Home from Traveling

I just got back from an extended weekend visiting family. Conversations Between Writers will be back next week. In the mean time if you were looking for your writing motivation…


Talk With Me

Do you want to have a Conversation with me? I’m currently looking to schedule Conversations for the next couple months. I’m looking to talk to wordsmiths of all kinds. If you work with words and/or writers in some capacity, I want to talk to you. To date, twenty-seven different people have had Conversations here and I’m in the midst of scheduling several others. Conversations take around an hour and are conducted via the Instant Messenger platform of your choice (provided I either already have it or can get it to work. There are no particular questions and I am about the furthest thing from a journalist there is. My goal is to show the connections and transmission of ideas as they actually happen between people. I know I once thought there was some kind of clique inner-circle sort of thing going on with writing and really it’s more that if you don’t quit, you make connections with people over shared interests and eventually those connections turn into opportunities… or baked goods. Conversations Between Writers is not meant to be primarily a promotion venue. It can happen as Conversations are about all kinds of things, and sometimes we writers are more likely to come out of our shells a bit more when we’re in a promotion sort of mind. My personal goal is to help myself feel less alone (and hopefully others) by making these Conversations public. So please, if you want to talk about interesting things that may or may not have to do directly with writing in some way, please sign up or nominate someone you think might need a little nudge. You can always hit me up on Twitter, email me, or use the form here: http://minervazimmerman.com/cbw/

Schneider Glam



I bought this pen because it was weird. The pattern is straight up gaudy and basically has puffy paint for the silver bits. It wasn’t particularly expensive and it claimed to come with a companion eraser pen and corrector. Barkaboo? So, I bought it cause that sounded weird. Then… I never took it out of the package because well, it looks like Lisa Frank threw up on it.



I thought maybe there would be more information inside the packaging, but this is just a card. No help there.



So this is what it comes with. The fountain pen, the corrector pen, and a box of cartridges. Normally I set aside any included blue or black ink and put something more colorful in to test pens, but I figured this has a particular ink formulation.


This pen has really weird angled tips on the top and bottom of the pen. The nib is normal, but it feels almost like they should have some particular function… as far as I can tell they don’t.


The pen is pretty light and the ergonomic grip is actually really comfortable. If it wasn’t covered in gaudy hearts I’d probably want to use this a lot more. I’m pretty sure my 14 year old self would be mildly ashamed to be seen using this pen.


I like the grip on this pen. It’s comfortable. Maybe if I take nail polish remover to it I can make it presentable looking…


So here’s the test. I couldn’t find my regular notebook so I wrote on the back of a postcard which I’ll probably send randomly to someone I know. The ink behaves fine, but it is lighter maybe more translucent than standard ink to my untrained eye.


So I just took the eraser pen and went diagonally through the text from top right to bottom left… and holy goats, it works! FUNKY.


So the thing about the eraser is it makes it impossible for the fountain pen to rewrite what was there… so the opposite end of the eraser is a pen which will write over the erased area. As you can see, the inks do not really match.


The Good

  • Light
  • really comfortable grip
  • should in theory use standard cartridges and converter
  • writes nice

The Bad

  • Lisa Frank Eat Your Heart Out Looks.
  • Eraser only works with included cartridges
  • included cartridges write lighter/more transparently
  • correction pen ink doesn’t match fountain pen ink
  • weird angled ends on outside of pen

Overall grade: B-

The purple sparkly hearts of doom are just very very much not my thing. The correctable ink is kind of neat but I’m not sure how much I need that feature for my uses.

Conversations Between Writers

Tracy Barnett

Tracy Barnett

Tracy is the author of the novel Iron Edda: Sveidsdottir, writer/designer of the RPGs such as School Daze, and Iron Edda: War of Metal and Bone. He is one of the minds behind Exploding Rogue Studios. You can follow him on Twitter as @TheOtherTracy.

MZ: Hey, how’s it going? Are you in the frozen wastelands or somewhere warmer?

Tracy Barnett: It just got pretty frozen here in Ohio. We had a little, uh, warm snap, I guess? But we’re back to mid-20s with windchill. Unfun.

MZ: Hopefully a bit less snow than New England though

TB:  Yeah, we’ve gotten nowhere near that level of snowfall.

MZ: I can’t even comprehend that much snow. I’ve always lived on the West Coast, and you don’t have to shovel rain.

TB:  I was born here in Ohio, and I have to have some snow in the winter, or things just don’t feel right to me. I need the seasonal change. It signals transition, and that’s important to me.

MZ: Yeah we’ve sort of… skipped? winter this year. It’s weird. There are geese flying north, frogs singing at night, and flowers blooming. In February!

TB:  I’ve had winters like that. We’re all still expecting a big freeze and accompanying snow. Dunno if it’ll hit, though.

MZ: Yeah I keep expecting something to hit here and kill off everything that has woken up early.

You’re a bit of a Jack of all Writing, you’ve got a huge amount of projects going. What is most on your mind right now?

TB:  Heh, I guess that depends on the day. I’m getting close to wrapping up the writing for Karthun (current RPG project). I’ve also got a novel in the works, and I’m at the revision stage, to get to the second draft. And there’s a weird thing where even though I want to finish those things, I also want the energy and juice of working on a new idea. Plus, I do regular writing for my Patreon… so yeah. Depends on the day.

MZ: That new idea energy is almost like a drug for me.

TB:  It so is. I get it when I go to conventions, but I get to use to to help me get current projects done. But the thrill of getting a new idea and seeing it through the first draft.. it’s amazing.

Revisions are my anti-drug.

MZ: I love science panels for getting new ideas. I read as much science news as I can get my hands on. Yeah, I’m staring down a several month spell of revisions. I’m looking forward to being done with them, but not doing them :)

TB:  Yeah. I’ve come to accept that revisions are a necessary part of writing. No draft is going to spring fully formed from my forehead. I’m hoping to start to learn to enjoy that part of the process, too.

MZ: Me too. I keep hoping anyway. I have a question I’ve meant to ask you

TB:  Sure!

MZ: what’s the story behind Exploding Rogue as a name? It is very evocative in the best way, but I was wondering if there’s a specific incident behind it?

TB:  We wanted to try and come up with a name we could brand and get behind. The name popped into my head one day and I floated it past Brian. He dug it, and drew some concepts for logos. The more we saw it, the more we liked it. Plus, it’s hell of fun to tweet as the Exploding Rogue. He’s the worst rogue ever.

MZ: I mean, who hasn’t had a party where there was a rogue explosion at some point?

TB:  Truth! I wish there was a more compelling story behind it, but we really just needed to find something we could both get behind.

MZ: …it is usually best to stand behind the rogue

TB:  Yeah, the rogue’s either gonna disable the trap or get turned to paste. But then you need to get another rogue.

MZ: also they have a difficulty modifier on backstabbing people behind them

TB:  Unless the rogue is really just projecting an illusion of themselves…Yeah, that’s getting too complicated.

MZ: unless they’ve taken the lesser known talent, “frontstabbing”

Now, personally I find RPG writing and fiction writing to be very different. How does it shake out for you?

TB:  They’re extremely different, but I think that writing RPGs in a conversational tone makes them more similar. RPGs give the framework for stories that groups will tell. You want to give information and hooks for a group to use.

MZ: I think for me, it’s that for fiction I’m very much a pantser up to a point, and you just can’t do that for RPG stuff. You have to plan it out more ahead of time.

TB:  For fiction, you’re in charge of the whole story, tip to tail. For me, it’s almost like I set up the RPG hooks, then write the adventure group that is the cast of characters. For RPGs, I have to think about what I’d like to see in a product I’d pick up from a store, how I’d want to use it. Then I have to deliver that to the highest level I can. And yeah, for fiction, I’m a pantser. No way I could outline a novel ahead of writing it. Not yet, anyway.

MZ: Yeah, thinking of it like a product is just difficult for my brain. It helps more if I’m thinking of someone else’s RPG world. I tend to outline at the 50% or 2/3rd mark by outlining what I’ve already done and seeing what the shape is it helps overcome the muddle in the middle, but outlining to start with tends to screw me up and kills that new project energy

TB:  Yep. I’m only on my second-ever novel, so it’s still new to me. I can tell you that my WIP has a much more fully formed shape in my mind. I have a sense of where I want it to go, and the revisions will help get me there. Like a mental outline.

MZ: I’m writing my.. 6th? Depending on how you count stuff. And this is the first one that isn’t overly long.

TB:  What’s the wordcount on not overly long?

MZ: First draft is looking like 60k

TB:  My first draft of my WIP hit 65k. Hoping for 75k by the end.

MZ: maybe 70k, depending. but my first couple novels were 120-160k :P

TB:  Yeeahhh! That’s way long for me.

MZ: …which is also why they aren’t published. I couldn’t write clean enough.

TB:  I’m pretty sure that my first novel, Sveidsdottir, should have been longer. But it was near-torturous to write.

MZ: though it turns out you can take a 140k manuscript that was written in 3 acts and cut and expand to make it 3 novels. So, I’m learning. Why torturous?

TB:  1: First novel, and no idea what I was doing. 2: Unintentionally really wrote what I knew. Meaning, the protagonist has a lot of my worst qualities, her wife has a lot of qualities of my ex-wife, and I predicted my divorce through the plot arc of the novel.

MZ: Yowch. Brains man… they sneak up on you in fiction.

TB:  Right? Except my divorce didn’t prompt me to… eh, I’ll save the spoilers.

MZ: Heheheh. Your last few years have been super full of life, both good and bad.

TB:  No kidding. That’s one thing I wouldn’t want to change. There have been parts that have sucked all the butts, but “full of life” is a really good description.

MZ: Yeah, I don’t want to change my past. It made me who I am, and what I’m capable of today.

TB:  That’s seen by some as a trite statement, and it can be difficult to see that when in the middle of it, but it’s true.

MZ: It does seem like a trite statement when you’re currently bemoaning something, but once you can see how it shakes out and all the threads of your life it changed… I guess I see some of the other things I could have done that are much more damaging

TB:  The last part of that statement makes me smile. “I definitely could have fucked up worse,” when said in a positive manner, is a powerful statement.

MZ: Well, for example, my very first relationship was everything that storybooks say you should want. And… also controlling, emotionally needy, and a host of other things. If I hadn’t been in that relationship as early in my life as I was, I would have let myself get into similar situations when I wasn’t as equipped to leave them.

TB:  Yeah, definitely. It just took me… I dunno, six, seven relationships to get to that point? Still. Learning is learning. And that’s worthwhile.

MZ: I try to tell young friends and relatives that part of dating is finding out what you can’t deal with, and making the choice not to deal with it.

TB:  Yeah. 34 year-old me sees that. 17 year-old me wanted to find THE ONE so badly it hurt. And it did.

MZ: Yep. I thought I’d be one and done. But once my one was very much not The One, it took a lot of pressure off.

TB:  Oddly, there are parallels to writing there. Or maybe not oddly.

MZ: There are. You put a lot of pressure on yourself the way you did it, (editorial note: Kickstarting a first novel) but I think you probably condensed a lot of learning into it.

TB:  Now that I’ve gotten my first novel finished and published, I know a lot more about what I want out of my writing.

MZ: I kind of wish I’d given myself a bit more pressure at first. My first novel took 10 years (probably part of why it was so overly long) and then I realized I wasn’t good enough to do it right.

TB:  And yeah, the hubris of “I can totally do this” carried me for a while. And I made it through.

Still, that’s definitely a learning experience you had.

MZ: You’d also produced many finished RPG products before taking on a novel too, so you knew you could push through and finish. I splashed around in the “I never finish anything” for way too long

TB:  That’s a true thing. Finishing is one of the most important first lessons to learn.

MZ: I wish I’d written as many endings as I’ve written beginnings :) I’d probably be better at plotting

What do you wish you were better at?

TB:  Plotting and outlining. For all that I said I like the idea of pantsing, I feel like I could write stories that are better if I could plan better. It’s hard to get a sense of where you are and how well you’re doing if you can’t keep a sense of the story.

MZ: I will admit that someone pointing out that the scene selection screen of a DVD is basically a plot outline helped my brain.

TB:  That’s definitely a good point.

MZ: so now when I outline I try to kind of make that screen for my own use

TB:  I’ll have to give that a shot.

MZ: not imagining it as a movie so much as just looking at it as a collection of scenes with one still image

TB:  Yeah. “This shot encapsulates the scene” is good thinking, I, uh, think.

MZ: I’m a very visual thinker, so it helps more than a spreadsheet, though the spreadsheet is good for editing

TB:  Yeah, I used a spreadsheet to outline Sveidsdottir. Not sure I knew how to apply it properly, though. So many things to learn.

MZ: it depends what you’re doing. When I switch POV it’s nice to know who the POV of each scene is, if it is a talking scene, action scene, word count…. but it doesn’t help for outlining per say Is there anything in particular burning up your brain or that you want to make sure we talk about?

TB:  The thing I want the most right now is to be a full-time writer. I know it’s going to take a while, and take a lot of different sources of income, but damn do I want it.

MZ: Do you have lots of thinky thoughts about diversifying income streams and markets and all that too?

TB:  SO MANY THINKY THOUGHTS I make RPGs via Kickstarter, do a leetle bit of freelance RPG and fiction work, I have a Patreon for fiction and such, and I want to sell a novel to a traditional publisher. And I have a day job. I want that last part to not be the case. I don’t make enough annually that a novel advance is a small thing, so that’s what I’m hoping swings things closer to Fulltimewriterville.

MZ: I like my day job, but I absolutely need a financially stable partner to make both my writing and day job possible.

TB:  It’s not a silver bullet, but it’ll get me closer.

MZ: Yeah. I’m conflicted about full-time writing. Mostly because I’m one of those people that does better with a schedule and can’t be assed to enforce it on myself.

TB:  I’m conflicted about the viability, financially, but I’m so sure of it personally.

MZ: It financially seems so feast and famine.

TB:  That’s why I’d need to keep things diversified. And, if I got an advance, I’d have to set myself a monthly income. And keep a schedule for writing. Because yeah, day jobs provide structure. There’s actually a place near where I live that’s a shared workspace.

MZ: and advances have gotten so much smaller, which is good for earning out… but still.

TB:  If I were able to write full time, I’d want to head there to work, if possible.


MZ: I live in a relatively cheap rural area, but still $5-7k isn’t going to get you much.

TB:  Right now, that 7k is 1/3 of my yearly salary. Like I said, it’d be a start.

MZ: My thought is to have enough products out there that make a small amount on a consistent basis… the little lumps will make more of a difference.

TB:  Yep. My lovely little lumps.

MZ: My lumps bring all the milkshakes to my tummy /looks vaguely ashamed/ that was terrible

TB:  Terribly funny! Is there anything you wanted to make sure you asked me?

MZ: Not ask so much as make sure I mentioned. I wanted to tell you that I really admire you, not only for what you’ve done for yourself, but in how you’re always out there supporting others and cheering people on. It makes a big difference to a lot of people, and you should know that.

TB:  That’s really flattering. Thank you! Damn, now I’m blushing.

MZ: :D Mission accomplished

Sorting My “To Read” Stack


So, I’m organizing my life. Basically the system of keeping track of things all in my head no longer works now that I’m older and can’t remember things as well. I’m not sure if its because there’s just too many 80s song lyrics cluttering up the joint or if there’s some physiological reason. All I know is my memory is not what it used to be. Anyway, as part of my sorting all the crap I want to keep track of into an organized system, I wrote down all of the books on my “To Read” list both digital and physical into one place and sorted them into categories.

The first thing I realized is that not all of the books that I own and haven’t read are actually books I want to read. So I gave myself permission to sort out all of the books that are just “Own and Haven’t Read” from the ones I have personal or professional interest in reading. I then sorted the rest into these categories regardless of format.

Fiction Want To Read: 33

Non-Fiction Want to Read: 11

Anthologies: 19

Fiction Magazine Issues: 53

Books for Car Trips: 3

Books By People I Know: 15

Books on Writing: 7

Research (by project):

  • RC: 13
  • CW: 1
  • WoS : 4
  • H: 1

Books to Read Someday: 60

Books for General Inspiration: 34

TOTAL: 254

Wow. So… that gives me a lot of emotional responses. The first one is that is a lot more than I can reasonably read in a calendar year. I’d also guess that every reader I know over the age of 27 or so has a similar list of To Read. I’d imagine that most writers’ To Read Lists are worse than this (though I think a lot of us include the “Books I Own And Haven’t Read” in our lists either consciously or unconsciously). So, as a writer, when I send a novel into the world it is not just competing to be bought, but it is also fighting with a the To Read lists of everyone who purchases it.

And this is the point in this thought process where I stop to silently scream.

*a silent scream break is taken*

Ok. I am zen. *deep breath* So. Very. *grits teeth* Zen. Next on the list of mental hurdles to overcome are the 15 books by people I know. Like, the sort of people who would show up to my funeral not just retweet my death with a frowny face (though I appreciate all the frowny faces sent on behalf of my eventual demise). The most guilt inducing of all of these is a biography written by one of my very closest high school friends and I REALLY should have read it by now.

I also feel guilt over the unread fiction magazines and anthologies. I feel that I should be up to date, or at least close to it to really know what the short story market is about. I can’t possibly call myself well-read in genre if I have that much on my To Read. There are lots of really important stories I should know in there. This is professional guilt, social guilt (as there are lots of people I know relating to short stories too), and personal guilt because I WANT to be better read and up to date in short fiction.

Research is probably the only stuff I feel really in control of and know exactly what I need to read, how important it is, and have an actual plan to read a good portion of it.

I can probably safely not think about the books on the “To Read Someday” and “General Inspiration” at least for the moment. That leaves me 160 items on my active To Read list. I have no hope of the list remaining static (I subscribe to too many magazines for one). But for my own personal sanity I need to come up with a plan to do better.

So, I wrote myself the following “rules” to try to do better.

Rule 1: Don’t read books you decide you don’t actually want to read even if you’ve already started them. There’s no way you’ll actually get to the books you want to read if you force yourself through stuff you hate. It’s ok to not want to read stuff.

Rule 2: Cheat. It’d probably feel pretty good to knock out a few of these as soon as possible. Read a bunch of short ones first.

Rule 3: Time. Schedule more time in the week to work on reading short fiction. The one story a day thing is great, but it doesn’t keep stories from building up if you don’t knock out a good chunk every week on top of that.

Rule 4: Manage Guilt. Try to read the most guilt-inducing stuff first but be sure to reward yourself with stuff you want to read on a regular basis.

Rule 5: Death. Remember you’re never going to get to the end of this list. If you do, it’s only because you’re dead.


Platinum Plaisir


This is my penultimate fountain pen review for the foreseeable future. I’ll still review any new pens I get in the future, but I’m not looking to buy any for a bit as I have more editing than composing this year.

The Platinum Plaisir (JetPens, Goulet, Amazon) is bascially a fancier, nicer-looking version of the Platinum Preppy.



It’s a nice shiny aluminum pen body.



It uses the same cartridges as the Preppy, which I happen to have some of but are very much not standard.





It’s a good pen.



Of a reasonable size and weight.


It writes super nice… but I’m just not sure it’s worth the price difference between it and the Preppy.

The Good

  • Good-looking
  • round grip
  • writes nice.
  • writes FAST

The Bad

  • hard grip
  • proprietary cartridge

Overall grade: A-

I like it. I just don’t think I like it THAT much more than the Preppy. I think if I was going to recommend one I’d pick the less expensive one.


Conversations Between Writers

Selfies Art plus textMad Scientist Journal is edited by Jeremy Zimmerman and Dawn Vogel. You can read new fiction there every Monday and follow them on Twitter for news.  They are currently Kickstarting the anthology SELFIES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD. I messaged Dawn and she was able to fit in a Conversation with me about it.


Minerva Zimmerman: I haven’t talked to you in forever!

Dawn Vogel: Yeah, it has been a long time!

MZ: I think the last time was at the reading for By Faerie Light? Maybe?

DV: I’m not sure I went to that one. I know I saw you at Ryan and Lily’s wedding, but you were busy that day. :)

MZ: A little :) It turns out being a Human of Honor is a little work

DV: But you did a fantastic job. I loved the titles they used for everyone.

MZ: I appreciated the gender neutral titles and lack of delineating marital status.

DV: Exactly.

MZ: I don’t think anyone ever wakes up and is like “You know what I’d like to be called at some point? Matron.” I mean it bothered me enough as a title in World of Warcraft that I’d never use it.

DV: Yeah.

MZ: At least there isn’t a crowdsourcing platform called Matreon

DV: Wow, yeah, that would be atrocious!

MZ: Well, speaking of crowdfunding… (ooo my transistions are so sneaky) Mad Scientists Journal is running a KS campaign right now. Can you talk a little about what MSJ is and what the campaign is for?

DV: So Mad Scientist Journal started out as Jeremy’s crazy idea. He brought me in pretty early on to do the editing, and we’ve been co-editing it since. We publish weekly stories online, all told from a first person perspective of some sort. After about a year and a half, he wanted to do an anthology. That ended up being That Ain’t Right: Historical Accounts of the Miskatonic Valley. We ran a successful Kickstarter for that last February, and the book has been very positively reviewed. We wanted to do another one this year, and came up with Selfies from the End of the World: Historical Accounts of the Apocalypse. The goal of the Kickstarter is to be able to pay the authors for the anthology more than what we normally pay. We fund MSJ out of our own pockets, for the most part, so having crowdfunding is a huge help.

MZ: So, it’s first person accounts of the Apocalypse?

DV: Yep, the apocalypse, or possibly post-apocalypse if it’s one of those apocalypses that doesn’t wipe out humanity.

MZ: Hmmmmmm. If only I had an apocalypse in my wheelhouse I could write about :)

DV: We’re hoping to reach our funding goal early, but we should be able to open to submissions by the beginning of March at the latest. And then we’re hoping to get all sorts of apocalypses. And not just the traditional ones, like zombies, weather, and plagues. We’re hoping for some really creative ones!

MZ: Yeah, I do not have an entirely altruistic reasons for you to meet your funding goal. I do really enjoy revisiting destroying the world. I also really enjoy Mad Scientist Journal

DV: Thanks, we’re always glad to hear that people like it! I’m sometimes surprised at how much that little idea has grown and blossomed. I actually had someone I’ve never met, who I was talking to about Norwescon, say “oh, you do Mad Scientist Journal!” Recognized my name. That’s pretty awesome. :)

MZ: I think there’s a lot of overlap between writers, readers, and those who have read the more mundane scientific journals. Just speaking for myself, my brain grabs on to the weirdest bits of journal articles so it’s nice to see a publication putting out a fiction publication in this same vein.

It’s just a great jumping off point for a publication.

DV: I do the same thing with random bits of history. I think that’s part of the reason Jeremy knew I’d go for him putting “historical accounts” in the titles of the anthologies.

MZ: I think it also helps people think about jumping into a fully formed world mid-stream, which is a good indicator for good genre fiction.

I think when you’re first starting out as a writer you think about building the world one word at a time, and when you get more experienced you realize you have to indicate that the world existed before the story started and continues even though no one is reading it.

A world has to have history for the present to have context, even in fiction.

DV: Yep. The amount of work you can put into that as a writer can be really staggering.

MZ: and 99% never ends up on the page :) It can be maddening!

DV: Yeah, that too!

MZ: So you’re not just an editor and publisher, you’re also a writer. What have you been up to? Working on anything right now?

DV: I’ve been working on short stories since December. Just finished one, and have three more that I’m trying to get done soon. And I’m working on plotting out a big fantasy novel that I want to write this spring. I’ve got a pretty ambitious schedule lined up for this year.

MZ: Is it just me or does 2015 seem kind of intimidating writing career wise? Like, writing seemed simpler in the past and now things have to be more ambitious.

DV: Yeah, there is a little bit of that. I think I’ve read so many articles about writing that I’m now just in this mode of “WRITE until your hands fall off.” I’m actually making myself get in writing time 5 days a week since the beginning of the year.

MZ: Wow! Is that going well?

DV: It’s better some days than others. :) But it is definitely helping me get things done. Which makes sense, really.

MZ: Yeah, I don’t have a very big daily goal, and I don’t write every day, but I try to average 500 words a day over 30 days. Slow but steady.

DV: That’s the way to do it. I haven’t given myself a word count goal, because I’m often writing one thing and revising something else, or polishing up those last little details on another story. But I sit down each week with what I’m trying to get done, and try to get as much of that accomplished as is actually possible.

Sometimes my dream goals are a bit bigger than reality.

MZ: I think that’s a feature, not a bug. :) If we catch up with our dreams too often it gets weird.

DV: Yeah, but it is nice to check off all of the ticky boxes on a to do list every once in a while. And then it’s on to the next list, for me, at least.

MZ: Oh I am a HUGE ticky box person. I love it. I am getting better at breaking things down in to smaller do-able things

DV: Yep. I have my ticky boxes for the doable stuff, and then my spreadsheets for the big picture. And it’s all color coded because I’m a huge dork like that.

MZ: also colors make stuff prettier to look at which helps when you’re supposed to stare at it a lot. I’m in the process of making an over-arching organization system to my whole life, work, writing, and home. So I’m way big into color coordinating and otherwise making stuff easier for myself right now. It is slow though.

DV: Yeah. It’s nice, though, when you get a good system that works into place. Everything gets SO much easier.

MZ: I intellectually know that’s true… but I totally want to give up and “Internet foooooreverrrr”

DV: I have a LOT of days like that. Juggling work and writing and editing and crafting and cats. Some days I just decide it’s a mental health break. :)

MZ: It IS helping my mental health a lot to organize. It’s probably the main thing helping me push forward. It is letting me NOT think about stuff

DV: Yeah, I think that is a really helpful thing.

MZ: Is there anything else you want to talk about?

DV: I was going to ask you what writing projects you’ve got in the works.

MZ: Well, my main project at the moment is a Rural Fantasy novel about a middle aged Norse Chaos Mage who ends up in charge of her small mountain town’s magical protection and preventing the end of the world and she’s not happy about it.

DV: That sounds like fun! I’d love to read it when it’s done!

MZ: I will be looking for Beta Readers in a few months, Gods willing and the creek don’t rise.

DV: I should be available after April!

MZ: Excellent! I will be sure to drop you a line when I get a workable full draft.

Well, let’s make sure we get the link to Mad Scientist Journal and a link to the KS in here, because I’d really like to write a story to submit to this anthology when it funds :)

DV: http://madscientistjournal.org is the link for Mad Scientist Journal. With new stories up every Monday morning.!And the Kickstarter is: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bolthy/selfies-from-the-end-of-the-world-apocalyptic-fict

MZ: Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to talk to me about this.

DV: Thanks for having me!




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