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Last summer, V and I discussed the possibility of buying an elliptical to have at the house, as a means of getting ourselves into better shape than we’d been. Having set aside a little extra money that I earned during Ren Faire, in December we made that a reality.

So, I’ve been running every other day for about three months now. I started aiming for half an hour, and ended up getting about 4 miles in on my early attempts. During January, I made that consistent. In February, I bumped up to 5 mile runs, and started to adjust the tension for higher difficulty, with a variable scale on the elliptical from 1-8. I would run the first two miles on tension 2, the third on 3, the fourth on 4, and back down to 2 for the fifth mile. I was able to cut my time on these “hill runs” to 26:53.

For March, I have been focusing more on speed. I’ve been maintaining a five mile run, but leaving the tension setting on 2 for a steady flat-track feeling. I’m currently sitting at 23:27 for my best time, and I’m pretty content with that.

I’m not about to turn into a fitness nut (I like my beer and pizza way too much for that), and I’m not going to start blogging constantly about my running, but I wanted to say that I’m very happy to have found something that works for me, and that I can continue to do to help myself feel and look better.

“Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear.”

Eight years ago, I started out on a writing journey. Some of you have been here ever since, and I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement.

Reading through some of my old posts from January 2011, though, I’m seeing a lot of projects that I hinted at that have yet to come to fruition. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t kind of depressing. On the flip side of that, though, I see some of my notes, and I remember who some of the characters were, and how they came to be. It’s a bit on the inspirational side.

lot of the old writing is kinda cringe-worthy, though. I’ll leave it in place, because it’s a sign of my growth and development as a person. I hope to continue to change for the better.

Thanks.

2019 is here, and as is tradition, I’ve got a few goals to share with you.

1.) Reading! Last year, I set a reading goal on goodreads of 200 books. I got through over 230. Now, I do include graphic novels and manga in my challenge count, but I’m fully expecting to be able to exceed 200 books again this year.

I would love to be able to get through:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I made a major dent in this one while I was on vacation in November, but I need to finish it. Same with Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison. (Hey, Philip, are there any titles from your last year list that you actually got around to?)

God’s Last Breath by Sam Sykes. (What did I just say?)

When They Severed Earth From Sky by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. (Okay, seriously)

The Toll by Neil Shusterman. The Arc of a Scythe series is coming to an end. I can’t wait to see how it wraps up, given the way book two ended.

Dune by Frank Herbert. This one’s a re-read, but I haven’t gone through it since high school.

One Piece by Eiichiro Oda. I want to re-start this one too.

Old Man’s War and Head On by John Scalzi.

There’s a LOOOOOT of good stuff on my to-read shelf, y’all. I’m going to take on as many as I can.

2.) Writing!

Hey, I wrote more posts in 2018 than I did in 2017!

By, like, two.

*sigh*

And considering that 2018 lasted for something approximating a decade, that’s pretty awful.

I’d blame losing some of my favorite writing challenges, but that’s just making excuses. There’s no room for that kind of nonsense. I can seek out writing prompts without being handed one or two every week. But if you find any awesome writing challenges, I’d love for you to send them my way.

3.) Create! I got to play a little more with the Makerspace at my library in 2018 than in 2017, and I’ve got some more designs to work on going forward. I need to finish sewing/stuffing a felt Luci from Disenchantment soon, because he’s been sitting on my living room bookshelf taunting me for the last few weeks. I’ve got a Yu-Gi-Oh! card game table that I’m working on with our laser cutter, too. I did a prototype back in November, and I’ve been tweaking that design quite a bit. And of course, I’m hoping that time will allow for me to get back into some cosplay work. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t planning a Séance costume now that Umbrella Academy is getting a live-action adaptation.

seance

4.) Gaming. I miss playing D&D, y’all. It’s been a hot minute since I had a good campaign going, and I really want to do more with it. There’s talk of teaching the kids, and now a family D&D game is more viable than ever before. Also, V and I have finally gotten our Malifaux crews assembled. I know. It’s been two years since I got the box. I’m getting there. Now I have paints, so I can get that done, and we can play. It’s way more fun to put those damn things together than I expected, too, and now I’m trying to figure out what other characters I can add to my collection to supplement my crew. They’re releasing the 3rd Edition of their rules this year too, but thankfully we’ve both picked masters who are still playable in the updated rule set.

And honestly, there’s probably more goals that I’d like to set for myself, but I’m trying to be realistic here, considering how many years I’ve typed essentially this exact same post.

 

 

Another summer has come and now mostly gone, and the children will be starting school soon. I’m enjoying a few days of vacation time in the aftermath of the Renaissance Festival (which, both in terms of supplemental employment and getting to spend time with friends, was a resounding success), and getting around to some stuff that’s been needing attention at the house. Goodbye old, rotting wood swing set that the previous owner built, hello new swing set that we’ll likely pass on to the next house owner.

The girls have discovered Yu-Gi-Oh on Netflix, and it’s been great fun to introduce them to the card game that I’ve been playing since 2004-2005. The core mechanics have remained largely unchanged, but the introduction of a lot of new types of monsters since I had last played (like, college, 2010) has made for a decent learning curve, even for me. I’m looking at using the laser cutter at the library to make myself a nice, wood engraved playing surface. It would be a) a fun project, and b) a really cool thing to show off.

Speaking of the library, I survived the 2018 Summer Adventure! I’m really tempted to get myself the Welcome to Night Vale “I Survived the Summer Reading Program” patch. I ran more programs for the teens during those two months than I ever would’ve imagined when I took on this job a year and a half ago. I’m still loving the whole Teen Services side of things (though it would be nice if I could go a summer without our Teen Services Librarian leaving). I’m actually excited for the school year to start, because it means that I get to go do more outreach events and book talks at local schools. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job, because it’s part acting and part readers’ advisory.

I’m going to do more writing over the next couple of months. V’s holding me to it, so I know that it’ll actually get done. Until then, we’re going to be celebrating the 12th anniversary of the day we met. Take care, and I’ll see you soon.

So, I missed publishing anything during National Poetry Month.

And then three more weeks after that.

I’ve completely and utterly failed at my writing goals during the first half of the year.

So, hi. How’ve you been?

We’re about to dive headlong into Summer Adventure at the library, and the Colorado Renaissance Festival starts shortly after that, so I know that I’m going to be busy for most (if not all) of the summer. Despite that, I’m going to be doing as much writing as possible.

Life at the library has been good, but it’s definitely kept me away from the blog lately. We’re making a lot of changes. So far, they’re all for the good, but it means less downtime.

I’m hoping to get caught up on some of the newer YA fiction releases from the last six months or so. If I’m going to be doing booktalks this fall at the same rate I have been this spring, I’m going to need some new material. I’ll also be recording a couple of video booktalks this year, as I missed my chance last summer. Right now, I’m leaning toward recording my talks for The Graveyard Book and The Fireman because the teens always have the best reactions to the horror stuff.

Anyway, usual promise of additional writing to come soon.

 

 

Hey y’all. It feels like it’s been about a year since my last post, but it’s only been *checks calendar* uhh…

Well, just over two months. Sorry about that. November got hectic. There was a minor car accident, and a LOT of changes at my job. That being said, I’ve got a lot to accomplish on here in 2018. Namely, more fiction, poetry, and book reviews.

I’m gearing up for my second year of full time with my library, which is going to be full of teen programs (so many craft ideas already…) and booktalks. I’m aiming for 2-3 booktalk sessions each week, basically saying “yes!” to every opportunity that I can get. The outreach aspect of my job is one of my favorite parts, going out to local schools and advertise books that I’ve really enjoyed. It’s the best feeling in the world to see a teen’s eyes light up when I booktalk a book that makes them feel represented.

I’d set a few personal goals for 2017 that definitely didn’t happen. I was hoping to knock out one post per week. I didn’t even manage one per month. Pretty sure 8 posts in a year is a new low for me. I didn’t get any new stories submitted. That one’s on me too. Can’t blame anyone else for not sending my stuff out. I did manage to draw quite a bit more. I’ve gotten some more costuming ideas in planning stages, and that’s going to hopefully come into play with one of the programs I’m looking into for work. I managed to keep in better contact with family and friends (despite being pretty much in hermit mode for the latter half of the year). I wanted to improve my political literacy during 2017, and I think I nailed that one (thank you NPR, BBC, twitter, etc.). I didn’t have “get full-time job” as a goal last year because, well, hi. Yeah. Knocked that one out, and have maintained quite well. I broke my reading goal by 1/3. I was aiming for 200, and goodreads says I got through 266. Now, while probably 90% of those were graphic novels/comic books/manga, that’s still way more reading than I was expecting to get done.

Anyway… Considering that I’m not planning to get married, buy a house, and have a baby this year, let’s set up some goals for 2018. We’ll start with the standards.

1.) Write more. Okay, folks. Commitment time. Two posts a month, minimum. Not average. The wife and I are both working to spend time writing together. I’m also going to pick up journal writing again. I’ve missed out on properly chronicling some of the biggest events of my life over the last few years, and I need to do better.

2.) Submit more work. I love writing stories for the blog, but I also need to keep my goal of getting properly published in mind. There are so many sites/magazines that I want to write for, and I need to get over my irrational fear of rejection letters. Hard goal: submit to six publications in 2018.

3.) Draw more. I’ve got more space to work than I did (thanks to the whole house-buying thing that happened last year), and so I can knock out at least some more character designs. I want to fill a sketchbook over the course of the year, and I’m willing to pick up a brand new sketchbook to meet this goal. In fact, I did just that a couple of hours ago.

4.) Read more. I’ve set a goodreads goal of 200 titles for 2018. Just like last year, I intend to blow past that. I’ve been listening to more audiobooks, and that’s been helping with a few of my planned re-reads of some of my favorites.

Okay. That’s it for the generic stuff. How about some specifics?

5.) Spend more quality time with my kids. The girls got dice sets in their stockings for Christmas, and I’m planning to continue playing No Thank You, Evil! and teaching them to play Dungeons and Dragons. I’m loving the evolution of my status as a parent, and relish the chance to help the kids find the things that they enjoy most, whether those are the things I also love or not. Case in point: we went ice skating for New Year’s and they had a blast.

6.) Vote! It’s Mid Term Election Year. Never tell me that non-Presidential elections are worthless. I’ve got all sorts of shit to do this year, and it starts with ensuring that I’m properly represented at the federal level.

I think that’s a pretty good start. Stay tuned, folks. It’s going to be a good year.

Hey all,

It’s been an eventful summer in the Krogmeier house. It all started when we bought a house. That’s right, folks. As of mid-May, we own a house. No more apartments, at least for the foreseeable future. Woohoo! Now it’s the end of August, and we’re still unpacking, but you know, we’re off to a good start.

In June, our little family got a little bit bigger, as our son Wodan was born. Thankfully, there were no major complications, and he’s fitting in very well. Life as a parent (and not just a step-parent) is a new adventure for me, and I love it. Yes, there are challenges, but I have the best spouse in the world, and a strong support network in my friends and family. I’m not the only new dad in my friends group, and that is also kind of awesome. Side note: paid paternity leave is amazing, and should absolutely be included as a benefit at any job, along with paid maternity leave.

Then the last weekend of July was the end of the 41st annual Colorado Renaissance Festival. I worked for the faire for as many weekends as I could (that whole thing about having a baby arrive in June did mean taking some days off). It was my fourth year working for the same shop, and I couldn’t have been happier. I got to see so many of my friends and faire family this season, and got to introduce most of them to Wodan.

August also means that the library’s summer reading program has wrapped up for the year. Between my leave time and a co-worker moving away,  it was a bit rough. Thankfully, the rest of the staff stepped up, and it made my return to work in July so much easier.

I’m getting back into my reading pile at long last. The DC Rebirth titles have been stacking up, and I’m gearing up for another round of YA booktalks in local schools for this fall, plus I’m hoping to re-read a few favorites before the end of the year. I’ve got A Game of Thrones on audio, and it’s filling in some of the hours and getting me back up to speed. I may take that approach with a few others I’ve already read.

There’s some sad news, though. Because of various scheduling things and expenses, I’m going to have to cancel on the one convention I’ve gone to every year since I first started cosplaying. Dear friends who will be at NDK this weekend, I’m sorry I am not able to make it this time around. I hope to be back in full form next year. It’s going to be weird missing out on it, since I’ve been going since 2009. All the same, it’s better for me to take a bit of time to gather myself before diving into cosplay/costuming stuff again. That said, all of my cosplay goals from last February still hold true.

Finally, I’m sorry I’ve not been writing much this year. I’d intended to utilize my new work schedule to try to get more stories cranked out, and I’ve barely managed to get blog posts written. It’s good that I’ve been busy with my day job, but I’ve got to be better about my creative outlets too. Thankfully, work is giving me all kinds of opportunities for new outreach stuff, letting me meet new people in the community and encouraging me to move outside of my comfort zone. Growth is good, y’all.

I missed my blog anniversary last month, and while this is a milestone I usually like to celebrate, this year on January 20th, I was a bit preoccupied.

I’m a month in to my new position with the library, and I could not be happier. I feel like I’m making a really positive impact on my teen patrons here, though I really miss my old group. I’m gearing up for my first book club meeting, and we’re reading Neil Shusterman’s Unwind (meanwhile, I’m tackling his new title, Scythe, for my own sheer joy). I’m helping plan programs and events for Teen Tech Week in March, putting together bulletin boards and book displays for the teen area, etc. It’s been great!

Plus, you know, there was this whole wedding thing that happened last week. So, V and I finally got married. It’s been officially in the works since August, when I finally proposed to the girl who’s been my closest friend for over a decade.

I’m working on more book reviews, I promise. There are so many coming out soon! I just finished reading M-E Girard’s Girl Mans Up, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it. Plus a follow-up to my review of The City Stained Red when I review the sequel, The Mortal Tally (because the final book, God’s Last Breath, is out in July). And A Conjuring of Light is out in two weeks! So many good books lately, I’ve barely been able to keep up.

Anyway, thanks for sticking around for so much of the last six years. I’ll try to get the anniversary post in on time next year.

I just looked back through my book reviews on here and realized that three of them are of Stephen King works (and a fourth, my most recent, is for a book by his son).

I know that I read way more than that. My reading list encompasses a much larger set of interests than my posted reviews would reflect. I’m trying to correct that.

That much being said, does anyone have suggestions for books for me to read/review? I’m always on the lookout for new books, and I’d be happy to have new recommendations.

Some quick updates.

We got a cat. Her name is Hermione, and she’s incredibly smart and sweet. However, it’s very true when they say that having a cat is one of the worst things a writer can ever do, re: distractions. I’m learning this all over again.

I got through season two of Daredevil and loved it. Was it perfect? No. Case in point: Asian and Asian American representation. Jon Bernthal kills it as the Punisher/Frank Castle (and I don’t watch The Walking Dead, so I really had no prior experience with his work as an actor). Foggy remains my absolute favorite character on the show. I also finally got to see the first season of Agent Carter, which is a delight. Peggy kicks ass across the 1940s, breaking limbs and stereotypes all the way.

I’ve been working on a D&D campaign for next month’s local game convention. It’s eating a lot of my creative energies, making it tricky for me to focus too much on anything else. I’ve also been reading a LOOOOOT. I knocked out V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows a few weeks ago, and I’m in the middle of Sam Sykes’ The City Stained Red, which may be one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. I swear it’s like he sat in on some of my college D&D sessions and captured characterization from them. I love it. On a more realistic side, I also just finished reading Tess Sharpe’s Far From You. Holy god damn, this one was intense. Illicit love, murder, drugs, and a quest for the truth keep you turning pages non-stop. It’s not something I expected to pick up, but there was a great discussion of it during a Twitter chat about queer YA titles, and it hooked me.

It’s tempting to use some of what I’ve been reading for the D&D campaign. The magic system from Schwab’s work, for example, is one of the most clever presentations of elemental manipulation I’ve seen since Avatar: The Last Airbender. It would be fun to introduce some plot elements from books and then encourage the kids to go check those books out from my library, and would definitely boost the outreach factor. “Hey kids, if you liked my campaign, try these books!” We’ve already seen a boost in checkouts of our 5th edition manuals. Imagine what that could do for our fantasy literature circulation…

The 3D printer at work is awesome. I’m looking into utilizing it for some cosplay props, and I’m really exicted about the prospect of hosting a cosplay-themed program in our Makerspace soon.

Fireside opens for submissions this Friday. I’m going to be writing. More soon!