Week 796

What’s this? I’m blogging about my work on a weekly basis – a simple way to track and archive whatever it is I spend my time on.

Last week a friend of mine went on vacation, and I got to borrow his rather awesome car. I’m not a cars guy, although I did like figuring out the maximum speed of my tiny red Hyundai Atos on the Autobahn (it was insane!), and if I suddenly got a lot of money, I would probably spend a bunch of it on a Tesla. Still, I don’t really know what kind of car I drove in last week, other than that it was an Audi, and that it was very hi-tech.

In fact, it was so hi-tech that I found it almost impossible to turn off the radio. It was so hi-tech (and smooth like butter) that afterwards, my Atos felt like a cast iron machine from forgotten times. Think: Wall-E versus Eve.

Either way, on Tuesday I decided to submerge myself in nature. I drove to the foresty Utrecht Hill Ridge area, asking the GPS to avoid highways. Driving along provincial roads in my silver miracle vehicle, I felt like the star in a slick car commercial. I googled for restaurants in the middle of the woods, and tinkered with the outline for my next novel all day. (I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks, and it’s currently my favorite thing to work on.)

I also took a couple of walks and had a pancake with lots of vegetables for lunch. In all, it was a very relaxing day, only slightly spoiled by the traffic jam I ended up in for over two hours on my way back home.

Later in the week, I got some bad news. The Creative Industries Fund NL had decided not to give me a grant for my Ninja Girl project, an innovative iPad novel for which Toiletten was a design exploration.

The Dutch Foundation for Literature has given me 10.000 euros for this project before, but I can’t get started until I find co-financing. So this is a huge setback, that completely changes how I’ll spend the coming summer.

Some observations about receiving this information:

That said, I’m now actively on the lookout for co-financing for an exciting digital literature project again. Get in touch if you have any leads!

Weird timing: last week culture and media editor Joost van Velzen at newspaper Trouw published an interview with me, focusing on this project. If anything, it’s another reason to make sure that Ninja Girl actually happens.

What else went on last week? My article on game-making AI Angelina, by Michael Cook, was printed in NRC Handelsblad on Tuesday. I played some more Mercenary Kings, and wrote about it. My short review appeared alongside Stefan Keerssemeeckers’ piece on Goat Simulator in nrc.next on Thursday.

I also went to RIVM on Thursday, to check out the progress on a project I consulted on, an applied game that’s currently being developed by Ranj.