Kondo My Digital

So those who know me well, will be aware that I try to live as minimalist as possible. I’m not tiny house levels of minimalist yet, but that is a long term goal. For now though, its a little difficult to really cut back to the bare bones because of what all it takes to run the Tales by Bob Empire as it were haha. I have a lot of podcast gear, stuff for my con booth, computers for writing and editing, and all the other myriad little things that it takes to tackle all my projects.

It’s a lot, and currently there is nothing I can do about that. But, what I can do is work towards streamlining my digital presence. I have a lot of pans in the fire, and working by myself mostly, its getting hard to give them all the attention they deserve. So while I am not making any sudden decisions, I am going to be taking a long hard look at all the various ways I ‘spread the word’ as it were. And some of them will be getting the ax.

Most glaring would be tumblr and twitter. I have a tales by bob account for both…but why? I never actually engage on there, just post links to blog posts like this, or new podcast episodes. They get functionally zero engagement, and sure, I could start working to build them up…but I only have so much time in the day. I need to streamline, and I would rather have 2-3 presences that are top notch, than 5-6 that all suffer from varying degrees of lack of attention.

So in the coming months, expect to see less of me in some places, and more of me in others (like this blog which I have somewhat let slip). Like the tree in my original logo, things are going to get trimmed around here, and I hope it is to all of our benefit!

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Whats Happening In The B-Hive!

As usual, its been busy around these parts! Turns out buying a house has a tendency to eat up a lot of your free time, go figure! That said, things have been progressing nicely.

First, I started a new podcast, Plug Ugly Radio. A monthly podcast bringing you music from across the Southeast, it covers punk/metal/rock music mostly, and can be heard most places you get your podcasts from. It’s been a ton of fun to work on so far, so I can’t wait to see how this progresses.

Second, Books, Beards, Booze is moving right along. We broke 700 monthly downloads in June, which has me so happy! Our goal is to break 1k by the end of the year, and I think we can do it!

On Patreon, it’s almost breaking 50 bucks a month now! That pays for the podcast hosting fees, and goes a long way to paying all my webhosting as well! Hop on there and consider showing a little love, and in return you will get access to a number of behind the scenes videos, some free games, that sort of stuff!

It’s been hard getting back into the swing of writing to be honest. I finished up Marsh 7, and since then I have been idly working on Whiter Shade of Pale, a novella I have been working on off and on for over 5 years now. It’s…going. I am feeling the itch to start a new novel, but I haven’t decided what to tackle. Until I do, I think I am just going to feel restless and angsty about it all. Fantasy? Steampunk? We’ll see. I am settled enough in the new house that I feel ready to get back into the groove, so there’s that.

Anyway, like I said, lots going on, lots happening! Hope all is well with you guys, and hopefully I’ll talk to you all again soon!

News from the B-Hive, and 100 Days!

Sorry for the long delay! I made the mistake of buying a house and assuming all would go well haha! Instead it has been a bit of a slow motion train wreck, but at last there is a light visible at the end of the tunnel! For example, my bar (pictured above) is almost fully set up! So at the very least I can drink the stress away!

First, my 100 days. It’s gone very mixed, but the move is 90% to blame for that. I have done well about not drinking booze, and not one drop of soda has crossed these lips. As for food, not having a fridge for the first week and a half threw a wrench in the works, but today is a testament to the fact I am back on track. And even when I was having to eat out, I was trying to do better than I would in the past. Working out and writing on my off days hasn’t exactly been happening, but never fear, I have been getting exercise in the form of moving boxes and furniture. I have at least one more week of moving boxes, but then I will be able to resume my regularly scheduled routines.

Writingwise, I am allllllmost done with the 7th Howard Marsh novella. I will finish it this week. I am gearing up to finally get these published, just have to pick the month I want to start releasing. Tentatively I am thinking October, but we shall see.

The Books, Beards, Booze podcast is going great. Steadily growing, and we are really getting into the groove of things. And the Patreon is up to just over 30 bucks a month! Getting close to the point where this whole shebang doesn’t cost me money anymore! I also had the opportunity to be on Realms: A Worldbuilding Podcast recently, which was a blast. I am on episode 3, so go check that out!

Thank you for being patient! Expect more regular postings now that the move is almost over!

 

 

Whats New?

Here is your round-up of Bob flavored news!

  1. The podcast is going great! If you haven’t checked out the Books, Beards, Booze Podcast, what are you waiting for! It’s whereever you get your podcasts from.
  2. I have just cranked out a neat little cyberpunk tale, and am halfway through a second. Working on a little side-project with my buddy Ryan, and hopefully this time next year you might actually get to see it!
  3. I have started on my 7th Howard Marsh novella. Going well.
  4. My 100 days is going great, I’ll do a full update at the end of the first month.
  5. TBB and BBB was invited out to the Insterstellar Ginger Beer Company Sping Fling, and a great time was had! If we didn’t see you there, just know that you missed out!

Well, til next time, cheers! May everything go as well fo ryou as it has been for me!

Author to Check Out: Travis M. Riddle!

So over the past month or so I have devoured all the works of a newish author, Travis M. Riddle! I was cruising through Kindle Unlimited, looking or some good horror to read when I came across the above cover (which I think we can all agree is mighty eye-catching). The Narrows had good reviews, so I decided to give it a go.

And sweet mother was it good! The horror elements were great, solid representations of the genre, but what really hooked me was the emotional sub-plot. You could have taken out every horror element, and still have been left with an incredible book about faded friendships, loss, and how you really can’t ever go home again.

So with that under my belt, I just had to see what else he had on offer. And thankfully he has two more books out there:

Balam, Spring is a bit of a slice of life, fantasy,┬ámystery novel. It’s got some poignant moments, and some gut-wrenching loss, but of the three this is perhaps the weakest entry in his catalogue.

Wondrous is hard to categorize. At face value, its a portal fantasy. Only…you come to find out it’s not. What it is, is rich in emotion, with vibrant characters and a neat little bit of world building.

All three books are very, very different from each other. But what connects them is that all three have some of the best, heart-string tugging scenes and lines I’ve ever come across. They leave emotional echoes that resonate with you for days after you’ve put them down, which is powerful, powerful stuff.

So do yourself a favor and click those links and pick up copies of your own!

Alabama Writers Workshop!

So Friday I rolled up to Birmingham to attend the awesome Alabama Writers Workshop! I was wore out, but sometimes you just have to bull through the tired, and this was one of those times. I also got to hang with Daniel of Interstellar Ginger Beer, which is always a good time!

So there were some classes and the like, but none of that will interest you most likely. Suffice it to say industry insiders spilled the does and do nots of submitting your novels, and things of that nature. That wasn’t what I was really there for however.

No, I was there to pitch.

You see they had a number of book agents in attendance, and for a nominal fee you got ten minutes with one to pitch your book. It’s ten minutes to sell your novel, no query letters, no missed connections, just straight chatting about your would be bestseller!

So of course I totally botched my first pitch. It went terribly, and deservedly so the agent passed. But my second pitch went fantastic! Instead of trying to recite a poorly memorized pitch I just winged it, speaking from my gut/heart/analogy of choice, and it worked! The agent, who will remain nameless (until she decides to represent me I hope!), asked me to send in the first three chapters! Which is as good as you can hope for!

So keep your fingers crossed for me! Hopefully within the month I will be signed to my first agent!

1 Sheet RPGS!

So I have recently stumbled into the world of one sheet RPGs. Each is a self contained role-playing game that fits on one sheet of paper, and often has a silly premise. Some of the more popular in the genre would be ‘Lazers and Feelings,’ ‘Honey Heist,’ and ‘The Witch is Dead.’

For those who don’t know, small game design was a hobby of mine for years. All through highschool and college it was the hobby of choice when I wasn’t playing DnD or computer games. It lasted until I started writing seriously in fact. Because, in truth, game design can be very time consuming.

But with these…they don’t take that much time! In fact in about a week I have made six. It’s stupid amounts of fun for me, and it really scratches a very particular creative itch of mine. So I have decided that I will have a good number for free on my website, but many will become Patreon Content, or will available from me in person. And maybe if I make a large enough number I will put them up on Drivethrurpg someday. Who knows!