Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Flowchart

eFiction Founder Doug Lance posted this flowchart the other day “to help people decide how to publish.” He’s obviously biassed, but I think he makes a good point.


My editor recently retired, and over the last few months I’ve been toying with the idea of self publishing. I feel like I got a lot out of the small-press process, but I really like the idea of more creative control. Still, I have a voice of doubt in the back of my head, arguing that I might be making a misstep.

Lance’s flowchart really helped me break this down. According to his flowchart, I have four possible goals. Here they are out of order.

Critical Acclaim: If I wanted critical acclaim, I wouldn’t be writing vampire novels filled with dick jokes. Come on, until they come out with the Hugo for Best Dick Joke*, that’s just not happening.

Prestige: A little piece of me wants to be published by a big house, so the next time Jim Hines or somebody else who’s work I enjoy comes to town I can say, “Hey, remember me from that TOR mixer at BlahCon. My book just did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Now we can be best friends.” But honestly, every writer I’ve talked to either big or small has always been really cool and approachable. Whether we self-publish or make a million for Harper Collins, we all share the same challenges and anxieties.

Money: At the end of the day, it’s nice to do what you love and be appreciated with social-survival points. However, this is not my most important concern.

Readers: Okay. This is the big one. I like when people read my books. I know there is a potential audience out there for me. We just have to find each other. When people love my books and leave me nice reviews, it makes me squee. And I am no serial squee-er.

* I’m pushing for this.

Unidentified objects


This picture was put on the Internet as a UFO sighting. Someone eventually pointed out that it was a streetlamp.

People perceive things differently. Two witnesses to the same event will fixate on different details. One person’s unidentified flying object is another person’s streetlamp. For some people, this leads to bigotry and hatred. For others it leads to cognitive dissonance and insanity. For me, it leads to fun.

On-and-off, I worked on Minion of Evil, which revolves around the Christian struggle of good and evil over the course of three years. During the course of the novel, I changed how I viewed the world, and went from a position of atheistic skepticism to non-judgmental optimism.

I believe there are two types of skeptics. Big-S skeptics use disbelieving things as a crutch to fill some kind of emptiness in their life, and once they set their mind on what they consider the “truth” cannot be swayed by any evidence, and small-s skeptics, who merely want to weigh the evidence on both sides before making a decision.

Also, during this time, I started doing paranormal investigation. I might not have collected enough evidence to convince a big-S Skeptic of the existence of the parnormal during that time, but I did see enough things to convince me that there is something beyond what we consider “normal” going on.

So, what is a skeptic atheist to do when confronted with believable evidence that supernatural things exist? Well, I was alway fascinated with this quote by atheist Stephen F. Roberts, “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” So I put the question to myself, if I opened the door to believing in one invisible thing, could I discount anything?

The answer I got back was a resounding No.

zzftDZGhosts? Yeah. Fairies? Okay. Trolls? Sure. Ascended Masters? Okey Dokey. Norse gods? Skoal! Aliens? Nanu Nanu. Angels? Why not?

So, how is that working out for me? I’ve believed in all invisible things now for two years. Has it hurt me in any way? Well, from time-to-time, I’ve felt a little silly. But at the end of the day, I have to say life is more fun and interesting.

My 2012 in review




I tend to be bad about taking pride in my accomplishments, so I thought it would be good to do a year in review. 2012 has been a pretty awesome year for me.

I got my first book published this year, and it many people seemed to like it. It might not be the cleanest copy ever produced, but I’m proud of Minion of Evil. It’s a good story and a story I think I would have enjoyed as a reader. And then I got a second book published this year, and it went better than the first. Sure, they aren’t making any bestseller lists, but they are mine and they are out.

Also, I finished two rough drafts this year and did a boatload of re-writes. And despite being sick as a dog for the last 2 months, I’m finally gaining ground on my re-write of Panic No More–I finished three scenes this week.

I was even offered a job as an editor at a startup publishing company. I turned it down though. I’m a fairly decent content editor, but I’m a writer. Right now, I have to focus my energies on my writing.

I think the biggest thing I did was put myself out there. I went to cons and sat on panels (which I was not qualified to do) and did readings (which noone attended.) And I have fans, which is the awesomest of the awesome.

I’m quite pleased with my 2012. I feel like I got a good start in my writing and I am moving in the right direction.