LibertyCon Recap

Well, it’s been over two months since my last post, and I had HOPED to have a very different “first post back,” but unfortunately that announcement is still running late. However, I DID just come back from Libertycon (well, I started this post shortly after coming back from the convention; it’s taken me weeks to finish, but more on that later), and I figure I should report how things went.

Now, I haven’t been to a convention that was outside of one day’s driving range since Dragoncon in 2007, which I went to by train.  Libertycon is even further away than Dragoncon, and despite being the home to a nationally-renowned railway museum, there is no train between my hometown and Chattanooga.  (In fact, according to a local taxi driver, there are no trains into the town at all)  So I had no choice but to fly in on Thursday.  Keep in mind that I haven’t been in an airport, much less on an airplane, since I was in Junior High School (late 80s/early 90s), so this was an adventure for me in more ways than one.

My flight required taking a connecting flight in Atlanta.  I’d seen several Libertycon veterans talking about flying into Atlanta and then renting a car for the rest of the trip, but that didn’t make any sense to me — I wasn’t going to be driving anywhere once I got to town, and it would be much cheaper to take the connecting flight than to rent a car for the whole weekend.  What I was unaware of was that the flight from Atlanta to Chattanooga is too short for any sort of air conditioning to work, so… 90+ degree weather in a what is effectively a metal can like that isn’t pleasant.  I, and all the people on the plane, were roasted by the time we arrived.  (According to my taxi driver, this is a common problem for flights from Atlanta)

I arrived at my hotel late Thursday night, tired (from the early morning; it may have been a relatively short flight, but thanks to a longish layover in Atlanta it took all day) and extremely overheated (also from the flight).

Now, most regular readers of my blog are probably unaware of LibertyCon’s problems this year.  They were moving to a new hotel, the new hotel had problems just processing the number of people coming into the convention, then they LOST the new hotel and had to change both hotels and dates in the last few months… (their founder also died, and a few other things I’m not remembering right now happened over the past year)  The end result is that, even though I usually NEVER plan to go to a convention without having first secured a hotel room in the host hotel, I was NOT in the host hotel for this convention.  I was, however, in the hotel that had a back door into the City Cafe Diner.  The City Cafe Diner produces great food, at great prices, 24 hours a day — the best dining I’ve ever had at a convention.  So there was that going for me.

So, I had dinner at close to midnight (the cafe was packed even that late, by the way), and wasn’t back to my hotel room until 1am.  I didn’t have time to unpack and prepare myself for the convention, but I figured if I set my alarm I’d be fine getting everything ready to pick up my badge and familiarize myself with the convention center before the first panel of the con.

Except I slept through my alarm.  I woke up at almost noon, and by the time I rushed through getting dressed and found my way to the convention center (skipping breakfast and most of my unpacking, by the way), I’d missed the first panels of the day.  I was able to pick up my badge in time for the 2nd set of panels of the day, however.

That panel (and forgive me, I didn’t note who was on it other than Toni Weisskopf and Les Johnson) was a discussion of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop, which is an every-18-month (what do they call that, anyway?  Annual-and-half?) symposium discussing the implications of and the realistic methods for interstellar travel, now sponsored by NASA and Baen Books.  It sounded interesting, and learning (as something which had added urgency to the symposium) that there was now a congressional directive ordering NASA to prepare to launch an interstellar probe to Alpha Centauri by the 100th anniversary of the moon landing was news to me.

After that panel, I returned to my hotel room and did all of those things that my late start had prevented me from doing (unpacking my gear, eating breakfast, figuring out my schedule, etc.).  It took a while, and another good meal had me fall in love a little with the City Cafe Diner.

By the time I had everything sorted, I’d missed the opening ceremonies of the convention (which I had planned to go to, for once. Oh, well — there is a recording of it, which includes Sarah A. Hoyt saying “Moose and Squirrel.”  If you aren’t sure why that would be notable, you will have to watch it).

I did, however, make it to a panel James Beall was giving on “Warships of Sea and Space.”  Thanks to my computer disaster earlier this year, I was never able to write up my report on Ravencon, but Jim Beall had previously provided me a great deal of help for a short story I’ve had in the planning stages for years (still haven’t finished it, but after the computer crash I’ve been too busy with other things).  This panel of his was… rather topical, as most visitors to this blog might recognize:

Beall discussed the Battle of Hampton Roads (aka the battle of the Monitor vs the Virginia, aka the battle of the Monitor vs the MERRIMACK), the Battle of Mobile Bay (made famous by Admiral FARRAGUT’s orders (paraphrased), “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”), and the Second Battle of LISSA. If you’ll recall, some of the titles I intend for my Shieldclads series are The MERRIMACK Event, The FARRAGUT Affair (in progress), and The LISSA Incident. While I knew many of the details that he discussed about these battles, he shined a new perspective on them which I will likely consider while continuing the series.

When that panel let out… well, I never quite found out what happened, but there were a large number of fire engines and ambulances driving around, and I think they stopped at the hotel attached to the convention center.  A bit distracting, I must say, and the flashing lights were still flashing an hour later, when I went to my next panel, “Meet the Literary Guest of Honor Sarah A. Hoyt.”

I’d never seen Sarah in person, though I used to follow her group on Baen’s Bar (though I doubt she remembers. I was only an active poster there for a few months; there was a technical glitch which had me in read-only mode on the Bar for a a couple more years that was never fixed, and when they changed forum software I never went back).  Now I’ve joined one of her groups on Facebook, which is a large community very reminiscent of the old Bar. Her blog\essay, “He Beats Me But He’s My Publisher,” greatly influenced my decision to self-publish my works instead of continuing to try and hunt down a traditional publisher.  Under her pen name of Elise Hyatt, she writes some of the only mysteries I enjoy reading (I usually find I prefer mysteries in theatrical\video\film over books). But I had never met her in person.

This was a wonderful first impression.  Her interview was hilarious, discussing things like how to deal with writing while also looking after a four year old son who could concoct effective explosives, why she associates the word “Dragon” with Mexican Fried Ice Cream, and the vagaries of the Portuguese language, among other things.  Unfortunately, this ended with one reminder of why I usually never go to a convention unless I can get into the host hotel.

I’d been keeping an eye on the weather for weeks leading into the convention.  The predictions had all said that the weather would be good for my flight over, but there would be several thunderstorms during the convention itself.  The weather app on my cell phone, all day, had been predicting thunderstorms that evening.  Finally, towards the end of the panel, I noticed some flashes out the window that I thought looked a lot like lightning.  No rain, yet, but distant lightning.

Knowing that my next stop was my hotel room, and that I would have to walk a couple blocks outside to get there, I felt I needed to beat the storm (which never, as far as I can tell, materialized. Perhaps that wasn’t lightning, after all?), so I had to run before I could introduce myself or to ask any further questions.  It was a missed opportunity… (which became a recurring theme in this convention, but we’ll get to that later).  And thus ended my first day of the convention… (after another City Cafe Diner dinner, of course).

I woke up on time on Day 2, though I had various minor hotel problems throughout the day that didn’t amount to much, but seemed annoying at the time (the only hotel elevator quit working — and would stay broken through my departure, which made carrying my bags out something of a problem when I was leaving.  My WiFi wasn’t consistently working… which is par for the course with hotel wifi, I suppose, .  Oh, and I forgot to mention this one on Facebook — my hotel coffee maker didn’t work, which meant (as I was packing light and didn’t bring my usual electric kettle) I couldn’t make any of the tea, or coffee, or instant ramen packs I brought from home.  Ah, well, the City Cafe Diner was open 24 hours a day, so I was okay on that front).

The first panel I attended was the Indy Author Resources panel.  I was hoping, being in a different state (indeed, a slightly different region of the country), the panel might cover resources I was unaware of.  Alas, no, but I figured it would be rather informative for the newbie.

I followed that up by attending a panel entitled “Beamed Energy Launch.”  This panel was a technical discussion on the sort of beamed energy propulsion as theorized by physicist (and hard science fiction author) Robert L Forward.  And when I say “technical discussion,” I mean that I wasn’t able to follow half of the things that were talked about (and I would like to think I’m fairly knowledgeable about these sorts of things, for a layman).  The half that I was able to follow, however, might wind up incorporated into a story, some day, so the panel was worth it.

Libertycon, I’ve been told, is one of the best conventions out there for authors to do some networking, and one of the best features of the convention for networking was the Libertycon Banquet.  It’s an additional charge, but that charge is about the same as a regular lunch, but that means you really don’t want to miss it.  And it was being held just about as far away from the panel rooms as it could be, so I left the Beamed Energy Panel a little early to be certain that I’d be able to get to the banquet in plenty of time.  And I did… and had to wait in line for a bit, as they weren’t yet letting anyone in.

They finally opened the doors, and almost instinctively I went for the table which was the least occupied.  There were a few people sitting there already, but not many… however, I was told, when I got to it, that they were reserving seats for “someone else,” but I was free to take any of the seats on the other side of the table.  I wound up at a very bad seat at a very good table.

My seat was… well, to explain, you have to understand how the room was set up.  There was a long table at the head of the room where the head of the convention and all of the guests of honor were sitting (for those unfamiliar with these types of conventions, there are usually two levels of guests — the regular guests, who some conventions call “attending professionals” or “panelists” or whatnot, and guests of honor, who get all the perks (in larger conventions, I’ve heard this can include such things as an appearance fee, free travel to the convention, a limo ride to the convention center, free hotel rooms, free meals, maybe some complimentary fruit baskets and champagne, etc.).  The other tables included a mix of attendees (as I was for this convention) and regular guests.

Sitting where I was, there was a large pylon between me and the head table, so I couldn’t see the guests of honor at all.  So, a bad seat.  However, when it comes to who the “someone else” I’d been asked to move was, well…

My table included Ben Yalow (son of Nobel Prize winner for physics Rosalyn Sussman Yalow), Libertycon guest Jeff Greason, and… uh… Baen Books head editor\publisher Toni Weisskopf.

Unfortunately, as I said earlier in this blog, the theme of my experience at this convention was one of missed opportunities.  Toni was there to talk with someone else (a new and inexperienced publicist for — and possibly the relative\wife\girlfriend of — an author going by the pen name of S. Andrew Swann… who was also, incidentally, sitting at the table with the lot of us), so I decided to let them talk.  Don’t get me wrong — I LISTENED to everything that they were saying; they were talking about book marketing, and whatever else you might think of Baen Books, they understand how to market science fiction to the masses better than just about any of the Big Five publishers do.  But I kept quiet, figuring that eventually they would either wind up their conversation so that I could involve myself a little better, or at least that the conversation might drift to something I felt a little more on even footing to talk about.

Unfortunately, just as the conversation seemed to be reaching that point, we were all interrupted by the guests of honor speeches.  And thus that opportunity to try and glean more relevant (to me) information from Toni was missed.

The speeches themselves were interesting.  Sarah Hoyt, as she was at every panel I saw her on, was hilarious.  The science guest of honor broke down on the podium in a way everyone could sympathize with (the founder of the convention had passed away unexpectedly a short time ago, as I mentioned earlier, and the two of them were quite close).  The Master of Ceremonies used dry humor to bring things back up so the banquet could end on a lighter note.  (Honestly, I forget the artist guest of honor’s speech — it probably was very interesting, but I was focused on trying to solve the dilemma of not being able to see the speakers thanks to the pylon standing between me and them).

And then the banquet was over.  Oh, and as I seem to make an effort to review all of my meals at a convention (this was not intentional, but something I’ve noticed that I do in these recaps), I recall that the food was good but that there wasn’t anything adequate to drink it with — the only drinks available were water (which had been acidulated with lemon juice to the point it tasted like furniture polish) and unsweetened iced tea (I like tea, but if it isn’t cut with sugar and\or cream (when hot), it’s far too tannic for me).

After the banquet, I followed Toni Weisskopf (not literally; in fact, if I recall correctly, I left before she did) to the Baen Books Traveling Roadshow.  Usually a fun time (and I suppose it was, here, too), with a chance to pick up a free book (not this time, for me), but my ultimate downfall for this convention.

I sat on the front row, on the left (which was probably a mistake for more than one reason; I had a bad viewing angle of the screen and couldn’t see half of the guests), and initially had no-one near me.  About five minutes into the presentation, someone came and sat next to me… and promptly coughed directly in my face (he tried to cover his mouth with his arm, but he didn’t succeed).  He did that about half a dozen times, then left.

Those of you familiar with the term “con crud” probably have a good idea of what happened after that, though nothing happened at first.

I later attended a panel led by Sarah A. Hoyt and my tablemate from the banquet, Jeff Greason, entitled “Space Pioneers.”  My biggest takeaway from this panel was a line Jeff Greason had, referencing how some protests of the various private interests in Manned Mars expeditions were complaining that people would contaminate scientific findings we might have if we landed them on the planet, “The Universe is not a scientific preserve.”  I’ll have to steal that line.

Once again, the threat of rain chased me back to my hotel before I could meet and socialize with anyone (such as Sarah Hoyt, who — as I mentioned earlier — I had come to this convention hoping to introduce myself in person to).  I had a quick dinner at the City Cafe Diner, and that was it for my day at the convention.

I slept horribly that night, and woke up with the start of a sore throat.  Undecided if it was just the bad night or a cold, I stayed in my hotel the next morning… which was a real shame, because (in YET ANOTHER example of how this was a convention of missed opportunities for me) I missed another of the premiere networking events of the convention on Sunday:  The kaffeeklatsch with all the guests.  It was an opportunity for anyone to network with… well, anyone, again befitting Libertycon’s reputation as a great place for networking.

And I missed it, because I was feeling sick.

But later in the day, after missing the kaffeeklatsch, I was feeling better.  I decided it must have been the bad night’s sleep, so I went back to the convention for one last panel:  A discussion of SIGMA, a think tank featuring scientific-minded authors (many of whom have highly technical PhDs) who provide public service futurism consulting, founded in part by the science guest of honor (and a former Science Advisor to the White House, back in the 90s), Dr. Arlan Andrews.  The very concept of such a thing has long fascinated me, and I remember being very intrigued by the panel at the time… but I don’t remember much about it.  I went back to my room afterwards, fell asleep, and didn’t wake up again until I had to pack up to go home.

I made it home, safe and sound (I was worried I’d oversleep, but that was never an issue, and after dealing with security\etc. from Dulles, going through the Chattanooga airport was a dream).  Since then, though, I’ve either been suffering from con crud, helping my mother who caught the con crud from me, falling down a flight of stairs rushing to get some cough medicine for my mother who needed it desperately (I’m okay, but I was bruised and sore for several days afterwards), or… well, just too busy.  Which is why this write-up has been so late in coming.

Overall, I rather enjoyed those bits of Libertycon I was there and alert for, but the “missed opportunities” thing, the wrong hotel thing, and the con crud thing all worked together to make it so that I didn’t have as good of an experience as I think I could have.  I have (well, had; they SOLD OUT in LESS THAN 30 MINUTES, so it wouldn’t matter if I changed my mind at this point) no intention of attending Libertycon in 2020; indeed, I’m still not certain if I want to go to any conventions in 2020.  But I DO hope to go back to Libertycon, some year, and hopefully I’ll be able to make more of the opportunity next time.

Back Up And Running….

The new computer has been assembled and is running. All my needed software is installed, and I’m finally able to get back to work.

Don’t have much time to write a blog post tonight (I’ve got a LOT of catching up to do), but sometime over the next couple weeks I’ll try and put together a post explaining what all has been going on while I was computer-less (and why I got that way, and why it took so long to overcome that issue). I’ll try to catch you all up as soon as I can.

Until then, though, this brief post is all I have time for. I’ve got books to write, edit, build, and publish.

Not dead…

Just as an FYI: This blog is not dead. I am, however, experiencing severe computer problems that make updating it regularly almost impossible.

I was at Ravencon last weekend, and really want to write about some of the things that happened there, but without having a (working) computer, it’s nearly impossible to write about it all. Heck, it’s hard enough getting these two or three paragraphs out, as it is. I have a really hard time typing on touchscreens.

See you when it’s all fixed….

Researching for a Story I May Never Write…

I like the silly\amusing posts I’ve made over the last few blogs, but I still want to keep up some of my older style posts as well. With that in mind…

I’m currently working on two books (In Division Imperiled, which still needs editing and a cover, and Shieldclads, which is still in the (re-)outlining stage), and when the weather stabilizes enough that driving down to the library is safe (well, the library that has the free-to-use recording studio in it; that library requires driving down a few back roads I don’t trust to be regularly plowed), I intend to try my hand at recording A Gun for Shalla as an author-read audiobook. So, I’ve got plenty of writing projects going on at the moment.

But I have this goal of trying to get yet another short project out this year in addition to all of that. After not releasing a new book last year (well, unless you count This Book Cannot Make Any Money), I need to make up for lost time. But if I want to finish something like that, I need to make sure I have some necessary research lined up, first.

I’m thinking that what I’ll do, if I can find the time, is complete the story I started on this blog for that aforementioned This Book Cannot Make Any Money which featured a malfunctioning, burger-flipping robot named with the deliberately bad French accent named Hummer, who turns detective when someone is murdered in his restaurant.  I like the set-up I’ve already written, and I’d like to explore a conclusion to it.

Now, I may never write this story; it all depends on whether I can find time to squeeze it in.  But if I do write it, there are things I need to know.  I need to figure out what forensics tools would be in Hummer’s tool-kit (I have some ideas for things, but I’d like to ask an actual forensics expert how realistic they are), I need to know EXACTLY how the poison I used in that story works (and if it doesn’t work the way I need it to, I need to find one that does work the way I need it to), and I need to research some of the things I intend to use as clues and evidence for Hummer to find (which will remain unspecified as they could be spoilers).

That would take time (which, with only slight difficulties, I could carve out in my schedule, even if I’m still working on those three other projects), but must be done before I write one more word on that story.  Which means I need to get started on that research before I even know if I will actually write the story.  But I think it needs to be done.

So… I guess I’ve got some work to do.

Just to Keep the Blog Active…

As I mentioned several weeks ago, I figured I could post videos I found interesting and similar things to keep this blog active when I didn’t have anything to talk about for the week. I then promptly forgot to do that for the next month or so, but I still think it’s a good idea.

With that in mind, here’s an… interesting video.

Plans for 2019…

Well, my plan to keep this blog going with fun pics and videos didn’t work out, pretty much from the moment after I made said plan. Well, plans don’t always work out.  I had a lot of plans for 2018, accomplished a few of them, but some of them are bridging over into next year.

Keep that in mind as I list the following Plans for Fennec Fox Press in 2019:

1. Early in the year, I expect to publish In Division Imperiled, the third book of my Law of Swords series. Then again, I was expecting to have it done back in August. I’ve only gotten back partial edits, so far, and I’m looking for a new cover artist. It’ll be a project, but I hope — at the very latest — to have it out in time for Ravencon this year.  Hopefully earlier, but that will depend on how the cover search goes.

2. I intend to make use of my local library’s maker-spaces, which include soundproof recording studios I can use for free, to try and record an audiobook of “A Gun for Shalla,” my story in the Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders anthology. If this works out, I may try the same thing for some of my other books, but we’ll see.

3. Work on the next Shieldclads book has begun… sort of, though I have yet to start actual writing. Mostly I’m just re-familiarizing myself with the universe, going through 14-year-old notes from when I first started writing The Merrimack Event, and doing some occasional research. I’m too busy with other things involving In Division Imperiled to start actually writing it, right now, but I hope to get started early in the year… maybe even in January.  How long it will take me to actually write it is another question, but with luck I’ll get it out in 2019, too.

4. IF I am fortunate enough to get both In Division Imperiled and the 2nd Shieldclads book out this year, I’m thinking I will try and get something done in one of my non-tentpole series books; in other words, maybe I’ll actually go ahead and do that expansion of “The Rink of War” into a full-length novel, which has a lot of pre-written material from when I was intending for that short to be part of a series of shorts. Or maybe I’ll even finish that untitled short story about the malfunctioning robot chef with a deliberately bad french accent who turns detective (which you can find either in this blog’s archives, or in my collection of unfinished tales, This Book Cannot Make Any Money); I don’t expect that to become anything more than a short, anyway.
I probably will NOT start By Claw and Arrow (planned as the second book in the Inari’s Children series), because that will be a much more involved process. I hate having to set aside what I’ve long viewed as my best book\series for so long, but the sales just haven’t been good enough for me to justify taking the time to write it. As things stand it will have to wait until I’m free of one of my tentpole series (likely the Law of Swords, as that’s planned to be a shorter series and is further along) before I can get to it. Of course, if there was a sudden boost in sales of that book that allowed me to justify it, maybe I’ll be able to bump it ahead in the queue….

Happy New Year, folks! Full of hope that these plans work out… (we’ll see how things go)

It’s been a while…

Okay, so I’ve missed a few weeks (and I’ve gotten more comments than normal. Huh. So, to get comments on this blog, it seems I have to disappear without explanation for a while. Hm…). I don’t really have an excuse other than “Oops, I forgot, and I had no idea what to write about anyway.”

I got a bit of news this week, though:  I’ll once again be returning to Ravencon 2019 as a ‘Programming Guest.’  I almost certainly will NOT be at Ravencon in 2020 (with the 2019 guest slot, I’ll have been a guest 3 times in a row.  As I understand how things work at that convention, it wouldn’t matter if I was J.K. Rowling, I wouldn’t get four guest invites in a row), so I’ll have to think of a replacement event to attend that year, but I have plenty of time before then.

Honestly, I still don’t have any idea what to write about in this blog, any more, but as I have a book coming out soon (In Division Imperiled), it’s a bad idea to let it sit idle for too long.

With that in mind, I’m going to try something of an experiment. If I DON’T have anything to write about for the week, I’ll toss up an interesting\funny\etc. video or picture I’ve found somewhere around the web (usually via shamelessly stealing the link from someone on Facebook) for you to enjoy.

I’ll start it off with an old favorite of mine…


Link Shares:

It’s been a while, so there are several of them.  Another reason for bringing this blog back even though I don’t have anything to talk about:  The long delay between posts has made some of the reason for these shares irrelevant (for example, several of these were intended for Halloween), but I figured I should go ahead and post them anyway.
Rapunzel by Laura Montgomery (free for a few days)
The Utter Truth by Cyn Bagley (oops, missed a free promotion. Sorry, guys!)
If You Should Choose This Mission by Cyn Bagley (see above)
Luna City Lucky Seven by Celia Hayes and Jeane Hayden (New release!)
Lab Gremlins by Cedar Sanderson (New release! Uh… for Halloween)
Mercenary Calling by Laura Montgomery (missed a free sale)
Death Comes to Merry Gardens by Elizabeth Bruner (Halloween-themed)
Like a Continental Soldier, by Laura Montgomery (Final book of a set that has been pushed here, before).

Word Counts…

I put out a call last week, asking for suggestions on what to do with this blog. I got one reply — in e-mail (WHY DOES NO-ONE EVER USE THE COMMENT FEATURE?!) — that suggested I treat the blog as a diary, and talk about what happens in my life. I pretty much do that, already… it’s just that there isn’t enough new material each week to make up a new blog every week, and I’d really like to TRY and keep this blog a weekly thing. So I’m still taking suggestions, if anyone has any.

It’s a good thing I don’t give people weekly (or worse, daily) word count updates. People would get really confused. For the first few weeks, I’d post about having written roughly 1k-2k words per day, which by the end of the third week would accelerate to 6-8k per day. My record is about 12k words in one day, though that was long before I went pro.

I’d top a hundred thousand words about the end of the sixth week… and still be going, since most of my books run about 150k words. Usually at 100k, I’d start slowing down, sometimes to a few mere hundreds of words per day.

For In Division Imperiled, however, it got even worse than that. I got to about 130k-140k, which I’d estimate is about 90% of the way done, about three months after I started. Which is what I told anyone who asked — the book was “90% done,” so hopefully it would be finished shortly. And I STILL HADN’T SLOWED DOWN. I was thinking I’d finish the book in a personal record time.

And then I started trying to knit all the parts of the story together for the conclusion, resolving all the sub-plots (at least, all of those which weren’t setting up something for the next book) for the end.

The story wasn’t stalled in the least. I seemed to be adding newer, better subplots in as I was deleting others, and I was making great progress on them. I was still going about 3-4k words per day… but I was pulling about 5-6k per day at the same time.

In other words, I was going backwards.

By the end of the sixth month, I was down to 110k words. That was the shortest it was cut to after hitting that 140k word plateau, but it wasn’t the last time it shrank. I was back to 140k a month later (this was back around August or so, when I was hoping to be finished in a week or two) when I finally gave up on one fairly massive sub-plot that was threaded throughout the book. One whole chapter, and several large partials, wound up being gutted from the book. I was back down to 115k words. That’s a fine length, if the story is complete, but the tear-out left a lot of gaping “holes” in the story that needed to be filled back in. My editor was expecting the book the same week I’d ripped out that subplot, and my writing speed had dropped back down to about 1k-2k. I was fortunate he allowed me to send him a partial manuscript he could work on while I finished. I’ve had a few other cuts since then, but nothing so drastic.

Earlier this week, I topped over the 140k plateau for the fourth time with this book… and I don’t think there are any subplots left that are likely to be ripped out, this time. I still figure about 150k will be the ultimate length. If I’m able to keep going at 1k-2k per day, I should FINALLY be done in a week or two… only three months late. *sigh*


This week, we have a Halloween-themed linkshare!  Memories of the Abyss, by Cedar Sanderson, is a mystery thriller of novella length the author says is perfect for the season.

Also this week, Stephanie Osborn has released the eighth book of her space opera series, Division One, with Phantoms.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading!

Yet Another Status Report

Well, I’ve got nothing big to talk about this week, so it’s time for Yet Another Potpourri of stuff\Status Report! Woo. *yawn* Hoo.

To start with, I finally got my first report from Tantor about The Merrimack Event‘s audiobook this week. I won’t give out the particulars, but I’ve earned out the advance and am into profit, there, and sales are well into the four figures. Now, there, I’ll give a genuine “woohoo!”

I completed the transition, mentioned a few weeks ago, from having my books transferred from the soon-to-be-discontinued Createspace service into its replacement, KDP Print. The transition went smoother than I feared. If anyone even noticed, though, I’ll be surprised.

The third Law of Swords book is ALMOST complete. I know I’ve been saying that for a while, but this time I really mean it! (heh; I meant it every time I’ve said it, but I feel a bit more definitive about it). I still need a few solid days of writing, most likely, and those have been hard to come by these past couple of weeks, but I’m REALLY close.

I’m trying to think of ways to make this blog more interesting. A common piece of advice for writers is not to try and market your books to other writers, because writers never have any money; this blog is focused a lot on writing and the business of writing, so… yeah. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.  (Yes, for most of you, this means you’ll have to actually LEAVE A COMMENT in the comment section.  I know it’s hard, but if you want something more out of this blog that’s pretty much the only way you’ll get it.

Link Shares:

Between October 5th and 9th (so, uh, by the time you read this the promotion is half-way done), Cedar Sanderson is giving away her Halloween-themed short story, Sugar Skull.

I’ve mentioned Chris Kennedy and his small press outfit here a few times before.  He’s just released a new anthology in his popular Four Horseman universe, and some of the authors want that link shared as well, so enjoy Tales from the Lyon’s Den.

J.M. Anjewierden (boy, I hope I spelled that right) needs some cash for emergency car repairs, and is hoping to get it by putting all of his books on sale (for a short time only!).  His Science Fiction\Coming of Age story, The Long Black, was highlighted in the link share request.

Cyn Bagley has asked for link shares for three Halloween-themed stories:  Perchance to Dream, Ghostly Glimmers, and Smoke and Mirrors.

And that’s it for this weekend!  Maybe I’ll have something a bit more next week.