Quarterly Update: Water

This first quarter of 2021 has been… insane? With the pandemic still going on, and recent lifestyle changes having taken place I’ve found myself in the unique position to (more or less) work on my projects without worry of paying bills and feeding ourselves, thanks 1005 to my incredible wife for supporting us and encouraging me to do what I love as much as I can. That being said, this is the first post of its kind on this site.

At the end of last year I officially launched the Grimoire of Finality, which if you’ve never been, is a page dedicated to my fiction writing and nothing else. I have so many things spiraling in my mind that I have been working on that I felt it necessary to subdivide my projects down a bit, which in turn evolved into a multi-level series of fiction pieces and a massive (I truly mean massive) collection of writing and stories that I want to tell sooner rather than later. I currently am in the unique position in which I have the chance to work on said projects pretty much full time and I am utilizing that time to the best of my ability. At the end of last year I made a collection of goals for myself which I’ve split into two categories, each of them flavored perfectly to taste and I have been working hard on these projects for the duration of 2021 thus far. That being said, I am excited to share the first Bearscape Update with you. While it isn’t much as of yet, I am (perhaps too much so,) inspired by Brandon Sanderson who publishes a yearly update regarding his work and I decided that it would aid me in my own process and so, I have blatantly ripped it off and put my own spin on it (as if he is the only one in the world who does it.)

This year I faced a lot of hard decisions early on and unsurprisingly (If you’ve been around the blog for any length of time) you’d know that every spring around my birthday I have a carefully calculated meltdown. You should know that this is the after effect of pushing off all of my worries from the later half of the year like stress over money and my own future to the new year, where that compressed lump of problems explodes in my face and almost annually it throws me for a loop. I have gotten good at combating the event however, and have elected to (instead of using healthy coping mechanisms to deal with it) I lump it around a large content release storm to keep my mind occupied and eventually I handle the stresses one at a time.

This year, my largest point of stress came from the realization that I will not live long enough to do all of the things I dream of doing, and I had to make some difficult (but necessary) cuts to my overall plans for my future. I had to accept that I am going to be 30 soon and that giant list of stuff I wanted to have accomplished at 30 is still not finished, and I am here in absolute openness to tell you, if you’re having the same problem, that it is okay. 30 isn’t the end of our lives, and 50 won’t be either. There will always be time for us to get things done but if you’re anything like me you have a problem prioritizing your workload. That’s why I designed this particular program which I will be putting out publicly, and I will be making some small, albeit positive, changes to how I publish content online and how I operate going forward.

In short form, I had to pick my favorite things and focus on those. I was too overwhelmed by the massive quantity of active projects as well as balancing being a good husband, and dog dad, and friend and son. Something had to go. I wasn’t going to get a divorce (I’d just gotten married talk about a waste of money.) Molly & Dox are beyond the best lil pups a dog dad could ask for, so they were staying, my relationships with friends and family suffered enough by my chaotic schedule, and so as my wife and I sat down in January and talked about our future I made the decision to cut a few heads off of the Hydra and focus on the ones that mattered, more will come up as they always do, but right now in life, I want to focus on the things that matter most to me.

Unfortunately for a lot of my back burner projects, those things are my wife, my pups, and the world that lives inside of my head. That being said… A lot of what you will see here is behind the scenes and most of these projects you won’t actually see for some time, don’t worry, I have plenty cooking up for you in the future that you will have access to immediately, it will just take a while for me to find an appropriate balance for my workload.


– Ursa Major –

[TDB – Precursor Six]: The Darling Bones 3rd Ed. (Alpha Revision Phase 1) – 42% – So far behind schedule. (Completion Date – Late 2020)
Tentatively named, The Darling Bones has been the weight on my shoulders for so, so long. I am presently working on the third edition while the first and second editions are still floating out in the universe somewhere. This one has seen so much growth and development, and as the “first” published novel I’d ever released, I didn’t understand the scope of the world I was creating when I initially released it. In order to fix the numerous errors and correct the issues with the story, I had to completely rewrite it from the ground up which I accomplished earlier last year. That being said, I’m taking my time with this project. While I am working on it regularly, it is also not the primary focus of my current workload.

[INK – Standalone]: Inkworks (Outline Phase 3: Stars) – 75% – A bit behind schedule. (Completion Date – March 31st)
Inkworks has been a project I wrote the first draft for back in 2016, and have since shelved as my formula and story grew exponentially between 2017 and now, and as a cataloged project I’ve decided to revisit it and re-write it now with all of the Horror and Fright I initially wanted to pump into it, and will be seeking publication for it ideally at the beginning of next year. We will see how the writing/editing phases go in the meantime. As of right now I am projected to begin writing Inkworks in April.

[COW – Precursor Six]: Coward (Outline Phase 2: Moons) – 50% – More or less on track (Completion Date – March 31st)
Tentatively named, Coward is a Dark Fantasy project I penned initially in 2016 which like the two previously mentioned, is going through a massive rework and will also be re-written from the ground up. I’ve been hard at work trying to edit TDB, which has led to the setbacks for these two projects (Much to my dismay, but art is art and I want to take my time to make things as true as they can be.) As of right now, I am projected to begin writing Coward in June.

[TRQ – Fantasy Series]: The Queen of Ravens (Outline Phase 1: Suns) – 0% – Oops (Completion Date – March 31st)
This one was totally thrown out of my regular work rotation in favor of TDB Editing. I’m planning on playing catch up after I get the first chunk of INK out of the way, and I’ll get it back on track and ready to start. I don’t have much else to say about this project at this time.

As for next quarter, I’m planning on having quite a bit finished up. With my focus being on the above four projects, I’ll be aiming to accomplish the following…

[GC – Precursor Six]: Glass Cuts (Outline Phases 1 & 2 – End of June)
[BONE – Fantasy Series]: No Title (Outline Phase 1 – End of June)
Both of the above projects are in the pre-planning phase while I throw as many ideas as I can at a wall and see which ones stick. If the year allows, I intend to write at least one of these before 2021 is through with me.

In regards to the immediate future of Modern Alchemy and the Grimoire of Finality…

[MAL] A Change in Purpose
Modern Alchemy was a bunch of things when I first began it as Gravity, My Enemy. As the years passed my mindset changed and the reason I wrote ended up changing as well, and everything I thought I knew about the blog evolved. If you’ve been around for a while you’re familiar with some of the things I’ve said on the topic. That being said, I’m still trying to find the place I want this blog to be, so for a while it might be confusing and some of the content might be different, but hang in there for me. I’m working it out, I promise.

[GOF]A Vacant Space
The Grimoire of Finality hasn’t gotten love since December, and that’s absolutely my bad. I’ve been putting it on the backburner because of stress and personal stuff going on that has not made writing easy for me, however, my momma didn’t raise no bitch and I’m going to just push that down for a while and get some content out to you soon. This means The Children of Bone & Ash Pt. 2-X as well as a few other short story projects. The Compendium content is on a pretty hard stop for the time being, I don’t want to publish anything there that isn’t quality and at this time I don’t have a way to present those pieces of lore/story information in a way that is up to my own standards. For a while, the Missing Pages will also be a slow trickle as I want to have more written in my novels and more planned on the back end before I start publishing direct ties to the larger lore and universe in the world I’ve been creating. I’ll get back to posting content there ideally in mid-April, but it’s subject to change.

Earlier this year, I was speaking with one of my friends and we talked about our future and our present and where we saw ourselves vs. Where we ended up, and I confided in him that I have been feeling pretty broken down and pretty out of it in regards to my life and my purpose. I feel like I’m not amounting to anything when I was so certain six or so years ago that I was on the way to being the man I’d always planned on being, and we talked a lot about that part of me. During that conversation he convinced me to start cutting things out of my life and focusing on what was most important, which I’ve done, it isn’t easy for sure.

There’s a big part of me that feels like “doing stuff” is my identity, and that when I’m not the guy who has a million things going on and am always running late/overwhelmed that I am not accomplishing as much as people around me and it piles on, I get stuck feeling like I’m behind everyone else because I’m not doing more than them and that builds and spirals out of control and then it ends in panic attacks and more time wasted. I hit strides every so often but nowhere near what I used to, and lately I’ve felt more like an old man than an old man would, so I’ve made the decision to focus on the things that matter most to me and nothing else. I will have time eventually for everything, but I can’t do it all at once. It’s too much for sure and I never want to feel like I am not enough. I know that I am.

That being said, I am working on one project that I want to keep under wraps for now. I think it’s going to be fun, and exciting for you guys to be a part of, and I’ll release it when I get closer. Hopefully within the next three months or so, but if it takes longer than that, you’ll hear about it. Until then, thanks for another good birthday, and I can’t wait to see you again soon.

-AT

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