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.
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.
Lots going on, with some projects for clients on the tail-end of completion, Project Rebuild in full swing, and working on other projects both in terms of on-line content and for hardcopy books and comics. While this week seemed full on the onset, the load is already beginning to lighten due to tying up some things yesterday. I figured out on the weekend why things have seemed hectic: Project Rebirth. When Project Rebirth started in the fall, it was a project that had a lot of moving parts and a lot of little tasks associated with it so each day I was doing a plethora of things to get my career running again. Now, and I’m fairly sure I’ve previously mentioned, my workflow is shifting to fewer things in the day because those fewer things take more time. In the end, this switch-up in working is a welcome one because I nearly crashed prior to the Holidays with juggling so many things.
Anyway, adjustments made. Focus change pleasant.
Speaking of focus and zeroing in, today I posted a couple of pages to Patreon of pencils from Secret Project No. 3, showing what these things look like before they’re ever printed in comic book form. Go here to check it out and read past patron-only blog posts, essays, a serial novel, and more.
Pretty sure I’m stuck in an accelerated timestream.
Anyway, I set out into 2020 with specific goals now that all my prelim work is pretty much done. (All discussed in my newsletter.)
And so . . . here is where some projects stand a couple of weeks into 2020:
Project Rebuild: First batch of second editions are my Undead World Trilogy. The new cover style–which looks incredible–is almost done. Layout to begin soon. Here is the original announcement.
Patreon: New tiers and options to be added once some second editions come out. Gigantigator Death Machine is the current feature playing as a serial novel with a new installment every two weeks. This will run until May, if I counted out the installments correctly. A new serial novel will start up after this first one is done. Please go here to start reading the previous chapters so you’re ready for the next episode.
Artwork: Putting the final touches on a commission. Have permission to share it on-line once the client receives it in the mail.
Freelance: In the middle of a project for someone and still have my client that requires two days a week. (Which slows down my published work output but, hey, need to keep the lights on somehow.)
New published work: This involves all the various projects I mentioned in previous blog posts and in the newsletter. As of this writing, the plan is to do a few second editions first then release something new then more second editions then new work, and so on. This plan keeps me at a pace I can manage, which in turn benefits you by giving you a pattern for 2020 and something to look forward to.
YouTube: The channel is growing and content is going up at, on average, a video a week. Your subscription to the channel helps keep the writing and art machine running so please subscribe if you haven’t already.
Daily blogging: Still on the Monday-to-Friday schedule. I’m doing my best to give you something each day that entertains or informs at least one person. Check back daily for new entries. If you check back and the blog hasn’t been updated, check back again later. Lately, my blogging hour has been shifting for various reasons.
Vacation: Though I took a break over the Holidays, it wasn’t really a break. In the end, I had a few days for a breather because it took me until Boxing Day to finally slow down and just relax. Throw in some Holiday activities during that relax time and I didn’t end up having a genuine break. I was back at it on the 30th. So, things are in motion for a legit winter holiday, but by the time all is arranged, that won’t be until February sometime. Watch this space.
Conventions and public appearances: One convention has been announced. I have irons in the fire in others and am waiting to hear back.
Posted through my social channels this morning:
“Hoping to find new inroads in the publishing world (books and comics) in 2020. I’m convinced the current standard system is terrible. That said, it’s up to creators to create the market, not companies. We need to get that straight first otherwise it’ll be same old, same old.”
I stand by the idea that creators create the market. Read my essay, “Why I Quit the Publishing Industry and Opted to Just Make Books Instead,” to find out my thoughts on the current climate and my general attitude toward it. If you’re a creator reading this, please check out the essay. We’re not at the mercy of various companies to get our work out. They’re at your mercy to provide them work to distribute. They don’t have a business without you. Take that to heart. Stand strong. Make new roads. Find out new ways to share with your readers. You and your readers are the ones in control, not these companies.
Okay. That’s all I’ve got for now. Thank you for checking in.
Project Rebirth: Final Update and Announcement given this sixth day of the twelfth month in the year 2019 AD.
It’s been a long, busy journey, but Project Rebirth is complete up to the point where I can transfer out parts of the project into the “things I need to finish” category, in other words, what’s left to do is the “more” part that I’ve mentioned in previous updates.
So, as always, a recap of what’s complete and what that strange “more” is all about.
The following list is taken from the last update on Project Rebirth.
Resumption of my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission: Goes out every Saturday and has been for a while now. Please subscribe here and get yourself a free thriller e-novelette as a thank you for joining me.
A Patreon account with special content just for patrons: All systems have been in go mode for a while now, too. By becoming a patron, you get access to an ongoing serial novel, essays on the creative life, a look behind-the-scenes, and other fun stuff. Joining the journey supports what I do and keeps the projects alive. Please join my patrons and I on my Patreon journey here.
Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter: All the books are printed up. Special piece of exclusive art to the Frozen Storm lettered edition needs a final touch, printing, then into the books.
Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold: See the “more” section below.
Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products: Transferring this portion of the project into the “things I need to finish” category. Keep an eye on this blog for news and updates as we bring the Cobalt Crusader into 2020. I really want to get that long-awaited Battle of Power Trilogy storyline done and published.
Revving up public appearances and media again: Best place to keep up to date with these is via the Convention and Book Signing Schedule page on this site. Please go there to check out what’s booked so far. Regarding interviews and whatnot, those will be announced on the blog when they happen and will also be listed under the Interviews section of this site.
New YouTube channel: Been running for a short while now. New videos uploaded regularly. Please subscribe here so you don’t miss the latest video.
More . . . : A Web presence redesign along with a retooling of the social media pages was part of this and is complete. There is more SEO stuff to do to properly bring the blog into the New Year, but that is a pick-at project for when I have the time and there’s no real deadline other than, say, by spring or something.
The big part of “more” is this: Book redesigns!
A good chunk of my book covers are dated and need an upgrade so many are getting one. I also need to adjust the distribution system for a pile of titles to keep them available and searchable at various retailers. Presently, all first editions are still available so if you’re a first-edition collector, please head over to my Book and Comic Shop and stock up. If you’d like a signed copy, please email me directly and we’ll make arrangements.
As the titles begin to transfer over to their new form, I will post notices here as to which books are being redone and when so you can keep current with what’s what. This book redesigning effort is a large project and is going to take time because there are so many titles. My aim is to do them in chunks. At the time of this writing, my plan is to update my backlist before releasing anything new (despite new titles already being complete behind the scenes). It’s better for my books’ overall quality that I stay in one kind of headspace (re-releasing the backlist) before switching into another (releasing new titles).
But have no fear for new comic book releases are scheduled! I will announce these in a separate blog post when the time comes.
So there you have it. This is my winter and what’s coming down the pike. I’m not joking when I say I’m busy.
Thank you for your patience as I got the media machine up and running again. Thank you for your support reading this blog and watching my videos. Thank you for grabbing the first editions of my monster and superhero books.
While I was ill a lot of stuff fell by the wayside. Some projects were done, others unfinished. It’s taken a while to figure out where things are at but today I came up with a publishing plan that I’m comfortable with, especially since I’m still on the mend.
So that said, here’s the plan:
While I’m doing the “more” of Project Rebirth, I will be publishing comics until the “more” is complete. I will talk about the “more” soon enough on the blog so stay tuned for that. Regarding comics, I have two projects on the go and they are such that I can maintain both without killing myself. They are Project Jackass and Project Cobalt.
Status of each:
Project Jackass: In the writing phase along with release and publication planning. Some design done. Publication planning mostly complete. This is a project that will be executed in an unusual way compared to what you’re used to from me.
Project Cobalt: New phase just started but still in the writing phase overall. Publishing plan mostly pinned down.
These are scheduled to debut next year.
There is a tiny chance Project Jackass will arrive before 2019 is out but don’t hold your breath. There are a lot of things that need to come together for this and my schedule is quite packed at the moment because apparently doing 101 things at once is how I roll.
One thing is certain, however: My days as just being a writer are over. I’m in a new era in my personal life and the old chapter is closed, including how I handled my creative career during that time. Going forward, I’m a writer/artist so my energies will be spent making both books and comics. Comics are what started me in this business all those years ago and it’s fitting that things have come full circle.
I can’t wait to reveal what these project code-names really are.
Lots of comics on the brain these days, both the creation of them and the publishing of them (the latter being the most difficult in the context of distribution; publishing them in general is a non-issue). I’m basically living in my head on the matter and have written notes where and when needed. An overall plan is starting to congeal but there are still a few missing elements which will no doubt present themselves the further I get into the process.
I’m still waiting to hear back from some people on something that will dictate the winter schedule. I expect I’ll be hearing something soon thus helping things on my end.
Resumption of my newsletter, The Canister X Transmission: This has been back up and running for a while now and is just as enjoyable now and it was all the years I’ve been doing it. Please subscribe by going here. You get a free novelette as a thank you.
A Patreon account with special content just for patrons: This has also been running for a bit now. It’s a lot of fun and I’m thrilled to provide exclusive content to my patrons. Please join the Patreon journey and get access to an ongoing serial novel (plus other things, depending on the tier you select), by going here.
Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter: The paperback is coming off the line at the printer’s right now so a pick up is in the near future. I will sign the books then send them to Jeff Burton for his signature before they go out to backers. The lettered edition is printed and signed on my end. I’m in the process of inserting a piece of exclusive art into the book. Once this is done, these will also go to Jeff Burton for signature then to backers. If you missed the kickstarter but want a copy of the book to complete your Axiom-man and/or Auroraman collection, please go here.
Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold: A list is made, but this is tied into the “more” below, so as it stands right now, I’m not moving on them just yet.
Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products: In process.
Revving up public appearances and media again: To be looked at over the winter.
New YouTube channel: The channel has been up for a short while with more videos being added as time goes on. Please subscribe here.
More . . . : This “more” is tied into the “hearing back from some people” statement above. This step is a big part of my winter so I’m in a holding pattern until I know what’s going on. Watch this space for more info once I have it. I think a Web presence redesign was part of my original plan for “more” so that’s also complete both here on the blog and on social media.
And that pretty much sums up where things are at with Project Rebirth. More news to come as things progress along.
Reminder: A Tip Jar was set up yesterday on Patreon and on Ko-fi. The tips are meant to help fuel the free stuff I put on the Web (daily blogging, YouTube videos, a weekly newsletter, and artwork). Thank you in advance for any beans you throw my way.
Awhile back I decided that November 1, 2019, would mark the day I officially went into winter hibernation mode aka Heavy Broadcast Mode. My work plate is mighty heavy and I need to keep my head low and just get things done. That said, I will be off the social feeds until spring. However, that doesn’t mean my feeds will be an empty desert. I’ll be broadcasting social content to you from here at the Central, but if you need to interact, please send me an email as I won’t be checking PMs.
One of the major tasks I need to do this winter is overhaul the website. The content will remain but the programming language is dated and I need to bring things up to speed if I’m to stay relevant as we progress down the Timeline of All Things. The aim is to do that this weekend, so if you come by the site between now and next week, don’t fret if things look in disarray. I’m hoping for a smooth transition and nobody is none the wiser, but I’ve also been around Web stuff long enough to know glitches happen when all you want to do is execute what is supposed to be a simple procedure(s).
Today also marks the beginning of a new month, which means a new month starts up on my Patreon page, in turn opening the gates for new chapters in my ongoing serial novel, Gigantigator Death Machine, essays, behind-the-scenes stuff, and more. Please join me and my other patrons as we embark on November’s journey by going here.
What is all this winter stuff I keep talking about? I don’t want to give away all the surprises, so I’ll give you a vague summary instead:
Last night, as I was winding down, I was struck with an idea for another massive project, one that, by it’s very nature, would be ongoing for years to come. I made a bunch of notes, but I had that famous moment where I thought, Gee, don’t I have enough to do already?
“Why is it that I keep coming up with ideas for gigantor projects? As if I’m not busy enough writing books, making comics, blogging daily, taking and sharing pictures of my cooking efforts, marketing, freelancing, and trying to rebuild my life. I need to stop sleeping.”
If I could indeed stop sleeping, that would free up 8 to 10 hours a day. But I also know that without a good night’s sleep, a person won’t make it in this world, and my years of functioning off minimal sack time are long gone.
My plan for this massive project is to let it simmer in the ol’ noggin and if I’m still hyped about it in a week or two (or more), then maybe I’ll put it in motion.
Outside, fall has settled. The gray clouds are out. My kind of weather.
This is a fitting picture of work life at the moment. Lots of work in progress (the leaves), with ominous gray clouds hanging overhead (projects yet to be done). It’s been a long time since I’ve had sixteen thousand things on the go. (Okay, not that many but you get the idea.)
I’m thankful to be working again. I’m thankful to have enough on my plate to keep the creative machine going.
I’m thankful I’m no longer in my own personal gray forest. Just a gray forest of work.