Ok, in between squashing long code down into a tiny MCU, I've done some research on good VFX software and decided to throw my time into Blender.
Why? Because of the comprehensive particle and hair systems, the volumetrics, speed of updates and bug fixes, and availability of free help. In theory I can use it as a compositor as well, but I'll stick with Visionlab Studio and Movie Edit Pro 17 for now. Blender will do the job until I outgrow it (if ever).
Otherwise, my next goal is to clean up all my poetry collections, turn them into Kindle eBooks, and GIVE THEM AWAY. Clever marketing scheme! Then I'll finish DEAD RINGER, and move on to THRESHOLD and THE VICKY DIARIES. DEAD RINGER will be sold in 2 parts, and I'll likely do the same thing for THRESHOLD. More clever marketing!
So, I need to purchase a decent HD camcorder, a still camera, tripod, and a new high-end laptop. In addition, I'll need a wireless NAS to back stuff up to (and software to do it automatically).
This will see me well into the second half of the year. Eventually, I might get Vegas Pro to replace Movie Edit Pro, but that won't happen until my current tool(s) stop working.
Also important is connecting to the film and writing community in Austin - time for me to get my tail out of the house and meet people!