Nothing ever quite goes as planned

Spent this evening trying to get ready for BEA as well as finishing my first set of edits on “Strikeforce Falcon #1 – Flashpoint”. Strikeforce Falcon is my WWII adventure series of short stories I’ll be doing for Pro Se Productions.

Took a bit longer with the edits than I had anticipated, but I finished the first pass. However, it’s a bit later for my beta reader to get into them before I leave tomorrow, so Joni will get to use the “Red Pen of Doom” while I’m gone.

And, of course, I’m babysitting a dryer that will not release two pieces of clothing I need for this trip. *tap, tap, tap* However, train ticket is printed out, BEA badge verification number is printed out, all wires are accounted for, all plugs are secured, and only the iPad needs to be charged before the trip.

As soon as I fold this pile of clothes, it’s bed time. The whites can wait until morning. *grin*

Busy Weekend

And here’s a quick snapshot of what a holiday weekend looks like to an author on deadline crunch (based on my cryptic notes left on my author FB page):


Completed edits to my novella, Mouse Trap and fired it off to the editor. I wish I could tell you more about it yet, but I’m still under interdiction until the publisher is ready to announce the project. However, I’m pretty excited about the story and the character involved.

I think I’m going to finally eat something this evening and then get ready for bed. I’ll do some more editing on “Pearls of Darkness” this evening and start on “Flashpoint” first thing in the morning and then “The Darkness in the Tower” in the evening.

So much for a relaxing weekend.

Sunday morning:

And The Darkness in the Tower is en route to be added to the fantasy collection that will be part of the goodie bag at World Fantasy Con this fall. Two stories down, three to go by the end of the month. *flexes his fingers for the next project.*

Sunday evening:

After getting The Darkness in the Tower out the door, I decided I needed a break and hit Balticon for a bit. Stopped by Danielle Ackley-Mcphail’s book launch party at 7pm and discovered it was also a celebration for C.J. Henderson’s 30th anniversary. A very good time was had by all and I caught up with a number of my FB friends and others as well. Then I hit Ian Randal Strock’s book launch party and the DC17 Worldcon Bid party. I also ran into several friends in the lobby and wandering the halls.


Back to the writing grind. My co-author, April MacDee, and I spend the afternoon working on our YA novel, Shattered Mirror and plotted out the next six chapters. It’s been a while since we worked on this, between her thesis and defense and my grad school and beginning thesis work. Still, after a short review, it was like we had been working on it just a few weeks ago. It was fun to bounce ideas off of someone else for a change instead of trying to figure everything out on my own.

Monday night was another wonderful allergy attack, so a quick run to the store replenished my benedryl stash and two pills later, my eyes and nose were happier but my brain was fuzzy. I take no responsibility for anything I wrote last night.


Tonight, I finished the first draft of “Flashpoint” coming in right around 11,000 words.  Between Monday night and tonight, I added another 3500 words to bring it to a conclusion. I plan on editing it tomorrow and hopefully shipping it off to the editor before I call it a night. Then it’s focus on “Pearls of Darkness” and start “Crossed Swords”.

And it’s not over yet:

Friday, I will be manning the SFWA booth at Book Expo America, representing Writer Beware. On Saturday, I will be splitting time between the SFWA booth and the StarWarp Concepts booth at BookCon.

Both of these events are in the Javits Center in New York. If anyone’s going to BEA/BookCon, I hope to see you there.

New Book Release and more books in the pipeline

Skin the Cat

#9 Skin the Cat

To celebrate Skin the Cat‘s release today, I’m featured on my publisher’s blog this weekend. Skin the Cate is the penultimate story in my “For a Few Gold Pieces More” collection. I have to say, besides Yuki, Cat is without a doubt, my most favorite co-protagonist so far. She takes all the snark my “Rogue with No Name” dishes out and returns it in spades.

Any similarities between Cat and a few author friends I might have is completely coincidental. (He says with a very innocent look on his face.)

And speaking of writing and editing . . . .

First set of edits on Murder in Monaco are complete. I’m going to give it one more scrub and sent it off to the editor this weekend. One edit I need to make though is to change the name of this story. Once again, my characters decided to go in a different direction and there was no murder after all. (Go figure.) So, I think the new title for the story will be Mouse Trap. Once the editor has approved the story, I”ll explain the new title in another post.

Added 4000 words to Fool’s Cup (which also needs a title revision . . . once again, my characters are introducing me to myths and folktales I hadn’t even considered when I pitched the story title to my publisher two years ago.  *sigh*).

I’ve hit the 8,000 word mark on Flashpoint, and need to start wrapping it up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this this weekend so I can get it edited by the time I get to BEA on Friday.

I got the first set of edits on The Darkness in the Tower back from my alpha reader (re: wife), and she didn’t tear it up completely, so that’s a good sign. That needs to get done by Thursday too.

And when I get those things done, I need to get started on Pearls of DarknessCrossed Swords, and On Her Majesty’s Magic Service and get them finished up as soon as possible.

Plus, I’ll be joining Victoria Strauss and Michael Capobianco at BEA next weekend to help man the SFWA booth representing Writer Beware as well as helping out my friend Steve Roman man the StarWarp Concepts booth on Saturday at BookCon.

Maybe it’s a good think I”m not a panelist at Balticon this weekend. *eeek*

Editing and Kaiju

First set of edits on Murder in Monaco are complete. I’m going to give it one more scrub tomorrow night and sent it off to the editor.

One edit I need to make though is to change the name of this story. Once again, my characters decided to go in a different direction and there was no murder after all. (Go figure) So, I think the new title for the story will be Mouse Trap. Once the editor has approved the story, I”ll explain the new title in another post.

Now, to get to work on Pearls of Darkness, Crossed Swords, Fool’s Cup, and Flashpoint and get them finished up as soon as possible. With any luck, I’ll get Mouse Trap out on Monday and The Darkness in the Tower out on Tuesday.

Maybe it’s a good think I”m not a panelist at Balticon this weekend. *eeek*


On another note, I saw Godzilla last night.  I know some people are complaining that there wasn’t enough kaiju action, but being a big fan of the original Gojira, in that movie, the monster didn’t appear for the first third of the movie and only the last third really dealt with the monster’s attacks.

To me, this new Godzilla was definitely an homage to the original 1954 movie. It was only later in the series did all those other kaiju start appearing, and I suspect if there are follow-ups, then more monsters, both original and traditional, will start appearing. I think the producer and director understood what they were doing.

Was it a perfect movie? No, but it was an enjoyable movie and one I’ll probably see again before it leaves the theaters.

Never a dull moment

Not a bad last couple of days.

I got an invite to contribute a story to a give-away for World Fantasy Convention. Hmm, let me think, . . . of course, I want to contribute to something that will be a giveaway to the attendees. So, since almost all of my stories are currently under contract or work for hire, I pulled out one of my older pieces and have been editing the heck out of it. I think it’s gotten into pretty good shape and hopefully I’ll get my wife to do her usual thorough beta read/edit.

Also, I’ve done a hard edit on Flashpoint as well as adding 1333 words to it this evening.

Continuing to work on Fool’s Cup, I’ve added another 1700 words to my final story with these characters.

Tomorrow will be devoted to finishing Flashpoint as well as finishing the edits to Murder in Monaco.

Yes, I have too many projects going simultaneously. So much for having a nice relaxing time after finishing college last Wednesday.

The Romantic Life of a Writer . . . Not

Continuing on with May’s death march.

Started work on Fool’s Cup, writing 1640 words on my final story for the For a Few Gold Pieces More collection.

Then, I made my Amtrak reservation to attend BEA. I’ll be working Friday at the SFWA booth with the rest of my Writer Beware teammates and then Saturday, I’ll be splitting time between the SFWA booth at BEA and the StarWarp Concepts booth at BookCon. I suspect this will be a very wearying weekend when all is said and done.

I also had to contact Southwest Airlines to update my travel plans for Origins. Additionally, I’ve been in contact with my points of contact at Origins and apparently a few pieces of email may have been sucked up by my spam filter (it gets snarky when there are too many people cc’d on a piece of mail). So, after getting things straightened out, I got my galley corrections for “A Gryphon’s Tale” and my bio for Monsters off to Mike Stackpole.

Then, I had to make a quick call to my friend, Steve Roman, to let him know when I was going to be arriving for BEA, since he’s letting me crash at his place in return for working at his booth.

On top of all this, I had to build a PowerPoint presentation and work on my talk for class tomorrow night. I’m doing a discussion on Amos Tutuola’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts . Again, if you have not read Tutuola’s works, I highly recommend him.

And now, I’ve just finished editing the first 14 pages of Murder in Monaco before sending it in to the editor. Along with trying to just make it a better story, I’m trying to trim about 500+ words out of my story so it’ll meet the max limit. Yes, once again, I’ve written long and have to trim down. Go figure, right?

But, now, with my eyes blurring and my back informing me I’ve been sitting here a bit too long, I’m calling it a night.

The Busy Month of May

Been a very busy day today, which is great because it means I got quite a bit done.

First of all, I did the edits on Strikeforce: Falcon. I’m a few pages from being finished, but it was very useful to go back through what I had done already and give it a good scrub. It’s a bit tighter and we’re getting read for the big fight scene when I get back to writing it.

Then I met with my graduate adviser and reviewed my comprehensives as well as discussing my future thesis strategies. It’s going to be a busy summer/fall if I want to get this done by December.

Then after I came home, I reviewed the galleys for Skin the Cat and “A Gryphon’s Tale” as well as writing up my short bio to go into Monsters for Origins.

Then, I spent some time talking to my editor about On Wings of Steel and how we’re going to proceed on the edits for the novel.

All in all, a very good evening.

Tomorrow, I have to knock out my PowerPoint for my Wednesday night class and then back onto these stories I need to get finished. Looks like May is going to keep me hopping – plus, I do have to schedule some time to see Gojira this week. (Maybe more than once. *grin*)

Gonna be a busy week this week.

Three events happened this week that are related to my writing projects:

1) I finished my final paper (not counting my Thesis) for graduate school. I am now one PowerPoint presentation away from completing my last classroom class in my program.

2) I just received my galley to proof for “The Gryphon’s Tale” which will be appearing in Monsters – the anthology for Origins Gaming Fair. I cannot wait until this comes out. It’s going to be a limited edition release, but wow, am I honored to be in the same book with some of these people.

3) I also received noticed that the galley for Skin the Cat is ready to be reviewed too. Guess I need to buckle down and finish the first draft to Fool’s Cup sooner than later.

I saw that meme that said, being a writer is knowing you have homework every night for the rest of your life.

It was funny at first. Now . . . I think there’s a lot more truth to it than I wanted to admit.



And Tonight at the Fine Arts Center . . .

The Sixth Annual College of Arts and Sciences Celebration of Excellence was held tonight at the Fine and Performing Arts Center.

For some obscure reason, I was one of the invitees.

I was more proud that my favorite professor was chosen as Instructor of the Year. Way to go Dr. Monifa Love!

It was an interesting evening. I wound up spending more time visiting with the faculty and administrators than I did other students, but that might be because until I was announced as a graduate student, I think 90% of them assumed I was another faculty member.

Can’t be the gray hair. Must have been how distinguished I looked in the jacket. *grin*

Outstanding Graduate Student Award Plaque from Bowie State University


And Another Story Is Put to Bed

The first draft of Murder in Monaco is complete. I added 2,792 words tonight (not counting all the words I’ve already started cutting out and replacing). That means, I need to edit at least 500 words out of the story, but that will be done another day.

It’s always a good feeling to hit the end of a story. I’m pretty happy with the first draft, but it will be good to get in there and start shifting things around and rearranging stuff until it’s ready to go to the editor.

Hopefully, pretty soon, I’ll be able to tell you what Murder in Monaco is tied to. It’s a very interesting project my publisher is putting together and I’m glad to be part of it.

So, even though there’s editing to be done, it’s another thing off of my plate.

Now, on to the next project . . .