My goodness it’s been a while since we caught up. Grab a cup of $FAVORITE_BEVERAGE, and I’ll try to brain dump everything that’s been going on.
The Patron Thing
You know how you sometimes get an email or a call, and there’s some empty banter, followed by feigned interest in what’s going on in your life? And then, at the end of the pleasantries, they ask you to help them move, or invest in vacuums, or loan them money? Ayup. I don’t want to do that, so I’m getting the money thing out of the way before I tell you how nice your shoes look with that dress.
After months of hemming and hawing (those are both lies, I hemmed nothing and I don’t know how to haw), I opened up a Patreon page. There are 4 tiers, which give you access to various things ranging from a digital trove of oddities from my past careers to a physical Spot plushie mailed to your door. I won’t belabor it here, but if you always felt daily lattes weren’t quite enough discretionary spending and you wanted something more — at the very least I tried to make the tier descriptions fun. :)
My Big Round, Slightly Dusty, World
Ever since I was smacked down with Covid, it’s been difficult to fit a daily comic back into my schedule. I haven’t given up on Blue and the gang, but the release schedule is certainly less consistent than it was pre-Covid-Shawn. The few comics I’ve been able to draw were still so enjoyable that it’s not something I worry I’ve grown tired of creating. Perhaps I just needed this hiatus to really appreciate how much joy I get from my simple little drawings.
Oh, and in my recent summer-of-sickness (after Covid, I got “something” else, which has lasted longer than my 22 days of Covid), I had the opportunity to watch a lot of YouTube videos. I learned all about the VlogBrothers, and Kurzgesagt, and also watched a ton of videos from Okay Samurai about Character animation. It turns out, animating My Big Round World won’t be the impossible feat I assumed it would be.
I’m not turning into an animation studio or anything, but when the winter settles in and I crave the heat of my CPU — making a couple animated shorts might be incredibly fun. I just have to come up with voices for all the characters!
Linux & Livestreams
The Linux+ series is underway over at my YouTube channel, and while it’s had a few snags with regard to its release schedule, it’s still happening. I’m not the sort to abandon a series partway through, but I am the sort who let’s real life get in the way of creating. Apparently.
I also started doing some livestreams. My plan is to livestream *most* Sunday afternoons about 3PM Eastern Time. The goal was (and I suppose still is) to have a weekly AMA about the videos released that week. But it’s also just a fun time to chit chat and bounce ideas back and forth. The last livestream was the trigger event that launched the Nerdlings.Net Discord server. So far it’s pretty small and untamed, with little direction or usefulness. So you know, exactly what you’d expect my Discord to look like. ;)
It’s of course free, and while Patreon supporters get special colored usernames and a private channel — it’s supposed to be a place anyone can come and hang out to chat with fellow Nerdlings. There’s a Spanish-specific channel for anyone who struggles always conversing in English, and some of my friends from Linux Dominicana kindly joined to greet anyone looking for some friendly Spanish banter. (Other language-specific channels will hopefully happen as they are needed. The Discord server will be primarily in English, but sometimes it’s nice to have a place to scream into the void, and have people understand your screams)
Well, I mean, sorta. I still have a full time job, and it’s been particularly demanding of late. But if you read my blog, you know that it’s been a particularly long couple months. And this week was no exception. The awesome health-insurance-providing job that my wife got offered was in danger of falling through. (She was finally able to see a specialist, and her heel is in such bad shape, it will almost certainly require surgery that will affect her mobility for months)
We really worried the bookstore wouldn’t be able to move her to full time with benefits. But she had a meeting with the owners yesterday, and true to form, they agreed to work with her through recovery. They’re going to move her to full time, with benefits, knowing that she’ll be significantly less mobile during the healing process.
Mind you, this is a small town bookstore, moving into the slow season. If you ever wondered where you might buy books online or in person and really make a difference supporting worthy business owners — I can’t recommend McLean & Eakin Booksellers enough. If you buy books there, tell them Donna sent you. :)
The Back Burner
I did get an interested response from an editor about a book idea. Surprise, surprise, it’s a book about Linux. I haven’t even had the time to make a formal pitch — but if it ends up happening, it would be pretty cool. The “angle” I came up with might make the book useful in a unique way, so I really hope I follow through!
I also still have a tour of the “Micro Datacenter” out at my farm coming. My Patreon supporters got a tour of the farm itself recently (all past stuff is available for future supporters too, if you really really want to see my farm, lol). And now that our health insurance situation is settled a bit, focusing on fun creative stuff doesn’t feel like a waste of precious time. So buckle up, Nerdlings, cuz it’s gonna be a fabulous winter. :)
Oh! And Merch! While it’s still in the brewing stage, I’m pretty sure we have an angle on some really nifty Nerdling stuff for the near future. At first there will probably be a small number of limited-run items — but eventually I’d like to have all sorts of stuff available. I mean, mainly because I want the stuff myself, but hey, if anyone wants to join me in my nerdery, I want to facilitate that! :D
So until next time: Learn everything, do what you love, and most importantly, be kind.