Tuesday, October 11, 2022

October 2022 News

Late post, apologies. I blame holiday and information overload. There's news on all fronts and pictures I want to share and I've been on a break. 


I've secured a Canadian copy editor (they taste the best) and gotten on his schedule. If all goes well, we'll complete copy edits by February. Sooner, maybe. Then it's a matter of finalizing the cover and setting up the manuscript for ebook and physical print layout. 

Nice! So the blurb or synopsis or maybe a brief description is available? 

Ha. Hahaa. No. Surely there's someone who can devise that for me. I'll pay. 

You're telling me you've been writing this for seven years and you don't know what it's about?

Pretty much, yeah. But that doesn't mean it's about nothing. Just means I'm too close to it. Can't see the forest for the trees, you know?

I guess. So then how do you plan to sell it?

I figured I wouldn't. Just trying to get it written and off my plate so I can get on with my life ffs. 

I'm not feeling very encouraged to read it. 

Would threats help?

Not really. I'm an abstract manifestation of some type of devil's advocate. A product of your insanity. What could you hold over me?

How about crazy pills? I'll start taking them.

No! I'll read it, I promise!

And buy it?

Yes, and buy it.

Sweet. NYT best seller list, here I come. 


The Kingdom of Zeal is alive! 

sure is hard to do it justice with pictures

snail munches apple

minnows cavort

snails roves detritus

mussels lick

I'll tell you some present occupants and their presumed tiers (in general terms). I'm limited to reporting what I've seen. There's surely a pile of objects in there I'm not even aware of. 

T0, detritovores: Snails! A bunch of them. I dropped some detritus in the glass prison for them, and they love it.
Fresh water mussels! Probably 7-10 total. They licked the water, liked it, and promptly buried themselves in the pond floor.
Also got some millipedes and springtails and the occasional cricket.

T1, producers: Moss, river grass, small yard plants, algae, an oak tree. The sphagnum moss I mixed with the soil has sprouted. I didn't know it would do that, but the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned. I'm going to bonsai this oak tree. 

T2, consumers: 4 minnows (and I think one's pregnant), 1 juvenile crayfish (he's sneaky. Never know where he is, and I'm not reaching in there to flip over rocks). Some of the larger snails veer into this tier as well. We had a giant leopard moth caterpillar guest, but I think he bailed.  

T3, secondary consumers: None at present, aside from tiny spiders that come and go. Zeal can't support T3s yet.
Zeal does, however, foster local wildlife as opportunities arise. A lizard crashed here for a bit to recover, after surviving a run in with mama kitty. A joro spider came to visit the garage and was introduced to the paludarium. She didn't stick around, but I don't blame her. Their webs are way bigger than this aquarium, and Zeal's not crawling with bugs yet.

To get the T3s cracking, I need more T1s and T2s. For that I can either wait for them to naturally grow or catch some local flora. But it's fall. My options are limited. 

T4, tertiary consumers: The apex predator will arise from this tier. We're definitely not here yet. I expect that a lucky bullfrog might one day fill this role.


On the subject of home-made, interactive environments, my Firstborne (aka Donavon, graduate of UNG with a degree in Mathematology) has put our pontification and plotting to purpose by fashioning a playable demo of Schala using C++ and higher math, not limited to the Lotka-Volterra equation, which deals specifically with population growth. I'm very lucky he's a genius. Not sure how I'd have progressed elsewise.

I promise, it's way cooler than it looks

He's on version 3 (at least) of a text-based program that allows one to hunt, gather, and travel and observe their effects on an environment of variable size and biodiversity. It's very promising.  

The Yak Bizz

You know what it is. Runnin yaks and taking pictures of the lake from all angles. 

Oh, we got a canoe! Call us now for all your canoeeds. 

Next month

Maybe I'll post on time! See you then