Yesterday was supposed to be a day off.


I was supposed to take all of your advice and spend the day hanging out with my son, playing the new used Wii games I bought (verdict: De Blob=awesome. The Incredible Hulk=WTF were they thinking?) and general relaxing fun.

Instead I received my second round of notes from my agent on Man Bites World and spent about an hour and 15 reviewing the galleys for the last corrections to Game of Cages.

As I mentioned in my picture post yesterday, All the notes (there are only eight) are tweaks to bring out the stakes, fix pacing, or establish context. No prob. The plot and characters are solid (afaict). There’s still one important scene that isn’t quite pulling its weight, but it’s meant to be an oddball. If I can finesse it, I will. Otherwise I’ll just do what my agent suggests and shorten it.

And the Game of Cages galleys just needed straightforward correcting. After the copyedits are entered, a pair of proofreaders will read it, and I’ll have additional fixes to go over. I should have taken some notes about some of the errors they caught; I could have done another self-Thogging post. (For instance, trucks do not “skid on their brakes” omg no, not unless the brakes drop out of the bottom of the vehicle and get wedged beneath the tires.)

Anyway, my agent takes a little vacay starting tomorrow. I have a week to finish the revisions and prep the pages for Key/Egg/Remark. I suspect K/E/R has stalled out because I went off the rails. I’ll need to come up with a way to skim over the unpleasant scenes I’ve been trying to write to get to the fun stuff.

In unrelated news, my wife brought home her CPAP machine last night. I fully expect her to say it was too uncomfortable to sleep in, but I hold out hope that she had a good night.

Off to start the day.

Two things for today


First, if you run an independent book store, please, take five minutes every week to look over the new movie releases coming in, say, a month from now, and find out if it was adapted from a book. A new movie release is fantastic publicity for the book version, and you wouldn’t have to do more than stock a few by the counter to make a few impulse buys.

Second, I’m about to log off and work on Key/Egg/Remark. This being spring break for schoolkids, I find myself in the strange position of not having my homeschooled child in the apartment. His best bud from across the alley is off school this week and attending a week-long day camp–therefore, my son wants to be there with him. It’s like a week-long day play date!

So dinner is simmering in the oven, coffee is ready to brew, and I’m going to try for another 1500 words on the WIP. If I make 2000, maybe I’ll play a Wii game or something as a reward.

Have a great day, everyone.

5 Things Make A Friday Post


1) I finished up chapter one of Key/Egg/Remark this morning. Actually, I was slightly late to day job because of it. But doesn’t it feel good to start a new project? Hell yes. I’ve been writing Ray Lilly stories for years (and I hope to write more of them–buy my book) but it’s such a relief to go into another voice, another setting, another tone.

2) And yeah, as the previous point demonstrates, I have a working title for the next project. The plan is for it to be lighter in tone, much less violent, much more conversational, and slightly closer to the urban fantasy mainstream (although tweaked in the ways I like to tweak things–most of the characters, and especially the villains, will be human beings). I hope the working title does what it’s supposed to do, which is keep the tone light and the story clever; it’s too easy for me to go dark.

3) A few weeks ago, someone pointed out that Kindle owners were putting one-star reviews on books that didn’t have a Kindle edition, or that were priced above ten bucks. The reviewers even said, in the review, that they hadn’t read the book and weren’t going to until the price and format were to their liking. I clicked the “report this” button and within a few days the review was gone.

Well, has stopped taking those reviews down. I guess it’s because they think those angry Kindlegarteners are doing something useful for them. They could, if they wanted to, limit reviews to people who have bought the book from them. They could, if they wanted to, post a request in the forums asking people to stop, and to use the link under “Tell the Publisher!” But they won’t.

Because they’re dicks.

4) Back to items one and two: Key/Egg/Remark is totally on spec right now. I haven’t even run the idea by my agent yet. In truth, I suspect it has some… let’s call them “non commericial elements”

Am I a fucking moron? You bet! But it’s what I want to do. And rather than talk about the idea with my agent, I’d like to try to win her over with the story.

God, I’m an idiot. I should just write a steampunk YA about a teenage inventor and track star who teams up with his roboticized girlfriend to steal a military dirigible and raids an arctic lab to recover her human body. And the villain would have an implanted monocle-like eye piece and a hyper-intelligent talking cat who switches sides at the last minute.

5) I forgot to mail my taxes today. Duh. I’ll do it tomorrow.

The world is full of story-fodder


I was going to drop this into the latest random link compilation, but it’s too cool to be buried there. Check out this news report on a story from more than fifty years ago in Scotland.

Yes, hundreds of children hunting vampires in a graveyard after dark–a vampire “with iron teeth” no less.

The story ideas that little news piece prompts are undeniable. The two simplest ideas would be to tell it from the POV of one of the children, if only for the chance to write about kids high on adrenaline because they’re doing something forbidden and dangerous. Some other writer might be able to write it from the POV of the vampire as it’s being hunted, frightened by the attention being drawn to it and indignant at being threatened by children.

It’s the POV of the parents that I find most interesting, naturally. A village where every kid has to be home by dark, and no one will talk about the local undead nasty, but what happens when the little ones find out on their own, and decide to be heroes?

I wonder if I can steal this for my next project.

Pleasant things


A neighborhood library branch (not mind) is having a writers event tonight. It’s some sort of reading and talk, along with an open mike. I was seriously tempted to go, just to see what it was like. If it was fun and well-attended, I would have introduced myself to the library staff and offered myself for future events.

Then I decided to run the authors’ names through a search engine. They’re all poets.

Just typing that make me shudder a bit. I don’t know if anyone out there has ever heard a poet reading their work on, say, NPR, but they always have the same unnatural, deadening cadence. Gah! Instead, I will go home to my family, share dinner with them, and maybe watch the last of the NOVA dvds we picked up at the library (“The Last Extinction!”). That will be pleasant.

You know what else is pleasant? Woolgathering for a new book. Everything is still made of potential and none of the characters have turned up dead in a burning orphanage. Yet.