Ready or Not…

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I’m not ready.

There’s so much still to do. I still got the first bit of content to upload. I got my first bonus podcast and I got my first blog all that needs to be up there. Are my tiers right? Did I put something up there that I couldn’t deliver? What if no one cares? What if everyone sees me fuck up?

I’m terrified right now. My heart is beating. I can hear the world a little louder right now. I can see colours a little more vividly. I notice the dirt on my computer (need to dust it) and I’m just kind of heeby jeebying and jittery around wondering just what I forgot.

Probably a lot. It doesn’t matter though. I’m hyped. I’m pumped. And my adrenaline is on a ten.

Let’s do this.

https://www.patreon.com/justjoshingpodcast

My Patreon is Live!

Okay. Now what?

I wrote the previous stuff above about a week ago. I’m nervous and excited for this new chapter in my life to begin. It’s started and it’s been…quiet.

It takes audacity to think you’re worth money. The challenge is making people believe it. It’s one thing to ask for help. When I did my GoFundMe weeks and months ago, I got a lot of help, a lot of shares, and a lot of support. But this is a little different.

People have to invest and dive in. And to do that, I have to put content there all the time. This is now an investment of my time and my worth. I have to believe in it.

But I also need a plan.

So from this moment onward that taking this step is a new frontier. I have to plan and build accordingly.

  • Keep building sponsors
  • Keep sharing the podcast
  • Keep doing shows
  • Release books

Step One: Keep Building My Sponsors

Words and Pictures has been great so far. On the podcast I had just given away my first graphic novel over the air. You can listen to the podcast here and see who won. But I want more sponsors and am contacting more people for the release. I’ve had some interests but we’ll see about more stuff in the future.

Step Two: Keep Sharing the Podcast

I’ve had some interesting places to advertise the podcast and the patreon in the next couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing people’s faces when they read some stuff in the next few weeks. I’m hoping it draws eyes on attention.

Step Three: Keep Releasing New Podcasts

Pretty self explanatory I think. I keep releasing two episodes a week. I’m nearly at two hundred and forty episodes right now and very close to the benchmark of episode 250.

Step Four: Release Books

Alice Zero is being worked on GIMP as we speak. I’m really hoping to be able to say something in the next week or so.

That’s a simple four point plan and I’m hoping it works. It’s something I want to get the job done right on. It’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be a mountain to climb, and a challenge I think. But once it starts, it will hopefully keep going.

Let’s dive in shall we?

Gratitude

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So I’m going to talk about my Patreon on Thursday, but today I’m talking about gratitude. I have learned in my life the importance of thank you. A long time ago I realized that I couldn’t do everything in this life on my own. I remember when I was working in Arizona and getting up early to look for a car to hitchhike into the next town. I remember one time walking by Trappers, one of my favorite restaurants at the time. One of the owners said hi to me, and asked how I was doing. I said good, and then was invited inside to eat. I told her that I couldn’t afford it – I couldn’t. I just had started this job, and I had been unemployed for about six weeks. She insisted.

I didn’t realize just how much people had helped me there until that moment. I still for a long time looked at my time there through a dark lens. Even now, there are still undeniably some dark spots there. But I can look back and see all the people who were there. I learned then that I couldn’t do this on my own.

No one can.

People step into your life and help you, and you need to be aware of this. I can think of my GoFundMe page. A friend of mine suggested I do this for my teeth, and I did. The results were unexpected, on many fronts. For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to focus on the good. I had a lot of people share my posts, and help. I am grateful for all that experience.

And it’s experience I want to dwell on here. Gratitude isn’t just saying thank you, it is a way of experience. When you go through hard times in your life, reacting to pain is a normal course of action. It’s easy to be angry when things go awry. Again, totally the standard course of operation.

But flip that. Take a bad moment in your life. Take where that leads you. Didn’t get that job you wanted? Maybe it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Maybe something better will come along.

Thank you doesn’t just show your appreciation. Thank you can protect you, can change you and heal you. This Thursday I”m going to be doing the safety meeting of my day job. I’m saying thank you in front of the audience. Some of those people don’t like me. Some have never spoken to me. But if it wasn’t for all of them, the ones that helped, the ones that don’t, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t be in the position I am in. That alone deserves a thank you.

I may be overly thankful, but I rather that than not be thankful at all. Being thankful has helped me deal with things that have happened for me.

Thank you is powerful. Thank you gives you the ability to rewire your brain in a way that you can look at a hurt and learn from it and heal. Use it to change your perspective.

Finally, I just want to take a moment and thank God. My life has been a magical experience so far, and I know it’s only starting. Thank you God for making this journey possible.

Sponsored By…

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This has been a busy time.

First thing’s first, my latest column at First Comics News is live. In it, I talk about a comic series I really enjoyed last year called Portalbound. You can read about it here. Once you’re done, come back. I’ll be waiting.

Welcome back.

Since I’ve been doing my part time schedule, I’ve been doing nothing but work towards my goals. This week in particular felt like culmination of a few different things.

My Patreon page is ready to go. I handed in my novel to an editor. I’ve written a short story, I started writing a limited comic book series. My collaborator right now is busting my butt (in a great way) to make the ideas the best they can be. I got another graphic novel nearly done, and my first book is just about ready to be released.

Those are things I’m publishing myself. As far as being published by others, so far, I have one thing that will be published in a magazine. I have a novel I can’t wait to get back to next month that I feel might be worth going for a big five deal, but I also got a short story I want to submit somewhere. All in all, things are moving.

As for the podcast itself, the YouTube library has improved. There are currently one hundred thirteen episodes you can listen to right now. More are to come.

I’ve done more interviews with more diverse people than writers. The show is evolving into more of an arts show than just a literary one. Not that the literary episodes are going away. I feel this is a natural evolution of the show. Art, inspirational stuff, health and well being are all things I’m into, and you’ll see more stuff over the course of the coming weeks and months. Writing is still going to be a thing, but it’s not going to be the only thing the podcast is going forward on.

Speaking of the podcast – and this whole journey in general – when I made this decision back in October last year, one of the challenges I had to face was how was i going to increase my podcast audience. The numbers are definitely up compared to where I was a year ago at that point in time, but I wanted more. Fortunately, as I was thinking about this I had the opportunity to interview the Octavia Book Bindery company (Thanks to Chris Carolan for the recommendation) the conversation I had with Robert Angus after our podcast made me consider a lot of things, sponsorship being one of the key things.

Sponsorship is the topic here. Once that conversation happened, I began the pursuit of sponsors. I found a local sponsor that I thought would fit what i’m doing right now.

Ready?

Words and Pictures is a comic shop located in Calgary Alberta. Their address is #6 – 2610 Center Street N.E. and their facebook page is located right here. They specialize in two areas in the medium. The first of these is back issues. Words and Pictures has an incredible selection of silver age comic back issues ranging from classic issues of Showcase, the Flash, Green Lantern, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World runs to more modern books like Fatale, Thief of Thieves, Walking Dead and more.

The second thing Words and Pictures specializes in is Graphic Novels. Words in Pictures has one of the most diverse and incredible graphic novel selections in the city, and one of the better ones I’ve seen in comic shops I’ve been to. Starting in March, by listening to the podcast, you’ll have the opportunity to acquire amazing graphic novels. Stay tuned.

Now I know this sounds like a commercial (guilty as charged) but at the same token, this is a start, and other sponsors will be joining Words and Pictures soon enough. I’m really excited about this partnership and others, and where the podcast might grow.

I have a sponsor. Cool right?

I got a lot more I want to talk about and a lot more I want to accomplish. But I’m really proud of the start so far this year. I’m nervous, I’m scared, and I feel jubilation. The best is yet to come.

Get Out of Your Own Way

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I know, I know. Not the entry I was expecting to write tonight. I was hoping to write about Alice Zero here. (Counting to Zero is still going to happen at some point.) And I thought that I was going to have at least that short story out the door by now.

Nope. Not at all.

So let’s preface this particular blog with the four rules. I had four rules that I pretty much subscribe to. Show up, do your shit, don’t quit and the rest is rain. Four very simple, compact rules. Then I won the Aurora last year and discovered a fifth rule. The fifth rule is the title of this blog.

But before we talk about that, let’s be a white rabbit for a second, late on all the stuff he promised.

I’m late, I’m late, always so behind…

Nor did I expect to be writing something until my blog is done. With my novel about to go off to an editor, and I’m a million things behind schedule and so far this year hasn’t gone to plan at all.

But it’s not like I haven’t sat back and done nothing. Well, the first week I did nothing. I worked a lot of hours at the day job during Christmas. I thought it was an okay idea to rest. I still feel I got a long way to go on that one, but I did some relaxing. I’ve already got more reading done than I accomplished last year, and I got some stuff published already.

Week two I started to get podcast interviews and more sponsors. I can say I got some cool sponsors coming my way. Stay tuned. Also, I started doing interviews. Doing a podcast in itself it’s about chasing people. I’ve had some cool yeses come my way so far this year and following up has been fun. And the conversations I’ve already had have been incredible.

Still, it doesn’t change that I’m a little behind. I still have a patreon to plan and a book to finish coding and so on and so forth and I just needed to pause and breathe for a moment. I mean sure, I’m a little behind. But doesn’t everything take longer than you expect it to? I feel like I’m not wasting any real time. I’m not wasting time writing about it, I’m not wasting time working on my short stories.

So, upon thinking about what I’ve already done in the first month of the year, I can’t say I’m fully happy with myself. That said, I don’t think I failed. As long as I keep moving forward, I think I’m going back to the right way.

It’s why I haven’t mentioned a final date for the release of Alice Zero or the Cloud Diver. I want them done.

Still, I feel the time tick tick ticking away. It’s important that I keep going. It’s important that I keep working on the things I’m working on. I’m really proud of the tiny book Mackenzie and I created. I’m really stoked with what Lance is doing with the Cloud Diver. It’s sexy. It really is. I’m looking forward to a week of experimentation with ebooks.

But when will it be done? I hope by tomorrow, but it may be another week. Or another. It will not be by the end of February. That will mean I’m too far behind. But I’m doing this, day by day. I’m on the road to freedom.

The fifth rule applies here. I can succeed at this, and will succeed at this, as long as I show up and believe I can do this stuff. I will let whatever momentum come my way, come my way. I won’t try to stop it, I won’t feel like I don’t deserve it. I won’t worry about the hows when these doors open to me, I will worry instead of just walking through them.

That’s it. Get out of your own way when good things happen to you. Just enjoy the moment. Don’t worry about fair, unfair, or deserve or undeserve or any other kind of excuse you run into when you do this. Just go for it. The opportunity is in front of you. Take it.

So now, I’m back to work. Talk either about Alice Zero or my Patreon next week. Until then, stay inspired.

https://www.podomatic.com/embed/html5/podcast/5290939?style=small&autoplay=false

What are you Worth

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Before I begin with the topic I’m blogging about today, I thought I’d post some of the chaos and mayhem I’ve been a part of since 2019 began. First off, my column at First Comics is back up and running. You can click here to read the latest buzz. Not only that, but my friend the Great Colleen Anderson had me do a guest blog on how my career has pretty much gone, and how I started a podcast and what I learned from it. Read it here, if you’d like to learn about happy accidents.

I’ve talked about self worth in the past. I’m not covering what I have before. Instead, I’m going to look at it from the point of view of products. In short, what you offer.

I don’t focus on that enough. Part of the reason is that my podcast tends to focus a lot about my guests and who they are. Having a clear sense of who you are is important. If you don’t know who you are, you don’t really have an idea of what you can offer. That’s not quite the same thing as talking about what you really do offer, and that is what I want to tackle here.

I’ve had a lot of different opportunities come my way since I won the Aurora. I’ve got a lot of cool guests I otherwise wouldn’t have as a result, that noteriety has allowed me to hit one of my bucket lists goals as an author and get into a science fiction magazine. I got three books out, and my fourth and fifth are going to launch soon, including my first novel.

What is that worth?

I actually had to put a number to that recently. I had an unexpected request for something that made me think about it in detail. What do I offer? How much do I believe that is worth? What will I really get for it? If there is a topic that screams imposter syndrome, it would be this one. Writers and artists in general dismiss their own work (me included) because it’s something on some levels we take for granted.

We know on some level it’s good. We may not have a way to quantify that good thing, but we know we’ve created something from nothing with a book, or added signal to the noise with a new podcast. That time you’ve spent working on it has got to count for something right?

I had to believe that when I started the podcast. I have to believe that when I write something. I have to believe in me.

There is nothing like a pay check for something you create. Nothing. Your work, your effort being rewarded in a quantifiable way that can put food on the table or pay a bill or your rent (or much. much more). There is nothing like it. If you’re even half serious about this, this is why you do this. Because on some level, you want to be appreciated for it, and you want to see yourself rewarded. It takes a certain kind of audacity to want that and make it happen.

And you know what? You need that kind of ego. A little megalomania is a necessity when you are going to sell your product, and to a lesser extent, yourself. It’s healthy. You need that self worth and value and you need to project that to your clients and readers that you can do the job required.

That does take a little chutzpah. But I don’t care who you are in any field. You have to believe in yourself to do the task in front of you. That confidence translates, even if you have no real idea what you are doing.

Could you imagine what a working union could do if their workers believed they were worth every penny and more that a company would pay for? That faith would move mountains, and probably inspire places for more profit.

As I get farther along with another book coming out (more on that next blog) I become more and more comfortable with who I am and what I do offer to publishers and more. As a writer and a podcaster, I know what I can do. I know what that’s worth. And I won’t budge.

That also takes some stones. A friend that I had coffee with a while ago was appalled at the idea of people asking them to do work they make a living with for free or for exposure. They refuse. I came out of that coffee with even more respect for this person than when I walked in. They model for a living, and for all their beauty, know their worth. You can see it in how they carry themselves. That refusal to sell themselves short adds something to them.

But this will happen all the time. People will ask you to do things and offer exposure as a payment. Very rarely is it worth it. I was looking to get on a podcast not too long ago to keep growing my brand, but they insisted that I sponsor the podcast in order to do this. Now this may work for them on some level, I have no idea, but the reality is I don’t feel I should be paying for a commercial.

Is there any situation where exposure pays? Some for sure, but the reality is that if they have the kind of platform that people are looking at, you can bet that they can pay for it.

You cannot sell yourself short with anybody or anything. You can’t seem uncompromising either, so to steal from an old friend, you need to figure out where your resentment meter is. The resentment meter works like this. Ask yourself a question when you hear an offer. Would you resent doing the job for the amount being done? If the answer is yes, then you shouldn’t do the job, you’ll resent it.

Simple right? So you calculate the proper amount in your head where you won’t resent any of the headaches and possible problems you can foresee. If that amount is reached, you can put your resentment aside. Always start higher than what you’d do the work for. That way if you get it, great, but if not, you can negotiate. But never ever deviate from whatever that baseline is. Ever.

Selling yourself short is probably the greatest sin artists do. Artists are not as respected as a lot of other talents. Every bit of value you get for yourself you have to fight for. You are worth whatever you set in your mind. So always aim high and to go higher.

Remember what you offer. If they really care, they will meet what you are worth.

That’ll do it.

Here’s a podcast to listen to. I’ll be back in a week to count to zero.

https://www.podomatic.com/embed/html5/podcast/5290939?style=small&autoplay=false

Pipedreams, Integrity and Reality – All In Conclusion

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So I’ve listed my writing goals and podcast goals with Betting on Me Parts 1 and 2 and All In Parts 1 and 2.

So what’s left to talk about? The pipedreams and the big stuff. I really hate the word real. Real is a frustrating word. It doesn’t really mean anything. To quote one of my favorite movies “if real is nothing more than what we can see, smell, touch and test, than real is nothing more than stimulation.” I hate that definition. I mean real has to be more than that right? Otherwise, nothing is real, because senses can be manipulated.

And I never liked the word real when it was told to me in the classroom. I was always told I should set realistic goals and have realistic expectations. I had no idea what the hell that was supposed to mean either. Realistic, and real from what I’ve seen in this life, most people look at those words and see some kind of mediocrity. We need to have realistic jobs, or realistic expectations.

Fuck that.

You need to have some out there stuff. Stuff you shouldn’t necessarily expect to happen, but stuff you’d like to happen and put your name into the hat.

So what are my goals now that I’ve hit the beginning of this wild journey.

  1. Get a big 5 book deal –  This one is the big one. It’s not impossible. I have a lot of friends that do have deals. I’d like to be one of them at this point. I have a novel I’ve been writing that I’ve had to put off as a result of the last month. I’m working on it again. I’m going for it. Let’s see if I can make this happen.
  2. Redacted – this one has already come true. Stay tuned Thursday.
  3. Hit 10000 listeners per week – this one may become more ahem… “realistic” as time goes on. Right now it’s out there.

I have more but that’s the point. There’s a lot of things that are possible. They just need to be asked for. I’m’ asking for them. Heck, one of them has already come true. Another one may happen in a couple of years.

But, there is this “real” part. Some of this is out of my control. All I can control, is my integrity. I’m going to show up and do my thing. What will happen will happen. But I will put myself in the position to succeed.

And that’s my wish for everyone that has read this this year. Thank you very much for your support. I’m going all in and I hope you do too. You’re worth it. Don’t let anyone else’s real, get in the way. Find what makes you find your inner happiness and go for it. You only got one life. Stay true to you and follow where it may lead.

Take chances, don’t fear failure or mistakes, learn and grow and just keep going. You can do it. I know you can.

So there is one last thing I want to announce here. I’m starting a write club. But it’s not going to be like any other write club out there. Write club for those of you that don’t know is a club where writers come together and create. It’s a cool idea, you can talk to awesome people and learn from each other. It’s great in theory. I am however a bit of a wanderer by nature. One spot isn’t exactly what I want to do.

One of the other things that is going with me this year is that a lot of my friends have cleared out. My sister is leaving alberta, and a few other friends are disappearing. I want to meet new people. I want to keep opening doors.

So I will not have a set location. Every Saturday at 6:30 pm, I will be somewhere creating. Most of the time it will be in Calgary somewhere. Thursday I will announce where I’ll be. If people want to come, come. If not, that’s fine. I’m going to be expanding my horizons either way. I can’t control the outcome, but I can put the invitation out there. So this is the Wandering Writing Group. Feel free to join the caravan.

Looking forward to doing this:

The best is yet to come. Stay inspired and Happy New Year.

All In Part 2 – Cloud Diving

So now that we’re in sight of the change over, I got no problems admitting I’m scared. Yes, I’ve gone part time in the past. Yes, I’m looking forward to a lot of things this time around when I make the switch this Wednesday. But I know that this time is different than the other times.

The other times I wasn’t as serious as I was now. Don’t get me wrong, I was well meaning and I had seriously good ideas and plans for execution and it wasn’t as if things didn’t go well when I did it last time. This time though, there is a lot more at stake in my head than last time.

Last time, I didn’t have an Aurora Award. Last time, I didn’t have other cool opportunities head up, and last time I had a lot less pressure. Now maybe the pressure I’m thinking about is all in my head. That said, I’ve proven an awful lot to myself in the last year. A lot of good things came about this year ever since I fixed my teeth.

This time feels more serious. It feels like a gut check. At some point in your life, you have to look at what you want, and what you feel is possible, and most important, what you feel you are worth. At the end of the day, you have to live with the last one yourself.

Two important words.

So, I had dinner with my sister Friday night. Her present to me was a man bag. This bag came with a shirt, mints, a unicorn pen and more. The most important thing about that whole gift? These words she gave to me.

“You were meant to stand out.”

She’s right. I march to the beat of my own drum. Always have. But now, i am ready. Since last year i have worked hard to improve my self care. I am getting better but am still not satisfied with it.

I have my boxes and my own concept and idea of who I am. In order to find success that I want to, I need to keep evolving it. That means modifying my whole approach.

I need to go beyond my comfort zone. Something I chastise people with, but this time around it’s me. And that terrifies me. I know the next few months are going to be adjustments. I’m going to continue chasing sponsors, I’m going to set up a patreon, and I got books (including my second one to announce at the bottom.) But I have hit my own comfort zone and one of my goals is to bust it out.

There’s a third word I have to mention here. Integrity. I’m not just talking about your word, but rather, your actions. Your integrity ultimately is what you do and what expectations you create with your actions or inactions. The podcast taught me consistency, professionalism, and creating expectations.

I have to do that with my writing. And that’s going to be the adjustment. My look, my actions, all have to match up. That more than anything else is what I have to do. Keep being good at what I do in every thing.

One thing my day job taught me was that all jobs are the same. The same basic skills of any job – showing up, doing the task at hand, solving problems – translate. Now it’s time to take what I’ve learned with podcasting and apply to writing.

I got three books like I said in Part one coming up. I’ve done poetry before, so while Alice Zero excites me, in one sense it’s a familiar place. I need to go beyond the familiar and do something new.

I’ve been working on my first novel for a long time. Throughout time, I feel this has gotten better and better. Along the way I got to work with another amazing talent I’ve always wanted to work with. Lance Buan might be the most talented individual I’ve ever come across. He is a first class designer, and what he puts together for fun is better than most professionals can do for pay. He is a one of a kind talent.

See? I’m super excited to do this.

The Cloud Diver ultimately is about stepping out of your comfort zone, discovering just what was out there in the world. Johnny is a prototypical coward, who happens to be perfectly fine with his routine. The whole idea of adventure just didn’t appeal to him.

Until he follows a girl with a gunblade into the cloud, gets a file where everyone, from zombie mobsters to unicorns who fart rainbows, want it. His only out is that same girl with a gunblade, who probably doesn’t like him very much. This is book one of a series of books. I wanted to do an old fashioned science fiction pulp series and this is my attempt at it. I’m hoping when it hits Amazon and places in the spring, you will enjoy it.

This is my new world and my new uncomfortable zone. I’m scared, but I’m also excited. I’m ready to do this.

I think I’m worth it. I think I can do this. I think my efforts will borne fruit. My efforts have already borne some, but I can do more. I believe in myself, and I believe in the people I’m working with. There is a lot more I want to talk about for the rest of this year, but this so far is my plans.

Again, at the end of the day it’s about integrity. I have to be able to deliver what I promise, not just in my words, but in my actions. I intend to deliver Alice Zero and the Cloud Diver this year. I intend to keep pushing my podcast. I intend to keep testing my board game, and just being open to the opportunities presented to me.

I can’t promise success. No one can. But I’m hoping to keep putting myself into positions to succeed. At the end of the day, it’s about recognizing the opportunities presented to yourself.

I’m excited. I’m terrified.

I’m ready.

Yup. Unicorn pin.

All In Part 1 – Announcing Alice Zero

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So I have been very very busy at the day job, and now that it’s nearly through the blitzkrieg, I want to talk about what my podcast has taught me this year before going into 2019. Just Joshing exceeded all my goals this year. My viewership went way up, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to some incredible individuals, and I’ve achieved credibility I never thought I had.

All I did was post an episode, and then two episodes, each week. I sought out people to talk to, I got to talk to them. And that momentum just kept building and building and building.

But it got me thinking. If that is what my podcast could achieve, what about my writing? Don’t get me wrong, if I am more known as a podcaster than a writer, I am more than okay with this. I’m proud of my podcast.

I haven’t done the writing like I’ve done the podcast. I’ve put in a lot of work in that department as well, but not with the consistency as I have with the podcast. That is about to change.

One of the big reasons I’m going part time is that I want to have more time to concentrate on the all the opportunities coming my way this coming 2019. I have three books just about ready to go. Now that the holidaze is just about over, I can get back to that novel I’m working on.

So for this particular blog I’m going to focus on the first book coming out next year.

I got a request from Colleen Anderson about two years ago to do an epic poem about Lewis Carroll. I didn’t know Carroll outside of Alice In Wonderland and for the life of me, I was flabbergasted. What was I going to say about Alice that hasn’t been said before?

Then I met a girl with a gorgon tattoo. A gorgon knight appeared in my head, slaying shadows in a forgotten forest, saving Alice from the darkness. It clicked something in my brain, and suddenly I knew exactly what Alice said to me.

Writing it was a dream. It was wonderland as I never imagined before. Alice as Pandora seemed to fit like a glove…and it did. Alice opens the box the Queen of Hearts gives her and now has a certain Cheshire passenger inside of her. I was happy with the initial draft, and it just didn’t make the final cuts for that anthology. Colleen encouraged me to do something with this. So I want to acknowledge Colleen for putting me on this path. Thank you very much.

And this project has grown and evolved and I have so much more up the road planned for this. In many ways, this in the long form may be the boldest thing I ever do. Time will tell. I did some rewriting, and I want to take a moment to thank Vanessa Cardui for her input in the draft and where it’s going from here. Vanessa’s insights were invaluable and I wouldn’t have thought of some of things I did without her. Thank you very much.

Alice Zero is a prologue, but a complete story in itself. Alice has opened the box, and is now trapped inside an asylum, with playing cards as her wardens. Here is where Alice rediscovers herself, and move on from the calamity she has created.

It will be available end of January/Early February. I’ll have more details in a couple weeks, but before I go, I thought I’d do a cover reveal.

Much like everything else in my career, the best things are accidental. I’ve been aware of Mackenzie Carr as a person for a while. I met her at Myth Games playing her significant other Magic the Gathering. She was impressed I’ve written books and we’ve kept in touch on and off ever since.

What I didn’t know was that she as an amazing artist. I saw her drawings on her instagram and I told her she was awesome. Our conversation led to me asking her if she wanted to do this as a project and She said sure.

This is Alice Zero. I hope you are as excited as I am. That will do it for Part one. Next blog before new year’s, I will preview book two coming out next year as well as the amazing Lance Buan.

Intention, Impact, Interpretation

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Today is the one day anniversary of my GoFundMe.  I did a GoFundMe in regards to restoring my teeth. Before I begin I want to say thank you to everyone that shared it, donated to it, and made it so my smile is a hell of a lot better than it was a year ago.  What a difference a year makes.

It got me reminiscing about the start of the campaign, thinking about actions.  Specifically, mine, and how sometimes an action can have a different meaning to a lot of people, and in the last year I’ve had a lot of time to ponder how Intention, Impact and Interpretation play key reasons in why people lose friendships, trust, and by and large how things can fall apart.

The beginning of my campaign drove this point home last year.  My intention was to tell my story, and it led to quite a few unexpected results.  Not the least of which a former mentor of mine interrupting the proceedings.  It made me think about this in regards to how all of us see things differently, and why.  I concluded that it has to do with three things.

Intentions

I’m not going to dwell on the GoFundMe, but talk about another incident that happened awhile ago.  A friend of mine was travelling abroad, and was in a spot where they needed money, and I could help them.  The problem with this is that people tend to have a hard time when you give them money for nothing.  For some reason it doesn’t sit well.  I had need of an editor, and offered them the job to do so.

That really, was all my intentions.  I believe that all of us by and large, have good intentions with everything we do. Call me naive, call me foolish, but for me, it takes a lot of work to be malicious and deliberate.  Most of us when we do things, only intend the best.  

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and it’s very true.  Good intentions are dangerous not because they aren’t well meaning, but rather because they are inarguable.  I mean, I wanted to do a good thing for no other reason than they were my friend and needed help.  What’s wrong with that?

What happened was another story altogether.

Impact

Much like intentions, impact brooks no argument either.  Impact is the result of the actions and once it’s played out, it’s played out.  No matter how good the intentions are, sometimes the result is crap. The project I asked them to edit was a lot bigger than the budget than I paid for. I should have said something, offered more money, done something to compensate for that.  I didn’t.

I underestimated the workload and how that person felt about being treated.  Long story short, I fucked up, and they felt like crap.

I think more than anything they felt disrespected and unappreciated for what I did.  And I can’t argue that this was the impact of what I did.  I made mistakes and I should have done quite a few things differently.

I didn’t.  That’s on me.

I didn’t mean for things to go FUBAR, but it happened.  It just didn’t work out, and neither of us were happy with the other as a result.  They haven’t spoken with me since.

Interpretation

To top things off, things get murky here.  One person’s interpretation of this could be that I was trying to take advantage of my friend.  From my point of view, I was just trying to help them in a tough spot.  In hindsight, I should have just given them the money.  I’d rather have them suffer their pride instead of losing a friend.

Was I a scumbag?  Or did I just make a mistake?  You decide.  That’s the thing about interpretation.  It’s always open to debate, and we could go back and forth forever.  On top of that, the truth doesn’t give a damn what I or anyone else thinks on the matter.  It just is.

The truth? I fucked up. No ifs, ands or buts. I wish I had done it differently. I wish I could apologize.  I can’t, and it sucks.

This is the absolute shittiest part about being a boss.  At the end of the day, we’re human beings trying to do what he have to.  The responsibility of things going to hell is always squarely on the guy in charge. And sometimes the bucket of crap you got to swallow is quite large.

It’s done though. All I can do is learn from it.

I learned an awful lot about dealing with people in the future, and being fairer and clearer, and basically never ever making anyone feel like that ever again. I don’t want to ever do that to someone. I don’t want to lose friends, I don’t want to make anyone feel disrespected for the work they put in.  I know what that feels like, and it’s awful.

I’m not going to say that they were perfect, but to point out all of their mistakes when I clearly made my own is a cop out.  This job was my idea. At the end of the day, I’m responsible.

 I can be better from here and make sure I do everything in my power to make people I work with and for feel like I’ve done my best.  That’s it. 

People make all kinds of errors with each other, big and small. It happens all the time. The most innocent of ideas can be devastating.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.  Show some empathy and understanding to the situation and maybe prevent some of the dangers from occurring.  Prevention in this case is better than cure.

I’ve worked with other people since, and it’s been better. I do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen again.  I’ve learned that much.

Hopefully the next time I make a mistake, I consider the impact of my intentions. People are at their best, very fragile. I need to remember that, both sides of the equation.  Hopefully if you’re reading this, make sure that the people who trust you enough to work with you are content.  Treat people as best you can, and be honest with your mistakes.

Next time, I’ll talk about the writing stuff coming up next year and betting on me.  I hope this is helpful to you who are reading it and are employing others.

Betting On… Part 2: Just Joshing Podcast – Now and Tomorrow

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I guess I can’t deny that Just Joshing has done well. It was started much like everything else I do in my career, by accident.  Robert J. Sawyer was going to be interviewed for this blog like everyone that came before it, until he mouthed the word podcast.  I hadn’t thought of a podcast.  The idea of a podcast seemed kind of out there.  Could I do it? Why wouldn’t I do it? Should I do it?

There was no reason for me for me not to do it, and while I didn’t know what I was doing, it wouldn’t be the first time, nor likely will it be the last. 

I wanted a diner kind of feel with the podcast.  Kudos to Lance Buan for killing it.

I just released Episode 211 with Maggie Bolcsfoldy, a photographer that takes pictures of local and famous metal bands.  https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/jpantalleresco/episodes/2018-11-22T01_38_11-08_00

I’ve done two hundred episodes of Just Joshing. I’m interviewing awesome people, and always getting the chance to listen to people’s stories of how they made and went for it is still a high. I don’t think that will ever change.  I get laughs, tears and hopes laid bare.  When I interviewed Elizabeth Whitton, I realized just how trusted I am with my show and with the people I interviewed, and I think that more than anything is the biggest thing.  I’m humbled by people’s faith in me. I’m flattered and do my best to live up to it. Here’s Elizabeth’s episode to listen to if you wish:

 https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/jpantalleresco/episodes/2018-10-10T03_10_19-07_00

Two hundred episodes later and an Aurora on my desk, where do we go from here? For starters, we keep to the mission statement. My podcast is about promoting writers primarily, but also other artists to the world at large. There are amazing stories out there that people should listen to and be inspired by.

This year I want more listeners and I want to see if I can at least get some income from this.  So I’m pursuing that a number of different ways.  On the small scale I’m acquiring sponsors.  I may have an announcement or two on the way, but it’s already begin.  I also intend on doing some kind of advertisements on the show, but not many.  Honest, I would prefer sponsors.  So starting in January there will be some cool giveaways and other stuff heading to the podcast.

But I also have big plans this year.  One of the things I’m hoping that happens this year is that I do my first ever 24 hour podcast for charity.  I’m aiming for September 2019.  My plan is to rent Loft 112 in Calgary and invite people to the studio and do cool stuff. I’m hoping to get music, art stuff and other activities going on for a cause.  Which cause? I’ll probably not seriously start looking at it until April, but it seems like a fun challenge.

Why not?

Also, I’ll be doing a special San Diego convention show with Joe Compton.  Joe Compton is the host of GoIndieNow and we had a lot of fun chatting at When Words Collide this year. We want to work on something together and have a real cool idea.  More on this later.  In the meantime, have a listen to Joe Compton. 

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/jpantalleresco/episodes/2018-10-29T00_48_30-07_00

All in all, there are a lot of plans to expand the podcast, and a lot of things are about to drop soon.  I hit momentum, and want to keep riding this into the future, wherever it may leave me.

Next blog, I promise, we’ll get to the writing stuff. For now, stay inspired, and know the best is yet to come.