So, when I said: "back in a big way" last time? It meant that I'm working on stuff, which apparently means that I would also completely forget about my responsibilities to my blog. My most sincere apologies, dear readers. I will do my best to rectify this, and try to salvage July from being yet another low content month in a series of low content months, and I'm going to start "write" now (Did you see that? Huh? Did you see what I did there? Wakka! Wakka! Wakka).
The Scribblerati are meeting tonight (Shawn's got a blog up, go look. I'll wait.) I believe this is the last meeting before our big Diversicon appearance and our big group panel. Our first con, our first panel, it's a lot of firsts coming up, personal firsts for me as well. It's a pretty big deal... well, to us anyway. Tonight's agenda? We are checking out the preliminary version of our sample book before ordering the final print and I will be getting responses to the latest draft of a short story. Plus, there will be Cold Press. Sounds like a good night to me.
But right now, it's a nice day for writing. It's seventy degrees and it looks like it might rain later. There's a light breeze coming through the open windows with a bit of a chill to the air. Cops is on TV and then Maury is doing some paternity tests. My laptop is humming, I've got a leftover chicken torta for lunch, a bowl o'strawberries for dessert and a hot cup of joe for fuel, so let's get started, shall we...?
Gunslingers of the Apocalypse
Sitting. Stewing. Future uncertain. I need to buy some ink for my printer and some paper--also for my printer--and then I'll single space it, re-format it, print it out, pull out the red pen and dive back in for another pass. We'll see what happens after that. My goal is 20,000 to 30,000 words. Can I do it? Stay tuned.
Bastard out of Minnesota
Well, it kind of goes without saying that this book, being Book 2 of the "Black Magic" Jack quadrilogy, is trunked for as long as Gunslingers is, plus a bit longer after that. This is even more true for the two books intended to follow this one: Righteous Brother and Gunfighter Gold (working titles). Sucks, but, what can ya' do?
Billy Torch takes a Beating
This used to be called The Little Things, the name has changed and now it is the first of three short stories I have going through the final round of edits before hitting the short story submission circuit. I really like this one, the story of a D list super villain fresh out of the joint and trying to get his super villain career back on track, only to get swept up in the battle between a superhero vigilante and his arch nemesis. I like the story enough that I drew up and pitched a five years later, Richard Stark-type, sexy, noir, heist tale but with super villains and starring Billy Torch. No bite, but it's strong enough in my head and I've got enough notes that I'll return to it eventually at some point.
Plague of Man
This story is number two of the three on the final spin of editing before beginning the submissions rounds. I think this one is my most traditional short story, it's about a man whose ashes are shot into space, which are found by aliens, who immediately begin to clone him. Most of my shorts seem to have larger aspirations, but this one: it starts, it ends, and it wraps up neatly. That being said, I would be interested in someday taking the bad guys of this story and using them as the bad guys in some other larger space opera type of story, maybe, or maybe just in the background... who knows.
This story is about a last outpost after end of the world and its occupant trying to survive--just him and two cats--and it's the third of the three short stories standing at the precipice of the final edit stage, almost ready to take the plunge and start going out to various sites. This one might lag a little behind the other two, maybe, as far as completely ready/polished is concerned, but it's pretty close.
Yash Scarlet and the Gates of Hell
This is the story the Scribblerati is critiquing for me tonight. I got some excellent feedback last time around and it really helped me firm it up, narrative-wise. I'm excited to hear what my fellow Scribblerati Agents think. The idea behind it came about as I was reading short stories by authors that were featuring characters from one of their novels, kind of a little side adventure type thing. So, I thought I'd try writing one, but for a book that doesn't exist. The end result is this Sci-fi-ish, day-after-tomorrow set tale about a young woman named Yash Scarlet and the team of thieves she runs and how the job they are on goes very, very bad. Plus, there's monsters. And blood. And screaming. Anyway, I was so pleased with the way this draft turned out that I thought: "Self?" I thought, "What if the book that doesn't exist, that this story is a kind of prequel for, actually existed...?"
Hmmmm, interesting. Very interesting...
UPCOMING PROJECTS IN PROGRESS
So, there's all that.
I also have, eh... let's say eight or so short story ideas I've separated out from the cacophonous throng and are waiting on deck. They're in various stages and may or may not survive to the point where they become actual stories. May or may not. Future uncertain. Fate unknown. I'm working on them, and I'll get back to them at some point, but for the foreseeable future, they're on hold.
This is why I've been busy, I'm working on the possible first chapter of my short story turned novel: Monster. I'm hoping it works out. Monster is basically the Dirty Dozen versus a Dragon set in a dystopian future of old world ruins and out of control magic. So, that will be me for the next couple weeks, it's focus time, because I'm starting out again. I'm putting my nose to the grindstone.
Look out shitty first draft, here I come.