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It’s not always what you think.

I, like most young writers, did the natural thing when I joined social media: I followed authors of books I loved. Some were great, like Patrick Rothfuss and Neil Gaiman that speak about respecting others, making great art, and sometimes the struggles of life. They do what they can to help those in need and encourage others to do so. They share their love of books, words, artwork, and comics. And it’s a wonderful corner of the social medias. Even when I disagree with them sometimes (because it’s very hard to find someone you agree with 100% of the time) I never feel like they are talking down to me, or feel that I am less of a person because I disagree with them.

Then there are other authors I had to stop following. One I wrote about before, others said some really awful things that made me hate going to twitter, and after a while I just had to stop following them in order to have any semblance of a happy life. I wanted to talk about things that concerned me in the world, even take action when appropriate. I didn’t want to feel like the sky was falling every time I opened my phone. I couldn’t live like that, so I stopped following them.

Today I saw one of those authors have a small rant on twitter and blame everyone except for himself for his failure. You see, he was fired from his job. He even admits they said they fired him for his vulgarity and confrontational behavior on twitter. He said it was something different: it’s the right wingers! They did it! They caused him to get fired by constantly harassing him because of LGBTQ characters in his stories.

So I was curious and went to look at his book. 39% of the reviews are one star. I started reading through them and review after review after review mentioned poor writing, short sentences, and boring characters. Only three of the reviews I read mentioned feminism or LGBTQ. Even the reviews that mentioned the “social justice” angle mentioned the poor writing. Then I found this lovely review:

No! Surely it isn’t that bad, it can’t be possible. So I read the first two chapters and…it’s worse!

I have no doubt that someone loves this type of writing. I have read parts of other books that try to break from the mold and make something different. Tree of Codes was made by cutting away words from another book to make a new story. The Lovers Dictionary is poetry made entirely from dictionary entries. There are many books out there, especially in literary circles, that have unusual, or intricate stylistic qualities to them.

You won’t find them in the latest Sookie Stackhouse, or Magic the Gathering franchise novel. You won’t find these unusual turn of phrases inside a Nora Roberts novel. What you’ll find inside each of their stories is consistency across the brand, from how characters are described, to common phrases and sentence construction.

To take a beloved franchise of hundreds of books and then turn it into a literary exposition….well I can’t say that I’m surprised that it wasn’t received well. The author blamed a lot of the bad reviews on the poor reception of the last movie, and how “toxic” the fans were. I wrote my own review of the latest movie in this franchise and this particular author would have called my review toxic, too. It doesn’t matter that I had legitimate things I didn’t like about it. I dared to speak against it so I’m part of the problem.

And that’s where I guess my opinions sour on certain authors, artists, or people in general. Just because someone criticizes your work that doesn’t mean they are criticizing you. Just because they didn’t like your work it doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad, in some cases (like this one) it probably was just presented to the wrong audience. Someone would have liked it, but not the fans of this particular franchise.

Right now I do want to make a point. I am criticizing the author, himself, directly. Blaming others for the fact that you got on twitter after poor sales and bad reviews and lambasted everyone who hated your work as trolls, and vulgar names, is down right terrible behavior. “Poor sportsmanship” would be a nice way of putting it. I have no doubt that there were some awful horrible people out there that said some nasty things to him. I’ve had those people in my chat, or stream, as well. I used the block button, or more often the mute button, and I stopped seeing their nasty comments. Then I went about having a happy life, which is the best revenge to any negative people out there. And sometimes I’ll even laugh and make a joke back and get them talking to me as a person instead of being an asshole.

I do know that sometimes it gets out of hand and people can do things offline instead of just through a keyboard. In those situations it’s important to keep your family safe. But in the vast majority of online interactions the easiest way to de-escalate a situation is just not to engage with the idiots online. Because they’re just that, idiots. If you stoop to their level then what does that make you?

And lets be clear, it wasn’t the LGBTQ angle. There are plenty of LGBTQ characters in many franchise books that are doing well. Here, choose a book from thousands of books that have LGBTQ lead characters in any genre out there. Most of them have really good reviews unless they have bad writing, or bad story. That’s how reviews work. Even when there are trolls making bad reviews it won’t be a large percentage of them.

Anyway, that’s my rant. And this is why new authors are told not to read their reviews. Don’t do it if you can’t handle the negative ones. And if someone says “your writing is bad” either listen, or put your writing to use where it will be appreciated. You don’t kill the characters in romance, and you don’t write literary fiction in a scifi space opera story. It never works out.

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Posted by on October 13, 2018 in On Writing

 

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A quick update

Just a few quick updates today.

I am finishing the last bits of The Costume Shop today and re-uploading the finished book, complete with some awesome artwork inside that my child did. They also did the cover, so I’m really happy with it.

The artwork they did is amazing, and black and white so it won’t matter if you’re on kindle, or if you get it in print. It will look just as fantastic.

On the print front, I will get that made soon, I hope. I’d like to have that available before Christmas.

I also got the edits back for the first book in my litRPG series. I’ll send the next book out for edits once I get the first one finished. So far everything is on track!

Plus I’ve been doing a lot of art over on my instagram for #drawtober and #inktober. That’s been fun.

The coloring book is live! It’s only available in print because… well… it’s a coloring book.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2018 in On Writing

 

Covers, all the covers!

 

I am expecting edits back soon for the first book in the new novels, and I’m tweeking the covers a little, but I have a finished draft.

I am so excited for this series. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this, and I’m really happy with how it’s come out. I’m sure that the edits will make things shine! Plus book three is already half finished so I’m pretty confident it will be out in December.

Steel Soul: Jupiter and Cas log into the nerve gear for the first time and take on their first quest, rescuing the mayor. But things aren’t quite what they seem!

Steel Heart: The roads aren’t safe, and there’s more than in-game death at stake.

Steel Line: The Hub… and that’s the only hint you’re getting for that one till December. 😉

For the covers, the figures were all designed by Abi Grey. I did the backgrounds and typography.

Really, I can’t wait to get them out there. It’s going to be a lot of work once I get the edits back, but so worth it.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2018 in Updates

 

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New books?

It sometimes feels like forever since I’ve had a new book out… even if it’s only been a few months. But….I have a new book out now!

 Costume Shop is available for pre-order, and released on the 12th of October.  This is a fun little story that is written a little like an RL Stein book, and would be considered young adult. Just in time for Halloween, too. You’ll also notice I’m releasing it as C.L. Moss instead of Crissy Moss. It’s a slightly different tone than my other books so I wanted to make sure it was a little separated.

Also, Dragon’s Flame is free his weekend. Now is your chance to grab it. If you enjoy it I would really appreciate a review.
This fantasy novel is the first in a series. Book two should be out sometime the beginning of 2019 (which isn’t far away. Boy does time fly.)

I will also be putting out a new coloring book called “Little Beasties” before the end of the month, just in time for the holidays.

The next book I’m sending to the editor is the litRPG series. Keep looking for them later this year.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2018 in Updates

 

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The Search for Independence: part 1

I haven’t written a blog post in a while because I didn’t really know what to say. Things are moving along on their slow way to finishing, and a lot is happening, but they are kind of up in the air at the moment.

This last couple of weeks I’ve realized that the best option for my health is to either work at a small location with few people at it, or work from home, so I’ve been looking into working from home more and more. I’ve found a lot of options, and resources, and I’m trying to find what will work best for me. I am going to be taking a multi stream income approach for the best results.

First, my books of course. I have three scheduled for the editor, one currently at the editor, and two more I am working to complete. The release will be Costume Shop by end of this month, Steel Soul in October, and Steel Heart in November. I’m hoping to have Steel Line (book three of the Steel Series, my litRPG) or Dragon’s Heart (book two of my Half Blood Sorceress series) out in December and January. That’s five books in five months! Sign up for the newsletter here to hear when they come out.

On the art front I’ve uploaded more images to redbubble for stickers, t-shirts, and the like. I’ve also got some ideas for Halloween and Christmas themed fabric for spoonflower. I’ll be doing those soon. I’m also working on drawing something every day, even if it’s just working on a larger project, and I’ve been showing the work over on Instagram. I’m considering doing some sort of comic or story line for the art, I’ll have to see if I can come up with a good story for it that can fit into a series of little strips. Right now I’m focusing on finishing a coloring book, and getting that up on amazon/etc.

And of course I have my etsy where there are pins, key chains, and other physical things I’ve made. That includes the little enamel pins you see here.

Then the last arm of my working plan….freelancing. This is the tougher one since I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve been doing some research and finding various places where I can submit to write for blogs and magazines, and it’s been an interesting learning experience. Most of them require you to do a lot of prep and fill in the questions before you can even do actual work. And learning about it is difficult too because there isn’t a guide or anything, you basically have to piece information together from other sources until you figure it out. I guess that’s why only those with perseverance make it in the freelance world. I don’t have a lot of perseverance, but I do have self preservation, and if I want to stop working in an office where I keep having asthma attacks because people wear perfume…. here’s an option. I just have to make it work.

There is one more thing, and that’s recording. I have a twitch, and two youtube channels (one for art/writing, the other for gaming) that I haven’t been using that much. I stopped using YouTube because they took away my monitization, and I wasn’t doing a lot with it anyway. Twitch I haven’t been able to do as much because I’ve been sick. I’d like to get back into making videos, probably once or twice a week. I think trying to do them every day was too much and it just got overwhelming so I stopped. I also want to stream on twitch. I really enjoy playing some of the more story driven games, like The Turing Test, and talking about the different story situations. The Turing Test has been really interesting because it deals with AI, and what separates people from machines, and when a computer becomes creative. It really made me think about Googles Deep Dream simulation, and where tech is going.

I’d also like to stream some of the artwork I’m doing, maybe some of the larger projects. I’ve done a few streams like that, but the goal is two a week. One game, one art/writing. Scheduling doesn’t quite work yet, but I’m trying to figure that out. Every time I set a schedule something comes up on those days.

The other thing I’d like to do is start tracking this progress, showing what I’m doing and where I’m succeeding and failing. I think I’ll call it “Road To Independence” and put up a video every week with my trials and tribulations, as well as my successes, so expect that. It might mean fewer games, and more working on writing/art/marketing…but if that means eventual independence I’m all for that.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2018 in Updates

 

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Pain

Markiplier put out a video today talking about the worst pain he has ever experienced, and what that has created in his life. How it pushed him to do more, and achieve more….

My worst pain I have ever had was waking up from a c-section with all the meds wearing off at once. I apparently process painkillers faster than most people so the doctors were not expecting me to wake up then, and they were not expecting me to feel like my stomach was being ripped out. They, rightfully, were rather shocked when I started screaming in sheer terror as i believed my stomach was being pulled from my body.

And my stomach had been pulled out, or at least the baby. Still, they gave me some more pain killers and I was able to deal with the pain. Once the pain killers wore off I was able to handle the pain a bit more, since they didn’t work well on me anyway, and live with the pain. But that initial shock of waking up, feeling my guts on fire, that was too much for my mind to take and all I could do was scream for that moment.

It’s been decades since that day and it doesn’t bother me anymore. In fact most pain I just deal with because pain is part of my life. My wrists hurt, my lungs hurt, my knees and ankles hurt, my lower back hurts. I don’t generally talk about it or make a fuss unless it gets really bad because this is just the thing I’ve lived with almost every day for as long as I can remember. Occasionally I’ll pop an over the counter pain killer so I can get a little sleep, or push myself a little harder, but in general it is just how life is.

I’m more concerned about loosing my mind than I am my body. My body is failing, I have all sorts of medical problems now, and that’s okay. That’s part of getting older. What scares me are those days when my medications, or the food I eat, or the path I took that brought me through something I’m allergic to starts to make my mind start slip. The days when I feel like every thought has to push through a thick fog before I can reach for a word. I’m an author, words are my trade, and loosing my words, loosing the ability to tell stories and let others see the passion I have….that is truly terrifying. That is what keeps me pushing to write more, finish more books…before I can’t write anymore.

I spent an entire day in the emergency room because of this “mental fog” that had me nearly passing out, and unable to function. And all they could tell me was it might be my medication. That’s scary, knowing there’s something wrong but having no answers, and no way of figuring out why this is happening.

I hope it’s the medication. I won’t be on it anymore after next week, so maybe that will get better. We’ll see. But every day, every moment, I am going to try to write more, and use the words I have while I have them. Because some day I might not have any more words left to write.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2018 in On Writing

 

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Penguins

I did an adorable piece of art this week.

Okay, maybe I’m talking myself up a little bit, but I really do love how this came out. I drew it in pen then scanned it, and colored it. It was inspired by the #kaseytheprompt challenge on Instagram. She has a huge book of prompts that she does and shows on youtube, then her fans make their own interpretation. Last week was penguin and shiny, so I drew two penguins star gazing.

I do love how all the colors blend, and the adorable penguins. I’m rather happy with this one. And of course there are posters up.

Truthfully, I wanted to do this on stream but it’s hard to do when I’m falling asleep every few minutes. Thankfully the smoke is clearing a bit, and they are taking me off the meds that might be contributing to my sleepiness while also keeping me breathing. We’ll see how next week goes.

I’ve also managed to keep writing, even if it isn’t as fast as I’d like. I have the cover art for book two done, and book three on its way. I’ll be able to do a reveal of all the covers soon. I’m also going to be contacting some people about edits really soon… I do need to have one more edit from myself to get all the numbers right before sending it to an editor, it’s just hard to edit when your mind keeps slipping. Smoke clearing though so I’ll be fine soon, I hope.

Till then I have a new piece of art and some more writing to do. This weeks prompt was unicorn and pirate 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in On Writing, Updates

 

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