Category Archives: blather

An Update, Plus Introduction of My Patreon

The past few months since my last post have been interesting.  The “meatspace” job hunt is continuing, but not doing very well. I had a couple of “close calls” where I thought I might get hired, but nothing really came of it. For a while I was volunteering at a no kill animal shelter in hopes of possibly getting hired to a paid position, but things fell through for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here.  I had fun while the volunteer position lasted though, and the staff at the one location I worked at were friendly and patient. (I…am a klutz. And occasionally a space cadet. These are not good traits to have at a shelter.)

I have been writing a lot of fan fiction! I’ve been very productive in that regard, and it helped a great deal with a lot of the stress and anxiety of looking for work, dealing with a mental illness, and generally dealing with the minutia managing my resources. (Both living resources and resources involved in getting assistance and maintaining my contacts/working with the clinics/teams I work with.) I have not been able to do any content/freelance writing because my “failures” at creating a community/getting hits/writing articles were causing me a great deal of stress/anxiety. (Fanfiction is less stressful in many ways, but more stressful in others.)

Writing fan fic made me realize that while I am not actually very good at the sheer productivity necessary to writing pay-per-hit content, I am much better at making stories, and this is something I want to focus on, whether or not I try writing for content providers again. With that in mind I decided to create a Patreon for my writing (whether original or meta). The first project I’m working on is a serial novel called The Forest Room.

The synopsis is: Cody Whitaker disappeared from his family’s vacation property in the summer of 1988. Sixth months later, he turned up on the doorstep of a farm in another state. Ten years later he’s returned to take care of the house in preparation for a family reunion…and maybe find out what happened ten years previously.

What he finds out is even stranger than he could have imagined.

The first chapter is up  on my Patreon, and free. Following chapters will be patron only, though I will eventually start posting an echo of the novel on Catching Shadows my fic journal on Dreamwidth.

Read Chapter One of The Forest Room

My current goal is to get five patrons! When I get five patrons, I’m going to write ten 100-word prompt fics.

My current rewards are:

Regular

$1 or more per month ∙ 2 patrons
You are an awesome person for being a patron. You get to see  original fic posts a day before non patrons.

Joe Buckley

$5 or more per month ∙ 0 patrons
So there’s a Baen fan named Joe Buckley who gets his name written into various works. This character eventually dies horribly. I am not saying this will happen, but I’ll use your name in an original fic or a fan fic. 😀 (Also you get to see chapters/fics a day early.)

Premium

$10 or more per month ∙ 0 of 10 patrons
I will write you a prompt fic between 300 and 500 words. Fan fic (if I know/like the fandom and/or like the character) or original.

Supreme

$15 or more per month ∙ 0 of 5 patrons
I will write you a prompt fic that is at least 1000 words long, original or fanfic. (It may be more or less by  5-10 words.) Again, depending if I know the fandom/like the character.

 

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Filed under bizness, blather, fantasy, Original Fiction

What I Did for My Two Year Hiatus

Toward the end of 2013, I became homeless. I became homeless after a conflict with my family that resulted in a broken kitchen cabinet and an ultimatum that I have my caseworker find me a new place to live. (The irony here is that I did not at that time have a caseworker, as my SMI (Seriously Mentally Ill) diagnosis was still being processed and I hadn’t yet been assigned a care provider or a clinic.) With some help with organizations connected to Community Bridges (which is a sort of interim provider while they find a place to put you) I ended up at a halfway house called Carry the Message.

Carry the Message catered to both those with substance abuse problems and physical/mental disability.  I did not have money to pay rent but I was assured that I would be able to pay with foodstamps until I got a job. By the way, it’s illegal to use foodstamps as legal tender. Do not use foodstamps (EBT) as legal tender because it is illegal. I was however desperate, so that’s what I did. (What happened was I gave T the woman who ran Carry the Message my EBT card and the password and she spent it on groceries. Don’t do this folks. Just don’t.) During this time I found that I had a caseworker, service provider and case worker, which meant I was finally getting more help.

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Filed under blather

Update from the library!

So last night saw even MORE drama than previous episodes. I am informed that Drama is often part of the way of life at a group home/ halfway house. There was a major kerfluffle with one of the newer girls. (Communication problems and meltdowns from a girl with some deep issues complicated I suspect of having been socialized by Newage moonbats because there were a lot of newagey rote phrases coming from her. The girl was on the autistic spectrum and was really not understanding the entire “you are accidentally insulting everyone in the room, so please stop talking, okay?” thing.) The situation ended with the girl leaving and the rest of us getting put on restriction until one of the house managers could come and settle things. I am really hoping that girl is okay because she has not the common sense the Universe gave fluffy bunnies. Continue reading

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Filed under blather, mental health issues, random thoughts

A More Detailed Update That I Probably Should Have Wrote Out Previously

There has been capital-D drama all week. The halfway house I am at had two leave takings of varying degrees of animosity, a person who had left returned briefly only to abscond again and I spent most of the week flailing around trying to get a new cell phone, attempt to get things in order with Magellan and AHCCCS and the like and attempt to solve the “rent problem” and also the “laundry” and “lack of money to pay for toiletries or laundry” problem. Continue reading

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Filed under blather, mental health issues

Some Outlining of my Affiliate Marketing Experience

I have been making a few stabs in the direction of affiliate marketing. Okay that’s not accurate. I have been trying to make affiliate marketing work for me since 2009.

 

So far, I do not have very much to show for it. Part of the problem is that I have mental health issues that make providing consistent content extremely difficult. It can be extremely hard to write when you have something in the back of your head telling you that no matter what you try to do, it is not going to work and that you have never really been good at anything. Because it has a lot of evidence that it is correct. When you are already not doing very well, negative self-talk will gleefully jump on all of your failures at once and suddenly there isn’t a single thing you can do at all because just starting anything is a waste of time. (I have posted about my various difficulties off and on for a while now.) Another problem is that I don’t have a good handle on how to do the self-promotion stuff, even if I understand what I need to do in theory.

Note: Bear in mind that I am aware that no one else has any money either.

  • Amazon Associate: This is involves posting product links and hoping someone follows the link and buys stuff, so I can get a small advertising fee. This is the most successful only in the sense that I occasionally reach the payoff amount.
  • Powell’s Books: This is a similar set up and as far as I can tell, I have gotten NO purchases, even though I set this up specifically for the people who told me that they hated Amazon but would be interested in Powell’s links. (I might be a little exasperated by this, even with awareness that everyone else is also having money problems.)
  • AdSense: This is pay per click I do not get enough hits to get a lot of clicks. I have yet to reach the payoff amount.
  • Sponsored Tweets/Social Sparks: I am not getting very many offers and the paid advertising is for companies I generally don’t use product from.
  • For a while, I was also using an affiliate marketing company I can’t remember the name of right now. I am not currently using it because if you don’t make money within a certain period, they kick you out.

None of the affiliate marketing programs I’m in have earned me enough money to get tax information, that is to say, they are not making me solvent.

So, my general approach with advertising is to avoid being overly aggressive and to avoid cluttering my blogs with too many ads. (Also, I won’t use video ads because they are terrible and stupid.) This may or may not be a good approach but it’s certainly the preferable approach since I really hate the kind of cluttering I see on other sites. I also try to avoid spamming on twitter and other social media sites because that doesn’t seem to help very much either.

I think a lot of my difficulties have to do with providing interesting content and interacting with my (potential) audience. Again, the problem there is the ongoing mental and health issues that make writing difficult. I could quite conceivably write a lot about the ongoing mental and health issues and my difficulties with finding help and not being able to scrape together the funds and resources to get that help, since that is mostly what’s on my mind, but there seems to be a general consensus in the greater blogosphere that blogging about one’s mental and physical health problems causes disinterest and disaffection. (This is possibly because the market for ranting about mental and health issues is very niche.) This does not of course stop me from writing about it, but still.

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Filed under blather, mental health issues, real world

For Various Reasons, Basic Income Looks Like a Good Idea to Me

So I was reading through one of my blog rolls and someone posted some articles about basic income and job scarcity.

Next Big Future

A basic income of about $10,000 per US citizen would work mathematically

(Warning for TOO MANY ADS. Seriously, I feel embarrassed for the person behind this blog. Interesting article but the HUGE ADS get in the way. On the other hand, maybe huge ads work for them better than my nice relatively discreet ads. Maybe they get more clicks and therefore money than I do because of people accidentally clicking on the huge ads.)

TechCrunch  

America Has Hit “Peak Jobs”

(This article is also good but extremely depressing. There is some mention of the concept of a “post-scarcity society.” The author does not seem very optimistic about one occurring.)

The New York Times (Magazine)

Meanwhile in Europe…

Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive

(Another interesting article that also mentions the “basic income” concept as applied to the US, as a method of fixing some of the welfare problems. [Said welfare problems include: multiple places you have to apply to get services, tons of paperwork to see if you qualify, and so on. I am also mentioning “stupid people complaining that you have a cell phone,” but that is a different rant.])

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Filed under blather, real world

The Warehouse Job

I have not been doing a lot of writing for the past few months because I have been working at a warehouse. In May, I was able to apply at a temp agency and after that was able to get a job at a warehouse. It turned out that this was one of those jobs that are easy to get but really, really hard to keep. On the eighteenth of this month I was told that I could either quit, (thus not being able to work for that specific company again) or resign. I picked “resign” even though I am not sure I could be well fitted to any of the specific positions with this company because of “work/life balance.” Another frustrating aspect of this situation is that I can’t just get another assignment with this temp agency. Not only does this particular temp agency only work with various warehouse positions in this city, they also make you wait ninety days and then reapply at the temp agency if you’re dismissed from the work assignment. Continue reading

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Filed under blather, work stories