My Own “Next Big Thing”

standing small
Young Taus in 3D using Daz and the Aiko 4 model

There is some talk on other blogs about authors’ up and coming “next big thing” – their next book or what have you. I thought about joining in over there, but the truth is I’m miles away from my next big thing. I’m concentrating full tilt on my current big things – Heavenly Bride and 10 Confessions – while working up to 12 hours a day to survive.

But today seems like a good day to sound off about something I’m planning. The plans aren’t fully formed, but that’s how I roll. I’ll sometimes plan for years before suddenly coughing up this fully-formed thing. And then people call me spontaneous. It boggles the mind.

The image to the left there is my 3D model of Taus from Heavenly Bride. (Not Akashik. In Akashik she’s much older. And more purple.) I’ve been thinking of doing a 3D comic. I’ve been holding back because making 3D comics can be very time consuming – even more than drawing the pages – as well as clunky. With my recent upgrade to Daz 4.5, some of that has gotten better and easier so that the idea has floated to the front of my mind again.  I sort of know the story. I sort of have most of the props. It’s a matter of planning – something I’m not going to rush on until I have my current 2 comics finished.

The same 3D Taus, but pencilled.
The same 3D Taus, but penciled.

The biggest thing is I wouldn’t want to keep things strictly 3D looking, no matter how good it got. So I’m thinking maybe I want the comic to look like it was drawn in pencil. Or pen and ink. Or painted.

The story I have in mind touches on two minor characters in Heavenly Bride. I probably would have started the story already, but the conflict isn’t fully resolved yet. I’m not sure how long it will take me to figure that part out. Heavenly Bride was a story in my head for most of my life, and here I am over 40 and telling it. That’s a long time to sit on a story.

There’s also another story in my mind involving mermaids. And a prince – because what mermaid story is complete without either a prince or an ageless brat running around to muck things up. Maybe the prince can also be an ageless brat, although if he were ageless I imagine that would throw the entire governmental structure of his kingdom all to hell. Which isn’t something I care to deal with in a short story.

And now she's painted.
And now she’s painted.

Decisions, decisions.

Things were so much easier in the day when I drew stick figures and colored big squares for my homework.

I’m in no hurry to make a decision, mostly because I rely on my subconscious to do that for me. Which is probably why I end up thinking things out for so long.

And of course there’s my current “next big thing” – the novel Trait of Honor. I haven ‘t been able to work on it in weeks. Work hasn’t let me. But I can say with a little relief that this month one of the many choke-holds around my neck lets go and my chances of being able to write prose weekly are going to go up by a bit. This makes me very happy, and I’m sure when I finally get to release a finished book this shall also make other people happy. Even the people who purchase stuff on Amazon and return the book within the hour so that they can have read the thing for free.

Pen and ink Taus
Pen and ink Taus

Well, anyway, these are my next big things – and I thought I would share them with you. These next big things will, of course, be set aside should that lightning bolt of inspiration comes. You know, the kind that takes me in a whole new direction entirely.





Dogs Barking

For the record, Loki is just fine now. He lost all of his baby fat from being so sick and has turned into a lanky pup with long legs for his size. He’s not going to be a very big dog, being half terrier. But he’s certainly a lot happier dog now and has stopped begging to be in the bathtub.

Loki Feels Better

I have a statement regarding my email address and how people tend to assume things on it based on their finite beliefs and experience. I’ve been putting up with it for years and even though this has more to do with my actual job the email address is attached to this place.

I get a lot of emails from people who want me to do their covers for them, or format their books. And for some reason my current work address has never been properly attached to my work listing with Smashwords, so these people more often than not end up emailing the death@ address. And some of these people are very rude about it.

Like today for example. “After reviewing the Smashword list I liked your descriptions best.  In the future please use a different email address as I don’t allow negative things around me.”

So, they love my work. They love my professionalism. But they don’t like my email address and because my email has the word “death” in it, it must be bad and they want me to change my email address just for their convenience.

Ironically, 100% of these self-serving demands have by people who have written some spiritualist book about white-lighterhood, loving one another, world peace, women’s power, and anything else new age regarding acceptance you can think of.

My email is I also have a second, personal email, which is (Ends changed to avoid spambots.) And they are both very POSITIVE things.

As many pups know, I’m “Death” because of the team of four – the Writers of the Apocalypse – that was my title.  What do you think the others were called? Think about it. War, who ended up joining the army; Conquest, who still does things with me on rare occasion, Pestilence, et al. Our titles are a pun, our work was based on comedy, and we had a lot of positive energy. And a lot of fun.

upload“Death” stands for how I picked myself up out of a workless rut and figured my own way in the world. It is a symbol of how I formed a team of creative minds, kept things going for years until I was the last woman standing, and despite the moniker “death” my work in the comics field is still alive and kicking. They are my badge: I’m a leader. I’m a fighter: I didn’t let being blackballed in the work world stop me.

The day I took up that title was the first day of a very moving chapter in my life.Things changed for the better for me. I found true love, I rediscovered myself as an author and an artist, and on some levels I have even achieved fame.

That email address is a very, very positive thing. All you have to do to see the goodness in it is to look past the letters and find the story within. In other words, you gotta stop being so damn shallow.

When I had less of a backbone, just a couple of years ago, I’d grind my teeth and explain it was my only email address and tell this story. Sometimes that worked. At least one time I got an “interesting” and then stoic silence from the individual who liked my work oh-so-much.

And when I did end up working with these people, I always regretted it. Can we say nit-picker? We are talking major nit-pickers – people who can’t decide what they like so they go to all of their friends to get twenty conflicting opinions on your hard work so they can come back to you, ask for changes, and then ask you to change things back when the opinions fluctuate. They have been people who go so far as to put a ruler on their computer monitor to measure where you’ve put the book title and demand you move things over by a fraction of a millimeter. (I exaggerate not.) So I’ve learned that “I don’t like your email address” is a red flag for “I’m not going to like anything.” Even if that next client isn’t going to be that picky when they decide they don’t like my email address, I would rather not take the chance.

These days I have two email address, but I also am tired of being judged so quickly. So my responses, like today’s, normally go along the lines of:

I’m sorry but I cannot take any more work on right now.

Mind you, I wasn’t lying today. But even if I had the time, I wouldn’t have taken that job. I am my own employer – the best part of the story behind that email address – and can pick and choose my work at my own discretion. And my own discretion says I don’t have to put up with it anymore. My own discretion says money ain’t worth it. My own discretion says that professional response was a hell of a lot less than what I really wanted to say.

The moral to this story can go to either side. If you’re a hopeful client you should stop and consider the person on the other end of that email is a real, live individual with a real life and real stories to tell. Otherwise you may just be shooting yourself in the face.

And if you’re the wouldbe business, you don’t have to put up with the crap. I’m not saying you should definitely have an email address with something spooky like “death” in the line, but if you just happen to like I do then rest assured it’s better to stand by yourself than to grovel at the undeserving.

That’s enough of a rant for one day.