• Category Archives Life
  • Stuff about life.

  • Self-care Day

    Markers

    As we continue barreling down the 2020 Timeline of All Things at 1000mph, we also need to remember to take time for self-care, so today will be a half day–or self-care day–because I have an appointment that needs tending to if this middle-aged machine is going to keep bringing you books and comics.

    Attention is also being given to the workflow behind the scenes because, I’m learning, I can’t approach this business like I did prior to being ill. Different variables, both internal and external, have created a different climate in which to work.

    Some retooling is occuring in order to not wind up bed-ridden again.

    Yes, I recognize I sometimes talk a lot of publishing flow here on the blog. This is just me getting my ideas up and processed so I can try a mosaic of things, see if they work, and remove and/or add where needed until the mosaic has some form to it and I’m happy with the image.

    Enjoy your weekend. Read some movie reviews.

    New issue of The Canister X Transmission ships tomorrow.

    See you.


  • vLog – 1000mph Club (Working Method)

    vLog 1000mph Club Working Method

    I made a video discussing the 1000mph Club which, though commonly used to describe car speed, was also used by Warren Ellis in his newsletter, Orbital Operations, about working at a breakneck pace.

    Take a look at the vLog below to see what I said about it. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to stay current on all the latest videos.

    Enjoy!

    Ps. Have a question for me that you’d like answered in a video? Shoot me an email and I’ll do something up for you. Thanks.


  • Mild Day in Winnipeg and Goals for the Week

    Main goals for the week include: Continue keeping the Project Rebuild wheel in motion, continue work on the new art print I started last week, and some behind-the-scenes stuff connected to my little media machine. I’m sure secondary goals for the week will pop up, but until they do, these items get the focus.

    Fairly mild morning here in Winnipeg. We got hit with some real cold weather last week but it’s begun to let up.

    Presently drinking coffee and allowing the brain to come on-line for the day.

    Tomorrow, a new entry for the behind-the-scenes tier airs on Patreon. Get an inside look at how things work behind the curtain here at Axiom-man Central by going here and joining my Patreon journey. Thanks.


  • Stay Focused Social Media Blocking App and Timex TW5M23300 Watch

    Stay Focused Social Media Blocking App and Timex TW5M23300 Watch.

    Last week I was off-line except for a couple of tasks that needed doing via the Internet (like administration). To ensure I remained off-line–I’m just as human as the next guy (I think)–I got an app for my computer phone called Stay Focused. This app can block any app on your phone and, in the free version (which I used), can block up to 5 apps at once. You set a schedule by telling it which hours and what days you want certain apps blocked. I applied these to the social media apps on my pocket computer to keep me on lockout. While true I’m in Broadcast Mode in the winter, as part of broadcasting I sometimes need to go into an app like Instagram and post something. The problem is one glance at the feeds can quickly lead to two, then three, and so on, and the next thing you know you’ve fiddled away an afternoon scrolling and scrolling and refreshing and scrolling.

    This picture is a screenshot of the app from the day I went dark. You can see the stat on there says I’ve already tried opening the app 3 times and each time it didn’t work (was running tests). The timer on locking me out of these apps ran for a week. And it worked! Once I knew I was locked out, I didn’t give the apps a second thought.

    Stay Focused APF

    Stay Focused also acts as a master lock, meaning you have these little locks under it (like the apps you’re blocking), but then you can lock Stay Focused itself–but only in 6-hour chunks in the free version–to ensure you don’t unlock your blocked apps. I’m assuming this is for extreme cases where certain people need a double padlock on their phone. To get even more extreme, I’m pretty sure there’s a lock on Stay Focused that forbids you from uninstalling it in an effort to destroy your barriers.

    What was interesting was it kept track of how many times I unlocked my phone to do something, like reply to a text from family. I was disgusted when I saw, at the end of one of the days, I had unlocked the phone around 35 times. I barely used it that day! But numbers don’t lie. I barely used it? That was 35 times in the span of 12 hours (roughly). That’s approximately 4 times an hour. That’s once every 15 minutes. My unlock count steadily dropped as the week wore on and I got busier, but this goes to show how much we’ve integrated pocket computers into our lives.

    The app has other features, like how long you are using any one program and your total phone usage for the day.

    In the end, getting an app like this is highly recommended, especially if you are a phone junkie and recognize you have a problem (dopamine addiction). And, yes, the irony of this kind of post ranting about frequent phone use is not lost on me. I fully recognize a good part of my business is digital and having people on-line looking at or reading my stuff is better for me yet here I am encouraging my readers to go live life in the physical world. Oh well. But my refutation to the irony is this: I’m referring to balance. Is your on-line and off-line lives balanced? Take away sleeping hours, eating, and body maintenance, and see how much time is spent on a screen while you’re awake. The rest is up to you.

    (I know that author J.B. Bennet got on board and locked themselves out of things during working hours each day, so others see the merit in this.)

    I made this video on Friday of last week and aired it yesterday. It gets into what happened during my time off-line. Watch and subscribe. You might relate.

    Lastly, for months I was getting frustrated of having to pull out my phone to check the time. While 9 times out of 10 all it was was checking the time, there was always that one time in there where it became an excuse to futz around on the phone. I couldn’t have that. I needed to be off-line, so I took the plunge and got myself a basic sports watch by Timex. As a kid, I had a couple of their Ironman watches, which I loved. I was aiming for another basic Ironman this time around but it was suggested to me that’s more a watch for a 15-year-old than a man so opted for a different one because I thought that was a valid point (I’m talking purely the aesthetics).

    This is the watch I got, model TW5M23300:

    Timex TW5M23300 Watch APF

    And that was how I kept dark last week.

    Taking a break from the Internet is something I’ve recommended for years for the sake of maintaining all facets of one’s health. I will go off-line again somewhere down the road because 2020 is a stupidly busy work year and sometimes you need to just shut up and get the job done. But that upcoming time off-line won’t be for a while yet. Not until my first holiday of 2020. Until then, I’ll be here, writing to you and making books and art and comics and videos.

    Keep coming back to the blog every day. There’s always something being posted.

    – APF

    Ps. Today, a new chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine aired on Patreon! Please go here to get access to this fun romp of creature horror for just a buck!


  • vLog – What Happened During my Week Off-line

    vLog - What Happened During my Week Off-line

    vLog – What Happened During my Week Off-line.

    Last week, I was mostly off-line outside of a few work things that couldn’t be avoided.

    I made this video on the Friday to share my thoughts on the experience.

    Watch the video below and see if you identify with anything said and, perhaps, it might encourage you to put your own self-care first when needed as well.

    Enjoy!

    Please subscribe to my channel to be notified every time a new video is uploaded.

    Thanks.


  • Hot and Cold

    Mini heater
    New heater in the box

    I was raised that you show up for work/school despite how you feel. The only excuse to not go to work was either you are so sick you can’t get out of bed or you are dead. This lesson has stuck with me over the years, and while many out there would disagree with that stance with valid arguments, there is a work ethic that grows in you when you go to work even if your head feels two sizes too big.

    Last night, I got hit with a cold and it got progressively worse as the evening wore on. I went to bed and slept like a stone with the idea that–as is usually the case–the beginnings of this cold would be fought off while I slept and I’d wake up feeling 90%-or-better.

    I’m still sick.

    My head hurts and is foggy. My nose is running. My eyes are watering.

    But I showed up to work today and am at the desk in the bunker, using the heater I went out and got for the studio yesterday because living under a cold air mass in the Great White North means extreme cold and, like any fortress, the downstairs is cooler than the upstairs. Typically, by the end of the day, I’m cold through to my bones and my evenings are spent bringing the core temperature of this middle-aged machine back up to par.

    Mini heater in use
    New heater out of the box

    Anyway, I suspect I ran myself ragged again, which is fine (and seems to be a pattern; when things come too easily I get suspicious.)

    Today will be spent doing odds and ends and some thinking. I think the original plan was to do yet another video but, “I sowd lik dis when I dalk,” and my nose is running worse than a broken faucet.


  • The Daily Schedule of a Writer/Artist

    January 27 and 28 2020 day planner

    It’s been a long while since I wrote the daily schedule of a writer/artist (me, in this case). It might have been in one of the newsletters I sent out in the fall that I last talked about it. Might have been on the blog though I’m leaning toward the former. Anyway, regardless, a new layout of the schedule is probably due so here is what a typical day looks like for me at Axiom-man Central. Of course, like in any life, things happen that can throw a wrench into the following general workday. However, I stick to this schedule as the backbone of my whole operation and make time for it as able on days that get screwy. I’ve long advocated a schedule for creators as one of the important ingredients to making a successful career out of the arts.

    Monday to Friday:

    Wake up – Lately it’s been averaging between 8:30 and 9:30am. Next, roll around in bed for a short while to let the brain come online before checking the news.

    Coffee – Go down to the bunker and turn the computer on. Go back up to the main level and get coffee while the computer is loading (older machine so takes a bit to warm up).

    Patreon – On a day a Patreon post is scheduled, I do this first and get it done for my patrons. For example, today was the latest chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine so that was posted before writing this entry. Market Patreon entry.

    Blog – Skip previous step if a non-Patreon day. Write and/or edit blog entry. Take any required picture(s) and post. Market blog entry and set up in the broadcaster a couple of extra notices about the latest entry to air throughout the day on the social feeds.

    Break – Maybe around 15 or 20 minutes. Used to change mental gears. On the break I’ll either read something or play a game or fiddle with something around the house.

    Email – Check email and respond, if needed/able to.

    Work – Writing, drawing, editing, freelancing, book production, marketing, etc. Could be all of those or just one of them. Depends what’s on deadline and what isn’t. Work until 4 with a couple breaks thrown in there between tasks to rest the eyes and/or hands and get blood moving throughout the system. I’ve been trying to give careful attention to lunch because I get so wrapped up working I forget to eat then around 2 I start to feel real sick. A bad habit I’m working on. Back to the job: Pressing work is in my day planner so I consult it every morning so I know if I’ve set the day aside for something(s) specific. Whatever the day planner says I’m doing is priority one for the day. If the day planner shows the day as open, then I work on the next thing due. If things are due more or less around the same time, then I pick whatever I’m leaning toward at that moment.

    End of day – Around 4pm. Start shutting things down; possibly do a couple small tasks that had to wait until the end of the work day for whatever reason (i.e. a quick marketing thing or a phone call or whatever).

    Evening – Cooking is my thing so after the work day is done, I put on my chef’s hat and start thinking about what I want to make for dinner. This involves scoping out the deep freeze and scanning the pantry for ideas (though I usually start getting ideas mid-afternoonish). Then I cook dinner and let the day’s issues–if there are any–melt away. Once dinner is done, the evening is mine to do whatever with whomever (I usually hang out with author Melinda Marshall and this ranges from playing games to reading to TV to going for groceries, etc). On other nights, Melinda and I hang out with my boys.

    Bed – 10pm or thereabouts.

    Saturday:

    Wake up – Somewhere between 9:30 and close to 11am.

    Coffee – Enjoy a cup of coffee with Melinda.

    Newsletter – Head down to the bunker to send Saturday’s newsletter.

    The rest of Saturday and all of Sunday are days off, and it typically takes until late Saturday afternoon for me to put the week in my back pocket. Saturday evening and all of Sunday are used to do next to nothing and purposefully not think about work so my brain can heal from the week and be sharp for the week to come.

    And that’s what a typical week looks like here in the Great White North.

    To touch on what I said above about this schedule being the backbone on days things don’t go as planned, on such days I still let this overall schedule float in the background of my mind so that when a window of time opens up amidst that particularly goofy day, I can still do what needs doing or at least get a start on those things so the day isn’t a wash.

    Right now, this schedule works well and hasn’t changed much since I last talked about it. It will no doubt change somewhere down the line since life isn’t stagnant, but this method works for the time being.


  • Winnipeg Exchange District at Night

    Winnipeg Exchange District at Night

    It came in as a request when I did my video, Reader Questions: Axiom-man Inspiration and Superhero Influences, that some pictures of locations in my Axiom-man novels be shown. Well, dear reader, I’ve got you covered because below is a photo video compilation of the Winnipeg Exchange District at night. This area is often showcased in my books, with a big emphasis on the area in Axiom-man: Underground Crusade.

    Without further ado, here is the Exchange District in real life.

    Please be sure to subscribe to my channel to be notified when a new video is added. Thanks.

    Enjoy.


  • Curating my Own Internet: Read Blog Feed Reader

    Read Blog Feed Reader A.P. Fuchs

    This past weekend I spent some time taking a page out of Warren Ellis’s playbook by downloading a blog feed reader called Read in an effort of curating my own Internet. I loaded into it all the blogs I follow. Now it will notify me of new blog entries from these sources. Since I’m 99.9% off the social feeds for the winter (except for the odd post here and there, usually about my cooking), this makes things easier for me and saves me time checking in on websites.

    The goal is to make my pocket computer’s Internet nice and streamlined in a season of life where I need things streamlined. There are a lot of moving parts going on, both professionally and personally, and it’s time to cut out the clutter and keep things simple. Self-imposed boundaries can be healthy and this is one of the good ones.

    Speaking of which, and this idea is at the consideration stage at the moment, I’m thinking about going dark next week so I can ensure the release schedule is maintained. Pursuant to this blog entry here, I tire out quicker than most because of the after effects of being ill so any spare energy I can save and funnel into my projects is a good thing. I’ll keep you posted.

    Back to Read.

    So far, so good. Saves clicking around or fumbling through my computerized telephone’s browser.

    Here is the link should you wish to add this blog, Canister X (the Realm of Heroes and Monsters), to your feed reader, if you have one.

    Lastly, tomorrow on Patreon airs the next chapter of Gigantigator Death Machine, my ongoing serial novel about a group of young adults hunted by something huge and deadly, with all the creature-feature fun that goes with it. Go here to get caught up and get ready for the new installment.

    Thanks.

    Hope the week pans out well for everybody.


  • On Ambition and Fatigue

    I have a lot to do.

    Lots has been done but I still have some fairly large projects that need completion.

    At the end of each day, I’m beat.

    The frustration: After a full day, I’ve hit my wall. I can’t work anymore. Technically, I could and get by, but I care enough about this stuff to ensure I carry it out to the best of my ability so I honor not only the work but, more importantly, my reader. That said, though I could work a little more or do some task a better way, I know I won’t be at my best therefore run the risk of messing up. Sure, I might still do a solid job overall but if one thing is off, well, I don’t want my reader to be the recipient of that. When you want to work because you enjoy it but you know you can’t is very irritating.

    I live and breathe books and comics. This is what I do and who I am. It’s tough when you need to step back even though you know it’s for the best.

    A character flaw I’m working on, the flaw being not always knowing when it’s time to step away when it’s a good thing to do that. This applies to both knowing when to call it quits for the day and when it’s time to declare a project done.

    Anyone know when the next workaholics meeting is?