Some Changes Be A-comin’ & Other News

phantom2btollbooth

I must remind myself, yet again, that the deadlines I give myself must be multiplied by a factor of 3 in regards to time. 😦  I also must remember that I am not in a race to publish, and that I need to stop it with those deadlines.  I am just so frustrated that I seem always too far away from where I want to be.  Editing seems to have me in a Norman Juster-esque geographical oddity.

In preparation for the upcoming release of my book, I need to reorganize some things on my site and do other things.

First, I have noticed almost zero traffic to my Library and Studio pages, so I guess it’s time to pull them down.  That doesn’t mean that the content is going to go away completely.  Instead, I am going to spend some time, once I can take my focus off the editing grind, and work on finishing the timeline and atlas of Akiniwazi for future giveaways.  So if you liked it in the future, but have not signed up or jumped on the mailing list, it will become available again for those who desire it again.

Second, I have been plotting book 2 in the background (Book 3 is ostensibly written, but had to be pushed back one novel because I had points and characters from the first book that originally got nothing in what had previously been written.) and have come to a major hook to string all these neat scenes in my head together.  It is under the working title, for my own sanity, of “Finnsoga”, since the 3rd book is technically Reimarsoga: book 2.

Third, I will be re-titling the whole shebang once I get closer to publication and will be putting up a poll for people to vote on titles, preferably before I go to the artist for a cover, so expect that soon.

On a positive note, even if things go completely cattywampus and I can’t get book one out as soon as I hoped, there is still the chance of 2-3 books coming out in 2017.  I am going to be refining my editing process as mentioned in the past, and well, live and learn I guess.  I know I can get the drafts out there, but my issue has been getting edits done quickly.  My hope is that what I am about to set up for book 2 could shave 2-3 months off of how long it’s taking.  (remember, the original manuscript for book 1 was finished in May, but the major structural rewrite wasn’t done till Sept.  Something I’ll never have to do again I hope.)

So as you can see, things are moving forward.  Just not at the pace I want.

Then again, has it ever?

Forth Draft Sweep “B” Begins

It has been very humbling to learn I can tell a great story, but suck rocks at grammar!  LOL… well not really lol… unless you mean lol like this:

haha-no-gif

Then sure.

That said, I have enjoyed to some extent the editing process, though it may make my eyes want to bleed at times at how many missed commas, passive pronouns and verbs and ugh….  Just… ugh.

Can you tell I’m ambivalent about this process?  I so want it to be done and send to an editor and start focusing on the next book.

But I can see how much stronger it is making the writing so for every time I have this kind of a moment:

 

And I smile because I fixed it, and can that means a better book for y’all.  Hope springs eternal that this draft, and it’s subsequent structural fixes that I must do with it (yeah, I have 2 scenes that need a nice tune up and will increase the drama greatly towards the end) is all for the best.  Now… I NEED TO MAKE MY DEADLINES!!! ARRRRRRRGH!!!!!

 

sheldon-cooper-freaking-out-reaction-gif-on-big-bang-theory

 

Excerpt: The Long Ride Through the Night

You will be getting occasional excerpts from the book till I finish editing, just to wet your whistle.  Enjoy!

Reimar wondered how much of this trip he would remember in the following years. Two carts were readied to go to the Chuffing Pony. They would spend the night on the train while their fathers would stay at the inn, returning in the morning rather than risk being caught out at night. Reimar’s father could not take the journey for their cart had been damaged and there was work to be done. The waste of a single day could be dangerous even with aid on the way.

The ride was enjoyable as the weather had turned into a pleasant early fall day. Brightly dappled sun cut through the trees’ shadows, which were so tall, their branches played with the clouds, or so it seemed to young eyes. Llamas bleated and groaned in their usual cranky way. Sun warmed wood and dry leaves scented the air. It felt like it should be a play day for the children Brother Finn observed, but their hearts were so heavy from leaving, the good nature of the ride had become a cruel taunt.

Two bright, shining ribbons of iron straps on wood beams appeared and the road turned sharply to it towards the station. You could hear and smell it quite a distance away. The smell of oils mixed with burning peat and wood. Many of the trees here had started losing their leaves in the deepening Autumn. A copse of nearby Tamarack Spruce sighed with the breeze, needles turning orange with the season. Before them, the stone and log walls of the Chuffing Pony waited. Two large gates were closed to the ribbons, with men at the ready to open them once a train was seen. They capped the ends of the long stockade around the siding, warehouse, water-tower and the inn. Huskarls walked across catwalks with either a bardiche or slung battle axe and bow in hand. They were Herse Olin Halgarsson’s huskarls or so their crests proclaimed. The scarlet and yellow tabards were signs of their allegiance to the Asbjornaettir who ruled Neezhodayland.

Hissing steam was punctuated with the clinking and popping of valves as the carts of goggle-eyed children entered the station’s stockade gates. Once through, the front of a great iron beast greeted them. It squatted low on eight wheels, looking all at once like a lion, cricket and dragon. Its body made up of a huge cylindrical boiler and tall funnel which spewed smoke and sparks up into the sky. An angled grate at the front looked like long thin teeth, while its angled pistons were its legs set rampant to claw at anything that dared come in front of it. A tail of ten short carriages trailed behind. They were twenty foot long, double decked carriages. Their top deck was covered by a tarpaulin roof and had sets of forward and back facing bench seats for people to sit. The interiors were more plush, but had less room, with button-down flaps for when it rained or snowed while those who rode up top had to contend with much of the elements. The carriages themselves could hold maybe a dozen or more people comfortably on their pair of four wheeled trucks.

Next to the tender, a flat car loaded with squat boxes separated the carriages followed by a pair of cargo wagons, providing distance and protection from the noisy, dirty engine. The engineer was wandering around the wheels and valves dripping oil on them. The two firemen threw another slab of peat through a large open maw into the rear of the beast. The conductor helped the ladies up into the carriages while the train guards stood post on the top with large springbows at the ready. Their holstered axes gleaming on their back, emblazoned with the crest of the ribbonroad company.

“Wait on the platform for me. I will settle our passage,” Brother Finn ordered the men. With a dancer’s grace, he hopped off the cart and Bergamot followed a short way with a sloppy jump.

Once the carts were empty, everyone stood on the platform keeping close by. The station was busier than expected, as the train was delayed, waiting for the eastbound schedule to come by. The children who’s fathers were not there stayed close to Bergamot, following her like ducklings with their mother. For now, she seemed content to sit lopsided on the platform, panting in the warm day with a bored look on her face. Occasionally, she looked expectantly to the door where Brother Finn had gone, and licking her chops, sloppily at peace but alert. Her shifting ears and droopy eyes the only tell of where her interests lay.

Many people had come from other small farmholds and nearby Thiggardborg which was on the river and had a real sawmill. Some talked about a spur being driven towards Thiggardborg in the coming year to help pull out fresh lumber and shingles. Women in beautiful tapestry-like dresses complained about the ash and smoke from the engine’s crown like stack as it burned small holes in their parasols, and the mud caked their slippers.

“Third Nonae! Damer and herrar, please board the train! Third Nonae! The eastbound is due in a few minutes! Finish your arrangements now!” a station agent called out the time loudly and rang a bell. A man climbed up on top of the front of the lion like face of the engine, changing the banners from green to red and lighting a bright trio of lanterns on the front end.

openphotonet_s1dsc01999

More to come!

 

SURPRISE EXERPT!

You guys have been so good to me, so congrats, have a surprise excerpt from Chapter 2.  She’s still rough but getting better (There will probably be more polish in the final version but hey, a treat for you guys).  If you need a reminder, you can find the pre-beta first chapter sample here.

Enjoy and comment away.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

from: Brother Finn Arrives

“Mum, Why is Brother Finn here?” Reimar asked once inside their longhouse.

“Do not worry about that, Honeycomb,” she said. “The sun is gone to bed, and that means it is time for you to sleep as well.” Reimar heard something in his mother’s voice. It was almost… yes, something was wrong. Why would that be with a monk? They were going to have Mass, and then back to hunting and scavenging. That meant more apple picking he supposed. Reimar took off his kyrtill, tunic and trousers and put on his nightshirt from his clothes basket. He then climbed up to the low loft where his sister and one of his older brothers slept. His eldest brother Bjorn slept on the other end of the longhouse with his mother and father, farthest from the hearth.

Below, his father came in and dragged his fingers against the loft, tapping the wood in his usual good-night ritual. Reimar, Katrin and Erik scooted to the edge of the little loft and stuck their heads over.

“Ha hah!” Anton said playfully and stood up on his tip toes to give each of them a kiss goodnight, saving the noisiest one for Katrin. She giggled the unique sound of little girls amused by their father.

“Da?” Erik began to ask.

“No,”  Anton said in a voice that brooked no compromise.  “This is not for you,”

“But how-?” His face surprised that he knew what he was going to ask.

“Because I am your father, and I know the minds of curious boys. I promise you, tomorrow you will know more. Be patient till then. For now, you just have to sleep. That should not be so hard.”

“Jah, but I am thirteen! I am old enough to be a man and part of these things,” he protested weakly.

“You are not yet enough of a man to be part of this, Erik. Do not vex me.”

“Yes, Da,” he obeyed.

Reimar and the rest rolled over onto their clover tick mattresses. A few minutes later, Bjorn came in.

“Anton, come. They are waiting,” Anette said after taking the cauldron off the fire, and banked the coals for night.

“Bjorn, stay here,” Anton ordered, hooking a thumb up to the loft where the three younger children pretended to sleep.

“Jah, Father!” Bjorn said with a disappointed sigh.

law_speaker

Edit #4 begins!… and more.

Oh I am soooooo looking forward to this… but at the same time very nervous.

I got a lot of good advice on Reimarsoga.  Seriously good stuff, and Beta Readers, thank you all.

Thousands of technical issues were caught… yeah, I know it’s over 1500, plus cultural references from one of my experts, and a few questions about the ecclesiastical underpinnings of things that I am mulling over as well.

I can’t wait to start, but I have to wait a little (till after I get home from doing adult/responsible like things, ugh.) And then dig into them.

file_1639427

Work, work, work, work.

And then there’s the next book which I am really champing at the bit to write.

Thanks to all the feedback, I’m having to push what I had previously written as the second book, back to third book status.  At first I was really grumpy with this, because I really like what I have so far, but after a few conversations with some of the beta readers, I realized I had to put a new book in-between as next in chronological order, which is going to focus on Brother Finn.  Ultimately, it will be a big help for the overall universe, and might work out better in the long run, making it possible for multiple books to be released this year.  Who knows?  Maybe I can go from 2 to 3.  Hah!

At least I know how to speed up the process now.

Anyway, my goal, if I can meet it, is to have the 4th edit done in a week or two, and get it to an editor before the end of the month, and I can start writing forward again.

What’s really amazing is how much anxiety I am having over this all.  I mean I just want to be published so badly but I cannot, dare not afford to put crap out there with a cheap cover.  Gotta do it right if I’m going to do it at all.  In this aspect, it’s been a fight with being patient.  Everything will happen in the right timing I keep telling myself, despite the fact I want it faster than its going.

Le Sigh…

Okay, I gotta shup, go do necessary stuff and get back to edit.

 

Planning, Plotting and Scheming

all-the-things

 

As I mentioned last post… I think…  I dunno.  It’s been a long night.  I have realized that I need to satisfy my readers as much as myself.  And to that point, I need to give someone who has become almost a co-protagonist a far increased status in the second book or do something to incorporate him.

On the one hand, I can write several exciting storylines worthy of their own novel.  The problem is that the already written 2nd book of Reimarsoga would either need:

  1. A near complete rewrite (something I’m not willing to do because it’s gooooood!)
  2. Or the incorporation of the other storyline (which could bloat the book to an unwieldy 200k wordcount… oy my back!)
  3. Something I haven’t thought of yet.

Oh, and there’s another complication… the timeline is already set, and neither of the two plotlines are really compatible with one another, so it’d be like alternating books, not intermixed chapterrrrrrrs, which then why botherrrrrrr, I may as well keep it separaaaaate…  I dunno.

So, here’s your chance to opine.  Seriously, comment below if you have an opinion on what kind of direction you think would work best for a book.  The most ambitious idea I am considering is releasing book 2 of Reimarsoga and then book 1 of the other character nearly simultaneously!  So you could pick up technically either one and read it then the other, but the order of which you read first would not matter, if I do it right.

OR should I smoosh the plotlines so you read book 1 which would focus on Reimar, and then book 2 which will focus on the other.

Or just release them as part of the same series but in chronological order, meaning Reimarsoga book 2 would become book 3 while I shove the other book inbetween and just rename the whole series something else.  Which probably is the easiest of the whole bunch.

I dunno.  I know I’m not saying much because, you know… no spoilers I hope.

Seriously, opinions wanted!  Now’s your chance to tell the world what you think!