Ben Crowder / Blog

Weeknotes #21

  • 2020 is finally in the ground. It wasn’t all bad, but I’m glad to see it gone. Here’s hoping 2021 proves a massive improvement.
  • My main creative goal this year is to establish processes that help me finish the pieces of writing I start. I’ve got several old stories I want to finish and release, and of course there’s the novel, too.
  • Art-wise, I feel like things have settled into a decent rhythm. This next piece, which I’ll be releasing on Monday, is among my favorites that I’ve done. (It’s a reworking of a theme I’ve done before, but with better execution, I think.)
  • I’ve started work on an ebook edition of the next Andrew Lang fairy tale book (The Green Fairy Book), seven years since I made the last one. Whoops. I’m not very far along with it, but it’s good to be making ebooks again.
  • I’m also working on a typeface that I plan to use to typeset a book of poems (along with illustrations).
  • I switched to an iPhone 12 Mini a couple days ago, to help with that hand/wrist pain I mentioned a while back (my iPhone 11 was too heavy and too large for my hands). So far, so good.
  • We watched Soul. Good film. Really liked it.
  • My wife and I are almost finished with the first (and only) season of The Chosen, and I think it’s my favorite TV show ever. Very much hoping they make many more seasons.
  • We’ve also watched a handful of episodes of Paul Hollywood’s City Bakes and have enjoyed those. They always leave me with the itch to bake artisan bread, which is kind of a downside because we watch them late at night after the kids have gone to bed, when baking isn’t really a wise option.
  • Nonfiction reading: Finished Stalling for Time. I indirectly gleaned several parenting tips from all the negotiation stories. Recommended.
  • I’m a quarter of the way into William Kamkwamba’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which I first heard about several months ago when my wife read it for her book club. Just barely got to where he starts building things, which is my primary interest in the book.
  • Very much enjoying Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin. I’m still only a tenth of the way in, though. (I’m reading it exclusively on my laptop, and with the holidays I haven’t been on it much.)
  • I’ve also started reading Morris Hicky Morgan’s translation of Vitruvius’s The Ten Books on Architecture. (I’m newly determined to start reading more hard books and more old books.) It’s slower going but I’m loving it. I’d been under the misconception that perspective drawing wasn’t discovered/invented until the Renaissance, but Vitruvius describes it quite clearly in the 1st century B.C.
  • Fiction reading: I finished The Road. Whew. It wasn’t quite as harrowing as I’d been expecting, but it was still intense and I may or may not have shed a tear or two at the end.
  • As a palate cleanser, I’m almost done with Phil Tucker’s Killer Dungeon, final volume in the Euphoria Online series. Definitely more of a popcorn read. I don’t play games and thus don’t particularly care about the LitRPG statistics parts, but the rest is fun.
  • I did end up hitting my reading goal for the year, by the way. In 2020 I read 105 books (up from 67 in 2019), thanks to my goal of reading 100 pages a day. And no, I didn’t use picture books to easily meet my goal. (I read 42,546 pages in 2020, up from 28,000 pages even in 2019. These page counts include books I bailed on, by the way.)