fresh new start, fresh new space

Kind readers,

so I began the year by redesigning my work space. It needed an upgrade to suit my current needs better.

I’ll be writing about fresh starts in Atheist Tiki Hour and The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy; a fresh space was required. It was imperative.

I headed for IKEA.

I’m always unsure when I make big changes like this, but I have to say that once it was done, I was ecstatically happy I’d gone ahead with it. I felt as though I’d lost excess baggage; my work space felt a thousand pounds lighter, and it was a lot more cheerful.

Also, it was way more functional. And my desk setup is much more ergonomic.

The new setup emphasized that there’s more to my life than work. I’m not my work; I matter too. In addition, the internet no longer dominates my life. My existence has a great deal more balance.

I replaced my computer desk and writing desk with a smaller computer desk, and I added a nice comfy chair where I’ll write, relax, think, rest. I lost some storage areas, but I gained a lot more than I lost with this reorganization. I still had plenty of room for books and my journal collection near the comfy chair, I shuffled a few pieces around, I cleaned and sorted my cupboard and the drawers where I keep office supplies… It took me almost two weeks to get it all done, but boy, I was happy with the results!

I’ll be taking new photos of my refuge soon, with my good camera, but in the meantime here are some snaps I took with my smart phone:

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I love my toys. Here’s a new girlfriend, exquisite candy doll Sweet Style Jade.

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And look what my awesome friend, versatile author and badass skateboarder Carl D. Smith, is going to send me! What a guy 🙂

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I’d been wanting one of those Pee-wee dolls so much. Wee!

The rest of winter and spring will be all about writing Tiki Hour and Unrepentant Tomboy. I’m keeping outside commitments to a minimum because I just can’t do it anymore. It wipes me out.

I will be seeing Professor Coyne at the end of February when he gives his talk at the Center For Inquiry in Ottawa, though! Very exciting.

Otherwise, my days are tranquil, and I’m most grateful for this. Life hasn’t been this peaceful for me in a long time. I’m nurturing and safeguarding this tranquility. I’ve been more forceful about respecting my boundaries and establishing my priorities.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

2016: the year ahead

Kind readers,

2016 is here!

2015 was good, and this year will be good also. I’m easy to please.

So, what’s going on?

Earlier this week, I had another fun-filled chat with Sean McGuire, a.k.a. GodlessPoutine on Twitter. He’s begun a smooth, merry new podcast, Share a Slice with Sean.

Click on the image below to listen to the episode:

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I love chatting with Sean, and we’ll be doing this again in the near future.

Now then… 2016.

Due to exhaustion and the low Canadian dollar, I’ve decided that I won’t be going to Leviosa in Las Vegas this summer. I’ve thought a lot about the trip and everything it would involve these past few weeks, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just too much. Last year, I felt certain I could do this, but as the months went by and July 2016 crept closer, I started to realize that my growing ambivalence meant that hey, maybe I didn’t want to do this after all. And maybe this was okay.

I was torn, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and it’s never easy for me to ignore the inner voice that says I’m not doing enough, but the time had come to give my needs precedence. Although there were many good reasons to go to the convention, the reasons not to go were increasing for me.

I started thinking about what I really want… What I prefer… About what makes me happy. And healthy. Self-respect and self-acceptance are concepts I have truly begun to embrace—at last.

These large conventions and long journeys are no longer in the cards for me, I’d say. Each time I thought about the convention, my anxiety levels kept rising, so much so that I was having trouble sleeping at night. In the past, I would have pushed myself anyway, I would have spread myself thin (usually to the point of illness), but I’m no longer willing to do this.

I also won’t be going to the Non-Conference. The mere notion of driving on the 401 through Toronto again, the very idea of an even longer, more draining journey… I’m afraid not.

I do want to have my Quietus meetup this autumn, though; that will be possible. And I will be going to MISTI-Con 2017. I love going to New Hampshire—it’s a nice, tranquil drive, it’s not too far away—and MISTI is a smaller gathering that takes place in a now quite familiar, beloved location. That, I will most happily do.

The time has come for me to treat myself with a bit more consideration and tenderness. I was exhausted when I went to MISTI last year; I found it almost impossible to sleep during the convention, the weather was windy and cold, and I was more worn out than at any previous conventions I’d attended in New Hampshire. If I rest more this year, in 2017 I’ll have a much better convention.

So this year, I’ll be staying close to my home base. I’ll write. I’ll play my ukulele.

This year, I’ll be working on Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast, The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy (the first in a series of fun, silly, and uplifting diary style books), and Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human (essays written from a secular humanist perspective; a very personal book). And, with any luck, I might even be able to write the first draft of the second book in my Outlaw series before the year is over!

I feel good about all of my decisions, and about my projects. Last year at this time, I was going through my second bout of shingles in six years, so yeah… I’ve got to slow down and take better care of myself.

On the whole, I’ve been feeling much less stressed.

In other news, my dear friend Carl has released a terrific new issue of his high quality, innovative comic, Be Careful What You Wish For.

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Go here to get your own copy: Big Cartel

And I recently acquired a beautiful octopus necklace made by a talented friend of mine.

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Go here to take a look at all her gorgeous, finely-crafted jewelry: Laurel Moon

I’ve got new photos of my personal hideaway for you, too! Right here.

That’s it for now… Time to putter quietly. Winter arrived suddenly and brutally here in southern Quebec, and boy, that’s been tiring as heck. We’re supposed to have an early spring, though… I for one hope so!

I also hope you’ll all have a wonderful year. I wish you every good thing under the sun and thank you, as ever, for your affection, friendship, and support 🙂

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

Hula Girl: now available on Amazon

Kind readers,

that was fast: There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard is now available on Amazon! It just got listed, and although it’s in stock it may still “require an extra 1-2 days to process” an order—soon the book will simply be listed as “in stock” like my other titles.

I’m quite verklempt today. Of all the books I’ve written, this one is closest to my heart. It’s been a lifetime in the making. And both the front and back covers capture my joy, peace, hope, strength, and victory. In this book, I say what I needed to say. I hope it’ll be a source of inspiration and encouragement to those who’ll read it.

As usual, I just, you know… rambled as best I could.

If you read the book and enjoy it, please consider leaving a few words on Amazon! It makes a great difference, and I deeply appreciate it.

Here’s another happy thing that happened: I received a beautiful gift from my friend Carl D. Smith!

I’m halfway through it and it’s such a fabulous comic book. I highly recommend it!

In other news, I’ve decided not to run myself completely into the ground and have postponed the publication date of my fourth book of Snape essays, Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human: I’ll release the book in time for Leviosa 2016. I’ll be giving a lecture at MISTI-Con this May (next month!!), but it’ll be a warm-up for the book.

I have plenty to work on in the coming months, though!

Oh, and I’ll be giving that MISTI lecture of mine on Friday May 22nd at two o’clock, in the Granite room.

Right now, I think I’m going to drink a nice hot chocolate, because it’s cold and grey and windy outside, and merely looking out the window is making me shiver. Thankfully, it’s going to get more spring-like—at last!!—towards the end of the week… I need some spring cheerfulness, and warmth, and sunshine, very badly.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

Hula Girl: now available on logospilgrim.com

Kind readers,

last week, I was rather ill, but I’ve rallied just in time to release my latest book, There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life.

Barring any problem, it’ll be on Amazon as well in a few weeks; once it’s available there, I’ll be letting everyone know.

This is probably my most personal book to date, and I’m having a rather emotional day. Thank goodness for booze and Skinny Puppy 😉

And I got some new ink to celebrate (just before I fell ill, fortunately!). A nice bottle of liquor:

As usual, I had a splendid time at Planet Ink with Tiffany. I’m always happy when I go to Planet Ink.

In other news, I’m very much hoping that I’ll be able to finish another project in time for MISTI-Con 2015:

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More essays, from a humanist perspective.

Speaking of MISTI, I’ll be giving my lecture on Friday, May 22nd at two o’clock, in the Granite room.

*breathing in a bag*

On Saturday, I’ll be signing books in the big tent… I hope to see you there. I’ll be wearing a stupendous Kristopher Silverheart costume. Rawr!

After the convention, I’ll be working on yet another project. It’ll be lighthearted, fun and cheeky. A kind of follow-up to Hula Girl:

And then, it’ll be time for more fiction! I have a busy spring, summer, and fall ahead of me, though I am trying not to drive myself into the ground again.

Also, I recently received a bunch of fantastic books from a good writer friend of mine, Carl D. Smith! You really want The Horror of Loon Lake, trust me.

And look at the fabulous poster I got from another dear friend of mine, dapper as fuck magician Nelson Lugo:

Mercy. I’m exhausted because of the book release, and having been sick and everything… But I’m also happy. Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor