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What I’m doing now, August 2017

Writer, wonderer, wanderer: Me in a nutshell

I inspire curiosity and action by sharing stories about fascinating people, businesses, and circumstances.

A writer and online editor since 2000, I’ve been a full-time self-employed writer and author since 2011. In addition to managing online content and marketing for various organizations, I write articles about food, craft beverages, business, and more for a range of print and online publications. I’m also the author of 4 travel fantasy books in my ongoing Rucksack Universe series. Outside of my home office, I live with my wife, son, daughter, and kitchen in Eugene, Oregon.

This month I’m…

Adding 2 events to the calendar

You know how sometimes things come together in the most unexpected ways?

Earlier this year I made arrangements to attend a writer business workshop in late October in Lincoln City, Oregon. A few weeks ago, Lincoln City’s Driftwood Public Library emailed me. They saw my interview in Library Journal and invited me to give a talk as part of their Dark & Stormy Nights Author Program. And the date? Oct. 26. Right when I’m already in town. Funny ole world.

Anyway, if you’re in/around Lincoln City or know someone who is, check it out and I hope to see you there. I’ll be talking about writing, publishing, travel, my books, and how I get things done, and books will be available for sale and signing.

Also, in January I’ll be giving an author talk at the Mid-Valley Willamette Writers chapter here in Eugene. It’s always a good evening, with interesting discussion (and I’ll be giving away a book).

Here are both events on Facebook, please share and I hope to see you at one!

Oct. 26, 2017, Dark & Stormy Nights, Driftwood Public Library, Lincoln City, OR

Jan. 4, 2018, Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Author Talk, Tsunami Books, Eugene, OR

Reviewing Chief Reader feedback on Roadsong

Roadsong lunch

Chief Reader lunch at The Bier Stein, Eugene

My Chief Reader has been reading the working draft of Roadsong, the next book in my Rucksack Universe series. As Chief Reader and I go through notes, there of course have been changes, but on the whole she’s been enthralled.

It’s a book I’ve had a lot of fun with too. One of the nice things about having a series where you don’t have to write books in any particular order, is that it’s easy to explore other aspects of the story and characters. With Roadsong, I really wanted to give readers more of a sense of what was happening in the story world after The Blast. And I wanted to show them a different side of Faddah Rucksack—right down to little things, like why does he only wear one glove anyway?

Roadsong takes us back in time before the events of the 4 books currently available in the series. As you may know, the story world is defined by a calamity called The Blast, which took place in 1834. Roadsong will take place 100 years and 3 days after The Blast, or, as it’s called in the story world, the year A.B. 100.

Pondering the title of said next book

As I said, the working title of the book is Roadsong, but I’m not married to that title. I just need something to call it while I work on it. My wife and I did similar with our 2 kids. During the first pregnancy we referred to the baby as “Awesome,” and the second was “Marvelous” (words I still use to describe them).

The main character of the book isn’t Rucksack. It isn’t Aisling’s grandmother either. It’s a person named Wander. Everything is told from Wander’s perspective, which I why I’m deliberating between two titles:

Roadsong, or Wander?

What do you think?

Hitting deadlines: articles on beverages, food & business

After some fun adventures with my family in Virginia and at Myrtle Beach, SC, July was a big month of catch-up. And a new project, which I’ll get to in a bit. By the end of August I’ll have filed 46 articles for the year, with 8 filed between July and the end of August.

Talking with the coolest people

I wake up every day feeling fortunate to do what I do, and this is why. There are so, so many times where I finish an interview and say to my wife, “I get to talk with the coolest people in the world.”

So, so true. Every time I’m amazed not only by their drive, but by their kindness and their sense of community. They work hard, and they have endeavored, but they also know they didn’t get anywhere on their own. The people I speak with are humble and appreciative, and they strive for excellence in what they do so as to both make good money in their businesses, but also to make the best product or service for their customers.

Sometimes I chuckle about my work. I’m pretty sure a lot of people think I just hang out with my kids and bake all the time. (And sure, there’s plenty of that, because, well, kids and baking are wonderful.) But I was telling someone recently that if you then looked at my contacts, you might be surprised.

Savoring recent adventures and planning future adventures

As I mentioned earlier and back in the June update, my family and I recently did some traveling to Virginia. We visited my family in Roanoke, then went down to the Myrtle Beach with my dad, grandma, and aunt. Both my son and my daughter spent every day of the trip in either a pool or the Atlantic, and the additional skill and confidence they gained in the water has been a joy to see and share with them.

Oh, and on the way back, my wife and I decided that sometime during the next decade, we are taking the kids on a round-the-world that will be at least a year long.

New project

I mentioned a new project. When my son and I were flying to Virginia (we were meeting Jodie and Aster there, after Jodie finished some training in Ontario), he and I looked out the window a lot and talked about the clouds. It got me thinking… and thinking… and thinking…

And then I had an idea.

During our trip, I turned that idea into a story, and the story would be a book.

I’m writing this on Aug. 15, 2017, and yesterday I finished outlining and planning that book.

The working title is Cloud Fortress. It’ll take place in the Himalayas, there will be a rookie Jade Bluegold, and a Faddah Rucksack who is trying to figure out how to do something he used to be able to do, but lost the ability after The Blast. The world will wind up in peril, there will be a pub in the sky, and something from a past book is going to come back to haunt Jade and Rucksack with a vengeance.

And oh my oh my, this is going to be a fun one.

I can’t wait to get started and to share more with you as we go.

Cherries, blueberries & peaches, oh my

In addition to travel adventures, these past weeks have been full of canning adventures too. My wife and I are avid food preservers, and when you live in Oregon, amazing summer produce is everywhere. It’s been the summer of cherries, blueberries, and peaches (oh my!). Fruit butters, jams, chutneys, you name it—our preserves cabinet is already looking nice and full.

Gonna need more pint jars…

Yoga and steps

One downside of our summer adventures has been my middle isn’t what I want it to be. While I’m still getting 10,000–12,000 steps 5–7 nights of the week, I’m also working on some diet and activity tweaks to help me get my weight more toward where I want it to be.

Darn, guess, I’ll have to do more Yoga with Adriene videos…

What is happening with you right now?

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com

I typically update what I’m doing NOW about once a month, more if merited. Most recent update: August 15, 2017.




What I’m doing now, June 2017

Writer, wonderer, wanderer: Me in a nutshell

I fire up people’s curiosity about our world.

A writer and online editor since 2000, I’ve been a full-time self-employed writer and author since 2011. In addition to managing online content and marketing for various organizations, I write articles about food, craft beverages, business, and more for a range of print and online publications. I’m also the author of 4 travel fantasy books in my ongoing Rucksack Universe series. Outside of my home office, I live with my wife, son, daughter, and kitchen in Eugene, Oregon.

This month I’m…

Sending Roadsong to my Chief Reader

Person standing on a rocky promontory, high above the sea, facing the sun

This is one of the images I’ve had in mind for an important scene in the book.

Yesterday I finished reviewing the current draft of Roadsong, the latest book in my Rucksack Universe series, and I sent the manuscript to my Chief Reader. The revisions went well, and I’m pretty happy with the story.

The idea with Roadsong has been taking readers back in time before the events of the 4 books currently available in the series. As you may know, the story world is defined by a calamity called The Blast, which took place in 1834. Roadsong will take place 100 years and 3 days after The Blast, or, as it’s called in the story world, the year A.B. 100. And yes, the 3 days is incredibly significant.

In Roadsong, we’re going to see a very different Faddah Rucksack, someone who is struggling to figure out his place in the world and what he can do to make up for, ahem, some rather bad mistakes. Fans have also asked for more from Aisling’s grandmother, who we hear about in Home Sweet Road. The most powerful Awen of Ireland is no longer on the scene, so Roadsong gave me a chance to duck back in time and bring you adventures with this fascinating character. I may or may not have based her in part on one of my grandmothers, and added a nod to Gandalf and Granny Weatherwax. Maybe.

I’ll be sharing more about Roadsong in the months ahead. Later this summer, the manuscript will go to my copy editor and I’ll figure out when the book will be released, what the final title will be (since, you know me, I always start with a working title/codename to give me something to call the story). In the meantime, here’s a working draft of the book description that I’ve been working on:

Follow the black road. From the west coast of Ireland to England’s Black Cliffs of Dover, the mile-wide line of ash is known as the Black Road. In the hundred years since The Blast scarred the world, none have traveled this road… until now. A wounded hero, a wanderer who fell between worlds, and a mysterious sage undertake a quest: for home, for purpose, for a light to stop the shadow covering the world. Pursued by a hunter of strange souls, the trio must overcome many trials—and their own mistakes—if they are to find answers to their questions… and if they are to survive the unwelcome surprise that also awaits at the end of the road.

Hitting deadlines: articles on beverages, food & business

Glass of Hellshire beer - As always, I am willing to undergo whatever grueling field research an assignment requires.

As always, I am willing to undergo whatever grueling field research an assignment requires.

I’m coming up on some well-earned time out of the office, so the past couple of months have been pretty busy with freelance assignments too. I’m just about up to 40 articles for the year—not too shabby. Here are links to some recently published pieces:

Some pieces have been submitted but not published yet, and others are print only, such as in Eugene Magazine and the Oregon Beer Growler.

It’s been a fun year of writing so far. Part of what I love about writing articles is being able to talk with people and learn about their world, their mission, and what they do on a day-to-day. I hope I keep bringing that joy and curiosity to my work every day.

Working on different client projects

In addition to the Rucksack Universe and my freelance articles, I’ve also been busy with projects for various clients. It’s a mix of online content management and marketing, depending on the client and project. One of the most gratifying things about what I do is getting to help so many people and organizations get their message across to the right people. Here are some of the folks I’m working with right now:

Doing more yoga

In addition to doing about 11,111 steps most days of the week, I’ve also been upping my yoga. In particular, I’ve really been digging the routines—and irreverent banter—of the awesome Austin-based Yoga with Adriene. Here’s her YouTube Channel, and a wee video to give you a taste:

She also has a great Revolution: 31 Days of Yoga, that’s 31 days of routines. Great stuff, lots of variety and different levels of challenging. If you’ve been wanting to do more yoga but don’t want all the sanctimony that sometimes comes with the practice, check it out.

What is happening with you right now?

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com

I typically update what I’m doing NOW about once a month, more if merited. Most recent update: June 17, 2017.




What I’m doing now, January 2017

Writer, wonderer, wanderer: Me in a nutshell

I’ve been a full-time self-employed professional writer since 2011. I’m the author of 4 travel fantasy books in my Rucksack Universe series. I write about craft beer, food, business, and other topics that fascinate me and fascinate others. I help other people with their online content and marketing. Outside of my home office, I spend lots of time with my wife, son, and daughter, in lovely Eugene, Oregon, in the US Pacific Northwest. And I love to cook.

January

Happy New Year! May you have an amazing 2017 full of love and joy #2017 #newyear #sayonara2016

A photo posted by Anthony St. Clair (@rucksackpress) on

  • The waiting
  • Articles & projects
  • A journey underway
  • A milestone of zero
  • Tech talk

Coming into 2017, there has been a lot of snot.

How I wish I hadn’t needed to write that.

But I did. ‘Tis the truth and all that. My wee family and I came through the end of the year with both kids catching sinus colds and (luckily) mild cases of pink eye. Then my wife and I caught them too.

Yup. Pink eye. At the age of 39, it’s like I was 10 again. Suddenly I had an urge to lie on the couch, watch Silverhawks and Transformers, and eat and drink nothing but apple sauce and ginger ale.

We’re all getting better though. The kids are better. The cold hit my wife harder than it hit me, so there have been some tricky weeks of getting back into my work groove while also taking extra care of my wife, son, and daughter. But we’ve managed. We’ve got each other, and we’re still getting stuff done.

So, I’ll take that as a decent start to the year.

This month I’m…

Waiting

2017 has also been ready… set… wait.

On Dec. 31, I finished writing the rough draft of Roadsong. Despite the holidays, two birthdays, and a holiday visit from my in-laws, December wound up being my most productive writing month of the year. It was the first and only month in 2016 that I cracked 50,000 words written for the month:

 

Totals Days with writing

# of words

# of minutes

Avg. words/day

January

24

25,675

538

1,070

February

19

20,891

409

1,100

March

12

12,239

178

1,020

April

25

28,170

835

1,127

May

26

37,461

1,014

1,441

June

25

31,985

703

1,279

July

20

32,279

779

1,614

August

25

37,597

830

1,504

September

18

33,117

998

1,840

October

26

40,132

1,182

1,544

November

26

35,814

1,167

1,377

December

27

52,357

1,413

1,939

All

273

387,717

10,046

1,405

# of hours

Avg.words/hour

167

2,776

Roadsong has been a lot of fun to write, and overall I’m pretty happy with this first full draft. Now the manuscript goes into its waiting period. Like Stephen King, I believe in writing a draft, then tucking it away and putting it out of my mind for a few weeks. The file is waiting for me, and it knows that I’m not thinking much about it right now. A little bit, sure—there are times where I’ve written down some notes on things I think need improving—but overall I’ve focused my January on other things for the year. Come February, I’ll start reviewing and revising so I can get the manuscript ready for my Chief Reader, Beta Readers, and copy editor. I’d like to have Roadsong out this year, but we’ll see how things go in revision.

Writing about beer and more

In 2016, I filed/published 64 articles. Pretty sure that’s my most to-date.

I wonder what 2017 will look like. So far it’s had me hitting the ground running with deadlines on articles and other projects. I’ve been finishing up a few things at the start of the year, oddly enough, so that I can start some new things too. It’s been pretty exciting, and it also reminds me that this year there are more markets that I want to explore and get into.

Here are a few recently published pieces and publications:

A journey underway

2017 also has me thinking about a particular journey, one both for my writing, and one for myself. After 5 years in business, I’m starting to realize some of my goals. Others have a long way to go. One of them is simply being more open. That’s always been hard for me. By life circumstance and by nature, I’ve always erred on being a very private person.

However, I’m realizing that I’ve hit a point in my life and in my career where that is holding me back from greater success. It’s scary as hell, but I’m trying to figure out how I can, well, be more open and approachable.

Part of that is a cool wee program called One Little Word. Run by Ali Edwards, One Little Word brings together people all over the world who, for one year, each pick a particular word that has meaning to their lives. We do different tasks and creations and such based on that word, and the year-long class takes each of us on a journey through different parts of our lives, our pains, our dreams and hopes. Jodie and I did this last year too, and it was a big help for us—it’s helped our finances, it’s helped us communicate better, and it’s helped us with goals and projects, such as us redoing our kitchen last summer.

As you might have already guessed, my word for 2017 is OPEN.

I’m exploring what that means to me—and why it means something to me. I’m looking at how I can be more open with myself, with my readers and customers, with my friends and family. I spent much of my life believing that silence was my best defense. Lately I’ve been realizing that I’ve overused it. I was made as something who can express—yet too often I’ve not done that.

So it’s time to make a change. Month by month, word by word, bit by bit, that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing.

In addition to One Little Word, Roadsong also got me thinking about a particular book that I needed to come back to.

Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey has been a big influence on me. I hadn’t read it in years, and recently picked up a copy of the third edition. Vogler uses Joseph Campbell’s work on mythology and the hero’s journey to talk with writers about effective and meaningful ways not only of telling a story, but of connecting with readers and connecting readers with themselves. In parallel, I also see reviewing the hero’s journey not only as something that will make Roadsong a stronger book, but that I can also apply the hero’s journey to myself. It will help me learn and grow, help me challenge myself, so that I am a better writer, a better person, husband, dad, businessperson.

A milestone of zero

It’s not too often that people talk about their milestones as reaching zero.

But that’s exactly what I reached on Dec. 23, 2016.

See, I’ve been in business for over five years now, and over some of that I had taken on some debt in the business. For 2016 I had set a goal of paying off that debt by Dec. 31, 2016.

It wasn’t easy. I skimped and worked and threw pretty much every penny I could at my business debt.

But I got there. On Dec. 23, I sent my last payment and soon saw that my business credit card had a zero balance.

Mission accomplished.

Now I’m looking ahead not at what I need to pay off, but at how I can invest more in my business, pay myself more personally, and further grow my business as an author, writer, and overall creator. It’s an exciting time, and while it may not seem as glamorous as, say, hitting a bestseller list, it means one hell of a lot to me that my business is in the black.

Tech talk

Now that my business is in the black, I’m also looking at one of my goals for 2016: replacing my 2008 MacBook. It’s been an excellent computer—hell, it’s even running El Capitan, and it’s nearly 9 years old! But it’s high time I got a new machine.

It’s been quite a quandary though. I started looking at options last year, and the day I wrote this, I went down to my local Simply Mac to talk with the folks there and get my hands on some different machines.

Why is that such a hard choice? Because I’m kicking around 2 options:

  1. Buy a 13” MacBook, and go big in options to future-proof my purchase. That would give me one simple device, and is similar to the setup I’m already used to.
  2. Buy a 21.5” iMac and a 9.7” iPad Air or iPad Pro. That would give me both power, lots of storage, and plenty of oomph for my work, while I’d also gain easy portability.

I’m still kicking around my options (and would appreciate any insight you might have). Cost is a factor of course, but so is making sure I’m meeting my business needs. I’ll be making my choice in the next couple of months.

The year is off to a good and interesting start. I’m hopeful things keep improving—and that how my family and I handled our initial wee health challenges indicates how we’ll handle the rest of the year.

Now to get back to work.

Yoga once a week and walking over 10,000 steps (about 4–5 miles) each day. The kids also love doing yoga with Dad. I also got some new yoga videos for my birthday, and now that my sinuses aren’t splitting I’m going to tuck in to them.

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com

I typically update what I’m doing NOW about once a month, more if merited. Most recent update: Jan. 16, 2017.

What else have I been up to?




What I’m doing now, November 2016

Me in a nutshell

I’ve been a full-time self-employed professional writer for 5 years. I’m the author of 4 travel fantasy books in my Rucksack Universe series. I write about craft beer. I help other people with their online content and marketing. Outside of my home office, I spend lots of time with my wife, son, and daughter, in lovely Eugene, Oregon, in the US Pacific Northwest. And I love to cook.

November

Has been such an incredible month. I’m looking forward to this week’s Thanksgiving holiday in the US. I’m also looking forward to my daughter’s second birthday. My kids and wife are so much of why I do what I do. I’m so thankful they are in my life, and that I can have a career where I can spend as much time with them as possible.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re up to this week, I hope that your world is well and that you have much to be thankful for.

This month I’m…

Trying on hats.

My wife can tell you that for ages now I have had a thing about trying to find a good hat. Despite having lived in the Pacific NorthWET for 16 years, I cannot get used to wearing a hood. Hoods cut off my peripheral vision, and it drives me batty.

Now, I do have some excellent woolly caps, hand-knitted by my beloved. But I needed a hat that I could wear at other times of the year.

Enter serendipity. I was helping some friends recently, and during a few spare minutes we swung through a secondhand shop, Value Village, in Springfield. And what do I find, at the back of the store? A hat. That fits me. For $5.

Author still life: hat, Moleskine, pens, pint @sambondsbrewing

A photo posted by Anthony St. Clair (@rucksackpress) on

There you go.

My wife likes it, so that’s pretty much job done there. And I’m… I’m quite digging having a hat. It brings out something noir in me.

Raising a glass of Shake Your Tree wild ale with peaches. Excellent bottle party, @alesongbrewing!

A photo posted by Anthony St. Clair (@rucksackpress) on

November has been packed with writing, especially coming off October. In fact, at 40,132 words, October was my biggest writing month of the year. I worked on various articles and stories, including the 3 prequels I’m writing that will be part of Roadsong, the next Rucksack Universe book. I also wrote and filed 3 articles, sent various queries, and did advance work on articles that due in November.

All told, in October I wrote 40,132 words over 26 days, an average of 1,544 words per day. So far for November, as of Nov. 21 I’ve written 26,079 words over 18 days, an average of 1,449 words per day. I write six days a week, taking either Saturday or Sunday off.

Retooling

As 2016 starts coming to a close, there are lots of things I’m looking at for my writing business. For 2017, I have a big goal of increasing book sales. I don’t sell a whole lot of books at this point, and I’ve been trying to work on that.

There are lots of marketing things, for example, that I haven’t found enjoyable, so I haven’t been doing them. I’m figuring out what I like to do that also works for the business, and I’m starting to dial it in. There are some big changes afoot in 2017.

I’ve also got some other projects in the works.

Writing about beer and more

To-date for 2016, I’ve filed 61 articles, and just about all of those are already published (a few are over the next couple of months). Here are some recent published articles:

Yoga once a week and walking over 10,000 steps (about 4–5 miles) each day. The kids also love doing yoga with Dad.

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com




What I’m doing now, August 2016

Me in a nutshell

I live in Eugene, Oregon, and have been a full-time self-employed professional writer for 5 years. I’m the author of 4 travel fantasy books in my Rucksack Universe series. I write about craft beer. I help other people with their online content and marketing. Outside of my home office, I spend lots of time with my wife, son, and daughter. And I love to cook.

This month I’m…

Going going going.

Coming up on 2 months since the launch of The Lotus and the Barley, it’s been a busier time than ever at my Author World HQ. Readers have been telling me it’s the best Rucksack Universe story yet, so that’s quite encouraging!

You can get the e-book or paperback today from anywhere that sells books. Here are some quick links: Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and more.

Any way you buy the book supports me, and I thank you for that—your support is part of what makes it possible for me to do the work I do. The best way to support me, though, is to buy your e-books and signed paperbacks from my author store. It’s also the only place to get bundles of all 4 books currently in the series.

Outlining Roadsong

What am I working on? Oh, ya know, just outlining the next #rucksackuniverse #adventure. #authorlife #indieauthor #wip

A photo posted by Anthony St. Clair (@rucksackpress) on

Now that The Lotus and the Barley is out, I’m working on the next book in the Rucksack Universe. Roadsong will be a prequel of sorts, a good entry point to people who want a more solid starting point in the series.

I’ve been working on different facets of outlining and planning, and here are a few things from behind the scenes:

Roadsong in one line

A wounded hero wakes. A wanderer falls between worlds. A growing shadow will cover all in darkness.

Ominous enough fer ya?

Current summary

Follow the black road.

From the west coast of Ireland to England’s Black Cliffs of Dover, the mile-wide line of ash is known as the black road. In the hundred years since The Blast scarred the world, none have traveled this road… until now. A wounded hero, a wanderer who fell between worlds, and a mysterious sage undertake a quest: for home, for purpose, for a light to stop the shadow covering the world. Pursued by a hunter of strange souls, the trio must overcome many trials—and their own mistakes—if they are to find answers to their questions… and if they are to survive the unwelcome surprise that also awaits at the end of the road.

Part of my process is also coming up with about 20 words to sum up the journey for each main character. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • A wanderer falls to a different world and goes on a quest to get back home—then something changes.
  • A fallen hero confronts his worst failure, but the challenges of the heart soon outweigh the dangers of a quest.
  • When the light of Ireland senses a growing shadow, she must prepare a fallen hero to face new challenges.
  • Find the key that will make the universe bleed.
  • The shadow covering the world will stop at nothing to realize a terrible purpose.

Bwah-ha-ha-ha.

Traveling & camping

The past few weeks have had lots of travels. At the end of July, my family and I visited friends in Portland and Seattle. The following weekend we went camping with some of our best friends (and we’re about to do a big group camping trip too).

Celebrating 5 years of being a full-time author and professional writer

And thank you for that. Readers. Editors. Fans. All of you make it possible for me to live a cool life doing what I love, and getting paid for it to boot. Thank you thank you thank you.

Writing about beer and more

To-date for 2016, I’ve filed 44 articles, and just about all of those are already published (a few are over the next couple of months). Here are some recent published articles:

Giving away books

In the midst of my 5-year business anniversary, I’m doing various giveaways and such. Here’s one going right now (thru Aug. 20):

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair

The Martini of Destiny

by Anthony St. Clair

Giveaway ends August 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Yoga once a week and walking over 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) each day, aiming for 13,000-15,000 steps (up to about 7 miles) at least a couple of days each week.

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com




What I’m doing now, July 2016

Me in a nutshell

I live in Eugene, Oregon, and have been a full-time self-employed professional writer for 5 years. I’m the author of 4 travel fantasy books in my Rucksack Universe series. I write about craft beer. I help other people with their online content and marketing. Outside of my home office, I spend lots of time with my wife, son, and daughter. And I love to cook.

This month I’m…

Celebrating.

Why? 3 main reasons:

1. New book is here!

web-TheLotusandtheBarley-AnthonyStClair

The Lotus and the Barley came out June 16, and so far response and reviews have been positive. Here’s a taste of what people are saying about this latest Rucksack Universe adventure:

  • “Strong female characters, strong story, intrigue, humor, and beer, what more could you ask for?”
  • “St Clair has built a universe that’s realistic and yet has provided just enough of that magical fantasy to take me away from the mundane world I know.”
  • “I instantly connected with the characters of Branwen and Zara. I hope there are going to be more stories with the sisters. I loved the book and am totally blown away.”

You can get the e-book or paperback today from anywhere that sells books. Here are some quick links: Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and more.

Any way you buy the book supports me, and I thank you for that—your support is part of what makes it possible for me to do the work I do. The best way to support me, though, is to buy your e-books and signed paperbacks from my author store. It’s also the only place to get bundles of all 4 books currently in the series.

2. 5 years in business

Thank you for 5 years

July marks 5 years in business for me. I can hardly believe it. When I resigned from my old job in 2011, I knew the road ahead would be both amazing and challenging—and it certainly has been. In the US, we often hear that most small businesses fail during the first 5 years. I’m so happy to be here, and be growing.

So, thank you for my first 5 years. I couldn’t do this without you, and every day I work hard and am so, so grateful for the work and life I have.

3. New kitchen!

You know something that’s fun to do after you launch a book? You know, something that takes your mind off all the stress and work of a book release?

Redoing your kitchen.

My wife and I use our kitchen a lot. We’ve been in our home for a little over 10 years, but other than a spot of paint and new appliances, we haven’t done much to the kitchen. This year we decided to fully repaint, put in a new counter and sink, and do some other sprucing up. We’re most of the way through it, and it’s been quite a project. We’ve pushed ourselves, learned lots, and done some pretty darn cool work. If I could move my office to the kitchen, I just might… Hmmm…

In other news

I’ll be doing another update with some additional items soon. There’s also been lots of articles and other content, plus a few other projects I’m working on—especially a marketing campaign for my books. Later this month my wife and I are taking the kids on a wee road trip to Portland and Seattle—lots of friends to catch up with.

Yoga once a week and walking over 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) each day, aiming for 13,000-15,000 steps (up to about 7 miles) at least a couple of days each week.

Reading 5 books:

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com




What I’m doing now, March 2016

Anthony St. Clair at the summit of Skinner's Butte in Eugene, Oregon

Anthony St. Clair at the summit of Skinner’s Butte in Eugene, Oregon

Me in a nutshell

I live in Eugene, Oregon, and have been a self-employed professional writer since 2011—nearly 5 years. I’m the author of 3 (going on 4) travel fantasy books in my Rucksack Universe series. I write about craft beer. I help other people with their online content and marketing. Outside of my home office, I spend lots of time with my wife, son, and daughter. And I love to cook.

This month I’m…

Leaked memo from the world's most dangerous company

Releasing special exclusive freebies for folks who join my mailing list. There’s a leaked memo about Faddah Rucksack from the company that wants to bring him down—and there’s also an exclusive sneak peek of my next book, THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY. If you’re interested in the Rucksack Universe, now’s a great time to check out my wee world of globetrotting myth, adventure, and intrigue.

Planning a non-fiction book about the business of being an author. I recently gave a talk about this topic, and it was really well-received, so I’m looking at how I can expand the talk into a book that helps authors manage the business side of things.

Proofreading the manscript for THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY, the fourth book in my ongoing Rucksack Universe series. Proofing will be completed in March, and then I’ll be setting the release date. My cover designer is also underway on design concepts for the cover, and I’ll soon be in touch with advance readers who’ll get to read the book ahead of the release date.

Making a big task list of post-con followup stuff to do. My recent trip to the MystiCon science fiction and fantasy convention in Roanoke, VA, was a wonderful weekend. I learned about armor hickeys and how to better describe my characters so people can cosplay them. I met lots of new fans and became an expat member of the Roanoke Valley Whovians (and had a fascinating discussion about the future of the Doctor and the show Doctor Who). I also got to be on fascinating discussion panels about world mythologies (which I moderated), setting fantasy in the everyday world, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and worldbuilding. I’m also looking in to West Coast cons for me and my family to attend, and I’m…

Pondering how I would look in a Captain Mal costume (that’s Nathan Fillion’s Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly).

Evaluating next steps for Facebook Ads for my books. A recent ad didn’t perform the way I’d hoped, so I’m seeing what I can learn to do a better job on the next go-round.

Conducting research, interviews, and drafting for various articles about how breweries support their community, the ins and outs of charcuterie, and more.

Walking over 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) each day

Doing 10 minutes of yoga

Hiking up a nearby Skinner Butte with my kids. It’s a small hill, but it was still challenging to go up it with a 22-lb. child on my back. Well worth it though, especially for how much my 4-year-old son loved romping around the trail and summit.

Cooking the incredible meals that my wife plans (she doesn’t like the cooking, I don’t like the planning)

Looking longingly at maps.

Reading lots of books, most notably THE ALCHEMIST by Paolo Coehlo, Celtic Art: Symbols & Imagery Paperback by Miranda Green, and Celtic Britain and Ireland: Art and Society by Prof. Lloyd Laing and Jennifer Laing.

Walking with my word, CONNECT, as Ali Edwards says of her annual One Little Word class. My wife and I are taking the class together. This month Ali’s prompt is to build a visionboard for my word and how I want to interact with it. I’m using this challenge to help me improve on how I share and connect with others.

Here are some recent articles I’ve published:

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com




What are you doing right now? Tell the world with your NOW page

New NOW page

Do you ever wish you had a simple, succinct way to tell people what you’re doing right now?

Derek Sivers—founder of CD Baby, regular TED speaker, and author of 34 books such as Anything You Wantused to ponder that same question. Then he came up with a simple idea: a now page.

Since then, he’s set up sites with a /now page : http://nownownow.com/ to track just that, all the other folks who’ve added a /now page.

I’ve added one too, and you can find my /now page here.

What will be on your /now page?




New NOW Page: What I’m doing now, February 2016

Printing manuscript for final read-through of THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY

Printing the full manuscript of my forthcoming fourth book, THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY. Once I’m done proofing and reading out loud, I’ll be setting the release date!

I live in Eugene, Oregon, and have been a self-employed professional writer since 2011—nearly 5 years. I’m the author of 3 (going on 4) travel fantasy books in my Rucksack Universe series. I write about craft beer. I help other people with their online content and marketing. Outside of my home office, I spend lots of time with my wife, son, and daughter. And I love to cook.

This month I’m…

Preparing to go to my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, at the end of the month, to spend 3 intense incredible days as one of the guests at the MystiCon science fiction and fantasy convention.

Proofreading and doing a final read-through of THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY, the forthcoming fourth book in my ongoing Rucksack Universe series.

Pondering what the release date will be for said book.

Outlining and doing some mental doodling on the prequel book for the series. ROADSONG will be my next main book project after launching THE LOTUS AND THE BARLEY.

Trying out Facebook Ads for my books, after completing some training on the program.

Conducting research, interviews, and drafting for about a half-dozen articles, mostly about craft beer, but a few other things too.

Deeply happy that a HUGE project is now out. This article, on the changing economic climate of Eugene, just ran in Oregon Business.

Talking with some folks locally about some content projects.

Walking over 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) each day

Doing 10 minutes of yoga

Cooking the incredible meals that my wife plans (she doesn’t like the cooking, I don’t like the planning)

Reading lots of books, including: WILD CARDS, lots of books about David Bowie, some Jacques Pepin cookbooks, and Terry Pratchett’s last Discworld novel, THE SHEPHERD’S CROWN.

Walking with my word, as Ali Edwards says of her annual One Little Word class. My wife and I are taking the class together. My word is CONNECT. And I’m trying hard to do a better job of connecting with people, talking and contributing, instead of being in constant listen mode.

Always intrigued by other people’s stories, so feel free to email me: writer@anthonystclair.com

I’ll typically be updating this NOW page about once a month, more if merited. Most recent update: February 5, 2016.




Hi.

Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

FREE Sample

Check out this free sample of FOREVER THE ROAD

Anthony's third book, FOREVER THE ROAD, is a Best Books 2015 Fantasy pick from Library Journal's SELF-e, and a 2015 Oregon Book Award nominee.

Download your free sample to find out why Nth Degree's reviewer said this "high-stakes story, told with wit and compassion," left him "completely gobsmacked."

Rucksack Universe

Travel fantasy tales
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Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel - learn more and buy now

Home Sweet Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

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