“I faced it all and I stood tall…”
385 Days. Nearly over the course of 13 months. Close to 6 revisions. 86+ illustrations, 63,400 words, 35 chapters, editing, proofreading, proofreading and proofreading. It’s all wrapped up now. I’m proud to say that my first ever novel “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth” has finished production, 2 weeks before its scheduled release. There were times that I nearly gave up or shelved it in fear of releasing a substandard product. There were times I believed I couldn’t get the artwork done in a week due to being sick or just being plain tired after work. There were times when family members and friends just didn’t “get” what I was doing and appeared not to care. There were times I passed on social outings. I sticked to a schedule and motivated myself to finish the project on time and (sort of) on budget. What was originally a NaNoWriMo project that was complete, but unreadable, turned out to be a much better cohesive and tighter story. Now, that simple ideal which actually began on a boring Super Bowl Sunday back in 2010 is finally becoming a reality.
I’m no J.K. Rowling (yet), but this is my baby. This is my crown jewel. Molded out of daydreaming, imagination and insanity. I completed the nerd marathon. It’s rewarding, but the rewards haven’t come just yet. I have a motto that I follow called “stay humble until the end.” In other words, be modest, don’t be arrogant and most importantly be realistic. I’m not looking for a million sales or looking to spam my twitter feed endlessly about my book, I just want the world to see the fruits of my labor.
In the upcoming days and weeks, I will continue to share my insight in creating this book. It is a personal, yet relatable story, only shaped in the mind of a 9-year old girl obsessed with Christmas. The release date on December 5th is not too far behind and I can’t wait to show the world of “Merry Chrissy”. Feel free to read a preview of the first 3 chapters of the story in PDF or ePub formats. Preorders are available at all major eBook retailers and in Paperback soon.
Thank you and have a very, Merry day.
The Train of Progress
I’m sitting in the Amtrak waiting station in Penn Station, waiting for a train that will bring me to Baltimore. I talked about this before, but I consider the train a very important part of life recently. Why? I started drawing again on one!
The first drawing was a bit…iffy, but I knew it would be. In 2010 en route to Baltimore for Otakon, I began drawing what would be now known as Princess Penelope. Several other ideas managed to escape my head and 3 years later, I self published my first ever picture book starring Maddie Mckenszie. This Fall, I plan to release me 3rd title that’s actually an novel with illustrations. Wow. Such Accomplishment. Many Dedication. I know, I’m getting to memey (and off topic here), but it’s important to never give up on what you started, no matter how many times you fail or struggle. Being an artist has built up my patience. It’s that patience and adherence to putting out work regularly that has nearly transformed me. Maybe I’m getting older and you want to slow it down, but this work that I do with my art has such a profound change on my life. A purpose in life other than watching TV or playing video games. Don’t get me wrong, I like doing that, but I do those activities less frequently these days. I want to make my own adventures, not live in some one else’s world.
It’s great to see people comment on your work, especially from a standpoint from when I first started out. It’s also expected to face criticism and assumptions of what I do and my characters purpose. I’m not worried about that. Even if someone hates what I draw, at least they took the time to pay attention to it in the first place.
I’m heading off to BronyCon, a convention geared primarily towards fans of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” To an outsider, it can seem weird as hell but then again, several thousand people gather across the street to watch what is essentially a kids game, so the feeling is mutual. I wrote a “BronyCon 2014 Survival Guide” mainly geared towards newcomers to the convention. With the average age of a “Brony” being around the age of 20, there is a lot of new blood to the convention scene. The organizers are expecting bigger crowds to arrive this year. Hopefully, its not on the level of Otakon 2013 (that also uses the Baltimore Convention Center…until 2016 when they move to D.C.) attendance. About 32k showed up at Otakon last year. BronyCon only drew more than 8k, but it’s growth compared to the previous ones held in New York was stratospherically high. To give you an idea of how big it’s getting, it took 5 years for Otakon to move from Hunt Valley to only a small part of the BCC. BronyCon did it in 2.
I hope the Baltimore locals are nice as they were last year. BronyCon It may not be a much of a laughing matter when Otakon, their second biggest convention for the city bolts after 2016.
After this weekend, I’m heading back home to start my staycation. I haven’t gone on a real vacation in a long time, so home is where the heart is. I have a book to work on, so it might be worth my while to get some things done, maybe see a movie or 2. Next year, I may not even go to BronyCon. It’s not that I’m tired of it, I really, REALLY want to go to D23 Expo in Anaheim and California in general. It’s not until August 2015, so I have a lot of time to think about that.