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Never-Ending List of Things to Do, Feb ’16 Edition

9 Feb

Write a blog post.

Quiet, brain, I’m working.

Write a blog post!

Working. Hush. I’ll give you cookies.

Write a blog post or I’ll remind you about this thing you did when you were eight.

Fine. Okay. Right. Let’s organize the work schedule for the next few months, shall we?

Continue reading

Patreon bonuses?

2 Jul

It looks as though I’ll be starting a Patreon campaign soon, which I said I wouldn’t do until everyone and their sister had one, and since everyone and their sister now has one, I should really get my butt in gear. This means planning bonuses to entice readers to donate. Here are a few ideas I’ve been playing around with…

The Return of the Joshsmut

Josh has been married eight times (Mare was both Wife Three and Wife Eight… Look, they’re complicated), so there are seven novellas left in the series. I’d love to do these as some sort of serialized incentive program for Patreon donors, then turn these serials into a finished product for everybody.

The Disasterhouse Blog

This house, man. Today–this very afternoon!!!–a structural engineer will conduct an assessment of what must be done to keep the southern side of the house from collapsing. Guys, this house is literally falling down and the problems keep getting worse. We’re also trapped in it due to financial reasons: what was supposed to be an investment in cute structurally-sound fixer-upper has become a freakin’ nightmare. And we’re forced to live in it!So you can forgive me if I load up the home blog, look at all of the topics that would make a great (for you) update, and think, “NOPE.”

In addition to updating that blog at least once a week, Brown and I have been kicking around the idea of doing a podcast. Or, as he says, “I will happily argue with you in public if it means I get to review new tools.” Patreon donors would have access to this podcast before it goes live.

Speedy’s Kids

Speedy has over fifty kids throughout the United States, and will soon have a couple hundred more in Australia. None of his offspring can talk, and they aren’t quite as bright as he is, but they still have human-level intelligence. I’ve wanted to do a simple one-panel inkwash comic featuring four of these young koalas on Tumblr for ages… Think Chopping Block, only cuter and much, much darker. Patreon donors would have access to each comic before it goes live.

Other Stuff?

I dunno. What do you want from me?

Caveat:

None of this will happen immediately. Kickstarter fulfillment takes priority, and I need to also finish the thank-you gift for people who bought the serialized version of Digital Divide before it went live. Which was over a year ago and… ugh. Anyhow. In my opinion, it’s dickish to ask for more money before fulfilling prior obligations, so I’m at least going to get the bonus gift, the Digital Divide audiobook, and League Night (the .pdf of the Kickstarter bonus story) sent out before putting up a Patreon campaign.

Thank you for reading. Please enjoy these owls.

owlconvention

 

Schedule Update for 2014

12 May

As I sit here, watching the pool we uncovered this weekend slowly turn through multiple shades of green, it occurs to me that the year is already slipping away and I should post a project update.

Kickstarter

Big success. Huge. On many different levels. Most of the rewards have been ordered, or are being processed in some way. The release of the bonus story, League Night, has been held up, but for a very good reason that I can’t talk about until it’s confirmed. However, once all this is over, I will be writing up a post about how difficult it’s been to interact with many organizations which work with seeing-impaired persons. Not all organizations, mind! Just almost all.

JoshSmut

The JoshSmut series has been indefinitely postponed. Sales of The Russians Came Knocking weren’t nearly as strong as I needed them to be, and it hasn’t earned out its costs, This is sniffles-sad for me, as sex comedies are too much fun to write. I’ll see if it’s feasible to return to the other seven wives of Josh Glassman at a later time.

The Rachel Peng Series

The third book is taking shape. I’m much more hopeful about this one than Maker Space; by this third book, the world’s nicely established and now there’s some adventures to be had. As for when this is supposed to come out? Well. Last night, I realized there was potential for a spinoff novel from this book, but told from Hope Blackwell’s perspective because it involved the ghosts. Since there won’t be any ghosts in the Rachel books (or talking koalas. sorry), this spinoff novel would get shifted back to Hope. So what is essentially a series of books spun off from the comic is now spinning back to the comic’s characters… and now I’m so dizzy I’m going to throw up. The question is, do I write two books and publish them simultaneously? I would love to do this to make sure consistency between events carries over between them. Downside? These novels are now my primary source of income and I will be hella broke by then. Mull, mull, mull…

Intelligence

As of this weekend, Intelligence has been cancelled. We behaved like sensible adults and let the show do what it was going to do, and now we can move on with our lives. I’d love to see OACET on the small screen one day, Scandal-style. Maybe we should see their version of the straight-up cyborg procedural as testing the television waters for what would need to happen with full-on OACET conspiracy theory sexytime weirdness.

Now, have a baby possum.

Possums are the working definition of "conditionally cute".

Possums are the working definition of “conditionally cute”.

 

Kickstarter Update!

12 Feb

The Kickstarter is going great, at more than 100% over goal and a little more than a week to go. Two stretch goals have been unlocked. The first was hard copies of the audiobooks:

spiffy, so spiffy, love that spif!

spiffy, so spiffy, love that spif!

This business card version is more expensive than traditional dangle-fob flash drives, but not by enough to make me hiss and crawl backwards up a wall, Exorcist-style. The next stretch goal item has been unlocked, and if we make $17K, will be available to Backers.

The Speedy Challenge Coin!

The Speedy Challenge Coin!

A little bit about the design on the back: it’s modeled directly after an ancient Roman coin, and the motto translates to “I saw, I fucked until exhaustion, I came.” Because there is an actual word for that in Latin. The Latin academic we ask for help with translations recommended “futuo” as that’s much more common, but that’s just “I fucked” and I think Speedy would be happy with the attention to detail.

I hope we make it to $20k, because that unlocks a bonus story. It’ll be written by me, but illustrated by my sister. I’m crazy-excited about that one. It’s a Speedy and Avery story, and I really want to turn Brie loose on those two. Her art is amazing!

Not quite sure what you call this. I'm going with "Peapig" because the other way around is not right at all.

Not quite sure what you call this. I’m going with “Peapig” because the other way around is not right at all.

Anyhow, more updates as they come!

Kickstarter is live!

21 Jan

Here is the link to the Kickstarter!

This is my first crowdfunding project, which is apparently exactly like self-publishing your first novel, in that you think that every new donation or purchase is a fluke and you obsessively monitor your stats while trying to not lose your shit completely or think about what might happen if you fail (oh God oh God we won’t be able to afford dog food and the monster will eat me…).

It’s not really that bad.

(it’s totally that bad…)

I know not everyone likes audiobooks, so over the past month I’ve been working on different products that would be worth the purchase price, as it were. The first of these is a new Rachel story, where she takes Shawn for his first social outing. Shawn’s getting better, but “getting better” in the OACET mansion and “getting better” in a public place are two very different things.

The second is a laser-cut custom name plate:

Can be customized!

Text can be customized!

There’s NO adjustment of the colors on this image. Our buddy Steve took a photo of a nameplate on a black satin background with a light above it, and removed the stands and some dust specks in post, but otherwise this is an untouched image. We’re working with a local laser cutting shop on these. Brown and I have been to the shop a couple of times, and the design’s been tweaked so the detail glows. We’ve had some of the samples out on the counter and when the sunlight hits them, you have to move them or they’re distracting.

The next is the Cuddly Hippos t-shirt:

Brad says: "We can kill it!"

Brad says: “We can kill it!”

I thought long and hard about using Rosie the Riveter as the basis of this design (feminist icon > and is also ≠ to gang of assassins), but you see that Latin motto there? It translates to “underestimate us at your peril.” So, the spirit of the homage is consistent, and if anybody makes a joke about how hippo = woman, just don’t hang out with that person and maybe let a little air out of their tires when they aren’t looking.

Finally, the badges. I talked about these in the last post. All in all, I’m pretty happy about how it’s going, but I’ll be happier in a month when it’s over. And then I can freak out about releasing MAKER SPACE…

I think I lied. It’s never over.

And this is how you win me as a client

1 Jan

I’ve been shopping around for product manufacturers for donor rewards for the upcoming Kickstarter. One of the big-ticket rewards will be OACET badges. I’ve been looking for vendors who can make badges which look as authentic as possible. Ideally, they would be the same quality, size, and weight as traditional law enforcement badges.

Problem #1: Can’t use a traditional law enforcement badge company. There are many companies that offer badge templates, and you can just plug-and-play with an organization’s information. However, these companies won’t sell to anyone who isn’t an authorized representative of a law enforcement agency. I’m not about to test this, and I’m certainly not about to offer a product as a Kickstarter reward and then find I can’t deliver on it.

Problem #2: Most alternative custom “badge” designers offer shoddy products. Think gumball machine sheriff stars. Woo.

Problem #3: YOUR WORKMANSHIP IS BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD. Let me show you what happened when I approached some alternative custom badge designers which offered slightly higher-end products. This is the original design I sent to them:

The original artwork.

My original artwork.

This is what I received from one company:

sdg

I see that you have done nothing with my original design except applied a thorough dipping of “brown”.

A second example from another company:

Gradients mean quality!

Gradients = quality

I received a few more of these from various vendors. They are all nothing but the original art with some form of Photoshop treatment.

I was almost ready to junk the badge idea, but every so often you find a company that can deliver:

Bam.

My favorite part is how Angry Eagle wants to eat a face.

This last sample came from a jeweler’s company in Maryland who does custom decorative work for state and federal law enforcement. The final design will be tooled in 3D, cast as a die, and then reverse casts will be made.  I’m hoping the Kickstarter goes over its cap, because one of the stretch goals would be to get challenge coins made, and this company does fantastic commemorative coins.