“Plots have I laid!”

Whew!  Finished the ‘script’ that I’ll be using with my Powerpoint slides in twelve days at my presentation on Creative Writing & Self-Publishing at Ohayocon.  I’ve much ground to cover, and – since I’ll be a little drunk – cannot allow myself to get side-tracked, so I’ll have a written script in-hand to keep me on the rails.  I’ll likely as not tweak it a little, but that’s one less thing to fret over.

Have to work a short shift tomorrow (ironically with the woman who’ll be starring in the music video I need to finish) so perhaps I can take all my hand-written direction notes for what I’m provisionally calling “Lightning Across Clearest Blue” and type them up and get them to the rest of the team.

What?  Work on ‘Cursed Hearts’?  Never heard of it.

Continue reading ““Plots have I laid!””

Not dead; but dreaming

Haven’t posted as, honestly, there was nothing to say.

Work continues on Cursed Hearts, slowly (it would be oh-so simple to turn it into a novella of 30k words; I’m resisting that impulse.  For now).

I’ve the outline of what looks to be a 11-slide Powerpoint presentation for my Creating Writing/Self-publishing panel at Ohayocon in mid-January.  After a year of watching Milo speeches, I find myself using his voice in my head as I write.

This morning made a re-revision to the images I’m thinking of using in a fan-video; a joint venture of 3-AR Studios LLC and Star Art Works LLC.  I need that in the hands of my collaborators no later than a week from today so they can add/delete/change it.

It’s fascinating to me that the world of Machine Civilization I’ve created is open and flexible enough to swallow all of my other works.  As a former Systems Engineer, I’m absurdly pleased about that.

Christmas break for my girls, so no shuttling them about pools.  I’m hoping for productive evenings this next two weeks.

Ii don’t care that CH is a commercial product (well, yes, I do; that’s not my point) so I’m going to continue sharing snippets here. Continue reading “Not dead; but dreaming”

Curtain falls; curtain rises

NaNoWriMo passed yesterday.  As I expected, I was no-where near finished, much less to 50k words.  Which is fine:  I’ve many other things pressing for my time, and I’m finding the characters engaging and the genre a good challenge, so I don’t want to rush.  Still:  deadlines.  So, I think I’ll set Christmas as my writing stop-date.  As I’m guesstimating that this one will be a little longer than my first two – maybe 65k words – that’ll give me January to… hang on, something just came in on my ‘writer’ email….

Oh.  It appears my one-hour panel, ‘Creative Writing and Self-Publishing’ for Ohayocon 2017, in Columbus, Ohio, has been approved.  Sure be nice if I could give a more current example than 10-month old Echoes of Family Lost.  Hmmm.  January 15th….

‘Scuse me:  I need to go make some coffee for tonight.  I’d best see how Maya gets her memory back so she can start killing people again.  Cheerio!

Updates

Only fourteen days left until NaNoWriMo begins.  About a week ago I finally dug out the script I’d written for what would have  been the webcomic, Poisoned Hearts, thinking I recalled it well enough to serve as a first chapter.

Oops.

While I did recall most of it, the characters were already reforming in my mind for the new story; so, personalities are different, huge timing changes . . . at least the locations….    Nope:  I’d reimagined what the lab at Neuroi looks like, based upon my horror short.

So as it is, what was a first chapter of material is now a stack of notes for Cursed Hearts.  That still puts me miles ahead of where I started two years ago with The Fourth Law:  one mental image and a 20-second sound bite.  Barring any unforeseen RealLife consequences – as such happened last November – I’m feeling very good about this project.  Of course it’s tempting to actively make notes now, but I think that violates the spirit of the month-long challenge.  Dreaming, okay; notes, not so much.

My other October project:  converting my father-in-law’s oral history into written history, has also not gone as well as I’d hoped.  Once I sat down to write all that I recalled as a framework for him to add onto, I realized just how much I’ve forgotten over the past ten years.  Sure, I can ‘see’ the images:  him and his cavalry detachment caught in the second floor of a Polish cheese factory when a Red Army platoon motors up.  Him in a AVO prison, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs to his right and a 2-star general to his left.  I think I shall reallocate this to January, when it’s dark and cold and we’re all inside (December will be given over to editing then publishing Cursed Hearts by Christmas).

Not much meat in this post, but that’s what happens when a writer is between project.  Expect things to get very interesting quite soon.  Cheers!

 

First Pass

Got the interior completed and uploaded last night.  More clumps of hair out this morning trying to get the front/back covers done.  At only 24 pages, there’s no ‘spine’ per se, so had to work around that.  Then, the primitive graphics program I was using decided it was done for the day.

The nice thing about flat-panel screens is they go much further once they’ve cleared the glass of the window.

*ahem*  After applying the typical IT solution (“Did you restart your computer?”), things were less bad.  Images formatted, converted, uploaded.  I’ve gone ahead and submitted them for review by CreateSpace, even though I’ve no blurb on the back cover, yet.  I want one of their proof copies in my hand:  until you’re holding a physical copy, you’ve no idea what stupid things you’ve screwed up (such as leaving page numbers out of my first novel; my then 11 year-old caught that one).

As always, I cannot thank Claudia Gadotti enough for her amazing illustrations.  Please go to her place and lavish her with commissions!

“HBD!” Adding text

Last night was crashing and burning:  came home hopped up on coffee (recall:  I’ve high blood pressure) to get things done on HBD!, only to be confronted with hysterical wife:  “my J-drama torrents won’t work!!”  An hour lost there, then another making dinner, I finally sit down to format some jpg’s to pdf’s . . . forgetting that twice 2700 pixels is not 1350, but, in fact, 5400.  Re-re-formatting everything, I do a trial upload at 2215.  All clear.  Time for bed.

Tonight, adding text.  As this is a book aimed at 2nd graders, I think there’s about 120 words, total.  This issue – ONCE AGAIN – is formatting:  my pages are set to ‘bleed-out’ on the edges, so when making text boxes, I have to guess where my perimeter is.  That’s been three tries so far.  I’d also some issues about ISBN’s, but would rather toss my desktop out my window than even think about discussing it.

Below the fold, a snapshot of page 17.  God bless Claudia Gadotti, my illustrator.  How she could reach into my mind from my poor, bare-bones description of my characters to make what she did . . . well, just wait until I’ve wrapped this all up in a couple of weeks.

Continue reading ““HBD!” Adding text”

HBD! Update

With only seventeen days left to go in my self-imposed deadline, I just now figured out how to format the pages from jpeg to pdf and upload them properly to CreateSpace.  I’ve been spoiled:  for my traditional novels, I’ve used “Bookwrite” by Blurbb; a fantastic program, so long as you stay within its boundaries.  As this is an illustrated children’s book, I needed those boundaries to be elastic, so after a few days, out that went.

Then it was a matter of re-scaling Claudia’s wonderful drawings.  That took a couple of days to figure out… glad my wife told me to drink less:  I was about ready to throw my computer out the window.  I finally got a test of the cropped, resized, and split, pages successfully uploaded to CreateSpace.  I’ll – hopefully – reformat the remaining images tomorrow, then add the little bit of text (this is a kids book, after all) the day after.  Looks like the wife and daughters will be foraging for dinner the rest of this week!

Provisional cover is below the fold.

In other news, I’ve seen some huge character changes for my NaNoWriMo project this year; I’m quite pleased!  Set in a part of MachCiv I’ve not really been to, yet, and something of a horror novel, this should be fun!

Continue reading “HBD! Update”