Pull up a log by the campfire and enjoy some original creations by Stuart J. Whitmore, including photos, fiction, software, technical solutions, video, and more.

Making Strides in 2018

In my last blog post I talked about a renewed sense of determination to get things back on track after a very destructive year. So far, 2018 is off to a great start and things are looking up, although I certainly can't take anything for granted. It's early still, but if I can get things to continue snowballing in a good way instead of a bad way, this year should be a stark contrast to the last one! I've already released one new work (The Vengeance of Mirickar) and I have more on the way. Continue reading to find out more about what has been keeping me busy in recent weeks.

Determination, Coolidge, and My Publishing Career

It is finally the last day of 2017. And what is on my mind? Something my father had posted in his home office:

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Calvin Coolidge

I don't think I've ever been so focused on leaving a specific year behind, as opposed to looking forward to the new one, as I am this time. Of course the completion of another orbit around the sun doesn't magically change things any more than the completion of another rotation on the planet's axis, but symbolically this particular calendar change matters a lot to me. Continue reading to see how this all relates to the quote shown above.

This Path Looks Familiar... but Different

Patronage of the arts is nothing new. My use of Patreon is also not new, although I stopped using it at the end of last year. It had been a useful tool for me, and my patrons at the time provided invaluable encouragement and support. However, I did not feel that I was reaching new readers with it, and that is an important goal for me. The way I presented myself on Patreon was probably too scattered to capture the attention of new people. In addition to talking about my books and related works, I also posted about non-writing creativity, such as my photos on Morguefile.com and my audio files on freesound.org.

Late last month I decided that I would try Patreon again. This time I would approach it in a completely different manner. My profile would only be focused on writing. My page also would not be set up to use the monthly payment model like before; instead, I would have it set up so that I would need to actually produce content of value to be paid at all.

Hey Buddy, Got a Dime (Novel)?

As you might guess from the title of this blog post, I'm going to be talking about both money and books. I run a small business (two, in fact), and business people talk about money. However, some people aren't comfortable with "money talk in public," so if that includes you, then this blog post is probably one for you to skip.

There have been countless observations about money throughout the thousands of years that we humans have abstracted value into some form of currency. One observation is that the less you have of it, the more you think about it. This isn't just a matter of jealousy of those who have more. Many everyday needs such as food and shelter are typically met by spending money. If you don't have it, your options are very limited. When you can't afford those basic needs (and assuming you're not in a position to "live off the land"), thinking about money to pay for them is inevitable.

What does this have to do with books? Well, naturally, despite giving away some books like Wolf Block and (on some platforms) No Fanfare, I also have books that I sell. I would like to make book sales my primary income and one that covers at least a frugal cost of living, but I am very far away from that.

7 IFTTT Applets for the Indie Writer

I am a big believer in making technology work for you automatically. In this blog post I am going to share a few ideas for indie writers to get some easy automation working via IFTTT. Their service allows you to connect the dots between online services, so an event in one service triggers an action in another. If you look on the web for examples of how to use IFTTT, you will run into a lot of examples that seem fun but are not particularly productive. I'm more results oriented, so the examples I show here are intended to help you with your indie publishing rather than merely amuse you. If you are a business-minded author, you know you have to be productive, and hopefully these suggestions will help you with that.

These examples are easy and simple (no tech experience needed) while still being useful. If you are technically inclined, you can do much, much more using IFTTT services such as openHAB, Maker Webhooks, and others intended for developers and "makers." To get started, though, take a look at these solutions as a way to get started. You can always add more later.

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