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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Movies with the Toddler Dragon

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

One of the great joys of parenting is seeing things through your child’s eyes (Not literally; put down the ice-cream scoop).

Toddler Dragon watching the end credits of Hotel Transylvania 3

Dragon has been watching movies with us for a while now. Most movies she can sit and watch the entire thing making the most adorable noises and expressions.

More and more, I find myself watching her watch a movie. It’s like experiencing it all over again and it’s wonderful. Even a mediocre movie is infinitely more fun with her. The older she gets, the more she’s seeing and understanding what’s going on.

I had a lot of fun watching Creature From the Black Lagoon and pausing when she would scream, “Scary!” only to have her look up at me and say, “Again!” each time. (Nearly everything she says has an exclamation mark on the end.)

She’s helping my jaded, grumpy self see the little fun parts of movies. Even if it’s just a pretty picture of the, “MOON!”

Later Days,

Éric

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The 5 Steps in Toddler Dragon’s Bedtime Routine

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Having children gives you a serious appreciation for the absurd. The Toddler Dragon’s bedtime routine has constantly evolved. This past week it’s hit peak silly.

Here are The 5 Steps in Toddler Dragon’s Bedtime Routine:

Step 1: The Cleanup

This is the step where we help her clean up her toys. Jen starts while I pour milk and cut cheese and then I take over while she drinks and eats.

There are only two ways this step goes. Shockingly easy or maddeningly difficult.

The Dragon will either be eager to please and go to bed or mischievously stubborn. On the difficult modes, she’ll bury herself in pillows, run around, and giggle at our frustration. Sometimes I give up and pick her up while making helicopter noises. She can’t run away and picks up the toys.

Sometimes this has all the excitement of an Easter egg hunt.

Step 2: The Chase

She insists on turning on the light on the stairs and the monitor. Even when she tells me to “DO IT!” like a bad 90’s sitcom, she gets annoyed if she didn’t do it herself. Then she runs away to our bedroom, either the master bath or closet. She stands in the dark until we come get her.

Once he have her, we get her onto the toilet for her first GOPEE! This is usually followed by an angry no and nomore.

After the toilet, her hands get washed and she runs back to our room staring into the depth of our unlit closet or shower.

Step 3: The Wrestling

Next comes the pyjamas. Her current ones have Stitch on them (you are what you wear?) and getting her into them is sort of like wrestling a small giggling bear. Some days it is affectionate, some days it’s squirmy, and some days you get bitten.

Once all this is done, I pick her up and throw her onto the pillow on mum’s lap for tooth brushing.

That’s when I go to the washroom and the Dragon gets read a story and nursed a little.

This normally ends with her second GOPEE!

Step 4: The Random

Before she GOESPEE, she kisses her Mum goodnight. Then we GOPEE, this usually involves counting toes. I will count and she’ll cut me off with, “One, One, Two, One, Two, Three, Quatre, Six, Huit, Dix!”

From there, I wrestle her into her diaper, she squeezes her squeaky Totoro and says, “Toto-oh”.

Then I ask if she’d like me to sing, tell her a story, or just hang out. (I miss singing and telling stories.) She says NO Sleep! So I awkwardly position myself on her toddler bed and toy box. (I’m a big guy and I really don’t want to break the mattress or bed.) And pretend to snore.

She then climbs on to me and makes me get off the bed. She jumps on my back like a horse rider and I get three steps before she make me lie down on my stomach.

And the highlight (for her) of the night is that she gets to play with the mole on my back… 😐

The past few nights she’s found it hilarious to try and lick said mole. Every time I say, “Don’t lick me.” she bursts into giggles. We then argue about licking until Mum comes back from brushing her teeth and doing her back exercises.

Step 5: The Stall

Mum nurses the Dragon and sings her wonderful songs. (I’m jealous of both of them.)

After the first song we get GOPEE! number three. This one usually gets pee if I bribe her with playing with the mole on my neck.

“Mole!” she says.

“Only if you pee,” I reply, wondering how this conversation became common place.

Next we have more nursing and when it’s all over Jen puts her to bed and tells her to stay in bed. This is followed within a minute by GOPEE! number four. This one is normally just a stalling tactic.

When that’s done, she runs to the master bedroom (diaper less) and gives mom a kiss and hug. (Sometimes an accidental kick or punch.)

I then put her to bed and tell her to stay in bed. That she isn’t a baby anymore and that big kids stay in bed.

This is followed within 5 minutes with GOPEE! number five. I only bring her to the washroom for this one if she’s peed for 3 and 4.

I then put her to bed and tell her to stay in bed. That she isn’t a baby anymore and that big kids stay in bed.

From this point she either goes to sleep or I have to sit with her until she falls asleep.

The whole thing takes maybe 30 minutes and is completely surreal.

We’re completely lucky that she’s this easy but sometimes I really wish I had access to the Dungeons & Dragons spell Sleep.

Later Days,

Éric

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Lance, Keith, and Winnie the Pooh?

Given that Lance (@gilove2dance) and Keith (@incaseyouart) jumped into an alien ship in their show Voltron: Legendary Defender (on Netflix now!), I think they would probably love to travel with the Doctor…especially since he can bring them home at any time.

But what is Winnie the Pooh doing there? (Dragon didn’t want to leave her favourite person: Keith)

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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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