4 min read

Drive To Survive—Murderbot Diaries—HermitCraft

Welcome to the March 2022 edition of... What I'm Into, What I'm Up To (WIIWIUT).
Drive To Survive—Murderbot Diaries—HermitCraft
Photo by Abed Ismail / Unsplash

What I'm into...

1. Show: Formula 1: Drive To Survive Season 4 on Netflix
I never watch sports, except the occasional surfing competition, but I got into this show along with lots of other people during the pandemic and now I try to watch every Formula 1 race, which surprises me more than anyone.

2. Show: The Last Kingdom Season 5 on Netflix
Last season! I'm not into it as much as previous seasons yet, but I'm committed.

3. Show (sort of): HermitCraft Season 9 on Youtube
HermitCraft itself isn't a channel or show. It is a server on which some of the most-watched MineCraft Youtubers play, build, prank, and generally entertain. I could say I only watch it for my kids' sakes, but who would I be fooling?

4. Game: MineCraft with Wendy & kids
The kids and I have been playing MineCraft on a home server I set up in 2020, but recently my wife has gotten into it too so that's been fun.

5. Book: The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell
Fantastic book to read right before falling asleep at night! It's like biology mixed with history mixed with poetry mixed with a deep love of and respect for Appalachian ecosystems. I'm learning about salamanders and bees and snails and birds and everything the Southeastern American forest offers.

6. Book Series: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
I probably don't read nearly as much fiction as most of you do (and you probably don't watch as much TV or listen to as many podcasts as I do) because I find myself super picky about what I read and have a hard time getting into most sci-fi and fantasy stories these days, but The Murderbot Diaries are short, well-written, and feel fresh (to me). A security robot with a past who only wants to watch soapy TV shows finds itself liking real humans and having to act more like them. Very relatable for extreme introverts.

7. Audiobook: Learning In Public by Courtney E. Martin
I follow Courtney's Substack newsletter and wanted to read her book ever since she announced it. For those of us in the U.S. who have kids in school, it can be rough trying to figure out the best options for our family and our community. Courtney explores all of it with humor and patience and agonizing self-awareness, especially around issues of race and class.

8. Podcast: EarBiscuits #324 & #325 (Rhett & Link's 2nd deconstruction updates)
These guys are famous for their Good Mythical Morning Youtube videos, but they may be even more famous now for their public conversations around deconstruction from Evangelical Christianity, which is something I'm very interested in. They're also funny and very relatable for me, being similar ages and from a sort-of similar background.

9. App: Obsidian.md note taking/organizing app
I try not to try out all the new note and organization apps because I can easily get obsessed with trying to find the perfect method to organize things and then never get any actual work done, but I really want to consolidate all my digital notes and documents and a lot of people like Obsidian, plus it's free and open-source. So far I'm liking it—I'm writing this email in it right now.

10. Game: Far: Lone Sails by Okomotive
I can't remember how I found this game, but it looked super cool and was on sale so I grabbed it and the kids and I have been enjoying it. Very calm, quiet, relaxing, and even meditative (unless your kids are yelling at you to pick up a fuel canister). You play a tiny driver of a giant tractor-land yacht-thing in a post-apocalyptic moody, but beautifully painted world, always trying to get your side-scrolling vehicle further to the right. The sequel just released this month, so might get that one for my birthday.

What I'm up to...

1. Added a few chapters to my memoir, Mudwash (on Kindle Vella)

2. Added a few chapters to my Ready-Player-One-esque novella, Ghost_Layer (also on Kindle Vella)

3. Unpublished Skytrails from all platforms (see below)

4. Published Straight White Men, Is There Still A Place For Us? on Medium.com

5. This upate :)

The reason I unpublished Skytrails is that I realized, with the help of my new friend, Mar, who is on this newsletter list, that it was a mistake to publish Skytrails as a sequel to Greysuits. They are just too different. I was worried about it leading up to publishing, but it seemed like the best route to go at the time and I just wanted to get it done, out, and move on.

I hate to admit when I've made mistakes, but it was definitely a mistake. If any of you bought Skytrails and were disappointed it wasn't more like Greysuits, let me know. I'd like to make it up to you with a credit for a free future book.

My plan now is to revise Skytrails (again) and release it as first-in-series of a separate series which will dovetail and crossover a little with Greysuits. But each series will retain its own set of characters and its own style and I think that will be better for everyone (including me).

Thanks for your patience with me as I try, and fail, and try again. I keep learning, I keep telling stories, I keep getting a little better. I hope you are learning a little more and getting a little better with every new season too.