The Year it really Lands

Blog Post No. 429

20200229_204459Last year was a strange one for a lot of reasons. It’s about this time each year that the event train leaves the station and starts building steam for the spring and summer rush. There may be a comicon or and book fair and (if we have our act together) a retreat. From there, the plans reach full swing and I’ll be booked at least one weekend (potentially two or more) a month for the rest of the year. Everything ground to a halt last year because of the pandemic, but after eight years of working on this writing thing, it felt like an anomaly. We did manage to get the retreat in before things were shut down, but the scheduled events after that were all cancelled. Continue reading “The Year it really Lands”

2021

Blog Post No. 423

giphy-2Welcome to the last post of 2020. This is when I traditionally write about my plans for next year. Before I got started, I went back and read over my last post of 2019. Wow, I was way off with my predictions there. (Don’t go back and read it because I make a joke that hits way too close to home with how 2020 turned out). But, this is a post about the future, not the past. I save that for the true end of the year for this page, the closest Thursday to January 10th. Though the world and our interpersonal relations have been strange, I hope that most people had a little bit of joy in whatever celebrations they take part in this time of year. Personally, I missed the usual mix of hectic visits and lazy family time. Usually my brother and I spend the afternoon at my parent’s house exchanging gifts, playing billiards, and just enjoying each other’s company. It’s challenging enough that my other brother and his family are far away and we can’t see each other for Christmas, but only being able to see my parents digitally was tough. And I’m not a very personable person. I imagine it was much more difficult for others. Continue reading “2021”

Was it on email or chat?

Blog No. 374

046697Communicating with people is a really complicated thing in 2020. I suppose it has been for some time and that before things like telephones or radios, it was much more complicated. Maybe I’m combining difficult and complicated. Now, it’s complicated, then, it was difficult. What were the ways to keep a conservation going? In person, letters, passing on a message? I’m sure there was some form of semaphore or flower arranging that had their own deep meanings and methods, but I don’t know much about that, and I’m talking about keeping in contact with people as you drift apart. Continue reading “Was it on email or chat?”

2020

Blog No. 370

vyjl28jlc8k31It’s the last post of the 2019! Hopefully your family had a lovely holiday (whatever the celebration). If that’s not in the picture, I at least hope it was a good week. But, let’s not dwell on all that. This is the post where I look forward to next year, my plans, hopes, and predictions (even if they rarely turn out how I think). I suppose it’s all baby steps forward. As long as I’m not moving backward (making progress) then I’m doing okay, even if I don’t reach my targets. It’s all fairly arbitrary, but goals help keep focus and (I guess) inspire. I find them helpful. I did a little thinking about what will be in this post, and it looks like there’s going to be a lot of picking up things that fell off this year. I’m going to try to not talk too much about 2019 since I’ll be doing my yearly review in a few weeks, but there will be a little overlap. It always happens. Continue reading “2020”

Like a Circle

Blog No. 360

giphyBecause this is the 360th post. Like a circle. Get it? (I know you probably do. Ignore me. I think I’m funny). Now that Broadcast Wasteland is written (and all the editing and other work is ahead of me) I’m really not sure what this post is going to be about. We’re going on another journey together! Last weekend was Advanced Polls in Canada and my Day Job was a polling location. I usually dread it because the poll clerks aren’t always with it, the people who come in are often angry, and I get caught in circular arguments where voters scream political opinions and racist comments at me (all the while I do my best to keep my cool and remind them that you aren’t really allowed to talk about politics at a polling site, also racism is bad). It was four days of early mornings and monotonous hours, but it turned out the clerks were good and I only had one racist comment throw in my direction. Either way, I hadn’t done anything productive since I finished the first draft last Wednesday. Continue reading “Like a Circle”

Next, After, Later

Blog No. 279

largeThe Thinking Machine is in the proof stage (as stressful as they come) and with any luck, I should have some physical copies by the end of the week. There always seems to be something in the proof that looks weird, has to be quadruple checked, or is just a screw-up. The looks weird stuff is mostly out of my hands. I can read all the printer’s documentation and review my own constructed pages, but no matter how much it seems like things should come out fine in the printed copies, there is doubt. I’ve sent an email, but got a stock response that tells me to look at the documentation. I’ve reviewed my own files and everything should be okay, but. As soon as I give my okay, I am responsible for how the book looks, errors or not (my fault or not). You can see my dilemma. I suppose working with a smaller, more local printer would solve that issue, but I’ve tried that route, and there is a whole mess of other issues that come out of that. Plus, you don’t get any distribution that way. Continue reading “Next, After, Later”

An Update Worth Sharing

Blog No. 278

29314532_10155322356185983_4700733863138164736_nI find myself in the rare position where I have more than one thing to talk about and I didn’t have to scramble to find a topic this week. As it turns out, if I tantalize people with the idea of images of me looking like a dork, they all want to see them. Last week, I didn’t have those images, but now I do. If you are just reading the teaser, you have to click on the whole article to see the pictures. I buried them further down. That’s called strategy. The image you see up here is actually from the Chapter’s signing I did with Christian over the weekend. Turns out that when the sun is shining at it’s St. Patrick’s Day, the mall isn’t very busy. Continue reading “An Update Worth Sharing”

Fifth Year Anniversary Recap Thing!

Blog No. 268

hqdefaultThat’s it. Five full years of weekly blog posts with hardly a hiccup. There was that one week where it went up on a Saturday instead of the Thursday (and I will forever live with the blemish) but other than that, I’ve done a weekly post since January 2012. I didn’t know what to expect when I started this thing, and to be honest, some weeks are a real drag, but getting to look back on it now, I’m pretty proud of the accomplishment. Even if it’s one very few people would ever set out to do (and my numbers are really nothing to write home about. Speaking about numbers, I failed to top 2016’s record breaking stats, but I came pretty close this year. Plus, I didn’t have a book out in 2017 until the end, and even that has been tough to get out to people (due to continued printing issues). I’m guessing that had some part to play. But I was still close enough to make the prospects for 2018 positive. Continue reading “Fifth Year Anniversary Recap Thing!”

A Thought for the New Year

Blog No. 265

adventurousancientanhingaShould I make my blog a newsletter? I mean in addition to the blog itself? It may need some additional formatting (and maybe some severe trimming) but I can’t imagine it’s all that much work. I’ve been doing sort of a newsletter with Arvin to accompany the Flags and High Fives episodes, but even that is a little-bitty thing that pretends to be a behind-the-scenes breakdown, but it really me sputtering out sentences meant to be quippy and to seem informative. The first one was a real thing that I made and Arvin made better, then I just used it as a template to get out the next one in as short a time-frame as possible. Maybe I’m already in over my head (which I definitely am) and I shouldn’t bother, but newsletters seem to be the in thing and if I can hop on the bandwagon without adding another ball to keep in the air. (Did you know I can actually juggle badly?).  I think I’m going to try. Continue reading “A Thought for the New Year”

Deadlines!

Blog No. 264

maxresdefaultEvery day I put another obligation behind me and try to get ahead with my writing. At the beginning of the year, I was knocking out a pretty respectable word count each month, but everything else loomed its head and put a stop to that. Somehow I seem to forget every time that writing is fun (and work, but also fun) and editing is a tedious mess that seems to put all progress in its place. Layout work is on the fence. I don’t mind doing it, but not at the expense of writing. Also, if you are doing it for yourself or someone else, it’s a lot easier. For yourself, if you like something, you go with it. For someone else, you do whatever they want. For multiple people, it can get a bit messy. And when your work schedule conflicts with theirs, a simple message can be the most frustrating thing in the world. Continue reading “Deadlines!”