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Month: March 2019

Real News of Fictional Worlds, March 2019

Beware the Ideas of March!
Hey everyone, and welcome new readers! I hope that you’re all enjoying your March, wherever you are.

For those who may not know, the Ides of March are famously proclaimed to forecast doom in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”.

I came across an idea from this view of March, and enjoyed it so much I had to share it:

(If you don’t see a picture above then select “Display images below” or similar in your email viewer.)

…I wish the above image was from a real knife holder. It is instead a photoshopped work, based on the characterization of Julius Caesar in the classic comic series Asterix.

In any case, like the end of Julius Caesar, this past month of February was short and intense. Fortunately that was the only similarity.

2 months into my Master Plan
My 2019 plan for world domination was to complete and release 11 new books 2019, from 11 different manuscripts that I have in various stages of completion.

January was ahead of target – I managed to redraft 2 novels! I had hoped for a similar good run in February, to give me a total of 4 works that might only need some minor sanding before releasing. But reality intervened and I “only” managed to finish redrafting most of one. It needed more work than I thought, and I had less time than I thought.

I could be down about this – but why? The goal was nuts in the first place. I’ve gotten a lot more done than I might have otherwise–and the year isn’t over yet. : )

I’ve also decided to concentrate on completing and releasing series of novels. This is both for my creative and professional growth. So I still plan to finish 11 books this year – but now 2 of those 11 will be entirely new stories. This will take more time, and could push me behind this almost absurd schedule. 

We’ll see. I’m going to keep chugging at it, all the way up to December 31st! 

Which is why I decided to bring one of my other partial manuscripts to the front of the queue:

Creating with a Day Job

It’s hard to get creative work done while we work on other things. It’s also doable, and improvable. I’ve accumulated a lot of different methods that work for me, and I continue to refine them. A lot of them are tailored towards writing, as you may be able to tell from the fact that you’re reading this in a newsletter. But I’ve also pursued photography and music while paying the bills with other skills.

What’s most important is balancing the doing with compassion, kindness and self-care throughout.

So I’ll keep all of that in mind in a meta sense, and abide by it I strive to complete it. I’ve set a release day for May 1st. as “International Workers Day”.

Workers of the World, create! You have nothing to loose but your brains. (Spelling of loose intentional.)

Upcoming Conferences

As I mentioned last month, I’m heading to check out this year’s Nebula convention in May. I enjoyed last year’s Worldcon so much that I’m giving this one a shot too. 

I’m also happy to be on a couple of panels at the upcoming FogCon. Which I just realized in writing this newsletter, is next week! One is a full panel I proposed on the topic of creating with a day job. I’m already psyched for that. The other panel is on AI in modern science fiction. I have a particular interest in this topic, having not only dedicated my novella Underclass to an exploration of this but also in my day job seeing the continual expansion of machine learning to things we don’t fully understand.

Fogcon is a fun conference that I heartily recommend. It is small and strong, but not intense in the way that Julius Caesar and Asterix are. Maybe more like Kristen Bell or Peregrin “Pippin” Took.

On another note, Dragons vs. Sky Pirates!
I am very happy and proud to feature a new book in a new series by fine writer Daniel Potter.  The book is “Dragon’s Price”, and it’s the first in his new series “Scales and Sky”.

I also can heartily recommend his previous series “Freelance Familiars” – a  fun modern urban fantasy romp that puts these magical animal sidekicks front and center.

The gift of darkness

In other promotional news, you can give and receive the gift of darkness. : ) My series “Ghost Magnet” and many other books by other fine authors in the Adult Urban, Epic and Dark Giveway.

My first and perhaps still most controversial novel “Two-Fisted Jesus Tales” is also available as part of the Fantasy Book Binge.

Go ahead and get some ebooks. You’ve earned it. The price is hard to beat, and they’re even throwing in the photons free of charge.

If you enjoy one of my tales from the above offerings, please do leave a review on Amazon via the handy links in their titles. You can also check out their other books on their Amazon author page, such as mine.

Bookbub for Books, Bub
I’m on Bookbub, and in addition to listing my own books I’ve started writing reviews of some of my favorite others’ works. If you’d like to follow me there, click below.

What’s next?
I get more writing done, I enjoy Fogcon and I have more to report back. I may even have a rough draft of “Creating With a Day Job” to send to interested beta readers. We shall see.

Wherever you are, keep on imagining, ~ j : )

Real News of Fictional Worlds in the New Year, February 2019

Greetings new subscribers!
Very nice to meet you, and thanks for subscribing! As you’ll see, I like to have a freewheeling newsletter that covers what’s happened this month in the universe in general, in my writing in particular and with my upcoming works.

For all my previous subscribers, it’s lovely to be chatting at your sensory apparati once again.

1/12th of the way through this year, in words
As mentioned in my January newsletter, my shoot-for-the-moon-and-gain-at-least-the-mountains goal is 11 new works of at least novella length this year. This includes at least 6 full novels.

Fingers and tentacles crossed, so far I’m on course! I’ve done the first draft of one novella and the second draft of a novel. I’ll be sending them out to beta readers for feedback soon. As I also still have a day job, and I also would like to keep up my habit of sleeping at least once every 24 hours, the effort has me thoughtful about proportion. It’s about work/life balance, and about still enjoying the creative job I’m giving myself – and it’s also about having and growing a small business and respecting myself as a resource. How do I keep enjoying my creative part with, it amuses me to say, optimax efficiency?

A question that comes from that is, what do I most enjoy writing? And how might that intersect with what people like to read?

I don’t have a full answer yet–which is another reason to charge through these 11 potential works. They vary, like my interests. One is an existential fantasy about a detective in Hell; one is a military science fiction thriller about an alien invasion like we haven’t seen before (thankfully, not in real life or in fiction). One is an urban fantasy set in some of the vagaries of our current startup-tech-driven times; another is an epic fantasy exploration of civilizations that could have faded before history. Yet another is the tale of a warrior Schnauzer-Dachsund who longs to be a Dragon Hound, because I love the idea and it seems almost too cute to bear.

(Not my commissioned art – at least, not yet. Etsy has a lot of really amazing work.)

What might work best? Perhaps I’ll know more by December. No matter what particular style, genre or tone ends up making me and others happiest, I expect to always enjoy trying my hand at something new.

Upcoming conferences
I’ll be at this year’s Friends of Genre Convention AKA FogCon in March, and I’m stoked. “Friends of Genre” is a small but fierce conference driven by love for fantastic fiction and fan participation. One of the panels I proposed is “Creating With a Day Job”. I really hope this panel is approved – it’s something I’ve spent some years figuring out for myself. I look very forward to sharing what’s worked for me and hearing about other people’s processes and challenges to do the same. I hope and expect this will help me towards putting my own information into a nonfiction book that can be of help also.

One of the other possible panels at this year’s Fogcon is the intersection of science fiction, fantasy and music. Reading about the panel’s existence lit me up to explore this on my own, especially the hard rock/heavy metal side. For the curious, here are some YouTube playlists I’ve put together as research. Some of the most fun research I’ve done yet.

I’m also biting the bullet to check out this year’s Nebula convention in May. Worldcon was such a fantastic experience that I’m interested in this other big convention as well. I look forward to meeting writers, learning more about writing and publishing, and seeping in the world behind creating worlds of the fantastical.

  If you enjoy one of my tales from the above offerings, please do leave a review on Amazon via the handy links in their titles. You can also check out my books via my author page.
Bookbub for Books, Bub
I’m on Bookbub, and in addition to listing my own books I’ve started writing reviews of some of my favorite others’ works. If you’d like to follow me there, click below.

What’s next?
I go through the drafts I completed this month. One is the supernatural hard-boiled detective novella  tentatively titled “Deviled”, and the other is the sequel to my urban fantasy “Wishful Thinking” about a troubled troubleshooter for magical startup companies. Then they’re off to an editor, and then to beta readers, and then to the world at large. : ) 
That’s me for this month.

Wherever you are, keep on imagining, ~ j : )

Real News of Fictional Worlds, January 2019

Real News of Fictional Worlds in the New Year, January 2019

New year, new people, newsletter
As I launch into the new year, I realize many of you are are new to my newsletter. Let’s introduce ourselves. I’m a science fiction and fantasy author who loves to pursue ideas as far as they will go. My favorite writers include Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Jack Vance, Lee Child, Stephen Colbert, Arundhati Roy, Hunter S. Thompson, Garth Ennis, Patton Oswalt and Robert Anton Wilson.

What stories do you like, who do you like to read, and what do you like to do? If you feel like it, respond to this newsletter and tell me a bit about yourselves.

The year to come
New Year’s resolutions are great, but I really like the idea of New Year’s plans. What specific new things are we going to do, and when?

So in the week before or after January 1st I sit down with a calendar and plan it out. I give what seems like a reasonable amount of time on a monthly basis to what I want done that month. And I very specifically include spacing for friends, family, holidays, events, and just room for me to breathe.

The year as it happens will *naturally* end up being different in some ways. To paraphrase Eisenhower, no battle plan survives the start of battle. But when you have a plan, your forces are already in order. You can shift them much more easily to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and work around unplanned obstacles. You can adjust and move forward, and most importantly get more fun things done that you want to do.

So here’s to all of your goals and deeds, and joys and peace, large and small, in the upcoming 2019.

Fresh For 2019
In my specific plans, I have 11 manuscripts moving towards completion. My goal is to release all of them this year – and maybe more. Six of these are books in continuing series, 3 are stand-alone works, and 2 are first books in entirely new series and genres – 1 in military SF and 1 in epic fantasy.

Also, since I first began indie publishing in earnest about a year ago, I have had enough success with my agglomeration of writing and production methods that I’m putting them together into an ebook. I’m looking at doing some presentations and panels discussing these and similar methods in upcoming conferences.

We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

Fun From Day 1
I’ve already gotten to have quite a lot of fun. All of these pictures were taken New Year’s Day.

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Putting a disco ball on a forklift and raising the roof to the sky.

Mixing art, technology and fun in any way they like. 

Bouncing into a brand new year.

Current book promotions
My current books are in the following promotions below. For those of you who are new to my list, these promotions are fine ways to discover other authors too – all for the very hot and “in” price of free.

 

My book Two-Fisted Jesus Tales, Book 1: The Book of the Job is in the It’s a Strange World promotion until January 22nd.

Also the sequel is on my list to complete and release this year!

From January 1 to January 15th, my horror/fantasy novella Lessons Learned is in the Dark Start to 2019 promotion. It’s also collected in my short story collection Hyperspace Radio, which heretofore unmentioned supervillain the Evil Reverend Dr. Cosmotron called “An entertaining overview of realities I look forward to destroying.”

I’m also proud to share my new novella Underclass in the Earthbound Sci-Fi promotion. It has me feeling quite good about tales of things possibly going very bad,

And my novella Ghost Magnet, the first in my series Crime and Magic in the New Russia, is in Fantasy Firsties until January 31st. It’s also still available with other fine books in the Winter Fantasy Reads promotion until January 9th.

If you enjoy one of my tales from the above offerings, please do leave a review on Amazon via the handy links in their titles. You can also check out my books via my author page.
Bookbub for Books, Bub
I’m on Bookbub, and in addition to listing my own books I’ve started writing reviews of some of my favorite others’ works. If you’d like to follow me there, click below.
What’s next?
The first of my 11 planned releases for this year is a hard-boiled detective story set in Hell. The working title is “Deviled”. I hope to have more information and a release date by the time of my next newsletter.

That’s me for this month. : )

Wherever you are, keep on imagining,
~ j : )

Real News of Fictional Worlds, December 2018

Earth Present
And….wow. That was quite a month.

20Books Vegas 2018
….was grand. It was a gathering of authors who are reaching past the gatekeepers of traditional publishing, to follow their own passions and pursuing excellence in their craft. People engaged in getting empirical feedback directly from their readers, and making changes to their works in real time. And perhaps most of all it was a lovely community of people pursuing all of the above.

I also had a chance to wander through Las Vegas, which I hadn’t really done before. The neon sign graveyard I wanted to see was unfortunately closed – I did get some nice pictures. Then I got to wander through several casino. Las Vegas after the age of neon still seems quite in line with its classic essence. That essence, to paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson: “Shoot the pasties off the nipples of a ten-foot stripper at 20 paces, win a cotton-candy goat.”


NaNoWriMo, overachieving, and Science Fiction Music
The Vegas outing also fell in the middle of National Novel Writing Month, a yearly challenge to write a book from start to finish in 1 month.

Since I’ve done this before, I figured I’d really up the challenge and do two novels, for 100,000 words.

To achieve this output while retaining my day job, going to to a conference and even enjoying Thanksgiving, I relied heavily on the software Dragon Dictate. It’s a software program that transcribes speech into text, which can be a lot quicker than typing – especially for a first draft. This also meant I was speaking in punctuation for a couple of hours a day, to where it began to bleed into every day conversation. At one point I was talking with someone and I said “Sure comma sounds good let’s do that period”.

With 5 days left I found myself in the interesting position of having finished 2 novels, and still having 12,000 words to go. So I dug up another half-completed draft, and finished that one too.

On Thursday evening November 29th, And also a great and heavy band was playing up the street, the epic Red Fang – with two opening bands with very interesting names, “Telekinetic Yeti” and “Frisco”.

I had 2500 words to go. So of course, I did the responsible thing in order to keep to my goals.
I went to see these bands.

They all were great, and I thoroughly recommend them. I bought T-Shirts of Telekinetic Yeti in particular, because they looked like the bands sounded – the sonic version of 70s sword and sorcery bookcovers.

book
t-shirt

I was not disappointed. For once, pretty rare in random shows, they all were frickin’ as great as their names let on.

Telekinetic YetiFriscoRed Fang


NaNoWriMo, overachieving, and Science Fiction Musi

The next morning of November 30th, I rallied my hard-worked brain and pushed through the last batch of words. Results: victory!

Out now With all that flew past in November, I was glad to be able to release this new work as well – my standalone novella, Underclass! It’s the tale of a man trapped in a future ruled by AIs, who have determined a uniquely distressing solution to income inequality. Released on Dec. 1. Thanks to all my ARC team who reviewed it.

Current E-giveaways I’m also involved in some giveaways of my own, below. Lots of other fine books are available there besides mine, feel free to check ’em out.

Stay in from the cold and sometimes bloody outdoors, with my supernatural crime novella Blood and Hope, as part of the holiday promotional giveaway I’ll be Home for Witchmas through December 31st. 
 
From Dec. 10th to the 16th, my
Twilight Zone-esque Hyperspace Radio  will be available as part of SFF Book Bonanza’s typically great December promotion.
If you don’t have a chance to check it out that week, then for the following week of Dec. 18th to the 23rd it should be available here
for $.99 in human Earth dollars, or the suitable equivalent in interdimensional galacticredits.
My novella about a young man who becomes a troubleshooter for magical startups, Wishful Thinking, is available through Jan 2. 2019 as one of many Winter’s Tales.

The next book in this series is one of many books I’m looking forward to releasing in the coming year.

And rounding the trend of eerie tales in the brisk winter, I’m proud to have my tale Ghost Magnet in the fine promotion Winter Fantasy, from December 12th through January 9th.

If you enjoy one of my tales from the above offerings, please do leave a review on Amazon via the handy links in their titles. You can also check out my books via my author page.

What’s next?
A lot. I’m compiling a list, and checking it thrice, of the many manuscripts I want to complete and release in 2019. I expect this to include a second novel-length installment in my Quantum Mechanic series, a sequel to Two-Fisted Jesus Tales #1, and perhaps the first in a series of epic fantasy and the first in a series of military SF. There have also been a number of requests to make “The Warthog School of Vocational Magic” into a series as well. I’ll also create things I haven’t even planned on. I’m stoked for all of it and more.

Also I might even, I don’t know, take a nap at some point. I hear they can be wonderful.

Bookbub for Books, Bub
I’m on Bookbub, and in addition to listing my own books I’ve started writing reviews of some of my favorite others’ works. If you haven’t heard of Bookbub, it can be a great way to find explore authors, books and genres. If you’d like to follow me there, click below.

And wherever you are, keep on imagining, ~ j : )