Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas

Okay, I really was going to post more often than this. I guess this will end up fairly long then. First, the work side of things...

I do have some website updates that I still haven't uploaded. This is because they include links to the forums that I set up. I haven't been ready to set all of the various sub-forums or monitor the forums so I haven't uploaded the links yet. I don't really expect the forums to take off right away, but that is okay. In any case, I need to be able to stop by them myself to monitor them.

I really hoped to have products out by now, but that simply hasn't happened. Early last October I decided to go with color cover art that would go for the entire City Streets line. I contracted with an artist to have that work done. He crapped out on me. I was spectacularly disappointed as I was paying pretty well and the contract promised to pay On Delivery. At the same time I contracted with a graphic layout specialist to create some easy-to-use templates for the City Streets line (and another possible line). I was paying toward the high end for the layout templates because these were going to be re-used. Again, I contracted to pay "on delivery." Well, nothing got delivered and this really, really threw me. I emailed several times and allowed an extra month. Still nothing. I had to send messages "rescinding" the contract due to non-delivery. I can't contract with someone else and then have someone deliver something late and demand payment. This brought me right up to the holidays so I made the difficult decision to go ahead and delay releases for as long as necessary to get things done. I have several locations written but I still need art and cartography.

Cartography is one of my other difficult areas. I have someone that was planning to do at least one map for me, possibly more. I'll be in touch with him again after the holidays are over (ie. next week).
It is "interesting" to be on the publishing side now. As a freelancer I have people that owe me literally thousands of dollars (I believe the total is about $5K US now), now I see why publishers would complain about people having work turned in late, etc.
It looks like the strongest luck I have is with writing, several people are working on short manuscripts now. I am hoping the delays due to art constraints won't frustrate those writers. I want to have 4 solid products already finished before I release the promotional freebie. I guess this means 5 products finished and ready, and I am not there yet.

Okay, brighter times, fun and family.
We have had a wonderful Christmas here. My parents spent some time with us before Christmas, then we had a relaxing Christmas with just our family before heading off to Houston to spend time with my wife's family. Christmas morning the kids actually let us sleep late. The baby woke up fairly early, but fell back to sleep and my wife let he and I stay in bed until around 9 AM. That is total decadence for us. The children loved their gifts, although our 8 month old was content to play with the paper and boxes for a while before moving onto his toys.
I have heard stories about horribly stressful Christmas Days for some, I guess we are lucky. We spend a lot of time reminding the children of the "reason for the season" and teaching them to be thankful for what they have. I can't say there wasn't some stress before the holiday while getting ready, but really, that has always been pretty minor.
The weather here in San Antonio has been wonderful so the kids have had a lot of time outside, along with plenty of time inside on their new video games. We have been able to simply relax and enjoy ourselves a bit. My wife just got back from taking the kids off to the Library (and a little shopping) so I suppose I better finish this up.

I guess the next thing we have coming up is New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We don't even have plans right now. We are just letting things happen and it is amazingly stress-free. I don't really do "resolutions" for New Year's. I do make lists of goals though. I will probably list those here in a few days so I have a nice reminder next year at this time of what I did, and did not, get done.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Okay, I just noticed that some of the website updates for G.U.P. weren't uploaded. That is okay though, I am in the midst of doing some more. Taking a bit more time on things now and trying to be more patient. The holidays have slowed everything down for me. Strangely, my boys still have soccer and basketball practices, yeah, yeah, I know, they should have a break from that too.

In any case, the cover art I contracted for the City Streets line never materialized and the person I contracted with to create layout templates for the CS line and another unannounced line never sent anything back either. These two items I was paying pretty well for but I guess the exchange rate made that pay pretty poor too. I guess I believed that when people signed and returned contracts the work would get done. November 15 is long gone now and these two crucial pieces of work simply haven't appeared. If anyone knows some people interested in this, let me know. I think I am going back to the original black and white cover idea I first had. The color cover isn't going to work out. I don't think a new artist will be back to me quickly enough with a color cover to my specs. We'll see.

The most painful decision is the massive delay in releasing anything. I don't want to release promotional products until I have a line-up of products to promote. While several locations are written, more work is to be done, and I want to have 4 products FINISHED and ready to go before putting up a promotional product.

I have a few sketches that I will be using, I will probably post those up on the website sometime soon. My 12-year old did a sketch for me too, it came out pretty well. I will scan that soon as well. Hmmm, maybe I need to get him to stretch his artistic skills this holiday break and do a few more character sketches for me, possibly some buildings too.

My parents are visiting this coming week. This means I will either a) get a lot done as they help by playing with the baby or b) get practically nothing done as we wander around San Antonio looking at the sights and my folks go and look at houses (they are thinking about moving here eventually). I am guessing if the weather is nice it will be (b) otherwise, maybe (a).

Oh, Mike and Todd, thanks for the suggestions, nice to know that maybe 5-6 people actually read this ;).

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Well, I hate to say it, but I am 42 today. This pretty much means it was my "day off" from most things. I got to stay in bed while my lovely wife got up and made breakfast and the kids stayed quiet and let me sleep in. I didn't get up until almost 8:00. Last night we went out to eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant, which, in San Antonio, means something. Today we had a number of family things to do, but my wife and kids gave me plenty of free time to just relax. This means that tomorrow I still need to put up the outside Christmas decorations.

One of the things I did today was create a forum for Generic Universe Publishing. I need to get a logo finalized and pop that up, I also need to take care of the website a bit. I hope to have some of those things done sometime tomorrow. That might get hurt a bit by a basketball game in the middle of the afternoon. No, not NBA, 9 and under CYO ;). If I don't get things up tomorrow, I SHOULD be able to get them up on Tuesday. Monday is shot so it won't happen then.

'til later...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Getting on a roll ...

Okay, it has been a busy day, but for a while today I was really on a roll and getting some writing done, a bit of sketching done, and some other more boring things done. Then a lot of other things popped up screaming to be taken care of. Maybe I can get back up to speed later tonight. We need to head out for a school event tonight. Come to think of it, I should be calling the kids inside to make sure they are read to go. I THOUGHT I had time to post, oh well.