November writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAnd just like that, here we are: the last month of 2015. Already.

November busy. I mean weird busy. Despite my best efforts to remain focused on a single major task, I kept having to divert time and attention to other stuff, both work-related and personal. Everything else requiring that attention was important, of course, but it quickly became apparent that I simply wasn’t going to have enough month to cover everything that ended up happening within that month.

Oh, well. Such is life, and all that. Nothing truly important was overlooked, and the only impact to my master plan was to me alone, so no real harm, there. The biggest casualty was my perhaps foolhardy notion of meeting my NaNoWriMo goal, as I ended up a full 10,000 words short of the mark, this time around. That bugs me on a personal level, but not as much as I’d be bothered if I’d let someone else down.

(Note to self: Plan better, next time.)

So, what went on during November? Here’s the run rundown:

“Surrounding Us and Binding Us Together: Star Wars Across the Generations” – The collection in which this new essay appears,  A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe edited by Rich Handley and Joseph F. Berenato, went on sale a couple of weeks ago. Hey! Just in time for that new Star Wars movie I hear is coming. Run out and buy copies for you and everyone you know.

The Armageddon Directive – The Mars Attacks novella I wrote for Joe Books and Topps. After delivering a manuscript on November 2nd, I addressed editor notes and other items over the next week or so, then got a chance to review and update a copyedited version of the story a week or so later. I returned a final version of that on the 20th, and now I’m just waiting for the next steps. The current plan is for the novella to be offered as a backers reward for a recent Mars Attacks Kickstarter campaign, after which it will be made available for general sale in the spring. More info as I get it!

“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. I reviewed the galley pages for my story back during the first week of November. The next time I see this, it should be a really real book! At last report, publication remains set for April 12th, 2016.

24: Trial by Fire – I received some great editorial notes on my manuscript, and I was able to answer those and return a revised version back on November 17th. At the moment, I’m waiting for a copyedit and licensor approval. I’m still not at liberty to discuss details at this point, but that hopefully will change, soon. Publication is still set for August.

Elusive Salvation – A Star Trek original series novel that’s a sequel to From History’s Shadow. I reviewed the galley pages and returned by corrections on November 20th. There may be some proofreader queries, but otherwise? This baby’s put to bed! It’ll be out on April 26th, and you’ve already seen the cover, right?

Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan – An “inside the box” Star Trek book that mimics–more or less–something like the Lonely Planet series of travel guides. This will be published by Insight Editions, who’s built up a rep for creating a bunch of really impressive and shiny art and behind the scenes books for a number of entertainment properties. Tthe book is now deep into the art/layout stage. Insight has actual, talented people to do the heavy lifting for this part, but I’m still in the loop and trying to be…you know…helpful. My editor and I had a lengthy phone conversation last week about picture choices and placement and other recommendations for art that will be commissioned, and I’m even sitting here with graph paper trying to devise maps that a real artist will then (hopefully) transform into something…you know…good. It’s been a fascinating learning experience, so far. The book is currently slated to be published on July 26th. Stay tuned!

Purgatory’s Key – Mine and Kevin’s contribution to Star Trek: Legacies, 2016’s novel trilogy that will help to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series. Things are chunking merrily along, and our manuscript is due after the New Year. The trilogy is slated to publish in July, August, and September of 2016, and you can now read the cover copy for all three books!

My Adopted Hometown“- My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on November 17th. As part of a “theme month,” we were asked to write about where we live, what’s so awesome about it, and how it might influence our writing. Turns out? Kansas City is pretty cool.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Planet of the Apes essay for Sequart – Those Sequart guys just never learn their lesson. This time, I wrote about the live-action Apes television series for a new collection of essays which will bear the rather snappy title Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos. I delivered my essay on October 30th, and early word is that at least one editor thinks it doesn’t suck. Go me! Now, I’m waiting for editor notes and all that.

Planet of the Apes short story – Yeah, I’ve already yammered at length about this, so I’ll spare you the encore. As things stand now, my story isn’t due until the end of February, and as you’ve likely surmised by this point, I have plenty to keep me busy.

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 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…. 🙂

“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.

And with that? Tis the season…again. Aloha, December.

4 thoughts on “November writing wrap-up.

  1. Whew! Busy, busy, indeed! While it’s too bad you didn’t quite make your 50k goal, 40k is no small feat! Plus, ya know, all that other stuff you did this month! I’d say you did just fine. 😀


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