no science, but im still alive

I haven’t caught the ‘Rona yet, hopefully I won’t. I’ve been working from home for the last few months, although I did go out of the country at the end of Feb. I finally got to scratch something off my bucket list, which was awesome. Went to Ireland. It was beautiful. Except for the hurricane. lol. My curse struck again.

I really want to go to the beach again this year, though, so hopefully things calm down. If not, I’ll just go sit in a kiddy pool in the back yard like a beached whale. :) Its not the same, but its at least sunlight in water without the crowds.

I’m going to make an attempt to finish writing Shaxia. I’ve run into issues with how to continue torturing develop Vathion’s character in a believable way. Despite everything I do to him, I DO want him to recover and have a normal life, but… well, happy characters are not interesting characters. I need to finish other stories I’ve been working on too that I’ve been working on for a while. I’m just really slow at writing completed stories is all. sigh.

Successful

It’s always the stuff I didn’t get done that bothers me and gets me down. Usually when it involves chores. I try to remind myself of all the things I have accomplished, but … its hard.

However, I do have a lot of good things going for me. I’ve got nearly everything I’ve wanted out of life. I am grateful for the things, the friends and family, and the freedoms I’ve got. There are still things I want to improve, but mostly those are with myself. I want to lose some belly and butt. I want to remodel my master bath and closets. I want to go to other countries for vacations.

I also want to make Moirae Publishing a successful company. I suppose I should define for myself what “Successful” is though.

Successful = having a goal and achieving it. Setting challenges and meeting them.

But that would probably be personal success. I set a goal to get a good job and a house of my own, and other nice things. Then I went and got them.

Business success though? Maybe being able to have paid employees who do the work I’m doing now because the company is making enough money to cover it.

What are all the things I’m currently doing as an ‘employee’ of MP:

  • Looking for books to publish.
  • Formatting books for print and epub on Amazon/KDP, and Smashwords plus the extended distribution.
  • Commissioning/purchasing art for covers and promotional materials.
  • Purchasing inventory for MP vendor tables at conventions.
  • Arranging for vendor tables at conventions, including accommodations.
  • Motivating artists under MP umbrella to create promotional artwork and original artwork for sale at MP vendor tables and on website.
  • Commissioning marketing materials and posting them online.
  • Maintaining FB, Twitter, and other social media presence for MP.
  • Personally appearing at all MP events.

I should get together with a local bookstore and see if they want to do an event… or would like to be an outlet for our books. And other author books I get in cahoots with.

All I’ve Got Left

I’ve been doing a lot of stuff lately. Mostly around my house, trying to catch up with chores since being overwhelmed with the day job for the last month+… Went to Hama-con 10, did some exploration into FB market place and got some cool stuff. Got the back yard cut finally, but its going to get out of control pretty quick if I don’t get out there and do it.

I finished the artist contract for Moirae Publishing, so I can sell art by other artists. Also have some products available on the MP site to be purchased. I’ve started posting Foreseen Champion on my Patreon. Planning on rolling out 2 books for the April Huntsville Comic Expo next year for Moirae Publishing too: Totality 3, and book one of the Kara series. Additionally I’m working on getting the catalogue of MP books available on Smashwords. But that’s going to take a bit, since I have to completely reformat the manuscripts for that platform. yaaay…

I don’t have much to say past that, unfortunately. I’ve been busy, but it’s not been fun things.

I AM going to Galaxycon, Louisville KY, in November. I’ll be there with Randi Perrin once again! That’s about all I’ve got tho.

Post Hama-con Updates

I haven’t written in months. I’m genuinely sorry for that, but things have gotten so busy at my day job lately, then bad luck strikes at home; my AC died for the last month and then Hama-con and getting Totality 2 out. My yard has gotten over knee-height, so I’m going to have to find the time to put that back under control – hard to when any day I’ve got off lately, its been raining, or too hot to go outside at all. I’ve got a bunch of plants that need to be put in the ground still from this Spring, too… I just have no flowerbed in which to put them. Again, too hot to be out digging… or too wet. But now I’m borrowing my dad’s tiller and will be able to make flowerbed pretty quickly. The time consuming part will be spreading the mulch on it and putting the flowers in.

Since Hama-con has ended, I’ve been looking for new places to go that are local. I’ve got Huntsville Comic Expo lined up already (April 18-19, 2020). I’ll be going to Galaxy Con in Louisville KY in November (22-24, 2019). I don’t know what new release I’ll have available for that, but I do know I’ll be hanging out with the wonderful Randi Perrin again! I’m thinking I’ll have a sale on the old covers of my books, just to get rid of them. I’m tired of storing them, and the new covers Clockwork Joker made look really nice together. I’m almost out of book 1’s old cover, so I’ve just kept them as free copies to trade, but I’ve got a bunch of Phoenix Emperor and Symbol of Hope. Especially Phoenix Emperor. I had high hopes of selling out on that one when I ordered them. I’m learning to not order so many…

I’ve set up QR codes of the Natan Fleet Show so I can sell ebooks at my table! I’ll have the Totality series, Spar, and Touched by Death available soon. I need to do a little background stuff before that’s ready to go. I should probably make a flier for it or something… Clockwork Joker has been working on more fanart pieces to sell at the table too. I’m not really a big fan of selling fanart. Mostly because it’s very dodgy legality there. It’s making money off someone else’s intellectual property, but at the same time… it sells.

I’m working with Wayne on a project, it’s gonna be exciting! I haven’t sewn in a long time either, so I’ll have to refresh myself on it. In exchange, I’m getting Phyrra’s sword to go with the shield I’ve already got. I’ll need to revamp her armor though. My first attempt lasted long enough to do the photoshoot at AWA, but it fell apart and is now all flat in a bin somewhere. I’m only keeping it so I can make patterns out of the pieces for the next try. (I also need to lose some weight in order to fit into it again. Ugh. Why do anime girls have to be so SKINNY?)

Another project I’m working on is getting agreements with other authors on selling their books as an “affiliates” section of my table. Maybe if I get enough of those, I’ll open a roving bookstore in the dealer’s rooms at conventions. One day, I want to have a bookstore with a couple extra rooms for gaming and watching anime. I’ve got a location I really want to renovate in mind. I think it’s perfect. Especially if I’ve got a small coffee shop/bakery in it too. I already know who I’d hire to run things. I would just need the initial capital to set things up. But since I’m now over $5k in the hole from my AC unit replacement, that’s… even further out of reach. I still need to set up the heating option for my house, which will be some more money on top of everything else…

I did a panel at Hama-con this year. Publishing 101 again. I got a few people attending and asking questions at least. Public speaking is intimidating, but it’s something I need to work on. I also need to work on adding some more panels to my list of things I can do at conventions. Any suggestions? I’m going to post my PowerPoint slides on my Patreon this weekend from the Publishing 101 panel with all my notes on what I talked about. I’ve also got some more deleted scenes I can put on Patreon from Phoenix Emperor – such as the original version of Scheerahis and Vathion’s meeting. I still hate how the Shaxia draft is going and I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, other than maybe there are too many characters. I can’t figure out how to cut them, though. Politics suck. But life has been giving me more fodder for personalities to include… That will at least make the politicians more life-like and probably more satisfying to kill off- I mean!!!! Retire. Permanently. :3

I need to work on writing something a little less ambitious. I just need to work on writing, get back into the habit of it.

Is happy even possible?

WordPress updated and I don’t like it. I need to figure out how to switch it back to the other view that doesn’t feel like I’m building a blog post like I’m playing with giant toddler lego blocks.

At River Region Comic Con someone said they had an intuition-thought that I needed help. I answered no, because that’s the honest answer. I’m content.

Today, my coworker was talking to me about her stuff and asked if Happy is even a possible state to be in. I won’t go into detail, but she’s not happy, has trust issues, and I’m like… yeah. I get that. on an atomic level. She knows I’ve got depression too and I’m working on it, so she’s asking me for a way forward. Not to drag her out of her issues. I suppose I can do that.

Most of my advice is to actually listen to your feelings. There’s a reason you’re having them. You’re not happy about work. Well, don’t make excuses for it. Accept that you’re not happy. That doesn’t mean quit right now. It just means that you’ve found a problem and its something you can fix. Your current job is a tool which can use to find something better.

Just don’t quit before you have something else lined up.

In response to J. D. Huffman

J. D. Huffman wrote a thought-provoking piece on self-promotion here.
I’d like to add to it.

I too hate self-promotion. It’s a drag. Its time consuming. It’s terrifying! I’ve mentioned before that I have anxiety and depression. I don’t like speaking in public; mostly in situations where I’ve got to draw attention to myself and address a large group of people. But it’s something I gotta do.

My childhood was spent moving every year. I had to learn to rely on myself for entertainment. I learned to dig deep into my own mind and sometimes that was a curse; I was aware of my flaws and I didn’t know how to communicate with other people. But also, I knew myself. I was confident in being myself and didn’t really care about conforming. I didn’t know how to conform. In middle school, I got picked on a lot for this. These days, I’m pretty sure they were just jealous that I didn’t care and I did what I wanted.

As Huffman said, I love writing. I love that I wrote books, but also, after writing my first book I was so scared to promote it. The social stigma against self publishing back in 2008, when PTH first came out, was very hard to push through. Whenever I mentioned I had a book, people would first light up like “Oh neat!” and then I say I’m self published… and the disgust on their faces just made me feel dirty. I didn’t try to go to a major publishing house. I didn’t query anyone. The general consensus back then was that people only self-published when they were bad writers and couldn’t get anyone “in charge” to buy their crap.

However. I have absolutely no regrets on taking my work this direction. I still stand by the fact that both the big and small publishers of the day would not have taken a chance on NFS. If I had the chance to go back and do it again, the only thing I’d do different is that I’d push harder to get my work out there. The early 2000s was the prime time to get popular, as someone on the front lines of self-publishing in the new millennium. I regret not knowing then what I know now. I can only go forward, though.

While it has been a hard battle to get any kind of respect, the ease of self publishing has at least made people more open to the idea. They’ve become more understanding of the amount of effort, time, attention to detail, and formatting it takes to create a book they devour in a few days. Making something worth reading goes way beyond just a keyboard smash and a quick spellcheck. These days, every time I mention that I’m published in public, I inevitably get someone who says “I’ve always wanted to write a book…” and we both know that the reason why they haven’t done it is because they KNOW its hard. Not just getting the file ready to put out into people’s hands, but the work before that. The work of getting past your inner editor, that awful voice that says “No one wants to read this, you’re kidding yourself.” That’s really the first step. Then there’s the “Halfway” point where you look at the last 30 pages you wrote and resist the urge to delete it all because, honestly it sucks. Anyone who has created a book and put it out there should be proud of themselves.

Anyone who has done it can tell you that the work doesn’t stop there. Even with a major publishing house, you still have to self-promote and build your Brand. You can’t just be a recluse and write books. Today, you still see J. K Rowling out there on twitter, talking to fans. You still see R. R. Martin doing interviews on the Ellen show or whatever. Yes. It sucks, but we live in a digital age where the inner lives of our idols are on display 24/7 and we’re just two clicks away from seeing them drunk and vomiting in a public bathroom. No one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. But it also means that anything out of sight is out of mind and easily forgotten.

You don’t hear much about that Eragon author anymore. What’s he done lately? Who knows. What about the person who wrote Divergent? Can’t even remember who wrote Hunger Games. I bet that you do remember what that one singer did recently that’s been all over the news; because it keeps getting brought to your attention.

That’s the reason for remaining active on social media and writing posts for your blog. You’ve got to bring attention to yourself, even though it’s uncomfortable.

Take heart, though. If you’ve written a book, or you’re posting stuff on Instagram, if you’re trying to become YouTube famous, you’re out there creating something, and people who like what you make will eventually show up as long as you keep making things and making yourself visible. Be proud of yourself for doing it. You’re not an impostor. You’re not faking anything. You’re not stealing from anyone. There are at least 10 people you personally know who are gonna say “I always wanted to…” but never done anything about it because they’re scared of the work it’s going to take.

Anyone who doesn’t like what you’re doing can sod off.

Grief

I put my cat to sleep. She was 11. This was the Monday after Thanks Giving, after spending all of TG with her sick and knowing this was her last week.

It was suggested I write about my grief. How difficult it has been for me to get used to being without her and how I feel about making that decision to end her life. I think that’s a bit gross, though. I think its…My pain just isn’t something I want to share with everyone in the world.

I don’t like to share my emotions when they’re so messy. I don’t have the right words to convey what I mean, or how I’m thinking, or the processes behind it. For the most part, I’m just really depressed; fending off thoughts of jumping off bridges or digging my cat up just to touch her face again.

I get she was just a cat, but I still can’t stop feeling this way. She was with me 11 years. She was obnoxious and horrible to everyone else and I knew that it wasn’t possible to rehome her. I was the one she loved, so I couldn’t just die and leave her. I was going through some terrible times in the last few years of her life; unemployment, extreme depression, and no insurance. She helped me keep going.

The one who suggested I share this stuff said it would be real. I’m wondering: Real… or just raw.

I feel like sharing pain in this way is like selling snacks at a public execution. People are drawn to the macabre. I know they’re not here to laugh at me, but they’re here for the spectacle, watching someone already unstable implode. My pain isn’t for other people’s entertainment. All of this might wander it’s way into one of my books. Possibly Shaxia, but as it is, I just can’t focus on much right now. However, actually talking about my depression and such is just… difficult. I didn’t have a terrible childhood or life or anything and part of me thinks I’ve no right to feel as terrible as I do on a daily basis. This is how I am, though, and it really isn’t anyone else’s problem, or business. I try to be positive. I force myself to be positive and find something nice to say to people daily. I push aside the bad thoughts because hating myself doesn’t accomplish anything. I’m not punishing anyone. I’m just rolling around in my own filth.

Still.

I miss my kitty.

I got a kitten about a week ago. She’s so adorable and she makes the pain slightly easier to deal with. I’ve got someone new that relies on me. I’m actually kind of excited to go home from work so I can see her.

what kinda crap….

I’m working on short story collections for NFS. I need covers tho. I’ve put together a little over 20k words for an NFS 3.5 story. Grabbed the first scene from Shaxia, since I wrote a different scene to start that off. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on getting the print version of Touched by Death done. I’m kinda late on that due to a combination of overtime at work and lazitis. But the files are in review and should pass shortly. I’ve got another author lined up to publish. But that won’t be until the new year at the earliest. I’ve started ads for books on kindle, hopefully that will get some bites. 

My kitty hasn’t been doing great lately. I wish i could tell if she’s just tired and old or not feeling good or outright dying. I hope that I can be there when she passes. :-/

I redecorated my house slightly to improve feng sui and attract wealth. It seems to be working slightly. I had a friend over this weekend who sells things on the internet and she sold like 5 things in the two days she was here, some of the items having been on her shop for 2 years. My house is still dirty though and needs swept/mopped/dusted. Maybe that will happen before December. I’ve got a couple days off for TG. 

As for TG, and the accompanying Black Friday, I keep seeing really good deals on stuff, but like, they’re things _I_ would want for myself. So I can’t buy them. I’m not like my dad, buying everything I want before Xmas so that no one has anything to give me for Xmas. -eyeroll- … Thus far I want a Kitchen-aid mixer and a PS4 would be nice, but the mixer for certain I would use the heck out of. I haven’t made cookies lately just because my previous housemate took her mixer with her when she left (not on bad terms, her mom needs more constant care…) 

I picked up a friend at ConFuzion. He does 3D modeling and stuff. If I could hook him up with my other friend who is really great at making props and texturing things, I think with Clockwork Joker, I’d have the start of a gaming division for Moirae. Except we still need someone who can do the coding. I’ve got no idea and no time to learn that, so I’ll have to find someone.

I’ve been working on my leadership skills, but there don’t seem to be any easy resources that talk about how to be a good leader. How do I improve the whole telling people what to do and when to get it done aspect? I feel so awkward trying to tell people to do things. 

I’ve also got a line of products I’m getting Moirae’s JR artist working on. Cards for the Totality series. I think that’ll be fun. Gotta get the cover for book 2 of that series started too… Huffman already has the text written and I just need to read and do a quick edit on it. 

Ugh. I also need to work harder at Moirae’s website. But coming up with articles and content for it is difficult, since it has a higher level of difficulty than writing for my own blog where I can just word-vomit and talk about things that are going on in a more informal way. I’ll get onto our Editor Adele again later to see if she’s got those interview questions done. She’s been busy lately too. Tis the Season…

good NEWS everybody!

I’m trying something new. Maybe it will keep me on track for producing content on a more regular basis? At Imaginarium this year, I went to a couple panels talking about marketing strategies. Really marketing boils down to just being consistent with content. Ugh. I’m the queen of inconsistency.

Anyway, here’s my idea.

I’m going to start posting something on this blog twice a month. The 1st and the 15th. That should give me enough time to actually come up with a post and write it.

As it stands, here’s my announcements for today!

On my Patreon, I’m going to start posting the draft chapters of Shaxia (from chapter 1) in the $5 tier. If you want to beta read and give feedback, join us! My Patreon has a bunch of other cool things too; such as artwork from Clockwork Joker, and other writing-related things. If this experiment goes well, I’ll start posting Foreseen Champion on Patreon in the $5 tier as well once I get Shaxia finished.

Another promotion I’m starting on Patreon is join our $5 tier and you get to pick an item from our merchandise and we’ll ship it to you. So that’s TWO good reasons to join our Patreon! You get a gift of your choice for signing up and you get to read Shaxia draft and more!

Speaking of gifts, I’m going to be at CONFUZION this year in Muscle Shoals. Come find me and receive a special gift!

I’m going to start making my short stories available on Kindle soon. I was going to bundle what I’ve got available for .99c, which will include the shorts you can read on this blog for free, and the one story I posted on Patreon. A good reason to buy it is that they’ll be all in one place and they’ll be in order timeline-wise and you’ll get to read the one I locked away on Patreon (and I’ll do another round of editing on them all to make them nice and spiffy).

My next project will be the little book about all my aliens. I’m still not sure what I’m going to call it, but I do know I want to get it printed.