The Ladder, Remnant, Kat-A-Strophy Aftermath, Give Me A Damned Break

The Ladder
“It’s a long way to the top,
If you wanna Rock and Roll…”
I said it would take three or four months for the transition to entertainment to happen, and it looks like I’m coming out the other side.  It’s still a long ways to where I need to be, but I can already say it’s looking damned promising.
I sold one book for every day in June (across all formats – which sort of sucks, since many of those formats have “minimum payouts” that have to be reached before they release funds.)  Not bad – that’s already to the point where other authors are complementing me (and asking what all I’m doing to pull that off.)  But folks, you ain’t seen jack shit yet when it comes to that.  
I had to wait just a bit until I had money to buy printer ink (seriously) and money to send out sample products.  During the time I couldn’t send them out due to cash, I picked targets – who to write letters to, who the contact I need is, things like that.  It’s time to take The Horror Game national (and yes, I’ll be approaching Diamond Distribution too, even if I don’t necessarily like their terms.)  I still haven’t talked to the bank about bridge financing based on a purchase order (if my bank won’t do it, I know a few who will.  Just worse rates working with them), but I want to get a little response.
Meanwhile, I’ve started back up my Facebook ad campaign ($2 / day – which isn’t much, but it’s better than what $0 / day results in), and contacted everyone who bought the book on DriveThruRPG and asked for a review in exchange for two exclusive scenarios (I also specified that it does NOT have to be a positive review or a review I approve of.)  Interestingly, I got response to that immediately – a purchaser who owns a review site pointed out a problem with the PDF version when viewing it on an iPad.  Then I impressed the shit out of him by fixing the problem then releasing a test version for him to verify for me, then releasing the completed update in less than two hours (the lag time was caused by waiting on his responses, not the work I was doing to fix it (simple margin fix.)
His review is incredibly positive (5 stars again) and the other review I got today was 4 out of 5 stars (what did I get clipped one star for?  Lack of artwork, really.)  
Those reviews are important in more ways than one.  First, I know now that yes, it’s a good game, and friends aren’t just being a cheering section.  Second, it’s Google and sales page fodder.  Third, it’s information to add to my letter to B&N and other distribution outlets.
So what’s the goal?  I’m going to set pretty high for once – typically I play conservative with my goals, but not this time.  I want 15,000 sold copes of The Horror Game by August 1, 2011.  At an average income of $2 each (after costs, blahblahblah) that’s about $30k in profit if I achieved it.  Will I?  Probably not – but I’m going to shoot high, because to make it I’m going to have to work a hell of a lot harder at it. If I fall short, well, damn, that sucks.  If I hit it?  Awesomeness! 🙂
But that’s just one book – there are more Horror Game books in the queue, and three other distinctly different core game books in the planning stages (actually, Devvi already has “Plastic Men” in her possession.)  Halo effect becomes a serious consideration for sales as I release more – the better I can get the first one situated sales wise, the better the sales rate of the followup products.
And of course, there’s a few video games in development.  Won’t talk much about that just yet though – my Trade Wars knockoff is still sitting there, for instance, as a test product.  (I’m building an HTML 5 + CSS + JavaScript engine that’s non-Canvas based for game development that I’ll use for that, and other iPhone games.)
But now.. I’m seeing more iPhone / iPad projects show up that people are wanting to discuss with me.  Rather interesting since all of them are indeed entertainment based – right in the field I picked.  Time will tell which ones I do or don’t land though.
Though, there’s a couple I have landed, and those that I landed I’m pulling residuals on when they hit publication (quite possibly two will hit the market this month).  
And of course, the classes start tomorrow.  We’re already mapping out the classes for August (which will be iPhone / iPad based development stuff, to cash in on that iName thing 😉  While it’s not great income, if attendance is like it was this month so far (not sure how many last minute walk-in’s I’ll get – I already know of one), it would cover my basic monthly bills every month, and leave me much breathing room to continue pushing things like ads down the pipeline.  Yes, a marketing budget would actually be a real thing, even if sometimes it’s only a pittance! 😉
Oh, and add customers who are making monthly payments already to that stack 🙂  Those are what really “make” this situation with teaching great – if courses and payments continue the way they are, I’m above “survival” levels without book or game sales.  Now how fucking awesome is that?
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”
— Romans 1: 16
There were many reasons I gave myself over a week before going to Synagogue.  One, to make sure it’s Synagogue I want, not just want to got to Synagogue with Kat.  Yeah, even though my original thoughts were just go going (then blocking myself from going once I remembered it was Kat’s place), I still wanted time to contemplate that.  I’d still go anyway having made a deep promise to do so.
Second, I wanted to mentally prepare myself.  Going with Kat has been a big deal, in more ways than one.  But walking through those doors of my on volition?  TOTALLY different deal.  There’s a part of me still not sure if I can really do it.  I dunno… I’m not sure how many people can really identify with the level of “big deal” this is for me.  I’ve intentionally avoided affiliation with specific religions and churches.  The reasons for that were many.
But… here I am attracted to it.  It would be like a straight guy being around a gay guy, and thinkin’ “You know what?  I’m totally not into guys – I love me some vagina.  But I’d really like to fuck the shit outta that guy.”  (Side note:  Did I really just make an religious analogy using gay sex and the word fuck?  Wow.)
Twice now I’ve found myself setting on the little wooden bench under the tree in front of the Synagogue.  Once I bawled my eyes out (I’ve already blogged that one), and once I’ve just had a nice chat, and got a bit misty eyed at one point.  But either way, both times I’ve walked away feeling better.
Third, I wanted to build up enough courage to walk in there with as open of a mind as possible.  Again, that whole “What religion are you? ” “Other” thing comes into play – going to Synagogue doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve become a part of a specific religion (and for all I know, this is just a beginning of a quest to find that right thing for me)  I can even say what’s going to happen – they’ll open the door for me, and my hands will shake.  The Rabbi’s wife will greet me and hand me the paper for the service that day, and my hands will shake.  Then I’ll enter the main hall, and find someplace that’s WAY THE HELL AWAY FROM EVERYONE.  I know how socially uncomfortable I’m going to be. 
And did I mention I’m doing this alone?  Yeah, funny story – I called Devvi today, and say “SO… you’re not going to Synagogue with me are you?”  “Yes I am.”  “Are you sure?  Because Don’s birthday is Friday.”  Pause.  “OH SHIT!”
Yes, the day I picked is her beau’s birthday.  Well, heck.  I’m going anyway, with or without someone else.  And you know what?  It’s probably better I go alone anyway, no social crutch.  Otherwise, the next week, well, I’m gonna end up with that social discomfort anyway.  Might as well get it out of the way early.
Fourth, I hate to be uninformed.  What if I DO decide it’s for me, and to embrace the tenants of the religion?  What have I gotten myself into?
Oddly, there’s some benefits to it.  Right now, I work – that’s what I do.  However, there’s a religious requirement that you don’t work for Shabbot (Sabbath).  So there would be a day of week of no writing and no work.  That…. that’s very counter intuitive to my lifestyle of work, work, work, but on the other hand it’s a healthy thing.  I haven’t decided how I feel about it.
And I seriously would feel the need to learn Hebrew so I could read and understand things in it’s original language as much as possible.  And of course there’s an entire new book to fully familiarize myself with (the Torah).  Which, well, isn’t much of a downside for a guy who rather enjoys studying religion anyway.
So I’ve started with Hebrew.  Just a little bit for the last couple of days – enough to start understanding the language structure slightly.  Hebrew is as alien to an English speaker as Chinese is.  Fortunately, I already know my brain can bend that way. 🙂
There’s all this knowladge I’d have to add, and there’s both classes and solo study for that sort of thing.  Basic tenant of the religion is everyday a small bit of time needs to be spent furthering your education of the religion.  Considering my ability to do large things in extremely small chunks these days (Working out, writing, etc.), that’s not too big of a deal.
Overall… the tenants aren’t unbearable, or even really that inconvenient.  So if I went that direction, I guess it’s not too bad.
THough… I’d end up loosing two days a week to Synagogue if I ended up feeling compelled for some reason to become a regular member.  They offer Davidic Dance courses on Wens.  I’ve been wanting to learn any form of dance someday – but dance classes are expensive.  And dance is part of Synagogue, so it would be an interesting way of doing two things at once.  (Side note:  Project Natal for the X Box 360 is something I seriously want when it comes out, partially just for the dance games that *GASP* actually teach you to dance! 🙂
I’m still on the fence about where this all might lead.  I may go Friday, and never go again.  It’s hard to tell.  And a few days after I go the first time, well, I’ll make up my mind (and probably post on here) about going again.  Let’s just say my status of visiting Jesus is on a test basis for as long as it takes me to decide.
Kat-A-Strophy Aftermath
All right, I’ll admit it.  I’ve been looking for an excuse to use Kat-A-Strophy in a sentence.  
Something that’s fascinated me about this whole process is the aftermath of breaking up.  I haven’t talked to Kat (or txted or anything else) since I talked to her on Thursday to tell her I’m going to Synagogue this Friday.  Given what little was said, possibly even the potential for a friendship might be gone, I really can’t tell.  Pretty much an indication it’s done and gone.  
But that doesn’t mean other people don’t want to put their two cents in.  And that’s my point of fascination.  And it ran the gamut from “tell her to go fuck herself” to “don’t speak to her again” to  “of course she doesn’t like you, you’re a fucking looser” to “get her back.”
It would be impossible to actually follow all the bits of advice I’ve been given – it’s to spread across the spectrum.  So I go my own route, I guess.  One of the surprise bits was jealousy was thrown in there too! (I’ll talk about that in a minute.)
Pretty much everyone who’s given me an opinion or told me what I should be doing wants to see me have a happy ending for once, and I appreciate the concept.  But really, what’s the lines between “trying to win her back” and “being annoying” and “restraining order”?  I care not to find out.
I really pretty much tell everyone the same thing – “it’s a non-issue, and I’m not going to invest any time thinking about it,” would be the best sum-up I’ve given.  Of course, it’s a fucking lie.
She’s still on my mind from time to time after, what, nearly two weeks have passed now.  But that’s no surprise to me.  And I know that if I let it, with time that goes away.  Been there, done that.  And, folks, that’s the plan.
But… there’s that horrible romantic part of my mind.  It’s the part that helps write books like Muse – and book 2 looks to be a doozy, by the way – and that drives those romantic whims of mine that I have no outlet for.  I hear voice again, sayin’ “Find your way back…”  *SIGH*  Would you please kindly shut the fuck up little romantic voice?  You’re not bein’ helpful here. 😉
Give Me A Damned Break
One of the results I had never expected of the break up to result in an insane bit of jealousy. No, not in me (or Kat), in Christine.  Remember Christine?  The 5′ 8″ red head gal that came down from KC specifically for a night with me?  Except… she wanted a bit more than night with me, and it turns out she’s on medication for a reason?  Yeah, that Christine.  Apparently she hadn’t seen my relationship status change to “In A Relationship” then back to “Single”  She called this week to say Hi, and we got to talking, and I mentioned something about it sucking to be single again.  And it suddenly got quiet.  Then “Single Again?”  “Yeah – I was dating someone for about a month.”
She proceeded to inform me she was really jealous.  And she was serious about it.  We talked about it for a bit, and she started pressing for information – when did I meet her?  “At the Great Plains Ren Fest” “Oh, so if I would have come down, I would have had my heart broken two months in a row.”
Woah here.  We’re talking some crazy levels of insane.   Davis, you made a damned wise choice keeping it in your pants that weekend.
But that’s not the only levels of crazy I ran into.  I’ve had one gal ask about if I’d offer her private classes.  She’s from not in Kansas.  We talk a bit, and alarm bells suddenly go off – um, this gal isn’t talking about the courses I’m offering.  *SIGH*
One gal this week started off the conversation giving me her phone number.  Really, in this world you want to hand out your phone number to random guy you don’t know?
Multiple gals have been chatting it up trying to get my attention.  The best, least socially acceptable answer that shut someone up quickly on Facebook (oddly, after discussing writing and game development):  “So I saw you were single… what are you looking for in a woman?” “Hm.  My ex-girlfiriend.”  Easiest shutdown I’ve ever pulled off – I laughed my ass off! 
Thing is, I’m already back in that “Davis shouldn’t date” mode, where it’s best for me to be.  I know others would like to see me happy, but consider – I don’t get happy endings, just a lot more chaos in an already chaotic life.

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