Welcome to TraceyTobin.WordPress.com!

Some time ago, I went through my online presence, disposed of a great deal of excess, and created NoPageLeftBlank.wordpress.com as a place to bring what was most important to me into one spot. At the time it worked wonders, but over the years that have passed since then quite a lot has changed. I am now a published author and a growing YouTuber, and as a result of those things my online presence has once again gotten convoluted. So, with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to what I’m hoping will be my new-and-improved personal space.

This blog will not be specifically for me as an author, or me as a YouTuber, and it will not be a place specifically meant for blogging or marketing or any other individual issue. TraceyTobin.Wordpress.com will be for me, in whatever form that takes. I will talk about the writing process and what’s happening with my books, I’ll share my YouTube videos and other geeky nonsense as I see fit, and I’ll blog as I desire. This site will be me in my entirety, as I see fit.

So if you’ve come here from NoPageLeftBlank.wordpress.com, thank you very much for following me into this new venture, and if you’re new, welcome! You may see some strange things happening here in the following weeks as I create back-dated posts to share older YouTube videos, but moving forward expect to see lots more of, well…me!


Plans & Goals 2020: Week 39 Review

It’s going to be a bit of a shorter post this week, my dears, as I’ve very little to report and am currently recovering from several days in a row of lost sleep.

The long-story-short bit is that we had a death in the family a few days past and, as these things tend to do, it threw life off-kilter for a bit. So I’m going to go through this one a little quicker than usual and move on to the many other things I’ve got going on at the moment. Cheers? Cheers.

Goal #1: Be Healthier

Short story: I’m a bloody wreck.

  • Eat better (and less) – If anything, I ate worse in this past week than I was doing before I started this goal. Junk food and fast food and copious amounts of alcohol, snacking and gorging and just all-over being a cow. There are no two ways around it. I spent most of last week eating like I was actively trying to gain weight.
  • Drink more water – To be fair to myself, I did still drink a lot of water, but there was also all the alcohol, and hydration in general did not help at all with my appetite last week. I was just off in a whole lot of ways.
  • Get more exercise – I had a couple of ‘morning run’ days at the beginning of the week, and there were a few Pokemon Go walks with the family as well, so at least that’s something. However, there was also a lot of sitting around doing not much of anything at all. So there’s that.
  • Lose 2 lbs per month – I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m not even going to give you any numbers, because it’s just too frustrating. Maybe by this time next week I’ll have repaired some of the damage and I can get back to you.

Goal #2: Be an Author

By some little bit of luck, I did actually get most of my writing done early in the week, so the report for this particular goal isn’t actually all that bad.

  • Write 500,000 words throughout the year – As I said, I happened to go hard earlier in the week, so I ended up nearly doubling my Pacemaker.press goal despite slacking off later in the week. Pacemaker wanted me to come up with 5932 words, and I managed to pull together 10,775 across three different projects. That brings me up to 80% completion for my half-a-mill goal, which is pretty awesome and definitely closer than I’ve ever gotten to writing so much in one year.
  • Promote published books – Hmm…I’m thinking pretty hard, but I don’t believe that I did any kind of self-promo at all last week. Bad Tracey.
  • Promote Patreon & exclusive content –  I did post to the Patreon at the end of the week, because it was time for another chapter of ‘Revenge Omens’, which has been getting lots of positive feedback. Yay for that! I also have a short nearly ready to go up; I just have to transcribe it because I happened to write this one by hand.
  • Work on Author social media – I actually think I posted pretty consistently to all my social media last week. I shared some sketches, some writing updates, and some fun random stuff, all to the tune of gaining 3 followers on the Twitter account and 5 on the Instagram.

Goal #3: Be a YouTuber

Things definitely ground to a halt here last week, but there was some progress at the beginning of the week.

  • Film/edit/upload – I mentioned in last week’s post that we were just in the process of finishing the editing on a slew of four videos that we’d done all at once. Shortly after making that post we did, in fact, finish all the editing and uploading and launching and whatnot, and so all four of those videos went live together. There has not been any continuing progress since then because of aforementioned family events, but I imagine you can rather understand that.
  • Promote and Interact (Social Media) – Similarly to the author accounts, I feel like I was pretty productive with the social media last week, particularly with the several cute and fun pics I shared on Instagram. Unfortunately the results weren’t as positive as the author accounts. I only gained 1 follower on Instagram (although, at least it’s a positive number) and actually lost 3 on the Twitter account. That said, there were weird things going on with Twitter last week and apparently lots of people practically had their follower counts vanish overnight, so I feel rather lucky to have not been involved in whatever the hell that was.
  • Expand website content – Do not engage, Tracey. Just do not engage.

Goal #4: Be Fun!

There actually was quite a bit of fun to be had in the second half of the week, as Jason’s cousin visited for a few days to help distract us from things rather not dwelled upon.

(Everyone grieves in their own way. Don’t judge.)

  • Read 50 books throughout the year – I didn’t get a whole lot of reading done last week, but I did finish “Psycho Hose-Beast From Hell”, which went live today, so you should go check it out! You can read my full review right here; it was quite a fun romp with characters that I came to adore, and I’m definitely interested to see the continuation of the series.
  • Play video games – There was actually a fair bit of random gaming last week, including a Smashdown tournament in ‘Smash Bros Ultimate’, a merciless slaying of my competitors in ‘Tetris Attack’, several random bouts of ‘Tetris 99’, and a ‘Summer Games 2’ tournament on the C64 Mini, which was quite hysterical because of how impossible it is to figure out the controls on those games. Lots of fun distractions to be had.
  • Watch shows/movies – We didn’t watch a whole lot last week, aside from watching ‘Community’ at suppertime and ‘Futurama’ reruns in bed at night. We did watch the newest (at the time) episode of ‘The Boys’ on Amazon Prime Vid, which is fan-fucking-tastic, but I think that was more or less it. That said, there will definitely be a slew of movie-viewings coming very soon, because it’s nearly time for us to start our ’31 Days of Halloween’ event. ❤

So that’s that; less overly-detailed than usual, but I’m sure you’re probably not complaining since I can tend to ramble in these posts. Now, it’s time to get back to work catching up on all the many, many things I’ve gotten behind on. Wish me luck!

How was your week? Any accomplishments you want to share? Goals you worked hard on? Feel free to share in the comments! 

Review: “Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space” [Spoiler-Free]

Purchase “Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space” on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format.

I recently had the pleasure to read and review the newest book from Canadian author, C.D. Gallant-King, a writer whose take on horror, sci-fi, and humor (all rolled into one) now has me keenly interested in checking out his prior publications. He is, without a doubt, a geek after my own heart, and it shines through in his writing.

Gale Harbour Book One

“Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space” is the first entry in what is set to be the “Gale Harbour” series, named for the fictional Newfoundland town in which our story takes place. I say ‘fictional’, but Gallant-King describes the town in such a way as to bring quite a clear picture to the reader’s mind. Growing up in an Atlantic Canadian town myself, I found it quite easy to imagine Gale Harbour as a real place, which gave a sense of realism to the quite extraordinary, out-of-this-world story that takes place there.

The story is also set in the early 1990’s, and Gallant-King does an excellent job of regularly reminding us of this fact. Reference to early 90’s video games, movies, and pop culture are woven into the plot, as well as accurate portrayals of everyday life in that decade (e.g. video rental stores are still a thing, and none of the characters own a cell phone).

Jumping Between Generations

If asked who the main protagonist of “Psycho Hose-Beast” is, I would be tempted to choose 12-year-old Niall, but the narrative moves regularly between multiple different characters as necessary to create the type of story Gallant-King is trying to tell. In one chapter we will follow Niall, his best friend Pius, and Pius’s cousin Harper, while in the next we will be focused on Harper’s ‘game and fisheries ranger’ father, or local police sergeant, Tanguay. The jumps work well to allow sharing information with the reader as required to progress the story, and are done in a way that isn’t jarring or annoying.

What is particularly nice, however, is how well Gallant-King portrays the different age groups involved. The adults feel like adults, with grown-up concerns, more rational minds (sometimes to a fault), and the need to be responsible and logical. The children, on the other hand, feel like children. They are all written in a way that truly resembles the way I remember kinds of that age acting. Each of the five child characters also have distinct personalities that a very well-written and bring a ton of life (and laughs) to the story.

Psycho Hose-Beast???

So, okay, I’m sure you’re thinking what’s with the title? Well, the central plot of the story revolves around an ancient creature – something like an elder god, if you like – that was sealed away by clever humans thousands of years prior and is, not to put too fine a point on it, rather pissed off about it. The creature managed to break free of its prison approximately 63 years prior to the events of the book, but was temporarily re-trapped by a pair of enterprising witches. Now it is free again and is on the hunt, not only to heal and strengthen itself, but because it desires the eradication of humanity for daring to trap it in the first place.

And to answer your (admittedly reasonable) question, ‘psycho hose-beast’ is the name given to the creature by one of the children, Harper, who is by far the bravest and most level-headed of the child characters. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Save the Harbour, Save the World

“Psycho Hose-Beast” follows this random assortment of child and adult characters as they work to stay alive and defeat this horrible creature, who has already taken several lives in their quiet harbour town. The story tows the line between humorous and dramatic, not shying away from the concept of death but also working in some wonderfully ridiculous moments, including one in which Snow’s “Informer” makes a surprise appearance. The titular beast is creepy, disturbing, and most definitely evil, while the human characters are all likeable, even the ones who kinda-sorta make you want to toss them to the beast. There are lots of twists and turns, well-loved tropes, and bits of information fed slowly that come back to make sense later on. Parts of the story also set up ideas about where the rest of the series might lead, such as the secret army tunnels running all throughout the ground beneath the town.

The story is not dragged out by pointless fluff, could easily be devoured in a sitting or two if you were so inclined, and has a good pace that keeps you wanting to keep going right to the end. And speaking of which, the ending is, in my personal opinion, quite satisfying in a number of ways. It could easily all end right here and I would be quite pleased, but at the same time the inevitable sequel has been set up well enough that I’m definitely looking forward to seeing ‘Gale Harbour Book Two’ in the future!

My personal favorite thing about the entire book, however, is the children and their dynamics between one another. From the bookish weakling, to the weirdo kid who never stops talking, each of the children feel so much like real kids that could have been a part of any of our childhoods that it gives that much more gravitas to the story. You genuinely want to see these kids survive and succeed, even (or possibly especially) when they’re being morons, because they’re so relatable.

If asked, I would rate “Psycho Hose-Beast” as either a Teen or Young Adult novel, but there is also nothing in it that would stop me allowing my own pre-teen to give it a read. I’m quite certain she would love it for its horrific humor and young heroes.

In Conclusion…

“Psycho Hose-Beast From Outer Space” is definitely worth a read, especially if you’re a fan of the horror-comedy aesthetic of something like “Stranger Things”. The characters are likeable and relatable, the setting realistic and familiar, and the monster the kind of weird, illogical, disgusting beast that you might find in anything from a b-rated horror movie to a modern-day sci-fi flick. This is a fun, enjoyable, easy-to-read romp, and I can’t wait to find out where Gallant-King goes with the rest of the series!

Pick it up for yourself right here on Amazon, and feel free to come back and let me know what you thought!

‘My Geek Box’ and ‘Threads’ Unboxing Bonanza!

Due to REASONS, Jason and I ended up filming, editing, and uploading four videos – two ‘My Geek Box’ boxes, and two ‘Threads’ boxes – all at once! So here you go, have a playlist of unboxing goodness!

First up is August’s My Geek Box, featuring Jason the Dragonborn! 😆

Second up is August’s Threads box, featuring some Marvel and DC goodies.

Third is September’s My Geek Box, in which we have the return of the Eekeez! 😱 Luckily it’s an awesome one. 😆

And last but not least for tonight’s 4-vid-blast, here’s September’s Threads box, with a double-whammy of DC goodness!

Plans & Goals 2020: Week 38 Review

G’day, my little chickadees!

*ahem* Don’t mind me, you guys, I’m just evoking my third grade teacher today for some reason.

A couple of things to mention first today. Right off the bat, I heard on the radio this morning that we are up to thirteen straight days without a new case of Covid-19 in Nova Scotia, which is definitely awesome and encouraging (especially now that school is in session). We’ve been doing really well of late, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the trend continues. The big factor, I think, is going to be whether or not people get complacent and start forgoing the safety measures they’ve been taking up to this point. Don’t do that, people! We’re doing so well! Don’t screw it up!

Second on my list is the interesting fact that Nova Scotia is about to be side-armed by Hurricane Teddy, which will be striking the east coast sometime tomorrow, and that just happens to be the side we live on. *nervous cough* Luckily the storm has downgraded quite a bit (I believe it’s going to be a tropical storm when it hits us), but we’re still set for 100 km/hr winds and a crap-ton of rain, so wish us luck! The last time we had a major storm like this we lost power for three days, and we were the lucky ones.

In other, non-biological-pandemic, non-natural-disaster styles of news…I broke my back last week. 🙂

Okay, not really, but it wasn’t a fun time, let me tell you that. Jason and I were heading down to the basement to take a pic for a video, and on the last two stairs my foot slipped. Now, I’ve gone down the stairs on my ass more than a few times, and while it tends to sting a bit, my ass is more than ample enough to cushion a fall. This particular fall, however, saw my feet go out from under me in such a way, that when I came down I actually landed on my back, on the edge of the stair I’d slipped on. Needless to say, there was profanity involved. If I were normal I’d probably have had an enormous purple bruise right across the center of my back, but for whatever reason I rarely bruise, so instead I’ve just got this weird, tender spot that aches like hell if something pushes against it. Most of the pain, though, wound up being across the back of my neck and shoulders, and I’m still dealing with that as I type this.

I’m a walking disaster, you guys, there’s just no other way to say it.

ANYWAY, now that I’ve let you all know how painful my exceptional clumsiness can be, let’s move on.

Goal #1: Be Healthier

I’m pretty sure that I said last week that I was going to do better in the coming week. Let’s just go ahead and push that claim forward a tad, shall we?

  • Eat better (and less) – Yeah, you know, I’m not even really sure exactly what happened, but my snacking has gotten back out of control lately. I wouldn’t call it a complete breakdown of the system or anything, but I haven’t been keeping track of my calories for a reason (a sad, selfish reason, but a reason none-the-less). Long story short, I ate a lot of junk last week, including a pile of cookies and far too much pizza, and I feel bad about myself for it. Moving on.
  • Drink more water – Water hasn’t been a huge issue, although I definitely still feel like I haven’t been drinking enough lately. I think I’ve been letting myself get distracted by doing multiple things at once, which is a recipe for me to leave a barely-drank glass of whatever I’m drinking on a shelf somewhere and forget about it. What I need is a little alarm on my Fitbit that reminds me to drink every half hour or so. Because, you know…that wouldn’t get annoying at all…lol
  • Get more exercise – Bwa ha ha ha ha ha…okay, so, I definitely intended to exercise all throughout the week, and decided to do so by getting back into the Zombies Run! app, but that only lasted for two days because of the aforementioned falling down the stairs. You can’t really blame me for this one, you guys, come on. I was in major pain for a few days there and am even quite sore still. Gimmi a pass, please and thank you.
  • Lose 2 lbs per month – Now this one here, I don’t even want to talk about. Make no mistake, I’m getting extremely frustrated with myself, but between all the issues I’ve been having, on top of the fact that my motivation waxes and wanes like the bloody phases of the moon… Yeah, fuck, I dunno, I gained a pound since last week. Moving on before I get cranky.

Goal #2: Be an Author

Just a note before I move on: one of these days I’m going to learn the fine art of focusing on a single project at a time.

But today is not that day.

  • Write 500,000 words throughout the year – Still writing up a storm over here! (Quite possibly writing IN a storm, soon.) I’ve got so many things that I want to write these days, it’s really damn near impossible not to accomplish my Pacemaker.press goals. This past week it wanted me to write 7740 words, and I murdered that by hitting 12,402. It probably would have been more too, if hurting my back didn’t mean that I spent a couple of days not doing much more than laying prone and trying not to whine. 😛
  • Promote published books – I can’t honestly say that promotion was a big concern for me last week. It should have been, since I haven’t sold any books in ages. *sigh* Moving on.
  • Promote Patreon & exclusive content – My lovely Patrons got Chapter 11 of ‘Revenge Omens’ last week, which is still in early-access over there if you’re interested. I’ve also been working on-and-off on another GO project that I’ll be starting to post up on there soon. ❤
  • Work on Author social media – I think I did a pretty decent job concerning the social media last week. I can’t say that I was overly involved, but I definitely posted daily and interacted with a few other people’s posts while I was at it. There wasn’t much of a result for my effort, but the Twitter account gained two followers, and the Instagram gained three, so that’s something.

Goal #3: Be a YouTuber

I have things to report! I actually have things to report! No, I’m not full of shit! It’s truuuuuuueeeee!!!!!

lol Okay, enough of that.

  • Film/edit/upload – So, things got all mucked up and delayed for a number of reasons (not the least of which was clumsy-ass me breaking my back), but over the course of last week we managed to film four videos (all subscription boxes) and got a little more than half of the editing done as of yesterday. Jason has been working on the rest of the editing all morning, and plans to have all four videos posted sometime this evening, assuming he can find something that is missing that he wanted to use for a pic. (Wish him luck; our house is a fucking disaster.)
  • Promote and Interact (Social Media) – As with the author accounts, I feel like I did a pretty decent job concerning social media last week. Unfortunately the results here were the opposite of the ones on the author accounts. Despite a real modicum of effort, there were only losses on the YouTube side: one lost follower on Twitter and three on Instagram. I’m not exactly going to beat myself up over numbers that small, but it is a bit of a frustration for sure. I’m really starting to wonder what I have to do to get those numbers moving in the proper direction.
  • Expand website content – I’m not even going to waste my time talking about this one. Just…move along and ignore this section until I finally decide to get my shit together.

Goal #4: Be Fun!

I mean, it’s a bit difficult to have fun when you’re popping Ibuprofin all day to deal with the non-stop ache in your neck, buuuuutttttt….

  • Read 50 books throughout the year – A side note concerning books and reading; I’ve spent a good chunk of time this last week getting my entire library scanned into a book tracker app (I’m up to 828 books!) and I now have a mental list of books that I want to read in the coming weeks. Before that, though, I have to focus on getting my review up for ‘Psycho Hose Beast from Outer Space‘, which is currently up for pre-order on Amazon, so go check it out!
  • Play video games – There wasn’t a lot of gaming over the course of last week, but I did poke around on ‘Tetris 99’ while I was sore and cranky, and I played a bit of ‘Overcooked’ with my daughter because we’re both masochistic fuckers who thrive on our own misery. (Seriously though, it’s a fun game, but also extraordinarily infuriating.)
  • Watch shows/movies – As for watching things…uh…*thinks* I’m having a really hard time thinking of what we’ve been watching lately. To be honest, we’ve mostly been watching an episode of ‘Community’ with supper, and falling asleep to ‘Futurama’ (which we’ve already watched multiple times) at night. We keep intending to watch movies, but keep getting distracted by writing (me) and playing ‘Nioh 2’ (Jason). Soooo… Yeah, not really anything to talk about here!

So there you have it. Another one bites the dust, as they say. Wish us luck concerning the storm, send me a bit of grace if you’ve got any to spare because I’m getting really sick of hurting myself, and let me know what’s going on in your life, if you are so inclined! ❤

How was your week? Any accomplishments you want to share? Goals you worked hard on? Feel free to share in the comments! 

“Revenge Omens” – Chapter Eleven: Never Again

Deep, cleansing breaths, my loves. Deep, cleansing breaths. 

This is actually a bit of a shorter chapter because where I intend to go next felt like it would make the chapter far too long, but I expect you’ll enjoy it all the same. Our emotionally-destroyed boys finally sit down and have a bit of a chat. Crowley learns a few things and Aziraphale hears something that he desperately needed to hear. Perhaps a bit of healing is occurring? Difficult to say, but you can judge for yourselves. 

Enjoy, my loves, and remember to protect your hearts!