August writing wrap-up.

Is it still 2020?

:: closes eyes, counts to ten, opens eyes ::

Yep. 2020.

Things being what they are, I did what I’ve been doing these past several months: Work. My largely isolated, work-at-home existence hasn’t changed from what it was before the pandemic. The kids’ “summer vacations” are rapidly drawing to a close with school slated to begin on September 8th as a virtual experience. That should prove interesting, but thankfully both kids are good students and rather adaptable so I expect they’ll be okay so long as my wife and I do our part to help them through any rough patches.

Meanwhile, my consulting duties continue apace. Some days are more frantic than others, but all in all I’m having a good bit of fun. In and all of that, a bit of writing still got done. Here’s the August rundown:

Short story for Pangaea III, a 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, Book II: The Rise of Dominjaron. The formula was a bit different for this third and final outing, with all of the third book’s contributors writing separate tales feeding a larger, connected narrative. Our contribution is “The Journey,” featuring characters Kevin and I created for the first Pangaea book and which Kevin revisited in the second volume. The new book finally went live on August 9th in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital formats.

Short story for Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Volume 2 – Kevin and I were invited to participate in this “pulp adventure fiction” project, and we delivered our story to editor Bob Greenberger at Crazy 8 Press back on August 15th. Preliminary feedback indicates Bob doesn’t hate it, or us, and we’re currently waiting on more detailed editor notes. Next up for us is to record a couple of videos to help support the project’s upcoming crowdfuning campaign. Stay tuned for details!

Short story for another anthology project – This one came along as a total surprise, if we’re being honest. It’s for a genre I’ve not yet really written for and I initially declined, but Thoughtful Editor persisted and golly! I couldn’t say no and I even managed to pull Kevin along for the ride. We’re just getting going on this, with a deadline of September 30th for delivering our story. The anthology is scheduled for publication sometime next year; possibly in time for spring convention season…assuming there is such a thing. I will indeed share more info as I’m given the okay to do so.

A new tie-in project – After hearing on July 31st that my outline for this had been approved, I’m getting set to dig on in it. As I’ve previously hinted, this is a big one, requiring collaboration not just with my editor but also other writers with whom I’ll be working in tandem. My current schedule calls for starting this next weekt, and this will likely be the major thing in and around “regular work” that keeps me busy throughout the remainder of the year. More info as I’m allowed to share.

Another new tie-in project – This is one of those things I’m finishing up between now and September. It unexpectedly came about late in March, and my collaborator and I delivered a manuscript on July 27th and received editorial notes just last night. I’m currently scheduled to have my revisions back to my editor on September 14th. 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 yet another anthology project – As if four short story collaborations (so far) this year weren’t enough, here comes one more. The theme for this book is much more lighthearted in tone than the one we pitched to Bob for Thrilling Adventure Yarns, giving Kevin and me 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.

New article for – I’ve been doing a regular feature-type thing for the website for while, trying to shine a little light on the various corners of Star Trek publishing be it novels, reference books, comics, and whatever else might celebrate the Final Frontier within its pages. My “publishing highlights” column for August was published back on the 7th, and I sent the September edition to my editor on the 27th. I’m currently waiting to see if she has any feedback or requested changes.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

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 on September 15th.

More fun with Star Trek Adventures – In addition to The Klingon Empire Core Rulebook, I was also asked by Star Trek Adventures line editor Jim Johnson to contribute material to another reference book devoted to the Shackleton Expanse, a region of space created for the game. Some of you may recall that back in 2016, I worked with Jim and Scott Pearson to develop a premise set in the Expanse as part of the game’s “living campaign.” We created a storyline we hoped other writers could use to create adventure modules and other material as needed to continue expanding the region and whatever players might find there. All of that is coming home to roost as the Expanse gets its own volume. In addition to the previously released modules, we’ve also created all new material including scenarios that will bring to a conclusion the story we started four years ago. I finished edits on content for this book back in March, and at present I’m awaiting editorial feedback. I suspect it’ll be early 2021 at the earliest before this one is released. More info as I get it.

Possible future projects:

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. COVID-19 has impacted this one’s timetable, and I likely won’t know 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!

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 with that? We’re already into the “–ber” months of 2020. I suspect it’ll take something like 500 years to get through them.

Lay it on me.

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