Once upon a time I used to be hyperproductive. I’d spend 8 or more hours a day writing code, then I’d go home and draw comics for hours, and then on the weekends I’d write and record music. I’d have pain symptoms as part of it but that just felt like a badge of honor, and that it’d all be worth it someday.
Now I can’t hold down a job at all, I can barely focus on any of those things, and even holding a pencil to start drawing just feels like too much. I have so many ideas in my head and so much shit I want to be doing with my time, but every time I start to work on anything it just hurts too much.
Anyway, I figured I’d talk about a bunch of the stuff I wish I could be working on right now.
I have two major comic series on hold right now. Both of them are very dear to me.
Unity started out as an exploration on the idea of what identity means (and how to rebuild one after losing everything that makes you you), and eventually became a treatise on mortality and the impact one can make on an infinite, uncaring universe. It currently stands at two large volumes. I have plans for a third volume, but the art requirements of it seemed pretty daunting and I needed a warm-up project to feel confident enough to start working on it, and that’s why I started Lewi.
Lewi is about the mismatch between science and spirituality (and how people draw lines in the sand based on stereotypes, and the entrenchment of socioeconomic privilege thereof), and there’s also an ontological thing sitting just below the surface which I don’t want to talk about because it’s a huge spoiler for what I’d hope would be a big reveal at some point (but many many hints have been dropped). Originally it was supposed to be a quick little story that got me warmed up for working on book 3 of Unity, but something went wrong along the way and it turned into a big ol' thing on its own, and now I feel like I need to do something else to get warmed up to resume Lewi too.
Also I wish I had the inspiration to just. Fuckin' Draw. All of the cute/weird/horny furry art I see on Cohost and in other places makes me long for when I could just Fuckin' Draw.
I have two major musical projects on hold right now.
One is an album entitled “transitions,” which is all about my musical journey over the past 22 years when I started participating in Song Fight. Some of it is rerecordings of really old songs which never got an album release. Some of it is newer songs which also never got an album release. My intention is to use chamber music instrumentation (i.e. violin, cello, viola, piano) with occasional use of guitar and hand percussion. But like most of my albums there will almost certainly be some genre variation; one of the songs really wants to be punk rock, for example. Maybe I’ll still use string accompaniment for that.
The other album is called “instrumental,” which is going to be polishing and releasing a bunch of instrumental music I’ve made over the years. A lot of it is for games which never got off the ground, some of it is just musical experiments that turned into full songs. The title is a bit of a pun, because I mean it both in the sense of “instrumental music,” but also in the sense of “this was instrumental to piecing it all together” or the like. It’s basically a sequel to Refactor.
I have Publ, the web publishing framework that I use to publish most of my websites. There’s a lot of stuff to be done on it still (fixing bugs, improving a bunch of things, making a better site for Publ itself, etc.).
The original plan for Publ was for it to have a companion reader called Subl (the joke being “publish/subscribe”) which would be a feed reader done right. I have a lot of UI/UX ideas about how to make feed subscriptions a lot better, and I really want to build something that supports Ticket Auth.
I also have some vague ideas for a smaller(?) version of Publ that’s focused more on social posting. It’d probably be called “Publ-ish.” Or maybe it would be built on top of Publ, or be a turnkey IndieWeb setup built on Publ + Micropub + Microsub or something. I’m not sure. Basically there needs to be an easier way for folks to actually start posting in places. In any case it would definitely support “community blogging” in some way, although Publ’s probably not the best basis for building something like Cohost simply because it’s only designed for single-user hosting. So maybe it needs to be an entirely separate project.
Hoo boy. Too many to count, so maybe I’ll talk about the big ones.
Several years ago I started building a “game album” around my album Refactor, also entitled Refactor; the idea was that this would be the game collection that Refactor was a soundtrack for. I got three of the games done-ish and I have designs for most of them but gosh it’s hard to do this stuff in isolation.
I also have an idea and some designs (in my head, not written down anywhere) for an RPG that’s sort of like Pokémon but is narrative in nature, and is about the meta-game of getting overly involved in fantasy play and what it means to get obsessed and to lose sight of reality (or to see others doing the same). I have a lot of story ideas and it’d be a pretty ambitious branching narrative. I feel like the actual programming parts wouldn’t be too bad. I would definitely want it to be in the style of a GBA Pokémon game (and one of the core visual things is that there’s three “layers” to the player’s reality, which look like Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance, and certain events would lead to the switching between those layers).
I also have an idea for an action-puzzle game in which you play a grue who is trying to eat adventurers while avoiding getting hurt by light. I have a specific audiovisual style in mind and also it’s a metaphor for debilitating migraines. Also I used to roleplay a corrupted grue on FurryMUCK so that’s nostalgic for me.
I have an idea in my head for a procedurally-generated guided meditation/hypnosis application. It’s kind of horny and might be what I build for Eevee’s Strawberry Jam this year if I have the energy to (and can find a suitable free text-to-speech engine).
I want to make pottery again. I was starting to get pretty okay at it but then my big pain flareup started in June and it still hasn’t subsided.
I love cooking and I keep thinking it’d be fun to start filming short cooking videos for YouTube or TikTok or whatever. I have a bunch of footage for an easy coleslaw recipe that I need to get around to editing.
I also need to get around to writing a review of my current espresso machine and setup.
I was also having some fun modeling stuff for VRChat and I want to get back into working on avatars and accessories, and maybe building assets that people want to buy.
I also kind of want a CNC router because I’m always having ideas of things that I could make with one, but I don’t really have the space at the moment.
My house is a cluttered mess. I need to organize things and have a yard sale and/or donate a bunch more crap to Goodwill or something.
I also find it very difficult to be self-directed in my work; if I’m making my own things it feels like I’m creating to a void and it isn’t worthwhile, and all of the jobs that people want to hire me for are shit I don’t want to be doing in the first place. I need to get to a point where I’m creating stuff for an audience that actually cares, and is willing to help fund me on Patreon or Ko-Fi or whatever.
I keep on rambling about the idea of a co-op creative agency and I still want that to be a thing. But I sure as hell don’t have the spoons, know-how, or business acumen to set that up. But it sure feels compelling.