It’s That Special Time of Year Again …

Ah, what a wondrous time of year it is! Calculators are being dragged out, receipts are checked, and math skills are brushed up on. Everywhere you can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth  of … oh, wait a moment.

There’s nothing wondrous about this at all. It’s tax season. I got my wires crossed. My mistake.

Yes, it’s tax season again. Hooray.

Okay, so some of you are probably slightly puzzled. Maybe you’ve not done taxes before (I know I have some young readers), or maybe you’re thinking “Eh, you’ve got a few months, right?”

Nope. See, I’m self-employed. My taxes are due March 1st. Which is very soon in tax terms.

Also, being self-employed really means you don’t get to see a lot of the safety nets others do. Like standard deductions. They’re there, but they don’t take nearly as much effect. To put this another way … I’ve never gotten a tax return in my life. Well, save that one time I accidentally wrote the IRS a check for a dollar more than I was supposed to.

In other words, the dawning of another tax season means another nice hit to my bank account. Glad I’ve managed to save a little money this year, because it’s about to disappear.

I wouldn’t be so annoyed about it if I wasn’t well below the poverty line. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not begging for cash here. I’m living within my means, limited as they are. But dang, you’d think being so far below that line would matter … but no, it really doesn’t.

Is there a point to this post? Well, as of this moment, not really. I’m just griping. Darn tax season. There, that was the last one. But I probably should provide something other than a cautionary … Huh … You know, discussing finances and some of the differences of being a Self-Employed Author would probably make for a good Being a Better Writer post. I’m making a note of that now.

Right, anyway, other news and stuff. First of all, let’s hit the big elephant in the room. Well, at least, for me: Colony.

Colony is still doing awesome, guys. I’ve never had a book sell this well or this consistently. Or set the record (in my case) numbers on Kindle Unlimited that this one has. It’s doing awesome.

How awesome? Well, for starters, I think it definitely holds the record for most pages read on KU (KU—Kindle Unlimited—being Amazon’s sort of “Netflix for Ebooks” service) out of any of my books. I think at one point it hit 8,000 pages read in a single day? I can’t say for certain, since the KU records only extend back a month, but it was around there. Even now the highest number read in the last thirty days is sitting at … 2,800 pages. Not bad at all!

Sales, meanwhile, have stayed strong. As have my reviews; the lowest to date being a four stars out of five review.

So yeah, Colony is doing awesome. So, of course, those of you who have already read it might be asking “How’s the seqeul coming?”

The answer is “Well.” It’s currently just shy of 40,000 words, and definitely feeling like it’ll end up around Colony‘s length. I’m almost tempted to say it’ll be a little shorter … but given my track record with such things I’m not nearly willing to commit to that sort of statement yet. Hopefully I’ll get another 3-4K done on it today (the usual daily goal) and be that much closer to having it done. Hopefully it won’t take six months like Colony did, but with my part-time job … well, as quickly as I can, I suppose.

At least I’m having fun writing it. Colony introduced a lot of aspects of the universe I’ve built, and Jungle is introducing many more. Everything from more details on specific colony-worlds (like why anyone would want to live on Hades when asteroid mining is a confirmed thing) and what sort of work goes into UNSEC’s colonization programs. Actually, we’re getting more on UNSEC in general. Which is all I’ll say about that.

So, Colony and it’s associated material aside, what else do I have to report?

Well, for starters, this weekend (at last) I’ll be working on Beta editing for Tirek is Doomed. I know. At last. It’s pretty obvious to me that part of my issue right now is juggling too many plates. I need to cut my workload down, because I only have so much time for everything. So I need to get Tirek is Doomed done and out. As I do Discord Day Care. Once both of those are done, then, at long last, I can start getting the big Alpha ready for Shadow of an Empire.

Yeah, you remember that one, right? Fantasy Western? The Ripper story from Unusual Events lead into it? Finished the first draft last … August?

Right, well, it’s going to be getting some revisions in the coming months, and going into Alpha 2. Good news if you’re an Alpha reader. This actually is a pretty freaking sweet story. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I’m proud of the magic system and the way it’s shaped the world the characters live in.

Now, all those things done, and once the first draft of Jungle is complete (now we’re looking really long term), what’s to come after that?

Well, I’ve promised that I’d do the next Dusk Guard story after that for my fanfic readers, so work will start on Hunter/Hunted. At the same time, I’ve also got another project planned, one that ties in with Colony and Jungle … but at the moment, that’s early-on enough that I’m not going to say too much about it, since I haven’t worked out some of the details. But it will be part of the Colony universe … if it happens. Again, it’ll be different, and it’s something I’m working out the details on. It’s not a sequel to Jungle, which should probably be all I say about it.

Okay, I’ve spent more than enough time here, I need to get to work … but first, one more thing. For the curious.

I’ve been doing Goodreads’ reading challenge each year. It’s pretty simple. I sign in, and each year I enter in how many books I want to read that year. Last year my goal was 52 (one per week), and I ended up with 67. This year, I’ve lowered that (I need more time) to 45.

Anyway, what does this have to do with anything? Well, I thought that some of you might be curious what I’ve been reading and what I’ve thought of it (insofar as a 1-5 rating can say that). If you are, this link should take you to my list on Goodreads (leave a comment if it doesn’t, and I’ll see what I can do).

Right, now I really do need to get to work. Jungle won’t write itself!

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