Sunday, January 1, 2023

January 2023 News

Welcome to 2023. Indulge me for a moment. Let's do a 'best of'. 

I don't like "What's your favorite ...?" questions because tastes shift and time passes and nothing that's my favorite today will necessarily be my favorite tomorrow. Also, I couldn't possibly recall all the games, shows, books, films I ingested since this time 365.25 days ago. That's a lot of of days.
But for the sake of the turning of the year, here are some objects of media that stood out to me as out standing in the year 2022. I'll wrap up with the state of the book and business. 

Favorite Game:

image courtesy of

Elden Ring. Without a close second. Exploring this world was amazing. Hours melted while I roamed the Lands Between. The enemies are monstrous and the combat is stylish. If you die, which you will, chances are it's your own fault. 

Runner up: Skyrim. Yes, I'm playing it again. I got Boyo (11) playing it and he loves it too. As it should be.

Favorite Book:

image courtesy of amazon

This is a tough one, but I bet it's Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Uplifted spiders who eventually take over a planet and reach low orbit (and beyond?) with their webs and constructs. Craziness I tell you. Adrian seems to come up with a wild concept (or perhaps even a pitch), then reverse engineer it. Genius. And his eyebrows? Possibly the best in the business.

Runner up: The Last Kingdom, Bernard Cornwell. Also, I don't remember if it was 2022 in which I read Shogun but it's definitely up there as well. 

Favorite Movie:

image courtesy of

Gonna ask me that right now? On the wake of seeing Avatar 2 a couple days ago? Avatar 2. I think effective world-building, or at least convincing enough to serve the story, is my kryptonite. Impressive choreography in asymmetric warfare is a plus, too, and Avatar 2 crushes that.
A sentient alien whale getting vengeance on technologically advanced whalers? Yes please. 

Favorite Show:

Not gonna lie, I've largely burnt out on Disney (which includes anything under their umbrella). Marvel, Star Wars, even Willow. I don't think they're putting their remixes and remakes and reboots into capable hands, or else surely I'd recall at least one of their recent productions. I can't. Ando seemed like it would be good and I've heard great things. I got 2 episodes watched and enjoyed them. But I couldn't justify one worthwhile show toeing the entire Disney+ bill so I didn't finish it. 

Watched Rings of Power and as a lot of folks have already said more eloquently, Galadriel is a toe. What's she got going for her?
Agency? Sure. She knows what she wants and she's going to go get it.
Motive? "Because I have to." That's garbage.
Relatability? Not really. She wants to war and that's what she's going to do, no matter what. *Yawn*
A character arc? Debatable. If anything, she gets dumber over the season. She never learns from her mistakes. When the time comes to do the deed she's been attempting to do for thousands of years she flops utterly. Doesn't just fail but fails embarrassingly. Will she learn from that? Unsure, but honestly it's kind of too late. I don't like her. 

image courtesy of HBO

Watched House of the Dragon, and I guess if I have to pick a favorite, it's it. Miles better than Rings of Power, but I hate comparing the two because they serve different audiences. As expected with Game of Thrones content, each character has their own motives and will do what they must to see those met. These characters aren't portrayed as immaculate and when they inevitably make mistakes, they pay for them.

House of the Dragon was such a hook for me that I watched the entirety of Game of Thrones again after finishing it. The flu helped buy me time to achieve that. 

I'll tell ya this though: They shouldn't have used GoT's intro theme fpr HotD. Get a new one for f's sake. I think we've heard GoT enough times, and reusing it suggests a void of new ideas. 

Favorite Band / Musician / Composer:

Hitoshi Sakimoto is my favorite composer at this moment and he has been for a while.

The Prodigy is possibly my favorite band at this moment.

None of this is necessarily unique to 2022 but now you know.


Would you believe that we haven't rented out a kayak in weeks? I already told our guests that temperature is just a number. Unsure what they're waiting for. Ice to melt?

image courtesy of me

As far as year review, this one's been great. 2021 business numbers suggested that I'd be safe quitting my day job in IT to pursue this full time. So I quit my job in the spring (but stayed on part-time as I was needed) and put a lot of effort into the kayak biz. Does it pay as well as the day job? No. As great as it did, it didn't pay half as much as the old day job did. Luckily I have a beautiful and industrious wife who believes in me and our business and can carry us during lulls. 

All in all,
Judging this as a business, it's done and is doing great.
Judging it as just another endeavor of mine, it's doing miraculously good. I've spent a lot of time and effort on far less successful endeavors and some of those have almost killed me. 

Kingdom of Zeal

It's so hard to get a good pic of Zeal

I believe that's Bertha, but it could be Ariel

The glass prison thrives. Since it's in my garage the flora and fauna don't feel the cruel bite of winter. Greenery is growing. Minnows are minnowing. As the greenery thickens, it should create the resources for more land-based creatures. Like a frog. 


Here's the meat 'n taters, as far as I'm concerned. 
painting courtesy of Felix Ortiz
I'm not ready for a cover reveal so until then 
his stylish portrayal of Basalt Kale and Irdessa the Undying will hold the place

We're getting close to release, fam. March maybe? 

Brace yourself for shameless name-dropping.

John Jarrold's developmental edits are complete. In late November copy edits began with Lee Burton. He mentioned getting them finished by the new year, and while I'm stoked for that, I told him not to sacrifice personal time or leisure time on my project. Work shouldn't come above sanity or health, ever. Anyway, once he's done I'll go through his changes (quicker than dev edits, surely) then it's on to cover finalization and type setting and arranging this beefer for ebook, print book, audio book. 

Felix Ortiz is my cover artist, and he nailed it as far as I'm concerned. I'll be hitting up Shawn T King again for the cover text (and whatever else I can commission from him). I reached out to him already but truth be told, I jumped the gun. Wasn't 100% committed to my title at the time and may have come off wishy washy. Hopefully I didn't spoil potential business with him because his work is impeccable.  

Next Month

Among other things, we'll be closer to publishing. 

Oh, also, I want to start a podcast where I interview random people. Riveting, I know. Unsure exactly what's driving me to do this but I can't shake it. 

See you then