April has been a deceptively busy month on the Side Quest front!

I published several items I was happy with. This included a feature piece I’d been thinking about since before this little newsletter project began. Very pleased to have that one written and out there.

The month’s posts included:

· Dungeon Delving (Poem)

· The Useless Cleric, Chapter 2 (Fiction)

· Memories of a Castle (Poem)

· Cease & Desist: Nintendo, the Games Industry, and the Practice of Shutting Down Fans (Feature)

Simple Tales Update!

The Simple Tales cover by Carolyn Smith

What really made this month a busy one was the work I put into assembling Simple Tales. On paper, it sounds simple, you just take stuff you’ve already written, take those cool illustrations that have already been drawn, and toss them together into a book.

It’s honestly a huge pain in the butt. Formatting and working through the Kindle Direct Publishing process is frustrating as heck. There were more than a few evenings, after the kids went to bed, where I spent hours fiddling with details until things finally fit. (I think I’m going to be hiring help next time. . .)

I’m so glad that it’s finally over! I’m also glad to confirm that Simple Tales will be live and available for purchase sometimes in the next few days. I’m waiting for a physical copy to arrive to make sure there’s no issues, and then I’ll write up another post letting all you fine folks know it’s ready.

What’s Coming in May?

Expect May to be a slower month, overall. There are two poetry concepts I’m exploring and fleshing out, but I really want to focus on doing more work on The Useless Cleric. A new chapter before June. Maybe even two. A man can dream.

What I’ve Been Reading/Playing/Listening To

I’m still working my way through Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, Book Six). Expect that to be the status quo for a bit. The books in this series are tomes and they take me a while. I swear it’s the small print. I had to buy a magnify glass to read my copy.

I did wrap up Mexican Gothic, however, and started in on two more books. The first, which I burned through in the space of a few days, was Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree. If you’re looking for a warm and fuzzy joy. It follows the trials of an Orc warrior who decides to hang up her sword and open a coffee shop. It’s a lot of fun and I’d really recommend it.

The other book, which I’ve just started, is Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica. From what I’ve been told, this book is good and gripping, but in that special way that leaves you haunted afterward. I’m looking forward to digging into!

Warm and fuzzy high fantasy or cannibalism? 

My gaming habits haven’t changed much this month, but I did finally wrap up a TV series I’ve been slowly working through over the past few years: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. I’ve watched an episode here and there for awhile now, but I finally reached the end.

I don’t watch a lot of anime, but I’ve loved Gundam for years (god, decades!) now. The franchise can be very up and down when it comes to quality. Iron-Blooded Orphans is one of the good ones. It was a slow burn at points, but I was surprised by how affecting it wound up being. If you’re looking for two seasons of exploding giant robots with plenty of drama and political commentary, this is a solid pick.

The robots blow up good.

On the music front? The band that’s spent the most time in my ears is Knight & Gallow. I stumbled onto their EP back in 2021, but they released a full album this month and it’s really good. Their songs are fast-paced, don’t overstay their welcome, and cover everything from Lord of the Rings to magic swords, Viking raids, and Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Tales. Check it out:

Blood of Wolves by Knight & Gallow