The Mishmash: Rookie Mistakes, Beer & Next Stories

After a week of basking in the Idaho sun, hanging with with my son and chilling with family, there’s been a lot on my mind as I get back in the swing of things. Sometimes you get a million notes and ideas swimming about that could be blog posts. Then you realize they should just be mishmashed into one.

So that’s what this is. Part update, part outlook, part dreaming out loud. A big mishmash of screwups, beer, scribbling and upcoming stories. So let’s start with screwups.

Rookie Mistakes: Smashwords

The Martini of Destiny has been on the market for a couple of weeks now (here’s last week’s update about that). It’s been a fun ride, with sales coming in (thank you in advance for buying a copy!), positive/constructive feedback coming in and, of course, rookie mistakes.

All told, I’m pretty happy with how smoothly my newb self was able pull off getting a book to market. But for a while a bad Smashwords link has been floating about, and I only just got it sorted out. Bah. Rookie mistakes, folks: make sure you have the right link!

Here’s the right link for getting The Martini of Destiny at Smashwords

Doing this launch was all about a learning process though, and I’m definitely learning. Another thing that maybe I could’ve done: book blog tours. But I’m not too worried about that; I think I’ll be saving that for a big push for my main novel.

Craft Beer & Homebrew

Ah, happy summer: when I go from brewing beer to enjoying it. Last night after getting our son to bed, my wife and I hung a pegboard for her sewing area in our new family room. Pegboard hung, it was time to try the new kolsch I had bottled just before we left for Idaho. It’s off to a good start: refreshing, decent malt flavor, low hop profile. An excellent summer sipper.

Summer is when I take a break from homebrewing. Hotter temperatures don’t inspire me to stand over a boiling pot, plus it’s harder to keep a decent fermentation temperature in my laissez-faire setup. Overall, it’s just good to take a break.

I still have a weizenbock to bottle, but from there, brewing will resume come, say, September.

Meantime, there’s also lots happening with Eugene craft beer scene. I’ll be working on some assignments for later this summer that’ll be fun to share with you. We have so much happening with Eugene’s beer right now! Lots of good pints to come.

Next Stories

As you know, over these last few months I’ve been revamping my website, refocusing my blog, and hauling arse to get more stories to you. I’ve been doing more on social media, and I’m also working on getting together email content that will blow you away (subscribe to that list here).

But there’s something I’ve been missing: good, inspiring blog writing prompts.

To put that another way, I’ve missed having other focus points that help me write stuff you care about. As an avowed self-centered bastard, it’s easy for me to write stuff I care about, but I feel it’s a challenge to write more consistently about what you care about.

So that’s my next big step-up: more blog and email content that has you drooling. That’s habit-forming. That you can’t wait to see.

A great example was 2012’s 30-Day Indie Travel Challenge, brought on by the awesome folks at BootsnAll. These short essays were some of the most writing fun I’ve ever had, and I can’t say enough how much I loved talking with readers about my scribblings and our shared love of travel.

Behind the scenes, I’m working on some ways to build this back in more regularly. I’ve missed it, you like it, and I’m bringing it back. As always, ideas welcome, please let me know in the comments.

While revamping my site, I rediscovered something I’d stopped doing ages ago, and now realize how much I had missed: oneword. The simple premise has always appealed to me: write for 60 seconds based on a single word. Writing these wee prompts was always fun for me, and one of the most popular bits of content on here, and I want to get back into doing these.

What do you think?

Next Stories

Last but definitely not least: what’s next now that The Martini of Destiny is out? Here’s what’s happening:

  • The Novel. As you may see from Facebook, Twitter and such, I’m cranking through rewrites on the second act of my 3-act first novel. That’s a writerly convoluted way to say I’m over halfway through revision. Once I’m through Act 2, I think I’ll have a better idea of when the book will be coming out, and I’ll keep updating you. You can learn more about the book here.
  • The Next Story (or is that “Stories”?). The novel won’t be the next Rucksack Universe story though. I have one, maybe two more novellas I want to get to you before the novel comes out. Once I’m done revising Act 2 of the novel, I’m taking a quick novel breather to look into the outlines and stories for these projects, and start getting them prepared. Like The Martini of Destiny, these titles will only be available as e-books. However, I do plan a print release of the 3 novellas in one omnibus.
  • Tokyo Toddler. Your comments about my ongoing Tokyo Toddler series, based on our family’s 3-week Japan odyssey earlier this year, have been overwhelming! Many of you have been asking for a book version of Tokyo Toddler, and I do indeed plan to do this. I put TT on a breather while doing The Martini of Destiny launch, but this is another project I’ll be planning in the background. Can’t wait to share more of our travels with you!

Winding up, it’s now been just over 2 years since I began this journey as an independent freelance author and copywriter. Thank you for everything. Here’s to all the years, stories and sharing to come.

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