My latest anthology, People Are Terrible and Other Stories, is not available for purchase!
How you like this newness? Yeah, I’m feeling bored and uninspired with this bit of blog. I want to do something different with it, but I don’t know what I want to do with it. I’m sort of an asshole like that. So, I figured that maybe a little bit of a layout change my help with my blahness. So far it’s only sort of working.
At least I’ve been productive on the To Do List of Doom, though.
Basically, aside from some cover art and print proofs, I’m set for the rest of the year when it comes to the self-publishing schedule. Everything I’m working on for the rest of the year will be stuff coming out for next year. Right now that’s looking like an anthology and some novellas. One of the novella ideas could go full novel, but I don’t know. We’ll see.
This month I’m going to finish the first drafts of “The Electronic Looking Glass” and “Cabintown Road” which I started at the end of the last month. Then I’m going to start working on one of the novella ideas I’ve got. There are four and their themes are sort of similar so they might actually make a good collection. Not naming any names because I’m not sure which one I’m going to work on and I’m not sold on the titles yet and I’ll probably change them and a 30,000 word story doesn’t need 95 tags because I keep changing my mind.
I’ve got two weeks off of one of my day jobs this month (this year teaching our “spring break” is two weeks in May; “summer vacation” will be two weeks in September) so I’m hoping to use that time to get a lot of writing done.
Yeah, I was laughing before I even finished typing that sentence.
I’m having one of those really helpful productive periods that allows me to lay waste to whatever I put on my daily To Do List, which in turn helps me clear off my mega-To Do List, and all of this accomplishment just inspires me to to do more.
I’m going to try to continue that vibe in April.
Last month I finished up all of the work that needed to be done on the remaining Ivy novellas and they are formatted to ebook specifications, so they will be ready to roll out over the course of the year. All that’s left in their regards is to format the collection paperback and do the covers, which I’ve farmed out certain aspects of the artwork to roommate Carrie, so I won’t have to worry about them until at least May, since I plan on publishing the first novella in June.
Last month I also revised some short stories. I will continue work on “The Seaweed Man” this month because I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing with it. I wrote the new stuff I wanted to include into the story, but I’m not sure how I want to combine the new stuff and the old stuff together. There’s a few different routes to take and I haven’t decided which way is the way to go. I anticipate agonizing over this and futzing around with it for the duration of April.
Also, I’m going to revise “The House Down the Road”, which I was going to revise last month, but completely overlooked because I’m human and not as smart as I think I am.
If I have time, I’ll start writing a couple of short stories, “Cabintown Road” and “The Electronic Looking Glass”, for the next anthology.
And of course, I’ll be publishing my latest finished anthology, People Are Terrible and Other Stories. Look for that sometime next week.
Now is one of those times.
In addition to clearing projects from various To Do Lists, I’m also getting rid of my stuff. I’m either throwing it away, giving it away, or selling it. I have a lot of stuff I no longer need but other people may find useful. I hope to put together a garage sale this summer (probably with someone much better at it considering the last time I did it, all I got was a sunburn).
Right now on eBay, I just have some magazines (The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Sports Illustrated), some books, and that last Monkees VHS tape in my collection that no one will friggin’ buy. However, if I can ship it easily, it’ll probably end up there. I’ve got some Family Guy stuff (DVDs, a Blu-ray, lunch box, collector’s stuff), walkie-talkies, earbuds, and some other stuff in my T0-Sell pile that will probably end up on eBay before my yard.
As for Etsy, in addition to the jewelry and bags already there, I will be listing more jewelry, more bags, and probably some jewelry making things (beads and such) and fabric I’ve decided I’m never going to use.
The one thing that I’ve decided not to sell is my artwork. I gave it one go round on Etsy just for shits and giggles, but in the end, it’s just not the art you sell. It’s the art you give to unsuspecting people. Or suspecting people, as the case may be. The point is that right now it’s taking up space in one of my drawers when it could probably take up space on someone’s wall or fridge and it’s more likely to do that if its free. So I’ll be giving it to some random folks in my life.
Maybe I’ll even put up a few of the drawings here, Twitter, and Facebook to see if any brave souls want to lay claim and risk having their tastes mocked.
So if you want a piece of me, now is the time to get it.
As you most likely know, I published my first title of 2015 back in February (Hatchets and Hearts, in case you missed it) with the idea that I was going to use the same self-publishing schedule for 2015 that I used in 2014 (February, June, October).
Yeah, well, I’ve changed my mind as of now. I say as of now because we all know that I can, may, and most likely will change my mind another dozen times between now and next week.
However, the plan as of this hour will be to publish one of the anthologies next month (April) and then publish the last three Ivy Russell novellas in June, August, and October, and most likely putting the whole collection of novellas together for December.
Well, two reasons. One: This is all part of my goal to get stuff off of my To Do List. There’s no reason for me not to, especially since it’s not like if I publish these titles I’ll have nothing left. I still have another anthology I’m working on plus a several more novellas. I’m sure one of these things will be ready to publish by next year.
Two: There’s really no reason to mete out the Ivy Russell novellas over an extended period of time. Cheaters and Chupacabras sold a grand total of 12 copies so far. May as well get them all out and be done with them.
(Not that I don’t like them or anything. I adore Ivy Russell and her friends. The four novellas ended up making an nice closed circle in my mind, ending any thought about whether or not I should write any more. This is just a business sort of decision.)
I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not I should release The Timeless Man, The Odd Section of Town, and Firebugs and Other Insects individually or just put them together with Cheaters and call it good, but I figure I may as well give them a go on their own. Who knows? Maybe one of those stories will actually take off.
The anthology I’ll be publishing next month is called People Are Terrible and Other Stories. For the five people that bought Rejected, you’ll recognize six of the stories from that no-longer-available anthology (the other three will end up in the other anthology). But there’s six new stories and a novella, too. Fun for the whole family.
Provided the family can do PG-13 to R level stuff and likes horror.
You may have noticed the lack of blog posts in the month of February. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t care. Whatever the case, the point is that you can expect random and fewer blog posts to be the norm for a while. My world is in a bit of transition at the moment, sort of like when I had the existential crisis last year, except it’s less crisis, more change.
Anyway, that doesn’t mean that I’m not doing writer stuff. My goal to clear out my backlog of projects remains intact.
Last month I finished making notes on (Vampries) Made in America and it has all been put to the side for the moment. I’m sick of looking at it. I also finished revisions on Odd Section of Town and Firebugs and Other Insects. I’m satisfied with how they turned out for the most part and I think the next step for them is beta and minor tweaks/polish. I also wrote “A Ride in the Country”, which was actually less writing and more taking a chunk that didn’t make it into Night of the Nothing Man and revising it into it’s own little stand alone bit that will go into one of the anthologies.
This month, I’m going to be working revising short stories that I’m going to use for future anthologies. I’ve already finished a revision on “Nadie Has a Dog” just a few days into the new month (productivity, what?). Also going to be revised this month “People Are Terrible”, “Cover Up” (a rough draft that I found that I think will go nicely in one of the anthologies), “The House Down the Road”, and “The Seaweed Man”. Of these four, it’s “The Seaweed Man” that’s going to take the most work. It’s going to be more of a rewrite than a revision.
Slowly, but slowly, the backlog decreases.
When I went through my sewing drawer and bin, trying to assess what projects I needed to do this year so I could make some progress in clearing out my sewing drawer and bin, I came across two pairs of pajama pants. One was ripped up in the thigh area (friction is a science-based bitch) and the other pair was stretched out (there was a time when they fit a lot more loosely than they did when I tried them on to assess their worth, I won’t lie). And while it was rather easy for me to see which t-shirts would be good candidates for tote bags, I was a little stumped as to what to do with the pants. At first I thought I should just keep them for fabric scraps.
And then it hit me.
Why couldn’t I just make skirts out of them like I’d done to my jeans? The fabric and designs would make for cute skirts and I already had experience since I’d done a couple of skirts, so this wouldn’t be too difficult.
The plaid skirt wasn’t and I was pretty straight forward with it. I just cut off the legs at the desired length, cut open the legs, sewed everything together leaving a small back vent (the thigh holes weren’t any trouble), and then used hem tape to give the bottom him some weight. Ta Da! Skirt!
The star skirt was a little more involved because in order for this to work I’d have to take in the waist. The elastic was old and stretched out. Taking it in was the most obvious choice and I didn’t let never having done that before stop me. I did the same thing with the star skirt as I did with the plaid skirt, except I cut up the back seam as well. I cut the band, resized it, and then sewed everything back together. I decided that I liked the way the front looked with that open part and just did a small hem on it so it would keep that ripple effect but not fray. Then I used hem tape on the bottom hem and done! A second skirt.
It’s been too cold lately for me to test drive either of them. Maybe this weekend. I admit that since they’re old pajama pants, the material is pretty thin, but I think they’ll be really nice for late spring/summer/early fall when the temps are warmer.
And, of course, I did both of them by hand.
I’m still waiting for the day I learn to work a sewing machine.
Well, maybe a little.
The (Vampires) Made in America saga continues. I will continue to assess this disaster area and attempt to rebuild.
However, in decidedly more productive ambitions, I’m going to put The Odd Section of Town and Firebugs and Other Insects through their first revisions. I’ve already given The Timeless Man it’s final polish (see, some good things did come out of that (Vampires) debacle last month), so working on the other two Ivy Russell novellas makes sense. I’m fairly optimistic that these revisions will not cause me any eye twitches, but I don’t want to get my hopes too high. I’ve got a great ability to jinx myself.
I’m also planning on writing a new short story called “A Ride in the Country”. Don’t panic! This story will be for one of the in-progress anthologies, so it totally counts towards my objective of getting all of the old projects completed.
And, of course, I’ll be publishing something this month.
Look for it around Valentine’s Day.
Yeah, I’ll be getting rid of more than one thing, I’m sure.
2015 has become The Year of the Purge.
Just in the first few weeks of the new year, I’ve been thinking about things I could get rid of, that I should get rid of, and I’ve gotten rid of a few things (old socks mostly). But it goes beyond the material and physical. I’ve already cleaned out emails, gotten rid of some sites I don’t really use anymore, and I’m looking to delete pictures from my phone and get rid of a bunch of links that I don’t need anymore in my bookmarks folder.
Back to the physical.
I’ve got a tub and a drawer full of fabric and t-shirts and other clothes designated for sewing projects. I’ve made a list of some sewing projects to get me started. The goal is to complete these projects and then either keep, sell, or give away the results, therefore clearing out my tub and drawer of some of the material I’ve accumulated.
I’ve boxes of things in the basement from an unsuccessful garage sale attempt a couple of years ago. I’m thinking another attempt needs to be made. Or I’m going to start listing things on eBay.
And, no, my writing hasn’t been spared from this need to lighten the load. My goal is to have all of the projects in various stages currently on my To Do List of Doom finished completely by the time NaNoWriMo gets here in November. My discipline has been sorely lacking when it comes to getting projects completed in a timely manner. This year, it changes. Nothing new until one novel, two anthologies, three novellas, and three outlines are done.
I need to be rid of these things, whether in my head or on my laptop or in my house.
This year, I’m all about losing weight.
Just not the kind that shows up on the scale.