Wednesday, May 08, 2019

1 Shade of Grey

It has been rainy these past few days (worse for Big Anklevich in Houston than for me; he said the roads pretty much flooded out yesterday), and we had a couple of those days where it looks like evening in the middle of the day. With it, for some reason, comes the melancholy. And with that, comes me writing in my blog.

So, I did fairly well with my daily writing goal in March and April.  Not great, no, but fairly well.  I finished a sketch, I finished an awful little flash fiction story, I finished my Rocky Mountain Vampire story (which I need to look over and cut two thousand words from), started another sketch, and most significantly, finished the second book in the "Lara and the Witch" series/trilogy(?).  I didn't finish "Balms and Sears," and that's a bummer, but I worked on it a bit, and got it closer to the end.

That's me dwelling on the positive.  I didn't work on a lot of podcasts during those two months, but once I quit writing every day, I managed to edit both a "Delusions of Grandeur" episode (only three weeks late) and a "That Gets My Goat" episode (which is/will be only two weeks late).  I also narrated and edited a lengthy story for Pseudopod, and voiced a character for a Horror Addicts audio drama (three episodes' worth, though I think there are six more I need to do). 

So, that's positive too.  I also managed to sell quite a few toys in the last couple weeks, and money is good to have.

But boy, why I am I so bummed out today?  It can't just be the grey skies, can it?

I set a goal for myself to publish a bit more in the month of May, and that usually means stories and audiobooks in addition to podcast episodes.  I need to sit down and determine, in writing, which finished book I'm going to produce in audio next, and what story/stories I have in text that I could make available for purchase.  They don't make me much money (in fact, I usually make the same for all my writing that I make for selling one or two action figures--or three, if they're pretty worthless figures), but back when Big and I used to get together and talk about our writing careers (it took all of my strength NOT to put "careers" in eye-rolling quotation marks), he'd stress that the more items I had out there (to read or purchase), the better it was in the long run.  I remember making a goal, when I first started self-publishing, of putting out one story a month, and for a while, I did it.  But now, it's more like one every quarter, or worse. 

I can do better, but will I?

I did an audiobook for a very nice lady a couple of years ago, and she certainly seemed to have liked my work, enough to say she'd remember me when it was time to do an audio version of her next published book.  And that happened recently, and she emailed me to ask if I would do it.  Which is great, an honor, even.  But I don't do books for free anymore.  It's just too much work, you understand.  And a guy emailed me just last week to say that he's heard my work and really likes my voice (which is nice, an honor, even), and wanted me to audition to do his book.  But that too, would be for free.

And I'm torn.  It's cool that they want me to do it, but again, it's so much work . . . and I have soooooo many other projects I could do for free.  Hell, the Dunesteef is free, and when was the last time I did one of those?

Still, I don't want to be rude.  And you never know, maybe one of those books would sell a million copies (or even a thousand, which would be a step up for me), and I'd be amazed at a royalty check of more than it costs to eat a meal that can't upgrade to large fries and a drink for an extra fifty cents.  I OUGHT to at least check out the two books on Amazon, see how they've been reviewed, and if they've sold anything. 

I ought to do that, but so far, I haven't.

And why haven't I kept working on the third Ben Parks book, "Sins of a Sidekick?"  It'll be awfully awkward to release the fourth book ("A Sidekick To Miracles") if the third book's not out there.  Hmmm.

Big's been really into making videos these last few months, filming himself (mostly) talking about toys and uploading them to YouTube.  In the same philosophy as with writing stories, he's been working hard to upload as many as he can, so that if someone discovers his work (and likes it), they can find many more offerings where that came from.  Sometimes his enthusiasm is contagious, and I have thought about making my own videos many times since he started.  When it was nearing the anniversary of starting my Patreon (, I thought it would be cool to make a video of myself singing a thank you song, so I grabbed my camera and set it up, only to discover that it was broken.  My one year old nephew has become quite destructive, and his favorite pastime of late has been to grab something--preferably something forbidden--and run away with it, or simply throw it on the floor as soon as he's gotten it.  He usually does it with cellphones or cutlery, but he had been known to do it with my (Faux-Pro) camera as well. 

So, when the camera wouldn't work, it didn't take Lt. Columbo to figure out why.  I went online that same day and ordered a new one, purposely choosing an eBay seller in the United States (he was in Los Angeles, he claimed) so I could get one in time for my anniversary.  It was marked as Shipped the next day. 

But it didn't come.

I'll eventually do a Tales of eBay Horror episode about all this, but to make a long story short, the seller was actually in China, and was taking two weeks off for the Chinese New Year holiday, so couldn't respond to my complaint.  When he returned, he insisted that he was in Los Angeles, California (this he did in broken English, which in his defense, is way better than if I tried to speak Chinese), and when I complained to eBay about it, and asked for a refund, they said I had to wait until a certain date in the future before they'd give me one.  By that point, the camera had arrived, but my Patreon anniversary, and the other project I was anxious to make a video about, had both passed. 

There is a (kind of) hilarious punchline to this story, but I'm feeling sorry for myself, so let me leave that off.

Now that I have a camera again, I could really go to town, but I remain uncomfortable in front of the camera, and have only used it once.  I bought two different 2018 Star Wars TIE Fighters that I wanted to do a video about the differences between, but I don't want to be the guy on the video . . . I considered asking my eight year old nephew to do it with me, but I don't know if that will work.  And I found an old AT-ST Scout Walker at a thrift shop that had a weird paintjob, and thought it would be a fun video to document me trying to paint it myself . . . but I didn't want to be in that video either (maybe I could just be the hands you see painting it, and do the video that way).  And I thought about sitting down and recording me reading one of my stories (maybe "Closet Case," maybe "Know When To Walk Away...", maybe "The Blame Game," I dunno), in an attempt to both put a story of mine on YouTube and (try to) get used to my face in editing.*

But I haven't.

I'm sorry to whine so much.  I really have it easy, compared to most of you.  But unlike most of you, I will surely die alone and unmourned.  So . . . an even trade?

Anyway, this has helped.  It would help, I predict, to write these goals down and work on them each day, to remind myself when I find free time on my hands.  And I do have plenty of podcasts to edit, and those sure feel good to finish.

Never mind, then.  I'm going to get back to work.

Rish "Viva La Chalupa" Outfield

*You are free to ask, "Unca Rish, why do you appear in Tales of eBay Horror videos if you hate seeing your face so much?"  To which, I can only say that all of the videos (but one) I have done in shadows or in the dark (by design), and the one episode I did in brightness (Episode 7) I could barely stand to edit.  But hey, TODAY would be a great day to get out there and record a show, since it's so cloudy and rainy I expect Master Yoda to show up and help me get my ship out of the bog.

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