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Ten years of roses.

Pretty much what it says on the label: coming up on ten years ago, in August of 2006, I started posting City of Roses online with “Prolegomenon”; since then, I’ve written what the back of this envelope tells me is about 400,000 words. Two complete volumes, and just about half of a third; twenty-seven novelettes; one decade. —Those certainly are numbers.

One true only.

The occasion ought to be marked in some fashion? I’m thinking of a reading or two, though no concrete steps have been taken yet to set something up—I’ve been head down writing the most recent chapter, you see. But also because I’d like to have a new edition of the paperbacks ready, or at least the first volume, with a tightened cover design, a sleekened interior, with some minor edits here and there to correct a smattering of typos, remove an infelicitous “goddamn” or two, smooth out some inconsistencies of usage, as perhaps the leaping capitalizations of his Grace, His Grace, his grace. Mostly, though, I’d like for these books to have a new distributor, one more salubrious to libraries, and independent bookstores, one freed from Amazon’s narrowing straits. And I don’t yet have a release date firmly pegged for this new edition: the designing, the proofing, the paperwork, each take time, and, well, my head has been down.

—Time, but also money: to buy a block of unentailed ISBNs, to set things up with a new print-on-demand shop, to secure test prints and ship review copies—more numbers.

Some possible covers for volume four.

Thus, Patreon. —Patreon is my choice of crowd-funding sites to help support this independent publishing endeavor, as have chosen so many other writers and cartoonists and filmmakers and historians and pornographers and musicians and suchlike. Mine’s set up so that amounts can be pledged on a monthly basis, and I make sure to post something for patrons at least once a month—cover reveals, raw images of possible covers under consideration (like the above), deleted scenes and alternate takes, and of course copies of each novelette, before they’re available anywhere else. And it’s been of incalculable assistance already, whether it’s covering a last-minute webhosting bill, or domain registration, or groceries for a week when other checks are late—more, and far more important, than beer money, and I’m endlessly grateful to each and every patron who’s already pitching in.

You might note that I’m only a few dollars short of the current goal, which is intended to support precisely the sort of nuts-and-bolts redesign I’d like to accomplish for this anniversary. What I’d ask is maybe consider a moment helping me reach it, and reach past it, and while I don’t have much beyond the listed rewards to support this particular pledge-drive, anyone who signs up in July or August at a level to receive paper copies of the ’zines and books will receive all five volume three ’zines thus far. (And also stammering gratitude, abashed blushes, toe-lines dragged in dust, etc. etc. —I really need to do something about my marketing department.)

Now: back to the various grindstones I’ve set before my nose! Further bulletins as events warrant.

Vol. 3, In the Reign of Good Queen Dick, nos. 23 – 33.

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