Feb. 11th, 2012 10:32 am
pikestaff: (River)
More and more I'm really unimpressed with my job, especially since that whole fiasco yesterday. I'm really tempted to apply for a passport, and then as soon as that's finalized just quit, hop on a plane, and spend a few weeks with Hux and not worry about a new job until I come back. Unfortunately that's not terribly feasible since I'll need money saved up to pay my monthly bills in the interim. I've got about $300 in a savings account for that express purpose right now but I'll probably want at least twice that as a bare minimum.

I only got $300 back for my tax refund and every penny of it is getting saved for passport + eye doctor & new glasses (my eyesight has gotten noticeably worse over the past year.)

So meh, I guess I've just gotta stick around and save up more dosh.

Maybe I should get serious with publishing again? I think I'll finally take a good look at getting a hard copy of "Windshifter" out, and maybe email that one publisher again (that showed interest last year) and see if they'll change their mind.


Dec. 2nd, 2011 01:20 pm
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
I've only taken a break of a couple of days and the writing bug is already upon me again.

I could go three possible routes here:

1.) Edit "Cricket Song" (NaNo 2010) - It's been sitting around gathering dust for a year now but it's a pretty tight story to begin with so I could polish it up relatively easily and then sell it online, I'm sure.

2.) Edit "Space Heroes Forever!" (NaNo 2011) - I just finished it, so it's still fresh in my mind. Once I polish this one up I want to try to traditionally publish. The thought kind of scares me, but you gotta try, I guess.

3.) Write something completely new - I have three different ideas for this; two are kids' books in a similar vein to what I just wrote and one is a heftier project a la "Windshifter" or "Cricket Song".

I'm not sure what I want to do at this point. I'm leaning toward #3 because there's just something magical about first draft writing that editing lacks. But then, I don't really want to sit around for years on unfinished projects! Decisions, decisions. Either way I'm looking forward to jumping headfirst into a writing project again.
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
Yesterday was pretty fantastic. "Windshifter" peaked at "#2,826 Paid in Kindle Store" for the day-- I don't know how many books are in the Kindle Store, but some random glancing around revealed at least 300,000, so I feel pretty dang good about that. It's since dipped back down, of course-- sales are going to slow now. Huxley says that it will eventually go higher. Would that I was that optimistic!

Nah, I'm actually pretty pleased with myself overall. From what I understand, the trick with Amazon sales is to wait until your book starts showing up in peoples' "People who liked this also liked..." recommendation lists, which takes a little while, and I'm willing to be patient. Even if that doesn't happen, I'm still satisfied with what I've done so far. I honestly don't think I'd be any happier with the outcome if I'd traditionally published.

Meanwhile I'm back to writing-- NaNo has started and I'm going for three-for-three. I'm rewriting my failed Camp NaNo attempt. It's a kids' book and largely silly and satirical so it's going to be a fun little project. (Doesn't mean it'll take any less work than a more "serious" book, of course!)

I want to thank all of you for your support-- I couldn't have done this without my friends and readers!


Oct. 31st, 2011 07:01 pm
pikestaff: (Pinkie Pie - GREAT SCOTT!)



pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Determined)

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, so starting tomorrow I'm writing a new book

I've got to finish this art commission

I've got to do some last minute edits to "Windshifter" based off of Huxley's feedback (he got it back to me last night) and then I've got to figure out how to properly format it for Kindle/Nook and such and submit it

I've got to deal with holiday hours at work

I've got to keep up with the blog

*flails around*

Happy Halloween, by the way!
pikestaff: (Default)
Still forcing myself to edit at least one chapter of "Windshifter" a day, rain or shine, no matter how I'm feeling or how busy I am. I'm over halfway done now and hopefully I can be done before the end of next week or so. Then I'm going to toss it to Huxley for one final proofread and then I'm going to self-publish it. Hopefully before November so it's out of my hair by NaNoWriMo, but I guess we'll see.

I am rather proud of this little book; it's not perfect by any means, but it was certainly one heck of a learning experience. I'm okay with putting a fairly decent learning exercise on Amazon for less than a buck. I've learned so much from this whole thing that I plan on using in the future to write, hopefully, even better things.

So yeah, watch this space...
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
Real quick update; it looks like after three weeks of red tape, bureaucracy, and false starts, I'm actually starting work, for sure, on Monday. So yeah. While I am very much looking forward to the paychecks, I'm pretty meh about the rest. I hate that I'm almost 28 years old and working for Kmart, and I hate that they're putting me at the service desk, a position that I worked (and hated) at Target way back in the day. But whatcha gonna do, I guess? I know retail inside and out; I'm not good at anything else. My hope is that-- since Kmart is literally right next to a Super Wal-Mart-- maybe our traffic will be slow because everyone will be going to Wal-Mart instead, and it won't be as stressful as Target was. We'll find out!

I'm working my little butt off with Windshifter. I have designed a cover with my rudimentary graphic design skills and I'm right in the middle of the final edit and writing the last scene I want to include. I'm serious when I say I want to finish this up and e-publish within the next couple of weeks. Then I'll be all clear for this November's NaNoWriMo, which is going to be a rewrite of my failed Camp NaNo attempt. I've reached a certain point of desperation with this book that I'm about to e-pub. I feel like I'm a failure at life and that, at least by doing this, I can show that I know how to make something and how to meet a goal that most people do not meet. And maybe if I'm lucky and enough people like what I write, I can write more, and then it can become A Thing.

But I'm trying not to get my hopes up.



Aug. 24th, 2011 01:56 pm
pikestaff: (Twilight Sparkle - Sadface)
At this point it looks like I'm staying here, the biggest reason by far being that I have no idea how to get my stuff over to Montana. After double checking all around, it turns out that no one in my family can afford a big truck or the gas that said big truck would require, and I don't want to give my stuff away because that would be complicated and would also mean I'd basically have, well... nothing left. Which sounds pretty materialistic, but hey, I'm kind of fond of having, I dunno, a dresser and a mattress and stuff. Anyways, I'm not quite that desperate yet. (Although I might be, soon.)

Unfortunately this locks me into being stuck here for another year. I had a lot of people in my last post suggest I wait to move until I secure a job over there; the downside with waiting to move is that I have a limited window of four months or so where the precarious mountain passes between here and Montana aren't covered with snow and ice. That window is about to close, and then I'll be stuck here, whether I want to be or not, until next summer. And knowing that I'm SO CLOSE to being able to move before I have to bunker down and deal with another long winter here, and then choosing to turn down that opportunity, is tough to do.

So, yeah, it's... looking like I'm stuck here, unless a bunch of money turns up from out of nowhere in the next week or so. I've had people suggest I just e-publish Windshifter already, which I honestly really want to do ASAP if only so I can finally get the danged project off of my back, but remember that Amazon only pays out four times a year or so. Not to mention, I'm not gonna pin any financial hopes on an e-book from a new and untested author. I mean, it's nice to dream, but I've gotta be realistic here...

Anyways, that's sort of where I'm at right now. I do appreciate all the advice and stuff that everyone has been giving me, and I apologize for my panicking and flailing and whatnot... I guess I will just have to make the best of it.

Some Stuff

Jul. 14th, 2011 08:55 am
pikestaff: (Photo Finish)
I worked on adding a new scene to my book yesterday... I didn't finish, because I wasn't particularly happy with how it was turning out (as I'm fond of saying: I ALWAYS hate my first drafts, no matter WHAT), but I got an okay start. Here's what I'm adding:

It's short, but I'm putting it under a cut in case you care about potential spoilers! )

I'm still aiming for July 31 as a "publication deadline", but I'm not going to rush it if we get to that point and it's not ready yet. Still, I am making an earnest attempt!

So in completely unrelated news I'm on Google+ now. This is me. I'm pretty dang open with who I add, so feel free to add me! I'm actually 99% sure I'm going to be phasing out Facebook usage in favor of Google+, partially because the new Facebook chat thing is ticking me off and partially because... I dunno, it just seems like I have more friends in general on Google+, whereas Facebook consists of a few people that I talk to and a bunch of people that I don't. So!


Jul. 7th, 2011 11:06 pm
pikestaff: (Pinkie Pie - GREAT SCOTT!)
So at work today, I was struck with a MASSIVE lightning bolt of inspiration regarding some extra content to add to "Windshifter" in order to tie things up.

The Final Edit begins on Saturday. And by Final Edit I mean Final Edit #6 or 7.


/terrible joke
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
I spent some of my long weekend working on a cover for "Windshifter" ("The end of the month" is still my goal), but I was unhappy with the results, so I scrapped it. The truth is, I'm just not a graphic designer, and my art skills are niche at best. Still, I'd really like to do this on my own, partially to save on costs and partially to prevent any potentially sticky royalty/ownership issues in the future, so I guess I'll keep messing around with it and trying to play to my strengths and seeing what I can come up with.

Anyways, now a completely different topic!

My self-esteem has really hit an all time low over the last couple of weeks/months. I've never felt so terribly insecure about myself and others' thoughts on me before. Now don't get me wrong, I've never been one to toot my own horn or anything, but lately it's been getting bad even for me.

A psychologist would, I'm sure, have a field day with me. He'd probably point out that I was ripped from a job I was an expert in and dumped into one where I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, resulting in me essentially being paid to feel useless 30 hours a week for months on end. And he'd probably also point out the double whammy of a.) my parents breaking up/my family "factionalizing", and b.) my relationship of six years ending, both of which were tossed at me at nearly the same time, meaning that I've watched every important familial or near-familial relationship in my life prove itself as tenuous and temporary. "No wonder you feel like you can't trust anyone, including yourself!" the shrink would say.

And you know, he'd probably be right.

But the reasons aren't terribly important to me. What's important to me is that I hope I'm not worrying anyone. I hope the people who care about me realize that it's not their fault-- that it's not that they're not loving me enough. My brain is pretty darn messed up right now. Frankly, I could probably really use some professional therapy or something, but I can't afford that, so in the meantime, I just ask that you all bear with me. <3
pikestaff: (Rarity - Wat.  Ew.)
I'm really getting hit hard with the self-doubt bat again. See, my goal is to have "Windshifter" e-published by the end of the month, right? Right. Except that I want to give it one last read through before I truly call it "final", and I can't bring myself to read it, because I know it's going to suck. For example! Today I was going to start reading it, so I picked up my e-reader and... promptly started reading something else, because I couldn't bring myself to drudge through my own drivel.

I feel like I need some encouragement, but then I also feel like said encouragement would be useless, because I have some sort of railroad switch in my brain that routes all complements I receive into the "Well, they're just saying that to be nice" category.

Awful, no?
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
Firefox is being a memory hog again so I'm forcing myself to use Chrome until I either a.) embrace it as my new browser or b.) find some feature exclusive to Firefox that I just can't live without and go crawling back.

I've done this before about three or four times since Chrome's unveiling and every single time I end up switching back to Firefox after a day or two because I end up missing some sort of critical addon or something. But Chrome is getting more and more addons as the months go by, so who knows, maybe this time I'll actually stick around. So far so good, anyway. It's really too bad; I've been using Firefox since its beta back in early '04 and I love it; the latest versions have been my favorite yet, but I'm not going to sit here and let it eat up my CPU just because it's been open for more than ten minutes.

Anyways, now that I've finished reading Huxley's book and given him some quality feedback on it, it's time to get working on my own again! (Well. One of mine, anyway.) My goal is to have it e-published by the end of July. I am 99% sure that this whole e-publishing plan is a good idea now. Also, I can't wait until we can upload books directly into our brain.

MEANWHILE I'm playing video games with my boyfriend, living the dream to be honest with you all~
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
So this and this both make really good cases for pricing a book at $0.99 as opposed to something like $3.99. You know, I've heard counter-arguments, some of which were strictly moral ("literature is worth more than a dollar"/"you'd be selling yourself short"/etc.) but it's pretty hard to argue with the actual sales figures.

Back when I worked at Target was when they first introduced a "dollar section" which is now standard for every Target store. It's a little section toward the entrance filled with little knickknacks/toys/etc., all priced at $1.00. I'd get people at the register buying twenty or thirty dollars worth of dollar stuff. Regularly. These people wouldn't have spent that money if the dollar section wasn't there. They didn't come into the store expecting to buy twenty dollars of little toys. But the dollar section was there, and they were enticed by the signs saying "$1.00" and they spent the money. That's sales, and that's why Target implemented it.

So, I think the one dollar book is gonna happen. I hope it happens soon.


- One last edit/readthrough
- Figure out how to make a cover that looks non-retarded
- Come up with a "marketing blurb" that works
- Make sure the book's formatting actually looks okay on my eReader (obviously I can't see how it would look on other devices which I do not own, but...)

...I'll add to this list as I think of more things to do!


Jun. 12th, 2011 10:20 pm
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Determined)
I don't think I'm going to do the current big project I'm brainstorming as my Summer NaNo book. I want to give said project a few more months to percolate and then do it in November, once I've got a more solid outline prepared. For summer I think I'm going to do something a lot more "light"-- something fun and breezy, just enough to keep my on my writers' toes. Like a humorous kids' book, or a short story compilation, or something.

I also think I want to e-publish Windshifter sooner rather than later. Yesterday I gave myself the rather optimistic goal of "sometime this week", but thinking about it that probably won't give me enough time to do a cover and one last proofread. Maybe by the end of the month? That sounds reasonable, right?

Ultimately, by this point, I just want to get it out there. It feels "finished" to me. There are things I could improve upon, sure, if I really wanted to, but it'd be a hassle and I think I should just move on. I mean, I got some pretty detailed feedback regarding my strengths and weaknesses as a writer from an actual publisher, so I figure if I take said feedback to heart and focus on my strengths and work on improving my weaknesses in my future books, then Windshifter (and Cricket Song) can just be stepping stones and trial runs, so to speak.

That's my logic, anyway~


May. 22nd, 2011 04:07 pm
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Determined)
I'm about 99.9% sure that e-publishing is going to be what I do, instead of traditional publishing. I went from being about 50% sure to about 75% sure to about 90% sure and then back down to 75% sure, but now I'm... well, yeah. I'm pretty convinced. The more I look into it, the more I think it's worth what risks there may be. It's not as glorious and romantic as traditional publishing, no, but I think for me and the way I tend to operate... it's the right thing to do. I really do think so.

Plus I think it's THE FUTURE and all that jazz.

So... look for that soon, with "Windshifter" at least. Maybe not right away... I want to give the manuscript another final once-over and look into getting someone to actually copy-edit it (i.e., fix any grammatical errors, since the majority of my test readers focused on stuff like plot and character and not language mechanics.) But. Soon. I'll keep you all updated!

Also, I am super excited to be doing this all alongside my boy, who is like me and has been sitting on a book for a while and wants to take the next step as well. Doing it together with him will make it all not nearly so scary, because, really, it is far scarier than one might imagine! Oh, and, daily reminder that he is wonderful and also probably the most naturally gifted writer that I personally know. The ease and elegance with which he writes is just so lovely and inspiring, and he's going to feverishly deny this but don't listen to him~ :3

Rant Time?

Apr. 17th, 2011 08:34 am
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Not Impressed)
I'm feeling pretty claustrophobic and trapped lately. I really want to be back out on my own again-- setting my own schedule and making my own mistakes and not worrying about everyone else's problems on top of mine (because that's just how empathic I am. If you are in the same household as I am, I will worry incessantly about your problems. It was MUCH easier when it was just, well, me.)

I don't mean this in an angsty teenager sort of way... or maybe I do. I 'unno. I was joking the other day that my angsty teenager period of life seems to be showing up a decade and change late (I was too busy playing Zelda, Goldeneye 007 and Pokemon the first time around, apparently), so who knows!

But really I do love my family, it's just hard when you've been living with them on and off for the last 27 years. Ya know?

As I'm sure most of you know by now, this period of living with them was supposed to help me shore up money to move out again, but with the divorce and the moving and having to quit my stable job and everything that all sort of... crumbled down around me pretty quickly and now I feel very stuck. I don't want to be stuck anymore. Really, I need to start working on my books again, and also locate a job that's closer to home so I don't keep flinging money at the gas station every week. Easier said than done on both counts, though!

I think moving back to Montana is a pipe dream at this point unless I either stumble across a large cache of money or someone at least donates me a U-haul truck and gas money for it. So now I think the plan is to just get some sort of job here, make as much money as I can from that, and then GTFO this gorram island as quickly as possible. I don't care where I go-- somewhere where there's a better chance at a job. I'll probably inch closer to Seattle. Closer to the city = more jobs = more money!

And writing, writing, writing... Windshifter needs to be edited again. I know exactly what I need to do, I just need motivation to do it. I also need to pick up that kids' book I started writing around Christmas time and finish that because I think it has potential and would be easier to market to agents than anything else I've got so far.

Welp, sorry for the rant. Just had to get it all off of my chest. I'll be fine; don't worry about me too much~

You know...

Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:24 pm
pikestaff: (Default)
Other than the omnipresent money issues and work cutting my hours YET AGAIN...

...I'm pretty happy these days :3

Also I'm trying to talk myself into taking the plunge and e-publishing. I had myself pretty much convinced at work today and I decided that it was SO GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT WEEK but I think I've since chickened out already.
pikestaff: (Profferlink - Thinking)
Every day, e-publishing (through Amazon or what-have-you) is looking more and more appealing to me. There are a couple reasons for this.

One is money-- I'm not even gonna beat around the bush with that one. Work is cutting my hours more and more each week (21 hours? Really?) and being sick also struck a blow to my latest paycheck. Meanwhile I'm trying to keep up with my bills and help my family pay for Internet and the like. At this point, any extra cash infusion is welcome, even if it's just a couple hundred bucks (I'm not expecting any sort of overnight riches from an e-book, particularly from an untested author).

Another reason is (presumably) greater control of my intellectual property and what I do with it.

The biggest reason, though, is simply that the more time goes on, the more I think that we're standing on the cusp of a major change in the publishing world. I'm nearly convinced that e-books are about to catch on in a major way. Not that I think they're going to kill traditional books-- much like blogs didn't kill traditional news sites-- but owning my ebook reader has made me appreciate how genuinely convenient such a device is and I really think that this is the future; that this is going to catch on.

I'd be a big derpface not to catch the wave early, right?

My only fear is that I might be completely wrong and then I'll end up blowing everything. I'm such a wuss.

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