Saturday, November 18, 2017

Become One of My Patrons and Join My Journey!


I have a personal Patreon page now, as do so many independent artists and creatives in today's world. It is a platform through which anyone in the public can choose to become a patron of an artist, musician, writer, filmmaker, or a company engaged in those kinds of activities.

For myself, this is something that can be of tremendous help in advancing and growing in my content creation and activities. At the moment, in addition to being a writer, I am also developing a TV show, co-hosting a weekly podcast, co-hosting a weekly V-log, engaging in weekly blogging, hosting original content on my own YouTube channel weekly, while also tending to all the tasks involved in running a press (Seventh Star Press) and convention (Imaginarium Convention).

The workload is seven days a week, with most days being long, whether twelve hours, fourteen, or even more (and sometimes overnight). It doesn't come with any guarantees. No benefits of any sort, like healthcare or paid vacation or sick days. When I'm dealing with an illness, I have to still meet deadlines and make things work on a regular basis.

I'm not complaining.  This is what I do.  I love the areas of activity I am involved in and have always maintained I'll work 80 hours a week at something I like versus 30 in something I have no interest or passion for.

At this stage of my journey, I have seen that the work I do does help and benefit a great many others, in many ways. 
 
Seventh Star Press has enabled a great many authors to have their work published, with quality presentations that involve great care in regard to cover art and layouts. It has also provided lots of opportunities for editors and artists, and serviced many thousands of readers with quality content. 

The Imaginarium Convention has delivered a wealth of opportunities in learning, networking and empowerment to all kinds of independent creatives, whether authors, editors, publishers, filmmakers and artists. 

The Vlogs, blogs and podcasts all serve to regularly provide insights, education, and inspiration to all kinds of independent creatives on their own paths.

My own creative work, whether in writing or filmmaking, strives to encourage and inspire, with affirmations of positive values and outlooks in the protagonists I embrace. The Rayden Valkyrie character is a prime example of this, and I have gotten many messages from readers who have been inspired and encouraged in the ways I had hoped to see.

Ultimately, it is up to others to recognize the value in what someone does, but I believe strongly in the work that I do, what is has been for others, and what it can be for many more. 

The realities are that the landscape for creatives is unpredictable and constantly shifting.  It is a very difficult road to travel.  The book publishing world alone sees regular, profound changes in the way books are marketed and sold, and these changes are rarely, if ever, truly helpful to smaller press and independent writers.  Similarly, ad revenue streams on things like Google Ads or YouTube monetization sees sudden and unhelpful changes, such as the famous "adpocalypse" last fall.

A little help is needed and this is where a group of Patrons can make a huge difference. 

Having a little more surety in what I can look to each month can enable me to develop even stronger content and participate in more activities like workshops and events.  I can upgrade the equipment I use regularly, take advantage of more marketing opportunities to raise awareness of my work and all the things I am involved in.  From growth to production value, Patrons would help me develop and keep improving in all my spheres of activity. 

I can assure potential Patrons that the result will be increased content with stronger presentation, which will, in turn, benefit a much greater number of independent creatives.  There is a real synergy that can happen with a solid base of support at Patreon.  I look forward to engaging regularly with my Patrons, no matter what level each chooses to participate at. 

If you are interested in supporting my work in any area, whether my writing, my broadcasting/Vlogging, my filmmaking, blogging, or the work I do for Seventh Star Press and the Imaginarium Convention, please consider becoming one of  my Patrons. 

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.  It means a lot to me. more than you might realize.

You can visit my Patreon page at the link below to learn more:

https://www.patreon.com/stephenzimmer



Monday, November 13, 2017

The Multi-Faceted World of Today's Creative

This past week on The Creative's Cauldron, in our latest episode, Holly and I explored how today's independent creative is a "renaissance person", in terms of being active in different spheres of creativity. I relate to that dynamic myself in the areas of writing, filmmaking, music, martial arts, and broadcasting. I've found that engaging in multiple areas of creative activity, I bring myself lots of experiences and new perspectives that expand my horizons in each of the various spheres. My adventures in filmmaking, training in martial arts, exploring music, and broadcasting both in radio and visually have helped me grow further as a writer, for example. Every sphere of activity involves different experiences, disciplines, interactions, and so much more, which all lend to growing the pool of ideas, knowledge, and references that I draw from when engaging in a writing project. This results in more realism, better-developed characters, and many other things that help me develop my writing further. The different spheres also serve to inspire, in their own way. They involve different kinds of goals and milestones, the development of different skill sets, and each of these paths brings different kinds of inspiration. This is not a small area of contribution, as it is incredibly difficult to pursue the independent creative road and inspiration can make all the difference in the world when enduring some of the tougher stretches of the indie road. The multiple spheres of activity also introduce me to new audiences, who in turn discover the other things that I do. Reading audiences become aware of my independent film work, fans of independent film become aware of my novels, and all kinds of other examples of cross-pollination derive from my activity in several areas. It really is a good thing that today's climate for independent creatives fosters an openness to being active in different kinds of artistic expressions and pursuits. It has both practical and creative benefits, and I also think it helps contribute to attaining a more well-rounded approach to living life.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Started a Series of Videos on My Own YouTube Channel

It's been a very active week working with all the spheres of activity that Seventh Star Press is involved in.  I've had a little extra burden as I've been going through lots of tutorials as I get back up to speed on Adobe Premiere Pro cc 2018, since I'm doing all the post-production on The Creative's Cauldron and other YouTube activities we will have going on.

On that note, I just started a new series of videos on my own channel called Tip Trifecta.  Each video is designed to be a short-format presentation, no more than about 2 1/2 minutes in length, featuring 3 tips or insights relating to a topic relevant to creatives of today.


Sometimes the topic will be something close in relation to the theme explored in a given week on The Creative's Cauldron, as all of those topics involve things near and dear to both myself and Holly.  Sometimes it may be another topic, though no less near and dear.

I hope these are helpful to creatives of all kinds, if only to suggest some things to think about while journeying along the creative path.

The first one I did gives three reasons why creatives should avoid being overly influenced or consumed by trends.  These reasons come from observations I've had over years of experience in multiple creative areas, so I am confident they are well-founded.

I am always learning new things myself as I travel my own road, but I always want to share what I've gleaned along the way so that others can avoid some of the snares and pitfalls out there.  It is tough enough being an independent creative!

Here's the first Tip Trifecta for you to check out!  Leave a comment here and let me know what you think, and if you enjoy it go over to my YouTube Channel and subscribe!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Readying to Co-host a Podcast and a YouTube Show!

It has been a little while since I have co-hosted a show, as the Star Chamber Show was on hiatus for a few months, but this week I am definitely diving into the deep end of the pool in that area.  

Wednesday night marks the return of The Star Chamber Show, and Friday marks the debut of a new YouTube show called The Creative's Cauldron.  

The Star Chamber Show has already had 87 episodes and featured a great range of writers and other independent creatives.  The show has been on hiatus for a little while, but all of the co-hosts are rarin' to go to bring the show back better than ever.  

The range of guests will expand, and the show won't necessarily have a designated guest every week.  It will be a show about the independent creative world, especially as it regards the realms of books, movies, art, and gaming.  There will be guests, of course, and the types of guests will be expanding, but the show will be expanding beyond the interview-style format that was central in the first 87 episodes.  

Friday marks the debut of The Creative's Cauldron, a new YouTube show that Holly Phillippe and I are developing and co-hosting that will focus on the world of indie creatives.  We work as independent creatives each and every day, and there are a lot of folks out there who really don't know what working in this area involves and what it is really like.  

The show will be a rather raw and candid look at our daily lives running a small press, a convention, blogging, podcasting, developing a TV show, and everything else we are involved with (along with my own path as a writer myself.)  I think viewers will find the show funny and entertaining much of the time, but they will also get a good sense of how tough it is to pursue one's dreams in areas that are very hard to make a living within. 

I think it will be great to do a show with Holly (and she's going to be one of the co-hosts on The Star Chamber Show going forward as well) as we do have a great dynamic when working together, and with our distinctly different styles/personalities, I think we will make it entertaining to watch!

Be sure to subscribe to the Seventh Star Press YouTube channel for The Creative's Cauldron at www.youtube.com/seventhstarpress 

and The Star Chamber Show can be found at:  www.blogtalkradio/starchambershow 

Get ready for some fun shows! 








Thursday, October 19, 2017

An Age of Division

It's not the easiest thing in the world trying to move forward as a creative in an atmosphere that is increasingly polarized, and becoming less rational and honorable by the minute. 

I will forever be grateful that my parents raised me from day one to see each person as an individual and not someone to categorize in a group.  I didn't encounter categorizations until the world at large taught me about them.  I never felt comfortable when encountering those who seemingly felt a need to put each person into a certain category, whether that be gender, racial/ethnic, religious, or something other.

Today, that dynamic is exacerbated to a tremendous degree, where we are all being labeled in categories and being more than subtly guided as to who we should be opposed to, hate, or shun.

Anyone that has read my work or knows me is well-aware that I do not fit into any box.  I see people as individuals and my positions could be described as libertarian (small "l", not the political party which is about ineffective as a political party could possibly get).

Some of my positions would be described as liberal, some conservative, and some centrist.  I am an open-minded thinker and look at things on a case by case basis, evaluating things mostly on how much they embrace individual freedom.

It is one reason why I do love the United States and what it stands for.  For all its flaws, the United States is unique historically in that it (at least in theory) looks at rights as being natural in nature, not granted by humankind or government.  In that area it really stands apart and warrants defending, as the concept of natural rights can conceivably pull people in the right direction and away from totalitarian vibes that are sweeping much of the world, with clever sugar-coating using terms like democracy and freedom, when the latter is being constrained more and more with each passing day.

This is why it is not an easy path doing what I do today.  I have friends and work with individuals who are all over the spectrum, in terms of the aforementioned categories.  They are at each other's throats more than ever before, and it is dismaying as I see them ignoring their true adversaries; a group that works very well together and occupies not the 1% level...but the .1% level economically.

That upper crust knows the value of cooperation and cohesiveness, the very things they seek to divide in the rest of the world.  This is a big part of many of the themes that I explore in my work as a writer.

I would like to see people come to their senses and realize that they have so much more to gain by becoming individually empowered, and working together in a cohesive fashion, than they do in falling prey to divisiveness and those who would lock the chains of massive governmental control over them.

It will take a big awakening, but it can happen.  If it does, and people realize the power of individuals, a society with abundance and success like no other in history is capable of emerging.




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

TV Pilots and Conventions Back to Back Make Definitely Challenge One's Endurance

It's October and I need a vacation.  Haven't had one of those in a LONG while, but it would be nice.

It has been quite a run since March, a full-throttle work mode that encompassed the pre-production/production of Rayden Valkyrie, Saga of a Lionheart, and then the main preparations and delivery of Imaginarium Convention 2017.

Both are projects near and dear to my heart, but they both required wearing multiple hats and grueling schedules. I exhausted myself and regained some weight in the process, unfortunately, but in order to deliver both projects it had to be done.  Both were on very small budgets and a lot had to be taken on that would normally have been handled by a hired staff. 

We just released a new trailer about a week ago for the Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot, which stars Brock O'Hurn and Sol Geirsdottir, and has an extremely talented ensemble cast. Take a few moments and enjoy the trailer here:




For the next few months I will not have any major events looming, thankfully.  We are in the post-production phase on the TV Pilot and we will be presenting it to a number of parties before the year is out as we seek a good home to develop a full series.  

I will have a lot of activity to attend to with my writing, working for Seventh Star Press, and developing things for next year's Imaginarium Convention, but it won't be at the same intensity as my March-October schedule was.  

I am also aiming to ramp up my physical training again.  Really not happy about backsliding a bit these past few months, but I had to do what I had to do to take the next steps on my path.  I sincerely hope I will not have to run that kind of gauntlet again, and the next time I will be able to operate on a level where there is a budget for additional staff help, etc.  I know I can get shored up physically again, it's just a matter of consistency and focus.  

One project I am excited about is The Creative's Cauldron, a new YouTube show I will be doing with my better half, Holly Phillipe, that will be a candid, funny, and entertaining take on our lives working in the indie creative world.  It won't be scripted I think a lot of authors, filmmakers and other creatives will relate to the kinds of stories we share from our daily lives working to take the next steps on the creative path.  Definitely check it out, and be sure to subscribe to the Seventh Star Press YouTube channel so you get the notifications on new episodes!  The link for that is: www.youtube.com/seventhstarpress

It's a very interesting time for sure, and I know there's an audience for the things we have developed and are developing, but I would not turn down a vacation opportunity! haha! 




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chicago Trip for Rayden Valkyrie TV Pilot Project

Started this week with a very intensive two day excursion from Chicago to explore casting possibilities for the role of Rayden Valkyrie in the Rayden Valkyrie TV Pilot Project.



Obviously, the casting of this central role is critical to the potential success of the project, so we have to take extreme care with this decision.  We have had to adjust our production window a couple of times during the process, but we want to make absolutely sure we do it right.

This project could not only lead to an entire season of episodes, but it could kickoff some wonderful new projects for Seventh Star Studios, which is the production company bringing this to life (and it is the first project for Seventh Star Studios).

Me with production team members John Wells Ken Daniels and Holly Phillipe
We are very busy with several areas of the project at the moment, from storyboards to locations props, costuming, and building the production crew. It's coming together and I hope to be able to share some cool news in regards to our cast very soon!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Looking Ahead, Writing Projects, Visual Media, and Much More.

I haven't posted here in a little while, as my friend Jorie (writer and reviewer/book blogger at Jorie Loves a Story) reminded me of.  Time slipped by fast over the holidays as I was engaged in a moving project, and moving during the holiday season is a double-whammy for sure!

I got back on a good writing rhythm again, and recently finished the manuscript for the second Rayden Valkyrie novel.  Tentatively titled Thunder Horizon, it is the followup to Heart of a Lion.  I am confident that readers will find it to be a very exciting, action-filled read that builds strongly from everything set in place in the first novel.  

I celebrated the finish of the book with a bottle of Blanton's, a wondrous bourbon made here in Kentucky that is a personal favorite of mine.  The photo below was taken a few hours after finishing the manuscript. 



The book has been sent to Scott M. Sandridge, the editor for the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.  I am hoping to see it released later this spring. 

Next on the writing horizon are two projects.  One is a YA novel, cross-genre, that I'm very excited about.  I'm probably about 2/3 finished on the manuscript and progressing daily.  

Also up is the 4th installment in the Fires in Eden series.  There's been a little time since Spirit of Fire was released, and I feel with how I've grown these past couple of years I'm in a good position to deliver the best title in this series yet.  With many threads well-established in the story I have a lot to work with, but expect a fast-pace, intense read with a lot of development with the characters and plot. 

On the movie front, we are preparing for the production of the TV Pilot Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart.  From storyboarding, to costuming, casting, and other areas, a lot is going on right now and we're building a great group to bring this to life.  Production will take place later this spring in Kentucky.  Going to be an exciting one for sure! 

 All of this, in addition to my ongoing work for Seventh Star Press (including Imaginarium 2017) means a very busy year looms.  I'll work to be better at posting updates here  as well! :) 


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