Amy held out a reusable grocery bag to the young child. The bag was light brown with an image of various fruit and vegetables clumped together. Maybe it was supposed to look like Thanksgiving and fall-like, but Amy thought it was ugly. It was the first bag she could find though.
It was a big bag and she worried about its size, especially as the boy dropped a handful of leaves inside. After doing so, he grinned promptly turning around in search for more leaves.
Amy peered inside the bag. When she suggested going on a leaf hunt with the kid she babysat for, she didn’t think he’d take it literal. The foliage was at its peak and Amy thought it’d be a nice idea to go for a walk and take a look at the vivid red, orange, and yellow leaves. Maybe play I Spy or something as well.
Instead, the boy wanted to collect the leaves. He took the leaf hunt to heart and was in search for the “bestest leaf.” (His words, not hers.)
However, the bag was slowly filling with not only freshly fallen leaves, but crumbs of dead leaves crushed under either his footing or the handfuls of dirt that somehow made it into the bag as well. Blades of grass were collected and, so far, Amy hadn’t spotted any bugs. If she did though, she was going to have to find a way to “accidentally” drop the bag causing it to tip upside side spilling all its contents.
The four-year-old came back with another fistful of more dirt and grass than leaves. Amy held the bag out and he tossed it in.
“Don’t you think you have enough now?” she asked.
“Nope,” came the prompt reply. He was off again in search for more.
Amy sighed. She looked over her shoulder taking a look at the clock hanging on the wall in the porch through the door. At least he was entertaining himself. His mother was due home any minute and Amy figured this would be her problem soon enough.
As if on cue, Amy heard a car pull into the driveway in the front. She called to the boy telling him his mother was home, but he waved her off. He was too invested in the leaves.
Amy spoke with his mother for a few minutes before trying to say bye to the boy. He wouldn’t let her leave.
Then his mother needed to ask Amy about another babysitting day and they got wrapped up in conversation once more. After a few more minutes, Amy said bye to the boy again. He said no.
His mother sighed. She now held the bag of dirt and leaves. She told him Amy was going to leave whether he said bye or not. They were leaving for vacation in the morning so this was his last chance to see Amy for a whole week.
With that, he walked toward Amy with a sly grin and both hands behind his back.
He better not have a worm. Amy thought to herself.
“Ta-da!” he exclaimed, revealing what he had behind his back. “For you. Don’t forget me when I’m on vacation.”
Amy’s mouth hung open in shock.
“It’s the bestest leaf,” he said.
Amy reached out and took it. The oak leaf truly was the best one he found all afternoon. It was bright red with not a scratch or tear on it. It must have just fallen from the tree overhead.
“Are you sure?” Amy asked.
She smiled. “It’s beautiful, thank you.”
Amy made her way back home, the leaf sitting in the passenger seat of her car. What was she supposed to do with a leaf? The gesture from the preschooler was sweet but Amy knew she wouldn’t be able to keep a leaf. It would soon brown and crumble and she’d have to toss it.
She pulled into her driveway and thought about dropping the leaf on the ground. That’s where it belonged and maybe a small critter would use it for warmth or to hide their food for the upcoming winter.
She couldn’t bring herself to drop it.
Of course, Amy wasn’t going to forget him while he was away for a week. She had just started babysitting for him a month ago and maybe he thought she wouldn’t remember him after being away for so long.
Amy shrugged as she went into her house still holding onto the leaf. Would he know if she dropped it? No. Would she know? Yes.
She went straight to her bedroom and pulled out a scrapbook. She turned to a blank page, passing old love letters from her high school crush, photos of school dances and birthday parties with her friends, and the occasional memento. Amy placed the leaf on a blank page and with a permanent marker wrote, “The Bestest Leaf.”
She didn’t know how long the leaf would keep its color. She knew it would brown regardless of being on the ground or in her scrapbook. But the memory will always be there.
Crossroads is my next Wattpad story that was originally a novella turned into a novel turned into the first book of a trilogy. I’ve been wanting to talk about what inspired the story for a while and I thought now was the time to do so.
The Seven Deadly Sins
One of the big inspirations behind this story are the seven deadly sins and their counter virtues.
I have six main characters all who find each other in one way or another. They help one another out on their individual journeys though not lightly in the beginning. Each character was inspired by one of the seven deadly sins.
I only used five of the sins thought – I took out gluttony and lust. Yes, I do have six characters, but I’ll tell you the math in a minute.
The virtues that act as counterparts to the sins are listed in the same order as they are above:
Again, I only used five taking away abstinence and chastity since those are the counterparts to gluttony and wrath.
Each one of my characters represents sin and a virtue that is not the counterpart to their sin. They all, in a way, balance each other out. They learn from each other and, over time will inadvertently learn about their counterpart through one of their companions. Thus, becoming better people and la-dee-dah.
(Oh, and I use five out of the seven instead of six because of the characters doesn’t pertain to any of that. But, you’ll see when you read it.)
How did I come up with this?
Accidentally. I had started writing my characters and as I had learned more about their background, motives for their own goals as to why they’re helping the other characters, I realized they sort of fit into their own categories. Somehow, I thought of the deadly sins and there we go. It was a huge inspiration for their motives and story goals.
It’s been a lot of fun to write, actually. Novels tend to have a certain theme that goes along with the plot and a lot of it has to do with my characters’ choices, whether they’re right or wrong.
There are two more things that inspired Crossroads. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can check out the post I made about it on my Patreon page.
What has inspired some of your novels? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
This patron short story for July 2019 is called Sunset. I hope you all enjoy it. May and June’s stories will be posted on my Patreon page plus two bonus stories. Thank you for your patience as I took some time off!
Cindy stepped out into her back yard with her Great Dane. Captain went to the right to relieve himself near the bushes and Cindy turned to her left. She didn’t have much of a backyard. It was mostly a patio with a little grass off to the other side of the house for the dog. A wooden gate separated the back from the front and a wooden railing did the job on the left side of the house. The house was atop a hill and without the railing, Cindy would plummet off her patio into a cluster of bushes below.
She rested her elbows on the railing and leaned forward against it. Her gaze shifted up through the trees and toward the sky. There were a lot of trees surrounding her house, but, if she stood in this exact spot, there was an opening between the trees and their branches where she could look onward at the sky all the way down to the end of her street.
It was the beginning of July and it was just about 8:30 pm. The air was thick and warm though it was semi-cool down soon enough. The sun lowered itself down on the horizon.
Captain trotted toward his master and stood beside her. Cindy was small while her Great Dane was rather large. When standing, the top of Captain’s head was at Cindy’s chest. She moved her arm off the railing and placed it on Captain’s back stroking him gently.
Cindy looked back to the sky. The sun was no longer shining as it was just about set. It illuminated the rest of the sky, the clouds wispy and swirling like cotton candy. A pastel pink hue radiated the sky, a darker pink mixed with orange lining the horizon where the sun disappeared. The swirling colors got darker before they disappeared. Cindy smiled as she watched the colors change and vanish before her eyes.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it, Captain?”
He sat down looking up at his owner. Cindy stroked under his chin.
“I look forward to this part of the day every day. It doesn’t matter if I’ve had a good day or a bad one. This,” Cindy pointed to the sky with her other hand, “this right here puts everything into perspective.”
Captain moaned, his back leg thumping as Cindy continued to scratch under his chin.
“We really are specks in this world, Captain. There are so many bigger and greater things out there. This is why we need to take care of each other. Take care of the earth.”
She stopped stroking Captain and the pup turned back around and trotted to the other side of the yard. He picked up a bone and laid down, chewing on it. Cindy chuckled to herself as she watched him settle down on the stone. She turned back to the sky. The sunset was just about complete.
“It’s so quiet. So peaceful.” Cindy whispered to herself. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath through her nose.
One more moment of solitude and then the back storm door opened wide whacking Cindy in the back. Her eyes shot open as she was pushed forward. She grabbed onto the railing for balance.
“Oh, sorry Cind. I didn’t know you were right there. What are you doing?”
Cindy let out an exasperated sigh at her brother. “I’m just watching the sun set, Roger.”
“Oh,” he replied. “Well, mom wants you to do the dishes.”
“Does she, though?” Cindy raised an eyebrow. “Or did she ask you to do them and you’re pretending she asked you to ask me.”
Roger pressed his lips together into a smirk. “Touché,” he said as he headed back inside and closed the door behind him.
Cindy shook her head in annoyance. She looked back to the sun set. But it had already gone. The left over clouds were gray again and the bright sky had turned dark. Captain padded up to her again and sat down.
“Let’s go inside, Captain,” Cindy said. “The show is over. Until tomorrow evening.”
Did you enjoy the story? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
This month’s short story is brought to you by a prompt from Jim! I hope I did his idea some justice. The words sort of wrote themselves for this one. Enjoy!
Erin remained seated as the sailboat got closer to the island. She eyed her husband, Bill, who stood on the end of the boat gazing at the tall palm trees.
“Where are we?” she asked.
Bill shrugged his shoulders not looking back at her. “I think the waves pushed us toward this way when the wind died down.”
“How we do we get out of here?”
Erin wasn’t much of a sailor. She didn’t know anything about boats or the ocean. In fact, she got motion sickness easily. She only came along for this ride because it was something Bill enjoyed and he had been nagging her for years to go sailing with him, just once. They were celebrating their 10-year anniversary so Erin thought this would make a great present for him.
Bill turned hopped off the boat landing in the water, which was up to his waist. He grabbed the rope on the boat and started pulling it toward the shore. “We wait for the wind to pick back up again.” He grunted at the weight.
Erin held onto her seat. “Okay, so let’s wait for the wind. What are you doing?”
“The wind most likely won’t pick back up for another hour or so. Might as well go exploring.” Bill said. He pulled the boat onto the sandy shore and wiped his hands together after letting go of the rope.
“Are you nuts?” Erin said still sitting in the boat.
“Why not? It could be fun. I doubt there’s anything on this island that’ll chase us or kill us or whatever.” Bill explained.
Erin grumbled to herself. She stood up and wobbled her way off the boat and onto the sand. She hated how Bill knew her so well. She didn’t have a problem exploring if they went for a drive. If they got lost, that’s what the GPS was for. She did have a problem with exploring unknown areas without a getaway car or even a boat with a motor for a quick escape.
They had no idea what was on this island. Rabid animals could have been hiding in the trees. The bushes could have poisonous thorns or berries. A storm could suddenly happen overhead. Lightning could strike a palm tree and they’d be stuck on the island!
“Are you okay?” Bill asked putting his hands on her shoulders. He broke Erin out of her downward spiraling thoughts as she nodded.
Bill curled one side of his lip into a half smile. Erin could tell he knew she was lying.
“Come on,” he prompted taking her by the hand, “let’s just take a quick walk around the shore. We don’t have to go inside the little forest. If we see something that spooks you, we can head right back to boat.”
Erin sighed but reluctantly allowed him to lead her away from the boat.
As they walked the perimeter of the island, Erin had to admit it was a beautiful sight. The sun was shining brightly, the palm trees were lush and swayed slightly in the calm wind, and the ocean sparkled endlessly before them.
“This is probably the most beautiful date I’ve ever taken you on.” Bill said with a chuckle. Erin grasped his hand tighter. She put her head down on her shoulder.
“This is a beautiful place.” She agreed. What were the odds this would be such a happy accident?
They wandered the perimeter of the island, talking and laughing with one another. It was almost like they were on a honeymoon on some tropical island somewhere. They were enjoying each other’s coming up until the moment they made it back to where they started.
The two stood side by side staring at where their sailboat had been. At least, they thought they left the sailboat there.
Erin’s body started to shake in fear. Bill kissed the back of her hand, gave it a quick pat, and jogged over to the water’s edge. His actions showed he attempted to reassure her, but his lack of words told a different story. Erin followed slowly and when she made it beside Bill again, she sighed.
Their sailboat had shrunk as it drifted farther away in the ocean.
“Um…” Bill tried to break the silence and refused to look his wife in the eye.
Erin folded her arms over her chest. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Well, I know I’m not swimming.”
Bill cast a frown toward her. He sighed, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.
“Be careful.” Erin said.
“I’ll be back.” He said gloomily as he stepped into the water.
I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you’re looking for more short stories, you can check out my Short Story Sundays which is posted once a week.
I have so exciting news! You all know Sunday Morning has been a long time coming. There were bumps in the road, to say the least, but now it’s finally here. Sunday Morning has a release date and I’m running a special offer on Patreon for the occasion!
Until 11:59 pm EST on Monday, April 15, I will be running a special offer on my Patreon page. I’ve run this offer before and, because I had to push the release date back, I decided to run it again and give people an extra shot at it.
If you become a patron between now and April 15, you’ll get a care package sent straight to your door with some Sunday Morning goodies in it!
The package will include:
A signed, print copy of Sunday Morning
A hand-written thank you note
And other goodies!
You will have to be comfortable giving me a snail mail address. It doesn’t need to be your home, but an address that you can get the package from. This information will be kept confidential and deleted as soon as I get confirmation that you received the package.
With that in mind, feel free to head over to my Patreon page for more info! You can sign up at any tier and get the package plus all the rewards that come with the tier you join at.
As always, there’s no obligation. Just trying to find ways to give back to all the support you guys have given me over the years!
I guess you’ll be wanting to know more about this, huh?
As I said, Sunday Morning has had some hiccups. Real life stuff happened and I needed to push the release date back a few times… remember this was originally planned to be released in January? Then February?
Well, I’m not holding back anymore. No more waiting. I’ve set a release date and it’s final.
Sunday Morning is coming Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
I am beyond excited and totally freaked out at the same time. There’s still so much to do in just three weeks, but I know I can do it. I can’t wait to share this project with you. Who knew my Short Story Sunday posts would get its own spotlight?
My Patreon special offer ends on Monday, April 15 and the book will be released just one week after that! Whether you decide to join Patreon or not, I’ve been creating public posts on there this week and will continue to do so for the next few days. Be sure to check those out.
As always, thanks for reading and sticking by me through all this. It means the world.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re just as excited as I am for Sunday Morning! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
Patreon is a membership platform where you can get closer to some of your favorite creators and show them how much you love their work. These creators can be anyone from an artist, musician, gamer, YouTuber, writer, graphic designer, and so much more. Art is everywhere and we are all artists in some way.
There’s a lot of misconception about Patreon. Unless you’re some sort of artist, freelancer, or entrepreneur, most people tend to think Patreon is just a “donation” platform. I’ve been part of Patreon for almost a year now and I still get people commenting and asking me why I ask for donations from people.
Now, there are a ton of places out there where people can ask for money. Patreon is one along with Ko-Fi, Kickstarter, or some people just leave buttons to they PayPal. For some reason, people only tend to question Patreon. Yet, the other platforms are completely normal to them. Of course, this is just what I hear and maybe I don’t pay enough attention to the others, but I’m going by what I’ve experienced and what I’ve witnessed.
This is probably one of my longest posts, but it would really mean a lot to me if you read until the end.
When I started this journey – you know, the whole writing and blogging thing – I never imagined I would be here, in this spot, in this very moment. I never imagined my blog would have over 6,000 followers. I never imagined I’d be in the process of self-publishing a novel.
I never imagined I’d be doing a whole lot of other things as well. This includes book publicity, co-hosting a Twitter game, contributing to other websites plus an online magazine, and so much more. So, when one of those doors opened, I jumped on it. I thought it would open way more doors – which it did, but not in the way I had expected them to.
I worked. A lot.
I was working in a preschool classroom making $14,000 a year. Yeah, a year. A full-time job that was making me just a tad over $1,000 a month. On my third year working there, I realized the substitute teachers got paid more than me. Even though I was part of a classroom working with a great team and working with the same kids for 180 days of the school year – plus the summer program – I realized I was at the very bottom. I got three sick days a year. No personal or vacation time. No benefits or insurance. One, because I was still under my parents and two, because my co-worker, who was the same level as me, carried the insurance for her family and ended up getting $1 paychecks and owing money because she didn’t make enough for the insurance and taxes and everything else to get taken out.
I soon realized I was nothing in the eyes of the town I worked for.
I wrote and blogged in the early morning hours. Then went to work until 2:30 in the afternoon. Then I babysat for a few hours after that. When I got home around five or six, I ate dinner, and wrote and blogged some more before going to bed just to wake up and work another 12-hour shift.
So, I quit my preschool job in June 2017.
It was a rough decision for me to quit. I loved the teachers I worked with and I knew I would really miss the kids. Honestly, if I didn’t need money to survive in this world, I would have stayed. But I just couldn’t. I wanted to be a writer and I had my blog well established at this time. I talked to my parents and thankfully, they were supportive and encouraging enough to allow me to quit my job and pursue my writing career.
I still babysat in the afternoons though. I was still the director of my church’s Sunday school program, which paid me as well. So, I was losing $14,000 a year, but I was still making money for me to get by.
The summer of 2017 I had an internship with a book publicist with the option of it becoming a part-time job in the fall. I thought this was my foot in the door. I could put the preschool jobs behind me and focus on writing, blogging, and everything in between. I could finally work in the writing world.
Once the internship was over, however, I got one paying job and then… nothing. It took a few months for my employer to reach out again saying there were other jobs lined up. Then nothing still. It’s now been a year since I’ve heard anything.
That’s not all that was short lived.
That was disappointing to say the least, but I had still learned a lot and was able to move forward, hopefully to do some things on my own. I still had babysitting and Sunday school, after all.
Well, no. Before the 2017-2018 school year began, my church asked me to help with the email list and the Facebook page. I agreed. In October, I asked where my paycheck was for September and the answer? “Oh, I forgot to tell you… you’re out.”
My church, at the time, wasn’t doing well financially, and apparently, I was the one they decided to cut completely. So, now I had no book publicity jobs and even though I was still doing the work for my church, it was all volunteer-based.
I was still babysitting three days a week. Except the father became a firefighter and his work hours were weird. He worked mostly nights so he was home during the day, which meant they didn’t need me as often. At most, I was making $25-$50 a week. In the spring of 2018, they told me they wouldn’t need my anymore. Their oldest was going to middle school the next year and between the father’s work schedule, they knew she’d be able to be home alone for an hour or two after school.
“When one door closes, another opens.”
Not in my case. One door opened and everything else locked me out – including the door that opened.
In less than one year, I quit my full-time job, lost a potential part-time gig, lost my compensation for my church despite still doing the work, and lost my babysitting job. I was left wondering, “now what?”
What do you do when you take a big risk and it doesn’t work out?
I’ve been job-hunting since June 2017. Just because I took a risk, doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me. I’ve applied to quite a few places since then. Unfortunately, nothing has ever worked out. Apparently, you need experience to get experience and even though I do a lot for this blog, it’s a “personal” blog and therefore doesn’t count as experience because it’s not for a “third party.”
I’m easily stressed. I panic a lot. I can’t predict the future. I can’t know cause and effect of my actions and my decisions. I often wonder so many “what ifs” about my choices.
What if I had waited a year or two to quit my job? Or not quit it at all?
What if I had started looking for a new babysitting job earlier to fill in the lost time?
What if I didn’t agree to do so much for my church? They didn’t pay me any more, but it’d be a weight off my shoulder.
I often wonder if I did something wrong or maybe I didn’t do something well enough. Why did my church decide to cut me off completely instead of docking a little bit of pay from everyone? Why did I never hear back from that book publicist? My work was often praised, but was that just a front? Maybe it was more work for her to have a middle-man and I just complicated things.
I guess I’ll never know the answers to these questions, but the fact remains – I made decisions and this is the result.
Now what do I do?
I was at a loss of what to do. I had heard of Patreon from a lot of the YouTubers I watch. I didn’t think it was something I’d be able to do though, even though there are plenty of writers and authors on there. For a while, I thought I had nothing to offer.
In addition to everything I do offline, I do a lot online as well. I run two blogs, I’m working on various novels, I co-host #TheMerryWriter on Twitter, I’m on the Editorial Board for the 85K90 writing challenge, and I contribute game reviews to two websites as well as help out with social media and contribute to the magazine for one of those websites. I did an unpaid freelance gig because I wanted to help a friend and I wanted to get more experience, plus I was hoping to develop a working relationship. Once the gig was over, I never heard back from her.
I don’t get paid for any of these things. I do them because I enjoy them. I like learning new things and I like to help out. I’ve met a lot of people and have made a lot of friends these past couple of years. However, if money didn’t make the world go round, I would not be writing this post.
In doing all this though, I realized one thing.
I do have something to offer.
I wouldn’t have so many followers on my blog if you guys didn’t enjoy my content, right? If you hated my articles, if you didn’t care for my writing voice, or if you thought my creative writing sucked, you wouldn’t be reading this right now, right? (Of course, this is a super long post, so if you’re still with me – thank you!)
Between the work in real life and online, I’ve learned a lot. I have a good amount of skills. It’s taken me a while to realize it because with the lack of communication and the lack of compensation, I always wondered if I wasn’t good enough or if I was doing something wrong. I never knew and I’ve finally decided to step up.
I work hard. I put my heart and soul into my work. I’m often the first one to jump up and volunteer to do something if it helps someone else out.
But my writing has suffered for it. My mind has suffered from it. Everything all at once is stressful and then to end the night by job hunting when I already have like, five or six jobs, takes a toll. I can’t keep giving away my work for free.
So I joined Patreon in February 2018.
It was a long shot, but I bit the bullet and decided to join Patreon. I work night and day and I create a lot. As a creator, I feel I should get compensated for my work. No, I’m not looking for donations. I’m looking to be compensated for my time, for my hard work. I’m looking to build a community and get to know people who enjoy my work. I want to keep doing this for a living and, without something like Patreon, I fear that will never happen.
I’m still trying to figure out to make my Patreon page the best it can be for my patrons. I’m trying to be better at promoting it. I’ve always felt funny self-promoting… I don’t know why. Maybe I feel like my work isn’t good enough, but then, if that’s the case, why am I doing any of this at all?
Plus, if I’m going to be self-publishing books, I need to work on my self-promotion and marketing skills anyway, right?
So far, Patreon has been a wonderful experience. I’ve met a few new writers through there and I’ve loved being able to share my journey with my patrons as well as support other creators through Patreon.
Getting an email saying someone became a patron of yours is the best feeling in the world. That feeling isn’t because of the monetary value, but it is because of the money itself. Let me explain what I mean:
Money is sacred. We all have bills to pay. We all have groceries to buy. Maybe your saving up for a new video game or that shiny new car. Maybe you’re trying to whittle down your school loans. So, when you get an email saying, “Hey! This person gave you $1 – they really must like your stuff!” It means the world. It means that even though you have a mortgage to pay, you decided to spare a dollar on me, a stranger, simply because my work makes you happy. Because you believe in my work. Because you want to support and encourage me to continue to work.
I’ve worked and reworked my Patreon page a couple times to make it the best it can be for you guys, my patrons. Of course, I’ve been promoting my Patreon more than I used to. However, I’m not asking each and every one of my 6,000 followers to join. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it. If you don’t want to, don’t do it. If you enjoy my stuff anyway, reading and commenting on this blog is great. Reading my books when they come out is great.
I’ll still get crap for it, but I don’t care anymore.
“So, you quit your job and now you’re asking for donations?”
That’s the biggest comment I get whenever I mention my Patreon. But now you know. I quit my job thinking I was all set and I wasn’t.
Maybe I was naive to think that. Maybe, out of all the work I do on and offline, I should give up a couple of them. Maybe I should stop working “for experience” when I already have a lot. Maybe I should stop thinking I’ll “grow” with these people, these websites, these companies.
I know all this now, though I didn’t realize it then. I know I’ll eventually have to give up a couple of these jobs so I can work on my own creative projects. I know, once I find a paying job, the free ones will have to be given up, despite how much I enjoy doing them, aside from the money part of it.
I don’t regret anything.
Life isn’t perfect and the choices I’ve made in the past were the “right” ones at the time. Life loves to throw a few curve balls here and there and, despite my panicking, I know I’ll figure it out at some point.
I did find a new babysitting job for this year. They’re paying me more and they needed me for more hours than the family did last year. Plus, their friends need an occasional babysitter so I sometimes have double-duty.
I’m still running the Sunday school program at my church. I’m still doing the Facebook page, running the newsletter, and now managing the website. We’re in the process of getting a new Reverend and when all is official, the first thing I’m going to do is talk to him about getting paid again. The church is doing well financially again and I definitely deserve to get compensated for all the work I put into it.
In the end, though, I still have bills to pay. I still need to save up to hire an editor for my books. That’s why I chose to join Patreon. I know a lot of people out there enjoy my content and maybe they’d want to see more of it through Patreon.
Thanks for reading.
Seriously, if you read this far, I really appreciate it. I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks. It’s been on my mind for a while and I think you guys deserve to know why I joined Patreon and why I’ve been pushing it more. I’m not looking for “donations” because I quit my job. I’m just trying to make a living like everyone else.
With that said, I have to do one final plug – I’m running a special promotion for my debut book. If you become a patron at the $1 tier than you’ll get an exclusive promotion box which will include a paperback copy of the book, a bookmark, a handwritten thank you note, and a special surprise. This offer ends in four days on January 20, 2019. So, if that’s something that interests you, then you can head over to my Patreon page to learn more.
As always, thank you for reading and for all your support – on and off the blog! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I have no intro for this. The past few years I’ve been updating my weekly progress for NaNo. So, I’m doing it again. Here’s my NaNoWriMo 2018 Update One.
My daily goal is always to write 2,000 words. I like the even number over 1,667 words. I also try my best to get it done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around at the end of the month. Here’s how I’m doing so far.
Day 1: 2,203 Day 2: 2,125 Day 3: 2,175 Day 4: 2,114 Day 5: 2,061 Day 6: 2,132
Day 7: Haven’t written yet this morning!
Week One Total: 12,810
Not bad, right? I had a steady stream of words each day. Day 3 was Saturday as well as Double-Up Day. I don’t know why I thought Double-Up Day was later in the month, but I wasn’t planning on that. When I found out I had decided to attempt 4,000 words.
I ended up not getting the chance to write until much later at night. I usually write early in the morning but I didn’t make my word count that day until around 10-10:30 at night. It just so happened that other things were going on that day (good things, of course) and I had decided to put my attention towards that instead of focusing on writing.
I thought Sunday, November 4, would be a good day to write 4,000 words and pretend I did it for my own Double-Up Day, but that didn’t happen either. I was at church for a few hours, got my 2k in, and then had other work that needed to be done. Maybe this weekend I can aim to give myself a mini writing marathon.
I spent the whole week working on my Short Story Sunday 2019 project. That is, if you don’t know, 52 shorts/flashes – one for every Sunday of 2019. These will be under my Short Story Sunday category next year.
I also put the last finishing touches of November’s short story for my patrons. They’ll be getting their exclusive story from me on Saturday, November 10. If you’d like to receive a patron-only short from me each month, then please join me on Patreon for only $1 a month. If you want to see what it’s all about, you can check out my Patreon page here.
I’ve also been working bit by bit on Sunday Morning. I’ll have more information on that as soon as I can, but if you’d like to be the first to know, then Patreon is a great place to be.
NaNo Week One
I can’t believe the first week of NaNo is already done. It was a good week though and I feel like I got a lot done. I’m happy with my progress and I’m looking forward to what I’ll get done in week two.
How did week one go for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
NaNo begins in two days! Two! Can you believe it? NaNoWriMo 2018 has come up so fast that I’m not sure what to do with myself. I’m usually more prepared but this year is different. I know what I’ll be working on and it’s nothing new, which is usually what I try to do.
The whole point of NaNoWriMo is to spend a month writing 50,000 words and just getting the basic bare bones of a first draft of a novel on paper. The challenge is also to start something new. You can prep, but you can’t do any writing until midnight November 1 and you keep writing bit by bit each day until the end of the month. I always try to start something new, but I haven’t the past couple of years. I have so many projects that I don’t want to bury myself deeper.
This makes me a NaNo Rebel.
I don’t mind though. The point is to finish something (or start something) and to make progress. Any progress is progress, no matter what you’re working on or how far along you are in it. Or eve how far you manage to get in a certain amount of time.
I write my short stories in advance for my Sunday blog posts. I usually write them during a Camp NaNo session (because, as I said, I try to start a brand new novel each November). I didn’t work on next year’s stories though during April or July… I don’t know why. I honestly can’t remember what I worked on instead.
Still, I’m going to work on these quick flash fiction pieces throughout the month and get the majority, if not all, of 2019 written. It’s 52 stories. I’ve done it in a month before, I can do it again. I’ve already gotten all the prompts and the layouts down. I just need to write the stories.
Speaking of my Short Story Sunday, I’ll also be working on Sunday Morning. I have another round of edits to get through as well as publishing duties to do. Again, unless it’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I try not to edit. But this is something I need to get done sooner rather than later.
If you don’t know what Sunday Morning is, you can check out this post here. This book is being supported by my Patrons on Patreon. If you enjoy my blog and my creative writing overall, please check out my Patreon. It’s an exclusive community where you’ll get an inside look at my work and we can chat easier with one another as well. There are special rewards and, if you give $1 a month beforeDecember 9, 2018, you’ll get a special promo box for Sunday Morning when it’s published!
George Florence & The Perfect Alibi
I won’t be working on this one as much or as hard as I probably should. However, the other two projects are going to take priority. I’ll still give this one a bit of attention though. You can be sure of that.
What are you writing for NaNo this year? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
We’re already halfway through October. The weather is finally starting to turn more Fall than Spring and things are getting pretty chilly. I’m not sure I’m ready to start wearing coats again. I guess I just need to stock up on more coffee.
George Florence & The Perfect Alibi
I’ll admit I haven’t really worked on this novel this month. I’ve had it in the back of my mind but I have a couple of other projects that I’m thinking about. I have sat down and created some sort of plan/schedule/deadline/thing for this one though. Once I get Sunday Morning figured out, I’ll start working on this again, which should be soon.
This is a collection of flash fiction I’m working on. I’m almost done with another round of edits and then I’ll start another rewrite. Sunday Morningis planned to be self-published in early 2019. My patrons over on Patreon are making this book possible. I’m running a special promotion on my Patreon for all who join my community over there. For $1 a month you’ll get a special book box which will include a copy of the book with a patron-exclusive book cover, a hand-written thank you note from me, a bookmark, and more! (I’m still thinking of ideas.) This offer ends on December 9, 2018.
If you enjoy my work on this blog and read my stories, please consider joining me over on Patreon where you’ll get fun rewards based on the tier you sign up at as well as access to a fun, exclusive community where you’ll hear news first straight from me! You can check out Patreon here. Or you can sign up directly here.
Patron Only Short
The last project I’m working on for this month is a short story for my patrons. One of the rewards for signing up at $1 a month is an exclusive short story from me each month. This short story is written in help with my $3-patrons in which they can name a character and give me a prompt to write about. Again, if this is something that interests you, please take a look at my Patreon.
What projects are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
Guys, I have some big news! This is something I’ve been planning for months and have done a great job keeping my mouth shut about it. The secret has been hard, but I think it’s finally time to announce it.
I’m self-publishing a book.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve struggled with balancing writing life and real life, teetered back and forth between getting self-published and traditionally published, I’ve spent a great deal of time querying to agents and publishers, and have submitted to many contests and magazines.
I’m only published in the way of this blog, guest posts, and a few gaming websites I contribute to. I’ve never had someone – a “professional” – tell me they think my writing is worthy enough to be published and sit upon bookshelves in stores and libraries.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I have plenty of approval. I have you guys. You guys have been reading and commenting on my blog for over six years now. There are nearly 5,500 of you following and plenty of people signed up for my newsletter. I thought, if you guys enjoy my blog so much, why wouldn’t you enjoy something self-published from me?
So, I present…
Sunday Morning, a collection of flash fiction.
I’m still going to have my mystery novel come to light sometime soon, but in the meantime, I’ve been working on Sunday Morning.
I’ve been writing a short story/flash fiction piece once a week on this blog since… 2014 or 2015. I now have well over 200 stories. With some encouragement from a few people, one of them being Annette Rochelle Aben when I was on her podcast, The Magic Happens, back in 2016.
Honestly, this is something that’s always been in the back of my mind. However, so many people say, “If it’s online, no one will want to publish it.”
Well, I’ve decided to go through every single one of my Short Story Sundays and rewrite them all. I took the first 52 stories I ever wrote for this blog and posted on here (trust me, they’re not pretty) and I’ve been editing, rewriting, revising, rewriting again, and editing some more. Honestly, some of them weren’t bad, but the majority of the stories are vastly different from when I first published them on here. If I do say so myself, I’d like to think my writing has improved a lot and I’m pretty impressed with myself.
Sunday Morning will be the first of many flash fiction collections from me. I plan on rewriting, expanding, and improving upon all the flash fiction I’ve ever posted on here. By the time I get to the stories I’ve posted in 2018, I’ll have improved even more.
Now onto the really good stuff…
Unless you just skim my posts, I’m sure you all know I have a Patreon. My Patreon is there to allow me to continue writing for a living. This is so I can keep creating full time for a career (whether it’s creative writing, YouTube, or more… trust me, I have many plans). While my Patreon will help me pay my bills so I can create for a living, the money will first and foremost go back into my creations – blog maintenance, an editor or book cover artist, equipment for YouTube, and so on.
I’ve already met a couple of goals with the help of a few patrons. They have no idea how grateful I am to have them with me on this journey.
Needless to say, when I said I kept Sunday Morning a secret, I kind of lied. My patrons knew about it and they have known about it for quite a while now.
To thank my patrons for being part of this journey with me and encouraging me along the way, I wanted Sunday Morning to be super special for them.
With that said, if you sign up to be a $1 patron, you’ll get…
1. Your name on a special Patron acknowledge page in the book. 2. A special edition Patron-only book cover. Meaning the books I send to Patrons will have a slightly different book cover than those who are not Patrons. 3. You will get a free print or ebook copy of the book! You can choose which format you prefer. 4. A bookmark. I plan on creating a bookmark to go along with the book for the print copies. I’ll probably also create a digital bookmark that you can print out if you choose the ebook format.
And those are just the perks you get for Sunday Morning if you become a patron! There are so many other rewards on my Patreon such as an exclusive patron short story written by me that will get sent to your inbox monthly, ARC team recruitment, a monthly Q&A with me, and so much more!
The best reward of all is that you get to join an exclusive community with me and my other patrons. You’ll get the inside scoop on my writing journey, creative writing process, and overall chit-chat and get to know one another. You guys are the reason I’m able to keep writing. You guys have been the ones to encourage me along the way so many years. Patreon is a way for me to give back to you guys with these rewards and have a deeper relationship with you all.
This is a limited time offer!
I’m going to need a chance to gather my bearings so I’m only offering this special reward until December 16, 2018! That means if you become a $1 Patron between now and December 9, 2018, you’ll get the $1-tier rewards on my Patreon along with the reward for Sunday Morning just listed above.
Why December 16? Because of the release date. My patrons already know when that is, but I’m holding off in announcing that part for now. One announcement at a time.
Guys, I’m so excited! (And totally nervous!)
I truly can’t wait to share this journey and this book with you all. I hope you like it and I hope you’ll join me on this amazing adventure! (That I’m, admittedly, trying to figure out as I go along.)
Of course, there is obviously no obligation to sign up for my Patreon. You can pay as much or as little as you want, though please don’t if you can’t afford it. You can also cancel at anytime, no fees and no commitments.
Though it would mean a lot to me if you checked out my Patreon page to see what it’s all about. If you think you already know that you want to join me on this journey, you can immediately sign up to be a patron right now.
Thank you all, so much! I hope this news made you as excited as I am. I can’t wait to share this with you along with the inside scoop with my patrons. Also, thank you to everyone who is already a patron. You guys mean the world to me and I 110% mean that from the bottom of my heart!
What do you think of the news? Are you excited? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
So here we are. Halfway through July, which means we’re halfway through 2018. I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m going to continue making the most of each day and work hard toward my goals. I have a lot I want to accomplish this year. Here’s how I’m doing so far.
We’re almost done with our second and final Camp NaNo session for the year. For me, I have about a week left of writing since I’ll be going on vacation the last week of the month.
I’m counting hours this month, which is something I’ve never done before. I’m editing and my goal was to edit about 2 hours a day (one hour for each project). It totaled to about 44 hours (I forget how I calculated it) and that was too much.
A lot has happened this month in real life and things have been busy. Plus, counting hours is really unmotivating. I don’t know why. I thought counting hours would be easy since it usually takes me an hour to write 2,000 words. It takes me an hour to get through a chapter of editing (sometimes). But for some reason, when counting hours, I just stare at the clock and can’t wait until I can stop writing to go play video games.
So, I dropped my hours from 44 to 31 so that I have to do an hour a day. That’s been more doable for me, though I do have a get a little ahead since I won’t be doing anything next week. Still, things are going much smoother.
George Florence & The Perfect Alibi
It’s back to the drawing board with this one. I started off the month editing, changed a bunch of stuff (meaning, the way the plot is executed) and now I’ve written myself into a hole. I was retyping the last draft I edited and I can’t go much further because I’ve changed too much. I have to completely rewrite about 80% of the novel.
This book just won’t end. Did you know I’ve been working on this since 2011? This will be the third time I’ve had to do a complete rewrite.
I feel I’m getting close though. I’ve started the outlining and planning process again trying to decide what to keep and what needs to be changed. I’m looking at the novel with a different approach. Hopefully, this is just what I need to finally complete this novel.
Please, let this be it.
I’m also in the editing stages of another project. I can’t say too much on this project yet as it’s exclusive for my patrons on Patreon at the moment.
If you want to learn more about the project, I encourage you to check out my Patreon where you can support the project for as little as $1 a month.
What’s in it for you if it’s only temporarily exclusive to my patrons? Well, for one they already know what the project is and they get sneak peeks of my process and where I currently am in production of the said project.
Plus, when the project is released, my patrons will get some special goodies as a special thank you for supporting me and my creative work.
I have a problem. And the problem is that I want to do too many things. When I say too many things, I mean I want to do all of the things.
By things, I mean I want to continue blogging on here and on Double Jump. I also have three other ideas for blogs. If they all come to be that’d be a whopping total of five blogs (maybe more).
I want to keep writing and reading. I want to write for magazines and other blogs. I want to write and publish my own novels. I want to continue writing book reviews and beta read for others among other freelance type work. I would like to, one day, create an online literary magazine and share the work of others, especially new writers trying to get their voices heard.
I want to start a YouTube channel for both this blog and my gaming blog. I want to continue talking and reviewing books and video games as well as convey fun and entertaining information about the two topics to everyone.
There are so many other things I want to do. I want to create comics (with Kris because Lord knows I can’t draw), I want to create a video game, and there’s so much more that I can’t even really talk about. (Mostly because it’s ridiculous. Like, I want to create music and I don’t know the first thing about that.)
I don’t know where all of this came from. I don’t know where I got these ideas. I don’t know why my brain aches to be so creative. One would think writing a couple books and running two blogs would be enough, but no. I want to do more.
I want to teach myself to film and edit videos. I want to teach myself how to create a video game and see what makes my favorite games tick. I want to share my learnings with all of you, my blogger, gaming, and writing friends who have been in touch with me for years now.
But… it’s hard. No one said it would be easy, I knew it was going to be hard. Still, I honestly didn’t think I’d be at this point in my life.
It’s one thing to have almost 5,000 followers on this blog (seriously, thank you guys!) but it’s another thing to sit down at my desk one night – last night – and create a massive to-do list on things I have to get done with what I have now as well as what I need to do in order to start new projects.
It’s a lot and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started on any new projects or to continue old ones. I actually have a publication timeline (as long as I can get certain things in order on time, things should go according to plan).
The downside of it all is money. I quit my job almost a year ago to pursue these many passions. I’m lucky to still be living with my parents who are supportive and encouraging enough to allow me to try this. I had freelance writing and babysitting to fall back on, but babysitting hasn’t been as consistent (their dad got a new job and they don’t need me as often) and the freelance writing… well, that hasn’t been consistent either. Most of the gigs I do are for free to gain experience and while there’s nothing wrong with that and I’m grateful for the opportunities, I still have bills to pay and I feel kind of stuck. The few gigs I have had that are paid haven’t been consistent either.
I by no means am complaining about any of this, even though it seems like it. It’s confusing and a learning curve. I am the definition of a struggling artist and it’s honestly kind of cool to give myself that title as frustrating as it may seem. It’s not easy to teach yourself all these things, let alone doing everything yourself.
I don’t want to say quitting my job was a mistake because I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have this past year if I was still working full time plus babysitting. Nine hours have been added to my day and it’s been wonderful. I can actually have a life too and hang out with my friends once in a while.
I don’t have a lot of bills and the bills I do have aren’t much, which is great. But when I made my list of things to do the other night, I bummed myself out.
I need to find an editor, I need to find a book cover artist. I need to buy certain equipment for a YouTube channel (I can start now and plan to soon, but in the near future I’m going to need some other stuff). I want to have the ability to host giveaways for you guys among other things.
I apologize for this post being too rambly or woe-is-me. I don’t mean to come off like that, if I am, and I don’t mean to complain. I feel like I know most of you well enough and you, hopefully, know me well enough, that I feel comfortable explaining this to you as I try to gather my thoughts.
I think money in general – having enough to get started, because let’s face it, you need to put in money in order to make money, and also getting compensated for all your hard work – is a common problem amongst us writers; amongst artists and creators in general.
When you have the discipline like me to work from home for 12 hours a day creating blog posts, graphics, creative writing, filming, etc., you want to be compensated for your hard work. We put our hearts and souls into these creative projects.
People like it too. I’m grateful for the number of followers I have. I have a good amount of daily views who read, like, and comment on my posts. I have a pretty good relationship with most of my readers and I’ve made a lot of friends.
There are a few people out there who enjoy my Wattpad stories, who have told me they’re looking forward to my YouTube channel whenever I start it (fall 2018, just so you know). There have been plenty of people who have told me they can’t wait for my mystery series to come out. (I’m not revealing my publishing plans yet just in case something happens, but it’s coming.)
This is why I started a Patreon page. I’ll admit I feel a bit odd asking for donations. When I think of donations I think of charity organizations for something more serious than me creating a novel or video series for YouTube. Still, there’s nothing wrong with asking for commissions for your hard, creative work. The rest of the world doesn’t really see it as such and creators need to make a living too, right?
I swear this post wasn’t a ploy to ask for people to donate to my Patreon page. I’ve been holding these thoughts and feelings in a for a while and decided I should share them with all of you. I hope most of you understand where I’m coming from. Still, if you want to at least check out the page, please feel free to do so. It’d make me happy.
Like I said, I’m grateful and I can’t believe I’ve come so far in less than a year. No, I’m not “there” yet and there’s a lot that’s slow due to budgeting, but I can’t complain.
Thank you guys, for everything. Especially for making it this far in this post.
Have you ever felt like this before? Whether it’s money or the fact you want to do so much and don’t have enough time or resources to get it all done? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
So I’ve been working on a thing lately. That thing is called Patreon.
This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time now. I finally decided to take that leap and just do it.
I work hard and create a lot each and every day. Unfortunately, it’s not a paying job. That’s what Patreon is for.
What Is Patreon?
Patreon is similar to Kickstarter. The difference being that Kickstarter focuses on one large project whereas Patreon allows your favorite creators to be “tipped” for their work.
Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid.
For example, I create blog posts and fiction for my audience all the while teaching myself photography to better my blog graphics and writing prompts. I’m also in the process of starting a YouTube channel to go along with this blog. Patreon will make it easier for me to get the equipment I need to create bigger and better content for all of you.
Why Did I Choose Patreon?
I chose to join Patreon so it will be easier for me to create content. I can create more and it will be better quality when I can get the tools I need.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know I quit my job almost a year ago. I’ve come so far between then and now with my writing and blogging. So much has improved and grown. I’ve been able to give this blog so much more love and attention now that I have 8 hours added to my day. I would like to keep it this way.
My babysitting money can only get me so far, especially when I have bills to pay. Getting another job – full-time or part-time – is not out of the question (unfortunately, it is 2018 and we all need money in order to survive), but if I could stay home and continue working toward my dream, that would be ideal.
That’s where Patreon comes in.
Where Does Your Money Go?
I’m not asking anyone to pay my bills – though if you want to, who am I to stop you?
Seriously, your money would go toward this blog, my YouTube channel, and my writing. I would love to upgrade to the WordPress business plan, I need some equipment for YouTube, and I want to better my skills with photography and Photoshop, etc.
If you check out my Patreon page you’ll notice a list of “Goals” on the left hand side. They start off small but, as you can imagine, it adds up. I budgeted everything out and came up with those numbers as the bare minimum. Again, your money will go toward exactly what I say it’ll go toward on my Patreon page.
Are You Obligated To Pledge?
No. You are not obligated to give me any money.
If you read this blog on a regular basis, that amazes me and I am so grateful. I never imagined how large this blog would grow when I first started almost 6 years ago. However, that’s why it’s getting harder to keep up with the blog because it’s grown so much and I’m running out of resources and tools to continue creating great content.
So, no. You do not need to give me any money. I thank you for reading my blog and commenting and sharing my posts. That makes me warm and fuzzy!
How Much Money Can You Pledge?
As much or as little as you want. I have my Patreon set up as monthly payments so you can pledge as little as $1 a month.
What I love about Patreon is that the control is completely up to you. You can pledge as much as you want, whether it’s an amount I set up as a reward tier or not. You can stop the payments whenever you want, you’re not locked into supporting my work for a year or anything like that.
What’s A Reward Tier And What Do You Get Out Of This?
Reward tiers are what they sound like. I set up rewards for certain amounts that are pledged to me. For example, if you pledge $1 a month to me, you’ll get access to the Patron-only feed on my Patreon page. This means I can interact with each and every one of you, get to know each other better, and you’d have exclusive access to what I’m currently working on, sneak peeks, and a lot more. If you pledge $25 a month, you’ll get your name on a special thank you page on this blog and my video credits on YouTube. You’ll also have access to exclusive monthly Q&A videos from me.
Needless to say, you get a lot of out supporting me and my work. If you enjoy my content, you’ll get bigger and better creative works from me. You’ll get certain rewards depending on how much you pledge, and we can keep in touch on a closer level through the Patron-only feed.
I think I’ve covered everything. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to comment below. Or just check out my Patreon page and see if your question is answered on there.
If you’ve read through this whole post, I commend you. Thank you so much. If you follow my blog, share my posts, comment, or just read a post here and there, thank you so much.
If you check out my Patreon page, thank you so much. If you decide to pledge any amount to my work, thank you so much!
I seriously wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of you reading and supporting this blog and my writing. I am truly grateful and just know that I appreciate each and every one of you. Patreon will not only allow you to support me further, but it will allow me to give back to all of you. Thanks.
Thanks again for reading this post! Whether you pledge or not, if you enjoy my content, please share this post around. It will help me out a lot. Also, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to chat!