August 2019 in Review

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Hey all! In the stream of accountability and transparency, I’d like to offer a formal report for the occurrences of August 2019.

Pic unrelated (?)

Personal Stuff

I’ll start by mentioning that it was a very difficult month personally. My day job got out of control and, to be honest, so did I. I hadn’t felt that much anxiety in a long time. We’re talking physical pain levels. Basically, my boss kinda of botched the succession process and tried to jam it all into a month. This included tackling a physical move of the business! All on me… And they weren’t really helping… In fact, their unwillingness to really help is what drove me over the edge. Actually ended up crying to my mother… For once she was very supportive. How rare, but very welcome.

The result was I told them everything had to slow down. I wasn’t able to do all the legal work to take over their business without their help, which, again, they weren’t giving, and I couldn’t relocate the business successfully without having access to certain accounts and legal ownership/stock in the business.

The move was cancelled for now. The place we were moving to wasn’t ideal, but it was our only option. Now we’re just waiting out our landlord who’s trying to sell our building out from under us. A move is still in the future, but by then I’ll have the control I need to actually make it happen. That, and the stress of legally assuming control of a 30+ year old business won’t be an issue.

As it stands, the goal is for my boss to hand over full control by the end of October. That’s still pretty fast for succession, at least in my opinion, but at least it’s longer than a week and sooner than never. Gotta ride the enthusiasm while its there.

To add, now that the business related stress is down, and finances have evened out and are more secure, I’ll likely be moving into a new place by the end of the year. This will take so much stress and heartache out of my life that I can only begin to imagine how much better everything will become.

tl;dr: I had a week to assume control over a business and establish a location and means of physically moving it. As you could imagine, I couldn’t make that work. Also I’ll be a business owner by the end of October and I will hopefully be getting a new place by the end of the year.

Q’taxians Stuff

Now that all that is out of the way, let’s get on to why you’re really here.

The Q’taxians took a bit of a dip this month as I shifted the post schedule from twice a month to once. This came from a quality concern, as mentioned in the announcement, but it has raised a few personal concerns.

Pacing

The goal was to have the Prelude completed by the end of this year and to start 2020 out with the next arc. At the pace of one chapter a month, that might not happen. As such, there might be uneven or poorly paced uploads going forwards. I’m honestly expecting a bit of a blitz in October just to close the segment out. I will, of course, be going back over everything to clean it up as I have to expect that with the speed I’m considering, it might not all be up to snuff.

Tracking

The time between chapters has made it an imperative that I start keeping notes. On the bi-weekly structure, I usually went right from one chapter straight into the next so the information was fresh in my mind. With this pace, I’ve started creating notes for my own reference so I can keep track of what was or wasn’t covered. PLEASE NOTE! These last few chapters might contain a hint of redundancy. I’ll be cleaning those up once everything is over.

Expansion

Once the Prelude is over, yes I mean Prelude as there’s a musical theme to the story, I’ll be sketching out the branching paths.

Things will be getting a lot less linear going forwards, at least in regards to the main plot. I have several subplots planned and I will do my best to tag posts accordingly so hopefully you all won’t lose track of who’s who and where’s what.

I’ll also be working on a Lore section where I’ll be posting character bios, location descriptions, and a bestiary as the story progresses. For this purpose, I will officially begin looking into artwork and illustrations.

Quick, but Relevant Aside:

Are you or someone you know an artist?
Do you specialize in character design and/or landscapes?
If your answer is yes to any of these, please contact @TheQtaxians on Twitter.
If Twitter isn’t an option, you can shoot an email to tavorie@theqtaxians.com. Make sure you put something about artwork in the subject!
It’s nit-picky and choosing-beggery but I’d like to find trans artists for character art of Sylus & Saari and PoC artists for Jeron. Otherwise, everything else is fair game.
This is not a “For Exposure” thing. This is a professional, monetary exchange. You set the prices.

I’ll probably make a real formal post about this down the line so stay tuned!

Current State

The Q’taxians is currently up to Chapter 8 (published) and is just over 80k words! That’s a free novel right at your fingertips!

Not to beat a dead voidspawn, but August was a bad month for productivity. Chapter 9 lingered with only a few thousand words and a Patreon post showing off the artwork. After that, I dropped working on it due to that rant you read at the beginning. Well, I’m finally back on track! Chapter 9: Across the Universe is back under production! The deadline is Sept. 20. It will go live on that day no matter what! Hopefully it won’t be a complete mess!

Wattpad?

I keep dabbling with the idea of transcribing The Q’taxians over to Wattpad. I honestly have no idea how that works, but it may serve as a better reading format or at the very least a good alternative for people to read the story. My biggest concern is the use of song lyrics and the color coded text. I can drop the lyrics easily, they just add a nice touch in my opinion, but the color coded text is hard coded into the story. Voidlords always speak in their color. That’s just how the universe was designed. I might find a creative workaround, but is it even worth it? I keep posing the question on twitter, but it falls on deaf ears. If you’re reading this, let me know your thoughts on this!

Q’taxian Universe Stuff

As the vaguely attentive eye may have noticed, I’ve started a lot of little side projects all in the name of getting people involved. You already know about Weird Words Weekly, but now there’s a Choose Your Own Adventure Halloween short on Twitter.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Last year, towards the end of the first Q’taxians run, I wrote a Halloween novella with optional endings. I really liked the idea of having the reader choose where they wanted the story to go. When I originally proposed the idea, it was met with lukewarm response. Turns out not many people like Choose Your Own Adventures… I mean they kinda irritate me because I’m a completionist so I’d have to read the same story several times to get all the options, but at the same time, is it the same story?

Anyway, the original plan was to embed it all on the site and create a million unlisted posts linking between each other and have people wade through it on their own. I mean, that’s what choosing your own adventure is about, right?

Well, that’s a lot of work and honestly lacks real engagement. So I finally put the Twitter account to work and started a daily poll system allowing readers to read the story via a thread and vote on the current choice.

The story remains heavily based on the original Halloween “Special” as I called it. If you actually read that mess, you’ll be seeing some familiar faces and themes. The only difference is it’s a character you chose and you could yet change the direction of the story!

Will it be spooky? Maybe? I suppose that depends on the readers.

Will it be a worthy Halloween special? Okay look. I’m doing this for fun, nothing else. Okay maybe some PR, but really. I just wanna have some fun with people.

I’m really excited about this short story. I’ll be transcribing it on here once it’s complete (Nov. 1).

Link to the first segment:

Latest segment:

The story is updated daily based on reader’s choices. I really can’t wait to see where this goes!

Weird Words Weekly

For anyone playing along, you may have noticed I skipped a week. That was the highest stress week at the day job. Add to that I was actually traveling on a holiday weekend and I was stressed beyond reason. But, rather than making an announcement, I just kinda let it slip. I apologize. But we’re back on track now! Here’s this week’s form, if you’re interested.

The process goes like this. I write a relatively serious, in-universe (very) short story with the expectation of it getting completely warped. My brother and I go over it and pick what should be replaced. He then enters the story with the missing words into a Google Sheets document that’s automated to accept responses from the Forms page and directly places them where they belong in the story. It’s a lot of fun!

Speaking of that! I forgot to update the results for the past TWO ROUNDS! I also dropped back on the podcast idea. I’d really like to have a co-host for that and to go in far more blind than I currently am. Also, make it monthly. Not weekly. I really can’t keep up with that and I have to stop over-promising things…

Finally, I have a Quality of Life question that doesn’t seem to be sticking on Twitter. I want to make sure Weird Words is as accessible and approachable as possible. I know people aren’t big on external links in general, but where would you all prefer the link went? Directly to the form, or to the form embedded on the site? I’ll probably continue to use both, but I’d like to know which one to really focus on for people to feel comfortable with clicking on that link!

NSFW Content

As mentioned before in the “State of Affairs” post, there is Q’taxian NSFW content. It’s currently under a $5 or $8 Patreon tier and that’s probably where it’ll stay.

For clarification: The story itself will never contain explicitly sexual content. NSFW content is purely optional and adds nothing to the main progression of the plot.

If you follow the personal account, you probably see a lot of raunchy posts. Those aren’t actually indicative of the story itself. It’s just me being a lewd loon. What can I say, I love my boys.

Patreon

I keep bringing this up even though there’s NOBODY there, but for transparency’s sake, let’s touch on this real quick.

I redid the Patreon a bit ago and I’m quite proud of it. I think I explained it in the “State of Affairs” post from a bit ago, but here’s a quick refresher.

Its not in these shots, but I also added early access to Weird Words Weekly to every tier. Basically you’d get the next week’s post early. I haven’t started doing that on the Patreon yet, but I probably should as a show of faith.

The goal is to continue posting extended teasers, samples, “art”, bloopers and the like as well as at least ONE NSFW fic a month to the Patreon. If any of that sounds interesting, pop on over and check it out. Zero obligation as the story itself will always bee free to read!

I decided to keep the tiers monetarily low mainly to pose a low risk investment to Patrons. That, and I really couldn’t wrap my head around asking for $20+ for something I’m already doing while I have a day job.

As mentioned in the “State of Affairs” post, the goal does remain to transition from the day job to being a full time creator. Again, I know that sounds preciousness, but it’s what I want so I’ll do what I can to make it happen. Whether that’s through crowd funding (the dream) or some more “professional” means, we’ll find out over time. For now, this is the approach. You can consider the Patreon a sort of tip jar, if you’d like. I mean, the second you choose the $5 tier you get access to all the pr0n so there’s nothing keeping you another month unless you want future pr0n.

I’d like to start advertising this a bit more, but I’d also like to not fall into the e-begging trap. I can’t expect people to just know this exists, and I’m not entirely sure I have the following to really push this type of thing, but what’s to really lose? Just some people who weren’t following for my content anyway? Hmm…

On that note…

Twitter

I was going to originally touch on all The Q’taxians social media presence, but since Twitter is my main outlet (I know… I have to expand but Instagram is hard… Not that Twitter isn’t, it’s just easier to pump out content of questionable quality), I’d like to focus on that.

The @TheQtaxians account is strictly for the story and relevant queer posting. I do not follow back on this account, so please keep that in mind when follow for following and expecting me to follow back. I will always try to follow back authors, writers, poets and creatives in general on the main account, @TavorieWrites.

Also, please keep in mind that I do make it clear that the main account can be NSFW. I had a bit of a follower die-off this week after posting some lewdness. I happened to notice that some of the people who follow for followed me dropped me shortly after I followed back. Please don’t do that and think a petty ass like me won’t notice and unfollow you in return.

This honestly got me thinking about my content and the hard line between the personal account and the project account. I made a few Tweets explaining this. See below:

NSFW is in my bio. Please heed that wisely! I’m not posting lewdness 24hrs a day, but I do post it. It comes up. It happens. Don’t follow me and be surprised when it does.

/EndPettyRant

Merch?!

I’m the type who’s a sucker for merchandise. Even if it’s for my own creation. I’m not above being a massive fan of my own work. I mean you have to love what you’re doing for it to work, right?

I’m also of the type that monetary compensation should offer something valuable in return.

Where Patreon asserts that you take value in my creations, that’s value you assign to it and I’m grateful to anyone who decides my work has monetary value. Truly, you are the future of The Q’taxians.

But what about physical stuff you can hold? Like I said I’m a junkie for that kind of thing, so I’m looking into ways of making some kind of merch shop.

I’ve found a potentially viable outlet, but it’ll have to wait until I can afford to upgrade my access tier on WordPress.

I’ll probably be opening my Etsy shop back up again with some homemade things. Mainly ornaments or silly quotable cards. Maybe some relevant holiday cards? I used to make laser etched cards regularly. Had a business based around that. Made wedding favors too… But that’s another story for another post.

Holiday Plans?

We’re getting into that season and the weather here in NY is finally starting to show it. I’m chilly sitting here typing this and I’m loving it.

If the new place goes through, I’ll be moving right smack in the middle of the season so… Hopefully things won’t get too messy!

I’ve already mentioned the Halloween event on the Twitter account, but Halloween is just the gateway to the Holidays. (It’s also the best holiday fight me.)

With the Holiday Season approaching, there are some small plans in the works.

I hope to have some small things up on the Etsy page and the merch shop up by then (lol buy urself a Q’taxians hoodie for xmas!). Anyone interested in custom wooden ornaments?

There’s also a super secret surprise already in the works for Christmas! I’m not sure what I can really say about it, but I’m really excited and can’t wait to share it with the world!

Sign Off

During the tale of IRL woes you read at the start of this post, I was struggling with figuring out what I wanted from life. Did I really want to take this business over? Did I really want to be chained down any longer? Trapped in this bumfuck area of New York? I live in this perpetual state of unease because I know that as long as I live here, I can’t make the changes I want for myself. Escaping is a major goal.

As you may remember from the Phoenix post a bit ago, I had originally planned to cut ties and cross the country with a used car, a meager savings, and zero real plans in search of a new life. I was ready to take a massive, foolish risk and do something utterly stupid in an attempt to find where I belonged and the life I wanted. I’ve lived a structured regimented life for 30 years. Random and uncertainty were welcome.

Obviously, that didn’t work out.

Yet.

I spent the majority of my life searching for goals or reasons to do things. What was there to personally gain from anything I did? I worked a dead-end job in a dead end conservative town and it really sucked. I wanted out. I wanted out so badly that I’d find myself in states of panic that that day would never come. I still want out, obviously, but now I’m trying to form a structured means of escape.

My savings account is finally growing rather than staying at a constant $0.05. I can see that there’s hope in that alone. I’ve set a goal and once I reach it, I’m either out of here for good, or I’m taking a loooong vacation.

To be fully honest, The Q’taxians is a large part of that escape plan. I hope that by the time the day of fleeing comes, I can make a living, or at least enough to get by, off of this project. I want to create something worthy of financial support. This is the culmination of years of dreaming and hoping for a better life. Of wanting to create something that other people could enjoy. I’ve long wanted to contribute something to the world, even if it’s just a few people. Will the day of living off The Q’taxians ever come? I sure do hope so and I plan on working my ass off to ensure it does. And if it doesn’t? Then it won’t be for lack of effort.

No matter what happens, I will NEVER be giving up on this project. Ever. This is my life, my outlet, my happiness. It’s a lot of laying my own self bare for all to see. It’s a not-too-subtle ode to the life I want someday. Obviously not tentacles and inter-dimensional rifts (I mean that’d be cool but let’s keep it real here), but I think you know what I mean.

Ultimately I’m very proud of everything it’s become and of myself for not giving it up which is something I’m very prone to do.

The Q’taxians is a safe place.

A stable place.

A happy place.

A place for anyone who is in need of such a harbor.

Q’taxians in sempiternum.

Q’taxians in aeternum.

Sounds kinda culty… I like it.

tl;dr:

So what’s the take-away from all of this?

  • Real life is very busy, but its back to a manageable level of stress
  • Chapter posting may become erratic to keep the plot on the intended timing schedule (Prelude completed this year)
  • More story content will be added to the site via a “Lore” section.
    • Will be looking into art commissions for this purposeSee obnoxious wanted ad above
  • The Q’taxians is officially a novel in length!
    • And always free to read!
  • Contemplating Wattpad crossposting…
  • Halloween themed Choose Your Own Adventure over on Twitter!
  • Weird Words took a break, but we’re back on schedule!
    • I have to catch up on response collecting though…
  • NSFW content may be canon, but it isn’t important to the story! All NSFW content is entirely optional!
  • Patreon still exists
  • Personal Twitter account can be lewd. To avoid said lewdness, check out the project account.
    • Personal account will follow back creative accounts
    • Project account will not be following anyone back save a select few involved in some way or another. No double dipping on the follow-backs!
  • The Q’taxians is forever.

Until next time, much love to you all
~Tav \o

Done purely for the lolz.

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