It's been a while since I wrote, and I'm at the phase where just thinking of how long the days were for the person writing 3 months ago could make me froth with envy, lol. I have fortunately been reading much better novels in the meantime, which I will mostly keep discussion of for the end of the year book round up post.

I think it's a relevant life update though, to say that I've started Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon's 1200-page brick on the chaotic soup of New Types of Guy that is the emergence of historical Modernity. I'm a quarter of the way (so basically a whole normal novel) in, and loving it. Stephen always kind of has to shepherd me towards longer books, I think I've been burned in the past, but he got me to read The Magic Mountain which got me thinking heavily about visual novel structure, funnily enough, and now this one. Maybe he'll get a Ulysses read out of me someday too!

I've also been watching a lot of films, with recent little-known standouts being Frederic Hobbs' Troika and Trompe L'oiel shown at Weird Weekend III in Glasgow. I also saw Penda's Fen for the first time in Zone and really enjoyed it, and Stephen and I watched Twin Peaks The Return at last, which was like, a text so dense and rich you don't have any room for dinner (being able to sleep after watching and episode.) I keep track of movies more proactively on my Letterboxd account if weirdo cinema interests you...

Zonemeet in Porthmadog, Wales this year was lovely. Just hanging out watching movies and eating snacks with everyone ~in the flesh~ was a great vibe and we got to check out the weird village from The Prisoner, plus ride a train from the 1800s. On the last day I did some emotional processing in a seaside arcade that I made a Bipsi game about.

Zonemeet was kind of an unofficial warm up for the new Domino Club... I felt a lot of pressure going into it to make something amazing and then got kind of depressed about it and took it down, changed it, put it back up... I was really happy that people seemed to get a kick out of it though, and got into the characters. You can look at all of the games here (I reccomend them all, obviously) and my own submission this time was perverseoverride. In all cases, do mind the content warnings... :sickos: Maybe I'll summarize my backend chat about the game and put it up as a postmortem on here later.

Finally this weekend I went down to Bedford for Trick or Retreat, providing selections from my zine library. It took me a bit to warm up to being around so many people, but in the end the food and conversations and bonfire was all lovely, I got to hold a giant millipede, and I'm always happy when people get something out of browsing my zine collection too... I applied for Plaintext Distro to table at EZF in February, but I'm not sure if I'll get in or how competitive spots are, here's hoping though!

So, even though I don't have much news on the novel publishing front (yes, I'm still trying for that...), I've been really busy, and felt basically at capacity the past few weeks... that my job threw some curveballs and deadlines at me and has been asking me to do stuff that is, imo, above my position and pay grade lately also didn't help. However, I now have 4 friends who have read my full novel draft, and one more in process, which makes me feel positive about it despite the lack of interest so far. I know it's a hard sell. But it's because it's good!

I know I also said this last year but I really want to wind down and have a chill last two months of the year. I'm not doing NaNo, instead working more casually on a shorter, maybe novella-length project I want to get to a full draft and otherwise not taking on much more stuff. There's games I waited for forever either out (like Funny Walk or coming soon, so I also want to catch up on those as well as just enjoying more films, novels, music (the Bjork album I alluded to in the last post turned out to be really good, and there's like, suddenly three new King Gizzard albums to get at...)

However, an important part of holiday relaxation is making and sending cards to everyone! If you read this blog and would like a card, the form is here, please fill it out by the end of the month :)

The recent Twitter exodus has made mastodon a bit more lively, and it's where I post, for example, images of cool mushrooms I find on weekend expeditions to Pollok Park, as well as more up-to-the-minute book reviews and progress on creative work. If you're interested in that, it's here. Frankly I'm glad for this stuff to get more decentralized and weird. Twitter is zzzzz.

Well, there you go, I thought I was just going to do a really quick update post at the beginning of the week, but I've gone on for ages, lol. I should remember to keep up with this one a bit more too!