created on 2022-01-17, updated on 2022-03-31

Here’s a sampling of what I’m into. I tend to enjoy my hobbies and interests alone rather than being involved in a community or fandom for reasons that are most likely of no interest to anybody but my shrink.

I’m fairly voracious in my reading, and regularly read non-fiction to expland my knowledge and stay current. However, I tend to read fiction for pleasure, and my recreational reading is mostly science fiction and fantasy. Given that I also write sf, my recreational reading is not as purely recreational as one might expect. My favorite authors include Michael Moorcock, C. L. Moore, Roger Zelazny, C. J. Cherryh, M. John Harrison, Jacqueline Carey, Glen Cook, and Catherynne M. Valente.
I’m a long-haired metalhead, but I try not to be close-minded about it. I tend to go for melodic and technical bands, and have a taste for metal bands with female vocalists that I blame on my late father playing his Renaissance albums when I was little. My favorite bands and artists include Blue Öyster Cult, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche, Therion, Tarja Turunen, Janelle Monae, Hiromi Uehara, Orphaned Land, Smoulder, Thank You Scientist, Frank Zappa and the Mothers, Edguy, and Blind Guardian.
As mentioned before, I write sf. In particular, I write a gonzo science fantasy saga calle d Starbreaker, from which I get my pseudonym. I’ve been writing since 1996, and during the 2010s I managed to get some work published through a small press. All of that is out of print now, and that publisher is defunct, but I’m still here writing. I’ve been promoted from professional to hobbyist, you see.
fountain pens (figure 1)
It recently occurred to me that Mark Pilgrim had the right idea, and it was time I found a hobby that didn’t involve angle brackets, computers, or electricity. It had also occurred to me that if I was that worried about being distracted by the internet while writing then maybe I shouldn’t be using a computer at all. Of course, mechanical typewriters are heavy and it’s hard to maintain them if you don’t live near a repair shop and don’t know how to fix them yourself. But fountain pens are much more portable, much simpler, much cheaper, and new ones still get manufactured today. Despite being left-handed I’ve come to enjoy scribbling away. I’ve got a few different fountain pens, and use Pilot’s Iroshizuku ink to write in Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.
  • a black Pilot Metropolitan with a medium steel nib (my first pen)
  • a white Platinum Procyon with a fine steel nib (my current favorite)
  • a white Lamy Safari with red trim and a fine steel nib (loaded with red ink for revisions and comments)
  • a blue Moonman M2 with a fine gold-plated steel nib (my backup)
secondhand computer salvage
The first computer I ever owned was a secondhand IBM PS/ValuePoint that I bought for $50 when I was 18. Since it didn’t have anything installed but PC-DOS 6.0, I eventually installed Red Hat Linux 5.2 on it — but not before writing my second novella using the built-in editor. It wasn’t easy, but it was my first Linux, I managed it entirely on my own without help from a local LUG, and it started a habit of running GNU/Linux and BSD on secondhand computers for personal use that lasted over twenty years. It sometimes amuses me to tinker with an old computer and get it running a Unix-like OS on a dull weekend when I have nothing pressing to do and don’t feel like gaming. Sometimes I help neighbors get a couple more years out of their old computers, and the background in Unix-like systems and shell scripting has served me well at my day job and while running my own website.
I’ve had my own website in one form or another since I first got onto the internet at college in 1996. Most of the sites I’ve made are gone, and while I still have a lot of the stuff I’ve put on those sites stashed away most of it isn’t relevant any longer and thus not worth posting on my latest website (this one). While I never really got into 1990s Geocities-style web design and prefer to party like it’s 1989 by rocking the CERN aesthetic, I’m glad people still enjoy making colorful sites with lots of flashy graphics because corporate web design blows.
mechanical typewriters (figure 2)
This is another writing-adjacent hobby that doesn’t involve angle brackets, computers, or electricity. A few years ago I bought this hulking beast of an Underwood mechanical typewriter at an auction with my parents, back when I still had a cordial relationship with them. It took a while, but I eventually found a shop capable of restoring it to working condition. I probably could have fixed most of it myself, but some of the problems required more than a steady hand and a screwdriver. I mainly use it to type up grocery lists, but I also like to rough out ideas for stories with it. I’ll eventually need a filing cabinet to stash the resulting paper, though. =^.^=
When I’m too tired to be creative but too wired to sleep I tend to play video games. I mainly play Japanese RPGs — especially if they’re dungeon crawlers or tactical RPGs — but I also enjoy action-adventure titles, action-RPGs like Elden Ring, roguelikes like Nethack and Hades, and the occasional third-person shooter. PlayStation users can find me as EddieVanHelsing. When I’m feeling sociable, I play Final Fantasy XIV, but otherwise I prefer the single-player experience. If you also play FFXIV, I’m Lily Cooper on Diabolos. I’m a healer main, so hit me up if you need a revival.

a quickie photo of my fountain pens
my small collection of fountain pens as of 2022
a quickie photo of my typewriter
an Underwood mechanical typewriter from the late 1940s restored for use in 2022