A Post-Covid Status Report

I’m copying this from Patreon because it pretty well covers everything I need to say for my writing career as a whole right now.

For those who don’t know, I caught Covid at the end of September, likely at a concert I went to. I WAS wearing a mask but I was also dealing with some medication issues that meant I HAD to try to hydrate while at the show. Unfortunately, my Pull-Down-Mask-And-Hold-Breath-While-Drinking game is not amazing so I ended up getting hit. While the physical symptoms weren’t awful, feeling like a pretty typical chest cold, it did scramble my brains and hit me with fatigue. And while the fatigue is finally passing, my breathing has stayed a bit rough. That, too, is starting to wane, so hopefully I will have no physical issues with Long Covid.

My mental health, on the other hand, is in the garbage. I’m a bit better than I was the first week of October, but the depression hit hard and has only slightly let up. And I fucking mean slightly. Which also means I’m doing some self-evaluations right now and I’ve come to a sad conclusion.

I don’t have any more words in me right now. I worked on By Demons Be Driven for roughly three years, start to release, and I’ve gotten some preproduction done on some projects but every time I squeeze out some more words, right now, that’s it. I was thrilled when I spent part of a Saturday a few months ago starting a Mr. Freeze fanfic idea I’ve had for close to a decade, but I haven’t touched it since. I was thrilled when I got Episode 1 of To Hehk With This written and (somewhat) edited for y’all, but there has been only few bits of character ideas done since then. The thought of trying to write another short story, much less a whole ass book, is repulsive. I think I managed to suck all the joy out of writing for the foreseeable future.

So what does this mean for Patreon?

It means we live in a capitalist hellscape and I at least need a consistent $80 bucks a month to cover car insurance and I have nothing to give back for your patronage right now. I know quite a few of you are friends just happy to support me but that’s not all of you. So if you want to cancel your pledge until I’m creating again, I understand and will not blame you one bit. The most I can offer right now is chronicling my health journey. This year has been a year of changes and setbacks and obstacles for me in a variety of ways. I’ve spent the past week struggling with even making this post because of the sheer guilt and shame I’m feeling.

Maybe I’ll end up trying to do other artistic endeavors and I can share those, but for right now, I’m spent. I’m barely getting chores done. I’m happy maybe getting back in the gym next week will do me some good, but considering I’ve struggled all year to make new words, I think it’s safe to say I’m actually truly burnt the fuck out.

I’m thankful everyone’s been pretty patient with me this year but I need to actually focus on myself for a while instead of kind of doing that while going “any day now I’ll write something again” and squeezing stuff out like the remnants of a tube of toothpaste.

Love y’all. See ya when I see ya.

News

Been a while. Have some news.

I thought maybe I’d announce this finally. I recently went looking through my story ideas file and saw one that creeps into my mind every so often. I got to thinkin about it again and decided it would make a great project for Patreon. So here’s what’s I’m gonna do…

Starting in September, I’ll be starting a new episodic story. A reverse portal fantasy about an orc from Arkod’s (that’s the name of Grimluk’s home planet in case you forgot) past gets sucked into modern day America. This will be a slice of life kind of thing. Going from flash fiction to short story length. Very rare on the action. I want to get writing again but my book projects seem too big still. And since I have been too quiet this year, this should be a win-win for my patrons. So far, the folks I’ve talked to about the idea really like it. I hope that continues. I just want something a bit softer and easier right now. And this will be a Patreon exclusive, too.

I don’t know if I’ll do much in the way of new D&D homebrew for the foreseeable future either. I may eventually do some more Battle of the Bands stuff but considering how precarious scheduling is for my gaming group right now, I’m not sure when or if my first foray into DMing is going to happen. But, ya know, worst case, I make it into its own book. Maybe do a kickstarter for it. Who knows.

I also had an ADHD eval on Monday and, for the third time, was told that while I have symptoms, it’s all depression, anxiety, and trauma. So I’m going to be trying a higher dosage of the drug I take as a sleep aid, since it’s actually an early psych med. Supposedly the bigger dose will help me sleep even more than the baby dose, which I desperately want right now. Here’s hoping things improve. The past few weeks have felt particularly bad for me being able to get stuff done.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Still trying to get my bodily and mental health taken care of. Gonna work on this new project for the time being. And yes, there will be a new book eventually. Who knows, if the increased medication works, my production schedule could actually become an actual, stable schedule. I’ve got The Once and Future Slayer ready to start and the Crimson Warrior (or whatever I end up calling it) is also ready to go. Grimluk 5 is like half-formed in my head already, I just need to actually set up an outline, do all the preproduction stuff I do.

And to reiterate, the new slice of life stories? Patreon exclusives, which you can keep up with for just $1 a month. Link in the sidebar.

Hope you’re doing well. I hope your summer treated you well, and if it didn’t, I hope the fall treats you better. Be safe, be kind, be excellent.

New Patreon Content

Hey y’all. I just wanted to post a little update talking about some of the new stuff up on my Patreon. For the past little while, I’ve been working on the much-maligned Ranger class for D&D fifth edition. I recently posted the first pass for a chunk of the subclasses, with two more to come individually. I also tried my hand at giving the Storm Herald subclass for the Barbarian an overhaul, along with a few other Fighter subclasses. I will also be starting an adventure module this year that I’ve had bouncing around my head for a while. It’ll be big on story and very orc-centric. Because I have a brand.

For fans of Grimluk, though, I’ve posted a few snippets from what I’ve been writing on Grimluk 4 (and the first draft is now over the 10,000 word mark), along with a worldbuilding post on time, and a new post today that will start a series of worldbuilding posts on the races of Arkod, beginning with elves!

On top of all that, I’ll be trying to get some new cooking posts going and I’m hoping to start a new trend revolving around Fantasy foods, along with any diabetic friendly foods I find. I’m going to try and begin doing fantasy foods by doing a potentially easy recipe from The Demons Within: goat jerky. I’m pretty sure I can get goat meat from a local butcher, so it should be doable.

And a reminder, I do take requests for content. I recently added a new request tier for $5 where I make a magic item for your game. I still have the idea request tier, too, where you can request a story or a topic for me to talk about for $25. You get access to all content for just $1, though, and my gratitude.

So come check it all out and feel free to leave comments and questions!

It’s Some News

First up, there’s a new post up on Patreon, finishing the first draft of my reimagined Ranger for D&D 5e. For a buck, you can follow along as I redesign what’s considered the least satisfying class in D&D.

Next up, The Demons Within is currently with a proofreader. Digital pre-orders should be up on September 1st. The time draws nigh!

Relatedly, my plans for Orctober this year are a bit simpler than last year. I will be primarily focusing on talking about The Demons Within. I may include some D&D stuff again but this year is all about promoting the new book.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your weekend, y’all!

A Few Updates

Hey all. Got a few things to share real fast.

First up, I added a D&D page to my Works section for any homebrew stuff I make as well as Amazon Affiliate links to the 5e books as well as some dice and accessories. Affiliate links also don’t mean you have to buy that stuff. If you click one of my affiliate links and make ANY purchase without closing the tab, it works. I also updated my Amazon book links with affiliate links. I may occasionally post stuff I’ve bought and found useful as well.

Next, Patreon. Actually, this is connected with another issue. On Wednesday, I received a letter about my SNAP renewal letting me know my benefits were being lowered due to a household size change. I have no idea how that happened, if I messed something up or what, but my benefits are being cut until I can get them appealed. In the mean time, I’m asking folks to become patrons on Patreon as it’s the most direct way I can get cash each month (book sales are staggered).

Now with that, I’m also expanding what I offer on Patreon. You can find more in-depth detail about this on Patreon┬ábut the TL;DR is there’s a new Gwen story coming in May, I’ll be letting patrons get way more of a look behind the curtain of my books, which may involve spoilers sometimes but I’ll tag them when it happens. I’ll be adding game design and development stuff as well, and, provided I can afford it, cooking videos, especially for diabetic recipe experiments now that I’ll have an actual kitchen of my own again when we move next week.

I’m also planning on sprucing up the way my Patreon looks, make it a little more interesting, update the information, etc..With The Demons Within set for release in October, I really want to make 2018 a big year for me and grow my little empire as best I can. I hope you’ll join me.

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.

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.