December writing wrap-up.

Aaaaaaaaaand just like that? 2018 is in the books.

Yep. 2019 is here. Lots of people are making every sort of Blade Runner joke. I’ve made one or two, myself, but for my money I think we’re closer to the imagined world of The Running Man (either Stephen King’s original novel or the “loose” Arnold Schwarzenegger film adaptation. Your pick.).

Anyway….

December 2018 brought to a close a writing year that was a bit slower than I’m used to. The lags and delays that were the order of the day in 2017 carried far enough into the subsequent year that I couldn’t quite find the higher gear without popping the clutch. I’m hoping 2019 proves to be a year of “new things” on various fronts, including writing outside what’s become my comfort zone and getting on with pursuing projects that aren’t necessarily tie-ins. We shall see, I guess.

For the moment, I continue to keep on keepin’ on while waiting for some things to shake free. With that in mind, here’s the December rundown:

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Available Light  Picking up the action in the aftermath of David Mack’s novel Control and my own TNG tale from 2017, Hearts and Minds. I returned my updates to the copyedited manuscript back on December 10th, and I’m currently reviewing the galley/typeset pages. My final changes to those are due back next Tuesday, January 8th. Meanwhile, the book is currently scheduled for publication on April 9th, 2019. You can find pre-order links and the official back cover copy here, and hey! Did you see the cover?

10 Holiday Gifts from Inside the Trek Universe” – The next installment of my irregularly recurring “Ten for Ward” column. It was posted to StarTrek.com on December 15th, just in time to help with Christmas shopping!

Wealth, Wayward Teens, and Wards: A Life of Crime Brings No Rewards!” – An essay Kevin and I concocted for Another Fine Day In Gotham City, a new collection of essays focusing on the first season of the 1966 Batman TV series. Edited by Jim Beard, each essay/writer takes a look at a different story from the show’s first year, which mostly means each of us taking a 2-part episode. Kevin and I drew “The Joker Goes to School” and “He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul,” which features Caesar Romero’s second appearance as the Clown Prince of Crime. We delivered our contribution on December 31st, and we’re currently awaiting further instructions. I’m not sure at this point when the book will be published. Look for more info as I’m able to share!

Short Story for a Science Fiction Anthology – Writer/Editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has invited me to participate in a new collection she’s curating, Footprints In the Stars, for her own publishing outfit, eSpec Books. As she describes it, all of the stories will revolve around the central theme of humanity discovering evidence that we are not alone in the universe. She’s stressed that she’s not looking for “first contact stories,” so we have to dig a little deeper and come up with something else. My story is due on or before March 30th, and I plan to start writing it in the next week or so. Stay tuned!

Unidentified Tie-In Project – Yep. I still can’t say much about this one just yet. After receiving licensor feedback on my manuscript back on September 4th, I made the necessary corrections and returned an updated version on September 7th. Now I’m awaiting further instructions. At present, the publication date is still aiming for May 2019, along with….

Another Unidentified Tie-In Project – A companion to the previous entry. I know what you’re thinking, and neither of these are Star Trek titles. Sorry! I’d already responded to licensor notes for this one back in August, so I’m now I’m just in a holding pattern while waiting for further direction. As with its companion, this one also is slated for publication in May 2019.

Star Trek: Kirk Fu – An Introduction to the Final Frontier’s Most Feared Martial Art. YAAASSSSSSS. This is a project I pitched a couple of years ago, and it sat in limbo forever before a new editor at Insight Editions, Paul Ruditis, came aboard, and things started cooking with gas. The book was officially announced on June 14th, including some peeks at concept art, and of course it’s all totally insane, just as I originally intended. I got to see a tentative cover for this one last month, it’s gloriously hysterical, and I can’t wait to show it off. Unfortunately and for reasons I still haven’t been given, the book’s publication date has apparently been pushed back to March 2020. More details as I get them.

And Another Tie-In Project – I can’t really describe anything about this one without giving away hints as to what it might be. It’s definitely an interesting endeavor – one I’m pursuing with a friend and fellow writer. Between us we’ve written a couple of short “proof of concept” manuscripts. We’ve gotten some new direction after a meeting held back in November, so I may be turning some attention to this as we get closer to the holidays. There may be an announcement coming about this very soon, but until that happens the only thing I can say is that this is a slice of pure fanboy fun. Stay tuned!

Other stuff in the pipeline:

A Not At All Tie-In Project – See what I did there, sneaking this one in between all the others? I was contacted several months ago about doing some writing work for a new endeavor that’s currently in development. It’s work for hire, in the sense that someone else is developing the property rather than this being my own idea, but the person in charge is giving me wide latitude so far as I what I write. We’ve had one conversation and I’ve been sent some reference material, but I’m otherwise on my own…within reason, of course. This is something that’s still sort of gestating, so I have no real idea just yet when it might be announced or made available. More info as I get it and am allowed to share.

Yet Another Unidentified Tie-In Project – This one is now officially listed as “in limbo” until further notice. I can’t say it’s canceled because there’s a contract involved and I’ve already been paid a portion of the money, but it’s been all quiet on every front so far as trying to get this thing to move forward. After submitting a revised outline to my editor over a year ago, I’ve been stuck since then while we await a response from the licensor. I’ve attempted to follow up a few times in the intervening months, but so far I’ve had no luck. I guess they’ll find me when they’re ready. It’s not like I’m drowning in free time or anything, but I’d really like to get on with this one. Here’s hoping.

Possible future projects:

Original SF novel concept – Something I’d started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. This one’s been on the back burner for a while, because…well…look up at all that other stuff. I’ve been giving this one some thought lately, as it’s the sort of thing I can scribble about during lunch breaks and such at work. I’d like to get it to a point that I feel comfortable approaching at least one editor with it. I guess we’ll see.

Original e-Book concept – I’ve been pondering an idea for a new series – something akin to the “men’s adventure” style books I loved back in the 80s and 90s. It would be a setting for which I could write shorter tales – novellas, likely – for e-Book distribution. It would be something of an SF-ish/action bent, with (I hope) lots of humor. Not quite campy, but definitely lighter in tone. This is still very rough at the moment, but it’s something I’d really like to get into once I get some free time (HAH! HAH AGAIN!).

Aloha, 2019!

Lay it on me.

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