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Come along as I create a series

In the past I have made posts about my efforts to write a book on a pair of princes whose uncle stole their birthright. It seems like something always brings the story to a standstill and, more often than not, I end up starting it all over from the beginning. And yet, it is a story that I go back to time after time when I try to get back to writing for a living.

Well, now I have no choice. I need to make writing my full-time job now, or it never will be. I no longer have the ability to say, I’ll do it when I am older, because I am older. I am almost fifty. I also no longer have the ability to say that I will focus more on my writing when life has slowed down, because life is going to do nothing but speed up from here on out. I need to earn a full time income that can pay the bills, and that means either I find some way to get past my anthropophobia and be able to keep calm around a bunch of strangers, or I find a way to make writing pay the bills.

Part of my goal in earning an income as a writer is to start up, or rather make use of, a Patreon account. I’ve had the account for a while now, tried to do something with it a while back with my writing and the 3D models I make, but the computer has made creating 3D models something that is not cost effective – it takes far too long to make a model, so I could never make ends meet if I tried to make my living as a 3D modeler. This leave me, for the moment, with writing as my main focus, with the 3D models being something of a relaxing bonus art form I share with my Patreon audience as I create them. I could not think of how to make a Patron reward for my writing, however, so it kind of fizzled out without actually being launched. Another “I’ll do this when I have more time to work on it”.

I considered putting all of my writing work on Patreon, locking it all away behind a donation of $1 or more per month. Both the writing and the process of creating the story. As I started to make the first of the ‘nuts and bolts’ posts, however, I realized; Patreon is not the best place for the ‘how did I build my story’ posts, it is more suited to be a place where those who want to read the stories can have a chance to see what I am writing as I write it. To even have a say in how the stories are written.

So, I am altering my Patreon to be a place where readers can gain immediate access to the story as I writer it, even talk with me about what I am doing, and I am returning to posting the ‘nuts and bolts’ posts to my website, here, as I have in the past.

If you like what you see about what I am building, if you want to keep me moving forward, if you would like to read the story that is being written based on the ‘nuts and bolts’ world building you see here on this site, then please, consider visiting my Patreon page and supporting me as a Patron for as little as $1 a month. I will also be adding additional ways that support can be offered in the days ahead, so keep an eye on the sidebars and the menu below the website title above.

Thank you for your interest in, and support of, my efforts to make my living by doing something I love.

The Division free weekend: December 7th thru 10th

Ubisoft is having a free play weekend for The Division and its DLC as part of the celebration of their launch of 1.8. During the weekend of December 7th through December 10th you can access both the base game and all DLC, including the new  will be free to play, with significant savings on both the base game and the DLC.

The Division places the players in the role of specialized agents that have been called on to take action when all else has failed in the wake of a devastating pandemic that has left the city of New York crippled and besieged by gangs, rioters and a group known as the Cleaners determined to burn away the pandemic at any cost.

The game offers a wide range of player experiences from open world player versus environment (PvE) that covers multiple districts in New York city, to player versus player (PvP) combat, including an area known as the Dark Zone at the heart of the city where Division agents might go rogue and open fire on their fellow agents.

Those who only enjoy a good PvE experience can have plenty of fun in the game, as the Dark Zone requires passing through a pair of doors to access, preventing players from accidentally wandering into the PvP possible area.

Progress made in The Division during this free weekend event will carry over to the game if it is purchased, so players can level up their character without fear that they would lose that progress.

Should players decide to purchase the game during the free trial weekend, they will get 70% off on the standard edition of The Division, and 60% off of the Season Pass.

Restart on The Division

I loaded up The Division and got the update for it, unfortunately when I went to play it on my Shades-TalonMerc profile, I was told that I could not create a group with others unless I have Playstation Plus. So, I went back over to ShadesDaughter and restarted my character there, unfortunately, I am not going to be able to play for long, because my Plus membership will not be renewed when it expires in six days. I simply can not afford it at this time, so it is one of many things that will be being done away with until finances are better.

For now, however, I am playing some on The Division and trying to rebuild the sharpshooter I had over on Shades-TalonMerc, who was, up until this past update, fully geared out with the Historian rifle and DeadEye gear. I dunno though, I might stick with him, since I won’t have PS+ on either account soon. We’ll see.

The new content did load up good for me though, and I will be setting off soon to explore that area. Maybe not til tomorrow, but we’ll see how time is going when I get some work done tonight.

Destiny 2 locks gamers out of previously usable content unless they buy new DLC

While I was waiting for Destiny 2 to update on what it seemed was a 1 hour download for me, I went looking around on Facebook and found a post that mentioned Destiny 2. It seems that players who do not have the Curse of Osiris DLC are locked out of the Prestige difficulty for Leviathan, which they had access to before the Curse of Osiris DLC came along.

It seems… peculiar to me that Bungie would lock players out of this content, so I must wonder if there is something about the DLC that caused the content to be locked? If it was just to add a level of difficulty to the raid to match the DLC then they should have added a new ranking to that, but to lock out players who had previously had access to it for not reason other than to encourage the purchase of the DLC seems… odd. And not very good business.

I went browsing the Bungie forums a little and there seems to be a lot of aggression about this, enough that I backed away and decided not to read more. There also seemed to be a lot of people saying how the same thing had been done in the first Destiny, so, I’m not sure what to think about this. I will be waiting to see just what, if anything, Bungie has to say about the previously usable content getting locked behind the DLC.

Fires in California

I got to doing a bit of exploring on the TV my roomate had got me a few months ago and discovered that I can watch the news on it. It is one of those smart TVs, which had turned out to be the cheapest TV he could get when he bought it for me, and today I discovered that I can watch CBS news on it. I had assumed that it would be some kind of subscription based service or something, but it seems like I can just go to the news channel and watch it. Something that will now become a daily thing for me to start out the day.

Today’s top news, at least for me, is the wildfires in California. As soon as I turned on the CBS news channel it was covering the speed with which the fire had spread overnight. My heart goes out to the people who have lost homes to the blaze. I recall years ago when the Millers Reach fire here in Alaska swept past our home, only to be turned back by the change of winds and burn down our home while my parents and I stood on a nearby hill and watched.

We had pulled up to the intersection where a police car and the local news crew were. The Trooper stopped us and told my dad, “I can’t let you go down there, but if you tell me what house is yours I can try to take a look for you…” My dad described how to get to the house and the Trooper took off in his car. The news crew had been packing up their cameras as we had pulled up, the one realized what was going on and I have never seen people get cameras back out and set up so fast. They got filming again just as the Trooper told my dad that it was our house that we could see the flames coming up from, and for the rest of the time the Valley News was on the air you could see int heir opening sequence the silhouette of my father on the hill watching his home burn in the distance.

This morning I watched as people in Ventura, an area I once knew, were forced from their homes by fire and my heart goes out to them.

Fallout 4 settlers missing… settlers are on roof… uhm… What?

So, I’ve been playing Fallout 4 and I got this mission to talk to Sturges, only… I could not find him anywhere. I kept going to where it said he was based on the marker, but… no Surges. I spent quite a while hunting for him and finally decided that I needed to look up how to find him. First I went to empty the things I had into the storage chest at my house and as I stepped back out to the sidewalk and set my controller down, planning to go hunting on Google for how to find the missing settler, my camera was bumped just right to show me a view of the house across the street, the one the settlers wanted to settle into. And.. this is what I saw.

Sturges and the old fortune teller lady hanging out on the roof across the street. What the ???

I have no idea how they got up there other than some kind of odd glitch that tossed them up onto it, but getting them back down was as simple as going around back and building a staircase up to the roof of the carport. As soon as I got the stairs and a lookout platform built they both made their way back down off the roof and everything has been fine since then.

I was given Fallout 4 as an early holiday gift

My roomate got me Fallout 4 on the Black Friday sales and gave it to me as an early holiday present. I’ve been wanting this game for a long while now and am looking forward to getting the chance to explore it and have some fun playing it.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

I got myself a little gift for Black Friday… The Playstation Store had a sale on the Nathan Drake collection for Uncharted, featuring remastered editions of Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves, and Drake’s Deception. I just had to get that to go along with my copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End that I got with my PS4.

Uncharted has been my favorite series since Drake’s Fortune came out years ago and I played it on the PS3. Since then my PS3 has died, or at least the power button on it no longer works, so I really needed to get the Nathan Drake Collection for the PS4 so I can revisit all the fun of the first three games.

Final Fantasy XIV Housing

In a post to the forums Final Fantasy producer and director Naoki Yoshida expressed understanding and deep apology at the failure of preparation of sufficient plots for players who wished to relocate to the new housing area in Shirogane. It was also noticed that there was a rush of players trying to log into the game, in an effort to secure the limited number of houses available, and that caused even more issues. Yoshida stated that the recent hot fixes did not correct the underlying issue and that the servers would be bolstered in preparation for additional wards in all current residential areas (Lavender Beds, Goblet, Mist, and Shirogane).

Additional information on the number of wards and the manner in which they will be sold will be announced after the large amount of feedback that has been given concerning the addition of new wards has been gone over. Yoshida asked for patience while they work, promising that more information will be made available, but withholding any actual details for now to prevent speculation.

Graphic novels and comics are seeing a growth in sales

According to the NPD Group, NPD Bookscan data has shown that the comic and graphic novel categories have experienced a 15% annual unit sales growth in the past three years. This makes the comic and graphic novel market the biggest growth category in the trade book marketplace.

Moreover, it seems that women are a growing segment of this category, accounting for one in three mainstream comic and graphic novel purchases over the past 12 months, 37% of the market. 57% of the buyers are age 13-29, with 21 percent of those being women.

Traditional comic shops have taken a hit as their sales have declined over the past 12 months, with most of the sales being in independent bookstores or large bookstore chains, as well as online and even mass market retailers, such as Target, that have began to make room for comics and graphic novels on their shelves.

Over the past 12 months comics and graphic novels have seen a growth of 6%, a pattern that has gone on for over five years.

“There is a whole new audience emerging for comics and graphic novels; these readers are younger, they are more diverse, and they are getting their books from a much wider range of channels than we typically think of for comics,” said Kristen McLean, industry analyst for NPD Books. “This is also a very interesting category when it comes to crossover and media tie-ins from across entertainment, including film, toys, and gaming. We have seen this category grow for a few years now, and we have no reason to think it’s just a flash in the pan.”

It seems like if you want to make a space for yourself in the publishing industry, then graphic novels might just be the place to look. At the very least it is worth keeping in mind the possibilities of a graphic novel tie-in to whatever traditional novels or games you might be working on.