Champlain Colours

This is a little “exposition-y,” but a reader will need to know a bit more about Robert and his relations. I suspect that, being a “normie,” Robert takes things a bit more seriously than his gifted brothers and sisters. And as a brand-new imperial family who are, as Aurie admitted, “making things up as they go,” and in a hard neighborhood, it would take a certain hardness of mind and spirit to stay sane and effective.

Having written the next, Ticonderoga, scene last night, I realized this morning I’m going to have to re-write it. Things such as that come with the job. Much easier on a laptop than with pen on paper, though.

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The Colour of Politics

A few days ago had my laptop not working. Not quite a “Blue Screen of Death,” but more a Blue Screen of Imminent Doom. I was able to boot to a flash drive and verify my data was intact, but that was all. Not wanting to make matters worse, I passed it on to an IT guy I know. He was able to reload Windows past the \BCD error but pointed out that at seven years old, I’d best start planning a new machine.

All data is now re-backed up on a remote HDD and I’ve ordered another laptop. I do not want to reload everything on this one just to do it all again on my new one in a week, so these updates will fall away for the next ten days or so. I’m still writing – can’t stop, or I’ll die, but I’m using Word 0.1: pen and paper; I’ll have to retype everything! First World Problems! It’s also so much slower… I’m making more notes than dialog as I cannot scribble fast enough: Reina’s demands about Mars, the Empress’ change of plans with Edward, Aurie now on her own, and – as I suspected – the Minor Powers, Canada, Mexico, Texas, smell blood in the water. All when we now know that Aurelia has a dangerous, violent streak. Not sure what Colour’s “come from behind home run” might be, but I’m counting on her.

As you can see from the story text, below, this is from WordPad. So, the formatting is completely different. I’ll do better when I get my new machine. And give her a name. What? Of course I name my machines… don’t you?

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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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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.

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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.

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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!

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