Fiction alert!

There’s a new microfiction up at Patreon if you’re the type to be interested in that. Remember, a buck a month gets you access to nearly everything, and $2 a month gets you Click, an entire exclusive novel!

Mark Oshiro reads The Benevolence Archives!

Through a series of shenanigans involving a mutual Patreon supporter (thank you, Hatstand4510!) Mark Oshiro of Mark Does Stuff has done a blind YouTube reading of the first two short stories in The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1. I was aware this was coming, and I was terrified to actually watch the video, but Mark is a really engaging reader and he is at least convincingly faking enjoying the story.

It’s really odd as an author to watch someone reacting to your work in real-time; people talk to me after they read things sometimes, and once in a while I see reviews, but this react-as-you-go approach to reading is really fascinating, and it was really cool to see some of my jokes and hints toward future stories hit the mark (no pun intended) as Mark was reading through them. The video is half an hour long, so it’s a bit of an investment, but we all have time on our hands now, right? Check it out, and follow Mark on YouTube and Patreon if you want to see more!

A couple of things that seem related but probably aren’t

I’ve been sick all week. I spent one damn day at C2E2 and I’ve had a sore throat for a week as a result; I stayed home from work yesterday (and did not get paid for it, as I’m out of sick days) because when I woke up I found myself completely unable to talk. My voice is still not remotely normal today, and I lost it a couple of times at work today, but not quite as bad as yesterday morning. I did not factor being out a day’s pay into the cost of C2E2, and that loss combined with not being able to swallow for a week has pushed the trip well into “not worth it” territory.


As of this afternoon, I have cancelled my one existing convention commitment for the rest of the year; I was going to go to IndyPopCon in July and have reconsidered those plans. I’ve been doing Kokomo-Con every year for three or four years now; I’m not signed up this year and I think I’m going to skip that as well. While I could probably mumble a bit about coronavirus or something like that and, Jesus, I’m absolutely certain I’ll have that the second it hits Indiana, the simple fact is that these cons have gotten very samey over the last few years and, unfortunately, I’ve started to lose interest in pushing books to strangers. I’m not really working on anything at the moment, I haven’t been in a while, and while that will probably change eventually it’s not gonna change soon. I need to hit reset on a lot of things, and stepping away from cons for at least the rest of 2020 seems like a good idea even without a global pandemic fucking things up during an election year. I just don’t need it.

(I have been sick every two weeks, if not more frequently, since August, to the point where I’m starting to wonder if there’s something in my classroom making me sick, or something going on with my immune system that I need to have looked at. I have never, ever been this consistently sick in seventeen years of teaching. Not close.)

(The blog is not going anywhere. The blog is essential to my mental health. I will keep writing here even if literally no one is reading it.)

My Patreon is probably not long for this world either, as I don’t pay enough attention to it to feel good about charging people, and I basically forgot it existed in February and then charged everyone anyway. If I can’t come up with a use for it in March that I’m actually going to stick to I’m going to pack it up at the end of the month. I don’t mind the extra little piece of change that I get from it every month (and it’s a little piece of change; don’t get me wrong) but I’m not going to take it from people if I’m not giving them something useful in return, and right now that’s not happening.

Anyway. I’m okay, don’t worry about it; I just need to do some reassessing and reprioritizing, and the simple fact is it’s been going on for a while now, I’m just admitting it and making it official. I’m gonna lie low for most of the rest of this year. We’ll see what happens in 2021.

This is how much I don’t want to be grading

There is a new, canonical Benevolence Archives microfiction up at Patreon right now. I don’t update my Patreon nearly as often as I ought to but I’m also prone to not charging people during the months where I don’t update much, and there’s definitely enough content up over there now to justify your $1 or $2 every couple of months. So if the idea of more BA excites you at all, maybe check it out.

In other news, I am watching basketball again. IU is up four on Maryland at the moment with two minutes left; we’ll see if me posting that fact here ends up losing the game for them.(*)

(Yes, I have managed to more or less eradicate paying attention to sports from my life. No, I will never manage to eradicate being deeply superstitious about IU basketball. Never, as long as I live; it’s ground in there too deeply.)

That said, I’ve now blogged, written actual fiction, done a bit of light cleaning around the house, showered and gotten dressed today, so I’m much closer to an adult than I usually am on a typical Sunday and there is at least a chance that some of the ridiculous pile of grading I need to take care of is going to have some headway made on it after dinner.

Just a chance, mind you, not a guarantee. Just because I’m close to being an adult today doesn’t mean I’m a responsible one. 🙂


(*) Did Maryland end the game with a 7-0 run and win by a point, despite the fact that I waited to post this until after the game ended? Yes, they did. Am I nonetheless responsible for the loss, even though I could very well have deleted the evidence and not said anything about it to anyone? Yes. Yes, I am.

A brief plug

I’m on day 7 of a Thirty Stories in Thirty Days challenge over at Patreon. They’re all microfictions, but still– a new story every day for a week. Tomorrow, day 8, is gonna be a Benevolence Archives story– the first new one since Tales came out.

Just thought I’d point that out. $1 a month gets you access to nearly everything on the site, including a bunch of other stories, and $2 a month gets you a whole exclusive book.