8th November 2014

Rose Moon, Stikmantica, and the path forward

Rose Moon - Robert Stikmanz

Buy at Smashwords

The Smashwords edition of Rose Moon sits gamely on its webpage, waiting for download. Some of you dear ones have indicated that you plan to wait for a print edition of the novella before purchasing. Please reconsider. There will be no print edition of Rose Moon unless e-book sales finance a significant chunk of it, which means a few hundred of you need to trade greenbacks for downloads of the digital edition. Give me a good leg up with e-book sales, and I’ll supply the rest of the money for a limited edition hardback, probably bound together with “Death on the Toilet.”

Having released Rose Moon into the world, at least in a limited way, the foci of activities around HQ are realigning with shifting priorities. A new edition of Nod’s Way claims a chunk of available conceptual space, on a footing roughly equal with work on the first Dvarsh font. Coming hot alongside those imaginative projects, the websites—Stikmantica first, followed by this one—demand a share of time. The next big step for Stikmantica remains creation of a store. Once that is in place, I’ll be able to take time for a redesign and relaunch of robertstikmanz.com.

Re-visioning web presence for myself and my work is crucial to the way I plot into the future. Most means of author outreach, via both traditional and new media, become ever greater time sinks, ravenously consuming the limited minutes that are irreplaceable raw materials for creative work. Reality has shown that no greater power will step in to monetize the products of my mind, thrusting me back onto my own devices. The necessary juggle of creating and promoting requires a strategy that makes adequate public presentation without drawing off too much time and energy from manufacture of the words, images and sounds that matter.

One point of surrender on the path taking shape for The Hidden Lands of Nod and Stikmantica has been and will be direct concern for market penetration. The means to court a mass audience AND move forward with the works that are the whole point are beyond me. I choose the work. My idea is to establish a web presence compelling enough that you dear ones will tell your dear ones, who will tell their dear ones, who will tell their dear ones, and so on until accumulating numbers call the world’s attention to what goes on here. Expect more fiction released on the same model as Rose Moon, e-book first, followed by limited edition hardback when sales warrant. Expect more art, more sounds, and more tools/toys for coming out to play. As the artifacts to underpin it take shape, expect sponsored space for a Dvarsh language community. All these things are coming. All these things are taking shape. These are the steps I am taking. If you wish to help, a great step you can take is purchasing the Smashwords edition of Rose Moon. It is a way we can walk together.

 

 

posted in Nod's Way, Robert Stikmanz, Rose Moon, Smashwords, Stikmantica, The Hidden Lands of Nod | Comments Off

25th October 2014

Rose Moon at Smashwords

Progress on many fronts, dear ones, led by upload of Rose Moon to Smashwords this afternoon. Reality made clear that trying to create, administer and distribute ebooks would chew up precious time better spent otherwise creating and developing imaginative fruits. Moving to Smashwords makes production simpler (the upload is a doc file), makes the title available through major ebook distributors (except Amazon), and provides a gate to impede access by children to adult-oriented content. The product is stable, available in all major ebook formats, sits nested among the other Robert Stikmanz titles, and can be purchased around the world. Can I get an amen?

I celebrated successful formatting and upload of Rose Moon by creating my own personal Smashwords buy button. Try it out, and throw a few shekels toward the eventual print release. I guarantee that anyone who has enjoyed my prior fictions will like what they find in this one.

Smashwordsbutton

posted in Paranormal romance, Robert Stikmanz, Rose Moon, Science fiction erotica, Smashwords | Comments Off

12th October 2014

Rose Moon arrives!

New fiction from Stikmanz!

New fiction from Stikmanz!

Beating against a promised deadline, Rose Moon steps into the world on this date with forty-six minutes to spare. Celebrating official launch of my new commercial site, it is available for a limited time only as an e-book, and exclusively from stikmantica.com. Try the new site, imagine how it will continue to unfold in coming days and weeks, and yank some long green from your wallet for my new “lyrical blend of science fiction and paranormal romance.”

“Rose Moon is an intriguing blend of Science Fiction and erotica. The master pedicar mechanic’s life is disturbed by the appearance of a seductive and mysterious customer. Another delicacy for the fans of Robert Stikmanz.” –Ethan Rose, co-author of the Rowan of the Wood fantasy series

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30th September 2014

Rose Moon cover shift

Inconvenient, isn’t it, that one can spend hours and days on a drawing before the plain fact sinks in that it has all gone wrong. Automatic hands keep manipulating shapes and colors while the eye observes the flow of a line, a subtle blend, a satisfying rendering of clouds. I was well advanced on the Rose Moon cover I have long envisioned when I realized both that the concept was wrong and that I was executing it badly. Scratch that. Except the clouds. Those clouds will go somewhere, some day.

In a way the cover seems less critical to me for current needs than it will be in the future. My plan remains to limit the imminent e-book release to direct sales from this website or (I’m leaning more toward this) the new Stikmantica site. One of my ambitions is to move all the commerce from this site to Stikmantica, and pare this address to a narrower focus. One of the pots bubbling on the stove this week is rapid education in merits of different available online store plugins. Some lucky piece of code will soon elevate Stikmantica to unimagined heights of commercial power.

So, you may wonder, why do I plan such a restricted release of this initial e-book of Rose Moon? First and foremost, it’s a question of resource allocation. As soon as I can kick Rose Moon off the workbench and into the world, I’ll dive into production of a new Nod’s Way for the Stikmantica imprint. In order to make sure I have funds available to produce the oracle as it warrants, I am not going to spend for a physical book. It’s also true that I currently have no available time to promote the novella, except through the channels of my two sites and such social media as I bother to use. Those steps are better taken after Nod’s Way returns, in the late spring when energy and finances will converge to produce a general release to coincide with the titular moon in June.

En todo caso, damas y caballeros, the promised immediate limited release of Rose Moon, a novella, by Robert Stikmanz will not be delayed! My hope is to launch by the weekend, a simple, abstracted cover image veiling a new Stikmantic future fiction stew of erotica, psychedelic paranormality and human-powered technology. It’s a good book, dear ones. I guarantee.

posted in Nod's Way, Robert Stikmanz, Rose Moon, Stikmantica | Comments Off

17th September 2014

Rose Moon e-book in production!

Yes, dear ones, a limited edition e-book of Rose Moon is in production. What does this mean? It means final edits, final touches to formatting and an illustration for the cover are all sizzling toward done. Get your fork ready! This release will be available directly from this website only, albeit in both EPUB and MOBI formats. I am driving toward an October 1 release date. I won’t put up a pre-order button until I finish the cover illustration. Check back in about a week.

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30th August 2014

Coincidentally

In Peru, August 30th is the feast day of Santa Rosa, Saint Rose, patron saint of that country and of indigenous peoples of the Americas. August 30th is also the birthday of my late mother, Rose. The only possible connection I can draw between Mother and Peru’s patron (besides mental illness mistaken for spirituality) is that, beyond the Catholic Church, Saint Rose is venerated in the Anglican Communion, and my maternal grandfather affected high church Episcopalianism. It’s a stretch, especially since the Anglican feast of Saint Rose is August 23rd, but stretch a little farther. My birthday, July 28th, is Independence Day in Peru, proclaimed by José de San Martín and the Liberation Army of the South in 1821. What do I have to do with Peru? A single case may be mere coincidence, but two cases are unquestionably MORE coincidence. Strange things happen under inscrutable skies, pilgrim.

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6th August 2014

Ready on this end

Paypal, that vigilant guardian of small business interests, has written to ask if my account remains active. So much time has elapsed since a purchase was made from this site that they have come to suspect the retail operation of this enterprise has gone dormant. Nothing is farther from the truth! Inventory and shipping materials are on hand, and I am poised to ship on a day’s notice. The stumble that has led to Paypal’s concern is a fall to zero in order placement. What can be done to ease Paypal’s fretting? The most direct action is the best action. Buy something. Please. Click on one of the “Buy Now” buttons in the sidebar, and pass a few greenbacks through to the Confabule account.

An item taking up more space than defensible in the warehouse here at Intergalactic HQ is the audio CD of Gary Warner Kent reading my short story, “Death on the Toilet.” You can double your sense of accomplishment by ordering a copy of the CD. This will relieve Paypal’s concern, and clear a bit of room for the print run of Lightning Water, by M. S. Lewis, that will be hitting the Stikmantic catalog in a few months. Act before September 1, 2014, and I’ll throw in a Dvarsh temporary tatoo with every CD shipped.

News soon on Rose Moon! Check back (and buy something then, too!)

posted in Confabule, Death on the Toilet, Gary Warner Kent, Lightning Water, M. S. Lewis, Rose Moon | Comments Off

18th July 2014

Bravograndia: it is my feet that find the way

The Serene Realm of Bravograndia was born of pride and sadness. Its nationhood, and the love of its citizenry, is rooted in the blend of peoples and habitats, each necessary, inextricable, that gave rise, among others, to me. The sadness that called it to being is the sadness of a lover of people, a lover of creatures, of plants, a lover of all their communities and the community of which they are all parts, a lover’s lover mired in a society that has discarded or suppressed ideals that alone can redeem it.

Bravograndia thrives as a mental refuge, a redoubt of hopes and dreams unassailable by the polities that claim its landscapes. Its foundation is rooted in those landscapes, the life that inhabits them, and all the nations of the Bravograndian expanse. It is to Bravograndia that I belong. Homeland of my spirit and aspirations, it overlays, or perhaps interpenetrates, the territorial pretensions of imaginary (if heavily armed) republics.

Long before I could put a name to the Serene Realm, it called forth my loyalty. I was born in the imaginary nation of the United States, in the imaginary State of Texas, in the City of Houston, second child and second son of Donald and Rose, residents of the City of La Porte. Precocious, I understood from an early age that actual values shaping the world had little to do with values publicly expressed, and that if the latter were hollow, the former were horseshit. For better or worse, it was the hollow word that resonated within me. Despite the pressure of market and peers, I was inoculated with language meant to mouth but not hear. Unable not to hear, I made that language song and the song a ruler by which to measure the frontiers of emergent Bravograndia.

Traced on a map, the Serene Realm centers on the great watershed of the river known on one bank as the Rio Bravo and on the other as the Rio Grande. Its southern edge follows the Rio Panuco from mouth to source; its western border is the continental divide. The most northerly point of the Bravograndian expanse is somewhere on slopes in imaginary Colorado that drain to the source of its namesake river. More generally, its northern border follows Palo Duro Creek to the Prairie Dog Town Fork and east along the Red River proper until,  in the vicinity of Highway 910, in the imaginary State of Louisiana, it jumps to the Mississippi. The border jumps again to include the entire north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, grading finally into disputed lands east of Picayune, in the imaginary State of Mississippi. To the southeast, it is washed by the Gulf of Mexico. An epiphenomenal nation hidden in plain sight, these are the conceptual and material frontiers within which I formed.

The Serene Realm of Bravograndia is a parliamentary anarchy with no head of government and no head of state. Recent efforts to tally indicate that either thirty-six or forty-two parties currently hold seats in its single Chamber of Soliloquies. The count is complicated by the fact that I hold the proxy for every constituency, and some days distinctions between camps can be drawn more readily than others. Some allow for no distinctions at all. There are days replete with diplomatic missions to meadows and clouds, to lunatics and dreamers, and to numberless invisible worlds, upon which I, as Solitary and Unique Minister Plenipotentiary of the Serene Realm, am pledged to attend. Even those days, however, prove no inconvenience to tourist or immigrant. Bravograndia requires neither visa nor passport, no record of immunizations, no special currency, no minimum purchase. At any hour, from any point, travel with good will and generous spirit to the edge of what is taken for granted. With no backward glance, turn sharply into “What if…?” Greetings and welcome to you who lift your sights, clear your mind, and wish.

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1st July 2014

From the patio this morning

The strawberry gives back

The strawberry gives back.

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21st June 2014

Tomorrow and tomorrow and now

Future vision of myself as a lonely old man trying to hold attention of busy folks came recently into focus. The experience was sobering. People’s eyes really do look like they glaze over when their interest strays. The eyes, that is, of individuals who hold still long enough. The eyes of those too quick to be caught simply see right past one. Right past me, at least.

This learning experience was not among strangers. Those who suffered my conversation, or who fluidly avoided it, were creative people that I know, like and admire. They are not unkind. To the contrary, their discomfort was a result of the fact that they did not turn and walk away.

Seeing the stress I caused others was sobering, but not really surprising. These past couple years I have had to confront the effect of my presence. I have had to rethink my place in the world because, with gray hair here and sixty approaching, behavior that was acceptable in a forty-year old—or even a fifty-year-old—is now creepy. As I have to keep reminding myself, the majority of interactions in any given situation on any given day are simply courtesy. Silly Robert constantly mistakes this for friendship.

The lesson underscores a direction increasingly indicated by the world in which I swim: stay out of the way, don’t bother people, and focus on art. I wish it were different. I wish I were as interesting as the things I create, but I am not. Fortunately, every project in development here at the HQ benefits from solitude. Rose Moon, for instance, waits even now for undivided attention. In that there is a kind of grace.

posted in Rose Moon | Comments Off

    Audio CD now available
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    a story by Robert Stikmanz, read by Gary Warner Kent
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    The Way It Grows
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    Prelude to a Change of Mind
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  • Entranscing: The Second Book of the Hidden Lands of Nod, newly revised
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