Selfish Lazy World

The world has gotten lazy.

Socially lazy that is. I just finished reading an article (Here, if you want to read it too) about how the world is going to hell and it’s because no one is actually working on the problems, and that all we’re doing is yelling at each other.

I have to agree.

Over the last few months I’ve noticed that people are getting more and more selfish. We see that we’re unhappy but instead of actually doing what needs to be done about it, we turn to external things; like makeup, or surgery, or blaming others for us not having what we think we want or need to be happy. We get mad because someone said this or that, and it didn’t match up with what we believe. Or we’re getting mad because someone said some uncharitable thing about some minority group we’re not a part of, but we want to be MAD about something, so we’ll find any fucking reason to be pissed, if not for ourselves then for someone else who probably doesn’t CARE that someone made a joke at their expense.

But the PROBLEM is that we’re not diagnosing WHY we’re not happy.

The PROBLEM, at it’s root, is that we’ve thoroughly LIED to ourselves. We’re all supposed to be rich and famous without having to work for it. We’re supposed to have the bodies of gods by following 1 weird rule. We’re supposed to be PERFECT.

The PROBLEM is that we’re not perfect. And everyone’s pissed about it.

I’m so tired of seeing gorgeous people walk around with their shoulders slumped and heads down, DEFEATED before they even put up a fight and realized how lovely they are. I’m tired of hearing people say crap about “I suck at x, y, and z, because I tried it once.” and “Oh, I could never do that even though I’ve never tried it! You’re so much more talented than I am!”

And I’m so tired of the HATE!

It’s so EASY to hate. It takes no mental power at all to hate someone. We can all find reasons to hate something, from the color it is, to how it tastes, or smells, or speaks, or dresses. Or to just be careless in what we say and drag someone down just because we feel like shit and it doesn’t matter who we hurt because obviously the world should know we’re unhappy. Because if we don’t make everyone else around us as unhappy as we are then no one will know we’re unhappy. And that’s selfish.

But it takes observational powers to LIKE someone. Or (of all the crazy things) LOVE someone you don’t know. It takes time and attention away from minding our own woes to tell some random person that their dress is pretty, or that it matches the color of their eyes. Which is why I said that the world has gotten socially LAZY and selfish. Now, I’m sure people are thinking I’m talking out my butt with this, but I’ve hugged complete strangers before, because they looked like they needed it. I tell people I don’t know that they look lovely. I SMILE at people I don’t know, and hold doors, and help if someone needs it. And it amazes me the change that happens when someone receives positive attention. They smile, and show the world how beautiful they are.

This Christmas season, give the gift of your ATTENTION to someone.

Especially a child. It may be annoying, but they’re the future and teaching them to pay attention to others is the first step in stopping the hate.

Let’s teach our children that they aren’t perfect and that’s OKAY. Own up to your mistakes, but don’t let it consume you that you messed up. Accept that there ARE winners and losers, and at the same time, not EVERYTHING is a competition. But most of all, teach children to love. Both themselves and others. No matter what they believe, yelling and arguing doesn’t fix problems. Yelling doesn’t make us feel ANY better about ourselves.

Slayers Revolution/Evolution-R

I actually sat through Slayers Revolution and Evolution-R.

This shouldn’t have been as tedious a task as it was, seeing as how much of a Slayers anime fan I am. I mean, I find reasons to like Kopii Rezo! However, that’s not the point of this post.

I actually want to talk about how disappointed I am. For the record, though, I’m GLAD they did another season, and it had its good points, like the moment of complete TORTURE Rezo put Zelgadis through when Rezo refused to tell Zel how to fix his chimera body. That was pretty damn awesome. Also, most of my complaints are from a technical standpoint, rather than hating the anime for the sake of it.

1) The PRETTY of the anime was up by 200%. I approve of this! However, most of it was still shots with only one or two things moving. Like, this was 90% of the anime, and I found it to be distracting! I may as well have been listening to an audio book, instead of watching an anime, since most of the time I was seeing a still shot of Lina’s head with only her mouth moving and I’m thinking “wow. I should take notes on how they colored her eyes, that’s mighty pretty. Oh wait, she’s saying something…” Okay, so the use of reused footage was decreased considerably too, but I still felt like they cut some serious corners with this.

2) The music was blatantly stolen from all the other seasons of slayers. The only new music was the opening and ending themes. As a fan, of course I have all the OST CDs. And of course I can go “That’s the Funny Fishman song!” and “They took that from Try.” And “Hey. It’s Rezo’s theme!” and “Wait – they can’t play that song for Pokota! That’s Zelgadis’s theme from Try!” It was distracting playing Name That Tune inadvertently. Again! I feel cheated! They could have at least REVISED some of the songs to make them new-sounding, instead of just ripping it straight from the OST CDs!

3) For only being 12 episodes long each half-season (24 total), the series had a LOT of filler episodes. For instance, most of the crap that went on with Nama was unnecessary. It didn’t advance the plot at all, except at the end when Xelloss showed up and broke that jar. They could have used those episodes to explain stuff – like Zuuma! For being a fairly important badguy, he really didn’t get much screen time and certainly didn’t explain what his motivations were. Instead, we were forced to sit through several episodes of “HEY IT’S NAGA BUT SHE CAN’T REMEMBER!” and Lina’s too stupid to realize that it IS Naga, and Amelia’s like “herpaderp, we’re just like sisters!” can we talk about beat-the-audience-over-the-head? Yes. We get it. Naga and Amelia are sisters. Let’s move on please? How about we explain why Sylphiel was on the wall at Sairuun?

4) The characters weren’t in character for what they were the rest of the series. And while this is my last point, it was actually the FIRST point at which I stopped watching the season to begin with. ZELGADIS RAN AWAY CRYING BECAUSE SOMEONE CALLED HIM A MONSTER! That’s just so wrong. Can we go back to Try real quick? That part where someone calls him a Dark Hearted Sorcerer-Swordsman and Zel LIKED it! Slayers Next, he’s running around without a mask, in a dress, hitting on cute girls. Slayers first season, Amelia POINTS AT HIM and says “you look weird!” and he gives her a nasty look and tells her it’s rude to point. At none of these moments does Zelgadis EVER run away crying. Although he was seriously depressed/pissed/angsting in Slayers Next when the group went into the Puppet Tower and he got christened with the name Zelgabunny and turned into a doll while wearing the tiger-print “ogre pants”… but that was just embarrassing, and he didn’t run away because he was insulted. And the only other time he blushed was when he had apparently drowned in the Dragon Cuisine episode in Next and Amelia was suggesting CPR on him (and he was looking forward to HER trying it, not Ashford). But back on the subject of characters not being in character; the others were just as guilty of this blatant OOC’ness as Zel. They knew some people, and didn’t know others that they should have, and why the hell didn’t they say a thing about Kopii Rezo in Sairaag and his resurrecting Zanafaar the first time? And why didn’t anyone mention “Hey! What if we got the Bless Blade and tried beating Zanafaar with it?” instead of going, “Oh, I conveniently have a Sword of Light knockoff in my zipper.”

5) Pokota. I just got the feeling that the creators of this series said “We hurd u liek pokemons so we put pokemons in ur slayrs!” and the marketing people said “YES! He’d make a great bag for all the little girls at anime cons to buy because he already has that zipper pocket in his front!” And then I found myself wondering “If Pokota is in a stuffed animal body, why does he need to eat?” And then I’m wondering, “If Pokota’s soul could be transferred to a stuffed animal, doesn’t that completely destroy the premise of the last 3 episodes in which Rezo explains the Hellmaster jars?” ohhh the plot holes, they’ve totally messed up my suspension of disbelief! Although, I should mention that the original 3 series did have plot holes too, but they weren’t so slap-in-the-face. While it didn’t completely ruin the anime, it made it rather disappointing.

Overall, I give Slayers Revolution and Evolution-R a 3 of 5. It did make me laugh. It was entertaining. But as a hardcore fan, I am disappointed, and I’m not sure that they really hit the mark on being accessible enough to new viewers either. I’m left wishing they’d either done a 4th season for real, or done an ACTUAL reboot of season one instead of trying to walk the line between the two.

Mourning Anne McCaffery

I am devastated.

My world crumbled yesterday when I heard the news. I feel as if a beloved grandmother has died. And even if I didn’t know her personally, she still helped raise me. So I mourn, with all my soul for Anne McCaffery.

I was 12 when I was introduced to Pern, and Crystal Dreams, and the Ship Who series by my mother, and from then on, I was changed. Anne McCaffery helped shape my view of reading; changing it from some onerous task that my teachers required me to do to something you had to steal the book from my hands to make me stop and pay attention to you… She influenced the way I think of dragons, and psychic powers, and space travel. She inspired me to imagine myself into her worlds and take part in what she created through role play. She inspired me to become a writer with her stories the stepping stones from which I flung myself into the deep end of the river of imagination.

She didn’t just tell interesting stories. Anne pushed the boundaries of what people expected in a sci-fi or fantasy story. She didn’t settle for telling the same story over and over. She didn’t accept that the way certain characters or types of characters or settings were depicted by everyone else was how it HAD to be, and she wrote stories that boldly blended genres, to hell with what everyone else was writing at the time. She boldly used her distinctly female name, and made it known that women were writing, and women weren’t going to be ashamed that they were writing, or ashamed of WHAT they were writing, even if science fiction wasn’t thought to be a subject women should have been writing.

To me, Anne was one of the Greats, and with her passing, the world has lost something dear. But she will always be remembered, and her books will be read by generations to come. In our hearts and minds, I know she is immortal. It’s a mark of how amazing she was that she could reduce someone she didn’t even know existed to tears for an entire day.

So I will continue to write, and I’ll write what I want to write, whether it’s what’s IN or not and whether some publisher says it’ll sell or not. Because she taught me to dream, and to dream that others would want to share my dreams.

I wish I’d gotten the chance to thank her for being my role model, and a wonderful story teller.

List of things to Procrastinate: a Fangirl’s lament

My list of things I should finish/do; from the inconsequential to the important in no particular order:

*Legend of Dragoon – I got to the last disk and put it down. And because of the way they made the battle system, I’d have to start over. Don’t remember how to hit the buttons in the right order! Lol

*FF13 – Orphan. SUCKS.

*2 Ratchet and Clank games that I’m not sure where I left off on them.

*The first 2 Halo games. Though I’ve played them before, I don’t have the achievements on MY xbox.

*I need to get a job ):

*Read my friend’s game design doc. I’m a terrible friend ): She needs me to help edit this thing, but I’m not sure what exactly needs doing.

*Get back into Dance Trance. I have 10 classes I have to attend at least.

*Next 5 chapters of NoFace for another friend who’s turning it into a manga. Yay Manga!

*It would follow that I’ve got a multitude of other original stories that I haven’t finished but need finishing.

*More books in the Natan Fleet Show need written… Tentative list is: #3 Ambassador at Large, #4 Shaxia (title may change), #0.1 Ellurian Pearls, #0.2 Faith on Silver Wings, #0.3 Frontier Station. And somewhere in the future I’ll get Victory Station in there. D:

*In addition to the fact that I’ve got about 30 fanfics on fanfiction.net that I started posting and didn’t bother finishing. But if I did pick them up again, I’d have to edit like WOAH. …I’m afraid to. But, if nothing else, leaving the old stuff there is like an archeological timeline that shows the progression of my writing. :D hooray bright side! (some aren’t worth picking up again, tho, since they were total crack.)

*Read another friend’s CampNaNo he wanted some input on.

*Send out some packages I’m needing to mail.

*Cleaning the house. But this is an ongoing thing that will never. Ever. Be completed.

*Making various costumes for myself. And clothes. I started making some time ago, got frustrated and put down.

*I should sort through my clothes and discover what doesn’t fit anymore and give it to someone. Mostly it’s my office clothes, but it kinda ticks me off that I spent $400 on buying this stuff and then gained 20lb. stupid body ):

*Drawing various gifts I promised people and don’t really remember what they asked for ): I’m such a LAME friend!

*Of course, that last one follows into “need to MAKE gifts for people this year”…

*Scanning all my old artwork so I can throw away the trash (and keep the good ones to sell or something later)

*need to return Mad Ship to my friend and start reading Golden Fool. (Same friend I’m borrowing a DS from to play Coded… but If I can get enough money selling books I’ll buy a 3DS and get that new KingdomHearts game!)

*Speaking of borrowed books, I’ve got a bunch of other books borrowed from friends and family. As well as books I picked up myself that I wanted to read… ugh. It’s such a long list I have no idea how I’ll ever get to them all, what with new books that are awesome being printed every day!

*Among those books being Powerborn, and Changes, and those are just my 2 newest books I’m actually working on reading atm.

*I need to learn how to use Anime Studio. And Manga Studio. I’ve got a For Dummies book on the latter but it doesn’t make much sense because, despite being a Gemini, I’m rather set in my ways sometimes and Photoshop works well enough. PaintTool Sai was okay for a diversion while I was installing PS5, but… heh.

*I bought a bunch of books on Wicca and other pagan religions and haven’t cracked them. I need to read them for reference if nothing else.

*back on the subject of games, I have Persona and Dissidia that I haven’t even unwrapped. As well as Daxter, for the PSP, that I need to finish playing.

*and Chain of Memories. Maybe if I played the worlds in the right order I would have an easier time of it.

*My nanowrimo is languishing right now. Poor Elaine, poor Luck. they haven’t even gotten laid yet and it’s already 3k words in! (this should be rectified… as soon as I get around to it.)
I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of stuff.

So what about everyone else? What have YOU not finished?

#Nanowrimo: My Past and Future

I’m participating in Nanowrimo again this year (which I’ve done every year since ’07). It’s an Odd year, so I should win.

I’ve got a grandfantastuous plot this year too! Actually put more thought into it than I did last year… Here’s the run-down of my Nanowrimo career:

07 = Sands of Sanctuary. An attempt at making an original Amplifier story, it failed miserably as a plot because I hadn’t built a very strong world. I won with 67k words.

08 = God Chariot. I’m really not sure where I was going with this one, but it was something about a boy who was the chosen one and supposed to collect these ancient artifacts and create a mecha that only he could use. I lost at 19k words. Probably for the best….

09 = Suicide by Robber. Took a character from an online RP I was doing with friends and remade the world into an urban fantasy setting. I won with 53k. I’m thinking of taking this one out again and rewriting the plot. It was a little thin and weak, but with some help I think it can become awesome. :3

10 = Upon a Star. Girl transported from another world that turns out to be the Dark side of the mirror. It was intended to be an attempt at making an original Amplifier plotline, again, it failed miserably at 38k words on the 29th of November. I was writing pure crack by that time.

11= Essence of Luck. Plot with Porn. But will probably end up being mostly porn. :3 I’ll see how it goes, but I’ve got high hopes for this story. If I pull it off, I’ll fix it up and offer it as an ebook on Smashwords.

 

In the meantime, Playing the Hero and Symbol of Hope are complete and available on Smashwords and Amazon.

Ebooks are available: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KEIreland

Print copies are $9.95:
https://www.createspace.com/3458920
https://www.createspace.com/3704670

griping

I would have just tweeted all this, but I suspected the topic would take too many characters to cover.

I’m getting very disappointed with trad-pub books.
I’m on page 77 of a 326pg hardback, recently published, and have already come across 3 typos.
THREE!
If I go back to a book published 5 or 10 years ago, the number of typos would be ONE per book. Maybe.

Whereas it took 100 pages for me to find a typo in an indie book I’ve been reading. (Not naming names because I LIKE the tradpub book I’m reading. I’m just disappointed.)

Now.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought the whole BIG PRO of being published traditionally was that they had a professional editor go over your work and remove typos.

I thought that indie books were supposed to have more errors because authors couldn’t be counted on to take pride in their work and remove as many as they possibly could before offering their beloved story up for public viewing. I thought Indie Authors weren’t to be TRUSTED with the all important task of editing themselves.

I personally read Symbol of Hope 6 times. Front to back. Back to front. Even sideways to remove as many errors and typos as possible. I’m fairly sure there are a few in there still, but I personally take pride in my work and am determined to have it look the best it can before I let it out into the world.

Thus, it is my opinion that those who point to the worst culprits of the indie pub world as examples that ALL indie books are bad are, frankly, idiots. It’s the same as saying that because certain trad pub authors made it big, ALL authors are rich.

So quit touting the morons who don’t take pride in their work as the typical indie author, quit claiming that errors and typos are ONLY found in indie books, and climb down off your high horse*. Indie books are just as valid as trad pub, and if you tried a few, maybe you’d find a new author to follow.**

*rant not directed at anyone in particular.

**For example, me :3
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KEIreland
Playing the Hero and Symbol of Hope, books 1 & 2 of the Natan Fleet Show, available for $2.99 each!

Road Trip 2011

where to start…
I’ve decided that my bucket list now includes “Have been in all 50 states + Washington D.C.”
I’ve made a good bit of progress on that goal.

Current count:
Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Florida, North Carolina, South Dakota, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Hawaii, Washington, Illinois, Missouri, Idaho, Texas, Nevada.

I’ll have gotten Mississippi and Arkansas by the end of this trip, making 27/51 (counting D. C. — though if things keep going as they have been, D.C. may not exist soon! lol)

anyway…
highlights and low-lights.

highlight: it rained in Iowa this morning, the car got wet…
Didn’t wash any of the dirt off. It’s going to take a power sander to get it clean, I think. The humidity made my hair curly… so I looked like a poodle all day. Oh well. I was too tired to care.

Highlight: FOOD!
Forgive me for being a foodie for a second, but here’s some shout outs that I’ve GOT to make.
Thunder & Buttons in Colorado Springs. local pub with a 5-star chef. AWESOME salmon salad.
Mom’s Cafe in Plattsmouth Nebraska. OMG, the mac & cheese!
Charleston’s in Oklahoma City. Everything we had was fantastic, and the flaky honey-butter slathered croissants are the bomb!

Saw a real ghost town.
Saw a fake ghost town.
Saw a skeleton man walking his skeleton t-rex.
Saw a toll bridge.
Saw a toll road.
Saw a troll.
Saw the St Louis Arch.
Saw the canyon lands.
Saw the Grand Canyon.
Saw Monument Valley.
Saw Sedona.
Saw the desert.
Saw the ocean.
Saw a naval base in the desert.
Saw the redwoods.
Saw Mt. Rushmore.
Saw Elk.
Saw pronghorn antelope.
Saw deer (eating flowers in the parking lot of a restaurant, mid morning on a busy 6-lane street).
Saw wild donkeys.
Saw buffalo.
ATE the buffalo.
Saw Wall Drugs.
Took drugs… (tums)
Saw an 8 foot jackelope.
Got my picture riding it.
Saw St. Louis.
Saw Seattle.
Saw a truck on fire.
Saw Cowboys vs Aliens with my gramma, aunt, and cousin.
Saw Devil’s Tower (where supposedly aliens landed once).
Saw Mennonites (but didn’t take their picture, that would have been rude).
Saw Glacier National Park.
Saw a glacier.
Saw a tractor pull in Utah.
Saw Kansas corn.
Saw Nebraska corn.
Unlike the buffalo, I didn’t eat it.
Was pulled over for the first time.
Saw a stadium under water.
Saw Phantom of the Opera in Vegas.
Saw Death Valley.
Was advised not to park my explosive laden vehicles in the town of Lunning.
Saw a casino.
Gambled and won $4.
Saw the Rockies.
Saw the Tetons.
Drank Red Ass wine.
Saw mines.
Saw the Colorado River.
Saw the Missouri River.
Saw the Arkansas river.
Saw the Mississippi river.
Saw the Tennessee River too, but I’m not sure that counts since I live near it.
Panned for gold (found mud).
Saw Garden of the Gods.
Saw Pike’s Market.
Saw flying fish… or maybe just fish flying. They were throwing them for some reason.
Saw sushi delivered by conveyer belt.
Saw a bunch of Brits riding Harleys.
Saw my mom’s truck barely fit through a pass in Needle’s Highway.
Will be seeing my friend Sayana. :D
Saw my mom’s best friend.

Low light:
Rapid City Motel 8 SUCKS. The room was kind of small, and that’d be forgivable if not for the following: There were NO LOCKS on the outside doors. People from the street could just walk in – and the street was poorly lit, also had a lovely view of the ghetto.

The following night was also sleepless because I was upset at losing the SD cards for my camera, which included my buffalo pictures, which I’d been all kinds of excited to see.
However, I found them this morning. On the OTHER side of the car from where I’d been… I guess the fairies wanted to see my buffalo pics too, and forgot to return the cards to their proper place. Or something. I was still upset all night and didn’t sleep well. But, happy ending to that one at least.
Also today (8-26-11) a dam broke somewhere up the Missouri river. A good portion of I-29 was closed and we were re-routed through Topeka, which we really didn’t want to go through, but had to anyway, making our drive today 12 hrs long. …after 2 nights of not much sleep. Resulting in my loss of dignity and wounded pride when we stopped for lunch and I tripped and fell down. I’d changed into pants some time before that, though, so escaped worse injury than bruises. I’ve always got bruises, so, nothing new there.

I have decided I really don’t like Kansas. I don’t know what it is… But it and Nevada were visually boring, but if given the choice, I think I’d actually rather live in Nevada and rent Kansas out. :(
Unfortunately, I’ve gone width-wise across Kansas and length-wise…

Another low-light, but one that happened on the way OUT.
I got pulled over for the first time.
I passed a cop doing 80 in a 75. I was tired. We’d just gotten into Colorado (Kansas had numbed my brain) and our GPS was lying to us saying it was another 4 hrs until our destination and we’d been on the road for 7 already. Happy ending: he gave me a warning. I shook his hand and said thank you. I’m proud of myself for not bawling or having hysterics due to fatigue.

Despite having fun on this trip, I’m ready to go home.
I want to eat home-cooked meals for a bit and sleep in my own bed, and shower in my own bathroom, and see my kitty. :(

Contest Results

Well, only one person submitted something for the contest, but it didn’t really meet my specifications, pretty as it is.

So my contest closes without a winner. Maybe for Book 3 people will be more fired up about the idea.

Thank you, Jessica, for participating.
Jessica’s artwork can be found at: http://www.artbyjlcochran.com

100MPH Chatter

I went to Hamacon 2: Hama Harder this past weekend. Though, I went as a staff member, since I don’t have book 2 ready yet. I’m aiming to have it done by the Hama’Mini 2, which is Nov 12th, 2011. I ended up working at the raffle ticket table. Raised $200 with my boobs for the Tornado and Tsunami/Earthquake Relief fundraiser the American Red Cross was doing. In total, we got over $1000 raised! (got blisters on my feet for my efforts, but I think it was worth it.) Also worked at the Maid and Butler Cafe as one of the servers. It was fun. I’ll be working it again next year, and I’ve got a few ideas of how to streamline some stuff…

I had a whole bunch of cons I’d planned on selling my book at this year, but some of it fell through due to Derping on my part, and some due to infeasible time-schedule requirements. Such as… me _actually_ getting SoH done in 2 months before Hamacon 2…. (hahahahaaa…ha…oh funny). So I suppose this is another lesson in the pitfalls of self publishing and being your own master when it comes to deadlines. (YAH! Call me queen! *cracks whip*)

Anyway. So here’s the rundown of what happened, for those who’re interested.

* Hamacon 2 – too early to get book done and in print. (since it was this past weekend, and I actually found out about when it was going to be in Feb.)

* Persacon – supposedly sold out of artist tables like… in January?? (I am surprised that the con is this popular with artists?)

* AWA – artist tables were gone the moment the artist alley opened for applications. I should probably wait until I’ve got book 3 on the way and SoH has been out for a bit before I try AWA.

* Dragon*con – hahahaaa. Maybe when I’ve got like… 3 or 4 books. Though I will be going just for funs.

* Hamacon Mini 2 – This is reasonable for me to achieve my goal of getting book 2 done in time.

* Crisis Con – …what is this? Does it exist still? I do not know. :(

I’m sure there are other cons in the area. Like Momocon, I think that’s nearby. But… uh. Not sure what the Tornados have done to it… Besides. I think I’d like to go for fun once before I go and get stuck behind an artist table the whole time. So I at least know what I’m missing.

On the bright side, I’ve got a solid outline for SoH. I guess becoming single again was good for my writing career. Lots more time to myself and lots less inclination to rely on someone else to tell me what to write (and then not give me time to write… but I probably shouldn’t talk about that here.)

(I like parenthetical comments.)

(No. My books don’t read like this. I edit this kind of crap out.) :)

I was thinking of getting a lamination machine to take to cons for when I do commissions. There are some pros and cons to the idea.

Cons:
I don’t do many commissions.
I rarely sell my originals.
Cost of the machine to begin with.
Then there is the choice between heated and unheated.
I would have to get a paper cutter to clip the laminate in the case of smaller pictures.

Pros:
When I DO sell my originals/commissions, I can have them laminated all pretty and they’d be more durable and, since I work primarily in pencil, the graphite won’t get everywhere/smear/degrade over time.
I’d be able to laminate the artwork I buy so it’s easier to hang on my wall without damaging the pictures.
The difference mainly in the 2 machines I found were whether they were heated or not (and priced, accordingly).

I really like the quality that a heated machine produces, and the laminate comes in 8″x11″ sheets already, so no waste if that’s the size of pictures I’m doing. These sheets are fairly economical to buy in bulk, at 150 sheets for $50. Heated also means powered and I can’t always count on there being a plug in spot nearby, and can’t exactly carry around a little generator to plug my stuff into.

However, the unheated machine has a long roll of laminate that is I don’t know how long… This would mean that I could laminate longer pictures, or shorter, and not waste lamination sheets. The quality is not as good – in my opinion. The laminate is kind of thin, so the pictures/papers laminated tend to be a bit floppy and there’s the possibility of the lamination coming undone at the edges.
I also wanted to get one of those little scanner machines that are just the scanner bar and the machine rolls the picture through it to scan. But, again, there is cost, as well as power requirements, and I would have to have my computer there, which also requires power. And the only reason why I would use this is because of my pack-rat tendencies about my artwork. It makes me uncomfortable to give away pictures I haven’t saved somehow. Even stupid little scribbles on the back of a notebook or folder. I have to scan them before I can throw them away. …because I’m totally going to do something with them later. /sarcasm.

Elucidation: Adventures in Self-Publishing Land

I’d like to take this moment to say that my commentary on self pubbing is in no way meant to encourage or entice people into doing it themselves. I am giving my personal reasons why I chose to self publish; whether they’re right or wrong. I’m not making an argument. In fact, I do not encourage self publishing. Especially if an author thinks this is a gold mine or an easy road to fame. On the contrary: self publishing is hard. You have to do everything yourself, or hire someone to do it (yay, outsourcing). That includes cover, document layout, editing, copyediting, choosing distribution channels, formatting your book for those distribution channels, marketing, networking, author appearances, website design and maintenance, and much more. And for all this work you will get sneered at, even if you do everything right. Even if your book looks amazing and is a good fun read. You will also be told you’re wrong about anything and everything you say regardless of whether you’re right or not. Just because you didn’t conform and do like everyone else.

I’ve never been a conformer. Just ask my middle school classmates. They thought I was frakkin WEIRD. They STILL think I’m frakkin weird. Nor have I ever been one to take someone’s BS and kiss butt. I wasn’t raised that way. So if I’m told “We’re changing your character’s name because it doesn’t conform to what we think this genre should be” well… It doesn’t really fly with me. Considering that a lot of my story ideas come from dreams and a LOT of the time my dreams even include character names (A majority of the main character names in PtH were named in my original dream), and if my subconscious is going to provide me with such nice inspiration, I’d like to keep it.

Unless there’s a really good reason to change it. I Google search my main character names, just to make sure I didn’t lift it unconsciously from someone I’d read once upon a time. Such as the “Ellurians” … they used to be “Ullarians” but Dr. Google pulled about 10 pages of links to fairly official looking stuff. So it got changed. … I think I still have “ullaria” lurking around in my files though. Rooting them out as I find them is tedious but necessary.

It really boils down to entertaining. That’s all I really care about. If I entertain 100, or 100,000, it doesn’t matter to me. And I feel that the gauntlet of the trad pub industry would get in the way of that. They’d tell me what I should be writing instead of what I want to write. I’ve had very long conversations with my SO about this whole decision and it boiled down to “what do you want out of being published?” Being appreciated would be nice. Being rich would be nice. But it’s whether I’m entertaining people that matters to me. With self publishing, I get to do that and learn about business stuff without much risk to me or my money.

Yeah, you heard me. Not much risk to my money. I’m not an idiot after all. I wouldn’t buy into something just because an ad said “Lookie! We give you SO MUCH for only $900 (and your soul/first born/arm/leg/all of the above)!” No. I researched the company I went with to verify they didn’t have any hidden bear traps, and I don’t need their extra expensive services. I have a brain and a degree in editing. I can kill my darlings and clean up my sentences on my own. For example, look at the difference between the first 2 chapters of Symbol of Hope V1 and the 2 chapters of V2. The Natan Personality Replacement Program got cut because it wasn’t working even though I loved him. Poor NPRP. I wish I could use him elsewhere, but no… not possible. He was there for a purpose, couldn’t do that purpose and only made things harder for me in the long-run. I can also maintain a webpage and online presence on my own without a coach. I’ll likely make mistakes, but raise your hand if you’re perfect.