Tag Archives: Disney

The Fall of 2018, The Rise of 2019

Hi everyone,

I usually finish up the year with a ‘looking back, looking forward’ post, and this, the last Sunday of the year, is no different…except this time, it is.

Nothing has been the same this year, and it’s been one of the best, and one of the hardest.  I think I said something similar at the end of last year…little did I know how aptly that would describe 2018.

It began with loss.

In the beginning of 2018, my mother passed away.  We knew it was coming, we had known for a long time, but nothing could have prepared me for how it would hit me, or how it has stayed with me throughout the year.

Even now, with Christmas, my birthday, and New Years, even when I’m not thinking specifically about her, I feel this immense, pervasive emptiness.

And perhaps the most frustrating part about it is that this should be one of the happiest years of my life.  This was the year I got married to my Starshine!!

Photo by Danielle Lirette

The saying often goes, your wedding is one of the happiest days of your life, and for me, it truly was :)  I don’t think I ever actually relayed the full story of our geeky, fun-filled, beautiful wedding.  The weather was perfect, the venue was fantastic, our hotel was great, and it was a perfect turnout, a small wedding like we’d hoped.

She is my squishy!

Then came the honeymoon, which was a mixture of good and bad.  We’ve already decided we need a do-over!  But despite the bad that happened, I hold a lot of fond memories from that week and a half, and for some reason today especially, I’ve been thinking a lot about our adventures in Orlando :)

By far, Disney World was the best!!  It was my first-ever Disney experience, and despite how bad the weather was most of the time we were there, it was a blast!  And exhausting, but in a good way :)

This was one of many trips I took in 2018, beginning with the trip to NM for my mother’s funeral, then Orlando for our Honeymoon.  Next came a trip to Los Angeles for my best friend’s birthday, and also my second ever Disney experience since we went to Nick’s favorite place, Disneyland!

While I definitely prefer Disney World due to its size and scope, our adventure at Disneyland was just about perfect!  The weather was great, there were surprisingly few people despite it being a Friday before a holiday weekend, and we barely waited 15 minutes in any line!  Topped by an amazing dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the food was fantastic and the company even more so :)

And then not long after came my fourth trip, a work-related trip that took me to Huntsville, Alabama.  Little did I know how much NASA stuff was out there, and being able to stand beneath a fully-erect Apollo rocket was an awe-inspiring moment!!  I only wish my wife could have been there with me for that experience.

To top off this eventful year, I ended things by publishing three novels at once!  What started as an attempt to refresh my work turned into a much longer, multi-year effort to rebrand the Sword of Dragons, and while I still am far from my goal of making a living off of writing, I’m happy to say that this venture has brought me a lot closer than I was before!

Now we come to it, the end of a truly roller coaster year (with lots of actual roller coasters!)  I look back, and realize why I feel so exhausted, and why my emotions are so crazy right now.  So much good, so much hardship.  Even my holiday from work for the Christmas and New Years holiday has been tumultuous.

What do I want for 2019?  Relaxation.  Am I likely to get it?  Well…

Looking Ahead to 2019

2019 may very well be another year without me publishing a new novel.  I’ve been working on book 3 of the Sword of Dragons series, and as of writing this, I’m 7 chapters in.  But Kailar’s story has been fighting me and I’ve basically scrapped my original plan for her in book 3.  Which means I’m kind of making it up as I go for her chapters.

I also don’t want to rush it.  I have a title and even a cover set to go for it, but I want to write the best story that I can, and I want to make sure it is as polished as possible.

What I AM happy to report is that I’m headed back to the convention scene, at least for one time.  My wife and I have officially been accepted as vendors in the 2019 Whimsy Con in Denver!  Our favorite Steampunk convention, and a worthy successor to the former Anomaly Con where Beck and I met, this will be our first table together, with me selling my books, and Beck selling her jewelry and her first book.

Yes, you read that right, Beck’s first novel will be available by Whimsy Con!  :D  Click here to head on over to her blog to find out about her latest adventures with her book, and her planned release no later than March 1st!

Shortly after that, comes perhaps our biggest move yet since we met each other – we’re planning on buying a house!  Mostly because we’re tired of dealing with sub-standard apartments in the Denver area.  Truly, there are inadequate protections for renters in Denver and property owners get away with a lot of inky moves.  We even ended up getting the FCC involved in our dispute regarding exclusivity enforcement by CenturyLink in our current apartment complex, only to discover that our apartment complex had  been lying to us about it.

So we’re done with apartments in Denver.

Beyond that?  I’m not entirely sure where 2019 will take me.  It probably greatly depends on where we land with a house.  I don’t anticipate any big trips this year, since we need to conserve money, so probably just hunker down and focus on writing and voice acting.

Did I mention that yet, voice acting?  I’ve decided to move forward with recording audio books, and depending on how that goes, I may try my hand at other related ventures.  I’m also slated to be the MC for the Whimsy Con costume contest this year :)

So, now it’s just time to take in a deep breath, and plunge into 2019.  Here’s hoping for a great year!

Thanks for reading, thanks for staying with me, and thanks for your encouraging words through the hard times.  I really appreciate all of you!!  (PS: I just noticed, 205 followers!!  We passed 200!!!!  :D )

-Jon Wasik

The Hard Part – Getting the Word Out

Hi everyone!

There are many challenges to being a writer, many of which I never expected, and many of which were far greater than I ever imagined.  For over 20 years, I’ve dreamt of ‘making it’ as a writer.

The one challenge I did not quite anticipate in my steady work towards that dream: just getting the word out.  Getting my name out there, getting the name of my book out there, getting people to want to read it.  I always thought just getting published would be the hardest part.

It’s been seven months since The Sword of Dragons was released, and it was one of the most exciting times of my life!  Sure I didn’t go the traditional route of ‘landing’ an agent and getting a publishing house to pick it up.  Self publication made sense at the time, and I do not regret that decision at all.

To an extent, it has been a success!  I have not heard one single negative review so far, and it is more than just family and close friends that have read it. Random people at work that I’ve convinced to buy it, patrons in the coffee shops I frequent (not to mention the baristas themselves), pretty much anyone and everyone who would listen and was willing.

While that had only translated to just over 50 sales, all feedback, including reviews on Amazon (and one review on Barnes and Noble) were all stellar!

But…50.  50 sales in 7 months.  And half of those sales were in the first two months.  It was disheartening.  I knew that the novel I had written was good, perhaps even great if the reviews are any indication!  It was the first novel I had ever written that I believed in.

So the question became: how do I get more people to give it a chance?  How do I get the word out?  How do I convince someone who has never heard my name before that this book is worth reading?

Then a friend gave me the answer to that question: with my exclusivity to Kindle, I could use the Kindle Unlimited program to put The Sword of Dragons on sale for free!  And so this past Friday, I did just that.  I didn’t expect much, maybe a dozen or two ‘sales’ at most…

I was so very wrong.  I watched incredulously as over 200 were sold in the first day, and 200 more the next day!!!  My jaw quite literally dropped open.  Could this be true?

Of course, there is a part of me that wonders: how many of those are from people who simply watch for any and all free books, and buy them up in an instant regardless, and they go into a ‘never going to read’ folder?

In the end, 694 people bought The Sword of Dragons for free.  And what if…?  What if even just a fraction of those folks read it?  And what if those folks love it, and tell everyone they know about it?

It’s conceivable it could go the other way: those who read it could hate it, and they don’t spread the word, and no one else ever buys The Sword of Dragons again.

However, at least there is a chance now.  Instead of 54, now over 750 people have a copy.  Maybe, just maybe, this is where it begins.  Maybe this is the boost I needed to start launching my writing career.

I hope so.  No matter what, I’m not giving up on writing, or on the Sword of Dragons series.  I will publish all six novels, regardless of their success.

But what if dreams can come true?

I know they can.

quote-Walt-Disney-all-our-dreams-can-come-true-if-247

Thanks for reading :)
-Jon Wasik

Is History Repeating? Star Wars and Star Trek Together Again

Hi everyone!

A few days ago while at work, I overheard several coworkers discussing the upcoming Star Wars movie, as well as the events of the previous six movies.  And I thought to myself “I never thought to hear Star Wars talked so openly and frequently again!  This.  Is.  Awesome.”

A meme has started floating around the internet, with pictures of news articles about the new episodes of X-Files, the new Star Wars movies, and the recently announced Star Trek TV show.  The meme goes something like: “which nerd managed to find a genie’s lamp?”

mix-up

Wait, no, that’s not the one……  ;)

Any way, it got me to thinking about the history of two of those franchises, and how they seem to have been linked.  Star Trek and Star Wars.

Image Source - www.memory-alpha.wikia.com
Image Source – http://www.memory-alpha.wikia.com

In many ways, the revival of Star Trek that began with The Motion Picture owes its thanks to the release and insane popularity of Star Wars in 1977.  There’s a story, one that has been repeated in several interviews, in which Paramount Studios saw the success of Star Wars, and thought “What do we have that can compete with that?”  Other accounts say it wasn’t about rivalry, it was more “This has made the genre popular again, let’s build upon that opportunity!”

In either case, the release of The Motion Picture in 1979 was no coincidence.  And fandom saw a new surge in sci fi popularity that hasn’t quite died.

Unfortunately, despite that resurgence, both Star Trek and Star Wars eventually saw an apparent end.

Everything Has It’s Time, Right?

Image Source - blu-ray.com
Image Source – blu-ray.com

In 2005, just when it was finally starting to find its stride, Star Trek Enterprise went off the air.  For many fans, myself included, there was a genuine fear that this was the last time we would ever see Trek on TV.

Let’s face it, Star Trek had begun to lose its gusto.  Fans still loved Trek (myself included,) but many were very much disappointed in Enterprise, and ratings were crashing.

Everything has its time.  And with 5 series spread across 28 seasons (not counting the animated series) and ten movies, it seemed like Trek had reached its saturation.

What’s more, Star Wars Episode 3 came out the same year Enterprise ended, and Lucas promised no more new Star Wars.  Perhaps with good reason.  While the prequel trilogy had done well in sales, many fans despised the trilogy, and even today I have a difficult time finding anyone who enjoyed the new trilogy.

jarjar-fail

It seemed like the end of a mutually beneficial era.  The two franchises that seemed to build upon one another’s successes had come to an end at roughly the same time.

Here We Go Again!

Then something unexpected happened.  Star Trek made a come back!  With a new spirit, new actors, and a new timeline, the 2009 Star Trek reboot brought both old and new fans to the theaters, and once again, everyone was talking Star Trek!

Image Source - Amazon.com
Image Source – Amazon.com

In fact, I have this very distinct memory of seeing the new movie the first time with several friends, and at the very end, one of them leaned over and asked me, “Did we just witness the revival of Star Trek?  I think we did!”

It was an exciting time.  Star Trek was back!  Yes, there was no hint of a TV show coming, and we didn’t have Star Wars, but that was okay.  Some was better than none…

Image Source - starwars.com
Image Source – starwars.com

Or is it?  In 2012, the world was shocked to learn that Lucas was selling the rights for Star Wars to Disney.  And lo and behold, within days, Disney announced not just a new Star Wars movie, but 5 new movies!

Could this be real?

Yes…yes it is.  Both are coming back!!

Fast-forward to today, and what do we have?  A successful 2nd Trek movie, with a 3rd on the way, and previews of a new Star Wars movie that give many, myself included, great hopes for the Star Wars movies we’ve all only ever dreamed of.

To top it all off, Paramount has announced a NEW Star Trek television series is coming!

The Tapestry of the Stars

So what’s going on?  Are these two franchises somehow woven together in the tapestry of fandom?

Certainly they seem to be enjoying the very same fervent popularity they held for so long before their eventual apparent ‘demise’ in 2005.  And I really don’t think it is a coincidence that as one makes a come-back, so too does the other.  I think they build upon each others’ successes.

trekandwarsI will never argue over which is better.  I love both for the unique qualities they bring to such a diverse genre.  And just as Lucas and Roddenberry once shook hands and encouraged each other, I so hope that these two franchises continue to help prop each other up, so that we can enjoy another couple decades of amazing Science Fiction :)

(PS: Is anyone else out there hoping for Stargate to make a comeback?!)

oneil-wacko

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik