This is a bit of a farewell to CG, and an apology, and a thank you.
It's a farewell because my life has just taken one of those unexpected 90 degree turns: the print shop I worked at for 19 years just shut down, leaving me rather without a job. And I suddenly realized that I now have the opportunity to do what I have kinda always wanted to do: write fiction ... professionally ... support myself with it, if I can. I'll be starting cold in a new career, from zero. It means getting serious about writing. It means putting all my time & energy & heart into it. And it means giving up a lot of things that I used to spend my "leisure" time on ... programming, roleplaying games, artwork ... and artwork must include cartography. I will miss all of these things terribly, but they literally have no place in my new attitude.
It's an apology because I have one huge project here -- the map of the solar system -- that I am basically just gonna drop like a hot potato. I hate to do it, but I have dropped my bimonthly publication, Wayfarer, a victim of the new paradigm, and the solar system map was part of that. There's also the Woadsbury map, which you guys were awesome enough to give a monthly challenge award to, and which I said I was gonna keep working on. I really was gonna. Hmm. Sigh.
And it's a thank you because, in all honesty, this is just about the coolest bunch of people I have ever met. This forum is amazingly friendly and positive and supporting. Do you have any idea how rare that is in a web forum? And it's not just a bunch of people sitting around being friendly ... there's fantastic map art being created here, in great abundance, not to mention lots of really helpful tutorials. Warm-heartedness and content production: a one-two punch that makes this place five aces IMHO. I have been honored to associate with you guys, and I will miss this place horribly.
So, farewell! If I strike it rich with a book, and I need a map for it, I know where to come