On December 12 I will be releasing my next short fiction collection, the first volume of a series I'm calling Flare Fiction.
Flare Fiction 1 is the first new product I'm releasing in support of the Diaper Fund.
There will be a pay-what-you-want preorder period, starting today, followed by a paid release period, during which Flare Fiction 1 will be made available on the Kindle Store, and then after that I will make Flare Fiction 1 a free (and pay-what-you-want) download.
Flare Fiction 1 will be somewhat different from my previous two collections. Living and Dying and Feel-Good each include a selection of flash fiction, along with a couple of longer stories and a few poems.
Flare Fiction, however, is a flash fiction-only chapbook. It contains 10 stories, each under 500 words, for a total of about 2,500 words. I've decided to release my short stories and my flash fiction separately, moving forward. I realize this may seem to represent less value per release, but that's the beauty of a "pay-what-you-want" system. If you paid $5 for Feel-Good, maybe Flare Fiction is only worth $2 to you, and that's totally fine!
As you may know, Larissa is currently pregnant with our first child. The baby is due in the first week of April 2012, and we're so excited!
Larissa is currently keeping us afloat by working at a local boutique hotel. I'm job hunting, having recently completed my Master of Arts in Sociology at the University of Victoria. When I'm not searching through job postings and sending out resumes, I write various forms of fiction and post them here on my blog, at FiftyWordStories.com, and, since about a week ago, at Special People.
Most of what I write gets posted online for free, but I do also sell a few things here and there. With the baby on the way, though, it's becoming more and more necessary for me to find a way to contribute to preparing for his or her arrival.
So as of today I've set up the Diaper Fund. The goal of the Diaper Fund is to raise enough money by selling my writing to pay for a full set of cloth diapers by the time Baby arrives. That's going to cost about $300, according to Larissa, so I've got my work cut out for me!
If you'd like to help me reach my goal, please swing by the TimSevenhuysen.com Store or the 50WS Store and see if there are any products that interest you. I have more projects in the pipes, too, so check back again later if you don't see anything you want right now.
You can track the progress of the Diaper Fund on its own page.
With all of the different writing I've done over roughly the last ten years, I've learned a few things about myself. One of those things is that I am pretty much built for web fiction.
There are a few reasons why self-publishing your writing online is really great. First, you have complete control over what you publish, where you put it, and how you promote it. Control is one thing I really love about web fiction. I enjoy tinkering with web design and coding, setting my own schedule for writing and publishing, and even doing marketing and promotion. With traditional publishing, whether it's for novels or short stories, the only control I can have is what I write and where I send it. For certain projects of mine, that doesn't feel like enough!
Second, self-publishing requires a little less patience than traditional publishing. Don't get me wrong; you still have to be patient when you're publishing your own work. You need to plan out your release dates to give yourself enough time to promote your work, and you have to space things out so you don't flood readers with too much all at once, and to make yourself a consistent update schedule that you'll be able to maintain. But with self-publishing, you have control over how patient you have to be. When you're trying to publish traditionally, you're subject to the scheduling of whomever you're submitting to. You may have to wait six months to hear whether a magazine or website wants to publish your story! Sites like Write 1 Sub 1 have strategies to deal with the waiting, but I still have a hard time with all the waiting.
Third, online publishing allows for instant feedback from, and interaction with, readers. As soon as you finish a story and post it, you can start seeing comments, story ratings, and tweets from readers, and if you set up a good stats-tracking system (like Google Analytics) you can see how many people are reading, too. Being able to look at the stats shouldn't be undervalued, either: maybe 1 in 100 readers will leave a comment, so if all you're doing is waiting for comments, you're probably going to be a bit disappointed with the amount of feedback you get, unless you're getting massive readership.
So in summary, I like self-publishing online because it allows me to have control, I don't have to be quite so patient, and I'm able to interact with and get feedback from readers. Traditional publishing has its own benefits, of course, but I like these ones! Your mileage may vary.
Read my story Yesterday's House, which was published today at Every Day Fiction.
I'd greatly appreciate any comments on the story, either here or on the story post at EDF. Your comments are always very appreciated!
I originally wrote this story in response to a prompt on TypeTrigger. The version I submitted to EDF has been edited and polished, and I expanded it just a little, but the core of the story is the same as what I originally fit into the response box on TT. Just another reason why TypeTrigger is one of my favourite sites on the web!
What if Larissa's and my baby grows up to be a volcanologist? It's a very real possibility!
I think I'd really like having a volcanologist in the family, if for no other reason than that I would get to say "volcanologist" a lot. The word's even fun to type, let alone speak out loud. Try this out: insert "volcanologist" into one conversation and see how much it improves your entire day. Add the word "eruption" on top of that, and you've got endless funtimes.
I'm not much of a worrier, but I think I'd probably get a little tense if I knew that my baby was staring into the mouths of volcanoes all day. I wouldn't want to hear that my kid was playing the starring role in a real-life disaster movie. And lava may be one of the most compellingly imaginative substances in the entire world (major props to God for inventing it, by the way), but it's also super scary. If there's one thing I've learned from classic video games, it's that touching lava will kill you instantly. And it destroys magic rings, too.
I think I could get over all that, especially if we continue to live in the Ring of Fire. Here on the west coast it would certainly be useful to have some inside connections with earthquake- and volcano-predicting agencies... That would be a definite plus!
As with anything, there would be positives and negatives to having a child who was a volcanologist.
Volcanologist. Tee hee.
Thanks to @meaganhogg, who suggested that I do a What If Our Baby post about being a geologist. I liked the suggestion, but I hope you don't mind that I decided to take it a step further.