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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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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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Challenges

I’ve been using challenges to learn things about myself, and the world around me for some time. NaNoWriMo for five years, the Bradbury Challenge a couple years ago, and last October I did Inktober and Drawtober,

Both ink and draw-tober are about drawing every day in October. I managed to draw 27 drawings, and ink 24 of them. I even add some color to a few.

For each challenge I put myself threw I try to take something out of it. From this one I learned that I loved drawing strange, and unusual things. I loved pushing my creativity in art as well as words. I hadn’t done more then cute little chibi’s of super heroes and other odd things lately, but this had me drawing steam powered submarines, and spider ballerinas, poison fairies and underwater wraiths. I did things with an ink pen I never would have thought to do before.

It was also invigorating. I did a lot of this challenge while we were traveling for twitchcon. We had days where we only slept for four hours, only to get up and put more leather together to get the armor set done. And yet I still managed to do so much. It just goes to show how much you can get done even when there’s a time crunch. Even when you’re sleep deprived. Even if you’re busy and the world doesn’t slow down so you can get your words, or ink lines in.

And in the end being creative is amazing, whatever creative thing you’re trying to do.

You can see more of the drawings, and pictures from twitchcon, over on instagram. 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Branching Out

With novels and short stories I’ve been writing a lot, but it isn’t all I do. I’ve been an artist just as long as I’ve been an author. I have a deviant art from way back when, and I’ve sold things on etsy and other places before.

Lately I’ve been drawing a bit more because it’s easier to doddle during work while I’m on a call than it is to write. You really can’t write anything while you’re talking to someone. But doodling? Easy. And I have TONS of these pictures sitting on my hard drive, cluttering up my house in sketch books and other areas. So I finally decided to do something with them.

I started a RedBubble account, and started listing some things. I’m even going to start ordering some of them so I can test the quality and see what they look like in person. So far I have a half dozen pictures up with various ways to buy them. Stickers, posters, cups, and even a few dresses with nice patterns. I am definitely ordering myself a dress once I get the right pattern.

I’ve also been doing more with leather, and a few other projects in between books, so I’ll probably be reviving my etsy store soon.

Here’s the thing, diversifying income streams is important. Most authors that are making it work aren’t just making money from their books, they are also talking at conventions, selling merch for their books, or writing courses to sell on one of the teaching websites. I’m not very good at teaching, I’m much more comfortable just writing, and doing things rather than showing people how I do them. But I can draw. I can make little things. I can create in other mediums, not just words. So I think that’s where I’ll be diversifying.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2017 in Updates

 

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5 Min – Day 5 – Drawing

It’s been almost a week and I’m still doing my morning pages.

Yesterday I worked on cleaning up a bunch of art work so I could use it for things like buttons, stickers, and charms. I know, it’s not that interesting, but I use to sell them on Etsy, and they are fun to make.

If I ever can support myself as just an author it’s going to take time. I just don’t write quickly, and I am terrible at marketing, so it’s going to take persistence and finishing more work for me to actually get to the point where I am making enough from books to not have a second job.

That’s where the art work comes in. The little pictures are cute. There are all sorts of things from superheroes to girls on the beach, and little penguins. And I use to actually sell these things, so maybe I could make a little money from them now.

Will I make a lot? Probably not. But I enjoy them. I really love the button maker, and stickers and charms are just fun. So there you are.

The other thing I did yesterday was clean u a bunch of paperwork and other items to clean out the house. Decluttering has become important, so I’ll be picking something in the house to clean every day. A bookshelf, a cabinet, a set of drawers. Anything that I can get out of the house to make it cleaner.

And the five minute mark hit just in time because I ran out of things to talk about.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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