Not to much new to say. My book Alice Zero – my greek mythology story and Alice in Wonderland mashup is live. You can purchase it here on Amazon.
Quite a few thank yous to mention here. Colleen Anderson, first and foremost. She made me write this, and to my surprise I loved the concept I came up with. Without you I never would have tried writing something like this, let alone, let myself walk through the doors I did with it. So thank you.
Kenzie Carr, you made me better. Much like the majority of the collaborators I choose, I’m lucky to have them and they make me better. Kenzie is one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with and I can’t wait to do it again.
Vanessa Farkas-Brahmakshatriya for giving me some great ideas on the greek mythology mashup of this. It gave me thoughts not just for this book but the next one as well.
Miranda Krogstad for that workshop this year. She made me realize there was another character that needed to be in the story. I get better writing when I attend her stuff, and I appreciate it greatly that she helped.
Finally, I want to thank Heather Ans, who this book is dedicated to. If I hadn’t met the girl with the gorgon tattoo in real life, I never would have come up with the Gorgon Knight or the Greek Mythology angle at all.
This was a writing prompt for the second day, and I thought I’d actually go into full detail. It was originally a twitter thread, but I thought I’d expand it here. It’s fun to talk about art you are a fan of for one, and two, I really feel like if you are a fan of people, you should let the world know.
Diane Birch is someone I stumbled onto years ago with an album called Bible Belt. Her voice is sultry, her storytelling incredible. She has a great energy in her voice and her music and honestly, it’s criminal more people don’t know who she is. I love her albums. My favorite one is Speak a Little Louder, but enjoy all her music. I am currently listening to Nous and some singles. In It For the Race is very fitting for me right now. Just an incredible singer and talent. Her music makes me smile and feel better about life.
Lights is one of the most incredible creatives, let alone musicians I listen to. I discovered her back in the days of Music World (I’m old, shutup) and picked up this recommended album called The Listening (Note: February Air is still an amazing song to this day) and have been listening to her since. Her music tends to have an etheral quality to it. There’s senses of whimsy and she takes chances. I truly thing she shines in her acoustic albums, as a lot of her songs are reimagined in those formats, but I also love the underlinings of her music when it comes out. There’s soul in there, and it’s wonderful. Dead End is my current listen, but I also really dig the Skin and Earth Acoustic.
Speaking of Skin and Earth, it’s an amazing comic debut. Lights wrote and drew it herself and did an incredible job. For a debut, it still stands up very well and is an achievement I’ve not seen. Lights if she wanted to do comics for a living, would be one of the greats. Also, she’s on the list of people I want to interview for the show. She’s a world class storyteller.
I got to admit to a little bias here. Sofia has it more together at 18 than most people I know. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her a few times now. My first Zoom interview was with Sofia last year.
She’s got a voice, and while a lot of what she has out there is just a lot of classic songs with her album Butterfly, her originals are what really stands out. Butterfly is a beautiful song, and I really dig her singles. Endure is incredible, and I can’t wait for the world to hear it. That said, Smile is pretty dang good too. Have a listen.
Jars Of Clay
These guys are still one of the best Christian contemporary bands of all time. Their stuff is soft, soulful and filled with some surprising depth. They kept getting better as they went on. My favorite three albums from them are The Eleventh Hour, which top to bottom is incredible. Who We Are Instead is a sleeper of theirs. I feel it’s not their most famous stuff, but I really love the song Show You Love, and if I had to listen to just one of their songs for all time, honestly it’s Tonight a b side track. Finally, I really love The Long Fall Back To Earth. It’s them at their most polished, mature and still talking about the themes they care about. They made beautiful music. I hope they make more sometime.
This is all generally softer stuff. I find when I write I tend to lean more in this direction than say harder stuff, but every once in a while I go down that well too. So from here it gets a lot louder and a bit darker too. Ready?
Eminem in my opinion is the last rock star. He’s secretly a throwback to a lot of musicians of the 60s and 70s. Sure he’s not perfect. He talks about his mom a few too many times in his albums, and he definitely hasn’t outgrown some of his immaturity on some things, but when he has something real to say, people listen.
On top of that, he’s one of the most gifted lyricists I’ve ever seen. His mastery of entendre goes without saying. Everything he writes has a mult layered level to it. He tells great story on the mic, and he’s an artist that makes you think. My three favorite albums of his are The Marshal Mathers LP, Recovery, and Music to be Murdered By. In my opinion, these are the three albums he took the most chances on, and had the most to say. Whatever you may think of him, he’s a genius. Undeniable all time great.
I’m a sucker for European Metal. I like the depth of thought a lot of their music has. There’s classical roots in a lot of their music, and there’s a meta story in the music as well. Tarja is just soft enough that I don’t get lost in the music, but hard enough to punch me in the teeth. A world class musician with a voice that captivates, Tarja manages to get your heart pumping and is just a joy to listen to. I’m currently listening to her new one In The Raw as I really dig it. The Golden Chamber and Tears In Rain in particular is quite unique and a great story told.
By Your Leave
Sometimes, you just want to thrash. Working with Longplay Games led me to meeting this amazing band. They are old school metal in the vein belting out classic 80s style metal with modern sensibilities. I also love the letters I got from them. There’s an elegance to this band and they are just so fun to listen to. Now I have to admit I listen to them a little more for fun than listen to them when I create, but every once in a while you just want to headbang a bit or have a great action scene. Love them when the mood strikes, and they are a great band and one I hope to listen to live.
Sometimes, you just hear something and go whoa! That’s the feeling I get when I listen to Pioneer Anomaly. They are space punk. Think about that for just one second. They are fucking space punk. I’m in. You don’t really need anything else do you?
Okay…their lyrics remind me a bit of Rise Against, Incubus and Tool, and the sound is one of a kind. How about that? They write music that encourages critical thinking, and I think that’s a damn cool thing. Listen to this sample below. Division State in particular is appropriate now.
Rivers In the Desert
Video game soundtracks are a lot more sophisticated than I when I played Double Dragon, let me tell you. This song is my anthem. It’s final boss music in the game Persona 5. It’s incredible that the most important battles in this game are fought to this song. It pumps you up, and lets you face the enormous obstacles in front of you.
You can hear the kind of merger of jazz undertones with rock clashing. I love the lyrics. I stole the first two of them for my life philosophy. It’s now, it’s never. Here’s the live version. This way, I won’t spoil the game.
I know this is a pretty epic playlist above here, but if I was to ask myself what all this has in common, I’d say this. Every single person on this list, no matter where they are at, worked their ass off to produce something beautiful. You can hear that echo of beauty in their performances. It’s easy for me to see a fan because I know what it takes to create something as beautiful as everyone did here.
I wonder what my choices say about me. I hope you guys enjoyed this little writing prompt, as well as a glimpse of what I listen to. Stay inspired out there.
Most of us don’t believe that title. There are seven billion people on this planet, coming close to eight. We’re a tiny piece to an unfathomable tapestry. What does that one little thing do? What can it in the face of such vastness?
I’m going to flip the coin on this one. There are two ways to look at this point of view. I tend to believe what you do matters. I have my own reasons for stating that, but I’m going to start on the path most believe, which is that they really don’t.
The first time I heard this was back in the seventh grade. My friend at the time told me that nothing mattered and that we were going to die anyway. Kind of a sad way to look at the world. I mean it’s kind of true. One day we’re all going to die. That all said, saying it like that kind of puts a “Why bother trying?” on the whole wheel of life. I rather have a point of view that doesn’t include me asking that question.
But let’s assume the rest of it is true. One day barring an act of God, you will die. I mean, most of us know that this ride in life is short. Here’s the positive spin on nothing mattering. You are free to do anything. Nothing we do has lasting consequences. Humanity’s greatest gift is that we forget. No matter how painful the trauma, we forget it, and let it go bit by bit as time passes by. It’s how we heal.
It gives us the freedom to try and do new things and go forward. Failure doesn’t matter, success doesn’t matter. We are free to do whatever we want. Instead of asking why bother to try, instead you are free to try and be whoever you want to be. That’s a pretty cool way of looking at life. If you do think nothing matters it stands to reason that you are free to do whatever you’d like. And that on some levels, you should. Life is about getting experiences and changing and growing, so you might as well do the things you feel compelled to do, especially if they don’t matter in the long run.
I on the other hand, believe that everything matters. Now this isn’t a perfect philosophy either. The flip side to it is that I really have nothing to support this belief. I don’t understand the universe. I’m a tiny part of it. I really am not sure here. It’s a leap of faith. All I know is that I’m here for a reason, and I’ve never been why to believe in just random chance.
I believe I’m here and that I’m here to do whatever I’m here to do. It matters. It’s part of a bigger picture. Every action I make creates a reaction. Writing words, drawing pictures, doing podcasts. I’m doing everything I can to tell my story and broadcast it for the world to see. I believe that is my purpose. I have things to say and do. They are important, at least to me.
They are things worth doing. Even if I don’t succeed in ways I don’t imagine everything I do will have an impact. Pebbles ripple in the pond, and so do my actions. I remember that when I do things. They matter. I matter. You matter.
Everything matters. Make the world what you will.
You Can Do This
Why try? Why not try? Why speak? Why not speak?
I love Why Not? Most of the time, when I wonder if I do something that is my first question. Why not do it? Usually the only time I don’t do something is because I really don’t want to or feel like in my stomach that it is the right thing.
So why try? Why not try? You might get something out of it. Something precious.
Nothing matters. Everything matters. Whatever you believe, that nothing matters or that everything, you are free to pursue whatever you wish. The world has redundancies. We can mess up to a point and the world will correct us. Sometimes the world does it gently, other times with blunt force trauma, but either way, we end up going where we’re supposed to.
So try. You can do it. It may not matter to the universe. I believe it does, but I could be wrong. That said, you can care. You can try. You can do incredible things. It’s all inside you, waiting to be carved out into the world. If everything matters, than you owe it to yourself to go for it. If nothing matters, you might as well go for it.
Either way, go for it. I’ll see you on the mountaintop.
This took a little longer than I thought to get to writing in the blog again. I want to apologize in advance. The show has been a crazy monster of a ride since it started. If I had one regret about 2020, it’s that I didn’t pick up on this niche faster. In its good time and place though, right? We’re here now. This is not about where I went but about where I’m going.
So without further ado, here are my goals for 2021.
Become a Twitch and Youtube Affiliate
My podcast is now a full fledged talk show. The first month made this super time consumingMy goal is to monetize it. I have a myriad of ideas to do that and becoming both a twitch and Youtube affiliate is one of them. My recent shows can be seen here on both platforms.
I’ve had a hell of a list of guests so far. Mog Park, Hank Phillippa Ryan, Elsa Garagarza, Tony Phillips, Miranda Krogstad, Bill Maus and many more. It’s been a wild fun time, and I need your help. My Twitch is here, and I would love a follow and a support there or my Youtube. This is one of my goals.
But don’t get me wrong, audio episodes are still being produced on a regular basis. You can listen to them on every app known to me, and there’s a place to listen to them here if you want to at the bottom.
The other major goal is to release more books. I have a ton of ideas of things to release not just in prose, but in freelancing and in comics as well. (More on the latter goal down the list.) But I’m proud of the various freelancing things I did in writing and want to pursue more creative writing venues and will be looking to do so a lot more starting now. I’m working on a few projects and still have the time to really make it moving.
Beyond that, today I heard back from a pitch from an editor I sent to back in July. It’s a crazy world right now, but I see a lot of possibilities. I’m planning on doing a lot more going forward in the future, including more posts here. Watch my publication history grow.
I never thought I’d sell illustrated pieces, but as of this writing, I’ve sold two. Now, I got a long way to go before I feel I’m good enough to pursue the path I want to with this, but I got to tell you, it fills me with confidence that I got to this point, and I’m making money as an artist with a pencil.
I will never be able to thank Mog Park, Anh Vu, Elsa Garagarza, Xi Xin and others for giving me the opportunity to do this, and I’ll be tacking more difficult stuff in the days and weeks to come. On my Patreon Page starting next week I’ll be drawing Mortal Kombat characters.
My goal is to illustrate my next novel with tiny illustrations and will eventually graduate to a comic. I’m hoping to announce Light’s Out very soon, as I’m trying to finish the draft of it this weekend. And then, I’ll be working on one of many other things I’m working on. But ultimately, the goal is this year to work on a comic.
But in the meantime, baby steps. Hoping to learn how to greyscale and color soon enough. It should be fun.
So I got to be honest with you here. I haven’t done a great job with my patreon to this point, and I’m hoping to change that. I reimagined it, but this is my last go with it. I’m incorporating everything above to the page. I’m going to make it a place I experiment and give people a chance to see more of what I can do, and in the process, support me on all my creative endeavors.
From the podcast perspective, it’s where I’m going to read my stories from now on, as well as classics like Through the Looking Glass. My storytime on the podcast led to some interesting shows I’m very proud of. I never expected my plate of interviews to be as vast as it has been the last two months. I haven’t had time to release any more reading episodes. I’m on the hook for two more on the podcast. One of them will be episode 501, but once I get the last one finished, it’s likely to just be interviews here.
The patreon will be home to the readings and narrations I’m working on, as well as some short stories, novel and comic previews, and illustrations. And eventually, my own podcast course. So if you want to support me in what I do, head there and pay for a tier.
I’ve come too far to stop. I’m seeing myself get noticed more and I’m seeing more success. Here’s hoping that this year I climb to even farther heights. This will always be a struggle, but it’s one I relish.
Stay inspired this year. Keep shining in the darkness, and as the lockdown era ends one way or the other this year, I hope you all are good to each other. Keep going, and keep doing.
I did so much in 2020. The things I’m proud of could be a list three times as long as Eight. I tried to be who I wanted to be. And I did some incredible things. So here are the Eight things I’m most proud of.
My First Audiobook Release
Even though I don’t love audiobooks, I’m so happy I got the chance to do this. Duatero was an artistic challenge, but a rewarding experience. I learned so much about audio and I love this book. Brad is a world class writer, and I was honored to do this. I enjoy narration and still do so on the podcast, so hopefully I’ll get other opportunities. This was a great learning experience.
Just Joshing Episode 341
This happened right after the Pandemic started. I knew that I wanted to do something, anything to feel normal. The world had gone crazy – still kind of crazy to be honest – and I wanted to do something that meant that life went on.
I thought of CS Lewis. Cs Lewis read while London was being bombed on the BBC radio a book that would become Mere Christianity. CS Lewis I am not, but I really loved this experience. I’ve had the pleasure of reading and watching many other authors read their story in the darkness. What a powerful message that really is. Life goes on. It always does.
Released The Cloud Diver
I made a promise to myself that I would chase every single dream I had. I wasn’t going to let 2020 stop me. And I didn’t I released two books this year and other things as well. The first book here was my first science fiction novel. I love dime novels and I love japanese light novels. I got to fulfill those itches with this book and I’m proud of it.
My first novel is out and I’m so stoked. I want to thank Lance Buan for being an amazing human being and being a part of the vision for this project. So many lessons in this book. I learned how to deal with criticism. I learned how to deal with the fact that many of my contemporaries have pushed me to be better. I’m curious what they will think about my next book, because my next novel release is much better for this and I’m curious what people will think of my next releases as time goes on.
If you like a homage to video games that’s a fun adventure and pure joy on a page, may I recommend buying the book here?
Released Alice Zero
My other book release. Colleen Anderson asked me to write an epic poem in the vein of The Watcher and so I obliged, reimagining Alice as Pandora and coming up with a very fun series. Alice has been the most fun for me to discover. I had no idea I had an Alice in Wonderland story inside me and it was a pleasure to discover and tell it.
Kenzie Carr was an absolute pleasure to work for and I hope to continue to work with her in the future. Thanks Kenzie. And if you want to read a poem about Alice opening Pandora’s Box, why not buy that book right here?
The Podcast is a Broadcast
So my podcast has evolved. I always dreamed that the podcast would be a talk show on television or the radio. In the process of becoming a freelance writer, I sought to find my niche. The key to freelancing is finding the things you are good at. What took me six months to figure out is that I already have my niche.
The fact I missed this for so long made me kick myself so hard. But here it was. Eventually, I realized that I was waiting for someone else to give me permission to do this.
Why wait? Why not just do it? So I have. I’m on Twitch and I stream regularly. I’ve had a month of the new show under my belt and I’m proud of how the show has evolved. A lot of the core things are the same. It’s casual conversations with creatives about life, the universe and everything. But now I’m more engaged with not only my guest, but the crowd.
It’s growing. I’m halfway to being an affiliate on Twitch and am hoping to turn a profit on my own as my audiences continue to grow. This is what I’m supposed to do. And I’m doing it.
Sold My First Illustration Piece
The caption says it all. This is probably the thing I’m most proud of with improving myself. I told myself for years that I wasn’t a good artist. In fact, I have two stories that make fun of this in my head. I’m writing one of them next year (more on that in the next blog entry), but this has been a blast. With the podcast becoming visual I knew I wanted to have more illustrators on the show.
But I also know that talking isn’t necessarily their first language. Drawing is. This decision forced me to come out my comfort zone. Each friday I draw with someone, and sometimes on wednesdays too. It’s always fun.
But after a few drawings showing up on my social feeds Mog Park told me I was out of excuses. Mog had invited me to the Final Fantasy Draw and Bid, but I was transforming the podcast into a talk show. I was out. After I showed my grinch drawing she told me I had no choice. So this month I submitted my first piece. I can’t pretend I was in the same league with some of my contemporaries.
That said, I sold my first art piece. For five dollars in a bid.
Someone bought my art. I never ever thought I’d say that. This lesson more than most taught me more and more that I can be anyone I want to be. I just got to give myself permission.
I need to thank two people in particular. Anh Vu, you are an amazing talent and I appreciate the first lesson you gave me. It’s allowed me to draw with abandon.
Rich Perotta, I love the zeal you have with your work. You’re so passionate about what you do that I have no choice but to be infected with that wonder. I appreciate you more than you know and model my whole approach with the pencil after you.
I’ve had freelance articles published. How My Apocalypse… on Coffee Over Suicide was shared by dozens of people and it’s an article I’m especially proud of. Coffee Over Suicide seems to have vanished, so I’ll re-release the article at some point.
But I’m also stoked I got published at Anime Herald. I talked about what media can learn from Japan, and I encourage you all to give this article a read. I’m proud of this. The Talk Show has forced me to focus on that more than expected, but I’ve already started pitching. I’ll be freelancing a lot more next year. Bank on it.
I Appreciate You
I have been quietly going to people this year and giving them words of positivity. It might be the most rewarding thing I have done.
The most humbling thing I’ve heard over and over again is that I inspire others. I really don’t know how. I’m just me you know? The world needs sunshine right now and it’s so easy to give a little. And looking at you all, how can I not be inspired by you? Mark Leslie and his skits. The many authors that released books in this time. The people I’ve met that have been so successful. I never know what to quite think of the fact that I’ve made the impact I’ve made.
I can only say thank you.
I hope you all are doing things that are fulfilling you. I feel incredibly blessed and I have no fear of what’s in store for 2021. I’ll be doing the same things. Going for my dreams and making them real. I hope you are seeking your own happiness and joy, and I’ll see you all in the new year talking about my goals.
I have a couple of caveats I need to get off my chest before I finish this. The first is that this wasn’t my first apocalypse. I have plenty of experience with dealing with my own armageddons, and 2020…well…but I digress.
The other caveat was that I already had made plans to go through my own judgment. I had reached the decision that it was time for me to leave Calgary and pursue my career. This was the year I was going to be a freelancer. Now what was I going to do with all this freelancing superpowers I had no idea, but I was going to give it a college try. I wanted to get into the film industry. Vancouver I thought would be a great place to expand and go into cool things. I was open to new people and new possibilities. So for me at least, I felt like I had a lot more say in the hand fate dealt me than most.
Unfortunately, this was the hand 2020 dealt all of us pretty much.
Turd, thy name is COVID. You stank.
So we all had that to worry about. And no one can be prepared for the insanity that followed. We’re still kind of insane to be honest. I never expected Orwellian concepts to actually happen, but they have, and people seem okay with it…I’ve seen mask fights, civil rights coming full circle and two monsters who don’t know my name fight for the right to tell my neighbors down south what to do for the next four years. All that happened and so much more. So much in fact, that aliens, killer stuff and other strange phenomena were completely ignored.
This is a year no one wants to repeat.
But it was what we had. I had to make some very hard decisions quickly. And I want to talk about all three of them here.
Decision 1: I Wasn’t Going to Abandon Compassion
During the start of the pandemic, I had to take a bus and two trains in vancouver as the world went insane. I will never forget the panic and fear and the emptiness of downtown Vancouver during the day. My whole time there, downtown was filled with people hustling and bustling and doing things. That last week I was there, no one, not even the homeless regulars on the streets were around. It was a ghost town.
Walking through downtown Vancouver station going home I ran into a very dirty, grungy homeless guy trying to go in the opposite direction. He asked me for a pen so he could draw on the train. This was a turning point for me. The virus was here and we were going to lock down. I was debating how long I could stay there before I couldn’t go home. The thought of not seeing my family, it was the only time I cried this whole time. The thought of not being able to see or hug my dad or sister…that brought me to tears.
Is a hug worth dying for? Is human kindness and decency worth dying for? All of that went in my head for thirty seconds as he held out his hand and I dug for a pen. I couldn’t find one. I usually had pens, but that day I didn’t.
“Sorry dude,” I said. “I got none.”
“At least you tried,” he answered and he held out his hand in thanks. For a minute I thought about not taking it. And then I realized how cruel this world had become overnight. I was willing to forego a handshake, a hug, over something that might never happen. Could I live with being cruel to people who mean well because of a possible virus?
I couldn’t. It’s just not my nature.
It was one of my three promises to myself. I wasn’t going to be cruel in this time, no matter what. I took his hand and shook it hard. I wasn’t going to be afraid. Even in this, I was going to be the kind of human being I was going to envision myself to be, even if it killed me.
This may be my downfall, but honest, I rather that than live in fear of dying. I know one day I’m going to die. I’ve made my peace with it a long time ago. I won’t do my philosophy of death here, but I know that without death, life would simply be stillness. That would not be a world I wish to live in. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Next year, I’ll be moving forward with the things I want to go do.
The Freelance Life
My goal was to move forward as a freelancer. And so far, I’ve done it. The first six months of my freelancing life was constant up and down. I made one mistake and I want to mention it here and now. Freelancing is ultimately about finding your niche. Although I pursued my niche, I didn’t realize it was my niche until much later.
I do a podcast. I interview people better than just about anybody. And I’ve done nearly five hundred of them. It took about six months and a lot of trials in different things, including audiobooks. I had some ups and I had some downs. And before I go forward I need to talk about my two biggest failures.
I had the opportunity to do an advertising campaign for someone’s Kickstarter. I won’t name names. I learned a very important lesson doing this. The first was that the people you work for have to believe in themselves and respect you, otherwise you cannot help them. I felt incredibly bad for what I had to do there, but I learned those lessons quickly. I know my own worth, but I wish I had done better communicating my concerns. Maybe there would have been a different result.
The second part of this is the audiobooks. I don’t consider this one a full failure. In fact, I still offer the services on the website. I learned an awful lot about audio editing with this project and it’s made me a better podcaster and producer. This was very important as my circumstances when I came here were less than ideal audio wise. It made the podcast difficult to produce. Going through this process was a great way to learn some stuff.
But I don’t love it. I enjoy the narration part of it. I still do it on the podcast. Reading Alice in Wonderland on the air and The Cloud Diver has been a blast. It has helped me in my writing as well. And whose to say I won’t do it again, but it’s not my love.
I had a great friend come up to me. She told me not to pursue a hollow path, but one filled with love. I love interviewing people. I love stories, creating them and listening to them. So that’s what I’m going to do.
The Podcast Becomes a Broadcast
My goal with the podcast was always to do a talk show either on the radio or television. I truly enjoy this. Once I figured out that I had my niche, I said to myself, why not just go for it now?
Before I got there, I need to mention that at the beginning of this, I wanted to do something. On my Youtube Channel while I still finding my niche I had the chance to do my first ever Zoomcast with Sofia Evangelina.
Sofia Evangelina is an amazing person. She inspires me and ultimately taught me the most important lesson about the year in how she goes about and does things. This conversation has its flaws on the production side of things, I’m proud of this chat. It was my first live conversation in this format, and the thought crossed my mind I’d do it again.
Going all in, I decided to do my thing on Twitch. You can follow me here and hopefully soon I become an affiliate. I feel what I do is worth, and based on the growth of the channel that may be sooner than later. (If you want to support me, hit subscribe on any of the links above. Or, support my Patreon.)
It airs 5 days a week. Monday through Thursday are standard interviews with amazing people, but Friday will feature the Drink and Draws with illustrators.
Unlearning and Learning
Getting out of your comfort zone was the final promise I made to myself. My sister bought me an art book and it took a while. I have to confess I looked at it for months and months and months and didn’t do a thing. If I was honest, it was because I was scared. I was afraid to look foolish. Most of all I was afraid I would look bad.
I have to stress something. Not much scares me, but this did. Because I had no idea what would happen. The drink and draws on the podcast are not just to advertise the illustrators coming into the show. It forced me to come out of my comfort zone.
You know what? It hasn’t turned out so bad. I should have thought of Sofia. Sofia just goes for it. It’s the best approach, and to watch someone like her who is so talented at what they do make a mark is nothing but inspiring. And it’s not just her either.
I’ve met so many cool people this. I will never ever forget chatting with Christina Z, Mog Park, Anh Vu, William Holland, Kurt Zauer, Michael Oden, and countless others for the first time.
Some of them are drawing with me. It’s incredible. I drew with Rich Perotta (see the bottom, best interview I did this year.) Also I met incredible world class artists who wanted to draw with me. My life is awesome.
If I was to give people advice about what I learned with this it’s this. Unlearn the fact that you suck. Things change. I had to unlearn the part that said I was bad at this. I didn’t really have to believe that perception. I could change, and not worry about perfection. Instead, I decided to have fun.
That’s the approach. Perfection is an overrated concept. It’s a great ideal in art, but the important thing is do it. Let it be something you love and enjoy and see where it takes you.
At the end of the year my first art piece is up for auction. You can bid for my piece here.
I haven’t covered the events, the stuff I published, the kind notes. I made 2020 the best year I could. I discovered things about myself and taught myself the importance of letting yourself being whoever you want to be.
Who am I you ask? I’m Joshua Pantalleresco. Author. Illustrator. Producer. Broadcaster. I’m looking forward to seeing where all this growth takes me from here. Stay shining in the darkness. I will see you guys in 2021.
So today is the day ladies and gentleman. The Just Joshing Talk Show begins. As stated on tonight’s podcast, the new format begins after tonight. Take a listen to episode 450 if you want to hear me talk about all the specifics of the new format, just listen to it.
I wanted to take this moment to thank Kayseas Redsky. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have gotten here quite so quickly. I started the audio business. I’m still available for narration, and would do it again in a heartbeat. But I don’t love it. I love podcasting. I love talking to people and hearing their stories.
That’s what I’m going to do. I take it to the next level starting tonight.
I’ve been streaming on my Youtube for the last two weeks. I’ll be going live on my Twitch tomorrow. My guest is the great Jennifer Gordon. We had a heck of a conversation two weeks ago, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here. My guest list includes Kurt Zauer who did a great chat with me already while I was counting down with 101 Tales. I follow that up with William Holland this thursday (Happy Thanksgiving America!). William is my first new guest. It’s going to be exciting to chat with him. He’s just a dynamic comic creator.
Friday is going to be very special. I’m doing my first ever Drink and draw. Podcasting on video should be more visual and I want to bring on some great illustrators. I’m a comic book guy at heart. I want to see more illustrators appreciated for the work they do. So every friday I will draw (not well I admit) with someone that draws and we’ll chat and learn things art like.
Storytime will not disappear. I will continue to read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass on the weekends. Other authors will read from their wares as well. I’ve had an impressive collection of people read. Swati Chavda is my latest reading. I can’t wait until she debuts next year as a guest. She’s someone I’ve talked to for years.
The readings are going to be the only remnant to the audio only. I’ve enjoyed seeing my inner CS Lewis come to light. I’ve been astounded at watching people tell their stories through my podcast and want that to continue.
Patreon, Twitch and Youtube
Now the podcast will still have it’s audio translations for the podcast. But there will not be an opening monologue. Instead, we’ll be going right into the interviews. There will be an outro, especially as new projects come out, and I couldn’t stop “Josh, Shush” from being part of the show. But things are changing and for the better. Can’t wait to start today.
Each week I’ll announce the schedule for the shows. Jennifer Gordon, Kurt Zauer and William Holland start at 9pm EST. Anh Vu is 11pm EST. I will try my best not to be jealous of the fact that Anh is in Hawaii.
The Patreon is a work in progress, but I’m thinking Wednesday may be the home to exclusive shows, like making a podcast and teaching Audiobook creation to people. I’ll be making some more exclusives available shortly.
But I do hope you subscribe to me in one form or the the other. The Youtube is nearly at 100 subscribers, and I’m just getting started in other places. Hopefully the strategy will work. But either way, I’ll be doing what I love, and I won’t be so hard on myself no matter what. This is about what I want to do.
Life’s short. I realize that I could spend the rest of my life making other people profit off my time, or maybe that I can try. I hope my love for what I’m doing translates. I’m nervous, scared and not sure what the future holds. But I feel all of us are there right now. In the blackest of nights, it’s important we shine our lights in the sky. We need to be reminded that we’re not alone. That we together can come out of this better.
It’s been a wild week. Last week I did lots of streams, I got interviewed and I’m slowly winding down the Podcast and evolving it to the next level. First things first, I got interviewed by the great Mark Leslie for his Stark Reflections Podcast . I talk bravery, chocolate chip cookies and more. Check it out.
So about a month ago JD Estrada introduced me to Mog Park. Mog in turn invited me to attend her convention 101 Tales.
I said yes.
Anh Vu is amazing. She did that above. Incredible talent. I will be reading four stories on my evening. In one hour I’ll be reading from my two current releases, Alice Zero and The Cloud Diver. With Alice Zero I’ll be reading from the first three chapters. I’m excited about that.
Two special previews follow after. I read about an eyeball from my current novel in progress. And finally, I read my comic script dialogue for the first ten pages. I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to do this with so many great creatives. Mog Park, Anh Vu, JD Estrada, GO Turner, Kurt Zauer. Joshua Pantalleresco.
Wow. People know who I am.
I can’t wait to read in front of you.
I’ve had a lot of cool interviews to promote the event and I’ll continue to promote them. I had an incredible conversation with Elsa Garagarza about her dream animation job. I got to talk AVATAR with her.
I’ve been doing interviews on my youtube channel to work out the bugs for my show and interview great guests. GO Turner is coming up on the channel this Thursday. It’s my final stream while at 101 Tales and before I go into my strategy for Twitch and Youtube.
Michael Oden is my final two parter for the audio only edition of the podcast. Part 1 is up and Part 2 is going up soon. I have had some delays but you will see a lot of audio in the next week as I go to 450. An audio version of 101 tales is my FINAL episode of the audio only era. It’s going to be fun and amazing.
So a lot has happened since I wrote Under Your Nose…
I still can’t believe I talked to Chuck Pineau about Canadian towns and metal for about an hour. Unreal conversation, but so much fun.
I’ve done other videos as well, but the whole thing is getting this new formula down. Transferring the podcast to this has been a process. But I think I got it all down. So then, my readers and listeners, what is the master plan going forward.
The interviews will not stop as you can see above, but now there will be more of them. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are going to be interviews like the ones above here. I might talk about heavy metal. I might talk about chocolate. I may talk about glitter. I don’t know – that will be completely dependent on the guest and where they go. This has always been the way it’s done that works, and I won’t change. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday will be my usual interviews.
Friday is going to be interesting though.
Drink and Draw
I want to feature more illustrators and comic book creators. My show is moving into the visual realm and the visual should be highlighted somewhere. Every friday I will feature an comic book creator or visual artist to come on the show and do their stuff. It’s still going to be a bit of an interview, but I’m moving to a visual format. I want there to be a visual format.
I’ll be looking at some things on twitch, but I’m hoping to do some good things in the future with friday’s show. I have some big ideas for it. As is, my first two guests are incredible.
Weekend Readings Will Continue
There will be an audio only podcast on weekends. I’m going to continue reading Alice in Wonderland, Alice Zero, and my next release soon enough. That will be just a weekend only thing and I’m hoping that authors continue to come out and read. That will still be an audio only experience each weekend.
I Need Your Help
So I got my Patreon Page up and running, and hope some of you will help me there. I also got my Youtube Channel to start up. Click the subscribe and tell people about it. I’ll be contacting more people and already am getting more interviews than I ever had before. I want this to be a listener supported podcast, and I’m hoping you guys who root for me are willing to help.
I’ll also be launching a twitch channel. What will you get? To dictate my Panel shows which will air on Wednesdays when I do them. (They won’t be every week, but I do some ideas.)
This is what I want to do with my life. I love telling stories but nothing inspires me like hearing people talk to me about the things that matter to them. Shooting the shit and just loving life with the people I have had the chance to chat with is incredible. I don’t want to do anything else.
I’m moving towards the life I want and it is amazing. No matter what happens, this has been an incredible ride. I want to keep going wherever it takes me.
That’s the short version of the plan. What do you think? Anything you’d like me to do? Feel free to let me know.
Freelancing is all about your niche. You have to make the decision to find a path. If you scatter yourself to write about every little thing you will not grow. Being a jack of all trades doesn’t really serve you. That doesn’t mean you can’t writer/produce anything, but a specific place is a great way to start getting noticed. My advice has always been to find what you love. Nothing else is going to work the same way.
Of course, It’d help if I did that now wouldn’t it?
My Big Dreams
I’ve been a big fan of Larry King for a long, long time in terms of how he did interviews. Other people I’ve admired are Joe Rogan, Tom Snyder and Jian Giammeshi (before the scandals). I like intimate conversations with people because to be honest, that’s the best stuff. Sure we’re selling stuff when we’re talking on the air, but really it’s the conversations we remember that get sense of who the person is. Sales ultimately is about relationships. We support who we know, or endorse who we know.
That’s my philosophy when I interview people. When Morgan Shamy and I do a psychological session about how her discipline made her the ass kicking author she is today, or if I am talking about how K. Lynn Smith is going to take my lunch money, you get a real sense of the person I’m talking to. I’m great at that.
I want to turn the podcast into a talk show. Everything I’ve done this year has been to set this up.
Then last week it hit me. Why wasn’t I just doing this all along? To be honest, I don’t have a good answer to this.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Sometimes we just miss the obvious. I’ve been so set in doing it the way I’ve been doing it for so long, it never occurred to me to make the next leap myself, until I realized this IS my niche. Without being too hyperbolic, I do interviews better than just about anybody. I’ve talked to literally all walks of life about anything and everything. So why not turn it into a show.
So why not do it myself now? It’s not like I don’t know people that won’t do this?
The biggest mistake we make is that sometimes we seek approval before we take the leap of faith. We never should wait for what we know will work in our hearts. I felt like I created a breakthrough barely trying.
Because I have always done this. And that’s the key. This will be seemless.
Test, Test, Test
This is just a test for the future. I want to thank Annas for being awesome. We had that great intimate discussion about who she is, and you know what? She’s amazing. Single mom, comic writer, juggling a career to boot. She is the definition of amazing and I was thrilled to have her.
When I get going I’m buying this. Honest, her comic is amazing and I think you should definitely take a look at supporting it here.
This is a glimpse of the future. And I need to address the present.
What Happens Next
I interview people every day. I air episodes on Twitch at a somewhat regular basis, and do highlights on Youtube. Everyday I will have a guest as great as Annas (I admit that is a tall task. Annas is incredible.) and have conversations like these. I’m building an amazing line up to start and we’ll see where it goes.
The podcast will still have an audio component to it. Audio episodes of the show will air nightly. It’s going to expand and I’m going all in. This is what I’m supposed to do. So I’m doing it. And I think it’s going to succeed.
For those wondering, the audio show will continue as well, but be much more regular. There will be a reading only podcast on weekends. The rest of the week will be interviews, and great ones.
What if it fails? I’ll go back to school and take broadcasting. It’s what I’m supposed to do and I will continue to do it. It doesn’t matter if it works out completely different than I envision.
But a better what if to ask is this…what if I succeed? Here’s why I feel this is going to work in case you are wondering. No butterflies. I feel like this is going to work, it can work, and will work.
Stay tuned. Announcements are forthcoming.
How you can help me.
I have a patreon page. Click and support is the easiest way. Subscribing to my stuff like my Youtube Channel would be a big help too. Spread the word. Don’t worry; more books are coming too. But anything you do you here, would be appreciated. I promise you a great show and great people worth believing in. You will hear their story.