Hey again. This is Alesia, checking in with a little progress report. Here's the tl;dr version:
- We're still here, alive, kicking, swinging for the fences. That's huge.
- We've had to restructure MetPub to get through this interregnum. Our goals as publishers are changing, and the company needs to change to reflect them. More on this as we actually get "nails into boards", to use one of Michael's terms.
- There is a plan. Well, that might be overstating it. There's a direction to all this, at least. Details have to wait until we've made it through to the other side of this particular crucible.
If you have a longer attention span and would like to click through to read more, I'm okay with that.
First cut complete.
For those of you who made it, here's a bit more of what's lurking behind that innocent-looking list.
Still Being, Here
That truly is a huge reason to be thankful, because it was close. No, seriously, don't just glance over that. I mean it. It was close. Now, this makes me smile, you know, like you do when you've just hit the bottom of the first drop of the roller coaster ride. That smile looks kind of crazy from the outside, but that's only because it is. We're not at the end of this ride yet -- this is a useful analogy -- even now, my guts are churning a little as we make the long ascent to the next height. This isn't my first ride, not by several, but just for once I'd like to reach the exit deck instead of careening off the tracks and ending up in a smoking heap on a hillside somewhere...
Sorry. Hazards of the profession, there. Anyway, the analogy begins to break down when I remember that none of this is on rails. We're still laying them.
It took time for us to get over the abysmal response to the launch of Dead Man's Trigger. I do not regret the choice to go "all in" on this book, and on the trilogy as a whole. I don't think I could have lived with wondering how it might have been different, had I withheld any of my energy, my love, my money, or my time from producing and launching that book, especially if the results were of the same order. What's more, I'm already signed up to do it again with the third and final book in the series, working title: Seven for a Secret. It's just that this time, there are many, many more steps between now and that moment, and I've got to negotiate each one of them, and a lot more successfully than I did, last time.
Yeah. That's me, standing on the boarding platform, craning my neck to look for the next open cart on the ride.
Nails in Boards
One of the things I did to distract myself from being depressed was to take a good, long look around Amazon. No rose-colored glasses, no bitter cynicism, just a patient, critical look at what's going on there and what it means for indie publishers like us. The news was really good if I were 18 and healthy and full of life energy to burn 24/7/365.
I can possibly claim the first, but the last two... man. Like the old hooker said, I've been up and down those stairs a fair few times already, and now my feet hurt.
Michael and I are committed to completing The Raven & The Iris trilogy. We've got an outline on giant-sized sticky notes (you can get pads of these from Staples and they're awesome for brainstorming) and one copy of that in hard storage and three in various clouds. There are things that have to happen before he and I can sit down together and put the flesh on those lovely bones for those of you who are reading along. One of them is, of course, a modicum financial stability. 🙂
To that end, I'm setting up our Patreon. As of this moment, we do not plan to publish Seven for a Secret via Patreon -- but if there is demand for it, of course we will. We are artists, and like artists through the ages, we rely upon the financial generosity of those who get enjoyment from our work. If the paying audience wants 74aS published serially on Patreon, heck yeah! With enough financial support*, we could have it begun** by the middle of 2017!
What we do plan to release there, first to our patrons, and then eventually the rest of you, are all the details of one of a HUGE secret, one that will hit the settled, post-war nations of Menelon like a fireball. I mean, what would you do, as a citizen of Earth, if it was discovered that an advanced society had been hidden in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for tens of thousands of years? It's THAT level of "huge", and it's what has inspired me to pull me free of the last sticky, stinky vestiges of depression and has me writing about 15,000++ words a week just to get ideas down before I lose them. Background, characters, origins, language, clothing, food, transportation, land masses, political structures, cultural notes and notes and notes...
Next up is the "description" -- and I'll be posting that here for you, too, just to whet your appetites for it. Here's a tidbit: The name of this place is "Rhtaan."
There isn't much time.
I say that as a woman who's taken a long look at the stories she's got left inside herself to tell. Look at the calendar. Look at that list. Do the math. The sequence gives me that simple, irreducible truth: There isn't enough time left, there never will be. So pick up your keyboard, girl. No more time for depression or recriminations. Wipe down that monitor. Make words. Make them sing.
I will not promise regular blog posts or anything like that, not this time. Metaphor Publications** as a corporate entity is, in most ways, in my way, but I hope that will be changing as the focus shifts from a publishing company to a media/entertainment company. More to come on that as we get the details hammered out.
It also means I'm getting back into social media for creative and professional purposes. Some of you saw me erupt on Twitter when the San Francisco Giants made and won the Wild Card game. Consider it a herald of what's to come, only maybe less fan-girly. Somewhat. 🙂
See you there -- do a solid for a sister who's been too much of a recluse of late. Reach out to say "Hi!", won't you?****
*Patreon is not a "quick fix" for our troubles -- there isn't one -- it's just one pathway forward. That said, I live in a world of wild magic and tender miracles, and like to leave Possibility lots and lots of elbow room.
**I won't publish any story until it's completed, sorry. I've tried writing serially before this, and ended up complicating the plot so badly by the end that it the only way to resolve the mess was to nuke the whole damned thing from orbit -- "It's the only way to be sure."
**If anyone would like to "volunteer" to put in some time on the back end of this website, particularly as it pertains to dismantling the fuck out of WooCommerce -- safely --for something that will actually play nice with WordPress and every other damned plug-in that needs the functionality on this site, let me know? I can compensate you in a variety of ways, none of which involve money at this particular time, alas.