In which we breathe

The board meeting is still going on right now, and they haven’t voted yet (but school starts in 9 days, so they’re not going back to the drawing board) but it looks like we’re not going to be back to face-to-face instruction until the first week of October at least, and there are indications that they’re at least beginning to prepare for the possibility that we won’t be back at all this year. Supposedly there will be a determination in mid-September about whether that October return date is happening or not, so we’ll have a two-week warning or so about what the plan is at that time.

The one thing I don’t like: they seem to want teachers back in our buildings for the duration during e-learning. Which, on one hand, I kind of get, and I don’t know that there’s a lot of health concern about me sitting alone in my classroom all day long, but this is my setup at home:

Versus at work, it’s me and my lil’ school-issued laptop. I am much better set up for e-learning from home than I ever will be at work, and other than giving principals a way to keep an eye on us I don’t see a strong benefit to keeping us in the buildings.

That said, I expect them to back off on this particular rule pretty quickly, and knowing that I won’t be in front of kids for seven or eight weeks is a relief. For right now, I can take a deep breath and figure out what’s next.

ConGlomeration Compelling Characters panel up at Patreon!

Here is how you know it was a long motherfucking day: I am drinking an alcohol at the moment, which is a thing that I do not do. Or, at least, I have an alcoholic beverage eight inches off from my elbow on the table next to me on the couch. I have tasted it once and it is terrible and I am probably not going to come close to finishing it but it’s the thought that counts. Or something.

Anyway, I finally got that second panel from ConGlomeration, on writing compelling characters, uploaded to Patreon. So if you’re interested in that sort of thing you should head over there and listen to it. I am, right now, three Patrons short of twenty, and nine dollars a month short of $50, so if anybody wants to help me get to cool round numbers, that would be super awesome. There’s a bunch of other stuff over there too, including a whole new book you’ve never read at the $2 a month tier or higher!

S’worth it, I promise.

An experiment

So.  Uh.  The first day of school was today, and Open House and the first teacher day were yesterday, and Aretha fucking Franklin died today, and all of those things are sort of rattling around in my head and clamoring for my attention and demanding to be blogged about, and those are probably coming, don’t get me wrong, but instead?  This:

Every so often I get asked about whether I’ve got my books available on audio, and I have to say no.  And that’s always sort of stuck in my craw, and a couple of times I’ve tried to get auditions at Audible and not really gotten anywhere– I got a few submissions for Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1 when I tried it the first time, and I think I was probably being a bit too picky about the voice, and at any rate right now I have no one knocking down my door to record my books for me.

But I’ve got this professional-quality microphone right here on my desk, not being used often enough for the money I spent for it, and so screw it, I recorded one of the stories from Balremesh and other stories myself, and I don’t know a thing about audio or audiobooks so maybe you give this a listen and let me know if it sucks or not?  Be as brutal as you like; I’ve got no ego about it.  If I suck, I’d like to be stopped from doing it again.  🙂

(One thing, tho: there is going to be a volume difference between the introduction and the actual story.  I didn’t necessarily put it there on purpose, but once I realized it was there I left it in because I wasn’t sure if people would prefer one recording level over another and I figured that might be useful data.  So if you have a preference, or if one is way too loud or way too quiet, let me know.)

ALSO:  If you were one of my Patrons, you’d have had access to this for a couple of weeks now!  Wanna join the coolest group of Patrons on the planet?  You can, for just a buck a month!

Patreon update!

I just totally recorded an audiobook, guys.  Or at least whatever an audiobook short story is called?  Let’s say it’s still an audiobook.

At any rate, I’m keeping it exclusive to my Patreon, at least for a while.  Perhaps you’d like to pledge just a dollar month, to gain access to it and many other interesting things?

On new habits

article-2421505-1AA2E1E3000005DC-504_964x740First of all, I have no idea where this image came from.  I can reconstruct the original Google search but I sort of fell down a rabbit hole after that and I can’t be held responsible for pictures of dogs climbing on elephants.  I just can’t.

I completed my final act of outstanding customer service this morning, which required an hour-long drive up to Michigan to return the now-repaired piece of furniture I had picked up last week.  Everything went fine; the piece was fixed to my and their satisfaction, the drive was pleasant, everyone was happy,  and the hell-rain that filled up the entire afternoon didn’t start until after I got home.

I spent most of the drive up there listening to podcasts.  I’ve got a handful that I’m pretty fond of now, meaning that pretty much any time I have time to listen to them there are going to be a handful of new episodes on my phone.  A few notables:

  • Pod Save the People
  • Lore
  • Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities
  • Nightlight: The Black Horror Podcast
  • Feminist Frequency Radio
  • Females in Fantasy
  • Mass for Shut-Ins

And just today I noticed one called Subliminally Correct, which I haven’t actually listened to yet but it’s a couple of psychologists talking about subconscious messaging and propaganda in politics, which definitely sounds up my alley.

It hit me on the way home that starting in a couple of weeks I will have no time to listen to any of these, ever, unless I radically change how I interact with podcasts.  Because podcasts are for the car, and what with my drive to work having been cut down by about 90% I’m just not going to be spending any time in the car any longer.

It’s interesting, right?  You think of a new job as just a change of job, but in this case there are all these ancillary lifestyle changes that are coming with it– and, really, it’s not unfair to say that the lifestyle changes were a huge part of I wanted the new job in the first place.  My wife and I were sitting on the couch yesterday evening after she got home from work, each of us trying to get the other one to commit to some sort of plan for dinner, when she looked at me and said “This is what our lives are going to be forever, now.”  It hit me that in a real sort of way, after two years of me working every weekend and until 8 three nights a week, there’s going to be a real element of my wife and I having to relearn how to live together again.  And to be clear, I am not not not complaining about that, and I’m looking way forward to it, because it’s what I want.  But there’s no reason to pretend it’s not going to be a thing.  I haven’t cooked dinner in a while!  Maybe I’ll start cooking again!  I mean, we’ll have to, right, what with being home together for dinner for– gulp– seven nights a week.

Crazytown.