Striking Out on My Own

I’ve been freelancing for three months now. I like the lifestyle (because I hate commuting), but making it pay has proven challenging. I’m pursuing three enterprises: creative writing (as always), WordPress development, and doggy daycare. So far doggy daycare pays the best, in that it pays at all.

It’s nice to imagine I’m living the life of a professional writer. On paper I’m closer to that goal than ever before, but that paper isn’t green. I have to be realistic. Even if The Faith Machine sells tomorrow I still need to pay my bills. Hence the side hustles.

The WordPress development is cranked and ready to go. All I need is leads. I’ve put ads on Craigslist. I’ve tried networking at small business events. The magic hasn’t happened. Not yet. But I’m not giving up either, still pounding the pavement.

Maybe it’s time to update my skills. I’ve thought about a website that expands on the Magic Spreadsheet. Maybe it’s time to learn Angular, Python, and Django and make it a reality.

At least the house is clean.

Goodbye, Commonwealth

Quitters never win, but after five playthroughs (and I don’t want to know how many hours) no one can’t say I didn’t give this game my all. But all for what? If I’d put those hours into a writing I’d have another book.
When Fallout 4 was released I was at a low point and this game was just what I needed. The writing ‘career’ wasn’t going anywhere and the day job sucked. Home life was all I had going for me. Fallout was an escape into false progress, because when you’re playing Fallout (or most any video game) the grind pays off. If I only earned 1 experience point for killing that mole rat, that’s still one experience point closer to the next level.
Unlike most jobs where the grind feels more like treading water, or worse, a slow drowning. Even writing doesn’t always feel like progress. It did at first, but now I’m aware that any word I write has at best a 30% chance of survival and, after all that, the book could never be published. Those thoughts makes it tough to stick with it through the months it takes to finish a novel.
But achievements inside a video game are counterfeit, and real life is exactly that. So I sold my copy of Fallout 4 and I’m going to start phasing video games out if I want to accomplish anything in life. I can’t be trusted with them in the house. I don’t want to look back at my life and say, “Boy, I sure built some settlements.”
Goodbye, Fallout. I’ll never forget you and I’ll never forget that Tunnel Snakes rule. They rule.

Comic Fest Panel: Writers with One Foot in the Door

I’m moderating this Comic Fest panel of San Diegans on Sunday.

Check out our panel of local authors who’ve had some publishing success, but not enough to be able to quit their day jobs. How does one break into the publishing industry? What are the options between small, big, and self publishing? Do you need a degree, or just a computer? Find out all this and more with Tone Milazzo (Moderator), Renee Pickup, Indy Quillen, Chad Stroup, Israel Finn, and Lara Campbell McGehee.

Not the Best Medicine

I entered the room where they were giving away free flu shots at work. A lady coworker waited, psyching herself up before she received her shot. “All right,” she announced as she lumbered toward the chair, limbs stiff as branches. “I’m gonna do this.”
I thought a joke might help. “If you’re nervous, picture the needle in its underwear.”
She screamed “Oh Lord! Don’t say needle!”, turned around, and stood in the corner of the room.
My joke didn’t help.

Summer camp has and always will, suck.

At Royal Ranger camp the various church groups competed in campy tasks; knot-tying, tent building, etc.
One competition was; stick a match in a board, head up, and chop at it with an axe, close enough so the match head would strike against the side of the axe without splitting the match.
My church was the only team to place in this event, and I was the only one in my church to light the match. Meaning I was the only one out of hundreds to pull this off.
My incredible feat of match-lightery went unrecognized. That was the day God died.