July Update

Been in the swamps of editing/rewriting/biggest pain-in-the-ass part of writing lately. Getting time away (lots of time) from my work, then rereading with a critical eye, has been the biggest lesson this last couple months. Honestly, most of the stuff I sell is first draft quality and can be polished and reworked into more cohesive, flowing pieces. It’s a lot of work to put your best foot forward. Finishing and submitting is easy, but reworking it into something explosive and clear to any reader is the real work. A story is made in editing, plain and simple.

Cymphonee and I have a new addition to the family. We’ve been working hard to keep him in line and the crate training is going pretty well. Not sure he likes the crate as a sleeping area (mostly, he thinks it’s a kind of punishment after sleeping on the bed with us), but he’ll adapt. Atreyu is a boxador from the pound and we love him to death (when he’s not gnawing on anything in sight).

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“Three times a Ronin Shouts” is available for pre-order on amazon as of now. I believe the actual release date is July 21, but you can get it now for a buck. Bards and Sages publishing did a pretty good job for this 8k word stand alone, and I hope you’ll all enjoy. Two sales in the ether right now, prospects looking good for a print and a new audio release. Finished “Gwendy’s Button Box” and I’ll have some comments or a quick review up soon.

Ronin

 

Recovered

Cymphonee recovered the old hard drive; that means 25k in the novel saved and six WIP’s recovered. Not to mention all our old photos and videos. Yeehaw! Bards and Sages Publishing picked up “Three Times a Ronin Shouts” and that should be coming out as a stand alone in July I believe. Still watching for negotiations at Manor House for September release of “What’s Done in the Dark,” and have been obsessively playing the Gwent Beta!

More to come.

May Update

April was the heaviest reading load I’ve carried so far this year. Got through Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining and am half way done with Night Shift. Picked up Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption again and have been diving back into the basics of craft. The ideas aren’t hard these days, there are plenty of them. It’s the structure and voice I’m struggling with, until a bullfrog whispered in my ear yesterday–yes, a bullfrog. Lets call him Jeremiah, and he’s volunteered to narrate a new piece I’m working on. Saves me a lot of work. If you’re working on a story and a character’s voice just pops out and speaks to you, listen, record, and keep your third eye open.

Got a new flash piece in Speculative 66 (Loverboy Android) coming out tomorrow I believe. Just like “Stay of Execution,” this one began as a 250 word account of a girl desperate for the love of a machine. Again, it was an idea piece and those can be chopped down to the bare essentials sometimes. If you can take an entire novel and chop it down to 66 words you’ve got a pitch that can save you a lot of work when it comes down to summarizing each chapter in a paragraph (this will happen somewhere down the line, best to start now). “Out Here” has made the rounds and returned with a pile of great feedback, yet no takers. Some pieces, the ones you feel you really need to tell, aren’t worth letting go of, and I drew the line with “Out Here.” Set a bar for yourself that you won’t compromise. If I don’t get at least 3 cents a word, it goes in the trunk until a new market pops up.

I hear Cirsova is in the midst of recording an audio-book version of issue #5 and I hope it’s well-received.  Grimdark Magazine has some huge projects in the making, along with a new website that looks amazing. Watched episode 1 of American Gods and was blown away by the production value and how they really stuck to the format of the novel. Got through 10 episodes of Vikings season 4 (the rest will have to wait until my amazon account releases them for free) and couldn’t believe the great Ragnar met his end in a pit of snakes. Took a break from Mass Effect Andromeda (a bit disappointing) and am letting the X-Box cool down until another Dark Souls installment becomes available (I doubt it).

Keep reading, and writing, and listen to your inner bullfrog.

Hugo Award Voter Packet

Cirsova

Today, I sent the Hugo Voter Packet to Worldcon officials.

For those who are curious, we selected the following representative works:

  • The Lion’s Share, by JD Brink
  • The Hour of the Rat, by Donald J. Uitvlugt
  • The Space Witch, by Schuyler Hernstrom
  • Rose by Any Other Name, by Brian K. Lowe
  • The Last Dues Owed, by Christine Lucas
  • The Phantom Sands of Calavass, by S.H. Mansouri
  • Lost Men, by Eugene Morgulis
  • The Priests of Shalaz, by Jay Barnson
  • Squire Errant, by Karl K. Gallagher
  • A Hill of Stars, by Misha Burnett
  • My Name is John Carter (Pt 1), by James Hutchings
  • The Feminine Force Reawakens, by Liana Kerzner

All total, it adds up to about 63K words, slightly longer than our latest issue.

While a part of me wanted to be able to just send all of the stories, I understand that Hugo voters will have millions of words to…

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Cirsova Receives Hugo Nomination for Best Semi-Pro Zine!

Congrats Alex

Cirsova

It is incredibly difficult to convey just how hard it’s been to keep this under my hat for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been so excited that I just wanted to scream.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and made this possible! If I name names, I know I’ll forget folks, so I’ll try to cover everyone as best I can. Thank you to my fellow bloggers at Castalia House, thank you to the Alt-Furry crew for putting us on Sad Pookas, thank you to the folks on Pulp Twitter, thanks to everyone who follows and reads the blog, thanks to the friends and family who’ve supported us, and especially thanks to all of our readers and contributors – without you, we’d be just another WordPress site!

I probably won’t be able to make it up to Finland this year, but if any local Helsinki black metal…

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