Some of you might recall this post about my financial troubles (more like financial stupidity compounded by some very real financial problems). Recently, things have grown a little worse. I haven’t talked about it much on this blog, but one of my pet leopard geckos (Noodles) has had an ongoing eye problem for close to three years. This problem is not cheap. In the last few months, I have forked out several hundred dollars for lab tests, vet visits, medications, and so forth (in the last week, I’ve spent $200+).
This makes things difficult for the summer: we generally do not work during the first part of summer at the University of Florida, I have no immediate income, and jobs are scarce or difficult to acquire in part because most of the students in the town have gone home, leaving an economic void. It’s not that I won’t have the money when I start receiving a paycheck again. My salary goes up starting at the end of June and I start teaching again at about the same time. The problem is that I won’t have that money in time to pay my rent in July and the recent health issues with Noodles have put me dangerously close to being bankrupt during most of June (when my Sister has decided it would be a lovely time to visit me — go Ashley). While I have no doubt my family would help me out, I would prefer avoiding asking them until I’ve exhausted other options, one of which I want to talk about here (after the fold):
- I want to edit it, including entire rewrites of sections of the novel, trimming it where it needs trimming, and so on;
- I want to put it in electronic format;
- I want to get something resembling a decent cover;
- And I want to release it as an ebook (or maybe even a real book) on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
I quite enjoy writing short fiction, and there aren’t enough pro markets out there to warrant keeping good stories on the market. The reality is that not every good story gets published by the big guys; they don’t have the space. Something I’d like to do is release short fiction on my blog in numerous formats and ask for donations (via Paypal). I know some have had success doing this. I’ve even thought of a number of short fiction projects I’d like to tackle doing this:
1) Catnip Pete Stories
Talking cat detective in a world of talking animals and humans. There are a lot of cat jokes and the stories are very rooted in the old Private Eye pulps with lingo adapted to cat language. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve considered doing a novella length serial here. If you’re not familiar with the Catnip Pete stories, see the Fiction section on the navigation bar. Two stories are already available (the first a flash fiction piece and the second an unfinished novelette).
2) Stories of Altern
Some time back I did a project called Worldbuilding Month and wrote thirteen posts about a world I was working on called Altern. I’ve already written two stories within that world and would love to write more. Altern is partially rooted in European folklore and mythology, with many of its house spirits and critters appearing in exaggerated form. “The Gnomes of New Timberfax,” for example, is a story about, well, gnomes, but of the evil, razor-toothed variety; “The Beautiful Are Not Far Away” is less humorous, but equally as dark, involving the tales told about the holes in trees (and the bad things that come from looking through them). Many more stories can be told about this world.
Tied into this project are a few more experimental works, such as a story I’ve been working on for some time called: “A Brief Account of the Aberwithy Minstrel Monks of New Timberfax During Her Majesty’s War Against the Reinark in 114.” It’s a collection of journals from a soldier which is annotated with historical corrections and explanations by an imaginary editor. It’s a fun way of playing around with world building and I find it immensely fun to write. I’m not sure how I’d release it on this blog, but that’s something to think about later on.
3) U-Pick Story Project
One of the things I’ve thought about is having something where readers get to pick the next story to be released based on a synopsis. I’d begin with a story I particularly enjoy, see how it was received, and then give readers the power! I write science fiction, fantasy, and some things between. I’m not tied to any particular kind of SF/F, which means the stories would be quite varied.
Edit: Jordan Lapp has suggested using Kickstarter. I received similar suggestions from Doug Lain. I may do that this weekend to see if I can meet my goal, and to give me a nice kick in the butt to do something really cool with my writing. But which project to choose? No idea…