Three Years and Many Words Ago…

meOn October 27, 2011, I uploaded One Sheet Stories to Amazon.com, which marked the beginning of my adventures in self-publishing.  Three years later, I have self-published a total of six e-books to the tubes so far: one non-fiction book and five super-short story collections.  My works can be found on Kindle, nook, iTunes, and Kobo.

Like many other creative persons, I hoped that my creations would be well received.  While the number of copies of One Sheet Stories that were sold that first year could be counted on one hand (it’s free now), my second book, The Rules of Tech Support, has sold over one hundred copies and was downloaded over four hundred times when I gave it away on Amazon.

One reason I write is in the hope that this endeavor can result in financial independence, but realistically it will take some doing.  I have received a small amount of royalties.  Not much, but enough for me to let Uncle Sam know, for what that’s worth.  There are definitely no plans for me to quit my day job anytime soon.  I have, however, gained knowledge from my successes and failures that I have begun to share with others.

I like to think that my writing has improved over those three years; the fact that I give away some of my earliest works for free now is a reflection on how rough some of those early stories were.  As evidenced by the slow start, I may have been a bit premature in attempting to sell my works.  If nothing else, I learned that I needed to package at least seven stories to justify the ninety-nine cent price tag.  Lessons learned and all that.

My attempts to sell paper copies of my books were met with what I can only describe as a fantastic level of indifference (insert lamenting about how ‘nobody reads anymore’ here), but the opportunity to spread the word about my work and talk to like-minded individuals have made up for the lack of financial success.  Luckily the financial costs are low and the potential for higher levels of success are there, so I press on.

Of course, there are things that I still need to work on; length in particular is something that still vexes me.  I have at least one idea for a novella that I would like to complete someday, but only a few partially finished chapters sit unloved on my hard drive.  I have also taken a few tentative steps towards writing different kinds of stories, but the majority of my works are still humorous (I hope).  Marketing is another challenge that I am looking forward to addressing in the future.

As I enter my fourth year of being a self-published author, I can only hope that as I write and publish more, I sell more and who knows, maybe someday I will get to really say ‘take this job and shove it’ for good.  As my fourth year begins, I have two follow-ups to The Rules of Tech Support in the works as well as another science fiction collection and of course, more furry stories.

Writing and publishing has been an adventure for me so far, and I hope that you (and many others!) will join me on what should be a fun ride in the years ahead.  Thanks for reading.

Earth-Mine

writing
When I started writing fiction, I didn’t give much thought into linking my short stories together or having them take place in a shared universe.  As time went on, I did find myself putting some of them into a few distinct worlds:

“Earth Prime” is our home-sweet-dimension, and given that the majority of my stories involve some combination of furries, super-science, and fantasy, I don’t know that many of them actually take place here.   I do have a few sci-fi stories that take place ‘twenty minutes into the future,’ that is, near enough for us to relate to them (I hope!).

“Earth-F” is a parallel version of our world inhabited by furries.  These stories tend to be humorous and I like to ‘Hanna-Barbera’ the names in those stories.  For example, in a story that took place in a television studio, an older character referred to old-time TV stars such as “Mewcille Ball” and “Droopy Sales.”  I know, I know!

On “Earth H-minus” mankind has destroyed itself in what becomes known as the “Final War” and after their intelligence has been increased due to increased mutations, the furries eventually inherit the Earth.  One as-yet unpublished story takes places in a period where humans and furries coexist, though not harmoniously.  Society is eventually rebuilt by the furries but I haven’t quite hammered out the predator/prey relationship rules yet or if the humans were completely eradicated.  Yeah, its not exactly a happy place.

The ‘Enchanted Forest’ stories obviously happen in a fantasy world, but I haven’t done much there (like come up with a clever name) though it has been established that magic does have limits.  For now, anyway.

I should probably sit down and figure out just where all my stories fit, because inevitably some reader out there is going to try to ‘connect the dots’ and completely screw it up.  Well, assuming I haven’t already!  😀

Click here if you’d like to read some of those stories!

Create or Consume?

meI remember reading an interview with an actor that was on a popular TV show many years ago.  In the interview, he mentioned that he had never seen the show that he worked on and went on to say that he didn’t watch much television at all, for that matter.  This struck me as a little odd, because at the time, I thought that seeing yourself on TV would be the Coolest Thing Ever.

I have noticed that something interesting has happened as I have started to use my creativity more these past few years.  I now spend more time writing and working on podcasts and not only have less time to watch TV and play games, but less desire to do so.  I’m creating more and watching and playing less.  While I suppose it is good to be making things, part of me wonders if it has to come at the cost of consuming it.

Sure, the tramautic few months I spent working for a cable company helped kill my desire to watch television, but that’s neither here nor there.

35 Things I Noticed During RealmsCon 2014

Zoidberg cosplayer!
Cosplay? Why not Zoidberg?
  1. OMG the Corpus Christi humidity kills me, yet another reason I need to lose weight
  2. The line for pre-registration was zero so I got my badges quickly. Always preregister, folks!
  3. Both aisles of the Artist’s Alley hallway were being used, which made it little crowded
  4. The bigger dealer area was nice, but they really need to put AA in a better spot
  5. A few empty tables here and there in AA, sadly typical
  6. The artists I knew that weren’t coming back to Realms after poor sales in the past, didn’t.
  7. Sighted in AA: body-sized “Hug pillows?”  YEAH, STILL NOT CREEPY AT ALL
  8. Filling out paper form in the reg line always holds it up
  9. No multi-arcade game machine in the game room?  FAIL
  10. GoPro cameras seem to be everywhere now for better or for worse
  11. The Zoidberg cosplayer at right was probably my favorite one of the con
  12. Note to self: leave the laptop in the CAR if you aren’t going to use it *huff*
  13. I am sorry, Jena, but a sandwich and a hamburger are most definitely NOT the same thing. Guess it’s a “guy thing”
  14. 123456? Yeah, they’ll never guess *that* hotel WiFi password
  15. Want to turn a decent hotel room into OMG BEST ROOM EVAR? Add a fridge and a microwave!
  16. Gave my niece a ride to the con, she bought a tail while she was there…ONE OF US ONE OF US
  17. Construction on Shoreline? Dammit Corpus!
  18. I always see cases of water on the cheap at Stripes convenience stores except THE ONE TIME I ACTUALLY WANT TO BUY ONE >.<
  19. You know you’re bushed when you don’t want to go up the stairs to eat on the second floor of Whataburger by the Bay
  20. Apparently VIP passes allow one to skip lines, here, what a concept!
  21. The actor playing Kirk in “Star Trek Continues” had a celebrity table and McCoy was in Artist’s Alley…typical
  22. Holy cats, we managed to fill up a panel room and then some for the “Furry 101” panel
  23. There are even a few furries present, which might have been cheating 😉
  24. According to Wolfboy adding “-ies” to the end of an animal name makes it furry “insect-ies” “shark-ies”
  25. I can’t argue against his logic, though.
  26. MASSIVE con fail for not having projectors for either one of my panels even though I had requested them
  27. Projectors were found but I had no screen so I had to project my presentations onto the wall at an angle and figure out how to darken the lights. -_-
  28. Luckily I think I could do my e-book panel without one, but still!
  29. What the fuzz was up with that guy that wanted to take a picture of all the furries jumping up in the air?
  30. I was tickled that the schedule part of the conbook was titled ”Celebrity Schedules’ and my name was on it. Oh, you!
  31. I don’t get the point of having someone watching the door at the end of Artist’s Alley, can’t they just, I don’t know, LOCK THE DOOR?
  32. Seafood restaurant, why is your salad bar backwards?
  33. There were only 8 people at my e-book panel, but those three very interested folks made it worth it
  34. Since nothing was scheduled after e-books the panel room became an improvised fursuit lounge.
  35. I lost two pounds over the weekend, perhaps I need to attend more cons!

23 Things I Noticed During Alamo City Comic Con

ComicCon Loot!
ComicCon Loot!

Its been some time since I’ve done one of these (or anything for that matter) so without any further ado:

  1. Arrived in downtown SA at 930 on Saturday as I was worried about finding parking, luckily it wasn’t a problem at that hour.
  2. The con did have some good guests, but I’m not into ‘celebrity worship’ much; I attend cons to hang out with friends and be supportive by flinging money at some of them.
  3. That said, it was awesome to meet Rob Paulsen and get the Pinky half of my ‘Pinky and the Brain’ print signed. 🙂
  4. Guests that I don’t “get” : reality TV show participants and cosplayers.
  5. A friend had a decent explanation for cosplayers being a ‘thing’ now: They are our models/supermodels.  Fair enough. Still don’t get it.
  6. It was kinda neat that one could get autographs from all four of the original voice actors from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Cowabunga!
  7. This is probably the biggest fan con I’ve been to; took me a while to see the whole thing.
  8. Granted, it wouldn’t have taken quite so long if I hadn’t stopped to say hi to all my friends scattered about.
  9. Funny moment: I was standing on the loading dock chatting with a friend when Ernie Hudson walked out talking on his cell phone.  He stood nearby for a while talking on the phone then just ran off.  Dafuq?
  10. I saw Nichelle Nichols and some other folks walking by shortly after, didn’t want to be “that guy” so I simply waved hi.
  11. Saw Stan Lee on a news report afterwards, he makes me slightly less ashamed to own a “Members Only” jacket.
  12. Dear Guardian Knights Comics: Say what you want, but the ‘animal characters’ in “Gears and Bones” are furries.  This is not a bad thing.
  13. Speaking of furries: I saw a few fellow fuzzers walking around, which is always good.
  14. Even more furries: the cosplay I noticed most often was Rocket Racoon, mostly by women. I have no problem with this.
  15. I really need to get a good pair of sneakers, my casual shoes became slip-tastic once wet.
  16. I made a mental note to buy a paleta from the guy that’s usually in front of the convention center before leaving but it seems I missed him. Hijole!
  17. Craziest T-shirt : “I GOT RIPPED OFF BY [name of other con]”  That’s some kind of messed up right there.
  18. I ran into two candidates for “Patient Zero.” You know who you are.
  19. Cannot mention this enough: Having a Whataburger within walking distance of the convention center is THE BEST THING EVER
  20. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU construction people for restoring the connection from Market Street to 281 northbound.
  21. I probably wouldn’t be as tired after the fact if I had a job where I walked around at least some of the time.
  22. Yes, I managed to gripe about work even here. I’M SORRY!