Back to Life

Now the excitement of NEW CONTENT has died down, and there’s an undoubted sense of being better organised, it is time to look at finishing off a ton of stuff that’s been left hanging or simply not completed. That includes the EX/WHI restart, a ton of back end archiving and deciding what of my various pieces of historical fanfic get the nod for publication. After that? Well, that’s a very good question.

Next week is when I begin May planning, which seemed reasonably impossible back in March which is now officially about a decade ago in perceived brain time. Tomorrow I have a photography project to finish for Patreon, which will be archived here and you’ll be able to see at the beginning of next month. I’ve decided to do these every four weeks, as long as it is practical for me to take pictures.

I’m looking forward to the day I can plan trips to places further than a walk away.

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I’ve produced some unexpected results from what had been originally planned as a fairly static project: it appears that Precarious Epithet is the gift that may well end up giving far more than just the content that composes it. It has also been an interesting test run for the possibility that, should I pull together enough patrons, that the production of the LANzine could end up being bi-weekly.

If that does happen, it will undoubtedly me useful to be able to disseminate older issues to a wider audience, with Patreon becoming the test bed for this original content. That dream, however, is some way away, but there’s already confidence that I can keep the wheels of production whirling for the foreseeable future. We can also diversify too, into photography-only projects and poetry with multimedia accompaniment…

Suddenly, there are a lot of options that were no previously available to me. It is going to take a while to get my head around all of those, but not only will it happen, but you can guarantee potential is about to be grasped with both hands.

The future remains mine to embrace and improve.

Ready for the Floor

This is all really rather unexpected.

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It was planned for ‘stuff’ to happen on Sunday, and it did. That means at 11.30am tomorrow the inaugural Precarious Epithet will be available to download, as a 10 page .PDF, via this website. I’m insanely pleased with it, as it happens, because nobody else had anything else to do with its construction and content than me. Just me, THAT’S ALL. This is a first step into a wider universe, and I love it.

Going forward, similar content will be produced via Patreon. I make no bones about this: getting paid for this stuff really does matter a lot. I received my first ‘wage’ via the content platform this morning and although it won’t make me rich, this is a decent foundation. The motivation exists to keep working, and outputting, whilst improving skills across multiple disciplines.

This is the learning process that keeps on giving.

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As my son loved to say after he’d perform a magic trick, as a kid, prepare to BE AMAZED at the content emerging in the following months. The groove has undoubtedly been reacquired. Time to set sights distinctly forward, and make hay whilst I am effectively stuck indoors apart from a mandated walk every day where BOY AM I TAKING A LOT OF PICTURES and yeah, here we are.

Welcome to the New Normal [TM]

Back in the Saddle

Normally, I’d be here in the morning to write a blog, but the first of the month, from now on, is likely to be a bit different. Welcome to the New World Order, where suddenly everything is a lot more complicated, but amazingly appears about 3000% more professional. Somewhere between the end of February and now, I became an adult content creator. Blimey.

There have already been complaints and yes, I hear you. I always said I’d be the one who wouldn’t do this, and would staunchly exempt myself from the rigours of capitalism, but right now nobody is working, therefore money has to come from somewhere. There was never a good time to bite the bullet and go subscription, when all is said and done circumstance effectively made that choice for me.

It doesn’t mean however that content stops here, anything but. It’s a simple redistribution of effort and attainment in different locations. I will ensure however that content keeps being saved here: weekly poetry, daily Twitter short story… all those things still have their place in the world and will not suddenly vanish. There will be some new things here too, as time goes on, but first I need the Patreon mechanics to work well.

I suppose if I’ve only upset one person out of (potentially) millions thus far, that has to count for something. If everybody else can adjust to this new normal, that is the direction everything will subsequently head. I’m actually pretty excited because tomorrow I am putting together the first of TWO LANzine for the month: the first one is a dry run to see if anyone’s interested in the sub-only edition for which this post’s header is the main graphic.

The only way you get to swim is to sink first. Time to dive in…

Rise Up

This will be the last post on-site before the big reorganisational change happens, starting next week. Having committed to the change, I’d like to get started on the nuts and bolts changes that need to happen behind the scenes. That will involve a Secret Bonus Area for Patreon followers, accomodation for the NEW Weekly Newsletter… plus shifting around all the old stuff to become more friendly and accessible.

Therefore, starting next week you can expect to see stuff morph and evolve before your very eyes. I don’t have the luxury of just shutting everything down, after all, so we’ll sort as much of the architecture out as possible within the existing framework, then turn up and give the thing a lick of new paint. After all, it would be rubbish to do that first and then discover a bunch of stuff is no longer fit for purpose…

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Then, we’ll relaunch everything in April, with a brief moment for World Poetry Day on March 21st. Of course, you’ll still be able to read my daily rantings via Twitter or on the Laughing Geek Website, or observe my increasing graphic competence via Instagram. I’m going to also be overhauling Ko-Fi to link up with the Patreon, so you can go take a look at that too when everything is complete.

Consider it a general Spring Clean for everything.

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Oh yeah, and about Patreon. I’m gonna go for it again: there is no idea who will be interested, can only hope the content ends up speaking for itself. Lots of people are struggling to get by and won’t ever be able to afford to support me anyway, and as a result I’ve decided to give this whole thing until December to see whether there is enough interest to push forward.

Is what I do worth paying for? It’ll soon be time to see for myself…

Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space

I’d like to present my new single-line logo. It’s sitting on a lovely starry background now, but as time goes on it will alter its position relative to my particular use and desires. After an admission there needed to be a redo of the site design, this portion was very easy to facilitate. What will be harder is re-arranging all the other bits to accommodate expansion, plus change.

However, on that front, things are going pretty well. 

Founders Survey

I’m running a feedback/survey thing right now (click this link to take part) which, if completed, qualifies you for a chance of a £25 Amazon voucher. I’ll push this until March 8th, which is when I’m planning to start instigating design changes. After that, barring major disasters, Patreon is likely to restart in May. I’d do this work anyway, regardless of status, so asking people to become my supporters is a logical next step.

Then we can start talking about printing poetry, short stories and photographs.

Looking Upwards

All of this is part of a bigger, long-term plan to try and self-finance myself for as long as possible. Storytelling has always been the goal. This was my dream as a kid: becoming 007 or Dr Who didn’t seem that practical, when all was said and done. Having a women in both those roles (SPOILER ALERT) during my lifetime is the portent required to get off the arse and start putting in the hours.

After that, all I can hope is that people will be willing and able to support me.

Poetry Archive :: Cease

I spend an awful lot of time in my life online being exposed to a particular brand of selfish, arrogant and blinkered attitudes. Many of these emanate from individuals who view me, as a woman who’s been gaming since the 1970’s, as some kind of curiosity to be poked, studied and summarily laughed at. Then there are those who creep me out by stalking my actions, or making lewd comments over everything I say, however innocent that might be. Mostly, people are the problem.

These people know who they are, and this poem is for them.

[This has been edited from its original postings via social media.]


Cease

The hubbub over this is mere distraction,
pointless tirade from he who does not hear:
allows anger to grant brief satisfaction,
short victory exposing faults as clear.

Continuing this course of self-destruction
a pointless, all-consuming pack of lies;
outcome will not result in reproduction
instead, expect a chorus of goodbyes.

Should truly you require to keep a friendship
for longer than the time between ad breaks;
put down that sword, prepare to shed your armour,
high time to reconsider what it takes.

Each gamer’s creed is written in their pixels,
intractable no longer from the soul:
attention needed for a range of muscles
not simply brain and hand to make things whole.

Forget those jokes about making a sandwich
‘Play of the Game’ no longer will impress:
if you desire a friendship in your bandwidth
drop toxic thoughts and actions to progress.


Too Much

There are moments in your life where sorry is not the response you want.

For a lot of people, Patreon’s about face will be a relief. However, for me I now realise that this turn of events was exactly the kick up the arse I needed to do stuff better for myself. There will be those indivduals who’ll suggest caution and that I should keep running the site, but I’ve lost patrons for whom this change will alter nothing. They won’t come back. There has been a significant and in many cases irreparable  breakdown of trust, and as has been pointed out in various quarters until this ‘apology’ is common knowledge, and the situation around this whole shit storm is clear…? Nothing has changed.

In this particular situation, sticking to principle has served me well. I will continue to fund those people on Patreon who I can, but the reality is that I am better off without the service, based on the people I’ve spoken to who have been my backbone of support thus far. After that, I’ve got some really good ideas for 2018 going forward, that would not have emerged had I not been forced to consider the future by the last week’s turn of events.

I’ll take the mass of notes I’ve made on New Things to Do and start discussing the possibilities next week. I’m really excited by what I’ve come up with.

Sometimes, you need to look at things differently to make progress.

Escape

[A copy of this blog post will be copied to my Patreon account as soon as it is posted here.]

I’ve watched the events of the last four days play out on the Internet first with a sense of idle curiosity, and then with increasing anger. For those of you who don’t live online as I do, Patreon announced midweek (and you will now have details) a change to their charging structure. This at first seemed ill-advised, until details surfaced from a financial statement published earlier in the year that the company was less than enamoured with the number of ‘low dollar’ users it was attracting. This Twitter post sums up what then happened pretty accurately:

I think I finally disconnected over the scheduled blog post mistake, for reasons that should not be a surprise to any of my regular readers. I find myself unable in good conscience to continue using a service that feels this way about its user base, spent an entire weekend saying absolutely nothing and is very unlikely to go back on the decisions made. Even if they do, I feel the damage is done for me. If you think that some creators are somehow more important than others because they make more money, that’s unlikely to change, however much noise they make.

I said to myself that I’d wait to see this morning what Patreon’s next move would be, but in the last 24 hours three of my most vocal and enthusiastic supporters have all messaged me privately asking if there are alternatives to using the platform, and the die is cast. I will be cancelling my Patreon on December 22nd. This gives me a chance to let everybody know what’s happening, get physical Christmas gifts to those people who have provided an address, and send off the seasonal Haiku I promised as my December rewards. After that, I’m done.

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To say I’m gutted is an understatement, but I’m also enough of a realist to grasp that this can be an opportunity in disguise. A number of people have already offered to fund me, a couple already have, and to make sure there is some kind of transitional arrangement between the end of Patreon and the New Year, there are now buttons up on my blog that link firstly to my Paypal page and then to Ko-fi. I’m not a huge coffee drinker but I won’t turn down a cup, especially as I’m about to consciously cut ties with a company I feel does not care about what I am or what has been achieved.

I’ve not done enough things in my life on principle. Making the break now really matters, because it will give me time to organise myself better, allow an opportunity to finish the writing projects I have in my own time, yet sustain a decent and consistent form of output here. I intend to make the most of the time I’ll have between Christmas and New Year to overhaul everything site-wise (as was the plan anyway) and come back with new ideas and approaches in 2018. For now, as would be the case with anything else currently, I’d like to cut the toxic influence I feel Patreon has become out of my life.

If you want to move forward with me, here is the place to bookmark for future use.

 

Beautiful Dreamer

autumn schedule

Okay, next week is November, and I need to get my arse in gear. There’s a plan in place for Haiku to cover the entire month (more on that on Monday) and I’m going to announce on that day the subject matter for the month’s worth of Micropoetry in one hit. This allows me to plan ahead, write everything and schedule which will give me MORE TIME FOR WRITING NANOWRIMO.

NaNoWriMo 2017

I’m positively vibrating with excitement over this year’s NaNo: the best idea I’ve ever had, already planned and plotted, confident of not only coming in under time but over word count in a decent form to edit. Next month I’ll also be making Xmas gifts for friends and writing seasonal poetry for Patreons. If it does all go as scheduled I’ll be as pleased as staggered: never having planned something this extensively before, there is no idea of how well (or otherwise) it will all go. I am, I will say, cautiously optimistic.

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There’s also a plan to have more Patrons by the end of November than currently exist at the start: to do that there needs to be compelling and exciting content. I’m hoping to get your help in creating more of that: watch this space for how you can influence how Patreon goes forward and WIN FREE STUFF in the process.

Time to get this show on the road.

#ThinkTober Week Three

Week Three of the Haiku project ended up as something of an experiment in different canvases. Some worked, others didn’t, but overall I learnt a great deal about organising myself more effectively. Needless to say, all of this is useful information to take going forward in the weeks to come.

One of the most significant changes will be that if I use myself as a canvas, I’ll need to get somebody else to take the pictures. This picture is a bit more blurry than I would like: had I been better organised, a far more professional picture could have been taken. Also, fountain pen ink is by far the best thing I’ve found to write onto my skin. This won’t be the last time that happens, I’ll wager.

Welcome to the green space outside my house: one of the trees here fell down a few years ago and crushed my car. This one, however, appears to be made of sturdier stuff and became my backdrop: I did think about writing on the bark, but am pretty certain that would qualify as vandalism. Card and BluTack had to do instead.

In the interests of full disclosure: this spider was not killed in order to make the Haiku happen. I found a long-dead spider corpse (with an already detached leg) to play a stunt squashed arachnid. I still need to put this unit together, now I come to think of it… ^^

I need to make more use of custom card cutouts in the Christmas set of Haiku I’m planning. Hobby shops probably will be able to provide me with some festive shapes, and I’m smart enough to be able to design some of my own. There’s also the opportunity to print out my words and then place them against plainer backgrounds, which is an approach I’ve not utilised…

This, of all the Haiku I’ve done, is my absolute favourite of all. It required me to have to write a poem only using the Scrabble letters and then finding a way to place them on the board where particular letters had to be duplicated. Okay, that’s not exactly how a game would work either, but you can’t have everything.

Yes, I texted this one in because I was short for time.

I think it works regardless 😀

… and that is Week Three done. That leaves me another 10 days worth of Haiku to complete, which I’ll post as one complete post after the Project is finished. Many thanks for sticking with me thus far, and I look forward to seeing you for the last part of the journey.