Laid Off

Blog No. 385

giphyI feel like a real writer, and not because I’ve been managing to write every day since I sent Broadcast Wasteland to the printer. I’m now officially laid off from the day job for the foreseeable future. It’s, apparently, temporary. I have no reason to believe that it won’t be temporary, but this quarantine is going to last a lot longer than some people expect (especially when people won’t just stay home). I’m not sure how all the details with Employment Insurance and/or the federal aid will work out, but I’m sure I’m going to waste the rest of today working on it. I’m in a comfortable place right now, so I’m not terribly worried, but having some income coming in would make me feel better. Continue reading “Laid Off”

Update!

Blog No. 384

giphy-5I have a few days left of my time off from the day job and I’m waiting to hear if I will continue to stay home (probably) and if they will keep paying me (probably not). In the mean time, Broadcast Wasteland is at the printers in the processing stage and I should be able to order copies within the next few days. I’ll probably order a few test copies before I jump in with a big order of 100 and start selling them. I may see if I can get them to Biblioasis since they have been doing deliveries, but I haven’t really thought about a distribution plan beyond that. I wanted to get all my accounts settled with Biblioasis before starting a new one, but these are strange times.

So far, I’ve spent all my time away from work finishing the novella and getting it ready for the printer. I don’t want to dive into something else until I know those books are on the way, but as soon as the sample copies are ordered, I think I’ll have to jump onto the novel as my primary writing project. This staying at home may last a while still and I want to take advantage of that. It’ll be like pretending I’m actually a writer.

giphy-6That will bring real stress, I’m sure. So far, I’ve spent a fair number of hours each day on editing, layouts, and cover creation, so I feel like shifting gears into writing won’t be too hard. I suspect I won’t be able to spend the same amount of time writing as (believe it or not) it’s rather draining, but I figure starting with the same kind of word count I can expect from a writing session with my friends shouldn’t be too hard. I did that for over a month last September. Hopefully I can pump those number a bit. Thankfully, the gang has been meeting going online and working at the same time most days. It’s not the same as being at a table in a coffee shop, but it helps.

Surprisingly, as much as I complain that I don’t have enough free time to do all the things I want when I have to work, I feel like I haven’t been taking advantage of the free time I have now. Sure, I did a lot of work to get Broadcast finished and to the printer, but I’ve also spent entire days playing video games. The thing is, I should have time to work, play games, clean, read, watch TV, exercise, and so on, but I’m not getting it all done. I was worried about finishing Broadcast on time, but now that it’s all but finished, I don’t have that all consuming excuse. I suppose I should break out the day planner and get organized.

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Part of the problem is that I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I got carried away the first few days and ended up staying up too late. That led to sleeping in, and it’s been a vicious cycle. I’ve been trying to get up earlier to force myself to fall asleep at night (since going to bed at a reasonable time has left me tossing and turning). It hasn’t worked so far. My will is weak and the bed is most comfortable early in the morning with the alarm going off.

Either way, I’ll figure it out somehow. The big takeaways this week is that, by the time you read this, Broadcast Wasteland, book three in the Synthetic Albatross Novella Series is at the printer and I’m shifting focus to the novel. I hope everyone is safe and comfortable and not terribly worried about the outcomes of this forced break. Hopefully next week I’ll have a cover to show off!

Five Days

Blog No. 383

mv5bnzllzdi4zgmtndmwmy00mdzllwjizwqtmgewowe0ngfkzthhl2ltywdll2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjc1mza4mjm40._v1_I’m going to try to stay on topic for this one. I’m sure no one needs to hear about being stuck inside from yet another person. We’re all in that boat together. Though, I will say, staying focused has been a challenge. I’m a creature who craves structure, so a total lack of my usual structure is challenging. That being said, I’m trying really hard to get this novella (Broadcast Wasteland) finished in the next five days. There is still a handful of cleanup to do on the story (typos be damned) the layout to finish, and the cover to put together. (Glen Hawkes did an amazing job with the image, but the interior has to be done in order to get the template from the printer, then put all the pieces together). Continue reading “Five Days”

Not Surprisingly

Blog No. 382

giphy-1This is not going to come as a shock to you now, but it was not quite as obvious last week. The Oshawa event was cancelled. I’m not going to go on an on about how the outbreak of COVID is affecting me. It’s affecting everyone and I’m not that special. Businesses are going to suffer, and people who work in the service industry are in for a hard few weeks. I’m still not sure what’s going on with the day job (as I work in a city run facility and news is coming fast and changing often). For now, I’m safe and as healthy as a person with a chronic illness can be.

I get that this whole experience can be scary for some people, and I also understand that measures have to be taken to keep the virus from spreading, but the extremes of people vilifying anyone who leaves their house and those pushing to keep everything going as normal is as ridiculous as any other extremes. Pop Culture Canada, the group that organized the Oshawa event (and many more in central Ontario) has offered to transfer the registration to an upcoming event. Christian and I decided to try out the Stratford ComiCon on May 17th. It’ll be the second time we’re in the city this year. Hopefully things will be a little more back to normal by then. Continue reading “Not Surprisingly”

And I’m gone.

Blog No. 381

20200229_192654It’s been a two weeks since I was packing for the retreat. I haven’t gotten any more writing done on the novel, but I’ve finished another two beta reads for Broadcast and finished a short story (very short) that I had started some vague time ago, but was super excited about it at the time. I’ve since been to an amazing concert with my brother, worked the day job as normal, and I guess nothing else. But now, I’m packing again. This time for the far off land of Oshawa and it’s local Comic Convention.

Oh, I just remembered that I got a haircut. Does that count as something exciting? I suppose not since it was just my normal haircut. There will be some exciting news coming to Adventure Worlds soon, but I can’t talk about that, yet. So, never mind. I have noticed lately that some conventions have been going by Comicon and some do Comic Con. Not that it matters. I suppose I’m just stalling. Continue reading “And I’m gone.”

And, I’m Back

Blog No. 380

goatThe retreat is over, I’m back home, and I’m pretty tired. I’m always pretty tired, though. (Yay, adulthood). I was feeling a little nervous about making use of the time at the retreat and for other reasons, but now that it’s over I’d have to say it went okay. It wasn’t amazing, but I think my ideal target for amazing would be unrealistic (especially for where I am right now in my current projects and as a writer). To be clear, there were absolutely no problems with the other people (which makes me worried that I could have been a problem for them).

Christian and I have spent enough time together both in close quarters and writing at the same table. Chances that we’ll have issues now are slim. I’ve also spent some time working with Elly over the last year or so. I didn’t think there would be much conflict in the (somewhat) confined space of a house, and there wasn’t. The new person, a friend of Elly’s from Toronto, was equally affable and focused on her work. Continue reading “And, I’m Back”

Retreat 2020

Blog No. 379

tenor-1It’s retreat time again and after missing last year, I’m eager to try my hand at some intense all day work again. Also, I’m nervous. My history with the retreats has been a mix of amazing, mediocre, and terrible. Last time (in 2018) I went in with Thinking Machine to edit and found that spending eight hours editing a single project was not within my wheelhouse. The year before, I wrote something (or part of something). It was a time when I was still figuring a lot of things out and I’m pretty sure I was trying to get away with using just a tablet and it wasn’t the most amazing. The first retreat, on the other hand, was when I first finished a story in a day. That story turned out to be Dead Planet, which was my last story in the collection, No Light Tomorrow. Continue reading “Retreat 2020”