State of the Author

Tired. Frustrated. Tired of.

I admit I’m not having a good morning. I’m frustrated with my lack of progress on my writing and publishing projects. Although I don’t have as much overtime to work as I did earlier this year, what overtime I do manage to get is more physically demanding.

Now I’m finding myself struggling to meet monthly expenses; working harder for less income. It can be disheartening , to say the least. What downtime I get has to be spent literally to rest.

I’ve also found I have a harder time concentrating lately. I don’t know how much of that is due to exhaustion, both physical and mental, or to the hormone changes which accompany perimenopause.

I had hoped to finish the print formatting for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky this past weekend. I didn’t even work on it. Hopefully next weekend. We’ll see.

Thanks for your patience.

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Slug

That’s me. Had a 4 day weekend and didn’t do anything related to my books or this site. Nor do I have Dragon*Con as an excuse. Can’t afford to go. My mortgage and expenses eat my paychecks alive.

To be honest, I haven’t done any work on the print formatting for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky for the past 3 weekends. I am an unmotivated slug. Lately I seem to spend more time napping on the weekends than anything else.

I am going to try to get the book ready to go up soon. Just have to apply some self-discipline.

To all my friends and followers of this blog who DID attend D*C, I truly hope you had an epic time. Maybe one of these years I’ll get back to that convention. (Only attended once back in 1989. Anne McCaffrey was there, and I’m a huge fan. One of my goals is to one day maybe approach her world building and characterization skills.)

Cover Reveal and Update

I finally finished the cover for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. I still have to format the manuscript and other interior design features. This is the first print book I’ve done on my own, so it will be a learning process. I also have to compose a blurb for the back cover.

Thanks for your patience.

In other news, I am renewing my efforts to self publish the Waves of Darkness books.

I also may have an art commission coming up. I plan to contact my potential customer this week to hash out details. This came about because of the Pern fan art I sold at LibertyCon.

Captain’s Log: LibertyCon 32

My table at the Kaffeklatsch Sunday morning

LibertyCon 32 has come and gone. As I’ve stated in the past, this is my favorite convention. It is my home. It is my family.

We lost one of our own earlier this year. Richard Timothy Bolgeo, the founder and former chairman of LibertyCon, left this world in May. He was to have been the Special Guest of Honor this year. Instead, he was memorialized and his life celebrated by all.

I count this year’s convention as a personal success. I sold 3 more books than I bought, for a change. I also sold 4 prints of some Anne McCaffrey’s Pern fan art I created for the Dragon*Con ’89 art show. Although I no longer have the original (lost it about 6 residential moves ago), I was informed by the art show staff at D*C that year that the only piece Ms. McCaffrey bought was a print of my Young Queen with Rider.

I will have prints available at my table at Chattacon next January. I’m still debating whether to do a table at ConNooga in February or not. I’ve never made the table fee back at that con. If I don’t, I might reach out to some of the vendors I know about selling on commission at that one.

The art sales may be leading to some art commissions for me. I haven’t been in touch with the potential client yet to hash out details, so I’m not at liberty to say more at this time.

Picked up some tips and information which may apply to that at the first panel I attended: Cover Art and Illustrations for Fiction Books. The panelists, Amanda Makepeace, Mitch Foust, and Melissa Gay, talked about contract dos and don’ts, what to ask a client for or supply an artist with when commissioning book related art, what fees are separate, how the negotiation of art rights affects the final price, and to subscribe to the Patreon of an artist you want to work with in order to get in good with them.

Trust me, during the course of the convention I heard horror stories from both sides about cover art contracts gone bad or artists who were prima donnas to work with. I also heard stories of fantastic collaborations between artists and/or authors and publishers.

I also picked up some VERY helpful tips about getting professional looking cover art on a budget. This gives me hope for stepping up getting Waves of Darkness books 1-7 back on the market.

I learned some very good tips on marketing in the Newsletter Marketing workshop presented by Russell and Morgan Newquist of Silver Empire Publishing. While I’m not sure if a newsletter is right for me, given my very limited free time, I believe much of the advice can be carried over to the management of this site.

Of the panels I was on, in the Crossing Steampunk panel we discussed what genres work best with crossing over. We determined there really are no limits, since Steampunk is more an asthetic than a defined genre. It is open to individual interpretation and taste. My co-panelists were D . Alan Lewis, Claire Count, Quincy J. Allen, H. P. Holo, and Dan Hollifield.

On the Allure of Pirates panel, which I moderated, we discussed why pirates hold such a draw, whether they be historical or fictitious, on the high seas, in space, or even in Hell (Michael H. Hanson was a contributor to Perseid Press’ Pirates in Hell edition of the Heroes in Hell anthology series). The other panelists were D. Alan Lewis, C. S. Ferguson, and James Hunter, a former Marine and real-life pirate hunter. It was really entertaining to watch Mr. Hunter go all fan boy over Blackbeard when some of us revealed tidbits we’d picked up about him during the course of research on pirates and piracy for our books.

I actually had someone show up for the reading I shared with David Burkhead.

Also, the Kids’ Costuming / Masquerade practically doubled in size this year. We had 4 participants. All the kids put some great work into their costumes and props. It was NOT easy to pick a Best in Show. I hope next year’s is even harder. My co-judges were Susan Brady, Debi Chowdhury, and Jonna Hayden. The kids played Cthulu Dice while we adjourned to the con ops room to make our decisions on who won what.

I do have to admit I didn’t make it to a single science panel this year. This is the first LibertyCon I’ve attended where I didn’t go to the Space Update or the Mad Scientist Roundtable. I have shamed myself.

All in all, I had a great time and am looking forward to next year.

Fun Finds in Word Games

As I’ve stated in some previous posts, I enjoy doing the word games in the local paper: crosswords, acrostics, jumbles, word searches, and cryptograms. The last is my favorite. I really enjoy figuring out the letter patterns to solve them.

Lately, I’ve come across some interesting author quotes in these puzzles. I thought I’d share them here.

My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world, and exiles me from it. ~ Ursula K. LeGuin

The Internet, the greatest diseminator of bad data and bad information the world has ever known. ~ Harlan Ellison

Truth and wry wisdom in those words, I must say.

This final quote put me in mind of the late Tim “Uncle Timmy” Bolgeo, Founder of LibertyCon.

I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. ~ Maurice Sendak

Season One is Complete!

TAoPaw12-Castle-in-the-Clouds

The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe: 12 Castle in the Clouds is now LIVE on Kindle! This is the final episode of Season One. I will be releasing the mini-omnibus of episodes 7 through 12 on Kindle sometime next week.

The print omnibus of the entire season, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, will take a bit longer. Time and finances prevent me from having copies available for LibertyCon at the end of this month as I’d originally hoped. Household expenses must needs take priority. After all, I don’t think I’ve cleared $10USD in royalties on the entire season’s worth of episodes yet. Please, if you’d like to help a frustrated author, buy my books! This series is only $0.99USD per episode. You know you can afford a little cheap thrill and diversion. 😉

Watch for It

The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe: 12 Castle in the Clouds should be available on Kindle early next week. I’m working on the cover, trying to get it finished this weekend.

Next up is putting the season one omnibus, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky together and edited, and designing the cover for it. I may or may not have copies available at LibertyCon, depending on how quickly I can get it ready for publication, and what shape my finances are in then. My overtime pay has pretty much dried up recently, unfortunately.

Once again, I’m seriously thinking about starting a Patreon page as well as a Deviantart page for commissions. I need a semi-profitable side hustle.