April writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAaaaaaaaaaaaand just like that? BAM! We’re a third of the way through 2017.


We’re, like, a year or so away from the launch of the seaQuest DSV, and two years away from going full-on Blade Runner, man.

Not here at stately Ward Manor, of course. Here, we’ve so far managed to avoid giant submarines and dystopian futures filled with robots who want to kill us. Here, it’s just writing, writing, and more writing.

April was fairly busy on a couple of fronts, both with the current novel in-progress and the outline for what will (hopefully) be the novel I write after that. There also are a couple of other things on different burners, but as with anything else in this business, things tend to move slower than I’d like, and……

Wait. I’m about to bore you with a whole drawn-out, blow-by-blow recounting of the month’s activities, so maybe I should just get on with that. Here’s the April rundown:

Continue reading “April writing wrap-up.”


March writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAaaaaaaaaaaand just, like that, 2017 is 25% in the books.

It’s like the damned year can’t wait to throw my ass over the cliff and into the waiting embrace of my looming 50th birthday.


March’s big news was that I got started on the new novel project, about which I am currently allowed to say nothing. At the same time, I’m working to finish an outline for another book, about which I’m also permitted to share precisely nada. A few other things are percolating on different fronts, as well. Hey! The life of a freelancer is in large part about planning the next few moves on the board.

(Note to editors: Will write for money. Or food. Or vodka.)

Continue reading “March writing wrap-up.”

February writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsFebruary come. February go.

It was a month of maneuvering pieces around the game board in preparation for the next big long bout of writing. The next month or three promises to be very busy on a couple of fronts, but I’m ready to get on with it.

While I’m getting set to dive into my next novel project, and there are plans afoot for two other books as well as a couple of short stories, I’m always on the lookout for something new to do. With that in mind, I made contact with an editor at another publishing house, and while we’re not discussing a particular project, there’s definite interest in putting me to work. I’m hoping to continue that dialogue in the weeks ahead, and see where things go.

(Note to editors: Have words, will write, yo. 😀 )

What have I been up to in the meantime? Well, let’s have a look at the February rundown:

Continue reading “February writing wrap-up.”


January writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsSo, 2017 is off and running, eh?

Things are cruising along on a few fronts, but a common theme at the moment is that I can’t really talk about things currently in the pipeline. I’m hoping some official announcements will be coming, so that I can start blabbing about them. I guess we’ll see.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep on keepin’ on. So, here’s a look back at what went down during January. Continue reading “January writing wrap-up.”


December writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAnd now we say goodbye to December, and 2016.

Holy crap. That year went by fast.

As for January 2017? I’m hitting the ground running, that’s for sure. There are already several balls in the air, but I’ll take busy over thumb twiddling any day.

Wanna see what’s up? Read on for December’s rundown!

Continue reading “December writing wrap-up.”


November writing wrap-up!

all-the-wordsSo, we’re in the home stretch, with 2017 now looming on the horizon. To be honest, I’m okay with that. 2016 has been a shit year, in several respects, and I’ll be happy to kick it to the curb.

On the other hand, I’ve not had any real cause for complaint on the writing front, and things remain busy even as we careen toward the new year. Indeed, I’m currently arranging pieces on the 2017 game board, as it looks like I’ll be busy well into the year’s first half.

So, let’s take a look at the rundown and see what happened during November:

Continue reading “November writing wrap-up!”


October writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsHere we are, well into 2016’s last quarter-mile. Where the hell has this year gone?

In and around Halloween, Election Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, shopping for Christmas, the War on Christmas, and the end of football season, I have been and will be moving many pieces around the writing game board as I’m already starting to hone in on the projects which will carry me well into the new year. I’m due to start writing a novel in the next couple of weeks, along with a short story that’ll be due in January. There’s another novel already in the queue, and I’m in talks to add at least one more, depending on how particulars shake out, along with some other projects that are in very early discussion stages.

Meanwhile, here’s what went down, writing-wise, in October:

Continue reading “October writing wrap-up.”


September writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsHello, Autumn.

I’m not much of a pumpkin spice guy, so I won’t be partaking of that particular latter-day seasonal tradition, but we are entering my favorite time of the year. The temperatures begin to cool, the leaves start to turn, I don’t have to mow my damned lawn as often, and we’re soon to be approaching my favorite holiday of the year, Halloween.

Of course, this is also the time of year where editors seem hell-bent on making sure writers want to drink themselves into a coma as we all rush toward pre-holiday delivery dates.

But, enough of that.

September was active on a number of fronts, particularly with respect to positioning pieces on the game board that will be the year’s final quarter. I’m setting up to be busy as we rush toward Christmas, and I’m kinda sorta looking at November and the annual National Novel Writing Month challenge to perhaps keep me moving at a steady, rapid pace. I’m still mulling that over.

Meanwhile, here’s the rundown for September:

Continue reading “September writing wrap-up.”


August writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsWell, August was a weird month.

You know those times when you feel like you’re running at full speed for days on end, and when you get to the end of the week or month you feel as though after all that work, you haven’t accomplished much? August was like that.

I did accomplish some things, and made progress on some others, but here it is September 2nd, and I’m staring at a very work-intensive Labor Day weekend. I’m like, “How is that possible? I’ve been busting my hump all month?”

Welcome to the world of the full-time freelancer.

September is looking as though it will be somewhat more sane, and perhaps with time even for me to make some progress on a couple of things which have been sitting idle for a while and which now beg for attention. I’d be down with that. Oh, and sleeping. Sleeping would be good.

For now, though, here’s the August  rundown:

24: Trial by Fire: Hey! This was published on August 23rd. So far, early responses are good, as folks get their Jack on. It’s available in trade paperback and various e-Book formats. You’ve ordered your copy, right?

Purgatory’s Key: Hey! This was published on August 30th. So far, early responses are good, as folks get their Trek on. It’s available in mass-market paperback, various e-Book formats, and even is its own audiobook!. You’ve ordered your copy, right?

Headlong Flight: A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of Armageddon’s Arrow as well as a new trilogy coming at the end of 2016 from fellow scribe John Jackson Miller. I received the copyedited manuscript on August 17th, and returned my fixes/changes to my editor on August 24th. The book is still set for publication on Tuesday, January 31st, and pre-order links are already available.

Hearts and Minds – Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017: The current Novel In Progress. The events of this story take place at a point after Headlong Flight, but of course there’s a twist…or three. I’m currently careening toward my deadline for delivering the manuscript in a week or so.

Star Trek comic story for IDW: Yes! Kevin and I finally have one of our longstanding Geek Wishes granted. Editor Sarah Gaydos reached out to us several months ago, asking if we’d be interested. Our synchronized reply was, “OH HELL YEAH,” and our concept pitch was “enthusiastically approved.” What are we doing? For part of the special Star Trek: Waypoint series of one-off tales, Kevin and I–with an assist by veteran comics artist Gordon Purcell–are going for a full-throated homage to the old Gold Key Trek comics of yesteryear. We delivered our script for “The Menace of the Mechanitrons!” to Sarah on August 11th and got her official thumbs up, and now Gordon is hard at word turning our words into pretty pictures. The issue is slated for November publication, so start bugging your local comics dealer. Go ahead; get ahead of the rush.

Predator short story: Writer/Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt invited me to pen a tale set in the universe of the classic alien hunters introduced in 1987 with the awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger flick of the same name. Now it’s a full-blown franchise, of course, with a new movie coming next year. I delivered a story pitch to him on August 15th, and now we’re all waiting to hear back from folks at Titan Books and Fox. At last report, my story would e due around Spring 2017. Another fun thing I’m looking forward to tackling.🙂

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Planet of the Apes essay for Sequart: Those Sequart guys just never learn their lesson. This time, I wrote about the live-action Apes television series for a new collection of essays which will bear the rather snappy title Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos. I returned my copyedited essay to my editors on April 16th, so I think now we’re waiting on galley pages.

Planet of the Apes short story: Yep, this one. I delivered my manuscript, which I’m currently calling, “Message In A Bottle,” to my editors on March 7th. They were able to get their notes and comments back to me later that same week, which I quickly addressed so that they could get on with putting together the entire anthology for delivery to the good folks at Titan Books. As it uses the characters from the 1974 live-action TV series (for which I confess to having a soft spot), I think it does a good job reintroducing that aspect of the Apes mythos and providing something you might well have seen on the show had it not been cancelled. At last report, Fox had approved the book’s contents, and the book itself is now available for pre-order, with a scheduled publication date of January 24, 2017.

Texas Pride”: During last year’s Kickstarter for friend Mike Friedman’s Pangaea anthology, there were a handful of stretch goals built into the funding campaign. One was a story bundle giveaway, and I offered to Mike this short story of mine that’s set in the “universe” of my novels The Last World War and Counterstrike: The Last World War – Book II. I wrote the story in 2007 for Amazon’s now-defunct “Amazon Shorts” program, and if you didn’t get it back then, or caught me at a convention where I had one of a very limited number of “chapbook” editions of the story, it’s been unavailable. The story has since been formatted as an e-Book, complete with a snazzy new cover by friend Aaron Rosenberg. It was first given to the Pangaea backers, but I plan to offer it for general sale sometime in the coming months. Stay tuned!

“The Enterprise Job”: As 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the building of the original Enterprise model, and with the recent unveiling of the newly restored model to the Milestones of Flight gallery at the National Air & Space Museum, one would think my window for doing anything with this story has finally closed. That said, I’ve given thought to incorporating all of these recent developments into a new revision of the story. I still have to figure out how best to get it set up for one of the e-Book venues like Smashwords or whatever, as well as making it available for print-on-demand. I know, I know…. “one of these days.”

Possible future projects:

Tie-In Project: What happens when you reach out to an editor with whom you’ve not corresponded in a while, about a project you thought was dead? Well, sometimes, you find out that editor has left the publishing company you were hoping to work with, but your email is answered by another editor who’s excited to “meet” you and wants to talk about your supposedly dead project. Then a week goes by and you’ve written a one-page concept document for said project, and it’s being submitted to the licensor for consideration. Can’t say jack about this one…even to report that it’s actually going ahead, but the fact that it went from “Dead” to “Submitting to Licensor” in a week after being in limbo for almost two years? I’ll take it! Stay tuned as details become available.

Still Another Tie-In Project: I was contacted out of the blue a couple of weeks ago about possibly writing a novel set in a franchise that’s new to me, but has its own groups of devoted followers. I thought I might have to pass on that due to other commitments, but now things have shifted a bit and it’s looking more like I will indeed get to delve into this new arena. I’ll post more once I hear more and am allowed to share.

Aaaaaaaand Another Tie-In Project: This one’s a bit closer to “home,” but still a different type of writing than I’m used to doing. However, the person running the show is very enthusiastic and he seems excited to have me aboard, and I’m going to have the opportunity to expand my writing skill set into yet another area. I actually have a contract for this one that I need to sign and get sent back, so that we can get on with brainstorming and all that fun stuff. Stay tuned!

Original SF novel – : had started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. I think I’m on to something, and I plan to approach at least one editor with it later this summer, once I get a synopsis/proposal where I want it to be.

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 later this year.

‘sup, August?


July writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAh, August.


:: ahem ::

As for July, things were kinda sorta busy, but overall it was a bit of a quiet, steady, keeping things on the tracks sort of month. I’m working to finish the current novel-in-progress, and there are other things in various stages of gestation. Plans are afoot as to what I’ll be doing to finish out the year, and because of that I expect August to be something of a “clearing the decks” period.

With that in mind, here’s the July rundown:

Continue reading “July writing wrap-up.”