Monday Musings 11/19

Three weeks in a row doing musings? I must be crazy, or productive, or a little bit of both. You’d be surprised how often those two tend to coincide.

  1. My book event at North Hennepin Community College went amazing. That school and institution still has a special place in my heart. Going back there to talk to current students, ask about their lives, and hopefully relate to them is pretty much amazing. It keeps you tuned into how important it is to give back to the communities that helped mold you. I was in a very dark spot when I first started going there. If it weren’t for that school, I might not be here.
  2. The holidays are in full swing. I will officially start decorating my house after Thanksgiving. I’m not a religious person at all, but I do enjoy letting my kids experience these traditions. We’re making some changes to our celebrations right now with my extended family. Lot of toxic people in that group. Before, and maybe it was like this for other people, you were expected to deal with volatile and abusive family members because you only saw them once or twice a year. Life is short however, and to hell with being miserable during the holidays.
  3. Pretty quiet on events till February. I will be at 13 Gears, sharing a spot with a bunch of other authors. December and January are a bit of a black hole for events for me. It is like this every year. I wish there were some holiday con or something for authors and artists to peddle their wares, but nope. Minnesota is such a great state for events, I can’t really complain about it too much. There are many places were no cons happen at all. That fills me with sadness.
  4. I will be having a Black Friday Sale this year. It will be released on Black Friday around 11 am. It will essentially be like a loot crate for my readers, only I’ll call it a “Loot Envelope” and it’ll be built around the same premise. You pay a flat price and you get a bunch of items. The price and everything else will be revealed on Black Friday. It is a really good deal, and I’m offering some merchandise that’ll only be available in the Loot Envelope. Stay tuned for more details.
  5. This week on Craft Corner I really wanted to talk about not having the answers, especially when it comes to public speaking. I just did an event this previous week at my old college. I do get nervous about talking in front of large groups, but after doing it for the last six years; I feel a certain level of comfort. I love to answer questions at the end of a presentation. I try to be as honest as possible when responding. I’m asked things about self-publishing vs. traditional, writer’s block, and how I outline each story. I try to tell them what really happens, and I think this directness is relatable. I don’t know the solution to any of their questions. I think me expressing my misery over these conundrums is oddly comforting though. They’re not alone in their suffering. We’re all in this together.

Jottings:

  • My short story collection I Sing Constellations is FREE today on Kindle. Click HERE to get it.
  • I did not like how House of Cards ended. That is all I’m going to say.
  • If you want to see something truly amazing on a nature show, watch the River Monsters episode where he swims with a pair of Oar Fish. It was amazing. YouTube it.
  • I’m working a seasonal job this year in retail. It is brutal. It takes a ton of people to keep the shelves stocked at Target. Wow.
  • Outlaw King was pretty good on Netflix. It was filthy, violent, and disturbing, but it was accurate to the time period.
  • Everyone have an amazing Thanksgiving!
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Monday Musings 11/12

The holiday season is quietly staring at us like some sort of troll tucked behind a boulder. It wants us to know it’s here.

  1. Tough times in my household recently. My wife has been sick with a kidney disease for a while. It was just officially diagnosed last week. Now that we know what it is and how to treat it, things should be getting better. It is just stressful with the holidays coming up. We have four kids and life is always hectic. The illness just makes things a little extra tricky since she needs to stay off her feet. In fact, I completely forgot I had a meeting this weekend with some fellow writers about a convention and never showed up. Stress really messes with you.
  2. I decided to take a seasonal job this year at Target. Before I was like I MUST LIVE OFF MY WRITING. However, holidays are very tough for me financially, and I decided this would probably make things easier for my family. I will be in the murk of retail and whatnot, but it is nothing new. Back in 2014 I ended up working seasonal at Macys in Downtown Minneapolis before it shut down. That was crazy. I think some of those Christmas songs permanently burned into my brain.
  3. Last week I released my first bit of short fiction from the universe of the Greenland Diaries in months. It is called “Light.” It was a story that plays with a setting from my newest novel in the series. I had missed doing these. I’ll be doing more as the series progresses; including a serialized story taking place in Key Largo (I need a break from the Minnesota setting). To read my newest bit short fiction click HERE.
  4. I’m in the midst of writing a script for a full length film. This is a moment I’ve been waiting for my entire life, but wow is it intimidating. I’m trying to piece it all together since I’ve only written a short film before, but never anything this long. I keep thinking about my original experience shooting a movie, and how our production limitations limited the plot. This is a recurring theme. I’m almost thankful for that because it narrows the scope of my story. I have to iron out the small details because we don’t have the ability to make the big ones.
  5. This week on Craft Corner I’ve got nothing. I used up all my crafty stuff on number four. What should I talk about now? I guess I could talk about the weather, which is a famous pastime here in Minnesota. Winter literally happened overnight last week, like some frost giant just casually hit a switch with their massive finger. You go to bed and its fall, but you wake up and it is a winter wasteland. Adding even more weight to the snow is the fact that it’ll be like this for six whole months. I feel like I live in one of those time-lapse films sometimes.

Jottings:

  • You can download DOL 39 for free today on Kindle. Click HERE to check it out.
  • Finished Castlevania on Netflix. It was fantastic. I loved it. Looking forward to season three. I appreciate how human the characters are despite their outright fictional abilities.
  • Finished the last season of House of Cards. I’m not sure what else they could do with that series. Every blackmail, twist, betrayal, and backstabbing has taken place on it.
  • I’ll be doing a reading event North Hennepin Community College this next week. More details to come.
  • Have a safe and healthy week!