Friday, July 30, 2021

August 2021 News

Happy August to you. I'm posting this two days early because I ain't messing with it over the weekend. Lucky you.


Edits go well. I'd mentioned that I'm making substantial changes to a real tosser of a character. The character's arc makes a heroic upturn maybe halfway through his story. I've finally arrived at that point, praise Imala. Our tropical hero has had his nihilistic arse dragged and torn all over the jungle. He's found his spine, made a heroic sacrifice, and is about to discover a reason to live (simplified: some damn girl). 

I'm hoping the brunt of the remaining changes for him are all just for continuity's sake.

Some folks ask me when this book releases. I don't have a date. Here's the long answer. I'm sorry.

  • Finish developmental / late-stage edits
    • I'm finishing the hardest part now (fix the sociopath), but after that are smaller details
    • Return my changes to John. He'll do his part and send me his final suggestions.
    • I apply those.
  • Copy edits
    • I don't have a copy editor in mind just yet but I have some ideas on how to find one.
    • This story is 280,000 words. They could take 2-6 months. I'm going to try to find a quicker one, but as always quality will determine, not speed. 
  • Cover 
    • Illustration/Painting. Done! Felix Ortiz is a wizard and it's a damn crime that I'm sitting on so much of his art versus sharing it! You know what? I'm sharing some. Scroll down.
    • Typography. In progress! Working with Shawn T. King on this. He and Felix do great work together.
  • Typesetting
    • This is the finicky little tweaks and turns you have to apply to a document to make it work as an ebook. I sure do want to outsource this, but do you see all the above? Those are all significant expenses. My coffers will likely be dry by this point. 
  • Hit publish!
    • Not that easy actually. This go round (unlike my debut) I want the book to be seen. I'm going to have to organize a release extravaganza for marketing/promoting purposes. Don't ask me how much info I have on that. Not a lot. 

So when will all that be done?

Honestly I'm stupid enough to think a 2021 release is possible. Copy edits will tell. They're quicker than developmental edits but, again, this book is the size of three The Hobbits, and that single book warranted *14 hours of cinema. 

*It did no such thing. Forgive my sarcasm.


Here are a couple of teaser snippets from the cover/banner art, created by Felix Ortiz. I kept 'em small to keep you thirsty.  

Lieutenant's Second Mourt, Fohrvylda's Domestic Patrol
"An orcane rider breaches the town square well ahead of the main force. He lurks in his saddle watching them silently. Mourt. Just seeing him chills Irdessa’s blood. There are too many rumors of his depravity for them all to be false. Seems he acquired a new mount. The thunder of hundreds of marching boots follows him."

Kraus the Thirsty Bandit
"Kraus has never ran this long in his life. Surely no one has. Who would? And why? If you hate yourself enough to submit to an all day marathon, then just stick a knife in your neck. There are easier ways to die."

Irdessa the Undying
"In the years of her life that other girls might seek a trade or hook a man to make their own daughters, Irdessa learned how to spot weakness, exploit it, hold her weapon aloft while her enemy bled to death under her boot. The intimacy she had room for was the sort only one party survived."

Magus Kalderys, Consonant Baromancer
"His sentinels sing of the splendor of this moment. Kalderys sings of the moments to come. Of a white fire birthed to sweep the jungle like a shell comb, removing tangle from the trees with teeth made of lightning. So fast time is irrelevant, so bright all else is dark. Kalderys loses himself in the Song and lets instinct guide his steps. The power magnifies. His destination approaches."

These folks get into a ton of fun in the book! Through hilarious antics and fond adventures, they all wind up the best of friends. None of that was remotely true.

Natasha the Spider

I introduced her last month and figured I should cap that story off. She and her brood are gone with no evidence they were ever there. I'd wager this is to be expected with insects/arthropods of that size. They lead fast lives compared to us and go out with a crunch, not a nursing home. 

Next Month

I'm just gonna call it: I'll still be editing. 

See you then


Thursday, July 1, 2021

July 2021 News

Morning guys. Happy almost independence day to my fellow yanks. 


Edits are still underway. In fact I've written 15,000 new words based on my editor's feedback. The direction I'm going feels like the way the story should have been from the beginning.
Added objects: 

  • Yet another character hellbent on committing suicide
  • More unrequited love

These don't in themselves feel like strong selling points. I promise they're both overflowing with goofs and gaffes and good times. 

Kayak biz

Did I mention the business idea my wife and I had? Moreso her? Well, we purchased some hardware (trailer, kayaks, paddles, life vests), arranged some insurance, built a brick wall of a waiver (in case ya die), commissioned a logo (can't show you yet), snatched up some online real estate (nine URLs as it were), and (here's the kicker) opened our business on Google. That part just felt like another small step in the process. But as soon as we did it, my phone started blowing up with requests. Turns out the demand is such that our service sells itself. Out of the kayaks we bought, we've already nearly paid off two. We're scrambling to fill requests and we're not even freakin opened yet. Good times. Much busy.

Natasha the spider

We found a black widow in the yard a little over 2 weeks ago. She was protecting her eggsack with unshaking vigilance until a few nights ago, when her new babies spilled out into the web-home she'd made for them.

Overnight we've gone from 1 to 251 black widows in that section of the yard. The nature-enthusiast in me prevented me murdering or displacing her, but I'm second guessing that. I'll keep watching to see what their plans are. I'm no scientist but I'd wager that ~97% of those baby spiders won't live to see adulthood. Time will tell.
Here are pics!

Natasha, our resident black widow

defending her eggsack day and night

snacking on a beetle

fighting off ants

proud mama

hundreds of babies

That last picture was taken a few days ago. Since then the baby black widows have been spreading out, probably already sick of each other's shit. This is resulting in a rapid decline in their numbers, as is surely expected. Not least of all because there's an ant bed on the ground beneath them, and the ants will eat everything they can get their mandibles on, no matter the risk.

Natasha, now having spent all maternal energy and presumably achieved her life's mission, has taken up a new side hobby. She's building a ball of ant corpses. It's about the size of a pea right now. I'd love it if she just keeps adding to it until it's marble sized. What a brutal queen. Meanwhile, the more industrious of her brood have seen their own successes in catching ants and slurping their liquified innards. 

I bet you didn't expect the monthly report to go this direction.

see you next month