Still Taking It A Bit Easy

Still Taking It A Bit Easy

Greetings all,

In terms of an update, I’m somewhere around twenty-five percent through the First Draft of Discovered. However the last two weeks have been pretty tough. By God’s grace, I’ve been protected from COVID, but I’ve wanted to support my wife and kids. This means that my writing and marketing time is what it’s always been, but the blogging energy is low. So I’m asking for a few more days of patience.

You’ll see a Testimony post tomorrow, and I’ll update the Book Cover of the Month bracket, but I just wanted to use this post to say I’m ramping up. That means this post doesn’t have much in the way of content, but I didn’t want to just ghost, which I did by skipping Wednesday’s book review, and I’m sorry for that.

I should be back to my regular schedule starting tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading,

Matt

COVID Has Hit the Weech Household

COVID Has Hit the Weech Household

Greetings all,

Don’t worry! While that headline is absolutely true, we’re all fine (or at lest it’s not too terrible)!

We have one confirmed COVID case and two more family members with symptoms. Add to that all three of my in laws, and this has been one rough week.

So honestly, this is just me saying I’ve had a rough week. I’ll (hopefully) be back next week.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

My Top Three Reads for 2021!

My Top Three Reads for 2021!

Greetings all!

If you’ve followed my blog for more than a year, then you’ll know that each year around January, I briefly go over the three best books I’ve read in 2021. Now, these might not be top books of the year as a whole, but they are the best of what I read in that twelve-month period.

According to my Goodreads profile, I read at least 44 books in 2021. I have to say at least because I read a ton of manga, and not all of it is registered in Goodreads. I also read a few books more than once, which counts in my opinion. Now I get that manga are short, but it sure feels good to have a high number on the page. In my defense, I read relentlessly. But I read the Bible mostly, and that’s not the sort of book you read in a day. Then there is my love of epic fantasy, which isn’t as long or demanding as the Bible, but those books are thick!

So today I looked at my Goodreads page and put in a lot of thought. To be honest, it wasn’t very hard to identify the top three, but it was very difficult to rank those in an order I thought I could stand behind. Still, I did my best! Here’s my list.

#3 Demon Slayer by Koytoharu Gotouge: I’ve rewatched Dragonball and started watching Baruto again. I’ve rewatched some episodes of Bleach, and it hasn’t been that long since I finished Naruto for the second time. I believe this, and you can @me all you want: Demon Slayer is the best manga ever.

Why number three? I’ll explain more in future numbers, but it’s not because it isn’t a good story. The characters are so charming, sympathetic, and proactive. The action is awesome. The plot is complete AND concise (key point for the “best manga ever” argument). You can find my review for Volume 23 right here.

#2 Devotions from Psalms and Proverbs by C.H. Spurgeon: This is where things get a little hard to explain. So there are great, amazing stories. Stories you might read again and again, but not every day. Two of my top three reads were books I’d read more than once (including this one.) When I last reviewed this book, I felt bad because it was hard to focus. Then I realized something, I just love this book because it’s like a series of little pick-me-ups. I listen to it when I need help falling asleep. I listen to it when I don’t know what other Christian books to read next. This is the sort of book one keeps on a nightstand and picks up when he needs to be picked up. I came very close to putting this as number one for that reason. So because I couldn’t figure out where to put it, I put it here in the middle. For those of you who are Christian, I really think you should try this out. It’s a great book for perspective, encouragement, rebuke, conviction, and hope. Sure, the Bible is the best source for all of those things, but hearing Spurgeon speak about Psalms and Proverbs is pretty darn good, and a tad bit less overwhelming.

#1 Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson: I promise you that every year I read this book, it will likely be my favorite book. Believe it or not, this is the first time it appears on any of my lists since I started back in 2016, but that’s because there was another Stormlight book on the list, and I felt like it would be cheating to put two on a yearly list. Also, it takes me a long time to get through all the books in that series. There may be a rival or two (for instance, I intent to read the entire Wheel of Time saga here in a while (got a few Sanderson and Dresden books to get through first). Here is the most recent review or reaction I posted about it. I think this book is still the standard by which the Stormlight Archives will be measured. This is where all the best of each character is on display, and while I hold out hope that Book 5 will surpass it, I acknowledge that it has some big shoes to fill.

So that’s my list. Do you have one for the year? Let me know in the comments below. If it’s a post, I’d be happy to reblog it and share it for you. Until then . . .

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The 2022 State of the Weech

The 2022 State of the Weech

Greetings all,

Welcome to year five of my eight-year commitment to go all in on becoming a successful author businessman. This is my fourth annual State of the Weech, where I talk about how the previous year went and talk about my plans for 2022.

The most important thing I did during 2021 was improve my marketing. I’ll talk about Hazel more in a moment, but without Hazel, I went from being pleasantly surprised I sold a book to regularly selling nine books a month. I’m convinced that this path is a good one. No, it’s not a fast track, but most good things aren’t “overnight” things. Steady effort in a solid direction usually yields good results, and I’m happy with what one year or so of effort has brought.

I released Betrayed. It didn’t have the response I was hoping for, but without being able to go to conventions, it’s hard to get word out. What I know is that anyone who’s said anything about it loved it, which is encouraging.

Then there’s Hazel. Now that was a success! Currently, Hazel sells about 38 copies a month. I expect that to calm a little. I tend to sell a lot of a book early, and then things die down. However, I’d be happy if Hazel continued to move at this pace. I know Collin and I appreciate every single one of you who’ve tried it.

I managed to finish the discovery draft of Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log, and I did a read-through of 1,200 in preparation for a draft I’ll do once I get Discovered to Alpha Readers.

So those are things I have done, but now I need to repeat something I mentioned recently.

I’m still writing as much as I can, but without conventions to bolster sales, money for editors and art is a serious concern. This means I’m going to make whatever progress I can, but I don’t have any real certainty on when things will come out because that just depends on how much I can save, how much I spend in marketing, and how many sales I get. So where the past years I had some pretty solid ideas on when I’d get products out to you, I don’t have that same ability this year.

But I am still working, so allow me to tell you about those projects.

Hopefully in 2023 (but don’t quote me on it): Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log. The discovery draft was OK, but it needs some work. I hope to finish the next draft in the next 100 days, which is when hopeful Alpha Readers can count on reading the early version. I do hope to get it out in 2023, but that depends on the things I mentioned above, as do the other projects.

The 1,200: I talked about this recently. I’m actually pretty proud of where that is now, but it does need some work. So each time I get a draft of Discovered done, this is the project I’ll skip to until Discovered is out. This will be the next release you can expect from me baring how long it takes to save up and what smaller projects I might get done.

Visits From A Man Named Nobody: This is my weekly Christian Science Fiction series. It’s larger than I thought (at least this draft). It’s growing in the writing, and I’m discovery writing it, which means it’ll have plenty of kinks to work out. I don’t honestly know when I’ll finish it, but once a draft is done, it’ll take its place in line for release. You can read it now if you want. I’ll do revisions and edits on it before its published through Amazon.

Perception of War: Images of Truth: I’m honestly frustrated I haven’t found a chance to finish the discovery draft. Other projects are more urgent, but as soon as Discovered and The 1,200 are out the door, this puppy is getting some work. This is a very ambitious project, but I can get the writing done, and I plan to. Again, this project is massive! So while I’m going to work very hard on it, it’s going to take time.

New Utopia: This is another older project that’s probably been sitting in a drawer for too long. It needs love, but the the next draft of this story (pitched as Mistborn meets Avatar), won’t be done until Discovered and The 1,200 are as far as I can get them and the Discovery Draft of Perception is done.

Mercer: Now this project could move in a lot of directions because it’s a series of shorter works. I call this Dresden meets Bones, and I love the premise and basic ideas. I haven’t really played with this much in a while, but that’s only because I owe fans of Oneiros a conclusion to their story. I’ll probably start chipping away at this once in between the above projects. So you might see Season One, Episode One before New Utopia.

Leah Saldawn and The Nick of Time: This probably the “older” project that’s farthest from being out. It’s a teen/young reader book that I think is cute, but it’ll have to wait behind those much larger projects.

I’m still working my way toward 60 sales a month. Because of Hazel, I have three averages: My total sales per month, Collin’s and my Hazel sales per month, and my non-Hazel sales per month. The goal for sales per month is still 60, and that’s always been an initial goal aimed at growing after I meet it. I lose less and less each year, and I’m hopeful I get to that first profitable year soon.

If I’m being honest, I’m never going to stop writing. The eight-year goal has always been more about putting in hard-charging, never-back-down energy. It’s spending money on marketing and things like that. I’m hopeful that bears some fruit, but if all I do is write and publish stories I enjoy, that’s OK. I’ll work as hard as I can, and if after eight years, I’m not earning an income, well, I’ll slow down on the costs of publishing and focus more on the writing.

It’s hard to fathom that Bob Drifter came out almost seven years ago! Man it’s been fun!

If you’re interested in helping, the best way to do that is to purchase one of my books, read it, rate it, and review it. You can take it to the next level (if you like the book) by recommending it (or buying it) for a friend. In addition to God’s will, which I will always cheerfully submit to, this dream of mine isn’t possible without loyal readers.

I want to finish as I always do, by praising God, and thanking Him for all of you who read and enjoy my work. I’m blessed to have anyone enjoy my books, and a lot of you are just so wonderful to me with emails and help with reviewing drafts. Thank you.

God bless you all, and thank you for another year. I hope your hear has been amazing.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’ve Finished Reviewing 1,200; I’m 12% Through The 1st Draft of Discovered!

I’ve Finished  Reviewing 1,200; I’m 12% Through The 1st Draft of Discovered!

Geetings all,

Maybe if you haven’t tried it already, you can read Betrayed while you wait for me to get Discovered finished.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my progress on things so far, but that’s not because I haven’t been working.

I’d originally picked up 1,200 just to let my mind rest before I got moving on the first draft of Discovered, but then I just fell in love with 1,200. I was genuinely happy with how good I felt it was. I think there were some things that concerned me, but while reading it, I just really felt horrible for setting it in a drawer for this long. (This was either the third or fourth book I finished writing.)

It still does need a bit of work. I have to change the main character’s name, which is currently Steve, but with Oneiros having the success it’s having (relatively speaking), having two characters with that name would be troublesome. Then there are a few ideas I had that would flesh out a few details, but this book is great, and I’m excited to be putting this book out hopefully in 2022, more likely in 2023 (more on why below).

I started working on the official First Draft of Discovered maybe two weeks ago. I just finished Chapter 5. Given how many challenges we’ve had in the past few weeks, I feel like I’ll pick up speed on that, but it does need work, so please don’t be surprised if my Twitter account has big gaps. Those will be spots where I’m adding content (chapters or scenes) that I feel need to be added to help the flow of the story. It’s currently taking two sessions per chapter, and I usually get one session in a day.

Yeah, at 42 chapters, this means it’ll take at least 84 days to get this draft done, and that’s probably not enough time. I’m thinking 100 days is a safer estimate. Writing is obviously still a part of my life, but it falls way below God, my family, and the job that actually provides for my family. I do wish I had more writing time, but I promise I’m making the use of the time I do have.

Once I’ve finished that First Draft, those of you who want to be Alpha Readers can expect to see a post on this blog letting you know.

If you haven’t seen how it all starts, this is the book you want to read.

While Discovered is in Alpha Readers hands, I’ll get to work on the official First Draft of 1,200. In full honesty, I feel like I’ll want to get that draft done before I do the Alpha Draft of Discovered. Those of you looking forward to how this book ends deserve to understand why. First, I like to have projects rotating on a pretty regular basis, and I need to finish one draft of one book before I work on a new draft of the other. But even if I jumped on Discovered as soon as Alpha Readers got back to me, I’m not sure I will have saved up the money I need for the Developmental Draft. Discovered is already over 100,000 words, and that means getting edits done on that book will cost more than its predecessors. So rather than just sit and do nothing while I save up money for edits, I might as well get progress on other titles. This is the main reason why I’m going to finish another draft of 1,200 before I jump back to Discovered.

Saturday is the 1st, so I’ll do one of my annual State of the Weech posts, where I talk about current and future projects. But my hope is this post helps you sort of see the two major factors in how quickly I can release material (time and money). Even if I did find more time to write (which I would love), I don’t have many options on how to generate more money for edits and art (covers, chapter icons, and other things).

That’s where I continue to ask for your support. Please don’t misunderstand. Those of you who follow this blog are always so amazing. We’re a small clan, but I’m just humbled by how loyal and kind you all are. Hazel is definitely doing her part, but I only earn a percent of a percent of her royalties. I honestly am only just about to get the first royalties from that release here in a few days.

The best way to help me is to help my sales, which means telling your friends about my work, convincing them to try it, and posting reviews and ratings on all the bookish places. I’m in a place now where if I’m going to do anything for the business of writing, the writing needs to pay for it. We budget a bit each month for this dream, but at this point the marketing is still costing more than the books are earning. We’re moving in the right direction, but we still have a ways to go.

All this means I have to be patient. I wanted to be releasing four books a year, and now I’m in a place where it might take two more years before I get any new titles out. That really hurts, but in this world, the art matters, not the pace at which it’s released. I hope you’ll be patient with me as well.

I hope to have this draft done by mid April, when I hope Alpha Readers will be ready and willing to see that early draft. I’d love to try and get it to you sooner and get Discovered to Sara’s hands even sooner, but that would require things that I don’t have direct control over.

As always, thank you all for your wonderful support, and thanks for reading,

Matt

Some New Reviews for Hazel!

Some New Reviews for Hazel!

Greetings all,

I was ill last week and glad to have some reviews to share.

Well, this week I feel better, but I’m still also glad to have some more reviews to share!

Hazel is still going strong. Oh, I’m not selling hundreds a day or thousands a week, but I am selling a pretty steady number that I’m not quit ready to estimate until she’s been out three full months. The good news is that the sales are also yielding reviews, and that’s fantastic.

So I’m happy to share this three-star review from Goodreads and this five-star review from Amazon.

As always, if you’ve tried some of my work (even it you hated it), I’d be grateful if you’d be kind enough to leave a rating and review on all the bookish places. It means a lot. We’re coming up on the end of the year, which means the State of the Weech is coming and some other general news. So we’ll see if things calm down enough this week to allow for more news-based posts on Saturdays. Until then,

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Betrayed

A 5-Star Review for Betrayed

Greetings all,

This review comes at a great time because it’s been a rough few weeks here in the Weech household. We’re battling an illness, so we’re glad to have some content to present you that’s low maintenance.

That said, a nice five-star review really helps keep the motivation up. So we’d like to share this review with you all.

As always, if you’ve read some of my work, we’d be grateful if you’d take a second to offer a rating and review. I’m actually pretty close to 100 ratings on Goodreads, and I’m excited for that milestone.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Hand and Foot

Hand and Foot

Hand and Foot is a beautiful game.

It’s beautifully convoluted.

Even to understand the rules, people have to sit together for hours. Then it takes hours to play the game.

We played more than 100 games, more than 400 hours.

I cherish every one.

During those hours, we listened to Patty Page sing about the Doggie in the Window and the Tennessee Waltz, a song about a girl who’s friend stole her loved one. You would always offer the same joke: “I sure am gonna miss my friend.”

During those hours, you’d tell little dirty jokes, just happy to have a new joke to tell, even if it was only new in your memory.

Even the last game we played together, you had a joke.

Even the last time I sat with you on your bed as you waited for help to use the restroom.

Those times were sad, but I have those other times, those 400 hours.

During those hours, you’d tell stories about your time in the Navy, your time serving the president, and your time in the U.S. Marshal service.

Each story was told with a wry smile and a in a matter of fact tone.

Each game was adorable. Your wife would talk, but you couldn’t hear her, so you’d ask her what she said, but she couldn’t hear you. Even though there were plenty of times you couldn’t hear each other, you always understood each other. You’d share knowing looks with each other. You’d offer each other sly, witty comments that were somehow endearing.

We played our last game together last week.

You needed help getting up and down. You were in obvious pain, but you wanted to play just one more time, and I love you for that just as I love you for the others before.

You played this beautiful game the same way you lived, with wit and determination.

However, the object of the game is to run out of cards, and days ago, you ran out of time with us.

I love that game.

I played it with my grandmother until the day she died.

I played it with my mother until the day she died.

Now I’ve played it with you until the day you died.

If I’m lucky, my wife and sons will play with me until the day I die.

There’s sadness. I’ll never hear you curse as you draw a completely useless card. I’ll never again hear another joke of any kind. I’ll never get to watch you and Granny playfully banter back and forth. I’ll never hear you answer the phone with a dry remark.

I’ll miss those things, but I’ll cherish them just the same as I cherished knowing you.

I only knew you for a short time compared to my wife, who you cared for so very much. That short time doesn’t diminish the fierceness with which our bond formed.

We watched football and talked about the games. We talked about the Navy. And we played a lot of cards.

I’ll miss you Pop Pop. We all will.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Greetings all,

Without getting into too much detail, we’re just trying to enjoy this Thanksgiving. I didn’t post on Wednesday (sorry for not announcing that), and I don’t expect you’ll see anything from me until Dec. 1. I might post a new entry to Visits, and I’ll post the video for the Week 3 of December on YouTube at the very least, but I’m taking it easy this holiday weekend. There is news and notes, and I’m excited to share it.

Have a bit of patience with me as we get a few things under control or managed. I’m not sure when I’ll offer more explanation or how much explanation I’ll offer. But I imagine I’ll be back on track next week. If not, I’ll at least update you.

For now, I urge you all to be with those you love. Surround yourself in love. Share it with everyone you can. Never miss a second. I am thankful for all of you. Your support has been priceless to me. I’m thankful for this chance to share my art and my dreams. I’m thankful for the chance to chase this dream.

I’m thankful for my wife and family, and the family they added to my life. No words can express that joy.

I’m most thankful for God, who created us all. He created my family. He measured my steps. He took a horrid, wicked man and by his grace, saved me through his Son Jesus Christ.

I am truly a blessed man, and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Hazel

A 5-Star Review for Hazel

Hey all,

I’m going to talk about last week’s comic convention in a few weeks. For now, I just wanted to quickly share with you this kind five-star review for Hazel.

Hazel is still doing wonderfully (by my standards), and I’m hopeful any of you who tried it will be kind enough to leave a review in Goodreads, Amazon or both.

I’m always thankful for you all. This post was quick and short, even for a review post, but we’ll be back on track after the holiday.

Thanks for reading,
Matt