Atque Vale Avenue, Chicago Now

If you’ve been reading this Chicago Now blog for a while, you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted since January. There’s a story behind why I’ve been absent, and why I’m moving on.

In February, as my mother’s caregiver, I saw that she was in so much pain that she was bedridden. Initially hospitalized, she was then referred to various establishments. She finally died in April, a few days before Easter Sunday. Since then, I have been coping with grief, adjusting to a “new normal” and engaging with appropriate external resources to deal with the anxiety and depression that comes with bereavement of a loved one.

My Mother (circa 2010)

(The other important factor is that around the same time I started a six-month contract position. independent marketing consultant, it helped me to have a job that allowed me to focus and structure myself during this period. Although this contract ended recently, I am extremely grateful that my colleagues and teammates were very understanding. Thanks to this position and wise savings, I am in a good position to look for work during my bereavement).

However, the other issue is that I heard through informal channels that Chicago Now, as a platform, was going to fold. In 2019, the Alden Group bought the Chicago Tribune, with Chicago Now in relative limbo. As a blogger for the platform since 2012 (starting with stalker), there is a bit of melancholy in this folding, especially since…

I have to say this with diplomacy and tact, but I feel less connected with the Chicago Now blogging community. Over the past few years (especially since COVID), my experience has gone from feeling part of a healthy, vibrant community to feeling disconnected and out of place. A quick example: I asked for advice on a technical question only to have someone I don’t know tell me how I “shouldn’t” trust it. When I asked again a few months later – to someone who might have this information – I was informed that they “didn’t know”.

A great resource on coping with grief

But it’s not about snarking – it’s about the future. As someone who is both a professional writer and Author New Pulp, I want to streamline the two efforts. This means working through the emotional aftermath of grief (I highly recommend reading It’s OK that you’re not OK (unaffiliated link) to those who are grieving and friends/family of those people) as well as stepping away and focusing my efforts on those goals.

Part of that will be exporting and archiving this blog to another WordPress site (work is progressing slowly, but surely). Much of my current blog will consist of providing both contributor-only content and public content on my patreon site. (If you want to financially support a creator, you can subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis). But for now, I’m focusing on moving forward to recover from a loss. You are always welcome to Email me with questions, concerns or thoughts.

I don’t know how to end this blog post articulately. After all, Chicago Now has been an important and essential part of my writing career. However, I think this speech from one of my favorite TV shows sums it up better than I could:

Ave atque vale, Chicago now. It’s been awesome.

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