2018-19 OBOP Annual State of the Blog Post

Happy Saturday!

3rd anaversy.jpg
My lil brain child is growing up so fast. :’) in 10 short years it’s gonna start listening to punk rock and telling me it hates me on the regular.

Wow. It’s year 3 already and I nearly fucking missed it if it wasn’t for facebook’s “on this day” app.  It’s been a long year, if you can’t tell. I haven’t had much time to assess this piece since I’m literally just remembering and subsequently writing this post the day of HOWEVER I HAVE GOT THIS! You watch…erm…read. You know what I meant.

you know what i meant

Okay so I need to open with an apology (to like the 3 of you who read last year’s Manifesto and State of the Blog Post): I have almost failed to fill any of my intentional goals.  Since I moved back to my mother city, St Louis, I’ve been forced to abandon a regular posting schedule which mostly includes giving the big axe to the columns “Working Title Tuesday”, “Rewind Wednesday”, “Thursday Night at the Cinema”, “Slam Saturday”, and “The Sunday Review”.  I will occasionally write for those columns (I do have some things coming down the pipes for Thursday Night at the Cinema specifically) but due to changing circumstances I cannot commit to that many columns unless I can derive an income from it.

A Little About my Life Since Getting Home:

Since the last time I wrote one of these, many things have changed in my life. Literally almost everything for the better.  After getting accepted into Lancaster University (in the UK) as a degree seeking student and beginning the residency application process, I was offered house and a very good job offer back in St Louis.  As per my visa, I needed to return to the USA to renew my visa, I anticipated on going back to St Louis at some point over the summer, however with the job and house offer and admittedly some uni burn out, I decided to roll the dice and come back to St Louis for keeps. It worked out in one way and failed in another.

The job offer I had worked out very well for a time (company went under 6 months after getting back home) however within a few weeks of coming home I met the love of my life who welcomed me into her family and home and I cannot be more grateful for that.

I know I vowed to get out of the food industry but when the company I worked for went under and I had a family to care for, I needed what I could get.

bite and claw.jpg
Look at how far my boys have come though!

I now work at a neighborhood pub/grill as a cook and it’s good, or at least the best kitchen job I’ve ever had anyway.  I like the people I work with, the menu is relatively standard, and the customers aren’t fussy. The pay could be better but it’s not complete shite.

Projects I’m Still Working On:

So I have abandoned pretty much everything I mentioned in last year’s post with the exceptions of the first book in my trilogy of novels “A Band of Misprints” which is making EXCELLENT progress due to my loving and supportive family.

abom to do list
I have big plans which require big post-it notes.

I plan to have draft one of part 1 done by September and likely sooner.

I recently just finished the first act of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie” and am beginning work on Act two.

I have also revived an old blog idea “Why? Answers to All the Questions You Never Asked” and have decided to add it to my current blog as a column.  I have a lot of stupid information free floating in my brain and as much I have a lot of stupid questions floating around (mostly starting with “why”) and they need and outlet.  My fiancée thought it was a good idea and seeing as she gives me many good ideas, I’m going to see it through for a whilst. I already have over 50 “why” questions written down since Monday which gives me faith it might be a good blog content outlet.

Statement of Intent:

I plan to finish draft one of A Band of Misprints and acts 2 and 3 of “The Adventures of Fin & Louie” and if FSM is willing, maybe I’ll finally get around to making coasters and business cards for OBOP (HINT: these would make an EXCELLENT birthday present around 23rd September).

Outside of book reviews, comics, and the occasional wild card post, I can’t promise much else at the moment.  Life is too busy and non conformist stateside for me to be able to make any commitments when I’m not getting paid.  However, speaking of getting paid, I have recently received some encouragement to submit my comics to the local community newspaper the Riverfront Times (or as the local cool kids call it, The RFT). I will keep you posted on how that goes.  I’ll post either the acceptance or rejection letter because either would be a badge of honour.

Stay tuned folks, life is good and getting better.  I have plenty more content coming, maybe some more Thursday Night at the Cinema pieces because YouTube’s algorithm has been really crushing it lately showing me new and interesting (to me) channels which is really exciting.

-fin

Advertisements

State of the Blog Address: Summer’s End and New Beginnings

Happy Monday and good morning!

I want to first give credit to the featured image.  The featured image is the album art for

summers end
Featured Image for those on mobile

the band “Summer’s End” self titled debut album.  They’re a metalcore punk band and a link to the full album on youtube can be found here (it’s pretty fucking hardcore so far) Summer’s End (Full Album) and if you like them you can purchase their full album here.

Okay folks, apologies and thank yous are first in order.   First I want to apologise for not being able to write a proper post since I left the UK in June.  I wasn’t able to post because I broke my laptop whilst in England long ago and I didn’t want to buy a new one before coming home because of how annoying it can be to travel internationally, especially coming into America, and I have already moaned about the technical difficulties I had once I got it however this post is not for moaning, so quit it (I yell at myself sometimes, I have to keep me in line).

Thank yous are the second part of this introduction and as they maybe brief that makes them no less heart felt.  First I want to thank all of you who kept checking back and reading my archived posts over the last few months. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even check my stats until yesterday because I was so anxious about how dead it would be but when I finally did check them I was really fucking surprised to have found consistent traffic the last few months and that’s all because of readers like you.  Another giant thank you goes out to my friend Lucian who fixed my computer when I was at “rage quit” level of frustration.

rage quit
I have a laptop but this is pretty accurate. Source

Okay so now on to the main presentation: I’m gonna be pretty much rapid firing from the hip on this post because I have a lot of territory to cover in the next 654 words or so (1).  First I want to say that I really loved my time in the UK and that even thinking about it now, leaving to come come was one of the most difficult decisions I have made in the last few years(2) however now that I’ve been back for a few months and working and generally building a life, I feel as if I have made the correct decision.  The traveling home was much better than the traveling to the UK(3), thankfully, however the transition was much more difficult but a story for another time when I have much less interesting things lined up.

One thing that I’ve found more interesting to think about than juxtaposing my experiences between settling in the UK and settling in the US again was how the face of my consciousness seems to have changed (for the better, mind, or so I believe) with a set of unforseen moments.  The week before leaving the UK, my ex partner contacts me out closureof the blue after almost 2 years of complete silence (the break up left one hell of an emotional hangover(3)) looking to meet up if/when I got back.  This kinda rocked my world because I accepted that this was one of those things in life where you don’t quite get closure so just buck up.  The meeting was interesting.  We got lunch and caught up but ultimately I got what I wanted all along: a little bit of closure (enough anyway).

This loose end tied up coupled with my new found confidence of being an international traveler and having an adult job and a place with no fucking roommates(5) for the first time since my first apartment almost 10 years ago now, I went on a fucking dating tear. I had plans to download and use several dating apps and make a summer article series reviewing said dating apps and I got as far as using about 5 of them for about a month before I met by happenstance someone really special.

I got up early one Saturday morning to try and get to my parents house to fix my computer (needed a working computer handy) but I feel asleep on the train whilst reading and woke up way on the East side and needed to ride back (I live on the south side, my parents live on the west side).  Coming back I switch trains at Forest Park and I am floored by this beautiful woman sitting at the front of the car.  First thing I noticed, even before the numerous facial piercings, was the headscarf she was wearing (a black and grey number) which got me excited because I pretty frequently wear a head scarf as well and works as a good conversation starter.  However I’m not ready for action jack, not at this point.  So I sit across the hall and try to start reading but I’m distracted because out of my peripheral vision I can see the striking woman like staring at me (well I assumed, she was wearing big bug eye sunglasses so I couldn’t really see exactly where she was looking).  And she kept staring.  And kept staring.  After what felt like a few hours of heart pounding mounting social pressure, I got the strength up to turn to talk to her because she’s literally staring at me (I was gonna say something stupid like “Wanna picture? hahaha”) but when I turn and look I realise she’s not quite looking at me.  I look up: the fucking metro train map was above my seat she wasn’t looking at me she was looking at the map.

thought
Story of my actual life.

I couldn’t let this surge of adrenaline go to waste though, I’m pretty sure that’s not healthy.  So I ask her: Where are you going?  She tells me she’s trying to get to the north side which immediately sets off a chain of thoughts (not about the north side of st louis you racist fuck) about how to get her there because we just boarded the blue line going south.  So I tried to explain “well you’re going to take this train for one stop, get off, get on another train going back one stop, then get on another train going west but make sure it’s red this time…” I believe her eyes glazed over before this point but I didn’t notice until that moment which prompted me to say the next thing which changed the trajectory of the entire day: “Know what? I don’t have much going on today, I’ll ride the trains with you until you get on the one going home.”  That was one of the best decisions I’ve made this summer because now its been about a month since I met her and I can’t entirely express how positive of an effect she’s had on my psyche but it’s been a good month so far.

Now that I’ve cleared my plate of personal interests I want to devote the remaining few hundred words to what I have planed for the rest of the year:

  • cannon comics – I’ve been laying plans to introduce a storyline to the adventures of Fin and Louie with a big surprise story arc to end the year so stay tuned. 
  • comic book – I am planning to release an Offbeat On-point Comic Book: Year 1 which will contain all the comics from the previous year, digitally redrawn and pictures of original hand drawn drafts plus previously unreleased comics  
  • interviews – I have some very exciting interviews lined up with a local fire dancer, I am still in talks with Talon from Talon’s tree house (you can check out the preview promo here), and more
  • tenative scheduling – with my new 40+ hr/wk work schedule and specifically being September (birthday month is always a stressful time of year not to mention September is my month for sneezing) I am not able to guarantee a 4 day a week posting schedule at this moment however my goal is to get back to at least 3 days a week (I may drop Rewind Wednesday column in favour of a podcast but I still need to do more research about what music I can play and if I need permissions etc and in fact if you have a podcast or otherwise are an expert on the legality of playing music that I may not own but have access to please write me – see contact page
  • infinite jest – I have finally finished the book for the second time and do feel like I have something intelligible to say about the book and I feel like I have a few perspectives to offer on the book that I have yet to see in my research however because it’s such a widely written about book yet also one which a vast majority of people who start it never finish it, I do realise that writings about the tome sized book is very deep in niche territory but because of these two things I will try to do something different and fun deviating from a normal book review or analysis, no promises on when it will come out but if there is appreciable interest in further writings about Infinite Jest or other DFW books I will continue on   
  • merch – I’m in talks with some suppliers to make coasters, stickers, and t-shirts but beyond that I have no more info
  • contests – I mentioned before (read more here) about doing poetry/flash fiction/fan art contests however I did kinda drop the ball because I mentioned it at a time just before moving home and that is my fault.  Now that I’m back on the grind and much closer to getting some merch, I will start having prizes for contests and monthly give-a-ways. 

In short, thank you so very much my loyal readers for sticking with me through the last few months.  It really means a lot to me for real.

Stay tuned because there’s some good stuff coming down the lines and also don’t forget to check back next Friday 22nd September for the annual birthday comic special! (P.S. If you’re a REALLY big fan, find me on social media and send me birthday wishes on the 23rd of September)

 

See you soon,

Fin

 

Footnotes:

  1. I try to keep my posts 1000 or less words not counting footnotes.
  2. You can read about my decision to not stay in the UK and come back to St Louis here.
  3. Link to my post about leaving America.
  4. Link to a particularly heavy piece I wrote July 2016 on the subject.  I won’t blame you for not reading, it was not one of my strongest pieces.
  5. My view on roommates: convenient at best.