News Update: Fireteam Freelance, Patreon, Parliament of Wizards, and Coronavirus

News post! All the news I’ve got for you this week! Or at least, today. Starting with Fireteam Freelance news!


Fireteam Freelance

So, it would seem that Fireteam Freelance is slowly but surely gaining momentum, especially with the launch of the second episode! Now, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news? There’s more coming, including this Saturday. The bad news? This Saturday’s update won’t be the next episode, but rather an interview interlude. There will be another episode soon, but I don’t want to promise anything yet. However, I did make a lot of bonus content in advance, so … Yeah, come Saturday there will be more content, just not episode three.

The next episode is titled Underground Orbit, by the way. But until then, how’d you all like Blackout? It ran a bit long, I think, but I was having so much fun with it I didn’t really mind. I hope you all had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. The power saw scene in particular …

Well, anyway, I hope you guys have enjoyed it. More is on the way! Now, next up, let’s talk about Patreon!


Patreon

So … it’s been a while since the Patreon Supporters got some bonus content. So yes, this weekend, on Saturday, there will be more coming. Rather than an interview excerpt, they’ll be getting a whole interview. Obviously, this will be spoilers for a later interlude, but that’s kind of the bonus of being a Patreon Supporter, right?

In fact, I’ve got enough bonus material sitting around that I’ll probably drop something next Saturday as well. What I won’t yet say at this juncture, but that’s two pieces of bonus supporter content in as many weeks, so hey that’s always a plus right?

As usual, each thing posted here on the site will get a blurb on Patreon too. But if you’re a supporter, keep your eyes open for those other posts!

And, of course, if you’d like to be a supporter (which helps keep the site ad-free and Being a Better Writer coming each Monday) then just click here!

Now then, with that said, let’s talk about Parliament of Wizards.


Parliament of Wizards

One of the reasons there is no episode of Fireteam this Saturday when I’d normally be well on my way to having one is because I’ve been hard at work on my entry for Parliament of Wizards.

I’m quite pleased with it, though after the draft is done I’ve already got a number of things I’m going to rework (specifically the intro, but a few other smaller spots as well) before I drop it on my Alpha and Beta team. That said, it’s coming together quite nicely, and I’m quite pleased with the direction it’s taken. I hope to finish the initial draft tomorrow, which means that within the week I’ll be back to work on Freelance, but I have enjoyed my time with this one.

Still haven’t titled it yet, though. But I will offer a few snippets of information about it. First, it’s set in the same universe as A Game of Stakes. Second, that’s the same universe that Axtara – Banking and Finance is set in. Lastly, the protagonist of this short is related to one of the characters in Axtara. Closely.

Anyway, it’s almost through the first draft. Alpha readers, get ready! It’ll be opening for your purview soon enough!

Now, onto the last bit of news for the day: The Coronavirus, or Covid-19. In two parts.

EDIT: In my sleep-deprived state (I wrote this post in the early hours of the morning), I accidentally mistook “Covid-19” for “Corvid-19” even after checking the official name, and didn’t catch it. This mistake has now been fixed.


Covid-19 – Part 1

Covid-19 personally sounds better, but then again I write Sci-Fi. Anyway, as many of you readers know, Covid-19 has officially been elevated to a global pandemic status by the WHO (World Health Organization). It’s something no one has antibodies too, spreads like mad, and induces critical issues in about 20% of the patients it infects, enough to send them to the hospital. The death rate being seven times that of the average flu is just a cherry on top (and as a note, that’s the low end of the reported death rates coming out of first world countries with this thing).

There is reason to be taking it seriously. Not panicking (that helps no one) but rational planning. Preparation. Consider your age. Whether or not you have conditions that might make it worse (like asthma). Plan ahead. Also, wash your hands. Don’t shake hands.

That said, today my life definitely got hit by the spreading effects of Covid-19. As many of you long-time readers know, I work a part-time job at a convention center. Which has, in a frankly astonishing fashion, continued to operate despite the looming specter of a pandemic (that then became one).

Well, until today when the state governor announced several immediate procedures going into effect to help slow the tide of Covid-19, including that mass gatherings in the state were now limited to 100 people.

I’m all for this. As pointed out, Covid-19 is probably going to infect everyone, as no one has any antibodies. It’s not a question of “will you” but when, so if any action can be taken to make the spread slow and not fast so that roughly 20% of Americans descend on hospitals badly unequipped for such an occurrence, then I’m all for that. It makes sense.

However, this is bad news for a convention center that sees events of hundreds and hundreds of people. Within minutes of the news breaking people were asking questions. One hour later?

Empty building. All events postponed.

Again, good for health.

Not so good for hours though. As of right now, I have no idea what’s going to happen. Well, outside of that the overnight security shifts I’d signed up for next week no longer exist. That was confirmed, because the events won’t exist.

What this means for my paycheck, I don’t know. At all. I’ll likely find out over the next few days, but right now it’s very up in the air. EDIT: As of right now, I’ve been told that there are no shifts for the foreseeable future. No work, the building is closed, full stop. No hours, no pay.

Sands.

Alarming? Yes, a little. I still do count on that portion of my income. If there’s no work for weeks (or worryingly longer if this pandemic continues), well … That ain’t good.

I’m all for the safety measures, and I get it, but it does leave some questions about what’ll happen next.

I know I’m not the only one. A lot of people are going to be looking at their jobs over the next few weeks and wondering “Hey, if we get closed for the coronavirus, either quarantined or because we can’t operate, what happens to me?”

Nope. I don’t have an answer. But I do have an upside, so go to Part 2.

Covid-19 – Part 2

So yeah, mass gatherings being closed down, people going into quarantine … How could there be an upside to this?

Well, there are a few upsides that some have already found. Mass pushes to get as many people working from home as possible with jobs that could have done so a decade or more ago. I know several people already working from home, who admittedly could have been doing it for years, but weren’t allowed to until now. That’s a lot of saved driving time, carbon emissions, electricity … Yeah, the list goes on.

And (this is a plus or minus depending on who you ask) automation is going to get a great kick out of this one. Because guess what factories will stay running because they employ fewer than a hundred people (often only a dozen)? That’s right, the ones that are all robots.

Anyway, I don’t want to dive into that right now, just point it out. No, what I really want to dive into is the fact that so many people are going to be stuck at home for the foreseeable future. And you know what that’s good for?

Books.

Yeah. Reading. Lots of it. Which means acquiring books. And if you don’t want to leave your house (or can’t) you know what a real winner is?

If you guessed “The ebook you can read on your phone, laptop, tablet, PC, etc” then you’re spot on.

Sure there are shows and games, and I’m sure those will do great during this whole pandemic too. But books are entertainment along with those. And I’m betting there are about to be a LOT of readers looking for new books.

And hey, I happen to have a whole slew of great books to grab. Will there be a future post on this? Yes, yes there will be.

Speaking of which, word of mouth is the best advertising there is. If you know of someone already bored by Covid-19, why not throw a book at them? You know what I mean.

So while things with my part-time are shaky right now, at least my book sales have been staying pretty steady and might even see a nice bump. After all, if you’re stuck inside for a few weeks, a book can take you out! To Idrim, Pisces, and beyond!


All right, that’s all the news for now, people! I’ve got work to do! I’ll see you tomorrow for more Freelance!

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