October writing wrap-up.

Holy crap, 2019 is a blur.

A good portion of my month was devoted to various aspects of my consulting duties with CBS, which continues to be a source of much fun. A lot of reading, reviewing, commenting, and such is the usual order of things, but then every so often I get asked to actually write something from scratch or contribute to something already in motion. Such was the case during the latter half of the month. One of those you’ll read about below, whereas other things you’ll never even know I was there. 🙂

With all that said, here’s the November rundown:

Continue reading “October writing wrap-up.”

Talking NaNoWriMo and Trek over at StarTrek.com!

Ah, November.

It’s the month writers of every stripe anticipate or loathe; that period of thirty days where many take the challenge of casting aside anything and everything as they attempt to write 50,000 words as either a short novel or a pretty decent chunk of a longer one.

That’s right. National Novel Writing Month is once again upon us.

While I’ve participated in this exercise a few times, myself, this year I don’t find myself in the position of writing a novel during this time of year, and for that I say HUZZAH! Yes, I do have other writing projects on my plate, but they’re smaller efforts which all told will I don’t believe will add up to a 50k, so I can’t even fudge a bit by combining them for NaNoWriMo purposes.

For those of who you are taking the challenge and especially those of you who may be doing so for the first time EVAH, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling together some nuggets of unsolicited writing advice for a new piece posted on StarTrek.com. With that in mind, I’ve included emphasis on how I’ve previously used the NaNoWriMo challenge as a way of logging some serious progress for a few different Star Trek novel projects over the years. The result is a new piece now available for your reading, dining, and dancing pleasure

StarTrek.com: Trekking Through National Novel Writing Month

STdotcom-NaNoWriMo

The fine folks over at the website also posted a companion piece, written from the point of view of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Jake Sisko, the resident writer within the Star Trek universe, who also offers a few tips for achieving NaNoWriMo success:

StarTrek.com: Jake Sisko’s Do’s and Don’ts for #NaNoWriMo

JakeSisk-NaNoWriMo

Many thanks to the good folks over at StarTrek.com for inviting me to come play in their sandbox for a bit. It’s entirely possible I may be showing up there again in the near future. Muwah-ah-ah.

My Name Is Tippy, by Gail LaRock.

A little over twenty years ago, well before Michi and I had kids and when we were living in Ward Manor 1.0 in south Kansas City, fate saw to it that we became friends with Gail and Gregg LaRock.

They lived mere minutes from us at that time, on a parcel of land where they board and care for Arabian horses–theirs and (at least in those days) those of others who paid them for that service. As they’re both animal lovers, they’ve always had at least two or three dogs and a varying number of cats wandering the premises, the latter a consequence of strays showing up on the property and finding shelter in the barn or nearby areas. They’ve even had a goat or two. As for the horses, G&G actually gave one of theirs to Michi at one point many years ago. That horse later had a foal, which I helped schlep across a dark pasture on the night of her birth because her mother had the audacity to deliver her at the absolute farthest point on the property from the barn. Okay, maybe not but it was far enough I was sure I had to set my watch back an hour, okay?

Continue reading “My Name Is Tippy, by Gail LaRock.”

The way late September writing wrap-up.

Previously, on The Fog of Ward:

test-pattern

Yes, I have neglected this space for quite some time if my calendar is to be believed. After knocking down a bunch of cobwebs and blowing dust off a few of the shelves, I’m getting back to business around here.

Which means I have to yammer a bit about September and the kinda sorta writing stuff I did last month.

We’re now in the final quarter-mile lap of 2019.

I’m still learning the art of balancing my consulting duties with CBS with my freelance writing work. Compared to August, September was a bit less hectic and yet still a whole helluva lot of fun. There are days when I seriously can’t believe I’m getting paid to do something I enjoy so very much. I’m pretty sure I’m forever ruined for regular corporate office work. You know, like…forever.

So, what was up to last month? Here’s the September (and maybe the first part of October) rundown:

Continue reading “The way late September writing wrap-up.”

Kirk Fu preview pages!

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-coverY’all need to start limbering up. Kirk Fu is coming.

Oh yeah, it is.

That’s right, kids! Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual is heading to bookstores on March 3, 2020, from Insight Editions, with words by me and awesome art by Christian Cornia. The book is being distributed by Simon & Schuster, and wouldn’t you know they’ve loaded up some preview pages to the book’s page?

Oh yeah, they did.

Go to the book’s page and tap on the “Look” button in the upper lefthand corner and you’ll get to leer at six spreads from the book, showcasing some fun examples of Christian’s work. Here’s a couple from one of twelve signature Kirk moves you’ll learn about in the book:

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-9781683835219.in05(Click to biggie size these.)
star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-9781683835219.in06

Head over to the Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual page on SimonandSchuster.com to check out the rest of the preview. Just be sure to stretch beforehand. I don’t want you pulling any muscles when you try to take on a Gorn or whatever.

I went and Trekked myself…again!

Again, with the babbling. Again, with someone recording it for playback by unsuspecting innocents.

It’s been many months since my first virtual sitdown with Darrell Taylor and J.K. Woodward for their Go Trek Yourself podcast. Back in November, we chatted about my Star Trek: Discovery novel from last year, Drastic Measures, as well as a smattering of other topics such as my longtime writing partnership with my best bud, Kevin.

AvailableLight-coverThis time, the main topic is Available Light, my Star Trek: The Next Generation novel from earlier this year. We also cover a bit of ground so far as what the novels have been doing over the past several years. This includes plotty-plot threads which have brought us to where my book is in the “Star Trek novel timeline,” and what’s next when I had the baton to David Mack next month for his own TNG novel, Collateral Damage.

The “too long, didn’t read” version of what you might want (but don’t necessarily need) to read to prep yourself for reading this whole plotline:

  • TNG: A Time to Kill, by David Mack
  • TNG: A Time to Heal, by Dave
  • Section 31: Control, by Hey! Dave
  • TNG: Hearts and Minds, by me
  • TNG: Available Light, by me
  • TNG: Collateral Damage, by Dave (coming in October)

Unlike last time where I think we talked for something like a week, this installment comes in at a more reasonable running time of 45 minutes. Wanna listen? Go here:

Go Trek Yourself Episode 57: Dayton Ward

Many thanks to Darrell and J.K. for having me back on to hang with them for a while. We did talk about doing this again in the near future, so stay tuned!

GoTrekYourself-logo

August writing wrap-up.

Holy crap! We’re already into the “–ber” months of 2019? How the HELL did that happen?

That means August’s in the can. Wow.

Looking back at the month’s blog stuff, I realize I’ve been fairly neglectful of this space. The first half of August was devoted to wrapping up the latest novel project as well as few other things (see below), along with my always interesting activities as I continue my consulting work with CBS. Indeed, things associated with that role have dominated my Labor Day weekend. Maybe I can talk about those, one of these days.

Meanwhile, here’s a look at August’s writing run rundown:

Continue reading “August writing wrap-up.”

Pangaea III: A new SF anthology that needs you!

My friend Michael Jan Friedman is causing mischief. You know…again.

pangaea-logo

Among the various successful crowdfunding efforts he’s shepherded in recent years is a pair of anthologies focusing on a shared-world he created, Pangaea.

The first anthology debuted back in 2015, featuring stories by Michael Burstein, Adam-Troy Castro, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, and Geoffrey Thorne. Kevin and I also teamed up for a story, “The Ardent,” which introduced Ames and Grinnoj, an unlikely pairing of cops who find themselves caught up in all sorts of shenanigans.

Pangaea II: The Rise of Dominjaron came along in 2016, pulling together a new collection of stories by Ilsa J. Bick, Michael A. Burstein, Peter David, Kevin Dilmore, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, and Marie Vibbert. This time, Kevin flew solo while penning a second tale with Ames and Grinnoj.

And here we are, three years later, and Mike’s decided the time’s right for a third (and final?) visit to Pangaea. Kevin and I have signed off to give our boys A&G one more at-bat, joining a stellar line-up of word pushers…most of whom wrote for either or both of the previous anthologies. That said, Mike still found a few new voices to spice up things.

What’s it all about? Well, in the words of Mr. Friedman himself:

At least four times in Earth’s history, the continents have come sliding together. Over millions of years, separate and distinct landmasses have crawled across the planet’s surface on immense tectonic plates to form a single mass–a super-continent. Geologists have dubbed the most recent such formation Pangaea.

Of course, Pangaea broke up a long time ago, and because it did, mankind developed in drastically different climes and circumstances. But what if we twenty-first century types were living in one of the super-continental periods–those characterized by “lid tectonics” rather than “plate tectonics?” What would it be like if all of humanity was confined to a single landmass…and had been so confined for all of our recorded history?

That’s the ever-so-tantalizing axis on which our Pangaea anthologies turn.

It’s an exciting and original idea, one that deserves the best shared world-building talent available. So to explore this world on your behalf, we’ve harnessed the word-smithing abilities of some of science fiction’s most inventive writers.



As with his previous projects in this vein, M
ike is once again turning to Kickstarter in a quest to secure some modest funding for this newest effort. There naturally are a number of rewards and add-on incentives to be had…far too many to describe here without resorting to copying and pasting everything Mike took the time to write. However, I will call out one backer reward in particular:

Pledge US$ 100 or more

Tuckerization by Dilmore and Ward!

At this level Kevin and Dayton will include you or someone you love (presented phonetically, of course, since this is not our world) as a character in their story. You will be thanked by name on the anthology’s acknowledgements page. Additionally, you will receive a trade paperback copy of Pangaea III, signed by at least three of its featured writers, as well as a DRM-free e-pub version of the book suitable for viewing on either Kindle or Nook. Finally, you will receive an e-mail from one of our authors thanking you for your generosity.

 

For everything else? Let’s just point you to Pangaea III‘s Kickstarter page:

Pangaea III, by Museworthy, Inc.

So, who’s writing stories this time around? Kevin and I are happy to say we’re joining this pretty nifty line-up:

Ilsa J. Bick, Michael A. Burstein, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Ron Marz, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, Tiffany Trent, and Marie Vibbert.

I’m proud to call most of the people on this list friends so of course this is gonna be hella fun, and hey! You can help! Check out Pangaea III‘s Kickstarter page, and if it sounds like something you want to support, please pledge as you see fit.

Thanks to Mike for inviting us to play one more time, and here’s hoping we can all get to work spinning some more crazy tales.

PangaeaIII

July writing wrap-up.

And before I knew it, July’s in the rearview mirror.

So, yeah. That was a busy month.

The biggest thing I got to reveal was why I’ve been somewhat busier than normal the past few months. At the recent Shore Leave convention, I was able to announce that since April I’ve been working as a contracted consultant to CBS Global Franchise Management. Much of my “portfolio” involves being something of a conduit between them and certain licensing partners for matters pertaining to Star Trek tie-in projects that involve story/narrative in its various forms. So, consulting on novels as well as the occasional comic or game project, along with whatever else I’m asked to do as appropriate. For example, I got the very cool opportunity to write most of the copy for the recent exhibit Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty which was shown at Comic-Con International in San Diego as well as the recently concluded Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.

But in and around all of that? Writing, yo. Still doing the writing thing on multiple fronts. Here’s a look at the July rundown:

Continue reading “July writing wrap-up.”

The cover for Star Trek: Kirk Fu!

I was holding off on this until they pimped it at the big Star Trek convention that’s still going full-tilt boogie out in Vegas. But, there was an apparent technical glitch during the publishing panel which saw to it this wasn’t one of the titles highlighted. Add in the fact it’s been up on the Simon & Schuster website, Amazon.com, and other bookseller sites as well as various Trek fan news sites for the past several days, I figure I should join the party.

Oh, the hell with it. Enough ado. Behold the cover for Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual, coming March 3, 2020, from Insight Editions!

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-cover


As captain of the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise, James T. Kirk engaged in his share of fisticuffs, besting opponents with a slick combination of moves and guile that remains unmatched. Is there anyone you’d rather have watching your back as you take on Klingons, alien gladiators, genetically engineered supermen, and even the occasional giant walking reptile?

Kirk Fu is a series of unarmed combat techniques developed by one of Starfleet’s most celebrated starship captains over several years of encounters with alien species on any number of strange new worlds. A blend of various fighting styles, Kirk Fu incorporates elements of several Earth-based martial arts forms as well as cruder methods employed in bars and back alleys on planets throughout the galaxy. It is as unorthodox in practice as it is unbelievable to behold. Including excerpts from Kirk’s own notes and personal logs, the Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual is the perfect training guide for surviving the depths of space. With proper training and practice, every Starfleet cadet can become one with Kirk Fu.


For those who’ve been with me here in this space for a while, you know Insight Editions is the publisher behind the two Star Trek travel guides I wrote as well as — through their IncrediBuilds imprint — the Star Trek and Toy Story book/model kits to which I contributed…you know…the book part of those projects.

With text by me and illustrations by artist Christian Cornia, Kirk Fu is one of those projects I’ve been dying to do for years. This little 64-page slice of awesome also holds the honor of being my first ever hardcover Star Trek publication.

Because that’s just so damned perfect, isn’t it?

KirkFu-concept2

I know I’m hopelessly biased, I am honestly giddy with anticipation for the release of this thing. I’ve seen the finished book’s layout and it turned out even better than I’d hoped when I pitched the thing. The combination of Christian so hilariously illustrating the absurdity of some of these moves when combined with the text I wrote is exactly the tone I was going for. He had me laughing pretty much all the way through. I can’t wait for the green light so I can start teasing some of the finished pages.

Stay tuned for more info about Star Trek: Kirk Fu as I’m able to share.

KirkFu

(WARNING: Don’t actually try any of this shit.
I mean, for real. You’re just gonna get your ass kicked.)