Reflexions and Recollexions

Having made the decision that my next novel will be built around the 23k words I’ve already written for “Worlds Without End” (see sidebar or Menu, depending on how you’re viewing this), that means I’ve already an established location, Knoxville/Oak Ridge, established characters, the Hartmann’s and the Tohsaka Machines, a pre-existing relationship, Gary & Henge’s love for each other, a well as a sprinkling of tension, Gary’s sister’s, Faustina’s jealousy of the Machines and even mentally crippled Tracy.

I’ve even one plot arc:  Pinocchio.  Henge’s desire to manifest a human body and make children with Gary.

What I lack is opposition; an antagonist.  I cannot use Faustina, as that is merely to replay “Cursed Hearts.”  I’ve broadly hinted that there may be other Machine tribes, perhaps made in St. Petersburg and Milan, but I’ve not seen anything about them.  Having made a page of notes on New Years Day that summed up to nothing at all, I tried letting my mind roam free these past few days.  What I recalled was the significance of music in letting these stories unfold in my mind.

“The Fourth Law” and “Echoes of Family Lost” would have turned out very different, if at all, without my listening to the old ELO album, “Time.” Nightcore and Trance was the backdrop of my descent into madness for “Cursed Hearts.”  Gary Numan’s “Down in the Park” and “Are Friends Electric?” were the direct cause of “Friend and Ally” and its sequel, “Foes and Rivals.”

At work and home, I’d been listening much to my Pandora J-pop station.  As much as I enjoy it, I don’t speak Japanese, so no story-related ideas could come into my head.  For now, I’m back to a little Nightcore, hoping to  be shown something.  This weekend, I’ll try pulling out some CDs and playing those, too.  Oh.  And if you think CDs are retro, I’ve cassettes and even vinyl in the basement; get off my lawn, whippersnapper!

Not sure what I can do over the next week; a week from today the big central Ohio animecon, Ohayocon, starts.  Per normal, we’ve a hotel room and I’ve cosplay ready to go.  Perhaps some notes between now and then?  Afterward, I’m back into writing, with both feet.  Ideally, I’d like the “WWE” manuscript to be complete by Easter.

If any of y’all have suggestions for an antagonist/antagonists, plot lines, music I should listen to, please comment away!

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2018: A Writer’s Look Back

Magnificent title.  Short version:  it was a lot of tanjed work!

Following a suggestion from fellow author Jon Del Arroz, I decided, as I was finishing up “Friend and Ally” to write a sequel and release it within a month of the first.  That entailed coming home from DayJob, pushing aside the concern of my wife and daughters, drinking far too much, and writing.  The manuscript of “Foes and Rivals” was ready more than a month late.  My copy-editor did yeoman’s work in getting it back to me in two weeks.  Via Gab.com I was able to make a contract with a US Army vet to make the cover.

I realized about two weeks ago that, as a result of this push, while I took a day off every few months, I never had a vacation.  Hell, I didn’t get further than 30 miles from my house for the entire year!  This cannot continue.  I no longer care what it does to my continued employment prospects:  I’ve nearly 250 hours of paid-time-off and by-God plan to use them.

My first thought was, around my girls Spring Break, take a drive down to Knoxville, TN, to do some on-site research for my next novel.  And, just to get the hell away.  Thing is, that wouldn’t be until March 25th; I’ve already 23k words for this next story down.  Barring a medical disaster in my family, I’ll be finished by then.  I guess I need to think of something else.  If my mother-in-law would be kind enough to shuffle off her mortal coil we’d all go to Japan for two weeks…

Anyway.  Having said all that to say this:  I realize I’ve been dark and quiet on this blog for some time.  It is, honestly, easier for me to dash off a thought on Gab than sit down and put a post together, but I do owe it to all of y’all for putting up with me.  I’ll definitely try harder, especially as I’m putting together another virtual book tour, not for Nichole 5’s new books, but all five of the novels of Machine Civilization.  That will hopefully come together some time in early February.

Between now and then, we’ve Ohayocon on January 11-13 and I’ve my first ever colonoscopy two days after that.  Let me assure you I’m really looking forward to one of those.  Below the fold is me testing my cosplay for Saturday.  In the mean time, here’s the linx for Amazon and Smashwords for all my stuff.

Thanks, everyone.  Happy New Year!

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yag5u9wd

Smashwords: https://tinyurl.com/yc57lpgp

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“Friend and Ally”

Sorry, again, for going dark:  much DayJob and work on my books.  In fact, I am very pleased to announce that Friend and Ally is now officially available!

I’ve the physical proof copy of its sequel, “Foes and Rivals,” as you can see below the fold, already in hand and about half re-edited.  The usual minor mistakes and 1-2 formatting errors.  The big part is that the ending is sub-optimal, so I’ll add a few paragraphs to the last chapter and about 100 words to the epilogue.  Nonetheless, it will be out by Christmas!

What an amazing ride:  in four years… five books, four of which are novels.  What was I waiting for all these years?  Thanks for everyone’s support!

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Homing

On Saturday I was a guest at a local author fair.  The idiots who run the County Library System scheduled this at the same time as an Ohio State football game.  That means nothing to me – not being one of these people – but it hit the attendance below the waterline.  Even tucked into a corner as I was (I wonder if they know my politics?) with three others, I sold eight books.  The guy to my left sold two.

Still and all, it was pleasant to chat with those who seemed interested, even if they weren’t buying.  Several voiced their surprise that in only four years, to the month, I was able to produce four plus one novels and a children’s book… plus short stories only followers of this blog read.  Quite the opposite of how I’ve seen myself:  lazy and distracted.  I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Cleaned up ‘Friend and Ally’ and re-resubmitted it to Createspace.  I also filed for the Copyright on it.  The edit of ‘Foes and Rivals’ should be before my eyes in 48 hours; just in time to gorge myself on turkey.  Hopefully I’ll have its proof copy in my hands in less than ten days.  My Xmas deadline looms ever closer…

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Details, details…

As a guest of the local county library system, I am a “Featured Local Author” for a book fair on Saturday.  My 3+1 prior works are all in the box, ready to go.  I’ll be making a 60×40 inch backdrop will all covers and something about Machine Civilization on it to hang behind me.  Cash to make change and my Square card-reader for the plastic.  I’ve learned from observation to bring candy and put it in a bowl on my table.  People will stop and, guilty about taking something for nothing, ask about the books.  Sneaky, sneaky!

This is a jacket & tie event for me, so I’ll be cosplaying an adult.  An adult with a flask of whiskey; the close of the event could prove much more interesting that its open.

The sole partial fail is that I’ve only five proof copies of “Friend and Ally” available.  I’ll have a sign-up sheet if anyone else is interested, but still, that’s on me.  There will also be a laminated image of the front cover of “Foes and Rivals,” that Jacoby Alley should have complete in two days, with “Coming for Xmas 2018!”

And my table cover.  And the price sheet.  And the easel.  And the business cards.  And…

Oath Breakers

I’m credibly informed they do not keep your breath fresh.

Less than 36 hours after my declaration that “I’m not writing anything new this year!”… I saw something.

No, I’m not writing anything new in November  (he dessemulates); I’m far too busy for the Book Fair of the 17th and the release of “F&R” three weeks later!

But.  I saw the cover of my next book.  It’s bright to dark as you look right to left.  You see the sides of four older teenagers:  machine Henge, with her purple hair & gold eyes looks at her intended, human Gary with love. He returns that look, while back to back with his sister Faustina, with her dark hair & glittering turquoise eyes, as she looks to the figure in shadow on the cover’s left, tempting her to evil.

This is going to be seriously awesome. I’ve explored a little of this in my ‘Second Bridge’ and ‘Worlds Without End’ writing exercises, even noting at the time that Faustina needs her own novel…

That time is soon.

https://machciv.com/category/worlds-without-end/

https://machciv.com/category/second-bridge/