Category Archives: Announcements

Hey, there’s something coming up that I want to tell you about!

Structuring Life to Support Creativity

Sandra Tayler, whom you may know as the editor, publisher, project manager, and so much more behind Schlock Mercenary, is crowdfunding a book called STRUCTURING LIFE TO SUPPORT CREATIVITY.

I can personally vouch for the principles and practices presented in this book, but that’s probably kind of obvious. Sandra has worked with many other people and organizations over the last decade, so this book is far, far more than just (!) the life experience of someone who wrangled a single cartoonist into profitability while managing her own career writing children’s books and short stories.

Follow the links above to read more about the project. It has funded, and just yesterday Sandra crossed the “we get to make an audiobook” stretch goal. The project closes in two days, though, so if you want to throw some momentum into it on the home stretch, now’s the time.

The Seventy Maxims Project

We’re reprinting the Seventy Maxims “defaced” edition, and the crowdfunding project for that wraps up in just under a week.

Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries (Reprint)

As part of this project I’m designing two posters, both of which will have all seventy maxims on them. Yesterday I spent a few hours tweaking various text attributes like kerning and quote height, and finished up the two-column version of the poster. It’ll be a 16″x20″ thing, and will look something like this…

If you want to get your hands on one of these posters, perhaps for the wall of your office, or maybe the local kindergarten, jump in on the Backerkit project today. We’ll be printing extras, of course, but backing the project is the only way to ensure that we set one aside for you.

And speaking of Backerkit… this project is an experiment, a stress-test of a new soup-to-nuts crowdfunding service, an alternative to Kickstarter. For several projects we’ve used Backerkit in conjunction with Kickstarter, because Backerkit makes fulfilment easier for complex projects. They’ve been around for a while, and we love working with them.

We still like working with Kickstarter, but it’s good to have an alternative—especially since Kickstarter briefly flirted with adding NFTs to their blockchain infrastructure, sending much of their community scrambling for other options. They’ve backed away from that ledge, at least for now, which makes us happy. Also, we are happy to be trying out a different service. We like having options.

Unsurprisingly, there are a couple of maxims that may apply here:

50: If it only works in exactly the way the manufacturer intended, it is defective.
30: A little trust goes a long way. The less you use, the further you’ll go.

(You, too, can cite maxims as if from memory… all you need is one of these fancy new posters on a wall where you can see it.)

Long Covid And Me

It took way too long for us to figure it out, and that figuring is a story unto itself that is too long for this post, but I have Long Covid. The impact can best be summed up thusly: it is a disability, not a disease.

Disease suggests that I might get better. I wouldn’t mind getting better, of course, but as of this writing there’s not only no cure, there’s no consistent treatment, and many medical professionals will mis-diagnose Long Covid, or even deny that it exists.

So, disability. The “disabled” demographic is perhaps the only marginalized minority group that everyone who lives long enough will eventually join. My own disability presents itself much like chronic fatigue (ME/CFS). On some days I’m fine. On others I may find myself light-headed and struggling for breath as if I’d just run a mile when all I’ve done is stand around in the kitchen talking to to the kids.

Please don’t send us your medical advice. That “too long for this post” story begins with two years of visits to specialists wherein we ruled out all of the usual suspects. You may have heard the old aphorism “when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” We’ve ruled out the horses, and looking around at the (metaphorical) scenery, we’re not in Kansas anymore, this is the Serengeti.

But I’m not here to ask for help, or to garner sympathy. I’m here by way of explanation: the things I used to do, the things I still WANT to do? I can’t do all of them anymore. I’d love to be creating a daily comic strip and reviewing 1st-run movies on the day they arrive in my local cinema, but those aren’t options for me anymore. The point of this post, which I’ll admit I’ve taken my time getting around to, is to explain what I can do, and what you can expect.

First and foremost: Schlock books in print! This is taking longer than we wanted it to, but we have a plan and we have the ability, and we hope to get books 18, 19, and 20 in print over the course of the next 12 to 18 months.

Seventy Maxims Reprint! This coming Tuesday we’re launching a Backerkit project to reprint the Seventy Maxims books, and as part of that we’ll be doing an all-on-one-page Seventy Maxims poster. Click either of the links above for the pre-launch page.

Using My Powers for Good: I’ll be posting parts lists and instructions for some of the mobility and workplace aids we’ve custom-built for me. Long Covid affects millions of people worldwide, probably tens of millions, and this little platform of mine can be used to make their lives easier.

Reviews of Movies, Games, and More: I can’t offer reviews of new-release cinematic things because I don’t go to the theater anymore, but I do still consume a lot of media, and it’s quite easy for me to write reviews. In fact, the fancy zero-gravity chair I use to keep my heart rate manageable is the same one I’m sitting in while I write this AND while I watch TV, listen to music, and read.

I’m Not Letting This Stop Me: Yes, I’m disabled. I can’t do all the things I used to do, and I can’t do them as quickly, but I can still do quite a bit. So I shall do quite a bit. And this place is where you’ll always be able to find me doing it.

I hope you’ll come back and find me again soon.

Where To Find Me

The late 2022¹ Twitter fiascochuro² necessitated the creation of a socials post detailing where you might find me on the various social media platforms. Here we go!

These were sorted in order of URL length, rather than in order of preference, or priority, or anything like that.

¹ Followed by the July 2023 Twitter ratepocalypse or limitageddon.
² I totally made this word up. I think “fiascochuro” would have meant “darkness in a bottle” in old Italian, but since “fiasco” kind of means “disaster” these days, my word probably means “dark disaster,” or maybe “a bottle of dark disaster” if we push the envelope a bit.