Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Now that I have the second part of the rewrite out of the way, I can focus on more mundane matters.
Today I'll be taking the car in for some much needed maintenance and repairs. I'll actually enjoy that since I can kick back and read while they're fixing the car. A whole morning of nothing but me, a book, and a nearby snack machine.
Next I need to finish up The Barrow Wolf. I'll probably start working on that tonight. There is no real rush on it...the anthology it's slated to be submitted for doesn't even close till this autumn...but I don't like to leave a piece lying around where it might be forgotten. Better to finish it while it's still fresh. That way I will also have two short stories, two flash fictions, and most of one rewrite already done this year. I don't want to fall behind.
Busy! Busy! Busy!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It's five in the morning, and I just woke up from another nine hours of sleep. I haven't been awake for a twelve hour stretch in the past two days. Something is definitely up.
Other than a general feeling of gloom, I felt okay so I don't know if it was something physical or not. Either way, I need to shake it off and move on. I didn't get anything done yesterday, so I have to crawl back on the wagon again today and get some stuff done.
I have Stinkerbell's therapy today, so I'll need to pick her up from her school at noon and take her. I only have a couple of thousand words left to go on The Cistern rewrite, so I need to try and get that done. The house isn't in "horrible" shape (at least by our sadly lacking standards), but it could sure use some work.
Oh well, it's just about time to start getting around and making the kids lunches for school. I'll try and have a little more productive day today, and shake this malaise off.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Crawled out of bed in time to pick up the boy from school, and get the girl off the school bus. The boy did his homework and is now playing Ratatoille, the girl is cheering him on from the sidelines.
I'm staring blearily at the computer.
I'll see if my head clears enough to write this afternoon. My schedule is all out of whack now. Blech!
I'm now at the nine thousand, three hundred word mark on "The Cistern" rewrite, and plugging along. It's still the same story, with a little more detail thrown in in some areas, and things glossed over a little in other areas. I think I can salvage it.
Still thinking about the ending of "The Barrow Wolf." I'm debating tweaking it just a tad, to make it's ending a little more compromising, without really changing much. I have to stay true to the characters, and the truths that make them who they are.
Then I need to turn my attention to a couple of short story ideas I'm dwelling on for a future anthology. I can't devote too much time to them yet, at least not until this edit is done, but it's always good to flesh out ideas. And then there is always Argiope screaming in the background for my attention. I've been killing the same three drug runners for three weeks now, and they're getting tired of it. I need to get that scene finished.
So I"m currently juggling three projects while doing the prep work for two more. Heck, I didn't work this hard shoveling uranium ore back at the old ore mill. Which brings up another thing I've been thinking about...
...I haven't set any stories in New Mexico yet. I spent a significant part of my life out there, and it's a great setting, but so far I've pretty much stuck to either Texas or the world of Khrem. It might be time to broaden my scope soon.
Oh well. Back to the grind. The kids have school tomorrow, so sometime tonight I need to pack their lunches and have their stuff ready to go in the morning.
UPDATE: I'm now at eleven thousand, two hundred words and I'm stopping to sleep on the situation. The monster of the story is making his grand appearance, and I think I can do it better than I did the first time around. This is a good place to pause. I have my nights and days backwards again, so I'll have to straighten that out by tomorrow when I'll need to take Stinkerbell to her therapist. That means I'll probably snooze today, then try and get some sleep tonight as well...which means I won't get a huge amount of writing done. We'll see though. Things always work out different than I expect on these things.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I'm better than halfway through "The Cistern" now, and Cargill is slithering down the tight shaft into the chamber below the hill. I'm trying to play down the ropes a little, but it's also going to be a matter of playing up other angles. When I'm done, the idea is for it to pretty much read the same as before but not be quite so confusing.
One of the things I'm trying to preserve is the sense of "process" when it comes to Cargill. He is a man of method and skill, and I want to preserve that. I don't mind simplifying things some, but I don't want to get away from the things he does. I only want to do it for clarification.
I woke up a little bummed out this morning. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's chemical or something...but Nate has a case of the blues at the moment.Oh well, when you can't even figure out why you're depressed, it can't be that serious. Right?
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Also currently digesting feedback on The Barrow Wolf. Had one proofreader offer some concerns about the ending, and will check with the others to see if perhaps some tweaks are in order.
I intend to take the boy to see a movie today..."How to Train Your Dragon" or something like that. It's getting solid good reviews, and it's been a while since I've taken him anywhere.
That's it for the moment.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Have you even noticed what interesting lives writers have in the movies and on TV? Wanna see the reality?
In this thrilling episode, I'm struggling with writer's block while trying to revise a novel I've already written! Oohhh! Ahhhhh! Meanwhile my son is tempting me with a cookie, despite my wheat allergy. Ooohh! Danger!
Sometimes I wonder how I can stand all this glamor and still be conscious. And the excitement! It's a real thrill ride! (especially when I notice that the four year old has been quiet for too long).
Yep, you too can quit your day job and live the dream!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday morning, I finished up the first draft of "The Barrow Wolf" and printed it out. Got a copy out to one of my proofreaders, Charlie, and then pretty much turned into a zombie for the rest of the day. I was working my nights and days around to get back into a school schedule due to the kids. When Karla got home at seven, I went straight to bed.
Now it's two in the morning, and I'm awake. Not an ideal outcome, but acceptable. I should be in decent shape to drive Stinkerbell to her therapist this afternoon. Maybe I'll try and come up with another short story idea while waiting for the next novel edit to come in.
Maybe a horror story about a guy being slowly overcome by mold/fungus in his environment, and his own lethargy. Sort of a death by inertia scenario.
Perhaps another short story set in the world of Khrem. That brings up a point, by the way. Do I just call it the world of Khrem? That's actually the name of the city that the novel takes place in. I have never given the world a name. Do people actually name their worlds? Wouldn't it really be just their own word for "earth?" I'll have to think about that, since I still have time to insert something before the final edit is done.
I need to shop for kids lunches too. I suppose I better do that before they get up. Hooray! Walmart at 3 A.M! Here I come!
Monday, March 22, 2010
I've been having trouble finishing the first draft of my short story, so I figured reading another authors work might help my mind relax. Sometimes it's hard to get what you want on paper, even when you know what you're trying to say. And sometimes it's even worse when you're on the last page of the story. I'm a big believer in the ending being just right. Then I'm going to have to go back and work out some rough parts. There are some places it just doesn't flow right, and feels rushed. Reading your work out loud is a good way to find things like that.
Tomorrow the kids go to school. Spring break is over. I imagine Rowan will be happy...after she gets over being grouchy about having to wake up early. Sheridan was enjoying his time at home more, but I think that's normal as they get older. I'll be up all night myself as I try to rotate my schedule around to school days again. Oh well, what must be done...must be done.
Onwards and upwards.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
It was inevitable.
I have fallen to the Evil Empire.
I have gotten a Facebook account.
I only plan on checking it once or twice a day, as this blog is my preferred form of communication with the world. But Facebook is a reality on the internet, and as an author I have to acknowledge it. The trick is just not to get sucked in.
Therefore I have made the resolution to play none of their games, not to spend an inordinate amount of time there, and only check on it a couple times a day. On the other hand, I will also look into their advertising rates. Maybe I can get something positive out of this.
Friday, March 19, 2010
It turns out she knows quite a few words. Jump, walk, kiss, hug, cat, dog, her numbers, some colors, our names, etc. Some of the connections she would make were pure entertainment. I typed out E-A-T on the screen. She yelled "EAT!" then she stopped, got a big grin, and yelled "EAT KITTY!" She then turned and charged towards Nabiki, who apparently also understood more English than I thought because she tried to run six different ways at once before shooting off down the hall into the bedrooms.
There is more going on up there than some people realize...
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Karla asked me a question last night that sent me into a minor panic.
"Are you sure you're pronouncing 'Argiope' correctly?" she wondered aloud...thus leaving me with the sick feeling I may have been giving my next novel a silly sounding name. Fortunately a little research revealed that I had the pronunciation correct, as the title of this post indicates.
Thanks for the ulcer, Karla :P
So now that I have this book coming out in a couple of months or so...what do I do with it?
I've invested a lot of time and effort in writing it, and put my best ideas into it. I think it's only right that I give it every chance to succeed. And the only way to do that is to let people know it's available, and try and get them interested in it.
And that's called marketing.
That means advertising, advertising, advertising. I'm going to need to make posters, bookmarks, ad banners, and go to conventions and meet people. I'm going to have to strategize how to get the name of that book, and a link to it's page on Amazon.com, in front of as many people as possible. I'm signed up for Apollocon with a table in the dealer's room already. I'll have to research other conventions in the area, and check them out. I'm going to have to look at how much banner ads cost on different websites. I need to come up with a website for the book itself. I need more ideas.
And all the time I'm doing this I need to find time to write my next book. A writer who isn't producing, isn't building his future.
I also managed to get my edit done on my two stories in the Pandora Anthology and send them back in, so that's another thing off my plate. Only found a couple of errors, but I still had to read through both stories slowly to find them. Still, that's done. Now I guess I can get back to writing "The Barrow Wolf," and researching advertising idea.
On another note, Sheridan is back from spending three days and nights at his cousin's house and didn't really want to leave. He informed us numerous times that he was very, very sad...and he didn't know if he could wait until the next time he got to visit. He got to run around and play with three other little boys and I don't think he missed us one little bit. He does like to visit his relatives, especially his cousin.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Thirteen hours later my wife pulls me out of bed to help her gather the trash. I didn't really want to get up then either. So now I'm staring bleary eyed at the computer while Rowan plays quietly at the table behind me. Ugh.
On a brighter note, Cherri Galbiati reserved us a corner table in the dealers room at Apollocon. We will both have a variety of books to peddle, so we should be able to offer the public a good choice. And with it being in the Dealers room, instead of the hall where a lot of the other authors are, we might have a better shot at a wall outlet to power our laptops with.
Anyways, there is a possibility my novel will be out by then. Woohoo!! So I'll have to keep tabs and get hold of samples of the artists coverwork as soon as possible so I can make posters and bookmarks. This is going to be soooo cool!
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Hack! Cough! Ugh.
Monday, March 15, 2010
My publisher from Pill Hill Press just informed me that she has retained the services of an artist to do the cover of The Ways of Khrem. His name is David Burton, and his work can be found here.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Had a writer's night out with Cherri Galbiati. I managed to avoid gluten this time, so I'm only guilty of an enormous calorie intake as opposed to any allergy infractions. Oh well, I'll just demand they have a skinny actor play me in the movie about my life.
We had a good time, and have started planning for Apollocon in late June. We intend to get a booth in their dealers room, and sell our books. She will have her novels and anthologies, and I'll have some anthologies since my novel won't be out till later. But if I have artwork by then, I'll make some posters out of it to advertise.
The main thing is, it sounds like fun. If you're going to promote, you might as well enjoy yourself while you're doing it.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
First edit of Part One has been sent off. It may be a few days until I get Part 2, so I need to change gears.
bgw,Word 2007's review function doesn't seem to like me very much. It kept changing the colors of the comment bubbles used by Pill Hill Press and me. Sometimes it would switch colors, resulting in confusion on my part...and sometimes it would give us both the same color, resulting in more confusion on my part. I hope what I sent them back is okay.
First I think I will go back to working on ideas for the bookcover. I drew one out but my drawing pretty much sucked. I think I'll go out to Denny's and try drawing a little more. If nothing else, do a redraw of my first idea so it will at least be recognizable in case I want to send it to the artist to show what I want.
Then I'll either try to whip out a short story or finish that scene in Argiope.
Oh well, back to the salt mines.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Yep, even Stinkerbell does her schoolwork.
Anyways, the editing on Part One of the Ways of Khrem is wrapping up, and I may very well be done tonight or Friday. That will feel good. Then I have an edit I need to do on two short stories I have in the upcoming Pandora's Nightmare anthology. Those won't take long at all.
Then, while I'm waiting for the second edit on The Ways of Khrem to come back, I guess I'll squeeze in some work on Argiope. I was right in the middle of a scene where a deal involving three drug runners has a couple of very unwelcome guests show up. I look forward to finishing that scene, inserting it, and then jumping back ahead to where I currently am in the story. I really do want to get Argiope done sometime this summer.
Then I'm considering a second visit to the great city of Khrem. Or maybe a few short stories. I kind of miss doing those.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Okay, maybe not slaying dragons...more like squishing quotation marks. Due to my using more than one machine to write this novel, my quotation marks vary throughout the book. Therefore I'm now going line to line, making them match.
At least it's making me do a thorough check of each sentence as I hunt for problems. But this is taking a while. I'm about halfway though Part One now, so I'll probably be at this another night or two. And then I can focus on rewrites. That's not too bad. With a little effort, maybe I can have Part One ready to submit back sometime next week.
On another front, I'm giving myself mental breaks by plotting the website. Above is a banner I made for it. It's just a placeholder until I see what the cover art and fonts are, but it serves it's purpose for now. Needless to say, Argiope has been put on temporary hold again while I work on this. Hopefully, it won't be for long.
Ah well, back to the salt mine.
DIE YOU INFERNAL QUOTATION MARKS FROM THE WRONG FONT!! I SHALL SLAY YOU ALL WITH MY TRUSTY SWOR...ERR...LAPTOP!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
After ingesting some gluten today, I was fuzzy headed for several hours but I managed to shake it off. It's odd, I had eaten several doses of gluten when celebrating my book getting accepted for publication without any ill effects. But this time it hit me like a brick between the eyes. Oh well, I'll just have to be more careful again.
Anyways, I did manage to get some work done on the "Ways of Khrem" blogspot site. Cherri Galbiati sent me a link that showed me how to make pages for the blog, and I successfully accomplished that after tinkering around with it for a while. Then I even managed to install a custom background on it. I'm beginning to scare myself with all these acts of technical savvy. Regardless, it will still be months before that blog goes active, but I want it to be ready.
Now I'm back to editing. Right now that's mainly a process of finding all the changes she has inserted and hitting the "accept change" button. They're mainly typos, bad word usage, or syntax errors. Also, due to the fact I made this manuscript on two different word processing programs, it has some font inconsistences that need fixing. Mainly with quotation marks. I'm going to have to hunt all those down and fix them.
The few times I actually hit the "reject change" button is either in regards to dialogue where thats just what the charactor said, or in other situations where my breach of the rules was deliberate. For instance, I sometimes use sentence fragments on purpose, for effect.
Anyways, back to work.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It seems that my digestive track is unhappy with me.
I canceled Stinkerbell's therapy today, and I'm just sitting her trying to motivate myself to do something. I've been playing with images of medieval skylines, in hopes of being able to put together a rough approximate of what Khrem's skyline looks like.
I got about seven hundred words written on Argiope last night. It's for a scene I need to insert back in an earlier part of the book. Progress on that book is slow, but steady.
So now I have a novel accepted for publication.
After the initial high has worn off, and the celebrations are done, where does that leave me?
Pretty damn worried, to be honest.
Now I've got a lot to learn, and a lot to figure out. I want to do a good job of supporting this novel, and I'm already studying how to make websites or a better blog. "The Ways of Khrem" will have it's own website when the time comes, and i intend to see to it that it has extra content for the reader. Artwork, story snippets, and I'm thinking a beastiary of the different monsters mentioned or encountered in the book may be included. Of course, i will have to coordinate with my publisher at Pill Hill Press over this.
I'm also looking into different forms of advertising. I know that the resources of a small press are limited, and that they are counting on me to pull my weight in the marketing department. I'm willing to invest some time, effort, and money to give this book a chance to be a success. I'm studying how internet banners work, and looking into future fantasy and scifi conventions that I can attend.
I also have to find time to keep writing. I'm hoping to get a thousand words on Argiope done tonight. I'm working on a scene that I need to insert back in an earlier part of the book. It's just something that makes sense, and also livens up a saggy part of the story. I'm hoping to get Argiope finished by this summer, and then move on to my next project. I'm considering that project to be "The Lords of Khrem." It would almost be like coming home.
Oh well, I have a lot of work, studying, and possibly even artwork to do. My hands aren't what they used to be, but we'll see if I can still draw at a decent level.