Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Filler! So You're a Writer, Are You?

I think a lot of the folks who read this blog are writers. I don't know where I get that idea; it just popped into my head. I keep trying to focus the conversation on pro sports but you guys keep talking about books and stories instead. Well, if that's the way you're going to be, then fine. I can go with that. I'm not a difficult person. Okay, that's a lie. I am a difficult person, but I can talk about writing if you want. Really, I can. Here goes:

So you're a writer, are you? If you're a writer, what are you writing? This is the last chance you'll get to pimp your work here, because I won't be asking again. See above about how I think we should talk sports.

Me, I'm working seriously on two projects:

1. The Astrologer, a sort of postmodernist historical fiction that mashes Shakespeare's "Hamlet" up with the possible murder of famed astronomer Tycho Brahe in 1601. It's a page-turner and philosophical treatise in one! It can't miss, I tell you. The MS goes to the publisher in July for editorial, so I have a couple of months to tweak with it. And tweak with it I am. I'm making changes on nearly every page, almost all having to do with sharpening the language, making the sentences say exactly what I mean. I see that I was more vague than I should've been back in 2010. This sort of painstaking, line-by-line work is slow going and I don't enjoy it much, but the book will be much better for it. Mighty Reader, naturally, looks over at all the red ink and opines that I've once more gone mad with revisions.

2. Go Home, Miss America, a sort of modernist Great American Novel in which I'm a bit past the halfway point in the first draft. The narrative is made up of two alternating stories that intersect about 2/3 of the way through with interesting results. The leading male is a 50 year-old mid-level manager at a university who's troubled because his real life fails to match his self image. I know: white guy fiction, right? But it's deep and funny, I swear. The leading female is a 30-something with a master's in Public Health who flees to Africa to do charity work when her fiance dumps her, and she fails to find herself in the Congo. I know: Heart of Darkness in reverse, right? Sounds like an MFA program project. I think it's got Pulitzer written all over it.

So that's what I'm working on. Davin Malasarn is finishing up revisions to his Cyberlama novel. Michelle Davidson-Argyle is working on a new one that sounds very cool. She just sent a MS to her publisher for something that'll come out next year, and she's got a novel that comes out any day now that you can pre-order already. She can tell you more about that if she wants. That's not the point, though it could be.

The point is, I'm asking you: So you're a writer, so what are you writing?


  1. I'm about 65k words into Earth's End, a satire about the end of the world. The title doesn't give that away, does it? The premise is simple: God has decided it's time to end Creation, but can't decide on how to do it, so He comes to earth and hires a consultant. Satan has contracts on half-a-billion souls--contracts that include a force majeure clause that voids the agreement in the event of an apocalyptic calamity or other similar acts of God-- so naturally Satan is quite upset about God's plan and tries to save the world (in some unique and funny ways). It's a satire that plays with religion, politics, business, and medicine. A bit ambitious, but I think I can make it work.

    My other book, Rudy Toot-Toot is in the midst of illustrations (a fun aspect of writing for children). I have commissioned the drawings, as my own skills in that department are somewhat lacking. I hope to have Rudy available in May, but I may have to postpone for a fall launch.

  2. I'm currently doing the final edits to Mind Thief

    Howie has a problem: Someone is stealing his mind, and the only one who can help him is a girl who has already lost hers.

    After meeting Vivian in the lobby of his psychologist's office, a hundred years of memories flood Howie's mind. Evil memories of starting five major wars and killing everyone who has ever wanted humanity to progress. At the same time everyone from his friends to his professor are telling him, and sometimes threatening him, to stay away from Vivian.

    Either Howie is going crazy, or there is a single man that has caused the most horrific events over the last century, and all his friends and professors work for him. In order to survive, Howie must do what Archduke Ferdinand, FDR, Stalin, Elvis Presley, JFK, and Saddam Hussein all failed to do. He must stop the man who has caused the deaths of hundred of millions, and do it armed only with his love of Vivian.

    Mind Thief is a 95.000 word science fiction novel that pits the power of hate and evil vs. the power of love.

  3. Okay, but remember, you asked for it.

    First, I'm revising my first novel for the Poisoned Pen contest (thanx again for the heads up). It's about an aging biker (he's not me, I swear. He's at least three years older and much taller.) who returns to a town that hates him to attend the funeral of his estranged son.

    Second, I'm about half way through a novel about old fogey spies that involves pregnant assassins and rottweilers.

    Third, I've got a really good start on a book about a seeming wizard who is actually a mutant with telekenetic powers. Oh, he rides a motorcycle also.

    And I have a 25K novella about a 5 year old girl who finds a powered combat suit in a cave on a colony world and uses it to fight giant black and yellow ants. My wife says if I don't get it revised and sold she's going to kick my lazy butt out.

    So there!

  4. I am currently not writing my sequel to my (blatant self-promotion ahead) *just-published* historical mystery, "Seattle Sleuth" (Rhemalda). The sequel I am not writing is titled "Seattle Sleuth Underground" and it has one chapter so far. I'm not writing it because I am too busy painting birds and trees and such at the moment. Sorry.

    But okay, here you go: How about those Mariners? They won their opener against the Oakland A's, played in *Japan*. How cool was that? And Ichiro went 4 for 5! Okay, so they lost the 2nd game, but still -- *Japan*.

    Also, Go Twins! Go Red Sox! Go Giants! Go Phillies! Woot!

  5. I've had novels started up then slowly peter off as I loss confidence in them, so I've been writing quite a few short stories lately while also balancing work and college...

    I just recently put a novel on hold until I have the time and motivation to write it; it's about a lifeguard who starts having blackouts after his girlfriend's father rejects his asking for her hand in marriage, and then his best friend is murdered in his front yard. Literary fiction with a hint of sci-fi...

    I also have another novel that I keep going back to about two kids who are kidnapped and brought to a mysterious island. Not sure where that one's going yet.

  6. What I am writing right now is a non-sequel companion volume to Jillian's Gold, a novel which I published in 2009. One of my secondary characters treated JG as an audition, and when it was over, she wanted a book of her own. She's had to wait three years and a couple more books, but I'm 70,000 words into it now.

    But what I'm going to pimp here (since you did say to pimp) is my Kickstarter project to fund professional publicity for my latest novel, Blood Bonds. I'm not sure how the spam filter here would react to an actual link, but (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) if you were to go to Kickstarter and search for my name or that title... :)

  7. I'm just about to break 70K on Cyberlama, Bailey! I'm revising every night and slowly I'm feeling like there is a continuous story here. It feels like I'm untangling a string of Christmas lights, and the untangled end is getting longer and longer while the tangled mass is getting smaller and smaller.

  8. I wrote about 700 words of Go Home, Miss America during lunch today. Teenagers are canoeing on a lake, while two women walk along the shore and talk about doing volunteer work in third-world countries. The women are in pursuit of an ice cream vendor. Conflict! Drama!

    These are all good projects, kids! Keep 'em coming!

  9. Actually, my next book (BONDED) comes out in November, not next year. YAY! And I wish I was working more on my current project, but I haven't been. I've been so wrapped up in THE BREAKAWAY coming out, hah. Publishing messes with your writing schedule.


    It's fun to see everybody's projects!

  10. Why am I always Friday Filling on Saturday?

    This question made me say: Ack! We're supposed to be writing??

    (Not really. But kind of. Struggling with second novel, a bit.)

    What I really want to say is that I seriously, no BSing, want to read Go Home, Miss America. I'll resist the urge to say, "Hurry up."

    Especially since I am late here.

  11. I'm writing a story about a girl who should never have been born and if someone(the government) finds out there could be trouble for her whole family. I'm at 20k and can't seem to get any farther. Just need to make myself write.

    I've been reading The Variations anthology. I haven't read all the stories yet, but the ones I have read are so good. It's really interesting to see the different interpretations of the theme. I can see now how difficult it would be to choose a favorite. I noticed something about my story - it's sort of forgettable. Of course I've read it a lot so maybe it wouldn't stand out to me anymore, but I think in general it is forgettable. I need to strive to be better about that next time. I really enjoyed Scott's story. I enjoyed the way he put his thoughts in on both stories and the way he brought Palegea to life. But I enjoyed Davin's and Michelle's as well. I think my favorite right now is Judy Croome's. I like Yat Yee's, but Judy's stood out to me more. Anyway - what we like is all very personal. Good work to all the participants on your stories - I'm very impressed with everyone's writing and creativity.

  12. I'm still writing my novel, BLACK RIVER, which is in the editing stage, my least favorite part of writing: how to tie the subplots into the main plot and make sure that the arc of the story makes sense, one thing leading logically to the next. BLACK RIVER is a rural setting, pitting an organic farmer against a neighbor using chemicals. It's about murder and migrant workers, wrongful imprisonment and climate change. You see I have some subplots:)

    On another note, I got my copies of VARIATIONS yesterday. The book is ultra cool and the cover as smashing as I imagined it would be. I like how the back cover is actually the back of the front! I haven't read all the stories yet, and I'm saving yours, Davin's and Michelle's for last. One thing I noticed in my own were some misplaced floating hyphens. Not sure how some of them got in there. Oh well. I'm sure that nobody else will notice. Thanks again for the nice job you did in editing and helping me to streamline the ending. Now we need some reviews on Amazon!

  13. I have an extraordinarily blasphemous WIP that I'm about a third of the way into called Dragon in which a reborn General (called Dragons back in the day) from another age is waging war against the angelic host in an effort to save the planet. I'm not sure I'm going to even attempt to publish this one, but it's in my head and needs out.

    Also, this year I'm self-publishing an obscenely self-indulgent work set in Ottawa called Ethan Cadfael: the Battle Prince, which is my first attempt at Urban Fantasy (rather than straight fantasy). It's set here In Ottawa, Canada. Coming out Hallowe'en!


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