"Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we'll never use." - Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist

That summer went by fast! 

While I was busy taking an unplanned hiatus from Symbiartic, our blog, as well as the whole Scientific American blog network, quietly passed our 5th anniversary in July. (All the high fives for my co-bloggers Kalliopi and Katie!) That's pretty huge in blog-years, especially since media expert types keep telling everyone blogging is dead. Blogging isn't dead; anyone who follows either the world of visual art or the world of science know that blogging is alive and well, and both of those industries tend to to be ahead of the curve, not behind it.  

Perhaps amateur blogging is more rare. Or more likely, we hear about network and big-name blogs more easily due to how we structure our Twitter feeds and how we are fed shared news within Facebook's walled garden. 

Blogging is still here. Heck, 9 years after starting The Flying Trilobite blog, I'm still posting there irregularly, while writing professionally here on Symbiartic, and my duties as social media manager (including blog writer) at INVIVO Communications have increased. That's 3 blogs, two of which I'm paid to write. 

So where was I all summer? My family and I had a chance to move our kids closer to their school, into a new and gorgeous apartment in Toronto's Little Italy. There's an appallingly huge backyard and we live at ground level, two things we didn't have before. We can wake up with the sun, and take the boys out to inspect the salsa garden my wife planted. It's awesome. Packing, unpacking, and balancing unexpected challenges at my full time job along with catching up on my freelance work led to a quiet summer on the blog front. 

I'm back and with renewed vigour; I've often said that everything positive that has happened in my professional life has stemmed from blogging and I'm excited about some new directions for my contributions here on Symbiartic. 

Here are a few things you can expect: 

  • The Return of the SciArt Scumbles - my monthly roundup of interesting links that include a featured work of art! Bringing this back.
  • Video games, VR, and AR - with my co-bloggers' and editor's blessing, I'm going to venture into gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality from time to time. New art forms creating new intersections with science need to be explored! 
  • Science fiction and sciart geekery - I've occasionally touched on my love for comics, SF, and pop culture; let's do more of that. 
  • New agreement with artists we feature - although artists we interview or events we profile on our blog are not paid, Scientific American's editors have revamped and ramped up the agreement we make with anyone whose images we use across the whole network. It's really heartening that the team takes respect for artists and photographers so seriously. So if I've featured your work before, instead of my self-scripted bullet points about what being shown in Symbiartic means, expect a more formal email if I do so again. Really happy about this. 
  • More media and original work by yours truly - Periscope! Instagram Stories! Vine! There are a lot of new ways for artists to share their work, and I'll feature my own in-progress Neolithic scratching alongside the pros in our field. 

The best blogs have variety, even while maintaining a focus on a specific topic. I want to switch over to gears I don't usually use, while still zipping downhill sometimes in the gears I love. 

Header image of bike gears by the author.