Creative Blog for Iscah

Tying Up the Mystery Ends
So finally sent what I hope is the last editing round of The Hidden Prince back to my editor.  Most of it was simple typos and punctuation errors, but I also had to try to add the right level of clues to the mystery at the end of the story.  Sometimes it’s harder to write a single sentence than a whole chapter.

Each Before the Fairytale story pays tribute to a different literary style that’s intended to reflect the main character’s personality.  Since Kaleb takes the lead in The Hidden Prince, the story is set up to reflect elements of a Gothic novel (only in a Medievalish fantasy setting).  However, I ended up with a murder mystery at the end of the story.  Since I was not aiming for a “true” mystery, more focused on Kaleb’s psychological reaction to the events, I didn’t put as much effort into setting up relevant clues.  But Megan, my editor, has been heavily involved in Killer Nashville, a local mystery writers group/convention, and she didn’t like letting a sloppy mystery pass even if it wasn’t the main focus of the book.

The actual writing of additional sentences did not take more than a couple days, but I was a little intimidated about how to bring in the necessary clues without making them glaringly out of place.  So I found a lot of other personal projects to distract myself with.  On the plus side my basement is a bit less cluttered now.

Other reason I may have been stalling is Ameoba Ink needed to build up a little cash to pay the cover artist before commissioning the cover artist, so there’ll still be a bit of a delay as the cover art and layout and so forth get done.  But hopefully my editor will sign off on my updates as acceptable, and The Hidden Prince will get a public release this year.

Also trying to work out getting Seventh Night and Horse Feathers into paperback form.

Let Us Mourn the Passing of The Cartoon Network Fanportal on Cafepress
Chapter 3 of Seven and 13 is now available on Fictionpress.

So the Cafepress fan portal ended on March 30th, and Cafepress announced it's ending on the shopkeeper forum on March 30th.  I found out by having over 200 designs placed on "pending" status with an e-mail telling me my recently uploaded art (most of which had been up for years) was a potential copyright violation.  I've expressed my displeasure to Cafepress for the complete lack of warning, and hope I've impressed to them that they probably lost sales because of it.

I'm really bummed, because I had been hoping the new Samurai Jack series was going to give me a sales boost.  (It's good so far, but much darker.  Not for young kids.)

That and quarterly taxes is mostly what I've been dealing with this past week.

I'm stuck in the same Catch 22 as many introverted writers.  I know marketing isn't my strong point and need to delegate somehow, but because marketing isn't my strong point, I don't have the funds to pay someone to market for me.  I did try some advertising last year but didn't see enough return for the money I spent.  So need to shift my approach.

The Ides of March Have Come and Gone
CoastCon was a good midsized convention.  If anyone caught me looking mopey, it was over personal stuff.  Staff was great, I got to do a new panel I had been wanting to premier for a while, and I was happy to finally visit the Gulf Coast.  I wasn't sure I was going to make it because of my vehicle, but I ended up renting a car, which was kind of fun.

I will be at Eastsidestory in Nashville April 29th from 1-3pm (and possibly later)

I'm trying to get better focus and wrap up the Before the Fairytale set. The Hidden Prince is back from my editor.  I've gone through it once and took care of out of place commas and will give it a second round before sending it back to her.  The fourth story Seven and 13 has debuted on Fictionpress, and I just posted the second chapter.

We may need to do some kind of Kickstarter to get Seventh Night and Horse Feathers into paperback.  They're thicker books than The Girl With No Name, and I'm worried they'll be prohibitively expensive without a bulk printing.  You can help by buying any of the Amoeba Ink titles through the book retailer of your choice or making a purchase in our cafepress or Zazzle shops.

Also doing the initial prep work for a big Youtube project related to my blog, which I've updated a few times this year.  I think I've figured out some of the company issues I was worried about at the end of last year.

Kicking Off the Dust of 2016

2016 was not a terrible year for me over all.  I got a new job which is helping my bank accounts go up rather than down.  Health is good.  Wrapped up Tomato Slices.  Found a new karaoke place.  Connected and reconnected with some people.  Dirk Gently is awesome, and Rogue One had some good points.

It's hardly been all good.  My gandmother died, but honestly watching her health decline in 2015 was worse.  She was ready to go, so I have peace about that.  Harder, my friend and Living Single on Minimum Wage cowriter lost his father this year, and fellow author Turner French died.  Chances are you haven't heard of him, but he was in my writing group.  I had the dubious honor of making the event known to his facebook friends.

I've been slowly taking care of little things.  My art/writing has stalled a bit, which bothers me.  This is the only design I've done since April (yipes):

I did start editing/writing on the Before the Fairytale set again in November.  My editor is taking a swing at the third book, and I'm working on the fourth (which may end up getting bundled with book 3 if it's as short as I suspect it will be) .

I had planned to try to get back on the horse and do more conventions next year.  But I'm starting to get a little frustrated with vehicle issues (it's running just not sure I trust it out of state), so I may take this year off and get a second job or something to refill the coffers...or just try to get back into a steady writing/drawing habit...maybe join a gym.

Based on things which again happened in 2015 (man that year sucked) but dragged through to this year, I've been having a bit of existential crisis about the future of Amoeba Ink.  I started the company for specific projects that seem to have fallen through or at least put on infinite hold, so part of me feels like I've wasted a lot of time.

At the same time, I haven't exactly run out of projects to work on, so I'm going to think things over before doing anything dramatic.  Hopefully 2017 will see a lot of good happen.

Tomato Slices Release and I'm Only Half Dead
You may have guessed I haven't been big on creative output this summer.  But Tomato Slices is now out in ebook and paperback formats.

My new job has given me a chance to think a lot about one of my long term projects, but I'm ready to get back to creative projects.

I have about two chapters of the last Before the Fairytale book done, and I need to get the third one out of limbo.  The Horse Feathers and Seventh Night paperbacks have been pushed back until some liquid assets free up, but hopefully that will happen with the Christmas season coming up.

Reviews are always helpful.  So if you've read one of these, review it somewhere.  Thank you.

Poe on Writing and Kickstarter is Done

So the Tomato Slices Kickstarter is done.  We finished at 108% funding, which covers a bare bones release, but not the offset print run I was hoping for.

Now I'm working hard to get the Tomato Slices layout and proofreading done, so those early copies can ship out in June.

I changed day jobs last month, so I hope that will let me create a more consistent schedule and stress less about money.

I also managed to squeeze out this new design using a quote by Edgar Allen Poe.  Made a tiny bit of progress on the last Before the Fairytale story, but only have the first couple chapters done.

Tomato Slices interview and Southern Geek Fest.
I was interviewed about the Tomato Slice Kickstarter last Wednesday...

Please support the Tomato Slices Kickstarter! We're 63% funded with 29 days to go.

and this Friday I will be a guest at Southern Geek Fest in Hattiesburg, MS.

Tomato Slices Kickstarter

Finally got a video made for the Tomato Slices Kickstarter. I have a degree in television production, but it's been a while since I've had a chance to use those skills. Audio was always my weakness. I think that still shows, but hopefully the video helps explain the project a little better.

Kickstarter isn't playing nice with LJ, so here's the link:

Kickstarter Launch

The Tomato Slices Kickstarter has launched! Please check out the page and pledge your support. You won't be charged until April 30th, but early pledges help a campaigns momentum. Thank you!

Tomato Slices Cover Reveal

Here's the cover art for the Tomato Slices anthology!  The Kickstarter will launch in early March (shooting for March 1st, but we'll keep you posted).  There may still be some minor adjustments to the cover before launch, but this is the basic look.  The border is composed of all the contributor names.  It felt good to find a way to get everyone on the cover without looking cluttered.

Tomato Slices is a multi-genre anthology of short stories, poetry, artwork and recipes, all with the common element of featuring a tomato in some significant way.

Stay tuned for Kickstarter announcements.


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