It’s in the low ’70s outside right now, sunny, and feels warmer than that. I’m barbecuing hot dogs for lunch, and I’ve spent much of the morning pondering the question, “What next?”.
You’re probably wondering why I’m even asking the question, seeing as how the last post said “more posts”, and this is the first one since then, nearly half a year later.
But I’m asking the question, because it’s time to get back to writing. It’ll probably be a slow start as I feel my way forward, but I fully intend to be back to a normal (for me) pace by the end of the year.
In order to do that, though, I need a book to write. Among my options are a third Grim Repo book, a sequel to Minders, and finishing up Bloodweave. Bloodweave is the most challenging of the three. The Grim Repo books are fun to write, and they’re shortish. A sequel to Minders would also be a bunch of fun, and still not terribly long (not like an epic fantasy novel). Bloodweave, though, has some issues.
The first issue is that it already has (despite what the counter on the page says – I should have updated it) 62k words written, which would mean I’d have to pick it up in the middle, and that’s always been difficult for me. The second issue is that it’s been a very long time since I wrote most of those 62k words, and I’m not entirely certain I could match them in feel and style. The first of those words was penned on April 12th, 2013 – more than two years ago. The third issue is that I’ve learned quite a bit since I started writing it. I wrote another novel called October in between then and now, and my life has been a mess of things that has changed my perspective in many ways. I’m not the same person that wrote those early words. The fourth issue is that there was a reason I bogged down, and I think it’s because I was trying to force too many things to happen. I wasn’t letting the characters speak for themselves.
For those reasons, I’m thinking about tossing those 62k words into the waste bin, and starting fresh. Same initial starting point, but after that, it will be what it becomes.
If I do that, another change will likely happen. The A Wizard’s Work series will be over and will only ever be a duology. The new book and whatever follows it will be part of a new series, obviously linked to the first, but will stand on its own. Part of the reason is that I already know that the story that started in Bloodweave wouldn’t likely be finished at the end of the book. I don’t intend to leave it as a straight up cliffhanger, but the Bloodweave story, as I envision it, is much longer than I can fit into one book. It will truly be an epic fantasy.
It’s still all up in the air, but I said I would post more, and I would talk more about what’s happening, so there you go. I’m going to give it no more than another two weeks before I make a final decision. I might make the decision tomorrow. But if you have thoughts on it, let me know in the comments.
Oh, yeah, I finished the hot dogs while I was writing this. They were tasty.
2014 turned out to be one of the worst years of my life, though it got better (slightly) as the year went along. I barely wrote anything, though I did manage to finish one short novel (October) that will be out in the next month or so. 51,000 words for the year. When I look back, I don’t even know how I got that many done.
But this isn’t about looking backward. This is about looking forward, and I have a lot of goals for the year.
- Be More Open – Through more than a few coincidences, I was introduced to the work of Brené Brown. It, along with The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and an introduction to the story and work of Ksenia Anske has convinced me that I’d like to share more of my process and my struggles. I don’t expect I’ll share all the details of my family life, of course, but writing is a lonely business to begin with. There’s no need to make it lonelier by trying to pretend I’m superhuman. So, more blog posts, more tweets, more attempts to connect with the half dozen of you that are paying attention.
- Write More – The most I ever wrote in a year was 256,000 words in 2012. The second half of that year, I wrote every single day. I want to repeat that effort, and even blow it out of the water. When I’m writing on a roll, I average about a thousand words an hour. I’ve set a goal to write three hours a day, every day. If I get on a good roll, the math says I’ll write a lot of books. At the very least, I’d like to write one book in each series this year. That means finishing Bloodweave (A Wizard’s Work 3) , and writing the second Lords of Genova book, the third Grim Repo book, and a sequel to Minders. If I just get those books finished, I’ll count it as a good year.
- Read More – One of the casualties of 2014 was my fiction reading effort. I just couldn’t focus on other people’s stories. I think I read about twenty books this year, which is far off my normal 50-60, and most of those books were non-fiction.
- Be Kind to Myself – One of the major issues behind my troubles of the past year and a half were outsized expectations of what I can accomplish based on a perfectionist view of the world. It’s taken a lot of work to even begin to overcome the negative thoughts that missing my expectations, or the perceived expectations of others, could generate in my head. Writing is art. It’s not subject to a set of rules that defines what the perfect book is. There is no perfect book for everyone. So there’s no point in beating myself up when sales or reviews don’t live up to some arbitrary standard. I’ll write the best books I can and be grateful for each reader that chooses to spend their time reading my stories.
Ultimately, I want to spend my time writing and enjoying the moment instead of worrying about external and internal expectations, and I want to share those experiences with my readers.
I have talked for over a year and a half (might be two years, now), about releasing a Mac version of TrackerBox. I’ve even done quite a bit of work on it, and could probably have it complete in a month of concentrated work.
But, as I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve had a lot of personal life difficulties that have pushed it out, further and further, and I think it’s time to be realistic about the chances of me ever finishing the Mac version of TrackerBox. They’re pretty much slim to none.
It’s not that I don’t want to give my favorite writer friends who work on a Mac the opportunity to shave hours off of the time they spent dealing with their numbers. I’d really love to be able to do that. However, I have an eight hour a day side job, kids to manage, books I want and need to write, a wife to keep happy, and the the current versions of TrackerBox and StoryBox to support.
Recently, after our car decided to stop shifting gears, I had to visit the doctor because I had soreness in my left arm, a high heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and unexplained sweating. After an examination and an EKG, he prescribed anti-anxiety medication.
It became clear to me that there was a reason the Mac version of TrackerBox kept slipping. I just don’t have the bandwidth for it.
I’m really sorry I’m not able to follow through on it, but I’ve got to do what’s in the best interests of my health and my family.
With all that said, if there is some intrepid Mac programmer out there who would like to help take the Mac version to completion (I estimate it’s about 30-40% done), contact me and we’ll see if we can work out the details. You would have to know Objective C and C++ fairly well, and I would like to see examples of software that you have taken to completion.
After a year in the deep dark of the Fringe, Parted Out is now available almost everywhere! It’s another fast paced adventure for Captain Grimm and his crew, and I have to say that, even after the fourth and fifth read, I still enjoyed it.
If you haven’t read about Grimm, before, I’ve got a special treat for you. Grim Repo, the first book in the series, is now free almost everywhere it’s available. I’m working on getting it free on Amazon, too, but they seem to be taking their time in matching the price.
So, download Grim Repo, then treat yourself to Parted Out!
Here’s the blurb.
Starship repossession specialist Grimm and his crew, after their last botched repo, look forward to an easy and quick job, with their eyes on a much needed vacation as a reward.
Unfortunately, nothing ever goes as planned for Grimm. Caught between a salvager who wants the same ship and a bank that has him on a very tight deadline, Grimm must use every trick he knows to get the ship off station, intact and on time, while keeping himself and his crew alive.
The book will be out at the end of the month, barring any unforeseen issues. I still have to read it through one last time and correct any issues that I see, but frankly, once the book is at this stage, it’s usually in pretty good shape.
In case you haven’t read Grim Repo, you can read the first couple chapters here, and learn all about Captain Grimm and his crew of starship repossession specialists.
The last two pictures here are what Parted Out looks like from the back, and what it looks like nestled in with all the rest of my books. It looks so happy there, right next to Grim Repo, doesn’t it?
Early last year, I wrote this book. It started in a sewer, and went in directions I could not have anticipated. I planned on releasing it in October last year, but life intervened and I couldn’t even read it for months.
But, eventually, I was able to right myself, pick up the book, and start working on it again. A funny thing happened. I couldn’t put the book down. Even though I was marking passages and errors, I read through it in only a couple days.
I had no goals when I wrote this book, other than to do something different (for me) and to write an exciting story, and I think I achieved both of those goals.
So, more than a fourteen months after I put the last word down on the first draft, Minders emerges from the sewer to see the light of day.
Steve never wanted to live his life at night, sleeping in the darkest places of the city during the day. He never asked for his body to change and give him abilities that would turn him into a pariah. And after thirty years, he never thought his life would change again.
Deep in a dark sewer, his unwanted reality comes crashing down after he receives a cryptic message from another that shares his same fate. “They hunt, brother.”
In a race to learn who hunts him, Steve must dodge betrayal, clandestine organizations, and crazed people with abilities as strong as his own to learn why, after thirty years, someone finally cares.
Available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Apple iBooks and Kobo will be available as soon as it gets through their process.
Or, just click the links below, because you know it’s going to be great and you don’t need an excerpt!
iBookStore (coming soon)