Sep 052011

Sorry folks.  This post is a little later than I wanted, but I was out of town for the Labor Day weekend.  I began writing it last Thursday, but between getting ready to go out of town, and then being in an area where there was no access to cell phones or internet, the news here is a little old by now.  But still, here it is…

I got an email from Lynn late last week indicating that we’re finally done with the heavy editing passes on Half Past Midnight.  At this point, it goes to the proofreader(s).  So now to wait for that.  Don’t misunderstand, I’m not complaining about the wait by any means.  Lynn has been great with the turnaround times.  As a matter of fact, I’m the one that has held up production on the editing process here, as you already know, if you’ve read my previous posts (1 & 2) on the subject.  And if I were going the traditional publishing route with a larger house, it takes several months to years for the process to work its way through to completion.  Besides, I still have plenty of other tasks to keep me busy.

For instance, I’m working on a companion piece for the novel.  It’s a short piece, currently entitled “The Road to Rejas“.  It’s the tale of one of the minor characters in HPM, what happened to him on D-day, and how it led him to arrive at Rejas.  I’m guess-timating it will run around eight to ten thousand words.  What’s that, a novella… novelette?  Hmmmm…. let me look that up.

Okay, according to the Hugo and Nebula awards:

  • … a “short story” is 7,500 words or less
  • … a “novelette” is 7,501 to 17,500 words
  • … a “novella” is 17,501 t0 40,000 words  AND
  • … a “novel” is 40,001 words or more

Interesting – I had wondered for a while where those numbers fell.  If anyone of the rest of you were also curious, be curious no longer!  :-)  So, if I hit my eight to ten thousand word estimate, then “The Road to Rejas” will be a novelette.  Of course, we’ll just have to see where it actually ends up.  My stories often take on personalities of their own, and sometimes don’t want to cooperate with whatever plans I have initially made for them.  Any of you who also write probably know exactly what I mean. 8-)

I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with “Road” when it’s done.  I’m planning to release it, but how I release it is still up in the air.  Will I pay for professional editing on it?  Will I release it before or after HPM?  Will I charge for it, or release it for free as a promotion for HPM?  Will I podcast it?  If so, will that be before or after HPM?

Lots of things to consider still.

And there is still the matter of

  • writing a book blurb for HPM (shouldn’t be too difficult)
  • tweaking dedication and acknowledgements for same (almost done)
  • write my bio (which is a royal pain in the – um… back)
  • formatting HPM for e-pub
  • getting cover art and design done for HPM
  • get serious with the recording and podcasting for

On the personal front, as I said above, we visited my folks this weekend for Labor Day.  It’s been a while since we’ve been able to get away for a weekend with them, so this was a real treat – and of course, the dogs loved being able to run around out there again – lots of room! My wife calls it “Dog Heaven”, and the dogs seem to agree.

The trip itself was pretty interesting.  We have two dogs, Cricket and Bella.  Cricket is a dachshund/corgi mix, and unfortunately for us, she doesn’t travel well.  She’s one of those dogs that suffers from car sickness.  We love her dearly, but travelling for any length of time in a car with her gets pretty messy at times.

This time we thought we’d be smart and got her some Dramamine.  It probably would have worked better if we’d read the directions first.  Especially, the part about giving it to them an hour before travelling. :-?  Yeah, it was messy – again.  Also, an aside for any of you thinking about trying this for the first time, there is another interesting side effect that we found.  It seems that Dramamine causes little Dorgis to lose control of their facial muscles, especially the muscles that keep the drool at bay.  Poor Cricket was a veritable fountain of staggering slobber.  Still messy, but not anywhere near as bad.

In other news –

Elder Daughter is on her own vacation right now, visiting Utah, where she lived for several years before her husband passed away last year.  They (she and our grand-daughter) are visiting friends and family she left behind when she moved to Texas.  It’s one of those happy and sad situations.  She gets to see people she hasn’t seen in about a year, including her husband’s family.  On the other hand, it will be tough being around all those reminders.

Middle child is our son.  He’s house sitting for Elder Daughter while she’s away, has a new job, is broke, and waiting on the Marine recruiters to wind through his paperwork.  He’s ultimately trying to get on a Seal team, but the Navy wants him in their nuclear program.  So he’s going the circuitous route of enlisting in the Marines and going to BUDS via the USMC.

And Baby Bird seems to be settling into college life just fine so far.  She sent us a pic of her first still life study in class.  It was a two-hour project, and at the end, she snapped a pic on her phone and sent it to us.  When I first saw it on the phone, I thought she was taking a photography class.  When she told us it was a charcoal drawing, I had to zoom in on it to tell it wasn’t a photo.  Damn, she’s good!

On another note, it seems Baby Bird drove from San Antonio to Houston over the weekend to take a friend up to visit.  They had a fun weekend, but trying to get back into Houston today they got caught in a massive traffic jam between Houston and San Antonio.  It seem there was a wildfire blocking passage from here to there, and they had to turn back.  Better that, than they become a casualty of the wildfires.

Speaking of which, if you read this near the time that it’s posted, please send your prayers or positive thoughts out for those who have lost loved ones and/or property to the fires.

That’s it for now.  Keep reading, keep writing, and stay safe.

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