The Start of Something New

The Start of Something New

It’s happened!

I’m unemployed.

I’ve never experienced this feeling before, so I should probably go back to the beginning in order to help you understand.

I’m 42, and I’ve been gainfully employed since I was 21. In that time, I’ve worked for five or six companies, but each time my job was transitioned to another one with no gap.

I’ve gone through temp agencies, buyouts, transfers, reorgs, outsources, and bankruptcies (the company, not me).

But through it all I’ve always had a job. Sure I’ve had some stressful days.

Like the four other times I’ve been laid off.

Wait, what? Tom, you said that you’ve always had a job? Well, yes, but I’ve also been laid off four times in the past. Each time, however, my management found a way to get me hired on with another agency, or another division, etc. I had one time where my company wanted to lay me off, I went and told my co-workers, and the manager of the customer I worked for at the time heard about it and promptly called my management and said they would pay whatever it took to keep me on the contract.

Like I said, I’ve had some stressful days, and don’t get me started on the last decade where outsourcing, offshoring, and downsizing have been daily words in the IT industry.

But through it all, I’ve managed to keep my job.

At least until today.

Tomorrow, I plan on diving deeper into what happened, but for now, I just wanted to post something up to talk about my feelings on this matter. For now, I think it’s enough to relax and not worry about what the future will hold. For now, I think it’s time to get some writing done without the stress of my job hanging over my head.

For now, I’m going to be.

LitRPG is coming! Sign up for my Gaming-related Newsletter!

I know, I know. I haven’t been posting a lot lately, and I do apologize for that. I’ve been nose-down, buried in edits and proofreading, and everything else under the sun required to launch a book properly.

Seriously, there are like, 98 tasks still left to do on my punchdown list, and that is AFTER I decided to cut it down by half. Sometimes, things like custom icons at the beginning of chapters will just have to wait for an “Enhanced Version.” Maps too.

But trust me, the work is going to be worth it. I’m damn proud of this book, and I hope everyone who reads it sees the care I put into it.

I had a countdown deal on A Moonlit Task last week that went well! I had a nice boost in sales, and a couple new 5-star reviews because of it. Thank you to everyone who has left a review!

I’m starting to gear up for the launch, and with that I’m setting up a different newsletter list for my gaming/LitRPG/GameLit fans. If you are interested in learning about my gaming-related stories, I encourage you to sign up, even if you’re already signed up to my Urban Fantasy newsletter. Due to the differing audiences, I feel I should keep them somewhat separate so that everyone can hear about the things they are mostly interested in.

Sign up here, and I’ll get you added to the list, as well as notify you once my book is released!

Till next time,

Tom

2017 Retrospective

2017 was an interesting year for me. I got a lot done, but not as much as I had hoped. I published my first book,A Moonlit Task, in February. Yearly sales showed 468 sales and 56,675 pages read (or roughly 163 borrows).

I also published six short stories. One a Steampunk called Into the Void, and the first five installments of The Korrigan Chronicles, a series of stories following a dwarf named Korrigan who is the last dwarf on earth. Each one takes place about a decade apart, and his story will eventually converge with Nancy from A Moonlit Task. I love these stories. Each one is in a unique area of the world with its own world-building behind it.

I was also in two anthologies: Glimpses, and Futurism & Fantasia.

Had I met all my goals for the year, however, I would have had the rest of the Korrigan Chronicles and the next two End Gate books out. Life has a way of intervening, and I decided mid-year to change directions and go with LitRPG for my next series. It was a tough decision, and I will be publishing the book soon, I promise. Just waiting for some final changes to the cover and I can do a cover reveal!

Words Written:

In 2017 I wrote a total of 281,000 words or 770 words per day. Here is the breakdown:

  • Eloria’s Beginning: 130,000
  • Mightier Still: 25,000
  • Janitorial Services: 10,000
  • The Curious Case of Brendalynn Bobbins: 10,000
  • The Korrigan Chronicles: 34,000
  • Blog Posts: 72,000

Habits over Goals:

I learned three valuable lessons in 2017:

  1. Habits are more important than goals.
  • Because of this, I’ve stopped worrying about most goals, and instead, I’m focusing on daily habits. As long as these things get done, everything else tends to fall into place. Write 500 words a day, and you end up with 2-3 books written by the end. Edit the same number of words per day, and you end up with 2-3 fully written and edited books in that same time.
  1. Take care of yourself, especially as an author.
  • We already lead very sedentary lives, and sitting in front of a computer isn’t helping. This year I’ve walked 1277 miles, or 3.5 per day on average. That is up from 2.9 average for 2016. I have more energy, and the constant weight gain I’ve had for the last decade has slowed. I plan on continuing this trend in 2018.
  • I’ve spent my life on computers. I was one of those rare 80’s kids that grew up typing and playing video games on my dad’s old Heathkit home-built computers, then upgraded to a 286, 386, etc. I’ve been doing this a long time, and all that typing and mousing has taken its toll. I’m only 42, but I’ve already got pretty severe RSI from poor ergonomic habits. As such I’ve made some changes to my stretching, keyboards, and typing methods. In 2018 I plan on getting into dictation to further reduce the strain on my wrists.
  1. I am an Artist, not a pulp novel writer.
  • Or how I stopped worrying and learned to accept that I’m da bomb. Anything I put my name to has to be the best I can produce. I can’t pump out novels and put my name on them. Anything I publish has to be the best I can make it. Other people can put out “pulp,” and that’s great for them. They’re making a killing at this writing thing, but I have to stay true to me. I have to edit it until I don’t see anything wrong with it. I then send it to beta readers, taking the time to let them reply to me so they can point out the story’s flaws, then I have to fix those flaws, and reevaluate my story. It’s just who I am as an author. I tried to do something different this year, and it backfired big time. I’ve learned: be true to myself as an author.
  • That being said, this doesn’t excuse me from only releasing one book every four years, or pining over every word like an “arteest.” I have my habits as outlined above and I’ll be working on improving those, thus increasing my output slowly and naturally.

2018: Glancing Forward

2018 is going to be “My Year” when it comes to writing.

  • I’m going to continue taking care of myself, losing weight, and upping my daily self-care habits.
  • I’m going to increase my daily word count, and add in daily editing goals as well.
  • I have a goal of 6-7 books published for 2018. Many of them are well underway.
  • I’m going to finish the Korrigan Chronicles and release an expanded compilation.
  • I will launch my new LitRPG series called Enter the louVRe, and complete the first trilogy arc for The End Gate Series.

Where the Hell has Tom been?

Well hello there! I know, I know. It’s been a while since I posted. I am posting briefly to let you know that yes, I am still alive, still writing, still recording, and still grumping about everything under the sun.

Life got pretty crazy for me there and I decided to drop the Blog to help save on sanity.

That being said, I’m back and I’ll be posting again. Can’t promise it will be daily but I will spend the next couple weeks catching you all up with my going ons.

Till tomorrow,

Tom

Colemak Progress

According to my latest 10fastfingers.com test, I’m currently typing at 17 words per minute. It’s painful for sure, but I am sticking with my slow progress because I know that in the long-run, I will be glad that I stuck with this new keyboard arrangement.

Still, it is painful having to spell out each and every simple word, so I am hoping for quicker improvement.

Till tomorrow,

Tom

Upgrades are a pain now

It used to be that I loved to stay super current with my system updates, but lately I’ve not wanted to upgrade for fear that something I used will break. I have a number of pieces of software that I rely on to do all my jobs.

I’m curious if I’m the only one that thinks like this, forgoing advances in technology despite always wanting to be on the bleeding edge. I guess a lot of that just comes with age and not wanting to constantly have to change, but part of me still worries that I’m not being myself anymore.

Till tomorrow,

Tom