Activity Forums Community Journals C.J.’s Journal

  • C.J.’s Journal

    Posted by CJB on March 11, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Going through old marketing materials, I found this today:

    I don’t know… I think it still holds up. Is it weird that it gave me goosebumps?

    Ashburn replied 3 months ago 19 Members · 92 Replies
  • 92 Replies
  • CJB

    Administrator
    March 11, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Testing New Entry

    • CJB

      Administrator
      March 11, 2021 at 4:13 pm

      Testing Comment

  • CJB

    Administrator
    March 12, 2021 at 5:20 am

    Going through old marketing materials, I found this today:

    I don’t know… I think it still holds up. Is it weird that it gave me goosebumps?

  • Sellalellen

    Member
    March 12, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    My heart beat fast watching it. Its like a heist movie almost

  • Ginger

    Member
    March 14, 2021 at 3:02 am

    That was so dramatic omg

    I was like I wanna know what happens and then was like wait … I experienced what happened …

    • CJB

      Administrator
      March 14, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      Yeah, it was definitely extra. And then people signed up to find us all benignly drinking memory tear and encouraging each other to try our best.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    March 31, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    It makes me so insanely happy to see you all creating and interacting in these journals.

    The past month has been quite a trial, but I’m finally out of the woods:

    • The Book of Briars is, at last, complete. And I can finally start telling the story I’ve wanted to tell for five years. Once I have a last read-through and format the print versions, I’ll be fulfilling all the hardcover pre-orders! Ackerly Green’s first hardcover!

    • The Briar Society: Chapter One adaptation is also finished and will be released this Friday! (You can pre-order it here if you’re so inclined) I’m really excited about this adaptation because it’s the first one with images!

    • The alpha version of the Neithernor RPG handbook is also finished and goes on sale next week!

    It’s the “alpha” version because it doesn’t have finished imagery or more importantly your thoughts and input on how it plays!

    We’re going to make changes to the handbook throughout the year and deliver the final version, with your input, in the fall. There will be several purchasing options. You can buy just the current (500+ page) alpha handbook for .99, a version with the alpha and all subsequent updates including the final product, for $4.99, as well as paperback + complete digital and limited hardcover + complete digital.

    Not to be all sales pitchy in my journal, but that’s just what I’ve been up to behind the scenes.

    We went to the Oregon coast last week since the kids were out of school for spring break, and I was running on the beach with our pup Henry and had a nasty fall. Today’s the first day I’m feeling any real improvement, and I should hear back today from my doctor if I fractured a rib or just bruised one really, really bad. :cjheart: The last (and only other) time I broke something was because I tried not to step on Ruby, so yes, my dogs want me dead.

    Anyway, here’s the view from the house we rented last week:

    • Augustus_Octavian

      Member
      March 31, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      Exciting news book-wise! Feel better soon.

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      March 31, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      I hope it’s not broken, but sometimes bruises are harder to heal. Take care of yourself.

      What is purely selfish note, will BoB be released as a paperback?

      • CJB

        Administrator
        March 31, 2021 at 9:03 pm

        Once I get all the hardcover orders out (some dating back to 2017!) I’ll be sure to get a paperback version in the works. I was at one point attempting to be a proper publishing company with a delayed hardcover to paperback strategy, but I can’t be bothered with that. :cjheart:

  • CJB

    Administrator
    April 1, 2021 at 2:26 am

    Two, two fractured ribs. :roll_eyes:

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      April 1, 2021 at 2:38 am

      I’m sorry, but my mind immediately followed those words with “Ah! Ah! Ah!”

      (I have a 4-year old, all numbers are read in The Count’s voice)

      • CJB

        Administrator
        April 1, 2021 at 2:41 am

        That’s what I was going for! :cjheart: :vampire:

  • CJB

    Administrator
    April 14, 2021 at 3:33 am

    Must. Not. Get. More. Briarverse. Related. Tattoos.

    • ulovetoast

      Member
      April 14, 2021 at 8:29 pm

      Why not?

      • CJB

        Administrator
        April 14, 2021 at 9:22 pm

        You know what, you make a good point. :cjheart:

    • BrokenVoid

      Member
      April 14, 2021 at 11:57 pm

      I can’t wait to get my first. It probably won’t be for a while yet but I think the first tattoo I get will probably involve the Thornmouth logo. Also I second Fox’s why not? It’s a beautiful design.

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      April 15, 2021 at 2:07 am

      I’m thinking about turning my semi-colon tattoo into a quarter or half sleeve with a literary theme. The AG keyhole is absolutely going to be part of that when it happens.

      • CJB

        Administrator
        April 15, 2021 at 5:06 am

        :spiritseergimme: yes, yes, yes!

  • CJB

    Administrator
    April 15, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    My job is so weird. I have an idea for a tattoo I want, but I have to wait for the right time because it’s a spoiler. :roll_eyes: :cjtea:

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      April 15, 2021 at 2:52 pm

      It’s only a spoiler if you show it to us.

      • CJB

        Administrator
        April 15, 2021 at 2:55 pm

        Who do you think I’d want to show it to first?!

    • Ashburn

      Member
      April 15, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      Has that ever really stopped you before? :eyes:

      • CJB

        Administrator
        April 15, 2021 at 3:16 pm

        Wow, I’m being read before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    April 18, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Three hours of tie dyeing with the fam =

    I am now obsessed with reverse tie dye. Bon voyage all my black shirts.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    April 21, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I spent two hours last night updating all the main category images on the forum knowing full well that only 2% of you ever check it on desktop. :woman_shrugging:

    Especially proud of the “CJB” ouija board. I kind of need that as a business card. OMG. I definitely need that as a business card.

    • Augustus_Octavian

      Member
      April 21, 2021 at 7:50 pm

      I’m on desktop, but I have “Latest” set to my default. I popped over to check them out in all their glory. Great work! I like the flame hovering over the hand for The Hall of Hobbies!

    • josephinekelly

      Member
      April 21, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      I know the Guilds icon is a terrarium, but my brain instantly made it into a Stargate.

      Ka-wooosh!

      • CJB

        Administrator
        April 21, 2021 at 8:28 pm

        It’s supposed to be a crystal ball but I will also accept Stargate! :cjheart:

    • Ginger

      Member
      April 21, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      They look absolutely awesome, and yes, you definitely should get that on a business card

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      April 22, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      I spend most of my AG time on a desktop since I sit at a desk all day long. But until today, I’ve used “latest” as my landing page. That has been changed since I need to see this beautiful page every day (okay, several times a day… :martysly:_

    • Alligatoramberlee

      Member
      April 28, 2021 at 8:15 pm

      Okay, but I’m part of that 2% because mobile doesn’t work for my brain <3

  • CJB

    Administrator
    April 28, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    I just happened to catch my familiar (Henry Schnitzel Bernstein) keeping watch over my magimystic sanctum:

    • Sellalellen

      Member
      April 29, 2021 at 2:25 am

      your office is so aesthetic, last time I had to keep re-watching bits of the leadership meeting because I’d get distracted looking at trinkets in the background :sweat_smile:

    • ulovetoast

      Member
      May 3, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Oh, he looks so healthy and happy!

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 7, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Ackerly Green’s first TikTok!

    • Augustus_Octavian

      Member
      May 7, 2021 at 8:18 pm

      So cool! Following BriarTok!

      • heather-w-carroll

        Member
        May 7, 2021 at 8:33 pm

        That was my first time ever using TikTok and now I have created an account specifically for following thebriararchive. :smiley:

        • CJB

          Administrator
          May 7, 2021 at 8:55 pm

          Yay!!!

    • Sapphire

      Member
      May 8, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      Oh gods I need both that stamp and the wax melty cauldron in my life!

      Where did you get the cauldron/wax melt/pour thing?

      • CJB

        Administrator
        May 8, 2021 at 4:53 pm

        I bought the cauldron from a local shop and the pourer is from an online wax shop called Artisaire!

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      May 8, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      So beautiful! Now I feel like I wimped out by using wax melts that go in a hour glue gun… :smile:

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 17, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    From my proofing app Grammarly this morning:

    You used more unique words than 97% of users!

    Oh, you mean no one else is spellchecking “Tigrantula”?

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 19, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    My burnout prevention “refill the tank” list of media I’ve been meaning to consume:

    Books:

    The Priory of the Orange Tree

    The Midnight Library

    Ella Enchanted (never read it!)

    And Then There Were None (My first Agatha Christie)

    In Deeper Waters (Gay YA Merman Lit)

    The Pope’s Bookbinder

    Shows:

    For All Mankind

    Broad City (again)

    Bluey

    The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

    Finish Star Trek: Discovery Season 3

    The last episode of Jupiter’s Legacy

    Movies:

    The Lodge

    Sprited Away (I’ve never seen it!)

    Made You Look

    • audra-polk

      Member
      May 19, 2021 at 9:53 pm

      Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books ever! I might have to go siren to it again now.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 24, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    So, I ended up watching and reading things that I never put on the previous list, of course. Instead—

    I binged The Nevers, safe in the knowledge that Joss Whedon was fired from it last November. I got more and more engrossed as the six-episode season went on, and overall really enjoyed it. The Whedonisms faded as the season went on, which was much appreciated.

    I forgot I never finished The Song of Achilles and so, after finally replacing my beloved Kindle Voyager with an Oasis, which I am not sure I will ever adjust to, I read over 100 pages yesterday, which is more than I’ve read of one book since last summer. The curse is broken!

    The book, of course, is beautiful and romantic. Also, I have to stop reading books about characters whose tragic backstories I already know because I still somehow hold out hope for them throughout the entire read, which is ridiculous.

    While I was at the mall buying the inferior Kindle Oasis, I stopped in Attic Salt, which is my favorite shop because I am strangely its target demographic, a grown queer man who always thought Spencers needed more pastels and unicorns. I bought this novelty book specifically because it could be about The Six as teenagers:

    (I just noticed there’s already dog hair on it in the photo. I suspect Ruby’s been dabbling in the dark arts.)

    EDIT: Grammarly just tried to cancel me:

    Screen Shot 2021-05-24 at 8.43.05 AM

    • Tinker

      Member
      May 24, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      I also watched The Nevers over the weekend!! I’m really intrigued to see what the second half of the season (whenever it’s released…) is going to be like.

    • josephinekelly

      Member
      May 27, 2021 at 1:22 am

      I really enjoyed The Nevers, especially from a costume perspective because all the ladies were so clearly in appropriate underpinnings! It was wonderful to see.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 25, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    I had to replace the ink in my five-cartridge art printer this morning and every time I do, I pretend I’m in this scene:

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 28, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Sneak peek of a July social media photo I just took:

    It just arrived this morning, and I think it might be the single best investment I’ve made since I started writing the Briarverse books. Do you know how often I have to ask Siri what time it is in some obscure corner of the world?

  • CJB

    Administrator
    June 1, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    I finally had to retire my Kindle Voyage, which broke my heart even though it is 12 pounds. It’s now discontinued, so I had to get what the Amazon store here in Portland had in stock because the Kindle Oasis, which usurped my beloved Kindle Voyage, is otherwise out of stock for weeks on the site. I’d wait, but I’m going camping this weekend and need a new e-reader ASAP because how else will I avoid interaction without a library of books at my disposal?

    I ended up with a champagne gold Amazon Oasis with no cellular service. :roll_eyes:

    I know the new form factor is supposed to be ergonomic and easier to hold, but I would like to politely disagree while gesturing politely with my giant, spindly-fingered hands. The asymmetrical grip makes it feel like its center of gravity is off, and it’s always slowly sliding out of my hand because the grip is also very thin and shallow.

    But, being industrious, and never one to complain ahem, I instead solved the problem:

    I put a Pop-Socket on it!!

    Also, I think I’m about ready to sail to the West because I fully called the Kindle Voyage and Kindle Oasis the Kindle Voyager and Kindle Odyssey for, well, always until I just googled both of them.

    • djsolare

      Member
      June 1, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      I’m unfamiliar with this model. That ridge is a grip? That looks ugly and uncomfortable… More to the point, it looks like it’s a foldable device and it’s clearly not and it should be what are they even thinking

      • CJB

        Administrator
        June 1, 2021 at 7:26 pm

        Yeah, I don’t like it at all.

    • Alligatoramberlee

      Member
      June 1, 2021 at 9:45 pm

      Is champagne gold the rose gold of 2021?

  • CJB

    Administrator
    June 14, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Office Tour!

    • Ginger

      Member
      June 15, 2021 at 4:02 am

      Amazing.

      12/10

      Thank you

      This is the content I signed up for

  • CJB

    Administrator
    June 15, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Interaction with a support agent on Alibaba regarding an order:

    I then went on to ask about a half-dozen veiled questions to see if this was a legit cry for help or just someone having a rotten day.

    I never found out for sure but it seemed like they were just having a case of the Mondays.

    Regardless, I’m still thinking about it.

    #JusticeForVenus?

    • djsolare

      Member
      June 15, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      CSRs are real people and it sucks that the folks on the other end of the line fail to realize that. You, of course, prove yourself to be a superior personality yet again xD

  • CJB

    Administrator
    July 2, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Who wants to go in together on a haunted Scottish village?

    • Tinker

      Member
      July 2, 2021 at 6:53 pm

      That’s less expensive than a single house around here, and it comes with a guaranteed ghost!! what a bargain!!

      • CJB

        Administrator
        July 2, 2021 at 6:54 pm

        Right?! It’s almost like the opposite of a haunted house story.

        “It’s suspiciously cheap, I wonder if something bad didn’t happen here?”

    • djsolare

      Member
      July 2, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      Don’t go waving relatively inexpensive and definitely haunted properties in front of me. I’ve been looking into building a larper commune for years now

    • Cynical

      Member
      July 3, 2021 at 3:42 am

      Welp, I’ve found my dream home… Basecamp 35?

    • Sapphire

      Member
      July 3, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      There are Scheduled Ancient Monuments at the northern and southern ends of the site; a ‘B’ Listed Building at the southern end; and, parts of the site are designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

      Roughly translates as you can buy it and to do anything with it you better be a good gymnast, there will be many hoops to jump. Depending on what the grade b listing covers you may have some stringent conditions on what you can do to it, you might not be able to update a fire place, remove ceiling trim etc or you might be restricted on what roofing slate you can use, what window frames.

      SAC may mean there are features that become illegal to change in any way. Change including deteriorating, which may mean expensive specialist work being required to maintain it. Or animals which you can go to jail if you disturb.

      On the bright side it falls under the min value for stamp duty so you don’t have to pay tax to buy it and you get fishing rights, so you’re good if you like fish.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    July 6, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    The community journals are some of my favorite things to pop up out of this forum in a long time. I love reading about all of you!

  • CJB

    Administrator
    July 15, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Read this this morning:

    As a recovering perfectionist, I give myself permission to follow the “80% is 95%” rule. Have you ever been impressed by a friend who’s a foodie or a wine connoisseur or really particular about the fit of their clothes? But you just can’t tell the difference on the finer points of distinction between this one or that one while they speak paragraphs about it?

    This is my “80% is 95%” rule, meaning if it’s 80% of what it needs to be to serve its purpose, it feels like 95% to someone who isn’t an expert in evaluating that particular thing. A “nonnoisseur” might tell it’s not perfect —but it’s better than good enough.

    Like, if I could somehow internalize this… my life would be completely different.

    • Augustus_Octavian

      Member
      July 15, 2021 at 8:58 pm

      I always try to remember that “greatness is the enemy of goodness,” and strive to manifest as much goodness in my life as possible.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    July 21, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    I am struggling with social media, friends. Not personally, more on the business/promotion side, which I guess for me is also personal. :confused:

    I just don’t know what to do or have any idea what people want to see. The thing is, you all don’t primarily get your information about what I’m writing, doing, sharing, or occasionally promoting from Instagram or Facebook, right? You’re already here.

    Because of that, my professional social media should essentially act as a funnel to bring new Mounties into the fold, but that means either making it much more promotional, which I don’t like, creating much more content, which I don’t have the bandwidth for, or making it much more personal with videos of me talking/explaining/etc., which… ugh.

    I also feel like no one is interested in seeing me specifically talking and talking about all this, or anything really.

    I like the new grid design at The Briar Archive, but I’m at a loss when it comes to what I should be using social for. I guess I should be sharing the Briarverse vibe there (a kind of dark academia I call “haunted hygge”) while also explaining what this all is. I’ve tried in ways I can manage, but the content is half-hearted because I hate “SELLING” and the engagement just isn’t there anymore.

    Maybe one reason for the decline is because Instagram as a platform is on the decline, and people are migrating to places like TikTok? I LOVE TikTok personally, but the idea of having to create tons of off-the-cuff video content is about 3,000% worse than the idea of occasionally creating composed photo content.

    I am slowly doing a soft rebrand of my social media and ads to “The Briar Archive” instead of “Ackerly Green Publishing” because I think it better sells the vibe, the experience, and the property, rather than the “company” (me) who produces it, and I think that can help with engagement. I think people seeing a comment might be more curious about “@thebriararchive,” which sounds intriguing, book-related, and more on brand than “@ackerlygreen,” which could be a person, a bank, or a grocery store.

    Like, would you rather check a comment from @TheGrishaverse or @Macmillan?

    But, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t have a question or request or anything. I’m just venting, I guess.

    If you were new to all this (and some of you actually are), what would you want to see from my social media?

    • Augustus_Octavian

      Member
      July 21, 2021 at 3:00 pm

      What about more frequent tidbits from the narrative itself, like “free samples” of a product to pique the interest of people to come and buy more? You could even just rework the stuff from the newsletter! Less “behind the scenes” and more “scenes” I guess?

    • djsolare

      Member
      July 21, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      The decision to break from the Ackerly Green name is a tough one since it more properly fits the universe. I also really enjoyed the way the universe was presented to me; just a compellingly strange website on the edge of the Internet. But that really just worked for me and perhaps others with my mindset. I present the link to others with the same lack of information and to date I suspect I have almost managed to convince my wife to read the books.

      Perhaps running two accounts would be useful in bridging the metafictional gap? @ackerlygreen could be used for strictly in-universe things with @thebriararchive there to include more stuff like announcements, fan creations, and that account could [rebloggify? tweetificate? insta-copypaste?] certain in-universe elements as a way to present those to the public as well

    • Nimueh

      Member
      July 21, 2021 at 11:27 pm

      Social media is a beast that either could be your best friend or is gonna sit and glare at you from a corner.

      I find that it all depends on what you really want the account to be and the platform. Like, I hate TikTok cause it’s that almost “fast fashion” mentality, where you’re trending for an hour and the next minute no one cares and have moved on. Twitter is great for reaching out, and I could see you using it as something along the same vibe route as Insta, just maybe more quote/advice/thought of the day? It wouldn’t need to be as time consuming as creating assets for Insta, or you could use the same across both to even the load a lot (a lot of brands do this). Also, totally agree with Augustus’ suggestions.

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      July 22, 2021 at 12:46 am

      To piggy back on Augustus, harvesting context from newsletters is a great idea.

      I wonder if, once a month (Guild Inductions?) or so, a call for favourite Briarverse quotes or images we have/create could go out to help give you inspiration and/or content. We know you’re going this alone and I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to give back in some way. Some call might give you a whole lotta nothing, but some might give you ideas for a few posts.

      I also agree with Nim–TikTok needs to be your full time gig or it really won’t do what your looking for. Facebook/Insta/Twitter are the better place to focus, with TilTok for longer/more interactive supportive content. But that could be my 40 trips around the Sun talking (do we have a “get off my lawn” emoji?

    • Tinker

      Member
      July 22, 2021 at 12:52 am

      Ohhh also piggy-backing off of Nim…I really love the Welcome to Nightvale twitter and could see that being a potential briarverse twitter inspo…they occasionally promote things like merch and shows and stuff, but they also just tweet out little snippets that don’t necessarily come from the show (that I know of) but fit into the world they’ve created. And I say this as someone who has read the first volume of transcripts but doesn’t actually listen to the podcast, their twitter feed brings me so much joy.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    August 16, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Can you believe it’s been 5 Years!

    Watch for a project update and a big fat thank you to celebrate our five year Briarversary!

    • Sellalellen

      Member
      August 18, 2021 at 1:08 am

      Has it been that long already? Goodness

  • CJB

    Administrator
    August 25, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    BIG product news (clickety-clack), a weekly update (of a sort) and a few sneak peeks at what the rest of the year looks like for the Briarverse!

  • CJB

    Administrator
    October 4, 2021 at 9:53 pm

  • CJB

    Administrator
    November 9, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    My heart sank like this was about a college application:

    • djsolare

      Member
      November 9, 2021 at 11:38 pm

      I get the exact same feeling every time I get an email about an Ubisoft playtest. Not that there’s a whole lot coming up I’m anxious to get into but it still feels bad

  • CJB

    Administrator
    January 3, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    I’m going to try and keep this journal updated more in 2022, even if it’s a barebones post like this:

    Week of January 3rd:

    I spent the last week of 2021 in the mountains with my family, where I learned the basics of both snowboarding and crochet, two hobbies I’d been wanting to pick up for years.

    Turns out, crochet is much easier on my big hands than needlepoint, and I finished my first project, a scarf, in 3-4 days. It’s pretty basic, but the variegated yarn I used makes it look WAY more interesting.

    I took three days of snowboarding lessons with a coach, and we had a blast. I spent a lot of 2021 getting in better physical shape, stronger, more flexible, and it was fun to push myself physically on the slopes and see how my long-term work last year paid off in stamina, endurance, and mobility.

    Workwise, today is my first day back “in the office” in a while. I’m slowly working on strategizing for what will be a very different year from last year. If you watched this video, you know I’m making some pretty significant changes to my personal and work life, and instead of diving right into change, change, change, I’m spending a week downloading all my swirling ideas into a document and figuring out what my first priorities should be and where I want to end up mid-year, 2023, and five years from now. There are going to be some very big changes in the coming months, a lot of which you all won’t see for a while, but some that will also have hopefully positive impacts on your experience in the Briarverse, on the forum, and within this community.

    • Lexington

      Member
      January 5, 2022 at 8:19 pm

      We’re here with you for the ride!

    • grimangel53

      Member
      February 5, 2022 at 4:19 am

      now that im catching up, and eventualy will fully catch up, im excited to see where things go!

  • CJB

    Administrator
    February 5, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    It might seem quiet here but I’ve been working a lot behind-the-scenes, planning, writing, and working on a roadmap for the future of the community.

    Personally, I’m taking much more time than I usually do to recharge and get my head straight. I also finally booked time with an amazing artist to get a sleeve tattoo that I’ve been dreaming about for a couple decades. It’s weird to think that this weekend will be the last time I see my arm the way it was when I was born, all the freckles and lack of melanin. I’m excited, nervous, and looking forward to seeing my dream tattoo come to life.

    I’ll definitely post pics, and expect more updates about everything in the next couple weeks. I hope 2022 is treating you all well.

    • Lexington

      Member
      February 10, 2022 at 9:59 pm

      Back in the Beforetimes (2019), I shaved off my beard for a little bit. I realized I hadn’t seen my chin in over 20 years at that point. That was … weird.

      Enjoy the tattoo! I’m looking forward to my next one.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    April 12, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    Hey everyone! I miss you all and I’m working on a video that I’ll post this week about everything I’ve been working on this year. I’ve spent time recovering from burnout, spending time with my family, and I’ve also been coming up with some fun (and sustainable) plans for us as a community moving forward. I’m really looking forward to discussing them with you!

    • Lexington

      Member
      April 15, 2022 at 1:58 pm

      Can’t wait! And as always, please let us know how we can help you out.

    • CJB

      Administrator
      April 15, 2022 at 8:11 pm

      Update will be up sometime this afternoon!

      It’s 30+ min :grimacing: and so it’s taking a looooong time to upload to Youtube. :cjheart:

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 5, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    Hey!

    Rambling journal update incoming!

    New Forum

    I’ve been working with a developer to figure out how to best migrate the existing forum (and all its contents :sweat_smile:) to the new platform and it looks like it’s finally going to happen a week from Friday, barring any unforeseen issues! It should be a seamless transition, but you know, best-laid plans and all…

    I’ll post an update next week with info and tips for navigating the new platform, but if you want to get a sneak peek at what it will look like, check out https://www.buddyboss.com/website-platform/

    A lot of the changes will just be naming conventions like Topics will be called Discussions, Categories will either be Forums (narrative, blog posts, and deeper discussions) or Groups (for more community-based/shared interests stuff.) The new form will be organically structured in a way that I’ve been trying to bend and break the existing forum into for years and I’m really excited to migrate over and settle in. And best of all… the profiles. So much more interesting stuff to do on them, including being able to post to your profile right from the front page of the forum, likes it’s your own blog/journal. You can also connect with other users which means you’ll be able to better follow their activity and updates… just all-around much improved, we just have to get there first.

    Writing + Burnout Recovery

    Aside from that, I am feeling really good about the new book, and my much-lightened workload. It’s given me so much mental room to daydream and explore ideas and take care of myself. I had reserved a spot with a book cover designer I was really eager to work with and when the time came (last month) I decided to commit to this new project and have its cover designed. I can’t WAIT for you to see it. The cover, the book, the genre, it’s all a departure for me as a writer, and yet, also not?

    Reading Goals

    I read so little last year so this year I promised I’d read 25 books, and even a reluctant DNF counts.

    Backordered Candles

    I’m going to start fulfilling back-ordered candle purchases in the next week or two.

    Chickens!

    We brought five little chicks home last month and they’re having the time of their lives in their brooder house in our garage. I don’t even like eggs all that much, I just wanted to be a chicken parent. I can’t wait to show you pics of them and their enormous coop and run. Their names are Doralee, Judy, Violet, Margaret, and Roz, and if you can tell where those names come from, you get the biggest virtual :cjheart: ever.

  • CJB

    Administrator
    May 6, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Also, apropos of absolutely nothing mentioned above, the novel Dracula is in epistolary format (a big inspiration for The Monarch Papers) and the events in it take place between May and November. Someone has created a substack of the novel, releasing each letter, diary entry, and telegram via email, corresponding to the date it was marked in the novel! It started May 3rd, but there’s an archive to help you catch up.

    I LOVE this idea, and am adding it to my TBR this year, wanna join me and discuss it?

    • Ashburn

      Member
      May 6, 2022 at 2:46 pm

      Sure… :endriwink:

      But absolutely going to do this, get my Stagecraft 1 nostalgia fix (stage manager book for play version was our final in that class).