April 6th Update

I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t realize it had been that long. It’s been a busy past few months.

I’ve continued to work on that project I mentioned in September, but progress slowed near the end of last year and only started to pick up in February again (a move + new job will do that to you).

By mid March, I had a bit of a revelation on the project…which resulted in me hitting “save”, then “close”, then “new document”.

If the thought of tossing out six months of work (about 56k words) to start more or less from scratch horrifies you, writing may not be for you. See your doctor.

There will be some sections I can likely repurpose (the last 3000 or so words in particular) but for the most part, it’ll be a clean slate using only most of the same character names and concepts (not necessarily personalities) and some of the original structure.

I don’t have an ETA on this one, but I do plan to start editing Deathsong and Fury alongside it once I get underway.

More to come.

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September 13th, 2016 Update

It has been a while since I posted here. No particular reason, other than having been busy.

Well, in the intervening time I’ve managed to set aside both Infinity Gate projects I was working on, and I’ve decided to start on Oathsong and Brotherhood, which was originally going to be the third novel in the Songs of Eternity series. There weren’t any constraints that kept me from moving it up, and I had the idea I wanted to follow, so I did. So Heartsong and Shadowstorm will be the book I tackle third.

The first alpha readthroughs of Knife of the Mind are done now, so the next pass will be to hammer out any remaining grammatical quirks and fix a few story details.

I’m always looking for beta readers, so if anyone’s interested in reading pre-release books and providing feedback (which may or may not be heeded), contact me.

July 23rd, 2016 Update

I’ve kept at it this week. Roughly half of Knife of the Mind is formatted now, and I’ve finally managed to build out a workable vision for The Infinity Gate.

A challenge for me is to avoid the concern of covering every potential question and flaw. I have a tendency to over-analyze, and worry that a potential story choice will cause readers to say “well gee, that’s dumb”. I try to remind myself that characters – well-written ones, at least – are flawed, and will make mistakes just as real people do. Perhaps, to some readers, the choice is obvious, but that character may not see it.

I still try to avoid doing things that are overly ridiculous. A little ridiculous is something I encourage – I like my books to be fun, even if there are darker elements. Why bother making something that’s merely depressing to read?

On another note, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pleased that the Ghostbusters reboot appears to have flopped. I have no problem with new takes on old ideas, or with female characters (as you’ll see when you read Deathsong) but I do have a problem when it’s pandering. If they’d taken the tack of “new generation of Ghostbusters” it may have been enjoyable. This was “We’re going to take something you liked and destroy it because we can”, and I have no interest in supporting that.

Same with Star Trek Beyond, really. I was going to actually see it (I didn’t waste my time with Into Darkness) until the whole “We made Sulu gay – aren’t we great and progressive?!” story came out (pun not intended). They want to pander, thats fine. Just don’t expect me to support it. If they’d done it right and just had a new character who was gay, fine, especially since that’s been done in Trek before (it wasn’t mentioned in the film, but Lieutenant Hawk from First Contact is canonically gay – or at least he was).

But that’s enough soapboxing for now.

 

July 15th, 2016 Update

Hello all,

I’m still working away, though my output’s been hampered as of late with my laptop issues. However, the replacement machine is here, it’s wonderful, and I should have a battery for it (long story) either Saturday or Monday.

I’ve continued working on the formatting of Knife of the Mind, while writing more on The Infinity Gate, though I’m in a rough spot on that one in the moment. I’m not connecting well with the characters, so it feels like I’m moving around lifeless puppets. I don’t think I’m quite ready to just set it aside, so I’m going to be doing some breakout short stories with the characters to get a better feel for them. I had a similar issue with one character in Deathsong and Fury so it’s not unprecedented.

And while I’m not doing a full re-read/retool of it yet, I do go back and read bits of that last one. I still think it’s brilliant.

(that doesn’t mean I think it’s perfect)

No excerpts to share, sorry.

July 1st, 2016 Update

Dearie me, it’s been over a month since the last post. Well, I haven’t been idle. Right now I’m formatting Knife of the Mind, as the rewrite was finished around the middle of June, and I’m working on the new project, tentatively titled The Infinity Gate. The research I mentioned in the last post was for that one.

This project is going to be a stretch for me. Not that my prior work was easy, but one goal I have is for this book to drip with imagery and ambiance, and that’s sometimes been a weak point of mine, particularly from a third-person viewpoint. But I’m determined to work on it and see it through.

I suffered a laptop battery failure last week, unfortunately, taking down my preferred writing machine. I have a replacement laptop ordered, but it’s taking longer to get here than I’d like.

Making the case for regular backups, however, I was able to switch to a spare machine (with a much less desirable but still serviceable keyboard) with twenty minutes, with no data loss, picking up right where I’d stopped. I keep a Time Machine copy on a local networked hard drive, as well as regular backups to a cloud service, because my data is important to me.

Still, while it is a shame that laptop won’t see a finalized work, I did complete two full-length novels on it, as well as several other projects. For that, it’ll always be special, even if it is slightly useless at this moment, for what good is a laptop that has to be tethered to the wall?

But that’s enough for now. I’ll work to get back on the regular update wagon, but rest assured, I am not idle.

As a side note, I’m going to be looking for some beta readers soon enough. More details later.

May 28th, 2016 Update

You know you’re in trouble when Wikipedia, of all places, leads off an article with “For a more accessible and less technical introduction to this topic, see this article (link).”

As I expected, once I got past the first third (almost exactly, in fact) I was able to move the rewrite along much faster, and so barring some kind of disaster it’ll be done next month. Then the copy edit starts.

So, now I’m working on the new book (it’s too soon to work on Deathsong and Fury), and I’m in the research part of it (though the first chapter is partly written). Most of the research I do doesn’t actually make it directly into my books, but it’s good to have it in the back of my mind as I write, so the ‘front end’ makes sense.

I’ll also be making some character bios and build-up chapters (which I won’t publish) to get a feel for the new characters, then the work can start in earnest.

Until then, back to my research on topics covered by theoretical physics and quantum mechanics. It’s more fun than it sounds. This will be a work more in the line of ‘speculative science fiction’ so I’ll build on a base of what humanity currently knows before taking it in a new direction.

 

May 21st, 2016 Update

Hello all,

The rewrite continues. While I’m still about twenty pages out from finishing the first part of the book, I’m happy to report that I have been doing less rewriting and more copy/paste/tweak work. It’s not as simple as you might imagine, because I have to still pass over the wording and make sure I’m not leaving behind any erroneous cruft or obvious errors, but it is making things move faster.

Because I like to move forward, I’ve also started the preliminary work on a new novel. It won’t take my attention away from the rewrite, but it will provide a nice creative outlet when it’s needed. This was an idea I’ve had on the board for a while, and I’m looking forward to getting to it. Barring any changes, it’ll be a solo novel, with a male protagonist, and a single viewpoint (still deciding on first/third person).

I suppose that’s all for now.