Saturday, March 25, 2023

Rish Outcast 246: Writer's Conference - Plus One

So, I went to my usual February writers conference . . . except my pal Marshal Latham came along.  And he joins me in talking about it, as well as various panels.  What else do you want, a child cop?

To download the episode, just Right-Click HERE.

To support me on Patreon, click HERE.

Logo by Gino "Every Single Lady's Plus One" Moretto.

Friday, March 24, 2023

A Face Only A Mutha Could Love

 I was going through a couple of childhood boxes when we were cleaning out my mom's storage unit (a lengthy process that was dirty and unpleasant, and reminded me that one day, we'll be emptying out that stuff for real), and I found a photo album that had gotten wet at some point, ruining a lot of pictures inside.

One of those was of me as an infant, with disturbing discoloration on it, equal parts upsetting and sad.  Only a maniac would want to share something like that on his blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Audiobook Update

"The Cormorant" by Abigail Hilton is the largest audio project I've ever taken on.  Unfortunately, I've fallen behind (I've pretty much been behind the whole month of March), and will probably only be halfway done by the first of April (the deadline was March 11th).

We all have tasks that become daunting and start to feel overwhelming.  We have to pace ourselves, and do what we can to avoid getting burned out.  Something that I've done recently is open a second audio project at the same time as "Cormorant" (such as an Outcast episode or one of my own stories) and alternate the work between them--a five minute segment from one, then a five minute segment from the other.  It's not a perfect system, but I'm able to sit for an hour or so without screaming, and that's something.

She has already started releasing the audiobook on her Patreon feed (you can check out the first chapter RIGHT HERE), so that gives me a second ticking clock, which I probably need, to be frank.

I want to write, I want to publish, and I want to start doing the "Delusions of Grandeur" podcast again, but man, I really only have time to record, and edit, and re-record, and look up pictures of the sister in the SHAZAM! movie.  So, I'm going to keep pressing on, and maybe, just maybe, one day I'll look up and there will be light up ahead.  I'll let you know.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Unsettling Mystery

Shoot, this was from years ago, and I don't think I ever mentioned it.

Back when I'd go to the cabin every week, I arrived one day to find a tree right in front of where I park my car, and one side of it had been torn apart.  

I thought, "Holy pee, what kind of clawed animal could have done this?"  It was further disturbing because it was so HIGH up on the tree, filling my mind with images of bears, cougars, a badger that taught itself to walk on its hind legs (and attack genitals), and dudes with facial tattoos not named Post Malone.

But when I went back to close up the cabin with my brother (this would've been November, 2021), and I pointed it out to him, he told me that it was my nephew who'd done it, with a hatchet, because he was feeling bored and destructive.  Oh.

Gee, now I sort of understand why I didn't mention it before.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Cover Me, Porkins!

I've mentioned, maybe not as often as I should, that Big Anklevich has been helping me with my covers a great deal lately.  I'm trying to get back into self-publishing, and he has a strong visual sense.  Usually, our process is that I select an image, do a mock-up for it, and then he provides a better version, like this . . .

But something happened on the way to heaven; it got hold of him and wouldn't let go, and Big, on his own, started just grabbing covers of mine I had published years ago, and designed new covers for them.  And they just keep flooding in, covers like these:

Why would he do this, you may ask yourself.  And yeah, it's a good question.

I asked him myself, and Big said that he looked at some of those old covers (those old, perfectly cromulent covers), and thought they looked terrible, so he figured he'd see if he could do better.

I think it's the font that bothered him in some of the images, but a few of them he's completely reimagined, including these two really, really dark versions:

I wish there was some way to pay him back.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Exercise Gole

Last night, I planned to exercise, even got into my running clothes, and then didn't do it.  I had also set up my microphone, meaning to get a couple more "Cormorant" chapters recorded, and at least one "Company You Keep" one done (they take way longer).

But still, March has been more productive than February, and I plan on running again tonight (heck, I could stop blogging and do it right now), especially now that it's way above freezing, even when the sun goes down.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

2023 Goals - March Update

Alright, here's a check-in on how I'm doing on my 2023 goals...

1.  Record and Edit "The Cormorant" for Abigail Hilton by March Deadline (oh cool, it's an April deadline.  Very doable*).
It may be doable, but whether I do it or not is still up in the air.

2.  Finish recording and publish text of "Not The Same."
The text version is out.  

3. Put out audio version of "Not The Same."
I've got all but two chapters edited.  I can get this fairly soon.

4.  Plot out and start writing the third "Calling" story (and finish it?).
No progress.

5.  Exercise.  Some kind of doable goal.  Let's say 200 days in 2023.
I only got 27 days in the first two months, but I'm doing better.  And I only have to exercise sixteen days a month to get 200 days (at least by my math).

6.  Put out Christmas collection I was supposed to put out in 2020.
No progress.

7.   Put out Fifth Audio collection, with Introduction by Big Anklevich.
No progress.

8.  Buy no more GI Joe figures.  Enough!
Shoot, I bought some in January.  They were exclusives, and very few stores had gotten them--though that doesn't excuse my transgression.

9.  Do special "Delusions of Grandeur" episode for ROTJ 40th Anniversary.
I'm thinking it's too late now.

10.  Put out "Dead & Breakfast" collection 1.
No progress.  Except that Big is willing to do a cover for it...heck, he may have already done it on his own.

11. Get 10 episodes of TPTDSIN in 2023 (got 9 in 2022).
Well, I've put out one.

12.  Release at least 1 full-length audiobook of my own (not counting collection 5 or "Not the Same").
No progress.

13.  Put out second volume of "Caller I.D." on the Outcast . . . birthday week?
No progress.

14.  Enjoy A show as much as I enjoyed "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds."
I have watched some shows, mostly with my cousin, including "The Rookie" and "Mandalorian," and "The Last of Us."  Not sure I'm there yet.

15. Publish ten (10) stories.  That's ten, mutha-fu--
So far, I've published "Not the Same," "The People We Touch," and "The Bad Man In Room 2."  Currently working on "The Company You Keep."

Look, I can do better.  And I hope that I do.  Hopefully, you'll be around to give me thumbs up, if and when I do.

*Okay, it's doable.  Just not VERY doable.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Xercise Update

I tried doing sit-ups for the first time in an entire year, and was surprised to discover that I couldn't manage a hundred.  Did I ever?

But the important thing is that I'm exercising, and pretty regularly now.  More often than I write, and less often than I edit audio.

I went on my full run last night, and about one mile in, it started to rain.  It worked wonders on getting me to exert myself, as I tried to get home before getting soaked, and was gasping and heaving when I came up the steps . . . but in a good way.  

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Podcast That Dares 40: The Dead Smile

Rish presents "The Dead Smile" by F. Marion Crawford, from 1899.  Sir Hugh Ockrum takes his secret to the grave, but it behooves Gabriel and Evelyn to get the answer . . . even if it's from the dead.

To download the episode, Right-Click HERE.

To support me on Patreon, click HERE.

Logo by Gino "The Bedspread Smile" Moretto.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Lara and the Witch Thoughts

I went to the library and quite by accident, got out the Lara and the Witch novel I wrote in 2021, "When You Need It Most."*  I had given myself more than an hour to write, and I thought I would briefly format it, make sure it was in the same font, and number the chapters, and before I knew it, they announced the library was closing, and I'd only gotten a third of the way through it . . . and done no writing at all.  That was a bit vexing.

And while I'm on the subject . . .

In between chapters of "Cormorant"--which really ought to be the priority, darn my eyes--I've started recording chapters of "The Company You Keep," which is yet another LATW novella, this one about the girl meeting another witch (or someone who claims to be a witch, anyway).  And I started noticing little inconsistencies or contradictions with the other stories, such as the names of teachers, or Lara's classmates, or whether she wears her pendant always or never, or a friend who's never come up before (not just a friend, but a best friend), or the fact that Holcomb has a friend who wants to use Lara's blood for an arcane ritual . . . even though this friend has never been mentioned before or since.

I remember being a teenager, and reading a short story collection Orson Scott Card wrote, and discovering contradictions and discrepancies, that upset me at the time (it was "The Worthing Saga," I believe, though it has other names, for some reason).  There was a chink in the armor, or at least an editor asleep at the wheel.  Now I get it, though.

So, my question to you is: Does it matter?  Do inconsistencies between stories detract from the enjoyment of the stories?  Is it important that they be addressed in future stories?  If I say Lara's best pal is Chlamydia Donaldson in one story, but say her best friend is Gonorrhea James in another one . . . is that a mistake, or something I should rewrite to correct?

This is kind of new territory for me, so let me know what you think.

*I opened it because I couldn't recall which story it was, looking for one I had stopped halfway through.  It will come as no surprise to you (if you know me) that I couldn't remember what it was about, even though I found bits of it familiar (and even thought about a scene where Lara realizes the truth about the people she's living with earlier in the week . . . thinking it had been in a movie I saw, not something I had written).  That's pretty weird.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Exersize Update

I'm doing better this month.  I honestly think that having the goal board with little squares to color in has helped me.  Twice over the weekend, I considered skipping any exercise, and then thought of how I failed in my February goal (of twenty days), so it motivated me to do something (my goal for March is twenty-one days).

Here's where I stand right now.