Friday Flotsam: Mostly Book Release Stuff

1. Most importantly, The Walk Home And Other Tales of Suspense is now officially available for purchase! Get your copy today:

(By the way, in case you were wondering, the above are *not* Amazon affiliate links, because maybe I’m over scrupulous, but doing an affiliate link for my own work feels tacky).

2. You know, I had a lot of other comments ready to go, but they were mostly pretty grumpy and since this is a release day I want to keep things positive, which is no easy task for me since I’m of a melancholic and generally grumpy temperament. But today I’ll put in the extra effort and try to be a bit more upbeat.

3. In other publishing news, all good things must come to an end and the Wisdom of Walt Disney sale is no exception (though actually it lingered on longer than it was supposed to, since due to Ash Wednesday and the things I forgot to set the prices back to normal). Still, if you’re interested in picking one up, the regular prices of $3.99 and $8.99 aren’t half bad. You could actually make that kind of money back with KDP or YouTube revenues!

(I mean, maybe. If you’re lucky)

4. A tip for anyone working in Daz-3D or another such program; it might be best to render your scene in chunks and then layer them on top of each other in an editing program, like Gimp or Photoshop. This gives you a lot more flexibility in posing the figures, adjusting the contrast etc., and cuts down on render times. Which, when you have an older computer like I do, can be a Godsend. It also raises the margin for error considerably and gives you more options for focusing the camera. I used the technique for The Walk Home’s cover and more than once thanked my stars I’d done it that way.

5. You may wonder why I use Daz instead of something more substantial like Blender. At this point it’s simply because my computer can’t handle Blender. Texture-mapping crashes the program completely. Daz, while it comes with a price-drain, is much less flexible, and produces less realistic results, at least runs and is comparatively easy to pick up and use, allowing me to experiment a bit and get some images made. So for my present purposes it’s adequate, and adequate results I can get now beat ideal results I may be able to get in a year or so.

I do hope to upgrade my computer for more serious modeling work at some point, so we’ll see what happens then.

6. Turning right around to tackle some other projects, some life related, some business related. One of them I hope to have ready for you by about this time next month, but that’s going to take a good deal of work to accomplish so I’m not promising anything yet. Under promise and over deliver, but let them know you’re working.

The funny thing is that I’d thought this would be an easy project, but it’s growing under my hand. Still, I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be interesting when it’s done. So will the other big project I’m working on, though I’m less clear on what the actual time frame for that’s going to be, since that one’s going to require me to take a step back and do some learning of the tools involved before I can really pick it up again.

7. Speaking of releases, Sabaton’s The War to End All Wars is available for purchase! Heavy metal history lessons are hard to beat. Even if you don’t buy, I recommend pulling up the songs and checking out the history behind them.

For instance, did you know that Belgium’s King Albert I led his troops on the front line during the defense of Belgium, and flooded the Yser river to aid the defense of the last sliver of the country, which they maintained for the rest of the war? And he remained on active duty for the whole war (the only other national leader to actually fight in the war, if I’m not mistaken, is Blessed Karl of Austria. Unsurprisingly, both were strongly in favor of an early peace).

From the YouTube comments:
“If I had a nickel for every time Sabaton sung about how awesome the Belgians are in fighting against all odds, I’d have two nickels.”
“Which isn’t much, but it’s surprising that it happened twice.”

So, a monarchy song and a Phineas and Ferb reference. Doesn’t get much better.

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