A Quick Sunday Blog

Just a quick blog, today (because I got out of the habit and almost forgot to write one), where I’ll give a bit of a status report.

I. On Conventions…
I have nothing new to say about Ravencon (outside of a second reminder that I’ve been invited to be a guest there next year). It’s still more than half a year away, and I really don’t expect a lot that I can tell you for most of that time.
That said, it occurs to me that it’s been a while since I updated the convention calender. I think I’ll be doing that over the course of the next week, so if you know of any new sci-fi conventions, or local conventions I may not have heard of, PLEASE let me know. (I’ve been making this plea for several years, now; I’ve had exactly ONE person ever give me any info, and it was for a convention I already knew about. Still, hope springs eternal).

II. On my future books…
I’m currently writing In Division Imperiled, Book III of the Law of Swords series. I figured that, with the way I ended In Forgery Divided, you readers would want me to get that out as soon as possible.

It’s going well and I’m writing steadily, albeit much slower than I’d like, but I fully expect that there will come a point that it stalls out and I need to take a break from it (it’s happened in the middle of every book I’ve ever written).  When that happens, I will set it aside and FINALLY start pushing the long-delayed “The Merrimack Event” out the door.

When both of those things are done, I think the next project will be By Claw and Arrow, the sequel to The Kitsune Stratagem.  For some reason, even though I personally believe this is better written than In Treachery Forged was, this is a less popular series.  If I’ve learned anything from In Forgery Divided, however, it’s that releasing Book 2 can inspire new interest in Book 1; here’s hoping that’s the case, here.

And I’m not projecting my plans past that.  I tried that when I started this whole self-publishing thing, and I fear trying to keep to those plans was partly why In Forgery Divided was two years overdue.

III.  Other News

I don’t really have any other news.  I do have other creative projects I’m doing outside of writing — some I’m doing myself, others I’m waiting for other people on.

For example, my mother is writing some (non-fiction, in case it needs to be said) books on sewing and quilting; eventually, she may finish one of those, and I’ll be helping her publish those.

For another example, I had an idea for a computer game, which I’m working on during my “off hours” (i.e., hours where I am not able to work on my books).  The best way to describe it, I would think, would be “Sid Meier’s Pirates meets Skyrim.”  It’s so far outside of my capabilities to create a computer game of this scope I don’t even know why I’m bothering, but I’m hoping I can at least get enough done on it that maybe it would be worth something to someone who could do it.  If anyone has any suggestions for what to do after I’m done with the part of the game design I’m capable of doing (which would include, uh, none of the programming), please let me know.

And that’s it for this week.  Maybe I’ll have something more interesting next week.

The BIG News! (Manage your expectations — it’s not that big)

I have good news (for me)! I want to manage your expectations a bit, though — it isn’t a new book coming out (though it may push me to try and finish up another book or two a little faster).

I’ve recieved my first ever invitation to appear as a programming guest at a convention — in this case, Ravencon. This isn’t out of the blue. I had to apply to be a guest, but I doubt that all applicants get accepted, so it’s nice to get the invite.

Now, I’ve been a PANELIST, before — I used to regularly appear as a fanfic panelist at numerous Anime conventions of various sizes (Katsucon, Otakon, AnimeUSA, and the very first Nekokon), starting in the 90s (whether it was 97 or 98, I can’t be sure) and last appearing in 2005.  And I was scheduled to appear on a panel at CapitalCon, before that convention was suddenly cancelled.  The difference (in part) is the number of panels the guest is required to appear on, the amount of promotion that guests recieve, and the expected credentials of a guest versus a panelist.

So, it’s my first appearance as a pro, the first convention where I (should) be on multiple panels, the first time I’ll be on a panel at a sci-fi convention (as opposed to an anime convention), etc., etc.

For a lot of writers, it’s just a bit of fun and an opportunity to meet their fans. At this point in MY career, however, it’s a major milestone; an acknowledgement of my bona fides by an organization that frequently deals with professional writers.

I would really like to get two more books out between now and then. Having briefly heard about my editor’s schedule over the next few months, that schedule could be tight (I use a different editor and cover artist for each series, so if I actually take the time off of writing “In Division Imperiled” to release it, I could easily push “The Merrimack Event” out in time. I’m still only half-way through the next Maelgyn book, though, and apparently the earliest the editor of THAT series can start work on it is next January. For perspective, when it came to “In Forgery Divided,” my editor started work in a September and I didn’t get it out until that March. Ravencon is in late April, so I’d need to get it done faster than that. And that’s assuming I get the book finished by January; if I take the time off to get “The Merrimack Event” out, it might take me longer than that. Sorry, I write slow).

Schedules might be tight, but I’m going to aim for that as a goal, anyway; I might not make it, but I can try.

And then all I have to do is try not to embarrass myself too badly in front of the crowds at Ravencon.

Back in the Blogging Business… Tentatively

So, I’m sure some people out there, who didn’t see my last post, are wondering where I’ve been the past few weeks. Well, I mentioned recently that I was expecting the Sunday Blogs to be less regular, but I wasn’t intending quite so long a break between posts.

Part of the problem was sheer “laziness,” I’ll have to admit. I haven’t been working on posts for this blog quite as much as I used to, because the times I normally spend on it have been cut down somewhat and I haven’t worked to free up additional time elsewhere. The bigger issue, however, was that my blog software went haywire, and I was trying to figure out how to fix it without wiping out all of my previous blog posts to do it.

I won’t go into details as to what was going wrong (a few details are in the last blog post; I was originally intending to delete that post, but I figure I’ll just leave it archived for now). Suffice it to say the problems were bad enough that any new blog posts taking more than a few minutes to write were almost impossible to add.

Things are fixed, now, however… I think. The problem seems to have been caused when my ISP tried to “update” my WordPress software, which I had already manually updated to the latest version. One update corrupted the other in a few minor ways, and suddenly the whole blog was lagging like mad, things were going haywire, and I had to temporarily disable and delete several plug-ins (I’ve now been able to re-install most of them, but I lost my entire statistical history. A relatively minor loss compared to what I’d feared, but still an issue).

But I am back in business… I hope. And just in time — I have some very good (at least for me) news to share; I just need to make things official, first. So expect an announcement next weekend, and maybe a resumption (at least an irregular one) of the Sunday Blogs.

Edit:  Comments closed to prevent spam.

Test Post

My blog software has gotten a bit wonky, which has made writing my usual Sunday Blogs next to impossible. This test post is to see if I can still edit POSTED blogs (as I appear unable to edit un-posted blogs and save that data from session to session).  Certain data and settings aren’t saving from session to session, my stats plug-in is sending me monthly statistical breakdowns in email every 30 seconds instead of every 30 days, and more. I’ve sent e-mails to various tech support providers (ISP, WordPress, and the affected plug-in authors). I’m hoping to get everything fixed soon.

This test post will remain up until I’ve got enough bugs worked out to start posting regularly again.