In which I do author stuff

I will be in Louisville next weekend at ConGlomeration, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, also in Louisville. I have my usual table in Artist’s Alley– stand by for further information on that, as I don’t know exactly where I’ll be found yet– but I’m also doing four panels. From their programming page:

FRIDAY:

“Writing Compelling Dialog”
1pm | Perry
Ever wonder how writers manage that witty line or perfect turn of phrase as their characters mouth off to each other on the page? Join us to discuss the ins and outs of writing authentic and compelling dialog.

“Writing Compelling Characters”
2pm | Perry
From Doctor Who to Han Solo, to Spock, these fictional characters speak to us and move us, making their stories epic in a way that can’t be put into words. Come join us to discuss what makes a compelling character and how to write characters that will have your readers rooting for them long after they’ve put the book down.

SATURDAY:

“Success as an Indie Author”
1pm | Perry
Trying to make it as an independent author can be confusing and not a little frightening. Everything depends on you, and it’s up to you to make or break yourself in the field. Join some successful indie authors as they discuss ways to set yourself up for success and build your platform so that you can write stories you love and sell them to people who will love them just as much.

“Writing Fantasy”
8pm | Perry
Fantasy fiction has shaped our culture from ancient myths and fairy tales to current blockbusters and cult-followed classics. Join a panel of fantasy authors to discuss the elements of great fantasy writing and how to make your fantasy story the masterpiece it deserves to be.

I will leave it up to y’all to determine whether I deserve to be on any of these panels; the imposter syndrome is kicking in hard, I’ll admit, but fuck it I’m a teacher and I explain shit to people for a living and if I can’t BS my way through four independent hours of talking about writing … well, I absolutely can bullshit my way through four independent hours of talking about writing, is what I’m saying. I am assuming “Perry” is the name of the hall or the room they’re in, because surely they don’t have the same person moderating every writing panel. Again, more information will follow.

And then, the weekend after next, I’ll be at LaffyCon in Lafayette. This is a Saturday-Sunday only event, with no panels, although I might try and finagle my way into a podcast or something at some point.

After that, IndyPopCon in June, and then … well, I need to find some stuff to fill the summer up with, I think, because nothing else until Kokomo-Con X in October. Maybe I’ll do InConJunction again this year; it was the first one I ever went to so that might be fun. Plus it starts on my birthday.

Anyway, I’ve been designing new banners all day. They’re up on Patreon, even! And I ordered new books, and the point is I’ve spent an awful lot of money on being an author today, and you should go buy a couple of my books because Jesus is this shit expensive. But my new booth setup has potential to look super cool, and I’m excited about that.

In which my own marketing nearly kills me

I am not normally the type to read instructions, at least not at first. I’m perfectly happy to go over them once I’ve taken a shot at something, but my usual method is to muddle in and see if I can figure things out before touching the instructions. I’m not stubborn about it or anything like that; I just don’t go for the instructions first.

My new banner arrived today. I like it! It looks nice! And I should take a second and thank Jamie Noble Frier for the amazing artwork and Michael J. Martinez for the cover blurb. (Have you read Tales: The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 3 yet? Get on that.)

The new banner is built into that base. It did not come with instructions.

Have you ever used one of these things before? There is a tension rod behind the banner itself. It hooks into the metal piece at the top of the banner, but 1) you need to know the feet are there (they rotate underneath the base for ease of transport) and 2) you need to be standing on the feet before you try and pull the banner up because otherwise the base is going to snap up toward your hands after a second or two and the whole thing becomes very unwieldy and also 3) it is not immediately clear how to hook the top of the banner into the top of the tension rod, especially if you do what I think is the natural thing and try to pull the banner up while standing in front of it, meaning that you’re obscuring your view of the tension rod while you’re pulling the banner up.

This means that two or three times you will either lose your grip on the banner or you will not seat it properly and it will crash back down into the base at what is frankly a terrifying velocity and volume and you will yell loud swears and your son will ask you what is wrong in a vaguely frightened tone of voice that you will be ashamed for making him use.

So. For future reference:

  1. Rotate the feet out from underneath the enclosure so that they are perpendicular to the base.
  2. Stand on the feet, behind the banner.
  3. Insert the extended tension rod into both of the holes in the base. There are TWO holes. The second one is invisible and it will take a moment to get the rod into both. FIND THEM BOTH.
  4. While continuing to stand on the feet, lift the banner up over your head and insert the tab on the tension rod into the slot on the banner. TEST IT to make sure it is seated properly.
  5. Walk away slowly, terrified that your footsteps will transmit a shock to the banner through the floor and it will snap back into place.
  6. Do not touch the fucking thing again until you are ready to take it down, and when you are, do it very carefully.

Learn from my mistakes, y’all.

In which I need opinions

I’ve got two cons this month, and I want to bring at least one new banner with me. It makes sense for that to be connected to the Benevolence Archives since I have three books in that series. Ideally, I’d like to use the cover from Tales from the Benevolence Archives, since it has my characters on it. So I’ve been fiddling with that. And, well…

The issue here is the background color, which is defeating my meager abilities with image manipulation. I’m not a huge fan of the black. I could use a gradient, but I’ve not been able to find one that works in a way that I like with the top line of the cover image since it’s not a solid color. Also, the Prostetnic logo at the bottom probably needs to shrink a little. I can take or leave using the actual book logo or just choosing a better font (and going with a generic “Benevolence Archives” is probably not a bad idea) so … something like a combination of this image and this:

Neither of the cover images are really the right size to make them the entire background; I have no choice but to have some space somewhere, either at the top, the bottom, or both. So I think keeping it middle-ish is my best bet.

Anyone out there have strong opinions on how to handle this, or willing to fake having strong opinions?

On temporary and uncharacteristic bursts of optimism

giphy

I was entertained– this is genuine, I’m not trying to be passive-aggressive here– at how little attention my post about Sekiro got the other day.  Clearly there isn’t a huge audience around here for wild technical musings about video games unless I’m complaining (complaining always gets attention).  That said, we’re invoking the My Blog My Rules Goddammit covenant here, because my ass beat Genichiro Ashina earlier today, a feat that somehow only twenty-five percent of the players of this game have managed in the nine days since it came out, and I am damned proud of myself.  So: booyah, motherfuckers.

ALSO!  I have put new stuff on my Patreon twice in the last few days after ignoring it (and pausing charges to my Patrons; I don’t take your money if I don’t give you anything in return) for a couple of months.  There have been two first chapters of old, abandoned projects put up– neither of those ever got finished, but if people like what they see in those first chapters, maybe I’ll revisit them.  Remember, $2 a month gets you a whole book.  We like books, right?

Today’s the first day of Spring Break, and while we don’t have any real plans for the week I have high hopes that I’ll get something done for the two conventions I’ll be going to this April– a new banner, at least, since the old ones are getting a little raggedy(*).  I have been completely dry as far as writing fiction goes for all of 2019, basically, and dammit I’m gonna fix that this week.  We’re gonna get something creative accomplished up in here if it kills me.  And it’s not gonna kill me.

This is gonna be a big week, dammit.  Big.

(*) ConGlomeration in Louisville, April 19-21, and LaffyCon in Lafayette on April 27 and 28.  Are you near either of them?  Come see me!  I actually have some free tickets for LaffyCon, if anyone’s nearby and wants ’em.

STATION IDENTIFICATION: Infinitefreetime.com

I’m Luther Siler.  I’m an author.  Welcome to my blog, infinitefreetime.com.

I’ve written several books you might be interested in, ranging from short story collections to near-future science fiction to fantasy space opera to nonfiction, all available as ebooks or in print from Amazon.  Autographed books can be ordered straight from me as well.

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Thanks for reading!

Prostetnic hi-res cropped