Adventures in Moving: An Updates on Searching for an Apartment

Adventures in Moving is my latest blog post series, where I share updates on my search for a new place to live.

Today I’ll share what I’ve discovered so far, which is this:

SOME places are willing to make exceptions regarding pet policies. You just have to ask.

See, my potential roommate and I are totally ok with sharing a place. However, our rooming together would make us a 3 cat household. (She has 1, I have 2.)

Most places, I have discovered, have a 2 pet limit.

That said, some places are willing to make an exception, but you have to ask about it.

Also it may depend on other factors. Like:

  • is the landlord sitting on a lot of empty properties that need filled? Or are places scarce (as in, only 1 or 2 places are available for move-in)?
  • are the cats indoors exclusively? (Which, ours are).

I also suspect it depends on how good of a credit score you have, as well as your past renting history. I don’t know though – I haven’t had a credit report pulled on me yet while searching for a place.

Anyway, there’s at least 1 place in the Columbus, OH area that looks promising. But there are also a lot of places in Toledo that fit our budget better.

I haven’t toured the Toledo places…yet. But I will this weekend.

Yep, I’m out of town again. This time it’s not for a convention – it’s to visit friends and tour some potential apartments and houses.

Wish me luck, yo.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Dragons, Adventures in Moving, and Other News

Hoo boy, there’s a lot going on, so let’s do this in parts.

THE KICKSTARTER

We made it to our goal! We even raised enough to unlock the Baby Dragon Sticker Sheet for all backers who pledge to get physical copies of the book (or higher rewards).

The next stretch goal is $670 – at this level, backers who get physical rewards will also get a KickStarter-exclusive miniprint of Queen Norsa, the Albino Dragon Queen from The Legend of Jamie Roberts.

CONVENTIONS AND APPEARANCES

My next convention appearance isn’t until December 1, for Genghis Con. Unless there are other shows you’re aware of, and want me to showcase at, that is. Hit me up if that’s the case.

THE LEGEND OF JAMIE ROBERTS

Ok, there are some weeks where The Legend of Jamie Roberts updates as normal, on Wednesdays. And then there are some weeks it updates on Thursday.

Well, this upcoming week, a new Jamie Roberts page may get pushed to Thursday, November 14. It depends on what can get done this weekend, in between events.

WHEELING SLEEP-OUT

The Wheeling Sleep-Out is one of those events I’m doing this weekend. It’s part fundraiser for our local homeless shelter (Youth Services Systems), and part competition to see who can build the most creative cardboard construction.

Here’s some pictures from when my friend Mel and I went last year.

We built a cardboard replica of the Guggenheim museum. This year, we’re going to try and build an art deco movie theater out of cardboard.

Once these constructions get built, the builders then have the option to sleep in them overnight – which is what Mel and I are doing. We’re doing it, so our local homeless youth don’t have to.

If you like, you can donate to Youth Services Systems through our team page. Every dollar raised goes back to the organization. But there IS a trophy for the group who raises the most funding for YSS. (But seriously, no pressure if you can’t donate.)

ADVENTURES IN MOVING

I hate apartment-hunting. It feels like every time I get a decent lead, there’s something wrong. Either it’s too expensive. Or it doesn’t allow cats. Or it’s in a shady-ass neighborhood.

At least I have a potential roommate. He wants to move out of his dinky Pennsylvania hometown. We’ve tabled together at conventions for two years now, so we know each other well enough that we could make decent roommates together.

Now it’s just a matter of finding a place.

I can’t really stay local to where I am (which is the Wheeling, WV area). Rent prices are more expensive here than they are in Columbus, OH or even in Pittsburgh, PA.

Yep. West Virginia is more expensive to rent in than two major cities. Let that sink in.

The oil and gas industries are absolute bitches and I despise them both.

NANOWRIMO

Also I’m participating in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. It’s a writing challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Because Inktober isn’t enough and I’m always up for a creative challenge.

The novel I’m writing is called “The Prince of Shadows.” It’s about a prince from a dark realm falling in love with a Valkyrie – as told through the point of view of the Prince’s best friend.

When I first started the challenge, I wasn’t sure why the story demanded that particular perspective. Now, on day 7, things are falling into place and making more sense. I’m eager to see where this goes!

GIGS

I made a new page on the website to highlight other services I can offer as a freelancer (besides making comics and art).

These are services like ghost writing, basic website design, and other services I’ve honed thanks to running my own business for the last 7 years.

I’m looking to offer more services to get some extra income in. That way, if/when I have to leave my little hometown, I can have some kind of income to replace the gas station gig I currently have.

AND THAT’S IT!

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

I’m Moving…

I talked about this before (especially to patrons on Patreon and a mention in this video), but here’s the news: I’m moving.

How soon?

Well, January 2020 at the soonest. Spring of 2020 at the latest.

Why am I moving?

Because the house I’m renting right now, which belongs to my mom, is going to be listed for sale soon.

Now, here’s the thing that makes this situation unique: mom and I haven’t lived under the same roof for nearly two years.

See, she and her boyfriend embraced the RV full-time lifestyle for a while, so they could travel and work. But that left the house unoccupied. So I lived in it.

But now, mom lives in Florida. And she wants to stay in Florida. Which, for her, means buying a house.

She doesn’t want to own two houses at once. So she’s selling the one I’m in right now.

I already did the math, and determined that my best course of action is to find an apartment to rent. NOT as soon as possible, but close to it.

Stay tuned for further updates on the situation. I’ll be blogging about the Adventures of Moving Out for the foreseeable future.

In Other News…

Dragons: A Sketchbook is NOW on KickStarter. Today’s the last day to grab an Early Bird Special, so GRAB IT.

Also The Legend of Jamie Roberts updated today. One of my side hustles has been making me work full-time hours this past week, so that threw off the update schedule on a LOT of things. My bad.

But hey – if you’re in the Robinson, PA or Pittsburgh area, I’ll be at the Nerd and Hobby Flea Market this Saturday (Nov. 2) from 4 pm to 8 pm. Because I need to move, I’ll have a crate full of my old nerd swag available for sale, as well.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

A Lull in the Con Schedule

May and September are my busiest months of the year when it comes to conventions and shows.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered I have only one show in June, and one show in July.

If this were me of last year, I would be doing my best to get more conventions lined up. But this year, between working a side hustle at a local gas station, having freelance gigs, and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts, I’m actually not too keen on trying to book as many conventions as possible.

This year, I want to try to save my convention energy for September.

Of course, I have shows before and after September, but that month has my biggest show on my roster: Small Press Expo.

YES, I FINALLY got a table at SPX! It’s been a goal of mine to have a table there ever since I learned about it, and I can’t wait to go!

I’ve been warned by some fellow indie comics creators to bring as much stock as I can, because other vendors had sold out of books on their first day. To that end, I want to build up as much stock as I can in the lead up to the show.

Now, I won’t have a full table at SPX. So I won’t be bringing my usual six-foot or even eight-foot set-up. I’ll just be bringing my books, my zines, and one or two large prints. That’s it.

That said, I’ll be working on freelance gigs and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts in the time between shows. The funds raised through those endeavors will be saved back for SPX and its related costs.

So if you don’t see me online a whole lot, it’s because I’m working to get backlogs in all the right avenues in order to be prepared.

Before I go into complete work mode, though, there is ONE thing to do…

Come back tomorrow for a special announcement.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

What’s Going On? An Update About The Legend and the Patreon Pledge Drive

For the sake of full transparency, I want to keep y’all in the loop. Considering that I missed the update for The Legend of Jamie Roberts on April 17, you should know what’s going on.

Patrons on Patreon already know the gist, but I don’t think I went into detail about it. And I may have mentioned this a few times here on the site, but…

In short, I got a side hustle working at a gas station in my town.

Back in September of 2018, I left the comic shop I was working at, due to some drama I will NOT get into here. For the next two months after that, I kept to making Validation, doing Patreon work, selling at conventions, getting consignment earnings, and freelance gigs.

With those income streams, I was able to pay for rent, groceries, and everything else I needed to live. However, it was not paying off my student loans at the clip I wanted, and my savings goals were suffering.

So I bucked it up and applied for part-time work at the local gas station. They needed someone to come in from 2 pm to 10 pm, which works for me, since I do my best creative work in the mornings. It also paid $9.50 an hour for the first 6 months of the job, and it’s set to jump up to $10 an hour after that period. Plus I could earn quarterly bonuses if the store kept up the friendliness and cleanliness ratings. And after working there for one year, I could open a 401K and get stock in the company – even as a part-time worker. That’s, frankly, unheard of around these parts.

That said, comics are still my full-time endeavor. I’m sticking to the gas station as a part-time side hustle to pay off the student loans faster, and save back a little bit for my savings goals… including a new laptop and tablet set-up. My current laptop is close to 8 years old and Clip Studio Paint tends to crash at least once a week on this thing.

Now, I wanted to talk about this because in May, there’s plans to run a Patreon Pledge Drive.

“But wait,” you might be saying. “Why have a Patreon Pledge Drive when you can keep working at the gas station part-time and use that money for your stuff?”

The gas station gig is to pay off debt and save back for some savings goals. That’s it.

Patreon earnings right now cover groceries, my phone bill, and one or two business expenses. And everything else I need gets supplemented by freelance gigs.

And I’m sticking to comics as a full-time job because IT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO.

My goal is to increase Patreon from its current $215/month rate to $500/month.

By doing that, Patreon can cover the groceries and phone bill, yes. AND it would cover rent, gas to conventions, website hosting, domain registrations, and art supplies needed for making the comics actually happen. By doing that, I would be less reliant on freelance gigs.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked (most of) the clients I’ve worked with. But freelance earnings are REALLY inconsistent from month to month. If Patreon earnings can go up, I can curb the need to do freelance work to bridge the gaps.

Also, fewer freelance gigs means more consistent comic updates. Because that way, I’m not trying to split my attention and time between the gas station, Patreon, and however many clients I’m working with on freelance projects.

So be prepared for the Patreon Pledge Drive to happen throughout May. The Pledge Drive will include:

  • Increasing email newsletter updates from once-a-week to twice-a-week,
  • New posts on the blog talking about what’s on my Patreon page,
  • Fliers to pass out at conventions about the Patreon page,
  • And lots more!

I’ll do my best to keep the Pledge Drive entertaining and not annoying. But bear with me for the next month.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your patience and support.

You. Are. Awesome.