The New Plan – Operation Freelance!

After talking it over with a very smart friend I’ve decided to offer blog articles for £100 each, and £50 each for short ones.

I’m offering Ghostwriting and Co-Author services too. If you have a great story idea but don’t think that you could do it justice, then I can help. You may even have started writing it yourself and got stuck. You can hire me as a Ghostwriter, in which case the book has your name on it, and you get to keep the royalties, but you pay me for my time upfront. Or, you can let me take a Co-Author credit, both names are on the cover, we split the royalties 50-50, and it costs you nothing.

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I’m hoping to build up a client list as quickly as possible. I need to be a full-time writer. I’m going nuts. I’ve been trying to build my profile, and my reputation. Take my time. Do this right. Work wherever I can to survive while I make myself look great online. The problem is that the job I’m doing for money is taking all my time, energy and motivation.

I didn’t realize when I started working nights how lonely and depressing it would get. I needed some time to think, but now I’m ready to rejoin the world. I could just get another shitty job doing bar-work, retail or call centre customer service, but I really don’t want to have to. I want to write. It’s all I want to do, and I’m good at it.

I got my start as a blogger writing geek-culture articles for a WordPress-based website. The articles I’ve written for them seem to have gone, but I saved a few of my favourites and re-blogged them on Games ‘n’ Geekery. A geeky website of my own I created using all the skills I learned while working for them, and a few tricks I’ve picked up since.

They didn’t pay me anything, but the experience was invaluable. I learned how to use WordPress, how to make a good-looking blog article, and that I could churn out an original 500-1000 word article, including research, links, pictures and video, every single day.

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I used what they taught me to create this blog, and others. The Hermes925 serialized story that I’ve been posting to this website attracted the attention of Tod Foley, who recruited me for the UbiquiCity project. The writer team would video conference online to talk about our ideas and world-build together, then we each wrote a short story that fit into the world we created. My short story, and the others, are now available on Amazon as part of the UbiquiCity anthology. The accompanying RPG sourcebook will be out soon. It was a fun project. 🙂

I got the opportunity to ghost-write a story for someone, and that was fun too, but the client put the project on hold before I saw a penny for the work I did. I definitely learned a lesson there, but it put me off the idea of ghost-writing for a while.

I submitted a short story or two to contests and publications that offered a cash prize or payment if you were accepted, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that writing short stories for submission, especially if they don’t get accepted. Too much time and effort, for not enough guaranteed reward. If I write a good short story, I want some guarantee I’m going to get paid for it, and I certainly didn’t want to have to pay someone to publish it.

It’s about that time I got distracted by the Creative Writers group. It had only 32 members left, no admin at all. It occurred to me that I could test some of the things I’d learned about social media management and audience building, and also create the kind of supportive community I wanted to find. The group now has over seventeen thousand members.

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I even created an opportunity for group members. I’ve always been a ‘learn by doing’ kind of person. I learn best when it’s a necessary means to accomplish a desired outcome. In hindsight the Monolith project was probably a little too ambitious, but that was kind of the idea. Set the bar high and see if I could pull it off. I didn’t, but I learned a lot along the way.

The idea was to create a series of large anthologies, containing well-written stories, all conforming to the same theme. There would be no charge to submit and we would review the stories as they were submitted. That way we wouldn’t have to try and deal with a huge pile all at once after the submission deadline, and the writers would get feedback right away instead of having to wait. This also gave them an opportunity to try and improve their submission and try again.

We ended up with a lot of great stories, and a lot that could have been good if the writers had been willing to improve them. The project became a logistical nightmare, even with help from other admins in the group, and so the project was abandoned. However, I decided to test self-publishing anyway with one of the short-stories I had written. It sold pretty well for a short story, and I’m currently writing a longer story, hopefully a novel, inspired by the short story. It’s called The Haunted Story.

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It’s taking longer to write than I wanted though. I enjoy writing stories, but they’re harder than blog articles. I have several work-in-progress story-lines that I will to turn into books. A few of the ideas have already been mentioned in this blog. I know I can manage my time better, and be able to spend more time and energy writing my stories, if I can write full-time. The night porter job is an inefficient use of my time and wastes my creativity.

I could replace the hotel job by securing enough clients to write an article a day, just like I used to do. I’m a good writer, as you can see from this blog and my published stories. I’m more than happy to negotiate, especially if I can gain something else besides money, like cover-art, editing, or marketing.

I can do blogging, and it comes easily to me, but I’d prefer to write a book with you. I know from the previous experience that I write better and faster when I’m working for someone, and it gives me something to look forward to each day. Unlike my current job. At this point I’d welcome any opportunity to write for a living really.

So, want to write a book with me? If you don’t have any ideas, I can help with that too. I’m aware that some people just want to see a book on the shelves with their name on the cover. I can arrange that. I can also go to the opposite extreme and help you polish up and revise a story that you’ve mostly written already (and that wouldn’t cost as much). It’d be much more fun to bounce ideas off each other and come up with a great story together, but I’m flexible.

Please email me: antonym.copeland@gmail.com or leave me a comment if you have any questions, advice for new freelancers, or a project for me. Whether you’re a fellow writer with too much on your plate, a website manager that needs more content, or just someone that wants their name on a book, I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day 🙂

 

The Search Continues

I dislike looking for a job. So far only one of the positions I’ve applied for has gotten back to me. I have an interview for that job in 3 days, and in the meantime I’m going to keep looking. I have discovered a few opportunities I didn’t know existed on the way. Including some that I knew logically existed, but had no idea you could apply for so easily.

My favourite of which is being a pet-sitter! I found a website called Pawshake that lets you register as a pet-sitter and set your own rates. I already created a profile! Click here to check it out. It would be great to spend a few hours looking after someone’s pet. Dogs would need to be taken for walks and fussed, but cats, birds and lizards don’t need much attention. Once their needs have been taken care of, I could still research articles and write! We’ll see if it gets anywhere, or if I earn enough to get by.

If you expand your search from jobs sites to classified ad sites, you can stumble upon a surprising number of opportunities available in the adult entertainment industry. Sadly, or perhaps luckily, these careers only seem to be available to women. I don’t think I would do well in adult industry, even if there were jobs available for men. I think my on-screen presence would be unimpressive.

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I’ve just applied for a Social Media marketing apprenticeship. I have no idea if I’ll get it, but it may be my best chance of learning more about how to increase traffic to this website, and get paid for while I’m at it. Any job that helps me reach my long-term goals instead of just sucking time away from them is a win-win.

If you happen to need a content writer and you’re willing to pay let me know. I love learning about new products and services, and my experience in sales, customer service and negotiation will be invaluable. Just as my talent for creative storytelling proved very useful in customer service, sales, bar work and debt collection! People love a good story.

I hope I find something soon. I’m down to £75. I’m very lucky that my grandparents don’t charge me rent and like to feed me. Theoretically I could live without a job indefinitely, providing I don’t want to buy anything or go anywhere I can’t reach by walking.

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If I have money though, I can afford to invest in some marketing for the website, save up for self-publishing, and get back into games, movies and books so that I have something to write about besides myself! Not to mention go for a drink with my friends occasionally. The books I’ve read on abundance and the law of attraction suggest visualising money coming into your life, acting as if the money will come. We’ll see.

Do you know what I’d really like to do? Hire some guest writers. Paying artists and musicians for original artwork and music for the site would be good too. It would also be nice to pay friend who’s working on improving the site a little for her effort too. Do you think I should setup a GoFundMe.com page?

In the meantime, if you’d like to help donate to improving the page please go to www.paypal.me/AntonyMCopeland. Right now I still don’t have a bank account (nothing to put in it), so all I’ll be doing with the money is sending it on to contributors or saving it for self-publishing my book when it’s done. Not one penny of it will be spent on chocolate or beer. Currently my Paypal balance still stands at zero.

Before I forget, here’s the latest installment of Hermes925: 11/27 What goes up..

I’d better get back to jobhunting. Have a great day 🙂

 

 

Encouraging Expressive Endeavours

I believe that writers should help out other writers. We’re all trying to make it. To that end I occasionally like to post a book spotlight, recommend a blogger, or even just post a link to someone else’s website. I’d like to do more, thought I also need to remember to work on my own writing, and not get so absorbed in networking and writing articles for others that my own book(s) never get finished.

Having said that, there’s several people that deserve a shout-out and words of encouragement. Great people who have decided to focus on their passion for writing, despite the fact (as my Dad often reminds me) that many writers never make it. Being a writer is a tough, often unforgiving and unrewarded calling, and these guys deserve a medal for even trying.

Sunbow Pendragon already got an entire article dedicated to her, but she still deserves a round of applause. She has 10 books published, but she has yet to become well known despite the fact that her readers love her. Many of us, myself included, think that once someone loves your work they’ll tell everyone else. The word will spread like wildfire and you’ll be famous in no time. This is sadly not the case, and these flames need to be fanned.

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I also did a book spotlight for Terminus by Jay Milius. Jaye has taken a different approach and used a website I’ve considered using myself called Inkshares.com to promote her book before it was even published. She now has 260 copies of Terminus sold due to her dedication, passion and self-promotion. I’m looking forward to receiving the copy I pre-ordered.

Geoffrey Porter is currently working on a military sci-fi, and also runs and edits an online magazine for short fiction of all kinds. It’s called “Untied Shoelaces of the Mind” and it’s a great collection. He’s very helpful. He pointed out that my Hermes925 sample lacked a description of the interior of the spacecraft. He has a point. It would be a new experience to Jaime, he’d probably enthusiastically describe every detail he could remember. I may work on that later today so I can resubmit it.

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I also wanted to applaud lostgirl131 for posting her second article on her brand new blog Journal of a Lost Girl. The article is called Always Keep Fighting, and it’s about Jared Padalecki’s campaign to help people fight depression. I’m a big fan since I also fight depression and believe that it’s better to fight it than just give in and be depressed. Publically acknowledging your depression is very brave, especially if you tend to be shy and introverted. Keep up the good work Lost Girl!

Last but not least, I’m proud of my nieces, both of whom want to be writers when they grow up. Bethany, who’s 9 has even written a couple of short stories already and wants to be the youngest published author. Her sister Imogen (6) does too, but I think that’s mostly because she wants to do everything her sister does. Imogen says she wants to practice writing more before she writes a book. Bethany’s books are charming little pre-school children’s stories, I’d love to show you one when we can figure out which moving box they were packed in! It would be so great if her work was actually published and used in schools. 🙂

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Would you like a mention in a future article? I’d be happy too help. Like I said, writers need to help each other out. I’ll also love the opportunity to help artists and musicians get the word out, and perhaps even help bring several different creative types together in a mutually supportive and perhaps even collaborative community. If you like this idea let me know. You could even help me come up with a name for the group!

As always I’d appreciate any and all feedback, either in the comments below, via the contact me page, or on Facebook. Have a great day!

 

Book Spotlight -The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles

Time for another book spotlight. This time it’s for a series of books already published, called “The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles”. You may already have guessed that they are inspired greatly by Arthurian legend. The first book in the series is “The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1“, and that’s what we’ll be focussing  on for this article. If you love epic fantasy and Arthurian mythology, go buy it right now!

Still here? Really? C’mon, it’s got knights, chivalry and King Arthur himself in it! What more do you want? Oh all right, I’ll tell you a bit about the author. The Author, Sunbow Pendragon, now has a total 10 books under her belt, 7 of which are included in The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles. She’s also a great human being, always willing to help another author a step up, in their writing and their life. Despite this she remains relatively unheard of, which I personally consider a cruel injustice.

There are some fantastic reviews on the Amazon page for The Ruby Phoenix. Go there yourself and see. Here are a few of my favourites.

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any fan of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table!!!, July 29, 2015
This review is from: The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1 (The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
The author did a wonderful job with this book. The well developed characters left me feeling as if I knew these people and had actually witnessed the events they were involved in. The story immersed me in a magickal place that felt like home. I had to force myself to put the book down long enough to complete my daily chores and I rushed through them in order to get back to reading. I am eagerly looking forward to diving right into the next book. Anyone who reads, should read this authors offerings. They will not be disappointed. I could definitely see these books made into a movie or series that would captivate the audience. I will not be surprised when this author is on the New York Times Bestsellers list! I have several favorite authors and Sunbow Pendragon is at the top of that list!
5.0 out of 5 starsA MUST READ!, September 18, 2014
This review is from: The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1 (The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
Love this book! Very detailed, interesting, and I almost couldn’t put this book down! I feel like I was in the book as I was reading it, it took me to a very magical place! Can not wait to read the second. Everyone should read this!!
5.0 out of 5 starsI love this book, October 1, 2015
By
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Ruby Phoenix, Part 1 (The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
I love this book! so well written and I am so happy to say I personally know the writer and she is not only a fantastic writer but a wonderful friend. she is very creative in her story writing, please give her books a chance, you will not be disappointed!
Still not convinced? Okay, check out this free sample from the book from Sunbow’s own publishing page on Facebook, Amethyst Free Press
#1
“Please, Storyteller, tell us another story tonight?” a young boy’s voice entreated as the villagers settled down to a good supper. They had worked all day to bring in the first harvest of fresh peas, while the women cooked and prepared this feast. Now, they all settled back with a mug of tea or a last cup of wine. “Which one would ye like to hear?” he asked, taking a seat under the old oak tree in the center of the village. “Did the Black Knight ever meet another of his ilk?” the young lad asked. “He did indeed, a mighty warrior who came from far away to teach him more of the arcane arts. Let me tell ye the story of the Ruby Phoenix,” the older man began, and cleared his throat for quiet. The crowd settled in and prepared to hear the tale of their most favorite character….
The Kindle version is only $5.99, which is pocket change. Click this link, buy it, read it, love it. Tell all your friends to buy it too, plus paperback copies for friends and family with no access to a Kindle, mobile device or PC, and be sure to leave Sunbow Pendragon a great review on Amazon.
Are you an author too? Contact me, I’ll be happy to write you a book spotlight too!
Have a great day! 🙂

Shameless Self-promotion

Since it’s the weekend and many of the Facebook writer’s groups I’m in only allow links and promo posts on weekends, I thought I’d pack as much as I could into one article!

First, there’s this blog in which I write about whatever I feel like writing about. It could be about something actually happening in my life. It might be about a new geeky product, game, movie/tv or book that’s gotten me excited. It could be an article about the writing process itself. Or it could be an idea I’ve had for a story that I’m not currently working on.

These general articles can all be found under the ‘Blog of Indefinite Purpose‘ tab, and are categorised and tagged to make them easier to browse through. Everything except ‘secret stash’ articles are also shared to my author page on Facebook, Antony M Copeland.

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Then there’s the book I’m currently working on. Hermes925. I’m writing it a bit at a time, as if they were journal entries written by the protagonist, Jaime. Here’s what I have so far:

Hermes925 also has it’s own Facebook Page.

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Then there’s also City of Gate, a long running fantasy rp group on Facebook. Basically, I update the group every Sunday to tell the group members what’s happening. If they’ve created a character, they then have until the following Saturday to add a comment describing what their character is doing in response to the situation. It’s fun, and it keeps me on my toes, often having to come up with new layers for the narrative based on what the player controlled characters are doing.

Over the years I’ve written quite a bit of non-player character backstory. You can read this in the City of Gate group under files. I’ve played with the idea of making this into a book, filling in the gaps between character-written accounts with a more traditional narrative based on the events that have already taken place in the game. The project is on pause while I focus on finishing Hermes925. If you’re curious though, you can check out the City of Gate: Chronicles tab or the City of Gate: Chronicles Facebook page.

Boom! One link filled article that would do the job of a timeline full! I look forward to any and all feedback, I can take it! Have great day 🙂

Get Smart Before The Squid Take Over!

I felt like writing about some of my other story ideas that don’t fit in the Hermes 925 or City of Gate plots. These are far from being fully fleshed out stories as yet, but maybe writing about them and getting your feedback will help them become so. First, though I want to let you know about a couple of great resources, particularly if you’re a fellow writer. They’re also useful to anyone looking to expand their personal education.

The one I’m most excited about is PubSpace from NASA. Starting in autumn this year, all their research papers from 2016 onwards will be publically available on this website. I find this particularly pleasing because it makes one of the key points of Hermes925, that Jaime was able to find information about the Hermes project publically within the N•Viron  network. Besides that though it means we can all find out what NASA is working on, and that makes my little nerd heart happy.

Beoing Tech Vito Niel performs fusion welds on the tank plugs.
Beoing Tech Vito Niel performs fusion welds on the tank plugs.

There’s also websites that will expand your general education for free. I’ve known about the Khan Academy for some time now, and you should absolutely check them out. I also just learned about another free education site, founded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called OpenStax. Make use of either, or both, of these websites to boost your brain power without having to dig yourself into a giant pit of student loan debt.

Now, story ideas. I was discussing an idea with my Mum that I think most of us have had from to time. What if you could go back in time and do things differently? This idea has been explored before of course, but the approach I’d like to take is a little different. A device that allows you to scientifically observe alternative timelines. Perhaps based on a sophisticated algorithm that can predict how small changes in the past could change the present.

If we had access to this information, what could we do with it? Would we be more determined to pursue the development of actual time-travel, or would being able to see the simulated results of meddling with the timeline be enough to put us off for good? Would such a system be inherently flawed because it would be based on the data we provide? Our own limited perspective and understanding of history would doubtless affect the system’s assumptions and conclusions. Perhaps it would be considered an entertaining novelty rather than a practical tool.

My other story idea is based on these guys. Cephalopods. Squids, octopi and cuttlefish, and other similar creatures. They’re fascinating creatures, and have remarkable problem solving intelligence and an almost playful curiosity. I was going to use the viral video of a squid opening a jar from inside to show you what I mean, but I think this video showing an octopus making novel use of coconut shells illustrates it better.

There have been quite a few books, games and movies exploring what life might be like on a post-apocalyptic planet Earth. Most of them feature zombies, or feral humans, as the primary threat against what remains of civilised human society. I think that, if humans are almost wiped out, or perhaps completely wiped out, that the next dominant species would be as different from us as we are from the dinosaurs. Particularly if the cataclysmic event happens to cause widespread flooding. I think cephalopods are among the most likely candidates to fill our evolutionary niche should we ever vacate it.

What I’m having trouble with is visualising what this new civilisation would actually be like. It’s tempting to make them humanoids with squid tentacle faces reminiscent of Cthulu or the Ood from Dr Who. It’s far more likely that they would retain much of their current morphology which has already proven highly adaptable.

What would they think of the technology we left behind? Much of which would be completely useless once the power stations are submerged. Would they forget we existed and imagine that the ruined structures will built by earlier forms of their own culture, or even aliens? Would our remains be so different from their own that they would find it almost impossible to imagine that we were ever intelligent enough to create such things?

I have yet to find a starting point for either of these story ideas, but I’ll let them percolate in the back of my mind until they become something. Perhaps I’ll end up using ‘the timeline predictor’, or perhaps ‘the planet of the squid’, as part of the Time-Chain idea. Personally I rather get started on The War on Magic or The Lord Highwayman once Hermes is finished. What are your thoughts?

I look forward to your comments. Have a great day.

Oops, I Did It Again

Yesterday’s article offended some people. Probably a lot more than actually spoke up. In hindsight I think understand why so I’m going to try to explain in my own words what I did wrong, partly to clarify my understanding for myself and those who saw nothing wrong with ‘Wherefore Art Thou‘. Please let me know if I’ve missed the real point entirely though. It’s quite possible that whatever it is that really upset them is lost on me, and I’d appreciate your input.

Before we get started I’d like to thank those that provided the feedback. Out of respect I won’t be mentioning you by name, or giving any deliberate hint of your identity. I want to encourage feedback. That’s not going to happen if I put everyone who comments under a spotlight. I will not talk about you unless you’ve asked me to. This is not a gossip column. I know I’ve crossed the line in the past, but I’ve learned from this mistake and it will not happen again.

Here we go. The idea of being creative for money is offensive to some. Art should be free, a gift to the world. I get that. Most of us spend the majority of our lives performing a boring, repetitive, menial and/or demeaning job. Not because we want to, but because we feel we have to. Money comes from hard work and misery. Writing isn’t a career, it’s a hobby, something that makes you happy. If I want money I should get a real job, contribute to society and stop being so selfish.

Art, in all it’s forms, brings joy to everyone. Charging people for the privilege of enjoying your creativity limits the access. People who can’t afford to pay for books, art and movies are often those who are in the greatest need of an emotional outlet. It would be cruel and indecent to ask those people for money. My work should therefore be freely available to anyone that wants to read it.

I understand this point of view. Funnily enough the other major complaint sort of makes my counterpoint for me. There are lots of people, including bloggers, asking artists and writers for free content including return for exposure. The way I worded the last article makes it seem like I’m one of them. Please let me clarify. I understand that art and writing isn’t easy. I have chosen to write for a living, and it’s hard work. Getting your ideas to express themselves the way you want on the page or the canvas is a time consuming, frustrating and sometimes harrowing experience.

To outsiders, being ‘talented’ often seems easy, like we have a golden ticket. They think if they could draw, or write, like that then they could quit the grueling 40+ hours a week of mind numbing tedium and live on easy street. It’s not like that. It’s still work, and the majority of it never sees the light of day. Sketches, rough notes, first drafts, dead ends, versions that you just weren’t happy with and had to start over, half formed ideas that never seem to work whatever you try. On top of all of that you might finish something, and be really happy with it, only to find out no one wants it.

What this blog is supposed to achieve is exposure. To get my work out there as I’m writing it. This will hopefully ensure that, by the time the book is ready, people will already be excited for it, and asking for more. They will have free access to the story in it’s entirety right here, but they will also have the choice to show their support and buy a copy of the finished book.

I was hoping that there would be at least one artist interested in joining me in this experiment. I see now though that asking an artist to provide free illustration is wrong. Just as wrong as asking a writer to provide free content, or to ask any of you to provide free criticism and editing. So I’m not going to ask anymore. However, I do still believe that instead of cutting one another down, creative people should be helping each other to achieve whatever level of success they want to achieve. Paid or unpaid.

So here’s my new proposal. If you like my writing style and think you could use someone like me to help make you be more successful, let me know. Perhaps you have a work of art that you would like me to describe, or even write a whole story for, l would relish the opportunity. Maybe you are a comic book artist, with some beautiful characters, but need help telling their story. Musicians, photographers and filmmakers too, if you’re looking for a writer, let me know.

I understand how arrogant it was of me to ask you to help me in return for exposure. Allow me to humbly offer my services instead in exchange for nothing more than the opportunity to get my name out there. However, I reserve the right to withdraw from the project if circumstances require, or I decide that it’s not the right opportunity for me. I’m new at this. I’m still gaining experience. I’m willing and eager to learn from those with more experience than I.

Speaking of which, some of you are wondering, if writing really is so hard, why I’ve decided to quit everything to be a writer. It’s because working for someone else sucks.

I’m willful, and confident of my ability. I try to take charge and do things my own way. I’m not trying to discourage you from working with me, but it’s only fair that you know in advance a little of what you’re getting yourself into. I don’t do humble easily, and I loathe being talked down to. I also don’t enjoy toadying either. An ideal working relationship for me is a collective of equals working together for a common goal. Extremely rare in a traditional workforce, but something I hope can be accomplished amongst my fellow creative artists and writers.

I particularly enjoy writing Warhammer 40k fluff, Gothic horror, religious satire, elaborate Fantasy and Orwellian Sci Fi. I haven’t had much experience with lyrics or poetry, but I’d give it a try. I’ve done content for geeky/nerdy blogs, but I find them limiting. If you think we could work together let me know. If you want me to include a Pingback to your blog in future articles, ask. Likewise, if I have once again said something objectionable or offensive please bring it to my attention.

For now I should be getting more Hermes925 written.

Have a great day.