May writing wrap-up.

So, after the weirdness that was April, May took us right off the rails. We’ve watched with anger, sadness, and disbelief as the events of the past week have unfolded. It’s heartwrenching, all the more so because we as a nation seem to be so utterly rudderless, but it wasn’t unexpected. I don’t intend this to be a soapbox post (and I’m not looking for anyone to stake a claim to that sort of thing here, either), but I will say anyone who thinks this is a single action occurring in vacuum hasn’t been paying attention. To those people, I sincerely hope you’re paying attention now.

On the home front, Clan Ward continued to observe COVID-19 protocols so far as being out in public. Closer to home, we were able to spend time with friends while still observing social distancing. The people in our social circle were doing the same things we were, so we all felt comfortable enough to enjoy each other’s company. School’s out for the year, and both kids finished strong. This was the only year where I had wildly divergent bus schedules for each child; they’ll both be getting on and off the bus within minutes of each other from here on out.

“Until they start driving, Dayton.”


:: Ahem. ::

In and around all of that, the work marched merrily on.

On the consulting side of things, I got to poke my nose into a fair bit of Star Trek stuff on different fronts, and it appears I’ll be doing even more of that in the months ahead. They’re keeping me busy but it’s a good kinda busy. It’d be easy to describe what I do as a fan’s dream job, but I truly do see it as quite a bit more than that. In the year or so I’ve been doing this, I’ve drawn upon not just Star Trek knowledge or even my writing background but also skills and expertise gleaned from my past corporate and even military life. It’s been an interesting year to say the least, and yes…there’s even more coming.

Oh, and there was writing stuff during May, too.

A new tie-in project! After signing a contract for this in late February, I delivered an outline for this on May 1st. I’ve received editorial notes, which I plan to (finally!) address this week. This is a big one, requiring collaboration not just with the editor but also other writers with whom I’ll be working in tandem. This likely will be the thing that keeps me busy throughout the latter months of the year, as I don’t anticipate starting in on the actual manuscript until after the summer. More info as I’m allowed to share.

Another new tie-in project – This one unexpectedly came about late in March and a good part of April was spent coordinating with my editor as well as my collaborator on this book. We delivered an outline in late April and just last week got licensor approval to proceed to manuscript. It’s a tie-in for a property with which I’ve not previously worked and neither is it a novel.  I don’t know when I’ll be able to offer much in the way of information or details, but I suspect it won’t be until we’re much closer to the release of the property’s latest installment, which is a ways off. I’ll let you know. 🙂

Short story for Pangaea III, an upcoming science fiction anthology – Regular followers know that Kevin and I contributed a story to the first Pangaea anthology, and Kevin went solo for a story included in its sequel, Pangaea II: SuperContinent Boogalo (I may have that title wrong). The formula’s a bit different this time, as instead of us all writing separate tales we all will be feeding a larger narrative in something resembling a round-robin format…but with extra chaos sprinkled in for flavor. After getting an edited manuscript for our portions back from editor Michael Jan Friedman, we delivered our final revisions back on May 11th. The original plan was for the book to debut at the Shore Leave convention in July but that con’s been cancelled for this year, so I’m not exactly sure when this one will poke its head up.

Short story for another anthology – Kevin and I were invited to participate in this “pulp adventure fiction” project, and we pitched a story to its editor a couple of weeks ago. As things stand now, our story will be due in August, with the resulting collection being published next spring. Once we’re given the go-ahead, I can talk more about this one. What I can say is Kevin and I were able to crack each other up with our concept for this tale, so even if everybody else thinks it sucks, we’ll be entertained.

Short story for yet another anthology – As if four collaborations (so far) this year wasn’t enough, here comes one more. The theme for this book is much more lighthearted in tone, giving Kevin and I wide latitude for how much crazy shit we can jam into our concept. As with the previous entry, we made each other laugh pretty hard as we developed our pitch, and I suspect we’ll have a bit more fun with this one than might be healthy. This antho will also be published next year, but I don’t have any solid info on that front just yet. More later as I’m allowed to share.

Two new articles for – In addition to a “publishing highlights for June” piece which will give peeks at those Trek books and comics coming out this month, I also wrote piece which will be timed to coincide with Captain Picard Day on June 16th. For this, I recommend a dozen or so novels and comics which focus on the good captain. I delivered those on May 29th, and now I’m awaiting editorial feedback.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Agents of Influence – My new Star Trek original series novel. I’ve taken it as far as I can at this point, including helping out with a pronunciation guide for the audiobook edition read by Robert Petkoff, who’s brought his voice to several Star Trek audios these past few years. Despite everything, the novel is still set for publication on or about June 9th.  Oh, and did I mention we also have a cover?

More fun with Star Trek AdventuresBack in October, I turned in a few revisions for the material I wrote for the first of two upcoming reference books. I finished edits on content for the first book back in January, and completed writing material for the second book back in March. Both of these are tentatively scheduled for publication at different points in late 2020 (or perhaps early 2021, depending on COVID-19 impacts), but I don’t have any firm dates just yet. Neither book has been formally announced yet, either, so don’t tell anyone I mentioned this to you, okay?

Short story for upcoming horror anthology – A story Kevin and I wrote for It Came from the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers. To be published by Hex Publishers, this will be a celebration of ghost and horror stories as inspired by 1980s cheezy, low-budget B-movie awesomeness. The concept, which we ended up calling, “Helluloid,” sounded so insanely fun Kevin and I could not say no when we were invited to contribute. Didja see it? The book is scheduled for publication in September.

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. We originally were told the project’s official start date has been pushed to later in the spring, but COVID-19 has impacted this one’s timetable. I likely won’t the full extent of that for a while, yet. We’re looking forward to locking things down and working with the client to fine-tune what they want. Until a formal announcement is made the only thing I can say is that this is a slice of pure fanboy fun. Stay tuned!

Superhero novella project – As announced back on February 21st of last year, I’m teaming up with friends and fellow word pushers Russ Colchamiro, Mary Fan, and Aaron Rosenberg–they of Crazy 8 Press–to make with some superhero shenanigans. I suspect we may ramp up talks about this later in the summer, as the book’s publication is currently set for sometime in 2021. More details will be forthcoming as appropriate.

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’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!).

And so it goes. Howdy, June.

2 thoughts on “May writing wrap-up.

  1. Hi! I just found your blog. I went through my collection of Star Trek novels to see which ones you wrote. I found “Age of the Empress”, which I enjoyed a lot. The Mirror Universe is always fun, and it was interesting to see the rise and fall of Empress Sato… after the two-part TV episode showed her as the Hoshi really was. 😉 The end of “Age of the Empress” seemed like a deliberate cliffhanger. What happened next? Did Sato bring Archer back? Did you cover this in another novel? I’d love to hear any behind-the-scenes stories about this novel(la).

    Mike Smolowitz

    P.S.: How do you feel about the Bucs’ new QB? People here in New England are disappointed he left, of course. But I’m a Bills fan, so now there’s hope that a team not named the Patriots could actually win the AFC East.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was something of a follow-up to Age of the Empress, in the short story anthology Shards and Shadows which came out back in 2009, but we never got to really revisit in depth.

      As for Brady, I’ve made my share of jokes at his and the Patriots’ expense over the years, but when he takes the field he’s my team’s quarterback and I hope he does well. 🙂


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