Marketing Self-Doubt

Hello all. I’m back again.

So, I have a problem. I’ve no idea how to advertise/market my books. Well, perhaps I have some ideas, but I don’t like the feeling of intruding upon others, even though I think some people would enjoy finding out about what I’ve made. Nor do I have sufficient funds for such promotion.

I have in earlier instances posted links to my books in places where I thought they might garner some interest. Though I don’t think I did enough to really get the ball rolling. I truly hate the feeling of annoying others, as I hate it when people do it to me. That and I’m only aware of so many places that might be accepting to such self-promotion. Mostly I used my own social media, though the number of followers is larger than when I started it doesn’t seem like there are enough who are truly interested. Mostly the followers I have are other writers who wish to promote their own things as well. While we all are likely readers, it doesn’t seem like it’ll do much to help promote.

Reddit and the like have helped, but mostly when I allowed them to receive a book for free. I don’t have an issue doing so if it helps sell books(hey, I gotta eat too), but while many did get a book, I didn’t see a spike in the sales for other books.

I’m not a tireless marketer, one who constantly promotes what they are selling. I can’t do it. It exhausts me, and I find it rude. If you are following me here or elsewhere on the Internet I hope to give some sort of entertainment or insight, not to just be there to constantly barrage you with statements about how you should buy my book(though I would appreciate more sales).

In the past I paid for a small ad campaign on Facebook, but again didn’t see much traffic to justify the cost. Perhaps there is something wrong with some part of my book descriptions, that seems to be one of the big three things when you can actually get someone to your book’s page. I’m confident in the covers, and the first part of the books that you can sample on such pages. So maybe I should work on that, but again, I can’t tell if I’m even getting people to look at those pages.

Honestly I’m worried that this latest book wont reach as many eyes as I think it should. I think it’s the best thing I’ve written so far, and I’d hate to think that because I’m so terrible at marketing that so few will read it. The co-author and I have been working on this book for years, and it would be terrible to think that so few will have a chance to read it, since maybe they won’t even know it exists.

Aside from all that, I did (omit) a bit of editing since last week. Editing being me re-reading several chapters, and swapping out only a few words here and there. I think it’s mostly done from my perspective, but of course the co-author will need to finish their own re-reading/editing. It reads well, and I really like reading it. Somehow between us we wrote a story I enjoy diving into each time, even if I have read it multiple times. Heh, we even discovered we wrote a meaning we didn’t intend to when we set off writing this book. It makes sense too, so that was neat.

Anyway, I think I’ll leave here. I hope you all enjoy this book when it comes out, but until then I have several other books I’ve written over the years, so take a look at those. Until next time, have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited, spending hours drawing.

Steven Oaks

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Books, Sleep, and Coffee

Hi. My name is Steven. I write books. At least that’s what I’ve done so far.

So this week I did a bit more work on the picture I’ve been putting together. Hair was giving me a bit of trouble, so I watched a few tutorials, and now I have something. It’s not great, but it’s fine as a place holder. I’ll have to work on it more to be satisfied.

As for writing I edited several chapters. Again just cleaning up language, as it’s decent at this point. It’s just waiting for a final review with the co-author when they finish up. I think the time we’ve spent polishing up this book will show.

Speaking of polish, I have to say there’s this book series I’ve read, and am reading, that while I like the story an awful lot, it has huge issues when it comes to writing. It’ll just force in a line that skips over events instead of letting the narrative flow naturally. Every time this happens it really takes me out of the book. I’m not sure if any of you have watched Harmon Quest, but it’s like when their DM says “You do that,” and then just moves on, instead of letting it play out. It’s weird. Perhaps other people don’t notice such things, but it’s so different from the way they write everything else I find it distracting. The strange thing is I’ve read other books they’ve written, and they aren’t like this at all. So I don’t know what happened. Perhaps a different group of people are editing their other series. Either way I’ll still read them, but I guess I’ll just expect less from them. 😦

Again to reading. I just finished a 16 book series. It’s titled “EarthCent Ambassador”, and it’s something special. There was only one book I wasn’t completely in love with, but even that one was good. It’s all about a species of alien AI that comes to Earth and forces humans into a galactic federation of different sentients. The aliens are distinct from humans, and have their own cultures. And how our diplomat interacts, and how the rest of humanity reacts to their forced inclusion is fascinating. While there are conflicts, they aren’t in the vein of militaristic. It was truly a wonderful read, and relaxing. I highly recommend reading it if you enjoyed the classic Star Trek feel. One in which it was about exploring alien cultures, and how humanity fits in with all our differences.

Besides from work, it’s been a relaxing week. On my days off I got lots of sleep, or at least gave myself time to sleep more so than usual. Any time I was tired, I went to bed. While I may have rolled around, which is normal and frequent for me, I at least got a little sleep each time. I may have talked about this before, but I have a hard time shutting off my mind, and I can’t get comfortable. So I wind up staring at the ceiling, or just tossing and turning until I eventually fall asleep. Even then I generally only sleep for a few hours at a time.

This of course is not conducive to being well rested, but I tend to offset this before I go to work with coffee. Unfortunately I wound up drinking too much one day last week, and while I was alert, very alert, I grew anxious. Extremely so. I made a post several years ago, back when I think I was writing my second book, that I was drinking tons of coffee, and I would grow incredibly anxious. So it appears that is still in play. Too bad I enjoy the taste and energy that comes from coffee so much. I wish I could feel that invigoration constantly, and perhaps that is why I tend to over do it when I’m a bit more tired than usual.

I have heard others say that coffee is a terrible thing to rely on, and perhaps that’s another reason I have trouble sleeping. Though, I calculate the time before I plan to sleep. Meaning, I have heard that imbibing caffeine less than 12 hours before sleep will cause issues. So I tend to make sure that at least 12 hours pass before I attempt to sleep after drinking any amount of caffeine, either coffee or tea which is my usual concoction. Though on my days off I tend not to drink any, unless I have a big day planned, and I want to get some work done before I finally lie down for the day.

This hasn’t seemed to cause any issues, but I will note on the days that I don’t have any caffeine I will be a bit more groggy. Since I usually don’t have anything planned for those days it hasn’t been an issue. I get at least one nap in, usually for at least a couple of hours when off, and after such I do a bit of work either on editing, or now drawing. So it all seems to work out.

And now that I’ve bored you all with my random nonsense, I’ll let you go. I hope you all have an enjoyable week, and get some sleep.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited, spending hours drawing.

Steven Oaks

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Learning to Draw

Hello all. Steve is back, and he’s ready to attack.

What am I attacking? Um… uh… my free time? I dunno, I just wanted to rhyme something.

So this last week I not only did my usual editing, which is going very well, I continued practicing drawing. Mostly in GIMP still, but I played around with Krita as well. Mostly I’m working on the human form. This means I went about trying to break down the human structure into basic shapes.

Those of you who have been drawing for years know this is just about the first step. This is something I had always neglected, so it’s good practice for me. The co-author offered up several books and resources for me to look to for examples, and it helped immensely. I can’t say I’m good at drawing people… yet, but I’m getting better. I’d post examples, but I’ve not finalized anything. What I’ve made is mostly for myself. Though this last one I’ve been working on has some striking eyes, and the mouth looks real… though it also looks like I cut something out poorly and pasted it on a blank face. I need to work on shading I think, or at least rounding out the sharp lines I use to draw things currently.

The thing that has helped me in drawing people is thinking about bones. Besides the example shapes people have used to illustrate drawing bodies in tutorials, thinking about the skull really helps shape a head. A round top of the skull, and then the jaw bone underneath. Otherwise you might wind up with something too round. As for arms and legs, yes bones, but the muscle on top really brings out their form. Chests and hips are interesting, and having shoulders protrude is something I hadn’t thought of, and the ligaments that angle up to the neck from the shoulder is something to think of, otherwise you’d have a flat line running underneath the head. Bones are good, but hands are hard. Just saying.

I think I’ll try to do some backgrounds soon. I’ve always love landscapes, but I’ve never been able to do anything. While I’ve drawn people before, none of it good, I’ve not done any natural scenes before. So this’ll be a new thing for me. I’ll probably use Krita, though I’m more familiar with GIMP, simply because there are a ton more brushes and styles to utilize that come standard with that program. You can get as many as you want for GIMP, but I don’t feel like searching for them, though I did find a “hair brush” that I think is decent.

I’ve also found that trying to trace things doesn’t help as much as you’d think. At least for me. I’m only using a mouse. Perhaps if I were to use a tablet and pen for such things they’d look better, but really if I personally want to draw something now it tends to look better if I draw it while looking at a picture as opposed to trying to trace it. I don’t know, maybe my hand isn’t steady enough, but things tend to look better if I draw it freehand. That and it’s better practice as I am better able to identify the best shapes to form different parts of a person. The eyes for example looked really bad when traced, so I deleted that and started over. Now I have a pair that look close to real, for me at least.

In the end, I’m enjoying trying to learn this new skill. I also have hopes that this will help me better describe things when I write. Before I usually would focus on dialogue, and let the descriptions of surroundings and people kind of vague, though I tried. But working with the co-author, and seeing how they depict things using words, has spurred me into more action when it comes to that. Now with both them as an example, and this new found hobby, I hope to become even better in the future.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited, spending hours drawing.

Steven Oaks

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Do What You Love

Hello again. I’m back for another weekly update.

Last week’s post had me complaining about my own incompetence. But since then I was able to edit. The co-author got me a copy of their changes that night, and the following day I was able to catch up. This weekend they edited some more, and I was able to work on it today. All in all, things are going well on that front, even with me not getting to it one day.

Other than that, I’ve been playing around with GIMP again. Oh dear, I’m not good, but oh dear is it fun. I’m doing silly things I’ve never done before. And not to toot my own horn, but I made a couple of things that I think are at least interesting.

Again, I’m no artist, but being able to put together a few things, even if they are simple, is tons of fun. Now back in the day I used to draw now and again. Heck, there was one summer I really went hard. I was drawing everything, anime, friends, vistas. But I never considered it good. Though I think my Berserker skateboard looks neat, even if I used too much paint. But I dropped out of the habit for years at a time.

Those of you who have followed this blog, or those that go back and look at older posts, will see that I’ve played around with GIMP before. My owl phase I call it, though I did work on several other animals. Not that they are great or anything, but I’m proud I was able to do anything close to recognizable.

At one point in time I was really into drawing. I’m talking elementary and middle school, but for whatever reason I didn’t feel like I had the chance to grow this skill. I never had the time, or didn’t feel I did, so I just stopped drawing. Perhaps that’s why I tend to surround myself with artists.

I spent about five hours doodling and playing around this weekend. Listening to random music, I lost track of time completely. By the time I realized how late/early it was I had created a silly book cover. It doesn’t look great, but I did learn (omit) a lot just by playing around. It took me several hours to get to sleep after, as I kept thinking about what other things I could do to improve it. I spent another few hours the next day doing that, but I’m still not happy with it. I guess I’ll have to keep going.

Along with drawing, I like music. The art of creating, and singing. But again, I never had the opportunity, save rare occasions. I recall one time, in Spanish class of all places, a girl from the school’s top choir group started singing one of my favorite songs. I joined in, and as ridiculous as it sounds, received praise from everyone in the class, and was asked why I wasn’t in choir. I suppose singing along in the car maintained that skill, but else-wise I don’t really practice.

I guess what I’m trying to say with these stories is that we should do what we love. Even if others say it’s a waste of time. Even if you have to make the time for them. Even if we aren’t great, or even good at it. I’ll likely never be great at art or music, but it makes me happy. Since I have a bit of time now that I’m in between books, until editing is completed, I’ll play around with my artistic desires. Maybe I’ll even influence the final book cover. Unfortunately the trees I’m making look like nuclear explosions, so maybe I won’t, heh.

Until next time. Do what you love. Life is short, but the years are long. Don’t let the everyday hum-drum keep you from enjoying the little things that make life worth living. Skill comes with practice, but even though none of us will likely become as amazing as whatever idol we strive to be like, we can say we had fun trying. And you never know, maybe you will be amazing in your own right. Have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited, things are going well.

Steven Oaks

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Arg, I’m a fool

Howdy Folks. Here’s a little story. A precautionary tale.

I went to edit the book today. I thought, huh, wouldn’t it be cool to try out a different program to take a look at what we’ve written? Maybe there’ll be features I’ve not utilized out there, or perhaps it’ll give me a different view on things.

So I loaded up a program called Manuskript. Since I’m in Linux, and because I wasn’t looking too closely at how to install, it took me a minute. My fault entirely, but once I figured out my mistake it was easy enough.

It’s an interesting looking program, one I’m not sold on yet, but it opened. I took a couple of minutes to look around, then decided I’d try to import my Libre Office document. Well, it didn’t work. I thought, huh, oh well. And played around with some things, but didn’t save.

I figured I’d work out how to use it later, and opened Libre Office again to get back to editing. Uh-oh, the book isn’t opening. What do I do? Will other documents open? Yes. So it isn’t Office, it’s the book’s file. Darn it, I guess trying out new things messed it up.

Now I’m stuck, and can’t work on the book until the co-author is able to give me their back up copy. They worked on it this weekend, so any changes they made I can’t see until I get that version. Perhaps it’s time for a different method of exchanging the file, but then again any way would be just as susceptible with my current work-flow. I suppose I’ll have to reevaluate the way I do things.

Making a local copy instead of trying to edit the version sent to me directly would be one way I could have avoided this. If I hadn’t tried to open the only file I had on hand, that would have been the smart thing. However, I’m apparently in too much of a hurry, and don’t save locally until I’m finishing editing. Yes, I save as I go along, but it’s only to that original copy.

Frustrated that I couldn’t work on the book, I played around with Manuskript a bit more. Starting a new book, or at least working with the little I had for a book, I input some information. I can’t say it works with how I write. I can’t even see how I can write with such small input area’s. Sure it’s fine enough for making an outline, which I’m interested in doing, but making the transition from it to a finished book doesn’t look appealing. Discouraged with writing, I decided to do something else.

Now I’m no artist. I can doodle a bit, but I’ve not done it in years, and what little I’ve done hasn’t been exactly what I wanted. But I figured, what the heck, I can at least sketch out a template for a cover and have the co-author take a look at it. They’re the real artist here, and we’ve discussed how we want the book’s cover to look. So using the little skill I have in Gimp I began.

I was going to just do a collage, and maybe a little background coloring. I started out fine enough, but cutting out things wasn’t going well. Then I discovered an auto cut feature I hadn’t used before. Basically you outline what you want cut out, and it’ll make a path. You can add more points to help clarify lines, and after failing a few times, I got what I wanted. I pasted it into my new image, and began cleaning it up. That was a mistake.

I’m a perfectionist. There were still bits that the cut tool hadn’t gotten rid of, so I started painting them out. Zooming in so close that I could see every pixel, I took my time. Too much time, and in the end I wasn’t happy. Dang it Steve, this was just supposed to be a rough collage of images to represent the vision I had. Instead I wasted way too much time on it, and in the end I just deleted everything.

Basically my productivity for the day is shot. I did this to myself. I hope I learn from this and just work with the tools I have on hand, and don’t try to do things I know I can’t really do. Sure I could take the time and become better at things, but these sessions I have are supposed to be for writing or editing. Instead I annoyed myself to such extremes I lost my ability to focus on anything.

Hopefully I’ll be in contact with the co-author tonight, and can get a copy of what they worked on. If so I’ll be able to work tomorrow, and that is what I need.

Let this be a lesson. Work with what functions. If you are starting something new there is no problem with finding different tools, but don’t think some new tool is going to just work out for you. Or conversely, make a back up on-site. That way at least you won’t ruin the only version you have. Also don’t bite off more than you can chew. I guess I’ll draw some stick figures now. I can do that at least.

That’s all for now. I hope your week is filled with less frustration.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some movies.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Daylight Doesn’t Like Me

Greetings fellow beings. I’ve returned once more for the weekly blog post.

So, as is inherently obvious, another week has passed. And yet for me it feels as though nothing much happened. However, I shall try to compile what I may of my experiences.

An outing of sorts was taken, and a lunch of Chinese was had. Fairly delicious, though perhaps noticeable only to me, the rice given was that of the instant variety. Flavor and texture-wise so similar to what can be purchased and cooked in mere minutes, yet delicious as such things go. If not for the meal being tasty, I would complain more upon the expense. Even if not from my own wallet it was purchased. Twas planned to be from my coffers, yet another insisted upon purchasing.

Of course while out I spun many a stop for Pokemon go, and even had my first raid. Easily won somehow, I even got the guardian Pokemon. One I hadn’t collected before, so that was nice. All together profitable for myself who doesn’t actively play any game other than certain ‘mobile’ ones.

While killing time, a couple of stores were perused. Ones which sell used video games. While I wasn’t tempted by the selection, the co-author spotted a couple they wanted. And while checking on-line pricing found a game they wished. Persona 5. An interesting game, though I found it played more like a light novel. However it looks beautiful, and I enjoyed watching the co-author play. Much like watching an anime, though I suppose I could just watch the adaptation if I wanted to instead.

Speaking of watching things, we watched the latest Power Ranger movie. It had fallen under my radar, and I only became aware of it when Movies with Mikey did a watch party for it. It seemed fun, so I had been wanting to watch it. So when there didn’t seem to be anything else to do late Sunday evening, I did.

Now I was never a huge fan. But back in the day, without cable and little else to kill time watching, I had watched several episodes. Perhaps even several seasons, though I never went out of my way to see everything. I had always found it silly, and perhaps that’s why I felt it was okay, even if it was marketed to a younger audience. But this movie, while silly in its own way, was more grown up. Even if it still took lines directly from the original run, they didn’t seem out of place in a more adult setting. Fans of the show from the 90’s should enjoy, though a new audience may not. Still, I did, and any who grew up with it in their lives won’t be displeased by the re-imagining of the universe.

Now I don’t know if it’s because I don’t venture out into the sun often, or if I was becoming sick, but I wasn’t feeling well Sunday. I had felt fine, in fact I felt pretty good since I had gone to bed early and got plenty of sleep. That combined with the coffee I filled myself with, when I stepped outside to join the day-walkers, I was ready for an amusing outing. However it became clear that I wasn’t going to last long. My speech suffered, as did my endurance, and I was left squinting and desiring a nap.

Perhaps because of my shunning of the day for my job at night my eyes have adapted to the low-light levels of the evening. It was tiring just keeping them open, and everything seemed too bright for me. Maybe I’ll have to invest in some sunglasses if I wish to go out during the day from now on. But I had to take a very long nap afterwards, and even then I didn’t feel totally well. Only now am I feeling better, but that may be due to the coffee I consume when editing and writing.

As to editing, last week the co-author and I had a disagreement on the way a chapter was written. They had updated it, making a few lines into a brand new chapter. I reviewed, and at the time I wasn’t completely sold on the changes. I spent several hours changing things, making it to my eyes readable and reasonable. I offered it back, but instead of reading the changes, the co-author took what I had complained about and made a new chapter. I was able to read it today, and make my own slight changes, and while I liked what was written before, after I edited, the new one flows better. But since it’s new I’ll have to take a look at it a few more times before I’m sure it meets the quality of the chapters that I’ve been editing up to this point.

An interesting thing came from all this. I noticed a change in the way I write, or at least what I’m able to write. Thanks to the co-author’s flair for depictions, I’ve been able to write more descriptive scenes. The new chapter was missing a bit of their usual shine, my fault of course since I had been grumpy about changes so they wrote quickly. But I was able to enhance in a way that I never felt I could before. My knack had always been dialogue, and I think that shows in my earlier books with the vague way I describe a scene, as each paragraph was mostly characters talking. However now I notice their lack, and am able to build a clearer picture using words, instead of just implying a world. This is something I’ve struggled with, and have been working on for years. I think I’m finally starting to show progress. We’ll see if I truly have overcome this weakness when I write my next book.

That’s about it. So until next time, have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some movies.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Watching Movies

Hello you. I’m back once more for the weekly update.

So of course I’ve edited a bit, but I’ve also started on a new project when I had a bit of free time. This doesn’t mean we are finished editing, just that I’ve caught up with the co-author and I didn’t want to change things while they worked out what they were reviewing.

I’ve explained a bit of the new project to some friends, and they seemed excited for the premise. I still have some things I need to work out, but so far I’m happy with what I’ve put down. Of course I think I can make it better later, but it seems readable so far. Perhaps I’ll work on an outline for it, as so far I only have the main premise, and a bit of the story worked out.

The other thing I did over the weekend was watch a couple of movies. First I watched Ant-Man and the Wasp, and I really enjoyed it. It was exactly the type of fun movie I was in the mood for, and it was all around amusing. I’m not sure why people aren’t excited about his movies, but I enjoyed the first one as well. Perhaps because while it connects to the MCU, it isn’t hugely influential. Though I think we’ll be seeing more of Ant-Man for the next Avengers movie.

So being in such a good mood, I felt I could try to watch the Solo movie that everyone said wasn’t so good. Now I don’t know if it was because the movie right before it had me in such a good mood, or some other reason, but the Star Wars Solo movie was actually quite good. Perhaps not the best movie I’ve ever seen, but quite well done. Good universe building, and all that, and I enjoyed the characters. Yes, I can see that taking away some of the mystery of Han being not so great, but it felt true to the character. That could be in part to them lifting lines Han says from the original trilogy, but it didn’t feel completely out of place. So I’m not entirely sure why it garnered so much hate. Perhaps I liked it more than others because I was prepared to hate it, and was pleasantly surprised. Disney may be an evil corporate machine(I’m just quoting others here), but they can still make a decent movie. But I will say I really wasn’t a fan of The Last Jedi… at least half the film. But we’ll see what the future holds.

I also watched The Incredibles 2. It was fine. Simply a movie, and well animated, but it felt slow in some places. I didn’t hate it, but I think the first one was better. At least it didn’t ruin the universe, and perhaps another film can be milked out, hopefully better than this one. But even if it isn’t, it’ll probably be okay. I still say that first film is the best Fantastic Four movie out there, though I’m quite a fan of the 1994 version, even if it was on a shoe-string budget. It had some of the best lines and delivery out of all the other Fantastic Four movies I’ve seen.

And that’s really it. I wasn’t feeling great over the weekend, and perhaps because of that I didn’t do much, but I’ll be feeling better soon. So I hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you next time.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some movies.

Steven Oaks

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I Read Aloud the First Chapter

Hello world. I’m back again with the weekly update.

So, what have I been up to this time? Not too much really. I went into work for a few hours to train another employee, but what little they didn’t already have down they learned quickly. But it did allow me to get in a bit more walking than usual.

As for my exercise, it was a little lighter than most of my recent weekends. I went in during the day-shift, so my sleep schedule was off. This all means I wasn’t able to get in my regular chopping up blocks to music. So I’ll probably double up tonight with two hours of heart pumping action in Beat Saber.

Also, since I knew my schedule was going to be messed up, I hopped online to chat with a few of my old internet buddies. They were all playing games, and since I’m on Linux, and I didn’t want to invest either time or money into getting something to work, I just sat there chatting with them. In the end, after there were only a few people left, in my boredom, and my sense of trolling, I decided I’d start reading aloud the first chapter of my latest book.

I thought they’d all shout me down. In fact I planned on it. I just wanted to get a reaction out of them. Instead they encouraged me to continue, so I read the whole first chapter to them. It’s basically done, so I wasn’t concerned that I was reading a flawed product, but I didn’t think they’d want to “waste” their time on listening to me. Turns out I was wrong, and they all said they liked it, and tried to get me to read more.

They also said I should do an audiobook version of it, reading it myself. Whoo boy. I dunno about that. Every time I read aloud a book, and think of all the editing needed, let alone the retakes required for it to sound professional, I appreciate the work that the readers and audio engineers put into the audiobooks I’ve listened to in the past. I’m not sure if I’m up to the challenge, even though I do like reading books to people. I’ll think about it I suppose, but I’ll want to talk to the co-author about it.

There’s so much I want to do, but only so much time. I’ve wanted to re-start my podcast. I want to do a livestream where I read my books to people. I want to finish all these books I’m partway through. I want to write another book with the co-author, and I want to finish this book. It just never feels like there’s enough time, nor does it feel like I have enough energy to do all these things. It takes everything out of me when I write or edit, and I need to do something else to recharge. Perhaps I can work out a schedule that lets me do it, but I’ve not discovered it yet.

As for editing, the co-author continues, as do I. I’m not sure if we’re being perfectionists, but I think the product will show the effort we’re putting into it. I’m already back up to chapter 14 again, and it’s flowing nicely. We’ve talked about it, and I think we’ve cut all the slow pieces that were there in the beginning, and have worked mightily hard on the wording. I’m quite proud of what we have, and can’t wait to show you all.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I hope you all have a great week. TTFN

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some shows.

Steven Oaks

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A Few Shows I’m Watching

Howdy folks. I’m back for another of my weekly posts.

So what have I been up to you might ask? Well, what can I say? I’ve just been doing my normal thing of reading, working, and editing. Also I’ve been keeping up with my so-called exercise. That being Beat Saber for an hour at a time, though I’ve upped my game. I’m mostly using the song speed up feature, on hard mode, and boy can I tell you I get rather sweaty.

If there is another game out there that can give me such a cardio work out in VR space I’ve yet to find it, but I suppose I haven’t really been looking. But fortunately I’ve not grown too bored with this game. Admittedly I’d like a greater selection of songs, though I’ve heard there will be more coming soon, so there is that. I’m sorry about going on and on week to week about this game, but I’ve little to talk about otherwise.

I also noted that the Punisher season two dropped recently. I’ve watched around 9 episodes so far, but if I’m honest I don’t think it’s nearly as good as the first. It’s still good, but I really enjoyed the first season, so I suppose it’s hard to match it for me. Same thing with Jessica Jones, as my favorite part of that first season was David Tennant’s character. But at least Punisher got another season. I’m still upset that there’ll be no more Iron Fist, though again, that first season was my favorite of the two that were released.

I also started the Shield Hero anime. I had read a number of chapters of the manga a while ago, and it seems to be keeping true to what was there. I will say I found the first half of the first episode a little slow, but it soon picked up the pace. The second episode kept up that momentum as well, and I’m finding it a fun and interesting story. As much as any average isekai show is these days are, save for those gems like the Slime anime, and Overlord. Hopefully this one stays entertaining, though I think it’ll have enough viewer-ship due to some outspoken people who don’t appear to be completely familiar with the story.

As for the book, it’s going well. I’m of course still going through it(I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve re-read it). To me it reads very well, so I’ve not been doing too much to it. I did note I missed out on the use of a word several times in one paragraph today, so I changed that. A few words needed pruning, and some tenses were a bit awkward, so those were re-worded. But for the most part there’s not too much for me to do. All these changes didn’t “need” to happen, but I suppose I’m going for the best version of the story while the co-author finishes up their own edits. Perhaps that’s why they remained unchanged from those previous times I had gone through the story. But I again will reiterate how good it is to have the computer read back what you write. You can more easily hear mistakes this way, and I was able to catch many things I hadn’t when I was just reading the book to myself. So if you are ever writing anything, I heartily recommend using this feature.

But enough of my rambling about nothing. Until next time, I hope you all have an enjoyable week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, exercised a bit, watched some shows.

Steven Oaks

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Training and Exercise

Hey there. I’m back, and filled with a void of things to talk about.

I’ve played more Beat Saber, and I’m getting better. Unfortunately I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to master expert mode. I’m unable to figure out how to move the sabers so they cut properly when there are so many cubes on screen. Fortunately I was able to get through a couple, but that may have just been luck. I will say I’ve got hard mode pretty much sorted, and usually get A’s if not an S now and again. Even when I speed up the track hard doesn’t seem too much harder, though there is a certain track that just likes to spam blocks like it’s expert mode.

So why do I care about this game? Mostly exercise. Especially as winter is upon us, it helps fill in the blanks for my cardio, and as I’ve stated last week, it counts as steps and I can sync them up to Pokemon Go. My weight also went up by a few pounds, and since starting this regiment, along with eating a little less, I’m back down to where I was. I’m still going to see if I can lose a bit more, though I don’t think I’m ever going to get as skinny as I was, I looked a bit emaciated there for a couple of years anyway.

As for my Pebble 2 watch, it appears I can get five days out of a full charge. That’s nice and all, but I was expecting a bit more. I even turned off the back-light, as I can usually see it if there is even a bit of light around, but it hasn’t seemed to extend the battery life much. But I can say it’s way better than having a watch die in the middle of the day. Other than that small complaint which isn’t really much of anything to me, this watch is fantastic. Even though Pebble was bought by Fitbit, and it no longer is maintained by them, there are people still working to make sure Pebbles function. So as long as there are people out there who still have a passion for these watches, I’ll stick to mine. As long as it still works(heh).

Last week I also trained someone. They’ll be working when I’m off, and I had to show them around and make sure they know how to do all the little things I do. Likely it’ll take them a bit to fully understand all the things I’ve gathered over nearly a year there, but I tried my best to at least impart the things I know. The important parts I emphasized, and went over multiple times, but the other small things I mentioned once or twice so they wouldn’t be surprised if something came up. I’ve trained several people over the years, I just hope I did a decent job, and that they’ll not be caught off guard if something new pops up. I made sure they had plenty of information, and that they had a working knowledge of systems and the layout of the workplace. Some things can be frustratingly confusing if you aren’t familiar with how the building is set up, and how it corresponds to the live monitoring system. But since things are labeled, though a bit confusingly, even if they don’t know where a problem is exactly they can report it and others can decipher where the issue is.

Other than that I’ve edited a bit more. Yes, I know, same update as usual. I decided to start at the beginning again(eye rolls for everyone) and didn’t find much that needed changing. I just made the language that much more readable. If I keep this up, the book will be perfect(hah). I’m fairly sure I’ve said this before, but I was thinking about starting a new book while the co-author does their own editing. However, since the little break through the holiday season, I was reinvigorated. I want this book to be the best I’ve written. So I’ll keep working on it until we’re both satisfied. Since we haven’t given ourselves an end date, I’m unsure when it’ll be ready to publish, but rest assured it’s going to happen at some point.

Also my author’s note is more of an afterword, so keep that in mind when the book comes out. Yes it talks about the book and it’s creation, but it has a bit more personal notes in it than just being about the book. I’ll likely title it “Afterword” now. But things are still grinding forward, and the book gets better and better the more we work on it.

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update TLDR: Edited a bit, played a bit, taught a bit.

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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