What Have I Done?

patreon_mediumI’ve had a Patreon account for a while. I’ve been backing a handful of worthy folks and efforts for several months. It’s been very rewarding to know that I’m supporting my fellow artists in chasing the dream.

As many of you know, I’ve been hard at work on writing a short story a week for 2016. Some of these stories are weird enough to be hard to place. For those highly marketable (whatever that means these days) stories, I’m going to have more than I know what to do with. I’ll be flooding publishers with so many stories, it’ll take me years to place them all.

I’ve decided to release some of the stories into the wild via Patreon. In this case, you pay me what you think a short story is worth to you, and when I publish a story, I get paid. If I happened to not write (*gasp!*) or not edit/polish a story for a particular month, then I don’t get paid.

No, I don’t plan on getting rich off of this effort. It’s more of a “test of validation” to see if I can build an audience wanting to see my work, and if I can keep that audience suitably entertained to keep them around as patrons.

If you’re curious about what I’ve written before (to get a taste or sample before you plunk down your hard-earned cash), you can see my Freebies Page or maybe go buy one of the books I’ve been published in.

I Almost Stopped Listening To Podcasts

A little over a month ago, I wrecked my car. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great, either. I came out a little sore in the neck/shoulder area, but the car was a mess (and in the shop) for a little over a month. When I finally got my own car back, I plugged my handy (yet ancient) Nokia N800 into the aux port in my VW Jetta. I got decent sound for about 10 minutes, and then I took a hard left turn and all sound cut out.

Ugh.

I checked everything. The N800 was still playing properly. I rebooted it in case it had a weird software glitch, but that didn’t fix the problem. I replaced the audio cable with no luck. I unplugged and replugged the new audio cable a few times while the N800 played an mp3. That’s when I realized I had sound with my holding the cable at an angle, but not when I released it. Since the aux port is in the glove box (who the F’k decided on that design?) I couldn’t exactly drive while leaning way over to hold the cable at the right angle to listen to podcasts.

Ugh.

With the car in this condition, I couldn’t listen to my beloved podcasts. The only time I have to listen to them is in the car on my massive commute to and from work. Yeah. The N800 has built-in speakers, but they’re so tiny and weak, I couldn’t hear the podcasts over the road noise. I was really concerned about having to give up on my podcasts until I could figure something out.

Ugh.

This led me to dismantle my dashboard on the passenger side to get the glove box out. The female plug for the aux port in the glove box was built into a tiny little PCB (printed circuit board) that was about 0.5 inches by 1 inch. That had come loose from its moorings (probably due to the wreck). There were three leads sticking out the side that another cable plugged into it. That cable was also loose from the extruding prongs. It took me come weird yoga-style contortions to get my hands, arms, the PCB, the cable, the aux port mount points, my flashlight in my mouth and  my eyes to all line up just right. Once I got everything aligned, the PCB, cable and mountings snapped back together quite well. Before I reassembled everything, I tested the connections with the audio cable and such. Crystal clear sound poured from my speakers.

I was ecstatic! I had my podcasts back!

Now I get to cruise down the road and listen to my favorite people talk about my favorite topics.

J.T. is a happy podcast fan again.

PS: I reached out to Twitter a while back asking for podcast suggestions. I want to thank everyone that suggested something new for me to listen to. I’ll be posting a new “What I’m Listening To” post near the end of the week in case other folks out there are looking for podcast suggestions and share tastes similar to my own.