I thought I posted here in October, but I don’t see any sign of it on the hard drive. A check online says that I totally forgot to post a link to the October festivities. My apologies. I’m afraid that this might be only the first of the bad news. This year has been a financial disaster to put it mildly. My business is in dire straits and closing it up looks more likely by the day, despite having no other prospects for other work. I need a solution and fast.
I could Kickstarter my first novel. That might involve sending it out to an editor rather than giving it one more run through myself. I have no idea what the stretch goals would be other than a short piece of companion fiction that I wrote. Publishing options might be possible such as paperbacks and hardcovers. I still have not looked into creating the Kindle edition myself.
I have considered a Kickstarter for one of my role-playing games, but I am leery of proceeding on that without being further along in principal writing. I want people to have faith that it will happen in short order and not drag out well beyond the deadline I would have to come up with for completing the books, and whatever other material is required to earn higher rewards than just the book itself (or maybe I see too many Kickstarter projects with lots of varied and additional rewards).
The page at DriveThruStuff selling stock art has not materialised yet though I do know what the initial images will be, and I at least have some of them at different stages of completion. I do not expect high sales figures there, simply because of how few people would want to have the same art as some other project, so it is not like I will be selling mass quantities. Essentially the issue there is being able to produce fast enough to turn some kind of profit.
I do not know who and how many people I could rally for a fundraiser. I need to get my 2013 calendar ready really soon and see to getting it available in printed versions as opposed to the print your own copy available for 2012. That could be something to use as gift for donations and a tangible reason for people to want to support my efforts.
I don’t even know what kind of numbers I need to keep afloat, though certainly I can say I need at least $1000 over any productions costs just to get my credit situation back to the state it was in the start of this year, and as you can guess that isn’t all that great either. I’m open to plausible suggestions that don’t involve spamming people unnecessarily or legal troubles.
It feels like the year is almost over with only a quarter of it left. There seems little to show for it, but that is a decided pitfall of producing in the quantity that I did the previous year and a half before that. It’s easy to polish and repackage. It’s even easer when it was three years worth of material squeezed out in a new shape in half that time, while everything else ran on as normal around it.
This year has been about production and it is easy to forget the extra time and effort required for that. There’s been a lot of retraining that has gone on, and continues. There have been pitfalls and other time sinks. Throughout, the pace remains slow, and contrasted to the more active but less thought requiring work, it feels all the slower. There is even a feeling that the learning period is a waste to be begrudged. Don’t do that. The end result isn’t always the most important part at this stage. Not everything has to be perfect from the get go. Not everything has to be saleable. Not everything has to be made to be sold in the first place. Sometimes it is important to do for yourself even if it is fully polished.
Don’t fall prey to the mercenary. Make and do what you have to make and do to satisfy creativity, and then focus on what you need to do for the market. If the indulgent outweighs the lucrative figure it in as part of the loss or the cost of creativity. Plan on it, work around it as little or as much as necessary. Stifling that artistic urge only stifles the results if the urge needs to be relieved like building pressure, or if it is the steam powering the engine in the first place.
Music: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Guns N’ Roses.
Wednesday was a bust with no post. Last Thursday was the same. I should have made up for it yesterday, but I did not. Next week is clear except for Saturday; the chase and evade must continue. I was trying to push forward on paying (hopefully) work Wednesday, but yesterday was a total day off with nothing to show for it. As you can see I do not have a particular topic for today other than more updating on what hasn’t gone on.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel; it’s rock and roll!
I just realised that if I want to do the smart thing this year I have to begin working on the 13 Nights of Hallowe’en next week. Usually I cram all the work in on the actual 13 days. It’s gruelling, things get left undone within the posts themselves, and there’s not much time for any other outside work to get done. I think I still have incomplete tags from last year’s movies to finish. It seemed every movie was jam packed with talent and creators each with a dearth of other titles to their credit. This makes me think I might go more indie with the movies this year, and smaller cast films. I know a bunch of new movies I wanted to cover anyway that may fit that bill too.
Music: Tears of the Dragon by Bruce Dickinson.
Each day seems like more than one, yet at the same time each of those multi-days flies by into actual weeks and months. At least it can hardly be described as boring in the short term. I don’t have much to report and this seems like a good week to report on how work is progressing.
I have a bunch of art in various states of completion. I do not have the four primary or key pieces done that I wanted before starting a store, but I have a lot of secondary pieces getting there. I should press on ahead nonetheless.
I put together a lot of coding for the new unlisted tags to be put into the Knowledge Base over at Battered Spleen Productions(TM). I didn’t track how many unlisted tags will be added. I have not uploaded them yet because I do not have the new cross-blog tags sorted out and added yet. I may have to tackle that task manually, which with potentially over 2000 tags to check is more than a little work.
That’s really all there is that isn’t readily apparent. Of course Umbral Intentions(TM) keeps on rolling. I’ve been keeping Learning Dark Arts going, if at a slightly slower pace. I even managed to find an image I wanted to posted but began to believe I had never saved outside of the program. Then lastly (of the biggies) R.G. Male’s Dark Corners is the same as always with a themed series running it’s way toward completion.
Enjoy your weekend, and don’t forget to check out Umbral tomorrow.
Music: Out Right Now by Material Issue.
Sometimes a simple idea grabs you. Sometimes it is a little web comic. Sometimes it is a snippet of a story. On this occasion it was both of the last two. If you want to see what got me writing without spoilers then check out Zombies Are the Least of My Worries ( http://sci-ence.org/zombies/ ).
The point of the comic and the story is that people are more dangerous than zombies in the zombie apocalypse. This isn’t always true in just any disaster such as a hurricane, but certainly so when it comes to surviving the dead rising en masse to consume the living. Occasionally this comes up in movies, but not a lot, and certainly not in a direct way. It is more often stupidity or blind arrogance that leads to the trouble amongst the survivors, than it does intentional malice. Of course I can think of some exceptions.
There is one point where I disagree with the article accompanying the comic. The article’s author is wrong. Getting into trouble almost right away and running from a pack of slavering fast zombies is a good plan for a game session! It’s certainly a much better story after the fact.
As much as this grabbed me and sent the wheels spinning anew, it was not a new concept that even the worst zombie attack might be desirable compared to evil afoot at the same time. I’m throwing this out there in case it is something new for your or gets your mind going anyway. It’s almost never bad advice to go out and find some inspiration and then run with it. Go now and I’ll see you again next time.
Music: Magetsu No Shiwaza (Because of the Full Moon) by Aya Hisakawa.
Enjoy your lucky day! That is all.
Music: He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask) by Alice Cooper.
“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” — William Gibson (purportedly)
I watched a video that was three years old now and a follow up to a slightly earlier video by maybe another year–could be less. In this video, equipment that is out of stock, and no doubt out of date by this hour’s standards, was put together to do some amazing things that go beyond the amazing things the original video did even longer ago. This custom, jury-rigged system, with its custom open software does things that make your best laptops, phones, and tablets look downright archaic–though admittedly a phone was likely running the software, but at this point it could be one of those cheap tiny computers that fit in your shirt pocket. I mean, there are new phones just on the market that make my big computer that was almost bleeding edge a while ago look absolutely weak. So a computer half the size of your phone not running it’s own power-sucking display will fly along with good battery life.
It doesn’t actually matter what this homemade device and software suite does, though you may see it in this week’s TechStop. It only matters that it is futuristic compared to what I can go find in a store, but yet it was made out of common parts. It matters too that it can still do those amazing things on those same out of date parts if you still had them lying around in working condition–and will do it on new equipment if you know what you are doing with the software. The amazing parts of what it can do won’t improve until those on the shelf items become amazing themselves, as well as when there is another leap forward in what the Internet is allowed to do, which both are likely already doing so in different people’s labs right now. This scenario and others like it play out all the time and will continue to do so. Waiting for these to hopefully come to everybody else is the hard part.
Music: Anything, Anything by Dramarama.
Half of the year is gone now. There is nothing new to report here. Everything remains behind the scenes and moving at an excruciatingly slow pace.
I’ve been thinking about dreams and nightmares lately. They are great tools in and out of fiction–as usual of all types: books, scripts, video games, and role-playing games. One of the common feelings about horror and younger people that keeps coming out, and it was refreshed for me through a movie lately, is that horror movies and comics and the like give nightmares to these minors, and new to the genre people. My experience is that immersing in these stories allows people to have their nightmares while awake and then they can have not necessarily less–in number–while sleeping, but weaker nightmares. This is a push and pull, and I think as you take more in that it is more prevalent toward pull into the real world. You reach a point where your nightmares are hardly different than the movies you have seen. You’ve seen the horrors before and had time to deal with them.
The key difference though between these waking and sleeping nightmares is intimacy. You immerse yourself in the story in front of you to only a particular degree. You are always a tiny step away from being knocked out of it. For the most part you are a degree separate too because you are not the viewpoint character of the story. In your sleeping nightmares, even if you are not you in the dream, you cannot step out of that viewpoint. You are stuck in whatever situation with no escape, or no release, until such time that the nightmare ends or you awake out of it. You can’t put the book down or turn the movie off.
On a different but related note, I’ve also been considering some works with the idea that there may be no difference between a (sleeping) nightmare and reality where certain events are involved. Obviously this consideration is for fiction in that no one decides to believe some traumatic dream events are real for the fun of it. They either believe such a thing is possible, or that it is not, and they can even change their mind, but not on a lark. The basic premise is that an encounter with an extra-dimensional entity such as an alien, devil, or other, in a dream or nightmare is as real as if the encounter happened while you (the character in this case) were awake. It’s just an idea I’m toying with using. I also have some possession related ideas I’m considering writing into something.
Music: Coma by Guns N’ Roses.
I’ve been watching four hour swathes of entertainment in the same setting, many times multiple nights in the week. It’s like slipping into another world for a time.* It’s like living someone else’s life from the outside.** It’s an experience that cannot be duplicated in prose or even audio alone. That is partly due to pacing, but mostly due to being a medium of sight and sound, and imagination.***
I don’t have anywhere that I’m going with this. I just didn’t want to leave this timeslot empty. Work progresses on different fronts that I have previously mentioned, and sadly some other work has had to fall by the wayside. Until next time…
* No I don’t, nor can anyone in real life, leave this universe for another.
** No I don’t, nor can any human in real life, leave my/their body and possess another person, whether that person is in this universe or any other universe.
*** Apologies to Rod Serling.
When I first started thinking about what I was going to write today I did not immediately see the connection to last week. Now I can’t help but see it. I was watching a video last night about wearable cameras, augmented reality, and the future. A cyberpunk novel came up in the conversation involving select people who had access to an augmented reality layer that applied itself to a specific location. To the uninitiated it was a mostly empty room. To the wired there was something there, and of course to the in the know, the permitted, there was more yet.
I’m going to leave you with some homework of sorts. If you are interested in the intersection of what I said above and what was posted last week then I have to views of an article titled “When ‘Mad Men’ Meets Augmented Reality”. The first is from WraithStop(TM)… http://www.batteredspleenproductions.com/wraithstop/2009-11-17-17.htm#01nov17-2009 and the second from TechStop(TM)… http://www.batteredspleenproductions.com/rmtp/techstop/2009-9-3-24.htm#01sep24-2009
You may also want to check out the TechStop(TM) tag page for… http://www.batteredspleenproductions.com/rmtp/techstop/reality.php
Music: Gates of Tomorrow by Iron Maiden.