And Then There Were Maps…

I’ve been off in a burrow of writing and reading the last few months, researching for Halcyon and trying to work on my characterization. It’s been fruitful, but likely not particularly inspiring for anyone else. I’ve learned far more about the political realities of the American and French Revolutions and when combined with the daily news… well, that necessitated some time off the Internet.

I’m aware that I am what many would call a sensitive and idealistic person. I don’t think those are disparaging terms, even if they are sometimes directed toward me with that intent. I think that those qualities enrich my life and make me a better person, and in the grand scheme, that’s probably what I am here to be: artist, writer, better person. Sounds like an epitaph to be proud of, really.  I’ve taken to drawing in the living room in the mornings while I watch the news and Colbert with Dave. It’s a good way to give myself a bit of mental space from everything while still staying informed. My art is a form of resistance, a stubborn refusal to stop seeing the beauty and potential in the world despite the news media carrying the fear and loathing into my living room on what seems like an unceasing tide.

One morning I started drawing a map on a lark and cheap graph paper and it became a beautiful thing, if I do say so myself. I had a rare bout of boldness and posted it to a RPG crafting group I’m part of on Facebook. It blew up and that blew my mind. I’ve never had that kind of response to my work before and it made a lot of conversations I’ve overheard about finding your audience and gaining exposure make a new kind of sense. The reaction spurred me to consider Patreon and I decided to go for it even though I suck at the extensive self-promotion the platform advocates. It’s been launched now and I will see how it goes. It feels like a risk for someone who rarely shows their work, but also very exciting. So many adages about the journey needing a first step are in my head lately, it could be the inside of a fortune cookie factory. ^_^

I enjoy making the maps and they prompt a lot of thought about the world I am building. That’s been branching into new creative pursuits: I am writing my first RPG adventure set in my world, and I am preparing my first West Marches style campaign to start running in September. I am new to writing adventures and new to running campaigns, but both of these things excite me right now, so why not? It’s lovely and strange to be giving my inner nerd permission to run the creative show for a while. “Nerd” was an epithet of many wounds when I was younger, and I know it was for scores of others. To be in a position where it is lauded and an in-group designator is very strange. Good, don’t get me wrong, but strange.

Uncharted territory for now, but the new hobby should sort that out right quick. ^_~ I want to be more active here again as it’s good for me, so I am going to try. I am also blogging at Patreon as part of that, but I promise to not cross-post too often. My plan is to keep this blog more about the writing and that one more about the visuals. I feel like the focus on the visual needs to be tempered with the writing so I don’t overbalance. I like my practice best when it has both.

There’s my update. It’s nice to be back.

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