July writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsYo, 2014. You and I need to have a serious talk. This whole pedal to the metal thing you’ve got going on? Yeah, not really working so much for me. I mean, it’s already the 6th, for crying out loud. How the heck did that happen? So, how’s about checking that shit?

I’ll be over here…holding my breath.

Okay, then. Now that I’ve got my futile cry for help e-Mailed to Father Time, here’s the sitch: July was crazy busy. August will be crazy busy. Crazy busy is the flavor of the month, all right?

Work continues apace on various things. I’m at my usual “I loathe this manuscript and everyone and everything associated with it” stage of the novel in-progress, but I’m continuing to tap merrily along in and around dayjob work, kids stuff, travel, and other writing related irons in the old fire. Hey, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

Anyway, here’s the July rundown:

Armageddon’s Arrow – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, set after the events of The Fall. This the main focus of most of the brain cells I’ve set aside for writing, even as other things move across my desk. We’re getting there. My delivery date for a completed manuscript is September 15th, and the book’s publication date is set for Tuesday, May 26th, 2015. Pre-order links and related whatevers should be popping up soon.

Ten Star Trek Episodes That Can Work As Stage Plays” – The latest installment of my irregularly recurring series for StarTrek.com, “Ten for Ward,” and which was posted on July 10th. This time, the piece is just what the title says it is: I pick ten Star Trek episodes I think could be adapted for the stage. There are plenty more than ten, so feel free to add your suggestions to the list.

Bringing New Toys to Someone Else’s Sandbox.” – My latest contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on July 16th. This time, I use by space to talk about the forthcoming Star Trek: Seekers novel series, and how much fun it is to stitch a new section into the ever-growing Star Trek tapestry.

Star Trek: Seekers #2 – It’s all just a countdown, now! The first book in this all-new series, Second Nature by our friend and co-conspirator, David Mack, hit stores last week, and now we’re just counting down the days until our book starts popping up here and there. Thanks to the advance copies made available by Pocket Books for this past weekend’s Shore Leave convention, I was able to snag one weeks ahead of its publication, and of course it looks totally amazing.

“New Opportunities, New Missions: Star Trek‘s Return to Marvel Comics” – 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 takes 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. My piece revisits Marvel’s second run of Trek comics from the late 1990s. Editor Joe was able to make copies available at the aforementioned Shore Leave convention, and so I made sure to liberate one from him. It came out looking pretty dang swank, by golly, and it’s now available to the world at large, so go and get yours!

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.

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’m done with 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 summer. 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.

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 last week I delivered an outline to my new editor, who just today she was cool with it and would be forwarding it on to the licensor for review. All I can say at this point is 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.

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’s 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 this week that the property for which I’d submitted a couple of short pitches as 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 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 a couple of weeks ago 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.

And yet 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.

Sequel to From History’s Shadow – Yes, I’m really starting to get serious about this idea. I’ve been jotting down random thoughts and other notes as they come to me, and the other day while I was mowing the lawn the seeds of an actual plot line began to take shape in my little monkey brain. I still need to flesh things out and get everything ordered the way I want it, but I think I’m going to submit this notion to my editors and see what they say. At first I thought I might simply pitch any follow-ups as e-Book novellas, but I’ve since come to the conclusion that I have enough meat for a full novel. I guess we’ll see what happens.

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. We return you to August, already well in progress.

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About Dayton Ward

Freelance word pusher. Husband. Dad. Trekkie. Rush fan (the band). Tampa Bay Bucs fan. Observer/derider of human behavior. I know where my towel is.
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