Off the Top Rope

Blog No. 331

20190323_213357_hdrYou know when you go to the doctor and they ask you about your drinking habits? How many drinks do you have in a week, sort of thing? (Once, my doctor told me that he was taught to triple whatever his patients tell him). I never know how to properly answer that one. It varies so wildly that I have to look at months in order to get an average. I can go for three months without having a drink, but if a friend is in town (maybe one from Owen Sound) that number could be six beers plus a-pitcher-and-a-half in two days. Add to those drinks, two late nights, and things get groggy. Don’t think that I was only out drinking, though. My good friend from my video store days had tickets to wresting and invited me along. It was a first for me, but it was a good time. Those wrestler folks do some crazy acrobatics. It’s certainly fun to watch. Continue reading “Off the Top Rope”

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Christmas Miracle

Blog No. 161

So Christmas Eve happens to fall on my post date. How about that? Because of the assumed busyness everyone is experiencing (I hope) I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working very hard (though not as hard as I could be working I suppose). The stories for No Light Tomorrow were written, but the process of taking the first drafts and putting them into a finished book is long and harrowing. Editing took its toll. It’s not always easy to be shown your mistakes over and over again, but it ends up with much cleaner stories. We went through a few layers of editing, culminating with sending the stories away to a professional who took our carefully written and rewritten stories and shredded them. They were fixed and a last loving look from Christian for my stories, and me for his, brought them to their final versions.

When they were finally done, the layout began. While I have limited experience, I wasn’t ready for what awaited me. Reading tutorials, searching for how to’s, and trial and error eventually ended in a final layout. Sending that layout to the printers resulted in having to make changes, but after learning what I had, it wasn’t as big a job.

After that, we were done. The proofs came back, some last minute changes were made (including some oversights that we just missed).

Now the book is in their hands. We expect to get it in the New Year and we’ve already planned a release event for January 9th.

It was a long year and things are just getting started. There is a lot more to do in the coming months to bring me to a place where I’ll be happy as a writer. Besides the readings and conventions, more stories, more books, and more editing awaits for me.

But for now, I’m proud to show you the cover of No Light Tomorrow. Sales start January 9th in soft cover and ebook. There will be links to follow, but I hope the cover will entice you to give it a read.

Thanks for all the support this year. I’m looking forward to keep things going next year too. Have a wonderful day wherever you are and whatever you’re celebrating or not!

Collections and Lies

Blog No. 153

How tired are you of hearing about this, so-called Collection, that Christian and I have been yammering on about for the last year and a bit? If you are as done with it as I am, get ready to be exasperated, because that book is done and ready to print! Boom! What started as a lark back is 2014 will be out before the end of 2015 and it will be spectacular. Don’t believe me? The title is No Light Tomorrow. How does that strike your fancy? Still not convinced? It’s over 30 000 words spread across six stories written by two authors! You know, a short story collection. You want more? The cover was designed by an actual graphic designer and approved by none other than the authors themselves. Even better, it will mark the first book released by the newly formed Adventure Worlds Press, a publisher in name only dedicated to printing whatever Christian and I want and nothing else. How exciting is that? If your answer was ‘very’ that this collection is right for you, and we want you to get excited.

To recap some of what has happened up till now, back in the distant era of 2014, somewhere near the beginning of that fretful year (fretful being used for dramatic purposes only) two authors, Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen, were sitting in a coffee shop, working on their writing and discussing the future. What you will see next is a dramatic retelling of the situation and has little to no bearing on the actual past and does a terrible job representing both the individuals included in the story and the situation as a whole. Continue reading “Collections and Lies”

Zine 005

Blog No. 150

HalloweenFindersClipI know some people (out of the few who read this) are probably tired of hearing about the Zines all the time. They are a flimsy little booklet akin to what high school students create to prove they aren’t part of the system (or whatever). While they may not be anything spectacular, they are a really cool thing to have and make, so for the time being, we are staying the course and Zine 005 is here. We still have to distribute it, but they will be printed and ready to go as of Friday. Out of all the ones we have done so far, this one is my favourite.

This one is starting to garner a bit of a history. As stated before, this year our plan was to print four Zines on a quarterly basis. The first one came out in March and the second in June. That meant that this one was scheduled for September.

“But wait.” You may be saying to yourself. “It’s October. What happened?” Continue reading “Zine 005”

Another Collection Update

Blog No. 141

Hello fine folks. I’ve been talking about this darn collection with Christian for over a year now and all I’ve had for you were promises and Gorilla Dust. It’s been a long, bumpy, lazy road, with big changes and lots of letdowns, but we are finally in sight of the finish line. I decided to use this week’s post to write a short update.

When we started the collection (back in February of 2014) we had wondrous visions of a collection of short stories to go along with the quickly growing blog. We were racking up stories faster than we could post them and decided to collect the best of them and put out a book. Christian had his own collection coming out (which has done marvellously well: http://christianlaforet.com/the-space-between-houses/) but we had lots of stories in the bag and wanted to do something more with them. As it turned out, the dynamics of Adventure Worlds changed and the number of stories we each needed grew, and so did the amount of time spent working on it. Continue reading “Another Collection Update”

News, Contest, Companions

Blog No. 138

Hello regular readers (and to anyone just joining us). If you follow this blog, chances are you also follow Adventure Worlds. If you don’t, what the heck are you waiting for? Head over there and start reading all the stories we’ve posted there over the last three years (adventureworldsblog.com). For those who have spent time over there, you may have seen Monday’s news instead of the usual story. To repeat it here, due to the lack of regular submissions and most of the work falling to Christian and myself, we have officially gone to posting every other week. It’s a bit sad in that we were able to have a long run of weekly posts with very few gaps, but without content to post, we have to change the format. We could have probably kept the pace going, but the collection is nearing the final stages and we are both hard at work on our first novels. The collection is due out presently (think a month or two) and we still hope to have the novels out in the Holiday season (end of 2015, beginning of 2016). Continue reading “News, Contest, Companions”

Story Qualifiers

Blog No. 120

What are the things within a story that allow it to be categorized? Sometimes the answer is obvious. A horror story is scary, a sci-fi story has amazing technology, fantasy has a lot of walking. More often than not, there is way more to it. Every genre has many sub genres, plenty of books cross the strict categorical boundaries, the writing and style play a part, along with how others perceive the author. I spent many years working at Chapters, shelving books. I mostly spent my time in fiction, sorting the types so I could take piles of book (literal armloads) to the corresponding shelves. For a long time sorting was easy. If there was a picture of a dragon, it went into fantasy, spaceships went to sci-fi, ghosts, vampires and blood went to horror, and half naked dudes went to romance. There were always exceptions, but it was very easy and straight forward. Then things started to change. Continue reading “Story Qualifiers”