A Phenomenal Review + The Lunch Stream with Brian Niemeier

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I received about the most substantive review of Flying Sparks to date last night from Elzibar. This person truly understands the importance of character to drive a story, and what I’m going for by proxy.  It’s not a puff piece, he has very good critiques on the book but on the story front, you can tell that I knocked it out of the park. My stories are going to be a cut above a lot of crowdfunded books in general, but don’t take my word for it, just get to where he says “I want to read more” — that’s exactly what a reader should be feeling at the end of a serialized book.

 

And today we’re going to have a NATIONAL EMERGENCY lunch stream, featuring Brian Niemeier and his new kickstarter project, Combat Frame XSeed (volume 2).  You’ll not want to miss this as Brian’s a great guest. You’ll want to tune in, and make sure to subscribe! We’re growing nicely and still need to get to 1K. It’s just a click!

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Help Save A Woman’s Life

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An anthology for a cause. Author A.M. Freeman is taking over the blog today to talk to you about something far more important than I could state today, as a woman’s life is at stake. Please consider supporting. – Jon 

For over a decade, Bonnie Oliver has gone from doctor to doctor seeking answers to her worsening physical and neurological symptoms. It has been a long and wearisome road, and her family has had to watch as her health declined to the point where, at only 28 years of age, she can no longer leave her home unaided, and even then for only short periods of time.

Finally, in 2018, they discovered the culprit of her serious health issues: Complex Chiari Malformation, Craniocervical and Atlanto-axial Instability and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type three.

If you think that’s a mouthful to say, imagine having to live with it. Her brainstem is being compressed by her C2 vertebrae, and she has instability at her c1 and c3 vertebrae. That puts her at risk for dislocations at any time. Not to mention the symptoms she endures because of this that make every day tasks an enormous challenge.

Both Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome have no cure, but there is a surgery that can help Bonnie. In order to prevent further nerve damage, and impending paralysis or death, the neurosurgeons will have to remove a portion of her skull and her top vertebrae), and permanently fuse her cervical spine from skull to C3, using titanium hardware and a metal plate attached to her skull.

This surgery will save her life, as well as give her back some of the quality of life she has lost. As Bonnie’s health declined, so did her ability to do the things she loves; working, creating, sewing, painting, hiking, exploring, and spending time with family and friends.

Bonnie is a very talented and giving woman, and it would be a blessing to see her get the chance to share her talents again. The doctors say there is a 50-60% chance that she will regain some of what she has lost (feeling in her legs, hands, better balance, better cognition, less nerve pain, less difficulty eating/swallowing, less weakness, less pain). And gain the chance to return to doing the things she loves.

The surgery is set for the end of March with a long and difficult recovery period afterward. The cost to Bonnie’s family after insurance is a tremendous $110,000, including significant amounts of travel to the specialists who can perform this surgery. Bonnie and her husband don’t have that kind of money sitting on hand.

But you can help make up the difference. And get a free book as a thank you!

With the help of Bonnie’s brother, a good friend of mine, we are putting together an anthology of hope inspiring stories to give to everyone who donates to Bonnie’s GoFundMe. We’ve got 8 great stories so far, but I’m gathering stories for this project. So if you’re interested in donating a story, please check out the official submission call post, (https://lostinlalalandblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/submission-call-for-charity-anthology-impossible-hope/) or email me at impossiblehope4u@gmail.com.

The anthology is titled Impossible Hope, and will have stories of just that — Hope.

For people like Bonnie, hope is a necessity to endure and prevail through the challenges that life puts us through. Indeed, hope is necessary for all of us. And so in honor of Bonnie, we want to offer some of that hope to others. No matter what you’re going through, big or small — or just something to brighten your day — we wish to offer you this anthology of inspiring stories of hope and courage as a thank you for supporting Bonnie.

As soon as the anthology is finished, we will be emailing a free copy of Impossible Hope to everyone who has donated. Then once Bonnie’s surgery is funded, we plan to publish the book and have the proceeds go to funding the Ehlers-Danlos Societyfor the benefit of those like Bonnie. https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/

Bonnie needs our help, and Impossible Hope is our way of thanking everyone who offers their support. Whether you can only spare a few dollars, or have the resources to give more, any help is appreciated!

And of course, don’t forget sharing and spreading the word is free, and one of the biggest ways you can help us! The only way we can make this a success is to get as many people involved as possible. So tell your friends! share on social media! With your help we can make the hope of funding Bonnie’s surgery a reality!

Thank you for your time and consideration. And if you want to donate or learn more details about Bonnie’s surgery, it’s all on her  GoFundMe page.

https://www.gofundme.com/impossible-hope-bonnie039s-anthology?fbclid=IwAR190EXadG7D1vMPGKyPIMrsXlQrEfq4LTmz3RmISzcLBVQzH5QwUgtkq2Q

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Alterna Comics’ Peter Simeti Gets Swatted

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Things have gone beyond crazy in the comics world. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of comics Twitter hate, and I have to tell you, it’s about the least fun thing you can ever experience. For perspective, this is about people making 22 page cartoon books, and grown adults lose their minds over the smallest things, and once they do, they never stop.

It just continually escalates with this crowd. I don’t know if it’s part of the psychology of adults reading comics or what, but it keeps seeming to escalate to worse and worse problems, and it’s heartbreaking to watch as good people like Peter Simeti are dehumanized.

For a little background, Simeti and Alterna Comics came under fire last summer because they used a hashtag #MoveTheNeedle — a hashtag designed to positively talk about comic books and to “move the needle” for books fans wanted to see do better. Several people started tweeting about Alterna Comics (a company I’ve been supporting by buying every book they put out since early 2017), to try to get people to check out their books. SJWs lost their minds because Peter refused to denounce paying customers.

The usual outrage mob occurred. Industry people started attacking him. He was libeled Alt-Right, racist, white supremacist (he’s not white), the dangerous theme as we’ve always seen.

The left likes to say these labels don’t do anything, and it’s just some heated words that don’t matter… but at the same time they turn around and attempt to ruin people’s lives with them. And people do take them seriously. The whole “punch a Nazi” movement from the radical left has escalated to a point where they think it’s totally okay to utterly destroy someone just because they won’t help them attack the right at this point.

And that’s what we have with Peter. He’s just been keeping his head down, making comics, shipping comics. He hasn’t “taken sides” and because of that, his side was declared for him by people who want to force a war on every front.

Last night, when Peter was doing his Alterna Comics livestream, which is just dedicated to comics and creators in a positive way, someone called the police on him and accused him of a violent crime. Peter says, “According to the police, an anonymous caller pretending to be me, called up and said that I had ‘stabbed my girlfriend and that I was suicidal’.”

A pretty crazy accusation, and one police have to take seriously. He also says they came to his door with guns drawn and pointed in his face. If Peter would have panicked or reacted wrong, he could have been killed.

Over producing comic books. And he does so at a really cheap price point, he’s not getting rich off of this. He’s doing this out of the love of the genre, and this is what he gets for just trying to sell books to EVERYONE rather than sniping at a side over politics.

It’s gone too far. All this stuff needs to deescalate before someone actually gets hurt. This is just about making comic books, and the pain, the harassment, the heartburn, the death threats, the actual dangerous scenarios creators get put in because of politics (we’re not even influencing government policy at all with these books!) is beyond insane.

Let’s stand together and stop this nonsense.

Support Peter and Alterna Comics here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/alternacomics or order from your local comic shop.

Marvel writer Donny Cates made a statement on the subject saying: ‘This should be obvious but: disagreements about comics are not worth threatening someone’s life. Whoever did this is disgusting and I hope they are found out. This shit is NOT okay.” Because of this he’s coming under heat being called an asshole and worse.

Cates has the right of it. It needs to stop and we’re only going to show it can stop to the fans who are hanging on our words as creators if we show that left and right can find a way out of this and interact with one another in a friendly way. Our actions show the signals to the people who are overly-passionate about this stuff that it’s time to calm down. It’s up to us. Will you join me?

I’ve been making and producing my own comics for months, and taken a lot of heat for just doing that. Check it out and support the blog and independent creators: 

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The Great Rislandia Wiki Project

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As I mentioned yesterday, I started going through and updating all the information on Rislandia contained within the books and short stories. As there’s 3 novels, 2 novellas and 5 short stories of content, it took some combing through and doing. I spent the last 3 days re-reading through all of them and taking note of locations, characters, important military battles, myths and legends and cool steampunk-y devices to list on the site.

Everything is now in. I created close to 200 articles, cross linked many of them and set up a basic structure. Because of how monumental the task ended up being and how complete of a resource it is, I decided to get the domain Rislandia.com and have it direct to the site. I also registered @RislandianArmy on Twitter as a handle to be completely dedicated to the books (no politics).

I’m going to be fleshing out a lot of this into real articles that look more like an RPG supplement and adding new information. If there’s anything you’d like to see, let me know. And if you have suggestions for organizing, also let me know. Right now we’re working on prettying it up and making it feel more like “Rislandia” as a theme, where yesterday the site felt like a generic fantasy site. Again it’s Rislandia.com

And if you still need to get into Rislandia, start with For Steam and Country here. The book was just updated with a fresh new version, a re-edit for continuity and cleaning up the prose. It’s a brand new book and feels great!

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For Steam And Country Revised Edition Is Here!

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I am pleased to announce we have released the brand new, updated For Steam And Country. This includes a fresh edit which brings the prose up to my current standards, addressed a couple of continuity issues within the book, and helped a couple of the descriptions which were necessary. It also changed the formatting so it matches all the other books in the series.

Overall, it provides a MUCH better reading experience. If you have read the book — the overall plot really didn’t change, so you can continue with the series without any issues. There were just a couple of spots in the book where there were some errors across different edits (such as something happening in year 16 of Malaky’s reign instead of year 15 when it was supposed to).  They’re minor things, but they were bugging me, and they’re fixed now.

If you want to update your file though, everyone who bought the book gets this update FREE. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to “Manage Your Content And Devices” which is here: https://www.amazon.com/hz/mycd/myx#/home/content/booksAll/dateDsc/
  2. Scroll down to For Steam And Country.
  3. You’ll see a little “update available” orange bar on it. Looks like this. 
  4. Click the orange bar. You’ll get some terms, then click “Update”. (It warns you you will lose your annotations or place in whisper sync)
  5. Redownload the book on your kindle. You might need to delete the file then hit download again.

And that’s it! Simple.

If you haven’t picked up the book yet, now’s a great time. I’m adding to the world via short stories I’ve been releasing on Patreon which you can subscribe to and read, and I’ve also started archiving all of the characters on a new wiki-type site called World of Anvil. It’s my goal to get every named character in there for my reference and yours, and if people like it, I’ll keep adding to the history of the world and developing it as I come out with new books. My maps are up there and so are some sketch drawings. This will be the best resource for Rislandia for the near future.

A new print edition will be available later this week.

And For Steam and Country is available here if you’re new to the world. It’s a story about a girl who inherits an airship, and it’s up to her to save her country from a deadly invading force. The book won the CLFA book of the year award, it’s highly reviewed and the series is a #1 bestseller. You’ll love it, just gotta give it a read (also available on audio):

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Never EVER Apologize to SJWs

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It’s 2019, and I feel like this has been beaten to death as a topic, but it still bears repeating as we now have the millionth example of someone hoping to get back in the good graces of SJWs who control publishing after explicitly VIOLATING THE NARRATIVE.

I need to point people to the great book SJWs Always Lie by Vox Day is the single best resource to see how SJWs will act, to be able to predict their behavior, and also to be able to recognize how you should act when you are under SJW attack.

We’ve seen as YA has blown up yet again with fake controversy, drummed up by a few authors jealous of a contract received by Amelie Zhao– who, the SJWs in publishing apparently decided to give their token Asian a $500,000 advance for her first published writing efforts. It was an insane move, and one meant to garner pats on the back from New York elites so they could show how diverse they are with “own voices” (a buzzword used in publishing which will send you down a terrible rabbit hole if you look up).

Despite her sacred minority woman status, she was targeted for VIOLATING THE NARRATIVE, and, instead of rightfully saying “Fuck you” to the censorship brigade who was fake outraged about her having a fantasy book with slaves in it (oh noes!), she pulled the book from publication. She has not made a statement since apologizing. She’s been mobbed. The New York Fake News Media actually came out and protected her to some degree because she’s a minority (which they hadn’t done for white authors in the past), but her brand is forever tarnished as she has been branded a racist. Her career will never be the same.

Keira Drake, a person who underwent much the same situation as Amelie Zhao a year ago, but as a white woman, took out an op ed in the New York Times to discuss “social media mobs.” I was pretty excited for this at first because I thought “finally, someone’s fighting back and doing what they’re supposed to do.” Until I read the article, which is why this needs to be restated.

Her article is spent apologizing for her work, where she “copied” Native American and Japanese cultures and made them into fantasy cultures in her book The Continent, a pretty standard trope in the fantasy genre. You can point to almost any culture in books and see parallels to real world cultures, and that’s part of the fun of the genre, being able to play with “what ifs” outside realism’s bounds. She was branded racist for this because of this fake outrage “cultural appropriation” where white people aren’t allowed to write anything under SJW rules. She was branded a racist. Her book was pulled and rewritten and delayed as a result, and the publishing industry threw her under the bus with very little marketing effort, and just let her flail in the wind against haters.

Unfortunately, Drake didn’t learn from the situation. It’s a year later, and the article keeps apologizing, saying her critics “were right.” This is a fatal mistake against SJWs. Their intention is not for you to have some actual inclusive book to make all the feels happy and everyone to get along — their intention is to destroy you because of your identity.

I repeat: they are disingenuous. They do not care about what they’re espousing. Do not ever take them at face value.

Drake is targeted because she’s white. She’s not getting the coddling from the media that Zhao gets because Zhao is not white. That’s all there is to it. They want a scalp, because much like Keira’s fantasy culture in her book, they are bloodthirsty savages. Keira’s changes to her original book were “not enough” — and they will never be enough, because this is a crazed mob, not a group of people seriously debating topics.

Think about it. Their whole point is topics and debate get shut down. They want white people to never write cultures outside of white experiences, yet at the same time white people need to write more diversity.  You must not write A, but you must write more A is the logical syllogism. It’s contradictory. The point is to remove white authors, nothing else. Over identity. Just like they’re complaining about identities being “marginalized” they want to force marginalization on another.

SJW attacks will happen, they can come out of nowhere, it doesn’t matter if you’re a good diversity liberal like Drake, or if you’re an evil right winger like me. They do try to pick easy targets, people who can’t psychologically handle the stress so they can bring them down.

There’s only two ways to handle the attack, as we see the result of Drake’s apologies — her career is in big trouble and she doesn’t have a support network because she said “they’re right” so she is not a cause to rally behind. Apology is not an option if you want to come out with your career or life intact. You can:

  • Fight It Directly
  • Keep your head down, do your work and act like it doesn’t exist (another form of fighting it)

I’ve seen both of these strategies work, and it depends on the type of person you are and what your identity type is. If you’re a white male, I don’t recommend the keeping your head down strategy because you will be perceived as aggressive at every turn. If you’re female, I’ve seen it work in certain situations. Those situations is where you’re NEEDED by the industry you’re in — to where you’ve reached critical mass to the point where you have to be able to produce your work and it’d cause your company a big loss to stop you. If you’re too small, you’ll still get screwed.

But fighting it is the best solution for most people. You will never be accepted by the SJW mob. Don’t try. They are not going to bring you into their tribe after scalping you. They always will sneer at you, it will always be uncomfortable at their conventions. There’s nothing you can do. They will view every action you take as evil, you can’t change it.

However, these are very weak people. They’re so weak minded they can’t even handle fantasy books after all. If you fight and say you’re good at what you do, screw SJWs, you can create a business for yourself. It’s going to be outside of the standard corporate business (because those are run by SJW mobs at this juncture, or at least people friendly to them), but you can thrive. I’ve done it. Vox Day has done it. Larry Correia has done it. Ethan Van Sciver has done it. It drives people INSANE how successful we are because we have our own platforms and it’s very hard to tamper with them. We make good money in our fields, and have such loyal fanbases it makes other authors very jealous.

The reason is because our audience knows they can depend on us. We’ll fight when it’s hard, we won’t bow to social pressure, we refuse to lose, we refuse to go away. People want to be around that kind of mentality, and for good reason, because if someone screws with our friends, we’ll react much the same way. We won’t abandon people. That kind of loyalty and kinship makes us more than just your average writer with disposable books, it make us a cause. And our cause is to fight this garbage outrage culture is win.

In conclusion, if you come under similar attack, fight. I’m here to help you. All of the names I listed above will help you as well. You can ask us questions and we’ll do our best for you. Reach out to us. We know how to do it. We know how to win. We’ll help you make your business great again.

In my book, The Blood of Giants, Zaira von Monocle travels to a strange continent where she faces off against savage jungle warriors. You can check it out here and support the cause with good fiction where I refuse to censor myself or my ideas.  

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When You Can Predict How Enemies React (SOTU Analysis)

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When you easily can predict how opponents will react, you can set a persuasive agenda that is unparalleled. We watched this in action in the state of the union address last night where President Trump has pushed the Democrats to go full tilt. I love watching this strategy in play because it’s useful on a smaller scale for people who understand the basic concepts here.

Let’s talk about the framework in which President Trump is operating: the Democrats have pushed the narrative that he is LITERALLY HITLER for several years, forcing that comparison to be so commonplace within their ranks, it makes them have to disagree with LITERALLY EVERYTHING he says. After all, you can’t compromise with LITERALLY HITLER, cuz we all know what happens if you do.

It’s a powerful rhetorical grenade, not for the Democrats (as most people find such comparisons exhausting at best), but for President Trump to use.

And he did so to great avail last night with imagery of holocaust survivors, world war two veterans, victims of anti-semitic attacks, and heroes who took down anti-semitic killers, all who President Trump PRAISED and appeared to support President Trump. The imagery in the minds that sticks is “This guy is the Anti-Hitler.”

And you watched as Democrats reacted tepidly. They knew they weren’t supposed to applaud. They knew Trump is LITERALLY HITLER… so what was he doing? But they were forced to clap because if they didn’t, they would have a very, very bad look. You can see it in their body language and expressions that the cognitive dissonance they suffered was very difficult for them. It was absolutely beautiful to watch.

And the polls agreed. 76% according to the very hostile CBS News poll approved of the speech, which means the real number is even higher. No one could be opposed to what Trump was saying made America great. If you are opposed to it, well, you might actually be a Nazi.

It was brilliant visually as a display, of course, especially in contrast to Virginia Governor Northam, who was shown in a picture with a KKK hood. This made powerful visuals again in Trump’s favor as several of the Democrats chose to wear solid white together. The link is clear in many Americans’ minds, and it was a bad look for Trump’s opponents. Moreover, because of Northam’s insane defense of post-birth abortion (which we will call infanticide from here forward), Trump used the visuals of the white KKK Democrats and holocaust to hammer the point that late term abortions are Nazi-level murder. It went beautifully.

And it forced the Democrats to oppose his agenda despite this powerful imagery on his side, pushing them into more extreme positions. Let’s look at what he proposed:

  • Banning late-term abortions (unlike Nazi Germany who tried to “abort” quite a bit of the population)
  • USA is not a socialist country (unlike Nazi Germany the imagery reminded us)
  • No endless wars (unlike Nazi Germany)
  • Negotiating and peace (Unlike Nazi Germany)
  • Healthy respect for God (Unlike socialist soviet Russia)

The points are very simple things pretty much all Americans can get behind, and the Democrats already fell right into the trap.

The response was canned, not even listening to or anticipating the speech, nor making any adjustment. Abrams rambled about her own life personally, as if she were some sort of victim because she lost an election. It fell utterly flat and gave no real contrast other than saying Republicans are bad. But we just were filled with imagery that Republicans love the things that we all agree made our country great. The economy is good. It looked very bizarre, and she may have just been made a sacrificial lamb because no one else wanted the job.

Second, Kamala Harris, a presidential candidate for the Dems, immediately made a post about “politicians shouldn’t tell women what to do with their bodies” – but in conjunction with late term abortion. Polling shows that about 29% of the populace thinks abortion should be legal “no matter what”. If you look at polls, around 20-30% believe ANYTHING, but it means the vast majority of Americans want limits. Late-term is a sensible limit and a bad optic for the candidate, because she can get blasted with pictures of fully formed babies, and most people agree that killing fully formed babies is bad.

Trump forced her into this position by taking a very reasonable position, and got his opponent to react because LITERALLY HITLER. And that is expert persuasion at work. The question is, how far are the democrats going to go to keep up their rhetoric? I can’t wait to watch and see.

If you like my content and analysis, consider supporting my Patreon. I put out a lot of short stories, comics, books, a huge amount of content for the value, and it also helps me support my blog, Youtube, and other cultural commentaries I provide. You can subscribe here.

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Last Chance For Steam And Country 99 Cent Sale!

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The sale ends today and it’s been a tremendously successful week for the series as a whole. Thank you everyone for checking out and enjoying the books.

You can get For Steam And Country for 99 cents here, get into the series at pretty much no risk (they only get better as the series goes along too). I’ll be uploading a new version of the book with a fresh edit and new formatting very shortly as well, everyone who has the book through Amazon will be able to get this new version free and I’ll be posting instructions on how to do so.

Knight Training also got an audiobook last week. If you have a credit, good time to get in on that. Guard Training is being reviewed now on the audio front so it’ll be up soon to get the full series experience:

The new version also went out to Patreon subscribers last week, and a brand new James Gentry short story today. I post a LOT of content and my subscribers get it first, it definitely is worth your while to sign up and helps me to push a lot of cool creative stuff out I wouldn’t otherwise be able to spend time on. Please subscribe here!

Firing on all cylinders and getting stuff done. It’s gonna be a crazy slate for 2019 but we’re going to transform this industry!

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Burnt Out On Fake Outrage

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If there’s one thing the internet is good at, it’s fake outrage of the day. For the people stirred up, it isn’t even fake. The passions are real. But the reason people stir it up is for clicks and engagement, not about any concern about an actual topic.

The danger we run into is there are very real abominable things that occur, like the Virginia governor covering for killing babies, and it gets lost in the mix of all the fake controversies out there.

I try to only stick to real topics, real issues in our society that matter, but it’s getting overwhelming out there with people flailing from one topic to the next — it’s not even a political thing I can point to with the SJWs anymore, it’s just everyone trying to out-outrage each other for attention.

I’m hesitant to bring up examples of what I’m seeing these last few days, because I’ve gone into a couple of different forums pointing out problems I’ve seen with fake outrage both left and right — and I was met with hostile results both times. Trying to say “this narrative is bogus and a waste of everyone’s time” only gets a mob pointed at you for daring question them. Your loyalty gets questioned, you’ll become a target of “defending” whatever they’re outraged about, when your point is actually to try to help the group.

Because when someone not invested in the outrage story sees the outrage and sees people flailing like crazies over it, the optic is that the outraged people are the problem in the situation. It actually dilutes the topic they’re upset about because the story becomes about them. It turns off more people than it turns on about the topic.

So be careful with what you react to. If you react all the time in a panic, people will see you as a person who cries wolf. If you are measured except for rare instances when it really requires it, you’ll be more persuasive because people will know it’s something important that moves you.

Sorry to vaguebook today but I think putting any context will just make the wrong point and become a political team thing, which is not the intent of this post.

Did you know this blog costs money? It does! I have to pay for domain and hosting. Part of why I have a Patreon is so I can up my content game and cover projects like this, as well as help the up front art costs for comic projects. It helps me get a lot done to have the steady contributions, and I give a ton of value compared to a lot of other patreons just by how much I produce. Check it out here.

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