Somewhere outside the realm of reason and linear time lies the Akashic Library, its phantasmagorical shelves stretching off endlessly into the distance. What arcane esoterica shall we uncover there today? Read on, bold traveler, and see . . .
Hello, friend! It's the end of August and I am SO TIRED. As you may know, I'm a high school teacher, and school has started up again. So far this year is going well--I like my schedule, the students have been good, we've got a good staff, and it feels like we may finally be getting back to functioning as well as we used to in the pre-pandemic days. I can't complain! I'm just not used to an honest day's work and I'm constantly exhausted. But I owe you a monthly newsletter, and the month's almost over, so by God I am going to deliver.
I don't have a lot of news in terms of creative output; I've mainly been working on Swann Castle.
SWANN CASTLE UPDATE
First, the bad news: We have missed our original goal of shipping the book in August. The editing and layout has just been more complicated than I expected. In retrospect, I was pretty naïve--there are three versions of the book, which requires three separate rounds of editing, revision, and layout, and that takes longer than one book. Really should have seen that coming!
The good news is that we have made major progress in the last month and I think we have finished editing and revision, and layout is underway.
Here's a drawing that Blu did for the book, showing some people from Ontrion. As Blu's dad, I'm probably biased, but I think it's pretty great.
FORSOOTH, I HAVE BOOKS AVAILABLE THROUGH KINDLE VELLA
There are 27 chapters available of my science-fiction adventure Armistice Hawkins and the New Architects of Creation. I've almost finished chapter 28, it's coming soon.
And as always, you can read the entirety of my occult detective novel The Lobster-Quadrille on Kindle Vella. If you like hardboiled detectives, men with lobsters for heads, Nancy Drew, occult conspiracies, and/or the works of Lewis Carroll, go ahead and start at the beginning.
ZINE QUEST 2024
Every year I launch a Kickstarter campaign for an RPG zine to coincide with Zine Quest. This year's was Swann Castle, which, as we have discussed, is coming soon. A couple of weeks ago I figured out what next year's project will be. I'm pretty excited to start work on this project, known only by the mysterious codename MCS, once Swann Castle is wrapped up. MCS will be a shorter book that won't take as long. I'm planning on getting the whole thing written before the Kickstarter launches. Watch this space for more details!
BOOKS I'VE READ SINCE LAST MONTH
Night Fever, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Part 1, Geoff Johns, Alex Ross, Dale
Eaglesham, and various
Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Part 2, Geoff Johns, Alex Ross, Dale
Eaglesham, and various
Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Part 3, Geoff Johns, Alex Ross, Dale
Eaglesham, and various
Captain America: Secret Empire, Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, and various
Galaxy: The Prettiest Star, Jadzia Axelrod and Jess Taylor
Chivalry, Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
The Immortal Iron Fist: The Complete Collection volume 2, Duane Swierczynski, Travel Foreman, and various
Battle Action, Garth Ennis and various
Justice Society of America: The Demise of Justice, Len Strazewski, Grant Miehm, Mike Parobeck, Tom Artis, and various
The Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin, Geoff Darrow
So this month was all comics. I do like reading novels, I swear, but the Graphic Novel To Read pile was seriously out of control and I had to attack it with vigor. Some of these were good, some were kind of boring, it's a weird mix. I only just finished Shaolin Cowboy and it is, as expected, completely nuts.
GAMES I'VE BEEN PLAYING
Old-School Essentials, baby! I've been running a mostly-monthly game for some friends, using the Illmire setting, and it's crazy fun. I never knew I would enjoy old-timey D&D this much.
MOVIES I’VE WATCHED SINCE LAST MONTH
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Part 1
The Adventures of Tintin
Bridge of Spies
Dark Knight Rises
That's a lot of Christopher Nolan! The kids wanted to watch the Dark Knight trilogy, so we did, and all three of us really enjoyed Dark Knight Rises. I don't understand why it gets so much hate. (Okay, I know some of the hate is because of its politics, which is fair, but all three of them have dumb politics.) As far as Nolan movies go, I liked Oppenheimer better than the Batman ones. Blu and I saw it and Barbie on opening weekend, and we both want to see Oppenheimer again.
I'd never seen Bridge of Spies before. It's quite good.
In other news, you can find me on Blue Sky as @leightonc.bsky.social. I haven't posted anything there yet, but I'm sure I will.
Okay, I think that's enough newsletter. Now I can reward myself with the special treat of going to bed. See you in September!