James here – remember me? Yeah, I know I haven’t been around much lately. Believe it or not, the words Manic Expression have never occupied my life more, but in ways that you don’t really see show up here on the site. So, because I haven’t been around, I thought it might be a good idea to let everyone know whats going on, and where our community will be heading and how you can help.
1. The books
What has occupied me every day in 2017 has been the reissue of my Manic Expression: A Collection anthology, the books that gave the site it’s name. This was a far more massive undertaking than I originally thought it would be: re-organizing the original three volume colleciton into a six volume collection, along with many new stories that needed to be written. Well, I just turned in the last book to be formatted this week, three months ahead of schedual. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I tried my hand at a few new genres, including a comedy, western, zombie story, and even a children’s story. Now that the books are all done I plan on really pushing them. Writing has always been my dream, and now with these 41 stories all published and available on Amazon, I feel like I have to give it a go to see if I can make a living doing this.
2. The movie
Manic Expression: The Movie has been a long time coming, and only now is progress happening. While Uncle Bootleg, our original animator, jumped ship, we have a new guy who is hard at work making this dream come true for us: Stephen Leotti. I’m the first who has gotten to work with him, and what excites me is that he’s not only an animator but a director. He kept sending me back to tweak my lines (recorded on a very expensive, professional mic bought with our Indiegogo money!) till I got them the way he wanted. With an animatic completed for a scene, he is now going into full animation. Ichabod Todd is scoring the scene as we speak. This month I will finish recording my dialogue, at which point I send the mic off to one of our other main cast members so they can record. We are taking auditions currently, though this will be a slow process so be patient.
3. The site
Yes, I know it’s been two months since I’ve done a Spotlight, and even longer than that since I’ve updated quote of the week. I’m aware that it took more than a month to get the Outstanding Content images changed in the front page rotator. New members are way down, and with T-Kun taking a break from the site we can expect the number of comments to drop from 1 per article to 0. I’m not going to sugar coat things: Since Fusionator stepped down as the site runner and House left all together, our community has very much stalled. I even stopped posting a series of videoes about my books because, other than T-Kun, I was getting no comments and couldn’t spare the time.
Now that my books are finished and work on the animated movie will be handled by other people, I intend to get Spotlight going again in September and I’ll be more on top of quote of the week. I’m hard at work on a new Podcast Play, an adaptation of a classical piece of music called Pictures at an Exhibtion. However, I can’t do much more than that. I’m simply not a wiz when it comes to running this site, I’m an idea man, and without people to help me get stuff done around here, I can’t promise that things are going to get better.
Manic Expression is a community site. I used to wow people by telling them that it wasn’t “mine,” it was “ours.” That holds true to this day, and I need help around here. Anyone who wants to devote even a little bit of time and energy to the site could really help turn things around. I’m not asking anyone to treat this place like a full time job, but if I could get a few of you to lend a hand we might be able to return this site to it’s former glory. I have ideas, I just need help seeing them through.
Anyone who wants to help, either with the movie or the site, my door is always open. Just send me a message and I’ll respond. I’m hoping that we can get back to the business of being a strong community this fall. We’re heading into year six. That’s amazing to me. It’s okay that we hit a slump, and that some people have moved on. The only way we get out of that slump is together.