2022-01-02 Newsletter

2021 In Review

As it has been for most of us, 2021 was a series of OMGs combined with a bunch of AWWWs, MEHs, SIGHs, GRRRs, and AWWWYEAHs. Below are some of just a few of the things we tackled in 2021… check them out if you are so-inclined.

The Scott E. Pond Designs Etsy store

While I’ve had an Esty store for several years, in recent history it was pretty much dormant for quite a while until around March or April of 2021.

D&D Inspiration: At that time, I had a creative fire light under my butt in the role-playing game arena when I released several digital forms for Dungeons and Dragons. A character sheet bundle, initiative tracker, monster pack, and encounter pack all made their way into the store. Each of these have had a faithful following of die-hard gamers picking them up and loving them left and right.

A Typo to Rule Tem All: Then there was the Great Sigler Typo of 2021. Long story short, a series of flubs in the production of The Gangster special edition hard cover by Scott Sigler led to a spine text that was 50% too small and a title with a dropped ‘G’. Much egg was on faces, much anger and sadness was had by all. But in true Sigler fashion, he was able to turn it into a more positive situation by embracing the issue and starting on some long-time-coming tweaks to the business model. And then there was the Tee-Shirt inspiration… and the rest was history.

Fulfillment Smillment: When someone like Scott and A Sigler change their business model, it’s time to sit up and listen. Due to the rigors of trying to run a merch business, including stock levels and shipping), the Sig’s came to the decision to move to a print on demand model (The Siglerverse Store) instead of managing stocks and fulfillment demands. Then came the LIGHTBULB MOMENT. If print-on-demand would work for them, why wouldn’t it work for my own store. Wham, bang, boom… and now we have a print on demand service up and running through my Etsy storefront as well. And the quality is awesome. We’ve got tee shirts and custom mugs already available and are looking to add more as we vet the quality.

What’s in Store for 2022: 3D printed models, more print-on-demand options, more Sigler-Tees, and so much more. If there is something you’d love to see added to our catalog, hit us up and we’ll see what we can do.

The All-Mighty Amazon Beast

Speaking of print-on-demand, Amazon has a pretty good on-demand publishing arm (KDP), allowing many authors to get their books in front of potential readers. And we’re not talking just fiction and non-fiction books. Recipe books, how-to books, and even journals can be published. OF COURSE, Scott E. Pond Designs have a presence there.

Mental Graffiti: My first book, Mental Graffiti, published back in 2016, is still available in both eBook and softcover.

D&D Inspiration, Part II: Not only did I explore digitial resources for the World’s Most Well Know RPG, I also delved into on-demand publishing as well:

  • Character Journal (Single Character): I’ve played D&D since the red box back in the early 1980’s. Pretty much every edition from then to 5e now. One of the things I’ve absolutely hated—HATED—has been the complete lack of detail on the character sheets. This character journal is my attempt to remedy it… 144 pages, 6x9”… it has everything I want in a character journal. PLUS, it’s available in multiple formats… though the simple black version is my favorite.
  • Character Journal (10 Characters): A streamlined version of my expanded Character Journal, this 5x11” book has enough space for 10 characters. It’s perfect for me whether I’m DMing or just trying to keep track of my stable of characters. Wait a second, doesn’t “stable” have some sort of weird kinky meaning too? Oh boy.
  • Other items too: I also released a D&D Initiative Tracker, a small dot-grid notebook, and a large dot-grid mega-notebook as well.

What’s in Store for 2022: I’m looking into additional RPG resources, writing resources, and the like as potential releases through the Amazon print-on-remand option for 2022 as well.

Graphic Design Services

Have you visited my scottpond.com website lately? I am still open for business on the cover design and general graphic design front. We’ve already had talks for some upcoming books for our favorite Baldy and Fiend-Master, which I’m super excite about and can’t say a dang thing about (of course). Spread the word to all your friends, family, and acquaintances… I’m available for any project, large or small.

Writing? Writing you say?!?

You may not be aware, but I also dabble in writing. Say WHAT? Yes, it’s true.

WAYYYYYY back when in 10th grade I won the Appalachian Writer’s Guild high-school writing contest for their “From the Animal’s Perspective” themed event. Minimum word count was 500 words and maximum I think was around 5000 words. I submitted my 502-word short story entitle ‘BANG’ (or was it ‘BOOM’?... I can’t remember) on the last possible day. It was a story from the perspective of an earth worm during a rainstorm. I won first place—I was completely shocked—which netted me a $100 savings bond and publication in their quarterly short story magazine. Needless to say, I was tickled and inspired.

Since that day, I’ve written dozens of short stories, the vast majority of which you all will never see, nor will they even see the light of day. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up hope… I do have several things in the works.

Another Writing Contest: One of my high school friends from long, long ago tagged me in an open contest through an organization called ‘VOCAL’. It’s a pretty young organization (since 2020 I believe) and they were running a fiction contest up until December 29th. No constrictions as to what the theme was (other than non-vulgar), its requirements was that the work had to be between 600 and 4000 words. Phase one winners will be announced in late January (1025 initial winners), with the top 25 getting announced in February (25 first place winners and 1000 runner-up winners). The 25 First Place winners each get $5000 and get published in a book; the 1000 Runners-Up get a 1-year subscription to Vocal. I entered one of my older short stories (written in 2009 I think) detailing a slightly modified summer adventure from my youth called ‘As Simple as Black and White’(~2800 words). I’ve no idea if I’ll even place, but the story is near and dear to me, and I’ve been waiting for a long time for a publication to try to submit it to… fingers crossed.

A Novel??: I’ve been working on and off (mostly off) on a novel since NaNoWriMo 2019 called ‘Dark Rites’. Life has not been very forthcoming with available time (and let’s be honest, writing this scares me so I’m not very good with scheduling the time to work on it up until now). But I have been picking away at it. I’m at 45,938 words on it so far and I am planning on hitting it hard this year. I’m really liking it and would love to have it available by the end of the year. Here’s a quick sneak peek at the synopsis for it:

Dark Rites

 

1975: A grisly murder occurs in Malison Falls, NY, leaving the local police baffled.

Dan Pratt, special forces Vietnam vet and historical researcher, returns to Malison Falls to take on a senior role for the Behn Institute. He brings back his own personal baggage and demons from his childhood and ‘Nam, issues he must work through to become whole again.

Gabriela Barerra, Special Investigations Detective for the Malison Falls Police Department, is facing her own issues, both present and past. A soon to be ex-husband, trauma from earlier in her career, and now this: a ritualistic killing unlike anything she has ever encountered. With little to go on, she and her partner struggle to solve the killing.

But all is not as it seems in Malison Falls.

A malignant force is gathering, seeking to enter our world and sow destruction and chaos. Can Dan and Gabriela get to the heart of the investigation and figure out the killer’s next move before it is too late?

Before hell is literally unleashed on earth?

A Second Novel??: Actually, I have a few stories planned in the ‘Malison Falls’ series where the above novel is set. I have a second novel fully outlined and have started writing it as well. It is called ‘Courage to Stand’ and is set 20 years before ‘Dark Rites’. It involved Dan Pratt’s first foray into the supernatural and is currently at around 34,965 words. Here’s a quick sneak peek at the synopsis for it:

Courage to Stand

1955: It was a summer to remember, the last great summer of childhood and the end of innocence.

Three friends embark on their last boy scout outing of the year. The big one. A week spent in northern New York State with their small troop a couple weeks before school began again.

An unexpected find leads to strange occurrences… and mounting terror.

An ancient evil thought destroyed is unearthed and awakens, bringing with it death. Can the scouts save themselves from this horror or will they fall?

Do they have the courage to stand?

Looking Ahead

Aside from everything I mention above, what else is in store for 2022?

A cubic ton.

Literally.

We are looking to move into bigger, better, and permanent digs as soon as the ideal property shows up. When that happens, the creative sky is the limit. We are looking to continue to explore and expand into the 3D model business, including learning how to create my own models. Once we find the new property and get settled, possibilities in wood working, wood turning, forging, painting, clay work, upcycling, and more are in the plans as soon as we can find the time and right equipment. Graphic design, cover design, tee-shirts, and other projects will naturally be on the plate, as will further drawings, photography, and other creative works.

What else could be in store? Literally anything. We are excited to further explore our creative boundaries and push them to their limits.

We are excited to share this journey with you.

So, strap in boys and girls. It’s going to be a fun ride.

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