramid one that holds over your leftover cards till the next hand. I think I also had an energy-increasing relic in both runs as well. Those combine well.]

But not with every waking moment! Also working on a fluffy/goofy side project. If I can finish five chapters by the end of this month, I’ll consider seeing it through. It would be a one-off, I’m pretty sure. Under a different pen name, so as to cut down on confusion. But it might be fun anyway.

Okay, now it’s a problem

Yeah, a few attempts at Book 4 have petered out. Caught between a ticking clock and impostor syndrome, I think I might cool it a little. A silly idea for a fantasy novella crossed my brain and stuck there, so I may play around with that for a bit to get back into writing. (I have a random aversion to the phrase “keep the creative juices flowing,” can you tell?)

Because I feel better when I’m working on something, and I don’t want to ignore that.

Finished Ooblets rather quickly, again because I spent every leisure hour on games instead of crafting or writing. Oh well. Not the game’s fault, it was quite fun. Tried Octodad for a very short time, and felt like it was … categorically not for me. Like, I’m sure it’s fun, but “flailing around and getting frustrated and looking stupid” is my default mode for most video games, not a novelty that I seek out for the sake of humor. If you’re used to actually mastering hand/eye coordination, I’m sure it’s a fresh and unusual experience to suck at a game. I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s just not for me. That’s okay.

So I decided to give myself complete whiplash and started Disco Elysium. Not very far in yet. So far, so mostly-lost-but-it’s-fine. Though my game has decided to lock up at a particular plot point, and we may be in trouble there.

Forgot to mention that we stuck through the season of Parallel World Pharmacy. I never did come to hate it. It wasn’t exemplary, but it was fine. I have quibbles, yes. The ~Final Boss~ drops in out of nowhere after a season of setting up fairly realistic challenges, i.e. after several episodes of describing the preparations the kingdom is taking to prevent the plague from entering (the actual Black Death, Yersina pestis, called out by name and described in detail) – screening cargo ships! deputizing other pharmacists! distributing antibiotics! establishing quarantine! — the hero fixes it all by killing This One Guy.


Okay then. I guess in the 1300s we should have found that one guy. Would’ve spared half of Europe. Oh shit, we should find That One Guy now and actually for-real end our current plague.

I mean, I was still That Nerd going “ooh, they’re gonna find penicillin!” so I’m not going to pretend I’m above it all. For all its “everyone immediately believes PhotographicMemory-kun instead of burning him at the stake” tendencies, it did its thing capably. I don’t regret watching it.

Now that that’s done, we’re looking forward to the second cour of Spy x Family, and I’ve also started Laid-Back Camp – a few years old now, but firmly in my wheelhouse. I guess there’s also a DIY hobby show coming up, so I’m picturing This Old House with syrupy anime girls. Which I would watch. I’ll give it a shot.

[Edit, later: !!! Nope, Do It Yourself!! is much weirder than that, which is the highest praise I could possibly give it. It has an odd, unshaded, kind of scribbly/loosey-goosey visual style, and the script is a) lightly science-fictional (??), b) centered on an accident-prone space-cadet human haystack whose name is a strained bilingual pun*, and c) genuinely funny at times. I fear this will doom it in the larger market, considering the larger market tends to want … not this. But I thank the universe for as long as it stays this good.]

[* Her name is Yua Serufu. Yourself. Do It Yourself. They hammer this in at the end of the episode with a pile driver.]