Duth Olec’s 2017 Retrospective

It’s cool to do this, right? Actually I might have done these sort of things in past years too. I don’t remember. But let’s take a look at what I’ve done this year, assuming I do remember!

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Began posting the prog version of Wandering Fortunes online: on my website, on Wattpad, and for the first time on Medium. At the rate of one chapter a month, I’ve gotten twelve of these chapters up. That puts me at about a third through the story. This story is actually somewhat special to me–the first two novels were partly based off ideas I had years and years ago, but Wandering Fortunes is the first story I came up with after I decided to go into noveling (authorial term). Furthermore, the main characters, and many other characters, are based off characters I used to use in collaborative stories I wrote with some old internet friends. Were it not for those pals I would never have gotten into writing, so I thank them profusely. (Also some characters in Wandering Fortunes are inspired by some of their characters, too! Don’t worry, I got their permission.)
  • I continued the Pokecomic, which started when Pokemon Sun and Moon released last year. The first comic of this year was 39, and on the 30th I’ll post number 89, so that’s fifty comics this year. At that rate I’ll finish it in 2019, probably sometime after the 8th generation of Pokemon comes out. I’m actually rather surprised and proud I’ve been able to keep this comic up, considering these side projects involving art usually peter out for me pretty early, but this is something I’d wanted to do for over 5 years, probably since the 5th generation of Pokemon games came out.
  • In April began a new Twitter account for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos where theoretical tweets from major CCC characters are made, using trending hashtags or responding to other tweets or simply posting about their lives. Shortly after announcing the Darmenzi release date I started posting theoretical messages from during the story. It’s been fun! I like coming up with stuff for the characters to say, such as on Thanksgiving, every character I’m using posted what they’re thankful for. Here’s a few highlights:
  • I released two pieces focusing on the premise of the character Top from Wandering Fortunes interrupting an existing story, with Lord of the Rings and Magic Banquet. (See also Wattpad here and here, and Medium here and here.) This is a premise I’d actually come up with earlier while reading a different story (which is yet to be used) and I was just like “man what if Top just showed up instead and distracted this bad guy”. I really like the idea because I really like Top and they’re basically the poster child for the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos, but it turns out I’ve had a bit of trouble coming up with more scenes to use, though that’s mostly because I don’t think about it while reading a book and then afterwards I don’t remember the book well enough to fit Top somewhere. But gaddfern it, I am GOING to find a way to shove Top into Charles Dickens one of these days!
  • I announced the ebook release date of Darmenzi, which isn’t until 2018 but still I announced it in 2017. This involved a lot of stuff that’s stressful for me. That press release? I tried to send it out to press places. I actually contacted people, trying to promote it. I still have more time to work on promoting it. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DOOOO but I’m going to try anyway. I’m not expecting a miracle but. like. you know. a burgeoning fanbase would be nice. Whoa! This 2017 retrospective just got real…ly dumb. uh.
  • I posted a super special Christmas-themed “short story”! It’s a giant satire of religion and the bible. I could definitely being the most controversial thing I’ve posted, but I also see it as one of the best because I get to be oddtastic and write nonsense. There’s even some Seuss-esque rhymes! It’s on my website here, Wattpad, and Medium.

DISASTERS

  • well most of the year for everybody and everything but ME SPECIFICALLY…
  • The beginning of the year sucked because as usual I was working at Bloom Insurance Agency, but even worse, it was customer service! For an incompetent company (not Bloom, they contract with insurance companies to do sales, it was the client who was pretty bad) in a badly-set-up system and also this is all redundant because it’s health insurance. The exception to health insurance is a company that’s not garbage in all ways. However, this wasn’t much of a disaster so much as par for the course over the past several years because I always start the year working since it’s their busy season and then after the first of the month I go on furlough when there’s not as much work and I can do good work. However…
  • I returned in mid-August and it was… weird, at first. I was put on a program without a lot of real training, but it was a program winding down, we were calling insurance agents, not customers, and again, it was winding down, so for the most part we just called answering machines, calling people who were called before, or just waited for no one to ever call. There ended up being so much downtime that people could often go home early. However, that ended, and then I went to an actual program for actually selling health insurance… and… oh Gourd, what was that company called? I’ve forgotten! Hang on… Aetna, I think? Pretty sure it was Aetna. DANG, did I get a pompous vibe from them. Anyway there was so much garbage terrible and finally I snapped at work. I described it at length here. As I say there, there was just a lot of really skeevy capitalist garbage that is totally legal and fine and okay but makes want to figgin PUKE, and I hate health insurance, I hate talking on the phones, I hate sales (making it all the harder for me to promote my book, but I’m still tryin’!), and I finally realized I could not help this rude person, and not just they were so rude, but my being there was a figgin detriment to every person who called and got me. To survive in capitalism I was having to make the world overall WORSE.
    I would rather die.
  • Continuing the theme of I Can’t Hold Down A Job Anymore, Basic Guaranteed Universal Income Or I Will Be Forced To Make The World A Worse Place To Survive And It Will Be You Stupid Conservative And Libertarians’ Fault So Good Job On That, Would You Rather I Die, at the end of November I applied to a job with my local paper as a night mailroom inserter or something or other. It was basically just placing newspapers in machines so they get sorted and ads and papers are placed in them right. Turns out because I have a garbage body I can’t do physical labor, certainly can’t do it at any decent speed, absolutely not at a decent speed needed for most jobs, and therefore just cross out physical labor with Talking to Customers on the list of jobs I can’t do. I forget how much I talked about this but basically the job was about 5 hours a night and after half of that I was nearly faint and couldn’t continue. I had to quit. After half a night. So that little experiment failed.
  • net neutrality repeal but again that’s something regarding the entire country, you don’t need me to tell you about that. Although after the repeal vote I actually called my reps about it, and note that after the calls I wanted to curl up under a chair so yeah phones suck die die die phones
  • Oh I guess the Patreon debacle was a slight disaster but Patreon walked it back so I think it’s gonna be okay.
  • Aaaand that’s really all the disasters of the year, my personal disasters totaled two, everything else was fairly fantastic, and those two disasters were both ME TRYING TO WORK A REGULAR JOB. Seriously, what do you want from me, world? But let’s move on from these sad parts and look forward to…

PLANS FOR 2018

  • Obviously I mentioned Darmenzi releases next year. It comes out Wednesday, January 17th. If I can get some selling I’ll be happy. I’ll pretty much take any number over zero, but I’d like double-digits. (I’d be ecstatic over triple.) Currently only the ebook is set; I don’t want to use Createspace because it’s owned by Amazon (which is why I’m reluctant to do anything related to Goodreads), so I’m going to try out other self-publish websites. I’ll keep you posted on that. I do truly believe this book is better than the first, and it begins to bring up questions about the creator and narrator with the antagonist, Darmenzi. Some closure, some sadness, and some some fantastic villain interaction. But with a few weeks left I still need to work on promoting it…
  • I want to start a new daily project in 2018. I don’t want to reveal too much yet, for some reason, but it’s totally ripped off from inspired by something KC Green is doing. It also means this blaargablog will pick up by about… Whoa wait I had at least one post a day from the 15th to the 20th! That’s pretty good. anyway lotsa %.
  • I’ve gotten a Mastodon account! I really would like to stop Twittering but whoops I need to build an online presence and using websites that have traffic is a slight requirement, sorry. I’m still not sure how I want to do this but I might just give up and post at both places equally with the same things, which would also involve making a second Mastodon account equivalent to the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos Twitter.
  • Might get a Ko-Fi. A cocoa-wifi. After the Patreon thing happened I was like “huh, maybe i’d rather make my goals just flat amounts to reach towards instead of monthly givings goals.” Now, I changed that idea because most of my current Patreon goals are actually recurring things that I would want a continuing stream of income to help with (posting more chapters a month, the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmail which to be fair I mostly want to wait to do because I want a big enough fanbase to get a steady stream of questions but I’d also like to pay my artist friends for drawing the comics so yeah), but there are some that could work as an accumulation of everything donated (special stories, comic/graphic versions of short stories, that Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos Online RPG idea I wanna do someday), kinda like mini-Kickstarters except there’s no guarantee and you give money even if it takes 5000 years to reach the goal, since it’s more of a “thank you!!!” than an actual end goal. Maybe. I dunno.
  • There are at least one or two short stories I will post here next year, and I’d also like to write more and maybe finish some and maybe even finish some that I could submit to publications! I’ve sent one to a few places but it hasn’t been accepted, though to be fair it’s a character-centric story that probably works as being posted here first anyway. I have an idea for a short story I’m going to begin working on soon that might work.
  • Continue Wandering Fortunes! Continue the pokecomic! The former I hope to pass the halfway point on in 2018, and the Pokecomic to, who knows, maybe get to the 3/4 point.
  • Darmenzi audiobook. Work on it is a bit slow because I’m a bit slow, but the idea has been in the making for a little while now and some recording has been done. Some more recording needs to be done and then editing will be discussed. No promises or predictions on when this will start–I can only give myself a deadline.
  • Some freelance writing/editing? Look I clearly suck at holding down a Regular Job, and selling books takes more time than society will allow for survival, so I might have to look to that to have an income.
  • Be the best Duth I can be.
  • And at least a functioning Jeremy.

I think that about wraps it up. See you in a few days for my Clichemas post, and come January 1st I should be starting that new daily project I mentioned.

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New species profile for… Help Blocks?

Help Blocks aren’t exactly a species, but they are a type of robot that are usually referred to separately from other robots. They’re basically just a block with a face that can do stuff. They help. Also, they’re soft, so go ahead and punch them, Super Mario.

By the way, some news should be coming this weekend, and don’t forget there’s something special coming next Wednesday!

New Wandering Fortunes chapter is up! Chapter 12: Unbalancing Act

The next chapter of Wandering Fortunes is available to read! In Chapter 12: Unbalancing Act, Alden and his friends apply to join the Zhopian Guard, a police force for the city of New Zhopolis. Before they join, however, they have to pass an interview–a head examination–basically Top is doomed from the start. If Alden and Ropak can pass their interview, they’ll have to figure out some way to get Top to–provided the beach ball doesn’t eat the interviewer first.

With this, an entire year’s worth of Wandering Fortunes is now up. That still puts us under a third through, though!

I’d like to make note as well right now that this coming month will be a little different. Instead of the beginning of the next month, the next piece of writing will be released December 20th–less than three weeks away. Ooh, I wonder whyyy? To accommodate the early schedule, those giving $3 or more on my Patreon–who ordinarily receive new pieces on the 15th of each month–will receive it five days early on December 10th, just over a week away. Join up to see what the fuss for this month is all about! Or if you just want to give one dollar, you’ll still get weekly updates on why I’m so slow what I’m up to. Check it out!

Species Profile for Schalindra… How is this a species??

There’s a new species profile up, and it’s a doozy! The Schalindra, formally introduced in the last chapter, are a set of monstrous villains who are treated as such. They’re gross and horrible, yay! They also all look so widely different that it’s like, how are these all the same species?? You know how all dogs are dogs? Imagine that, except alligators are also a dog species. No one’s ever looked into how this is though because the Schalidnra probably killed and ate anyone who did.

They’re not nice. But who in New Zhopolis is?

An update on Darmenzi: the book isn’t coming out this year. Sad, I know. Still too much to do, including more things I’m adding to the plate that I want to happen around the time the book releases. It should be coming out in January though so it’s not like it’s too far away. Other projects will be coming, as well!

I have a job interview tomorrow though so if I get a dayjob (or nightjob as the case may be) things may slow down a bit. But I’ll never stop working!

Finally, Patreon continues to be a thing with a new chapter releasing soon! Check it out if you’re cool!

New Wandering Fortunes chapter a day early!

It’s the spooky day of Halloween, so let’s have a new Wandering Fortunes chapter a day early with the frightening prospect of singing oh no! Oh, there’s also horrible monstrous abominations, too. Chapter 11: Traveling Down Terrible Lane. Will they get out of this one? Will they find a job? Will Top pick up a new instrument?

By the way, having a chapter of scary monsters on Halloween was not planned. This was a coincidence. A scary coincidence!

Speaking of scary, I really hope to have news on the final release of Darmenzi in November. I’m hoping to have that news before the month is half over, at that. Regardless, those who give to my Patreon at $3/month will get to read the final book a month early, so that’s cool! A free copy a month early, at that. Anyone giving at any level gets a free copy when it releases. Also, patrons can learn more about the Schalindras later today when I post a profile on them. Plus you’ll get to read chapter 12 half a month early, in mid-November! So what are you waiting for? Begging? Because that seems like jumping the shark. What? You now want me to beg while jumping a shark? … i’ll think about it

New Location Profile for New Zhopolis

The huge city of New Zhopolis from Wandering Fortunes has an entry now! It’s a long one, detailing the city’s layout quite a bit, and it was even longer at first but I realized it’s not yet time to dive into some of the city’s history. Things will come to light in the future. For now, if a picture’s worth a thousand words, I think I made a pretty good map here.

I kind of haven’t done much of any work this week due to what happened a week ago, but next week I’m going to get back to work. More details at the beginning of November!

New Wandering Fortunes chapter up! Chapter 10: A Place for the Placeless

Here’s chapter ten of Wandering Fortunes! This brings us to the end of the first quarter of this story and about halfway through the first part. This chapter introduces a lot of new friends! With a place to stay found in New Zhopolis, Alden, Top, and Ropak meet their new housemates. Some ignore them, some are enthusiastic, and some are mysterious. Also, one of them says memes. You’ve been warned.

As it turns out, three of the characters introduced in this chapter are inspired by characters of my friends Paperlanty, Devon, and Darvo “Cthulhuigi” Prower. (Sheesh.) Try to guess which ones! Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.

Also something new with this chapter is a new design for the chats between Duth and Wally. Instead of having their name followed by a colon and then what they say, their text is on a separate paragraph. Not sure how good it looks online, but it looks a lot better in regular text.

Final work on completing Darmenzi has begun. It’ll still be a little while before I’m done, but I’m hoping to be able to release this book in December. You know, so people can buy it for Clichemas. Obviously. As a reminder, not only do patrons of my Patreon get the serialized chapters half a month early, but when Darmenzi releases you’ll get a copy of the ebook. Not only that, but if you give $3 or more you’ll receive a copy of the ebook a whole month in advance! Then you can see how amazingly it has improved from what I posted online last year.

New species profile added for arkents

Arkents now have a profile on the website! These short, squishy creatures are tentacled and shelled and make quite good seafood. They come from a swampy region of Zhop. Basically, they come from Zhop’s Florida. The first friend our protagonists of Wandering Fortunes meet in New Zhopolis is an arkent, too.

In other news, I finished writing a brand-new chapter for Wandering Fortunes, so I’m going to let that cool off in the back–next week I will finally begin the final edits on the final version of final Darmenzi! It’s going to happen soon! I’m going to have a SECOND book out! Take that– er, wait. No smack-talk. I’ll keep you updated on it! You’ll be even more updated if you become a patron on my Patreon, which is going to get chapter 10 uploaded to here pretty quick!

Chapter 9 of Wandering Fortunes is up!

Chapter 9: No Hobo features the first kind clerpson our friends encounter in New Zhopolis. At least, let’s hope he turns out to be friendly–it’s hard to trust anyone in a big city like this. At the bottom of the city, though, depressed and alone, it seems he may be their way to make it in the city. Or at least live in it. Also features the sudden appearance of another character, a strange-looking one whose appearance raises even more questions than Top’s look does. Well, those questions will keep coming next chapter, so whatever.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but I got some information from my editor and soon it will finally be time to charge full steam ahead on finishing Darmenzi! Yes, that’s still a thing that’s going to happen! Kind of crazy to think it’s been nine months since its last chapter was posted on here, but it’s been edited to be way better and I hope I can get this out before the year’s end! (If not, I may very well shoot for two years to the day after the second edition of Slubes released.) I’ve never been strong on the advertising front, but I hope to change that. oh no

And remember, I have a Patreon where you can read these new chapters half a month early. Chapter 10 will come in mid-September. Plus, you can get a free ebook copy of Darmenzi a month before the final release!

oh and you can make a word mandatory to appear on my website, more on that later

New Species Profile for Rackyes

The species profile for rackyes is now up.

Chapter 9 of Wandering Fortunes will be going up for $3+ patrons at my Patreon this evening.