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State of the Artist, 2007 Edition

Greetings, fellow artistic types, and speculative fiction lovers everywhere!

I speak to you from a state of Limbo (as in somewhere in between certainties, not as in bent backward straining my back).

You'll notice that I'm now calling this "State of the Artist," rather than "State of the Author." I figure that "artist" covers both the literary and visual arts.

So, let's see. What did I get done in 2007? Where do I stand now with my accomplishments?

First, though, I'm working hard to promote the free ebook download version of Children of Rhatlan. So, click over, download it, and give it a read! I'm getting lots of great comments on it already. It seems some people downloaded it and read the whole 78,000 word novel in a day.

Another way you can quickly help me is to Digg it. I've had 17 diggs so far. If I get enough, I'll be on the Digg front page, along with Charles Sheehan-Miles's book, Republic. You can also download it for free, here. I've already got my free copy of his book, and just need to make the time to read it! Thanks again go out to Charles as the inspiration for this move on my part. Looks like he's starting a trend!

Okay, so, now you have your free ebook edition of Children of Rhatlan, you're sitting at your computer, eager to start reading, and you've Dugg it. Thank you!

Now, I can continue.

What have I accomplished in 2007, and where do I stand now at the dawn of 2008?

While I still did some writing in 2007, more of my focus was on visual art. I did write a ton of blog posts, made some progress on Women of Moreri, and recorded most of the podcast version of Tamshi's Imp. I also made some minor revisions to Children of Rhatlan, so that it would fit in better with planned series. (IF I finish the series. That's still up in the air. But rest assured, Children of Rhatlan is a complete story in itself. The download edition, incidentally, includes the new updates. So, even if you've read another version, you may want to download this one!)

Yet 2007 was the year when my art career really started. I won the "Join the Jedi Order" contest at Ziddio.Com, for my animation, Harvey's Jedi Application. It was their first contest ever, and the prize was wonderful and substantial: $11,000! That was a big help, I can tell you. It got me my laptop and a much needed washer and drier for my family.

It also inspired me to go back to school for my art work. I finally learned to draw well over the summer, my first semester at the Academy of Art University. You can see some of my drawings in my DeviantArt gallery. My advisor then told me that, since I already have a B.A., I should apply directly to the MFA program. I'm now a graduate student, going for my Masters in Animation & Visual Effects. Getting into that program was a great feeling. I start my MFA classes on January 28.

For family reasons, I took the Fall 2007 semester off. I've spent my free time drawing, recording Tamshi's Imp, blogging, reading, and well yes, playing some World of Warcraft. We all need our leisure time, even if we have fun careers.

Oh! And I mustn't forget to mention the awesome project I had the pleasure of doing for Kaza Kingsley. Kaza is the author of the Erec Rex series. She hired me to do an animated video, Erec Rex: It's Never Safe to Meet People Online, which you can enjoy on YouTube. Kaza wrote the script, the band Soldiers for Solace provided the music, and I did the animation. We've had nearly 2,000 views so far, and always welcome more. The video uses humor to get across an important message about Internet safety.

The "State of the Artist" as it stands now is this: I'm promoting the free ebook edition of Children of Rhatlan, continuing to record and podcast Tamshi's Imp, practicing my drawing, and gearing up for my next semester at AAU. I'm still working on my idea for a comic strip. It's a good one, and once I get it off the ground, I'll start posting it.

Good things are happening in my personal life as well, but I prefer not to share my personal life with the public. I guess that's the advantage of being a public personality, but a very minor celebrity, if that. A lot of celebrities would like their personal lives to be more private, and I'm glad that's not a problem for me.

I will continue to keep my artistic projects in the public eye though, in the hopes of finding more friends and fans, and maybe inspiring others to create.

So, why is this Limbo? Well, that mostly has to do with my writing. I need to create art, be it writing or visual. Will I write more books? I don't know. Let's just say I'm looking for a sign. Will Children of Rhatlan get a lot of downloads? If it does, that would certainly be a good reason for me to finish the sequel.

See you in the Blogosphere!
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