May writing wrap-up.

And just like that, school’s out for summer. June’s here, y’all!

May was a bit of a blur, thanks to the usual work stuff but also a much needed vacation for Clan Ward. Youngest daughter had a volleyball tournament out of state, so we took advantage of the opportunity to sneak off under the radar and go do some fun outdoorsy stuff. All of that’s done now, and now we’re settling in for summer stuff. Both of the kids are taking (willingly!) summer classes, there’s more volleyball and also summer swim league, music lessons, and other stuff to keep folks busy.

Me? I’m thinking I’m doing some more writing in and around the consulting stuff, of course.

But we march ever farther into June, here’s a look at what I managed to accomplish – writing-wise – during May:

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Moments Asunder – The first book in the Star Trek: Coda trilogy, on which I’m collaborating with fellow Star Trek wordsmiths James Swallow and David Mack. Word about this started leaking around the middle of February, prompting the Dave, Jim, and me to comment on it via our respective social media platforms. This is the project that’s been in the works for over two years, and so far we’ve managed to keep it (mostly) under wraps. I received a set of “first-pass pages” (essentially a typeset version of the manuscript, all ready for printing) on May 17th. I made a variety of changes and such…mostly housekeeping items anlogn with things identified by Dave and Jim so far as keeping the three books in sync with one another, and I returned my updated version of the pages to my editor on June 3rd. I’ve already got a set of queries to address this week…making sure all my edits are input correctly…but we’re pretty close to done with this one, folks! Don’t expect much in the way of juicy details from any of us as we push on toward September when the first book is due to hit stores, because where’s the fun in that?

Short Story for The Four ???? of the Apocalypse – With a successful Kickstarter campaign still out there looking for supporters, Kevin and I have another chance to team up! This time, a whole bunch of us are spinning all-new yarns about The End of the World for an anthology to be published by editors Keith R.A. DeCandido and Wrenn Sims and their new small-press publishing company, Whysper Wude. Kevin and I will be writing our story over the coming weeks, and the anthology’s theme gives us pretty wide latitude for how just much crazy shit we can jam into the concept we came up with. Well, we made each other laugh pretty hard, anyway, and I suspect we’ll have a bit more fun with this one than might be healthy. At last report, our story would be due to its editor on or about July 15th, so we should probably get started, huh? More later as details firm up.

Article for StarTrek.com – Yeah, it’s about that time again! With summer approaching, I’ve been asked to come up with a new article, focusing this time on some good summer Star Trek reads. I’ll be writing this during the coming week, and at present I’m not sure when it might be slated for publication on the website. Stay tuned!

Space Western Story – This originally came about last summer after I was invited to submit a story for an anthology that’s due out later this year. Once I got the idea in my head, I invited Kevin to collaborate on the story with me, but time and other work demands forced me to withdraw from attempting to meet that project’s deadline. Although Kevin and I were so taken with the idea that we didn’t want to just shelve it, and we’d talked about tackling it at some point this year and then figuring out what to do with it. Then, the editor of said anthology reached out and asked if we were up for contributing to a follow-up volume slated for 2022. Um, yeah? So, Kevin and I got together during the last Saturday in April and plotted our story…basically the two of us spitballing back and forth while a digital recorder captured it all. Once we’re done with the Apocalypse story, Kevin will transcribe that into a set of written notes which I’ll then polish into an outline from which we both can work, and off we go. More info as I’m allowed to share.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Unidentified Tie-in Project – Although I’m not yet allowed to share any info about this one, I was notified by my editor back on March 12th that the licensor/studio had approved the manuscript! It’s now in the hands of the publisher’s graphic design department. I probably won’t see anything until we have a preliminary layout, at which point another round of reviews will take place. 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 has officially been pushed back thanks to COVID-related issues. I’ll let you know. 🙂

Science Fiction Novella Concept – Last summer, I was invited to participate in what is to be a series of novellas all revolving around a Theme I Cannot Yet Publicly Identify. Though the editor already had a slate of entries for 2021, she invited me to pitch something for 2022. Over the holidays, an odd confluence of inspiration and idea fodder saw to it I came up with a basic premise for a story, and after informing Madam Editor of my interest in playing within this particular sandbox, I quickly scribbled some notes and then set them aside in order to finish Moments Asunder. Though my plan was to eventually move into writing this one over the late spring and summer, that’s likely going to change because…..

Untitled Tie-In Project – So, this came up unexpectedly. Things are very tentative right now and I don’t even really have a direction for what I’ll be doing at this point, but it’s one of those things that’s hard to pass up. Obviously this is all vague and stuff, but hopefully I’ll be able to drop some less-vague hints about this sooner rather than later.

More fun with Star Trek Adventures – Back in December, editor Jim Johnson returned to me those portions of the new sourcebook to which I contributed, working in concert with friend and fellow word pusher Scott Pearson. This material is for a volume devoted to the “Shackleton Expanse,” a region of space we created for the game. Some of you may recall that back in 2016. I returned my revisions to Jim back on December 15th, and everything’s been put to bed and I along with the other contributors have been paid. Now we wait for summer when the book is currently scheduled for publication. Hopefully we’ll have more details soon.

Possible future projects:

More Tales from the Vogue Theater – One of the other things Kevin and I decided while writing “Helluoid” for last year’s It Came from the Multiplex was that the Vogue Theater, the setting for our 1980s horror tale, could also be the backdrop for other such stories set in different eras. We quickly came up with springboard ideas for stories set in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, including a prequel of sorts for the original tale. Well, we entertained ourselves, at any rate. At this point, we have no idea what we might do with such a project, but for now just the idea of collaborating on a regular basis has taken hold after last year’s efforts, and we’re both eager to keep the ball rolling. Let’s see what happens!

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!).

Original SF novel concept – No, this is not the thing mentioned earlier that I played with last month. Instead, this is something I’ve been thinking about — off and on — for a loooooooooooooong time, but it always kept getting back-burnered because of everything else. I haven’t given up on it, but at the moment other things are demanding attention so this one stays on the warmer for a while longer.

All righty, then. Aloha, June….

Lay it on me.

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