July writing wrap-up.

So, July was here for a minute.

It was a busy month on multiple fronts. We had the second half of our neigborhood swim league which consumed the first three Wednesday evenings (and one final Saturday for championships). There were also volleyball practices and matches, music lessons, and another family excursion. I’m also still doing my volunteer thing at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and now that we’re back from vacation I’m eyeing my August schedule with some anticipation, as there are some fun things happening this month.

Elsewhere, there were a couple of interviews and this year’s virtual edition of the annual Shore Leave convention. Here’s hoping we get to do that in person next summer.

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And of course there was the consulting and the writing. What happened in July?

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. A third and final set of galley pages was sent to me for review back on July 13th, and I was able to respond to the proofreader queries and other notes that same day. Unless something really weird happens, it’s all out of my hands now and the next time I’ll see it is when the book hits shelves on or about September 28th. Meanwhile, we also finally got to see the book’s cover and back cover description, and we also have a cover for Jim’s Book II! The cover for Dave’s Book III is being finalized as I write this. Beyond that? Don’t expect much else 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 spoiling everything ahead of time?

Short Story for The Four ???? of the Apocalypse – Despite a couple of bumps in the road, Kevin and I were successful in teaming up to spin our own take on 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. We delivered our story to said editors on July 22nd and while we made each other laugh pretty hard, it remains to be seen whether anyone else – beginning with our editors and going from there – shares our enthusiasm. More on this as we’re given the thumbs-up to share.

“Cool Star Trek Titles for Your Summer Reading” – With summer now all up in our business, the team at StarTrek.com asked me to come up with a new article focusing on some “good seasonal” Star Trek reads. After conducting an informal survey of the folks who follow my blatherings on Facebook, the resulting article popped up on the site back on July 14th. How many have you read or want to read?

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. We’ve got a rough outline and one of my “To-Do List” items this week is to make sure everything’s in the right spot – more or less – and divvy up the writing assignments so we can get going. Our current delivery date for a manuscript is September 13th, which should be just about right given how incredibly nuts my August is shaping up to be. Stay tuned for more info!

Untitled Tie-In Project – After a preliminary conversation with one of the involved parties back in June(?), this one lay dormant until just a couple of weeks ago, I’m moving this to a front burner. I’m prepping for a conversation later this week to discuss details, and then I need to write and deliver an outline by August 17th. Things are very tentative right now and I’m still pulling my thoughts together on how I want to approach this, but it appears this will be “The Big Thing” that’ll keep me busy in the year’s final months, in and around everything else. 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.

Another Untitled Tie-In Project – This is very much something of unexpected thing that came across my radar last week. I’ll admit I was caught a bit off-guard by the invitation, but it’s one of those things you go, “Oh, HELL yeah,” when they ask you, so that’s kinda-sorta what I said…and then pulled Kevin along with me for the ride, because – I say again – “Oh, HELL yeah.” There’s no guarantee of anything moving forward at this point, but they at least want to hear ideas. More info if and as this moves along…or maybe not if I end up not doing anything and I quietly delete this from my list of projects.

Another article for StarTrek.com – Last week, I was asked about contributing another piece for the site, but we put that on hold as I was on vacation with Clan Ward. Now that I’m back, this is one of those things I can probably knock out fairly quickly once I’m caught up on various bits of administrivia. More info on this as we push forward.

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. 🙂

The Shackleton Expanse Campaign Setting for Star Trek Adventures – Back in December, editor and project manager 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, Scott Pearson and I worked to develop the Expanse and a story to go with it as a means of launching the game’s “Living Campaign” rules and gameplay testbed. For this new book expanding on that whole setting, 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. The book is currently scheduled for publication sometime in the fall. Hopefully we’ll have more details soon.

Possible future projects:

More fun with Star Trek Adventures After himming and hawing with Jim (see above) off and on for the past several months, it looks like I might be doing some more work for the game. Things are very tentative at the moment, but in addition to the projects he’s asked me about, I’ve also got an idea or two of my own to pitch. We shall see…..

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 been sidelined thanks to consulting work and other possible projects which may take precedence.

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.

August already, huh? All righty, then.

Lay it on me.

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