De Smorgasbord

There’s a lot of stuff that’s been kicking around here in my house recently, so I figured I’d just do a big ol’ post to just sorta collect it all in one place.

To start, I am following the advice I found in the book I mentioned in my previous post and registering a DBA to cover my self-publishing efforts. This does take a chunk of cash (which I will have to rustle up at some point in the next month or so), but I understand that it makes things considerably easier to reckon with come tax time, particularly because a DBA (with an EIN) means you can open a separate bank account for all of your self-pub earnings to just pour into. Torrentially. A Niagara Falls of pure fiat currency. Ride a barrel over that and watch yourself become rich beyond the dreams of avarice!

I think I lost the thread of that metaphor somewhere along the way. Regardless, I exaggerate. I’m expecting a trickle at best. If it ramps up from there, then rad.

I’d say what I plan on having my sole-proprietor business go by, in terms of a fictitious name/DBA, but I’d like to leave it as a surprise for everyone out there. And there’s always the slim chance that my desired name has been seized by some foul villain elsewhere, in which case I’ll have to come up with another awesome moniker.

Luckily, I’m a font of awesome monikers.

Continuing in that vein, I know that something else that’s always necessary for self-pub is momentum. Once you’ve got it, you need to keep it going. That’s just physics, and Newton’s First Law of Motion can only get you so far in the digital Amazon jungle. To this end, I’ve already begun work on the sequel collection to Love and Other Impossible Things. It seems to be shaping up to be a little beefier than LaOIT in terms of word count; I’ll have to talk at some other point about why the stories in LaOIT are so short. It’s partly due to the nature of the setting, partly due to a challenge that I’d inflicted upon myself when I wrote the first story.

Like I said, though, I’ll go into more detail about that in a later post.

I recently discovered the whole concept of equalizing and compressing audio to make it sound better. I’ve also learned more about stuff like gain and decibels and megahertz. Up until now, I’ve basically just been uploading the raw MP3 recordings of the games we play for Roll to Dodge. While they don’t sound bad, necessarily, they could always sound better. And the gain should be set during recording so my monstrous laughter doesn’t cause the recording to clip.

Waveform from Audacity.
Mine is an evil, recording-destroying laugh.

So hopefully these efforts will ensure that future episodes of R2D are going to be easier to listen to and understand.

Finally, I now have an Instagram! Some of you may have found it already, and, if you have, you’ll know that I spent this past weekend completely revamping my writing workspace.

ARMED AND FULLY OPERATIONAL WRITING STATION #amwriting

A post shared by James Dickson (@jameswdickson) on

Basically, the desk I had in my office had been around since I was in high school. For those of you keeping track, that put the desk (and its accompanying office chair) at well over ten years old. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem, except that this particular desk has followed me through a rent house and two apartments before alighting at my (very own purchased) house. It has been disassembled and then reassembled multiple times, and each time it was reassembled there were more parts left over.

This probably speaks more to my capacity to work with non-computer hardware than to any failing on the desk’s part, but the fact remains. By the time it landed where I’m at now, it was wobbly as hell and bits were falling off. So it needed retiring and, along with it, so did my old office chair. So a few trips to Office Depot later (due to profound incompatibilities re: car size vs. desk and chair box size) and several hours of swearing at DIY directions for assembly, I now have a very nice solid wooden writing desk to put my PC on and a very nice leather office chair to put my backside on. All of which adds up to a pretty awesome writing environment.

So how about you guys? Anything fun happen over the past week? New writerly developments? Slap ’em in the comments.

You heard me. SLAP ‘EM.

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