College and Conspiracy

And the next-to-last semester at Bowie State University has officially started.

I have one class, Seminar in African Literature, the first half of my thesis, and my comps this semester. I think I’m already going to like this class. Not only is my professor pretty cool, but he’s also from Kansas City, so I have another long-suffering Chiefs fan to commiserate with.

One of the things I’m looking forward to this semester is being able to use my Nook to download the texts we’re going to be using this semester. Usually, my professors had been using Norton Anthologies, and as usual, the version the professor wanted was NOT the versions being offered as e-books. Dr. Walker specifically is using books we should be able to find on-line to help keep the cost down. Major kudos for that.

I explained some of my personal writing projects that I’m working on and how I’m trying to expand my knowledge of folktales and legends beyond the usual Greek/Norse/Celtic that much of our current fantasy is based on. He’s got some ideas about that for me and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with on that score. He says one of our texts this semester should be right up my alley. Can’t wait for him to post the syllabus so I can snag it.

But, of course, since tonight is a class night, that did limit my writing time. Still, I rewrote/revised another chapter tonight in which one mystery was solved, a deadly plot may have been exposed, and our plucky heroine is asked to serve as live bait against Sky Pirates.

Will she survive or will the bloodthirsty terrors of the open skies treat her to a fate worse than death . . . or maybe just death? Tune in next chapter to find out.

And on that melodramatic note, revisions tonight for On Wings of Steel came to 3,871 words.

The end of the book is teasingly close now.

Tired Author is Tired (but Productive)

It was a very long day at work today. But, I still managed to get some work done this evening with the rewrite of On Wings of Steel. Finished the revisions for one more chapter, with 3,638 words revised/added to the manuscript.

Things are moving toward the climax now. With the revisions, I think I’m going to wind up with about four more chapters and then it’s time to put this puppy to bed. Probably going to wind up around 100K when I’m done, which is slightly over my anticipated word count of 80K, but then again, I’m a long-winded cuss.

It’s probably a good thing I pushed myself to work on this tonight, since I start back into school tomorrow night. My final classroom class for my Masters (Seminar on African Literature). All I have to do besides that is the Comprehensives and my Thesis. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, there’s probably a train somewhere between me and it, but at least I can see light around the edges.

And now to put *me* to bed.

A Cup of Tea, a Keyboard, and an Idea . . .

Short night this evening since I have to get up two hours earlier than usual to get to work tomorrow morning.

Still it was a very useful day. The Gryphon’s Tale has been edited, re-edited and is now en route to the editor of the Origins Library Anthology. So scratch one more project off of my list to do.

I added another 1500+ words to On Wings of Steel this evening also. I’m not real comfortable with the next scene in this chapter. It’s either going to simply have to come out of the story because it feels a bit flat or else I’m going to have to figure out how to punch this thing up. Remember when I said I as leaving some leeway with this story because I might run into issues. This can be considered an issue.

But I’ll give it some thought tomorrow when I have a clear head.

Oh, and regarding that story I wanted to submit for Spellbound magazine—I finally figured out the story I want to do. I’m going to outline it tomorrow and get ready to run on it as soon as I get some spare time.

*hah, spare time. I crack myself up.*

So, count for today, one short story submitted, one short story plotted, and one novel worked on. All things considered that equals a pretty good day.

A Very Productive Sunday (and a Cautionary Tale)

Incredibly productive day today. My wife did a serious edit to The Gryphon’s Tale today and I foresee no issues getting the edits done on this tomorrow night. Hopefully, I’ll hear something from my other two beta readers by then. If not, we’ll go with the feedback I have so far and get this story en route to the good people at Origins.

Since she was doing the edits on The Gryphon’s Tale, I concentrated on my novel, On Wings of Steel. I can now say we’re 11,455 words further along with the rewrite after today. This story is really starting to come together now and I’m pretty pleased with the revisions I’ve been making. Hopefully, my editor will be pleased with them too.

Another good week/weekend of writing and I may be able to say this revision is done, but let’s allow for some delays and I should be ablet o get a copy off to the editor by NLT 9 Feb 2014. It’ll still be late, but at this point, I just want to get it out the door and then start on the next overdue project.

Take this as an example of why an author should not let projects start piling up. It feels like I’m never going to get off this treadmill and my darn muse won’t quit suggesting new projects. *gah!*

Writing My Life Away

Completed the first set of edits on  Wings of Fire this afternoon and got them sent off to my editor. All things considered, they weren’t as bad as I had anticipated, considering how quickly I wrote that story in my post-semester frenzy of writing. We lost some words, added some more, shifted a few things around, but I think this is going to be a fun story.

Spent some of this afternoon working with Mysticon about my panels, getting my badge ordered, and coordinating with someone about doing a workshop on World Building at the con. Against my better judgement, I signed up for a reading/signing at the show. I enjoy doing them, but compared to some of the bigger authors (or the authors who’ve done several Mysticons and have a fan base there), I’m not expecting huge crowds. But, if you don’t ask, the answer is already no, so I might as well give it a shot.

This evening, after a very nice meal out with my family, I jumped back on to On Wings of Steel. I added a new Chapter Nine this evening, which had me raising the word count by 4,389. I think this new chapter will not only make some of the later chapters make more sense, but it definitely gives some foreshadowing for the final couple of chapters.

Tomorrow, I start the edits on The Gryphon’s Tale and then get back to work on On Wings of Steel.

Of course, I also discovered a magazine I want to submit to has a deadline of 31 Mar 2014. So, I need to knock out a 2500 word story between now and then too. *sigh*

I seem to remember thinking I wasn’t going to have many writing projects in 2014. I think I was engaging in pleasant dreams then . . . or perhaps just hallucinating. *sigh*


Writing, editing . . . & panic

Working on the edits to Wings of Fire this afternoon. I’ll be working on On Wings of Steel this evening. Tomorrow, I plan on doing the edits to The Gryphon’s Tale and then back onto On Wings of Steel and plotting out another new story.

Who says hanging around the house on a weekend is boring?


In other news, I received an acceptance letter today to present at the the College English Association-Middle Atlantic Group at Montgomery College, Germantown MD on 8 March 2014.

I’m honored to be accepted at a Master’s candidate in English.

However, there’s a small problem that I need to get rectified soon.

See, I didn’t submit a proposal. One of my professors apparently did.

So, I don’t know what paper I’m presenting, what the format for the presentation is (panel? Individual?), do I need a PowerPoint presentation or simply present my paper as is, and so on.

Plus, if I want my paper to be considered for a graduate award, it can’t be more than 3000 words but my final paper for this class was 6400+ words. How do I trim over half of it out and maintain the integrity of the paper by the 21st of Feb?

I love my professors sometimes . . .


Plots, Plot Points, and Revisions

Just one chapter done this evening, but it was 5,573 words worth of editing for On Wings of Steel, so I don’t feel too bad, especially when there were entire paragraphs added, moved, and a new plot point added.

And speaking of that, while I was at work today, I sat down and started reviewing all the plots I have going through this novel (and yes, even though the protagonist doesn’t seem them all yet, she is in the middle of a huge web of intrigue). I started writing bullet lists for every major character to ensure I hadn’t missed anything . . .

And, voila, there was another scene (if not whole chapter) that appeared whole cloth in front of me amidst my notes. I realized it would make a couple of the things about the ending I wasn’t happy with make perfect sense. It was the foreshadowing I needed to make it all come together.

So, I’m not sure if I want to stop and work it in right now while I’m thinking about it, or continue pressing on until I reach the end of this set of edits and then go back and wedge it in. I’m leaning more toward the former—I think it’d reduce any other changes I’d have to make to the ending.

Sometimes it’s a good thing to take a status check while doing edits. It’s easier to ensure I didn’t miss anything in a short story, but multiple thousands of words do blur together after a while.

So, not as many words edited/written, but much accomplished today.

Snowy Days and Editing

Another exciting evening of editing and rewriting my novel, On Wings of Steel. Finished another two chapters (8,921 words) and we’re in the home stretch of the second act.

Since I had to take half a day off from work thanks to this snowstorm, I was hoping I’d get further on this, but I found myself spending time with the family instead. Somehow, after being gone all weekend, the opportunity to get a little family time seemed to be the thing to do (well, that and spending some time shoveling the driveway/sidewalks . . . not that you could tell it now).

So, it was a good day (outside of having to make up some time between now and the end of the month). *sigh*

Angels, Gryphons, and Cats . . . oh my!

Back home from New York City. Between the train ride home on Sunday and a writing/editing session this evening, I’ve edited/deleted/revised/added 13,240 words over the past two days.

On Wings of Steel is starting to shape up to be the story I had envisioned when I started on this project. The Angels of Steel are developing into quite a formidable group of young ladies beyond their death-defying habit of flying around a steampunk city powered only by their own mechanical wings.

I need to get A Gryphon’s Tale into final edits so I can get it off to the people at Origins. I also need to go over the first set of editorial comments on Wings of Fire and I still need to put Skin the Cat through it’s final edits before I send it off to the editor for the real edits.

Then I have to finish writing The Pearls of Darkness Affair, Murder in Monaco, two other unannounced projects, and two more comic scripts to start shopping around.

But, progress is progress, and on a good note (and a good weekend’s worth of work), I’m going to call it a night.

Panic – A Writer’s Normal State of Mind

Another good day of writing and editing here in NYC. I added/edited 5164 words today for On Wings of Steel. I’m hoping to continue at this rate and get this ready to turn into the editor sooner than later.

I hate that I’m behind on this novel, especially since it’s part of the the shared world I helped create for Musa Publishing. The Darkside Codex is my baby and I’m aggravated that I’m letting down my own creation.

However, I’m hoping once it’s done, I can concentrate on the remaining assignments I have and get back to writing with out panic.

Wait a minute. I’ve got a thesis coming due!

*runs around with flail arms* Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!