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Page 565 + I Need Your Help

Page 565 is not the only thing that is up! I also have SOME NEWS, and an urgent request:

My roommate/co-author recently lost the job she's had since 2000.

For context: True Magic's Patreon has been an essential part of our income for many years. It covers our grocery budget (which is pretty important!), but not much else. Most of the rest always came from Co-Author D.

But now Patreon is the only income we have — and even if we stopped buying food, it still wouldn't be enough to even pay our rent.

So guys, I am asking you with all my heart to help us in one or two ways:

1. IF you can comfortably afford it, please support True Magic on Patreon. Even $1 helps!

2. If you can think of someone who would enjoy the comic, please recommend it to them!

I've been reluctant to ask for more support, but D's job hunt for the past few weeks has been fruitless, and it looks like our only hope is to somehow increase our Patreon income, fast.

The encouraging news (thanks to our wonderful current patrons) is: We're actually almost halfway to the level where we'll be safe again.

Here's a summary of our per-page goals, and our progress so far:

If we can reach that $600/page mark (the rent milestone) before August, we will be okay.

Please help us get there if you can!

A few additional notes...

Re: Patreon:

Whether or not you can pledge right now, please do join the True Magic Patreon. I post fun stuff for free members now and then!

It also brightens our day just to see you there. Moral support is real support, and every bit helps. ♥

Re: Recommendations:

I'd like to think that True Magic would naturally gain support if more people just knew it existed. :)

If you want to help us gather more readership, please keep in mind:

1. Quality over quantity: Audience happiness is more important than audience size! Please recommend thoughtfully, to the people who are most likely to enjoy the story.

2. No pressure: Please don't push anyone to become a patron! Just ask them to check out the story and see if they like it. Once TM has a substantial number of readers, the optional patronage is likely to take care of itself.

Re: This Whole Situation:

True Magic is my favorite project. The longer I work on it, the more I care about it.

There are so many fun parts I can't wait to share with you, but scripting and drawing each page takes a LOT of time. The only way to advance the story at a decent pace is to put in full-time effort (40+ hours/week) — which is what I've been doing for several months now.

My goal has always been to earn a full-time Patreon income so that I can afford to keep devoting this much time. I've also wished for a long time that I could take the financial pressure off D, after all her years of high-stress work.

I always figured patronage would grow over time, and we'd just... get there eventually.

And then D's company went and terminated many of its independent contractors (including some top performers) without any warning or explanation.

It's as if the universe said: "Hey Aja, you know that 'eventual goal' you were talking about? Guess what! It's just been upgraded to an immediate requirement!"

Ironically, I've put off a lot of comic promotion tasks (like renovating my Patreon page, and even writing posts to ask for support) because I knew they would take days of work — and I felt like I couldn't afford to take that time away from page production. (Y'know, because of the whole "that's our food budget" thing.)

Well, now I've had no choice but to drop everything and actually ask for serious help — which I probably should have done a long time ago.

So I'm asking you:

Can you pledge one dollar?

Can you tell at least one nice person about the comic?

True Magic's audience is still pretty small, so the efforts of any individual can really count. This means that you personally can make a huge difference if you try!

I have hope that with even a little more support, we can make it. ♥

Thanks for reading this far!

Thank you so much for your support (in any form), and your patience, and for being here to read this story that I'm determined to keep creating. I hope you get as much joy out of it as I put into it!

(help, help, help)

Featured Friend:

Flaky Pastry: Fun - Danger - Romance - Frosting
Flaky Pastry

The button says it all. Almost. (I guess there wasn't room to mention "awesome characters" and "totally sweet artwork.")


Update Coming Soon

Sorry about missing last week's update. I'm still working full-time on the comic, but Events Have Transpired™ that make it simultaneously more important and much harder to make good progress.

Pretty stressed out at the moment, but I wanted to post something this week, even if it's just this "please check back later" message. I'll have a more detailed post soon (hopefully in the next few days).

Thank you for your patience!


Page 564 + The Power of Stubbornness

Page 564 is up!

And here's a little animated pep talk that I found encouraging:

Small Daily Actions Lead To Massive Results

The boulder metaphor is something I think about a lot. Reminding myself of it has really helped to keep me going over the years. Maybe it will give you a little boost, too.

Whatever project or problem you may be working on: Keep chipping away, friends!

You're making more progress than you think.


Page 563 + Chill Music Time

Page 563 is up!

Just a quick recommendation this week:

Deep Work Music for Creators

It features another genre that I wish I'd discovered sooner: Future Garage!

As the description says: "Mysterious, atmospheric and deep — this playlist evokes the feeling of getting lost in a desolate city covered in fog."

It's sort of stealthily motivating — unobtrusive enough that you almost forget it's playing, yet somehow energizing enough to keep you in the zone.

(Also, if "Eternal Fear of Sunrise" isn't the perfect track title for an all-night work session, I don't know what is.)

The channel seems to be super prolific, so if you enjoy this particular mix, there's a lot more where that came from. :)


Page 562 + The Wonders of ADHDubstep

Page 562 is up!

For any friends who may struggle with staying focused, here's something I've personally found helpful: brainwave entrainment music!

Apparently most people's Happy Productivity Mode is in the high-alpha/low-beta range (10-20 Hz): alert, but relaxed. And if you listen to steady tones in that range, your brain naturally tends to start generating brainwaves at a matching frequency. Pretty neat.

(I, for one, deeply appreciate having a way to trick/brute-force my brain into a state of calm focus.) :3

It also helps when someone layers the tones with music that's actually fun to listen to — and one guy who does that amazingly well is Jason Lewis.

He's made so many brilliantly crafted music mixes in just about every genre you can think of.

Some of my favorites are:
Hard Rock
More Dubstep
Additional Dubstep
Dark Trap

He also makes more relaxing mixes including ambient space music, Tibetan singing bowls, chill electronica and so on. Definitely worth exploring his whole channel. It's a treasure trove!

(And while you're there, maybe ask him how he feels about making a dungeon synth mix...) :D


Page 561 + Let Me Tell You About Dungeon Synth

Page 561 is up!

And I recently discovered a music genre that I never knew I always needed: Dungeon Synth!

I've always loved the sound of old-school Ultima and Forgotten Realms PC games. Now it turns out there are modern-day artists making new music with those same delightful '90s RPG vibes. ♥

Here are a few of my favorite albums so far:

Cimerion - Contresort
(Wonderfully moody and mysterious.)

Pauldron - Under a Reptilian Moon
(Cover art like a classic D&D module, and music that tells a story all by itself.)

Quest Master - Twelve Castles / Twelve Temples
(The track titles alone are a goldmine of inspiration for dungeon masters.)

Quest Master - Sword & Circuitry
(Just gorgeous. If you only try one album, make it this one!)

Maybe some of those will make nice additions to your reading/writing/gaming playlists. :)


Page 560 + Something that May Help

Page 560 is up!

In other news, a friend recently recommended a YouTube channel that sounded kind of interesting... and then that channel went and posted exactly what I needed to hear right now.

This video gave me a huge morale boost, so I want to share it with you too:

(Spoiler: It isn't just about cleaning.)

The uploader offers several actionable tips in a way that's humorous, insightful, encouraging and heartwarming (especially the bit at the end). The time-lapse footage is pretty satisfying to watch, too, but the real value is in the narration.

If you've been struggling with anxiety, depression, or any variation of "can't make myself do the thing"... I think this could help.

On the other hand, if you're doing just fine (and I hope you are!), please watch it anyway so you can share it with someone who needs it.

When someone is failing to perform in some visible external way, it's likely because they're fighting (and losing) an internal battle. But there are ways to fight back more effectively — and there's even hope for winning, one day at a time.

Like the guy says in the video, internal friction manifests in different ways for different people. Personally, I've been the "socially isolate and throw myself into work" type — so to counteract that, I'm gonna try a little experiment!

Usually when I start to write any kind of post, it immediately balloons into multiple paragraphs (as you can see), and my internal editor jumps all over it: "That's way too long-winded. No one cares about that stuff. That makes me sound like a doofus."

And then the options are either (1) spend hours trying to cram the essential ideas into a few perfect sentences, or (2) delete it all and get back to work. (That's why so many recent posts have just said "Page XYZ is up!" and nothing else.)

So, as one way of applying the video's advice for myself, I'm gonna try to post something here with each page for a while — whether it's some music I'm enjoying, or a tutorial that helped me, or whatever — without over-editing it into oblivion. I figure that'll be a nice opportunity to share more fun stuff with everyone, while also not letting the anxiousness win for a change. :)

Anyway, please do check out the video (and hopefully pass it along if you find it helpful)!

Cheers! ♥

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