Sunday, December 10, 2017

No Longer "Pay What You Want," But Still Lots of Free Books

Wow, I haven't made a blog post since the launch of Mothman's Return? So much for keeping up with this! That being said, it's been nearly two months since the release of the latest Enoc Tales adventure, and I'm making a few adjustments to how I'll be getting these books out to as many people as possible.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has read "Tale of the Mothman's Return!"

The response for this book has been amazing! By now several people have finished it, and reviews are coming in—and boy are they positive! Here are a few things people have to say about it...

"What an exciting book! I couldn't put it down! Characters, scenes, details...all so clear! This author's knowledge of facts and events is so impressive! So colorful and will be glad you purchased this book! I love it! I can't wait for the next novel by Edison T. Crux!"

"I'm always a fan of Edison's work, and his latest book is no exception. This installment in the series did not disappoint; it was truly a gripping and thrilling story that left me wanting more. Just when you think you have everything figured out, Edison flips expectations on their heads and surprises the reader with his signature twists on monster lore. It's his best storytelling yet."

So to all those who have read and enjoyed this book, a big thank you! Nothing makes me feel better than knowing people actually enjoy what I write.

"Pay What You Want" Special Is Ending—but Something Else Big Is Coming

In my last blog post, I talked about how the ebook versions of all the Enoc Tales stories would be available as "Pay What You Want" PDFs—meaning you choose what they are worth to do. You could even pick one up for free, and come back to pay for it later.

Although I love the Pay What You Want way of doing business, I've decided to go a slightly different route for promoting these books.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mothman's Return Ebook Will Be FREE! (If You Want It To Be)

If you haven't seen my announcement on Social Media (which you probably have; I post there a lot more than here, haha), then there is some good news. Tale of the Mothman's Return will be available October 13th!

That's right, after all the waiting we have a release date set in stone. And how perfect; I was able to launch it on Friday the 13th!

Stay tuned on more details about the book launch, but for now, I have more really exciting news to share...

Tale of the Mothman's Return Can Be Yours FREE!

You read that right. I will be making the PDF version of Mothman's Return available for any price you want, even no price at all. It's a concept called Pay What You Want, and I gotta say I love the whole idea. 

Here's how it works...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Life Is Looking Up!

Photo by Franklin Hunting

Hey everybody!

Not long ago, I came out and talked about the difficulties I was facing, in both my home and professional life. It's been nearly a month since then, and I thought it was time to let you know how things have been since then.

Enormous Support From Fans & Friends

First of all, I need to acknowledge how amazing everyone has been. After posting that, people who I hardly talked to anymore reached out with words of kindness and support. There was so much love, so much kindness, and so much support that I couldn't help but feel uplifted. So to everyone who supported me after that, thank you so much!

As is always the case when posting something online, there were a few people with negative things to say. I expected that—in fact, fear of that very criticism is a big part of why people don't express their pain publicly. I'm proud to say that negative reaction didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Haters are gonna hate, but that was still nothing compared to the love I was feeling from so many others. 

And you know what else? Once I admitted my struggles... they started getting better. Life has been improving in so many ways. I can't help but feel like the universe has been working with me ever since then, instead of against me. 

Thriving Family Life

As you know by now, my family dynamic is not exactly typical. That's still true—and my situation still isn't easy—but over the last month it has really improved. Alex has been so much calmer. At first, it was strange—I figured he was sick and drained. And for awhile, yeah, he was definitely sick. But then he got better, and has still been so much more relaxed ever since. We still have our challenges with outbursts, but a much smaller portion of my day is filled with his screaming—and that's a win for both of us! Haha. My oldest son, Matthew, is doing good as well. 

My wife was recently offered a promotion at her job. Not only will that give her a bit of a pay raise, but it will also mean she won't be working third shift anymore! And that will be really nice. She doesn't start her new position until the end of October, but at least there's a definite date.

To top things off, I even started doing some freelance work, in and around my current projects and responsibilities. It's not a ton of hours, but the pay is nice and—most importantly—it gives me the feeling of contributing. After giving up on YouTube and out-of-the-house work to take care of your family, being able to earn an income is a serious morale boost. 

Obviously, things haven't been all peaches and rainbows. The flu rolled through the Crux house, and hit my wife particularly hard. That was rough. And some days, the old feeling of helplessness returns... but that is rare now. More often than not I get up with enthusiasm, ready and willing to do good work for the world.

Mothman's Return is FINISHED! (Mostly)

That's right—if you've been following me on social media, you'll have heard that I finally finished the writing for Mothman's Return!! 

This is a huge accomplishment in several ways. For one, this has been hanging over my head for a year and a half, and now I have finally finished it. It's almost like closure on this whole dark period of my life—and that's awesome.

It's also huge because, well, this book is huge! At 100,000 words, it's the longest book I've written yet. It's also the best, in my opinion, so that's 100,000 words I think you will really enjoy.

However, it's not entirely done yet. Now that the story itself is finished, I can go on to preparing the layout for the paperback, setting up the ebook, finalizing the cover, and all the other little things involved with releasing a book. That's alright—I've already made good progress on that, and everything is going smoothly. 

I don't want to jinx it, but Tale of the Mothman's Return will likely be available by the end of this month!

Overall, Life Is On The Right Track!

Things aren't perfect, but they are better. I've been reconnecting with friends I haven't spoken to in ages. I'm working again. The kids are becoming (a bit) more stable, haha. 

This is just the beginning. If I've learned anything (and maybe, if I've been able to teach anything by example), it's that conducting yourself with absolute honesty is good. It's scary as hell, especially at first, and there will be people looking to cut you down for it. But there's no greater freedom than being true to yourself. 

I've got more exciting things to come, and you'll hear about it soon. But for now, I just wanted everyone to know that I'm doing alright =)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tale of the Mothman's Return PREVIEW!

If you've been following me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know I've been making steady progress on Tale of the Mothman's Return.

And man, does it feel good. I'm within spitting distance of being ready to share this book with the world. I just have a few chapters left to revise, then all that remains is post-production—preparing the print and ebook layouts, setting it up for sale, etc.

It's long overdue, and for those of you eager to get your hands on it, I have a little treat...

Preview the Prologue & First 2 Chapters of Mothman's Return!

Wait no longer—you can check out the beginning of Mothman's Return right now!

These three chapters (well okay—two chapters and a prologue) do a great job of setting the stage for the rest of the book. They'll introduce you to the characters and the things that kick this story into gear. I think you're going to enjoy them, and they'll get you even more pumped for the rest of the book.

Alright, enough talking—let's get to it!

Read it below, or click here to open it on a separate page (recommended for mobile reading.)

Are you excited for Mothman's Return? What do you think of the beginning? Let me know in the comments! =)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Exhausting Year At The Crux Home

I settled in to write this blog post, and suddenly banshee screams filled the house. I went to see what was wrong. Nothing. Nothing at all. Alex—my autistic 4 year-old son—was screaming his head off for no discernible reason. Sometimes he can talk, a little, but he much prefers constant screaming. So far I've tried everything I know of to help calm him down—made sure his tablet is working, gave him reassuring hugs, comforted him—but forty minutes later there's no sign of slowing down.

This is a pretty normal day for me now.

I know I've fallen off the face of the Earth again. My YouTube channel abruptly died, there's been no word from me on social media, and that book that's been "almost finished" for a year is in that same, stranded condition.

It hasn't exactly been a fun year, but it's time I explain what I've been up to (and—with any luck—what you can expect in the future)

What happened?

About a year ago, things were going pretty good. My YouTube channel was being met with moderate success, a had a great new book on the way, and I was making slow but steady progress towards my goals.

But as most of you know, life has a way of throwing curve balls. Haha, I should know better than most—how many twists and challenging do I throw at characters in my books? (Spoilers: a lot). They usually come out stronger at the end of it, and I expect I will as well.

So it's time to get down to explaining what's kept me away for so long.

Matthew as a (very small & very red) newborn.

Kids with special needs

Long time fans might already know, but my oldest son Matthew has had more than his fair share of medical problems. Born at 24 weeks and 3 days into the pregnancy, he was a micro-preemie and, honestly, no one thought he would survive. 11 years later and he is doing better than ever, and I couldn't be prouder of that kid. He still has some lingering issues, and is on the autism spectrum, but for the most part he is a healthy little guy. Still, it has always been a more challenging experience taking care of a kid with special needs.

Which leads to the next real curve ball in my life; Alex, my youngest son (who you might recognize from this blog's intro). Unlike his brother, Alex had a full, healthy pregnancy, and his early life was blissfully "normal." After the traumatic beginning for Matthew, something as simple as a healthy baby feels like a miracle. But as Alex got older, it became increasingly apparent that he had more in common with his brother than we thought.

Alex as a (perfectly normal & healthy) baby.

Alex is also autistic. And for the last year and a half (intensifying over the last few months), he has become a handful. He doesn't really talk, the smallest things can set him off, and everything in his routine has to be exactly perfect to get through it without a meltdown.

Now don't get me wrong; Alex is also one of the sweetest little humans I've ever known. He can be a joy to be around and a pleasure to play with. Except... when he isn't. Alex lives in extremes, and will swing from happy and silly to full-on rage on the turn of a dime. He can't help it—his brain is wired differently, and he has a hard time coping with things that would be easy for "normal" kids. I don't blame him, and I use all my compassion to comfort and calm him down during these fits. But... it is exhausting. Getting him calm again during one of these meltdowns takes all the energy I have, leaving me emotionally drained for hours afterwards. And you never know when they will come.

The point is this; I love my boys—but they are a lot of work. Which leads into... 

Wife working full-time

I have the most incredible wife in the world. She's my best friend, the strongest person I know, and filled with immeasurable compassion. We've been married over 5 years, and with each passing day I love her more.

One of her dreams has been to become a nurse, and after years of working towards that goal she has finally reached it. She started working in this new position at the start of the year, and has been rocking it ever since. I couldn't be prouder.

But it's a full-time job, and lately she's been working the night shift. It ends up that she is almost always working, which leaves me watching the kids nearly 24/7. Our kids are home schooled (a difficult decision, but one that allows them to flourish better with their individual needs), so they aren't even away for school time each day.

This is probably the biggest reason for my lack of progress. I am always taking care of the kids. Which can be great, and most of the time it is. But I have to be ready to drop everything at a moment's notice, all day, every day. It's not a good situation to make videos, and makes concentrating on editing a book difficult. 

Battling Depression

Can I be real with you? Over this last year I've been an emotional wreck. I've always been a pretty stable and persistently-happy guy, but I've been falling apart bit by bit for awhile now and the cracks are really showing.

I don't want to talk about this too much, because I know there are plenty of others who have it far worse than I do. I can't even decide if "depression" is the right word for me; I tend to swing between immense frustration at what I can't do, to feeling defeated and hopeless. The frustration is more common though, and I think that's good—it means I've still got some fight in me.

I want to be doing things; I have so many dreams and goals I desperately want to pursue. But, right now, life has other plans for me. My kids need me, my wife needs me, and my needs have to come last right now. I'll get through it. This won't be forever. But for the time being, it's a rocky ride. 

What To Expect Moving Forward

So what does this mean? Have I given up, curled into a ball and decided to let my dreams pass me by?

Hell no.

It's true that I haven't made much progress on the things I want to accomplish. The going is slow
 But you know what? I keep moving forward. I might be crawling forward, but I'm not turning back.

That being said, I'm not here to say things will suddenly change all that much. There's only so much I can do right now, and my top priority is always going to be taking care of my family. But there are still things I can do, and that's what I'm going to focus on.

Let's Play Videos are, in all likelihood, not coming back for awhile still. Two reasons; the time issue that I said before, and my computer is in desperate need of an upgrade. It's at least 6 years old now, and it's a laptop. The quality of videos was getting pretty choppy, and it limited me to only playing games old enough that it could handle. At some point I'll be upgrading my computer, and then who knows? I do miss making videos, and when the opportunity presents itself I will eagerly get back on with that. But this one is on the back burner, for now.

Writing is the one thing I can do best in this circumstance. I can stop and go a hundred times an hour if need be, the sound of screams in the background won't ruin it (in fact, it might actually set the mood for those scary scenes!), and it is flexible enough that I can adjust it to meet the needs of any family obligations. Again, I can't expect progress to be fast; but it will keep moving, at least. So expect to see the highly-anticipated Tale of the Mothman's Return coming out in the near future. Here's hoping it lives up to an extra year of hype! Haha.

Another thing I want to do is stay social. This one serves two purposes; it let's me keep a dialogue with my awesome fans, and it keeps me from trying to shut the world out when that nagging depression tries to creep in. I intend to be more active on Facebook and Twitter, and make a blog post of some kind at least once a week. I might even experiment with more vlogs from time to time, although they have never been as much my style, haha.

And that's that, for now! If you want to keep in touch, make sure to Like my Author Page on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, and Subscribe on YouTube! And don't be shy about leaving a comment on this blog, either; it's something I'm still getting used to, so your help keeping the conversation going would be great =)

Here's to Moving Forward