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Jun. 21st, 2010

In which we are almost ready to wrap it up...

Patronages for The Shattered Glass Project close at midnight tonight (June 21st). I've been having a great time with this Fae Fiction Experiment, and thank the Patrons who have chosen to support these efforts. Also many thanks to those of you who have helped boost the signal on the Project by sharing about it on your blogs, podcasts, LJs, Twitter and the like. If any of you still have a bit of energy to spare, I would be exceedingly grateful for one final "shout out" about the Project before it closes tonight.

As for me, I'm back to work writing this story! I'm thrilled with how it's coming out, but there's still more adventure and plot twists to be crafted, and they do not type themselves!

Jun. 9th, 2010

In which we share some very good news and some very bad news...

This has been a very up-and-down week. I got some great news personally, but have heard from several friends who have experienced equally or greater devastation. I'd like to share just two things with you at the moment.

The first is my very good news. As of this week, I am officially being represented by Elizabeth Jote of Objective Entertainment. She loves La Serenissima and offered representation of it, and after some great conversations where we learned we're really on the same page about everything from the industry to communication to marketing strategies, I gratefully accepted her offer. I have an agent! Woohoo!

But, now on to the bad news...

Yesterday,  June 8th, Alyssa Smith ([info]aqeldroma ), an editor in the publishing industry, guest director for UberCon, and personal friend of mine, received a phone call at work. The call, from her landlord, informed Alyssa that her apartment was on fire. The fire had apparently begun in the unit below hers, but her home was now ablaze as well.

She returned home to find all of her possessions destroyed and her beloved pet sun conures missing and presumed dead.

Without renter's insurance, and with her landlord's estimate of 2+ months to repair damage to her home, Alyssa is in dire straits of the sort that any of us could find ourselves in.

When I said bad news, I meant it.

However, that's not the end of the story. Alyssa is very talented, genuinely nice, and much loved. Folks in the industry have been coming out of the woodwork to help support her. I made a donation immediately, but wanted to do more.

I had a short story which had been featured on my website in a rough form, under the title Night and Day. But when Alyssa's situation led me to ask what I could offer as incentive for folks to donate to her cause, I sat down last night and rewrote it.

Now, doubled in length, retitled, and formatted as a .pdf, I am offering it as a Thank You for anyone who donates any amount, no matter how small, to Alyssa at least throughout the month of June, 2010. Simply make a donation of any amount to Alyssa at the link below, and write me at jess@jesshartley.com. I will send you a copy of A New Beginning in a .pdf format immediately.

We are, most of us, one disaster away from a similar situation. One car accident, one house fire, one earthquake or tornado, one serious medical condition, or the like, and a lifetime of hard work and careful planning is destroyed. Coming together to help one another is an important part of what makes us a community, whether that's defined by location, religion, politics, or in this case, our love of reading and writing. This is my way of helping another member of our community. I hope it inspires you to make a donation to help as well.

Donations to Alyssa can be made through Paypal with the donation button at this site: http://rosefox.dreamwidth.org/1597560.htmlThis account has been set up by Alyssa's trusted friend, Rose Fox, and all funds donated to it will go directly to Alyssa.

Life's full of good news and bad news. I hope, as you're celebrating my good news with me, you'll consider helping me help make Alyssa's bad news a little more bearable. Please feel free to share this through your LJ posts, twitter, blog or other sites. I really appreciate it.

 


 





May. 2nd, 2010

In which we finish Secret Project #1 for Shattered Glass...

At its heart, The Shattered Glass Project is very simple. I want to write a story. Readers want to read it. Seems pretty straightforward, right?

But it's much more than that.
Just as any relationship--friends, lovers, family--is much more complex than it looks like from the outside, so is the relationship between Creator and Patron. Those who have become Patrons of Shattered Glass may think they're making a simple fiscal transaction - but they have given me more than just their financial support.

They've put their confidence in my ability as a writer; they believe I will give them something worth reading.

They've put their trust in me as a person; they believe I will not run off with their funds and spend them all on a wild weekend in Vegas rather than using them to support the Project's intended goals.

They've put their support behind my vision; they believe that this Project, wacky and weird as it is, can come together to be something special, something they want to be a part of.

And in return, although they may have only bargained for a simple .pdf or printed copy of a short story, I want to give them more than they've ever expected.

Phase One of this has been released over the last week. While waiting for the last of the Personae Patronage questionnaires to be returned, I penned a poem based on some of the thematic elements and imagery I intend to use in Shattered Glass.

I chose a very traditional form for the poem, a Villanelle, and set the words against a backdrop of cracked glass, to reinforce those themes. The poem, From Shattered Glass, was printed on parchment-style paper, with a note at the bottom, explaining that this was written just for the Patrons of Shattered Glass.



Then, for the Artisan and Personae Patrons, I hand-wrote a letter on parchment paper, thanking them specifically for their Patronage, and giving a brief update on the status of the Project (in short? It's doing great!)




The letter and poem were then put into a parchment envelope, and hand addressed.




And each was sealed with a hand-made wax seal. I chose a leaf symbol for the seal, to represent the start of something new - the Project, the experiment and my relationship with my Patrons. Green wax seemed most appropriate, considering that the Shattered Glass Patronage will last throughout the month of Spring.




Virtual Patrons received an emailed Thank You and a electronic copy of "From Shattered Glass", the same villanelle. It's important to me that each and every one of my Patrons understands what a very special part they play in this Project.

After hand-writing, addressing and sealing each of the envelopes, I took them to the post office where they were hand-cancelled and sent off across the world - literally! The Shattered Glass Patrons cover the US, Canada, the UK and Spain, thus far!


All in all, it was a lot of work, but my Patrons are worth it.


Be sure to check out the main Shattered Glass Project page, for more information about the Shattered Glass Project, exactly what it is and how you can be a part.

Apr. 23rd, 2010

In which we update on the pups...





More info on the puppies from their current owner:

Lobo is tan and white and 37 lbs. He is a cuddler and loves getting his belly rubbed. He also has a spot behind his right ear that he loves to have rubbed. Chew toys are his favorite treats of all time and he's not often found without a rawhide bone in his mouth. Even though he's not the alpha male, Kodi always lets him eat first. Lobo is motivated by food. Offer him a treat and he'll do anything for you.

Kodi is black, and white, 40 lbs and has a permanently curly tail, which always is wagging. Kodi is the alpha male of the two and gets to go outside first. (Lobo always waits for Kodi). Kodi loves getting his chest rubbed and laying by people's feet. He loves drinking water and
will be at the water bowl as it's being filled to drink.

They eat Iams large breed dog food. They LOVE to go for car rides and walks (but really need help with being leash trained).
The pups are potty trained. They have day access to a doggie door and at night are kenneled.
The dogs are not neutered yet. I'm willing to help pay for their neutering though.

Kennels and doggie door will go with the pups in addition to their beds and and toys.

Hope this helps.

***************************************************************************************

If you know of anyone who's looking for a pair (hopefully) of awesome brothers - let me know, ASAP.

In which we look for a home for 2 Good Boys...

IMG_9345
In October of 2008, we adopted a pair of lab-mix baby brothers from the local humane society. Some of you may have met them at our home when we were hosting games down here. Their names are Kodi (short for Kodiak, as he looked like a little bear cub when we adopted him) and Lobo (who was kind of wolfy as a baby, but grew into more beagle-ish as he got older.)

In April of 2009, when the boys were 7-8 months old, we had to find a new home for them. Luckily, some of our friends in Tucson had fallen in love with them and were anxious to adopt them. Now, unfortunately, their home is being foreclosed on and we were just told that they're moving into a non-pet apartment next Friday. If we can't help them find a new home, they will be taking them to a shelter in Tucson, which we would like to avoid at all costs.

I'm waiting on some recent pictures, as we haven't seen the boys in a year, but baby/young pictures of them can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28344810@N06/sets/72157615197388670/

The owner says they're about 35 pounds each, so small for lab-mixes. They have no health issues, are up to date on their shots/vet care, and love to play ball. They're acclimated to children and cats, but don't have much experience (in the last year) with other dogs (they were raised for their first 7-8 months with our older dog, Anubis, though, so it's unlikely they're bad with other dogs.)

Please help me spread the word by forwarding this message through whatever means you can and help these awesome boys find their forever home.

I can help with transportation, etc. to basically anywhere in AZ or the SW, if it will mean these awesome little dudes will find a loving home where they can stay forever.

If need be, they can be separated, but we'd love to find them a home where they can be together, as they have been since birth.

Inquiries can be sent to jess@jesshartley.com

Thank you!

~jess hartley

Apr. 14th, 2010

In which we update...

Wow, so many things going on, so little time!

I'll try to make this short, because the To-Do list is already looming over my shoulder, asking why I'm spending time on LJ when I should be doing... any number of the things below! But it will be a link-arific post, so you can fill yourself in more on what I'm talking about at your leisure.

Little Yoshida
First, just finished writing The Adventures of Little Yoshida, a series of episodic fiction stories for Mind Storm Labs, set in their Alpha Omega game setting. They are written from the perspective of one of the game's canon characters, Little Yoshida (Section 5.1.13 for those of you who have your Alpha Omega Corebook handy), and were an utter blast to write.
Here's what the site has to say about the stories:

Life outside the "civilized" arcologies is a deadly gamble, and those who want to travel the Wilds know to rely on savvy guides like Little Yoshida to get them where they need to go. But when a simple expedition turns out to be more than meets the eye, Yoshida is faced with a horrific decision.

Will she help the corporations she hates achieve goals she abhors, to save the companion she loves? Sacrifice or compromise? Solitude or self-loathing? Which path leads the the lesser hell?

Little Yoshida's story arc will be told over nine episodes with the first episode scheduled for release in April 2010 with a new episode every month.  The purchase price includes all nine episodes.  The storyline will include new NPC's, locations and full color illustrations.


I'm looking forward to hearing back from the MSL team, so that I can get permission to talk more about them!
 
I-Con
I just got back from I-Con in NY - This was my second year as a guest at I-Con, and it was even more fun than the first year. I-Con was back at their traditional site this year, on the Stony Brook University campus, and I met lots of great folks there: gamers, costumers, geeks, industry folks, writers and more (and a lot who overlapped between many of those categories!)


And, I got to not only meet and speak with the very talented Voltaire--I got to gift him with a piece of artwork my daughter drew for him.

Mom Points? Maxed Out!


Other Conventions
I've got at least two other conventions on my itinerary this year. I'll be back for a third year as a guest at Anime North in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 28-30th. This is a great anime convention, and they're really making fantastic efforts at branching out into other forms of geekery - gaming (board/card and RPG), costuming, etc. It's well worth a visit, if you're up in that neck of the woods - I know a lot of folks who come up from Buffalo every year for it.

It looks like I'll also be out in Reno, NV in October for SnafuCon (another anime convention) - I've heard really good things about this one, and it's my first time out in the Reno area, so if you're around there, come on out!

One Geek To Another
Some of you may have noticed that my etiquette/advice blog, One Geek to Another was on a temporary (and unannounced) haiatus. We're back, although with a bi-weekly format, rather than weekly. Check out our latest article: "How to "Fail" Gracefully". And if you have missed earlier episodes, they're all archived on the site.

Website
Oh, and don't be surprised if you're faced with a warning when you try to get to www.jesshartley.com - we had some malware sneak its way onto the site, but the folks at Google were kind enough to let us know, and the Viking quickly set about smiting it mightily.

Google says its clear now:
Status of the latest badware review for this site: A review for this site has finished. The site was found clean. The badware warnings from web search are being removed. Please note that it can take some time for this change to propagate.

Here's what The Viking had to say about it:
 
If you were trying to get to Jess' website earlier today (4/14/10) you may have been directed to Google's "Warning this is a Bad Website" page. 

Indeed, Jess' website had been hacked with some nefarious persona injecting a poorly constructed webpage redirect. If you had actually been able to find the re-direct code buried several levels down and then actually managed to run the "eastwood giustina.php" script hidden there you would have had your browser redirected to someone's now dead website....

Anyway, no electrons were harmed in the repair of Jess' site, and Google has certified it all nice and clean. We have taken numerous steps to insure this does not happen again and now I just have to find the guy that did this and explain to him the error of his ways.... 

~Jess' Viking

Gods, I love that man. :)

ENnies
In other website-related news, I submitted both One Geek to Another and my Conventions for the Aspiring Game Professional to the ENnies for consideration. Nominations won't be announced until later this summer, but I feel a certain sense of accomplishment just for having submitted two independent projects this year. Along with Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas, that makes at least three projects I worked on that will have been submitted. And that, in and of itself, feels like something to feel good about.

Family Games
Another project that I worked on has finally been released as well. Family Games: The Best 100 is a companion piece to the Origins and ENnie award winning, Hobby Games: The Best 100, which released in 2008. But where HG:TB100 focused on what I like to think of as "geek games" (ie: ones that non-gamers might never have heard of) Family Games features more mainstream entertainments, but still with a broad scope covering board games, card games, wargames, and even RPGs! The author list reads like a "Who's Who" of the game industry, and I just feel amazingly fortunate to have been included. My feature is the last in the book (which is arranged alphabetically) and showcases a family favorite: Zooloretto.

Oh, and if you're curious about the overlap between game-essayist and game-creator in Family Games, Matt Tarbit did a really interesting visual companion of exactly that. It's really fun to check out.

Radio/Podcast Shows
The great folks at Sci-Fi Saturday Night, a live radio show that's then archived as a podcast, have been kind enough to have me back on their show this Saturday (4/17/10). The show goes live at 8pm EST I'm looking forward to talking to them again, and you can listen in on Ustream when the time comes.

And we had a lot of fun on Pulp Gamer Out of Character earlier this month. I didn't get to go to the Caribbean Cruise, but once Don got back into the studio, Derek, Jason, Ron, Veronica and I made him pay for his free time by being extra-verbose. Look for a couple of very long episodes coming up in the near future.

The Bones

And, speaking of coming up in the near future!  I've got an essay coming out in The Bones, a book about "Us and our Dice". Put together by Will "Everything He Touches Turns To Awesome" Hindmarch, The Bones is a project I've been thrilled to be a part of. Other contributors to The Bones are rumored to include Mike Selinker of Lone Shark Games, Kenneth Hite, Ray Fawkes(have you seen this guy's art? Seriously, go check it out... I'll wait!) James Lowder and Keith Baker, as well as geek icon Wil Wheaton. How awesome is that? I'll tell you - it's pretty flippin' awesome. Coincidentally, the cover art for The Bones was done by Chuck Wendig, the same awesome dude who gifted me with the current logo for The Shattered Glass Project.


Nice segue, eh?

The Shattered Glass Project
So, we're 25 days into The Shattered Glass Project and I have to say - I'm blown away by the response.

Not only did we have to cut off the Personae Patronages (those that included being used as a character in the story) after the first 24 hours, but now, nearly a month into the project, Patronages are still continuing to come in at a rate I could have never anticipated. We've got more than 30 Patrons so far, and the patronage period for Shattered Glass is still open for another 9 weeks. I'm just blown away! Those 30 folks, and the others who may join them between now and June 20th, are the only folks in the world who have access to this story in its entirety, until at least the beginning of Spring 2011. I'm thrilled and humbled at those who believe that, and supporting the works of a writer directly, are worth investing in.

I am anxiously waiting for the last of the Personae Patronage Questionnaires, and while I'm waiting, I'm working on some other aspects of the Project: researching printing options, keeping in communication with patrons and beginning outlining the story. Hopefully next week I'll be able to let you in on what I'm currently working on (which resulted in a burned finger this morning!) But not quite yet... *wicked grin*

Again, my thanks go out, not only to those who have chosen to become Patrons of Shattered Glass, but also to those kind folks who have helped to spread the word about it. An experiment like this can only go as far as word of mouth will carry it, so every mention, every link, every question about the project is its own form of support - and I appreciate it greatly.

Conclusion
Well, for a short post, that ran on for quite a while. I guess there's just too much awesome going on for me to condense it down too far!  Thanks for bearing with me as I keep y'all updated!

Mar. 22nd, 2010

In which we are upstaged!

Moments after I posted the graphic I'd come up with for The Shattered Glass Project, the very talented Chuck Wendig wrote me. He said that he had been wandering through some stock images earlier in the day and had come across a lovely piece of shattered glass. Which, by the way, he was kind enough to have photoshopped into a logo-of-awesomeness for me.

So, without further ado, I present the super-cool Chuck Wendig-created logo! Is it not teh AWESOME?

In which we get artsy...

The Shattered Glass ProjectI designed a quick graphic for The Shattered Glass Project today. Since words, rather than graphic arts, are my usual focus, I'm well pleased with how it came out. :)

Mar. 21st, 2010

In Which We Present The Shattered Glass Project

What is Shattered Glass?

Shattered Glass is a modern fairy (urban fae) short story, penned by Jess Hartley, which will be made available for a limited time, exclusively to patrons of The Shattered Glass Project.

What is The Shattered Glass Project?

The Shattered Glass Project is many things. It's an experiment. It's a work of fiction. It's a solution. It's a piece of art. And it's your chance to be directly involved in my work.

sglogo

Why "Shattered Glass?"

Shattered Glass is the splintering of reality that happens when a person realizes that the world is not quite as they believed it to be. It is destruction, from which both damage and opportunity may arise. It speaks of magic mirrors and ice queens, of vandalized store windows and shattered windshields. It's the fragile nature of everything precious, and the value both of protecting that which we hold dear and knowing when to move on to something else when what we love is no longer good for us.

Is this a Changeling story?

While Shattered Glass is an original work, and is not directly related to or set in the same world as Changeling: The Lost or the World of Darkness (both which are property of White Wolf Games), although it will be written with many of the same themes and inspirations in mind.

Why The Shattered Glass Project? Why now?

Two factors came together to bring The Shattered Glass Project into being at this particular conjunction of time, space and creativity.

The first was my curiosity about the feasibility of direct marketing for fiction and sustainable income for writers. While I am a strong supporter of traditional publishing and the publishing industry, I also believe that there are many opportunities for authors and artists to successfully explore the use of modern technology (social media, websites, electronic funding, desktop publishing) to achieve some of their goals that might not currently be met by traditional publishing.

Over the past decade, I've been very open about sharing my work for free with my readers, both through my website where you can find excerpts of my fiction, non-fiction and game material, and through sites like Wily Writers, where you can find "Of Rain and Roses", one of my ghost stories, in both audio and text forms.

But The Shattered Glass Project will be my first real experiment with direct marketing of my fiction. I'm looking forward to exploring this as an addition to traditional publishing opportunites, and as an opportunity to learn more about utilizing technology to complement creativity.

You said "Two factors"?

The second factor that brought about The Shattered Glass Project was the unfortunate demise of my hard-working and long-suffering laptop. I've written countless game-projects, short stories, blog posts, and One Geek to Another articles on my late, great lappy, not to mention done work on several novels.

But all good things must come to an end, and somewhere in the middle of the Little Yoshida stories, it finally gave up the ghost on me. Being as though writing is my full-time job, replacing it is vital. Unfortunately, for the same reason, I don't exactly have extra funds tucked aside to cover such a replacement.

So, as tragedy often breeds opportunity, I'm taking advantage of my need to invest in a new laptop and my desire to experiment with direct market fiction, to create The Shattered Glass Project.

For the next three months--between the first day of Spring and the first day of Summer--I am opening this project to patronage donations.

By supporting The Shattered Glass Project, you will not only receive a limited-edition work of fiction, either in an electronic or hand-crafted physical form, but you will also be taking part in the direct-patronage of a hard-working author.

And, you can be proud to know that your support will be applied specifically to a tangible goal that will allow me to continue creating additional fiction and game projects in the future.

What is Shattered Glass Patronage?

For at least one year from its inception, Shattered Glass will be exclusively available to those who have sponsored the work through their fiscal patronage. A variety of options are available to suit each patron's budget, each with a corresponding benefit.

Virtual Patronage

For a minimum donation of $5, Virtual Patrons of the Project will receive a .pdf copy of Shattered Glass, a modern fairy short story which is being custom-written for this project by author, Jess Hartley. The story will be a minimum of 7,500 words (approximately 15 pages) long, and will feature (appropriately enough) a fae laptop and the challenges and opportunities it affords its unwary owner.

Artisan Patronage

For those who would like to provide more support to the Project, for a donation of $25, Artisan Patrons will receive a physical copy of Shattered Glass (form to be determined after completion of story) along with a custom-addressed, hand-signed letter of thanks from the author. Only a limited number of these special edition copies of Shattered Glass will be created, and each will be signed and numbered by the author. Artisan Patrons will receive the Virtual Patronage .pdf of Shattered Glass as well.

(Shipping to any mailing address in the United States is included in this patronage. Overseas or custom shipping may require additional funds and should be negotiated before donations are made. Please contact jess@jesshartley.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for details.)

Personae Patronage

For those who would like to play a more direct role in Shattered Glass, for a donation of $150, a character with your name and physical characteristics (actual or idealized, subject to the author's artistic license) will appear in Shattered Glass. Alternately, a Personae Patron may choose to have the name and likeness of a friend, relative or loved one used instead, making this a unique gift opportunity. Personae Patrons will receive both the Virtual and Artisan Patronage benefits as well.

Because of the integral role they will play to the story, Personae Patronages are extremely limited in availability, and will be addressed on a first-come, first-accepted basis. Please write us directly at jess@jesshartley.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject line "Personae Patronage" to discuss available opportunities before sending your donation for this option.

Acknowledgements Page

In addition to other benefits, all Patrons will be given the option of having their name featured on the Shattered Glass acknowledgement page, as a special "Thank You" for their support.

The Fine Print

Limited Offer - To maintain the unique status of this Project, the initial patronages of Shattered Glass will only be available for a limited time period, during Spring of 2010 (March 21st thru June 21st), although Personae Patronages will necessarily be closed earlier. As well, Shattered Glass will not be made available in its entirety to non-patrons for a minimum of one year from the inception of the project. Shattered Glass will be released to patrons upon completion, but no later than June 21st, 2010.

Donations - Patronage donations will be accepted via Paypal ( jesskhartley@gmail.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it - It will display as Christina Hartley). Donations should use the subject line "Shattered Glass" and include email (for all donations) as well as mailing address (for Artisan Patronage donations.)

Questions and Correspondence - All questions and correspondence regarding Shattered Glass or The Shattered Glass Project may be addressed to jess@jesshartley.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please use "Shattered Glass Project" in the subject line of your inquiry.

Copyrights - All copyrights to Shattered Glass and/or The Shattered Glass Project remain the property of Jess Hartley.

Jan. 13th, 2010

In which we ask for your support again...

Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas is an anthology to which I contributed the ghost story, Stigmatized Property. It has been nominated for Best Anthology of the year on the Preditors and Editors poll site. Voting closes tomorrow, and we've slipped from first place to third.

I'd really appreciate your support. Voting is easy: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml

More about Buried Tales:

Welcome to Pinebox, a sleepy little East Texas town with more than its share of trouble. Whether it's the snake cultists running the local bar or vengeful spirits haunting the high school boys locker room, there always seems to be some sort of trouble brewing just below the surface. Join us for a dozen tales of horror from these haunting voices in fiction.


The Buried Tales anthology of horror and supernatural fiction transports you to the rural town of Pinebox, Texas, where secrets are buried but the dead don’t always stay that way.

FREE 35 Page Preview PDF

Video Trailer

Buried Tales Website with author bios and story synopsis

Review at Flames Rising

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