Surprise! It’s a podcast! I’m pausing live streams for April to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo.
Camp NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge hosted by the same folks who run National Novel Writing Month. Here’s the difference: National Novel Writing Month is a challenge to write 50,000 words on a totally new idea. With Camp NaNoWriMo, you set your own goal.
So this month, I want to revisit – and rewrite – a story I wrote back in 2015, called The Uthers. Be sure to give this episode a listen if you want to learn more!
I have been talking about myself a LOT lately. So to balance the scales, I want to share some of my favorite things right now – movies, books, podcasts, music, anything that you should check out if you haven’t heard about it already!
Let’s get the “big names” out of the way: you should give the Sonic 3 and Knuckles soundtrack a listen. Yes, I sound like a weeb, but hear me out. Because the team who worked with Michael Jackson composed some of these tracks. Now, who EXACTLY composed what songs is a mystery that has confounded the Sonic fandom for 20+ years (apparently). But I cannot deny that the music theory behind Angel Island zone Acts 1 and 2 AND Marble Gardens is borderline genius. Also, Ice Cap Zone Act 1 is a bop and an earworm. That got stuck in my head for DAYS.
Maybe you need more hip hop though? Then check out this Native American hip-hop artist DJ Shub and his track featuring the Northern Cree singers, Indomitable. Also, the Mother’s Day song, I Hope You Know from Supaman and Ashley Hall is great, and the music video is sweet.
Or maybe you want something that will confuse your ear? I can’t recommend Caravan Palace enough. They do a little bit of everything, but all under the electro-jazz umbrella. If you want to start simple, try their singles Melancholia, Moonshine, and Rock It For Me. Also, each music video is gorgeously animated.
For a while, I listened to the Overly Sarcastic Podcast. In each episode, they talk about the behind-the-scenes work they did for particular episodes, answer listener questions, and goof around. It’s silly and fun.
Recently, I rediscovered my love for The Dollop, a history podcast where the host reads a story of American History out loud to an oblivious stand-up comedian. This podcast does GREAT live shows. I’ve been listening to episode 323, the 1908 New York to Paris Car Race. The event is an utter disaster and the riffs are hilarious. They even did an episode about the Stonewall Riots (which I still need to listen to).
I have a low-key reading goal: read 60 books before the end of the year. Right now, I’m at 51 books completed. And, surprisingly, some of these books have been great!
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall has a “meh” rating on Goodreads, which I kinda’ sorta’ get? This is the story of a genderqueer pirate and a court girl who fall in love, rescue a mermaid, learn magic, and take revenge against a notorious pirate captain and his crew. Apparently, Goodreads decided it’s not for everyone, but I argue otherwise. Also, READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END. It has a fake-out ending where it looks like the lesbian couple does not survive to the end, but READ IT because THEY DO.
Since I’ve read over 50 books so far this year, maybe I’ll write a separate post just for book recommendations. Otherwise, this post will last forever.
Need more? Check out my list of favorite black artists. This list touches on a diverse range of creators, from cosplayers to comic artists.
That’s all for now. Thank you for reading! Be sure to check out these very cool projects, and let me know in the comments what you thought of them!
If I have noticed anything regarding social media platforms in 2018 – from Facebook constantly being pursued because they sell private data, to Tumblr’s crackdown on NSFW content – I have noticed that social media platforms aren’t exactly held accountable. They’re also always changing.
I want to have a space online dedicated for my art, sharing the art and stories of my life, and hearing from you, the reader. And the best place to do that is… this blog.
So, in the spirit of sharing in spaces that are NOT social media platforms, I’m going to start updating this blog once a week in January.
I want to start with once a week updates for two reasons: to not overwhelm myself, and because there’s a lot going on outside of the blog. There’s Validation, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, the projects detailed in the other goals for 2019, and now I have a new job outside of the internet. So, once a week updates it is… for the time being.
Still, I want to share art, news, and stories, and I want to hear your stories, as well.
2: Launch the Lazy Diana Podcast
Lazy Diana is a zine I make. As I like to pitch it at conventions, it’s Magic and Paganism for lazy people. Because not all of us in the field can afford going to the top of a specific hill three days before the first quarter moon and stand under a yew tree. RAVEN.
Lazy Diana: The Podcast will be very much about magic and paganism for lazy people. The plan is to have episodes last ten minutes or less, updating twice a week, with each season being about 16 episodes long. There will be a two-week break between seasons, to give me time to write and record new episodes, edit them, and all that jazz.
For 2019, I want to actually make this podcast a reality! The plan is to have a website for it where people can download new episodes or listen to them on the site itself. I may pursue other platforms (like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, etc), but… I’m not entirely sure how those work. More research will be needed there.
3: Launch the LGBT History Podcast/Radio Show
This has been a goal of mine since 2017, when I started Beyond the Rainbow. Beyond the Rainbow is an LGBT advocacy group in my neck of the woods. Because up until Ohio Valley Pride became a thing, there was no LGBT advocacy group in my neck of the woods.
I do still want to make the LGBT History podcast, for two reasons: a) it’s cool to read about LGBT figures in history, and b) the local radio station expressed an interest in airing it on their station. Their FM station. That broadcasts in the Wheeling, WV area. The mostly densely populated area in my neck of the woods.
This project (and Lazy Diana) had been on hold because I needed a half-decent microphone to record at home. Now, thanks to a Christmas present from my little sister, I have one!
The goal with this series is to update it once a week: this is to keep myself from being overloaded, and also because the radio station has only one time slot for this show to air. Episodes would be half an hour long, probably a little shorter to allow for advertising spots. Again, because that’s the length of time the radio station would allow.
4: Launch Indie Comics Hub
Have you noticed that there’s not a ton of indie comics coverage in the comics news hemisphere? It’s mostly Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and the like. The most indie it gets is Image comics and the occasional coverage of a webcomic that’s managed to garner more than 3000 regular readers.
Well, I plan to launch a website dedicated to indie comics.
Not Image comics. No.
I mean webcomics, small press, independent publishers, and the stuff you can only get at zine fests and comicons directly from the creators themselves.
The website will start with comic reviews and interviews. If you’re a regular reader, you may remember two blog post series’ I had running on this site before: Review Day Tuesdays, and Featured Artist Fridays. In fact, I did a Feature recently on a webcomic artist. Indie Comics Hub will be a website dedicated to just that.
(Plus maybe the occasional Top Ten list, and anything else particular to indie comics).
I hope to not only launch this site, but also grow it enough to bring on at least one other contributor. I hope to monetize it enough to actually pay this contributor, as well. But the first achievement to unlock is to make the dang site.
It will NOT be an online store. When I did my research, I discovered that there are roughly 6 billion online stores advertising themselves as “the hub to buy indie comics.” Indie Comics Hub will NOT be one of them.
5: Grow Patreon to $500 a month
This was a goal I had for 2018, but I neglected it. To be honest, I feel like I’ve neglected my Patreon page somewhat. I update it as consistently as I can, but I feel like I can do MORE with it.
So 2019 is the year I polish up the Patreon page and really drive for patron support. If you’re a patron on Patreon, you know I’ve already made a blog post asking for your feedback for what you would like to see more of in 2019. (And if you haven’t given feedback yet, PLEASE DO!)
If you’re not a patron on Patreon yet, why not? If you’re broke, that’s ok, there’s no pressure to pledge. But if you have the funding to pledge and you haven’t yet, I’d like to know why not. Is it Patreon as a system? Or are there rewards that are missing that you haven’t seen me offer yet?
Be honest and let me know. I want to improve my Patreon in 2019 and I cannot do that without your feedback.
6: Workout at the Gym at least once a week
(Insert joke about getting gym memberships and never using them here.)
Here’s where I disagree: I took weight training classes in high school. I was actually a weight lifter, believe it or not. My personal record is having bench-pressed 180 pounds. There was one time I did 210, but 180 was what I could bench consistently without straining myself.
Both of those weights are more than my own personal body weight. And I miss being able to lift and press things that were heavier than myself.
There’s a satisfaction I get in weight lifting that I don’t get in many other forms of exercise. That satisfaction is being able to see the progression and improvement of how much weight I can move. Being able to track that is a big part of why I like weight lifting so much.
The problem is: I can’t afford a gym membership at the moment. So the only way I can go to the gym is when my mom brings me along as a guest to Planet Fitness… whenever she decides to go. Or remembers to invite me.
However, my buddy and former Dungeons and Dragons player, Dana, was on the lookout for somebody who could tag along with her to the gym. She wants to get in shape, but doesn’t know how the equipment works. (Wee lamb didn’t even know what a bench press was).
And I was like, “TAKE ME WITH YOU, GRASSHOPPER.”
So the plan right now is, starting in 2019, I’ll be Dana’s plus-one at the gym. I show her how the equipment works and train her a bit, and I get to exercise. Win-win!
7: Start and Grow an Indoor Garden
Yes, I have a yard, but a) it’s tiny, and b) the enormous pine trees cast most of the place in shade for 90% of the day. The only space with consistent sunshine is the front of the house, and… we don’t have a front yard. We have a front sidewalk.
However, there’s a big freaking window in my living room that lets in a metric ton of sunlight every dang day. So the plan is to build a shelving unit and start growing some plants there.
I like green things, and I like having plants in a space. It’s aesthetically pleasing, cleans the air, and makes a space feel more alive.
Also, to be honest, I want to see if I inherited my late grandfather’s green thumb. He grew vegetables all year long thanks to his massive outdoor garden and the greenhouse porch he had built. He was most proud of his tomato plants – he was even buried with the tallest one that he had ever grown.
I want to see if I can start something like that.
The idea is to start with herbs and succulents – those are often the hardest to kill on accident. Especially basil. Basil is a surprisingly sturdy plant in my experience. I had a basil plant in Phoenix and it was exposed to constant sunlight. That sucker (his name was Nigel) never died. In fact, putting him in the shade was when he seemed sickly.
The other cool thing about growing plants indoors: FOOD. I want to be able to literally eat the fruits of this labor.
So those are my goals for 2019. There’s smaller ones, too, like drawing one sketchbook page a day, and writing one page a day. Those are connected to the larger goals for the year.
There may be a secret Part 3 of this post series. It would highlight my bullet journal and how I’m going to track all of these goals. But I have to get a bullet journal set up for 2019 first.
What are your goals for 2019? Let me know! I’d love to hear about them. Also, we can be accountability buddies – I want you to achieve your goals, too!
This is going to sound like product placement or a sponsorship, but let’s be clear, it isn’t. ComixLaunch is a podcast entirely about making comics and art, and running successful KickStarters to fund said comics and art, and how you can make a living as a working artist.