Two blog posts within a week! I can’t believe I managed it. No idea if I’ll continue, but here we are for at least today. After last week where I mentioned that I had taken a short break from writing to look at some other projects, I’ve decided what I really need to do is share a bit more detail. The short story is that I’m flying around Alaska in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and talking about places, then posting that on YouTube. The new flight simulator isn’t just cool because every aspect is amazingly gorgeous, but because the entire world (anywhere you can think of) has been included to at the very least, a modest level of accuracy. So, I can fly you from some obscure landing strip to another and not only is it possible, but it looks reasonably representative of what you might find. I plan to visit every possible corner of Alaska in my YouTube channel and talk about as much as I can. At some point I’ll revisit writing, but right now isn’t the right time for me. With that, I’ll leave you with a trailer for my channel…
Hi everyone. I haven’t blogged in about a gazillion years. It looks like my last post was just prior to everything closing as the pandemic began to grip the country. That post was meant to be a part of an outreach campaign to launch The Dark Queen of Darkness and do a book-signing. Hexe is a book that is near and dear to my heart and I wanted to see it in as many hands as possible. However, 2020 has been an epic shit-show, and that launch was botched across the board, and much of it was outside of my control.
I have been writing, a bit, but I’ve decided to take a bit of a break. In part, because I don’t see an avenue for a no-name author to be heard or even find a platform. Perhaps, in the next year or two that’ll change, and I’ll get back to it. But it goes beyond that. Creativity is one of those things that can be easily over-taxed to the point where you just haven’t got it in you to continue. That’s where I am right now.
After the botched launch of The Dark Queen, life really started to become challenging. Not bad, we’re fortunate, and I both recognize and appreciate that. However, every week seems to bring something new that just adds to the stress of it all. In my day-job, I have found myself at the epicenter of contingency planning. Not because “I’m the only guy who can do it” or anything like that at all, but because I sit at a peculiar nexus of field work, data-processing, and technology. Which is to say, if we have to reinvent how we do business, I need to be involved. Plus, I’m not super awful at meeting facilitation or coordination, and have absolutely no fear of stepping on toes, so I jump in with both feet. That’s a long way of saying that my day-job is exhausting and trying to develop light and humorous work, as much as we need that right now, is a bit beyond my capacity.
That’s only part of the story though. This year, my family has been subject to a bunch of challenges. The current one being isolation because we don’t know if my wife had a weird 24-hour bug or the damn coronavirus. We’re waiting on a test. Other things this year: My wife’s car had to have it’s engine replaced, we had carpenter ants in the wall, somehow we got lice, I lost a lot of my writing in a computer hardware failure, my back went out to the point I might not be able to take a long walk for over a year (if I’m lucky), the cat died, I ran over a dog (he survived), and a bunch of little things besides.
There have been good things too. My eldest son was elected captain of his FTC team and is absolutely working his ass off to be a good captain and see his team win state this year. I did publish a book, and (for now), both my wife and I are still employed.
This is far better than most folks, but it leaves me almost incapable of being a good, productive writer. Instead, I’ve found myself an easier avenue of escape, and one that might dominate my time for a considerable amount of time – I purchased the most recent edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator. When it comes to games and this kind of thing, I enjoy that in spurts and without talking about it exhaustively. This time, however, I’m doing something different. Because of what that Flight simulator is and is capable of, I’m doing a tour of Alaska. You might ask WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT?!! WRITE YOUR DAMN BOOK!!!! My response is – fair point, but we’re all struggling right now. A once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska for a lot of people is more remote than ever. Not only that, I’m struggling to connect with folks through my writing —the best methods to connect with readers are just not workable at the moment. That’s why I’m spending time with the flight simulator. This is not just for me, but anyone who wants to know more about Alaska. I’m also learning about my own home with this project. This is a pretty long way to explain that I’m taking a short break from writing to focus on other projects. While it might not really make sense to anyone else, this is the one thing that’s helping me to remain positive and focused. If you’re interested in what I’m up to on YouTube, check out this link. Otherwise, I’ll try to do a better job of blogging in the coming weeks and months.
I am doing an author event this Saturday (March 28th, 2020) at Black Birch Books in Wasilla, AK from 2pm to 5pm. With the coronavirus situation, this simply can’t happen in person (mostly, a few people can come and visit, provided we keep our distance). As an alternative, we’ve decided to do a virtual event on Facebook. You can call in to order a book, or ask questions curbside pickup will be available. I’ll share MORE details as we roll into this.
I recognize this appears self-serving —Dave gets to make money off of a virtual event. NO. Not the point. Today, as I sit here, looking at my community, full of fear and uncertainty, I’m trying to understand how my favorite places will still be around in a year. My knee-jerk reaction is to think about restaurants, the most visibly and notably, hard hit, but we can’t overlook our other critical gathering places and services. With that in mind, MOST of the royalties on every copy of the Dark Queen of Darkness sold will be going to Black Birch Books. It’s a small gesture for an indie author such as myself, but you have no idea how much Black Birch has done or does do for our community and this is the best I can offer to give back.
When I did my very first author event ever, ever, with Black Birch Books, I found something I didn’t expect. A community gathering place. I met people there who I wouldn’t normally find an opportunity to connect with. It was absolutely wonderful. I loved the fact that I got to meet and talk with unique, interesting people about books and writing. The best part is that this was an environment without judgment or expectation. You are who you are and that’s great. This place is a gem.
My author event with Black Birch Books is ON, just online. Block out time from 2-5pm on Saturday, March 28th to join in. I’ll do some reading, answer questions, and sign books.