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

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Blush: Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Back in August, I asked the moms of Keladry’s due date group if they had any super early warning signs that they were pregnant. I’m talking about before a missed period and before an hCG test would show a positive.

It seemed like an appropriate time to ask, as many of the moms were announcing second (or third) pregnancies.

I got an excellent response. Many of the moms had unusual early pregnancy symptoms, as the only symptom mentioned pre-week 4 in any of the research I did was mild cramping/spotting.

Keladry chose the colour. Image from amazon.

Common

  • mild cramping and spotting can happen as early as 1 week after the last menstrual period (LMP)

Uncommon (according to my informal research done on the subject)

  • tired
  • ovaries hurt when sneezing or coughing
  • breasts hurt/get hard/sore
  • pimples
  • abdomen hard/cramping/pulling feeling
  • bloating
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • couldn’t drink/taste coffee (taste sensitivities)
  • extreme lower back pain
  • tasting blood (copper taste in mouth)
  • vivid dreams
  • sensitive skin
  • sensitive to smells
  • there are tons more

Lots of these “uncommon” symptoms show up later in pregnancy-related research. So why is there only one symptom listed pre-week 4?

There are a couple reasons for this, one being that it is hard to study people who don’t know they’re pregnant yet. Another, in my opinion, is that every pregnancy is so different, even in the same family, so the results are varied that it’s hard to publish because there’s no consistency.

Or you could be like me, and have no symptoms at all until I see a positive on the pregnancy test. Does that mean my symptoms are psychosomatic? Perhaps. And that is pretty hard to prove.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/early-symptoms-timeline

https://www.kidspot.com.au/birth/pregnancy/signs-and-symptoms/first-symptoms-of-pregnancy-what-happens-right-away/news-story/2683c7eed8bb3fe71f95599078bddea5

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853

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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

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Tired but alive

Hello,

So the toddler Dragon got a post-con cold last week and I have been fighting off the same thing on top of one of the worst cases of Con fatigue I’ve ever had.

I’m not complaining; the past two events we’ve done were fantastic and I truly appreciate all the kind words and awesomeness that is our business.

I just want a very long nap…

The world is an exhausting place but watching Keladry’s excitement when I unpacked the Christmas stuff last night was wonderful.

I’m off to get some work done

 

Later days,

Éric

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The Travelling TARDIS was Pinned

On the Sunday of Can*Con, Jen Desmarais (who writes and runs TravellingTardis.com, Blush, and Fandom Travel) received her Aurora Awards nomination pin from this years winner for short story Liz Westbrook-Trenholm.

Everyone was laughing when Jen mentioned she’d already been felt up that day… by Child Dragon. Pictured in the back is the wonderful Marie Bilodeau.

The excellent Brandon Crilly was pinned at the same time.

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Can-Con Post con review 2018

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m still recovering from the awesomness that was Can-Con. I really need to plan taking time off after.

Most of my weekend was spent at the table selling stuff and giving away coffee samples. It’s great to hear and see the joy coffee brings some people. For those that didn’t like coffee I sent them 3 tables down to the fantastic Heart Tea Heart.

I was on one panel about heroism in Star Wars and it was a great discussion. The panelists were inteligent, well spoken, and made great points. (I rambled and agreed a lot.)

Other than that I loved the opportunity to talk coffee and books with all the fantastic attendees. The organizers and venue are always fantastic. Thank you and I look forward to next year!

I’m drained… enjoy these pictures of the Child Dragon.

Later Days,

Éric

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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

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