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Archive for August, 2021

Hey, remember me?

I thought I was well overdue for an update here.  People continue to discover my books, to find my web site, to subscribe to my newsletter, and so I thought I should say hello to everyone and let you know what’s up and how you can best connect with me.

I retired from novel-writing at the end of 2019.  There’s a whole dramatic story behind that that I’ll maybe tell, someday.  I’m still writing, and I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with my work when it’s done.  First, I need to make sure it’s really done, and then I’ll figure out where to go from there.  But there’s no ETA.  And that’s part of what I need right now, as I focus on my own mental health and on my family.

I had to delete my main Twitter account.  I tried curating my experience in every possible way, and Twitter kept finding new ways to circumvent my control over my own experience, and with approximately 8,000 followers it was… a lot.

I do have one very small, very specialized Twitter account that reflects my current focus right now, which is video games (primarily as a storytelling medium).  That account is under @games_shell.  It’s under 500 followers, and I’d like to keep it that way.

Games have been a great blessing to me these past few years.  My primary social group and creative/writing outlet right now is my amazing 7-month-old WoW Guild (on Burning Crusade Classic).  I invite anyone to contact me who might be interested in joining us (though no guarantees of admittance if you don’t fit our “sociable bleeding-heart lore-geek” kinda vibe).

If you miss hearing my voice and my opinions, I’ve been making some gaming videos for fun.  I welcome comments and interaction on these.  My main project right now is “Diablo Golden Ticket,” where I analyze the story and lore of the original Diablo game as you watch me play through it.  You can find those videos here:

Another way you can socialize with me more directly would be asking for an invite to my “Shell Games” Discord server, where I sometimes do casual friendly streams you can talk back to… or just watch if you’re feeling shy.  I pretty much invite anyone to the server who asks, and have never had to kick anyone out yet.  The rules there are clear: no negative talk or current-events talk, just games and fun.

If you are so deeply uninterested in video games that it wouldn’t even be worth it to endure discussing/learning about them as the sole way to hang out with me, then… yeah, we probably won’t be talking much for a while.  I’m not oblivious to real world events, but I have lost all interest in discussing them with internet acquaintances.

Americans (and much of the rest of the world) have lost all interest in listening to or understanding people who disagree with us.  We draw harsher and harsher lines; we demonize moderation, complexity, and forgiveness.  We send the message that the only people worthy of love and support are those who have never sinned (by whatever definition our political team defines sin), not once, not ten years ago, not ever.

Social media only accepts/encourages two public emotions: “humorous” despair at how doomed the world is, or righteous outrage (usually unaccompanied by a call to action).  I’m tired of these emotions, and not interested in them anymore.  In private, personal ways I am carrying on the fight for a better world.  Publicly and socially, I have carved out a few very limited, curated spaces where people can simply have some fun and be kind to each other.

Join me there, if you like.  Otherwise, understand that it may be a very long wait, if ever, before we interact again.