I was fairly active right before the Covid-19 outbreak swept the planet. I’ve also been mostly in isolation during this time. The stress of it all however killed my writing effort. To the point where not only did I not want to write anymore, I also neglected my business as a whole. Instead of getting a massive word count, which I’m sure many did, I maintained and still do a full-time job in addition to my writing and publishing business here in Australia. The photo of cookies you see there is my first batch after many years of not baking. They are sugar cookie with sprinkles, yes, I can both bake and cook when I want to. Done during my isolation.
Where have I been you might ask? I’ve been doing something that I put off for years just for my writing…Gaming. Long before I became an author, I was a gamer. In fact, I’ve been into computer/video games longer than most or before many people had computers or game consoles in their homes. I also have developed and designed computer games. At one point, my major in college was Game Programming, to give you a bit more background on me. I’ve always loved telling a great story, be that on the silver screen, in a book, or on the computer.
To kick the isolation off right, I went out and bought an Xbox One. I’ve not had a gaming console since I left the US many years ago. For those PlayStation fans out there, I bought the very first PlayStation 1 while living in Japan, but haven’t gone back since getting the first Xbox and have just stuck with that console. But I have nothing against PS, just my flavor. I quickly dived back into my gaming life, which at one point in my life consumed me. It mostly did again after a backlash of not gaming all these years and just focusing on my writing. It was the break I needed from my intense creative focus and the book business. A few of the games I’ve been immersed in are Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (a personal favorite, had it on the 360 and bought it again for Xbox One), Red Dead Redemption 2, Mount & Blade: Warband, Pinball FX3 (I’m a huge pinball fan, prefer real, but digital will have to do insolation), Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Fallout 4, Sims 4, Conan: Exiles, 7 Days to Die, Stranded Deep, Subnautica(finished this one), Wreckfest and Farcry Primal. That gives you a good overview of the types of games I’m into and quite a few Role-Playing Games in there, which are my personal favorites.
Because of the massive Shut Downs, I’ve also missed out on having a Book Stalls this year and missed out on Ironfest in Lithgow, NSW, Australia, one of my personal favorite. There are still a few Cons and Medieval Festivals out there I could attend with my stall, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. I sure do miss getting out though and meeting old/new readers in person.
On the writing front, I’ve shifted focus a little away from my Dystopian Sci-Fi considering the world we are currently living in and instead, I’m going back to my first love of fantasy. There is a small Gorp project that I need to finish up and will be eventually announced here once it’s done, but as for the series itself, it is finished. I’m instead going back to the fantastical world of Agrobathe, an original fantasy world I’ve worked over 10 years on worldbuilding for. I will also be basing multiple future Intellectual Properties off of this world and will likely continue to grow it unto my death. It will surely be my lifelong project that I always return to no matter what ventures I explore. “Tales of Agrobathe: Volume 1” will be the first in a series of anthologies introducing most of the world of Agrobathe. It is made up of fantasy short stories all based within the world of Agrobathe. A few of them have already appeared in other publications, but this will be the collection with most of the stories never seen or published before. Once this is released, I will be choosing between an Agrobathe (Choose Your own Adventure) type gamebook series and going back to finish up my first Sci-Fi novel, which is almost complete.
Here’s to more writing and hoping I don’t return to my Gamer’s Isolation!