Monday, May 23, 2022

It Was Ten Years Ago Today...

And now, one of those quick commemorative posts! Yeah, I know I owe you all a month or so of real posts. I haven't forgotten. Sorry this has continued to be shoved down the priority list.

Did you know it was ten years ago today that Crypticon 2012 opened in Seattle?

Yeah, I know Crypticon 2022 just ended yesterday. Calendars are funny.

Did you also know I also released a new book at said Crypticon?

The year before I‘d pitched my publisher a zombies on the moon story, but he’d just bought a zombies in space book and didn’t want to do two right on top of each other. So I pitched this other half-formed mystery/ sci-fi/ horror idea I’d been kicking around. He said sure, go for it. I wrote it, he read it, told me it was one of his favorite things he ever seen. He absolutely loved it.

He then also warned me that every book he’d ever picked up that he absolutely, completely loved had bombed. Sooooooo... I should be prepared.

It was supposed to come out in June of 2012, but as a surprise the publisher got twenty copies (maaaybe twenty four???) printed up for Crypticon, where a bunch of the press’s authors were going to be (including Craig diLouie, Jessica Meigs, Timothy Long, Eloise Knapp, and more)

I gave one of those first copies to Kelly Young of Strange Aeons Magazine (and podcast) who was also at Crypticon because I was pretty sure he’d like it. Sold all of them that weekend (except for one I kept for myself). And then the book came out on Amazon and Audible (let’s throw some more thanks to Ray Porter) and, much to everyone’s surprise—me more than anyone else—it turned out to be somewhat popular. So in so many ways this is also the ten year anniversary of when my life turned around, I clawed my way out of poverty, and realized I could make a living telling weird little stories.

Happy tenth birthday to ~14~ , my weird little novel that could. And so many, many thanks to all of you who found it, told some friends about it, and wrote kind reviews about it.


Friday, April 29, 2022

State of Things...

Hey. Interesting week, huh?

First off, many thanks to all of you for your patience. Probably looks dumb as hell, guy who’s got his dream job complaining about being burned out. But the truth is, even a dream job is still a job. And I think for all of us, trying to do your job for the past two years has just been brutal. And it all finally caught up with me. I guess the one big difference is I’m in the very fortunate position of just being able to throw my hands up and say “I’m done” for a week or three.

And it’s helped immensely. I feel rested for the first time in months (almost since before Halloween, really). The new book is back on track. I even think I’ve got a handle on how to deal with the disconnect between my new word processing program (say hello, LibreOffice Writer) and the blog site here. Yes, you may have noticed some odd formatting over the past half-dozen or so posts.

So again, thanks to all of you for your patience.

Anyway... I know I promised to talk about languages next time I put up something new, but I figured it’s probably worth mentioning that big potential shift coming up in the internet. You know. That guy. The one with so much money he literally doesn’t know what to do with it, so he just keeps making questionable choices and never suffering any repercussions. Will things go forward? Will they collapse? Will he get bored and sort of wander off like he’s done for so many other loudly proclaimed offers and deals?

Who knows.

No, seriously. I think there’s good reason to be worried if a guy like that ended up in charge of a major worldwide communication system. He has an extreme “rich white man/ never dealt with a real problem in my life” view of the world. I also think... well, like I mentioned above, he does have a real follow-through problem. I’d say it’s 50-50 at best that this sale even happens. Seriously.

It’s an odd bit of synchronicity that just as I’m coming back from a break on this particular platform, as my fellow youths like to say, and there’s a potential upset at the other big one I spend a lot of time at. Makes you think, as my fellow olds often say. About social media and the role it plays in our lives and our careers.

For a few months now I’ve been looking at this site (which is still here on Blogspot, fer cripes sake) and thinking I should really migrate it over to my website and have everything contained there. One thing this past week’s highlighted is how fragile things can be on the internet. One buyout, one new executive who doesn’t like that balance sheet, and everything can change in minutes. Like, actual minutes.

I also know one reason I’ve been dragging my feet on doing it is because I’ll lose all the links in these posts. Bam, all that interconnectedness and easy reference gone. I could rebuild it, but it’d take time. A lot of time. And I am, y’know, working on other things...

All that said, I’m probably going to stay on Twitter for the foreseeable future. We’ll have to see how it goes there over the next few months. If you’re so interested, there’s also Instagram, which is mostly toys and cats, yeah, but some book stuff too. With all this going on, I set up an account on Counter.Social just because a few folks I know were over there and I figured it might not be a bad thing to claim my name there, so to speak. And someone reminded me I had a Mastodon account I hadn’t used in a while, so I’ve dusted that off and made sure the engine still runs. If you’re on any of these sites, please come find me and listen to my daily prattling. If nothing else, you’ll know when this site gets updated.

And please do keep an eye out here. I’ve got a few cool things planned out for the month of May. I think they’re cool, anyway. That foreign language post, talkin’ about three act structure a bit, and maybe a rambly birthday post or two, as I’ve done once or thrice in the past.

So we’ve all got that to look forward to.

Until then, go write.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Quick Update

Oh, hey there.
 
So, if you’re one of the hundred or two regular readers of this space, you may notice this past year’s been a little... sparse. Not quite the standard level of output for this blog. Normally by this point in the year I’d’ve made at least a dozen posts, and I think this one makes seven so far for 2022.

It’s not for lack of topics. I’ve got two or three on deck, plus a nice question about foreign languages someone asked in the comments a while back (thanks, Oliver!). And I’m sure I’d end up with one or two more by the time all those are done. Saturday geekery usually spawns a good one every other week or so.

Truth be told... I’ve just been fried. Since 2022 started I’ve traveled for the first time in two years. I’ve been reading books for blurbs. I’ve been trying to work on my new novel and also the novel after that and a pair of short stories for different anthologies. There were a few vet visits (cats are all fine, no worries) and a new kitten who can be VERY loud sometimes (often in the middle of the night). Taxes are coming up and I still have a ton of work to do to get those even semi-organized. And of course, I had a new book come out—The Broken Room—which is a whole big thing in itself. Many thanks to those of you who may have read it and left a kind review someplace.

And, yeah, I know a lot of this is just what a pro writer’s supposed to be doing. Juggling stuff and scheduling time and making it all work. I’ve been doing it for many years now. But these past few months—since the holidays, really—I’ve just been friggin’ burnt. And like a lot of folks who hit this state, I’ve been letting one or two things slide. Not intentionally. It just sort of... happened. And this blog was one of the easiest things for it to happen with because...

Well, let’s be honest. This has never been a major stop for the general writing community. I really, truly appreciate all of you who’ve found your way here over the years, but I also see the numbers and I know this has never been a super popular spot. I’ve had plenty of off-the-cuff tweets that get far more visibility and interaction than posts I’ve spent multiple days working on. I enjoy doing this, but if something was going to slide it was bound to be the thing that feels like it's got the lowest work/return ratio.

So I’m going to try to take a little time, maybe the next two or three weeks, and just try to get myself back to a place where I can get all those balls back up in the air and keep them there. I know I can do it. I want to do it. But one thing most people don’t realize about juggling is that it’s a serious arm workout. And you can only do any workout for so long before you either collapse or start getting kind of distorted.

And, hey, speaking of all this...

This weekend I’m going to be at WonderCon in Anaheim. I’m hosting the Writer’s Coffeehouse on Sunday (11-1:00) where I’ll be talking about publishing, answering questions, and trying hard to be educational and entertaining. If you happen to be there, please stop by and say hi.

Next time... we will talk about languages. I promise. And I’ll make sue you all know when it’s up.

Until then... go write.