As you all may know from past blog posts we celebrate Earth Day annually in our own unique way here at Summer Time Studios – which basically means it is creatively different each year. This year we gave special focus to prayers for humanity as we move through an epic historical transition on a global scale.
This transition has catastrophic elements as systems and structures seem to be collapsing all around the globe. We are both historians and have studied deeply civilization histories as well as classic Empire Collapses over the centuries of time up to present day.
One important note of each epic turning of an age is that humanity always seem to be able to anchor in new systems and structures that meet the needs of the times and rise through the ashes like a Phoenix. They manage to do this through creatively applying their minds, hearts, and spirits to manifest their dreams of a better future.
Celebrating Earth Day includes celebrating humanity – we know many feel there is not much to celebrate in the face of war, death, pandemics, violence, economic struggles, homelessness and dozens of other social breakdowns but when you look at the list of these challenges you will see that history has shown us we can and will prevail through human persistence and perseverance in the face of ridiculous odds!
As historians we ourselves we try not to get swept up in the subjective realms of these times and we focus all of our energy on understanding why the world is going through these epic changes. Everything that is happening today has long and deep roots into our collective past which many have forgotten or have limited understandings of.
In our Earth Day prayers for humanity we prayed that people would be guided to this knowledge and that it would help them build context for understanding so that they would be able to navigate these times knowing they are a part of history and they would have the strength/power to rise to fulfilling their personal destiny and purposes. That was our Earth Day prayer and we send the Earth and all of the Children of Earth our deepest blessings.
Book I of the Tales of Orlen Series, Long Live The Emperor, was released after 2 years of story/character development, script writing for each scene and tons of time spent on illustrations. As I (Jaron) began working on Book II – The Mercenary & The Crystal Eye – I realized it was going to be at least twice as long as Long Live The Emperor so I was going to need help if I hoped to release it within 2 years of publishing Long Live The Emperor.
Backgrounds have always been the most time consuming part of illustration so if I was going to bring someone else onto the team it would be a background artist. So I went looking on Fiverr to see if there was anyone freelancing that had ability and style that I felt I could work with. I knew it would have to be someone who could commit to a long term project and would be able to copy my style. I was very excited when I found a great artist named Alice Tista.
Alice is a wonderful/talented artist from Indonesia and is a joy to work with. Being able to hire her as an assistant background artist after being in ‘official’ business for just 2 years is a great early milestone in our goal to build our studio team. Now I’m getting twice as much work done on a weekly basis since I can illustrate the characters and she can do the backgrounds according to my directions. I still find myself working on some backgrounds myself but she does the bulk of the work for which I am very grateful.
The Chinese Year of the Tiger has begun and I (Jade) am very happy with the progress that has been made on my first publication “Lateefa of Mirea”.
Last year – the Year of the Ox – I set my goal to work non-stop of this production that has been years in the making as far as story and character development. It has been very exciting to have many pages now fully illustrated and completed.
The reason I reference the Chinese Years is because I love studying different calendars and using them to manage my working goals. I find the different archetypal themes of the Chinese years a fun way to align my energies with. The year of the Ox (2021) was the year I was born (1997) so it was awesome to be able to overcome some big obstacles and complete many pages of this first book within the year of my birth. Now that the year of the Tiger has begun I am feeling the energy of the Tiger giving me a new level of intensity I need to hopefully finish this book and be able to publish it! According to the Chinese oracle a Tiger year is a good luck year for the Ox and will have good fortune and prosperity in their careers. Here is a fun video about the Year of the Tiger…
February 22nd was also the two year anniversary of the establishment of Summer Time Studios as a legal Public Benefit Corporation. Happy 2 year anniversary to Summer Time Studios!!!
Summer Time Studios does all illustrations and artwork by us which of course is extremely time consuming – most studios have teams of artist doing illustration. This year we are going to be in a position to hire out some specific areas of our work to skilled artists who have worked doing freelance art.
One area where I’ve (me Jaron) have always fallen short in my illustrations is architectural design. I just don’t have the mind for it. So I went to Fiverr to find someone who did. Fatima’s Artistry was the very first official hiring that Summer Time Studios contracted with and it was really exciting connecting and working with Fatima. It was a simple job asking her to help me with some concept art for architectural design and I can honestly say that I was very impressed with her work! It was very imaginative and gave me ideas on how I could even expand the design. I’m very thankful to her for her help and recommend her highly. She is a very skilled artist and easy to work with.
As we move forward I will be looking to hire someone to help me with background illustrations for Book II of the Tales of Orlen Series because although I love doing all my own illustrations I decided it would seriously help speed up the process of finishing this next exciting publication sooner.
This is the season that we at Summer Time Studios take a 21 day celebration beginning December 1st to enjoy the short days and long nights by spending time with family and friends – it is our season of Winter Solstice Celebration. The whole world celebrates deep winter with many different holidays that are intended to inspire warmth during the cold and brightness within the dark. We have always honored this time by lighting candles at our evening dinner table – one for each passing day until Winter Solstice which usually falls between the 20th and the 22nd depending on the year. By the time Winter Solstice Arrives our kitchen is lit up with 20 candles that represent the ‘Return of the Light’….each day after Winter Solstice gets longer and longer.
This Winter Solstice did not just bring us long black nights but also we were blessed to be able to rescue a beautiful Black horse from a very bad situation. She lived near us and had suffered from neglect and awful living environment. Thanks to a good friend we were able to negotiate with the owner a way to buy her from him and bring her to our loving home. We have 4 horses at our ranch so she is able to join a new herd and receive the best care a horse deserves. We named her Taska and from the first day of her arrival she made it clear that Jade was the one she liked the best of us! Many people know how amazing and wonderful horses are but many don’t know at all how many thousands of horses are neglected and in need of rescue. There are many horse rescue organizations throughout the country worthy of support to help horses that are in terrible situations. We were happy that we were able to find a way to help beautiful Taska. She has her own barn/stall now and has a warm blanket for the cold nights. The equine vet came out to see her and gave her the treatments she needed. She told us she was about 5 years old so that is still very young and we look forward to having many many years ahead with her living a good life with us and our herd.
We are setting our goals for the coming year and feeling extremely grateful for all of the support we have received from our family, friends, partners, and all of the wonderful people who have enjoyed our first publication this past year.
We send out our thanks to everyone and look forward to the coming of Spring!
We are excited to announce the completion of the Italian translation of “Long Live The Emperor”! It was so awesome to work with our translators and to see this work written in Italian was so exciting for us.
During the time of this work being translated our translators Alessandra and Francesca won the national prize for translation issued by the Italian Ministry of culture! It’s the most important translation prize in Italy
Here is some more about them:
Alessandra Repossi, professional literary translator, has translated over 130 novels and essays for major Italian publishers, from English, French and Spanish into Italian. Together with Francesca Cosi she created a new method of literary translation as a collaborative duo which sparked great interest in translation schools. Among their most recent translated books three works stand out, which show a neat literary style: Rae DelBianco’s novel “Ruvide bestie” (Rough Animals), which takes place in the wide spaces of the American West, “Autobiografia per sommi capi”, a collection of little-known essays by George Orwell, and “La fine delle epidemie” (The End of Epidemics) by Jonathan Quick, which deals with the most discussed topic today.
We are so grateful to them for their wonderful work and we hope to have the Italian version ready for release in the next couple week!
We found wonderful translators for “Long Live The Emperor” after a couple weeks of researching. Alessandra and Francesca work together translating English into Italian professionally. This is a little about them directly from their website:
“We are professional literary translators belonging to the Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters as qualified members, and to the American Literary Translators Association. We were both born in Italy. After spending many years abroad honing our language skills, we are now living in Tuscany — the region of Florence, Siena, and Pisa, where good wine and food abound, and beautiful scenery meets the eye around every corner. We have an enormous library where books in English dominate. We keep improving our translation skills when we’re not working by reading the masterpieces of literature both in English and in Italian.”
Alessandra and Francesca have translated over 150 books in their 25 years of translating and we are so happy to have them as a part of our Summer Time Studios family for present and future translations of our work! We hope to have the Italian version of “Long Live The Emperor” released by the end of November!
We have made the decision to go international with our publications! After the success of our marketing campaigns with Metatron (who is based in Italy) and much discussion about the direction we wish to go we have concluded that going international with our publications is the best way for us to connect with the global family.
This means we are getting our works translated into multiple languages beginning with Italian to honor our new friends in Italy who have supported our studio and purchased “Long Live The Emperor”.
We are researching potential translators and going with advice Metatron gave us about what criteria we need in a good translator. Metatron worked as a translator in his past and is phenomenal in his understandings of linguistics (see his video below about the Lorica Segmentata in Classical Latin!) With his help we are confident we will be able to find the perfect translators for our works and begin the journey of learning how to share present and future publications with a global community!
Its been one year since “Long Live The Emperor” was published and we are shocked how fast this year has gone by!
2020 was a rough year to publish new works due to the global meltdown of the pandemic. We prevailed however in many ways despite the difficulties getting traction for marketing due to communication lines being clogged up with collective panic and fear!
Looking back had we known what was going happen after we did our official release we may have postponed until the dust settled and things calmed down. Even as we write this post the chaos is still spinning in many ways and we have been informed supply chain issues will be the next wave of this fragile human system collapse!
We are dedicated to the long haul however so over this past year we have cultivated extreme patience and tenacity. Today we were presented with the “Hang In There” Award: For Persistence and Perseverance in the Face of Ridiculous Odds!
E-book sales of Long Live The Emperor have been successful enough to pay for ongoing marketing expenses which is wonderful and we are looking at the possibility of translating the work for international publication. We are so grateful to everyone who has purchased the e-book and supported our launch of our studio. We look forward to sharing more in the coming months as summer comes to a close and we begin a new year!
The peak of summer is always our favorite time of year. We have been of course working on our new upcoming books in between riding our new electric bikes in the mountains and river-boarding to cool off from the hot days. The long days are filled with many inspirations and we are grateful to all of our friends and family who are supporting our work.
Our Metatron marketing campaign is doing great and we are so thankful for Metatron’s help with getting “Long Live The Emperor” shared within his noble community of the sword!
We spoke in our last post that we intend to try a new approach to publishing –
“Our works will always be tailored to an audience that have high standards based on sound values/principles and who have an appreciation of classical beauty as well as a love of history. This audience we will want to form our community around is a ‘niche’ audience so to speak and we want to have a more personalized connection with them rather than blocking them into a mass audience and labeling them ‘fans’. We want to be able to call those who appreciate and support our works ‘allies’ and friends. That means we will not be going through established channels like Amazon or participating in mass marketing.”
Our desire to share our works outside of the mainstream publishing paradigm has many built in challenges of marketing and distribution that we will be navigating in the present and coming years. One of the biggest challenges seems to be succeeding in simple communication via email. We have decided we are going to go back to old fashioned ‘snail mail’ correspondence because it seems like emails just get lost in some kind of a vacuum despite our best efforts to ‘google’ verify and all the other ‘safe guards’ that they claim are needed so that one’s email doesn’t end up in spam! There is something charming about putting letters in envelopes and placing stamps upon them which we enjoy. Our world has become too crazy fast and therefore it seems many opportunities are simply being missed because everyone is in hyper drive.
The second biggest challenge is in getting print on demand (POD) for printed versions of our work streamlined so that when someone orders a hard copy of a book it can be easily drop shipped from the printer at a cost that is reasonable. We are working on getting “Long Live The Emperor” printed so that folks can order a copy easily without us having to bulk order and then mail ourselves. Many of our recent sales have been international so if we cannot find good overseas POD we won’t be able to offer printed versions to folks in other countries – the shipping would cost more than the book!
Our family publishing company – ReGenesis Media – is doing outreach on this matter and we hope to have something resolved by this coming autumn. It will be wonderful to be able to offer printed versions. Until then we will continue to offer our works in simple e-book downloads and we thank everyone who has purchased our work and appreciate your wonderful reviews!
Here is the latest Metatron video “Long Live The Emperor” sponsored…