Well Why The Hell Not?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Wayne Gretzky

I was listening to the new Kevin Smith audiobook
Tough Sh*t: Life Advice form a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good and heard that quote. I’m pretty sure that I have heard the quote before. I am a big hockey fan. Granted my personal preference leans towards the Red and White, but you can not spend any time watching hockey and not have an understanding of Mr. Gretzky’s talent.

And I have watched a lot of hockey.

What does this have to do with the price of souls in the Down Below? Not a damn thing. I have been working on setting ridiculous goals and then going for them lately. Most of this has been done on the QT because I am worried about stuff falling through and looking goofy. However, listening to that quote and the whole story of how Kevin Smith went from clerk jockey to film maker made me realize that having something fall through is nothing to be embarrased about. The only thing I should be ashamed of is sitting back and being too worried about what might or might not happen. Or, to quote another great philosopher:

“I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life.”

So, in the spirit of reshaping my life and coming clean about it, let me let you in on a few of the things that I have on deck.

Zombie Con: 17 - 18 August, MPI of Michigan will be hosting a zombie themed convention. I first heard about it on the Zuckerberg Experiment. In fact, if you follow me there, I’m sure you’ve seen me posting about it. There are going to be all kinds of zed-centric things from films, to comics, to artists, to who knows what. Since, as I pointed out in the bio I sent to the people hosting the Con mention, I have been on numerous panels which have covered our love of the shambling dead. My first published short story was a zombie piece, as was my first paid sale. I have written zombie poetry, a zombie short story in which no zombies appear, even a zombie haiku.3

I am hoping to speak on one of the panels that they are planning for the weekend (with any luck I will have back up from fellow
GLAHWer David Hayes). I have also purchased my own table. This will be the first time that I will be alone behind the retail table. I have so much zombie related material to sell (see previous paragraph) that I simply could not pass up the opportunity.

But I Don’t Want To Get A Real Job5: I have applied for a number of different positions and, sadly, no one seems to want me.


In all fairness, I have been pretty selective with the positions that I have been applying for. I have applied for a couple of sales jobs, but for the most part I have avoided the things that would be a slam dunk like retail sales or the medical field because I really want to branch out into something new.

So I have attempted to do so. I have been exploring sites that connect freelance workers with the people that they are looking to hire. I have accounts at a number of different sites advertising my willingness to write and edit for hire. I have a proposal in with one client which would be fairly lucrative for me. I had another contact me today about doing line edits for an article. I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to succeed well enough in this endeavor that I can once again start making some bank.

The s00p3r sekrit project: Some of the more regular positions that I have applied for involve working as an editor for established publishers. The problem here is that while it sounds like it would be a fun job, I’m not really sure that I would actually enjoy it.

Then there is the fact that I don’t have a ton of experience as a submissions editor, other than the work that I did with

I am not going to go into too much detail here right now, because part of this is already in play. The plan that I worked out was this: I create an anthology of dark speculative fiction, not as an author, but as the editor. I hope to raise the money for this anthology through a crowd sourcing campaign on something like Kickstarter. Then I would accept submissions from authors, whittle it down to the ones I think are the best of the bunch, edit, format, and publish as a physical book via Create Space and electronically through Smashwords.

The big key to the plan is that I want the anthology to be for something, as in proceeds going towards a charitable organization. That is the part which has already been proposed. I have contacted my first choice to receive the donations to see if they would be interested (and not opposed to having their name associated with the project). If I get the green light from them, I will go ahead with the fund raising portion. I have already figured out the various milestones -- what I will need in order to pay a token rate of 1 cent per word plus contributor copies, how much I would need to raise in order to make it a professional rate of 5 cents per word, etc. I have also come up with some incentives for people who might be willing to pledge money.

The big benefit for me would be that I would be able to learn things like formatting for various platforms on my own time. When all is said and done, I would also have something that I could point to next time I applied for a position (if it turns out that this is something I might be interested in doing) and say, “yep, I did that.”

Naturally this is on top of my usual schedule of writing and submitting my own work to various markets.

I figure, why not? The worst that can happen is things fall apart or that I end up not being that great at something. Big deal. There is a huge list of things that I am not great at.
6 However, it may end up that I am quite good at some of the things that I am attempting to do. I might enjoy them as well. I’ll never find out if I don’t try, right?

After all, who am I to argue with The Great One?

Postscript: When I wrote this I was only half way through the Kevin Smith. I through in the Ferris quotes not knowing that the second to least chapter was entitled “Bulerisms.”

1 You better know the movie that I am quoting and the character speaking.

2 If not, I’ll give you a hint. I almost went with another quote from the same movie: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

3 For those keeping score that would be, in order of mention “Saving Mr. Hockey,”
4 “Mr. Hanson Goes to the Lab,” “Grandpa,” “On The Island” and “Corpse.”

4 I told you I loved the game.

5 Translated: I like not having to leave the house.

6 Driving in reverse, for example. Playing the piano. Honestly, the list is ridiculously long.