James McGowan Reader Group- A Season of Better Inputs

Howdy, Party People.

As we stare back at the sucknado that was March through December of 2020, I think it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind.  Just as 2020 did not immediately start as a rancid dumpster fire (at least in the US), it will not stop burning just because paper calendars have been replaced and electronic ones tick forward to 2021. 

Still, there is something to be said for the symbolic turning turning of the calendar page. And that is better than nothing.  Let us hope the vaccines help get us out of the “gap” and into the new and improved normal.

As part of this, I personally am going to try striving for a season of better inputs. 

For me, here’s what that means: Keeping most news at arms length and averting my attention from the anger and fear like they’re part of a horrible traffic accident.  The truly important stuff will find its way to me in one way or another.  Wasting less time on social media and more time reading the books and comics in my backlog.  Consuming only compelling video content, not filler.  While I do a halfway decent job of eating healthy, I could be better, and I’ll aim to do just that. 

Will I stumble?  Definitely.  Will I keep on trying?  That’s the theme for the year.  Get better inputs in my life.  An off day does not mean the season is ruined.  It’s just an off day.

As a side note, I totally stole this idea from a CGP Grey Youtube video I saw earlier this year.  Type in “CGP Grey Themes” and you’ll find it.

Perhaps you can think of a personal theme of the season as well.
Players of the Game Updates
I plan to release The Brigands: The Favor novella sometime soon.  It will be for a buck on Amazon in Kindle form only.  It focuses on ViRauni as she returns someplace she long ago abandoned.

I’m finished up with the latest draft of the Breakers.  I have it sent out to beta readers and will soon send it off to my editor.  I’m still pretty happy with how it turned out.  And the preliminary cover is quite neat too.  I’ll share that down the road.

Currently, I’m working on the next “.5” novella, “The Breakers: Jagged Pieces”.  It’s an extended epilogue and bridge between Book 4 and Book 5.  I’m enjoying it so far.

Here’s an image of Nirva Iniv, one of the main villains from the series.  She is Avril’s sadistic mother.  She wanted to save the world once upon a time.  Now, she wants it under her heel.
December Recommendations
Pearl Harbor Minute By Minute by Time Ghost

Time Ghost’s World War II channel put together one of their best real time documentaries yet with this five-hour recounting of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  As a History major, it’s right in my wheel house, or at least my home office.  It was really well done and did an excellent job of remaining objective, while showing the darkness of modern war.  It also presented FDR’s “Day of Infamy” speech in its entirety.  Say what you will about the man, he could orate with the best of them.  A very well done series.  As the hosts like to say: “Never Forget!”

Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

This comic series is almost over with an issue to go, so it might be worth waiting for various collected editions.  I’ll avoid spoiling too much.  It starts with a focus on two main characters.  A seemingly-unstable person named Norton wears a surgical mask (this comic was made pre-Covid) and searches through garbage heaps for splinters of a dire black barn in the city of Gideon Falls.  An alcoholic priest named Wilfred is assigned to a small town, also named Gideon Falls, and has to team up with a local sheriff when bad stuff involving a black barn also starts creeping into town.  If you like mind-bendy sci-fi horror, this series is for you.
That’s all for this time.

Stay smart.  Stay safe. 

And Happy New Year!


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