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The Daily Report

I just posted what I call my “crowdfunditry” piece for the week to this blog. I’ve done one the previous few weeks, too, but I posted them on Medium. After looking at the fact that my biggest Medium hits have been fiction and satire and the fact that my op-ed pieces get fewer hits there than my blog posts here typically do (despite the fact that people have been paying me to write them in the first place), I’ve decided to shift my serious opinion writing over here. I’ll be crossposting (and post-dating) the previous bits of crowdfunditry later in the day, so the blog category shows you all the entry.

Speaking of satire: my satirical political horror story Crooked Hillary: A Trumped-Up Tale of Terror is now available in the Kindle Store. I hit a snag with the Nook formatting, but hopefully it will be available there before long. You can still buy it directly from me in a multiformat bundle that allows you to read it on any device, including directly in your web browser. If you read the story in any format, I’d appreciate it if you leave a review on the Amazon page. That helps me a lot.

The State of the Me

I’ve resumed fiction writing, but it’s a slow slog. Lot of cobwebs to blow out.

Plans For Today

We’ve got to make a grocery run at some point later in the day. If anyone wants to kick into that, it would be helpful. All tips count towards the crowdfunditry goal.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Well, I’ve been trying to get back to fiction writing here. My problem is that I’ve been doing it by opening up my NaNo novel, which was going pretty well right up until the week of the election. I figured I’d take a few days off from it to deal with the jitters—I was ahead of schedule—and then come back to it. Well, the jitters didn’t end on Tuesday the 8th, and every time I open up the file, I come back to the last line I wrote, which is a question, in dialogue:

“How fares the Republic?”

It’s a dark joke in a time of dark jokes.

Speaking of dark jokes, though, on Tuesday I did have a bit of a breakthrough when someone replied to one of my threads to say that at least Trump wouldn’t have “Crooked Hillary” to blame any more. I joked that he’d probably have a doll on his desk that he’d yell at when things go wrong, and that turned into a whole new thread, which is now available in an expanded short story form as “Crooked Hillary: A Trumped-Up Tale Of Terror“. It’s currently available in a pay-what-you-will with no minimum (as low as zero, so you can get and read it for free) form here: https://sellfy.com/p/yQGe/.

At the end of business day, I’ll be putting a minimum price on it as part of being able to add it to the big ebook stores at their best royalty rates, so, if you don’t have the change to spare, get it while it’s free?

While it’s not exactly getting away from the topic of the election and politics, I’m optimistic that a logjam has burst and I’ll have an easier time with more fantastic fiction, going forward.

Financial Outlook

Mixed indications. The change in administration may well affect government spending that affects the contracts that go out in a way that may well affect employment in my immediate household in the near to medium future (reminder that it’s neither just people on direct benefits or government employees who suffer when the government slashes spending). My own income is creeping upwards, but not fast enough to compensate for that, and there’s no guarantee that will continue if things get tougher for the below-upper-classes.

I’m interested in landing more opinion writing work, as that pays pretty well. I’m still learning the ropes of pitching (it’s really great when editors come to me and say they want something, takes the pressure off), though, and in the meantime I’ve been taking a more direct approach of crowdfunding my own op-ed pieces on Twitter. Don’t know how long that will be sustain momentum, as the resulting pieces somehow never attract as much attention or are as widely-read as the viral threads that get me the attention necessary to do the crowdfunding. There’s a gap that has to be bridged there and I’m not 100% sure how to do that.

The State of the Me

Complicated.

Plans For Today

I’m easing off of trying to return to my NaNo novel (finishing it in November is probably a wash at this point), and will be working on writing other things this afternoon.

 

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

There are alarming things happening in our nation. I have no intention of minimizing them or normalizing them, but I really need to get back to work. The world will continue until it doesn’t. Life will go on until it doesn’t.

I haven’t succeeded in writing fiction since before the election; I did write some satirical news, which is not quite fiction. Actually, it’s very not quite fiction right now. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Other things I haven’t done lately: post anything that I’ve done to my Patreon, keep up my status posts. Normal things that I need to get on with.

I’m going to start blogging more here. I’ve been posting a lot of my thoughts to Twitter now, which is helpful for gaining views, but bad for organizing and collecting them, and also leads to me haunting Twitter as everything posted there becomes a conversation. So expect that there will be more blog posts here, and that some of them will be political.

The State of the Me

Processing grief. Finding strength.

Plans For Today

Picking up my metaphorical pen to write fiction again in the afternoon. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

It is no secret that I have been preoccupied of late with matters relating to the election. What discipline I was maintaining disappeared under the weight of my sinus infection just before Halloween, and I never found it again.

As I found it harder and harder to keep in a creative mindset necessary for fiction—and I found myself unexpectedly attracting paying work in the area of non-fiction—I promised myself that on November 9th, I would start creating again. I would resume writing fiction and poetry and other creative endeavors on a regular basis, no matter what happened.

Well, as it turns out, what did happen. It happened big time. I think I was more cognizant of the possibility than a lot of my peers. I knew it was never a lock, and did my best to convince others of that. I think knowing that is part of what consumed me. I still wasn’t prepared for what happened, for how it happened.

But, it’s November 9th. The day after. The first day of the rest of our Republic. My father’s wise counsel in difficult times is to proceed as though the world will continue to exist, just in case it does. And so I’m back to work. I’m going to be juggling a lot more non-fiction writing with fiction writing, but I’m back in the fiction game.

The State of the Me

I’m still here.

Plans For The Day

I’ve started writing a long-planned non-fiction book this morning. This afternoon, I’m going to pick back up my NaNoWriMo effort (which was ahead of schedule before the weekend), and also write more Making Out Like Bandits.

 

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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Well, the last half of the month sort of… sucked. I screwed up my pill regimen, figured that out just in time to get sick, which turned into a sinus inflammation that had the exact shape of my left maxillary sinus sticking out of my face like an illustration in a text book. You know, I have never been more than vaguely aware that I even have maxillary sinuses. When I’ve had sinus problems before, it’s always been the frontal ones (the ones up behind your forehead).

I’ve been calling it a “sinus infection” but apparently very few such inflammations are bacterial in nature (though as with many problems, antibiotics are overprescribed); the swelling and pain were at last brought under control with a stupendous yet apparently medically sound amount of ibuprofen. I’m on mucus thinners now to aid in drainage. I slept most of the weekend, after not sleeping for most of the week before.

A couple of things added to a turbulent end of month. One is that someone took it upon themselves to put up flyers declaring Friday the 28th trick or treat day around our neighborhood. Official municipal trick o treating is on Halloween itself this year, as in most years. In order to make sure no one went home disappointed, we decided to be prepared for both nights. So I was prancing around in my shadow costume with half my face swollen under the mask for a grand total of five children… though two of the parties specifically told us that they were glad we were open as we were always their favorite house, so I’m filing it under “worth it”. Building a reputation as the cool house for Halloween is a year-to-year endeavor. Repeat business is key.

At the same time this has been going on, our landlords/my parents-out-law have been having a series of computer misadventures. I’m their (paid) tech support, plus they’re family, and I enjoy having technical puzzles to solve. Still, there’s only so many hours in a day, you know? It’s all got to come from somewhere.

Being laid up in bed without enough energy or concentration to do much more than tweet crankily turned out to be good for business in one way: someone at The Globe and Mail saw one of my tweet threads and commissioned an op-ed based on it. For those who aren’t aware, that’s Canada’s largest newspaper in terms of readers. Still pretty exciting, even though “Canada” and “newspaper”. I’ve got a second such commission to fulfill today.

I had already planned on beginning to shop around pitches for short non-fiction writing after the election business settles down and I have more space in my head to think. If everything goes to plan, I’ll start with two respectable writing credits under my belt that I didn’t have to go looking for.

Tonight is Halloween proper. I have a deadline for my second op-ed piece to meet, my out-laws called the “tech support number” on a ransomware pop-up instead of calling me first, and I need to get the lights and sounds rigged for tonight.

It should be fun.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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So, I have been dragging all week. Brain foggy, body tired, zero creativity. I’ve been really worried that I’m getting sick (Jack was sick last week), but I haven’t had any of the symptoms of a cold. Then earlier today, I glanced at the digital thermometer on my electric tea kettle: 87 degrees.

After weeks in the seventies and then the sixties all last week, I had changed my office and sleeping area from summer mode to winter mode… right in time for a mid-October heat wave, apparently. My temperature regulation issues make me very susceptible to heat, but not very susceptible to noticing it.

Luckily I had not removed the AC from the window, so the office is cooling down to a usable state as we speak. When my brain cools down a bit, I’m going to figure out how to set up an automated alert for days where the high is 80 degrees or above, because this is not an unusual event for me.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Well, there are two major goals for the week that I’m missing on: re-opening Ligature Works to submissions is being delayed pending a streamlined bullet point version of our submission guidelines (I’m not good at distilling things to bullet points, and Jack is laid up with a fall cold), and getting ahead of the schedule on Tales of MU fell apart yesterday when I hit a point of exhaustion in the afternoon. Same thing happened today, which makes me suspect that I’m either coming down with or narrowly fighting off the same respiratory crud. Either that, or I’m just not sleeping soundly because he’s up with it. It’s hard to say.

This is not a very productive day, though it’s seen some improvements on RealmLike. I’ve never been sure why, but I can do technical stuff with a lower level of mental engagement than creative things. It seems like it should be the other way around. But there’s now background music, travel circles work with the new map saving/loading, and monsters now have a chance to spawn with random variations (e.g., things like Angry Dog, Small Zombie, Wiry Goblin, etc.) that affect their stats, which is a precursor to similar variations on items, which is a precursor to a generalized magic item system.

The State of the Me

Getting a headache that’s getting worse.

Plans For Today

I’m actually going to log off the computer after I post this and get some rest.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Earlier in the week, I promised a funny political satire piece. This week has made that difficult to deliver, as the bottom kept falling out of the barrel and nothing much funny was left clinging to the sides. My initial idea was a Grinch/Dr. Seuss-style thing focusing on Trump’s overall character, but I found myself moving from that to things like his debate performance, which led me to ponder the similarity between the debate situation (two passed by, one remaining, and each time he’s said he could have hit harder) and that of a baseball game where there are two strikes, two outs, and it all rides on a single pitch.

So, that’s how I came to write (and then record) “Donald In Debate“, a poem in the style of “Casey at the Bat”. My goal in the piece is to address the hateful rhetoric and the pain he causes without making them the joke, which I think is important. It’s a delicate balancing act but I’m proud of how I pulled it off.

The RealmLike update went live last night. This morning I patched a few bugs that came up in the overnight session. The server is still live for play. The “home version” will be brought up to date with the test server once I have the tier three Wizard skills/spells in.

The State of the Me

There is illness in our house, but it’s not mine (yet). This might affect the timing on the Ligature Works issue 2 window opening, but not by more than a couple of days.

Plans For Today

One of my big goals for the week is to get back on track with having Tales of MU chapters written and ready to go at least a day in advance, which means wrapping up the next chapter (which might close out the current book, or there might be a coda) today. If that goes to play, it will be posted for MU patrons this evening.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Colossal RealmLike update is coming up this evening, if all goes according to plan. I smoothed out the last bump with map loading/saving this morning, leaving me free to get back to the thing I was working on before getting sucked down this rabbit hole: making the level 3 and 5 wizard spells.

It was specifically a teleportation spell that allows you to set (and return to) “spatial anchors” that led me here. I realized that while my map generation procedures could pseudorandomly create identical maps from the same seed each time, those maps had to be accessed sequentially; if you were in the starting town and you tried to teleport to the fourth level of a dungeon on another continent, the game wouldn’t know what to do. Going from “sequential access” to “random access” meant instituting true saving and loading of maps earlier than I’d planned, and it has turned out to be more complicated than I thought to preserve the web of relationships among maps regardless of which order they were loaded in.

But that’s finished, and the spell I was working on when I jumped tracks is now fully implemented. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’m not sure that I’ll have everything I intended to implement for the wizard finished by close of business day today, but I think I can at least have them tidied up through their current cap of level 3, which is enough for pushing the update out.

It’s easier to add to the game in my spare time and with occasional workdays devoted to it than it is to solve giant technical problems in that way, so from this point on updates should be more like they were the first few weeks instead of taking weeks at a time.  I’ve got a pretty good roadmap for where to go from here.

Financial Status

Once wizards have an equal level cap to the other classes, I’m going to push an update to the downloadable version of RealmLike that not only includes all the new content and advances but enables multiplayer. I’m hoping at that point to get some early access-type sales on it.

The State of the Me

Doing alright.

Plans For Today

I’m about a day behind on things I wanted to write this week. I don’t know that I’m going to get any fiction writing done today before I do a creepy October tale on Twitter later tonight; I really want to get the RealmLike update put to bed around 6:30, and I hadn’t planned on still being debugging the map loading this morning.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Well, day 2 out of 5 for the week and I’m checking off one of my minor goal action items already by doing a status post immediately. Look at me go! To give you an idea how out of it I was early yesterday, I actually started my status post right about now and then couldn’t focus to enough to finish it until late afternoon. A lot clearer today.

This means I’m more likely to make progress on my bigger goals today.

Financial Status

Basically unchanged. Not comfortable, not desperate, not where I need to be. Growing slowly.

The State of the Me

Not bad, getting better.

Plans For Today

It’s going to be a busy day. Grocery shopping (you can help kick into our household expenses here, or using http://www.paypal.me/alexandraerin), writing, coding, revising submission guidelines for Ligature Works. Tales of MU coming up tonight.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

I’m setting myself three major “accomplishment” goals for this week.

  1. Get back on track, re: having Tales of MU updates done and posted for MU Patreon subscribers a day in advance of their general publishing. It’s not going to happen for Tuesday’s chapter, but I want to be ahead of the game before Friday.
  2. Have a major update for RealmLike available on Wednesday.
  3. Open Ligature Works for a ~6-week submission window, starting on Friday the 15th.

Smaller goals:

  1. Write fiction/poetry every day for a minimum of one hour, preferably two or more. Note: This is actual “hands on keyboard” time. Actual time directly spent in the entire creative process is about double that.
  2. Write a status post every day. It’s just a good habit and helps keep me on track.
  3. Post more often to my author Patreon, so people have a better idea what I’m doing. A lot of times I’ll do something small or incidental and throw it up on Twitter or Tumblr, and not link to it there. Bad habit, no biscuit.

Financial Status

Pulling back the curtain a little bit here –

One reason I’m getting fired up about writing MU in advance is that I’d really like to attract more patrons there. If I were in fact earning the $66 per chapter that is listed on the page, I’d be in really good shape right now. I mean, I’d still want to build on that. But that’s a livable rate for the work involved.

The problem is that it doesn’t reflect the per-month cap that a lot of patrons have on their contributions. And to be very clear: the problem isn’t that people have such caps. If you’ve got X dollars a month you can spend on Tales of MU, I’d rather you do so than feel bad that you don’t have X+Y  dollars. I cannot stress this enough. I don’t care if someone caps their contribution at $1 a month. If everybody reading MU who were able to do that, did that, I’d be overwhelmed. No amount of patronage is ever insulting or inconvenient. None.

But Patreon’s reported payout-per-chapter is based on all pledges, before caps, which makes it hard for me to do financial planning and maybe gives people an inflated notion of how much money I’m making. When I hit all my chapters for the month, it’s honestly more like $20 or $30 per chapter, averaged out over the month. I’m getting $60 some for the first chapter, more like $15 for the last one. Which, again, I appreciate. But it does a lot less for my motivation to know that each chapter I post in a given month is worth slightly less than the previous one.

I try to think of it in terms of yes, but it’s still more money overall. Because, yes, it’s still more money overall. And it’s always going to be true that each chapter brings diminishing returns, because caps. But ultimately, I think it’ll be easier to keep writing as the returns fall if the overall payouts are increasing, even if a lot of the new patrons are capping their pledges at $1, $3, or $5 a month.

And even with these complications, I do still think the “per chapter” model is better for Tales of MU than the “per month” model, in terms of fairness to readers and motivation/accountability for me. Crowdfunding a specific work of art works best when the funds are tied to the production thereof, in my opinion and experience.

All of this is to say that if you enjoy Tales of MU, you can do a lot for it and for me by pledging a dollar or more per chapter, with or without a cap on charges in a given month. If we get to the point where I actually am making $50, $60, $70 a chapter on average, that’s going to do a lot to keep the show on the road, so to speak.

The State of the Me

Very slow start to today. I had trouble sleeping most of the weekend, and then got my flu shot on Sunday. I am in an elevated risk group and I have close family members who have even more risk factors, so I always get my shot as soon as I can and I always get the quadrivalent shot when it’s available. Historically, I tend to get joint aches, muscle soreness, and heightened fatigue after a flu shot, and this time was no different.

Plans For Today

I’ve already done some blogging and tweeting, and made and posted a custom D&D monster. I’m about to start my hour of writing.

 

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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DAILY REPORT

Well, it’s another month. September was a bit unfocused for me. Financial stress and anxiety over the election had me running from the internet a lot, which resulted in a lot of writing and a lot of game development, but not a lot of time communicating what I was doing or collating/publishing it. I did have some writing breakthroughs that I think are going to lead to good places, particularly with regards to my plans to re-establish myself as one of the most prolific authors on the web over the course of this year. As of the second half of September, I was very close to my goal of writing every day for set intervals. This month, I’m going to nail that goal, and share the fruits of it with you.

Unfocused though it was, September did end on a few high notes.

We published the first issue of Ligature Works, on time and as advertised. There were a couple technical speedbumps at the end, but we learned a lot about how to avoid them.

I have my first patron at the “writing class” perk level. I’ve long thought that once I can get someone in the door there and demonstrate the value of it, I’ll have an easier time attracting more customers.

And RealmLike is my most successful game dev project in more than ten years, both in terms of the interest it’s been attracting and how it’s coming together. The server to play it is offline right now but it will be back up later today.  I think RealmLike could be a nice supplementary revenue stream down the line, but I’ll have to connect with the right audience and refine it into a product worth selling first.

FINANCIAL STATUS

Still in a hole due to WorldCon cost overruns/expense underestimations. Any immediate help appreciated: http://www.paypal.me/alexandraerin or https://cash.me/$AlexandraErin.

STATE OF THE ME

Very tired today, very slow start to my day.  Otherwise good.

PLANS FOR TODAY

Have to run out to pay for a grocery trip at some point in the afternoon. Our household finances are *almost* at the point where this won’t be necessary anymore, really looking forward to that. Depending on when that happens or how it goes, I will either be writing tomorrow’s Tales of MU chapter or doing some random writing in the afternoon, possibly both.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Well, I’ve spent way more time this week on RealmLike than I had expected to, due to a confluence of two factors: some very promising nibbles of interest my first announcements received, and some interface-breaking/compatibility-impairing bugs with the BYOND engine that runs it that threatened to inhibit that interest. BYOND’s lead developer is very responsive, though, and has been working to clear up those bugs. The browser-embedded version of the game is already leaps and bounds better than it was, and I am confident it will soon be fully functional in every way.

Before we got to that point, I spent (wasted) a lot of times assuming that the bugs were just gaps in my own understanding and trying to fix them on my own. Having the bugs I report verified and fixed is doing a lot to restore my confidence in my programming skills, and the game is shaping up into something I’m proud of. There aren’t enough people playing at a time yet for the social aspects of a MUD to start to crop up, but it really does scratch the retro dungeon-crawler itch that occasionally causes me to fire up a DOS emulator so I can play Nethack or DND.exe.

Absent spending whole days wrestling with a thing that should work but isn’t, I expect the game to progress by leaps and bounds even with just a couple hours a day devoted to it. BYOND’s programming language is easy, I’ve made the game’s basic system fairly extensible. I already extended the Cleric, the third one of the four core classes out to level 5, leaving only the Wizard as a sort of skeletal outline to be filled in.

The dungeon itself gained a bunch of features to make it less of a non-descript maze; some doorways now have doors. Random debris can litter the hallways. Statues appear in certain places. Most of it is just set-dressing, but it does help you figure out when you’re going around in circles. Now there are landmarks. Along the same lines, each level of the dungeon has a randomly assigned brick color to help you tell them apart, and the dungeon is physically lighter in the region around the up exit and darker around the down one.

In non-RealmLike news: even with the setbacks of the previous weeks, Ligature Works is still on track to publish its first issue next Friday, September 30th. I’d like to make a post announcing our table of contents/contributors, once I’m back at my desktop and can make sure I’m getting everybody’s bylines exactly right. And my Word hack of making a document template that is more comfortable for me to write in is yielding interesting dividends, writing-wise. More on that later.

Financial Status

Mostly unchanged. My attempts earlier in the month to do some ad hoc “reminder I need money to live” crowdfunding went mostly nowhere, but I am sanguine. If RealmLike’s browser interface can be made fully functional, it could well become another ongoing revenue stream. Again, there have been only a few intrepid playtesters so far, but once the browser issues are resolved I think it will easily grow some legs.

The State of the Me

Physically pretty great. Mentally a little more absentminded than I like to be. Usually when I’m as forgetful as I have been the past few days, it corresponds to high levels of cognitive fog. I have been clearheaded, but scatterbrained.

Plans For Today

Well, I have a domain for RealmLike, so I’m in the process of setting up a blog there so I have a central place to post updates without flooding this one. I’m going to be doing Tales of MU, and probably that Ligature Works post.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Well, it took me three tries to get the date right in the title of this post. I got whammied over the weekend with a respiratory illness that I’m pretty sure I picked up hanging around the hospital, and came out of the fog enough to just barely get the chapter for yesterday in under the wire. Heck, I just typed “for tomorrow” twice trying to write that sentence. I think I’m physically fine now, but a couple quarts under on my sleep schedule and that’s leaving me a bit loopy.

On the subject of brain stuff, I discovered a weird hack for my own brain by accident. I was designing a document in Word that was meant to have a sort of retro look, so I turned the page color to black, the text color to white, and the font to a big fixed width one. Immediately I felt 200% more comfortable looking at and writing in Word.

I’ve long had this strong preference for old-style interfaces when I’m writing, probably because of the computers I grew up with, learned to type on, and learned to write with. It’s part of why I like ILYS and JDarkroom, even apart from their productivity flow-encouraging features. It’s just calming.

Word is the opposite of calming, when it comes to creative writing. I love it for structuring documents. I like its interface and its (now!) reliable autosaving across multiple platforms. But actually writing fiction in it has been a hurdle I haven’t been able to pass in a long time.

With this tweak to its presentation, though, I sat down and immediately wrote 800 words in 20 minutes, and a whole chapter in 90 minutes. It’s pretty great. The one downside is that I can’t figure out how to make a document from a custom template in Word 2016. I can save a blank black page as a template file, but I can’t see how to select it when I go to make a new document. Opening it and then saving it as my new document works, but less fluidly than I’d like. For this to really be handy, I need to be able to just open and go. If I can set it as my default template in Word, I’ll be golden.

…that just gave me the brainwave to search for “set default template” and “change default template”. I did, and the first results were from Microsoft… for Mac 2011 versions of Office. Nice. Scrolling down, though, I think I have figured out that I need to save my template to the right folder, and that opening and saving the “Normal” template will make changes to it. Something to try when I’m a little more clear-headed.

Financial Status

Not great. My ad-hoc fundraising efforts last week didn’t net much, so we’re still in the hole a bit. Writing Tales of MU again should help, but only at the end of the month. On that note, I noticed finally yesterday that when I changed my tip jar links on Tales of MU, I got the PayPal link wrong. Oops.

The State of the Me

See above.

Plans For Today

I’d hoped to make some more progress on my backlogged to-do list, but my attempts to-actually-do things keep running into absent-minded errors of the sort that make me suspect I should spend the remainder of the afternoon on more light creative things, where I can have “happy little accidents”.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Well, the hospital situation is over for now. Our family member was actually released Wednesday, which was a profound relief for all of us. My initial plan for yesterday had been to jump back into things with both feet, but the week+ of exhaustion caught up to me and I spent most of the day asleep or napping. I think I might have caught a respiratory bug from hanging out in the hospital, as I have a sore and cruddy throat and an ache in my limbs. We’ll have to see how that develops.

Financial Status

Well, my attempts at ad hoc fall fundraising have brought in a little, but I’ve had more luck beating the drum for Patreon. Topped $400/month and I would really like to build on that, as that’s where my future security lies.

The State of the Me

See above.

Plans For Today

I’m spending the day in light duty/wait-and-see mode. I’d rather go through the weekend well-rested and start next week firing on all pistons than prolong the period of fatigue and stress.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

The hospital situation is very likely to be resolved this week, if at the end of it. Because things are still up in the air, I’ll be restarting Tales of MU on its regular schedule next week. Until then, I’m going to be doing what writing I can, probably mostly short things and experimental things, and working on the first issue of Ligature Works.

Financial Status

I made enough money yesterday to pay my webhosting for the month, thank goodness. I still need more to pay my phone bill for the month. Any contributions appreciated. Anything past the phone bill will go towards repaying our overruns for WorldCon expenses, then building savings. If we get that much, a fraction of it will go towards expanding our first issue of Ligature Works. More details in yesterday’s post.

I also crossed an important milestone yesterday on Patreon: the big four-oh-oh. Next I work on the big five-oh-oh. Onward and upward.

The State of the Me

Been doing better these past two days. Part of that was taking a long nap in the afternoon, though.

Plans For Today

Playing around with formatting for Ligature Works, writing, figuring out where to go with this twitter writing thing.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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The Daily Report

Tales of MU will probably resume on Friday, and then pick back up with its regular schedule. I can’t make promises; there is an ongoing external situation here that is going to take up an unpredictable amount of my time and energy. I would love to keep everyone posted but it’s really hard to gauge these things as they’re ongoing.

I have joined the site Curious Cat, a social sub-medium that I’ve seen a few people on Twitter using. It’s like a way of bringing a Tumblr-style “ask box” to Twitter, and I joined because (as I said at the time) I apparently don’t have enough regrets in my life? I don’t know. I actually joined it while waiting in the hospital looking for distraction, and I think that’s probably it’s main virtue. My profile there is up at http://curiouscat.me/alexandraerin.

I’d like to keep it light. Please do not use it for work-related inquiries. You can ask about my works (i.e., story or character questions). But anything about work, please direct to my official contact email address of blueauthor@alexandraerin.com.

If it gets weird, if it gets boundary-crossing, if it gets creepy, I might just shut it down.

Another thing I did while waiting to go to the hospital and then waiting there is write the horror story on Twitter that I referenced in my post earlier. I think this is something I’m going to do more of: write fiction directly on Twitter, for the Twitter market. I did actually start a writing account at one point when I realized how much Twitter’s format appeals to my writer-brain, but it didn’t go very far, I think because what I tried to do is use Twitter’s constraints to write a traditional novel. The Trump horror story is written within the constraints of Twitter, and it uses them. It’s closer to an oral storytelling tradition than a written one, which is not surprising since my general approach to Twitter is oratorical in style. I’m going to be experimenting more with that.

Financial Status

Well, I just launched a fundraiser for September with the specific goal of $1,000, and the more general goal of recouping some losses of the past couple months and repairing the lost padding. Hoping that takes off.

The State of the Me

Sleep schedule = way off. Nutritional and supplemental regimen = slightly off. The lingering remnants of my foot injuries (chafing and blisters) have been reasserting themselves since I’ve been putting shoes on and going out every day, something which has also been taking a fatigue toll given the lingering summer heat. I have been in a state of fog and befuddlement so far this morning.

Plans For Today

I’m going to be writing some of what I’m currently calling Hell To Pay: The Strange Facts of the Sad Case of Donald J. Trump, being the longer form version of my Twitter story. I don’t expect to finish that day, though I do expect to finish it soon. I am also planning on expanding another of my hospital-waiting-related Twitter threads into a longer form, an essay or prose poem of sorts called “We Made A Song Our King”.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

alexandraerin: (Default)

The plain and simple facts:

  • WorldCon was more expensive than I had budgeted for or foreseen, by several hundred dollars when all is said and done. I crowdfunded the budget I did have because our household in general and myself in particular did not have anywhere near the “wiggle room” to add another, even bigger convention to our schedule, so this left me in the hole.
  • August was a light month for me, work-wise, because of complications relating to WorldCon, including aggravated fatigue and leg injuries that had me on my back after it. This cost me a couple of hundred dollars at least in direct income.
  • One of my older family members is currently in the hospital, which takes time and energy, again affecting my ability to do my immediate paying work. (Tales of MU in particular suffers when my daily routine is not routine, and that’s just over a third of my Patreon income when it’s going according to plan.)

Before all this, I did have some financial padding. My goal with this fundraiser is to recoup those losses and start rebuilding that padding. I’m setting the goal at $1,000, which represents the additional costs plus the lost income plus a little bit extra to jump start savings.

I am currently supporting Ligature Works directly out of my own pocket, and this is not a complaint, mind you, because it was the plan. But as an incentive, I will say that 10% of contributions I get (up to my goal) will go towards expanding our first issue’s table of contents. That’s an additional piece we will purchase for every $250. If we go over $1,000, I’ll put aside a similar amount of the excess for future issues.

As a further incentive: yesterday: the story I wrote on Twitter yesterday about Trump’s infernal dealings backfiring is something I’m currently expanding into a longer, more traditional prose story, probably something of about novelette length. My plan is to release this as an ebook. If I hit my goal inside of a week, I will make that ebook free on Amazon and as a multiformat, DRM-free bundle on my own website for a period of no less than 24 hours.

You can contribute using either PayPal (address alexandra at alexandraerin dot com if PayPal.Me is not available in your country/region) or Square Cash.

And while direct cup-rattling, drum-beating, and general PBS-ing like this is just part of the crowdfunded life, ultimately I would really like to move past the point where it’s necessary. That means I need new blood on Patreon. While I enjoy performing for the crowd, this month already I’ve started releasing more works exclusively on Patreon, and this trend will continue. You can make sure you don’t miss anything and help me secure my present and future circumstances by joining me there.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

alexandraerin: (Default)

The Daily Report 

Well, August is almost over. At several points before, during, and after WorldCon, I considered making a post explaining that it had been a difficult month (seasonal heat, plus scrambling for/being at/recovering from WorldCon) and that I’m basically giving myself a mulligan on it, but I never actually found the wherewithal to do so.

My plan to start my year of awesome was like most of my plans: spur of the moment and hatched in the spring, when days are getting longer and brighter but the summer heat hasn’t hatched. The timing meant that July and August were months 2 and 3 of my plan. This was such a terrible idea that it wasn’t even August before I decided that next year I’m officially scheduling and announcing light duty/sabbatical during those hottest two months, but I also felt like I needed to power through and do it anyway.

So here we are at the end of August and I have not clearly articulated my situations or intentions, and for that, I apologize. I am back in the saddle after a solid week off, post-con. I may yet cross a few more items off my to-do list in the next three days. But I may not hit all of my monthly writing goals for August.

I will certainly not hit my personal zine/newsletter goals, and in fact, it may be time to re-evaluate those because my initial vision is just not coming together at all. One theme that got hammered at the writerly panels I visited at WorldCon was something that I struggle with, even as an self-declared experimental writer and publisher: if something’s not working, stop doing it.

So I’m going to be re-evaluating that. Honestly, I think August might have gone better if I hadn’t spent so much time spinning my wheels on this and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Anyway, I don’t want to dwell too long on what’s been going wrong when I have been having such an objectively awesome time.

Financial Status

A little strained. Our transportation and food costs for the con went over the few hundred dollars I had allotted from the fundraiser; something I definitely saw coming but was too stressed to really do anything about. Our generally improved and improving financial outlooks gave us some padding to eat into, but the padding’s awfully thin and needs replacing, and we need to buy groceries in the meantime. If you’ve enjoyed my (Alfie Award-winning!) writing and commentary over the years, now’s a good time to chip in through PayPal or Square Cash.

The State of the Me

Navigating the convention and traveling left me with a lot of phsyical problems that exacerbate my fatigue (heat exhaustion, dehydration, borked sleep schedule and nutritional regimen, etc.), as well as some genuine injuries to my feet and lower legs, the least of which were blisters on each heel right at the tendon. After a solid week of rest, including a day and a half of actual bed rest, the still painful remnants of the blisters are all that remains of these issues.

Plans For Today

Back to work day. I’m basically going to open up a window and start writing whatever wants to be written. Even if I’m taking a pass on my goals for the month, I’m still going to try to fulfill as much of them as I can, ending this month well in order to start the next one with a head of steam.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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WorldCon was the biggest con I’ve participated in, by a wide margin. It was also physically larger (as in, covering more ground), during a hotter month, and involving more out-of-doors walking than my home con of WisCon. Suffice to say, it kicked my behind far harder than I expected it to. I spent the first couple of days recuperating from actual injuries sustained walking around in the wrong shoes. That’s all over except for the blistering; now I’m trying to get my sleeping, eating, and pill-taking regimens back on track.

Next year the climate might be a bit milder. We’ll be aiming for a hotel closer to the con site. And I’ll be better prepared. I remember WisCon used to knock me on my backside for a week, too, and this year I came home and started the best month of my career to date the day after I got home.

For now, I’m taking things easy. I’m trying to go as long as possible before I have to squeeze my feet into shoes, and keeping them up as much as possible. I’ve done some light writing, but my brain’s a bit too foggy to do more than finish up and fire off those WorldCon note posts I put up the other day, and tweet intermittently.

I’ll keep you posted about what’s what as I recover.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.

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August 2017

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