Sunday, March 3, 2024

exciting stuff planned... a few updates

I'm still working on edits for Book 16. I hope to be in the last big round of edits. It's pretty good overall, but needs just a bit more refinement.

The delay is due to a variety of issues. One of them is my age. I'm in that stage of crushing fatigue during the day and sleep disruptions at night. Mornings are good to a point, but without black tea, I'm doomed by noon. Not even a Dr. Pepper can save me, and coffee is way too strong for my tolerance (and disgusting to my tastes). This is part of the sleep disruption-daytime nap cycle I'm in. And forget supplements. Sure, they help my focus and attention, but they contribute to the sleep disruption. Once in a while nothing bothers me, but I can't count on that.

Add that to just having closed out the busiest time of year at work. I'm finally recovering a few days later. Surprisingly, my head is clear for editing. It's just the fatigue/sleep issue. It could be my thyroid, but it's most likely my stage in life, from the research I've done.

I'll find a way to make it work until hormones straighten out.

Another distraction would be book trailers. I want to create more of those, but they take away from writing/editing, so I'll have to balance that. Fortunately, up to this point, my MacBook Pro wasn't powerful enough to do too much of that. After Effects is a resource hog.

But that will be changing. I'm upgrading to a Mac Studio! 😍 

I did some research on what the best configuration would be for what I plan to do and did some budgeting. I have the keyboard and mouse purchased (didn't need that with a laptop). I ordered the monitor (the Samsung ViewFinity UHD monitor on sale from Best Buy currently for $229 was a fraction of the cost of an Apple monitor ($1599)) and ordered Mac Studio with the M2 Max chip (custom configured direct from Apple). I also found a case on Amazon to store the computer, mouse, and keyboard when I'm not using them. I don't have a desk, so I will need to put that away every day; the case will help. Fortunately, I have my iPad Mini for portability.

I'm looking forward one day to trying out the Unreal Engine and maybe creating some animated stories, but that would take an enormous amount of time from writing. I'll find the balance somehow. It sure would be fun to get into scripting my books into animated stories, though! Maybe when I'm finished with the Forgotten Worlds series, I'll dig into animated stories more fully, but that would be at least a couple of years in the future.

The main reason for now to upgrade is book trailers. The MacBook is a 15" with 2.3 MHz Intel Core i9 and only 16 GB RAM and 500 GB hard drive space. I wasn't planning on creating book trailers when I bought it. And when I bought it, my previous MacBook Pro stopped charging on me and I had to make an emergency purchase from what was available locally. (I was working from home at the start of Covid, so it was a true emergency.) After creating a couple of trailers using Ae templates (see below), I found I really like the visual medium. However, I'm running out of hard drive space, and the RAM and processor can't handle After Effects. Premiere Pro isn't a problem, but Ae has the best features, so it's time to upgrade (and Apple financing at 0% for 12 months is too convenient).

It's an investment that will give me the power to create in new ways.

(The 1 minute trailer below took 2 hours to render on my MacBook Pro, and it was running hot!)

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