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August Niehaus Posts

How I use Habitica

I used to be really bad at staying hydrated. So bad, in fact, that my elbows were rough and angry all the time because they were too dry. Now, as of this writing, I have consumed at least 60 oz of water for 270 days straight. Thanks, Habitica! I’ve mentioned Habitica before, but I wanted to devote an entire post to how I’ve used it since December 2018 to build positive habits and improve my…

Studiolog: Week of September 30

With fall now well here, it’s time for vivid energy with the vivid leaves. What have the Shames been up to? We had an incredibly productive (and long overdue) studio meeting, where we talked about what was working, what wasn’t, what we’d like to do more of, and how to move forward on all of it. It was very motivating! Meetings can be used for good! Meanwhile, my book of structured-unstructured prompts, “Promptly: Write Fast,…

Writing around a day job

I knew from a very early age that I would need a day job if I wanted to be a writer. I mean really early — I was five or six when I came to the practical realization that fiction might not be lucrative and I’d need to do something else to pay the bills. These days, I’m a little older and a little wiser, plus a lot busier. My day job is incredible, but…

Studiolog: Week of September 2

It’s been a month… or three… since the last one of these. So of course the Shames have been up to some ish! …like what? Acquiring new vehicles, for starters! Jake and I got ourselves a fantastic Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, while Josh acquired himself a Toyota Corolla hatchback in blue. Really blue. This means, of course, that we have to start making media content based on our new babies. Jake and I grabbed some…

Throwaway concepts

I’m a big proponent of throwaway concepts. They’re how I actually got to the publication stage for my first novel. They’re also how I decompress between Serious Novels™. I should define my terms! A throwaway concept: …is an idea you’ve invested a minimal amount of time in. …doesn’t (necessarily) tie into any of your existing worlds or series. ..is more likely to be fun and light than dark and serious (even if you’re writing horror).…

Ode to meditation

I’m learning how to meditate using a game called PLAYNE – a really amazing resource for me, because it uses metaphors my brain can wrap itself around. Plus, there’s a fox named Wolf. It’s wonderful. This was my post-meditation quote last night, and I found myself dribbling words onto the page the way I used to, a decade of summers ago. — here is my stillnessit never came with theprayer,praise,private practice. here, brought in by…

Studiolog: Week of June 24

This week marked something that the Shames, Jake in particular, have been working towards for six years now: the successful wiring up of the studio. It all functions! There’s a recording studio in our living room! IT JUST WORKS! We got a big buddy mixing desk that makes it so we can plug in mics and instruments and get right down to jamming. Plug and play, seriously! It’s a dream! I couldn’t be more proud…

Studiolog: Week of April 29

W O W has it been a long time since the last one of these! Sorry about that, life ran us in circles and it was much more important to spend the time building relationships, our skills, and the studio than it was stopping to write it down. That said… what have the Shames been up to?! In a word: MUSIC. Ahhhh! Something happened, and every one of us is suddenly excited about music: MIDI,…

Studiolog: Week of February 11

The Shames officially survived the snow. What else have they been up to? First off, huge congrats to Jake, who has two guitars up for sale at Thunder Road Guitars. It’s a huge step for someone who only started refinishing guitars a year ago! 👏 I published “Read-Write,” my February story for The Accidental Magic Project. Alex drew a stunning illustration for my tale of one fairy’s organic computer and its astonishing powers. Today I…

Everyone’s a songwriter

Going from a musical collective to a group of musicians who can put out a finished song takes some hard work and practice, as we here at Not Bad are learning every day. Turns out that songwriting – good songwriting, anyway – is challenging too. Just because it rhymes doesn’t mean it sounds good. Plus, just because it sounds good as a song, does not mean it will look good on paper. Personally, I find it…