June News

It’s time for some news!

First up, there’s a new Patreon post up on dealing with creating art and Spoon Theory. It’s a bit rambly, and I’ll probably post it here as well next week, but there ya go.

Next up is less of a news item and more of a reminder. I’m still running a fundraiser to get a new car and medical stuff taken care of. I took my van in to have it looked at recently and the official diagnosis is that it does indeed need transmission work. I took it to a transmission specialist and the guy told me that I had two choices. The first was have them work on it, where they’d take it apart, fix it up as best they could, and basically hope for the best. That’s the cheap option. The second choice is they send my transmission out to be refabricated and it gets parts replaced and remachined back to factory specs. He also noted that I should do that if I want to keep the car for the next 3 to 5 years. On top of that, my battery contacts are extremely corroded and probably need to be replaced. So, along with all the other repairs and maintenance it needs, I’m looking at somewhere between $4-5000. And that’s provided they don’t get in there and find anything else majorly wrong.

What does that mean for the fundraiser? I don’t know. I’m honestly leaning heavily towards something newer still. I’ve already had to put a new engine in this thing once already and we had no idea on the mileage of said engine. I’m not hopeful that sinking thousands of dollars into it will keep it going until I can afford an actual car payment. That said, either way, I still need to raise thousands of dollars for medical stuff as well, so I guess we’ll just see where I can get to. If you don’t feel like donating, then considering becoming one of my patrons or gifting my books to people you’d think would enjoy them. Or yourself if you haven’t already read them.

For the final set of news, it’s a bit of a twofer. I’ll be doing some site maintenance soon, reworking a few areas, revamping others, and generally trying to make things look and work better. On top of that, it’s time to finally share the title of Grimluk 3!

The Demons Within

A little info about it: It will be a new adventure, set towards the end of the year after the first two books. Gwen will not be making an appearance, but there will be a host of new characters. This time around, Grimluk will be facing something he’s never seen before. A…thing from outer space. We’ll also be introduced to a new villain who will be recurring through the series. I’m fairly happy with most of the first draft but I made a lot of notes to improve things in the second.

I’ll be running a Kickstarter for the book in October. There will be a few less reward tiers this year, as I’ll only be offering this book but, if I can get it figured out, one of the tiers should prove pretty interesting and it’ll be a limited thing. I’m also looking at quotes for a couple of stretch goals in the event that they’re needed. And unlike last year, I won’t be taking to Indiegogo should the campaign fail. Tim Marquitz was nice enough to HEAVILY discount my editing fees as a friendly favor which allowed me to make use of the flex fund campaign on Indiegogo so this time it’s either full funding or I try again a few months down the line.

That’s all for now. Take care of yourselves.

Two Year Anniversary

It’s been two years since I released A Demon in the Desert.

Two years, man. It’s wild. Now I’ve got the third book drafted and I’ll be starting the fourth soon as well, with a Kickstarter for book 3 happening in October. I’ve learned a lot in the span of two years. I want to thank everyone who’s helped me and made this possible. Everyone who’s backed me, everyone who’s reviewed me, sent encouraging words, everyone who’s taught me craft and business. You’ve all been amazing. Who knows where things will be by year five!

Grimluk 3 News

Picture 256

Who has 2 thumbs and finished the first draft of the next Grimluk book? This dude! At 65,885 it’ll need some fleshing out in spots but it’s done. Ultimate goal will be a 75,000 minimum and I’m certain the second draft will hit that easily. Took notes for that along the way. I’m happy with how everything turned out, even with the stuff I’ll be changing quite a bit.

That said, if you’re so interested, I’ve posted the title and a snippet over on Patreon. I’ll be sharing the title everywhere else come June if you’d rather wait.

News Things

In the immediate, there’s a new post concerning some worldbuilding concepts for the Grimluk series over on Patreon today. Mostly it’s just a few things I thought were interesting enough to share but haven’t been used yet or are still forming. Check it out, only costs a buck to read everything.

As I mentioned in my healthcare post Monday, I started a fundraiser for medical costs and to help afford a new car. Between Nici and I, we need some heavy stuff taken care and I really need a newer car so I can have reliable transportation and not have to worry about major repairs for a few years. We are pretty desperate and anything you can afford will help. Along with the general state of the US, this is a pretty huge source of anxiety right now.

In more pleasant news, Grimluk 3 is chugging along, gaining momentum toward finishing the first draft. I’m nearing the 56,000 word mark as of last night. The final goal for release next year will be a 75,000 word minimum, like with Demon Haunted. The first draft goal is looking to be 65-70,000 as I know I’ll be able to fill out in the second draft. There’s plenty of stuff I’ll be rewriting and expanding as well as certain areas that I’ll just be flat out finishing (mostly just little transition sections and bits of dialogue that were bogging my progress down).

I’ll probably take a month off after that, aside from Patreon, take a week to bang out the Gwen short story I started after (and set after) Demon Haunted, get some Kickstarter planning for October, as well as some Orctober planning, and then start on Grimluk 4. If all goes to plan, and no major distractions happen, I’m hoping I can finish Grimluk 4’s draft by December.

Before I end this, just want to say that however bleak things are looking right now, find a loved one and hug them and remember that there’s still good in the world.

Stay weird, be kind.

Let’s Talk About Healthcare

Before you run away screaming cause I’m posting something political (and I don’t think it’ll be the last time), this particular piece of our ongoing crisis in America is especially relevant to me at the moment, though it should be especially relevant to everyone who is currently alive. Fair warning, this is mostly a downer topic and I will be mentioning suicide and rape.

In September, I had a tooth removed after it cracked in half. The dentist informed me the one next to it would need to come out as well and that I would need a bridge. It’s now May and the gum is starting to erode. If it stays unchecked, the other tooth will likely continue on until it cracks as well, and all my teeth start drifting. I really can’t afford to pay any of that right now. And I have no one to help me.

My partner has needed their tonsils out for a literal decade. And their wisdom teeth are finally coming in. I’ve seen those tonsils and let me tell you, they look like a fucking Bloodborne boss. They look like Amygdala heads (or the tonsil stone, alternately, which just looks like a tiny head).

Connect this to the events this week, where the House voted on their Trumpcare bill and the threat it presents to millions of people, and we are clearly in need of real healthcare reform. The US is the only fully industrialized nation without universal healthcare. Yes, we have Medicaid and Medicare but those require age and specific economic hoops, they are not universal. On top of the severely private healthcare system, vision, dental, and mental health tend to be disconnected or (prior to the ACA) way more expensive to use. That presents a wealth of issues all its own.

I wear glasses. I cannot function well without them. Before my tooth cracked, I hadn’t been to a dentist since 2008. Not that it really mattered. I haven’t had insurance since I aged out of parental coverage at 26. I haven’t been able to afford it and if I’d bought a plan from the Marketplace, I’d have been paying for something I couldn’t afford to use either, without vision or dental included to boot. Which, sure, is a major flaw in the system. That’s one reason people have decried the ACA and one reason Republicans have championed getting rid of it: rising costs and unaffordable plans. Except that’s a little disingenuous on their parts, isn’t it? Especially given the provision in the Trumpcare bill to exempt Congress from the provisions.

Straight up, I lean way farther left than the Democratic party, so I’ve never really been in support of the party (or a two party system for that matter), but it’s been well documented that the ACA was basically the plan Mitt Romney implemented in Massachusetts and the Republican party fought Obama every step of the way on any of it. And look where this shit has gotten us. GoFundMe (and crowdfunding in general) is basically the defacto way to fund major medical expenses now. I see at least one fundraiser daily between Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and I just started one to fund my previously mentioned issues AND help me repair or replace my failing car (And I am, quite frankly, pretty damn desperate).

The US has dozens of examples for how to implement socialized healthcare on a national level, with Canada and the UK being the closest. And, surprise, given that insurance works by keeping a pool of money, it’s cheaper and more efficient to spread that pool out as far as you can. Of course, this would also require we close a lot of tax loopholes and fix how we do taxes (which is a whole other conversation in itself, especially when you look at small business owners like myself). Oh and also not give ridiculous tax breaks to people who absolutely do not need them.

Universal, comprehensive healthcare would solve so many problems for so many people it’s kind of fucking ridiculous. Being an author, I know a crap ton of authors, and you know what we all have in common? Barely being able to afford anything and/or several mental health issues. It is straight up exhausting worrying about health and finances all the time and it is immensely disruptive to the creative process. Regardless of that process though, there are millions of people worrying about whether or not they just should just kill themselves before they bankrupt their families. There are millions of sexual assault survivors worrying they’re going to lose healthcare for reporting their assault. And sure, Trumpcare doesn’t outright list sexual assault as a Pre-Existing Condition™, but it does allow insurers to give patients a big blast of “Fuck you” and that’s not any better.

And I’ll be real here, too, with the health stuff and my car dying like this, and having the financial situation I have right now, suicide has been floating around my mind. It’s really fucking hard for it not to. I’m mentally ill, with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. That is the perfect cocktail for this line of thinking. Chances are, if you haven’t had these thoughts a little, you know someone who has.

We desperately need to implore our elected officials to full support universal, comprehensive healthcare. Vision, dental, mental and physical health as well as prescriptions. God, prescriptions alone would do wonders for people, myself included but we need all of it. And for anyone who wants to bemoan Canada and its mythical “wait times,” you don’t wait for emergency care and you just pay for parking. I’ve heard in-depth discussions about Canadian healthcare because I know Canadians. Krista Ball has talked very openly on twitter (and in private) about her health escapades over the past two years, which included a breast reduction surgery that was fucking covered.

We need a change. Everyone deserves healthcare, yes, even Paul Ryan’s poor-people hating ass. Even the eldritch abomination that is Steven Bannon (even if he probably is a demon in a very poor disguise). Everyone deserves healthcare. Fucking everyone, period, no exceptions. We need help. We need our health. We have to fight for them both cause the people who are supposed to be our representatives are doing a fucking piss poor job.

If you made it this far, and you’re not part of the choir, do some research, think hard on this issue. It’s not about handouts or welfare queens, it’s just basic compassion and respect for life. Making America “Great Again” is gonna require some heavy changes. This is one of them.

I sincerely wish you, to combine references, long days, pleasant nights, and a long, prosperous life. Stay weird, be kind.

Moving Sucks

That is the most apt way to start this post. Moving sucks. Full stop. Especially the farther the move. But it’s over. Nici and I finally got moved back to Tulsa this weekend. All it took was fourteen hours of driving. In a cramped truck. I had no idea that driving a moving truck would be such a full body experience but it was. It fucking was. Given that last week was spent finalizing packing and preparations and Friday and Saturday were spent loading and driving, I was utterly exhausted. I’m feeling closer to normal now but I still haven’t gotten back to the last third of Grimluk 3’s first draft yet. On top of all of that, I’m getting use to a new place, trying to get settled in, and acclimating to new people (Nici’s mom, sister, and her sister’s friend). I may just hold off until next week and do my best to write furiously. I know realistically I’m just fine for time. I imagine Grimluk 4 will draft a little faster since I’m not gonna have a move to contend with. I really hope my odd-numbered books don’t continue to have moves interrupting them. That would be a terrible tradition.

In the plus side though, April has been amazing for book sales. Since doing the Fools of Fantasy sale, I’ve seen really consistent sales. Like, only two days this month I haven’t sold at least one book. I really really hope that continues.

That’s all the news from me right now. I haven’t decided if there’s gonna be anything on Patreon this week yet so keep your eyes out for that.