Friday, November 10, 2023

Sitting Outside the Principal's Office

Okay, so it's been a hot minute since I was last in a high school, sitting outside the principal's office.  But that's where I was this morning.

I was at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School over in Tottenham, not far from the Compound, waiting for a student to come and escort me upstairs.  I was thinking how strangely familiar it was: the sights and sounds of the office, and of the students coming in to hesitantly ask something of the office staff.  A tardy slip; a broken padlock from a locker; a missing wallet.  

I didn't have long to wait; two students came to get me.  I'd been invited to speak to the Grade 12 'Writer's Craft' class about writing because I am, apparently, an 'expert'.  That's not something I've ever thought about myself.  

But there I was, at the front of Mrs. McCabe's class, nervous as hell, introducing myself and starting to talk about writing.  About world-building and character building, and how to finish the first draft at all costs, and how to work with that first draft to (slowly) turn it into gold.

My nerves slowly faded away, and I think I connected with some students who showed genuine interest.  Some others were, as I once was, just high school students waiting for lunch.  I remember that feeling, too.

Hopefully, some of them found something useful in what I was talking about; I reinforced my points by giving a handout (with shameless self-promotion on the back, as suggested).  If even one of those students pushes through and finishes their own creation because of something I said, then the day was a huge success!

Thanks again to Mrs. McCabe and the class!  It was great meeting you all!

Friday, September 29, 2023

What Comes Next

Here at the Compound, it's been an unusually hot and dry September, and the start of October is looking to be much the same.  It's the time of year when the wildlife starts looking for somewhere warm and safe to spend the winter; right now, I'm pretty sure I can hear something snoring inside the wall.  It might just be a particularly loud-sleeping squirrel, but I'm not sure.  I mean, it might be a rhinoceros, for all I know.  I'll have to keep an eye out for horn-holes poked in the siding.

The new trilogy has been out for a while, and thank you to everyone who has enjoyed it so far.  I've received some great feedback, as well as some questions about what comes next.

What's next is another trilogy.  I've had a few ideas for a while, and they're starting to come together into a coherent (for me) plan.  We'll be following a little while after the events of Salvation & Sacrifice, seeing what Mell (and other people) get up to next.  There will be some new characters coming to join the story, and some big events are lined up that will (ideally) spin everything out of control.

It's going to take a while to get the outline finished up -- hopefully by the end of October or thereabouts -- and after that I'll get started on the actual writing, which will probably take a year or more.

Of course, everything is subject to change (isn't it always?) and I'll pop back in here from time to time to update what's going on.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

'Salvation & Sacrifice' is now available!

I'm not sure how, but it's August already!  And that means it's time for the third installment of the 'What Was Lost' trilogy.  Two versions are available in the Amazon store: a paperback made of, well, paper, and an e-book made of lovely bits of data. (clicky)

While this concludes the introductory story of Jan & Mell (and company), we haven't heard the last of them.  I'm already working on the next story, where we'll find out what happens next.  Stay tuned!

Thanks again to everyone who has picked up a copy and enjoyed the story, and for all the support.  You're awesome!

Is it me, or is the sun a bit closer today?



Saturday, July 1, 2023

'Corruption & Meltdown' is now available!

Happy Canada Day!  It's July already!  That means the second book in the 'What Was Lost' trilogy is now available.  The e-book and paperback versions are ready to go in the Amazon store.  (clicky)

I'm delighted at the reception the first book Heresy & Hyperspace has received, and hope everyone enjoys the next part of the story.  

The story will conclude with Salvation & Sacrifice, which is ready for launch on August 1st!

Why not visit Oxide Flats this year?

Thursday, June 1, 2023

'Heresy & Hyperspace' is now available!

With the arrival of June, the release of the three-part 'What Was Lost' trilogy has begun.

The first book, Heresy & Hyperspace, has just gone live on Amazon.  The e-book version should be available right away, and the paperback version will follow in a day or two.

I hope you have a chance to come along with Jan and the people he meets on his adventure.  Have fun!

Come visit Pillar.  It's lovely this time of year.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

New Trilogy, Now Available For Pre-Order!

At last!  I'm delighted to report that the new 'What Was Lost' trilogy is now up on Amazon and available for pre-order.

Heresy & Hyperspace - Corruption & Meltdown - Salvation & Sacrifice

The first book, Heresy & Hyperspace, will go live on June 1st, with the other two books in the story following on July 1st and August 1st.

It's a joy to have a new story to share, and I'm deeply grateful to everyone who helped make it possible.  Most especially, I want to thank the Four Readers of the Apopsicle: in alphabetical order, they are Aaron, Bill, DeVerne, and Mike.  Each of them brought unique skills and viewpoints to looking at the story, helping hammer it into shape.

At the moment the Ebook versions are available for pre-order, and in the coming weeks the paperback versions will appear as well.

I hope you enjoy the story!


Friday, May 5, 2023

'Borealis' Gets a New Look

Because I keep doing this to myself, I decided that my first series -- the story of HMCS Borealis -- needed new cover art.  

I wanted the books in the series to have a consistent look to them, with covers that tied them all together.  The original covers were great back when I made them, but I thought I could do something better now.

In addition to which, I've been wanting to give the series another editing pass to make the formatting more consistent, and to stamp out a few typos that I have found.  I have no idea how there are still typos in there after all this time, but there are a few fewer now.

The new covers (and edited/reformatted text) have been introduced today.  I'm happy with the results:

Looking sharp. 

In the meantime, the new series is ready for its final readthrough.  The first of June is looking pretty achievable right now.  *crosses fingers*

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Almost there...

Stuff's happening!  After one last round of edits, I now have a final draft for all three books of the new series.  They've been given new titles, too:

The 'What Was Lost' series

  1. Heresy & Hyperspace
  2. Corruption & Meltdown
  3. Salvation & Sacrifice

I'm going to set the final draft aside for a week or so, then I'll pick it back up and give it one last readthrough, which I always do out loud.  This allows me to hear phrases (especially in dialogue) that don't sound right.  I also lose my voice for a few days afterward, which is beneficial for everyone around me.  It's kind of a win-win.

After that, and after making any changes that come as a result of the readthrough, I'll have a final, final version.  The covers and blurbs are already done, so it's just a bit of Amazon admin to do before the trilogy is ready to go.  I'm going to release the three books a month apart, so I'm aiming for June, July, and August.

In kinda-related news, I've also decided to create new cover art for the my first series, the Borealis story, which will hopefully be ready around the same time.

Also in the meantime, ideas are coming together for the next story I'm going to start, tentatively called 'Six Bits'.

I'll report back with release dates as soon as I've nailed them down.


Thursday, February 9, 2023

Translating Scribbles

Outside the windows, this strange winter continues.  Last week the temperature was -25C and it was snowing; this week, it's 5C and raining.  Next week: who knows?

The new trilogy continues moving toward the finish line.  I created a new draft at the end of December, and spent most of January doing an editing pass on it.  The first part of the editing pass -- now done -- involves sitting down with a printed-out version of the draft and a red pen, and ends when all the pages are covered in scribbled edits.

The second stage of an editing pass -- where I am now -- involves going through the mess I made and translating my scribbles into changes in Scrivener, my word processing software.  Select, cut, copy, paste, type new text, and repeat a few thousand times.  It's not the most fun part of the process, but it's not that bad.

Bit by bit, the parts of the new trilogy are coming together.  Hopefully it won't be much longer than another month or two.  As always, I think 'good' is better than 'fast', so if my totally-arbitrary schedule slips a bit, then that's just how it goes.

In the meantime, everyone stay warm and dry.  If possible, try doing what bears do: eat a lot of good food, then nap for a few months.  It won't solve all your problems, but when you wake up at least you'll have different problems.