The semi-sorta late September writing wrap-up.

We’re here, y’all. October. The last quarter mile of 2022.

Actually, it’s been here for a bit already. That’s how fast things seem to be moving, these days. Yeah, I’m a bit tardy getting this update posted, and it’s been a minute since my last posting in this space, but I promise it was with good reason.

September was a pretty busy month on several fronts. Things going this way, things going that way, and so on. The log I keep for my consulting work shows lots of stuff read, reviewed, discussed, and commented on. Other things written, and discussions had about other things I can be doing. Because…well, it seems like there’s always something that could use doing.

It was also a busy month on the home writing front. Things moving this way, things moving that way, things in motion, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, and so on. Check it out:

Untitled tie-in novel – The main thing on which I’d been working earlier in the year. I received the galley (typeset) pages from my editor on September 29th, and I’ll return any updates to him on or before October 19th. We’ve also had discussions about the cover, and I’m told metadata about it will begin feeding from the publisher to retailers by this weekend, at which point I’ll be able to actually – you know – talk about this one. 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 pages I’m looking at right now. 🙂

Unidentified Shared Universe Project – As mentioned in a previous 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. We delivered our our manuscript on October 1st and we’re presently awaiting editorial feedback. We’re also standing by for an official announcement about the project and our involvement. Hopefully soon!

Unidentified Tie-in Project – Another thing I mentioned in that other blog post, I was approached about taking on this new effort involving an intellectual property with which I’ve not previously worked. After the IP owner approved out outline on August 29th, Kevin and I got to work on this – in and around the various other things on our plate. My best update about our progress is that things are UNDER CONSTRUCTION, with an eye toward delivering our completed manuscript on or before November 15th. We’ve been told an official announcement about the project and our involvement is coming “soon,” so stay tuned!

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. This “Below Deck with Lower Decks” feature drops a new article every Friday throughout the current season. For September, I wrote articles for the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth episodes, and I sent #7 in last night, as a matter of fact.

Short story for Double Trouble: Two-Fisted Team-UpsThis one came about rather unexpectedly, with me submitting what I admit was a very off-the-cuff pitch to the anthology’s editors, who in turn called my bluff and said they liked it. They’ve since assembled a pretty impressive roster of authors, all of whom have taken on the challenge of creating new stories featuring Public Domain comics and literature heroes of yesteryear as well as a few larger-than-life figures from actual history. The anthology is being produced by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers and is being edited by redoubtable wielders of red pens Jonathan Maberry and Keith R.A. DeCandido. We of the IAMTW are actually conducting a crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter to support publishing the book. We’re in the home stretch and still a bit shy of your goal. so if you’re at all interested in stories of the sort I just described then I hope you’ll check out the campaign and consider signing on to support us!

Other stuff in the pipeline:

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.

Hey! It’s October! Halloween in the house!

Lay it on me.

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