Gee, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a geek confession, but here we are. This past week, a few of the guys on Twitter were discussing what exactly constitutes a “geek” or “nerd” and how that relates to Dungeons and Dragons, and other fantasy media. Now, I always used to think of myself as one of those things; I’m rather passionate about the natural sciences, I’ve never been particularly interested in or good at sports, I like fantasy and science fiction, and I’m not much of a “ladies man”. But after reading that thread on Twitter, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m even a geek at all.
Jesse White, defined “nerd” as “a science person with bad-breath and head-gear braces.” He further elaborated that “More generally, it's psychology not pastime. Nerds live a 10/90 relation where 10% is focused on normal behaviour & 90 is on some obsession. You may make a case that such ppl can be drawn to computers and D&D, but it's a superficial relationship.”
Was I such a kid? I was homeschooled, which was considered very strange for where I grew up, but that wasn’t exactly up to me. I was more than a little socially awkward; I liked being around other kids, but I don’t think they ever really understood me. I had a few obsessions, yes, but those didn’t necessarily come at the expense of normal behavior. I acted normal enough for the people I associated with. In fact more normal than many of the other homeschooled kids I knew. Assessing myself now, it was probably a 40/60 relationship, where 60% was weird obsession and 40% was normal behavior. That changed when I was about 13, and it was more like 50/50.
In Jesse’s day (he’s a Gen X, so think early 80s) things like Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons were not considered “geek” occupations. Lots of kids played DnD and read fantasy books, regardless of their social standing, or whether or not they were considered “nerds” or “geeks”. This was pretty much the same in the 90’s when I grew up. Lots of kids I knew read Harry Potter, none of them were nerds or geeks. Except the ones that are still obsessed with it despite being grown adults, but that’s a topic for another time.
These were just regular kids. They played sports, they listened to heavy metal, they went on dates; and they watched fantasy movies and played DnD. one of the other guys in this thread said:
As you can see, the culture has shifted a lot in the past 30 years. Would I have been welcome at his game? Maybe.
When I’ve encountered geeks according to Jesse’s definition, I’ve been a little repulsed. It seemed like their obsessions came at the expense of their own health and wellbeing. They’d sit around playing video games and eating junk food and spending almost no time outdoors. Now, most of you know that I keep myself in shape, and I do love spending time out in nature. To my mind, why would you spend hours indoors playing pokemon when you could be hiking? It made very little sense to me.
Furthermore, as I got older, I started taking better care of myself and actively trying to improve physically and mentally; I took karate classes, I started building muscle, I’ve tried to improve my social skills. I’m still very interested in fantasy and sci-fi media (why do you think this blog exists?) but not to the extent that it affects everything else in my life.
So am I still a geek? I don’t know. You tell me.
Good morrow, good people. I hope you all had a productive week, and are ready to smash another one. This newsletter will be sort of brief, as I woke up late today, and have to rush a little so I can get back to rewriting THE SWORD OF EMRYS. Yes, I’m still going with that title.
Anyway, rewrites are going well. I’ve actually had to add chapters so I have time for more details. The people asked and I delivered. I’m also working on developing some new merch based around my fantasy work. That’ll be exciting. Click the image below to visit my online store if you’re interested.
That was the news, now for the weather. It’s been oddly warm around here, especially after being so cold for so long. It was in the upper 80s this past week; weird for May. I’ve made significant progress on my fence to keep my neighbor’s dog outta my garden; it’s about 1/3 done, I think. The flowers are coming up well, and I’ll be planting vegetables soon. The lawn kind of went crazy with all the warm weather we’ve been having, especially after all that rain we had around the beginning of the month. The grass was so high, some dude in a loincloth came through my yard asking for Jane. Bit awkward.
My sister finally completed the music video she’d been working on, and it is as good as I’d hoped. This song is in my top 10 favorite classic rock songs, and she did it justice. I hope y’all enjoy it.
Well, that’s all for today. If you like my content, be sure to send some coins my way. Every little bit helps.
The Curse Of The Rewrites
Good morning (assuming it’s morning there). Welcome to another one of my dances with insanity.
This week, I heard back from most of my beta-readers, and all I can say is AAAAAHH!!!
Also, never do the cover art until you hear back from readers. Same with illustrations. I now have illustrations I can’t use.
This isn’t to say that I am not incredibly grateful to my beta-readers for taking the time to look through this for me. You all are an invaluable resource, and I hope I can repay you someday for your help in this most important matter.
There’s one very odd thing I’ve noticed when getting feedback from beta-readers; they seem almost apologetic for tearing apart my story, like they’re sorry they demolished a plot point here and there. I literally just asked you to provide honest feedback; why should I be offended? So I have to make some changes; so what? When it’s done, it’ll be my very best work. I’m not going to put out half-baked writing if I can help it.
I haven’t worked on my graphic novel in a long time; been focussed too much on THE SWORD OF EMRYS (if I’m even going to keep that title now). I’ve often wondered what I’m going to do with that. It doesn’t seem like people want it, for whatever reason. I’ve received a lot of praise for it, yes, but no one seems to want to actually buy the darn comics. I suppose I should have just kept it as a webcomic and not tried to sell it on Amazon. Oh well. We live and learn.
My sister is in the process of making new music videos, but here’s one that she made a while back that I really enjoyed. This is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands.
Well, that’s pretty much it for this week. Thanks for reading, and a special shout-out to my beta-readers, you know who you are. If you could help me keep this dog and pony show running by tossing a few coins my way, I would really appreciate it. Just hit that contribute button. No amount is too small.
Welcome to another week. It’s good to have you.
I finally finished the first round of edits on THE SWORD OF EMRYS and have sent it out to beta readers. I should be hearing back from them pretty soon. I sincerely appreciate all the people who’ve sacrificed their time to help me make this book a success. You all are awesome, and if there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.
Anyhow, now that the book is done, I’ve been focusing on making the cover art and the interior illustrations. I want this one to have more illustrations than A SONG OF EMRYS. I want people to see what I’m seeing when I write.
Here’s a little sneak peek:
I’m also hard at work on my next Walter Ulric story. If you’ve been paying attention, Walter is my paranormal private detective character. His job is to track down and eliminate paranormal threats in the little town of North Fork, West Virginia. In the episode I’m working on, he finds himself in a realm known as the Outside. The Outside is where the paranormal threats come from; hellhounds, trolls, vampires, and other evil entities dwell there. Occasionally, they are able to pierce the fabric that separates our reality from theirs, and wreak havoc in the world of the living. Walter’s never been to the Outside before, but he’s sent plenty of bad critters back there. He’ll have to find a way to survive long enough to get back to the world of the living. It’ll be quite a yarn once it’s done.
My sister made another awesome music video. This one may be her most popular yet, and I think it’s pretty sweet. See for yourselves:
I want to thank everyone who participated in the giveaway contest this week. I’ll be sending out that signed copy to some lucky person as soon as I can.
If you like my newsletter, and ant me to continue creating content, consider clicking that CONTRIBUTE button below, and tossing a few coins to your writer. No amount is too small.
Hello everyone, and May the 4th be with you all. Admittedly, though, I’ve never really been much of a Star Wars, but I will state for the record that I think they should’ve stopped at the original trilogy. The prequels were... Okay, I guess, but the story development in the original was just better overall. I think fans would’ve been happier not knowing quite so much about the Jedi. I know I certainly was. Finding out that they basically kidnap children and train them not to form emotional attachments was... eye-opening to say the least. Basically, I think the Sith have been misjudged a little bit.
So, guess what happened on Friday. Yep. It snowed. Again. On April 30th. It was depressing. Fortunately, it was nearly gone by the evening of May Day. As you know, May Day is my favorite unofficial holiday.
I’m still cleaning up THE SWORD OF EMRYS and I hope to send it out to beta readers by next week. It’s been quite a wild ride for me; when I started the book, I really didn’t have an ending in mind. Writers, take note; don’t ever start a book without a clear ending in mind. Either way, it’s done, now. Just have to make some refinements for the final draft, then it’ll go off to Amazon and to you good people.
As some of you already know, my sister has been making music videos on YouTube for a while. This is one of her more recent ones that I particularly enjoyed.
I’m doing another signed book giveaway this week. I certainly hope you all will enter to win and share it with your friends. It means a lot to me that my fans are engaged. Just click the button below and fill out the survey to enter.
Well, thank you for all your support. If you want to be a little bit more supportive, you can mash that “contribute” button below, and toss a few coins my way. Every little bit helps. And please, share this newsletter with your friends. I would appreciate it.
Well, here we are again. Surprisingly, it snowed again last week. It was all gone by the weekend, but we had a significant amount. Snow in April is to be expected in this region, but it’s usually not this much. It was surprising, mostly because just a few days prior the temperature had climbed nearly to 80℉. That’s pretty darn hot. I was getting ready to mow the lawn for the first time this year, too. It was just plain weird.
I’ve had a rather good week for writing, I think; I made significant progress on my next novella, THE SWORD OF EMRYS. I completed the first draft and now have moved on to editing and plot revisions. It'll have to go through another round of edits once it goes to beta readers, but plot revisions must be made first, as I decided to switch monsters half-way through. I have a more concrete idea for an ending, now, but I’m definitely never starting a novella without a concrete ending in mind first. Just too much of a hassall.
It was a bit easier when I did the same workout routine a few days later, though, and it has made a difference already. Last Friday, I was able to perform 12 chin-ups in a single set; to my knowledge I’ve never done that before. Perhaps I did it once when I was 17 and full of hormones, but definitely not since then.
As I’ve posted before, my sister has made a number of music videos on YouTube, which I think are rather good, but she’s having a bit of trouble gaining traction. Social media doesn’t seem to help much; I believe the Almighty Zucc is purposefully suppressing YouTube videos on Facebook to try and get people to use Facebook’s video app exclusively (even though it’s rubbish). This is one of her more recent videos that I hope you’ll enjoy. Please give it a watch, and a like if you liked it.
Well, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, everyone, and if you want to help me continue in my mission to provide quality content, please consider hitting that “contribute” button. No amount is too small. Literally, I mean that.
Have a great week, everyone.
There are very few people who have been as supportive of my work as Angela Watts, fantasy author and a truly decent person. When I found out that she had published a new fantasy novel, I leaped at the chance to return the favor.
Her novel, Golgotha, has been published through Blade of Truth Publishing, and is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. You can purchase it here
Angela was gracious enough to take some time out of her busy day to provide us with answers to my burning questions. So without further ado, here they are:
1. Briefly summarize what GOLGOTHA is about.
Four unlikely companions must band together to escape the Realm of Bones and save their kingdom from a reign of darkness.
2. Where did you get the idea for this novel?
But, for real. There wasn’t any “one thing” that sparked the idea. This was a slow-brewing project, which isn’t normal for me. I’ve always enjoyed fantasy worlds and obsessed over them as a child, but this was my first completed fantasy novel.
3. When did you start writing it?
Hmm, a couple of years ago. I can’t remember the specific date. Oops.
But I wrote about two drafts and kept dropping it because I despised it. Then I really prayed about it, ignored the entire fantasy community, wrote what God told me to write, and was actually happy with it. Weird, right?
4. What is your writing process?
If I have an idea I like, I’ll write down what I know, even if it’s just some basic, random thoughts. If I really love it, I’ll sit down and plot it out. I set deadlines for myself because I like them and it helps me get a lot of work done within a year.
I write better in the morning so 5 AM mornings are beloved, though I don’t do them as often as I used to. I write till the first draft is done (usually 2-5 weeks) and then give it a short break before diving in for revisions!
5. What does your novel bring to the world?
It’s about what it can bring to each reader.
For one reader, perhaps it will make them question their beliefs. For another, maybe it makes them question why they hold onto fear so tightly. And for another reader, maybe they get caught up in a fast-paced, complex world they wish they could visit.
If this novel gives something to each person who grabs it, then I’ll be happy.
6. If your novel were made into a movie, who would you want to direct and star in it?
As strange as it sounds, I haven’t truly given this any thought. I have many readers tell me how they wish it were a movie already and they have casting ideas, but I truly don’t.
I have a face claim for Finnigan, so perhaps Daniel Sharman might be up for it, but… besides him, I draw blanks. I might just do an Instagram poll for this, haha.
However, I do think it’d be cool for Mel Gibson to direct it, though it’s a fantasy. Still, a girl can dream. (Readers compared the action in my bestselling series, The Infidel Books, to Hacksaw Ridge and Gibson is a hero of mine so… it could work...)
I would like to sincerely thank Angela Watts for her time, and I would encourage all my readers to check out GOLGOTHA for yourselves. You can also follow Angela on Goodreads where you can get her latest updates, and you can go to her website and subscribe to her newsletter. I know I did.
Thank you all for reading and have a great week!
Blood, Sweat, and Ink
Ah spring; the buzzing of the bees, the flowers blooming, the hay fever. Such a magical season. Spring is early this week. Or it seems like it. For the past two years or more, we’ve had wintery weather all the way through April, and even into May. For the past week, however, it’s felt almost like summer. I can actually start the process of getting the garden ready for planting; tilling, checking the compost boxes, fertilizing, etc. I’m also going to have to construct some form of fence, as my next door neighbors seem to be incapable of keeping their dog confined to their own yard.
I consider gardening a bit more than a hobby; it’s sort of a passion, or an obsession, really. I don’t know what I’d do without it. I’ve always loved living things. In this world, where everything is synthetic and mechanized, I think it’s good to get back to our roots. Not that I think all modern tech is bad; I just think we’ve become too far removed from the natural world.
I’ve been experimenting a little with my art lately. For the past year or so, my art has kind of stagnated; I just haven’t been getting better, and I think I’ve actually gotten worse. This is partially because I stopped regularly consuming Silver Age comics and I stopped drawing from life. When I try to produce the human face based just on my own memory or imagination, it typically looks a little flat, but when I use life models or photos as a reference it tends to look a lot more life-like. So I went back to reading comics more regularly, and drawing from photos, rather than just using my imagination. I’ve also been changing up my ink work on my comics. It’s been hard for me to really get the hang of inks, and so I’m constantly trying to improve in that area.
I’m kinda stalled out on Walter Ulric for the moment. I’ll get back to it, though. I thought I had some great ideas and it turned out I didn’t. I may just start on the next story in the series and see where that takes me. I have a few good ideas for that, at least. I have made tremendous progress on THE SWORD OF EMRYS, however, and I’m quite pleased with that. I think I may have it published by July. I’ll keep y’all updated on that.
Lately, my sister has been making these awesome music videos, and I think they’re pretty good, but they aren’t getting a lot of views. I’d appreciate it if you’d go ahead and click the video below, give it a watch, and thumbs up if you like it.
I want to thank everyone for participating in my contest. One of you lucky people reading this has won a signed copy of A SONG OF EMRYS and will be receiving it shortly. Thanks to everyone for participating and filling out the questionnaire. I really appreciate the input, and just people bothering to pay attention. I will be having more such contests in the future, and I will keep you all apprised.
Well, that’s all for this week. I wish you all a very good and I hope to hear from you all again soon.
I Mustache you a question
I hope everyone had a good Easter. Mine wasn’t so great, but that was mostly because I bit a massive chunk outta my own tongue and it was so swollen I couldn’t talk or eat right. How did I do this, you may be asking? Talent.
In unrelated news, for the past year or so, I’ve had some sort of beard on my face. For a time it was a goatee, then a vandyke, and then I experimented with other sorts of beards. This week I decided to shave it off, just on a lark. Now, I don’t shave my beard entirely off; I usually leave my mustache and soul patch alone. I shaved my mustache off once; it wasn’t good. That wide, bare expanse of upper lip was too much to bear for everyone, including me. After having a mustache for years, I just wasn’t the same man. I have resolved that I will never shave my upper lip again. No, not even if a significant other asked me to.
Anyway, I thought I’d finished another Walter Ulric story this past week, but according to my editor, I haven’t yet. I’m still a bit annoyed about that, because I was looking forward to publishing that this week. What makes this story different from the others I’ve published is it’s narrated by Conrad LeFontain, not Walter. That presented a unique set of challenges that I had to overcome. The good news is I got started on the next Walter Ulric story which hopefully I'll have completed soon.
Well, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and remember to answer that survey to win a free book!
If you would like to aid me in my quest to provide high-quality content, please consider providing some financial support by clicking the button below. Every little bit helps.
Looks like winter ain’t done with us just yet. As usual. Golly, I hate March. Just a few days ago, I went outside in a tee shirt, and this morning it’s snowing again. I don’t mean just a few flakes; it was a howling snowstorm when I got up. I literally just bought supplies for the garden, too. Oh well.
I knew this was going to happen; it always does. Just as soon as we get used to the idea of spring, winter comes back for another round. Though, it looks like spring probably won’t be late, like it was last year or the year before; we had snow on May Day. May Day is like a second Christmas for me; it marks the end of winter and the beginning of the planting season. Having snow on May Day is the equivalent of a lump of coal in your stocking. But, I was a good boy all winter, so perhaps I’ll have good weather on May Day.
I’ve been thinking about the future of LEGEND OF THE SWORD BEARER lately; it doesn’t seem to be selling as well as I’d like, especially not when compared to A SONG OF EMRYS, so I’m considering rereleasing it as a free webcomic, like it used to be when I first published it. At least then I could make some money off the ad revenue. For those who already bought and paid for it, fret not! I will make it right... somehow. Drop me a line, we’ll work something out. Comment below with your thoughts. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.
I’m also working on another Walter Ulric story that I’ll be publishing soon. This one concerns a hell-hound in the little town of North Fork West Virginia. This is only the first draft, but I like how it’s turning out.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. I wish everyone a blessed Holy Week, and be sure and drop by a local church this week.
I'm Ian Wilson; an eccentric comic artist, just telling a story.