April 2020: Life in Lockdown

[This post was scheduled for March 31st, but website issues meant I couldn’t post it! Better late than never…]

Hey everybody,

It’s amazing how much can change in a month. Since last month’s update, the lockdown has grown to encompass every part of the country, and my free time (and creativity) has been swallowed up now that I’ve been sent all the equipment to work from home. I’ll be honest, it’s mentally draining being stuck inside the whole time – I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on most things.

Record for this month:
*Not a single, solitary page written

I’m trying to remind myself not to feel bad about that – I’ve been doing a lot of hustling and extra work around the Kickstarter campaign (more on that shortly) so it’s not as though I’ve been completely stagnant, but it really is a struggle to work up the motivation to write. The home-working setup has cannibalised the monitor/keyboard/mouse of my studio PC, and unplugging everything post-5pm (then plugging it all back in the following morning) seems like too much effort, so I’ve ended up saving project work for the weekends when I feel like I can muster the energy. It’s a weird and challenging time for all of us, so I’m trying not to be too negative (or dwell on the social media updates of friends and peers who seem to be thriving!)

As mentioned above, The Black Rubric Kickstarter has been running this month, and it’s honestly been a runaway success – the campaign just finished and we raised a stunning 270% of the goal for a total of £1802. I’m blown away by the number of people who are into the idea, and now we get to the fun part of the campaign (sending out comics and other rewards!) Since we made it through all of our stretch goals, we’re also doing band t-shirts and patches, and I’ll be sending out download codes for a 4-track demo of songs by the band – I’m looking forward to seeing what people think!

This month’s playlist starts off with an appropriately-titled track by one of my favourite bands, Ayreon (the brainchild of Dutch multi-instrumentalist and prog songwriter extraordinaire) – this was the first song of theirs I heard and it’s an all-time fave! From there, we’ve a couple of instrumental tracks by Astral Bodies and Sidewalks and Skeletons, then some heavy (heavy) metal courtesy of Ignea and Knight of the Round (I’ve been playing the Final Fantasy VII Remake a lot this month!) A couple of more avant-garde black metal tracks from Secrets of the Moon and Liturgy are a nod to the Black Rubric campaign, then the playlist closes out with some Canadian rock from The Tragically Hip, an obscure acoustic Agalloch track and the tranquil Vinter from Myrkur’s beautiful album Folkesange.

Hope you enjoy the tunes! See you next month – we’ll get through this together (as long as we stay indoors and continue to flatten the curve…)

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