2021.09.09

Harry Styles is back on tour. I was supposed to see this show in Vancouver last August. Now I won’t see it at all because the Canadian leg was cancelled (red tape wasn’t worth it, I guess). I mean, I haven’t been to a movie theatre in two years; I’m not sure I’d want to spend two hours in a stadium, either.

Two years ago, I was getting bored of writing daily blog posts, so I challenged myself to write daily poems. I am, decidedly, not a poet, but I write short and spare. What are blog posts if not poetry persevering? To help me along, I picked random Harry Styles lyrics as my first lines.

PINK is the result of that month. 30 poems, and some of them turned out pretty good, I think. As a poet, I like word play and action more than images. I put up a couple of my faves on Instagram the other day.

(While you’re over there, you can check out Harry’s first two nights of outfits: in Vegas, in Denver. This is how I’ll be vicariously experiencing the tour.)

If you’re looking for juicy music gossip, read the new LA Times interview with Lindsey Buckingham. (Harry gets a shoutout as one of many reasons Stevie is more popular than Lindsey now).

I’m not promising anything, but this month’s plan is more video. I bought a microphone and lighted iPhone tripod. It’s this ridiculous thing that packs up as small as a water bottle, but has a remote control, two-sided light, and something like a metre of a telescoping stand. It’s exactly the kind of setup I’d been trying to make with books and boxes so I can film top-down tutorials. I found this thing from an Instagram ad, and not only was it a real thing, but it also shipped super quickly.

For now, I’ll probably post most videos on YouTube and/or Instagram. If you’ve been around here a few years, you might remember I once tried doing a vlog. If you were here last year, you might remember I tried some baking live streams. I haven’t decided what all to make public on my channel, so for now, there are only a few short videos I made during my 2017 experiments. I have some ideas I want to try filming today, so subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss anything.

My book about Pockets is still with my editor, which has had me flailing a bit for a project to fill the time. I needed something big enough to grab me, but not so big that it takes energy away from Pockets. A game jam was exactly what I needed.

I made Golden Record for a 2017 game jam to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Voyager. I made Sea drift at the edge of the forest for a Bitsy jam (and to try out the Bitsy game engine).

The Lost & Found game jam uses the game system of the same name, inspired by the game, Artefact, and created by Jack Harrison. In Artefact, the player takes the role of a magical object which cannot act without a keeper. It’s a solo game with writing and drawing elements. You can be a weapon or a book, shoes or jewelry. As an object, you outlive your keeper, so the game spans time and experiences.

As soon as I read through Artefact, I knew I wanted to make the kitchen version of this game. Think about how a cast iron pan is passed down through a family. Think about how a cook carries their knives from kitchen to kitchen. Think about a wooden bowl used for gathering, mixing, serving, washing.

I’ve done most of the writing for my game, which means now I have to design the rule book and player sheets. My plan is to screen record some of that work today, see if I can’t make something interesting out of it. I’m not exactly interested in editing and film making, but I do want to share more of myself and my work with you.

Everything I do and make starts with words, but after 20 years online, nothing is more clear than how hard it is to get attention from words alone. It was that same realisation that sent me to zine making in the first place. At least there’s an object containing my words that I can point to.

I guess that’s why I taught myself how to draw gifs the other night.

PS It’s been hard to feed myself this past month, so here’s a tip from me: check out your supermarket kitchen. Some of the stuff they make is really good and, technically, homemade. The take-and-bake pizzas at my local Save On Foods are better than they have any right to be. Instead of delivery that’s usually too greasy, a pizza from the grocery store is also cheaper. Get a bag of salad to go with it (I have coleslaw this week), and don’t apologise.