Editing and the Baltimore Book Festival

Just submitted what I hope are the final edits to “Ripples in the Pool” and reviewed the cover art for the short story. I’m pretty pleased with how this is all coming together. Now, it’s time to start working on “Wings of Fire”.

I just realized that Wings will be the eighth of the ten stories for the For a Few Gold Pieces More collection. The end is definitely in sight for our rogue, at least as far as this collection goes. I’m probably going to take a break from him for a while, but I don’t think he’s likely to stay gone for too long.  I’m enjoying the world I’m building with each story he appears in and someone with his talents is not likely to take retirement sitting down.

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Received my schedule for the Baltimore Book Festival, which goes from September 27 -29, 2013.  The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s of America are going to have a good contingent at the show this year. However, a number of the participants aren’t arriving until Friday evening, so we locals apparently get to kick things off.

Baltimore Book Festival Schedule

  • Friday, Sep. 27
    • 3:00 pm   Shared Worlds and Media Tie-ins
    • 6:00pm  Writer Beware Workshop
  • Saturday, Sep 28 and Sunday, Sep 29
    • Hang around, sign books, and visit at the SFWA pavillion

As you can see, the Book Festival is a bit more laid back than most of the conventions I go to, but it’s still a lot of fun and there’ll be authors, book sellers, and other people involved in publishing at the show. If you can make it down to Baltimore for the show, it’s a great time (and you’re half a block away from the Walter’s Art Museum, which is a great place to take a break if you’re tired of being outdoors.)


Shore Leave 2013

Shore Leave IconAnd I have my schedule for Shore Leave 35, which will be taking place at the Hunt Valley Inn, in (who could have guessed), Hunt Valley, MD on 2-4 August 2013.

Shore Leave is a fun convention. While definitely tilting toward Star Trek, they also celebrate all kinds of Science Fiction media as well as usually having a kick-ass science track. I remember seeing the first pictures from Cassini I’d ever seen at this show.

Plus, they’ve got William (Capt. Kirk) Shattner as well as Brent (Data) Spiner and Amanda (Dr. Carter) Tapping this year along with the usual cast of crazies. Nothing wrong with that.

My schedule at the convention will be:

  • Friday, 2 Aug
    • 10:00pm – 12:00am    Meet the Pros (Hunt/Valley Corridor)
  • Saturday, 3 Aug
    • 11:00am – 12:00pm   Writing Historical Fiction Workshop (Concierge Suite)
    • 1:00pm – 2:00pm      Writer Beware (Concierge Suite)
    • 4:00pm – 5:00pm     The Legend of Korra: Let’s Review (Salon F)
  • Sunday, 4 Aug
    • 12:00pm – 1:00pm    World Building in Writing (Derby Room)
    • 1:00pm – 2:00pm     Old Tyme Radio (Salon E)

I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Off to the Editor

Took a break from On Wings of Steel to finish editing my next short story, Ripples in the Pool. It’s off to the editor’s desk and now I get to wait to see what she has to say about it. She’s been my editor throughout the “For a Few Gold Pieces More” collection and I have to say, it’s been a good editor/writer relationship.

Now, that doesn’t mean we haven’t butted heads a few times. But, in the end, I think we’ve turned out some pretty strong stories and really, that’s all that matters.

New and improved squirrels

Came home with the intent to make progress on my novel On Wings of Steel, and I did add an additional 1185 words tonight.  My main character is having a bit of fun popping off with the heavy. (The heavy here is not the antagonist . . . just a really obnoxious ally(?) of the protagonist.) Erica is starting to feel her oats as I get to know her character better.

However, the squirrels were out tonight also. I received the draft of my upcoming graphic novel, Troubleshooters, Incorporated,  and had to read through it again. It had been a while since I’d worked with this story and even though it’s showing its age, I think the story hangs together pretty darn well. I’m proud to be offering it to the public again and I’m really happy Steve decided to take a chance with it.

Then, I wound up spending some time on Skype talking to my Wings publisher about where I’m at in the story. We need to start working on the cover art and blurbs so she can prep the promotions for this story — it’ll be the second novel released for The Darkside Codex series of books—so we want to get it off on the right foot.

So, it’s been a busy night AND I got some writing done. I’ll chalk this one up in the win column.


Another good evening of writing – knocked out 1887 words of On Wings of Steel in and around dinner, running to get cat food so the fuzzy beggars didn’t start gnawing on my leg in the middle of the night, and participating in an on-line chat.

Yeah, if I ever get something called “focus” down, I might actually be dangerous.


The Wisp Hunter

On the good news front – just got a confirmation that my short story, “The Wisp Hunter” was accepted for the Fall 2013 edition of Spellbound from Eggplant Literary Productions. The official announcement will come out after Readercon, but I got permission to “jump the gun” so to speak.

It was my first time submitting a middle-grade story and I fully admit, I was nervous as all get out. Luckily, my daughter helped me with the concept, so I owe her big time.

This is a neat little magazine and I highly recommend people checking it out.


Had a great day of writing today – 3117 if you’re interested in the exact count.  On Wings of Steel is progressing well and I’m about to make the swing into the final act, now that all the characters have finally made their appearance on the stage.

However, this post is not about that.

See, I could have made a lot more progress if I had locked myself in my room and not come out except for the important stuff. But in all honesty, the important stuff happens outside of the writing room. So, I spent some time catching up with some friends on the telephone today. The family and I went out for dinner and picked up some books and DVDs at the local mall and spent a couple of hours of what some might call prime writing time just wandering around the mall talking about stuff. Not necessarily important stuff, but just enjoying being with each other.

And that’s important. I have slammed out a novel in 8 weeks before (due to some contract issues with a publisher who will remain nameless).  However, I understand I was not a very pleasant person to be around during that time. I would prefer not to be seen as an unpleasant person in the future, especially by my family, so I have to figure out the best ways to deal with this.

So, in the future, I may still stumble trying to find that balance between working full-time, trying to be a novelist, and all the other things I like to do. However, being a husband and a father are still my number one jobs.

And no writing contract or paycheck can beat that. *grin*

Holiday progress

Had a nice day with the family earlier today.

Spent part of this afternoon reviewing edits from an editor for a comic script I’m working on. Finished making the edits, tightened up a few things, and now it’s off to the artist I hope to work with on this project. Once he finishes up the sample pages, we’ll be ready to start shopping this project around and see if we can’t find a publisher for this project.

Also spent some time writing On Wings of Steel.  Added another 2375 words to the novel and finished the chapter I started the other day. Hoping I can keep this pace up over the weekend. If so, I’ll definitely be back on track to meet the deadline. *huzzah!*

Additionally, I added 275 words to The Pearls of Darkness Affair, which is the companion piece to The Full Moon Affair, which is under contract with Pro Se Productions. I’m really enjoying working with these characters and the story keeps surprising me. I haven’t abandoned the outline, but let’s just say, something came to me as I was adding in that little section that’s going to make the rest of the story very interesting.

Oh, and an interesting conversation with a publisher on the telephone. More to follow there.

All in all, a very successful holiday day

Sails off the port bow, Captain.

SeaDragon_e_version_sm And following up on the announcement about Troubleshooters,  Incorporated, StarWarp Concepts will also be publishing another comics of mine.

Chronicles of the Sea Dragon will be released as an e-comic this coming September. This issue is a 48 page one-shot black and white comic meant to introduce the audience to the world of the Sea Dragon. Bill Bryan (Dark Oz/Deadworld) handles the interior art while Eliseu Gouveia provides the cover for this issue.

When Captain Asheera loses his ship, Azure Sea, it seems as if his days as a privateer are over. But, his patron is not willing to lose a valuable captain so easily. Sent along with Captain Kalana of the Black Talon, Asheera’s crew must intercept an unknown cargo and escape. The patron doesn’t care how Asheera and Kalana pull it off, he just wants the mission accomplished. But, without a ship, what’s a privateer to do?

Chronicles is my homage to the pirate movies of the 1940s and 50s and Bill Byran and I have tried to capture that energy and can-do spirit of those old movies on the pages of this comic. So, grab your sea bag, have a cup of grog and board the ship. We’re sailing in September.

Slow and Steady

Well, didn’t quite reach my goal of words for the day. Still managed to add 1068 words to “On Wings of Steel”. About halfway through this chapter. With a little luck, I’ll finish it and start the next tomorrow.

No writing scheduled for Wednesday. Have some friends coming over, which is a good thing. If I’m going to do another weekend sprint, taking a night off to get recharged is probably the best plan. Especially taking advantage of the four day weekend (well, three and a half, since I have to work Friday, but it’ll be slow so I suspect I can slip a few words in here and there with all four of us in the office).

But, progress is progress, so I will be thankful for what I have accomplished tonight instead of grousing I didn’t do more. *grin*