Hello from Athens!

Don’t worry, I’m not vanishing into an archaeological dig for a month; I’m just here for a week to attend a top-secret cool-kids-only seminar on ancient glass, my speciality (and, uh, take some photos of the Arch of Hadrian to catch some angles I missed the last time I was here). It’ll be a bit of a slow week on account of the program being fairly intense, but I’m still aiming to get my next Pokémon review (Celesteela) written and posted in accordance with the 10-day schedule I seem to have adopted. So, speaking of that… it seems to be working well? I’m posting things consistently (3 Ultra Beast reviews in March), I’m answering questions (14 over the course of the month), I made a ridiculous cake that people seemed to like, and… well, to be honest I don’t really know what all the numbers on my stats page mean, but the ones for March are the biggest yet, by a fairly impressive margin (more than double those for January), and we seem to be getting more people coming in through links on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc – so, to anyone who’s shared any of my writing over the past month, thanks, and keep doing what you’re doing! And, y’know, keep the questions coming; I know I whine about the difficult ones sometimes but interesting questions are kinda this blog’s lifeblood in a lot of ways, and I literally couldn’t do this without you.

Special thanks are due as always to my Patreon supporters, James Crooks, hugh_donnetono and Esserise, whose contributions pay for the upkeep of this WordPress site. If you enjoy my writing, want to see more of it and have exactly $US 1 too much money per month, consider clicking that link at the top of the page to browse the perks I currently have on offer for my patrons. At the moment, all proceeds will go towards upgrading my WordPress plan so the site can do more interesting and flexible things. Anyway, I should get back to doing glass stuff – until next time!

Patreon milestone reached!

Just wanted to make a quick announcement: thanks to my first three Patreon supporters, we have reached our first (admittedly modest) funding goal: breaking even on the $5/month cost of hosting the blog on WordPress! Having apparently chosen just the right moment to jump ship from the godawful $#!tstorm that Tumblr, deep down, has really always been but has only now allowed itself to fully become, it’s fantastic to have secured the continued maintenance of the site for the future. It’s a great start for the first couple of weeks – so thank you to my patrons!

My next Patreon goal is to hit $10 per month. This is roughly the cost of a WordPress Premium plan, which (among other sundry minor features) will let me customise the site a bit more with CSS editing. Frankly I’m not sure why CSS editing is a premium feature, but it’s necessary for pretty much any meaningful deviation from the basic site themes offered by WordPress. There are loftier goals as well, but one thing at a time.

If this is something you might be interested in being a part of, then please consider becoming a Pokémaniacal Patreon supporter (see the site navigation links below the header). Patrons get special perks based on their level of contribution – from voting on my next projects to behind-the-scenes access to the work that Jim the Editor and I put into all my posts – and tiers start at just US$1 per month.

Anyway, that’s enough of that – we now return you to your regularly scheduled nonsense.

Patreon launch!

I have a Patreon page now! So… that’s a thing!

Patreon, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a platform that allows creative types (writers, artists, Youtubers, whatever) to accept regular donations from fans who think their work is worthy of financial support and want it to continue. In return, most people offer perks to their donors, usually in the form of public acknowledgements and shoutouts, or “backstage access” to some element of the creative process – I have plans for both of these, and you can see details on the page itself. A lot of Youtubers survive off Patreon money, especially since the “adpocalypse” that made it much harder to live on ad revenue alone without sacrificing creative freedom. I use Patreon to support a bunch of plucky Texan kids who make sketch comedy, because THAT IS WHAT I BELIEVE THE WORLD NEEDS RIGHT NOW, DAMN IT

For the moment this is very much a “give me a small tip if you think my work deserves it” thing – I’m not looking to make a living here (or at least, not yet?). Even if only five people give me $1/month each, well, that’s enough to pay WordPress for hosting the blog and being marginally less terrible than Tumblr. If we get to $10/month, I can upgrade to WordPress Premium, or even WordPress Business at $30/month, and get some meaningful customisation (why is CSS editing a premium feature? It’s not that complex!). Beyond that… well, beyond that I haven’t really figured it out yet, but if I’m going to discuss and review the next generation of Pokémon games then at some point I’ll need to buy a Nintendo Switch, and any contributions towards that, even if they don’t cover the full cost, will make the next year of my life a lot easier.

My continued work on this blog is not in any way contingent on getting Patreon money – I’ve been doing this for almost eight years with no financial incentives, and I am damn well going to continue lurching onward into Pokémon’s nightmarish dark future for as long as it takes to heal the insanity that these games have wrought upon my fractured soul (which might as well be forever). But it would certainly be nice to get something back; maybe knowing that I’m receiving support from readers will even make me more honest about posting regularly. And if this goes really well, who knows? Maybe I don’t want to be an academic forever. Maybe a humble(…ish) Pokémon blog is worth trying to build into something bigger. But we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.

Blog Status: Normal??

We haven’t talked in a while.  We should do that.

I spent most of the last year in Greece, participating in an intensive study program for PhD students in classical studies that takes us to archaeological sites all over the country and gives us opportunities for “backstage access” that would be impossible for almost anyone else (culminating in the incredible opportunity to spend three nights on the holy island of Delos – since there’s no modern town on Delos, any normal group would have to take the afternoon ferry back to Mykonos every day).  A priceless experience that I wouldn’t trade for almost anything, but… less than ideal for blog productivity, I have to admit.  Continue reading “Blog Status: Normal??”