Writing Update

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Wow. We’re already in February. This year has been going really fast. Lots going on. See updates below.

Elizabeth Investigates: The Sign of Faust (A Baker City Mystery)

This book has gone through 2 editors and is currently with a third. It’ll be released by Renaissance Press this year. The exact date depends on how edits go and how their production schedule looks. This is a direct sequel to A Study in Aether and picks up a few weeks into Elizabeth, Jackie, and Angela’s second semester of grade nine.

Haven’t read the first one yet? Pick it up from Renaissance Press or from Amazon.

Everdome

I have pitched Everdome as the setting for a super secret project and it was accepted. I don’t have a contract in hand so it could change, but I’m really excited about this. Not only does it mean that the world will be used and expanded, but that the book will find a good home.

I’ll let you know more when I do.

Four Attribute Duel Dodecahedron System (FADDS)

I’ve been working on a role playing system for the better part of eight years. I’m at the final play-testing stage before I do a deep edit of the wording and text. After that it can all be submitted to a publisher.

If all goes well with the super secret Everdome project, I might be able to pitch it as the main FADDS fantasy setting.

Devices of Desire: Serial Story

I’ve written the first installment and will be adding another soon. I can’t admit that comments can and will affect the story but…

Go read Devices of Desire!

Elizabeth Investigates: The Mystery of the Dancing Lights (A Baker City Mystery)

This book will be the fourth Elizabeth Investigates and I’m currently at the fifth mark or 20% into the book. At this pace I should hopefully be done by November. That’s a great pace for me and I’d happily write one book a year.


If you need something to read I recommend checking out my Story Archive.

Happy Reading,

Éric

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

 

2017 Resolution Report Card

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season filled with warmth and joy.

Last year, I set forth some lofty goals. Let’s see how I did.

1. Write 3000 words a week. (Fail)

This year has been terrible for productivity in writing; unfortunately I haven’t fallen back into the groove. I did manage a Novella of 30,000 words, the serial story, regular posts, and roughly 3000 words into Mystery of the Dancing Lights. I’ll have to alter this goal for next year.

2. Complete The Copper Tarnish by March. (Fail)

I decided mid-year to put this one away and come back to it someday. It’s only at 15,000 words and I’m not happy with it. I think I’ll try and re-work it at a later time.

3. Start the next Elizabeth Investigates. (Pass)

The Hounds of Baker Ville:  I realized it wouldn’t have enough emotional weight if we weren’t more invested in certain characters. I’ve moved the concept to book 6.

I started book 4, called The Mystery of the Dancing Lights. I wrote the intro and the first chapter and then I stalled. Recently I sat down and plotted out the book and now I can’t wait to write it.

4. Read 30 books. (Pass)

I had to read a few graphic novels near the end, but I made my goal. It’s a great way to motivate myself to read and read more than that one series I’m obsessed with. Or worse, just scrolling through Facebook endlessly.

5. Write a Monthly Serial Story.(Pass)

Story is all finished as of December 21st.

You can start reading at Part 1 of Database of the Ageless Kings here.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop 2 new coffee flavours. (Pass)

Both Green Apple and Marshmallow have been great successes. I’ve even got plans for next year.

7. Playtest the new content for FADDS and get it ready for submission in 2018. (Fail)

I got overly ambitious and added too much to the rules. Now I’m scrambling to finish them. Hopefully I can submit by end of 2019.

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

Despite the baby, going back to work, multiple colds and flus, not to mention life in general, we were able to continue producing content, and quality I think, every weekday of 2017.

10. Prepare A Case of Synchronicity submission to my publisher and Everdome for pitches at Can-Con. (Pass and Fail)

I haven’t even looked at A Case of Synchronicity this year. It’ll have to wait… unfortunately.

I did pitch Everdome to an agent and queried a big publisher. It was rejected both times but I will find this book a home.


Final Score

So I accomplished 5.5 out of 10. That’s 55% and technically a pass.

Looking at past years I seem to be slipping by 5% each year. Considering that the goals are getting more intense, I suppose that’s normal.

Next year hopefully I won’t get below 50% but in the end it doesn’t matter if I have a goal of writing 150,000 words and I write 100,000, I still did better than if I hadn’t tried.

 

How did your resolutions go?

Éric

 

Éric’s 2017 Resolution – Mid-Year Review

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last December I set forth some pretty optimistic goals for this year’s resolutions. Let’s see how well I’ve done so far.

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1. Write 3000 words a week. (Ongoing)

I have not been accomplishing this… unfortunately. I’ll continue to try in the months ahead.

2. Complete The Copper Tarnish by March. (Failed)

The more I wrote the less I liked this novella and so in the end I’m shelving it and I plan on re-writing it someday in the future.

3. Start the next Elizabeth Investigates. (Ongoing)

The Hound of Baker Ville was supposed to be the next Elizabeth book I write, but the more I plotted, the more I realized it fit better as book 6. Now I can add a bunch of reveals and twists that will make it so much more exciting.

I still plan on starting book 4, which will be called The Mystery of the Dancing Lights. It’ll be a summer camp novel in two different time periods where we’ll learn more about Jackie’s father’s youth.

4. Read 30 books. (Ongoing)

At half way through the year I’m at 13 books. Only a few behind. Lots of time to catch up.

5. Write a Monthly Serial Story. (Ongoing)

So far so good. I have 5 episodes done and the sixth will be on Thursday (hopefully).

You can start reading at Part 1 of Database of the Ageless Kings here.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop 2 new coffee flavours. (Succeeded)

Both Green Apple and Marshmallow have been great successes. Yum!

7. Playtest the new content for FADDS and get it ready for submission in 2018. (Ongoing)

I’ve been casually editing it and adding a little more to the powers. I’m looking at hopefully a September playtest.

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

So far so good, we’ve been through sickness, vacations, baby stuff, and now me going back to work and stayed true to our five day schedule. Yay us!

10. Prepare A Case of Synchronicity submission to my publisher and Everdome for pitches at Can-Con. (Ongoing)

I’m currently editing Everdome and have finished about a third of it. I think a few good days and it’ll be ready for the Alpha-Reader/Weditor. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it out to 2-4 beta readers before Can-Con at the end of September.

A Case of Synchronicity,  or book 3 of Elizabeth, has been through beta readers and needs another pass before it’s ready for submission, but I think this will be a late November or December job.


So far not bad; only 1 failure is pretty good by me. Maybe I’ll beat my 65% success rate from two years ago.

I’m not adding anything this year. Normally I would add some, but the next 6 months are going to be a crazy marathon of stuff. It’ll be a challenge to get everything done on this list.

How are you doing on your resolutions?

Éric

Éric’s 2017 Resolutions

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

On Tuesday I reviewed my 2016 Resolutions. I managed to finish 60% of my goals, which is pretty good. This year I have 10 resolutions and I’m hoping, as always, to complete them all.

203_newyearsresolution

1. Write 3000 words a week.

In years past, I’ve said 500 words a day. The importance for me is to write as often as I can. This 3000 will include books, stories, and blog posts.

2. Complete The Copper Tarnish by March

I’d like to finish The Copper Tarnish as soon as I can. I’m not sure if I’ll be submitting this book or not, but I’d like to finish it and see what I think.

3. Start the next Elizabeth Investigates

I really want to start The Hound of Baker Ville. I’ve been thinking about it for three years and it’s time to return to Baker City, Ontario.

4. Read 30 books

I failed at this last year but I was close. Let’s see if I can do it this year.

5. Write a Monthly Serial Story

This is going to be the fourth year for serial stories and I think I’m getting better at it. The goal is to write 800-1200 words every month without preplanning the story. Just letting it go where my mind wants.

Help me out and vote for the 2017 Serial Story – You Vote, I Write.

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

The tough part will be not doing more. But we’ll be doing a lot of conventions and I want to give each flavour a chance to shine.

7. Playtest the new content for FADDS and get it ready for submission in 2018

I still have a lot of editing to do on the system, and with the new content it’ll take some time. Hopefully I’ll get to it and be able to shop it out in 2018.

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

We’ve been going for four 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. A big thank you to all the guest posters on Fandom Travel and Blush when Keladry was born!

I’ll do my best to ensure we keep that streak going.

I also want to look into making a separate page for EricDesmarais.ca

10. Prepare A Case of Synchronicity submission to my publisher and Everdome for pitches at Can-Con

I have a lot of cleaning up to do in both novels, but it’ll be nice to revisit them and clean them up. If I decide that I’ll be pitching The Copper Tarnish, I’ll want to do that one also.


This years resolutions are skewed towards writing and are extremely ambitious but I’m okay with that.

What resolutions have you set for yourselves for 2017?
Éric

What’s Éric Been Up To?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a crazy few months. (Yeah I’ve said it before but it’s always true.) Since September, I’ve been posting a lot of pre-written posts, stories, and rants. Mostly what I haven’t been writing as much are updates. So here’s an update.

Baby Dragon

She’s been a joy. Face meltingly cute. I’m sure all parents say that, but I genuinely mean it. She’s also, so far, very mellow and loves to sleep. Recently she’s been babbling a lot, which is cute.

I’m off of my government job and being off work gives me the chance to hang out with her and watch her grow. It’ll be really hard to go back to work.

Coffee

Speaking of being off work. I might be off for my day job but JenEric Coffee is still going strong. (Check out the new store and get yourself a little present.)

We’ll be at two different events in two weeks.

The always amazing

November 26 – Creative Ottawa Nerds Craft Fair

CON-CreativeOttawaNerds

and

November 26-27 – Ottawa Comic Con Holiday Edition

occ-holiday_edition-_2016v3

We’ll have the following flavours at both events:

Yes, those are both on the same weekend.

Books

Reminder that A Study In Aether is available from both Amazon and directly from the Publisher. There will be copies for sale at the two above events also.

I’ve been extremely busy editing during September and October; both Parasomnia and Elizabeth Investigates: The Sign of Faust have been sent to the publisher and we’ll start work on them in the new year.

In January, I’ll get started editing Everdome in order to send it to my beta-readers along with working on the edits on Elizabeth Investigates: A Case of Synchronicity.

Currently I’m writing a new novel for NaNoWriMo. It’s moving well but the writing is slow between the baby, freelance work, and coffee roasting. I’m hoping to be done by mid-December but who knows.

Next year is the year of sequels. I’m going to finally, after over three years, return to writing Elizabeth Investigates with the next novel in the series Elizabeth Investigates: The Hounds of Bakerville. If I get through that fast enough I might start work on Paracosm which would be an indirect sequel to both Everdome and Parasomnia.

Serial Story

Wargrave Island is coming to an end, which means we’ll be voting on a new Serial Story in January. Expect a few options to pop up in the next month and a half.

 

Well that’s all the excitement on my end.

Later Days,

Éric

Geek Market and other things

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a wild three weeks with Baby Dragon. Here’s a short update to let you know what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

Geek Market

Geek Market logo

This weekend is Geek Market, I’ll be there selling my book with Renaissance Press and selling coffee with JenEric-Coffee. So come by and I’ll chat your ear off about my two favourite things.

Baby Dragon

Keladry is absolutely adorable and sleeping better than most little babies. I’m still really tired but that’s okay since I’m home from work.

Books

Parasomnia

Early this year I received a contract for A Study in Aether, my debut novel. Less then a month later I got another contract for Parasomnia.

It’s a story of five people who are in an institute for dream related disorders, and the fantasy dreamworld they share.

I’ve received comments from some amazing and decorated editors and passed them to my publisher. I’m now working on the edits. I’m hoping to get them done by end of the month.

The Sign of Faust

This is the second novel in the Elizabeth Investigates / Baker City Mystery series. I’m mid way through editing it and I’m hoping to have it ready to send at the end of the year.

Everdome

Another novel that I’ll be editing and hopefully have ready for beta readers by January.

NaNoWriMo

I’ve decided to write my next novel as a NaNoWriMo novel.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. A month that people from all over the planet decide to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’m going to be trying to write a classic monster movie style book. I’m calling it The Copper Tarnish. It’ll be the first book that I’ve written that doesn’t connect with the Baker City universe.

Wish me luck. If you’d like to follow my progress or add me as a NaNoWriMo buddy check out my profile.

Not final artwork
Not final artwork

That’s it for now. Later Days!

Éric

My 2016 Resolutions – Mid Year Review

It’s that time of year again; the one where I check my resolutions and see how optimistic I was feeling when I made them.

calvin-and-hobbes-new-years-resolution-comic

1. Write 500 Words a day

½ Accomplished

I’ll give myself partial credit for this one. I haven’t been great at it but I’ve been writing something.

2. Complete Everdome before April

Failed

Ouch… I finished it before July… only 1 and a half months late. But I did finish.

3. Start and Finish a New Novel

Not Yet Accomplished

I’m not sure I’ll finish this year but I’ll certainly start something. As much as I love the disaster movie idea I’m leaning towards a First Person Adventure or a Time Travel love story; maybe a Middle school Novel about being a monster.

I have lots of plans!

4. Read 30 Books

On Track

Goodreads says I’m at 13 for the year. I should be at 14 by the end of this month with means I’m only a little behind. Should be easy? Who knows how much reading I’ll get done with Dragon? Although I do plan on reading to her at night before bed.

5. Write a Monthly or Bimonthly Serial Story

On Track

If you haven’t read Wargrave Island, my mystery serial story, go check it out. I’ve written 6 of 12 parts and people are dying fast.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop a total of 16 Coffee flavours

Success!

I have officially done 16 flavours and I have 2 others I’m playing with.

Check out all our flavours!

7. Develop a simple concept for a Youtube show.

Not Yet Accomplished

So… I have a concept. I have the software. I just haven’t had the time to refine it yet.

8. Playtest the various stages of FADDS and prepare it for submission in 2017

On Track

This is going REALLY well. We’ve tested the early levels and they work beautifully. The mid levels are coming along well and this fall I’ll run oneshots for the higher levels.

The next step is editing for me. I need to go through the book a few times and clean up the language and standardize the wording.

9. Update JenEric-Designs.ca and add a proper webstore.

On Track

I’ve done some major upgrades. Even added a Newsletter. I’m slowing adding more functionality.

There are big changes coming to JenEric Designs. If you want to find out what they are sign up for our Newsletter.

10. Prepare Memories of Faust for submission *New*

For those that don’t know. My first book A Study in Aether has been bought by Renaissance Press yay!

The sequel is a little darker and unfortunately more complex. It needs work and I’m planning on doing some heavy edits later in the summer.

 

So out of ten we have only 1 failure and most are still possible. It’s ambitious but I’m hoping I’ll make it. If I don’t, I’ll just blame Dragon (I’m kidding… probably).

 

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?

Éric

Allergies and Updates

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Call me ridiculous, but I hate this time of year. June is one of the worst times for my allergies and the tail end of convention season. Put it all together and it leaves me feeling drained and lethargic.

I’ve had a supremely good 2016 so far and I’m not complaining, but if you see me and I look a little haggard or gruff it’s not you.

allergies

I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s going on in both my and Jen’s lives right now. So it’s update time.

Blush

Last I heard, the boxes had arrived and they were working on the extra questions for the game. I’m really proud of my wife and I can’t wait to see this game in person.

Writing

A Study in Aether

The final set of edits are done and we’re waiting on the lazy-no-good-layout-artist (me) to finish the layout before it gets double checked.

The big release party will be in October.

Parasomnia

The book has been accepted by the publisher but needs a lot of work. We probably won’t start work on it until fall.

Everdome

I’m midway through finishing the epilogue for Everdome. Then I’ll put it away for a while before trying to edit it.

Coffee

I’m currently struggling with a way to expand our production and reach. I have developed a new flavour, but more on that on Thursday.

FADDS

My role playing system has been playtested a lot in the past year. I’ve had a group of very patient and awesome gamers. The current playtest ends this month. I’ll then need to do a large edit of the document before getting it ready for submission.

Baby Dragon

Everything seems great with Baby Dragon. She’s growing and kicking (a lot). We’re sorting through all the amazing stuff people have given us. (Seriously our friends and family are the best!)

We’ll start truly planning her room in July.

I’m both excited to meet her and nervous at the same time.

 

We’ll that’s about it for now.

Later days!

Éric

Bitesize News

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Today we have all kinds of news, exciting little news like tidbits. Yum, bitesize news!

Serial Story

After a tied vote and some soul searching, I have decided that this year’s serial story will be Wargrave Island. It’s a Murder Mystery Homage to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

Next week, if all goes well, I’ll have a list of characters on Tuesday and the second part on Thursday.

Stories

Speaking of stories… I have created a page with a listing of all the stories that have run on this blog. It’s an easy and convenient way to find new stuff to read. Each story or part of a story is between 500-1500 words, which is perfect for a washroom break or bus ride.

Here is the story page.

A Study in Aether

My publisher sent me edits to the first draft and now I get to work through them. I’m mildly intimidated by the 600 or so comments but I was expecting it. I should start today or tomorrow depending on work and other projects.

Events

JenEric Designs will be participating in three to five events this year. The times and dates have been updated on our Events page.

If there’s an event you’d like to see us at feel free to contact us.

FADDS

I’ve been working really hard on FADDS the past few weeks and I had a breakthrough. I’ve tweaked some rules and I think it’s finally close to ready, mechanically speaking. I’d say it’s at 80% done writing.

The next step after the rules are written and tested, is to go through the entire 60 page rulebook and standardize language, add explanation, rearrange rules into a more logical order, and finally submit it to a publisher.

It’s still a ways away but I’m hoping the rules will be finalized by end of summer and rewrites by Christmas.

Everdome

Gah. This story is taking me forever. My issue is sitting down and writing it. I have the rest plotted out and I know how it ends. I just need to sit down and do it but I’m always distracted by something else…

Hoping to be done soon… Sigh.

Coffee

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to develop 6 new flavours.

The first and an automatic addition to our Core Flavours is Muggle Coffee. It’s actually not a flavoured coffee. It’s the first, and probably only, unflavoured coffee that we’ll hold. It’s delicious.

Go check out our Coffees. They’re always available for commission.

A Medium Roast without Flavouring
A Medium Roast without Flavouring

 

As you can see I’ve been slacking off a little lately *sarcasm*. Between the stuff above, work, layout work, family, and friends ; I’ve been happily busy this year. Let’s hope I can keep up the pace.

 

Any questions about the stuff that JenEric Designs does? Anything we don’t do that you’d like to see?

 

Later Days,

Éric