I know, I know… more than two months?!?! Yes, it’s been a LONG time since my last blog post. But you know what? I don’t really feel all that bad about it this time. Between the holidays, writing, and getting the house ready to sell, the fact of the matter is that I’ve just been busy.
Getting the house ready sell?
So you caught that, eh? Well yes, we’re reaching that point in our lives where we’re looking to slow down and downsize. We aren’t getting any younger, and our focus is shifting from the proverbial rat race, to trying to simplify our lives. We moved into our home just about fourteen years ago. At that time, we had kids and my mother-in-law living with us, and bought a home big enough to comfortably accommodate all of us.
But now my mother-in-law has passed on, the kids have grown and moved out, and it’s just me, my wife, and our two fur-babies (Bella and Cricket) in that big old house. We no longer need all that square footage on the inside. We need more on the outside. See, you put a big house like ours on a standard lot, and the house takes up more of the available lot, leaving a smaller yard for the “girls” to play in. Between that, and the fact that I am really itching to get more land so that I can get on with some of my self-sufficiency plans (gardening, maybe some chickens or quail, high volume water storage… who knows?), we are looking to change our living arrangements.
And that means patching, and sanding, and texturing, and painting, and caulking, and all the other things that have to be done to make a house more attractive to potential buyers. Now, the truth of the matter is that my wife has been doing the vast majority of all this work. She has already shown she has an amazing eye for decorating, and I’m more than happy to be the cheap labor to her superior eye. Of course, you know what happens when you hire cheap labor.
However, I have gotten some writing done…
Ghost Story – The short story for next year’s Halloween horror anthology (tentatively titled Once Feared) is finally done. It’s been turned in and either is, or will shortly be going through its paces with the editor. And of course, now that I sent it to the editor, I’ve already found more mistakes. But that’s relatively normal. As a writer/storyteller, you hate to turn loose of your work, knowing that there are imperfections in it that you’ve missed, wanting to hang on to it to polish it “just one more time”, knowing that the editor is bound to be shaking his or her head when they find your mistakes and wondering just what the hell you were thinking when you let such obvious mistakes get past you. Yeah, some of us are relatively insecure.
Chucklers – While Ghost Story is in the anthology editor’s hands, I’m freed up to work on my next project(s). I’ve decided that I will focus most of my attention back on Chucklers, the collaborative novel I’m doing with Ed Lorn. We’ve gone back and forth with this one, and between the two of us have written upwards of 40k words on it. And now, we’ve decided to start over.
Yeah, I can hear the gasps and groans out there as you all read this. It sounds like a huge setback. But the reality is that it really won’t be that big a deal. You see, we’ve decided that the “voice” for the novel needs to be shifted from first person to third. As we progressed with the tale, we began to struggle with the scope of it, and gradually decided that it was too big a story to be told from such a limited number of POVs. The way we had it, I was writing from one character’s POV, and Ed was writing from another’s. Initially, that worked great. It was an intimate, yet horrific story of two small groups of characters surviving an apocalyptic event.
The problem is that there is so much more to the story than just what these characters will personally encounter. That’s the trick with writing from a first person point of view. On one side of the coin, you get to put the reader directly in the POV character’s head, giving them an intimate view of the world as seen through the protagonist’s eyes. But the other side of the coin is that if the story depends on a lot of action that occurs away from your POV character(s), you can’t tell the reader about it without breaking them out of that intimate mode of storytelling.
Additionally, we quickly discovered that we needed more than just the small group of characters we were initially planning to use. So we’ve decided to give you the full picture. We’re going to give you a ring side seat to the end of the world, and I hope the results will blow you away.
But in order to do this, we need to rework the 40k that we’ve already written. I guess it’s not really starting over, but it will delay us a bit in getting back into the full swing of actually writing the novel.
Year 12 – Ed is currently working on another project (actually at least three other projects that I know of – the man is a freaking writing machine) and won’t be free to start back on Chucklers for a few more weeks. So if I manage to get the Chucklers rewrites done before he’s ready, I think I’m going to finally start the HPM sequel. The story has been percolating for quite a while and lately won’t seem to leave me alone. That tells me that it’s ready for me to start. Y12 will be coming to life soon.
Because the audio book is now out! I’m so excited about this. The actress (Joy Nash) who voiced the manuscript is absolutely perfect for the character of Amber Payne. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. So if you like audio books, Streets of Payne is now available in that format on Amazon, Audible, or iTunes. I am checking to see if I can make a sample available for you to listen to here, but until then, you can go to any of the three links above and listen there.
All right, I’ve gone on for long enough. Time for me to shut up for a while. So until next time, stay safe, everyone!