Tuesday, May 10, 2022

It Runs In The Family

I'm not the only one around here who does stuff with words, heavens no.  I'm deliriously happy and proud to report that my brother has had his first book of poetry published.

Called The Better Part of Some Time, it's an award-winning collection of reflections from growing up, and from life before and after the death of a (our) father.  It's a curious feeling, ya know, reading poems that so clearly evoke moments I was in.  Snippets from life viewed from another perspective.

He's very good with words, which is evident on every page.  Whenever Mike takes a pen to something I've written, he makes it better.  There aren't as many aliens as my writing, but there are a heck of a lot of vividly-drawn scenes and emotions to share.  Did I mention it won an award?  It did.  You should take a look.  Yes, I'm biased.

Mike Madill: The Better Part of Some Time

As for my own goings-on, the second book now has a nice second draft.  I'm gearing up to start drafting the third book in the trilogy.  The characters are turning into some interesting people, and some weird stuff is starting to happen.  Yay!

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Warm and Grey

As weather goes, it's a step up from 'frigid and grey', so I'll take it as a win.  

The first draft of the second book is now more-or-less done (~75k), and I'm ready to jump in and start the third book.  I'm still a bit 'up in the air' about just exactly where each book will end and the next begin.  

When all is said and done, this might be less like a 'trilogy' in the normal sense, and more like a single big story that's split into three books. That's another reason why I think it'll be best to finish them all and then release them in quick succession.

It's not really a concrete plan, y'see.  I'm just going to make it up as I go along.  Which, as a writer, is what I figure I'm doing anyway.  Ha ha.


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Counting to Three. Or Four.

Here at The Compound, it's the middle of a Canadian winter.  The sky is grey and bleh, our cars are covered in grey-brown filth, and our boots are crusted with dried salt.  Two nights ago, it was -26C; right now it's +8, and tomorrow it's supposed to be -20 again.   And so it goes.

I've now finished the 6th draft of the next book (first in the new series), and there will probably be a 7th draft.  I've decided to hold off on publishing it for another month or two.  Instead, I'm pushing ahead with the rest of the series, and am currently ~30k into the second book.  

I'm going to try something a bit different with this series: I'm going to finish the first draft of the whole thing before publishing the first book of it.  That way, I can go back and make adjustments to the first book based on what happens later on.

At the moment, I'm calling it a trilogy.  But it might wind up being four books, for reasons such as:

  • dogged refusal to be bound to arbitrary rules like "three books in a trilogy"
  • joy of following unexpected story ideas, because why not
  • inability to count to three

As it stands, the story doesn't have a lot of places to neatly end one book and start the next, so I think it would make more sense to release the books very close together, instead of ending one with a "to be continued" and then leaving everyone on the hook for months.  The characters hate it when I do that.

I'll pop back in later and let you know how it's going.  Until then, keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Where did it go?

December is almost at an end, and the new year approaches.  I'm not sure where it all went, but it was moving at a hell of a speed as it went by.

Early next year, a new story will begin with the start of a new series.  The fourth (fifth?) draft of the first book is making the rounds of the Readers of the Apopsicle, and I'm still fussing over the outline for the rest of the series.  If all goes well, I'll release the first book into the wild in the next several months.  

Until then, I wish you and yours the best for the new year.  Here's hoping 2022 is the year we finally get flying cars.  And personal spaceships.  And alien sidekicks.  And adventures on far-off worlds. 

Monday, November 8, 2021

The Joy of Rural Internet

Despite what you might have heard, life in the countryside isn't all glitz and glamour(1).  There are some down sides that aren't spoken of at art galleries, ballet recitals, and costume balls. 

Chief among these, I have currently decided, is the internet.

For those living in the countryside's many quaint towns and villages(2), they have all the bandwidth they could want.  Too many gigabits to count; a veritable firehose of streaming, shopping, and pictures of cats.

But for those living in the no-man's-land between towns, the blasted hellscape of the side road(3), things couldn't be more different.  Corroded copper wires dangle between teetering poles, and only a few paltry megabits seep through the ancient circuits.

The legacy phone company, who have been here since the Sun was formed(4), boast of speeds up to 5 Mbps.  When 1.6 Mbps manages to leak out the end, they've done their part, and the rural dwellers pay handsomely for the privilege. 

So when the phone company happened to let slip that a new service was available, you can imagine our excitement.  Using a network of towers dotted across the countryside (like cell-phone towers, apparently, and yet different), speeds up to a dizzying 25 Mbps were promised.  

Installation went ahead, and we were amazed at the speed of this new... oh, wait, it stopped working.  Okay, it's back up.  No, it's down again.(5) 

Apparently, the towers 'dotted across the countryside' were in fact all built in a straight line on our road, and the antenna they installed here at the Compound could see half a dozen of them at the same time.  As it was explained to me, the towers were arguing over which one was going to connect to us, and as a result the connection was up and down like a toilet seat(6).  No matter, they said, they'll fix it.

After a week of fruitless attempts to fix it, everyone gave up and we asked to be moved back to the previous 1.6 Mbps service that at least managed to stay up.  This was easily taken care of, and only took two weeks of daily phone calls, technician visits where no one showed up, more phone calls, confused admissions that "we're not sure why it's not working" and assurances that "it's fixed in the system" and that everything would be fine by morning(7).  Which it wasn't.

Which is all a long way of saying that I didn't have an internet connection for the second half of October, and I'm really behind on responding to email.

In other news, I've just finished the second draft of the next book.  New characters, new locations, new story, same universe.  Because I think even one universe provides plenty of room for stuff.


Thursday, September 2, 2021

New Stories, New Friends, New Places

I'm now about 65000 words into the first draft of the next book.  It's the beginning of a new series, set in a remote corner of the galaxy.  Not that galaxies have corners, as such.  Anywho.

The new story starts in a quiet area of space, as the main character sets out in search of... well, they weren't looking for adventure, that's for sure.  But sometimes life doesn't quite go the way we planned.


The Story So Far:

Chapter 1:  Life is great!

Chapter 2:  Uh oh.



Friday, July 2, 2021

Crusades: Now Available!

Crusades, the fourth and final book in the 'Hybrid' series, is now available!

The story of Zura and Yaella, which started with Blue Guardian, comes to a head in the final book of the series.  

Crusades follows quickly after the events of Alliances.  We rejoin Yaella in her quest to find the abducted Hybrids, as Zura fights to keep political events from spiralling out of control. 


"It is time to do what's necessary." 

Across Human space, national governments squabble over resources, borders, and the millions of refugees from an evacuated Earth. In Palani space, the members of the Pentarch Council continue their centuries-old political games of scheming, deceit, and assassination. 
Lifelong soldier Mahasa Zura Varta tries to stand apart from it all, governing her outlying sector while the infighting and animosity comes to a boil all around her. 
Meanwhile, Zura's adoptive daughter Yaella returns to deep space, following the trail of Palani-Human hybrids being abducted and taken coreward. She's in over her head, but isn't going to let that stop her. 
The galaxy's balance of power is upended, and an ancient empire edges toward chaos. Somewhere near the galactic centre, beyond dead worlds and a dreadnought of wrecked ships, a mysterious race called the 'Union' lies at the heart of everything. 
Corporations, religions, and good intentions: corruption can infect them all. Who will do what needs to be done?


Universal Link (takes you to Crusades in your local Amazon store):

I hope you've enjoyed the series, and hope you have fun as it all comes together.  Or comes apart.

This series has been a lot of fun, and I've had a great time getting to know the characters.  While the spotlight might move away from them, it's very possible that we'll be checking in on them in the future.

At the moment, I've already started working on the next series, set in the same universe.  Some neat ideas have already started to accumulate, and I'll share news about it in a little while.