Tweaking The Site

Hey all!

So, usually this is when I share a short film I came across and really enjoyed. I’ve been doing that for a while, and the other day, I got to looking at post views, and kind of noticed that I’m about the only one who was enjoying them. Which is kind of the norm for my taste in things.

Now, I do want to say that I don’t usually look at how many views any particular post gets. I put stuff up I think people will enjoy, and after a few months, I’ll take some time to look back and see how much people actually enjoyed it. Sometimes, it turns out, nobody really paid it any attention. Not terribly surprising, since this is just one little erratic blog in an internet full of people.

So, it’s fair to say that I’m not really invested in getting tons of page views, and millions of adoring fans. That’d be cool, but it isn’t what I was looking for when I started this. Mostly I just wanted to have my own little corner of cyberspace where I could talk about stuff that mattered to me, share stuff I thought was cool, and occasionally remind folks I was a writer with a novel out there.

In that mindset, I started talking about anime a lot, since that’s a thing I love. I also shared bits and clips from the Geek & Sundry Twitch series, Critical Role, since those guys are anime voice actors, and Dungeons & Dragons is another thing I love. Those things have proven to be very popular with the folks who visit here, which I thought was cool.

Then I got to thinking about it, and realized that people were actually interested in what I was doing here, and that made me think twice about what I’ve been doing here. The more I thought about it, the more I started thinking that I should really be focusing on what the people who visit routinely are interested in.

Cause, let’s face it, this blog would just be a random series of weirdness that nobody even new existed if it wasn’t for the people that visit, read, and share. Basically, I’d be shouting into the void.

But I’m not. I get steady page views. Not in the hundreds or anything, but steady views all the same. So, people are reading my posts. Mostly the ones about anime and D&D. Not so much the ones about short films. Which means my audience is anime and D&D people.

I’m a writer. I tend to think in terms of audience. When your audience likes this, and doesn’t like that, you make it a point to give them more of what they like. It’s sort of just how a writer thinks.

So, for now, I’m ending the Wednesday Shorts, and looking more to stuff you guys want to see and read. Because this blog isn’t just about me anymore, it’s also about you guys, and what you want. Which matters to me, because I appreciate that you take the time to come here and read my ramblings.

I do, too. Thank you for that. Writers are also very emotionally needy. We constantly seek approval from complete strangers. Basically, we’re puppies.

However, this is also where I kind of run into a brick wall. Outside of my regular Monday Anime and Striking The Right Note posts, I’ve no idea what else to actually do! Recapping a series is difficult right now for reasons I’ll get into later, and past that, I’m not actually sure what to talk about.

Same goes for the D&D and Critical Role stuff. Past sharing the fun clips, I don’t really know what to say. Which kind of sums me up as a writer, and a person, in a whole lot of ways. I can talk a lot about genres, and even the stuff I write, but past that, I never really know what to say. I’m that guy who, at parties, stands in the corner the whole night.

I do have some ideas, mind you. I’ve considered picking up my Cracking The Character Code thing again, and each week, highlighting an anime character I like, and why. I’ve considered doing profiles on notable anime directors and writers, as well as mangakas who are worth talking about. So, there’s a couple things I could do.

On the D&D front, I’ve considered getting the new 5E Players Guide, which I shockingly don’t own yet, and putting together character concepts for those who are looking to do something new and different. I’ve also thought about building some adventure ideas for DM’s that are struggling to build their first campaign and need a jumping off point. As a writer and long time DM, I thought that might be fun, and actually helpful to not just the D&D community, but my fellow Critters as well.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is sharing some of my work as a writer. I’m a huge fan of the old radio serials, and stuff like the Big Finish Dr. Who audio plays, so some of what I come up with as a writer is actually better suited to that format than a novel. Things where each chapter is either part of a small arc, or a stand alone adventure that ties into a larger continuity.

A couple examples would be my Warsong concept, which is written as if it were the novelization of an anime series, with each chapter being an episode. It even has filler episodes, because I’m dedicated to recreating the experience. To describe it would be to say that it has a bit of the sensibility of Bee Train’s Girls With Guns Trilogy, mixed with an Inuyasha type setting. There’s demon slaying and so on.

Another good one is my Bill & Kris shorts, about a butt ugly mercenary and his ditzy Elven Druid girlfriend as they wander from adventure to adventure. There’s an overarching plot to the stories, and it’s something I really love, and figured, since it’s fantasy, it might be something you guys would enjoy. Same goes for my Chronicles of Petalwind stories, about a Halfling Monk and the homeless blacksmith she befriends, and the journey they take together.

Basically, I’ve written a bunch on all of these, though some of them need some rewrites to clean them up and give them a more polished feel. Before I start sharing them, if I do, I’d like to have a bit of a lead on how many I’ve actually got finished, so if folks get into them, they aren’t yelling at me when a new chapter is delayed for a couple of weeks.

Which is likely to happen. I mentioned a while back that my girlfriend of 21 years, Storm, was having a lot of health problems, and she still is. Besides the diabetes she now has to contend with, there’s also the matter of her gall bladder, which makes her horribly ill on a very frequent basis, and will continue doing so until it can be removed. Which may be a while, depending on which doctor you talk to.

More importantly, there is the matter of her cancer. Again, depending on which doctor you talk to, it is either not a major issue to deal with, or something that we need to start making end of life care plans because of. So, we’re both in a constant state of emotional yo-yoing as we wait to see what opinion is going to end up being the definitive opinion. At the moment, Storm is in a skilled nursing facility about forty miles away, so a lot of my time is spent driving and being with her, and talking to doctors.

Which doesn’t leave me a lot of time, energy, or focus to spend on writing, doing episode recaps of anime, or even making a plan that goes beyond tomorrow. Pretty much, what I’ve been doing lately, is about all I can handle.

Yet, in a lot of ways, just doing this much helps keep the fear and depression at bay. It gives me something to do, a way of coping by putting my attention into something, even for a little bit, that clears my head and helps keep me together. Right now, I need that, badly.

So, here I am, looking at things I can do with this blog that you, my regular readers will enjoy, but also doesn’t take up a ton of my rather limited time, while also keeping me from giving in to depression, which I’m already prone to anyway. Since I’ve already got a lot of decisions on my plate, I wanted to take a few minutes to visit with you all, and just ask, what would you like to see more of here?

It can be one of the things I mentioned above, but it doesn’t have to be. Share your thoughts with me. Share your ideas with me. Talk to me and tell me what I can do to entertain you. Because, trust me on this, whatever it is, if I can do it, I will, just to keep my own sanity intact right now.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’ll let me lean on you for a while, I’ll do my best to make it worth your while. Comment below, and we’ll figure out what this blog is all about together.

Have a good one, and do yourself a favor. Hug your loved ones. You never know when you won’t be able to anymore.

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