Thursday, September 30, 2004


I've just printed out my schedule for October. Should a person really need a schedule for running their life? Well, at any rate, it's got 18 things listed and we'll see how many of them I get done each day. The top ones are a given -- walking, writing, editing. By #4 we start getting into the iffy stuff for a while -- Outline, 2YN, FM Vision DT -- but then we hit Journal, which I haven't missed since October 1, 1998. (The other journal, not this one) so that seems like something I'm likely to get up. After that everything starts looking less likely to get done again. LOL

What else? Got a list of panels from the convention in November. I need to choose a few.

I had things to say before I got here, but it's not happening now. I think my brain goes to mush every time I open the window to do my weblog. I was thinking about things to write about all day -- writing related, life related, cats.

Oh! I do have a new interview up:

And now I'm going to post before this goes any later!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Russ is home!

I just about have the background material for Mirrors finished. Amazing how such a few pages of things can take so much longer than writing the same amount of novel. (snarl) However, it will be going out soon. Yay!

I have the pages for DT set up and nearly ready to go. I have just one more piece to add in. I hope to have it live in October. This is really wonderful and a lot of fun. There is so much that I want to do.

Russ made it home today. Yay! It's good to have him back. He felt like he was gone for a long time, but really it was only a couple days. I should have gotten more done around the house, but we both agreed that I need to not push work that could hurt my back while he's gone. It's bad enough when he's home -- but home alone and with those problems is really awful.

What else? Oh, two of the three Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia books arrived today. These are the first two books on birds, and I immediately found information on a bird I hadn't been able to identify before this. That was so nice! I have the third bird book still on the way, and then I only have to hunt down reptiles.

I've been reading Volume 3 - Mollusks and Echinoderms. I really hadn't intended to start it until October 1, but it doesn't hurt to get a few pages ahead. (grin)

I've started outlining the next Singer and St. Jude novel. That is going VERY well, too. I am so glad I remembered that I need to get this one written now if I want it in the queue for publication next year! Life is so odd. I forget the strangest things these days.

I'm also reading the Trachiniae by Sophocles, which I had to say I like far better than Eumenides by Aeschylus. I thought I would never get through that one. A shame because I loved Prometheus Bound. I've read all of these before, by the way, but just so many years in the past that I can't remember at what point I stopped.

I just noticed how much this post jumps around from one thing to another -- and right now that's pretty much how my life is going. I love it. There's so much fun stuff to do!

But right now, I think I'll try that sleep thing I hear others talk about!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Done with Mirrors!

I just finished Mirrrors. That should be the final draft before it goes out. I have cover letter and synopsis to do yet, but I have hopes that both will go quickly. Having Mirrors done is a wonderful relief. I like this novel -- and like I keep saying, that probably means it's doomed. (grin)

But I have to admit that I'm really tired out now! So I'll post this and get some rest.

And start thinking about that synopsis. LOL. No real rest, you know!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Write and write more

Ada Nish Pura is up to about 46,000 words. I've begun to hit some really rough spots in the story -- items showing up that have not been mentioned before, repeating actions and words apparently just for the word count (grin), etc. But my people are going into their first real battle, so things will speed up again.

The editing of Mirrors is wonderful. I can't gurantee that the book is wonderful, but I'm having a great time working on it.

I've been working on the website for DT, too. I hope to have it up next week.

It's interesting to see novels take shape and reshape themselves with each set of edits. I barely wrote Mirrors a year ago, but I can see a lot of change from the first draft to this one. Ada Nish Pura came in two parts originally, and I'm at the melding point where it just didn't work out well. I can see some of the problems, in fact. I started using different names for items, adding in things that hadn't been there before -- stuff like that. The work on it has been intense, but enjoyable.

I feel like I'm really at a sort of crux point in my work. As soon as I get DT up and going, I'll have to change gears somewhat again, and focus on new work and new challenges. I'm looking forward to it, but this stage between will drive me crazy.

So I'll go bury myself in more novel writing. It seems wise before I drive others crazy as well.

Friday, September 17, 2004


I've been getting an incredible amount of work done lately. I'm up to 30,000 words on Ada Nish Pura already, and 100 pages of Mirrors read aloud and edited. I've got 2YN stuff nearly done, and some neat stuff for FM created. I have the DT website designed but not completed.

Autumn agrees with me.

Reading classical material I always find that there are lines that stay with me. Prometheus Bound is like that again:

There hath gone up a cry from earth, a groaning for the fall
Of things of old renown and shapes majestical

...for Art Is by much weaker than Necessity

The holy to the holy,
With frequent feet and lowly

This winter's tale of wrong

Better to die at once, than live
And all my days be evil.

I collect the lines in little notes, and sometimes I find a quote that suits a particular character. I have a book I'm about to write in which one of the characters will have a far more 'classical' background than the others expect. To have wonderful little lines that he might quote now and then is going to be great.

But just to read them, sometimes, is wonderful as well. This isn't the first time I've read Prometheus Bound. It's a short piece (Aeschylus, and this the G. M. Cookson English Verse translation).

I'm going to be reading a lot of odd things for a while. Bits and pieces of stuff, mostly, relating to different subjects. I'm using the Great Books Syntopicon and going through the various subjects they listed there. It will take me forever and I might well lose interest or time or both before I get very far....

But I've alwasy believed in learning just for the sake of learning. So I'm reading the Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia (just scored three of the four missing volumes, so things look good!), and I'll read pieces of related material out of a few dozen books for the Syntopicon, and other odd things as well. My fiction reading has suffered again this year, though. I need to read more fiction, but I was badly disappointed in a few books, and it's hard for me to throw myself back into it again. Even bad nonfiction usually has something interesting to present.

And classics... well, there are a few little Dickens that I haven't read yet, and I love reading his work. Maybe that will come next!

I intend to have Mirrors out by the end of this month and Ada Nish Pura by the end of next month. I likely won't make it. Things seem to happen when I make such plans. But at the moment, everything is moving along and I'm enjoying it. Seems wise to get back to work now, in fact, since Russ will be home soon and I can't say what we might do with the rest of the night!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

An Excellent Writing Day

I had one of those wonderful writing days that a person could wish would not end. Two stories sold for the DDP $1 downloads. Over 5000 words on one novel and over 50 pages edited on the other. I did some work on the 2YN class, got a set of pages done for FM and did some design work for the DT site.

I am also reading Prometheus Bound (translation by G.M. Cookson). It's a short work, and part of a larger reading project, and... it gave me an idea for a story. Well, I suppose that's not surprising. I get ideas for stories just about everywhere. But I would have thought this would be a fantasy story, but instead I found something sf-ish in it. I'm going to jot it down in the handy 'idea' list and see if anything else comes of it.

But now it's late and I really do need to get some sleep. I'm hoping to have nearly as good a day tomorrow.

But 4 am is late enough for me tonight!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Doing well

Maybe I shouldn't curse myself, but I am doing well. The back isn't giving me much trouble, even though I worked on cleaning up parts of the house today. My back is a little stiff, but nothing too troublesome.

Russ is going to be gone most of the next two weeks. He's doing a speaking tour through most of Nebraska -- and Nebraska is a very large state. For the first few days he'll be home each night, but as they head out into western Nebraska he won't be driving back each night.

If he were going alone I'd travel with him, maybe. but this is part of a business deal and he has someone else going with him. Ah well. Gives me time to work on house stuff, as long as I'm careful.

We have had thunderstorms all day! I can't remember the last time we had storms as steady as these. Of course we also have flash flood watches tonight, but that doesn't worry me. I'm not close to any creek or stream. I am relatively close to the Missouri River, but that does not 'flash' flood. If we get a 'flood watch' then I'll worry.

What else?

Ada Nish Pura is up to 16,000 words already! And I sent off two submissions in the last two days. Always a good feeling!

I now have a schedule with fourteen things on it, starting with Writing and ending with websites (the general kind, not FM or DT). Three of the items involve reading, which I seriously had to schedule in because I'm not doing nearly enough of it! I plan to go on a great fantasy reading binge. (grin)

I'm still trying to work out the DT parameters for submissions. It's an interesting part of the business to go through. I'm not interested in defining anything to strictly, but it does help to have some basic ideas of what I'm looking for.

Lots to get done yet tonight. And I still have a few Angel episodes to watch. (grin)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Thank You

Thanks to everyone for the good wishes! I'm still a bit stunned. Day two as an Associate Publisher has set me thinking about all kinds of things. I get to set up this imprint in anyway I want. I'm going to have a website, submission tracking, and lots of info on what I am looking for, as well as a newsletter....

I obviously have a lot of work ahead of me. I've pulled out my schedule and begun reworking my priorities. Well, all but the top one, of course. I will never take a job that has a higher priority than my own writing. I'm just crazed that way.

Which reminds me, Ada Nish Pura is going along fine. The second chapter had way too many melodramatic scenes, but I think I've gotten that bit of overwrought excitement handled. I should have been on the third chapter today, but this one took more work than I expected. Several rewrites before I got it toned down and still conveyed the feel of someone lost at sea, alone, and suddenly given hope.

I'm just about done with the edit of the short story Stalking, too. This one goes to DDP tonight, I hope. And then... one more after that, if all goes well. And it's gone will so far, so I'm happy enough.

But busy. Very busy!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Associate Publisher

I am the new Associate Publisher for Double Dragon's fantasy ebook imprint, Dragon Tooth Ebooks.

This has been a possibility for some time. I've been reading slush, as people knew, for awhile in a sort of test of the position, and preparing for the real work of taking books from submission through publication, as well as doing some marketing. I will also now get a percentage on the sales of all books I produce. Did I mention I have complete control over everything in my section?

I imagine some people out there are wondering when I'll find the time with everything else -- but the truth is that I've been preparing for this for some time, and I'm getting better at alotting time to the proper causes. It's really a great opportunity. I'm setting up a page on my web site to explain what I'm looking for, what to expect if you submit, and how the process works.

I also plan to produce at least one anthology a year. I'm working on the submission guidelines for it as well.

Oh, and the back is still bothering me, but I'm working anyway and ignoring it as best I can at this point. I have the first chapter of Ada Nish Pura done and I really like the rewrite -- I'm now working on the second chapter. If I can get it done at a chapter a day, I'll be finished by mid-October, I think.. I have another story for the DDP $1 download section almost ready to go off. The class for tonight's 2YN is nearly done.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Done and Done!

Early yesterday morning I finished Paid in Gold and Blood. And then, right around midnight tonight (less than 24 hours later), I finished the work on Mirrors, except for some general clean up (aligning chapters properly, making certain they're numbered correctly, etc.).

And I'm happy with both. Okay, that may be a result of the pills that have finally knocked the pain out of my back, but still -- I got them both through their current drafts. Paid is preparing for a jaunt out into the world. Mirrors is going through a general check over to get the chapters lined up properly and a recheck of the spelling for a couple words, which I noticed I kept changing.

I have Ada Nish Pura pulled up to do a massive rework. I also need to do two more short pieces for DDP. No, hold it. I think I need three now. I'll pull one of them up for my current edit project and put Ada at the top of the list for rewrite -- which means printing it off and starting new. There's a lot about it I like, but quite a bit that needs reworked, expanded, better explained....

Still, I have hopes for getting it done fairly fast. The book is about 96,000 words right now. I do not expect a lot of growth, but I do expect considerable change.

I'm still having some back problems, but I'm getting caught up, finally.

It's a good way to head into autumn and the last months of the year!

Thursday, September 09, 2004


That's actually bad back. Much better tonight than in the last 36 hours. I can actually move from one room to another, and sit in this chair for long enough to get something done.

I'm within a few thousand words of finishing Paid in Blood and Gold which makes this all the more annoying. And the house, which I had just started to get cleaned up, is a pit again. Argh!

But I'll get it all back soon. A couple more days and my back should have subsided to an occaisonal twinge rather than this annoyance. And not everything has been a waste, of course. Tonight I figured out a major problem with an upcoming novel and talke dit out with Russ. I'm glad to have that one settled because I could not get past the third chapter in the outline. Very annoying. But I found the problem over pizza tonight and felt much better afterwards.

And I think I'm going to tough it out and finish off Paid in Blood and Gold tonight. I need to clear a novel off the list because I just found a chance for another one, and I want to get it done and ready to go out. Ada Nish Pura suddenly just made a dashing leap to the front of the line because it sounds to me like just what this publisher is looking for. That means some serious fast work here on it.

Ah, the writing life.

Some day it's even going to pay off. (grin)

Monday, September 06, 2004

Done and off!

If you look closely, it's obvious that I put in my own background on that picture. The kit fox was up against a messy stone backdrop that just drew away from seeing him. This is much better.

I just sent Without a Fear of Words off to the publisher. Nice to have such a quick turn around and get something out of my hands like that. This book also makes my 9th sale for the year -- averaging one a month isn't too bad. I also have two in a non-paying market -- the picture and essay site called A Picture's Worth (this is my last entry there). I really love doing stuff for that site and should plan to do one or so a month next year. That would be fun. They only require between 300-1000 words. And a picture. I don't have a problem with the second part and you'd think I shouldn't have trouble with the first, either!

What else? Paid in Gold and Blood is very nearly done. It's going to be a bit over 80,000 I think, and not a bad story at all! Once I have it finished, I'll go back to work on Written in the Sand.
Tonight, though, I'm celebrating another sale, and one I had not expected -- at least not in this format. It's fun to have writing surprises now and then.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

A Sale!

Today I sold Without a Fear of Words, a collection of articles on writing. This will be an ebook from DDP -- and it was an unexpected sale. I had offered some of the articles as a small collection for the Dollar Download section. Deron upped the ante and suggested a full priced ebook instead. With that in mind, I said I would add some new material and get it all ready to go.

The good part of this is that the majority of the material has already been edited by the wonderful copy editors that have worked for Vision. That means far less work for everyone concerned. My biggest problem right now is to arrange the material (I'm going mostly for alphabetical), cull some of the stuff that is repetitious, and then get it all formatted and ready to go. I think I can have it done by the end of this weekend, especially since it appears Russ is going to be working out of town again. (sigh)

What else? Well, the other novels will be on hold until I get this done, mostly because if I just apply myself to it for the next couple days I can have it completed and not have to worry about it becoming another unfinished project. And since I already have the contract, I think that's a very good idea.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Moving On....

I am coming very close to finishing Paid in Gold and Blood (or Blood and Gold -- still can't decide which it should be.) Probably another 30,000 words or so is all. This version has fallen together very well and I can't wait to have it done and see what I think.

I have let Written in the Sand rest for a few days, specifically so I could finish the other novel first and then turn my full attention back to it. Just a personal choice because I want to concentrate a little more on some of aspects of the story, and I can't do that with too much else going on. I'm doing a lot of work on editing projects right now, and it makes it difficult to focus like I did during the 10,000 word days.

I miss them. (grin)

But I have other work to do, and it's all going well. I'm waiting on word for a couple submissions, I have the start of second half of the 2YN class going!

We have nearly sorted out the two house division, as well. I'm starting to see a real change in this one, which some walls and corners that I hadn't seen in years. I'm trying to organize my books -- never an easy task because I end up spending more time looking through them than organzing them. Well, I'm sure there isn't a single person here who hasn't faced that one!

It's almost 3am and I think it's time to call it a night and go watch another Sharpe episode before bed.

Life is so hard....

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

And a new month!

Let's see.... last month ended with 140,048 words. I also got Vision done and up and a edited and sold three short stories for Double Dragons $1 downloads (or free if you buy the book they are assoicated with:

Year of the Fire Rat (Free with Aubreyan)

Raven (Free with Brendan's Song)

Unlikely Companions (Free with Crystal and the Stars)

The last one originally appeared in a Eggplant Production's 'Winter Sampler' back in 2000. It even got a very nice little note in a review back then. I did a little bit of editing this time around. It's fun to see the things I've learned even in that time.

But anyway, here we are in September already! Autumn, my favorite time of the year...

But hold on. We had a very cool summer, over all. Lots of nights where it dropped down into the 40's and days in the 70's and 80's. Amazing weather, and nothing to complain about in general. It's made me wonder what the fall months will be like, and what kind of winter we'll have this year.

So imagine my surprise when I find the first day of September is over 90.

Something is not right.

I think I'll go throw myself into one of my imaginary worlds for a while where I can at least understand the weather.