Hey guys, just a heads up about this month’s free and 99¢ books. If you’re looking for a way to get into my books, this is a great place to start!
So I finished rereading Genesis Earth, in preparation for writing the sequel, and I have to say it was not what I expected.
It wasn’t disappointing. There were some annoying ticks that I noticed, like too many said bookisms or turns of phrase that I wouldn’t have written today. Also, the book was a little wordy or slow in parts, compared to my more recent writing. But those were relatively minor issues. The story was quite solid. I’d actually forgotten some of the plot twists, so it was fun to watch them unfold. A bit like reading the book for the first time.
But one thing above all else struck home: the person who wrote Genesis Earth is not the person I am today. I doubt that that person would have been able to write Gunslinger to the Stars. And if I were to go back and write Genesis Earth from scratch, it would be a completely different book in every meaningful way.
It’s bizarre. When you’re caught up in day-to-day life, you never really get a sense that you’re changing. And yet, the truth is that we’re always changing, hopefully for the best, but not always. It’s impossible to experience life and still remain unchanged.
I also got a sense of this when I finished the 2.0 draft for The Sword Keeper. Perhaps it was just me reliving my own memories from the times when I wrote it, but the first half of the book seemed very different from the second half. I wrote the first half while living abroad in Georgia, and the second half years later here in Utah.
There’s a couple of things I’ve taken away from this experience.
First, it’s not always a good idea to put a WIP on the back burner. By the time you come back to it, you may not be capable of writing it exactly the way you first envisioned it. Better to push through whatever’s blocking you and strike while the iron is hot.
Second, at anything you want to do well, it’s important to always strive to improve. Even when you’re at the top of your game (and I’m certainly not at the top of mine—not yet anyway), if you’re not always trying to do better, to learn and to grow, you’ll fall off really fast.
In reality, there is no “top,” because nothing is ever static. Improvement is a lifelong process, because the moment you stop improving is the moment you start getting worse.
One thing I really need to work on is writing every day. In the past, when I’ve been working on revisions, or prewriting, or getting a book ready for publication, I’ve slacked off on this. But the truth is that writing new words is the best way to sharpen your writing skills, and that writing every day is the best way to always keep them sharp. And there’s always something to write, even if it’s just a short story. If I could write a short story every week for a year…
So yeah, lots to think on. And I’ve got a few ideas for Edenfall as well. But first, before I move to Iowa next week, I need to get Gunslinger to the Stars ready for publication. Harder, better, faster, stronger—our work is never over!
This sinus infection has really been kicking my butt. I’m running at about 70% right now, which is better than last week, but still sub-optimal.
A lot of stuff is happening in the next couple of weeks. First, I got the edits back for Gunslinger to the Stars, which means that it should go up for pre-order sometime early next month. I’m also rereading Genesis Earth in preparation for writing book two, Edenfall. If things go well, that should be out by the end of the year.
At the same time, I’m moving out of my apartment soon, probably within two weeks. My landlady is selling her house, which means that the mother-in-law apartment where I’m currently living is not the best arrangement. Also, I just discovered some major mold issues. If it weren’t for this sinus infection, I’d already be in process of moving, but the illness has delayed things. Need to work out a plan.
Then there’s the half-foot of snow that just got dumped on us here in Utah. Joy.
Point is, it’s probably going to be a while before you hear from me again. I’ll try to keep you guys updated, but no guarantees. I’m still writing, though, and should have some more stuff coming out soon. Next month’s release will probably be another short story, since they’re easy to put out, but my next novel, Gunslinger to the Stars, will be available soon.
So Thursday morning, I came back from the gym after running 2.5 miles on the treadmill and promptly fell asleep for half an hour. Later that evening, I went for a walk and found myself out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs. For some reason, I was having difficulty getting air into my lungs. No other symptoms, though, so I chalked it up to the inversion and took an alka seltzer to clear things up.
Friday, I woke up with a complete lack of desire to go anywhere or to do anything. The day was mostly a wash, though I did get up to Salt Lake to see my sister who was attending Rootstech 2017. On the way, I started coming down with a mild headache. Also, minor congestion.
Saturday was when the plague finally struck me.
Congestion, massive headache, unbelievable chills—the whole works. I spent most of the day in bed, with a blanket, a quilt, and a down comforter all piled on top of me, and I still didn’t feel warm enough. Drank lots of water and took a bunch of medicine, but I was still in a pretty bad way through most of Sunday.
As things stand right now, I’ve still got a headache and I’m coughing up all kinds of nastiness, but it seems that the worst has passed. Still popping vitamin Cs and drinking piss-tons of water, which isn’t fun, but at least I’m getting better.
No idea how that’s going to impact things this week. Hopefully, I’m back on my feet and writing again relatively soon, but that may or may not be the case.
Either way, there’s still a lot of prewriting to do before I can start my next WIP, Edenfall. I need to reread Genesis Earth and really immerse myself in that universe. I also plan to look over the reviews and spend a day or two picking over tvtropes like a menu. If I can line everything up the way I want to, I should be able to write a really clean first draft and publish it before the end of the year.
No promises, though. I’m still not sure when this sickness is going to go away. Hopefully soon.
It’s done! Draft 2.0 of The Sword Keeper is finished. Still need to run it by some test readers, but it’s looking very good for a release this year.
In other news, the power cable for my laptop decided to die. I’ll replace it eventually, but in the meantime, I’m going to try turning my phone into a writing device. Just got a K480 bluetooth keyboard and I’m excited to try it out. My phone is a device I’ve always got with me, so adapting it for writing could be really great.
I’m also going to try a new writing technique that should hopefully lead to cleaner (perhaps even publishable) first drafts. If it works, this could significantly increase my writing output. It involves cycling through yesterday’s words before writing any new ones, getting into the flow and making any changes as necessary. This is actually very close to how I used to write back in high school, before all those college English classes. I also get the sense that this is how Dean Wesley Smith writes.
All sorts of experimental new things going on with my next WIP, which is Edenfall. Yes, it’s time to complete the trilogy. But before I jump into it, I’m going to take some time to do some serious prewriting, in the hopes (again) of writing a clean first draft. Which, if it works, means that the book will be published that much sooner.
In the meantime, Gunslinger to the Stars is almost ready for publication. My editor is working on it now, the cover art is just about finished, and besides that all that’s really left is crafting the book description and metadata. If all goes well, it should be up for pre-order on iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and Nook before the end of the month.
Also, new short story!
Killing Mister Wilson
Every time traveler wants to kill Hitler. Only one actually stopped him.
EVERY TIME TRAVELER WANTS TO KILL HITLER. ONLY ONE ACTUALLY STOPPED HIM.
The event was an open air parade, my vantage point, an abandoned building. I arrived in the early morning, and set up for the gruesome deed just as the crowds were starting to gather. With the patience of a man who literally has all the time in the world, I cocked my weapon and steadied my aim.
This book is rated T according to the AO3 content rating system.