Happy August everyone! Welcome to the latest installment of The Plotstains Perspective. This one will be a little different than most. As you can tell, Shadows Rise, the subject matter of this series of articles, has been a little turbulent in terms of scheduling. As a result, both Shadows Rise chapters and Plotstains Perspective follow-ups have been less frequent. Instead of talking about what’s happening in the story today, I’m going to do my best to explain some of these behind the scenes complications.
Shadows Rise doesn’t have a massive fan base (admittedly, it might not have a fanbase at all), however, numbers in our analytics show that there are people reading our content. With chapter 2.10, we surpassed 6000 total chapters read on our Royal Road page, which is by far the most active out of all the places we post. Like any fanbase, there is an expectation that we as the publishers create for you. We like to believe we produce good quality storytelling on a twice-monthly basis. Recently, we haven’t been able to deliver either of those things.
As was mentioned in Blackbird’s Author’s Note last week, our promise of quality writing at a regular time has been lagging further and further behind. We made a choice, taking a much needed break as a way to help us recharge our batteries and get to working at the pace we’ve promised you. Please allow me a moment to explain why things have been slower over at Shadows Crew headquarters lately.
The foremost thing on my mind, as well as the world is, of course, Covid. I wrote in an earlier installment about a couple of the ways that I managed to keep myself sane through the beginning of this whole ordeal. And while they work, and I still recommend them, such things can only take you so far. Going such a long time without seeing many friends and families takes its toll on a person and the emotions that I felt working through these issues came to a head just around the time that we were posting 2.10. I’m lucky in that Canada has had it pretty easy when it comes to the virus. I don’t mean to sound like I’m better for living here, but my government has really done well to get this under control. In Ontario, there were less than 100 new reported cases over the last two days, which is great considering where we were at our worst.
Because of this continuing downward trend, I thought I could be able to see my family and friends. My mother’s birthday was on the 31st, so I was rather excited to be able to see her (and my dad, too, of course). I’d isolate myself for a couple of days and then go get tested just to be sure I didn’t have the virus. Then I’d go visit my family. After that, I’d visit my friends. This whole plan changed in an instant with another problem I’ve been having over the past few months: My new neighbour.
My new neighbour is a terrible person. I won’t go into much detail, but needless to say, he has some psychotic tendencies and anger issues. This is proven by the fact that I’ve had to call his landlord (also my landlord) on him twice because he had issues with me having my window open in my bedroom while I worked because he thought I was staring at him. He also has a tendency to piss off the other neighbours in the surrounding buildings, too. He’s just generally not a nice guy, so keep that in mind when I tell you this story.
For his own personal reasons, he needed to sublet his office space in his apartment. I don’t know why, but I imagine covid had made it difficult for him to pay his rent. I met his new roommate and she seemed nice enough. On the night before I was planning to go get tested, though, the annoying neighbour came to my door and asked if I and my roommate could help mediate a dispute between him and his roommate. I foolishly agreed and so we went and tried to solve this issue they were having. I wasn’t surprised when I got there and discovered that after a week of living with this dude, she wanted out. We settled some issues with rent payments and whatnot and then helped the girl pack her things to leave. She no longer felt safe living with him.
By this point, it was nearly 12am. She didn’t have a place to go and so we offered her our couch for the night. Well, there goes my plans to quarantine. You might not know this, but a test will always come back as negative if you’ve contracted Covid within the last 24 hours (please do your own research, though. This is what I found when conducting mine, but I’m no scientist). This would mean that I couldn’t see my parents, who I’d never risk transferring the virus to. Not only are they old, but my dad works at a long-term care home and I’d rather not be responsible for an outbreak happening at his workplace.
I waited another 24 hours and got myself tested. Considering the tests aren’t 100% accurate even after 24 hours, I decided that it’d be safer to skip my mother’s birthday and instead visit my friends. While they can still contract the virus, they’re far healthier and far less likely to be afflicted with complications due to the virus. I’ve just gotten home from their place, and will soon be seeing about quarantining and visiting my family, now.
This among many other strange stories have been going on in the background of my life over 2020. All of them have contributed to some dips in my mental health, which I’ve been mostly able to manage, but last month especially was a tough one. Now that I’ve gone to see my friends and will be seeing my family soon, too, I’m sure I’ll be back to normal.
A new energy has come over me and I’m ready to take on the rest of Shadows Rise: The Heart of the Forest. Hopefully, you are, too.
I’ll leave you all with a funny little picture where Blackbird and I realise that we’d both missed an important, but impossible to change detail about the last chapter. After all the headache that went into that chapter and how late it was, we both got a real good laugh out of this one.
For those of you who don't remember, Franklin should be too young to be at the after party.
This wasn’t a regular installment of The Plotstains Perspective by any means and if you aren’t a fan of it, sorry. I don’t mean for you all to be my therapist, and so the next installment will be exclusively about Shadows Rise.
Also, I’d really recommend that you check out our Patreon Page in the next couple of days. This past week has allowed me to think, and I’m planning on writing a special edition of The Plotstains Perspective all about how worldbuilding and how Blackbird and I collaborate on ideas surrounding Valcrest and the stories within. This, along with some new special bonuses which we have in the works will be available exclusively to our Patrons on Patreon, so please consider checking that out.
Until then, happy reading!