Hi everyone!

Another month has gone by and it’s time for a recap of Side Quest’s content. March 2022 was a month where I missed a lot of the content goals I set for myself.

One of the features I intended to write wound up fizzling out and I’ve already fallen behind on my goal of a chapter a month for The Useless Cleric (Chapter Two is almost done; 2,368 words are written!). That said, I still wrote some solid words this month and completed some work that I enjoyed. These included:

· Stand Against the Darkness (Poem)

· Bye Bye to My Beard (Poem)

· Green Mountain Mead: Q&A with Groennfell Meadery (Feature)

As for my goals for next month… I’m going to take March as a learning experience and not make any promises! That said, I’m going to continue charging ahead with The Useless Cleric. I also have a few more poems in mind and some seeds for features/opinion pieces I want to explore.

Announcing “Simple Tales”

This is a placeholder image I threw together in five minutes so I'd have something to break up the wall of text. 

One project I do want to discuss is Simple Tales. From the get-go, one of my plans has been to put together collections of the poetry I’ve been writing into self-published collections.

Simple Tales will be the first of these! Designed to be an all-ages collection, it will include poems like Gorgon’s Breath and The Magic Sword, among others. I have a cover in the works and I’ll be coordinating with an editor (my brilliant wife Amanda!) to look for any potential areas for improvement.

The whole thing should be between 30-40 pages in total, and I plan to make it available on Amazon, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited as both a physical book and an eBook. I’ll be sure to share as updates are available.

What I’ve Been Reading/Playing/Listening To

I’ve decided to steal a page out of other newsletters I’ve been looking at (imitation best form of flattery, yadda yadda) and share a bit of what I’m doing outside of writing.

On the book front, I’m currently working my way through A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander book six) by Diana Gabaldon and Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Time-travelling bodice ripper or creepy gothic period piece? Take your pick!

Amanda and I have been reading Gabaldon’s Outlander books together for years, though usually only taking one on every now and then. They’re enormous books and major time investments, especially for me as I tend to read slowly. I am enjoying A Breath of Snow and Ashes, though, and look forward to seeing what happens with the series’ huge cast of time-travelling characters.

Mexican Gothic, meanwhile, is definitely living up to its reputation as a bit of a slow burn. I’m about a third of the way through and not even remotely sure where it’s going to go, but I’m kind of fine with that, too? It’s taking its time but it’s making good use of it. The atmosphere it’s building up is definitely in line with something you’d read in an Edgar Allen Poe story, only more modern in its delivery.

On the gaming front, I’m in the middle of a replay of Dragon Age: Origins. I’ve also started working my way through the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, which Amanda bought for me as a birthday gift. I am a longtime Final Fantasy fan, especially of these earlier games, so don’t be surprised if you see some Final Fantasy content rearing its head on here at some point. I have thoughts.

I was terrified of this fight when I was a kid playing the original 1990 NA release.

In terms of music, there’s always a lot that I’m bouncing between. The band I’ve coming back to the most this month, however, is probably Throne of Iron. A fantasy-themed metal band, they only have a few short albums released. It’s funny to say, but what I like most about them is how sorely unpolished they are.

I’ve been a longtime fan of subgenres like power metal, a.k.a. “really fast rock music that’s mostly about nerdy stuff.” One thing that’s been driving me away from that genre in recent-years, however, is how same-y it all tends to sound? Every band is blisteringly fast, every guitar solo is impressive, every singer sounds like he takes a kick to the groin before breakfast every day.

If the unbridled goofiness of this music video doesn't win you over, nothing will.

Throne of Iron covers similar subject matter, but they’re much more rough around the edges. The vocals, especially, aren’t what some might traditionally call “good.” It sounds like a pack of guys who just decided to start up a band one day and just decided at random that one of them would sing. (From what I understand, that’s not all that far from the truth.)

It think that limitations can make for interesting music, at times. When you set yourself to the task of making something with less, you’ll come up with a product a more technically skilled group wouldn’t. (It doesn’t hurt that all of their music is very tongue-in-cheek, which I really love.)


That's it for March folks! Thanks for following and for your continued support. I'm looking forward to (fingers crossed) warmer weather in April and maybe even writing outdoors again!