For those of you still visiting the site, please take a moment to look over the new and revised content.
First, took down the semi-lying header for Storms on an Opal Sea and replaced it with one for my latest short story, The Huntress. This time, it’s for real. I swear. It’s written, been sent out for feedback, revised based on the comments I received, and ready for copy editing. Once that is done I can insert it into the nifty new cover I designed (see right column) for it tonight and release it into the wilds of the ebook marketplace and see what happens.
In addition, I found an image for the follow-up A Lesson in Power (see bottom of page), which has also been sent out for feedback, and whipped up a cover for it as well. Have fallen into a nice consistent format for the covers that I hope will draw some attention to them upon release. Yeah, it’s a lot of faces and not as dynamic as they could be, but I hope most people find them intriguing enough to read the blurbs.
Then, since I was feeling so successful, I reworked the cover of The Missing Wizard to bring it up to current ebook standards as well. When I finally upload the new story for sale I’ll revise TMW as well. Also reworked a few story pages to bring them into line with the current reality of my productivity and Bob’s your uncle!
Finished the first draft of my new short story, A Lesson in Power today with 6652 words, which I packaged up and sent it out to my beta-readers for mauling, uh, I mean feedback. So that’s now two short stories in the can and I’m feeling pretty good about 2013 so far.
Now, if I could just figure out how to fix the plotting problems in the first few chapters of An Empire Forgotten I’d be ecstatic.
Meanwhile, still got a couple of ideas for short stories brewing. Of course there will always be Storms on an Opal Sea, at least it seems that way, as it reminds me more of an albatross every time I look at it. I have to get over this “feeling” like working on a story and just make it happen.
Don’t get me wrong, that feeling makes it easy to write, energizes me, and gives me hope that I’m actually making progress. I already know how the story ends, so its not that. I know from experience and hearing from other writers that its almost impossible to remember how hard or easy a section of writing was later on, so there’s no reason to dawdle. Still, it is what it is. One day I’ll feel motivated and finish it lickety-split, or I’ll worry it like a college level research report due tomorrow and grind away until its done.
Until that day, I think I’ll just work on A Painful Blessing instead.
Feedback on The Huntress, my second short story, is starting to come in. Once the feedback changes are completed and a copy edit pass made, then it’s off to ebook production and release. Already found a nice image to use and since I have a template for covers in place already the only thing left to do is learn what has changed in the ebook format in the last 18 months and make sure mine matches.
With the release of the Retina display for iPads, the pixel size of images has increased dramatically, but I think I’ve already got that covered. In addition, I’d like to add a You Might Like page as well listing all my released works. A skimpy selection now but one that I hope to grow this year.
In addition, I’ve written a follow-up to The Huntress tentatively entitled A Lesson in Power that while a standalone short continues the story began in Huntress. This one took about ten days to write but is a little less coherent than the first, so I’m going to make a second pass on it before I release it to my beta readers.
I’m encouraged, 5 weeks and 2 short stories this year.
Now, if I could just get the momentum to complete Storms on an Opal Sea, life would be grand.
Two months ago I started working again at another Austin tech company with a bunch of former coworkers, so much so its just like old home’s week. They have a new software product coming out at the end of this year and I’m working on the documentation for it. Have already managed one product manual and am working on the second now, so just very busy every day. Nice to feel like I’m contributing again and getting out of the house and away from the cats.
After the initial month or so of getting used to working all day, I’m now in the rhythm again with my other projects. You may have noticed some word counts changing on various story projects. Last night I completed one, a new short story I call The Huntress. I’ve sent it out to a few people for some feedback, then I’ll clean it up, pack it into an ebook and post it on all the common ebook stores.
Storms on an Opal Sea, which I thought would be the second short story I released is still dragging along. When I updated the site graphics to pre-announce it the goal was to have it done and available by the end of January. Unfortunately, I’m just not happy with how its been coming along. I thought I could push through and finish it, but instead I let myself get distracted with the new job and before I knew it the middle of March was here with no story to share.
So I decided to get motivated again and signed up for the online Lecture Series called How to Write a Short Story: The Basics, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch from WMG Publishing. While most of the material was already known to me, she managed to wedge some new thoughts into my head on writing short stories that sunk in and made sense to me. Mainly, to just write your stories using the techniques mentioned and practice! That’s it. In every other endeavor in this world people only get better by practicing, so if you don’t practice, you can’t get better. So I decided the first idea to practice on that sounded appealing was The Huntress. Three weeks later it was done.
Now I hope to apply it to some other projects as well.
Mike King, the husband of my ex-wife Lora finally released his first CD called Street Pajama Bottoms. It’s available at all fine digital music outlets like iTunes, Amazon, and many others. A very eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from jazz, funk, rock, reggae, and others that I haven’t yet totally wrapped my head around, but I am liking parts of it.
So if you looking for something different to listen to, this CD may be the one.
UPDATE: I’ve had a chance to listen through the CD a few times this week and it does have a couple of nice songs. I’m especially impressed by the production quality. It sounds to my musically untrained ear, as if they did a really great job on the production end. Best of luck Mike.