From our family here to yours wherever it may be, happy holidays, and may 2019 be a wonderful year for you and yours.
Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Today is my birthday! (If you’d like to get me a gift, read and review my books.)
It’s easy to look back on your life and think, “AHHHHHH. I’ve accomplished nothing!!!” But that’s your insecurity speaking. At the very least you’ve done something that a lot of others haven’t; you’ve survived.
Surviving is good. I’ve been lucky enough to not only survive but do a few things that, I think, are awesome: (no particular order)
- Graduated University
- Had 3 books published
- Written 7 novels and part of two novels
- Made sure there was constant content on this blog since 2014
- Learnt how to roast coffee and made a semi-successful business out of it
- Been married for 9 years to my best friend (Although that’s mostly her being patient and a little luck)
- I’m super proud of Baby Dragon
- Wrote and developed an RPG (Can’t wait for FADDS to be available to all)
I’ve spent my life feeling average. I’m not the smartest, hardest working, most handsome, etc. So it’s nice to have things I’m proud of and that I feel I’ve done well. Yes, I realize there’s nothing on that list that hasn’t been done before, or that hasn’t been done better before. But I’m proud and consider myself lucky.
Who knows what I’ll be able to accomplish in the next 35-50 years.
What are you proud of?
Dear Little Dragon,
You still hate sleeping but you’re getting better at falling asleep… sometimes.
You are growing so fast in every way possible. Last week I watched you learn how to climb off the couch safely and Sunday you took your first shuffling steps. Just two little steps but they were steps. You’ll be running around soon enough.
I’ve been at work for over a month and I miss you a lot. It’s hard not being with you and watching you grow every day. I know I see you when I get home but it’s not the same.
I miss you and someday I hope I’ll be able to work from home permanently and see you every day. (You’ll probably be going to school by then.)
I miss seeing your smile when you wake up in the morning. I hope you never lose that easy smile, even if it’s just with family and close friends. Your joy is infectious and even when you’re being mischievous it makes us so happy.
I Love you little Dragon!
Your tired, sappy, and a little sad,
It’s the first of December and that means that Christmas is just around the corner. We’ve been listening to holiday music for the past three weeks and other than “Last Christmas” I’m still loving it.
There are all kinds of reasons I love the holidays, the snow, the presents, sappy movies/tv, spending time with family and friends, but most of all, it’s a time that most people feel more hopeful.
I hope you grow up with the kind of holidays that your Mum and I had. Our parents went out of their way to make it a loving and wonderful time.
As much as I love this time, I’m always a little sad. It reminds me of your Gramma. She loved this time of year, she’d get as excited as a child. I can still picture her with her santa mug of coffee and a mischievous grin.
It wasn’t an easy season for her. She wanted to give me everything the other kids had but couldn’t afford it. I was still spoiled (especially by your Uncle Dan) but I remember the pain on her face when we received food boxes. It hurt her pride but she knew she needed to accept it.
No matter what happened, she made sure it was a great day filled with laughter and family.
She’s been gone for eight years now and when she died I took custody of an old box. It was packed in 1996 and says not to open until 2016. I remember packing it with some of my favourite toys, although I don’t remember the toys.
I’m a little conflicted about the box. I want to open it, but I also want to open it with you when you’re old enough to appreciate it… to appreciate her. I’ll decide at the last minute.
She would have loved you sooooooooo much,
Your happy and sad Papa
Hello my Imaginary Friends,
A lot of weird, sad, and scary things have happened this year. A lot of celebrity deaths, a lot of fear and hate based electoral decisions. That not to mention the natural and terrorist disasters. Pile on top of that the fact that everyone knows someone who’s sick, dying, or dead; and a lot of people are saying 2016 is the worst year ever.
I’m not going to get into the statistics that say that humanity is better off now then it’s ever been (It’s not great or perfect but better.) It’s been a bad year for many people and there are some serious scary things started this year that will carry forward to next year.
What I will say is this: I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m sorry this year has been bad. I hope the next one is better for everyone.
I’ve been struggling with a large amount of guilt this year. Sometimes that guilt bubbles into anger, but mostly it’s sadness.
You see, this has been one of the best years of my life. I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me and to my family. My wife and I had a wonderful little Dragon, my first book was published, my wife’s game was successfully kickstarted, I signed a contract for another novel, I’ve had steady work, my brother married a wonderful woman, and that’s just the short list. Things are not perfect (I wish my mom could have met Keladry) but they’re good.
So every time I see a post or news story about how horrible 2016 was, I feel guilty. I feel like I don’t deserve to feel this happy because others are sad. It’s silly, I know.
I’m not asking anyone to change what they say or post; this is completely my issue. What I would like is to remind everyone that there are still plenty of good things happening and it’s important to look for the good. It’s okay to be sad and angry but make sure you find the good in your life.
That’s enough sappyness from me.
Hello my Imaginary Friends,
Today will be a quick post. I have finished beta-reading and received Parasomnia from my first Beta-Reader. So I’m anxious to get back to editing. I like this part of editing it’s faster and easier for me. Instead of trying to find the problems, it’s trying to fix them. Way simpler.
Not So Imaginary
Did you know that this blog is under a year old? The two blogs that combined to form JenEric Designs are older. Aspiring Something is just under 7 years old and The Travelling TARDIS is just over 3 and a half years old.
In all that time, I’ve always assumed that I was “Yelling into the void” as it were. I didn’t think, other than family and close friends, that anyone was reading. I was wrong. There was at least one person who’s been following both of us for at least six years and they came to introduce themselves at CON a few weeks back.
The person, whom I’ll call C, was really nice and friendly. It was both exciting and surprising to know that someone has read this blog that I hadn’t met. So thanks for reading and following C!
If you’ve been following I’ve been obsessively researching and roasting my own coffee. I’ve sold at Pop-Expo and at CON. My Test Subjects Friends have said they enjoy it, and I’ve loved it. I’ve sold several flavours and lots of bags.
Again I assumed only friends and family were paying attention. Again I was wrong (It happens a lot. I’m ok with it.) this weekend we got an email from someone who’s significant other had bought coffee at Pop-Expo and they wanted to get them a few bags for their upcoming birthday since the SO had enjoyed the coffee. It made me really happy.
I know one fan of the blogs and one fan of the coffee doesn’t mean we’re suddenly huge. It’s not a viral post, or a publishing contract. But it is a sign that we’re doing something right and getting ourselves out there.
Between that and editing two books that I think are good enough to publish, I feel like a lot of hard work is starting to show progress. It makes me hopeful and after last month, I really needed that.
Thank you my not so imaginary friends!
I’ve realized that I never explained why I write. I’ve mentioned my love for stories and that I write because I love stories and not the other way around. But I’ve never told you wonderful people why I do it.
It’s not because I like Telling People
If you’ve met me in public you’d probably have no idea that I write. It’s not something I like to talk about with people. I’d much rather hear their story, I already know mine.
It’s just awkward to tell people something that feels so personal. And people usually make it even more uncomfortable.
I’ve encountered multiple different reactions but I can boil them down to five kinds of people. The Disbelievers, The Suggest-ers, the Critics, the Disinterested, and the Encouragers.
These are the people who just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that anyone would bother writing a book, let alone try to get it published. They’ll give you a confused look and say some variation on, “Oh why?” Or “I haven’t read much since high school”
They are generally nice but will classify you as odd and probably avoid you or try to forget about your weirdness.
I suggest leaving these folks alone or changing the topic to Game of Thrones.
“Vampire books are really in right now.” Or “Have you considered self-publishing that’s where the money is.”
These are my second favourite type of people. They are generally well meaning and trying their best to help you out. They’ll tell you everything they know or read somewhere on facebook. They’ll offer to help and talk to their third cousin’s neice’s ex-fiancé for you.
The major downside is if they try to tell you about their novel idea that they think you’d be better at writing.
The best way to deal with them is know that they’re trying to be supportive. Try changing the topic to what they like to read.
They just met you and really don’t care about your writing but they will tell you how horrible the state of fiction is right now. Nothing but crap and magical-teens. They’ll complain about everything.
If you’re really unlucky, you’ll get those who will criticise the industry as a whole and tell you that you’ll never be published because of such a reason etc.
It’s best to smile and nod until they get it out of their system, then go find someone to give you a hug.
These are the people who ask you what your passions are only so they can tell you about theirs.
They are more interested in telling you about their book/idea/life than hearing anything about you. Heck once they’ve started talking, they might not notice you leaving.
Again it’s best to smile and nod, then find someone else to talk with.
These are people who will want to hear about what you’re saying, about your story, and about your life. They’ll let you talk and they’ll comment in the right places.
They will freak you out completely. They are the ones that will understand your pain when you get a rejection letter and not go, “Well Tolkien submitted LoTR blah times before…” They’ll know to give you a hug.
If you find them, treat them well, you’ve just met a rare specimen.
I don’t do it for the Money or Fame
Let’s be clear, the amount of people who make enough money to quit their jobs are the minority. If you think you should start writing because it’s an easy way to make cash, you’re going to be severely disappointed.
It takes years of practice, and years of patience to get enough money to cover your own costs. Brandon Sanderson said that it was bitter sweet to be nominated by the Hugo awards for “Best New Author” since he’d been writing, and trying to publish, for over a decade.
As for fame, if I’m never recognised in public, that’s ok with me.
The Real Reason I Write
I enjoy it.
Yes it’s that simple. I enjoy it.
Do I want to make a living with it? Absolutely, if you found something that you loved doing, wouldn’t you?
Will I stop because of my annoyance and dislike in the publishing industry? No.
I plan on writing as long as I enjoy it. Seeing as I’ve enjoyed it for most of my life I doubt it’ll change.
What’s your passion? Are you trying to turn it into a career?