December writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsEverybody wave buh-bye to December and with it 2014. BAM! Over, just like that.

What. The Actual. Hell.

So, December 2014. Not a bad month as months go. Things got done…perhaps not as much as I’d hoped but more than I’d anticipated. There are various things are percolating here and there, and if the last week or so is any indication, the first part of 2015 is going to be busy, busy, busy.

I’m down with it.

So, let’s take a look at the December rundown:

Armageddon’s Arrow – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of The Fall. I returned the copyedited manuscript on December 10th, having addressed the copyeditor’s notes and questions as well as taking the opportunity to make some tweaks and fixes of my own. I got word on December 31st that the manuscript had been approved by the licensing office at CBS with no changes requested. I expect I’ll see galley pages sometime next week, with any changes/fixes I want to address due back to my editor a couple of weeks after that. The book’s official publication date has been announced as Tuesday, May 26th, 2015.

Star Trek: Seekers #4 – I expect I’ll have my portions of this done at some point in mid-late January. Meanwhile, Kevin is off in his own corner and sending me stuff as he makes his own progress. Our manuscript is due in early March, and unlike the first two books which launched the series, David Mack’s Book 3, Long Shot, and our Book 4 will each be standalone tales “starring,” respectively, the crews of the U.S.S. Sagittarius and Endeavour.

24 novel – After delivering an outline for this to my editor back in August, she and I had a discussion about it which was prompted by a conversation she’d had with her contact at Fox. Following that talk and based on guidance she had received, I was asked to retool my outline accordingly. Thankfully, none of this was prompted by my outline as Fox had not yet even seen it, but rather something more general. As it happened, my editor thought my pitch was close enough to the mark already that my rework actually was pretty limited. I returned a revised outline to her on November 20th, and now I’m just waiting to hear back. I tried to avoid references to “the clock’s ticking” or “I’m watching the clock,” but…aw, damn.

Short Story – For a tie-in anthology that I’m not yet allowed to name, published by a publisher I’m not yet allowed to name, and edited by an editor I’m not yet allowed to name. What I can say is that it’s for a property for which I’ve not previously written, working for a publisher and editor with whom I have no prior experience, and it was a total blast. I also can tell you that I delivered a completed story on December 15th, and at present I’m just waiting for said unnamed editor to get back to me with his notes, feedback, requests, and so on and so forth.

Holiday Gifts for Writers” – My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on December 16th. For this installment, I opted to have a little fun and create my own take on the time-worn “Gifts for Writers” article you tend to see posted by writers or at other writing sites during the holiday season. Naturally, I couldn’t just play straight with it.

“Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, and Again, and Again, and….” – My essay for The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, to be published by Sequart.org. As the title implies, I focused on the use of time travel across the different Apes comics over the decades. I delivered a finished piece back on November 3rd, and after receiving some notes back from my editor I returned a revised version at the end of November. Now that the first issue of IDW and BOOM!’s Star Trek/Planet of the Apes miniseries The Primate Directive has been released, I’m planning to add a bit about that to my essay and return it to my editors in the next day or so. The Sacred Scrolls is currently slated for publication late next spring or early next summer.

Tie-in project – Also for a new editor and publisher. I was approached back in mid-December about doing this, and I had a phone conversation with the editor right before Christmas. We followed up that discussion earlier this week, and it looks like I’ll be doing this alongside the other stuff on my plate. I’m very excited about this opportunity, as it represents a type of writing I’ve not really done before. More on this once particulars are nailed down, contracts are signed, and I’m given some direction on what I can and can’t say. Stay tuned!

Another “Ten for Ward” column – I’m actually in the midst of writing this, and it’s due to my editor at StarTrek.com early next week. So, I should probably…you know…finish it. Soon.

Sequel to From History’s Shadow – Moving this to the “active” list because hey! We’re doing it! My outline for this is due on January 22nd. Contracts are signed and as things stand now, this likely will be the novel I work on after I finish the 24 novel and Seekers #4. As things stand now, I suspect this will be slated for publication in mid-late 2016.

Short Story – For yet another editor/publisher. I was approached back in October about contributing a story to a new anthology, which will definitely be something different from what I’ve done before. However, the anthology’s theme is a subject near and dear to my heart, and I’m definitely excited to be a part of the project. Stories are due on or before April 15th, so I’m planning to have it done and gone well before I hit the road with Kevin to head for Denver and the annual Starfest convention.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Unnamed Star Trek novel – Along with From History’s Shadow II, I also was asked about writing something after that. At this point, I don’t even know what it will be…that’s how nebulous things are this far out (we’re talking publication well into 2016 or perhaps even 2017, here). But, contracts he been signed, with an outline due some time in the late spring.

Tie-in novel – We’re still in the early discussions about this one, and I suspect things will begin heating up once we’re well and truly past the holidays. Kevin and I have had a couple of brainstorming sessions, and there’s been discussion with other involved parties. An actual outline likely will be in the offing sooner rather than later. How’s that for vague?

Two more essays for Sequart – That’s right, they didn’t learn their lessons after the Trek and Apes essays, and they invited me back to cause more damage. At this point, neither project has been formally announced, but I’ve already had to figure out when I’ll write the first one, and I suspect the other one will be due a few months after that. More info on these 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.”

Possible future projects:

Short film script: Kevin and I hatched this notion a while were talking about some other things we plan to be doing at next year’s Starfest convention in Denver. 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.

Another tie-in project – Last summer, 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 so with all that? ‘sup, 2015. How *you* doin’?

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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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