When I started this site it was to prompt myself to read more, particularly new, swords & sorcery. I read old books, new books, scads, and scads of short stories. The more I read and wrote, the more I found my voice as a critic and promoter. It worked really well, so well, I ended up with a steady perch at Black Gate (thanx, John!). For nearly three years now, I've been reviewing three books a month and a stack of short stories each month.
For a while after I started writing for Black Gate, I posted an additional piece here. I would expand on the article, write about the music I listened to when I wrote the review, or just rambled about tangential matters sparked by reading the book. I haven't done much of that for a long time.
Last year, I tried to mix things up. First, I wrote about HPL Mythos stories, until Lin Carter killed my interest in that. Then there was the Long 19th Century Project (greatly inspired by Jim Cornelius and his Frontiers Partisans site) which was killed by laziness. Reading a book a week for Black Gate takes up more reading time than I allow myself, so getting another book done for a weekly or bi-weekly post didn't work. Sure, I could have just decided to post reviews when I was ready, but that makes too much sense. Last, I went in for Epic Fantasy. That one just sort of faded away, disappearing into the general mix of fantasy I review.
Since the beginning of this year I've posted about a bunch of things, mostly cover art. That's sparked some fun conversations and comments, so I'll probably keep doing that in the future. After that, I just don't know. I want to get back to my add-on posts for my reviews. Between Jeffrey E. Barlough's Dark Sleeper, and James Blaylock's The Stone Giant, I should have more to say than I can reasonably write over at Black Gate. Neither's S&S, but they're both a lot of fun.
And I'll get back to the music. In fact, I've been planning on putting together playlists and making them available as mp3s. My musical taste is pretty eclectic, so there'll probably be something there you'll enjoy.
I've also made some changes to my schedule (and, most importantly, deleted Civilization V. I have wasted dozens and dozens of hours on that game over the last year and a half) to get some more reading time in, so, with luck and fortitude, I should be able to get a few Long 19th Century posts up. Right now, in fact, I'm finishing off Geoffrey Wawro's The Austro-Prussian War. Together with Harold Carmichael Wylly's, The Campaign of Magenta and Solferino, it depicts Austria's fall to second-rate power, and her displacement as the leader of the German states by the dynamic Prussian Empire.
I also found a library copy of Clarence Clendenen's Blood on the Border: The United States Army and the Mexican Irregulars. I'd like to get through that and then actually finish off the first volume of Alan Knight's The Mexican Revolution, subtitled, Porfirians, Liberals, and Peasants. I've gotten halfway through it in the past, and I like to get it done with and finally move on to the second volume, Counter-revolution and Reconstruction.
So why am I writing all this? Specifically, at the moment, I'm sitting at work, bored, and half watching the last episode of Stranger Things (it's alright). More importantly, I'm working out what I'd like to do here at the site. I need a platform to blather on about what I'm reading/watching/listening to, I just need to give it a little bit of consistency. I mean, I seem to do more writing about what I plan to do than actually any "doing" these days, and I'd like to correct that. As I say every time I make some sort of pronouncement about what I plan to do, we'll see.