Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Announcing . . .

My Patreon subscriptions have been flat. That's actually really good considering I sometimes go over a month between uploading content, and then randomly upload 15,000 words in one go. It's a bipolar schedule for a bipolar writer, and I think by now if we've learned anything from this almost fifteen year experiment in terror called The Hurting it's that I work best when I accept the natural ebbs and flows of my writing schedule. As eccentric as that may be. 

I'm trying not to be so critical of myself because, by any measure, I have had a phenomenally productive year. If not a lot of that productivity has actually trickled down onto this, my long-standing personal blog, it's because much of it has been landing behind the paywall of my Patreon. Where my subscriptions have been flat and steady despite an erratic writing schedule that would sink just about anyone else, because literally no one has actually caught up to my writing yet just from this calendar year. I am writing four books at once and that's only because I just finished the first three I started this year. 

There's a lot of material behind the paywall, is what I'm saying. I actually have a little bit of backlist to flog. Considering you get pretty much everything for $2 a month I think that's beyond reasonable.
I barely wrote anything for a month because I was depressed, as happens in 2018. That became a blessing in disguise because a few people actually used my down time to catch up on the fiction. Since I began the Gazette I've been really hoping to build an audience to follow a story develop in real time. It's not like I don't have a few ideas about the structure and form of serial fiction . . . that a few people are finally on board makes me very happy to push forward.

So with that in mind I'd been casting around for an idea for another promotional giveaway that might bring new eyeballs to the Patreon heading into the end of the year. I've done a couple giveaways - the first and seventh issues of the Gazette, both giant sized, both still available right now. I'm looking to finish all outstanding projects before 2019 - that's the goal, at least. The first objective for this giveaway was to give people a direct opportunity to catch up on my fiction, now that there's actually a fair amount of it to catch up on. Accordingly, the opening chapters of my first four fantasy books were the first things included. When I thought about what else could go in I realized I'd done enough work in the last year to justify a rather more exhaustive survey. And when I thought about that I realized I could put another section in the back with a handful of my favorite pieces from the site's almost fifteen year history, maybe some rarities and B-sides . . . and the next thing you know I had a pretty thick volume.  

Suddenly what was conceived as just another loss leader for the Patreon (and which still is, obviously) became something a bit more fun, a chance not just to advertise the Patreon and my writing but also maybe give my most loyal readers an early anniversary present. Fifteen years in January! What a trip! Some of you have been following since the beginning, since even before then when I was just another mook in the Journal. I'm more grateful for that than words can convey.

It's a tough world out there. One of the things that gives me comfort and strength is that there are people who enjoy my writing and who are willing to spend money on it. I struggle mightily with monetizing my skills. Every attempt to sell my writing invariably falls flat. It has recently occurred to me, however, that I've got it precisely backwards: nothing good has ever happened in my career when I have tried to sell my writing. Every breakthrough I've seen these past few years - new connections, gigs, opportunities - has come as a result of trusting my writing to sell me.

So that's the story behind what you're about to download, enjoy, and disseminate to all your pals - please allow me to introduce . . .

The Hurting Sampler


One Hundred and Sixty Four Days 
I Am Not A Good Person
Of Mos Espa 
If This Goes On - II
Jerk City, USA
Crisis in Time
Letter 4.5

A Darkness in the Time of the First  
The Book of the Loam 
Beyond the Farthest Star 
Balthasar Foeman

Ice Cream for Bedwetters (Vol. 1)   
(Originally published on Medium.com)
Logan (2017)
Bernie Wrightson
"The Clone Conspiracy"

Highlights from the Wilderness
A Journal of the Plague Years (Previously only available in Australia!)
There Are Two Silver Surfers 
San Diego Comicon News Wrap-Up 2011 
San Diego Comicon News Wrap-Up 2012
The Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Short Story (2015)
The Secret History 
Top Ten Things I Learned from David Letterman
He Ended Up Really, Really, Really Sad 
Blue Milk 

Lowlights for Children  
(Guest appearances in Tucker's Comics of the Weak from 2012)
From “An Alternative: Something That’s Actually An Artform, Like Housepainting”
From "Say Hello to Your Brother"  
From "Somebody Let the Monkey Out the Cage"  

Most of this stuff is still available freely online in various places (save for the fiction, obvs), but there are a few things you won't find anywhere else. "Letter 4.5" was only available behind the paywall previously (although I believe I may have used it as a giveaway once or twice), and stands as the only halfway decent survivor of my brief sojourn into punditry in Winter of 2017. "A Journal of the Plague Years" was previously only ever printed in issue five of Australian arts magazine The Lifted Brow, and that was over ten years ago, so I guess it qualifies as a genuine rarity. It's ten thousand words on the subject of the comics industry of the 1990s, which I know you love from me.

Anyway. It's a rough time in the history of the republic. Have one on me. Do me a solid and pass it along to the publishing industry executives in your life?



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