They have great shows like After Rot: Cookies and Zombies and comics, oh my! Tonight after After Rot, I’ll be interviewed on Free Pie night. 10pm Eastern, or 6 pm Alaskan. Come on over and listen to the interview, but keep the link. This is great internet radio, and you might hear almost any sort of music, almost at any time.
The trade-paperback is available for pre-order now! Official release on 12/15/2012. If you have a friend, tell your friend, please! I’d hate to see my publisher cry, she can be quite emotional. For her sake, please order the book. Don’t worry about me. You’ll find it at a nice discount on Barnes and Noble
I started my NANONovella on time, and wrote for some days, and am now hopelessly behind schedule. Then I got up this morning, and started with a headache and growing sense of malaise, which I’ve always associated with laziness more than any sort of illness. But the headache keeps getting worse, and my stomache is… Never mind. I’m going to the pharmacy rather than the office, and then I’m going to go to bed. Then, maybe, I’ll work on the Nanonovella. Why a Novella? As far as I’m concerned, 50K words isn’t a novel. However, I committed to a YA, and so it might very well be complete at 60K or so.
I committed reading in public last night. Nanonovella and public reading tie together more completely than you might think. I like reading from my book, and doing the reading out loud causes me to skip words and phrases that I love in written form, but that clearly slipped in while I was under the influence of my inner editor. Write in passion, edit at leisure. Fine. But when you edit, keep that passion in the front of your mind, and don’t let Strunk and White meddle with character voice. Or narrative voice, for that matter. Strunk and White aren’t going to get credit for your book, and if you’ve made your book bland in search of Strunkly and Whitely approval, you may as well not publish. Strunk and White aren’t going to approve, because they’re dead. English is not Latin, and the rules didn’t freeze in 1918. There is a lot of argument that the language has changed more quickly since the onset of rapid communications and information dissemination.
Still, I’m now recognizing that when I go to read the book for an audiobook, I’ll need to make some changes, even in a book that was always designed to leave the narrative voice ringing in the mind’s ear. Simplify? Not at all. But last night, with Jake’s voice ringing in my head, my actual words were sometimes different from the words on paper, and I found myself falling back to word choices I made during the first draft.
So, what does this have to do with the Nanonovella? The Nanonovella is entitled Armagedon’s Son, and is set in the Zook Country universe. I guess that world still has more stories to tell. But if I don’t get on my tuckus and start typing, this is another year when NANOWRIMO is just an extended form of novel planning. Since the story isn’t even remotely about motorcycle gang members, I may decide to change the title. Maybe I won’t. Armageddon’s Son rings for me.
Last night did something else for me. When I was planning how to introduce myself, I was using the “About the Author” formula, which is biographical and formulaic. If comes from the heart of all those letters I’ve written to publishers, agents, and editors, where the biographical information explains why my life made me the best person to write this book. That’s great stuff, if I’m writing about running while pregnant, and I’ve actually done that. Not so great if I’m fighting zombie hordes. There are no zombie horde survivors, for various reasons. I write because I have a passion for writing. I use models from my life when they fit, because that adds verisimilitude.
My wife said, “Start with, ‘I’m a lifelong fantasy and science fiction fan.’” She was right, but on a deeper level than she realized. I needed to remind myself of that. Yes, I have the military background that makes Jake and Gary credible as disgruntled veterans, but I also have passion for books in my chosen genres – including my own. I have a couple thousand of them in my basement library, and I had shelves installed so that I could alphabetize and find them. My library. My passion. How many other Alaskans have libraries this size in their houses? None that I know of. My shelves are filled with old, beaten up, often reread paperbacks, for the most part. I’m happy with that, and if I have to get rid of books, it will the clean and crisp ones, because those are the books I haven’t reread.
My inner writer is much closer to my inner fan than my dirty old editor is. My inner editor has been getting far too much sway, and I’m going to shut him down. For the rest of Nanonovella November, anyway.
I guess I already announced this on LiveJournal, but I’m going to commit NANOWRIMO, again. I’ve tried several times, and it hasn’t worked well. This time will be different. Why will this time be Different?
Well, I guess one reason might be that I have flesh and blood friends trying it with me, and we’re actually going to meet. Maybe that will keep me off of FB, LJ, rec.arts.sf.composition, and other forms of malcontent lurking. Lately I’ve spent more time endlessly searching my junk filters than writing, and something has to give.
But, to start a new novel? To concentrate on the requested sequel? To work on one of my other solid starts?
If you don’t know what NANOWRIMO is, you’re probably lucky. If you think you might want to torture yourself, look at http://www.nanowrimo.org/. Start on 1 November, write 50K words during November, and Bob’s your uncle. Where does that that expression come from, anyway?
So, we’re about to elect a new president, and I haven’t convinced the world to vote the way I want them to. I just discovered that I don’t agree with my chosen candidate as often as I do with the green candidate. And I think that my choice to share political viewpoints through social media has alienated my most likely readers. I don’t have the “right” political correctness – I just write good novel.
I think I’m going to start posting my short stories to Amazon, see if building up Bleeding Edge’s visibility will encourage people to buy Zook Country. Would anybody be interested in reading a science fictional love letter?
With the news that pre-publication copies are on the way, we look to be cruising to a success for the November 15th reading at the UAA bookstore. There will be four writers there, representing a range of popular reading interests. I’ll post more in a day or so…
Twilight Times Books tells me that my pre-publication books are in the mail, and should arrive by Guy Fawkes Day (5 November). (ARCs, Gallies, Pre-publication sale copies! Oh my!”) I even have a tracking number…
Okay. You may know that I’ve taken a month-long leave of absence from work to work on a sequel to Zook Country. God, or somebody with that sort of extra-natural suasion, has decided to inject some levity into my life. I don’t think it’s funny, but apparently my supervising deity finds hurricane strength storms and late summer monsoons just really hilarious.
The south wall of my house took two seasons for me to seal up to the point where water didn’t come through it when we had heavy rains during a serious blow. But for the last five years, I’ve not had leaks during storms. Until last week. We’ve had water coming through the walls twice in just over a week, and Thursday night it rained inside our daylight basement.
And I wasn’t there. I had decided, with permission of the management, to watch Resident Evil Retribution. I went into the theater on the way home from an appointment I had made before the whole leave without pay thing had kicked up, but which had already stolen three hours from my writing day. I walked into the theater at 4:40 pm, and the movie was just in time to be seated. I missed a trailer or two, but caught the flick. What can I say about the film? It has exactly the same story content as the average single person shooter RPG from the 1990s. I’ll probably watch the next one when it hits theaters, and be just as mystified as to why as I was on Thursday.
But then I got out of the theater, and my phone alarm went off to remind me that I had to be in choir practice. I called the manager, and my permission slip read “fine.”
Fine is a bad word in my house, just as it probably is in yours. I asked, and found out that right after I got permission for the movie, the winds kicked up on the ongoing rainstorm and she’d had to buy and place about ten large Tupperware containers on the downstairs bookshelves and below the points of lowest leakage in the kitchen. She caught gallons of water in the various containers, and soaked up an unknown amount more with most of our household bath-towels, and she was fairly out of sorts. Nonetheless, when I said I’d skip choir and come home, she told me that she’d already done about all that could be done under the circumstances.
From almost every perspective, the Thursday episode was her story of abandonment and triumph over extreme weather. Rain really has to be going sideways to get under the gable and drive through the logs. I went to choir practice because I’m a coward, and because I really needed to give her a few more hours to let her irritation develop a head of steam. I’ve spent the last few days trying to find somebody who can patch up the leaks in the log wall, because this summer looks to work its way into a stormy fall.
So, that’s the most event filled part of my LWOP. But I went on leave on the 12th, and had to work almost that entire day. I’ve had one friend whom I haven’t seen in thirty years decide to come visit (we went to the dump together, oh my), and I think I’m going to have another visit tomorrow. The other I saw a mere ten years ago, but still…
In the last two weeks, we’ve had hurricane force winds, lost electricity for a day and a half, and had rain-water come through our back wall, twice. Since I went on leave, I’ve been to the landfill with friends, and family, in a steady downpour and high wind to drop off a half a ton of collected junk. In the last week, I’ve heard from two friends I hadn’t seen in a decade or more, I’ve had two contractors come out to my house, see the flooding, and feel the soaked floor, then either pass on the job as beyond their abilities, or tell me that I’ll have to try to stay ahead of it myself until the freeze, and had one contractor return my call to apologize and say he was leaving state for a family emergency, but that if I’d line my back wall with plastic he’d take a look at when he got back to Alaska. I’ve got a bunch of stuff to plug checks (cracks) in logs, but they’re so spongy from absorbed water that I can’t do anything myself until the walls dry naturally.
I’ve written maybe 3,000 words in nine days. When I’m on-step, I can do that in a day, and still have time for chores. Now I’m afraid to start writing, since it might be challenging the gods of chance, and cause a tree to fall on my house.
Finally, I got another proof copy of Zook Country today. I was expecting ARCs this month, but I guess that is not to be. Should I read the new proof copy, or just okay it? Inquiring minds want to know
I sent out the proof copy corrections on Tuesday the 28th, and am now waiting anxiously for the start of my vacation. I’m taking a month off to work on Zook Country’s sequel, Rogue Country. I hope that there’s somebody out there who wants to read Zook Country, and that this will lead to somebody wanting to read the sequel.
We lived through what would probably be called a hurricane if we lived in an area that had hurricanes. Hills near us reported winds in excess of 100 MPH. We had no electricity, running water, or telephone for about a day and a half starting Tuesday evening, and ending on Thursday morning. The upside is that I’ve found a new small engine repair guy, so my chainsaw is running very well. The downside is it’s been raining up here in the hills for three nights, and I don’t really want to wander around in wet underbrush cutting down alder and cutting up fallen trees. I’m thinking the neighbors feel much the same, so maybe we’ll get together and have a pity party next week. The office I work at in Anchorage closed on Wednesday, because we had no phone or systems servers. I hope that there’s somebody out there who wants to read Zook Country, and that this will lead to somebody wanting to read the sequel. I may be repeating myself.
There is other news, but I think going to sleep might be the best plan for me. Until later, then.
I just received (Thursday) the proof copy of Zook Country, and am spending the weekend reading my own literature on trade paper stock. I promised Lida that I’d get my responses to her by tonight.
Lida’s intent to publish on September 15th meant that there would be no Advance Reader Copies to deliver to reviewers. I wasn’t terribly happy with that, because most of the major reviewers that we’d want to put on the book cover won’t even read the e-book version. Lida and I had an e-mail discussion, and she allowed me to push back the publishing date. She offered December 15th, and the book will be available for pre-order for a month before publication. Since I’d already lost the summer reading crowd, I’m hoping that I can take advantage of the holiday crowd. This is a publisher being extremely flexible for an unknown author, and I’m really hoping that I can make it work out to her profit.
I guess the publishing party will have to be postponed, since I’ll not have signable stock until December. The upside, we’ll probably have Advanced Reader Copies for distribution to certain reviewers next month. Oh, it turns out that having a publishing party on publishing date wouldn’t have worked, because I wouldn’t have actual books to sign until the mail delivered them a few days later. Lida recommends that scheduling publishing parties wait until the paper copy is in hand.