The truth has never been stated more clearly.
Okay, so even for me, this is bordering on ridiculous, for all that the latest additions to my published works have been ‘out there’ for several months, it has been a ludicrously long time since I offered anything that even hinted at being an update. For a blog that is supposed to be about my efforts to write and publish my books, I have done very little of that of late. Some of that has to do with I try to do as very little of repeating myself as possible, some of that has to do with the post-publication malaise I have suffered through before, but it has more than it’s fair share to with the fact that self-promotion goes against my grain
However with the end of the year now in sight and a new year now just around the proverbial corner, it is perhaps a now or never kind of situation. This past year, and my second ‘in publication’ I’ve only just barely managed to publish two books. (even if the grand total word count for both is a number that would weigh out to somewhere between 3 of my books and 6 books by other people) And considering my first year I managed to get 8 books out, that total seems abysmally small, I know it, you know it, so let’s move on. For those who even care to listen to me make excuses, I would remind my readers that all but one of those first books had been written before I gotten into this whole e-book thing. So I tend to think 2 books a year is better than nothing, which at several points this year felt like a very real possibility as I struggled, like an aged prize fighter, to get book 5.5 of the Salak’patan Series finished.
Excuses aside, with the addition of books 5 and 5.5 to the Salak’patan series, I have more or less successfully wrapped up the cliff hangers books 3, 4, and 4.5 created in their final pages. And with those most recent additions to the Series now done as a whole that series is standing pretty at that big, somewhat tense, pause between the first ‘half’ of that story and the second half. Which is why, as I said in the pages of my author’s notes in those two most recent additions, that after the seemingly unending struggle to reach that Lagrange point I plan to take a long hiatus from continuing that series. The answer to the obvious question of ‘How long?’ is at least a year, perhaps even two.
The reason for this hiatus is dual sided, the first part of that being is that since the beginning of my writing ‘career’ nearly two years ago, there has been a single driving force behind my efforts, writing the Salak’patan Series into something that isn’t riddled with half finished stories. With two big cliff-hangers published in the first months of my career, I have been doing nothing else but trying to tie up those loose ends, even when I got distracted by writing books 4.5 and 5.5 to explain what happened to the series’ ‘main character’. As much as I am concerned and caring for the plight of my readers, almost all of those who’ve taken the time to say something to me have been fans of that series and that series alone. (Which is understandable since I’ve got 9 books in ‘print’ and 7 of which belong to that series.) Continuing ahead blindly with that singular goal would not only strain my already worn sense of patience, it would only truly bore me, and that is not a recipe for a good book. The second part of that hiatus has everything to do with the fact that I do have other books, other stories, and other worlds I think are worth finishing. (And I do mean finishing, many are only half or a third written.) Including my other (ironically seemingly forgotten) other series, aptly named the Forgotten Children series. It was the first book I ever published and I am rather tired of feeling moderately guilty it is a Series of one book.
For those of my readers or ‘fans’ (incidentally I hate that ‘word’ because of the negative connotations, but struggle to come up with adjectives to use in its’ place) who feel betrayed by the fact that I have no intention of following through on what I’ve already started straight through to the end, I can really only say I am sorry and shrug my shoulders with a sad look on my face. Forging ahead with book 6 simply does not make any sense to me at this time, not only do I need a break (badly) I can only think that having the time to gain a fresh perspective can only be a good thing. If the depth of this betrayal reached the unfathomable depths of being unforgivable, than I can really only shrug a second time and point out rather correctly that I never truly wrote any of those books specifically for anyone but myself. Be it selfish or not, my books, are, have been, and always will be about creating something I would want to read. So trying to trying to force out another book to the series when I’ve become jaded with the whole process would not only be a betrayal of my principles, it would also be comparable to a plunger, a stopped up toilet, and trying my utmost to flush it’s contents out into the world. So like it or not, agree with it or not, this hiatus is for the best and I have few doubts that in the grand scheme of things book 6 and the remainder of the series will be better for it.
All that having been said, or re-said, I should move along with yet another of my Un-Updates. Since my recent publications I’ve been doing what most writers on a hiatus would do, as little as humanly possible. Okay, that’s a lie, but then again most humor is a stretch for the fabric of truth. I have however been taking it easy without that voice in my head reminding me a hundred times a day about how ‘I need to finish that’. And shockingly enough without that voice I’ve actually gotten some stuff.. progressed (not done so much as moved ahead). I’ve been working on any one of 3 or 4 dozen stories that have been hovering virtually untouched in the background over the years. Most of them are not yet worth mentioning since most will still need a considerable amount of effort to see finished, both in the writing and in the finishing.
However it is with no small amount of happiness and joy that I can announce that I am within a stone’s throw, and one more burst of creativity, of having the rough draft for the second book that will make the Forgotten Children an actual series. It has been a process that was started long before I started publishing my efforts, and has gone through no less than 6 false starts before I found a means to tell the many sides of the continuing story I’ve been toying with for years.
Which really takes my plans for next year well within the realm of possibilities. It was and is my hopes to release at least 3 books, or if possible 4, books in 2014. With the second book of the Forgotten Children almost done, and another book that had been roughed in early this year (while I was struggling desperately with my Salak’patan goals) already done (but not edited) I am currently on track for that goal. That other book planned but not ready for the coming year is not yet titled, nor is the series to which it belongs, but it is something mentioned (way back in) in some of my earlier posts. It is what happens when someone like me tries to call up some of themes and the general feel of steam-punk, which if I referred to it as being would have the purists of that genre up in arms, so I call it steam-punk-esque. I have no idea of release dates, or release order yet in mind, but I will likely do what I can to space out my new books over the course of the next year. Whether I will finish and publish a third book (much less a fourth) is not something I can predict, as of yet I’ve only had a few passing thoughts as to which book to focus on. It may or may not be the second book of that same unnamed series I just mentioned.
Whatever else, for all that my name will be burned in effigy for not focusing all my heart and soul in continuing the Salak’patan Series, I will not remain entirely idle lounging back like a drunk with a hang over. I do hope at least some of my readers will forgive the unforgivable and find as much addicting joy in the ‘Other’ books I will be writing, editing, and releasing in the coming year.
The following rant is brought to you by the letters M as in Moron, and U as in Unforgivable.
This isn’t exactly a new thought for me, but as it has again returned in a moment of introspection, I thought getting my thoughts ‘out’ on the subject might allow me to return more readily to other things. And while it deeply amuses me to think that Fox News might start denouncing me as a heretic against the true nature of their religion, money, I am not advertising socialism.
The reason I can conclude that consumerism, or a consumer driven economy is self defeating is because it absolutely is, but do try to keep up while I try to explain myself in this. A corporate entity or business, by its’ very nature is supposed to maximize profits by any means necessary. Why it must do this is something I perhaps will never understand, but ultimately they will spell their own doom by pursuing this goal and nothing else. By definition a business provides some product or service to the consumer public that they want or need, (or rather they provide a product or service that the consumerized public is made to _believe_ they want or need through the clever trickery that is advertising) and to make a profit while they do this. (And believe me they make profits like mad) And those corporations will do everything they can, (both legal and of questionable morals) to make those profits.
And you need only find someone who has been laid off, ‘down-sized’, or otherwise kicked to the curb for no better reason but to improve a company’s bottom line, to know that corporations will do anything to make those all important profits. But by doing so they put more work, more responsibility, more stress onto others, people who are now underpaid to do even more than they were hired onto to do. And people being what they are, will still keep working, but they won’t have the time, energy, or caring to make certain that ‘product’ is the best it can be. Therefore by maximizing profits at the cost of employees, corporations will offer an inferior product or service, and eventually lead people to the conclusion that maybe the don’t need that thing as badly as they once thought, and therefore the bottom line will start to shrink. Which leads to another corporate crackdown, another slew of people who no longer have the money to afford that product, and therefore to even worse bottom line. Then they start shipping jobs overseas, increasing their profit margins once again, by offering an even worse product that no one can now afford because they aren’t working, and an ever worsening profit margin. And if the pattern holds, eventually the whole economy turns, society starts to break down, and anarchy shall follow.
Profits at all costs is the heart of this problem, by maximizing profits above everything else, consumerism and corporations fail. If they were smart enough to realize this, and come to the conclusion that if they were willing to move the decimal point of their profit margins a few slots further to the left, they’d ultimately see that number swing back to the right. By paying workers what they are worth, those people would be more willing to put in a little more effort and care into their work, therefore the ‘product’ would be better, the corporations reputation would improve, they would employ more people would then have more money to pay for those products, and ultimately the corporations would make more money. Not only that, those people would have more money to insure their children were better educated than they were, therefore the quality of the next generation of workers would grow, and through them the ‘products’ of the next generation would be that much better, feeding an even more improved cycle of profits.
Corporations are their own worst enemy, while they tried to blame the government, regulations, and the cost of doing business, their eventual defeat comes at their own hands. They tried to profit so hard that they are single handedly destroying the basis of those profits. A population paid what they are worth is the key to people paying for products and services they want or need, and that is the key to profits. But by climbing up on the backs of their workers, to elevate themselves towards the heavens, the corporations are breaking down the very foundation on which they rose up in the first place. And people being what they are, eventually they are going to conclude that those on top aren’t worthy of those positions and they will rise up and everything will come tumbling down.
And before any conservatives come a-raging at me, claiming I am a communist, socialists, or otherwise try to marginalize everything I am saying in some attempt to push me out to the lunatic fringe. No, I am not saying that corporations should be not-for-profit, I am saying they should know when enough is enough and leave well enough alone. Sure, it’s all been fine and dandy thus far, and they are ‘improving the lives of the third world’, but at some point those other countries will be in the same position as America was in the eighties, at the height of a consumer economy with comfortable lives, and they will start demanding their own fair share. So unless corporations plan to colonize space, conquer some alien people so they can keep up with their profits over people policies, eventually they are going to run out of cheap labor, or the lows to which their products can sink before their is no longer anyone willing or able to buy those things. Enough is enough, plain and simple, as that old axiom states ‘You can’t take it with you’. Eventually the road you are running alone will end in one brick wall or another, and you won’t have anywhere to go. Earn a profit on a fiscal year, go right ahead and see how much I don’t care, but pay people what they are worth, they work hard to make you that all important dollar, and it would ultimately serve you and them far better to pay now to get paid later.
The strength of your belief should not be measures by how loud you can shout, but by how hard you will listen to those believe differently.