The beginning of the year past was marked by the cathartic release of Aidmheil. In its little, delightful ways the book has paved the way for other work. Of our copies from the first run, we only have two boxes left (and some promotional copies that I might add to the inventory). That’s remarkable for a small outfit with no avenue of publicity or sales save a personal website. I backed off promoting the book after January because copies sell in small doses on their own. I’m not sure I fully understand the way the book sells; I go with it. I do hope that they sellout soon, however. That would feel complete.
Aidmheil was a lesson in many things. I learned more about traffic to free content vs. asking people to do something or purchase art. The Shade here, like the woods, is lovely, dark and deep. I sometimes go so far as to imagine that most of the traffic comes from strangers who hate me in such a way that they are compelled to look at my site and not do anything, share anything or purchase any of my work. Or maybe most of the visitors are dragons. Dragons don’t have wallets, after all, and Paypal doesn’t accept “treasure” as a method of payment. (Sorry, Smaug: I did try to get them to add the option, you know.) Did you know that dragons have a hard time typing but with a little practice they can use a mouse well enough? True story.
The majority of the time I simply imagine that none of the above matters, and that when someone is ready to read something that is available or participate, they do. I am, after all, a fan of promoting resistance to buying things you don’t need, want or use. It is interesting, however; how few people become involved in comparison to the whole of traffic: It is less than 1% of unique users. I was unprepared for the number to be that low. It is not abnormal; I was just unprepared.
Of course, alongside Aidmheil came the first and only ever book trailer. It was made with $100 worth of coffee, Krispy Kreme donuts and lighter fluid (combined?) and the pure hilarity of the cast and crew. I cannot thank them enough: It wasn’t easy, but it was certainly fun (like all useful projects) and I will always remember the entire affair with affection because it was awesome-rad in the best awesome-rad way ever in that the teamwork was beautiful.
Next we tackled the huge job of re-designing my brand and JSDC, and re-launching. You should see my new business cards: They are so slick you get a paper cut just from looking at them. We’re still (and always; websites are all fluid-flux-evolve like that) working on some bits from re-launch and you can probably expect changes and announcements once Greyfeather #2 has been shipped. If I could dedicate the last year of JSDC to someone, it would be artist Greg Martin. The re-launch included a moment of our concept art, giving you better insight regarding The Silver Legacy and some of the pre-vis work we’ve doing with the pitch on the film. Awareness of TSL also spawned an unprecedented, 71-city demand for the film. The Demand has been a talking point of curiosity in nearly every meeting I’ve had and, as you continue to grow said Demand, I expect it will only become more relevant. Much like “Letters in the Dark” are currently, and probably even more so. (Thank you, Wingmen, for both.) Anyway, for those of you who have been trying to request a screening at the Lonely Mountain, I’m afraid Eventful can’t add the location until you can pinpoint where exactly it is on the globe and confirm that you have a movie theater there. More concept art is coming soon, and some of you have already ordered limited edition prints. I cannot wait for those limited edition prints. I love those limited edition prints. By the time the painting is finished, I’m sure we’ll still have some left, which is great for those of you who like to, you know, see exactly what you will be receiving.
Overall you’ve been able to see a little more of the offline components this year, the massive amounts of work that are not attachable to this page.
…Such as a few gymnastics vlogs, because I began gymnastics/stunt-related training.
Then my camera broke and there were no more gymnastics vlogs.
Then C.Sto bought me a new, perfect camera for Christmas. (Hell yes, fools.)
Then I bought a camera case for it so as not to break another camera while climbing on stuff.
Among other things, I spent Christmas/the end of the year in Virginia watching BSG Season 1 on DVD with C.Sto, working on Greyfeather production, running through the uncharacteristically warm night until I couldn’t run anymore, then I would walk. Scattegories, Scattegories, Starbucks, Starbucks, light shopping, visiting rivers with friends, exchanging letters with Iraq, slipping and sliding (and falling) while climbing some mossy, muddy rocks, trying not too think to much, having vivid dreams about purple electricity, chasing our dog around the backyard and seeing my friends and family as much as possible. Oh and listening to my friend David mock BSG (“it’s stupid”) while he sat and played his World of Warcraft level 59.5 warlock on a wide screen TV. I also made C.Sto a book for Christmas. The book included A Rhyme for C, photos… many things. I decided to handwrite the written parts once the book was printed. I had forgotten how long handwriting takes: It takes forever. Hand cramp. I didn’t have a mini-party this year (didn’t have the bandwidth), so I realized how difficult it is to see all of one’s friends when hanging out is spread out (even when the friends are home from school and off from work). Challenging times. On Christmas Eve the Stover clan gathered in my grandma’s one bedroom condo (tradition). Not all of us were there, only about… thirty-some of us. It’s a happy, tight fit. Some of M.Sto’s side we didn’t get to see because a president died. They are D.C. cops. When a president dies D.C. cops have to work on the day we are supposed to gather for holiday family time. I think my Uncle was required to do some very amazing perimeter work wherein he had to stare at a fence all day to make sure no one came over. (No one did.) Finally, C.Sto and The Viking took me out to the new Clyde’s to celebrate my last night in NoVA. The restaurant is huge (and packed: People there have little other choices in that neighborhood). 29,000 square feet. Seats 650 people. I think Clyde's goal is to serve dinner for all of Ashburn every night. Seriously.
You know, it’s good to have a Viking King around because I can call out, “Viking King, help!” and he will put down his Smirnoff Ice and pause Madden and come downstairs with the flyswatter and “whap! Whap!” resounds as he takes out the Cricket-Spider standing between me and the washing machine. Oh yes did you know that crickets and spiders have bred? This is far less awesome than lasers breeding with cats.
It went fast, all of it; the year, the holidays, the projects… .
Now, I’m in Los Angeles.
Now, I’m all Greyfeather #2. We are finishing up.
From there, the run goes onward, upward…
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