Regarding Jade Blade Legacy

In 2012, I began the epic experiment in self-publishing. A coin toss ultimately decided on whether I published Jade Blade Legacy, or another book whose main character eventually found her way into HikikoMorey. As of the publication of HikikoMorey, I have reservations about that story EVER seeing the light of day, but I digress.
If I’d known KDP was cheaper, I’d have gone with KDP in the early going. True, paperback versions wouldn’t be available, but the importan thing is I wouldn’t have wasted an insane amount of money on Mahinder’s Grand Tournament and The Scarlet-Ruby War like I had. Probably would’ve been able to pay off my credit cards a lot sooner, too. Oh well, live and learn.
Because I’m in penny-pinching mode at the moment, I’ve opted to sever my ties with Outskirts Press altogether. I haven’t heard back on whether or not my account has been shut down as of this posting. Apparently, you have to email their marketing department and explain why you’re closing your account. Here, in a day and age when even OKcupid has a button in the MY ACCOUNT section, and a multiple choice question that you technically don’t even have to answer if none of the choices express how disappointed you are with the human race… But I’m getting distracted again.
Once my account is closed, I have to wait a minimum of ninety days before I reupload my books to KDP. So unless you have a paperback version, it’ll probably be 2018 before you can access these books again.
Although in honesty, I have reservations about reuploading the books at all, really. The Jade Blade Legacy books were books I was a lot more proud of in 2012 and 2013. They’ve both received positive reviews (Mahinder’s Grand Tournament moreso than Scarlet-Ruby War), but I don’t know. I do tend to be my own worst critic when it comes to my writing, and it was made very clear to me that I had made a couple typos in book 1 I unfortunately couldn’t fix like I can with KDP. Well technically I could, but it’d cost fifty bucks. Fifty bucks I wasn’t able to part with because I’d already spent a shit ton getting the fucking things published in the first place, and promoting it with some services Outskirts Press provides in the meantime.
For sure, I’ll reupload the first two books once the ninety-day waiting period is up. Barring that, I’ll upload them some time around 2018. For now, though, understand that these things happen, and I’ll try to get them back up as soon as possible. Hel, I might even revise them! Fix those errors that drive me crazy.

GRRM Syndrome?

There have been moments lately where I find myself wondering if I may be afflicted with GRRM syndrome.  GRRM syndrome, for the record, is what I call it when someone gets so bogged down by side projects that the stuff they’ve been promising for fucking ever never shows up, and eventually, everybody gives up.  In the case of George R. R. Martin, the condition’s namesake, it’s The Winds of Winter.  For The Kovenant, it’s “Aria Galactica”.  For me…  I was about to say The Hood and the Heroine, but honestly, it’s looking more and more like World War Jade: book 3 of The Jade Blade Legacy is my GRRM syndrome.

In 2011, I wrote the first book in The Jade Blade Legacy: Mahinder’s Grand Tournament.  I also wrote another story…  And in hindsight, I’d have donated THAT story to the self-publishing experiment.  It was a one-shot, and I’d only have to pay half of what I was paying before now.  But I went with Jade Blade.  The damage is done, and all I can do is learn from my mistakes.  And eventually republish what I have under KDP when the 90-day no-republishing clause runs its course.

I wrote book 1 not expecting much.  I wrote book 2 the very next year.  Then I started writing book 3.  I’m sitting on twenty-plus chapters of unspellchecked, unproofread book that isn’t finished, and probably never WILL be finished at the rate I’m going.

In large part, it was due to some side projects in 2014.  I’d written something for NaNoWriMo in 2014, and had ambitions of seeing it get for-real-published in 2015.  Those ambitions were never met, for the record.  2015, and 2016 (especially 2016) were dedicated to playing with KDP, and at the time, Createspace.

I published HikikoMorey: a novella(?) that forever stands as the single most pretentious thingI’ve ever written.  It’s undergone its share of changes (mostly in the area of book covers), but it’s still there, and I guess people like it.  I’ve heard nothing about people hating it on Amazon.  Then again, I’m not exactly scanning my Amazon page like a hawk.

As 2016 progressed, I put up other stories.  I wrote and published both Novellas of Highfill, Kansas.  I also put up Charlie’s Chocolate Factory of Unspeakable Horrors, which is probably the one I’m the most proud of.  And of course, there’s The Gael Saga.  It’s still in progress, and I do plan on finishing it as quickly as possible.  So far, so good.

Then I started a podcast.

 

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What started as something to occupy my free time while I waited for cover art.  Lately, though, I find I’ve been having fun with it.  Even if a grand total of 6 people are listening, and I actually know who 2 of them are in real life.  HINT: 2 of them share an account.  Honestly, 6 followers was about 4 more than I was expecting.

And just in case that wasn’t enough to occupy the down time I could’ve spent on books, I began streaming recently as well.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRnAU1061TYhHLhpotkbjtA

 

The fact I haven’t been trying to stream a lot sooner than now…  Well, there’s actually a couple reasons for that.

First of all, I only just recently gotten a hold of a PS4 headset that actually fucking works.  Either the PS3 headset isn’t compadible, or my PS3 headset was a piece of crap.  Really, I’ll believe either one.  Also, while I may be confident enough to put out a story like The Gael Saga, knowing all well there’s references to the counterintuitivity of superheroes in real life, foot fetishism, and a general disdain for corporate billionaires…  Being on a mic and playing a video game at the same time is a different story.  I honestly didn’t know how The Game Grumps do it, but considering it’s a one man show, I decided that maybe The Spoony Experiment’s Livewire series might be more appropriate research material.

Four videos later, I’ve blown it at Texas Holdem, sent my favorite characters from Darkest Dungeon I’ve been building up and protecting since January to their horrifying gruesome deaths in a quest to find and kill The Shuffling Horror, played some Feist, and celebrated Stone Cold Steve Austin day (3/16).  Not everything was particularly successful, but I still had fun doing it, and I still have ideas for how for other possible stream ideas.

So between The Gael Saga, a podcast, and a stream series, I’ve really had no time to work on Jade Blade Legacy lately.  I joke around, and say I’m ultimately holding book 3 of that series hostage.  Until GRRM finishes The Winds of Winter, you’re never going to see book 3 of Jade Blade.  That idea, however, is kind of flawed.

For starters, I don’t have NEARLY the following GRRM does.  I really can’t afford to piss a couple people off, even if it’s a joke.

Also, it’s very likely we’ll never see The Winds of Winter.  I suppose GRRM’s estate could hand the project over to Brandon Sanderson: the human printing press, and we’d get both The Winds of Winter AND A Dream of Spring in the same year.  More than likely, though, I need to quit making the joke, and just get that shit written down when I’m done with Gael.

I have a really bad feeling that these might not end up being the only side projects I do.  Whatever the other ones are, who can say?  I just know they’re lurking in the horizon.

And yeah, first chance I get, I’m updating the ABOUT ME page with those links.

The Fine Line Between Necessary Detail and Foot Fetishism

I’m going to be honest: I’m really self conscious about a lot of things that go into my writing .  I like to play the “I don’t give a fuck” persona while wearing my badass black hoody that makes me look like a member of The Undertaker’s cult that every teacher, counselor, coach, classmate, and even my parents fucking hated…  Long story.  Anyway, I like to be that badass, but I’m really not.

Seems like I really shouldn’t care at this point anyway.  High school ended a long time ago, after all.  The last thing I should be concerning myself with is impressing the cool kids by doing the exact same shit they’re doing.  Been there, done that, and for my efforts, I learned some valuable lessons.  Those lessons include, but aren’t limited to “the cool kids are dicks”, Long hair is highly over rated”, and “Slipknot fucking sucks”.

At the same time, though, I’ve found myself encountering a bit of a problem over the last few years.  To put it simply, one question always seems to come up in my head: “How much detail is necessary, and how much ends up telling the reader that this author has a foot fetish?”

I suppose the obvious question going through your head immediately after hearing this question is “does this guy have a foot fetish?”.  Well do I?  Honestly…  I have no idea.  It’s one of those things where I contemplate the possibilities, and come up with no answer whatsoever.  I’ve seen videos on the internet (don’t judge), and I’m still divided.  Footjobs seem like something I’d have no problem with (it’s basically a handjob with your feet), but then there’s the foot worship.  That…  Well.  I don’t know how to feel about that.  I guess maybe if they were clean?  And I mean sparkling clean, too.  We’re talking fresh out the shower, and with a little perfume spraid on for good measure kind of clean.I think in the end, it’s something I wouldn’t go for if I were the one calling the shots, but could probably be talked into doing if it’s what she really wants.  From there, who knows.

The only real foreseeable problem with that is the distinct lack of girlfriend.  And trust me, that problem isn’t going to be remedied anytime soon.  I won’t bore you with the rant here, because it’s a rant that leaves me all bummed out, depressed, and in the perfect mood to write another novella of Highfill, Kansas, but there are a lot of revelations that one must make when they’re impaired like I am.  Unfortunately,being permanently stuck in the friendzone with every woman you’ll ever meet is one of them.  Frankly, that much is already enough of a hurtle.  You add on the possibility you might want to try foot stuff…  Man, you won’t even see the friendzone.

Oh, and because someone’s going to suggest it, no, I’m not buying a hooker.  largely because I don’t have that kind of money.

I try my best to make peace with living the life of an infinite bachelor, and dismiss that sort of experimentation as something I’ll have to wait for in another lifetime.  Maybe in heaven, or nirvana, or the abha kingdom…  Shit, maybe I’ll be reincarnated as another human, and get the opportunity in that lifetime.  For now, though, I’m just trying to make peace with a lifetime of being single.

…  Except sometimes, I feel like my desire to explore things like that tends to find its way into my fiction.

The Jade Blade Legacy is probably the biggest offender in stories I’ve actually published.  I’m not sure you even want to see the unpublished stuff.  Mahinder’s Grand Tournament was just a simple bet between an arrogant boy and a Jadeite with a lot more skill and humility.  Pretty innocent, one would think.  Except when I go back and reread that old story, I find when it gets to the scene where Huang has to pay up, I couldn’t seem to get through with writing it fast enough.  It just feels…  frenetic, I guess.  For one or two paragraphs, it’s all “AAAH NOTHING TO SEE HERE LA LA LA!”, then the story picks up my normal pace.  It’s almost like I’m trying to avoid the accusations.  In The Scarlet-Ruby War, I mention that Chief-Highlord Sarah Stoneweaver is getting a pedicure before King Richard meets with her.  On one hand, I wrote that in thinking that it was a really good way of showing how much wealthier the highlords were, and how dirt poor everybody else was.  Also, something about how the clan Bluefinger (her clan before she was married to a Stoneweaver man) painted their nails out of tradition or something.  It sounds like fascinating cultural notes.  The kind of stuff fantasy geeks (myself included) absolutely eat up and build wikis with.  Or it tells them that I’m a freak who likes blue pedicures the best.

I have yet to finish book 3 of Jade Blade…  In fact, I really ought to get around to that.  But there’s a lot of stuff getting in the way.  For starters, I keep revisiting a chapter or two, wondering how much is necessary to show off the life of extravagance Sarah Stoneweaver enjoys, and how much is this the author living out a fantasy that he’ll never be able to live out in reality?  Also, all my other projects have gotten in the way of that one, and the rather low sales records have motivated me to focus elsewhere, but I digress.

Gael, my current project, is many things.  It’s my attempt at a superhero novel, it’s a story I’ve had in my head since June, it’s probably the most experimental thig I’ve done this side of HikikoMorey…  And frankly, it’s me deciding to stop giving a fuck what you think and just running with it.  The heroine needs to be in constant contact with the Earth in order for her powers to work properly; therefore, going into battle barefoot makes sense.  Foot fetishism is adressed, particularly through the eyes of one of the cops.  In my original blueprint, he was going to be the comedy relief character.  But between a lot of the jokes having highly unrealistic set ups, and being a little annoyed with comedy relief characters at the moment (mostly because my friends want to marathon fucking Fairy Tail every time we congregate, and the Japanese…  Have a very different idea of what constitutes funny sometimes), I decided to play him more seriously than I originally intended.  Plus if there was ever an opportunity to live vicariously through one’s fictional characters, this is probably the closest I’ll ever get.  The kink is brought up, but it’s not nearly as defining a character attribute as it was in the blueprint phase.  If anything, photographic memory and a Sherlock like hyperfocus are his defining character traits right now.

But I digress.I have no answer for what constitutes the line between necessity and fetish.  I just write, and hope to god it doesn’t come off perverted.  And even if it does, it’s not the worst thing out there.  My god, have you ever read Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane novels?  Woman can’t go one book without having sex with someone.  And pretty much every single time, it’s insanely detailed and uncomfortably graphic.  I’m no prude, mind you, but considering I bought these damn books for action, adventure, and badass vampire chicks beating up werewolves and fe, these sex scenes really take me out of the moment.  Part of me even wonders if the author really thought this was necessary to the plot, or if she just wrote this so she could rub the nub later.

And that’s the sort of thing I think about.  I’m thinking this about Jaye Wells, but suppose Jaye Wells picked up one of my Jade Blade Legacy novels, and started thinking “Dude, this guy clearly wrote about her feet so he could play tuggawar with cyclopse later on.”  Self consciousness is my curse.  It was yelled into me many years ago, and it sticks with me all the way into my thirties.  I suppose it’s not the worst thing that could be yelled into me, but then I start reading fucking Jaye Wells, and think “Oh come the fuck on, dad!  SHE gets to write about vampires fucking elves and gets a five-figure income a year (probably, so why can’t I?”  Though in all honesty, my attempts at erotica were clearly written by a seventeen-year-old virgin who’s only knowledge of sex came from other people’s fan fiction, so maybe it was a good thing I remembered those lectures?  Shit, I don’t even know anymore.  I’m rambling at this point anyway.

I guess the only thing left to do is just walk the line, and hope it doesn’t lead off a cliff or something.