Here I Am!

Hey, folks!

Sorry for the long silence. I’ve been out of town, taking care of my mom. It took a lot out of me, and I’m only slowly coming back to my feet. Right now, The Scribbling Lion is officially going on hiatus through December; the store is being disabled, and I won’t take orders through the web site. If you want to contact me directly via email or Twitter, I’d be happy to set up a purchase order for you, of course. I simply need to narrow the list of things to pay attention to right now.

It’s entirely possible that I’ll relaunch the site as a simple one without a web store come January. I’m not going to shut the Lion down, mainly because it is so useful a framework when running a convention table. I am going to cut back on what I’m spending, and this website, sad to say, is not all that cheap at the moment. Licenses, domain names, secure certification, yadda yadda. I aimed big, and it’s time to trim it back.

Thank you all for your patience. I should be on my feet again by January and making Decisions. In the meanwhile, please do feel free to follow me on twitter: @leonawisoker WARNING: My Twitter feed is very politic-heavy right now. If you’re avoiding politics, don’t follow me. 🙂

Happy holidays and stay safe!

Leona R Wisoker

Owner/Lioness

All Caught Up! (I Think…)

ConGregate 2016 was really super good to us. The people were absolutely lovely, sales were great, and we left with a lot of hope for the future of The Scribbling Lion. I’ve now caught up on the inventory changes, so the web site should reflect stock on hand and pricing accurately.

I was very pleased to see that nobody seemed upset about the price increases. In fact, more than one person mentioned being relieved that I’d brought them up! I found that amusing and enlightening. Apparently one reason I was having trouble getting taken seriously is because my prices were too low! Iiiiiiinteresting. 😀 Lessons learned, lessons learned.

Moving on, the next event on the calendar is AtomaCon in November. I’ll say straight out that it’s a strong maybe at this point; I’m handling serious family medical issues, and so much is in flux right now that I might have to cancel out of that one. I will do my level best to avoid that! I very much want to see you folks in November. (If you voted, I might just buy you a drink, regardless of the outcome–either to celebrate or to share the despair.)

Because of the current life-in-flux situation, I’m having to trim back a bit on my obligations. For instance, I know good and well I won’t be updating the calendar as frequently in the coming months, so I’m trying to decide if I should take the widget off the site entirely. Opinions welcome! I really do like being able to show events from all over the States, but there are SO MANY…and I just don’t have the time I used to for tracking and logging. How often do you folks look at it, though? Has it been in any way useful, or is it just a waste of time and space for this particular site? Please do drop me a line on Twitter or comment on this post to let me know.

I’m also not adding any inventory in the near future. What’s on the site is what I’ve got. If you see something that’s out of stock, please do find the author on Amazon or through their publisher, and by all means tell the author you tried to buy through TSL but I sent you elsewhere! That feedback will let me know if I should reorder their books.

The biggest change will be in ordering and shipping time. I won’t be able to check the site for orders every single day, and I’ll have to coordinate with the guy handling the inventory at the moment, so it may take a bit longer to send your books or CDs out. If you place an order, but don’t hear back from me within 24 hours, please, please either drop me a line on Twitter or send me an email to follow up. I truly apologize for this inconvenience, but damnit, life is just a bit messy at the moment.

All right, that’s the end of my time for working on this stuff, so I’ll quit blathering on. 😀 Thank you for being a follower and customer and reader and fan and all the wonderful things you are every day! And thank you for being so patient and understanding.

Now, how’s about you head over to the shop? Browse and enjoy!

 

Inventory Done!

The web site is once more caught up with the real world stock-on-hand and current pricing. Most prices jumped, as I warned they would; a few, surprisingly, went down once I lined up a consistent percentage markup. More versions and variations of Tom Doyle’s books have been added, and a bit of tidying up around the edges has occurred. Take a look through the shop and see for yourself! (In other words, help us find where we have broken bits to fix…) 😀

Events and Such…

…This is your gentle reminder that we try to enter as much information about SFF and writing-related conferences, conventions, festivals, and misc events onto our calendar as possible. Take a look and see what’s coming up–there might be something in your area!

(Events Calendar should be to either the left or the right side of the page. If you’re viewing this on a mobile device, it won’t show up–sorry about that! We’re trying to redo the site, but time is limited and so on and so forth.)

In any case, TSL will have a presence at Con-Gregate 2016 and AtomaCon2016. Those are the ONLY conventions Leona R Wisoker will be able to attend this year, so if you want to see her in person–sign up for one of those two events! 🙂

Price Changes

I recently sat down to talk to a SCORE counselor about my business plan. (If you’ve never heard of SCORE, it stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives and is a HUGELY valuable resource for business owners trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing.)

He liked everything I was saying, until we came to the number crunching section.

“You’re…wait, let me get this straight. You’re buying at a 20% markup and selling at a 20% markup?”

“Well…yeah. I want the author to make money, so I’m paying them above their cost–“

“No. You’re selling at a 20% above your cost markup??

“Um. Is that…too low…?”

"Are my prices too low...?"
I… I…. WHAT???

Suffice it to say his answer began with YES. And went on at some length as to why.

I checked with a couple other business-savvy friends, who admitted that they’ve been biting their tongues for some time about my pricing strategy. SO.

Them prices, they’re going up. Sorry, everyone, but I got to pay for stuff like web site hosting and vendor tables and hotel rooms and inventory and office supplies. And I ain’t Big Lots. I can’t afford that thin of a margin. One day, maybe, but not today.

HOWEVAHH. Because I don’t want to COMPLETELY sticker shock everyone, I’m going to put the new prices into effect at the beginning of June. That’s a week from today, more or less, so if you’ve on the fence about a purchase and price is the tipping point for you–grab the item now. I’ll honor all purchases made 5/25/2016-5/31/2016 at 5 pm EST at the current prices. After that, the markup goes to 50% above my cost. (No, I can’t pay the writers more. That would kind of defeat the point. Besides, part of that markup covers the fact that I’m running advertising campaigns for these folks at no charge to them. So in a sense, I’m being paid for services rendered, just on the back end and at my own risk.)

IF YOU PLACE A PRE-ORDER FOR CON-GREGATE 2016 before the 31st, I WILL HONOR THE LOWER PRICE. Yet another reason to take advantage of our fabulous pre-order system. 🙂

Oh–as a side note–the Facebook page has been deactivated for various personal reasons. It may or may not return. I am still active on Twitter, though, so take a look there: @scribblinglion

Thanks for being part of this adventure, and for your understanding as we catch up to logical business practices! 🙂

PREORDER is LIVE!

Going to ConGregate 2016? Want to buy something from The Scribbling Lion’s catalogue but are afraid we’ll run out of the book you want before you arrive (a real fear, trust me, with our very limited stock!) TWO PREORDER COUPONS ARE NOW LIVE, juuuuust for you!

Please, do take advantage of the early order option–that makes SURE we can get stock in time, lets us know what’s hot, and gives us a chance to arrange surprise add-ons for our awesome customers. 🙂

Coupon codes:

For general orders: ConGregate16

To preorder the first 4 books of Leona R. Wisoker’s Children of the Desert series: Series-16

Remember: If you’re local to Williamsburg, VA, you can also arrange local pickup through Retro Daddio’s–save on shipping and have an excuse to browse through a suuuuuuper fun shop at the same time! 🙂 Use coupon RetroD for that!

Thirty Years!

Devo Spice, comedy rapper extraordinaire, has been making albums for thirty years. That’s… kind of a big deal. I mean, damn. Thirty. Years.

All right. I don’t want to make him feel old. 😀

To celebrate, he’s offering a free download of the ENTIRE Sudden Death catalog. Go to Bandcamp and get that download now! Eight albums. Free. EIGHT FREE ALBUMS. My god, he’s a lunatic. But then, his fans already know that . . . it’s why we love him.

Keep makin’ the great music, Devo, and thank you for sticking with it for so long!

Devo Spice

A Word Of Advice

If you’re starting up your own business in the near future, or have done so in the last couple of years, you’re probably scrambling to figure out how to keep records. I suggest taking a look at the SCORE web site, and/or talk to your accountant, and HAVE YOUR LAYOUT MATCH THEIRS. This is not a place for you to decide what has to get tracked or to be stylistically creative. Just follow the leader, folks. Save yourself the aggravation of overhauling three years worth of half-coherent records and the wrath of your accountant. . . .

*coff coff* don’t ask how I know this . . . *mumble coff coff*

Convention, Convention!

One of my favorite conventions is coming up soon: RavenCon, formerly of Richmond, VA) now of WILLIAMSBURG, VA. Given that I live in Williamsburg, this makes me very happy (although sad that they had to move, as it’s hard on the Richmond-local staff!)

One reason I love RavenCon is because they reach out to the local community and are an active part of a solid network of conventions along the East Coast. Most recently, they boosted the signal for small college event GriffinCon; they have tables and a supporting presence at MarsCon, MystiCon, and too many other events to list here. Check out their web site for the full details!

–>Side note: The Scribbling Lion will not have a table at this event. Leona R Wisoker will not be attending as a guest. She may pop in for a visit Saturday afternoon if all goes well.<–

But look, here’s a list of just a few of the folks who WILL be there, because that’s much more important:

SmClosetCoverAllen L. Wold, author of numerous SFF novels, teacher of fabulous writing workshops; check out his collection of short tales, A Closet For A Dragon!;

New musical guest The Positronic Cats look like they’re going to be a blast;

Angela Pritchett will be there, with her fantastic fan cookbooks Shut Up And Eat: The Unofficial Dr Who Series Cookbook, volumes 1 & 2. (We only have Volume 1 at this time, but we’re planning to get the second one soon!)

–> The really cool and easy to read online convention schedule is available here, if you’re curious.<–

Deadly CuriositiesGail Z. Martin will be there, promoting her latest book in the Deadly Curiosities series;

Misty Massey is always a joy to see on panels, and she’s a pretty damn good writer, too, by the way;

Stephen J. Simmons will be on panels Today’s Science, Tomorrow’s Books; Law & Society in Sci Fi; and Worldbuilding: Creating Fictional Political Systems;

GoHs this year are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Artist GoH Vincent Di Fate.

A whole bunch of other great folks will be wandering around. I’m not going to eat up this entire post with pointing at every single one. Go check out the RavenCon web site for the complete list!

–>ONE LAST SIDE NOTE: You CAN preorder books through TSL for this convention, even though there’s no official table. We have our ways of getting you the goods . . . *evil laugh* . . . Seriously, though, if you preorder, we’ll hand the books off to you at the convention, no charge. Just select RavenCon from the shipping options, or use coupon raven16 and select “local pickup”. Either one works. <–

Artigras, Take Two

*Looks back at the promise of adding the next section in a day or two*

*Looks at date*

*Bangs head on desk*

Eh, well. The important thing is that I have another slew of great artists for you to check out. NEVER MIND HOW LONG IT TOOK ME TO WRITE THIS POST. *ahem*

For those unsure what the hell I’m talking about, I went to Artigras of Jupiter, Florida a few *mumbleweeksmumble* ago, and as usual I’m posting about the most impressive folks I ran into while walking through that gigantic sprawling madness.

The first post I wrote about ArtiGras can be found here, if you’re interested.

I still have a half dozen folks to talk about…

First up, I’ll tell you about Tina Leto, a photographer with a stunning array of (mostly) black and white work in her portfolio. Her photos range from the journalistic approach (Romania) to the scenic (prairies) to personal (portraits, weddings) and more. As with so much photography, the internet really doesn’t do the physical prints justice: her work has a powerful punch when seen to proper scale. I like black and white photography when done well; if you feel the same way, check out Leto’s work. I especially like her prairie series; I’m a sucker for dramatic plant photography.

Next, I’ll point you towards Phil Fung, a considerably more abstract and colorful artist whose business card reads “Artist. Teacher. Ninja.” Here’s an excerpt from his “about” page:

Most artists have an artist statement.  I only have an ideal.  Whatever I do, no matter the job or the subject it will be with all my heart. All my craftsmanship, my experience, and my life poured into my work.

Fung has an eclectic portfolio, to say the least; so far, he has painted two concrete trucks and started the Pop-Up Gallery at Pinecrest and the InterContinental Wynwood Art Shop. His work is bold and colorful and powerful; in person, it’s completely stunning stuff. His more whimsical pop art work is also extremely fun: take a look at The Dark Lord and Ninja Pop.

Moving onto something completely different, may I introduce you to KT Leather Designs from Wyoming, MI. Art fairs like ArtiGras are perfect for finding dedicated small crafters; I was delighted to find this booth.  I believe there were one or two other leatherworkers at the fair, but KT really stood out as excellent quality, well worth the price. I bought a belt–I was dearly tempted to drop a whole lot more money, but managed–somehow–to restrain myself. 😀 Take a look at their web site and see for yourself.

KT Leather Designs will be at the East Lansing Art Festival (MI) May 21-22; the KIA Arts Fair in Bronson Park, Kalamazoo (MI) June 3-4, and the Crosby Festival of the Arts in Toledo (OH) on June 24-26. They appear to be booked for another half-dozen or so shows after that, although the information isn’t showing up on the site; I suggest contacting them directly for the latest list, or sign up for their newsletter. Good work is worth keeping track of.

Speaking of art shows, Gregg Billman is another artist worth looking into. He’ll be at the Gulf Breeze Art Festival in FL March 12-13; the Fairhope Art Festival in AL March 18-20; the Deep Elum Arts Festival in Dallas, TX April 1-3, and the Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City, OK, from April 19-24. Why do I like his work? Well, he paints dogs. Cute, whimsical, adorable, fun and goofy dogs. Pop art style dogs. DO I REALLY NEED TO EXPLAIN FURTHER? No. I didn’t think so. He also creates art for kids, which is just ADORABLE, and botanical images, and COFFEE and nautical and music and and and… oh, just go look for yourself already. His web site is a bit on the basic side, but you’ll get the idea well enough. Oh, and like his Facebook page, while you’re at it.

 Right. Two cards left in front of me. Can I bring this post in at under a thousand words? Let’s find out. 😀

I don’t normally get overly impressed with jewelry; I don’t wear it much, myself. But there are times I have to stop and just stare at utter artistry don’tlookatthepricetagjustdrool you know how that is, right? So for your daily dose of drool worthy beauty, I present Jayne DeMarcay. “Hand crafted artistry. 14K/SS/Semi Precious Stones.”

OH MY GOD. I just don’t have words. Her work is so gorgeous, folks. You have to go look for yourself on this one. GO LOOK AT IT RIGHT NOW AND DESPAIR AT THE BEAUTY. It’s also a really well done web site, by the way, very smooth and professional and drooooooool… *ahem*

Last and arguably best is Insectworks: “3D Artwork From The World of Insects”. This could have been totally gross/creepy, but NO. There are no real insects in this portfolio. Instead you have a startlingly realistic array of insects crafted from paper and paint and glue and whatnot. LOOK. BUTTERFLIES. And beetles. If you know someone who loves insects, but you don’t want to harm the little critters for the sake of an art display, this is a FANTASTIC place to find presents. The artist’s name is Jennifer Ivory, and she’s on Twitter under /insectworks …she has a mailing list, and does a bunch of shows throughout the year, and her phone number is even set up as a bug referencethat is dedication! Even if you don’t like insects as a whole, you absolutely have to go see Ivory’s work in person one of these days. Internet just doesn’t do justice to the detail and precision.

AND I’M DONE with the art show writeup! WOOO! And just under a thousand words, too.

Thanks for your eyeball time, and I hope you find something you love amongst the offered art!