Well you might ask. It’s the time of year for summarizing records, including figuring various taxes due to various governments, and I have addressed that. Literature has made me a source of revenue for three states, including Texas, which is no mean feat considering how hard it is to find taxes to pay in Texas. All sales combined came to around 200 books. That would hardly seem worth it, except some of the people who read the books then said incredibly kind things about my fiction, and that reinforced my notion that an audience for The Hidden Lands of Nod and things Habdvarsha is out there waiting to be reached.
I was once advised to consider myself a successful cult writer. As nearly as I could tell, that meant the market for my fiction is large enough for a publisher to profit from my books, but not large enough to provide an income that would allow me to work full time on the fruits of my imagination. An insurgent heart compels me to resist that ceiling. If profession and vocation will only verge nearer one, my evenings can shift away from the arithmetic of public obligation. To which end, please see items listed for sale in the column to the left. Support your friendly author by ordering early and often!
Fortunately, evenings have not been ground completely under the heel of dry numbers. Several illustrations amble through various stages of development, among them the eventual cover of an eventual edition of my novella, Rose Moon, now appearing serially (see below). At the center of that image strides Eanna, the mysterious woman who looms large in the life of Bigger MacGregor. When I began writing part one of the novella, I thought I held in mind a clear image of her physical presence; however, when I attempted to translate the imagined appearance to illustration, I found I actually had not thought specifically about how a Mesopotamian sex goddess looks. Substantial investment went into a false start that may still have life in another context, another time. Meanwhile, I returned to pencil and colored pencils, scratching on paper to discover my character, and a few days ago some of the scratching managed to capture what I am trying to see well enough to model for the cover illustration. The image did not scan well, but I’ve posted it anyway, as proof I haven’t been stretched on a divan eating bonbons. At least, not without interruption.
Other cool visualizations maintaining traction among extant projects here at HQ will feature in an eventual Confabule website. The launch of an on-line presence for Confabule has been delayed by unforeseen complications that vexed my attempt to contract for site design. Now, in consultation with editorial director Amanda Kimmerly, I’m taking a more active hand in the process than I had originally envisioned, and this is a good thing. An issue of how to divvy time is never settled, and the work cuts into hours I could spend on finishing fiction, but it is, even so, wonderfully satisfying. Crafting a map, creating decorative knotwork, clarifying the visual atmosphere, these activities are great fun, as well as necessary to the effort. Penning and polishing stories get nudged a little later on the clock, a little longer on the calendar. Since the trade-off cannot be avoided, it is not a bad one. The reverse is true, too, meaning that Ms. Kimmerly and I shall launch an interim Confabule website in the near future. Our initial presence will be functional, with play and beauty added as the elements come to fruit.
Also launching will be Confabule’s first Kickstarter project. We will be seeking to fund production of Gary Warner Kent reading my story, “Death on the Toilet,” for release as CD and download. Look forward to an announcement on this subject just as soon as we finish a project video.
“Death on the Toilet,” please recall, originally appeared between the covers of The Sorcerer’s Scrolls #47, from Zarathustra Publishing. Editor and publisher Jeremiah Griffin has now added a second publication from Zarathustra, with release of The Scroll, Vol. 1. Among its features are part one of Rose Moon and reprint of an interview Mr. Griffin conducted with me for The Sorcerer’s Scrolls #45. Parts two, three and four of Rose Moon will run in coming issues of the magazine. To order a copy, visit Zarathustra Publishing.