Friday, December 23, 2022

Winter, and other messes

As I write this, it's -5C and snowing like mad.  70 km/h winds are blowing the snow around and sculpting it into bizarre shapes, most of it winding up in places where it'll have to be shovelled.  Winter is two days old, and it's determined to make its presence known.  Such grand fun.  

Some people are winter-sports enthusiasts, and they must be delighted with the powdery white apocalypse going on out there.  I'm most definitely not one of them.  My favourite winter sport is to stay inside where it's warm, because that's where the snacks are.

I am deliriously happy to report that I now have feedback from the Readers of the Apopsicle for the entire series.  I'm compiling their suggestions, criticisms and ideas, and will be spending time over the holidays making a new draft that takes their feedback into account.  I'm so very grateful to them for their time and energy.

While I work on that, I'd also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays, and best wishes for the coming year!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

New Trilogy: Cover Preview

In my previous two series, I wrote one book at a time, publishing each before going on to the next.  Which was great until I got closer to the end of the series and realised I'd painted myself into a metaphorical corner or two.

This time, as I've probably mentioned ad nauseam, I'm writing all three in one go.  Through doing it this way, I've learned a few things.  

For instance, if I want to do something in Book 3, I can go back and change stuff that happened in Book 1.  I can't do that if Book 1 is already in peoples' hands.  This part is awesome.

Also, it makes for a very long time since I've published anything at all, which causes some people to wonder if I've been abducted by aliens.  I haven't been abducted yet, but I'm trying.

Also also, editing three books at once is painful.  On a related note, asking the wonderful Readers Of The Apopsicle to read three books at once is painful for them and I mustn't do that again.

Also also also, the bits that I thought were super clever actually weren't.  I should probably know this by now, but here we are.

All that being said, things are proceeding.  Editing is happening, feedback is being gratefully received, tweaks are being made.  The end is in sight.

I haven't 100% settled on the titles for all three books, but I think the cover art is coming together.

I'd like to say that the books will be ready before the snow flies, but it's supposed to snow tomorrow so I already know that isn't going to work.  So I'll keep plugging away, and it'll be ready when it's ready.  Soonish?

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Readers of the Apopsicle

The new trilogy, currently called 'What Was Lost', is currently in the hands of my trusted friends, known as the Readers of the Apopsicle, for their initial feedback.  

It’s difficult to describe how important they are to the process, or how valuable their feedback is.  After spending months working on a book, it becomes impossible for me to look at it objectively.  To mangle the proverb: I’ve been staring at the individual trees for so long that I’m no longer able to see the forest as a whole.

It’s really an enormous favour they do, as they read through my not-quite-finished work and give their honest feedback.  Sometimes they’ll point out plot holes, or logical inconsistencies, or characters that aren’t coming across the way I’d intended.  Other times, what’s going on makes perfect sense in my head but I don’t explain all of it to the reader.  They catch all this stuff and more.

All this reading takes time, so I resolve myself to be patient while the wonderful Readers go through it at their own pace.  But that doesn’t mean I’m entirely sitting still.  I’m using this time to start putting together some plot and character ideas for the next story.  

When the Readers have given me the gift of their feedback, I’m going to give the 'What Was Lost' trilogy another version, and by that point we should be getting pretty close to release time.  I’ll let you know where things stand then.

Enjoy the last few days of summer!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

New Trilogy: First Draft

After a year of work, I've reached a big milestone for the new trilogy:  the first drafts are done for all three books.

Lots of messy handwriting.

That's 222084 words, 876 sheets of lined paper, and 66 cartridges of pen ink.  

I've been having fun telling the story of a village priest from an out-of-the-way world who gets up one morning and... well, one thing leads to another, and he's flying through space with some eccentric people, on an adventure he didn't plan for.  

In a few days I'm going to start editing, and if all goes well I hope to publish the trilogy in rapid succession later this year.  Stand by for updates!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

News Update

 Just a quick update on the progress of the new trilogy, as of today(ish):

  • Book 1:  second draft complete
  • Book 2:  second draft complete
  • Book 3:  first draft in progress, currently 50,000 words and counting.  Maybe 60% done?

I'm really liking the idea of writing the entire trilogy in one go.  It's making it possible to go back and edit stuff to tweak characters, set up continuity, that sort of thing.  I think I'll probably keep doing this in the future.

I'm looking forward to sharing this new story with everyone, later this year!

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.