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What I've Been Up To Lately, Part 2,023. · 2:52am Jan 26th, 2023

Hello again, my loyal readers. I just thought I'd write some kind of update of what I've been doing as of late. Because it's alot, and some of it even involves writing!

The end of 2022 was something of a rollercoaster of emotions for me. In September, immediately after my last blog post, my beloved cat Eli passed away. He was 21, and old as the hills, and since I'd grown up alongside him, losing him was...rough. It was also rather sudden, and he had to be ushered out... he was always something of a grizzled old fighter. On the slightly brighter side of things, in November our family got a new cat: T.C. (short for Tuxedo Cat, ala Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, with his initials doubling as a reference to T.C. the helicopter pilot from Magnum). He's an adorable little ball of fluffy chaos, and it's a huge boost to have a cat again. It's been great to have a young, playful, curious cat again... and a big adjustment too!

Anyways, I've been writing quite a bit. I have a story, which should be published soon, called "Up The Ohio Canal". Which, not to give too much away, involves ponies and canal boats. That was something Admiral Biscuit and I discussed at TrotCon in 2022, and I finally finished writing it around Christmas. It's been in editing ever since... and I'll say more about it when I publish it. For now, just keep your eyes peeled!

In other writing projects, I've been working on some short stories set in the OZ books, specifically romance-comedy stuff involving Ozma and Dorothy, Princesses of Oz. I'm not exactly sure where I'll wind up publishing these stories, but I am interested in sharing them with that fandom somewhere. I am strongly tempted to continue development in that direction, since all the Frank L. Baum original OZ books are in public domain and so I would actually be able to publish and sell those stories... but that would of course depend on the reception of these initial few short entires.

I also recently did some paying jobs, for about the first time since 2019! God, the economy in the US is bleak. Anyhow, I did a lecture at a Civil War Round Table, and also completed a rather lengthy project of transcribing (typing up and fixing spelling errors, mainly) a collection of WW2 and early post war letters between a couple. It was some really sweet reading, I was kinda invested in their little romance drama from boyfriend-girlfriend operated by war to newlyweds. At the end of the day, I took home a decent amount of cash from that. Although not so much as I was expecting: damn me for being too quick (I was paid hourly)! Still, I guess it's a good thing I work efficiently or otherwise I would never have finished that project. There were 103 total letters, and it felt at times like I'd never finish! I did alot of extra work too: I found pictures of the important places, cars, books, and movies mentioned in the letters. I also made a playlist out of the songs mentioned in the letters, which was fun to listen to while writing. All that I think really impressed my boss, a gal who I met a while back as a speaker in one of my Museology courses, who is a paper conservator\restorer.

Meanwhile, I've been plenty busy with my other hobbies. I have started to build a plastic model of the Gertrude L. Thebaud, a Grand Banks schooner, from an old kit I found at the thrift store. I also picked up some old Plasticville building kits from the self-same thrift store, for my model railroad... so I predict much plastic model kit building in my future.

This weekend is the first Civil War event of the year, a ball, and my unit's annual planning meeting. It should be interesting to see what happens this year... I plan on going to the Gettysburg event with them this year, which should be fun. Last year, our unit changed some training protocols and... I kinda got screwed over by them. You see, I'm one of the more recent members, and although I'm now the longest serving new members in the unit, I joined halfway through the season before COVID hit. So I didn't get nearly as much training as a member who's been with the unit as long as I have would usually have. All of that was fine, I figured, but last year they decided to start calling me "Recruit" rather than "Private". The latter is the lowest rank in the Army, and so that didn't feel great. However, I spent alot of time training and upping my skills and confidence last year. So I'm hoping that will have paid off this year, and that I'll finally get to be a "private" again. Not that I've ever stopped calling myself a "private", mind you. I'm also supposed to take a written test, which the Captain hasn't finished preparing, last I checked... so yeah. Anyways hopefully this year all that will be changing.

In academic news, I now have a Master Degree in History, and I'm pretty close to having my certificate in Historic Preservation done soon too. I'm on my last class for CSU, and pretty soon I'll be trying to figure out what comes next for me. Which will likely be "anything that I can find, that pays, with health insurance". Stressful! But hopefully I'll be able to find a spot in the Historical Preservation field that's decent. Cleveland has a lot of old buildings that are getting redeveloped, reused, restored ect. and that's something I should be able to assist with. I also know a fair amount of historic sites that could really, really use an in house preservationist (to remind them that proper, ongoing maintenance of historic structures is necessary, if nothing else!).

I've been messing about with writing a module for AD&D 1e, based on the Serpent Mound in Ohio, Thunderbirds, the Horned Serpent, and other indigenous folklore. I'm not sure where if anywhere that will go, but if anyone's interested I can send them the Google Docs link. Incidentally, I have been using Google Docs so much more recently, as a way to organize my writing, and I highly recommend it.

Hmmm, what else? Ah yes, it is an entirely new year, isn't it? That happened, I guess. I have some resolutions for this new year, some of which I might actually achieve.

I need to read more: I discovered that I am acquiring about as many books per year as my much better read friend, but not reading them nearly as much as he does. So unless I want to drown in books, I'd better at least start reading some of them! I figure I don't necessarily need to finish all of them... just start on them and if I decide certain ones aren't any good, I can purge them from my collection and resell them. Besides, isn't there a saying about writers becoming better the more they read? In the same vein, I want to try and start watching more anime and cartoons again too. But, of course, time is limited, and I'm bad at managing it. So we'll see what happens with all that.

I also really want to pick up studying Japanese again, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. I forgotten an awful lot of it, and this time around I'd really like to do it with someone I could speak Japanese with... I remember going to Japan and realizing that I was largely too mortified to actually try speaking Japanese in front of actual Japanese people, so that's something I'd definitely have to work on. Also, my vocabulary (about the only thing I'm good at) is now infested with Vtuber and other slang lol. I doubt anything will happen with that though.

Anyhow, I'd love to know what you all are planning this year! How many of your resolutions have survived contact with the first month of the year thus far?

Well, I'll sign off now. Keep watching for my new story, and the traditional blog that goes along with it!

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Comments ( 2 )
Author Interviewer

ooooh, the serpent mound! :D haven't been there in forever!

It’s great to hear you’re doing well. Glad that you’ve been working in areas that use your expertise. The letter project sounds especially interesting and satisfying.

Have fun at the ball and good luck with the job search and re-enactments. I’m looking forward to hearing the stories from your activities with them.

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