2018 Resolution Redux

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Since I’m doing so well with my resolutions. I decided to add some more and alter a few.

Oh my goodness… what have I done!?

Writing

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

I will continue to try and reach this goal. Maybe I’ll catch up and maybe I won’t, but if I continue the way I have been I might fail but I’ll still have 2/3 of a novel.

Write a Monthly Serial Story

I’ll keep going at this and hopefully succeed. I can’t wait to see where this story goes. Go read it from the start.

Finish the new content for FADDS and playtest it

Play testing will continue until at least September and maybe end of year.

Pitch Everdome and the Super-Secret Project (Completed)

Nothing to do here until my publisher and partners get back to me.

Start getting a short story collection together (Completed)

This will still need to be edited but I consider it put together.

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

I’ve decide to submit the past 5 years of serial stories to my publisher with in between parts that are related to the Elizabeth novels. I’m hoping to call it The Coffee Shop Between the Worlds.

I need roughly 6000 words for the book ends and I might add a little to the serial stories to give people a reason to buy them.

Rewrite the introduction to FADDS (NEW)

The game is really close to ready but the first bit was written so long ago that it isn’t relevant to the game anymore. It needs a complete rewrite.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

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

We’ve been going for five 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.

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

Done and done. Working on even more.

Look into pricing and interest in CoasteRPG (NEW)

I developed a super simple RPG and I need to find out if it’s worth printing it onto coasters and selling it. I’d like to get some prices, and check if any of the local gaming bars/cafes would be interested.

Editing

Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader

I’m going to go through this and hopefully I won’t cringe while reading it.

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

It looks like my publisher is doing extremely well and that means they have more than enough books for the 2019 roster. That means that there might not be room for Everdome (if they accept it). I don’t want that to happen again so I’ll try and submit a little earlier. Hopefully there will be room for the next Elizabeth A Case of Synchronicity in 2020 and Everdome in 2021.

Pleasure

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

I’m amending this one to books by authors I’ve interacted with or met. It’s forcing me to read all the awesome books by authors who I like as people but haven’t gotten around to reading their books.

Play more Videogames

I will continue to try and play more games. I’m hoping to get Detroit: Become Human for my birthday and spend a few days playing it on vacation.

Finish Star Trek: Discovery (NEW)

I didn’t enjoy the show much but I feel I need to give it a full season to make up my mind. There are interesting characters and ideas but it’s very dark and has made some really dumb writing choices. I have four episodes to watch.

 

Well that’s an intimidating list. Here’s hoping it goes ok.

Is 15 too much?

Éric

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2018 Resolution Mid-Year Review

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I made some resolutions in January about my year. I made them to push myself and encourage improvement.

Let’s have a look at them and how I’m doing.

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

This was an extremely ambitious goal. I was hoping to have 52000 words by this point but I’ve only managed 23000. It’s still writing but it’s not as much as I’d hoped. I’m averaging under 1000 a week, mostly due to the weeks I haven’t or just didn’t write.

I’m hoping I can increase my speed but we’ll see how it goes.

Pitch Everdome and the Super-Secret Project (Succeeded)

I pitched to Renaissance Press and they’re currently deciding on Everdome, if they don’t take it I’ll shop it around and maybe make the plunge and self publish it.

The pitch for the Super-Secret Project went well and everyone was excited but due to everyone involved being really busy it’s been put on the back burner.

I’ll hopefully have news by end of year.

Write a Monthly Serial Story (Succeeding)

So far Devices of Desire has been going strong and I haven’t missed a month. I’m really enjoying this story and I hope you are too.

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

So far so good… I’ve had a few days where I was too sick or tired but I managed to put something up. Yay!

Read 30 books (Succeeding)

So far this year I’ve read 12 books (13 if you count beta-reading). I’ve been trying to challenge myself to only read books by people I have met or interacted with online. I’m a little behind but I should be able to catch up by end of month. Thank goodness for audiobooks and graphic novels.

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

I’m currently running a rag tag group of misfits through a fetch quest in the world of Everworld (precursor to Everdome) and it’s going well. I’ve managed to fix and write all the content I wanted and a little more. I still need to keep making monsters and see how the playing goes. So far so good.

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

I have successfully developed the above 3 flavours and I’m testing 3 potential flavours. Yay coffee!

Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing betareader (No movement)

I haven’t even looked at it since the Weditor sent it back to me. I’m nervous that it sucks. I don’t think it’ll be a book I pitch. I might get a few self published copies for myself and family.

Start getting a short story collection together (Succeeded)

I’ve picked the theme, and the stories. I just have to write the middle parts and book ends. I’ll hopefully have them done by year end. So I consider this done.

Play more Videogames (Succeeding-ish)

I’ve played a lot of mobile games lately. I’ve really enjoyed SIMS Mobile as a time waster and I’m still in love with both Ticket to Ride Mobile, and Civilization Revolution 2.

Besides that I’ve maybe played an hour of FFX and a couple of hours of the new Lego Incredibles. I need to do more but Keladry still attacks the remote. I’ve tried to teach her what to do but she’s not getting it yet. I’ll keep trying.

 

So not bad, I’m currently succeeding at 6.5 out of 10. I guess that means I need to add more but that will be another post.

How are your resolutions going?

Éric

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Ottawa Comiccon Report 2018

Hello Imaginary Friends, Coffee Lovers, and Everyone else,

This last weekend was Ottawa Comiccon and a lot of you came out to see us. Thank you so much for doing that. I love talking coffee, signing books, and seeing all the wonderful people. I’m not lying when I say that JenEric Designs, Coffee, and Aspiring Something would not exist without all of you.

Without the support of fans, friends, and family I wouldn’t have the confidence or want to try and get my books published. I’ve been writing seriously now for nine years and I’ve completed 7 novels (2 which might never see the light of day) and written 5 years’ worth of serial stories. I think if my publisher disowned me and my blog died, I’d still write. It’s become important therapy and such a large part of who I am.

Coffee however is a lot of work. Although we make our money back, we don’t make enough for the hours of work I do roasting, we do packaging, and we do working conventions. It’s a labour of love and earlier this year I was not feeling the love.

I know we have a great product and that we have fans, but there are certain events that make us jump through hoops and dance and still reject us. One in particular almost broke me. Our current set up has me doing 12 hour days on weekends before comiccon, and combined with the negative attitude I got from that other event… Well, I had decided before this year’s comiccon to slow down JenEric Coffee and maybe kill it outright. I was drained, disillusioned, and scared.

Now after the event I feel completely different. Being around crowds of like-minded people, seeing the look of joy in people who love coffee, the joy of chatting with everyone, and (I won’t lie) the sales, have completely reinvigorated me. I feel much more confident and extremely hopeful for the future.

The organizers and volunteers are not what makes a good convention. What makes a good convention are the attendees, and you guys were fantastic!

THANK YOU! Thank you for making us part of your convention experience, Thank you for saying such nice things, and most of all Thank you for being awesome.

 

Did you go to Ottawa Comiccon? Did you enjoy it?

Éric

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Ottawa Comiccon 2018

JenEric Coffee, JenEric Designs, and Éric Desmarais Author will all be at Ottawa Comiccon this weekend.

Come see us at booths 2505 and 2507!

We’ll have all kinds of wonderful crocheted item including these awesome baskets:

And we will have all these coffee flavours available:

 

We will have coffee samples so please come by and try something new.

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New Coffee Flavours for Ottawa Comiccon

Hello Coffee Lovers,

We have three new flavours that will be available at Ottawa Comiccon.

  • Beanpool (A mixed roast with Canadian maple and and banana flavouring)
  • Minty Mountain (A medium roast with peppermint flavouring)
  • The Waking Dead (A dark roast without flavouring)

They will exclusively be available at Ottawa Comiccon the 11-13 of May. After that they will be available on our store.

 

Stay Caffeinated,

Éric

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Is Your Coffee Dumb?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It seems that smart devices are everywhere. Everything from your fridge to your toilet. (Must fight urge to sing circle of life…)

Why should your coffee be any different?

There are a lot of options they range in price. I’ve done a lot of research and here are my top three recommendations for smart coffee makers.

Behmor Brewer ($373.00 at Amazon Canada)

This is the best possible drip coffee maker on the market.

Pros

  • Temperature control
  • Soak timing
  • Pre-soak
  • App
  • Schedule
  • Smart home integration

Cons

  • Price
  • Only 8 cups

Overall

If you want complete control on your coffee and you want it at a specific time, this is your coffee maker. It’s versatile and from one of the best names in coffee. Unfortunately the price is high.

Gina ($230 USD from Goat Story)

This is truly for the hipster coffee scientist. It combines a Bluetooth-enabled scale and app with the tried and true pour over method of coffee brewing.

Pros

  • Hipster Cred
  • Absolute control
  • Brew coffee like a European Barista
  • Makes spectacular coffee
  • App
  • Easy to clean and maintenance

Cons

  • Price
  • Not really all that smart
  • Use your own hot water
  • Only 25 oz of coffee
  • No smart home integration or schedule

Overall

This is for those that want to take the time to experiment and brew the perfect cup of coffee. It’s simple but time consuming. It’s a lot of work but will make amazing coffee.

Create your own (~$40)

I’ve mentioned before that the best coffee maker is the simplest. The less bells and whistles on the darned thing, the more power there is for the water heater and pump.

What you do is you buy yourself a simple coffee maker. For a 12 cup machine, it’ll cost you around $20; less if you want smaller or get a sale. The only feature that is important is a physical switch, on or off, not a digital button.

The second part is to buy yourself a smart plug. They range from 20 to 100. Make sure it works with your phone/tablet/computer or the smart speaker/hub of your choice.

So now you have them connected, and when the smart switch is on, the coffee maker is on.

Pros

  • Price
  • Any size of machine you like
  • Makes surprisingly good coffee
  • Schedule (Using IFTT or Stringify)
  • Smart home integration

Cons

  • Not fancy
  • No temperature control
  • No pre-soak
  • Simple settings
  • Not as impressive

Overall

This is the option I’ve gone for. It works extremely well. I tell my Google Home in the morning to start the coffee and then hop in the shower.

I could schedule it to wake me with delicious coffee smells if I wanted, but I like the snooze button too much.

This is cheap and easy and will make good coffee.

 

Good Brewing!

Éric

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Seize the Bean – Kickstarter

Hello Coffee Lover!

I came across a really cool Kickstarter board game called Seize the Bean. The concept is pretty simple; you play a coffee shop owner trying to make their customers happy. It’s a really interesting concept and has a lot of potential.

Plus it has these adorable Coffee Beans, milk cartons, and sugar cubes as play pieces. 
It’s a little pricey at $60 Canadian but looks well worth it in quality. Check out the video.

 

Enjoy and stay Caffeinated!

Éric

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Éric’s 2018 Resolutions

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last Thursday I graded my 2017 resolutions. I accomplished a lot but only 55% of what I was hoping.

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.

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

This is arguably more ambitious than last year’s 3000 words, since that included blog posts and short stories, but I really need to kick myself into writing more of my novels. I’m getting stressed at the idea that I’ve only written one publishable novel in the past four years.

Pitch Everdome and the Super-Secret Project

I need to decide if I’ll pitch Everdome to the big publishers, if I pitch it to others, or if I self-publish. It’ll, in part, be decided by how my pitch for the Super-Secret Project goes. Something I need to write up and submit. (I’ll hopefully have news by the end of the year.)

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 2018 Serial story, go do that now.

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

We’ve been going for five 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.

Read 30 books

I succeed at this last year and I hopefully I’ll do the same this year. I love reading and it’s important to me that I keep doing it.

Finish the new content for FADDS and playtest it

This has been on my list for a long time and if FADDS were a human child, it would be going into second grade at this point.

I need to finish the new content and do an overhaul to take out the races. I’ve come to find that a race system in RPGs is, well, kind of racist. Instead I’ll be switching it to bonuses based off of Nurture and Nature.

Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours

This will be easy. I have two flavours chosen. They need some more testing with people and I need to design their theme. We’ll have at least one for Comic Con.

Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing betareader

This will be tough. It’s not a great book, but it was extremely personal and I really need to get it into a physical form for my daughter. I’m sure I’ll add some stuff along the way.

Jen, Weditor, has gone through it and made comments. She doesn’t seem sure it’s publishable so I’d like another opinion and a betaread. Depending how that goes I’ll either pitch it or just print a copy for myself and baby Dragon.

Start getting a short story collection together

This is going to be the fifth year of the Serial Story and I’m really proud of the worlds that have come out of it.

What I’d like to do is write an extra chapter for each story and put them all together, this year included. That would give me roughly 65,000 words and I’d pitch it to my publisher. I’d want to write 2 or 3 stories featuring characters from my books to try and tempt people to buy it and round it out to 70,000 ish words.

Play more Videogames

I have been doing a lot. Between my full time job, my part time job, coffee roasting, writing, housework, freelance layout, and other things; I spend a lot of time creating or doing things.

I need to force myself to sit down and play some of the games I’ve been wanting to play. Even if it’s only a few hours a week. It’ll help me relax.

Keladry is getting old enough now that soon she’ll be able to boss me around or at the very least stop attacking the controller.

 

Once again it’s an ambitious list. Hopefully I can get at least 50% done. Wish me luck.

What are your Resolutions this year?

Éric

 

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JenEric Coffee Boxing Week Sale

Hello Coffee lovers,

We have some left over 2017 coffee left over.

All leftover coffee is 50% off.

  • Large = $7.50
  • Medium = $4
  • Small = $2

Sale ends December 30th at 11:59pm.

Shipping is $15.

Fill in the form on the bottom of this page to order your coffee. First come, first served!

The following is a list of coffee that we have available:

Maple
3 medium
1 small

Apple
1 medium
2 small

Cinnamon
1 large decaf
2 medium

Pumpkin
1 medium

Unflavoured
2 large
5 medium
4 small

Strawberry
9 medium

Chocolate
3 medium
6 small
1 small decaf

Mint chocolate chip
1 large
5 medium

Your Telephone Number (Required)

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ChiSeries Ottawa Holiday Bash

JenEric Designs and Coffee will be celebrating the season TONIGHT, and the snow, the best way possible. With great people in a pub.

Come join us at the ChiSeries Ottawa Holiday Bash.

It’ll be a tiny holiday market with plenty of cool stuff and I’ve heard rumors of shenanigans.

Hope to see you there!

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