August writing wrap-up.

How about that August, huh?

Well, that month certainly cruised on by in a blur. Family-wise, the big thing was THE KIDS ARE BACK TO SCHOOL.

After spending last year in a “virtual learning environment” as we kept them home during the 2020/early 2021 stretch of the pandemic–during which they both made the Principal’s Honor Roll on all but the first quarter grading period…and really only missed that one my –> <– that much–they were excited to head back for in-person classes. Did I mention I have a kid in high school, now? And another who will join her next year? Yeah, that happened. When, I don’t know, but it totally happened.

In related news, Kevin and I attended Planet Comicon, our first in-person convention as guests in nearly two years. With shows moving online or being outright canceled throughout last year and into mid-2021, this also was a welcome change. Masks were the order of the day, of course, but that didn’t appear to deter a huge crowd from descending upon the con throughout the event’s three days. I haven’t yet heard an official or even unofficial tally so far as attendance, but the traffic seemed to be good all weekend. Hopefully this was just the first such show we’ll be attending in the months ahead.

“Pssst,” I hear someone whispering. “What about the writing, Dayton? Did you do any of that in August?”

Oh. There’s that.

It was a bit of an odd month, as I’m currently between major projects, but that didn’t stop me (or Kevin and me, as the case may be) from pushing a few words around last month. Here’s the August rundown:

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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. 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. Unless something really weird happens, it’s all out of our 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 covers for Jim’s Book II and Dave’s Book III! Beyond that? Don’t expect much else in the way of juicy details from any of us as we push on toward the first book’s release date, because where’s the fun in spoiling everything ahead of time?

Space Western Story – Kevin and I are currently working on this story for an anthology that’s due out next year. Once I got the initial idea in my head, I invited him to collaborate on the story with me. Our current delivery date for a manuscript is September 13th. At last report, the anthology’s editor was prepping a formal announcement for the project, so we should be able to share details soon. Stay tuned for more info!

Untitled Tie-In Project – After a conversation a couple of weeks ago to discuss details, I’ve been working on an outline as time permits, in and around everything else. I’m hoping to deliver said outline in the coming days, as it appears this will be “The Big Thing” that’ll keep me busy in the year’s final months, along with various other items on my To-Do List. Obviously this is all very vague at this point, but hopefully I’ll be able to drop some less-vague hints about this sooner rather than later.

Star Trek: Lower Decks articles for StarTrek.com – With the release of each new second-season Lower Decks episode, I’ve been asked to write a short article highlighting one of the funnier Easter eggs/in-jokes laid into each week’s installment. With the season premiere on August 12th, I’ve already written articles for the first, second, and third entries in the “Below Deck with Lower Decks” feature. Episode four’s article is on the launching pad as we speak, likely to be published to StarTrek.com on Friday, September 3rd.

Another article for StarTrek.com – Last month, I was asked about contributing another piece for the site, and I delivered a draft of the article back on August 10th. As of now, I haven’t heard much, but given the subject matter (no spoilers!) I’m guessing there’s a bit of lead time for it. More info on this as we push forward.

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.

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. A few weeks back I got to see some preliminary page layouts and answered some additional questions that have popped up during the proofing stages. 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. 🙂

Another Untitled Tie-In Project – This is very much something of unexpected thing that came across my radar last month. 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.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

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.

Looks like we’re already at the “—-ber” months. 2021’s sure been a ride, amirite?

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