Half-formed thoughts

Hello My Friends,

Remember when international affairs and world politics were mundane and peaceful? If you said no then you’re right. Don’t get me wrong, what’s happening in Ukraine is terrible, but it’s not unprecedented. Maybe it feels bigger because it’s not in the Middle-East. Or maybe it’s the extremely on-point social media coming out of the country.

A big name author has recently raised a ridiculous amount of money on Kickstarter for 4 books. Last I checked, the total was just over 25 million. That’s amazing and I want to be happy for them. But this author is also on record as being against same-sex marriage because of their religion. It frustrates me to no end when I know there are authors out there with massive talent and fantastic books and they’re barely making rent. No one needs 5+ million to write and publish a book.

I need to stop reading comments. I’ve come much too close to just replying F-you to people in random comments. It’s not healthy. I have to stop.

The world sucks sometimes. Apparently people are trying to bypass the laws against conversion therapy in Canada by using “life coaches” from other countries over video calls. It’s reprehensible and disgusting. No one should be tortured or abused because of their sexuality.

In that same vein, I wish the laws had included other forms of radical therapy that psychologically and physically tortures participants until they behave a certain way. ABA is an example and churns my stomach to think about.

It seems the major protests funded by the right wing fringe are calming down a little, or getting less attention anyway. It still seriously hurts that I have family and had friends who were willing to support Tamara Lich and Pat King. It was always the same thing too. The family and former friends were willing to overlook the white-supremacy, anti-semitism, homophobia, and general hate because the organizers of the convoy were fighting against mandates. That hurts and I just can’t believe people can forgive and support hate just because they agree with someone on one subject.

We watched Around the World in 80 Days (the television show with David Tennant). It started off a little more intense than I would have liked, but it built up really well and had some great characters in it. I’m glad it’s been renewed for a second season. I can also see why so many commentators and reviewers (I really need to stop reading comments) didn’t like it. It tackled a lot of race, sex, and class issues that are still extremely relevant.

Shopping for appliances is a ridiculous process involving much too much jargon and misinformation. As much as the hyperfixating part of me is loving researching washing machines, I’m getting annoyed at the lack of forthcomingness. Unfortunately, while I have friends who are experts in cars, computers, cooking, gardening, books, games, and many other things, I don’t seem to know any washing machine aficionados.

I think that’s enough random half-baked thoughts for today. (Okay, now I want cookies.)

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on any of these in the comments. I shouldn’t read them, but I probably will.

Stay safe and be kind,


Renaissance Virtual Conference – October 23-24, 2020

Hello Book and Coffee Lovers,

Éric Desmarais Author and JenEric Coffee & Crochet will be in attendance for the second Renaissance Virtual Conference.

JenEric Coffee & Crochet will be in the vendors room for the show.

Éric will have 2 panels:

4 PM – 5 PM EDT: THE END (Saturday October 24 2020): This panel discusses how to write a satisfying ending and why it’s so important. 

10 AM – 11 AM : I know that place! (Sunday October 25 2020):This panel discusses the challenge of using real places in fiction. How do you avoid problems? How to futurize a location? What are common pitfalls in using real locations?

Go register now (It’s a free conference)

Hope to see you there!

Advent deadline in only 2ish weeks.

Get them while you can.

You have until Friday November 9th to order your advent calendars for shipping in mid to late November.

Here are the options for this year:

  • 24 Bags at 1oz each ($50)
  • 12 Bags at 2oz each ($50)
  • 24 Bags at 2oz each ($100)

This is a pre-order for our Advent Calendars. Flavours will be picked from our current selection and a few experimental flavours.

These are pre-orders.
Deadline to order second wave November 9th – Orders will ship mid-November.

ALLERGY If you have allergies please email us at JenEricDesigns(AT)gmail.com to let us know your specific allergy.

Thank you,


Renaissance Virtual Conference – October 23-24, 2020

Hello Book and Coffee Lovers,

Éric Desmarais Author and JenEric Coffee & Crochet will be in attendance for the second Renaissance Virtual Conference.

JenEric Coffee & Crochet will be in the vendors room for the show.

Éric will have 2 panels:

4 PM – 5 PM EDT: THE END (Saturday October 24 2020): This panel discusses how to write a satisfying ending and why it’s so important. 

10 AM – 11 AM : I know that place! (Sunday October 25 2020):This panel discusses the challenge of using real places in fiction. How do you avoid problems? How to futurize a location? What are common pitfalls in using real locations?

Go register now (It’s a free conference)

Hope to see you there,


Join me at the Renaissance Virtual Convention

Hello My Imaginary friends,

This coming weekend I’ll be participating in the Renaissance Virtual Convention. And you can too!

I’ll be at my book launch at 6pm on Saturday and running a workshop on basic formatting for authors at 8pm on Saturday.

Renaissance Press presents an entirely FREE, entirely online convention!

Join us for a three-day conference from June 5 to June 7th, 2020, featuring over 50 guest authors!

All the programming will be broadcast over Zoom. You will be able to sign up for the individual panels or readings you want to attend. Everything is free, but places are limited, so please make sure to sign up!

For announcements, you can also follow our Facebook event, and you can join the Vendors’ room Discord!


Please note that the panels will not have live captioning due to budgetary limitations, however, they will be posted to YouTube at a later date with full captioning.


Hope to see you there!


Renaissance Virtual Conference Update

Hello My Book loving Friends,

A few weeks ago I told you all about Renaissance’s Virtual Conference. A few things have happened. It’s been moved to June 5-7 and it’s now open for people who want to attend the panels.

If you want to check out the panels you can look at them and register at the Website.

Don’t forget to come say hi in the vendors room.

There are some fantastic panels. I look forward to seeing you there.


Renaissance Virtual Conference

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s the beginning of what would have been convention season. We should have had 2 or 3 under our belts already, but fate had other ideas. My publisher is filling the gap and running a virtual conference.

Here’s the information from their site:

Image description: Logo of a computer screen; on it are eye glasses over an open book. Left text says: Renaissance Virtual Conference, May 30-31, 2020

Renaissance Press is organizing an entirely FREE, entirely online convention!

With everyone and everything being shut down, a lot of conventions and fairs have cancelled, and a lot of authors and publishers have lost precious revenue. Renaissance has also been affected, so we thought:

Why not do something online, make a weekend of it, and get as many people involved as possible?

So today, we are reaching out to everyone we know who writes and sells books to see if they want to be part of our big event! 

What will it look like?

An online convention/book fair, completely free for everyone involved. Authors will be able to promote themselves and their work through panels, readings, and workshops. We would offer 2-3 days of programming. When you mention your book in the panel, there will be an accessible link right there! Panels will also be recorded and later posted to YouTube, along with the links.

There will also be a virtual vendors room where we will link everyone’s books, and your books, along with whatever sale or flash deal you or your publisher are currently having, will be promoted before and after each event. 


Our big online book fair will happen on the weekend of May 30-31. We plan to have programming from 10 AM to 8 PM on the Saturday, and from 10 AM to 6 PM on the Sunday. We might have programming on the Friday evening if we have enough content/demand. The hours can be expanded, and a second weekend is possible, depending on demand.  

Who can participate?

We would like to invite as many authors, publishers and associations as possible. Basically, if you write and/or sell books, and want visibility, you’re whom this is for! And since this is online, anyone from anywhere in the world can participate!

What if my book is from another publisher?

Your publisher is welcome to have a free, virtual “stand” in our online dealers’ room. Or, you can participate and have us link back to your publisher’s page without your publisher having to be there if they don’t want to. To be in our virtual vendors’ room, there is no other requirement than for us to have a link to their shop, a logo, and be informed of any sale or flash deal they are having. All we ask in return is that you and/or your publisher help promote the event by posting about it on social media.

What kind of ideas are you looking for?

We’re up for anything! We have a selection of panels that have already been pitched to us that you’ll find here, that you can simply apply to be on, or you can pitch us your own idea. If you have a workshop to present, it’s always best if it’s closely related to your books (for example, if your aliens eat delicious desserts, you could always teach people how to cook your favorite dessert). Or, you might want to read from your recent new release. We are looking for content that can appeal to a wide public! We are also looking for some programming geared towards children for the mornings.

APPLY NOW! Deadline: May 7th

What are you waiting for? Go apply!

Stay safe, wash your hands,


Being an Author is hard but worth it

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Being a author is hard. You are constantly bombarded by articles that say things like:

Ok that last one was a trick and actually pretty positive.

Borrowed from Usborne Books.

The point is that even when you’re published you have to work your ass off to get your book in peoples hands and only 25% will actually read that book. (These statistics are my educated guess.) From those that read your book they’ll tell you they like it and then put it on their shelves and forget about it. Until you publish something else and if they actually liked it they might buy the next one.

That’s the life cycle of a regular book. One that doesn’t get turned into a TV show or movie, explode in sales, or cause a kerfuffle with its content.

I see what some fantastic authors do to encourage their book sales and I feel like I should be doing more. More writing, more advertising, more promotion, more writing, more events, more submitting to review, and did I say more writing?

An excellent guide to the care and feeding of a writer by Agarthan Guide.

The real problem with writing, novels specifically, is the speed of return. I so envy my friends who write fanfiction and can receive almost immediate feedback and love. A book takes me a year or two to write, another year to edit and pitch, and (if I’m lucky) another year to edit and publish. Sometimes it’s longer. This week marks the four year anniversary of me starting to write Everdome. It will hopefully be published in either 2019 or 2020.

So being an author is hard but there’s nothing like the feeling of holding your book after all that time or having someone tell you how much they loved your book.

Long story short or as the kids-these-days say TL;DR, it’s not easy but I love it and I’m not going to stop.


Later days,


Recommendation Thursday – Prose in the Park

prose in the parkBoth parts of JenEric Designs will be attending Prose in the Park this Saturday.

If you like reading, writing, or being around books… this is the place for you. A lot of awesome authors will be there go check out the Programme. I’m particularly excited for the Imagine (Fantasy Panel).

It looks like the weather will cooperate.

Hope to see you there!