Every so often, I get questions about the status of Book 6, the companion volume for Into the Unknown. I've mostly said "still in the works", sometimes with quarterly estimates that haven't held up. Thank god I never kickstarted this
So, what has been the hold up?
I feel like at this stage, I might as well give a proper explanation. Basically, for the past 3 years, I've been sick from a tick bite that the doctors weren't able to diagnose. Antibiotics didn't work. For a few months, I could barely walk more than 50m without a break. Getting up the stairs to the 1st floor of my apartment was a struggle. Couldn't even watch a movie or read a book as my mind was so foggy, I couldn't follow the plot.
Things got a bit better after about 3 months, once I started herbal treatment. I was able to push Into the Unknown out the door because I had the vast majority of the work already done and I was lying home sick every day anyway, so even though I was very reduced in functionality, the sheer amount of time on my hands allowed me to finish.
The I started work part time. And life ever since has basically just been about getting through each week. And on the side, trying to finish my psychotherapy studies I had started the year before and making sure my relationship didn't fall apart. Friends, family etc were all put on the backburner.
I've sat down with the Companion every so often, but getting through those time consuming work periods to see it done has simply not been possible. I could process a bit of creativity, but all the grunt work of writing, calculating, balancing, etc. was just not doable with the level of mindfog I've been living with. What energy I had for those things I've had to devote to my workplace.
I didn't communicate this clearly at the time, because it was a struggle for me to accept that I was not able to do it. I kept wanting to and found my body and mind just falling short.
So where am I now? Well, I was diagnosed back in June at a specialist clinic. It was borrelia all along, just a type they didn't test for originally. Completed 8 weeks of antibiotics in august. This month I am going to the clinic again for some quite advanced treatment that should hopefully finish the job. But it's not an overnight thing. 3 years of sickness takes a toll on the body and I can't expect to be fully functional for at least 4 months, assuming it is a complete recovery.
That said, I am doing a lot better just from the antibiotics already. And I am finishing my studies this month as well! Which means time and hopefully a lot more energy should be freeing up in the near future.
I am not going to tell you that I will have it pushed it soon after that. My backlog in life has accumulated a fair bit over the past 3 years. And we're buying a house on top. But I am pretty psyched about what I am able to do again already on a weekly basis.
And finishing the Companion is, unlike many other projects that become a millstone round the neck after too much delay, something I am genuinely looking forward to completing. It will be a nice confirmation of re-entry into a more active life when it's done.
And I am genuinely excited about the content as well. I think it will be a high level guide unlike most others in the end, whilst still remaining true to the B/X spirit and ItU toolkit.
What does that mean for the timeline? It means it is back on my horizon of projects I want to pursue again at a time where time and energy is freeing up. So in whatever amount of time it takes to finish it in those circumstances.
Here's the cover, btw. I think it sets the tone well.