Éric’s 2019 Resolutions

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s 2019 and I’m setting my goals for the year. I did really well with last year’s goals.

I’m toning it down a little for this year since I want to concentrate on baby Pegasus.

I make these resolutions to push myself and to do more. Even if I only accomplish half, that’s more than I would have without them. Let’s hope this year is fruitful.

Writing

1. Write a Monthly Serial Story

I like writing these, they don’t stress me and they’re a lot of fun. It forces me to think on my feet and learn not to plan too hard and let the story go where my weird brain sends it.

If you haven’t already voted for the 2019 Serial story, go do that now.

2. Write the Bookend Material for the Short Story Collection

I need to get this finished. It’s not a lot of writing, but once I’m done I can submit to my publisher and see if they’re interested.

3. Finish Paragenesis

I need to finish this book. It’s at halfway now and I really want to see how it ends.

4. Get to the 2/3 mark on Mystery of the Dancing Lights

Once Pargenesis is done, I’ll dive back into this one. It’s at 1/3 now and I finally know what’s going to happen next.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

5. Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs

We’ve been going for six years now with content every weekday on JenEric Designs and I’m very proud of that. Jen and I have worked hard not to miss a day. I’ll do my best to ensure we keep that streak going.

6. Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours

I have one flavour already finalized for debut at Geek Market in March. The second will be tough to choose since I have 2-3 strong contenders.

Editing and Marketing

7. Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader

I failed to finish this last year. I just need to work up the courage and get at it.

8. Submit Everdome for blurbs

I really want to get a blurb from authors I respect for Everdome. So I’ll do the research and write some letters to a good half dozen authors I respect and ask them to read my book and write a quick blurb about it. Most will say no and that’s okay but hopefully I’ll be surprised.

9. Playtest the higher levels of FADDS

There are still some mechanics that need testing and that’s what this year will be about. Building opponents, testing higher levels, and trying out superheroes.

10. Figure out how to market and sell CoasteRPG

I don’t think this is a good idea as it is. A character sheet as a coaster sounds awesome until you realize that it needs to be waterproof and reusable.

I’ll think of something. Hopefully.

Personal

11. Read 20 books

I succeeded at 30 last year, barely, and hopefully I’ll do 20 this year. I love reading and it’s important to me that I keep doing it.

I love reading and it’s something that makes me happy.

12. Don’t Burnout

Last year I overdid everything; work, coffee, and a lot of other personal things.

I need to calm down and scale back some things. I’ve taken some steps to make things easier. I also have to learn how to say no.

It killed my mental health and destroyed my writing productivity.

13. Be More Patient

Part of the burnout was a complete loss of patience. My wife and Dragon took the brunt of that and I need to be better. It’s not always easy on 5 hours sleep but I can/should do better.

14. Play Some Video games with Dragon

I wanted to try and play some simple games with Dragon this Christmas but time and health weren’t on our side. I’d like to play some this year though. Maybe Lego or Disney Infinity.

I hope that list is manageable.

What are your goals?

Éric

Resolution Review 2018

I had so many resolutions this year that I need to make categories. Here’s the list of them on my Resolution Redux post.

Let’s see how I did:

Writing (4/7)

Write 2000 words a week for The Mystery of the Dancing Lights (Fail)

I failed at this one. I have 30000 words when I was hoping to have twice that. But I did manage to add another 5000 words to Paragenesis so yay?

Write a Monthly Serial Story (Success)

I’ve been writing the serial story every month since January and I have one bonus episode to post on New Year’s Day. Start reading Devices of Desire.

I learnt this year that I’m not great at making romance the forefront and that I hate love triangles.

Finish the new content for FADDS and playtest it (Success)

I finished the extra content early this fall and Playtesting is going well. Almost done the current campaign and I plan on running a new high level campaign to playtest the later levels.

Pitch Everdome and the Super-Secret Project (Success)

I managed to finish this early in the year. Unfortunately everyone involved is ridiculously busy. I’m hoping it’ll gain more steam when the book is published but I have plans for something new next year.

Start getting a short story collection together (Success)

The collection is ready for editing and I need a few filler bits, but overall this is a great success and I’ll hopefully be pitching it in the new year.

Write the Bookend Material for the Short Story Collection (Fail)

It’s been a slow writing year for me and I’ve barely started on this. Pushed to next year.

Rewrite the introduction to FADDS (Fail)

This should have been the easy part… I forgot. Next year.

JenEric Designs and Coffee (3/3)

Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs (Success)

There is only a week or so left in 2018 so I’m safely going to say this is a success.

Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Success)

I’ve tested and created 3 new flavours for JenEric Coffee. Minty Mountain, Beanpool, and Waking Dead. I’ve also started work on next year’s flavours.

Look into pricing and interest in CoasteRPG (Success)

Interest is great, pricing not so much. It’s extremely expensive to print double sided coasters that can be dry erased. I’m going to need to think more on this.

Editing (1/2)

Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader (Fail)

No excuses here I just couldn’t bring myself to even look at this manuscript. It’s too sad and personal and I had a bad year for stress.

Edit and Submit A Case of Synchronicity to my publisher by end of summer. (Success)

Not only did I submit it but it was accepted! 

Pleasure (2.5/3)

Read 30 books by authors I have interacted with (Success)

I will fail my goodreads book challenge but unless something terrible happens I succeeded at this. The difference is 2 books. Since I beta read 2 books for the fantastic S.M. Carrière, I consider this a success. 

Play more Videogames (Partial Success)

I have played a lot of Lego Incredibles with my wonderful wife. We’re almost done the game. It’s not a lot more but it is more.

I plan on trying some Disney Infinity during the holidays with my daughter and seeing how that goes.

Finish Star Trek: Discovery (Success)

I succeeded pretty quick with this and I’m glad I finished. I enjoyed the last episode and have adored the shorts they’ve released. I’m even willing to give season 2 a chance.

Final Tally (10.5/15)

Wow 70%, that’s possibly my best score since I started doing this. *Runs to blog to check* Second best result. In 2014 I had 3 resolutions and succeeded at all of them. 2015 was 65%, 2016 was 55%, and 2017 was 65%.

So I guess this means I need a lot more resolutions for next year? Maybe not, we’ll see.

How did your 2018 resolutions go?

Éric

I can do this again… I hope

Hello Imaginary Friends,

Some days staring at the unwritten parts of a novel I freeze and wonder if I can actually do this. In those times I need to remind myself I can and have.

Here’s he list of things I’ve written, excluding short stories and serial stories, for the past 10 years.

  • 2018: Elizabeth Investigates: Mystery of the Dancing Lights, Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish, and The Café between ‘Verses (All Unfinished)
  • 2017: Dinosaur Road Trip (Finished beta read and awaiting editing)
  • 2016: Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish (hoping to finish this for nano this year)
  • 2015: Everdome (Accepted by Renaissance and hopefully being released in 2019)
  • 2014: Everdome
  • 2013: Parasomnia (Published 2017)
  • 2012: Elizabeth Investigates: A Case of Synchronicity (Submitted to Renaissance)
  • 2011: Elizabeth Investigates: The Sign of Faust (Published 2018)
  • 2010: Elizabeth Investigates: A Study in Aether (Published 2016)
  • 2009: Veridian Skies (Never going to see the light of day. It’s that bad.)
  • 2008: Veridian Skies

So that means in the past 10 years I have completed 7 novels, had 3 published, and I’m working on another 3. A rough total of 640,000 words.

This is the first and early part of my career and I hope to keep writing and publishing for another fifty years.

It’s important to remind myself that I can do it. I’ve done it 7 times before and I’ll do it again. It’s hard and lots of work but totally worth it.

Ok, peptalk over. Back to writing.

Later Days,

Éric

Can-Con 2018 – October 12-14

The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, or just Can-Con, is one of my favourite conventions. It has the best people and panels.

October 12-14, 2018
Sheraton Hotel,  Downtown Ottawa
150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G2

Eric Desmarais Author, JenEric Coffee, JenEric Designs, and toddler Dragon will be there for the entire weekend.

The dealer’s room is free to the public so come say hi, get some books, and coffee.

I, Eric, will be one panel this year: Star Wars, Heroism and Society Friday at 4pm in Salon C. Come by and laugh at a Trekkie trying to talk Star Wars.

Hope to see you there!

Éric

The Importance of Quiet Moments

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The fourth novel in my Elizabeth Investigates series is kicking my butt. I thought I had everything planned out and set up. I was wrong. As I wrote I kept feeling like I was going too fast. I hit a wall about a month ago and instead of trying to find a solution I flirted with another book idea.

Writing isn’t a hobby so much as an obsession. When I’m writing, my mind is consumed with what’s going to happen. I think about scenes in the shower and I play out dialogue on the bus.

When the obsession stops being productive or switches stories my writing stops.

It’s an extremely frustrating feeling not knowing what to do to make the story move forward without becoming derivative or dumb.

My Daughter has appended her bedtime routine. It’s shortened and removed the last GOPEE! Instead now she says, “Wake up… Papa! Wake up… Papa.” It’s followed by, “Sing” and after her two songs (Goodness I’d missed holding her and singing.) and finally by “SIT!?”

So I sit there for ten minutes whiles she goes to sleep. Not every night, but it goes better when I do.

In those ten minutes she’s pretending to sleep, my wife is in bed, and I have nothing to do but think. Those quite moments are slowly helping me understand what to do next. I have some good ideas now, but the next 2/3rds of the novel have changed a dozen times. It’s amazing how much just stopping and thinking has helped.

If you’re stuck in your writing, try shutting yourself off from distractions and letting your mind go over the story. Like all writing advice, your mileage may vary.

Later Days,

Éric

Being an Author is hard but worth it

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Being a author is hard. You are constantly bombarded by articles that say things like:

Ok that last one was a trick and actually pretty positive.

Borrowed from Usborne Books.

The point is that even when you’re published you have to work your ass off to get your book in peoples hands and only 25% will actually read that book. (These statistics are my educated guess.) From those that read your book they’ll tell you they like it and then put it on their shelves and forget about it. Until you publish something else and if they actually liked it they might buy the next one.

That’s the life cycle of a regular book. One that doesn’t get turned into a TV show or movie, explode in sales, or cause a kerfuffle with its content.

I see what some fantastic authors do to encourage their book sales and I feel like I should be doing more. More writing, more advertising, more promotion, more writing, more events, more submitting to review, and did I say more writing?

An excellent guide to the care and feeding of a writer by Agarthan Guide.

The real problem with writing, novels specifically, is the speed of return. I so envy my friends who write fanfiction and can receive almost immediate feedback and love. A book takes me a year or two to write, another year to edit and pitch, and (if I’m lucky) another year to edit and publish. Sometimes it’s longer. This week marks the four year anniversary of me starting to write Everdome. It will hopefully be published in either 2019 or 2020.

So being an author is hard but there’s nothing like the feeling of holding your book after all that time or having someone tell you how much they loved your book.

Long story short or as the kids-these-days say TL;DR, it’s not easy but I love it and I’m not going to stop.

 

Later days,

Éric

Today I’m 35

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Today is my birthday! (If you’d like to get me a gift, read and review my books.)

It’s easy to look back on your life and think, “AHHHHHH. I’ve accomplished nothing!!!” But that’s your insecurity speaking. At the very least you’ve done something that a lot of others haven’t; you’ve survived.

Surviving is good. I’ve been lucky enough to not only survive but do a few things that, I think, are awesome: (no particular order)

  • Graduated University
  • Had 3 books published
  • Written 7 novels and part of two novels
  • Made sure there was constant content on this blog since 2014
  • Learnt how to roast coffee and made a semi-successful business out of it
  • Been married for 9 years to my best friend (Although that’s mostly her being patient and a little luck)
  • I’m super proud of Baby Dragon
  • Wrote and developed an RPG (Can’t wait for FADDS to be available to all)

I’ve spent my life feeling average. I’m not the smartest, hardest working, most handsome, etc. So it’s nice to have things I’m proud of and that I feel I’ve done well. Yes, I realize there’s nothing on that list that hasn’t been done before, or that hasn’t been done better before. But I’m proud and consider myself lucky.

Who knows what I’ll be able to accomplish in the next 35-50 years.

 

What are you proud of?

Éric