Projects, projects everywhere …

… and not a clue where to start.

Seriously, I feel like that guy in the Russian proverb who’s chasing two rabbits.  Except, in my case, it’s more like a dozen.  Here’s what I currently have to choose from:

Stars of Blood and Glory — This one is in publishing mode, and should be out in a week or two.  I’ve gone through all the line/copy edits from my editor, finalized the book teaser–all that’s left is the formatting and cover art.  The preliminary sketches look really good, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before it’s ready to go.  Of course, it’s more of a publishing thing than a writing thing, but still important.

Lifewalker — This is a rough draft that’s only about 15% to 20% finished.  It’s in a totally different genre than I’m used to writing (post-apocalyptic / weird western), but so far it seems to be coming along fairly well.  I hit a block a couple of weeks ago and put it on the back burner for a while, but I may be ready to pick it up again.

Star Wanderers: Benefactor — This is another rough draft, about 35% to 40% finished.  It’s a parallel novella to Star Wanderers: Fidelity, except from Jakob’s point of view.  Right now, I’m in the phase where everything sucks and I don’t know where to go with it.  It’ll probably turn out just fine, but I may have to put it on hold for a while.  However, if I could just push through and finish the damn thing, that would be preferable.  It’s only another 15,000 words …

Star Wanderers: Dreamweaver — This is a first draft that I need to revise.  Last night, I looked over it for the first time in eight months.  Opening the file was like pulling out an unopened bottle of wine that’s been sitting for years in the back corner of the wine cellar.  So far, it seems pretty good, but I’m going to wait until I hear back from one of my first readers before doing any serious revisions.  After that, maybe run the first chapter through Kindal’s writing group, and if everything seems good, I’ll probably publish it sometime in April/May.

Star Wanderers: The Jeremiah Chronicles — This is purely a publishing project.  Basically, I want to bundle the first four Star Wanderers stories and release them as an omnibus.  To do this right, though, I’d have to commission some cover art, which takes time and money.  Since it’s not a writing project, and I already have enough publishing projects on my plate, I’ll probably put this one off until Dreamweaver is out.

Mercenary Savior — Long term followers of this blog might recognize this as the old title for the novel that became Bringing Stella Home.  Well, I plan to recycle that title, as well as the original prologue, in a prequel novel that basically tells the origin story of Danica Nova and her band of mercenaries.  So far, I’ve got the prologue and the beginnings of the first chapter.  Haven’t looked at it in a few months, but if I get stuck on these other projects, I just might pick it up again.

Heart of the Nebula — A second or third draft that needs a deep revision.  This is probably going to consume all my writing time for six to eight weeks, and I’d rather do it all at once rather than in chunks.  It’s been on the back burner long enough that I can probably pick it up again, but I want to finish a rough draft first.

The Sword Keeper — I’ve still got this one on the current projects bar, but it’s been a while since I’ve worked on it, so it’s pretty much on the back burner.  I think it’s at about the 40% mark, though honestly I have no idea.  It’s an epic fantasy novel, a bit outside my usual scope, and it’s turning into a beast of a book.  The story is pretty solid, though, so I’ll probably finish it before the end of the year–that is, unless the muse drops an anvil on me (which has definitely happened before).

Empress of the Free Stars — An unwritten novel that’s been kicking around in my head ever since I finished Stars of Blood and Glory.  Basically, it’s a direct sequel from Hikaru’s point of view … except that I can’t really discuss it without giving away spoilers (TO A BOOK THAT ISN’T EVEN OUT YET).  In any case, the prologue has been beating on me to get written, and I finally caved and started it last night.  I’ve got a pretty good idea for what’s supposed to happen in this novel, but there’s still a whole lot of room for the story to surprise me.

Edenfall — Ah, Edenfall … this is probably my most neglected story.  I started it a little over a year ago, but hit a block, and then Star Wanderers happened.  I’ll pick it up eventually, but to really do it justice, I feel like I need to go backpacking in the wilderness for a week or two.  The weather isn’t good for that right now, so it will probably have to wait until spring.  Or maybe I’m just making things too complicated.  We’ll see.

Star Wanderers; Wanderlust — A Star Wanderers story from Samson’s point of view.  This one is going to be tricky, but I’ve actually got the whole thing plotted out already.  However, I don’t want to write it just yet, because there’s still a bunch of other Star Wanderers stories that need to come first.  Or maybe I will write it, and let it sit for a while until I write the others.  Maybe it’s better to finish it first and let it sit for a while, just to be safe …

Those are pretty much all the projects with titles that are floating around in my head right now.  There are a few others, like parts VII and VIII of Star Wanderers (from Mariya and Lucca’s points of view, respectively), but those aren’t quite ready to start.  With all of these, I’ve at least got some words on the page.

So now that I’m in that frustrating space between projects, I think I’m going to take a week or two to just let my creative mind do whatever the heck it wants.  Hopefully, I’ll get excited enough about one of them to see it all the way through.  I’m not going to stress about word counts so much as putting time in at my chair, doing something.

Man, I wish my creative side weren’t so scatterbrained.  Though as long as I’m still finishing stuff, I guess it’s all right.

And now that I’ve procrastinated long enough by writing this blog post, it’s time to go hang out with my friends and procrastinate some more.  Later!

Author: Joe Vasicek

Joe Vasicek is the author of more than twenty science fiction books, including the Star Wanderers and Sons of the Starfarers series. As a young man, he studied Arabic and traveled across the Middle East and the Caucasus. He claims Utah as his home.

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