Friday, October 23, 2015

The Shape of Things to Come


With the publication of A Summer in Amber, Some Day Days, and The Bright Black Sea, all my major writing projects of the last five years are completed. With one little exception,(below) anything new will have to be started from scratch. So what will that be?

Currently I have several ideas. The Bright Black Sea was an ode to all the old golden age science fiction I read in my youth, and I would like to write a story as an ode to one in particular – Edgar Rice Burroughs with a story in the of Carson of Venus mode. I have a vague idea of writing a sort of fantasy set in an Edwardian age-like setting. And I also have this Three Robots in a Boat idea that involves three robots returning to a long abandoned earth to try to figure out whatever happened to their creators (humans)whose ultimate fate was lost over the eons, due to file format changes and digital decay in the robotic central memory.

These are all just the noses of a story. It's getting them to the wagging tail that takes time and work. We'll have to see what develops. If anything.

That said, I have, however, slowly started a new story and I'm some 15,000 words into it. It looks to be either a long novella or a short novel – but it's yet to take on a definite tone and believable story arc. I have the pieces of the story in a pile, but I haven't quite got them to fit together into an entertaining and believable story with characters acting in believable ways yet. I hope, however, to have all this worked out and a petty solid first draft done by the holidays, after which I'd lay it aside and start another new project, one of the ideas mentioned above, or something new. If I can get past the noses and come up with a plot, I'd spend January through March or April working on that second project before returning to my current story with fresh eyes to hammer out a final draft. So, best case scenario is that I'd have a new story out late April or May 2016. But that's likely the best case. It's easy to day dream, but its hard to put words to day dreams, and harder still to nail down all the corners you cut in the day dream, so I'll make no promises.

As I mentioned above, there is one small project I might publish in the meanwhile – one very, very, short coming of age/mystery novel disguised as a children's story. I wrote it some years ago envisioning it as a children's picture book that an adult would read to a child and could explain, if necessary – the pictures for the kids, the words for the adult. (So I didn't have to write in the "See Zip run!" style.) It's called Lines in the Lawn and it's about mowing the lawn and growing up. The whole picture book part of it isn't going to happen, but if I can at least come up with a cover that sets the scene, I will publish it at some point down the road. (I just hate illustrating.)

And so that's the Shape of Things to Come. A short story, maybe, between now and March, and a new long novella or short novel May-ish. And after that, another novel, late fall 2016 or early winter 2017. No promises, however.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Bright Black Sea version 1.1

Version 1.1 of the Bright Black Sea is now available. "Minor Bug Fixes" to the first 13 chapters. A few missing words added, a few better ones found, a few unnecessary ones eliminated. Some italics lost when processing the manuscript for publication restored, a few artifacts from years of work updated. If you've downloaded this work and haven't started reading it yet, download this latest available version. And as always, I regret any mistakes, but in a work that has spanned years and is nearly 1/3 of a million words long, mistakes can still hide in plain sight even after repeated readings. I correct them and upload the corrected versions as I find them or they're called to my attention.