Podcast 8: Investing in your work

A more technical discussion this time, directed at new or aspiring writers, to one, not think you will be a millionaire one year from now, and two, that if you do want that chance, your book better look as best it can on the outside and inside. That means spending money on cover artists and copyeditors.

As I say at the closing, if anyone has questions or comments or wants more information about what I’ve mentioned, please let me know in the Comments.

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

My current and recommended copyeditor: Stephen Zimmer.

My current and recommended cover artist: Labelschmiede.

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Morse Code Radio Waves

Wednesday night was the weekly podcast of the Star Chamber Show, where I had been a guest back in early February. This week’s show was an “Open Lines” format. Not one to miss a chance to promote my stories, I show up around the 34:45 mark and finally shut up and leave about 1:19:00.

If you’re interested in Ricardo Montalban, the proper way to serve river otters and squirrels, as well as book formatting and what might be ahead in Machine Civilization, I invite you to pour a drink and have a listen. Cheers!

“Friend and Ally”: audio raws complete

Twenty chapters plus prologue and epilogue… that’s about 650 minutes. At least when I’m editing all that I don’t have to be in my Fortress of Quietude in the 45F basement. Step one will be removing my screw-ups; those are the spikes on the image below the fold, from a typical file. When I flubbed something, I would cough or yell “pop!” into the mic to give me a visual cue of where I need to fix something. Still, I’ll have to listen to everything in its entirety to make sure.

Once that is complete, then I can turn to the technical bits of Noise Removal, Normalization, Equalization, and so on. My target for commercial release is Easter, so I’ve less than forty days to go. The steepest learning curve will be getting things into a format that will satisfy ACX… I recall problems when I experimented last July. So long as my liver holds out, I’ll make it.

Continue reading ““Friend and Ally”: audio raws complete”

Effing RMS

Here’s the last of the prototype chapters.  I am much older about peaks (Nichole’s sharp voice, here and there), valleys (Mackenzie’s, everywhere), and RMS (the relationship between those levels).  In learning such, I’ve also gotten the volume waaay up from where it was before.  Tanjed near burst my eardrums in the headphones…

With this complete, and taking in any constructive criticism y’all might have, I’m going to try making notes and writing some very raw ideas I have about Faustina and her third novel, “Goddess’ Crusade.”  It is setting the bar a little high, but I want all three of her books and the complete audiobook of “Friend & Ally” out no later than Christmas.  We shall see.

Con Men

Sorry for the quiet… when the H1B’s at Kindle fixed one problem with the cover of “C&DC” they broke a different part.  Trusting them not at all to not screw it up again, I used my very limited Acrobat skills to make a change and submit it.  With chance and luck will hear something by Monday.

With that – hopefully – behind me, I’ll be looking about for a copyeditor and cover designer for my short story collection.  I’m still tinkering with that MS a bit but still look to a publishing date in early March.

As for this weekend, it is once again Ohayocon here in central Ohio!  As each year there are fewer and fewer panels that interest me, we’re only staying one night at a hotel next to the convention center.  Daughter #1 in even driving down from college to attend; I believe she’s cosplaying Weiss from RWBY.  Me?  After sounding the waters on Instagram, I dusted off Elias Ainsworth from “Ancient Magus’ Bride,” for Saturday.  Come Sunday PM, I hope finally to re-read my notes and start in on Part 2 of Crusade.  Cheerio!

Continue reading “Con Men”

Locked out

Finished the segment I began yesterday:  Faustina having a brief chat with the mayor of what’s left of Asheville.  With that in the bag, I went to review some maps about their upcoming troop movements.  Yeah, there are those three dams, but I’m sure the barges and escorts will fit through their locks…  Those dams look a little small… let’s look them up and also check ‘street level view’!

Well, dang.  Having spent a half-dozen of my formative years around the Columbia River, I took it for granted that a great waterway would have locks for barge traffic.  I realized now that the Savannah River is not a “great waterway.”  Important, certainly, but it is a creek compared to something such as the Columbia.

I still think I can get their artillery onto barges in Augusta.  But the legions are going to have to cover the 160 miles from Asheville to there, first.  Then, while the barges – under guard – move down-river, the infantry will march another 125 miles.  I see that a few days of maps, calculations, and re-writes are ahead of me.  Hope to have something by Wednesday.

Continue reading “Locked out”

“We call it DeeKay, for short”

Finally!  After banging my head against the six-month rock that was the discrepancy at the beginning of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” I had an idea as I stumbled, drunk, to bed last night.  Deciphering my scrawl of a note this morning, I got it:  Dunning-Kruger.

Dunning-Kruger is a two-sided coin of fail:  on the obverse is the stupid thinking they are not:  “anybody can do that!” said the idiot about to shoot an apple off of his son’s head.  The converse is just as deadly:  “since I’m a smart [profession], I’m smart at everything!”  You’ve read before about my comments when Doctors of Pharmacy try to hang a picture.  It’s a mess.

So in this case, two things happened:  the DK is that Sylvia, having been the best and brightest in the room her whole life, figured that that what she had heard about the Breakup of the US just couldn’t be that bad for someone like her.  The other, much more subtle thing – right at the end of this rewritten opening – is an allusion to one of the Machines we have never met, Ninon.

With this in mind I can FIX THE NOVELLA!  With the help of a miracle I might have it done by Thanksgiving.  If you like these updates and stories, please keep praying for my liver.

Continue reading ““We call it DeeKay, for short””

Procrastination

Wife and family are off ten days on a vacation:  the perfect time to write!  I got up at 0800 Saturday…

Breakfast.  Pay some bills.  Sort some investment reports.  Start first laundry.  Put dishes in dishwasher; clear around sink.  Go for walk.  Drive to mother-in-law’s house to feed/water her parakeet.  Come home to start loads of towels.  Write a blog post about not writing.

And it’s not at if I’ve nothing to write about:  last night I jotted down several ideas for Part Two of “Crosses and Doublecrosses”.  More importantly, my copyeditor gave me the suggestion that, as my soon to be released “Worlds Without End” is a ten-year-on sequel of “Echoes of Family Lost,” for anyone who hasn’t read the first I should include a preface and cast of characters.  That seemed pretentious to me so instead I saw a Prologue where, just about to turn 13, Gary is assigned an essay by his Brotherhood:  to reflect upon his family.  In that reflection I will be able to re-introduce the characters from EoFL.

Dammit.  Except for another load of towels, I have no more excuses.  Guess I’ll do that now…

Passing Away

Completed my first editing pass of “Worlds Without End”:  formatting into 6″ x 9″, block-justified text (which boofed up all of my block-quoted text…), catching any gross rhetorical errors and plot holes… that sort of thing.  In this raw form it is 263 pages; that will grow a little as I add the chapter breaks and make some plot clarifications for Part 2; right now I’ve just highlighted a couple of sentences to alert me on the next pass to ‘clean this stuff up!’

Speaking of the two parts, part one is called CODE:ASCENSION and part two CODE:DESCENSION, alluding to something that happens to two of the characters.

I hope to have my second pass complete by mid-week at which point I’ll run it through Grammerly then hand it off to my copyeditor.  Things are proceeding quite nicely, for once!

NaNoWriMo 2018

Nope.  Not me.  Right around 2130 of Halloween, I send the third-pass edit of Foes & Rivals to my talented copyeditor, at the same time taking a vow I’d write nothing, original, in November.

I now turn to implementing her edits to Friend and Ally while she processes its sequel.  I don’t think I’ll have F&A ready for the Local Authors Fair on 17 November… maybe “limited edition” proof copies?  Like Niven’s first edition of Ringworld, where the Earth rotated in the wrong direxion.

Besides DayJob, Husband/FatherJob, and WriterJob of 173k words in 7 months, I am so, so tired.