Monday, September 30, 2013

What is this Shutdown, and Who's to Blame?

So, the shutdown.

First off, it's not one or the other parties' fault. It's both of them. We should fire them all, and get some third party people up there. But everyone's pointing the finger at the GOP, so perhaps their time has come and the Libertarian Party, as the third-largest party, can rise and take their place. With improvements. The LP stance is one in favor of personal freedom and, more importantly at this moment in history, lower government spending. One can only hope, I suppose.

Second, the shutdown is neither only a good thing or only a bad thing. It is a good and bad thing. The good part is smaller, it is that perhaps, with these continued failures on the part of our government, we can decide things aren't working and start over. Not super likely, but possible.

The bad part is that the continuous shutdown threats (there will be another on Oct 17th unless we reduce the debt) is a sign of a failing system, sputtering before it crashes. Great kingdoms have fallen before. The middle east used to be the crown of civilization, and now they live in squalor. The Roman Empire left the world in a dark age when it fell. And it's naive to say this can't happen again, or to our nation. And if our country fails, the rich will be fine, while the (tiny) middle class and the poor will have to struggle to survive, even more so than now.

I'm disappointed in our leaders, but not in a shocked way. More of a tired, but, "This was expected," sort of way. Isn't anyone else tired of them all? Why do we keep voting for the lesser of two evils? It doesn't help anything. The argument, "Well, isn't it better to have these problems than those others," is flawed, because all problems are leading us deeper into the hole. Stop voting for the guy with the smaller shovel, vote for the (admittedly less popular) guy with a pile of dirt.

Rant over. Sorry for being a downer. Hopefully my dismal thoughts have no merit and we'll keep chugging on.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Year Project Update

It's time for my Five Year Project Update! I know I've been updating you all a lot recently, but bear with me.

My goal for the Five Year Project is to self publish a book a year. This past month, I officially hired a cover artist and editor for my book, The Complete Guide to Being Evil, as well as a filmmaker and two actors for the book trailer. I made my Kickstarter project live, got more active on Goodreads, finally joined Twitter, and got my blog more visible in Google searches. I also narrowed down which book I'm going to write next to two options which I'm equally excited about (if you're curious, it's between Mage Assassin and From an Unbreakable Egg, summaries found here).

So many links!

Next Friday I will have, side by side, a possible scene from each of those stories. So come on back next week to vote on which scene and which idea you like best.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kickstarter Video

You can find my Kickstarter project here. I also uploaded the video on YouTube, linking back to the project in the description. If you want to help me out, you can chip in to the project, or if you're low on funds, just watch the video and give it a thumb up. Thanks!

Finished! And My Kickstarter is Up!

My final revisions on The Complete Guide to Being Evil are done. I've got a few sketches from my cover artist, I've started my editor at work, I've finished my Kickstarter video launched my Kickstarter project! I've been uber productive this week.

I'm hoping within the next week to get my book trailer finished up and added to the Kickstarter. In the mean time, please check out what's there now and consider chipping in. I'd be eternally grateful.

In the next few months, I'll be making an appearance on a few blogs around, and hopefully a few well-watched book review vlogs. And on November 29th, my book will be published!

What do you plan to get done in this next week?

Welcome to my newest follower: BE Sanderson!

Friday, September 20, 2013

No Writing Juice to Spare

I'm revising. . .yeah, can't write new scenes unrelated to The Complete Guide to Being Evil right now. Sorry. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another Revision Update, and a Call for Help

I've had an explosion in revising productivity! This last week I tore through another 21.8k words of The Complete Guide to Being Evil (I've only got that much again left to go, now. Perhaps next Tuesday I'll be done?). And I officially hired a filmmaker (which I keep trying to spell flimmaker. Ew) for my book trailer, and today I begin casting for the actors.

Crazy! And that's while I had my worst two weeks (health-wise) that's ever happened to me. I had female issues, my mild IBS acted up, I got tonsillitis, I had a slight disk leak (thank goodness not a full-blown herniation), and then I got the sniffles. Blerg! But now that that's all (pretty much) over I feel packed full energy, and ready to do anything!

Except hiking. My feet aren't ready for that in combination with a full work week, yet. Plus it's still freaking 90 degrees in one of the northern-most places in the US. Wtf. Anyway, I'll get to that in the fall.

Call for Help: Anyone reading this who wants to help with my cover reveal? Shoot me an email at arbiterofsanity at gmail.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Night Alone

"Who is the girl who dances in starlight?" she sang, waving her staff. A column rose from the ground, stone grinding on stone. Stars streaked overhead, the meteor shower stronger than any she'd seen yet. She paused to stare at it, then twirled and went back to raising a new castle.

"Who is the girl whose soul shines so bright?" She gestured, and another column, identical to the first, rose nearby. With a point of her staff the torch on top lit up, providing a little more light to see by.

Another flurry of activity overhead. She glanced up at the sky, wondering where out there her home planet was, and if anyone there remembered her. One of the streaks of white, instead of fading, grew thicker.

She gaped.

As the line grew wider, it grew red. It became a line of flame, falling toward her lonely world. Then it impacted. A cloud of dust flew up in a cloud, obscuring a small portion of the sky.

She scrambled down to the ground, then skipped toward the landing site. Probably it was just a hunk of rock, leaving a crater in her perfectly-crafted world. But it was possible that maybe, just maybe, it was a capsule containing someone else to share it with.

"Who is the new bird landed here? And what new wonders will appear?"

Copyright Jacob Probelski, found here. This is the artist who will be doing the cover art for The Complete Guide to Being Evil!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Revision Progress

I've revised 11,300 words of my book, The Complete Guide to Being Evil, in the last week, which averages about 1.6k a day. Go me! I'll keep working as quickly as possible. Also in the last week I have found and settled on an editor and cover artist.

I spoke with a marketing consultant recently, and it sounds like I've planned out most of the steps myself already. Get a book trailer on YouTube, hire ad space, blog tours, focusing marketing online for my target reader. And I'd also thought of some things she didn't mention, like sending some well-watched vlog book reviewers a free copy of my book in return for a review, and paying Kirkus Reviews for their say.

So. . .do I really need a marketing consultant? It's starting to look like I don't. It would be cheaper and not that much harder to run my own campaign.

What steps have you taken to further your goals recently?

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Armed Gypsy

The fortune teller smiled at the man who entered her tent. After her eyes had readjusted from the flash of light to the darkness of the tent, lit only by candlelight, she shifted in her seat, allowing her earring and the bells on her wrap to jingle.

"I recognize your face. You have been to me before."

"That's the past, not the future," he grunted. "Get telling."

Her back stiffened. "You aren't really here for that, are you?"

"Oh, so now you can see some glimmer of what's to come, huh?"

"My gazing did not serve you well, then." She sighed. Truly she felt sorry for the man. But she had to eat somehow, and people gladly gave away money, most of them knowing it was all a show. A rare few, though, actually believed.

"You said to wait a little longer, and my waiting would pay off. I stopped looking for work I didn't enjoy, but I didn't get the job I wanted, either. I'm bereft! My wife left me!"

He was fiddling with something small. In the dark, she heard a bullet click into a clip.

Fool! she thought. He intends to shoot me, but didn't come prepared. She threw off her wrap--revealing a tight outfit that didn't inhibit movement, with two revolver holsters and a bandoleer strung along her hip. As she moved toward the tent flap, she drew and cocked her revolvers.

The man realized what she was doing and aimed his weapon at her.

She threw herself backwards, flooding the tent with light. He closed his eyes, just long enough for her to fire, pulling both triggers.

And now I continue to eat, and your misery is over.

Image found here.

Meh, not my favorite of my shorts. Whatever. I'm making good progress on my book, The Complete Guide to Being Evil. 20k of 60k done! And this image was done by another of the artists I'm considering using for the cover.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Winner! and My Goals

And the winner of the free critique is... Hanneen I Adam! Please email me your piece at arbiterofsanity at gmail.

So, as you may know from my last Tuesday post, I've decided to self-publish my novel, The Complete Guide to Being Evil. My plan is to use Kickstarter to pay for the marketing. And I think the best time to publish it would be Black Friday.

For that to happen, I'd need to have it funded by November 1st. If I let the Kickstarter run 20 days, that has it starting October 12th. For that to happen, I need to get it all revised in the next 5.5 weeks. I have another 47k words to revise, so I'd need to do at least 1.3k a day.

Challenge accepted!

Every week I'll let you know if I met my 9.1k per week goal, so that if I fail you can SHAME ME and I'll get back on track. Because I'm tired of sitting around wishing to be an author. It's time to go for it!