August writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsWell, damn. We’re at that point of 2015 where all the months end in “…ber.” How the hell did that happen so fast?

Time flies when you’re…hmm. Yeah, whatever.

August was dominated by a whole lot of pieces being moved around the board as we get set for the final sprint toward 2016. Things will be busy in September and October, for sure, and the rest of the year’s shaping up to be the same way. We shall see.

In the meantime, here’s the August rundown:

Star Trek: Seekers #4All That’s Left – We returned our final, final (we really mean it, this time) page corrections to our editor on August 5th. David Mack’s Book 3, Long Shot, has been out about a month at this point, and ours will begin appearing in stores around the last week of October. Did you see the cover?

“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. The book had its official premiere at last month’s Shore Leave convention, and is now readily available from your local bookseller. So, you know….go buy a bunch of copies.

Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Prize“- My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on August 18th. This time, I babble a bit about not wallowing in envy or jealousy when comparing your writing output or status against that of other authors. That way lies madness, you know.

“Day to Day” – Short Story for 2113: Stories Inspired By the Music of Rush, edited by John McFetridge and Kevin J. Anderson for publisher ECW. As the anthology title implies, each of the stories it contains will be inspired in some way by one of the songs in Rush’s extensive catalog. My story draws inspiration from the song “Red Sector A” from the band’s Grace Under Pressure album. After receiving a copyedited manuscript from the folks at ECW on August 19th, I made my updates and returned it on August 23rd. At last report, the publisher was still eyeing an April 2016 publication date.

Tie-in project – For a new editor and publisher. There’s been a lot of back and forth on this one, mostly because this is sort of a new thing for everyone involved, most of all your humble writer host. I’m finalizing a new round of revisions today, as a matter of fact, with the intention of delivering them unto their editor today or tomorrow at the latest. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk a bit about this one soon. More info later.

Elusive Salvation – A Star Trek original series novel that’s a sequel to From History’s Shadow. More UFOs! More aliens! More time travel shenanigans! The copyedited manuscript appeared in my inbox on August 28th, and I have until September 11th to return my fixes, updates, and whatever else I decide to stick in there. Back in July, I was able to share the book’s back cover copy, and I’ve seen a rough for the cover. As From History’s Shadow‘s cover conjured 1950s UFO conspiracy vibes, this one also evokes the era in which much of the story takes place. I’m hoping I’ll be able to share that, soon.

Planet of the Apes essay for Sequart – Those Sequart guys just never learn their lesson. This time, I’ll be writing about the live-action Apes television series. My essay is due on or about October 31st, last check.

Purgatory’s Key – Mine and Kevin’s contribution to Star Trek: Legacies, next year’s novel trilogy that will help to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series. This will be the “main” writing project for the next couple of months. We’re not free to really talk details on this one just yet, other than to say the trilogy is slated to publish in July, August, and September of next year.

24 novel – I delivered my completed manuscript on July 1st, and I’m currently waiting for my editor to return some feedback and/or dispatch assassins. I’m not at liberty to discuss details at this point, but I hope I can get some clearance to talk about it soon, because…well, dammit, Chloe! As of now, I suspect publication is being eyed for spring/summer of next year.

Short story for a tie-in anthology – After languishing around the perimeter of my writing radar screen for many months, I received word on August 26th that the project was moving forward, with story pitches having been approved, due dates scheduled, and contracts apparently on the way. As you may have guessed by this point, I can’t say jack about this project just yet, but suffice it to say it’s a bit of a dream gig. My story will be due on about January 1st, though I suspect I’ll have to negotiate for some wiggle room, given what’s next on the list….

Headlong Flight – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of Armageddon’s Arrow as well as a new trilogy coming next year from fellow scribe John Jackson Miller. This new tale is intended to be another largely “standalone” story with an emphasis on exploring. I received word on August 28th that my outline had been approved by in-house editorial and CBS Licensing, so I’ll be diving into this one just as soon as I’m done with Purgatory’s Key. There may be even be a bit of overlap. The book is scheduled for some time in 2017, which happens to be the same year we’ll be observing the 30th anniversary of the TNG television series’ premiere. Don’t think that’s lost on me…. 🙂

Other stuff in the pipeline:

“The Ardent” – Our short story for the Pangaea anthology. You may have seen me babbling about this here and there during February and March. The writing and editing is done, and the anthology is still slated to premiere next weekend at the Shore Leave convention. That’s hard core, right there. Right now, we’re still waiting for the book’s official publication announcement so that we can commence bragging and pimping it far and wide.

“Surrounding Us and Binding Us Together: Star Wars Across the Generations”Editors Rich Handley and Joseph F. Berenato have taken on the challenge of producing not one and not two but three collections of essays focusing on different aspects of the Star Wars franchise. My essay will be included in the first book, A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe. I delivered a revised manuscript in mid-July, and now we’re just waiting for final pages to review.

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 back 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.

“The Enterprise Job” – As 2014 marked 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. Of course, all of that news about the actual model made me rethink significant portions of my story. Once I address all of that, I still have to figure 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:

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.

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.

Short film script: Kevin and I hatched this notion a while were talking about some other things. 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.

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!” Well, Volume 3 has come and gone, but I still really want to write something for this series. Maybe once I get past some of this other stuff….

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.

So, here we are: The “…ber” Months. Huzzah.

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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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