Ah, Long Weekends. A Writer's Best Friend...

Well, that and maple whiskey. But mostly long weekends.

Why, I hear you ask? Mostly because it (finally!) gives me time to get into the weeds. To really sit down and crunch through all the editing for hours on end, which, let's be honest, is what I need.

So today and tomorrow I'm finishing up the last 50 pages of Novel 3, and then rewriting the opening chapters (again). It'll be nice to be finished.

Amusing side-note: I went to check if I have a response from the agent I sent Novel 2 off to, because she asked for 12 weeks and it's been about 12 weeks, right?

5 weeks. It FEELS like 12 weeks, but not even half yet. Waiting is such torture.

But! But. This means she's still considering it, and I'm taking that as a VERY good sign. So! Onwards and upwards and all that.

Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekends, if you're lucky enough to have one!

Wow. A Whole Week of Sick...

I mean, I'm mostly recovered by now. Mostly.

I honestly didn't expect it to put me on my butt for as long as it did, but here we are. I missed a day of work and several days of editing (too tired when I got home to do anything but sleep), but I'm back on my feet and more or less ready to go.

Which is good! Because time waits for no human. And I have many things, but time isn't one of them.

In other news: finished reading the first book in the "Collapsing Empire" series by John Scalzi. That man... gods I love his work. It wasn't perfect, but it was really good. Great fodder for my own work, and good encouragement that maybe I can be as successful as he is someday.

That'd be nice. Anyway! Back to the grindstone!

Being Sick Sucks

A rampant flu decided now would be a good time to put me on my ass.

Whee?

I've recovered pretty much (although it is 2:15am and I can't sleep... so... not a complete recovery just yet), but I still lament the 2 days I basically lost to sleep for the sake of healing.

Ah, mortality. You bitch.

Only 2 Months Left to Wait... Probably...

As we leap into May (and what a glorious start to the month... I don't know about where you are, but HERE in Southern Ontario the weather is absolutely perfect), I am reminded that I submitted my novel to an agent on April 5th, and she requested 3 months exclusive rights to think about it.

Only 2 months to go!

I'm going to put up a holder image on the front page of the site... just to show that something may be coming very soon (wouldn't that be amazing!). And because it's been a long while since I had a full novel available other than ye olde Tintian!

So May is off to a solid start... but I also have a sore throat, so no getting sick, self! No time for that nonsense!

Gosh Darn It!

Seriously, why is it always so hard to keep a sane schedule!?

Sorry for the mild disappearing act, folks. I've been pumping the time and energy I should be using for this here blog-update-thingy on editing. Pros: I'm 200 pages into the 300 pages of editing for Novel 3. Cons: I need to rewrite the first three chapters (AGAIN) and I think a fair chunk of Chapter 20 is gonna need some love.

That's okay! That's okay. All part of the process, really.

Anyway, that's about it from my end. I hope people out there are enjoying the new Avengers (Infinity Wars, I think?)... I probably won't see it until I comes out on the little screen, but I do hope to catch the new Star Wars (Solo) when it comes out. Not opening night or anything like that... I'm not a huge fan of crowds, and I don't really need to be the "first" when seeing stuff... but I do love my laser-swords-and-space-wizards.

A Few Days of Writing

I'm off visiting family in New York state for the weekend (until Tuesday), which gives me some time to get some work done (yay!).

Edits for Novel 3 have started, which is good. Everything is set, music is primed, and after lunch finishes I'm going to get my head down and get the work done. That's always the key, after all... butt in chair, fingers on keyboard. I have so many stories I want to tell, so much I want to actually get done, but I need to focus on finishing stories, rather than getting a hundred half-finished.

So, a few months to finish editing Novel 3 and then it goes off to the beta readers and I can get back to writing new stuff (although Novel 4 has already been started, of course).

Anyway! Nice to have the time to write. And, of course, I'll keep everyone posted if I actually get word back about Novel 2.

Birthday Week!

So I was born about 39 years ago as of... Wednesday. As a scientist, I know that this is mostly irrelevant... age is just a number and all that. Thirty-nine successful circumnavigations of the sun, and that's it, really.

Still, I hate my birthday, but I try to use it as an excuse for some analysis. For example, the last novel I published was in 2016... which is far, far too long ago. It's been an insanely busy, tiring, exhausting few years since then, but I sincerely doubt that will change.

Thankfully, if you were here last week, you know that I submitted Novel 2 to an agent last week, who said they would get back to me in 3 months or so. If they don't love it, then I submit to other agents and publishers (en masse this time), and then if that fails to find it a home, I self-publish it around October or November.

So at least I can say I'll have a book out this year. And that's something.
And then with a bit of hard work (forget luck, I have lots of that but almost all of it is bad) I might get another novel out this year, or very early next year at the latest. The "trick" is to submit it as soon as Novel 2 is done its rotation... and thankfully I'm on the cusp of that.

Novel 4 needs a more work, but again, there is time for that still.

Anyway, yeah, birthdays suck, but at least 2018 is shaping up better (professionally) than 2017 did. So that's a start.

Good News, Everybody!

Just a quick note to say that I submitted my 2nd novel to a Canadian sci-fi agent, and she immediately requested the full manuscript!

Yay!

Now I have to wait about 3 months for her to have a chance to get to it, but I'm content to wait (I can finish up novel 3 in that time!), but I'm still extremely excited about this news! Gosh, I hope she likes it...

Anyway! Exciting! Hope everyone else is having a great week!

Holi-what? What-iday?

What-what?

Still one of my favourite bits from "Futurama". Anyway, I digress.
We have a "day off" here in Ontario for religious reasons, which means I get to spend the day writing! Huzzah!

Not much else to say. Today I'm writing submission letters to a few agents that gave me direct and useful feedback last time I submitted to them, and then sending out letters to agents in the field (doing some homework to ensure everything is targeted correctly), and then working on the next novel for a few months to give the agents a first crack at it.

After that, I submit directly to publishers, give them a few months, and then after all that, self-publish the book if it doesn't find any other home... which is a whole lot more work at that point. But I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.

Anyhoo! Back to work! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thank you, Beta Readers!

You know, writing is often marketed as a solitary kinda thing. And, in many ways, it is.

A good writer spends a lot of time in their own head, I suspect. Daydreaming, writing, rewriting, redaydreaming (shut up it's a word now)... a lot of this requires time to spend "Braining" your way through your story.

But then comes the rest of the world. Editors to help trim and tighten your stories. Beta readers to give feedback and suggestions. Publishers and agents to work with the story to get it to your audience, and then the audience itself to read and (hopefully) enjoy it.

All of this to say that I'm extremely grateful for the people who read my novel and have given me their feedback so far. This is going to allow me to finish this novel (finally) and send it off to a few agents, and hopefully get something started towards becoming a full-time author.

That's the plan. And I've thanked my editors many times (they do a pretty thankless job, all things considered), but now I have to thank my beta readers.

So, thanks folks!

Anyway, gotta get this novel finished and sent out. Only a week left in the month!

Hard to Keep a Good Writer Down

Not much to report, this week (and yes, I will be returning to my weekly schedule of posting anon). Sent off my 3rd novel to my editor last week, working on novel 4 while that's being edited, and will be submitting Novel 2 to publishers and agents before the end of the month.

It's been a very busy few weeks, no surprise, with "real work" (that is, work that pays the bills!) absorbing the lion's share of my time.

Managed to watch "Black Panther" and "Thor Ragnarok" in the last few weeks, both fantastic movies that I enjoyed a lot (I'd say Black Panther is better, but they're both quite good), but other than that... not a whole lot. Work, writing, sleep, repeat ad infinitum.

Still worried about Patreon. I mean, my supporters there have been amazing, but I'm not *doing* anything to support *them*, and that's unfair. I think I'll feel better once a few more of my novels are up so that they can see how important their support has been (I hope!), but until then it feels... bleak.

Anyway. Lots to do, more writing for today (Novel 4, the one I'm writing now, is another Tintian, which feels nice!), and then... tomorrow. And tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in its petty pace to the last syllable of recorded time.

 

... and we're back! Again!

Hey guys! Sorry for disappearing periodically... been very busy trying to finish up Novel 3 while simultaneously getting feedback for Novel 2 so I can submit it.

Novel 3 goes out to the editor next weekend (5 more days of work, just some editing polish, and then it goes), and I'm planning to submit Novel 2 starting around the same time. It's going to be exhausting, since it always is, but it's part of the process.

And I do feel like I'm getting better! Slowly, but surely. And so now it's just grinding out the stories, continuing to make art, continuing to work towards the goal that matters.

And, of course, keeping up with all the surrounding paperwork and staying in contact with readers.

Anyway! Sorry for the delay, more info coming very soon! Hope stuff is amazing with everyone!

Falling Into Habits and Out of Others!

Man, I have to get back into writing on this here blog more often.

I mean, I used to do it weekly, and that was fine. More than weekly would really be better, but since I struggle with even that, perhaps a bit unrealistic.

Novel 2 is starting to come back from my volunteer readers (a huge thank you to Bari, who got his responses in first, and with a lot of thoughtful, clever comments!), which means I am still on track to submit that by the end of the month. The "trick" is going to be finishing up Novel 3 by then as well, so that I can send it off to my editor to take a whack at it so that it can go out after rejections to Number 2 start to roll in. Maybe by the fall? That seems reasonable. But it has to be EARLY fall, because nobody wants to receive submissions during the winter holidays.

Anyway! Progress, of a sort.

As for today, I'm baking bread, and doing some painting, and maybe a little writing. Need about 15,000 words on Novel 3, and only a few short weeks to both write and then finish the first editorial pass myself... never enough time, my friends. Never enough time.

Finished Novel 2! Onto Number 3!

Well, unplugging for a week certainly helped.
I managed to finish editing Novel 2, and send it onward to beta readers who are working on giving it a solid once over before it goes upward to publishers and agents.

Which is lovely, since it gives me time to work on Novel 3! The majority of the work on this one is already done (50,000 words thus far, another 20,000 or so to go), so it's really just polishing off a few of the middle chapters and then doing a solid edit before sending it on to my editor.

Which reminds me, I should set aside some funding for that. Probably late Feb? I should have enough money set aside for that by then. I hope.

Anyway! Progress, a lovely thing!
Hope things are going well for all of you, of course, and I'll be back next week (hopefully with a better idea of how long it'll take me to finish Novel 3!).

Unplugging for a Week

Hello! How's it going? Been awhile, huh?
Yeah, work has been pretty insane, but it's finally kinda settled. As a result, I've taken a week off my paying work to rent a small cottage in the middle of nowhere (not hard to find in Canada... there's lots of "Middle of Nowhere"s in this country) so I can get all the editing and writing from November and December done.

Here's my (completely unrealistic) goals for the week:
Day 1 and 2: Finish editing Novel #2.
Day 3 and 4: Finish writing Novel #3 (which is 85% done)
Day 5+: Get as much writing on Novel #4 finished as I possibly can.

And that's it! Just me, my trusty little computer, and as much work as I can cram into a day.

I mean, I brought a few books ("Ancillary Justice" is the one I'm working on at the moment), but that's about it. Eat, sleep, edit and write.

Honestly, if I was paid even the most humble living salary for doing this, I'd be in heaven right now... ^_^

Anyway! I'll be back in a week to let everyone know how it goes, but I'm unplugging until then! Have a great week, all you beautiful people!

Still Writing!

Phew! That was a busy, busy winter season!

Thankfully, I've been able to save up enough money to handle the editing costs for the next couple books, which is good, and now I can get back to editing and writing!

Which is great!

So, nothing much to say today. Just wanted to let everyone know I am still working, still writing, still busy as heck! Hope everyone is having a great winter!

Quick Words

Just a few words to say that the editing continues (whee), and I reinstalled "Dragon Age Inquisition" (which, probably, was a mistake in regards to the time I don't have to play it... but heck, even people working 60+ hours a week need breaks occasionally!).

Anyway! Gotta head to bed, but I just wanted to say that I am probably going to shut down my Patreon account for the new year, considering the way Patreon is now charging patrons. It's idiotic, but what can ya do?

Anyway-anyway, that's a consideration for later. For now, hope everyone is enjoying the last month of 2017!

Crafting Worlds

So here's the thing with editing. It's a problem that I think many people have, and is by no means unique to me.

I like creating. I like taking nothing, and making something.

This doesn't just apply to writing. Sure, it's deeply satisfying to take blank paper or an empty screen and fill it with words, but it's also pretty awesome to take silence and make music, or to take white and create colour.

That's the amazing part of creation. That's the thing that gets me out of bed, that keeps me in front of the computer. I love to create.

But here's the problem: that first attempt? It always sucks. Like, always always. In art, you create something awful, you throw it out, and you try again. In music, you practice by yourself, over and over, getting it wrong over and over and over, but eventually you get it right.

In writing? You write, and then you edit. That part there is the key difference... sometimes you throw out what you wrote, but as a usual rule, you refine and modify and *adjust*, not throw out whole hog.

And that part? Gods, it's so frustrating!

Anyway. Back to work! Hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

A Diversion

While editing continues (endlessly, I suspect) I wanted to take a moment to talk about 2 other things.

Specifically, I wanted to talk about Sera and Garrus.

For context, I've been listening to "Sera Was Never" on loop for the last 20 minutes. Just so we're all on the same page.

Basically, I love these two characters. Both are from completely different franchises (Mass Effect and Dragon Age, specifically), and they are very different characters.

Sera is an elf rogue who is the head of a network of spies, assassins, and common folk standing against the nobility and their corruption. She has a dry wit, and is very sarcastic. She is also utterly endearing. The greatest gift you can give her is telling all the other members of the party that you're a couple: rather than finding it touching, she laughs at the thought of how uncomfortable it must've made the more conservative members of the team.

Garrus, on the other hand, is a Turian ex-soldier ex-cop who is a crack shot, dabbles in being a vigilante, but mostly calibrates really big guns. But, again, totally adorable. A completely confident soldier and utterly unflappable during combat, his awkward humour and wry view of the universe is refreshing, and honest.

The games are good. I mean, they're really, really good. But a big part of why they are fantastic and memorable is good writing: both Sera and Garrus are believable, despite neither being human and the games themselves being quite unbelievable (aside from hefty doses of suspension of disbelief). In fact, the games are riddled with great characters (I would argue Tali is my favourite character of all time, actually, but she's also from Mass Effect and I wouldn't be able to do her justice in the limited space/time I've allowed myself today), and it all comes down to some fantastic writing.

The kind of writing I hope one day to do... although not for games (although that's a noble thing!).

The kind of writing that I should be editing right now... back to the grindstone, my friends.  Back to the grindstone.

Arrogance

What conceit. What gall.

What pride to think that I can bring something new into the world. Something hopeful, something bright, something warm and welcoming and familiar but still unseen before.

Such arrogance.

Who am I to do this thing, to craft this future that becomes increasingly unlikely each passing day. To ignore the dark, the faded, the ragged and torn, the overwhelming and mounting evidence that we are well past the point of no return. That mankind is doomed, fated to never escape our little gravity well, to never see distant stars with naked eyes, to never have colonies on other worlds, other stars, other galactic arms, other galaxies.

Such arrogance.

And why? Why sit here, nearly penniless and frayed from working to pay for editing for books that will probably never see publication? To incorporate edits that hint that this pursuit isn't worthwhile, that I have learned nothing, that, worse, I can teach nothing, have nothing to say that should be said. Why bother?

Such arrogance.

Back to work. Those edits ain't gonna do themselves.