Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Post of Many Things

It's been quite a year so far. Many things have happened, both good and bad, that have kept me very busy lately.

First, I started doing some knitting pattern designs, mainly scarves with dragon motifs. Since they've been popular, I've decided to officially add designing knitting patterns to my repertoire! I'm mainly going to be focusing on these instead of hats during the cooler months
Skoll Scarf WIP

On that note, I'm not doing a lot of fox hats anymore. In fact, I'm going to be publishing the pattern come fall. Why am I doing this? Simply, people weren't willing to pay what they were worth, and it really isn't fun doing the same thing over and over and over again. Plus, I have tendonitis in both wrists, and constantly knitting in a circle was causing it to flare up badly.

What else am I up to? I've been working on Resonance on and off. I had some person stuff happen that broke my ability to write for a while. I'm getting back into the swing of things and am planning on having a Kickstarter for Volume 1 of Resonance this summer, likely in July.

I've also been working on illustrations. Here's the one I just finished, I'm putting it up everywhere and on everything, so expect to see it often. Prints will be available at Convergence, and as soon as Zazzle puts up some coupons for the merchandise I want I'll be testing out a few goodies (messenger bags, laptop cases, and so on.)

A Dream of Flame and Fury
Other than that, that's most of what's happening right now. We've got another massive blizzard on the way, so I'm preparing to hole up indoors for the next day and a half. Hurray for another un-ending winter.

Can it be spring yet?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Divergence Kickstarter

And we're back once more!

Happy Autumn, everyone! I think I can officially call it that now that we've seen the first of the geese migrating north. This summer was a bit of a wild ride, some things I should probably recap before we head onto bigger and better things.

First off, a big thanks to everyone who attended the panels I spoke on at Convergence. All of the panels had a great turnout, especially the panel on Worldbuilding (more on that in a bit). It was great seeing lots of old friends and meeting some awesome new people! Also thanks to all the people who bid on my items in the art show, it meant a lot seeing someone purchase art I put many, many long hours into!

I'm planning on submitting a panel to next year's Convergence focusing on the flora and fauna of fantasy worlds, and I've got a few other panels I'm considering suggesting. They aren't due until December, so I'm letting my ideas percolate as I work on other things.

I just got finished putting up a bunch (see 27) hats on Etsy for any and all who have been waiting for me to sell some not at a convention, you can find them here -

Finally, onto the keynote of this blog.
Another Kickstarter.
Are you all ready? Because this time, we're going to blow it out of the water.

At the end of October I will be starting off a Kickstarter to back a print run of Divergence, the prelude to my large and at this point somewhat mythical novel Resonance. If all goes well with Divergence, Resonance will have its Kickstarter July 2014.

I'll be releasing exact details on it soon, but the funding goals is going to be much lower and will mainly cover the fees and taxes (yes, the government takes their share, don't listen to the people who say you don't have to pay taxes on Kickstarter), cost of backer rewards, and of course the cost of a small print run of the book.

There aren't going to be many backer rewards, as this Kickstarter is mainly focusing on getting a small print run of the book. There will be the ebook, paperback, and a mug and tea reward, plus one more reward I'm keeping secret until launch.

What does this mean for you? I need all the help I can get. Just by forwarding messages about the Kickstarter and helping get the word out you'll be helping me achieve my dream. I'll have flyers and a pre-written email that will help people get out the word, plus there will be a release of small tidbits of the book leading up to the Kickstarter.

I just want to take a moment and thank all of you for helping support me in my efforts to finally publish something. I've been working on Resonance now for five years, and it will mean the world to me to be able to hold this book in it's completed form and know that people will finally be able to read it.

That's all for this time, expect to hear more from me soon!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Back from Hiatus

Hello dear followers!
I'm finally back from my hiatus. I apologize for the recent silence, life has been pretty busy lately and my writing had to sadly sit to the side for a while.

That has changed.
My plan is to have a book published by the end of the year. I will be revealing which book it is soon, but let's just say that things will be very different this time around. I learned a lot of very valuable lessons during the Vicious Sun Kickstarter, not the least of which is that I need to focus on getting my social media up and running. To that end, I will be posting more things more often. If I don't live up to this, you all have free permission to bug me until I post again!

In other news, I will have the honor of speaking on 4 panels at CONvergence Con at the DoubleTree in Bloomington July 4-7th! In order of events -

Creating a Character - Crowd-Source Creation -Friday July 5, 2013 8:30-9:30pm in the
Sofitel Bordeaux room
Before Page One - World Building Your Story - Saturday July 6, 2013 12:30pm - 1:30pm in Atrium 3
How to Write an Interesting Hero - Sunday July 7, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm in Plaza 2
Canines in Fact, Folklore, Fiction, and Film - Sunday July 7, 2013 3:30pm - 4:30pm in the Sofitel Dijon room

I will also be at the Art Show Meetup Friday July 5, 2013 7:00pm - 8:00pm in
Atrium 3

Hope to see you all there!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kickstarter Kicks Off Tomorrow!

Well folks, we've come a long ways from where I was last year. I had 55,555 words of garbled story, written in 30 days with a full time job. Now, I have a book, beginning to end. There are many words, I cannot tell you exactly how many will be included in the book, but there will be between 55,555 and 100,000 words.

This story has taken over a year and a half of writing, planning, and drawing, and we're just about there.

Starting Friday, November 30th at midnight through December 31st at 11:59 pm, I will be running a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter to fund the production of my illustrated novel, Vicious Sun. The goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000. The more I can raise, the better quality of a book I can produce. In case you're interested, I wrote a few descriptions of things below.

What is Vicious Sun about?

Vicious Sun is  novel that centers around three dragons and their attempts to right the desecration of the true magic system by rogue dragons. This is book one of three, and there is plenty of high-flying action and adventure throughout!
The story takes place on a world called Triskai, and one of the main things to note is that Triskai has no humans. All of the characters in the book are dragons, and it's all from a dragon's point of view.

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that allows people to create projects (such as novels) that others can choose to fund in return for rewards. Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal, if I don't make the minimum amount ($10,000) I need, I don't receive any funds.

What are you going to do with all that money?

The money I raise from the Kickstarter will be used towards the publication of my book. Here's a basic list of things donations will cover-

Book Printing
Purchase of a block of ISBNs
Backer Rewards
Kickstarter Fees
Emergency Buffer
Self-employment taxes
A salary so that I can focus on writing as a full-time occupation
Laying the groundwork to publish the whole series

So, what are these rewards I keep hearing about?

In addition to the ebook, paperback copy, and limited-edition hardcover copy, backers will be able to choose reward tiers that include-

Prints/posters/collectors cards
Signed original art featured in the book
Original custom art pieces

What do you mean by "illustrated novel"? Are you putting two pictures in and calling it good?

Illustrated novel means that I will be including at least one illustration per chapter, so there will be a bare minimum of 30 internal illustrations. As the amount of money I raise increases, I will be able to include more illustrations per chapter, and one full illustration per section (about 10 pieces). The stretch goals will be listed below.

What are your Stretch Goals? (aka what do you do with all the extra money you've raised?)

I have a long list of stretch goals for this project, and some of the possible upgrades for the book are quite fantastic.

$10,000 - Funded - You guys are awesome. Keep spreading the word!

$12,500 - An extra short story will be added to all versions of the book along with an additional 2 page internal illustration.

$15,000 - This is where the real fun begins. At 15k, I can afford a Wacom Cintiq Tablet which will enable me to more quickly produce digital art. All hardcover books will include 10 black and white full art pages and all backers will receive an additional Kickstarter exclusive art postcard. Backers at the $50 level and above will receive a color version of the eBook with color versions of the new illustrations.

$20,000 - All backers at the $10 and higher will receive both ebooks - one in black and white and the other featuring the color illustrations available in the hardcover version of the book. Backers at the $50 level and above will receive a small print of their choice from the new illustrations, and  2 new reward levels will be unlocked, one including a poster detailing the Marc system of Magic used in the novel and the other containing a surprise reward to be revealed if this stretch goal is hit.

$25,000 - Extra illustrations unlocked! Each chapter will contain a minimum of 2 illustrations and the 10 black and white illustrations will be printed as color illustrations in the hardcover edition of the book! Paperbacks will receive black and white versions of these illustrations, and will also include the 10 illustrations from the $15,000 level in black and white.

$30,000 - Triple illustration! Each chapter will contain a minimum of 3 illustrations and a full-color section of extras will be added to the hardcover (a total of at least 20 color pages). Paperbacks will receive black and white versions of these illustrations.

If we exceed $30,000, there will be more stretch goals. This project will fly high, and we may even be able 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My thoughts on Black Friday

For those of you who don't know, I worked in retail for over 7 years across a variety of stores. The only time that I did not work a black Friday was my last year in retail, but for those other 6 years I braved the insanity of the retail centers and went off to work. It wasn't really that bad, except some of the customers at the first place I worked at. They were less than fun to deal with, even less so during the holidays.

But to be honest, it wasn't that horrible, back in the days of working at 5 am for the ten people who had been waiting since midnight to get a few items for a couple dollars cheaper.

Nowadays, I'm no longer working retail, but I've seen so many commercials that I felt I had to speak out. When you're working retail for any corporation, there are only a few days during the year that you get off. Thanksgiving is one that is give and take, it depends on the company you are working for. I worked Thanksgiving at my first job, and typically we saw only a couple of people coming out because they needed one or two items for Thanksgiving dinner, or people who just didn't care that it was Thanksgiving. It was a quiet day for the few people working, and typically the company kept hours short so that the workers could go home and spend some time with their families, and they fed us (big thing when you're a high schooler/college student).

Now, with Black Friday now starting Thursday night, those same workers who would normally be getting an easy day are going to be forced to handle hordes of post-Thanksgiving dinner shoppers, and even in some cases pre-Thanksgiving shoppers depending on the store. There are some stores that are posting Black Friday sales at 6 am on Thursday.

In my opinion, this is just wrong. Why do we need 2 full days of "Black Friday"? Why do we even need to have 24 hours of Black Friday? It's fine if it's a retail giant that stays open 24 hours a day normally, but when you start talking about keeping up employees who normally work days having to get up at 11 pm to be to work at midnight, you're not only throwing off their normal schedule even worse than if you had them getting up at 4 to be to work by five. You're taking away whatever "holiday time" they were going to have with their families, or even just digging into the the time off they they need.

The holiday shopping season just keeps getting more and more ridiculous, and all to fuel the consumerist society. I have had more people than I could count come up to me and say they were sorry I was working.

If you feel bad about a retail worker working on a holiday the rest of America has off, don't go out shopping that day. Years and years ago, everyone had these holidays off, but the corporations are destroying what few days everyone should have off.


But otherwise, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving, eats lots of turkey and pumpkin pie, and gets to enjoy a little bit of time off.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ah! A Post!

Sorry for the silence for so long! Life has been quite busy, so I'll keep this short and sweet.
First off, the move went well, and we managed not to lose many things, so that was good.
Second, Anime Fusion was a blast. Many hats went to their new homes, and I'm looking forward to seeing some people I met on the convention circuit next year.
Third, it's NaNoWriMo. For those of you new to this blog, it's essentially 30 days of frantic writing to finish a 50,000 word novel. I'm aiming for 100,000 words, so watch out world, here I come!
News about the Kickstarter to publish Vicious Sun is coming soon, I'll have a nice post about that once I've figured out and fine tuned the final pieces to that little game.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A small rant on Perfume and the use thereof

Hi everyone! Long time no post, I apologize for that. Lots of stuff going on, not the least of which is that we're buying a house!

However, today's post is not about houses and the hunting thereof.

It's about Perfume and the use thereof.

As most of you know, I have some pretty nasty allergies. The highest on the list is synthetic scents. Where do synthetic scents lurk? you ask.

Let me give you a small list~

Body Spray
Air Fresheners, especially the plug in types get the idea

Needless to say, synthetic scents are pretty much everywhere. I don't go out a lot, since I now work from home, but I do all of the grocery shopping and I need to occasionally restock my yarn supplies. Unfortunately, grocery stores and craft stores seem to have huge concentrations of people wearing too much perfume.

Let's face it, this has become something of an epidemic. If you want to wear perfume, don't flood yourself in an ocean of perfume. Keep it light. The people around you, especially those of use with synthetic scent issues, will really appreciate. So will the people without issues.