Whiter Shade of Pale

The above picture was taken roughly five or six years ago. At the time it was taken, I had already started my novella Whiter Shade of Pale.

I finally finished it last week.

I have no idea what made this novella such a struggle to finish. I had the plot and ending from damn near the moment the idea came to me. And yet, every few months I would pick it up, try to finish it, and fail miserably.

At one point I had lost about 2k words in a file backup somehow. I was so pissed I thought I would never finish it, then a year later I stumbled upon a backup in a weird place that had the missing words. So it was back to the races then.

There was even one time that it had been so long since I had worked on it, that I forgot what perspective I was writing in, and pecked out about 3k words in 1st person, when the rest was in 3rd! It was a struggle unlike any other project I have ever had, and still, I couldn’t tell you why.

But now it’s done. Well, the first draft at least. And even though the entire time I have been writing this I have considered its name Whiter Shade of Pale, I am thinking it will see the light of day as Fake Empire. But that remains to be seen.

Moral of the story: damn it, I will finish! It just might take longer than anticipated some times.


Deadline: January

I have been hemming and hawing too long. It’s time to make a real dive into my writing career, to really give it a go and see if I have what it takes. So to that end I am setting myself a deadline of January. By then I will have my writings ready to go, covers designed, advertising plotted, and release strategy developed.

The tentative plan as of today is that each year I will release a trio of ebooks in the spring, and a trio in the fall. They will be shorter, novella length roughly, and will then be bundled together into a full length print book. Some will be chained novellas, others will be collections of short stories. In the summer, I will release at least one novel or novella, something not tied to the fall or spring releases.

I have a huge back log of work begging to see the light of day, enough to put out stuff for about the next three years under this schedule. And now it is time to finally pull the trigger on it. Wish me luck!

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!

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!



100 Day Challenge: 1/3rd Done Update

So I have crossed over the 33 day mark on my 100 day challenge, so I thought I would take a moment to update all you fine folks.

1. I am eating better! I am packing all my food for work, and trying to pick better options as I do. When I do eat out on the weekends, I try to pick better choices (to mixed results so far). Being honest, since my weight has remained even I could clearly be doing a bit better in this regard, but overall I feel much better, and that’s what matters most!

2. I have not had a drop of soda! I have traded it out completely for green/peach tea and water. Still drinking at least 2 liters of water a day as well.

3. I have only drank liquor one day, and that was for my birthday party. I didn’t even drink on my birthday proper! I also didn’t drink to super excess. Just to a real good buzz.

4. Yoga wasn’t for me, at least not the way I was doing it. It was leading to more stress than it was saving. So instead I am just doing good, deep stretches each day.

5. I have been working out every day I have time for it. Some days, I just don’t have time, but I would say I have been averaging 4/5 days I work out. At a minimum I walk/jog for 30 minutes, but then I try to do a bunch of burpees and knee pushups.

6. I have done much better about writing on my off days. Writing on work days I always did, but the off days was where I slacked. But since starting this I have written at least 2 out of every 3 off days, and most of the time all 3.

7. I learned that cooked carrots are ok. Not great, but ok. Which for me is a huge deal (sadly).

Overall, its been hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. The real struggle has been time management mostly. Some days I literally just don’t have a spare 30 minutes to workout, and a spare 30 minutes to write. And some days, sure, I can wake up early to get that stuff done, but not everyday! A guy’s gotta sleep!

Going forward I am going to try to tweak my eating a bit, to help me do better. I am also going to tweak my working out. Everything else I will leave the same, and then see where I’m at when I reach day 66!


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!