Tag Archives: first draft

For my next amazing stunt…

My presentation went well, and my work week ended on a high note. The drive home was uneventful, and the wildlife all but disappeared.

I’m kind of a curmudgeon when it comes to technology. I go all in on things that interest me, but avoid other parts of it. I didn’t want to take the time pairing my phone with the company car, so I made both drives in total silence. When I take my truck, I usually have my Lizzie and The Hat playlist blasting.

Funny thing about those silent drives. This is when Lorelei the Muse joins me and we have great conversations. There is no set path, and we bounce from project to project. I came up with some neat ideas for the post-apocalyptic thing I have partially storyboarded. I have some root monster ideas for the next Lanternfish story, and may have partially solved a geographical problem I discovered. Even Lizzie and The Hat were topics and I have some ideas about them, too.

Old What’s Her Face has to work today, so I had a morning to myself. I spent the time finishing the draft of Grinders. I’m just shy of 77,000 words. I think that’s a good length for a modern-day stand-alone novel. I like the way it came out. Story threads wrapped up, and there is some hope for the future. Even the animals got a half page epilogue to give them some closure.

After the first draft of Grinders, I tried to read all the blogs I missed from my road-trip. I admit to not commenting everywhere, and some of you only got a “like” and a tweet. I’m not even going to try catching up on Twitter.

I’m sure there will be a session of paying those damned bills today. We might even squeeze in a date night of some kind.

I have a loose plan for the future, but am not committing to very much. Grinders needs to go into the fermenter for a while. I’ll probably read everything I have of HMS Lanternfish tomorrow. That will put me back in the right mindset, and help me add words when I get another flex day.

I owe a few people some reads, and may carve out time for that. Part of me wants to start another side project immediately, but it doesn’t feel right. I have a new story about Lizzie and The Hat that could fill that slot. Lanternfish has been patiently at anchor since September, and I need to move that project along. I promised a trilogy, and Serang will only keep people distracted for so long. I must release a Lanternfish story in 2020.

Serang seems to be doing well, but could always use more reviews. I never intended to push her as hard as Viral Blues, but a couple more tour posts wouldn’t hurt. Maybe I’ll dig through my list and see if there’s someone I haven’t bothered in a while to host me. I still have one fresh new Lisa Burton poster I haven’t revealed to anyone. I can use it here, but I like to send her to other sites.

My early thought is Lanternfish can fill the rest of 2019 quite well. I need to think about what kind of cover and artwork I want for Grinders, set the money aside, then contact Sean. If I do this right, it could be out at the end of Winter or early Spring. By only working on Lanternfish, I have time for budgeting, thinking, and planning out my 2020 goals.

I guess my next amazing stunt is to dial it down a bit. Lanternfish lets me keep a hand in, but there are other things on my horizon, too. Winter feels like the right time for this. Do any of you take a step back this time of year?


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Crazy day, good stuff

Old What’s Her Face is still working nights. This meant another day of keeping everyone quiet so she could sleep a bit.

We had breakfast together again, then she unwound for an hour before heading for bed.

Quiet time is great for authors. I worked through the previous segment of Serang, then started writing again. Today’s effort came to about 3600 words. Something else wonderful happened too. At 75,000 words, it came to the end. Serang is now a first draft.

I fiddled with the new part for a few hours, then sent it to my critique partners. Next weekend I’ll look at all the critique suggestions, then may start my editing passes. It’s best to put it aside and look with fresh eyes, but the first chapters are months old to my eyes. I can do all my word searches on weeknights.

Honestly, I nearly made it. I wanted it out before school ends, but it wasn’t meant to be. This might turn into a November release now.

I’m torn about sharing this, because it’s going to be so long before anyone can actually read it. A peek at the cover might whet someone’s reader brain, so here it is:

This one is a companion piece to Voyage of the Lanternfish, but is quite a bit more serious. Serang is a serious character and deserves to be treated accordingly.

The weird part is our weather. We had a drizzle of rain when I got up, followed by sunshine, then thunder and lightning, then more sun, then a torrential downpour, wind, sun, another downpour, a hailstorm, sun, another hailstorm, and it’s sunny right now. Who knows what the rest of the day will bring. Maybe something cool like a haboob. Mostly I just like saying haboob, it’s probably too wet out there for one.

I think I’ll probably spend tomorrow getting acquainted with The Viral Blues once more. I put this aside in a misguided attempt to get Serang published before summer. Don’t know if I’ll do more writing on it, but it could happen.

Either that or I’ll scope out some old movies. John Wayne will probably be winning World War Two somewhere for Memorial Day. Hope everyone has a lovely holiday tomorrow.


Filed under Writing

Sunday, better than expected

I never expect to get anything done on Sundays. Even when my wife is working, I have other projects that get in the way. The first one is calling my parents.

Every Sunday since I moved to Idaho, I call my parents. There are times, like camping, where I have no signal, but it’s a regular thing. We take about an hour, and I wouldn’t trade it for a few more words on paper.

I goofed off a bit this morning before calling them. When we finished, I decided to take a look at my WIP.

I want the pirates to take a couple more ships, then sail to the pirate island of Lagarto to cash in. (Lagarto, because Tortuga was already taken.)

At this point in the story, I don’t want to detail the sea battles any more than I have to. Readers have already experienced that, and I don’t want to make it repetitive. (Other than the big one at the end.)

I briefed on the idea that they captured a ship. Then one of those magical things happened that can only happen while you’re drafting a story. It caused me to deviate from the outline, but all the same things will happen, they just won’t happen on Lagarto.

See this ship carried a bunch of raw materials for the looming war. I’m trying to avoid them capturing treasure ships and the like. They know who wants the war, and who they want it against. They decided to sell the loot to the underdogs in the war.

This includes some surplus cannon they stole in a previous stop. This ought to make them pretty popular in this port.

I can’t have this be an easy stop, because that doesn’t make for good fiction. Lagarto would have been one of those places, because they are pirates going to a pirate stronghold. However, as pirates sailing into a more standard country it won’t be that easy.

I concocted a scheme, whereby, they will have to go ashore and find some smugglers. The smugglers can contact the authorities and make the arrangements. This is not unrealistic, because privateers were an actual thing. These were pirates who operated on behalf of a king somewhere.

Then I concocted a monster to deal with while sneaking about the moors and bogs. It is a fantasy after all. I didn’t write that section yet, but may just have the root monsters relay the story.

The root monsters are becoming the keepers of the oral history of this ship. I even let them tell one of their stories using a desiccated fish head as a puppet. He gave it dialog and everything, while moving it’s jaws open and closed. Their stories are absurd, but have a grain of truth to them. They’re kind of tribal in nature.

I love it when something like that happens in a draft. The world is detailed enough, and the setting leads to things that just work better.

For those keeping score, I managed about 2500 words today. Sundays are usually about 200 editing based words.

Back to the office tomorrow, but Old What’s Her Face and I picked a couple of baskets of fresh peaches to share with our co-workers. From here on out it’s probably going to be Shaq on Shark Week, some supper, and a beer.


Filed under Writing

When it feels like the middle slog, but it isn’t

I got down a massive amount of words today. It all centered around a large sea battle and the aftermath of that battle.

The fight was exciting, and it was a joy to unleash Serang and have some fun with her. I’m excited for you guys to meet her, and have a cool Lisa Burton poster planned out for her character.

This fight also revealed those fu dogs I was muddling over a week ago. Damn, they’re scary.

The fight took a heavy toll on the crew, and that’s where it’s feeling a bit like a slog. There are issues I have to deal with now. People don’t take a hit, then tap dance off to the next exciting part. They have to deal with losses both mentally and physically.

This story has a big cast, and I can bounce from character to character to keep it from being a big dose of sadness all at once.

There are some things to do between here and the next land stop that will ramp up the tension, but not in a giant jellyfish kind of way.

It won’t take long, a couple of scenes, maybe a chapter, but I was hoping to get through that part today.

I think I’ll throw in some wildlife just to remind everyone this is a fantasy environment. They are going to harvest fresh water from an iceberg, and I’ll probably have some arctic rays swimming ahead of the ship. Make them white like ice or something. This ice will also be important to the severely wounded fellow that’s dragging things down now. (Ice is a painkiller, and useful for fevers.)

I really wanted to get to the next land part of the story, but that won’t happen until tomorrow.

I did a bit of research to get ahead of the next section. It was about coins; this kind of coins.

At one time these were called cash. Not like we use the term, but these are three cash. Kind of like three dollars, marks, or francs. (Yeah, I know about the Euro.)

I thought it was interesting, and I have some fun ideas about these coins involving the root monsters. They do a lot of thieving after dark in cities, and it keeps up the ships coffers. They call money “clink clink.”

It will look something like this: “Clink clink gone bogus. Shoot hole. Shiny all gone.”

I also did some western bastardization of eastern words in the story. They are heading for a city called Cheng Shi Hua. The pirates insist upon calling it Chingy Ha. This pisses Serang off, and she’s not someone you want to piss off.

Now that we’ve seen her in action, I’m looking forward to giving everyone a brief glimpse into her tragic backstory. I should probably never use that word, but that’s what it is. I won’t go back and tell her tale, just allude to bits of it so readers can interpolate the rest.

It’s about time for baseball and beer around here. I may add some more after the game. I haven’t committed a WWI for a while, and it might be interesting. (Writing while intoxicated.)


Filed under Writing