I forgot there was an extra Friday in the month, whooooops. My bad. HAPPY OCTOBER, IT’S SPOOKY SEASON!
In all seriousness, I’m home this weekend to celebrate my brother’s Eagle Scout, so everybody better leave him lots of congratulations in the comments. I’ve been scrambling to get my work done around the travel plans, and while I started this draft, I completely missed adding it to my queue. But all the same, this was a hectic month. Fall semester of my Senior Year includes several project-based classes, running most of my clubs, doing undergrad research, working at the school makerspace, and hanging out with my friends. It’s been a ton of fun, and I’m determined to make the most of it, much to the chagrin of my sleep schedule. So before time gets away from me again, let’s go over some cool announcements!
I recently started a new job at the maker-space at my school, which means I have FREE and totally UNLIMITED access to all sorts of neat machines, including 3D printers, a laser cutter, a waterjet, t-shirt printers, and a sticker maker.
In short, I’ve gone mad with power.
My grand plan is to manufacture a ton of merch so I have inventory on hand when I’m preparing for book releases, and I can set up a shop on my website in the meantime! Which is why I need your input. Please respond to this email with your choice, or suggest any other ideas of your own!
What types of merch do you want to see?
- Vinyl Stickers (of all sizes)
- Apparel (either t-shirts or long-sleeved, but I can’t do hoodies or hats)
- Keychains (either laser cut wood or 3D printed tokens on ring)
As an example of the stickers, here’s one I made for my DnD group a while ago! This is not my art. Our DM commissioned it, but the quality of the stickers turned out nicely and it’s sticking on my computer without peeling at all.
What type of merch do you want to see?
- Character portraits
- Symbolic objects from my stories
- Luca’s Staff
- Madelyn’s Notebook
- Hannah’s pocket knife and spyglass
- Aella’s knitting needles from the mailing list story, “Edge of Infinity”
- Yellow Roses for the ~branding~
- Writer art such as inkwells and quills, stacks of notebooks, sticky note conspiracy outlines, etc.
- Quotes and other writer memes
- It was far too lovely a day for a riot…. (the opening lines of Storge)
- We can stop this madness. (Another important line from Storge)
- Are you prepared to pay The Piper? (the premise of Runaways)
- “I know the Tropes. The tropes are hungry and they leave no survivors.”
- “For Research!”
- “Cryogenicaly freeze your darlings.”
- “Add it to the TBR.”
If there’s something on these lists you think I missed, or something you especially want to see more than the others, LET ME KNOW. I want to make merch that you will want to own, so I would really appreciate the input!
Goals recap: 7/10, Won by 3 points
Start on Vin Mistborn cosplay – If you remember the pirate shirt adventures from this summer, you’ll know that it’s meant to the base of several costumes, but most immediately, Vin, the protagonist of the Mistborn trilogy. I had meant to start making the iconic mistcloak and hunting down accessories this month, but it’s hard to transport sewing works in progress around campus and so I thought it best to hold off until I could find a safe place to keep my supplies with the sewing machines.
Keep up with Goodreads goal – I’ve started reading a number of short stories thanks to Tor’s newsletter, which technically count, as well as my summary of Newsletter Ninja which you can check out here. My favorite story so far has been “Victory Citrus is Sweet” – a spacefaring adventure with an extremely memorable and whacky protagonist. Clean out tumblr drafts – Housekeeping complete for another month! Start outlining planescape DnD – I may or may not have fallen into a new fandom called Rolling with Difficulty and fallen hard for the setting of the planescape, to the point that I am now prepping to DM my very first campaign. I’m excited to test my storytelling skills in this unique medium, and I’m especially lucky to have such a great table. Plan Ren Faire day – I went to a Renaissance fair earlier this summer when I was at my internship, and while it was fun, going alone was also kind of depressing because none of the interns wanted to come with me, and it reminded me of how much I missed my friends from back home. I resolved that would Not be my defining faire event of the summer, and when we got back to school, a bunch of my best friends and I got together for another adventure!
It was a great day, but I wanted to share my favorite memory with you: While we were looking at artwork in one of the shops, I spotted a painting of a plant-covered dragon. Of course, that’s awesome on its own, but my friend (far right in the picture above, who I shall refer to as The Inventor for the sake of privacy), asked me why I was so excited. I started excitedly info dumping like, “you don’t understand, these are just like the SPACE DRAGONS in Worldwanderers!” For those of you reading this who don’t know me irl, I have absolutely 0 sense of volume control, my voice gets louder the more excited I am, and often forget that other people eavesdrop, and so I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when a lady from behind me asks “Who’s the author? I’m a librarian and I’d like to get that book. It sounds great.”
(etta.exe has crashed)
I babbled some excuse and made my escape like a deer in the headlights, but The Inventor chased me down and goes, “Etta! Are you stupid?! Go network, give her your contact info! That is a cool idea and it deserves to be shared so she can find your other stories and read that one when it comes out!” Thanks to his encouragement and all but dragging me back to go talk to her, I made a new contact! So yeah, if either of you are reading this, you know who you are, and thank you, that moment has lived rent free in my head since the faire, and I will treasure that encouragement forever. Everyone needs a friend like the Inventor.
Finish Avatar RPG comic – My art project for the month was to illustrate a scene from one of my games to learn how to use the comic making features of clip studio paint. I very nearly finished this goal, doing the storyboards, inking, and color flats for all 6 pages, but ran out of time to finish the shading and rendering. It’s been a really fun experience to practice drawing these characters that feel so vivid to me, and bring their story to life in a different medium. Here’s how the first page turned out:
(I could happily ramble about this story all day and so if you want to hear more about these characters, let me know and I’ll do a post introducing them sometime!)
Sew on patches from Sensei – When I talked about my sewing endeavors, I also shared pictures of my patch jacket, and recently I added a few new karate ones! I did Shotokan karate for 9 years, and I had our school’s symbol and other designs on my gi, so I asked my sensei for some spares to put on my jacket in the same arrangement. Making this thing was the best social move I ever made. The unique design encourages people to start conversations with me, only instead of awkward silence between small talk, they ask me about my favorite interests, and so it’s easy to carry on a conversation about something I love. 10/10 recommend as an essential part of any introvert’s closet.
Blog and IG scheduling – Technically I cannot mark this off as I am a day late. oops again.
Edit Edge of Infinity and illustrate/ post it for mailing list – If you didn’t see me being obnoxious about it, I PRODUCED AN AUDIO DRAMA IT’S REALLY COOL AND IT WAS A LOT OF WORK. YOU SHOULD SIGN UP FOR MY MALING LIST TO CHECK IT OUT. Decide what I’m doing with Runaways – I didn’t want to set an official goal for this because I wasn’t sure what kind of schedule I was looking at with my classes and work, so since another month has come and gone without enough time to both maintain an author’s platform and complete work on this book, I am officially putting it on hiatus, along with Storge. I know this will delay my publishing goals significantly, as I wanted to release Runaways shortly after graduation, but I think ultimately this is the better choice for my mental health and the quality of the writing.
For one, I need more distance from the story before I can edit with a clear head, and without the self-imposed pressure to rush, I’ll do a better job of cleaning it up. I also need money to pay illustrators and editors, and if I can save up for a year with my Real Life Adult Engineering Job, I’ll be able to afford more detailed and a larger quantity of illustrations, as well as several rounds of rigorous editing. Additionally, I need to focus this semester on getting good grades, applications, and networking, so I can find a Real Life Adult Engineering Job, and that’s eating a significant portion of my time. With what little free time I have left, I want to spend it with my friends before we all scatter to the winds in May. I’m blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people and I want to make the best of passing this year with them.
In the meantime, I’m going to be focusing on short stories and honing my craft in other ways. October means the Inklings Challenge, where I’m contributing to Team Chesterton. In December I’ll be sharing another newsletter. Laoche needs to be refined as an outline, which can be done in fits and spurts when inspiration strikes. I have new motivation to work on Worldwanderer’s now, thanks to The Inventor, and there are a dozen of art projects I have in the works. Thank you for being patient with this delay!
Reminder again to let me know what kind of merch you’d like so I can start making the designs! Thanks for reading! What are you working on this month? I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip on my Kofi or donating using the secure box below. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!
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