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DEmonitized!

Well, I got that letter from youtube. The one that says “we changed our rules, and you no longer qualify, so you won’t be monetized after this month. But don’t worry, you have 30 days to meet the requirements.”

30 days? How do you get 900 followers in thirty days? Or all that watch time. For those who are close to that limit it’s good, hopefully they get there. For me, and little youtubers like me, it’s not happening.

On the positive side, I haven’t made any money from youtube. I’ve never had enough views, I don’t make content that often, so it’s fine, for me. Nothing’s really changing. For others…it’s not as nice. Youtube’s point is “they make less than $100 a year,” but I would be pissed if someone just decided to take $100 out of my paycheck every year. There’s so much that $100 could help with, a single bill, or a new camera or microphone. Hell, I got a $100 gift card for Safeway one year for Christmas and that made it so I could pay my bills without getting any late fees and still get food and gas. $100 is kind of important sometimes.

There is a positive side to Youtube’s change, this will keep a lot of the channels that re-upload other peoples content, and inappropriate content like Elsa-gate stuff from getting monetized. It will also move more ads to the large channels which is good for advertisers and the larger creators. On the bad side animators are, once again, getting the shaft, as well as any other person who makes occasional content. There will also be fewer people trying to get monetized because it’s really tough to get 1000 subs and all that watch time per year. There are people who will do it, and will thrive for it. There will also be a lot more of us who use it as just a way to connect with our followers, share a little of ourselves online. It’s another social media platform, and that’s about it.

Diversify, diversify, diversify! That is the mantra now. Has been for a while. If you are trying to actually make a living online you need to do more than one thing. Stream to twitch. Stream to youtube. Post to instagram or facebook. Make friends and followers, and help support other smaller creators so they can do well. For your own business you can make merch, like t-shirts on t-spring, or stickers on redbubble. Having a sponsor, or some other revenue outside of youtube itself. Youtube is more and more social media for small content creators, and that’s probably how it’s going to keep going. Especially since youtube only wants “family friendly” materiel to me monetized (unless you’re a main stream media outlet. CNN and NBC get monetized while smaller news channels don’t.)

Also, you know what would be nice? If people started sharing smaller channels they like, mentioning them in their vids or something, because it’s so hard to find good content on youtube anymore. The algorithms are so janky, they only show either the same creators I always watch, or vids from tv shows that are prime time, thus youtube wants you to watch them. They bring their advertisers with them, of course, and youtube wants a cut of that money. So please, share more smaller creators. Tell me who you like so I can see if I’d like them too. Tweet about them, comment on this blog post, or share them in a vlog, but I want to see some good content from smaller youtubers! I’d really appreciate that!

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Posted by on January 18, 2018 in News

 

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Welcome to my House

The last two weekends have been busy. I actually took two three day weekends so I could get a bunch of little things done around hte house, starting with the cleaning.

Gregg and I have been down sizing everything. It started with going through my games, game consoles, and our books. Over the last three months we have gotten rid of five boxes worth of games and books between us, clearing up some much needed space. We also emptied a lot of the things from our storage that we had been saving for when we bought a house. The house isn’t happening any time soon so it is pointless to keep it. That cleared up more space.

You’d be surprised how much scrap leather you get from making leather projects. Gregg has three large boxes of scrap leather that we have been making small projects with. Bracelets, key-chains, etc. But there isn’t enough time to use it all, so we’ve actually been throwing some away, or giving it away in boxes. That cut down on a lot of room.

Then there are my crafting supplies. I consolidated a lot into a smaller section of my storage, got rid of anything I hadn’t been using, or which had dried out or expired, and I’m down to a much smaller selection. Next I’ll be putting a bunch of the beads and charms up on etsy I think just because I’m not going to use them, but someone should.

I also went through out clothing and threw out a lot that didn’t fit, or was worn out. And we had some old electronics that weren’t working, or we bought newer stuff for, so we took the old stuff to be recycled.

The house is so much cleaner. Over all i think we got rid of, recycled, or sold a few car loads of things. It’s made it easier to sort out, store, and keep dusted the things that are left.

Writing wise, I updated the print covers of Flight of the Griffins and Witch’s Stand, and ordered some a proof of each of them. For some reason the cover of Witch’s Stand was really blurry so I completely redid it and got it to a much better size and dpi. Now if you order them you should get a really nice looking set to have on  your shelf.

Speaking of shelves, I don’t have most of my books in print because a lot of them are on the short side, but I still wanted to have a “shelf” of my books available. So I made these two posters for that purpose. Most of my book covers are on here, and I’ll do a third when I get enough books out. For right now you can download this if you like. I have to get more ink before I can print the second one, but it is really nice having them above my desk to remind me to keep writing.

  

Speaking of writing….I’ve almost finished “Ghostly Intentions,” which is a little fantasy ghost story I’ve been working on. I’ve also edited half of book two in my Half Blood Sorceress series. I’m still debating on the name, either Dragon’s Blood, or Dragon’s Touch. Both would be appropriate, and there are several more in the series so it will all have dragon names. Appropriate in a world where magic comes from dragons, I think.

As for art…I haven’t been doing as much of it lately. I did some sketch’s that were kind of cute, but really I do most of my drawing at work, and work has been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to think, let alone sketch or draw. Also another reason I took some time off work. I needed a chance to breath and be myself for a while.

Anyway, I get a new shift starting in a month or two, so I have no idea what’s going to happen after that. For right now I’m just trying to do what I need to do. And writing more, that’s the good part.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Updates

 

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Such a good weekend!

The last three days have been so good! Between being productive, and getting things done, and being more creative, I actually feel much better going back to work tomorrow.

Wednesday was family time. We had lunch with my daughters, who I don’t see very much since they moved out. Then d&d later in the evening, with some cleaning in the middle. So I didn’t get to do much for myself that day, but I was okay with that because it was really good to see my girls, and friends at d&d.

Thursday I woke up in pain. That’s not unusual with me. I have joints that don’t like to work all the time, and some mornings hurt. Bjorn finally talked me into going to the chiropractor and that helped a lot.

Thursday evening I was able to stream day one of my new crafting project. Hopefully I’ll post it to YouTube in a more condensed version soon.

Today I took a mental health day from work. Boy did I need it!

I spent the morning playing games, running a few errands, and just relaxing. Then I spent the evening streaming with Bjorn doing leather work. So much fun! You can find the video on demand on my twitch stream still. I might post some of it to YouTube too.

Then after streaming I edited. It was the first time I had looked at my novel in a week, and I got two chapters finished today. It felt great to get back to work on it.

So, look for me on twitch. I’m enjoying streaming even if I’m not sure what to say on there.

And look for more updates on my novel soon.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2018 in On Writing

 

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New Projects for a New Year

I bought a book. Well, I’ve bought many books, but this one is unusual. It’s a craft book with 100 small sewing projects.

You see, I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. I’ve been working on my novel here and there, but I need something else to help fill those creative wells. Sometimes it helps to read. Sometimes play games. Sometimes go on a date with the boyfriend. Sometimes just switching projects helps a lot.

So I’m going to try something totally different. I bought a book called 100 Pretty Little Projects, and I’m going to do them. Once a week, every week, this year. I’m going to stream it to Twitch, then hopefully edit it down and stick it on YouTube. I’m hoping this will get me out of the rut I’ve been in since it is something completely different from anything else I’ve done.

So… Wednesday, here I come. I have the book, I have the fabric, and I have a camera. Now I’m going to tell that little bit of self doubt in the back of my head, the one that has constantly followed me since I was a kid trying to learn my multiplications and it was drilled into my head how stupid I was for messing up. I’m going to prove it wrong.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s really hard for me to put myself out there like this because I’m not just putting a story out there and letting people love or hate the story. I’m putting me out there, and it’s really tough to believe people want anything to do with me most of the time. But I’m going to try. And I’m going to keep trying till I figure out that it isn’t as scary as it seems.

Starting with this Wednesday! Follow me on twitch if you want to watch the mayhem!

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Personal Notes

 

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Favorite Reads of 2017!

I set out with a goal of 30 books this year, and managed to read 30. I will admit, I upped my book count because I realized they wouldn’t all be novels. I had a few graphic novels, and some short stories in the mix, as well as a few audio books for my long commutes.

In all I read 16 novels, ten short stories, and four graphic novels.

I’d have to say the Baine Chronicles were my absolute favorite this year. Jasmine Walt spun a fantastic story about a shifter hybrid who gets caught with her magic on display and has to avoid being killed, then ends up rescuing the arch mage. So much allegory for real life in this series. Lots of magic, and mischief. Loved every page and I read the first six books pretty quickly.

Star Nomad by Lindsay Buroker is another favorite. This read very much like Firefly, and Buroker wasn’t afraid to say it up front. That’s what she was going for, and she managed it with flying colors.

Dungeon Crawl by Skyler Grant hit on a second love of mine, LitRPG, which I didn’t even know was a thing until just this month. I’ve been enjoying Sword Art Online, Kilobyte by Piers Anthony, and other movies and books in this genre, but didn’t know it had an actual name until just recently. Dungeon Crawl scratched that itch (so to say) quite nicely, and I’ll be reading more of these types of books this year.

I also read Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker. This is a fantastic book for anyone who wants to make their story telling better. I had to rewrite a lot of chapters because of this book, but my novels are so much better because of that rewrite. Worth it!

Lastly I’m going to say Grizzly Shark is my favorite graphic novel this year. Oh, Heathen and LumberJanes were good, but Grizzly Shark is one of those books that will stick with me for the rest of forever. With sharks swimming through the trees to eat everyone, and irreverent jokes on every page, I loved it. Crass, unapologetic humor that goes out of it’s way to just be itself. Would read again!

Of the other books, there were some good ones, and a few fell short, but nothing really bad. The books I chose just stood out a bit more than the others, either because I loved the series as a whole, it hit that nestalgia button, or it was incredibly memorable (queue the grizzly shark!)

How did your reading challenge go?

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2017 in Review

 

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What’s with all the games?

This weekend (my weekend, which is Wednesday and Thursday) was a weekend for being sick. I ended up taking an extra day to sleep the sickness away. It’s now Saturday, and I’m at work drinking my morning coffee and logging into the computer, and I feel much better. So glad I took that day.

But, while out for the weekend I did manage to get a few things done. Not much for my novel because that wasn’t working well. Something about fevers makes thinking difficult, or maybe just being really … REALLY … tired. In any event I did not do much actual story telling this weekend, but I did get some of my other writing, and a little art work done.

Anyone who has been following me for a while probably knows that I’m a gamer. What probably nobody knows is that I have a gaming blog where I do reviews. Not the usual kind of reviews, though, because it feels like everyone reviews AAA titles, and the big indie hits. I like the indie titles that fly under the radar, and mobile gaming. Since if felt like gamers all say “mobile gaming is for casuals” it was only natural for me to share some of my favorite mobile games. After all, Pokémon is a hand held game, it just so happens that handhelds now sit in our pockets and are attached to phones. It’s just really hard to find good games among all the junk.

What started out as “hey, this is a game I love, you should try it,” slowly evolved into a review sight for mobile titles. I started downloading, playing, and sharing my impressions of a bunch of mobile games, some of which are free. Some are bad. Some are good. A bunch of them I paid for through Humble Bundle. Lots of them!

I think I’ll be posting my favorite mobile games of 2017 this week, since that’s the thing to do. I will probably do a run down of my reads for this year on this blog, too, since I completed my reading challenge on Goodreads.

Overall my personal life has been pretty good this year. Bjorn is doing awesome with his new job. We did the trip to LA for Twitchcon. He just set up his new 3d printer last night so soon I’ll be able to do some designs for that. And I wasn’t sick nearly as much this year as previous years. Plus publishing two short stories (Dark Angels and Hidden Treasures) as well as Dragon’s Flame. Plus I’ve written another 100k words on the next two books for The Half Blood Sorceress Series. Just a lot of awesomeness.

Anyway, if you’re also into gaming you might check out the gaming blog over here. I sometimes post commentary on it as well, but mostly I just like sharing good games.

And look forward to some updates about the new Half Blood Sorceress later in the month.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2017 in Updates

 

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What to do, what to do….

It’s been a week of editing and cleaning things up. Not just the short story and novel I’ve been working on, but also some artwork.

I’ve been doing the second draft for book two in my Half Blood Sorceress series. I’ve been taking a little more time with this one then I did with the Mermaid’s Curse books because there are a lot more characters. The continuity has to be there, which has resulted in a lot of rereading of the first book, and putting together a writers bible for this series about characters, their looks, and their history so I get things right. I’m sure I’m going to miss things still, but I’m going to do my darndest to get at least the plot right. Then off to an editor, of course, to get the grammar/spelling right.

I’ve also been working on a short story, Ghostly Intentions, about a young man who returns to the his childhood home to find a creature inside it. Lots of magic, and a few ghosts to work with. It’s going to be a novella when I’m done.

Then there’s the art. When it get’s too busy at the day job I can’t really write, so I doodle a lot, and some of those doodles become decent drawings. I’ve been working on things to do with them, pins, stickers, prints, etc. I have an etsy here where you can get digital prints, and a redbubble here where you can get some shirts and cups. I’ve even made some pins and charms, but I’m not sure if they are working out well.

The trick has been time management. I have time. I spend a bit of it playing video games, or procrastinating. So what can I do? Well…I have been wanting to stream on twitch more, and I think it’s time I do that. Once a week for a few hours seems reasonable. (It will be Wednesday or Thursday, depending on what’s happening at the time. Twitter will get you the most up to date info.)

Anyway, this is just a quick update. I’m hoping to finish Ghostly Intentions soon to get that out, while still working on the new Half-Blood Sorceress series.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2017 in On Writing

 

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