In an effort to shirk my responsibilities, I have decided that I shall make no posts on the weekends! Muahaha!
What? This is a post?
Well, it’s a little post, so it doesn’t matter. ;)
I hope you have a fun-filled Sunday, Super Bowl, grocery-shopping day, or whatever else you’re planning to do (no kink shaming). See you tomorrow!
Today is a wonderful day! It’s the day I receive five lovely pounds of delicious candy. New Year’s resolutions aside… my body thanks me.
You see, as a Boy Scout, I learned the value of being prepared. It’s literally the Scout’s Motto. And it just so happens that, in three days, a pandemic of lovesick chocolate monsters will take over.
Thankfully, I’ve dodged the disease. I was responsible and got my vaccine and three decades of boosters.
I am immune to the cooties!
So while everyone else will succumb to their primal desires and eat their weight in chocolate with their “special” someone, I’ll have my five pounds of black licorice, which just so happens to be the color of my heart.
It’s a good color.
Look, people, I can’t be falling in love. I have ambitions! So, be responsible and get vaccinated today. It’s up to us to stop this madness. Don’t hesitate, vaccinate.
Over a decade ago, when I was in college, I had a ganglion cyst removed from my left wrist. This resulted in me wearing a brace for two or three months.
Well, I got sick of that brace and decided to remove it.
The next day, in my philosophy class, I grabbed a desk near the front (I was a studious overachiever), and, to my surprise, a cute girl sat next to me.
She tossed her red hair over a shoulder and smiled. I smiled back. Then her eyes traced down my body, sizing me up as her potential love interest (surely), and stopped at my wrist.
Her eyes widened, probably surprised to find the scar. But when I looked, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before.
The hair, which had been shaved for the operation, had regrown… It was three times longer than normal.
This is where I’d like to deviate and rewrite what happened next.
The handsome Dustin winked and said in a sultry voice, “Ah, this? It was a full moon last night.” And since girls love shapeshifters—there’s an entire genre dedicated to it!—the two lived happily ever after. The end. :)
Once every five years, something terrible happens: your driver’s license expires. If you’re one of those “responsible” people who does what they are supposed to when they are supposed to do it—AKA sheep—this is a mild inconvenience.
But I ain’t no sheep!
So… my license expired. Six weeks ago.
You can wallow in negativity or accept the legal lemons you’ve been given and make it a good thing. I didn’t “let” my license expire. I did so on purpose. Yeah!
This is my opportunity to reinvent myself, wear the cool-kid clothes for my 5-years-older picture, and present myself with the sort of confidence I rarely feel.
“Hello,” he says in a deep and smooth voice to the mirror, spoken slowly because people who talk slowly are confident. “I’m here… for a new license.” And now stare into their soul. No blinking.
I think I need a wig.
(Fine, if I’m going to be a sheep, I’m going to be cool. An elemental sheep! And give me earrings. Only cool people wear earrings.)
Wish me luck. :)
(Fool! Only boring non-elemental sheep need luck!)
Eizel’s First Cover
In an effort to not break my second law—thou shalt not announce plans since plans always change—I will only say that this cover will likely never be used. As such, I’m willing to show it off despite needing to fix the building on the left.
I’ll reveal my Dungeon Runner plans “sometime in the future.” Until then, the Dungeon Runner episodes will remain available on Amazon for $0.99 each (or free until Amazon realizes the books aren’t listed anywhere else anymore).
This was the first cover I designed using AI-generated assets. I used five different images, and I absolutely love the end result. Unfortunately, I may only have room for one of these covers, and her second cover, IMO, is better.
You’ll have to wait and see. ;)
I designed these covers at the start of December. So I’ve been very good at keeping them secret. This cover is actually what pushed me to redesign the main covers. The old covers just didn’t match my vision or quality.
The post I was going to make today kind of fell through. You guys don’t need to know about all the crazy decisions I’m in the middle of making. I’ll figure it out and let you know what’s happening. :)
Or I’ll break down and start tossing out surveys!
You really never know.
Fine! What I need to know is…
Do you brush your teeth before you floss or after?
See the attached image if you need instructions. That top-right monster is really having some problems, so… don’t do that. ;)
Click the image icon below to see the cute monsters.
The Maze Runner
Every so often, I get to experience a bit of story that just excites me. I really like the premise of The Maze Runner, at least until the story outgrew its premise.
Waking up without memories in a post-apocalyptic world, trapped in a giant maze that changes every night, is so fun! It’s creative, it’s mysterious, and it gets me turning the pages to figure out why this is happening.
Alas, the “why” wasn’t that amazing, haha.
Yesterday, I randomly bumped into The Maze Runner on HBO and decided to let it stream. I rarely re-watch movies, but this one had a bit of nostalgia.
It’s that premise. It’s the picture attached to this post. It makes me want to push the envelope of what I create.
This is what it’s like to be a writer. We must read and watch and experience all the creativity others are coming up with to develop what some have called their creativity well. This is where the ideas come from, a remix of all of our experiences. It’s why no two authors will write the same story despite having the same idea.
The Maze Runner is just one of the thousands of stories that have influenced me. If you haven’t read or watched it, check it out. :)
When I was at the eye doctor’s last week, they had a poster that featured a big and bold FREE next to the product they were marketing. It also had an asterisk and, in very tiny text, explained the conditions. I thought, “Damn, these guys really know their (blind) customers.”
The best days for a walk are when it’s freezing or raining or the wind is attempting to tear trees from the ground. It is these days that you don’t run into other people. Until you do… Then you have to figure out where they are going and choose alternate routes while not looking crazy. Am I the only one who does this?
Sleeping on your stomach is a magical experience. If you do it right—which takes some training—you get to experience the surreal sensation of being armless halfway through the night.
Does anyone actually wash their bread knife?
And, in other news, I’ve come up with my second law: Thou shalt not announce plans since plans always change.
You might, someday in the vague future, find out why this is a new law. It involves big business changes but not project changes. :)
(The attached image was created with `jrpg –v 4` on Midjourney and shows how AI can inspire new stories. But I already have too many stories! Also, WTF is that flying in the background? Haha)
Have a wonderful Sunday!
Making a Map
I worked all yesterday trying to generate a map for Dungeon Runner. I now have hundreds of crazy maps, but most don’t work. And the one that does work, I couldn’t replicate the style…
Until today. Muahahah!
In fact, I figured it out while writing this update.
I decided to try blending (give the AI two images) my drawn map (see the attached) with the map style I liked. This failed miserably. 😅 But it gave me an idea. Instead of trying to generate the bulk of the main floating island via AI, I should generate individual assets.
I did this a bit last night with building icons I could use on the map. This worked very well. So why not use the map image I liked and ask for assets that matched its style? Success! I asked for mountain map assets on a white background to get those cool mountains.
I never expected the AI to do the entire job for me. I just wanted more graphics to work with before I bashed them together and painted over them. With this new technique, I can generate hundreds of mountains or forests or lakes or hills, etc., until I get the assets I think will work best.
Let me know if you like these progress/behind-the-scenes updates. With a bit more time, I hope to show you an awesome map for Dungeon Runner. Until then, have a wonderful Saturday!
I got my new company registered yesterday. Things are still being processed, but it’s looking good. This company will have a DBA (doing business as/fictitious name) of Eleista Publishing, which is what my books will show.
To form your LLC, you have to file your Articles of Organization. This is a fancy document that tells the state your business name, its purpose, duration (perpetual), how it’s managed (members or manager), and a bunch of other things like record keeping and dissolution.
Well! Since I’m a designer, I went all out making sure my Articles of Organization was perfect.
I found a list of ideal fonts for legal documents and, of course, used the professional fonts plebs don’t have access to (plebs are other lawyers…). I researched font size, indents, line spacing, and header styles. And then, I wrote the document using my many resources to cover all of my bases.
With these gleaming three pages of legalese—and a grin on my face—I logged into Utah’s Division of Corporations and Commercial Code and answered their thousand questions, none of which asked for my Articles of Organization.
Turns out… Utah generates this document for you… 😅
(And they use terrible fonts!)