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.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Vicious Sun Status Updated

So, some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting much. Fortunately, and unfortunately, I've been house hunting for a permanent house for myself and my boyfriend. This will be quite fantastic once we've gotten a house, however, I have spent a large amount of time digging through houses and looking at them in real life. We have to move apartments pretty soon, and hopefully move into a new house after that. Still, we're looking at 2 moves in 2 months, which luckily one of the moves is to another part of our current complex, but there is a lot to do between now and then. 

Vicious Sun is still active and being worked on, and the estimated publishing date of the ebook in March 2013 and the hard copies in April 2013 has not changed. The Kickstarter, however, is being moved back. It will still happen in 2012, but most likely in late October/early November, meaning it will end around the end of the year. This is a good thing, since there should now only be about 3-4 months between the Kickstarter and when everyone receives their goodies (as long as things stay on their schedules!) I will let everyone know as soon as things are put in motion!

For now, I thank all of my watchers for backing me! Exciting times are ahead, just with a minor detour.

Fair winds~

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer of the Mosquitoes!

...I've been eaten alive!
Not quite, but leave us just say that my legs are quite covered in bites, in excess of 25 on each leg, especially around my ankles.
Constant itching makes quite the distraction from writing, drawing, knitting and other things, so I haven't been horribly productive. Also, househunting sometimes gets in the way of productivity, but man, have I found some really nice houses!

For those of you keeping track of the timeframe on Vicious Sun-
Beta Read starts this weekend.
Kickstarter start is somewhat in limbo with the house deal, but it will begin sometime in the month of September, and there will be many awesome backer rewards.
Cover is coming closer to completion. Yay cover art. Yay.

Um, in other non-mosquito-ey news, non book news, Epic Hats will be making an appearance at many conventions in the Midwest next year, if all works out. We're looking at about 10-15 conventions, so I foresee many hats in my future. Including the half completed Shiranui Okami hat, which will be finished and hopefully have a few partners for the convention circuit. I'm also planning a design for a Wolf Link hat, and many more, including some awesome patterned kool aid hat.

Cue epic lack of sleep soon, hehe.

Tania out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cover Art, Rough Draft, Fun Times for All!

Hi folks! You probably haven't heard too much from me lately, sorry for that. Life has been super busy. We finally tracked down the source of my allergies and allergy attacks, and I've got medications that are going to help me exist in the living world once more!

This means that luckily, I have had time to accomplish many things. I just got done at CONvergence selling hats in their art show, and for the first time ever selling my hats to the public, the event was fantastic! Everyone seemed really happy with their hats, and a few of them had multiple bids and one even made it to the live auction! I can't wait for next year, I'll be bringing a full 20 hats with me.

However, now the focus is on Vicious Sun. While doing hats, I also did a bit of the rough draft, and I got a good start on the cover art, which features the main character Kemi. I'll be posting pics of it once I have all of the flat colors done, which should hopefully be before the end of July.

Onto the rough draft.

I've discovered this wonderful little web application called Write or Die. If you're a NaNo veteran, you've probably heard of it. The idea is to make you write words. Many, many words. If you don't accomplish your set goal, there are punishments. The worst that I've had is that I paused for too long, and it started deleting my words. Slight panic attack ensued, and I made sure to not stop after that.

Along with the draft, I'm beginning to work on illustrations. I changed over the anatomy of the Skyborne (formerly Sparkfur, Neisti'kegawa, etc) and am very pleased with the results.

Kickstarter stuff.

The Kickstarter for Vicious Sun will begin either at the end of August or the beginning of September. This will be your chance to preorder the book in ebook, paperback, and hardcover, and get some pretty awesome goodies, including original signed art from the novel, tshirts, and a few other things. There is also a chance I will be doing a full color hardcover version of the book as a special edition limited run, but we'll have to see how things go first.

I'll have more information in the coming weeks including details of the novel, and maybe even a sneak peek at the current version of the prologue.

So spread the word! Vicious Sun is getting ready to take to the skies!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Advice on Writing I

Well, any of you who read this blog know that I am a writer. I do quite a bit of writing in my free time, and I figured that I would share with you the fruits of my adventures.

Tip #1- Avoid the internet!
The internet is one of the greatest time-wasters on the planet. There is so much information, you can always find some way or another to procrastinate. That's why, when writing, try to avoid the internet unless you are looking up information for your book.

Tip #2- Youtube.
I listen to a lot of music while I'm writing. Considering that I've been working on Resonance for well over three years now, I have gone through quite a few playlists. We're talking hundreds of songs. There are a very few that manage to make it through the run and continue to be on my playlist, so I am always looking for new music. Youtube makes life much easier with song recommendations, not to mention it has a huge library of the dramatic and epic music I typically listen to. I work mostly on a dual-screen computer setup, so I have on screen with music playing and the other for all of my book items.

Tip #3- Playlist
As much as I love going through Youtube and seeing what all is new, I've found that once I start messing around with different songs, I never stop. That's why I always write with a playlist going. It saves me from flipping between screens and breaking out of my writing to find the right song.

Stay tuned for next post, I should have some exciting news about a new project (no, it isn't another novel!)


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Of Pokemon Music and a Bit of Warm Weather

Hello all! As many of you who watch this blog may have noted, the weather has been abnormally mild this winter. I'm from the upper midwest, land of snow, sleet, hail, and general gloominess during the winter months. This winter, we've only had maybe two decent snow events, as compared to last year with at least two single events with over ten inches of snow and impossible driving conditions. For the last two weeks, we've been in the seventies and gorgeous. Talk about weather confusion.

On a completely different tack, I've been switching up my normal music playlists for writing. Somehow, Pokemon managed to creep in there. Not really sure how that happened, but now I keep getting battle songs stuck in my head.

And now on a really different route, I've got a few friends of mine that are trying to get their book printed and are running a kickstarter to fund its production - You should all go check it out! Because I said so! And give them money!

It's still a bit too early in the morning for coherent thought, so look for a longer post (with awesome worldbuilding content) sometime soon!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So, it has been a while since I last posted, mostly due to real-life business and computer issues. However, don't expect extended hiatuses anymore! I have finally managed to pull the money together for a new computer, a machine that can actually handle the Adobe Suite without overheating. It also has other perks, such as being able to play video games, which I promise will not get in the way of my writing (much).

To celebrate this new machine, I thought that I would give a general update on Resonance. I have the first two of seven parts completed, and the rest of it is coming together quite well. My wordcount goal is to be around 87,500 words, or 350 pages, for the full novel. Parts one and two, which are going to be gone over yet again, are already accounting for nearly 25,000 words of that, and by the end of today I will have hit the 30,000 word mark. My 350 page book may be expanding somewhat, and I am not completely set on having Resonance broken into 7 parts, it may instead be 10. That's some of the logistics I'm working out.

Another part of the puzzle I'm working on is how to publish this. There is a reason I needed to have access to my Adobe programs, simply because Resonance will have some illustrations. I'm not going all out, as humans are my weakest point in drawing, however, each human character has a symbol that represents that character. You can see Estevan's (the main character) symbol as the background of the blog. I'm not sure how many publishers will be willing to let me do the illustrations and cover for the book, which is something that I am set on doing. As such, I'm looking into doing self publishing as a legitimate option, and running a Kickstarter to fund it, much like I originally planned to do with Vicious Sun before Resonance took hold of my writing ideas again. To accomplish this, I would need to be able to raise enough funds to cover a professional editor and printing costs, which tends to add up quite a bit.

This is something that I want to make a professional career out of. The first third of Resonance has taken me over three years to write, mainly due to issues with time management during college and real life interference. However, this first section is now nearly polished, and the rest of the book is falling into place quite nicely. I plan to have the entire draft completed within the next month to month and a half. Originally, I was planning on sending out my draft over the last few days, but I'll be honest, having a working computer somewhat distracted me ^^;

For now, I'm going to sit back, drink my chocolate tea, and write.
As a friend of mine says, perseverance is what gets you published. So I'm going to persevere until Resonance sits happily on bookshelves across the nation.