Category Archives: Crafting

Space Engineers

This looks like a good place for adventure. (Me, playing Space Engineers)

Hello again everyone!

This is kind of a ‘just for fun” post, but something I think is important to talk about all the same. It should come as no surprise to anyone here that aside from being a fiction writer, I’m also a gamer. I like games, and I make no apologies for that. Oregon Trail, Super Mario Brothers, SimCity, Minecraft… All of it. I have been gaming for a long time (and this includes tabletop). Games aren’t real life, but it has always struck me how informative games can be when it comes to thinking about real life. There are important lessons to be learned from games.

Games are designed to simulate some aspects of real life, and so can help us think about all sorts of issues. I really like sandbox, exploration, and building games; so games like Starmade, Minecraft, and Simcity have a lot to teach us about building, crafting, and even urban design and energy policy. It’s the last I really want to focus on today, through the lens of a game called Space Engineers.

I really enjoy Space Engineers, because it is a game built around creativity and exploration, using technology inspired by the real world, in a near future scenario. We see a lot of energy technology that we have at our disposal right now, such as wind turbines, solar panels, hydrogen engines, and even nuclear reactors. There are no fossil fuels in the game, so it is a really useful lens for thinking about energy policy, and the current state of our energy systems.

Michigan

As games and fiction are can be useful for imaging the future, I want to take you on a bit of thought experiment today. We are going to use my home state of Michigan as an example, with Space Engineers as a lens on our energy policy. So here is our current energy mix for electricity generation;

(From here and here.)

Alright, so we can from the chart above that Michigan has four main electrical power sources; coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable energy (wind, solar, and hydro; primarily.) By contrast, Space Engineers uses all clean sources (though not necessarily renewable) sources of power as I have already pointed out. So can we use Space Engineers to rebuild Michigan’s energy system? Release the army of engineers!

They took the scenic route in their solar/hydrogen powered vehicle.

According to the recent IPCC report, we have to drastically reduce our usage of fossil fuels, and they need to be zero by about 2050 if we are going to have any chance to mitigate climate change. So on the above pie chart, that means that coal and natural gas have to go, so we will start there.

Coal & Natural Gas

Coal and natural gas in Michigan make up about 63% of our total electrical energy supply. As such, well over half our energy system comes from fossil fuels, and would have to be phased out by 2050. Coal is definitely the worst of the two offenders, as natural gas is slightly ‘cleaner’, but in the long run it should go too.

Starting with coal then, and utilizing our full army of Space Engineers, we have to replace 37% of our energy sources. The most obvious sources (leaving nuclear aside for now) are renewable energy, especially wind and solar. Michigan has tremendous wind and solar resources, so our limited factor is energy storage more than production capacity. However, with increasing efficient battery technology, and local Michigan pumped hydro storage, our engineers have no problem replacing coal with renewable energy by 2050.

Which brings our renewable energy percentage up to 45%. Drawdown lists on-shore wind, solar farms, and rooftop solar in the top ten solutions to combat climate change. I don’t see 45% as an unreasonable number, as it may be technically possible to run Michigan on 100% renewables.

Unleash the wind and solar! (Yes, I’m flying. Big whoop.)

The next kicker in our energy mix is natural gas. Like coal, natural gas energy is a form of combustion. Basically, burning a fuel to turn a turbine, which creates electrical energy. There are a lot of variations and methods of this, so I’m not going to go into the technical details all that much. Natural gas is still a fossil fuel, produced primarily from oil wells. And while it is ‘cleaner’ than coal, it still produces quite a bit of carbon. Methane is it’s chief component, which is carbon with four hydrogen atoms. So how do we get natural gas out of the mix?

Well, our engineers are good at what they do, so we could just expand more renewables and bring our mix up to 71% renewable. That is possible too, and again the IPCC report says 70-80% renewable energy is about where we’d need to be. So that is one option. We will call that scenario one.

But our Space Engineers also give us another option. One of the big sources of energy in the game is hydrogen; which is used for everything from jetpacks, to rocket engines, to hydrogen engines. So this gives us another option, the hydrogen economy. By using clean renewable energy (as opposed to current techniques), for electrolysis, we could produce abundant amounts of hydrogen from water. If we built up the infrastructure for safe transport and storage of hydrogen gas  (which is quite volatile), we could use hydrogen in everything from transportation to gas turbines. In short, it may be pretty easy to convert natural gas power plants to use hydrogen. If we use pure oxygen in addition to the hydrogen, the only waste would be water vapor. So 26% of our energy could also come from hydrogen plants. We will call that scenario two.

Now this is only a hypothetical situation, as there are several aspects of hydrogen and renewable energy that aren’t quite there yet. The only way to make hydrogen viable would be clean, renewable primary energy. That isn’t the case, as we still are mostly using coal and natural gas. Also, the infrastructure isn’t in place yet, though it is growing.

Nuclear

Moving on, the next big energy source in Space Engineers are nuclear reactors. I have used these in the game for a lot of different applications, from factory power to starship reactors. There are some things in the game that require quite a bit of power, and nuclear works nicely for this. In addition, in the real world Michigan gets 30% of it’s energy from nuclear power plants. We have three plants in total.

Drawdown ranks nuclear as #20 on it’s list. This power source has the potential to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, but it comes with a whole bunch of risks and drawbacks. Drawdown lists nuclear as a regrets solution, and has this to say on the topic;

“At Project Drawdown, we consider nuclear a regrets solution. It has potential to avoid emissions, but there are many reasons for concern: deadly meltdowns, tritium releases, abandoned uranium mines, mine-tailings pollution, radioactive waste, illicit plutonium trafficking, and thefts of missile material, among them.”

However, Drawdown goes to say that plausibly; “we assume its share of global electricity generation will grow to 13.6 percent by 2030, but slowly decline to 12 percent by 2050. ” It is important to note that this is global generation, and regional generation can vary a bit. For example, right now global energy production from nuclear is about 11%, whereas Michigan’s percentage is 29%.

With nuclear being both and option in the game, and in real life Michigan, I am going to assume our engineers use the resources we have, and upgrade them to newer, safer reactors. Maybe they even deploy some of those generation IV reactors we hear so much about? (Most reactors in existence are second generation, built in the 70-80’s)

The Scenarios 

Alright, so our army of engineers have scoured the state of Michigan, and made huge improvements and refinements to our energy system. They also changed out our transportation system, which works mostly now on electricity and/or hydrogen. So where does all this leave us in our game inspired fantasy? With two unique scenarios for a possible sustainable energy future.

Scenario 1: 29% nuclear, 71% renewable.

Scenario 2: 29% nuclear, 45% renewable, 26% hydrogen

I like scenario 1 a little better, because it makes a few less assumptions and relies more on technology we know to work today. The hydrogen economy is a little more of a stretch, because there are a lot of technical details and infrastructure that just doesn’t exist right now. But this imagined scenario is 2050, so our wonderful engineers may have worked that out. It is also technically possible, that the grant us a third scenario that eliminates the nuclear.

Scenario 3: 100% renewable energy, or 100% hydrogen/renewable.

Could the last be possible? I think so, and our engineers are a brilliant sort. It would be the ideal scenario for sure, but engineers are also very pragmatic. That leaves nuclear an open question.

Even though Space Engineers is a game, again, I think it is a great tool to help us think about the future. A future where space travel is real, and our civilization is sustainable. So I leave you with this thought and image. A ship powered by hydrogen and electric thrusters, with energy supplied by a mix of solar, hydrogen and nuclear.

It’s my ship, and thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Updates 2/15/17

“Have I awakened
Deep inside some madman’s dream?
This is not my country
This is not what I believe
Have I awakened
Deep inside some madman’s dream?
I can barely recognize
The place this used to be”

Assemblage 23 – Madman’s Dream

Good evening folks!

Well, it is evening here anyways. I cannot speak to whatever part of the world you may be reading this from. I just wanted to post a (hopefully) quick update blog, so you all can stay in the loop and read about all the exciting things I am working on.

Plus I needed another filler post here as I work to get another post with a little more substance ready…

So here I am, letting you know I haven’t forgotten about you all.

Okay, so here are some updates;

  1. I am coming up on the halfway mark on another manuscript. That’s approximately 35 -40k words for those of you playing the home game. I am working away on a cyberpunk/cybershaman type novel, and I have to say it has really been fun to write so far. I get to play with some pretty interesting topics; such as spirituality, sustainability, and how all that relates to technology. I also really enjoy speculating about what the world might look like in the not-so-distant future.
  2. I have announced it on Facebook, but I will relay that here as well. I have been accepted to write for Paganbloggers.com. Currently I expect that to start moving sometime in March, and I am really excited about this new opportunity. In addition, they are running an Indiegogo to help fund this new site for pagans, by pagans. You can check that out here!
  3. I have finished up editing the fifth book in the Elder Blood Saga. The final book in the series!  I will be getting the artwork for that started in the near future.
  4. I continue to do my best to grow and expand the shop! Have you checked out The White Wolf yet? The link is over there —> It is the home for my writing, crafting, and other work.
  5. Currently, I plan to start a 2+ year shamanic intensive in March. It seems to be the next step in my spiritual journey, and I am anxious/excited to take that next step.

I think that pretty much covers what is going on with me. There is certainly a lot going on in the world, and I’ve been doing my best to keep up with it all. I post a fair bit about many things over on my personal Facebook; not limited to science, spirituality, politics, the environment.. You know a lot of the things I talk about here.

I don’t want to go into that all too deeply here, especially the political bit. Primarily, this is not a political blog. I will delve into that from time to time of course, as it intersects with a lot of what I do talk about here. I think I could even make a fair argument that politics is part of the whole Anthropology thing, as it is concerned with humans; and politics is part of how humans govern one another. There is certainly a case to be made there, as well as topics such as building a sustainable civilization, religious freedoms, and the environment. Plus add the fact that I am sci-fi writer, so on occasion, politics does come up.

There is a lot to say on that front to be sure. The first month or so of the new administration in the US has been… overwhelming. I have been trying my best to keep up, but it seems like every hour something new is breaking. It is also fair to say that many of the things that are coming out of Washington trouble me deeply, and run contrary to many of my views. It just creates this baseline anxiety for me. I’m worried for myself, and my friends and family. Many of them fall into the “marginal” categories, and their rights will be the first to be questioned.

Needless to say, I am part of the resistance. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican, and I have serious questions for both parties. Another Republican in charge wouldn’t have bothered me as much as #45. I never thought I’d wish for Bush Jr back. But truly, the administration of #45 scares me.

But, I am both an optimist and a realist. I am an optimist because I believe that humans have so much potential. I am a realist because I realize the amount of work that it will take to get there. That is why I am trying to stay positive about all this, and inspiring and hopeful as I can. This does not means I don’t think the days ahead aren’t dark.

However #45 is a reaction to 8 years of Obama, and vI like to think that the counterreaction to this administration will be fierce; and the further it tries to push things, the more fierce that counterreaction will be. I also think we will have the opportunity to build a better world on the far side. A more global, interconnected, and sustainable world.

I like this Positive Reframe a fair bit.

But that doesn’t mean there is a lot of hard work ahead of us, and I won’t lie to you and say that work will be all unicorns and rainbows either. People are going to suffer under #45, good people. My people, and I will stand with them.

If you feel called to resist, do so. I will stand for our environment, for science, for my spirituality, and for minorities of all stripes. I don’t know at the current time how far this will go, but I will stand by my values all the same.

Here is a piece I like from Scientific American about resisting.

I particularly like this bit;

“His writings, which have been translated into dozens of languages and are available on the internet, describe a wide variety of tactics: worker strikes, student strikes, mass petitions, underground newspapers, skywriting, display of flags and banners, boycotts of goods, boycotts of sporting events, refusal to pay rent, withdrawal of bank savings, fasts, mock trials, occupation of government buildings, marches, motorcades, teach-ins, pray-ins, ostracism of collaborators, publication of names of collaborators, seeking imprisonment, formation of parallel government and mass disrobing.

Many of Sharp’s methods involve mockery, which the !Kung and other hunter-gatherer groups also employ against the swell-headed.”

Yes, I realize not all these actions are legal. It will be up to each and everyone of us to decide where our “Sacred Cows” are, and what we are willing to risk.

That said, by all means protest. March, rally, strike if you have to. Take a tip from the Natives at Standing Rock, and pray as well as protest. Write, make memes, share reputable news sources, learn the facts, make memes… Do whatever calls to you, and do it.

And hopefully the next world awaits…

 “Build me a future,
Splendid and graceful.
Make it better by design.
Perfected strategies, applied technologies.
A brighter future for a darker age.”

Vnv Nation – Streamline

 


Reflections and Meditations on 2016 Part 3

For this part, I really want to talk about a lot of things that are forthcoming. For lack of better phrasing, this will be the “what is next?” section.

There have been plenty of other exciting things going on as this year. I got two more books published, and I am really excited about that. There is another one coming in the beginning of the new year. The very last book in my Elder Blood Saga, the fifth book in the series. That book is in editing right now.

In the writing realm of things, I am aiming to publish two more books next year. The first I just mentioned, and the second is the start of a new series. It is a kind of “Michigan Werewolf” novel, a contemporary fantasy inspired by the work of Jim Butcher and Carrie Vaughn. I’ll start editing the first book of that series in the new year, and see how it goes.

There is definitely a lot of thoughts in that regard. With the new series comes new artwork, and I am still trying to decide how I am going to approach that. I have also considered approaching a smaller more “traditional” publisher. I will tell you folks, honestly being self-published is a lot of work. All the marketing, editing, writing, artwork & design, all that falls on me to coordinate. It is a lot of work for very little return. Still, I felt it was the best option for someone at my level.

There is also plenty of writing to do. This blog will likely go on hiatus soon while I start work on a longer project. There has been one rolling around in my head for some time, and another story not too far behind. I really wish I could do this full time. That would be swell. Ah, but I am dreamer after all.

Being an author these days is kind of rough, but there are also a lot of exciting new avenues people can explore. They each have their pros and cons to be sure, but I can honestly say that without things like Amazon and Createspace, I would not have any work published at this point in time. I have the rejection letters to prove it.

In many ways the market it changing. It pains me to say it, but it some ways the publishing industry has followed the pattern of the more general labor market. You know, the bit that says “entry level, must have 5 years of experience.” A lot of the “traditional” publishers I have approached are in business to make money, and so they like things that are already established, and this includes authors as well as plot line formulas. I am thinking about trying that route again, so I can focus more of my time on writing. I can maybe shift some of that weight off my shoulders.

Plus, as some of you may noticed, I opened my own shop this year. There has been a lot of work on that front, and plenty more still to go. There is a lot more learning to do, and each piece I make teaches me something. I am hoping in the coming year to expand into in-person vending. This year I was building most of the basic infrastructure for my shop. Next year, I want to expand on all that.

I am looking in to my options for that, comic cons (writing), bazaars, flea markets, anywhere that might give me an option to sell my work.

In a more general sense, there is a lot more I got to learn. I want to expand a lot of crafting skills, and try some new things. I also want to seek out some mentors to show me some new things I haven’t thought of just yet. There is plenty of studying to do.

This applies on a spiritual level as well. I mentioned in the first part of this post how I am largely self-taught (spirit taught?) in a lot of things. Still, in many ways I feel like I need more training; and I am not entirely sure where that is going to come from at the moment. One of the big reasons I am building the shop is partly because I feel a spiritual push to do so. It is something I want to do, yes; but there is also some outside pressure there. It is kind of two sides of the same coin. Where my personal desires intersect with those I work with.

And there is still so much to learn there. I want to go deeper, and I think this year has started that process. Where it goes I am not really sure yet. Still, what has been asked of me is substantial at this point. I am basically taking this one day at a time.

On another front, I think next year is going to get very interesting on a much more general scale. I already talked about the election cycle this year, and it really helped me to clarify a lot of my own positions on various issues. It has also been very depressing, mostly due to the fact that our new President-elect and his administration are pretty much openly hostile towards all the things I value the most.

So, in short, I think that the coming year will also be a year of resistance for people like me. Alone, I don’t have much in the way of power or influence. But I also know I am not the only one out there, that there are people that believe as I do.

I for one, have no interest in seeing all the progress we have made as a country tossed out. I want to preserve many of the hard won gains we have made, especially under the Obama administration. I for one, will fight to protect our environment, our basic Human Rights, our Civil Rights, and anything else I think that is worth defending.

Thanks for reading!

See you folks in 2017!


The White Wolf Lives!

Alright folks, after much delay, I am ready to announce my new project! Well, in fact it is a business!

nick_logo1

I am really excited about this, because it brings many wayward parts of my life together into one endeavor. Just for a taste, here are a few things I hope will come to bear fruit from this project.

  • Obviously, it will be a further home for my writing, and bring together many of these things in one central location.
  • It will hopefully help provide funding for future writing and research projects.
  • At the current moment, the forge and iron works is operational. This means that I will be able to provide material support for the pagan community, or really anyone that wants it. Stuff like this!imag0233
  • This project will draw heavily on my archaeological background, so it should come as no surprise that I will likely be trying my hand at replicating artifacts. Stone, wood, leather, iron and steel. Also, anything else I feel like. Stuff like this!imag0158
  • There are other parts of this project that are still under construction, and in the future I hope to expand into bowmaking, as well as general wood and leather work.
  • One of my main communities of focus would be the pagan community, and so I would be offering creations for mundane as well as spiritual reasons.

That is the short list of course, but I am hoping this endeavor will turn into more than this. For starters, I want this to be a “community support” project. This project is not all about me, so it would be a springboard for collaboration and support as well. Obviously, I would love to be able to make a living off my own projects, but this isn’t just about me. As such, provided everything goes well, I will be using some of the profits from shop to help support the community. Just as examples of few of these things might be;

*Help support artists and creators do their own work.

*Donate to causes and/or projects that support my values

Really, this project brings together my educational background, my writing, my crafting, and my spiritual life into one little endeavor. There is a lot of promise here, and I really am looking forward to what the future might hold. And I hope you might join me on the way.

For now, this blog will serve as the “homebase” for this project, along with the Facebook page. I will try not to crowd out my regular projects with a bunch of marketing, so I encourage you folks to follow the Facebook page, as well as the Etsy shop. That is where most of this endeavor will be taking place.

Check it out!

Facebook

Etsy


Skin Spirits, by Lupa; Some Thoughts

I have been reading through Skins Spirits by Lupa , and I have had some thoughts that I wanted to share on this book.

First off, if you have any interest of working with animal parts in a practical/spiritual manner, this book is HIGHLY recommended! Honestly, I can not praise this book enough. Reading through this book, I found myself saying “yes!” and nodding along at several locations, and it is a wonderful to see many of my thoughts reflected in Lupa’s well written read words. Skin Spirits was published back in 2009, and the impression I was left with after reading it was twofold; First, “where have you been all my life?!” and second; “why did it take me so long to become aware of this?!”

Yes, it would be safe to say I am a big fan of this book. But all the gushing and glowing aside, there are some very good thoughts, ideas and concepts well presented throughout this book that I really wanted to talk about here. I come at this book from my own walk in life, primarily as a hunter and an animist. In fact, I have been reading it mostly while out hunting (oh the irony!)

In the first chapter, she lays out the reasons for working with animal parts, and I wanted to briefly touch on these from my own perspective.

1) To Give the Spirits a better “Afterlife”

This reason is very important to me on so many levels. It is something I have to think about whenever I go hunting. As a hunter, I strive to make my kills as clean as possible in order to prevent suffering. Also, I am spiritually obligated to the animal after it is killed. Call it a “life debt”. I have to make sure the spirit is treated properly and with respect, and that, should the spirit desire to do so, that it makes it way into the keeping of its ancestors. Lupa just adds another layer to this, and further adds to my intellectual toolbox. It goes beyond just making sure the “core” spirit of the animal is properly cared for, but also the “partial spirit” that continues to reside in the remains. These too should be treated with respect.

In addition, I have been trying to learn more about leatherworking, and working with the remains from the animals I hunt. Lupa certainly presents plenty to think about in this regard, and I will continue to mull it over as I learn more about tanning, leather crafting, and working with animal remains.

2) To Connect with Spirits, Deities and Other Entities

Bones, feathers, skins and so forth can be used as ritual tools to connect with spirit of the animal, or as Lupa puts it, to the totem of that animal. To keep on point, this one is pretty straightforward. As Lupa presents it, skins and other animal remains retain a part of the spirit of the original anima, and this can be used as a connection to the spirit itself, or to greater beings that represent the entire species. For example, Lupa uses remains to call on the spirit she wants to work with, such as in dance or ritual.

3) To avoid waste and 4) aesthetic reasons.

As these two points are pretty straight forward, I won’t say much about them. To avoid waste in a big one, and basically comes down to the principle of recycling. It is important to me to use as much of an animal as I can, especially if it is one I killed. That is part of the obligation, but it all just makes good sense as far as conservation is concerned. Waste not, want not. The other point is aesthetics, where in we concede the point that animal remains have a certain look about them. “Tribal” “Primitive”, or “Shamanic”. My take away from Lupa’s book is that while remains can be aesthetically pleasing, we should have other reasons for working with animal remains for more than just the way they look. Afterall, we are just talking about lifeless hunks of material, but the beings that still are part of those remains. Beings that are worthy of respect, and that they should be treated as such.

The rest of the book covers things like ethical and legal concerns, more detailed information about working with skin spirits, as well as practical ways to create items from skins and other animal remains. I am glossing over these parts for several reasons; first, it would make this blog way too long for easy reading, and second and most importantly; it is not my place to recap the entirety of another author’s work. Out of respect for Lupa, and any author, if you want to read more about these things you will have to purchase the work. It is not my place to offer freely that which is not mine.

As such, I wanted to focus on a couple of other points. First, I want to talk a little about “fake” animal remains and the real thing. As Lupa points out, there are several reasons a person might not want/be able to work with the real thing. There could be ethical issues, legal issues, financial issues, as well as other reasons. The animal you want to work with may be extinct, or may not dwell on this plane of existence.

In my own case, I work with wolf spirits, and so I am not allowed to own anything that would in anyway sanction the killing of a wolf, even if it is legal. It’s a spiritual taboo, and as far as the spirits I work with are concerned, it amounts to kin killing. As such, in order to work with wolf, I do have a faux fur cloak. It originally started its life as part of a Halloween costume one year, and then turned into a ritual artifact.

However, as in my own case, I am aware of how environmentally unfriendly having such a pelt is. It takes petroleum to produce it, and it will practically never breakdown (a few thousand years or so.) As such, I never intend to replace it once it starts to fall apart, and I have resolved to use as much as I can until I can no longer do so. Basically, to reuse it as much as I can, and do my best to prevent it from ending up in a landfill. Lupa has a more recent post on fake furs, which is liked below.

The point being, that sometimes we have to turn to substitutes. I have been exploring other options such as smaller items and masks. I have a few wolf pendants, and because of Lupa’s book, I have also been exploring the idea of wolf-shed (made from the shedded fur of live wolves) artifacts. It may just be an option considering the taboos I am under.

Thanks for reading!

Sources/References

http://www.thegreenwolf.com/dear-fellow-artist-no-i-will-not-use-fake-fur-and-heres-why/

Skin Spirits, by Lupa.

Find it on her website at http://www.thegreenwolf.com


Updates 5/7/15

Hey there everyone! I must apologize to you all, as I have not been able to keep up with this blog lately. There are some really great posts on the horizon, but I have not had the time to write them up recently. Life has gotten a little chaotic, and frankly blog posts are low on the priority list.

The last couple of weeks have been hell on wheels. My wife’s car broke down, one of my credit cards came under fraud alert,mom’s birthday, and then at the end of it all, I got let go from my job. I found a new one, and it will pay the bills in the short term, but it has still been a lot to deal with.

Also, I have been wicked busy. I have am finishing up writing another book, and I am working towards republishing the second edition of Of Shadow and Steel. The new cover looks fantastic! I am really excited about this re-release. This book is going into the proofing stage, so it won’t be long now!

There are also blogs coming up with more environmental thoughts, and more work on the Kalevala as well.

But, with the short term panic of unemployment out of the way starting next week, I have started thinking about the future. Through unemployment, all the job hunting, and the ups and downs of it all, it really gets to you after a while. To realize that your home, your family happiness and comfort, all that is at the whim of someone else. It really got me thinking that maybe it is time to see if I can provide for my own financial well being.

I am no fool, so I am not just going to drop everything to chase a dream. But between my writing, and my crafting skills, there may be something there. I think it is time to start testing those waters, and maybe even make some extra money doing it. I am still exploring the feasibility of it all, but I think there may be something to all this. So stay tuned! There will be forthcoming updates!

So I just wanted to check in with you guys, and let you know I am not dead and have not forgotten about you.

Thanks for reading!


Updates!

I have been slipping a little bit with the regularity of these posts. So much so, that I think I have said something about ‘slipping’ for the last few posts. Well, it is still going on. Thankfully it is for a good reason, as my writing time is being spent elsewhere. I am making good progress on several edits, and am half done with another manuscript. In short, I am very busy, and the demands of a novelist and a blogger are a bit too much some weeks. Therefore, I tend to skimp on the blogging.

Though, I do want to say there is plenty of upcoming work. I will be starting a new (expanded?) series shortly, and will continue to work my way through the Kalevala. Also, I am working on a, or maybe a few, environmentally themed posts. There has been plenty of talk in the blogosphere, and I want to weigh in with my own thoughts. That is coming soon too. Also, I think my series for the FFA is starting to come to an end. There may be a few more posts, but I feel I have explored the areas that were really of interest to me, and so I will be putting it aside in the near future. Of course, there is nothing that prevents me from revisiting it in the future. You don’t just put aside a source of that caliber.

All in all, I have been really stupid busy. But aside from the writing, and the lack of blogging, the last piece for the forge has just arrived, so I return to metalworking soon. There is that to look forward too as well. Also I will begin work before too long for leather and bow making in my newfound garage. So there is that on the way too!

I just wanted you all to know that I have not died.