Posts Tagged "hub city survival"

The case for self-publishing

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

  Self-publishing is a bit of a polarizing topic. It does certainly have some shortcomings, but I feel that a lot of good writing gets overlooked due to its perceived stigma. I self-published my novella Hub City Survival six years ago. Would I have done things a little differently today? Absolutely–I don’t think anyone can say they didn’t make mistakes in their time, especially with a six-year gap in between. There are scenes I would have re-written altogether, there’s dialogue I would have scrapped and I certainly would hired someone to smash it down with a hammer. But I didn’t, and I’m okay with that. Here’s why: Hub City Survival wasn’t even supposed to get published. In fact, it just kind of popped out one day. I started writing it on DeviantArt and quickly gained a small following. It was a short project. As it gained popularity and reached its conclusion, I decided I wasn’t done with it, so I decided to compile it and sell it. Self-publishing Hub City Survival was never intended to be anything but a limited print run. But, luckily for me, it turned out to be a bit more than that. And, in fact, I keep telling myself I’ll do “one final order” of a batch of books… but every so often there’s a demand, and I end up ordering more! In the wake of the surprising amount of attention the novella got, I decided to try and gently nudge it in the direction of a few media outlets. One of these outlets was a small newspaper with a focus on independent music, local events, and some literature, so I figured I’d be a shoe-in–but I was surprised when I was met with “we don’t really do self-published books”. Of course, this is fine–they can write about whatever they please, and my book didn’t fit their criteria. But I found the focus on independent music and local arts contrasted with their rejection. Independent creators in other media were fine, but apparently writing can only be good if it’s pre-approved by an industry professional. If you post your stories online, nobody thinks twice. If you write a blog post, nobody thinks less of you. But when you decide to put them into print of your own volition? The conversation changes. For those of us whose ideas don’t direct toward a conventional reading audience, self-publishing is a viable option. For those of us who are niche writers, self-publishing is an excellent option. For those of us who don’t want their ideas to direct toward a specific audience, self-publishing is, arguably, the best option. And some people just like the freedom they’re allowed through self-publishing. Why is there such a difference between self-marketing written work versus other forms of craft or art? Please don’t get me wrong! I am extremely appreciative of all the reception Hub City Survival has gotten over the years, and I wouldn’t change anything–rejections included. These are merely questions I ask when I see the reactions when self-publishing is mentioned. I understand minor skepticism that surrounds self-publishing, especially when it comes to editing and re-writing. But, I also feel the self-publishing market has gotten a bad reputation, needlessly. My next book, Mushroom and Anchovy, is being crowdfunded through Inkshares which, essentially, is a self-publishing platform. If it reaches a certain amount of pre-orders, the book will be published through a professional publishing house, but I’m still the one directing the progress. I have developed an audience through Hub City Survival, which will help me with my campaign, and, in my opinion, can be a useful way for other writers to gauge interest in their projects. It is my hope that one day I will be able to professionally publish one of my books through a well-known house, but I don’t want to treat my little “misfit” projects like they’re inferior. They’re still projects I worked hard on and poured a lot of myself into. They still mean a lot to me. That’s Mushroom and Anchovy, that’s Hub City Survival. And that’s why they get self-published...

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Harbour Con-Fusion 2013

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Harbour Con-Fusion 2013

A picture of me with my table-neighbour Darren Hann. This past weekend, I had a rare opportunity: I was invited to attend a convention to do nothing but promote myself. I set out to do just that and, of course, to meet new people. Meeting new people was not only a goal, but also a necessity, as it turned out. On day one, I knew only a small handful of attendees. Did I ever meet a friendly group of people! All the other guests, it seemed, were just as willing to meet new people as I was, and they all went out of their way to introduce themselves to me at some point or another. It’s always fascinating, to me, when a group of creators are placed into a room together. It seems to me that they are always working on various projects and, at this event in particular, seemed to have a keen interest in what everyone else was doing. I spent the weekend collecting business cards and discussing works in progress, as well as swapping notes, resources, and suggesting collaborations. It’s hard to believe all of this came from the lot of us meeting at a sci-fi/horror/fantasy/anime/gaming/etc. convention, but there you have it–sometimes when creators meet, friendships are inevitable! It was nice to see such a supportive group, as well. I ended up doing book trades with 3 guests who were interested in my book and had books of their own. I had the opportunity to run a panel on publishing and self-publishing with Matthieu Gallant, who was one of the authors I book-swapped with. I had great conversations with illustrator and comic artist Sandy Carruthers about his work, and was the lucky table neighbour to independent filmmaker and outstandingly friendly Trekkie Darren Hann. I got to spend time hanging out and having a couple of drinks with the guys of Geeks vs. Nerds, in particular fellow writer Larry Gent. Artist (and fellow Daft Punk fan) André Myette was a couple of tables down on the first day, and we had some great chats as well. Aside from the connections I made, I want to give a shout out to Drakon Designs and Blind Leviathan for their lovely tables! Drakon did some beautiful facepainting on attendees this weekend, and Blind Leviathan was selling everything Lon Lon Milk pendants to Companion Cube earrings. Being the huge zombie fanatic that I am, I got some bottled zombie virus. Obviously. I should mention I got numerous StreetPasses as well, and compliments about my special edition Legend of Zelda 3DS. Maybe I didn’t need to mention that. Whatever. On the third day, the moon crashed into Termina I held a small panel about events planning and running your own event or meetup. It was attended by only 2, but I had held the same panel at Animaritime last month and had a good turnout there. I’m going to keep working on expanding the panel, particularly with feedback I’ve been receiving about it, and hope to turn it into a PowerPoint presentation so I can spread it even further. Giving panels is always interesting because not only do the attendees learn something, but quite often the person or people holding the panel will learn, as well. All in all, I had a fantastic weekend, and I managed to sell out of all printed copies of Hub City Survival! Amazing! I also managed to get a lot of work done on Retail Hell, the webcomic I am writing. I was surrounded by so many talented people all weekend that it was hard not to be inspired to work. I won’t be drawing the comic myself, and am looking for an artist. If you’re interested in the project, send me an e-mail! I’ll likely be throwing some sketches or other tidbits up here before long. Right now, I’m looking for a new home for HCS because my print-on-demand publisher, Lightning Demand Press, is currently isn’t printing due to a flood. As well, I am working on my new novel with the working title A Couple...

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Don’t overdo it.

Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Today, I saw an older gentleman exiting a food bank with several bags of food. I noticed he was struggling to walk, so I offered to help him carry some groceries. He declined, however said that he would be grateful if he could lean on me as he walked. So, I let him, and he imparted to me a little bit of wisdom. He told me he had a pinched nerve in his back, and that was why he had difficulty walking. He told me that these aches and pains can come on no matter how old you are, and can really slow things down for you. He stopped walking for a moment, then, and turned to look me in the eye. “You’re young,” he told me, “and you have more opportunities to be happy.” He looked pointedly at me, then. “Don’t overdo it.” That was one of those “eureka” moments, for me. It felt almost as though he knew what has been going on in my life of late, and how I have, in fact, been “overdoing” it. I’ve been working harder than necessary on a number of things, and I haven’t taken time for myself to be happy. It’s just been a constant “go, go, go”. I helped him to his car and we then parted ways. As I left, it got me thinking about what he said. “Don’t overdo it.” Why do so many of us (and I’m including myself, here) feel the need to escape from our lives? What are we running from, and why? Coping with stress and unhappiness comes in a number of forms. My mother once said to me “Don’t wish your life away, because this is it”. A lot of stress comes from being unhappy with what you have. That doesn’t mean that we should settle, but rather, if we’re unhappy with something and have the power to change it, why not do that? If you hate your job, find a new one. Don’t make excuses, be in control of your life. If you don’t want to find a new one because the money is good with your current one, then find something about the current one that you like. Happiness isn’t a given thing. It comes with practice. Sometimes you need to make yourself be happy the sake of your sanity. Take time to do something you love each day, or just to relax and close your eyes. Make plans, or do something spontaneous. Don’t escape your life, embrace it. Because, as my mother said, this is it. While it’s always important to cut loose and enjoy yourself, don’t spend your days waiting for that time to come. I fall into this trap all the time. I think we all do; it’s a very human thing to do. If you catch yourself doing it and try to correct it, though, you may find that happiness isn’t so far away. That’s my rare, stress-free lucid moment for today. Here’s an update on my NaNo goals, while I’m here. It’s only November 4th and one of my goals is complete, so I can get started early on the next one! Actually… I already have started the other goal. It’s been in the works for a few months. But this morning I worked on it for a little while. 1. Finish last year’s novel. Complete! Wrote the ending last night.2. Finish the planning for Population: 1. – In progress.3. Plan and script another cooking video.4. Do a soft edit of the draft of last year’s novel.5. Finish writing the song I started earlier this year. In further news, I’ve been invited to open for New Brunswick novelist Beth Powning at her reading on November 17th! I’m very honored to have been asked. It will be at 8 PM at La Teraz (154 Church Street, Moncton NB). Admission is by donation. I will be giving a short reading from Hub City Survival and will also be bringing a few copies to sell. If you have a copy you would like me to sign, you...

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(Almost) a year later

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

I feel it’s important to note that it’s now been almost a full year since Hub City Survival was first put into print. Since then, over 100 copies have been printed and six stores carry my book. To many authors, that would be a failure. To someone who self-publishes and doesn’t have as much time to promote, nor the means to hire someone for promotion, this is a success! The book is still selling well and I am contacted with relative frequency about restocking. If you’d like a copy, I’ll be selling them online through Paypal for $25 each. Shipping, signing, and a little surprise gift is included! I’ll include a link on the side for future use. Now, my next project, as I stated before, is to write Dahlia’s story. I am in the process of mapping out the entire story, which is quite extensive. As I previously mentioned, however, this will be a story that you can actually interact with. As such, I have created two new blogs: one to tell the story in a completely in character fashion, and an out of character blog to discuss and participate in. Please feel free to follow both blogs if you’re interested! Here is a link to the Population: 1 main blog, and here is the Population: 1 OOC (out of character) blog. I’m really excited about the project and it’s coming together, even if it is taking awhile. I hope it’ll be well worth it! NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, as well. I have an idea for it, but I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll participate this year. Time will tell if my life will be too hectic this year, but I hope it will work out! This weekend I’m getting married and going on a brief honeymoon to Saint Andrews, so I’m hoping the time away from… stuff will replenish some of my decidedly diminished creative pool. Have a wonderful October, if you don’t hear from me by the end of...

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In the news!

Posted by on Feb 5, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Things have been rather hectic on my end of late, so I haven’t had as much time to update the blog. That doesn’t mean that I’ve been without news, however. Quite the opposite, in fact: I’ve been IN the news! This past week, I was featured in the local newspaper’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame column for a few different things, including but not limited to Hub City Survival. Check it out! In addition to that, I’ve been rehearsing since November for A Streetcar Named Desire in which I play the role of Eunice Hubbell. That has been going on this week until Sunday. If you’re in the Moncton area, the shows are tomorrow night at 7 PM, Sunday afternoon at 2 PM and Sunday evening at 7 PM. Check out the newspaper article, and then check out Hub City Theatre‘s website! I’m of course still working on some writing… more on that once the play’s...

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