The festive season is upon us and I want to wish you all a happy holiday season. Happy (belated) Hanukkah to my Jewish friends, Merry Christmas and happy New Year to almost everyone (except perhaps my Jehovah's Witness friends, to whom I wish... ummm... warm tidings for the wintery months), and a Joyous Yuletide for all of my friends (possibly none of you) who have previously cheered on my posts about Woden.
|The Wild Hunt... a Yuletide Tradition
No More FacebookMany of you have said that you've missed me and my updates on social media. I have missed you, but I have not missed the medium. Meanwhile, I've been trying to get on top of my life and my passions and into a place where I can be more comfortable and more content. I have not been 100% absent from Facebook, however.
I've continued to maintain two pages: First a page for my company Data Sage...
Data Sage Advanced Automation
And a page for my former Paris apartment: which may become a fashion house one day...
Le Palais de Chevalier Robyn
And of course, you can contact me (if you're my friend already), on messenger.
Will I ever return to FB? I honestly thought my departure wouldn't extend more than a week. I'm not expecting to return, though I'll keep my messenger account active for the foreseeable future.
|So long, Zuckerberg!
Paris Exile and Gabriola IslandEarlier this year, my larger clients either ran out of money or switched to other vendors or otherwise chose another direction in their software universe. Since my entire living in the past 25 years has come from creating custom software for clients, I'll leave it for you to imagine how much I bring in with zero active clients. Think of a number between 1 and -1.
Only entrepreneurs go from major income to zero income. Yes, I had savings to shield the blow from this, but no I did not have enough savings to a) live in Paris indefinitely and b) face down an total cessation of my paid work.
I retreated to Gabriola Island, where my family (my mom, an aunt, two uncles and five cousins) has been calling the place home for nearly 50 years. My mother has become the matriarch of our clan, having taken the mantle from her mother, who took the prize from her mother before her. The end result (for me) is that Gabriola is a place where I can convalesce and shore up my business contracts while spending very, very little money.
A wrinkle in this convalescing plan is that my mom has been having health issues and my own situation is not the main focus of the family. It's probably fortunate that circumstance forced be back to Gabriola as I believe that I may have had a positive effect on my mom's health, which was in a scary decline in my absence.
|Malespina Galleries on Gabriola Island
Serving Two MastersI've been wanting to shift the way I make my living for a long time now. For the past very long time, I have been making custom software for clients. To do this, I write a contract where I sell my time. I would prefer to write contracts where I sell (or license) software. To accomplish this shift, I'll need some commercial software to sell... and to this end I've been writing some... and I've been taking my time to do it.
What am I working on specifically? Glad you asked. I've been creating business productivity software that has a social-media style interface. I call it Oi! I had the idea some 5 years ago. It will, I'm certain be a very fun product. Using Oi!, working with co-workers and clients on a project would be a lot like goofing around with them on Facebook, except that work would actually get done.
Meanwhile, I continue to look for work in the old fashioned way. I NEED work. If you need a system or know anyone who needs new business software or old business software in need of an upgrade, do let me know.
CoutureMost of you have watched me start with a simple dress to become somewhat of a dressmaker. I've since improved my skills as a dressmaker and finally... I might be becoming a tailor. Tailoring is the most involved set of skills in the sewing world. I've entered the tailoring world with my first man's jacket. Is it cool? Fuck yes. Is it perfect? God no. I have a lot to learn, really... a lot, but so far, I'm happy with the results.
|This Chevalier is ready for action!
Will I become a tailor or couturier one day? It's not entirely likely, but I am certainly getting a lot better at sewing. Here's a dress I've been working on for Venice Carnival (?) or possibly the Bal Masque de Versailles..
|Instant awesomeness: Just add princess.
ParisI hope to return in the new year. My ability to return will depend a lot on contracts. I don't want to take a job there and ... honestly, it's hard enough finding a good paying job in Canada. I'll have the Dickens of a time in France with my terrible French and penchant for self-employment. So I'll only return if my contracts make it viable.
That may mean a plan, yes an actual plan, to spend time in Victoria or Vancouver until I have a Paris war chest built up. Nonetheless, I will return to Paris eventually. I love the city. I love how I feel when I'm there. And there are some people there who I care for very deeply. More love. Paris feels like home to me. It may take some time, but that's where I'm ultimately expecting to be.
So that's more than you need to read about me. Message me on FB messenger... or whatsApp or call me on the good ol' telephone... if you have a telephone app for your phone. I will drop *anything* to catch up.
Your friend and adventurer,