In which I pontificate to my heart’s content

The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG) has just posted an interview I did with Phil Guinta for “The Write Stuff Writer Conference” which is coming up on March 26, 27 and 28, in Bethlehem, PA

Phil had some very interesting questions covering my experiences as a sword fighter (I’ve done fencing, fought in the Society for Creative Anachronism, and Kendo); the inspiration for my For a Few Gold Pieces More collection, how I got involved with Writer Beware; and what I’ll be talking about at the conference.

They also have interviews with my fellow presenters, which are pretty darn interesting too.


On the writing front, I received two stories back from their first passes with the editors (Flashpoint and Mouse Trap), so I’m going over them and hope to get them turned around soon.  Also, I need to get stuff off to another editor this weekend.

Oh yeah, and write. That would be good too.



Copious amounts of free time (?)

Shipped the final set of edits off to my publisher for The Full Moon Affair. I think we’ve really hammered this thing into a pretty good story. Next time I see it should be to review the galleys. *yay!*

Started editing Strikeforce: Falcon #1 tonight. Waiting on the editor to send me my first set of edits on Mouse Trap. Then I need to get back to work on Strikeforce: Falcon #2, Bad Day at Red Rock, Cat and Mouse – Chapter 1, and the comic script for Lynx.

Nothing too serious, right?

Hey, you over there, stop laughing.

One goes out, many come in

OK, second set of edits on The Full Moon Affair are off to the editor. Hopefully he’ll agree with these updates and we’ll be ready to go to proofreading/galley soon.

It’s amazing, I printed out this story and wow, did I find a number of areas I wanted to clean up and a small plot point I needed to resolve. I find it so much easier to edit on paper than on screen. Maybe it’s just because I’m an old fart, but I find my eye slides past things on screen too easily. Plus it’s easier to flip back through a couple of printed pages to review something than scroll up and then scroll down and then scroll up again and then back to where I need to make the changes.

Plus, editing on real paper means I can edit away from distractors like email and FB and Chiefs Planet and other web sites I tend to hang out on. Go grab a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, open up the red pen and go to work.

But, just because I sent these edits off, doesn’t mean I can rest on my laurels. I still need to finish copying and formatting my old Terra Incognito articles for an editor to help me whip them into shape for a non-fiction book. Then I need to write a couple of more stories. Need to contact a couple of conventions about attending this year and . . .

Oh yeah, and my publisher just sent me the edits for Strikeforce: Falcon #1 – Flashpoint. So, back to the printer. *grin*

Revising, editing, and looking ahead

All right, the revisions to The Full Moon Affair are en route back to the editor. I read the entire story again and I think I resolved the issues I was worrying about last night. The good part about doing a complete reread is I caught a couple of errors we’d missed in the initial edits and a few I’d added when I made the revisions last evening . . . amazing how cutting out a word just might change the context of a paragraph.

There’s no question that editing is almost as much an art as it is a science. I have more and more appreciation what my friends who make their living as editors go through.

Now, it’s time to get back to work on those other writing projects. I suspect it won’t be too long before I either have my second set of revisions from this editor or the first edits to Mouse Trap arrive. The publisher let me know that’s almost ready to go also, so I hope both of these stories will be released soon.

Gonna be a busy year.

Sometimes editing is pretty straight-forward. . .

. . . sometimes, not so much

99% of the edits on The Full Moon Affair have been made (plus a few others that I saw that would tighten up the story even more once I got on a roll with the editorial comments).

However, one thing puzzles me. I have my main character tell his partner that he trusts her because she’s never steered him wrong before. The editor seems to think she has and suggests some internal dialogue to show he realizes this.

Maybe I need to reread the story tomorrow, but I was pretty sure after a moment of deciding how much of her story to tell him, she’d been pretty upfront with him. Maybe it didn’t come across as such in the opening where they meet? I could be off-base or maybe the editor is.

Now, that also brings up another point. If he or she’s confused about something, even though it’s not confusing to me, then did I not make something clear earlier? If so, I wish he or she had pointed out where the contradiction was (re: On page X you say this and now you’re saying Y). Or maybe I’m just being paranoid and the editor simply misunderstood because they misunderstood?

Then again, it’s 0023 and the Boulevard Single-Wide IPA may be kicking in too. I think I’ll sleep on this edit and hit it again tomorrow night.

Editing is so much fun, right?

A quick thought on editing

Received the first set of edits on The Full Moon Affair. With just a quick breeze-through, I can see a number of places where I’m “oh crap, did i do that”, a couple of places where I’m “yeah, it would tighten things up”, and a couple of “I’m not so sure about that.”

In other words, just about like every other professional edit I’ve received. *grin*

I’ll try to get these turned around quickly. Can’t wait to see this story come out.

Monday evening musing

Survived the weekend, but I could have done without the arctic temperatures outside.

Working on two projects now. One is the Lynx comic script and the other is a project of love.

It was a project I wanted to do several years ago. Unfortunately it never got off the ground, but I’ve had the chapter breakdowns and outline done. So, talking to some friends who have a gaming web site, I discovered they do fiction based on the game as well as original works. Well, I already had the story planned out, so I think this is probably as close to getting this “published” as I’m ever going to be able to do.

However, this isn’t going to be a “full-time” writing project. I’ll be working on it when I need to refresh my batteries from my other projects. What I’m hoping to do is get about four or five chapters written and then start posting them as a serial and then add more chapters as I go. I have no clue when it’s going to go live, but I did knock out over a thousand words in about an hour on Cat and Mouse. I think that might hint at my enthusiasm for this story.

Yeah, it would have been nice if I could have written in the licensed universe, but they only put out three books and quit, so whatcha gonna do?

Sometimes you just have to write the story in your head.


I got one of the best compliments I think I’ve ever gotten my entire time as a writer the other day.

One of my co-workers downloaded and read Echoes of Coventry.  After I came out of my annual assessment at work on Thursday, she stopped me in the hall and said, “Rich, I’d have known you wrote that book, even if I hadn’t seen your name on it. I could hear your voice in the characters, Your sarcasm and your knowledge of intelligence work came through loud and clear.”

High praise, indeed.

Into the breach . . .

And once again, Moonshadows is winging its way back to the editor for round two. Joni had some good comments and picked up on something that made sense in the first draft but not once I rearranged a few sections in the second. So, a few carefully placed sentences here and there and hopefully, it’ll flow smoothly.

Started working on the comic today. Only got the first page scripted, but it’s started. Now just need to build some momentum (and remember to take my notes with me . . . the memory isn’t quite what it used to be.)

Also spent some time the last couple of days getting ready for the upcoming convention season. Amazing how quickly some of this stuff can sneak up on you.

Plenty cold outside tonight. Not quite Siberian or Canadian cold, but cold enough. Gonna be a fun next few weeks, I have a feeling.

“What are we gonna do tonight, Brain?”

Moonshadows is now significantly trimmer than the initial draft and I think it’s a bit more focused, (Thanks, Kelly!). I’m going to pass it over to Joni tomorrow and incorporate her thoughts before sending it back to the editor for round two of the edits.

Also, spent some time today doing some plotting for the comic script I need to get to work on. I think it will be the next project followed by Codename: Falcon.

Of course, now that I’ve decided what my next couple of projects should be, I’m getting ideas for other things.

Thanks, Brain. As if I didn’t have enough to try and write sometime this year.

(And yes, I did hear Pinky’s voice in my head when I wrote that line. *Narf!*)

Editing and Plotting

First go at the editorial comments on Moonshadows done. Trimmed about 600 words from the manuscript on tonight’s pass, shifted some conversations around and assigned them to other people and tightened the pace in a couple of scenes.

I’ll come back and give it another pass tomorrow night before getting started on a new project. I have four to choose from:

1) The second story for Codename: Falcon (short story series for Pro Se Productions)
2) A brand new short story for a market I’ve never tried to sell stuff to before
3) Knock out the script to a comic I’m pitching to a new company
4) Get (back) to work on my Military SF novel

Who knows, maybe it’ll be a bit of all the above. At least get the two short stories outlined . . .

Decisions, decisions