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28 December 2008

Looking Ahead, Odds and Ends

It's been a busy time, folks. I've recently finished up a set of illustrations for a CD project that won't see the light of day until the new year, but I'll post some samples here as soon as I can get permission. Also, I've just finished up a little project for the Canada Revenue Agency...a little thing known as a tax audit. Yeah. Fun.
In the new year, I'm looking forward to doing less commission work, focusing instead on bringing some of my own projects to the point where I can start selling them in various forms. That's not to say that I won't take a commission if it comes along, but it won't be my main interest like it was in the past year.
I'm still doing odd sketches and whatnot that I'll be posting here soon, just to keep building this blog as my online portfolio. A lot of my hits seem to be coming from people who want to see the tattoo flash I've posted, so maybe I'll put up some more of those, just to keep the punters happy.

In other news around the web, I see that Leo Baubata has posted a new, free ebook over at Zen Habits that will probably be useful to people getting by in today's economy - Thriving on Less - Simplifying in a Tough Economy. I generally stay away from the doom and gloom pundits who talk about how bad things are getting worse, and I haven't read this book yet (hey Leo...pay for some more bandwidth, why doncha!), but I've found Leo's advice to be the sort that's helpful at any time, and if nothing else, this book should provide more food for thought.

Another sign of the times was brought to my attention this morning from one of my favorite horror and science fiction publishers, Apex Publishing. Apex briefly published Apex Digest, which was the only magazine I've subscribed to in the past ten years. For better or worse, it's since gone digital and they have been giving more attention to book sales. They publish books by such notable writers as Jennifer Pelland, Matt Wallace and Lavie Tidhar. I've not read anything offered by them that's not pleased me.
Publishing being the mercurial business that it is right now, Apex is finding itself in need of cash, but quick. They figure about $2500 in revenue in the next two weeks to stay afloat. So if you've got a few post-Xmas dollars to spend and are an avid reader or would like to discover a new author, now's a perfect time to head over to the Apex store and try one of their books.
Myself, I prefer their ebook offerings from Fictionwise - the only source from which I actually buy ebooks - and from recent reading can personally recommend Matt Wallace's "The Next Fix", Fran Friel's "Mama's Boy", and Jennifer Pelland's "Unwelcome Bodies". You can also get back issues of their magazine through the site, and each is guaranteed to have something to please the sci-fi and/or horror fan. I've been nagging editor/publisher Jason Sizemore to offer more items through Fictionwise, and maybe if that wing of their store gets enough attention, they'll actually do it. At an average price of just below 4 bucks, it's probably the best bang for your fiction buck, and it will help keep a worthwhile publisher in business.

But enough begging...here's a glass raised to the new year, with a wish for health, wealth and happiness. Keep the good times rolling, and ride it til the wheels fall off!