Where I Am Now: The Three to Four Year Gap Announcement

For a few years now, you’ve probably known I’ve promised to collab or do something, but have taken months to even years to finish what I committed to.

Or say I’m around, draw some art or write something, but then I’m gone for months at a time.

This I sincerely apologize for. Some things have been going on in my life the past few years. This includes a long-standing job laying me off, not getting proper employment since and even losing a standard place to sleep and think clearly. This is mostly the latter, which involved not having my desktop computer available readily available on-hand.

I know I’ve been mentioning this for awhile now, but not really delved into it. I also have been promising and update which I’ve not delivered either. So let’s try to get some of that out of the way.

So, what was going on in a nutshell?

A few consecutive things stacked up on each other in a heap, essentially. But the concise, biggest issues were:

  • Being laid off from my job, and some lingering issues from that with unemployment and job referrals
  • My family choosing to do massive renovations in the middle of fall and winter right after, which put all of us in a not good situation. For several months we had no air conditioning and poor heating, and constant roof leaks. This damaged quite a bit of belongings for everyone. It took a bit till we even had proper, running water.
  • Because of above, I lost full-time access to my workstation for almost 6-7 months. I had it in another city at someone’s place, and only had limited access to do both work and any Youtube videos.
  • I lost my main mode of transportation for almost 8 months. A good chunk of my rainy day fund was used to repair this vehicle. In the end, I could’ve used the same money to buy a cheap “beater” car.
  • The local East Tennessee culture changed because of politics, reverting to it’s early 2000’s demeanor. This hampered (and still does) me to get skilled, full-time career jobs among a few other things.

I can thankfully say after that period of time, at least two and a half of these issues have been resolved. I finally have a proper place to sleep, with my computer set back up (which allows me to be capable to do earning work). I also have a vehicle to drive around in.

While I now am back to square one with still living in Parrottsville (with unstable internet and no social circles still), it definitely is a lot better than it was two years ago, and even one. I have been quiet on the freelance work bit, trying to retool myself with different skills for more opportunities. Three major avenues I am looking into are:

  • Improving my art skills: for both personal projects and taking commissions. I love working with other artists, but I want to be more capable, and feel I’ll create a more genuine product if I do the art completely
  • Going more into the graphic design field: Digital media just gave me an overview of graphic design, which has skated me by in desktop publishing. I’m apparently not “hip” enough or super-skilled for most digital media positions within arm’s reach. I believe I can get some more work if I’m better with this, especially something I don’t have to sit in an office for. I had the sense for it in Typography to a point, so I think I can use that as a springboard.
  • Programming/Coding: I had the aptitude for this in my early years, and it was this that helped me figure out that WD 004 solution. I’m way behind on what people do online and with software development, so I need to possibly learn things from scratch all over again. Unless it’s a visual novel that someone actually pays me fairly, I’m going to be keeping a wide distance from game development.

Thankfully I have some things to occupy me while I’m working on these; it’s not full-time work (and not even in the digital space) but it makes ends meet at least while I try to re-establish myself

And as it is this year, I suppose I should talk about COVID-19. I’m not like the other East Tennessee residents that refer to it “as what’s goin’ on.” I call it pandemic or by it’s name COVID and coronavirus. This has hampered job searches unfortunately, but I have been doing my part of staying home. This has stopped me from any moving or major job plans since it hit, but here’s to hoping that I can act on those when that dies down.

So where does this leave me now? Catching up with a number of things.

Collabs come first. I have a few art pieces to finish, and as far as I’m aware everything on deviantART is taken care of at least. I have a Youtube video I need to wrap up with Bre Moffat, and that’s squarely on my lap to finish. This includes another Heather audio drama that has been left WIP since the summer of 2017.

Writing comes next. This is primarily the Heather blog serials and wrapping up Dawnstar. I’ve put the latter off for too long, and just need to release it. Part of my issue with some of these projects is a lot of IRL things come up when I’m close to the finish line, and it takes a lot of time to resolve these before I finally return to them. I will admit the last few years have been critical circumstances that’s eaten up most of my time, and drained me of energy quite a bit.

There’s also a lot of one-off, fiction eBooks I need to release. I have drafts, outlines and even completed covers for a variety of projects. The pandemic has not been helpful in me going out to get the inspiration I need, but I’ve not published something since 2015. That needs to change.

Next, art is the next one to do. I don’t like to be “that guy” and only do art when I feel like it, but this past year I’ve not felt very motivated to do my art. Save commissions, I tend to only work on these projects when I have large blocks of time (like weekends, for example). Admittedly me wanting to change my art style some is a factor in me producing art, but I do need to plow ahead in the meantime. So the Todd comic, some other series I want to do, etc. I hope to catch up on these and start putting them out on a regular basis.

Finally, Youtube content. I’ve indefinitely put this on hold for a few years, as it takes a ton of creative energy and a good space to record. Then for the last part of the year, I had equipment problems that took me forever to fix, which only got put together in February of this year. So as soon as I start regularly putting out art and writing, I’ll start regularly putting out Youtube videos again.

I am and still will put out the brief, no-facecam/commentary videos, as those don’t take a whole lot of effort to do. I have a huge backlog of Overwatch videos I do need to finish, and that are in this format. As a note I have stopped playing this game for almost a year now, and probably won’t be playing it back. But I would love to return to my original format again, and talk while playing.

With regards to my site, I hope to have a lot of more creative content for the feed before the end of the year. I have been putting in a lot of photos the past year, backdating them to when they’d be relevant. I’ve also started some archival posts of content that used to be around in the 2000s, but aren’t around anymore.

Long story short on that, things will be coming. I’ll probably make another post detailing this down the line as fall hits.

So that’s where I’ve been for the past 3-4 years. Sorry for being scarce, sorry for not producing as I should. I’m still alive, I’m still around, just busy trying to put my life back in order and catch up after a 3-year setback. It’ll take awhile to get back on track, but rest assured I’m working on doing that. Hang tight.

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