Still alive. Plus: editing

Yes, I dropped off the radar again. At DayJob, the IV Room assignment has become a punishment detail, what with all the drips for the vent patients we’re killing (avoid hospitals, everyone). At home, much better but just as busy: That short story I wrote in October, which was growing into a novella in November, has metastasized into its own novel, meaning over the last three weeks I’ve put down about 15,000 words.

Which all ground to a halt yesterday evening. I’d a few pages for the opening of part 2, but the main character, Allen, is presented with a nigh-well insolvable problem. Until I think of how he can solve it, nothing to type.

In the meantime, here’s an ad and a link to my copyeditor. The man is efficient and reasonably priced. I have relied on Mr. Zimmer for, what, five of my novels, now? And hope to continue to in the future.

Fish and Shrimp Radio Waves

The good folks at The Star Chamber were having an open lines night. I was just following along with a few lines to their Chat Room when they foolishly wandered onto a topic I found relatable. After all these months, I would have thought that the host would know to recognize at least my Area Code and block all numbers from there, but no… once again they wagered their reputations on letting go live. The triumph of hope over experience.

I wander in almost exactly at the 1:15:00 mark and babble for about eight minutes. Once off, the hosts try to recover from my verbal Molotov Cocktails. It was fun.

New book, in process

Finally settled on a name: Obligations of Rank. Got the copyedit back and just now finished implementing those changes. Rattled the cage of my cover designer to move things from the back burner to front. All in all, coming together nicely.

Wasn’t sure if I needed to add maps to this one and ended up adding two: one of central Kentucky, as that story moves around a bit and I don’t want the readers to get lost. The other is just to illustrate the progress of the Martian terraforming project. I also had to update the stemma as there are just too many family connexions to keep track of.

If all goes well, it should be out for Thanksgiving in the US; the third week of November.

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Continue reading “New book, in process”

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.

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“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””