August writing wrap-up.

And just like that….we’re already to the “–ber” months of 2022.

I apologize for things being quiet around here the past several weeks. In my defense, I was working a good bit of the month but also taking time here and there to unwind, catch up on some projects around the house, enjoy a bit of leisure reading as well as some TV binging from my ever-growing “To Be Watched” list.

One of my favorite things watched during August was the first(?) season of HBO’s revamped Perry Mason series. At best, I was only a casual viewer of the Raymond Burr series, which of course was already rerunning in syndication for years by the time I happened across the odd episode during my childhood. I never watched any of the TV movies that came after, but I have read a handful of Erle Stanley Gardner’s novels, so the revamped approach in this new version didn’t bother me. The proto-L.A. Confidential vibe held a definite appeal, as did Mason’s connections to World War I. The season’s storyline could’ve possibly been wrapped up with one or perhaps even two fewer episodes, but as I don’t particularly mind a good slow burn I’m okay with how things ended up. I’d watch a second season in a heartbeat.

Anyway….the writing.

Lots of things being juggled about during August. In addition to continuing the process of birthing my next novel, Kevin and I will be busy for the next couple of months as we work on a couple of new projects, and still other projects wait in the wings.

Wanna see what’s what? Check out last month’s scribblings:

Untitled tie-in novel – The main thing on which I’d been working earlier in the year. I received the copyedited manuscript for this on August 13th, and I returned a version with all of my changes on August 29th. There have been some rumors and such about what this is, but I can’t really say much as nothing’s been formally confirmed or announced. I can say that the placeholder title I’ve seen bandied about is not accurate. It’s what they stuck into my contract at the time, before I’d even written an outline. Suffice it to say there’s a different title on the manuscript.

Unidentified Tie-in Project – As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was approached about taking on this new effort involving an intellectual property with which I’ve not previously worked. After pulling Kevin with me to share the fun, we submitted a revised outline on August first, it got batted around by our editors and the IP owner for a bit, and we were asked to make some adjustments. That version was approved by all parties on August 29th, setting the stage for Kevin and me to spend September, October, and (hopefully) not too much of November bringing this baby to life. We’ve been told an announcement of this one is coming “soon,” so stay tuned!

Unidentified Shared Universe Project – Another thing I mentioned in that other blog post. Kevin and I received an invitation to participate in this effort. The editorial team loved our ideas and after incorporating the few notes they had for us, we got the go ahead to start writing our short story. Our deadline for delivering a manuscript is October 1st, and like the previous two projects there hasn’t yet been a formal announcement. Hopefully soon!

Star Trek: Lower Decks articles for StarTrek.com – As I did last year for the show’s second season, with the release of each new Lower Decks episode this year 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 this new season’s premiere on August 25th, I’ve already written articles for the first and second entries in this “Below Deck with Lower Decks” feature. New installments will follow every Friday, the day after each new episode, through October.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Short story for a new anthology – This one came about rather unexpectedly, with me submitting what I admit was a very off-the-cuff pitch to the antho’s editors, who in turn called my bluff and said they liked it. Well, damn. Now I actually have to make good on this idea! Thankfully, I have a lot of lead time so I can address the projects currently on my plate, with some time during that period spent pondering thoughts on how to flesh out this new thing.

Short story for another new anthology – This one is going to be a bit different. I haven’t pitched anything, because it’s an open call for submissions, so I’ve decided to just write a story and send it in to be judged. The wrinkle? If all goes to plan, I’ll be writing this with my youngest offspring! The anthology’s theme and the types of stories they’re looking for lend themselves to a collaboration with her, and she expressed keen interest when I posed the idea for her to take the plunge with me. The submission deadline isn’t until mid-January, so there’s plenty of time to hammer out an idea and get the story written. More on this as things (hopefully) progress!

“Past Sins” for the High Noon On Proxima B anthology – Kevin and I collaborated on a space/weird Western short story for this new collection, coming soon from Baen Books. Everything’s approved and signed off and we’ve been paid, but scheduling and supply chain issues have forced the book’s publication to February 2023. Click the link to read about the antho and its roster of authors!

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 last summer 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. Hopefully more info will be forthcoming sometime soon.

Possible future projects:

More fun with Star Trek Adventures After himming and hawing with STA project manager Jim Johnson off and on for several months leading into the fall, I’ve developed some notes for new material I hope to develop for the game. Unfortunately, this one’s going on the back burner, as All The New Things must take precedence, but hopefully I can throw some brain cells at this in and around the other work.

Science Fiction Novella Concept – Back in the summer of 2020, I was invited to participate in what has become 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 and now 2022, I’m still pondering something I might work for possible 2023 or (more likely) 2024 publication. At this point, I have a basic premise for a story that fits the theme, and after informing Madam Editor of my interest in playing within this particular sandbox, I quickly scribbled some notes and then set them aside, which is where they’ve been as I tend to other, more pressing matters. If schedules permit, I’ll see where I’m at with respect to The Other Things, and go from there.

More Tales from the Vogue Theater – One of the other things Kevin and I decided while writing “Helluoid” for 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.

Onward to September!

2 thoughts on “August writing wrap-up.

  1. Loved your take on Lower Decks and the D&D premise. Yes, someone needs to get a Bat’leths & BIHnuchs game produced IRL. And J.G. Hertzler is a lot like many in the Star Trek cast: We need to treasure him for as long as possible before he retires. Thanks for all the Trek novels you’ve written over the years, I’ve enjoyed many of them. And thank you for serving our country as part of the Marine Corps.

    Liked by 1 person

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