February writing wrap-up.

Previously, on The Fog of Ward:

Wow. February really is a short month, isn’t it?

Yeah, it’s been very, very quiet around these parts these past several weeks. A good bit of that can be explained by work, and a bit less by my own writing as well as other activities and obligations. If I’m being honest, there was also a dash of “I really just don’t feel like it” happeing, too. I think I’m going through a period of evaluation when it comes to how and where I focus time and energy. This blog has never been a place where I reflect deeply on current events, politics, or other topics of general interest. There are other, more talented individuals out there who can and do perform those duties in a manner far superior than I ever could.

The same goes for writing advice or instruction. I’ve never viewed myself as a particularly gifted or “wise” writer, able to channel my knowledge and experience toward those seeking to learn from me. I try, of course, because I still feel a desire to help someone when I’m asked. Still, I’m well aware there are those much better suited to offering that sort of advice and who do so every day with consummate poise and skill.

Then there’s me.

I babble about what I’m working on, or whatever nugget of nonsense tickles my fancy on any given day. The internet is littered with places such as this, and I’m usually asking myself some version of, “Do I really want to add to that?” Well, it seems to be all I’ve got, and I at least have the class and decency not to charge you for putting up with me. So, we have that going for us, which is nice.

Eh. I’ll figure it out. Or, I won’t. LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

In the meantime, while I wasn’t typing gibberish into this space, I was busy elsewhere. Here’s a peek into what some of that entailed, otherwise known as the February rundown….

“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, which was published back on February 7th and is already getting some decent reviews. Click the link to read about the antho and its roster of authors! Click the link for all the juicy details!

Short story for Double Trouble: An Anthology of 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 edited by redoubtable wielders of red pens Jonathan Maberry and Keith R.A. DeCandido. We had a successful crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter to support publishing the book, so now I actually have to write the thing! This is the thing I’m working on at the moment, with an eye toward delivering a manuscript on or about April 1st.

Short Story for Unioverse: Stories of the Reconvergence – Another thing I mentioned in that other blog post. After returned our revised manuscript to our editor on January 3rd, we received word that all was good to go. We’ve been paid our final portion of the advance, and even seen a bit of art that will accompany our story (and it looks extra sweet, y’all. Like instant diabetes sweet). Otherwise? Now we wait. The anthology is currently scheduled for publication this summer from Hex Publishers, but no firm date has yet been announced. Stay tuned!

Unidentified Tie-in Project – As mentioned in a previous blog post. We delivered a revised manuscript back on January 9th, and it was subsequently sent to the IP owner for review. They returned their comments back to us on February 10th, and it took us basically an afternoon to make their requested (and overall very, very minor) revisions. We returned an updated manuscript on February 12th, at which point we received official approval and acceptance. The project is already deep into the graphic design phase at this point, and what we’ve seen of the in-process pages is pretty swank, if I do say so myself. Meanwhile, despite the book having already been announced in somewhat oblique fashion, our names haven’t been linked to it so we’re still not allowed to say anything. We keep hearing rumors about an actual formal announcement and possibly even a solicit for pre-orders, so here’s hoping. Meanwhile…..

Unidentified Tie-in Project Following Up The One You Just Read About – Yep! The publisher was pleased enough with the work Kevin and I did that they want to have us write another book in what is threatening to become a series. We have preliminary plans to meet with our editors and the reps from the IP owners this coming week, where we’ll officially kick this off. Kevin and I kinda sorta suspected this might happen so we’ve already had conversations about what we want to do with this one, but there’s a definite uptick in energy when you know it’s actually gonna happen. So it looks like awaaaaaaay we go…again! More details (hopefully) sometime sooner rather than later.

Star Trek: Discovery – Somewhere to Belong – I thought I was done with this one except for the waiting, but it turns out there were a few dangling proofreader comments to address. They were all minor and I returned them to my editor back on February 14th, the day after I received them. As I mentioned last month, we do in fact have a cover, and my one remaining major pre-publication duty should be working with the audiobook team to finalize a pronunciation guide to help the narrator and director with all the crazy alien names and other terminology I introduced this time around. Meanwhile, the book is available for pre-order from the usual haunts in trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats, and feel free to patronize your local independent bookseller if there’s one in your area. As things stand now, it’s slated for publication on Tuesday, May 30th. Stay tuned for updates.

Another Unidentified Tie-in Project – So, yeah. I had a talk with another editor about a whole other tie-in project, which along with the other one mentioned up thread will be what I work on this spring and summer. I’m in the earliest stages of preparing an outline, which is due to said editor on April 3rd. It’s obviously way too soon to talk about this one. More later as I’m allowed to share.

And Another Unidentified Tie-in Project – February seems to be an awesome month for being approached about new work. This one promises to be huge fun. So far we’ve only gotten to contract signings and preliminary discussions, but and I’m pretty jazzed to get started on whatever they end up asking me to do. No sly hints or clues on this one yet, but I’m hoping some sort of formal announcement will be coming soon.

In addition to all of the above, there was also a bit of writing here and there in service to a couple of key requests pertaining to my consulting gig. Those of you who participated in the recently concluded Star Trek Cruise may have seen some of my scribblings here and there. I get around, yo.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

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 through 2022, I’m still pondering something I might work for possible 2023 or (more likely) 2024 publication, but all of that is dependent on other items I’m juggling. 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.

Here I go…stepping into my own form of March Madness…….

Lay it on me.

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