Here we are in April, and Portland is exploding with fragrance and color. The Double Gean cherry outside my window is covered in cloud-like blossom, the irises my mother drove up from California a few years ago are flowering in the front yard, and the magnolia trees are taking my breath away (seriously, every year
). The pace is also picking up on all my projects and goals for 2018! In short: we're well and truly on our way to spring.
March was a wild month full of milestones and travel. I tabled at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, attended a new conference called Bond
in the Bay Area, lectured at my alma mater here in Portland, and flew to Denmark to spend a week teaching at The Animation Workshop
. I even started writing a version of this newsletter early in the month when the first copies of my new book showed up! Here's that little slice of time travel:
"My new books showed up today—one copy each, hardcover and softcover, of 100 Demon Dialogues. The experience doesn't really translate into words very well, but I've been obsessing and fretting and fantasizing about holding these books since...well I guess about eight months ago. And now they're here, and they're perfect
. I can't believe it."
It's wild to think that as a new wave of creators embark on the 100 Day Project
this year, I'm finally wrapping up the journey that started on April 3rd, 2017. It's changed my life in ways I really couldn't have anticipated, and this stage is only the beginning. Now the book heads out to Kickstarter backers, stores, libraries, conventions, and reviewers. It comes into contact with a whole new slew of humans, and in doing so takes on a life of its own.
What's that? You want to order a copy and maybe also an adorable plush toy?
DON'T WORRY I GOT YOU.
I'm taking a break from doing another
100 Day Project this year (as much as it pains me to write that) to focus on getting my new book into the world as effectively and meaningfully as possible. If you've got a lead on someone who might be interested in promoting the book, or who'd like a review copy, let me know! And if you read it and would like to leave it a review, that would be EVEN COOLER. (Retailers are still getting order info straight in their systems, but here are the listings on Amazon and Powell's for starters.)
Now: on with the news!
Places You Can Find Me:
- If you've ever wanted to pick my brain about Kickstarter, I recorded an hour-long talk while teaching at The Animation Workshop all about that very subject. You can queue up "How to Kick Ass at Kickstarter" right here.
- I gave a brief interview on BookLife about making it as an indie publisher.
- I'm giving a short talk on April 19th at 6pm as part of Design•Build•Business•You, a free event at Design Week Portland. Come hear some thoughts on carving out a creative space that's all yours.
- And of course it's very nearly the most wonderful time of the year AKA the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con! Catch me tabling in Juneau on April 28th, or come say hi in the woods if you're attending the campout.
- Peeking ahead: I'll be appearing at Books with Pictures here in Portland for Free Comic Book Day on May 5th. More details to come.
Things I Think Are Neat:
- I am extremely into author Chuck Wendig's notion that wrestling with imposter syndrome is all about learning to "embrace the joy of the forbidden." (See also: this wonderful guest post on his blog from Emmie Mears.)
- Katie Ruby Miller's narrowboat rope fender octopus made me smile.
- I recently finished reading Scratch, a collection of essays about writers and money edited by Manjula Martin, and it's hands down the best book I've read yet about the weird intricacies of navigating money as a creative person. Pick up a copy here.
- The earliest sculptural depiction of a sailing vessel from Ireland (100 B.C.) is tiny, golden, and comes with very wee tools.
- Dani Shaprio gets right to the heart of why balancing social media and front-facing promotion with the work of "the deep interior" is so vital in this essay. Here's a snippet:
- Whatever we do in support of the work is well and good, and necessary, and sometimes even fun, but unless we live most of our lives in the wordless, invisible place from which language finally springs, we’re just adding our voices to a dissonant chorus of meaningless chatter.
- The story of a child who ate his letter from Maurice Sendak came across my dashboard again last week, and I love it every time. Here's Alexandra Petri quoting it and reflecting on Sendak's passing in 2012.
- And, speaking of children, I'm delighted by local Portlanders Bryna Campbell & Mike Murawski, who run a business called Super Nature Adventures. Each month they mail participants a hand-drawn map and activity pack focused on a different wild area in Portland, all designed to get families into nature. More of this please <3
Thank you all so much for following along in this wild hayride. The focus may be shifting as the new book comes out (fewer boats, more feelings maybe?), but the heart remains the same.
Be well, and enjoy the spring—