It’s Not Always As Simple

So, I was looking at my Amazon Author Page and realized, I am terrible at things like “marketing.” That is really a surprise, I haven’t updated that page with anything in, well years. But what I also realized (when I sorted my books by publication date), that I haven’t really been writing a lot lately. That is a different problem than being bad at marketing, since without books I don’t really have anything to market.

I did a book fair this past weekend. It was actually the very first time I did an author event without an expo or meeting or something attached to it. Just some writers, in a room, with their books. It was interesting and sad all at the same time. I did sell some books, oddly enough not the motorcycle ones I’ve gotten used to selling, but when I was talking about Super City, I realized  I’ve had a second draft of the next book which has been on my computer for a re-write for years. Actual years, not hyperbole years.

In that time I’ve written part of one other book, my 2016 NaNo, and I’ve written the 2017 NaNo that is going to end up as a long short story. Its actually going need a lot of help, that story. But, I digress.

This year I’ve managed one new book, Beginner to Overlander, and I struggled to get that done. Last year I wrote Sidelines, but that was out in the first part of the year. The rest of the time I was supposed to be working on Beginner to Overlander, and well, didn’t.

I did do other things. I spend time with my wife. I traveled some. I think I cleaned my desk off at least once. Probably. But I wasn’t productive. I heard once an actor who isn’t acting is unemployed, if that is true of a writer than I haven’t had a job in a while.

And that needs to change.

So, it’s been a while

It seems like, every time I get into something and am writing and enjoying everything, stuff happens and the first thing I drop is the writing. I should know better. I think I need to write, like some people need to paint or need to…work on cars I guess. It’s not a perfect metaphor.

So, despite high hope and careful planning, my goal of not letting blogs fall behind was a total failure this year. I mean, I haven’t really posted anything, anywhere, since winter. In an online world, that is basically when Reagan was president (And there wasn’t even a real internet then, just bulletin board services and I’ve heard those were awful. A complete lack of autocorrects or kitten videos).

So, I am setting a goal to seriously work at getting all the blogs up to date – that would be this one, the 2by2up page, MinMoto, and Traveling 250. Things have happened on all those fronts and there isn’t a lot of reason for me to have been silent all this time, other than a careful plan to fail at blogging.

My photography stuff has a page too, which is currently dedicated to my 52 Rolls project. One roll of film every week for a year, though 2 of the 3 weeks I’ve shot more than one roll (to date), so perhaps it will be more like 75 rolls. We’ll have to see.

It’s late November as I write this, which means NaNoWriMo. I’ve actually already won this year, though the story had to be padded to get to 50k – which is different than usual. I haven’t decided what I am going to do with it yet. Perhaps tighten it up and then write a couple related stories and put them all together. I have another Super City story I’m finishing up now, and Beginner to Overlander became available back in September (yeah, I’m failing that hard).

So, stay tuned as I try to wrap up some of these open projects, and somehow earn gas money for next summer’s travel.

Time to Get Your Pre-Order On

So, my next book is coming out in a month or so (as soon as the editor finishes destroying my dreams). Now is your chance to pre-order, and as a pre-order special I will have a limited number of hardcover books available. These will be signed by me and shipped anywhere in the world (though shipping costs will vary for international orders). Click here for the preorder!

Not sure what you are getting? Well, I wrote an Introduction you can read online or download (with a right click).

So There Is A New Book

I’ve never carried a child to term. I have, in my medical career, delivered eight (ten too many, I often joke). So, while I don’t know what it’s like to have that life growing increasingly uncomfortably in my lower abdomen, I have some idea what it’s like at the end.

There is a lot of screaming, some crying, assurances that everything will be okay, and an general sense of not being ready for everything that is happening.

Now, I know a book isn’t the same as a baby. I really do. But still, that feeling there at the end? Yeah, I get that.

So there is a new book coming out, now in just a few weeks. It’s the result of all the classes I’ve been teaching about Overland travel, trying to get people over the things that keep them from getting on the road. I have heard a lot of reason over the last 5 years, and I’ve done what I can (both in lectures and the book) to address all of them. While the book is still being beat near to death by my editor, it’s now close enough to be available I’ve decided to start taking pre-orders. Since I know pre-orders can be scary I have a double incentive. First, this will be a signed hardcover. I haven’t had a hardcover before, and I’m a little excited about it. Second, it will be less than the final, for sale for reals version of the book. You can only get this from this page, and only during the pre-order. Once it’s out there, the page goes away and you will have to pay the cover price.

So, $25 for a signed hardcover. Almost 300 pages of information. Seems like a no-brainer.

Trying to Stay On Target

Hello again. You might not have noticed I’ve been posting on other blogs, keeping my online life moving, but I thought it was time to talk a little about writing.

Actually not so much writing, as keeping it all straight and organized and stuff.

I like to think of myself as organized, but really I can be scattered even at the best times. Now, with writing and photography and working a “real” job and getting ready to start traveling again come summer. Well, there is a lot going on all at the same time. This is supposed to be a good thing, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed or loose track of what I am supposed to be working on at any moment.

I love paper and pens. I’ve had a fountain pen for most of my life, and the feel of ink on paper is relaxing in ways that only pen users can understand. A few years ago I started using a Bullet Journal type system. Since I keep an electronic calendar (easier to share), it was mostly the todo features, though I would write out the calander spread and fill in things anyway. I liked how it looked.

In the middle of last year I learned about BestCo’s Self Journal, which is a print journal intended to serve as a road map to some goal you establish in it’s pages. I liked the idea, but it wasn’t cheap and I was already using a nice leather journal (which I’d made and sell, by the way) so it wasn’t critical to upgrade. I did end up getting one for Christmas, and starting using it January 1st. I liked the idea of the system, but my old journal fit in my pocket, while the Self Journal didn’t (at all). This meant I was keeping two todo lists (since I was supposed to write one in the self journal, which I didn’t keep with me during the day), and that was very annoying, not to mention it resulted in stuff being missed since it was on one list and not the other.

Before going to Bullet Journal, I had moved to (mostly) paperless. The reason I say “mostly” is because I couldn’t stop myself from scribbling down quick little notes about things that came up during the day. Story ideas. Article idea. Grocery lists (which I would later move onto something electronic). Even now, I would like to be paperless, but my journal is also my wallet. How do you stop carrying that (at least, while not everyone takes Apple Pay?).

I do have some of my tasks and projects mapped out electronically, as well as in my journal (I usually do the journal first). The beeps and alerts help remind me of what I am supposed to be doing (and what I am behind on), and it means due dates appear on my calendar, which is nice as well.

Nothing is a perfect system, but the best system is always the one you will use.

So I Messed That Up

When I got back from my road trip I published a book. That book was The Fall of Awesome, which sold pretty well back in 2012, before Super  Hero fiction became a thing. I’d written it the year before for NaNoWriMo while I was on the road traveling, inspired by comics and stories I’d written and roleplaying game adventures I’d had back in middle and high school.

Since 2012, I have published at least one book a year. Until 2016, when I didn’t publish anything. Part of that was trying to get back into freelance work, and part was just being busy, but 2016 was also supposed to be the year I transitioned to full time writer, so not getting a single book out is, well, pretty much totally failure. I don’t even have a bunch of awesome blog posts or anything to show that I was writing something. I really don’t know what I did all year.

2017 is looking better, with two of the books that should have come out last year almost done, and two more in the works. I have to do better, that’s all there is to it.

So There’s This New Website

So, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve done a little work around the ole’website. While I still have some links to add – so you can get from one page to the others more easily, this is what I’ve been working on recently (when I probably should have been writing). It was something that was past due time, and was more of an issue than I’d expected it to be.

A year or more ago, when my lovely partner in all things and I founded 721publishing, she wanted to do the website design. I said okay, and she invested in EverWeb, which is a website development program with hosting options. It was decent looking, and with the hosting attached it seemed pretty straightforward to use. She had a history of bad luck with hosting sites, and was comfortable with it, so I let her have at it.

When the time came for me to redo my sites, I went to EverWeb – I mean we were paying for yearly licensing and hosting, so why not. I was, less happy with it. I’d been using WordPress (both .com and .org), and knew that change was going to be hard, but I increasingly found that EverWeb just didn’t do the things I wanted it to do. So I started using small WordPress modules and pages to make up for the lack, and the realized I was just being stupid and should do the whole thing in WordPress to keep it simple.

Which meant, of course, that the couple weeks I’d spent building a site in EverWeb was totally wasted and I had to start over. I’d wanted the new site up by January 1st, and that date was already past, so I just worked on getting a framework up in WordPress, linked to the .com blogs that were already live (which saved me server space) and launched the whole thing – which seems to have worked.

I still want to add direct links between the pages (right now you have to go back to the home page), and have some better content (besides stuff like this), but I also have two WIP and want to get back into freelance writing (and some photography), so I have a lot on my plate. Or computer. Computer plate.

Stay tuned!

Restarting and Rebirth and Stuff

So, this is a new year. 2017 and everything. A lot of new things.

Okay, not so many new things. In fact, it’s a lot of the same old, same old. I work, I work more. I don’t get enough time with my loved ones. I try to find the time in my days and weeks to write, to make the videos I have mapped out, to finish the articles and blog posts I have started.

A lot of those things haven’t been getting done. I would like to blame this on a lot of things in my life, but that would only be blame. Responsibility is mine. haven’t been writing or taking the time to do the things I want to do, and no matter how much I complain or point out the reasons, reason I think are very good, those things still aren’t done.

So, it’s a new year. While I said it’s the same old, same old – it isn’t. In fact, there are so many new and exciting things in my life. I went part time at Bell Ambulance so I could travel and write and spend more time with my wife.

Oh, and I got married on New Years Day, 2016. So it’s been a year of marriage, more than that now. I still don’t get tired of spending time with her, and I don’t think I ever will. When I went part time it was to write more, but all that happened was I spent more time with her. It’s hard to give that up, but its something I need to manage better.

I have two WIP (writer talk for Works In Progress) right now. One is part of the Super City books – moving back in time to the origins of the Super Squad. The other is a non-fiction book on travel. The Super City book has a first draft, the travel book doesn’t but I’m working on it.

There is also this – a complete redesign of my websites in an attempt to get it all together and organized better. I had to learn how to do a lot of it, and some of the things aren’t as smooth as I want them to be (yet), but I think it will be easier to keep everything current and up to-date.

Probably. Hopefully.

So, now it’s 2017 and I want to make a new start on getting all these things done and covered and move forward with it all. Easy to say, this early in January. I guess time will tell.