Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day #53: March Comes in Like a Lion...

Let's hope that my kindergarten teacher was right... and that March will go out like a lamb.  Because I am so gosh darn busy, I could sue a couple carefree. lamb-like weeks.

Here's what's happening as I begin the month of March:

1) I have about two weeks left to complete the Camp Omigosh Kickstarter Goals. We haven't even reached the 10% mark, so we have really over-estimated our chances of reaching that goal.

2) There's less than a month until The Three Musketeers opens. We've still got a lot of fight choreography to master. There are still lots of props to gather, sets to build, and sound effects to design.

3) I received notes from my agent regarding my latest picture book. The current draft needs a stronger thematic focus (I agree with her notes). But I can't figure out how to fix it yet.

4) Essays, essays, essays. Lots of papers to grade, classes to teach. (Fortunately, I've got a terrific group of students -- as per usual at Moorpark College!)

5) Meetings, meetings, meetings. Now that I am a tenured professor, one of my many responsibilities is to participate in committee meetings. It's seems like the more meetings you attend, the more sub-committees you are given.

But if I can get through the next month, then spring break will be here... and I can take a breath.



Friday, February 27, 2015

Day #52: Art Contest for Camp Omigosh

Want a chance to win a free copy of Camp Omigosh? 

Enter the CAMP OMIGOSH Art Contest! Create your own map of "the best summer camp ever." Post on Intagram, Twitter, or Tumblr with the hashtag: ‪#‎campomigosh‬


Three winners will each receive a free copy of Wade's new book: CAMP OMIGOSH! (Deadline: June 1st)


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day #51: Help Camp Omigosh!

Our Kickstarter campaign is off to a slow, sad beginning.

Obviously, since I don't know very much about marketing, this isn't terribly surprising. But I did hope that people would somehow take notice and help this little book of mind come to life.

Want to pre-order the book? Want to turn this frown upside down? Visit our Kickstarter page! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day #50: Grading Papers...

Nope, I can't be creative today. I've got papers to grade.

But it seems like when I'm trapped at my desk behind a big stack of papers, that's when I wish that I could be working on an epic novel.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Day #49: I Won the Oscar Pool!


I went to an Oscar party last night -- had a great time thanks to the most incredible host and hostess in the world -- and I won the betting pool.  I guessed 19 out of 24 correct. I also entered the betting pool of my friends Joel, Joshua, and John.  We've been gambling over the Oscars for 20 years now. I didn't fare so well in that pool. My ballot was a little different and I came in fifth place!

But, my winnings from the first party was $210. That means I get to more than double my challenge total by adding $190 to the pot. Here's the result:

$362.82

Whoo-hoo!

Hmm... Maybe gambling is the answer...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day #47: Oscar Predictions


Here are my Predictions for the Academy Awards...

(If I win the Oscar Betting Pool, I'll add it to the Challenge Total!)

Picture: Birdman

Director: Birdman

Actor: Eddie Redmayne 

Actress: Julianne Moore

Supporting Actor: JK Simmons

Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette

Original Screenplay: Grand Budapest Hotel

Adapted Screenplay: Imitation Game

Cinematography: Birdman

Editing: Boyhood

Costume: Grand Budapest

Production Design: Grand Budapest Hotel

Make-Up: Grand Budapest Hotel

Score: The Theory of Everything

Song: Selma

Sound Mixing: American Sniper

Sound Editing: American Sniper

Visual Effects: Interstellar

Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Live Action Short: The Phone Call

Animated Short: The Dam Keeper

Documentary Feature: CitizenFour

Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Foreign Film: Ida

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day #46: I'm Giving Away A Million Dollars


No...

I lied.... I'm not giving away a million dollars. I'm just testing to see if that Blog Title generates more web traffic!



But if you have a bunch of money just sitting around, you could move some of it to our Kickstarter Campaign and help bring Camp Omigosh to life!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day #45: Hitting the Send Button

The latest draft of the bathtub book is complete, including the back matter! Working with my editors at Charlesbridge continues to be a wonderful experience. I had forgotten how fun -- yes I said fun -- revision can be. With a picture book, the author is working within a very finite space with a limited amount of words. It's sometimes like a puzzle because you need everything to fit within just over thirty pages; you also want to let the illustrator tell much of the story, so I find myself holding back a lot of exposition, which hopefully results in a better story.

Anyway, I hit the send button.

The latest draft is now floating in cyberspace, waiting to be read. It might take a while. According to the weather reports, my publisher and editors might be buried beneath six feet of snow!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day #44: Uh-oh!


That micro-marketing idea I was talking about yesterday... Well, it's probably not going to cut it for the Camp Omigosh Kickstarter campaign.

today concludes the second day of the campaign, and we have earned about 3% of our goal. Laurisa was telling me that's a bad sign. Most successful kickstarters earn 10% on their first day. 

My hope is that word of mouth, social media, and Youtube will get the ball rolling. But even then, getting $4500 in 28 days is going to be a difficult challenge! 

And speaking of challenge goals, I received +70 dollars from "Tomorrow's Wish" royalties. 
Those funds paid off my PayPal debt, and that means that my new total is: $172.82.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day #43: Micro-Marketing - 30 Contacts a Day

The Camp Omigosh Kickstarter Campaign has officially begun.  So far, we've got a whopping two backers (and I must say I am eternally grateful!).

It's going to be a challenge generating the goal amount: $4500. We've only got 29 days to meet that goal. And I've probably already pestered all of my Facebook friends way too much. I'm going to need to do some bootstrapping.

Bootstrapping -- if I understand the term correctly -- is when you reach out to individuals and groups that you have connections with, and you basically beg them to support your crazy business idea.

So, that's what I'll be doing -- begging for book sales. I plan to connect with thirty contacts each day. Hopefully that will get the ball rolling.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Day #42: No Time to Write Today


Sometimes there's just no time for focused creativity. That might be me making an excuse. After all, I am taking time out of my day to write this blog... Instead, why don't I start on a new novel? Well, let's just say that it doesn't require as much energy and inspiration to write this blog entry. But creative writing -- at least for me -- is time consuming in a fulfilling albeit soul-draining way.

So, what did I do with my day off? (It's President's Day.) My main accomplishment involved renting a Rug Doctor, using a Rug Doctor, and returning the Rug Doctor.

Then, I listened to lots of different Opera songs and movie soundtracks in an attemotbto find he right sound mix for The Three Musketeers.

And I spent time with the family -- which is always wonderful -- but, as Jim Croce once said, there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do when you find them.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Day #41: Bathtub Book Research 98% Complete


Yes, I am almost done with the second draft of my bathtub book. I have even developed some really cool "back matter" which digs into the research in greater detail -- but hopefully it's still entertaining to younger readers.

But, I'm not quite finished... I'm still trying to confirm a couple things about Yup'ik culture and language (how to say "yes" and "no"). And I also need to create a pronunciation guide for the various non-English words.

I tried to squeeze in as much cool stuff as I could... but here's one awesome item that didn't make the list (because it seemed terrible to recommend it in a children's book): This is the Devil's Pool, a local watering hole located at the top of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. It's right on the edge of the falls, but the geological formations make it "reasonably safe" for adventurers.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day #40: Omigosh Kickstarter Rewards

A lot of people think that Kickstarter is just a website filled with artists looking for donations.  But actually, it's better to think of it as an independent market place, where writers, artists, filmmakers, inventors, and entrepreneurs offer unique products to the world.

It's not only a chance to help blossoming talent, it's also a chance to get some really cool stuff.  With that in mind, the Camp Omigosh start-up offers a range of rewards, including personalized copies of the book, exclusive posters, and school visits by yours truly.

Check all of the rewards items by visiting the Kickstarter page!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Day #39: New Challenge Total


I got a part of my advance today!

Most if the check is going straight into the bank, but $40 of it is going towards my Challenge Total.  It's been the same score for a long time!

Challenge Total: $152.82

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day #38: Gearing up for Kickstarter!


Laurisa White Reyes has been developing a Kickstarter Campaign for my book Camp Omigosh. The page officially launches this Tuesday.

Visit our Kickstarter Page and learn about all the rewards that are available -- including a personalized copy of my new novel, Camp Omigosh!


(Promotional art by John Alexopoulos)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day #37: On Its Way

Today I heard from my agent!

The publishers sent her a contract. She's going to look it over and sometime early next week it'll be headed my way.

Can't wait to sign it, send it off, and keep the publishing ball rolling.  I cannot wait to see who they choose to illustrate the book!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day #36: The Edits Have Arrived!


My awesome editor at Charlesbridge Publishing sent me notes today! So, the rest of the week I'll be revising "Around the World in a Bathtub" as well as developing the educational material that we be presented at the end of the book.

This experience has made me truly appreciate non-fiction authors. My book is a little over five hundred words, and I'm working very hard to make certain the research is genuine and reliable to provide an authentic look at different cultures. I cannot imagine what it must be like to write a 50,000 word volume of non-fiction. So many details to gather! And then you still have to worry about eloquence!

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day #35: Hooray for Luncheons!


This morning and afternoon I enjoyed a wonderful lunch / book discussion with the Assitance League of Ventura. This is a very worthy charity led by some of the most dedicated women (and a few men) I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

This was the 20th Annual Author's Luncheon. A few months ago, a wonderful book seller (Connie from Mrs. Figg's Bookworm) invited me to join this event as a featured guest, along side historian Barbara Brooks Tomblin and none other than the best selling novelist, Lisa See.

The lovely ladies who organized the event gave us each our own table, complete with books to sell and sign. Then, we adjourned to the conference room. Each author gave a 15-20 minute presentation. I was a bit nervous about this, until I got up to the microphone. The audience was so gracious and responsive that my fears immediately melted away.

My speech wasn't just about my picture book (Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?), it was also about the "Believers and Listeners" from my childhood. I focused on my teachers from my Elementary school days. Turns out that many of the women in the audience were teachers -- so my presentation was a hit!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day #34: Hooray for "Tomorrow's Wish"


As I may have mentioned before, Tomorrow's Wish is the little play that could.

Publishing companies weren't interested in this story about a special young woman named Juniper. But instead of shoving the manuscript in the drawer, I decided to move forward and create my first self-published play.

Thanks to some of the play's monologues going viral, Tomorrow's Wish has been a popular choice among teen actresses, five years running.  I was just checking out the play sales for this month and I discovered that (for reasons unknown to me) January 2015 was the best month ever for this play. I love those characters so much, I am grateful that they have a small (but very meaningful) following.


Learn more about Tomorrow's Wish... 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day #33: Revising Act Two


Creatively, I've had successful weekend. Yesterday I created a video promo for Camp Omigosh, which got the thumbs up from my publisher, Laurisa White Reyes.

Today I managed to revise Act Two of The Three Musketeers. I added a couple short, new scenes to accommodate the actors, amd streamlined some of the redundant/boring dialogue.

 Now there's still a TON of stuff I must do as a director, but at least my role as the writer has been accomplished.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day #32: Learning to Promote Myself


Ughh... As narcissistic as I am, you would think that I would have a blast promoting my own work. But marketing myself as an author is not my favorite pastime. I pretty much feel like a dork.

Today, my daughter helped me come up with a good video for a Kickstarter Campaign. (Thanks, kiddo!) My middle grade novel, Camp Omigosh, is going to be published by Skyrocket Press (Woo-hoo!)

They are a new small-press, and they are going to need all the help they can get in order for Camp Omigosh to connect with hundreds (or dare I say thousands?) of young readers.

I'll post the video as soon as it hits the internet.

Until next time...

Yours truly,

Wade Bradford

Author of "The Greatest Play Ever Written"


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day #31: Preparing for an Author Luncheon


This Monday I will be attending an author luncheon in honor of an awesome charity: the Assistance League of Ventura County. There are two other writers presenting. One is a historian, and the main event author is none other than Lisa See. (The novelist behind the best selling book China Dolls.)

I've been to book signings before, and I've done school visits, but this is new territory for me. I've never stood in front of a large group of grown-ups and discussed my life as a writer.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day #30: A New Submission

One of the problem with blogging about the publishing world is that all lot of my projects are secret. So, sometimes, there's not a lot I can blog about.

But I can give you some vague statements about several cool things that are happening. My agent really likes Project #4 (a new picture book); however, since I'd like to submit to a publishing house that recently obtain one of my books, it might be a while before the time is right to submit to them again.

So, Project #4 is on the backburner for now.

Therefore, I moved onto Project #5 (yet another amazingly awesome picture book). Today I revised the manuscript -- thanks to notes from my critique group -- and sent it off to my agent. Fingers crossed that she loves it!

Challenge Total: $112.62



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day #29: Overbooking Myself


So, I didn't have much time last post -- and still don't have time now -- but I thought I'd quickly explain why I am CRAZY BUSY for the next two months.

I am directing The Three Musketeers (my own adaptation, with apologies to Alexander Dumas). Rehearsals have just begun, and I've been fooling myself these past few months, thinking that doing another show what completely occupy all of my time. But now that the ball has started rolling, all of these memories of the theatre's time-consuming nature have rushed back into my brain. 

And now I'm wondering how I am going to work on my picture books, develop Camp Omigosh, grade papers, attend Moorpark meetings, be a good father and husband, and find time to make an extra $20,000.

The good thing about overbooking myself is that, although I may feel a lot of things during the next two months, I won't be feeling lazy.

Challenge Total: $112.62

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day #28: Crazy Busy...

Uh-oh... Remember how I said I was going to work really hard during the weekend so that I was prepared for Monday?

Yeah. That didn't happen.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day #27: I Suck at This


I could write an entire blog with that title. There are so many things at which I suck. I can't back up a trailer. I can't run a four minute (or a fourteen minute) mile. I suck at math. I suck at graphic design. I suck at sports. I suck at home maintenance.

I suck at lots of things, and so far I suck at making money for this $20,000 Challenge.

And that's okay. I think it's good to be aware of one's suckiness. Not because I think people should feel bad about themselves, but when one is aware of deficiencies then the situation can be improved, the problem can be worked on, the suckiness can be decreased. If my wife tells me I have bad breath, I can pop a stick of gum in my mouth. Things can get better.

My little amount of earnings for he $20,000 is laughable so far. But I'm becoming more and more aware of my limitations, and I'm going to figure out a way to not suck quite so much.