Slight Change of Plans

Hey everyone.

Originally I said I was going to start working on Refuge 4 as soon as I was done with Maidens & Mayhem 3, but I’m going to take a week off from Crystal Candy.

This is going to become the new schedule. Basically, I spend three weeks writing Crystal Candy, then take a week off. So a trilogy, then a week break, rinse and repeat.

The reason for this is twofold. The first is that as much as I was hoping it wouldn’t, writing both Crystal Candy and Misty Vixen is taking a bigger toll on me than I initially predicted it might. While writing Maidens & Mayhem 2 I got really close to like…freaking the fuck out from a stress overload. It isn’t just the writing, but other things going on in my life at the same time. Like, seriously, when that Friday hit, I was really close to some kind of meltdown.

But I chilled out over the weekend, and by the time Monday rolled around, I felt competent and calm enough to tackle Maidens & Mayhem 3. But I knew something had to change.

Combine this with the fact that Crystal Candy sales are flagging, and I’m more inclined to shift my workload. I don’t want to do LESS work, I want to do the SAME amount of work, but shifted towards Misty Vixen. Which is kind of annoying considering I created Crystal Candy to help take the financial pressure off of Misty Vixen!

But I’m just adapting to the situation as it changes, and right now, it looks like this.

To give you an idea of how Crystal Candy is doing:

In April, when I launched it, it did pretty decent, better than I thought it would. And then, in May, that DOUBLED. In June, I managed to hit a little bit higher than in May, so still a big win. But then it dropped by nearly HALF in July, and it’s looking like it’s going to earn even less than that in August, unless this last week sees a lot of sales. At most, I might break even with July. And those numbers, unfortunately, just aren’t worth this level of effort, as much as I hate saying that.

Another part of the problem is that some of my health issues have returned, namely the hazy thing where it’s hard to focus. It went away for a bit, but it’s been coming back, and it fucking sucks. It’s worst when I’m editing, which is why some things are taking so fucking long.

I think another part of the problem is that Maidens & Mayhem just isn’t coming out the way I thought it would. Or maybe I’m just not in the mood for another fantasy story right now? And it’s kind of a problem for Refuge, too. Not as much, but it is there. I think one issue is that, with going back to writing short, serialized fiction, I'm always kind of…working against myself, I guess? It’s like working with a handicap, maybe? Basically, I already don’t like writing short fiction, so automatically, ANYTHING I write that’s short fiction has a mental strike against it. So something that I can usually push past, is now something that I can’t because I’m already at a disadvantage.

Okay, it’s like, when you come up against something that, under normal circumstances, is just fucking annoying, and irritating, and you can push past it and deal with it. But then you come up against it and you have a really bad headache. Some stuff you can still push past, but some stuff you could push past minus the headache, now, if you come up against it with the headache, it’s just like, “No, this is too much, I can’t fucking tolerate this.”

Does that make sense?

And I know a lot of people would be like, “Well just do it anyway. I mean, it’s your job.” But part of my job is deciding what my job is. It’d be different if it was Misty Vixen material. I’ve been able to push through basically everything I’ve ever written under that name, and it’s easier for a number of reasons. There’s less holding me back or adding to my stress. But that isn’t the case with Crystal Candy.

So I don’t know.

Right now, I’m feeling good about Refuge. I think I can push through another trilogy at a reasonable rate with a reasonable amount of suffering. (And don’t let that fool you, almost everything I’ve ever written has involved SOME suffering. Even my favorite novels, I had times where I was like, FUCK, I WANT THIS TO BE OVER I’M SO SICK OF WRITING THIS FUUUUUUUCK).

I think I need to do something fucking weird and different. I mean, A Warm Place had its problems, but I had a lot of fun writing it because it was so different from anything else I’ve ever written.

Maybe when Refuge 6 is written, I’ll switch over to something radically different. I have been thinking about that dark monster survival-horror story a lot recently.

We’ll see. Sorry about all this. I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m really just trying to work with what I have. I’d love to be a lot more diligent, and hardworking, and consistent, to just buckle down and do the writing and roll out story after story in an unbroken, assembly line of consistency like apparently Eric Vall can just do, with a goddamned fucking 400 page novel every WEEK now, but apparently I just can’t. I’m not good enough or stable enough or smart enough or whatever.

Quickie Update

Hello, everyone. Just a little update here.

So, the first little arc of Refuge is up.

I am right now taking a short break to finish up Haven 2, finish my editing of the Wanderlust series so that I can get it updated now that I have new cover art, and begin planning my next series as Crystal Candy.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to be running two series simultaneously. I’ll be releasing them in trilogies, bouncing back and forth, at a pace of about an episode a week. I know I’m going to be missing my mark this time around, but I’m taking a short vacation around the end of the month where I’m not going to be able to work really, and honestly I could use the break.

Production will resume the second week of August, and ideally I’ll be able to keep that schedule from now on. As for what it’s about? It’s a fantasy harem, so if any of my Misty Vixen fans are reading this, similar to the world I’ve established in Demoness and Wanderlust, etc. The basic premise is that a guy comes to a shitty village with a lot of problems and starts fixing them. And fucks hot chicks, obviously.

I’ll release more on it as we get closer to the release date. After writing a trilogy of episodes for this new one, I’ll go back to Refuge, and back and forth until either I get really burned out on one of them, or they’re finished, in either case, I’ll start a new series, because I have a fucking shitload of ideas. Like, seriously, a lot. I still want to do that modern horror, and a MILF harem. And another Sci-Fi one that’s a much lighter tone. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg really.

Anyway, I hope you like what I’ve written so far, and thank you to the people who have been reviewing. Like, fuck, Crystal Candy has done SO much better for reviews than anything I ever wrote as short fiction for Misty Vixen. It is really appreciated.

And now I am off to take a break. Eventually, after I finish editing Haven 2 and Wanderlust.

I Have Canceled Planet of the Bugs (Sorry)

Hello, everyone.

I’m cancelling Planet of the Bugs.

I hate to do this so early in my career as Crystal Candy, but I really feel it’s the right thing to do for a number of reasons. I’ll explain why.

The number one overall reason I’m doing this is because I’m genuinely just not feeling this series. I’m having a very difficult time writing it. At first I thought it might just be because I was in a bit of a writing slump. Sometimes (see: often actually) it happens, the words come like pulling teeth. But then I tried doing some planning for Haven 2 for Misty Vixen, and had just a great time where the ideas were flowing like water. And then, after I spent half the day painstakingly pounding out five fucking thousand words for Planet of the Bugs 3, I finally put it away for the day and decided to take a shot at writing A Warm Place 7.

I immediately pounded out two thousand words for it in like an hour with ease.

So obviously the problem is the story, not my current state of mind. And honestly, I’ve been feeling this way towards the series almost since the very beginning. I thought it would pass, and that I should give it a shot anyway, because I thought it was a half-decent idea, and because I wanted to at least try to dip my toe into the GameLit/LitRPG genre.

That is the second reason I’m pulling the plug: I am failing at that. That’s not a self-pitying statement, that’s just me looking at it with as critical and unbiased an eye as I can manage. Besides the fact that the sales are low, I got a review recently (a nice one) that pretty much said the story isn’t for GameLit or LitRPG people, so obviously I missed my mark, and that was one of the primary reasons I was even writing the story.

And the idea of doing this for another 10 or even 20 novellas is unthinkable.

The third reason is kind of a combination of both. Every minute I spend writing Planet of the Bugs means I’m not writing something. I’m bleeding both happiness and sales. Mainly happiness.

So I’ve unpublished Planet of the Bugs 1 & 2, and I’ve shelved it. Possibly forever. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up who might have been actually enjoying it, but it’s theoretically possible that I may come back around to liking the idea enough to pick it back up in the future, as I did actually have a whole campaign planned out for this. Not exactly in detail, but I did at least have a skeletal outline written up.

For now, I’m shifting my focus back to A Warm Place. Also, if you liked the sci-fi and action aspects of Planet of the Bugs, then don’t worry, I do have more stories that will be a lot like that, just not taking place in a video game. And a feel a lot more confident about them. Also, I’m not even entirely finished with the GameLit genre. I have a few more ideas that would only really work as GameLit that I feel a lot better about, so we’ll see.

Again, sorry! If you want to return either of the Planet of a Bugs titles if you purchased them, I’ll understand.

Now, I’ve got to go write A Warm Place 7!