This Sunday, Amanda Kimmerly and I load the mighty Scion and hit the road for Seattle and Norwescon 35. Reputedly one of the larger regional sci-fi/fantasy cons in the country, this event is so far outside our usual territory that we are taking almost two weeks for travel up, the stay, and the return trip.
Considerable soul-searching has gone into this initiative, and I expect to search further in the course of the journey. Frankly, I am close to discouraged, although what I am experiencing may be more a combination of weariness and frustration. The past several months have stretched me thin—too thin—and provided no signs that encourage forward movement. I am finding that I cannot function as a writer and artist, establish and operate a publishing company, and continue working a day job to support it all. With sales of my work barely perceptible, I am faced with the reality that I have no idea how to find whatever market may exist for the fruits of my imagination. The conclusion that seems to stare me in the face is that no market may exist large enough to justify continuing to make my own work a priority. An experienced and able business manager, I am confident that eventually I can turn Confabule into a profitable publishing/production company; however, I am no longer confident that I can do so with my novels and art as a foundation.
This is not to say that I intend to abandon The Hidden Lands of Nod or its derivatives. I simply cannot bring myself to do that. I am contemplating moving all things Habdvarshan back to the place it occupied for so many years, namely a side project to which I gave odd moments in the after-hours, when earning a living and pushing the initiatives that drew public approbation were put to bed. Our experience at Norwescon will have substantial influence on whether I redouble my effort to find my own audience, or shift gears to focus Confabule on publication, production and promotion of works by others that have more certainty of monetizing the scheme. The bottom line is the bottom line. While I remain an acolyte of Art, Truth & Beauty for life, if sales of my work do not materialize to keep the Habdvarshan dream afloat, then I cannot continue to offer devotion in my own name.