The Year it really Lands

Blog Post No. 429

20200229_204459Last year was a strange one for a lot of reasons. It’s about this time each year that the event train leaves the station and starts building steam for the spring and summer rush. There may be a comicon or and book fair and (if we have our act together) a retreat. From there, the plans reach full swing and I’ll be booked at least one weekend (potentially two or more) a month for the rest of the year. Everything ground to a halt last year because of the pandemic, but after eight years of working on this writing thing, it felt like an anomaly. We did manage to get the retreat in before things were shut down, but the scheduled events after that were all cancelled. Continue reading “The Year it really Lands”

2021

Blog Post No. 423

giphy-2Welcome to the last post of 2020. This is when I traditionally write about my plans for next year. Before I got started, I went back and read over my last post of 2019. Wow, I was way off with my predictions there. (Don’t go back and read it because I make a joke that hits way too close to home with how 2020 turned out). But, this is a post about the future, not the past. I save that for the true end of the year for this page, the closest Thursday to January 10th. Though the world and our interpersonal relations have been strange, I hope that most people had a little bit of joy in whatever celebrations they take part in this time of year. Personally, I missed the usual mix of hectic visits and lazy family time. Usually my brother and I spend the afternoon at my parent’s house exchanging gifts, playing billiards, and just enjoying each other’s company. It’s challenging enough that my other brother and his family are far away and we can’t see each other for Christmas, but only being able to see my parents digitally was tough. And I’m not a very personable person. I imagine it was much more difficult for others. Continue reading “2021”

Last Update of the Year

Blog Post No. 421

tumblr_msyyszkkcb1riwjnbo1_500It’s the last update of the year. Probably. I still have two weeks left  and who know what I’m going to dig up to talk about. I have the 2021 preview post to do, so that means it’s next week’s topic that’s still to be determined. As far as updates go, though, this one is going to be mostly about Break/Interrupt. Christian finished his review and I finished going over his notes. As soon as that was done, I jumped back to the start of the book and started the fifth draft with the intent to chop it down even farther. Continue reading “Last Update of the Year”

Trouble with Starting

Blog Post No. 420

g003_-_002I often have trouble starting. Sitting down to get some work done is like a long race. No matter the project, job, or task, for me the topography of the course always starts with a mountain. That’s not to say the rest of the race is downhill (downhill being more difficult than some people may realize). There are other rises and plateaus, but the hardest part is always the beginning. A long term project like writing a book is filled tough starts every morning (or evening depending on when I sit down to work). If I’m writing, I may be looking at the blank page of a new chapter or the dangling end of a paragraph. When editing, I have a page full of words waiting to be culled or changed. Continue reading “Trouble with Starting”

Sharpening the Knife

Blog Post No. 419

tenorWhile Christian has been going over the latest draft of Break/Interrupt, I’ve been working on the ebook (still). I’ve made some good progress, but the deeper I dig, the more mistakes I find in my current attempt. It’s gotten to the point where I have a single major issue remaining and I’m going to (hopefully) fix it by redoing the whole thing with new encoding. That means creating a new file and moving all the code over, then reviewing my code looking for places where I can replace old tags with new one. (Tag being the wrapper for the content i.e. <p class=”first”>content</P> for a paragraph). It’s more complex than that, but really not by much. Continue reading “Sharpening the Knife”

Coding for ebooks

Blog Post No. 418

giphy-2One thing to get out of the way right off the bat. I am not a coder and my meager accomplishment would likely insult the sensibilities of a real coder at a single glance. With that in mind and the overwhelming amount of help I’ve gotten from Arvin (my bad code is in no way representative of the help he provided but is an example of my own shortcomings) I am on the cusp of finally having the epub version of The Thinking Machine finished. There is still the Kindle version to do, but I hope that it’s as easy as the tutorials make it seem and I can just press a couple of extra buttons in the program I’m using and it will be spat out the other side. Continue reading “Coding for ebooks”

Gaming with Friends

Blog Post No. 417

baby-safety-manual-23Last week I finished off the third draft of Break/Interrupt and (like passing off a mewling baby) handed it over to Christian for review. There is still a lot of editing left to do, but other than more potential cuts, the story is pretty well set. With the novella out of my hands, I am trying to be productive in other ways without diving into another project that will have to be put on hold when I get the edit back. At the top of the list is coming up with some good ideas for the cover so that Glen Hawkes can turn my scribbles into something cool. Continue reading “Gaming with Friends”

Trimming the Fat

Blog Post No. 416

screen-shot-2017-09-06-at-12-17-07-pmI’m on the cusp of finishing the third draft of Break/Interrupt. In case you didn’t know, it the fourth novella in The Synthetic Albatross series. There is still a lot to do, but I’m at a point where I think the story itself is good enough to pass it along and get some outside opinions. I hadn’t cut as much as I’d hoped. A slice of the book is devoted to the connectivity of the series. Since the stories all overlap (this one more than the others) I had to fill in some gaps (and possibly set some things up for future books). Continue reading “Trimming the Fat”

Short Stories Redux

Blog Post No. 412

tenorWhile I try to get myself back into gear with editing, Christian and Brittni have been submitting short stories to collections and anthologies. That’s not all their doing, but it’s one of the things (the other things can be read about in the latest post on the Adventure Worlds Press site). I’m not going to lie. I’m a little jealous. I’m happy and excited for them. They did the work and took the risk, so they deserve it. I just wish I could say the same thing. Continue reading “Short Stories Redux”

The Oddity of a Virtual Launch

Blog Post No. 405

indyswap_4458The virtual launch is over and while I did very little to facilitate it (or likely because) it was a success. Though I’m not sure how to quantify a success of such a thing. At a physical event you can count of number of people who showed up and how many books you sold. I suppose I could go by views, but with so many different elements spread out over multiple digital spaces, that’s not so easy. I could go by engagement and I did get some good feedback on the silly video I made for the event, but again, I’d have to go around and calculate the comments on all the posts and I don’t want to. The easiest and most kind to my ego is to look at the things Christian, Brittni, and I did for the event. Continue reading “The Oddity of a Virtual Launch”