August writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsFor crying out loud. 2014? FIND THE BRAKE PEDAL, whydontcha?

Anyway, remember last month when I said August was going to be crazy busy? Yeah. I underestimated the crazy factor, by a factor of 10 plus or minus a bazillion. Not so much the writing front, but everything else, all of which seems hell-bent to converge on the same handful of days in mid-September. A lot of this will become clear to you all as we move farther into the new month, and things will calm down on several fronts after the midpoint, but for now? Suffice it to say that September will continue the crazy busy. Muchly.

And with the preamble out of the way, here’s the August rundown:

Armageddon’s Arrow – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, set after the events of The Fall. This continues to be the main focus of most of the brain cells I’ve set aside for writing, even as other things move across my desk from all directions. I’m still plugging along, a little behind where I’d like to be at this point, but there’s not much I can do except knuckle down, suck it up, and deal. My delivery date for a completed manuscript is September 15th, and the book’s publication date is set for Tuesday, May 26th, 2015. With any luck, pre-order links and related whatevers should be popping up soon.

When Is the Write Time?” – My latest contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on August 16th. This time, I use by space to talk finding the time to write in and around all the other demands on my life–day job, kids and school and activities, travel, tending to home and such, yadda yadda yadda, how sleep is overrated, how I’ll probably start taking my energy drinks intravenously, and so on.

Star Trek: Seekers #2 – Point of Divergence – FINALLY! After the first book in this all-new series, Second Nature by our friend and co-conspirator, David Mack, hit stores the last week in July, we followed on with the second book, which officially was released on August 26th. So far, response to the new series has largely been positive. Will there be more books? Why, keep reading…..

Tie-in novel – Back in May, I was approached by the editor of another tie-in line and offered an opportunity to write for them. I happily accepted that offer, and on August 1st I delivered an outline to my new editor, who has since told me that she’s cool with it and would be forwarding it on to the licensor for review. I’ve signed contracts, but I’m not authorized to release any details about this project yet, except to say that it’s a property for which I’ve never written, but about which I’m totally, totally, totally jazzed. As things stand now, my manuscript will be due in early April. More on this as details firm up.

Star Trek: Seekers #4 – Kevin and I have received, signed, and returned our contracts, so this definitely will be our next Trek project, once I’ve completed Armageddon’s Arrow. Mister Mack, our partner in crime, is set to start working on Book #3 once he finishes his current work in-progress, and Kevin and I will begin figuring out what our book will be about later this month and into early October. Our outline is due to our editor on or about October 15th, with a manuscript due in the spring. Unlike the first two books which will launch the series, Books 3 and 4 will each be standalone tales “starring,” respectively, the crews of the U.S.S. Sagittarius and Endeavour.

And another tie-in project – I actually need to get my butt in gear and get a pitch to the editor for this, as he already accepted my brief, couple-sentence elevator pitch for a story to be included in his forthcoming anthology. I’ve been swamped with…well…everything, but I’m reviewing some relevant material for the property before I send in what I’ve got cooking. This will be another one of those, “More details to come” updates, for now.

In and around those things, I also helped out a couple of teams for this year’s GISHWHES (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen). You can read about that bit of quirkiness here.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Essay – I was approached back in April about contributing another essay for another collection of such pieces by the good folks at Sequart, who are publishing the aforementioned New Life and New Civilizations this summer. The new book will be titled The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes. I’ll leave it to you to figure out its topic. Anyway, my essay isn’t due until the fall, so I plan to hold this in the queue until after I finish Armageddon’s Arrow.

Sequel to From History’s Shadow – I’ve had preliminary discussions with my editor about this, and I think we’re going to be a go. As things stand now, this could be the novel I work on after I finish the as yet unnamed tie-in novel and Seekers #4. I’ve got a slew of notes, I’ve ordered a couple of new books to use for research, and so on. I still need to flesh things out and get everything ordered the way I want it for the outline, of course, which likely won’t be until later this fall.

Tie-in project – For who knows? Believe it or not, I actually got this thing to a point where I was comfortable handing it off to another party for review. Why? Because this project, assuming it goes forward, will entail collaborating with an artist. The person I hope will be that artist is currently looking over the material, and if he decides he wants to play, then we’ll get going on finalizing the pitch and putting it in front of the “right people.” This would be for someone with whom I’ve not worked before, so I’m not sure at this point what to expect, but, I’m definitely jazzed to get this in front of someone, because FUN.

The Adventures of Space Marshal Dylan McCade: There has been some preliminary talk about a follow-up to “The Terror of Entropia’s Ice Cannon!” That first story ended on something of a cliffhanger, setting up something I was calling “The Rampage of the Runaway Moon!” and even though that originally was meant as a tongue-in-cheek salute to Space: 1999, it’s looking like we may well go for developing this notion. The current plan is to collaborate on a story outline, and from there decide how best to proceed. In the meantime, the first adventure is still available for listening and reading at the Dylan McCade’s page on the SciFi Commons website, and it’s all free for your ears and eyes alike. So, if you haven’t yet sampled it, you need to be setting course thataway. I’ll wait.

“The Enterprise Job” – As 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the building of the original Enterprise model, and with recent news that it will soon be moved to a more prominent location within the Air & Space Museum as well as possibly receiving a new restoration effort, I told myself that I have to get off my ass and get this finished, formatted, and made available for public consumption and ridicule. This means figuring out how best to get it set up for one of the e-Book venues like Smashwords or whatever, as well as making it available for print-on-demand. I know, I know…”it’s coming.”

Short film script: Kevin and I hatched this notion back in December, as a matter of fact. 2014 also marks another milestone year in the annals of Star Trek history, and as we were talking about some other things we plan to be doing at the forthcoming Starfest convention in Denver, this other idea presented itself. Now that Kevin has experience writing scripts and access to people and resources looking and willing to film such things, we decided we may have the makings of a fun little project. I also have the idea pretty much written out, already, so it’ll largely be a matter of going in and rewriting/freshening up some bits, formatting a 10-15 minute screenplay from that, and then seeing what the next steps are. Mwuah-ah-hah.

Possible future projects:

Another tie-in project – Earlier in June, I was recommended to an editor who was just getting going on ramping up several tie-in efforts, all for properties that would be new to me, writing-wise. I was told earlier in August that the property for which I’d submitted a couple of short pitches has been “put on hold,” so I won’t be doing anything with those, at least for a while. I have no idea if anything will come of this, but the exercise has at least brought me to the attention of another editor who seems keen on putting me to work. So, I guess we’ll see.

And yet another tie-in project – For who knows? Kevin and I originally cooked up this notion while we were in Vegas last year. After some himming and hawing, we finally put together a pitch/outline and delivered it for review back in December. I thought the thing had gone dormant or died on the vine, but I was informed back in early summer that it has been passed up the ladder to the next party who needs to weigh in and either approve or reject it. So, who knows? We might have ourselves a ballgame, here.

Military SF story – A while back, I received a copy of a military SF short fiction anthology – the first in what is to be a recurring series of such books – along with a  handwritten note from its editor that read, “Volume 2 is done. Now send me something for Volume 3!” So, you know…I should probably do something about that. I’ve got a couple of ideas percolating; it’s just a matter of putting nose to the grindstone, etc.

Kid’s story book – Though my original idea (an illustrated story book for younger kids…5-8 range, etc.) might not end up going anywhere, a recent discussion has opened a door to possibly getting this going as part of another, larger project. This would be a licensed product, and things are still very nebulous at the moment as different parties weigh in on this or that, but you can be sure that if anything breaks, I’ll be one jazzed geek.

Original SF novel – Another idea that’s been picking up steam in recent weeks. I’ve revisited a file I had started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. I think I may be onto something, and I plan to approach at least one editor with it later this summer, once I get a synopsis/proposal roughed out.

And there we go. Howdy, September.

Posted in writing, writing wrap-up | 1 Comment

The Batcave Podcast, Episode 22!

Wait…what?

Yep. I was so busy last week with work, the novel in-progress, and everything else that the latest installment of The Batcave Podcast snuck right past me. Host John S. Drew waits for no fan, you understand. Therefore? BOOM! It’s a new episode!

John continues with his review of the 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, by golly. For the second season’s fourth story (and seventh and eighth episodes), he’s joined by writer/blogger Julio Angel Ortiz as the revisit the episodes that hail the return of the irascible King Tut: “The Spell of Tut” and “Tut’s Case Is Shut.”

From John’s write-up:

“King Tut returns to Gotham City with what appears to be his usual bag of tricks as the Sphinx returns as well with new proclamations. But there’s more to his scheme this time around. He has a plan to subjugate the entire population of Gotham. Can Batman and Robin thwart him?”

Tune in to see what John and Julio thought of these episodes: “The Spell of Tut”/”Tut’s Case Is Shut

Posted in batcave podcast, feelin' nostalgic, friends, nerdity, podcasts, tv | Leave a comment

It’s an “Ask Dayton” open thread, because why not?

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and as I’ve continued to receive a steady stream of new followers here as well as on Facebook and Twitter, I figured why not?

The day’s activities call for me to be not all that far from my computer today (writing as well as day job stuff), I don’t see the harm in adding a new “Ask Dayton” open thread to the mix. This shouldn’t be confused with the “Ask Dayton” bit I’ve got going over at the G&T Show, as that’s largely about a curmudgeonly character who barks and snaps his way through all sorts of oddball questions and fanciful queries the askers hope will trip him up, but which usually results in something kinda sorta approaching the realm of “humor.” Even though that dude looks like me, sounds like me, and has the same name as me, we’re two totally different people. He’s sort of like a mirror universe counterpart, except that he–as is the case however many of me there are within all of the countless parallel realities believed to exist–can’t grow a decent goatee to save his ass.

Anyway……

So, here’s the deal, for anyone interested: Ask me anything, if you’re so inclined, and I’ll do my best to provide a brief yet thoughtful answer. If I can’t conjure such a reply, you’ll instead receive a wise-assed comment, created especially for you!

(Though likely written by the other guy. I’m the nice one, remember.)

Asker’s choice, so far as the topic goes, though I reserve the right not to answer anything I deem too personal or inappropriate for this particular venue. Despite setting up this rule, I’ve never actually had to enforce it, but it never hurts to make such things clear up front.

Okey-dokey, then. Who’s got a question?

horshack

Posted in ask dayton, friends, q&a | 15 Comments

Happy Judgment Day!

Celebrating the 17th anniversary of the fall of humanity and the rise of the machines.

Judgment Day: August 29th, 1997. Sunblock optional.

Hope it’s a fun one!

Posted in nerdity, tributes | Leave a comment

Point of Divergence

seekers-2-coverStar Trek: Seekers

The Taurus Reach: Once the conquered realm of a powerful alien species, this region remains largely shrouded in mystery even as it brims with potential for exploration and colonization. The Federation has sent in two of its finest starships on a quest to uncover the secrets it may yet hold…

The Tomol are a primitive civilization occupying a lone island on a remote world. Their culture is an enigma, centered on every member’s commitment to a painful, fiery self-sacrifice upon reaching maturity. But one of their clan has shunned this obligation, triggering a transformation into a new, powerful life form.
Answering the distress call of the U.S.S. Sagittarius—which has crashed on the
planet following a fierce battle with Klingons—Captain Atish Khatami and the
crew of the Starship Endeavour must now attempt a rescue mission…even as they
are locked in battle with the evolving, increasingly malevolent Tomol who, if
allowed to escape their home world, pose an imminent threat to the entire
galaxy!


Mass-Market Paperback from Amazon.com
Kindle e-Book from Amazon.com
Mass-Market Paperback or Nook e-Book from Barnes & Noble


So here we are: the second Star Trek: Seekers novel.

After more than two years of plotting, planning, scheming, and even the occasional bout of actual writing on the part of David Mack, Kevin Dilmore, and myself, the first two books and their shared storyline are here, kicking off our new Star Trek fiction effort for Pocket Books. A sequel to our previous Star Trek Vanguard series, our intention with these new novels is to return to some of that old school exploring of strange new worlds, seeking out of new life and new civilizations and so on and so forth, as laid out in the opening narration of the original Star Trek series (TOS).

That said, we also plan to infuse these new adventures with a little bit of the modern storytelling sensibilities we gave to the Vanguard books. We’ve been calling this the “TOS-plus” approach. Future novels will be more standalone in nature, with Dave taking the books focusing on the crew of the Sagittarius, while Kevin and I will be handling the Endeavour stories. We’ll likely bring the two ships together again at some point, when we come up with a story that calls for it.

I guess we’ll see if this crazy idea works.

So, be sure to get your hands on a copy of the series’ first book, Second Nature written by our co-conspirator, Mr. Mack, before diving into this one. Trust me…it’ll hurt less.

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this entry also will serve as our book’s “official” Q&A thread. Those of you who want to chat about the book, feel free to post your questions/etc. to the comments section. For those of you who’ve found this page and perhaps not yet read the book, BEWARE THAT SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

Posted in my books, q&a, seekers, trek | 11 Comments

Your moment of TrekZen*.

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Spock, the Enterprise‘s entry for the annual Starbase 11 talent show definitely raised the bar.

TrekDancing

(* = inspired by the “Your Moment of Zen” segments from The Daily Show)

 

Posted in jokes, nerdity, trek, TrekZen | 4 Comments

The Book Fairy visits again!

Hey, you guys!

With all the stuff going on during the weekend, I almost forgot to show you all the big box of sexy the Book Fairy dropped on me on Saturday.

So, you know….BOOM.

seekers2-copies

You’ll have to forgive the crappy photography. All I had available was my phone, but it’s not like any of you didn’t know this book was coming like any day now, right?

Actually, I’m already getting reports of sightings and purchases at stores to and fro, including Down Under. Yeah, they got the books in the frappin’ Outback before a box made its way to my house. Sorry, Book Fairy, but that’s comin’ out of your tip.

Point of Divergence‘s official publication date is this coming Tuesday, August 26th, and for those of you who’ve been wondering if there will be some kind of contest coinciding with the book’s release? Yeah, get ready. It’s coming, but it won’t be a simple scavenger hunt/go find the book in a store kind of thing. I also can’t guarantee that nudity or signing a waiver absolving me of any responsibility for your injury or death won’t be required.

So, you know…plan accordingly.

 

Posted in books, nerdity, seekers, trek | 2 Comments