Discover more from READINARY by Ryan M. Williams
What's in a name? Going beyond "Writer"
Readinary Vol. 2023-07
First contact starts at home in Space Monkeys, a story of mine that first appeared in On Spec Magazine. It remains a favorite story of mine about a father trying to bond with his neurodiverse son. It’s available as an e-book (I still need to get out the paperback) and features original cover artwork created by me, not an A.I. generator.
It’s one of many titles I still want to get out in additional formats. I’ve faced the usual challenges—lack of energy and time leading the list. I’m working with my primary care doctor on figuring out some health issues contributing to that lack of energy.
My plan for March worked out fairly well.
I wrote every day last month and have continued that streak. I worked on courses, artwork, business tasks, and publishing tasks. I sent out stories to markets. I completed a couple new stories and started a new novel. Those stethoscope 🩺 emojis on the calendar are days when we had doctor’s appointments.
One of my self-care practices is focusing on having fun creating and celebrate what I accomplish, rather than beat myself up over things I haven’t done yet. It’s also got me thinking, looking at the various things that I work on, about what I call what I’m doing. “Writer” is true, but only a part of the picture. “Illustrator,” the same thing. I am also involved in publishing, marketing, and business roles. “Storyteller” is closer, I can tell stories in a variety of formats and media. I’m still working on my plans for my YouTube channel too, and that helped trigger some of these thoughts because I needed to write a description for the channel.
I finally settled on an idea I like: Indie Story Dev.
Indie Story Dev — What’s It Mean (to me)?
As I said earlier, I’m a storyteller. Often that means writing novels and short stories. Only it doesn’t stop with the writing. I’m creating original artwork for covers and illustrations for books as well. For one series, I’m planning to creating illustrations for the start of each chapter. There’s a story in the artwork too. And there are stories to tell as videos on the YouTube channel. I’m also thinking about other formats for storytelling, including:
There are whole cultures of indie creators in music, in game development, in art, and in writing. Game developers often use the terms “gamedev” and “indie gamedev.” Sometimes licensing the games to publishers, sometimes publishing games themselves. It’s similar to writers today. Since I’m interested in telling stories across formats and media, “indie story dev” more accurately describes the multidisciplinary creative work that I’m doing. It’s fun and I plan to share more of it in the weeks and months ahead.
Booktalk: What I’m Reading
No matter what else I’m doing, I always have books that I’m reading. I got to review the list of books from 2022 when filing taxes recently. It’s a lot when looked at all at once!
In print, I recently finished A Terrible Fall of Angels by Laurell K. Hamilton.
Imagine a world where religion wasn’t so intangible, one where there are units in the police department that deal with things like angels and demons. That’s the world of Hamilton’s new series. Where Anita Blake’s world has vampires gaining citizenship, in this new series, former angel speaker Zaniel “Havoc” Havelock investigates the murder of a college student. The case brings him back into contact with people from his past at the College of Angels and wakes old wounds. I enjoyed the book. It was fun and engaging. Now I just wish that there was news about the next in the series.
In audio, I’m continuing the journey through alternate Earths—and now Mars too—with The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.
The adventures continue with familiar and new characters in the next book in this fascinating series. I love how each book explores all sorts of possible permutations of ‘what if’? What if the impact that left us with the Moon didn’t happen? Or left multiple small moons? What if the composition of the gas cloud that condensed to form the solar system was slightly different? In this new book, Sally goes with her father to explore the “Long Mars” and we get a glimpse of alternate versions of Mars—some straight out of pre-spaceflight stories of the red planet. It’s another fascinating story that also asks questions about the future of humanity.
My e-book this week is a reread, The Haunting of Rookward House by Darcy Coates.
It might seem strange to turn to ghost stories for comfort, but that’s what I’m doing. I love Darcy Coates’ books and it is always so much fun to revisit them again. I’ve been reading them mostly in the evenings and this is the latest one I’ve picked up again since I first discovered Coates’ books and read every available title. Guy discovers that his mother inherited an old house and is determined to clean it up so they can sell it—not knowing what secrets the house holds.
We’ve reached the end of this issue of READINARY. If you stuck with it this far—thank you! If you’re interested in showing more support for my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber, or hop over to my shop and pick up copies of my books. If you use the links to pick up the books I share here, I also earn a small affiliate commission (for some of them) at no cost to you.
If you want. No problem if you don’t. I appreciate you reading this issue. I’ll likely be back in a couple weeks with another issue.
Best wishes, always—Ryan