Where did I leave that time-turner?

Another busy evening here. Proofed a short story that’ll be released soon. Silence in the Library is re-releasing the stories that originally appeared in the 2014 Origins Game Fair anthology, Monsters to the general public. I’m excited to see this release and hope you enjoy all the stories.

Also, I am submitting a pitch/synopsis/50 pages to a publisher for a novel I’ve got a lot of hopes for. Normally, I don’t mention submissions – especially if I have to come back months later and go, “Nope, not this time”. Still, I think it’s good for people who’re trying to get started in this business to see people like me still get butterflies when we submit and sometimes things we have the most confidence in just don’t seem to resonate with an editor/agent, while the story we did a fire and forget on is the one that gets picked up.

Go figure.

And then, tomorrow, I need to get to work on a short story coming due here pretty soon as well as my next Black Gate blog post.

I need a few 60-hour days in the near future…aarrgh.

The best plans of mice and men …

It never fails does it. Been working on”The Sleeping Her“, which is the working title for my novel follow-on for For a Few Gold Pieces More. Unfortunately, as I hit about 8000 words, I realized, the first half of the 2nd Chapter had nothing to do with the second half.

OK, so now I have a third chapter, but I now have to go back and add some more meat onto the 2nd chapter. So, White, what happens between X and Y since Y is now a separate chapter?

Back to the whiteboard.

‪#‎planning‬ ‪#‎plotting‬

In better news, I heard my story Crossed Swords was approved by the editor and passed on for inclusion on the anthology. Hopefully there’ll be more news I can release to you all soon.

Terra Incognito and World Building 101

Wow!Terra Incognito

Terra Incognito is like the gift that keeps on giving. Because I wrote the book, Black Gate gave me the opportunity to keep doing world-building articles for them.

I guess I did OK with my first one.

Apparently I had the #1 viewed blog post at Black Gate for the month of October. Thank you everyone who stopped by to check it out.

And now, time to buckle down on the next two posts I’m planning on doing there.

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My publisher just sent me the link showing Terra Incognito on the Waterstone’s web site. Kind of cool seeing the book available for my horde of British fans (all two of you).

Still, this begs the question – does this mean I’m now an internationally published author? *silly grin*

 

One project down, a gazillion more to go. *grin*

OK. Strikeforce Falcon #2 – “Operation Komodo” is off to the editor. *cues the band*

What next? Well, along with finishing the work on Terra Incognito and For a Few Gold Pieces More, I just fired up the ol’ computer on Steel on Target. Been a while since I worked on this story, so I really need to review where I was, what I want to keep, and how best to get this thing moving on a regular basis.

Steel on Target, you ask? Yes, this is the Military SF story I’ve been working on for quite a while. Got put aside when I was doing all those short stories/novellas for Musa and Pro Se. Now, it’s time to dust it off and get to hammering it out.

Plus, I have a few other irons in the fire. You knew I would. *grin*

Shore Leave 2015 is in the books

Back and (semi-)recovered from Shore Leave this past weekend. It was a fantastic time and it was good to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while as well as making new ones.

Wound up getting there late Friday but still plenty of time to set up before the Meet the Pros. Had fun talking to the people coming by about my stuff (both old and new), but they were showing Guardians of the Galaxy in the ballroom, so the crowd for the Pros was a lot lighter than usual. Unfortunate, but I guess tight schedules are tight. *sigh*

Enjoyed visiting with everyone after the gathering (even if they do close the bar at the Hunt Valley Wyndham way too darn early. *sigh*). Hung around the lobby until almost 2:30 and then drove home just in time for the alarm to go off to start the next day.

(Well, it felt like I had just laid down before the alarm yelled at me.)

The Saturday panels were well worth dragging myself out of bed for. I was on the Alternate History panel where we discussed steampunk, gaslight, secret history, alternative history, dieselpunk and why the heck we write in any of those genres, where we get info, and how do we choose what we want to warp.

That was followed by Writing Tips for Aspiring Writers. We had a varied group on the panel. If the audience got anything out of that panel (and there was a LOT of good advice given out) is that there is no magical button. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another. You have to experiment to see what you’re most comfortable with. Also, you must “write” to be a writer. Thinking about writing doesn’t count. Research doesn’t count (although it’s fun), Plotting doesn’t count. Only writing counts, so get your computer/tablet/pen and paper/papyrus/stone and chisel and get to work!

The Crowdfunding panel was VERY useful for me (and hopefully for the audience too *grin*). Everyone on the panel, but me, had run one or multiple successful Kickstarters or Indygogo’s. I felt like I was in the Shark Tank because all of them started asking me about my planning, how I was going to advertise, etc., etc., etc.. Yikes! However, I now think I’m ready to start moving on this once I get finished getting Terra Incognito out there and can concentrate on For a Few Gold Pieces More.

Last panel of the day was the Writer Beware panel. Good audience with good questions. I have to thank Kathleen David for helping me out on that panel. Her experience as a former editor really helped the new(ish) authors in the audience see how the “other side” of the business sees things.

I didn’t go to the masquerade because I was doing my radio broadcast for the Gaming World Entertainment Network. It was amazing. People would come by and talk to me, but as soon as I asked if they wanted to talk about SF or the con to my audience … poof. It was like watching the Roadrunner vanishing with just that little puff of smoke left behind. Still, the show went well and I had fun visiting with all the off-air people.

Sunday didn’t quite go as planned, but the Writing Short Stories panel was well attended for a Sunday and I hope we answered most of the questions people had. I had hoped to get to do the Historical Fiction Writing Workshop, but it was scheduled against the Short Story panel. *sigh again*

Still, all in all, it was a a fun convention. Of course, the best part about Shore Leave is it’s a fantastic chance to catch up with everyone. Had a fantastic visit with Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, David Mack, Scott Pearson, Allyn Gibson, William Leisner, Jim Johnson before the panels got going on Sunday. Also enjoyed speaking with Rigel Ailur, Glenn Hauman, Christopher Bennett, Peter and Kathleen David at breakfast that morning. Got to hang out with Kelly Meding, Phil Giunta, Steven H. Wilson, Steve Lesnik and Renfield at Meet the Pros, and Dave Galanter, Keith DeCandido, Mark MacDicken, Howard Weinstein, Marco Palmieri Aaron Rosenberg, Danielle Ackley-Mcphail and Mike McPhail, John Jackson Miller, Russ Colchamiro, Michael Jan Friedman, Joshua B. Palmatier, Amy Griswold, and a host of others to whom I apologize for not remembering your names.

Can’t wait to do this again next year.

Amongst chaos . . . writing!

20 of 34 pages of Operation Komodo edited tonight.

The companion novel to For a Few Gold Pieces More plotted out today and a rough outline is taking shape.

Another noir novel outlined.

I’d say, it was a pretty productive day for writing all the way around.

Shore Leave 2015

All right, along with trying to write and trying to coordinate a book release and trying to coordinate a Kickstarter campaign, I’m also still doing conventions this year. Soooo . . .

Here’s my current schedule for Shore Leave 2015:

Friday

10pm-12am Meet the Pros (mass signing by the authors in attendance. I will have my latest books if you haven’t picked them up by now.)

Saturday

10 am Steampunk and Alternate History Salon A
11 am Writing Tips for Aspiring Authors Derby
1pm Show Me the Money Derby
3pm Writer Beware Derby

Sunday

12pm Writing Historical Fiction Workshop* Concierge
1pm Writing Short Stories Salon B

*Unfortunately, there was a scheduling conflict, so I will not be attending the Etiquette and Netiquette panel at 12pm. Also, I will have to leave the workshop early to make it to my 1pm panel. However, I have no doubt in my mind that Howie Weinstein, Steve Wilson, and (I believe) Robert Greenberger can handle the last half of the workshop without me.

Also, if I can get a good wireless signal, (Hey, you! Stop snickering!), I will do my shift as a DJ for gw-en.com at Shore Leave Saturday evening from 7-10pm and with any luck, I’m going to try and get a few of the authors or guests to swing by and say “Hi” and talk a bit about their latest work with my listening audience and me. If worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to zip home after my last panel on Saturday to pull my shift for the station. Ah, the sacrifices one makes for the adoring fans. (Look, you. I said, stop snickering.)

Sunday writer walk-about was successful . . .

Had a very productive writer’s walk-about today. Stopped at a used CD store and picked up some new music for my gig as an on-line DJ for gw-en.com. Then I stopped at Bean Hollow in Ellicott City with the iPad and the keyboard, ordered myself a big mocha, and sat down to work.

In an hour and a half, I finished the first draft of “Operation Komodo” (and the choir sang “Hallelujah!), as well as the opening chapter for the fourth Theron Chase story (which looks like it might be the 2nd full novel for the series), and wrote down the outline for yet another story I want to work on down the road.

Honestly, I don’t know what has been my hang-up about “Operation Komodo”. It should have been a rather straightforward story, but I fought and refought this battle with myself forever. But, the first draft is done. It’s just a matter of taking the red pen to it, cleaning up the grammar and tightening it up and then it’ll be off to the publisher.

I had some serious mojo going today and I might still be at Bean Hollow, but family duties come first, so I packed it up and came home at the appointed time.

So, now, I’m settling in to watch the Royals game and will finish the edits to the secret project this evening.

Been a good writing day so far.

(Amended: secret project revised and shipped off to the editor. All good thoughts gratefully accepted.)

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After dealing with both my graphic designer and my cover artist, I’m noting something. I’m really trying to avoid becoming that problem writer as far as my artists go. Unfortunately, I have Zero, zip, nada skill when it comes to drawing. Hell, I’m not even sure of my stick figures from time to time.

So, I’m reduced to trying to explain concepts and ideas as best I can, but sometimes it comes down to me seeing the concept art and then going, “OK, that works, but that doesn’t, could we maybe try this . . .”. I really don’t mean to be the “I’ll know it when I see it” customer, but it happens. What I see so clearly in my head is not always the easiest thing to describe in a manner that it can be reproduced by another person.

*sigh*

And the week’s off to a good start

Spent some time working on my new Dark Leopard story today. Calling this one Freeze Frame and it’s set a few months from the end of Mouse Trap. Really enjoy developing this character and her supporting cast. While it did start out as an homage to another character, it’s definitely taking on a life of its own. Can’t wait to see the revamped costume for her by Rock Baker either.

Also, spent some time today working on refining the outline for the next Theron Chase story. Yes, I know Pearls of Darkness hasn’t been released yet, but that doesn’t mean I should just sit around and wait for it before starting the next one. I’ve gotten some really good feedback, both from readers and authors I look up to, on this one and I can’t wait to open up the shades and see what the streets of Calisia have in store for my intrepid private investigator.

Finally, I worked on “Operation Komodo” this evening. Finally got the final scene ready to write – had to go back and do some work to get the beats right to get all the players where I needed them to be for Strikeforce Falcon’s latest mission. Now, hopefully, I can finish this over the next few days and get it en route to the editor.

Plus, over the weekend, I was talking with April MacDee. We’ve been working on a YA Urban Fantasy for some time, but grad school got in the way (first for her, than me). Now, it’s time we dusted it off, updated a few things and got this darn thing written.

And I’m sure there’s more lurking in the shadows. There always is . . .

Just another writer’s day

Work is moving ahead on the secret project. Hope to have the first draft done by the end of this week so I have time for editing/rewriting before it has to go to the real editor. *nervous twitch*

Also, started on the second Dark Leopard story today. 1900+ words there and I think it’s going to be a pretty good story. We’re going to spend some time talking about how she got into crime-fighting to begin with and how her origin relates to a case she’s getting involved with, whether she wants to or not.

Received an invite to a new (to me) convention for Dec 11-13, 2015. Geekonomicon in Biloxi, Mississippi. Did a quick check – airfare is not bad (if you don’t mind the two-hour layover in Atlanta), the hotel is very reasonably priced, and I’ve already got an offer to pick me up at the airport. Plus a table to sell stuff at. Can’t hardly shake a stick at all that, now can I?

Also, I’m going to be attending the Brooklyn Book Festival in August with my friend, Steve Roman. I’ll be helping him with his StarWarp Concepts booth at the show as well as touring around the Big Apple. It’s always fun to visit with Steve and he’s a damn good writer, so I’m happy to help hawk his books.

And speaking of books, I have the first rough sketch for the “For a Few Gold Pieces More” cover from Shane Braithwaite. I sent back my first impressions and I think we’re going to have another winner from him, folks. I consider myself very lucky to have hooked up with a talented artist like Shane.

Big thing is now to start updating the web site for when Terra Incognito and For a Few Gold Pieces More go live. I want to separate my “publishing” side from the author page based on some suggestions/feedback I’ve gotten from other people, especially if I’m going to be running a Kickstarter. Definitely want to show a good professional side to my publishing endeavors.

So, all in all, an outstanding day today.