I resolutely attempted to resolve my Resolutions

Taken from LIVEdigitally

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last year I made a series of resolutions for 2015. This is my end of the year review to see if I came anywhere near finishing them.

I may have gotten a little overly ambitious…

Taken from LIVEdigitally

My beginning of the year resolutions

I will Write 500+ words a day and complete 1 novel

Between blog posts, short stories, FADDS, and the Serial Story; I have certainly written at least 500 words a day. [PASS]

I haven’t finished Everdome unfortunately. As much as I wish I could. I’m only on Chapter 24 of 32. I’m roughly 20,000 words short… Hopefully I can finish it quickly in the new year. [FAIL]

I will continue to read regularly and attempt to read 30 or so books

According to Goodreads I’m currently reading my 31st book of the year. It’s been an extra challenging year for reading since I’ve been reading the first in over 35 series. There have been some amazing books and some horrible ones. [PASS]

I will ensure there is 5 days a week of content on JenEric-Designs.ca

We have been steadily updating content every week day this entire year. With the new addition of the Blush and Fandom Travel articles by my wonderful wife and the pictures of the travelling TARDIS we have more than enough content. I’m even considering adding an extra day. [PASS]

I will submit Parasomnia to at least 3 publishers and 3 agents

I have submitted Parasomnia to 1 agent (No reply) and 3 Publishers. One of the Publishers has said it isn’t for them but they’ll read it and the other two have promised word by February.

This is probably the best thing I’ve ever written and I hope it finds a publisher willing to take it one.

I’m going to give myself a pass on this one. Publishing takes time and it was a lack of it that meant I submitted to publishers first and not agents. [PASS]

I will start a web-show and update regularly

Once again this is a fail… I really want to and I have all the equipment but I’m having trouble finding the time. [FAIL]

I will write a serialized story that I will update every month (Wattpad maybe?)

I went a little overboard with this one. Only Human was updated once a month except for November and December where I wrote 2-3.

The final Instalment updates this Thursday. [PASS]

My mid-year resolutions

I wasn’t satisfied failing my start of the year resolutions so I wrote up some extra ones in June.

Re-Submit A Study in Aether

After 2 years of beta-readers and editing. I finally resubmitted it to the publisher that wanted it. I feel like there’s still a lot of work to do on the book but I still love the characters.

I’ve been planning out, “The Hounds of Baker-ville” Which will see what our heroes are doing for their summer break. [PASS]

Re-Design and keep updating Website

I’ve been making minor changes to the website but it needs a full upgrade and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Sorry. [FAIL]

Short Stories

This was a resolution to write, A Funny thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral and hopefully write a few more short stories that were kicking around in my head. I succeeded in the primary and wrote on extra short story. [PASS]

Versus

I still like the idea of writing this disaster novel but I won’t get to plotting it this year. I may make it my novel for 2016. [FAIL]

How’d I do?

Overall I passed 6.5 out of 10. That’s 4.5 of 6 for the Year and 2 of 4 for the midyear.

It’s not a fun percentage but I’m extremely proud of the things I’ve done this year. They were ambitious and ridiculously many and I managed to accomplish a lot more than I expected.

Go me! Now to work on 2016’s resolutions.

 

Thanks for following and I hope your resolutions have gone just as well or better than mine.

Éric

Resolutions Mid-Year Review

Hello,

A few changes have been happening in my life. I’ve started a new freelance position as a Layout Artist and my day job has just changed offices. This has made me introspective.

My Original Resolutions

I will Write 500+ words a day and complete 1 novel

I’ll be honest that I’m a little behind on this one. I’ve had a bunch of issues that have slowed my writing down but I’m trying my best to get back into the writing habit. I’m at 40,000 words (or 40%) in Everdome and I’m hoping to be done by the end of August. So on track ish…

I will continue to read regularly and attempt to read 30 or so books

According to GoodReads I’m 6 books ahead on this resolution. YAY! Six of those are Graphic novels that are much shorter than the rest but I’m definitely on track.

I will submit Parasomnia to at least 3 publishers and 3 agents

Currently Parasomnia is with Beta-Reader 2, who’s being extremely thorough and giving me great praise. I look forward to seeing what he sends back. Once I get through his changes I’ll find a third beta-reader and hopefully have something to pitch at Can-Con. I’d say I’m on track but everything is slow in publishing.

I will start a web-show and update regularly

Yeah… Sorry. This one has totally fallen by the wayside. I think I might have lapped it a few times…

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this one. It’s been on my resolution list for two years now. I’ll get back to you. Maybe.

I will write a serialized story that I will update every month (Wattpad maybe?)

Although I haven’t signed up for Wattpad yet I have been writing and putting up a Serial story every month. I may break this one at some point and write 2 in a month.

If you haven’t had the chance to read last year’s, time traveling adventure check out The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicis. It’s 10 parts and reads quickly.

This year’s story is a Supernatural Romance / College story, go read the first two parts of Only Human.

Mid-Year Resolutions

I’m going to keep all the previous resolutions and add a few.

Re-Submit A Study in Aether

I’m going to try and re-submit A Study in Aether to the publisher that has shown interest. It’s currently with a beta-reader and will hopefully be back soon. Then one more and it should be ready for a re-read from the Weditor.

Re-Design and keep updating Website

I think the colour scheme for JenEric Designs is getting a little dated and I’d like to update it to something a little more modern.

I also want to add Buttons and Coffee to our products pages and allow people to order them online. I’ll also be adding a section on Fandom Travel.

Short Stories

I want to write the third story in the Hal universe, it’s called “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral.” Find the first two are here: Hal the Sun Speaker and The Assassin.

I also have a few other short stories that I’d like to write hopefully I’ll get the chance.

Versus

Before the year is through, if I’ve managed to finish Everdome, I’d like to do an extensive plotting of a new novel.

I want to write a Disaster novel following several groups of characters trying to survive during a super villain attack on their city. I’d treat the heroes and villains more like forces of nature and concentrate on the poor normal people who have to try to survive the devastation of their conflict. I’d like to mix a glib tone that makes fun of super hero tropes and the terror/horror of a natural disaster.

 

How are your resolutions holding up? Did you add any along the way?

Éric

Giving Up

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Let’s talk about consuming and creating media. I say media instead of art to avoid any quality bias. I might think my writing is art but others would disagree.

Consuming

I have a rule, well more of a guideline, about consuming media. It goes like this:

“If you’ve gotten through at least 25% and you’re dreading continuing, it might be time to quit.”

I’ve applied this to most long form media like books, movies, comics, TV, youtube shows, etc. There’s a certain amount of relief that I get when I let myself give up on something.

I’ve often broken this guideline, the book I’m currently reading is only 250 pages so I figured I’d finish and critique it properly. I rarely quit a book, I won’t read the rest of the series, but I’ve quit reading 2 books in my life. One was Interview with a Vampire, and the other was a book about a murderer that somehow killed people using landline phone calls.

Series and TV shows are different. I’ll give a book series, one book, and a tv show at least 1 season unless it offends me in the first 2-4 episodes.

It’s really easy to give up on something that no one cares about, but it’s a completely different thing to give up on something that is a cultural phenomenon. When everyone is talking about something, or your group of friends are, there’s a sense of obligation in consuming that thing.

I’m of course talking about Game of Thrones, I’ve watched the first 4 seasons, and read the first 2 books and I just don’t like it. The plots are inconsistent, the characters are either despicable, boring, or dead, and I find it painful to read or watch. There I’ve said it. Revoke my geek card if you wish.

Other shows that are close to me giving up on are Grimm, The Arrow, and Supernatural. All because of inconsistent and downright annoying writing.

Creating

Creating it is completely different. That rule is:

“If you’re dreading creating something, you need to rethink your approach.”

I have been struggling this year with my novel, Everdome. Not just because of book itself. I caught 2 flu’s and the plague. I’ve also apparently been doing something wrong at work and I’ve been getting pain in my right arm. On top of that my work has lost a lot of employees and I’ve had to do more work than past years. (Ok, enough excuses.)

One of my major issues was that I had a beginning and an end, 6 character points of view, and one big cool concept. Unfortunately without character arcs, and a middle, I was having trouble putting words in front of each other.

Last week I stopped and thought about all the characters I had left and where I wanted them to be and how I could get them there. It helped me set things up and start writing freely again.

I think the concept and the characters in this book are awesome, but I’m not sure how good a book it’s going to be. I never am.

 

What popular media have you given up on?

Eric

I Don’t Have a Plan

Felix Felicis

When I sit down to write a novel I have character outlines, plot points, an ending, and a structure all planed out. When I write a short story, I have them even more plotted.

Yesterday my wife asked me how many more parts there were going to be to The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicis and I answered completely honestly with, “I have no idea.”

I’ve been writing it as a serial novel and I have a general idea of his character arc but have no clue of anything else. I’m writing by the seat of my pants and I’m having fun doing it.

So for anyone wondering, the story of Felix will end April 2nd. How many other silly adventures he’ll have, I have no clue. I just write it when I feel like writing it.

If there’s something you want to see in the story, let me know.

Everdome

I love writing Everdome. Getting to know the characters and seeing how they’ll eventually end up together on the reality show is fun. I’m still in the honeymoon, “Everything is Awesome” phase of writing a new book, where it’s all about discovery and foreshadowing.

Rants

I haven’t done a proper rant in a while, it’s not that I haven’t had the motivation, it’s just that I haven’t felt the need.

Lots of stuff makes me want to rant from serious issues like Gamergate to personal pet peeves like the Hobbit trilogy but I haven’t found anything that I felt I could say something new about. It’s been said by plenty of other people.

 

Do you have an article or topic you’d like me to rant about?

Latter Days,

Éric

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

The code word right now is busy. I had a chance to work on Everdome yesterday but seeing the pile of work ahead I’m guessing I won’t get a chance until next week to work on it again.

The downside to writing a new novel, especially in the first half, is the lack of sleep. It might seem weird but my mind has been obsessing about the story and everything I can, and should be doing with it. It means I haven’t been able to shut my mind off until past midnight the past three or four days. I just keep running new and interesting scenes through my head… sigh.

A Study in Aether

I got a surprising email from the publishing company I thought either hated me or had forgotten about me. They emailed to say that they were super behind and I should be patient, they’re still interested in my book but haven’t gotten to it. (I submitted in November 2013) The biggest issue I have with writing and the publishing industry is that things move glacially. But I’ll take this as a good news and see what happens.

I still plan on editing it and passing it on to a new beta reader, once I get the chance to work on it.

Coffee

I’m going to be testing two new flavours this weekend, Raspberry, and Apple. I’m looking forward to seeing how fruity flavours mix with coffee.

C.O.N Creative Ottawa Nerds

IMG_29868975732683My wife and some friends are organizing a Craft fair for local Nerdy/Geeky creators. . It’ll be awesome!

Remember March 21st!

Check out the page: https://www.facebook.com/CON.CreativeOttawaNerds

It’s going to be at St. Richards Church House (8 Withrow Avenue, Nepean, Ontario)

There will be facepaiting for the kids, plush animals, magnets, crocheted things, buttons, books, clothing, cosplay supplies and much much more.

Oh and did I mention there will be coffee? I’ll have 100g bags of coffee for $10. Once I order the supplies I’ll open pre-orders.

Ok, back to work!

Later days,

Éric

What has Eric Been Doing?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It feels like a while since I’ve written a real update about everything going on, so here’s an update on what I’m working on.

Novels

A Study in Aether

The book is currently with Beta Reader 1 (or 12 depending on how you’re counting.)

I plan on sending it to Beta Reader 2 by the end of January and 3 by the end of February. If all goes well I’ll be able to resubmit in April. Yay!

Parasomnia

I’m roughly 36% done editing and it’s taking a long time. It’s all about motivation unfortunately. I’ll start working more on in it next week. I’d like to get it to the Weditor by the end of next week. Yikes!

Everdome

I’ve been planning and prepping and wishing I could write instead of editing. So yesterday I caved and started writing a little. I’ve now got 3000 words total of a novel I haven’t technically started.

I’ll start writing it officially once I finish editing Parasomnia, so hopefully Christmas week and then in the New Year.

Stories

Sun-Speaker Universe

I’ve written a sequel to Hal The Sun-Speaker and it should be edited and serial posted here sometime in the future.

Crystal Death Multiverse

I previously called this Project Kitchen Sink. I haven’t worked much on it but I do have 3 completed stories that I’m considering serial posting here.

The Cosmic Cuckoos

The Adventures of Helen will be returning soon. I really enjoyed this story but got distracted by Felix Felicis.

The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicis

This story started as a one off word of the day and turned into a time spanning epic which makes me giggle every time I re-read it. I hope it’s made you laugh as well.

I’m planning on wrapping this one up around April Fools.

Games

The Simplest RPG

I’ve done a little work on fine tuning this game and I have a playtest on Saturday that should give me an idea how well it’s works. I’ve created a cute little character sheet and everything. I’ll post more next week.

FADDS

I won’t have a website up for FADDS this year but I have been hard at work fine tuning the system. I’m very close to the editing phase.

I have a playtest for FADDS this weekend too so I should be good to make some edits and then go through the whole thing to fix issues and clean up language.

Coffee

Next step

I’m ready to call my coffee experiments a success. The product is good and I’ve had some good reviews. I’m planning on upping my production capabilities and next convention I plan on having a giant thermos to let people test the coffee.

My next phase in production is to test out weird flavours. My best sellers were Cinnamon and Banana so I’d like to try some unlikely flavours. I’ll try out some of the fruity stuff and see what happens.

Flavours

I’m keeping the Raktajino, rebranding the Banana Cream as Minion Coffee, and adding Jabba the Peanut a peanut butter flavoured coffee.

I think, unless I hear different, I’ll retire the Spiked and Davroast.

Want Some?

I still have some Spiked(Butter Rum) and Davroast(Chocolate Hazelnut) left over if you’re interested.

Youtube

Silver Stag

I’m still volunteering with Silver Stag Entertainment. Go check out the shows. We’re really quite funny.

JenEric Designs

Things have been quieter than the night before Christmas on the JenEric Designs Youtube page.

All is not lost. I have an idea that is both easy and cheap to produce. Bonus is that my antiquated Premier will be able to handle it easily. I just have to get it set up. More on that later.

 

Well I’ve been busy lately…

What project, that I’ve been working on, would you like to see more of?

Éric

Welcome to the Land of Everdome

Hello,

Some days I sit down to write a short story and then I blink and I have an intro chapter for a novel. That’s what happened on Monday. I looked and I had 300 words around 2pm and then suddenly I noticed it was 4pm and I had 2000. I love those kinds of days.

The idea came to me while watching The Quest. What if the contestants in a fantasy reality show discover they’ve actually been transported to another world? I’m fascinated by the little scenes that would lead to them realizing what’s going on. The end of the second act would either have a death or a serious injury to make them understand they’re playing for real.

Description

The world’s most popular video game, based off a fantasy book series, is being turned into a reality television show. Only twelve people are chosen but there’s something strange about the contestants. They aren’t the biggest, strongest, or prettiest. They are however all in love with the world.

As they go through the standard, often cheesy, reality television challenges they start to wonder if it is just a television show. How does the Queen get her elf ears on so seamlessly, how do the special effects for the Court Wizard work, why are the camera’s so well hidden, and most of all why do the banished players scream as they leave?

Point of View Characters

  • Abigail: Emotionally abused by ex-fiancée and still not over him. She’ll have to overcome her dependence on other people and her lack of faith in herself.
  • Pierre: A short thin man who boasts having the highest score in The Land of Everdome game. He’s completely out of his depth without technology and everyone wonders why he applied for the show.
  • Annie: Abigail’s younger sister who is the favourite to win with her years of experience working in a Renaissance fairs and theatre as a weapons instructor.
  • Nicole: At the age of 20 she is the youngest and has the longest police record. She never applied for the show but getting out of the country was probably a good idea after her last con went south. A consummate pretender, she isn’t in the game to win, she’s in to avoid the mob hitmen that will surely be looking for her.

Finally here’s the story I’ve written so far. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Story

Warning: Contains scenes of emotional and verbal abuse.

“Why the Hell is there a man in armour asking for you in the lobby?” yelled Patrick a little too loudly. He had already dressed and shaved.

The only reason Abigail could tell was from the colour differences and shiny reflection from his moist aftershave. Reaching over to the bedside table she put on her glasses and took a good look at her fiancé. He was dressed in a designer suit and looked like something from a magazine. Her own prince charming.

“Well?” he asked again. Even pouting he looked sexy.

Brushing back her mousy brown hair, she sat up and wondered why there would be a man in armour outside. It wasn’t a common occurrence in their downtown condo.

“I’ll go check,” she mumbled. She was not a morning person. She’d worked the late shift last night and Patrick had insisted they go out with some of his friends. She would have preferred to stay home and read but he’d insisted. She could never say no to him.

Getting out of bed she stumbled towards her hamper and reached into it to grab a half clean pair of jeans. They were the comfortable kind, not the pair that Patrick insisted she wear out but the kind that didn’t take ten minutes and a shoe horn to get into.

She was about to just put on a wonder woman tank top but she saw Patrick’s look and put on a proper bra before putting on the top.

As she rode the elevator down she looked into the mirrored wall and wondered what he saw in her. She was too short, too round, and her hair was as controllable as a rabid rous. Her skin was ambiguously brown and splotchy, her father had been native but she had no idea what her mother had been. She tried to put some sort of order in her paradoxically limp and curly hair and gave up when the elevator doors opened.

The knight wasn’t just in armour, he was in authentic chainmail and he wasn’t alone. There were two camera men and a photographer.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

“Dame Abigail Montrose?” The knight asked in an authentic British accent.

“Yes,” she replied.

Without any delay the man fell to one knee and said, “My lady. It is my great honour to extend an invitation from Queen Tamora the sixth, to visit her in her kingdom Everdome.”

The expression on Abigail’s face transitioned from confusion to disbelief to shock and finally settled on excitement. All traces of sleepiness disappeared as she remembered what was going on.

“Oh my goddess, yes, yes, yes. Thank you.” She threw herself at the knight as he stood and hugged him tightly. “Thank you, thank you, Thank you” She squeed before letting him go.

“My Lady. Here is your invitation and all the information you need,” He was blushing and never once broke character. He gave her a large envelope with her name on it. It was pretty thick and she assumed it was the legal contracts and disclaimers she’d have to sign to be on the show.

The Land of Everdome, was the world’s most popular online videogame and was based off of a series of novels. Abigail had never played the game but she read the ten book series every year around her birthday. They were the last present her father had given her before he died.

At one point she’d considered playing the game but Patrick had flipped out, telling her that he was willing to put up with her childish obsessions but not to push him. That had ended that. He was probably right.

When they had announced a television series, Abigail had expected something along the lines of Game of Thrones. Instead they’d announced that it would be a reality show set in the world, using the characters in an original story where twelve people would vie for the honour of becoming the Champion of Everdome and fight against the evil Host, an all-powerful dark lord.

In one of the rare times that she’d been allowed to see her sister, Patrick had been away on business, they’d both applied for the show. Neither of them expected to be picked, they were fantasy nerds but neither of them played the game these shows only ever picked the most attractive contestants.

Inside the apartment, she walked to the bed and pulled out a piece of parchment from the envelope. It was aged and made to feel like leather. On it was an official invitation to Everdome and the Queen’s seal and signature. It was exact in every detail.

A chime made her look for her phone. Patrick was standing over her looking at her phone. “Your sister has sent you three texts. What does she mean by I’m in?” He’d never liked her sister. They were both strong willed and thought they knew what was best for her. She hated that they didn’t get along but Patrick knew best.

“Uhmm. Remember those books I love so much?” She suddenly felt really uncomfortable.

“Ever… whatever? What about them?”

“We’ll Annie and I applied to be on the TV show set in the world. Remember we talked about it?” She had told him about the show but he hadn’t been all that interested.

“Yeah I remember. I remember saying it was a waste of time, just like the game, and the books,” his voice was harsh. He softened as he said, “Abbi, you know I only want what’s best for you. These childish hobbies are distracting you from your studies. Don’t you want to be a nurse and do something good for the world? Something useful not wasteful?”

“Yes of course I do,” she replied her eyes on the ground.

Lifting her head gently she saw him smiling benevolently, he was so beautiful it hurt her to upset him. “Good then. Throw that stuff out and put these childish things away.” He left the room and came back with a large box. “I think it’s time for you to put these things in storage until we have children. You’re twenty-six, you’re not a child anymore.” He started taking down her books and putting them in the box. Her heart sank as he picked up her father’s books and placed them in the box. He was probably right. It was time she started living her life instead of wasting it.

“These are pretty old and you’ve read them a lot. Instead of putting them in storage, we’ll donate them. We don’t really want our children to have silly ideas. These are the kinds of books loser guys read in their parent’s basement.”

Conflicting emotions turned her stomach as she sat on her bed watching him prepare her books to be given away. Anger won out and she yelled, “No!”

“Glad you agree with me babe,” he said dismissively.

“No. I am not giving those away.”

“Don’t be childish. Of course you are.”

Blood pounded in her head and she couldn’t stop herself from shaking, “No. I’m not. And I’m going to this.” She lifted up the envelope. He turned red and dropped the box and the books.

“You will not talk to me like that. You were nothing before me. I know what’s best. Now throw out that letter.” He took a deep breath. “Look what you’ve done. You’ve made me angry. Do you think I like being the bag guy? No. But you have to grow up and put these things behind you. You’re not twelve anymore.”

A wave of guilt flowed through Abigail. He was right. None of their friends were into this, she was being childish. She picked up the envelope and a section caught her eye. “You were chosen from over 200,000 applicants across North-America.” Could they all be childish?

“No Patrick. Those books were given to me by my father. I’m keeping them and I really want to do this. I know you think it’s childish. And it might be. But I need to do this.” She stopped herself before adding please.

Turning to face her again, he seemed to calm down. He smiled at her but she knew that smile, she only saw it when he was so angry he became calm. It didn’t touch his eyes and made him look like a Bond villain. “Fine. If you want to do this, go ahead. But if you leave, don’t come back.” Without giving her the chance to answer, he grabbed his briefcase and left the apartment.

The sound of the door closing was like an explosion. The apartment they’d shared for two years suddenly seemed hostile and too quiet.

Again her phone beeped. Her sister wanted to know if she was ok.

“I’m fine. I got the invitation too. Wasn’t the knight cool?” she texted.

“Yeah. I can’t wait for us to go.” Her sister added a smiley face after the message.

“I can’t go,” she wrote back.

“Duck Patrick. You can do better,” The autocorrect on her sister’s phone had certainly edited that line. “This is Everdome. We’ve been dreaming about this since we were kids. Would you give up your childhood dream for a guy?”

“I’m sorry Annie. I can’t.”

“Ok. I’m not going without you big sis. If you won’t go. Neither will I.”

“No, no. One of us should go.”

“Talk about it over lunch?”

She agreed to meet her for lunch and they told each other they loved each other. As she put down her phone she felt her face was wet. She was crying, just like a child, she thought.

Without thinking she finished packing her books. Looking around she was hit by how little she felt attached to the things in the apartment. Other than the bookcase with her books and photos, everything was stark black and white modern. Patrick’s taste, not hers.

The apartment and Patrick had always made her feel safe, protected, and taken care of. She went to her closet and looked inside. There were a few superhero shirts that she was allowed to wear in the apartment but that was all. The rest of her clothes were all scrubs, formal wear, or her work uniforms, dress pants or skirt with a maroon polo shirt with “Paragraphs fine Books” embroidered on it. The formal wear that she wore to events or even to the grocery store, were always picked by Patrick. She had liked that, she hatted shopping for clothes.

Taking the geek shirts and putting them in a flowered suitcase with thoughts of putting them in storage with the books, she surprised herself by putting her uniforms and scrubs in the suitcase also. She was done her nursing classes, two months and she’d be a registered nurse. Then she could work a few years before they got pregnant and then she’d take care of their kids.

Throughout the process of packing she’d been shuffling the envelope from hand to hand. Looking down at her packed suitcase, she’d taken half the clothes, all her books, and her family pictures. She packed the suitcase and her conscious mind caught up with what was going on.

It seemed unthinkable to leave Patrick but once she made the decision she felt a weight off her shoulders. She couldn’t help but think about how angry he’d be but she had made up her mind.

Picking up her phone, packing its charger and her laptop, she texted her sister again. “I’m going. But can I stay with you until we leave?”