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Tagged in: Life | News | Terran Shift | Jamie-Writing

2015 Update: Life Happens

Welcome to 2015

A lot has been going on around here and, as I'm often apt to say, Life Happens. We've been quiet for a few months now. Much has been happening in our personal lives and now that a few of the pieces have fallen into place, I wanted to post an update to talk about it. For the past few years, I (Jamie) have been living with Paul while we worked on building Lost Luggage Studios. I've had the pleasure of working on this company and our products full-time. We've released a lot of software, two games, and thirteen books. We're both incredibly proud of the products we've created.

But things change. As I said, Life Happened.

Paul is getting married, and so our situation changes. First and foremost, we're not closing down Lost Luggage Studios. We never will. Lost Luggage Studios is a wonderful creative outlet for both of us. However, because of the aforementioned impending marriage, I'm no longer going to continue living with Paul. This spring, I will be moving out and getting my own place, and unfortunately that also means I have to get a day job. In some ways, I look forward to working again, as there are certainly some great aspects of having steady work. For one, I've been learning new programming languages and techniques again, and I've always found that process to be fun. However, I will no longer be able to devote all the time to this company that I have been.

The past few months, I've been searching for and lining up some freelance projects, in the hopes that taking on contract work will pay my bills while also giving me more free time than an office job (plus I don't relish the thought of commuting). I'm currently working on an administrative website for a company in Florida, and recently passed the entry challenge for a company in California that hires programmers all over the US and Canada for remote contract programming. I hope to start getting contracts through them in the next few weeks. Once I get a few paychecks into my bank account, I'm going to be occupied with finding my own place and moving.

Because of all this, I've had less time to devote to Lost Luggage Studios these past few months, and our pace of releasing great new products has obviously slowed. We've always believed in releasing things when they're done. It's just going to take noticeably longer than usual for that time to come, since I'll be working full time now on contract jobs.

Support Changes

In light of all this, we're making a change in our support procedures. We've dropped our phone number. There's no way I can guarantee being able to handle phone support along with my new schedule. If I'm working on a contract job, I can't easily stop to answer a support call. Honestly, we weren't getting many calls anyway, and most of those were unsolicited sales calls. From now on, all our support will be handled through email. I can usually respond within 24-48 hours, and will continue doing that as long as I can. You can also attempt to contact me through Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter. I keep resisting setting up a LinkedIn account, but may do that soon just to make it even easier to find me online. You can find out more ways to contact me on our Contact Us and About Us pages.

Coming Soon(ish)

There are several things we've been working on over the past few months that will be released when I get the chance to put finishing touches on them. Here's a preview of what I know we will release at some point this year:

Instrument Approach Builder
Paul wrote a training tool for pilots (instrument flight instructors) a while back that we plan to release later this month. This past summer, I wrote an extensive common library for Lost Luggage Studios and added it to his code. My changes include some awesome things like automatic updating, a shiny Internet-connected welcome screen, and more.

Scribings, Vol 5
Fans of the Scribings anthology series will get the next edition in June. GPS is already hard at work on stories for this volume, and we've added two new authors to the Scribists team, for a total of eight!

In addition to those items, I really hope I find the time to do all of these as well:

Batch Image Converter 1.3
Using the common library I mentioned above, I want to do a visual revamp of Batch Image Converter. It's our most-downloaded program (more than 60,000 downloads so far!). I want to make it look better, be easier to use, and I want to add more features (like rotating, resizing, and watermarking pictures).

Terran Shift Anthology, Vol 3: The Aftershock Era
The next anthology in the Terran Shift universe will focus on the Aftershock Era, a time of turmoil after most of the world's population has been decimated. Humanity realizes that the only way for us to survive, as a species, is for us to leave this world and colonize others. But before that can happen, we have to recover...

Fireteam Zulu 2 (and maybe 3)
Earlier in 2014, I wrote first drafts of both of these novels, and would like to get at least FZ2 released this year. I'll be able to predict a release date better once I start editing the drafts and can see what sort of shape they are in.

The Lead Droid
This is the first book in a new science fiction series Paul has been writing. He's written quite a bit these past few years, and I think this book is the closest to completion. We'd like to get this polished and published this year as well.

For a while now, I've intended to make a monthly email newsletter to highlight our blog posts and to talk about the things we're working on. I hope to get that launched this year as well.

In the meantime, keep an eye on this blog, our website, and our pages on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus for the latest news from us. We hope you have a great 2015, and that it proves at least as interesting as our year is going to be!