January writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAnd just like that, we’re 1/12th of the way through 2014.


What can I say about January? It was a damned blur, that’s what it was. The hunt for Ward Manor 2.0 got serious, and as I write this we are waiting for all the paperwork to settle down, both for the sale of our current home and our buying of the new one. Closing and possession dates are being settled upon. Movers are on notice. Boxes are EVERYWHERE. My library looks like the stockroom at a Barnes & Noble…though with a larger and more varied selection, and perhaps a tad more porn.

Wait. Did I leave that last part in the final draft?

In and around all of that and the usual shenanigans involving the day job, the kids and so on and so forth, I devoted those few remaining waking hours and quite a few non-waking hours to various writing things. Here’s the January rundown:

Peaceable Kingdoms – My contribution to the five-book miniseries with the umbrella title Star Trek: The Fall. The book officially went on sale on December 31st, but I’m shameless enough to leave it listed here one more time. Word on the street is that the book is doing pretty well, sales-wise, and then there was this little bit of business. I’m also pleased to report that the novel was given a very quick second printing. All in all, I’m happy with the way the series turned out, and my biggest takeaway from the experience was working with my friends and fellow writers David R. George III, Una McCormack, David Mack, and James Swallow. Maybe we’ll do something like it again one of these days…but not right this minute, okay?

Star Trek: Seekers #2 – We’re in the editing/polishing stages of our manuscript for Point of Divergence, with a planned delivery of mid-week. The first two Seekers novels will be published in August and September. While I’m all but certain that Dave Mack’s first book in the series, Second Nature, will have something of a “premiere” at this year’s Shore Leave convention, it’s way too early to tell if we might get lucky with some copies of our book. More details as things progress.

Essay – my contribution to New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics, which will be published by the Sequart Organization. As the title implies, this collection of essays will take a look at all the various Star Trek comics which have been published over the years, from Gold Key’s original run in the 1960s all the way up to and including IDW’s current line of monthly and special event titles. For those wondering, my piece will revisit Marvel’s second run of Trek comics from the late 1990s. I received word on December 23rd that with the exception of a few line edit tweaks, my editor was pleased with what I’d delivered. The book is scheduled for a 2014 publication, and Editor Joe has already said he’s busting various body parts in an effort to have copies on hand for the aforementioned Shore Leave convention. Can’t wait to see this one!

Backup Everything. Yes, Even That.” – My most recent monthly column for the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on January 15th. This one was inspired by the death of one of my laptops, and the ensuing frustration as I had to re-image the thing and restore a couple of days of lost work, because I’d gotten cavalier about my backup regimen. Sometimes, the lessons need refreshing, right?

Tie-in novel project – I signed contracts for this earlier in the month, and I’m just waiting for the green light before I can announce the thing. I have a date to deliver an outline to my editor on or about March 17th, with a projected manuscript delivery around Labor Day or so, and publication at some point in mid 2015 or so. Obviously there’s not a lot to discuss about this one for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that I really don’t have a frappin’ clue what this book will be about. Yet.

Oh, and I’d be passing up a chance to pimp myself if I didn’t mention that Zombiefied, the anthology of undead tales edited by Carol Hightshoe for Sky Warrior Books, is now available in trade paperback format in addition to the already at-your-fingertips e-Book editions. It contains my short story “Stop-Loss,” marking the first time the story has ever been made available in a print format. So, feel free to get in on that action, if you’re so inclined.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

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.

Tie-in novel – For late 2015. This hasn’t been much more than a “Do you want to write _____?” “Yes. Yes, I do.” sort of conversation at this point, but it’s at least on my radar screen. I may see contracts for this in the next couple of months, but until then? I think I can find something to keep me busy.

Tie-in project – For who knows? Kevin and I originally cooked up this notion while we were in Vegas back in August. After some himming and hawing, we finally put together a pitch/outline and delivered it for review earlier in December. The feedback we’ve gotten so far is that it’s an idea they want to pursue, but not just yet. We may hear something more in the next couple of months, but the beauty of what we pitched is that it’s not time-sensitive, so it can sit and percolate while we tend to other things. Stay tuned.

Another tie-in project – For who knows? The pitch for this is gestating on my laptop, waiting for me to finish up Seekers. Then it’ll be a simple matter of polishing this up and sending it on its way. I did, however, reach out last week to determine a point of contact for submitting the proposal (as it’s not for someone with whom I’ve worked before) and now that I have that info, I’m raring to get this in front of someone.

“The Enterprise Job” – Realizing over the holidays that 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the building of the original Enterprise model, 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.

Also, I’ve continued to answer the call of friends Nick Minecci and Terry Lynn Shull, they of the weekly Sunday G and T Show, responding to queries submitted to them via their show’s “Ask Dayton” feature. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. Besides, we’re almost at 100 of these frappin’ things, so I can’t stop now.

Possible future projects:

Military SF story – A few months ago, 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, so hopefully I can get on that before things get too crazy with the next novel project.

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.

Steampunk short story – I plan to get back to this one and finish a draft, but I don’t expect it will be happening until after the first of the year. It’s a new genre for me, so it’s proving a bit of a challenge, but I really like the idea I’ve come up with. I’m even thinking I can expand the general premise–if not this particular tale–to novel length, and really go crazy. I guess we’ll see.

As I write this, I see that ginormous rodent in Pennsylvania has sentenced us to more winter. Guess I’ll be stuck inside for a bit longer this season, so I might as well write some of this stuff.

And with that? Aloha, February.

Lay it on me.

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