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Interview with me

April 15th, 2014

IMG_2934This is the final post in my countdown to the release of Jake’s Last Mission.  I had some sort of brilliant idea, then I forgot it.  Then I had another brilliant idea.

I forgot it too.

Lacking for brilliant ideas, I googled for advice.  I can’t find the sites I found before I made the first countdown post.  Crap.  So I thought it could be fun to pretend I was being interviewed and answer common author interview questions.

Then I read the sorts of things authors are asked in interviews and . . . seriously?  Do readers really care about the author’s writing process?  About where they get their inspiration?  About whether they plan before they write or not?  I mean, I know I care about these things, but I’m an author.  It makes me feel much, much better about my make it up as I go approach to know that Larry Hama does the same thing.  It fascinates me, in a horrified kind of way, to know that some authors approach writing like it’s an actual job, sitting at a desk for eight hours at a time, breaking only for lunch and cigarrettes . . . or exercise, in the case of one.  But I never thought that the average reader cared, for instance, how many hours a day J. K. Rowling writes.  I assumed they were far more interested in things like “Just how many zeroes were in the amount you made from Deathly Hallows again?!”

But, as those seem to be the typical questions authors are asked, I guess I’ll answer them.  I’ll even try not to be too sarcastic.

Quit laughing, everyone who knows me in real life.  I can manage not to be sarcastic.  I think.

So, without further adieu, the questions and my answers:

Where do you get your ideas?

I promised not to be sarcastic, so I’m not going to say something like “From Ideas R Us”.  Instead I’ll tell the truth:  Usually, I have no bloody clue.  Sometimes I get an idea when listening to a particular song or reading something, but usually I just suddenly have something in my head that I must commit to paper before it drives me insane.  Jake’s Last Mission was very much one of those “Must write this down right now!” things

What’s your writing process like?

I wake up every morning at precisely . . . dammit, not being sarcastic is HARD.

I try to write some every day.  I usually succeed in writing about three days a week.  When things are going well, I can write three to five thousand words a day; when they aren’t, I’m happy to get two hundred.  My planner has 1,000 words per day listed in it as my goal for the day though, and someday I’ll have both the discipline and the absence of disasters for long enough at a time to really make that a habit.  I hope.

I try to work on one thing until it’s finished, but sometimes I get thoroughly stuck.  Then I work on something else until I get stuck in it.  With Jake’s Last Mission, I got stuck somewhere on the second page the first or second day I worked on it and stayed stuck for several months.  Then I changed the last sentence and wrote most of the rest of it in a week.

How much do you plan in advance?

I don’t plan the story at all before I start writing, but once it’s gained some momentum, I start making little notes about what will probably happen next and in what order.  I didn’t used to do even this, but I kept forgetting important things and having to go back and try to fit them in, so I started making notes.

I also, generally, have lots of stuff about the setting and characters worked out in advance.  Not in a “have filled out lots of questionairres” sort of way, in a “I have a fairly detailed alternate reality running in my head and can therefore extrapolate all kinds of things” way.

Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?

Oh, this is an easy one!  No.  More elaborately, probably subconsciously certain people have influenced certain characters — I’m pretty sure Renata has quoted my mother a time or two — but I’ve never consciously based a character on a real person.

Which character is you?

None of them.  Not basing them on real people includes not basing them on myself.  To be honest, Renata looks a bit like me.  We’re both busty, short, and overweight.  And we’re both stubborn to a fault and a wee bit tempermental.  And she did start as a self-insert.  But, she’s a champion swordswoman; genius engineer, inventor, and mechanic; mother of quite a few, and in her fifties, so I’m pretty sure she doesn’t count as a self-insert any more.

What inspires you?

I know I’m supposed to say something like “sunrises” or “the simple joy of life” or some other saccharine bullshit here, but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll be honest:  nothing really inspires me to write.  It’s just something I do.  Story-telling is something I’ve done as long as I can remember.  What inspires me to actually put my ass in a chair and start writing is pretty much egotism, I admit.  I think I’ve made a damned groovy setting with awesome characters and want to share it with people.

Who are your favorite authors?

This list varies by the day, but the top five today:

a) Robert Heinlein — Yes, I know all the reasons I should hate him.  I don’t care.  I’m not holding he nor any of his characters up as paragons of anything; I just admire the way the man told stories, the way he made me think, the way he made me question everything I took for granted as an immutable “This is right” fact of life.

b) Larry Hama — I’d say about seventy-five percent of what I know about how to write action stories with good characterization I learned from reading GI Joe comics.

c) Laura Ingalls Wilder — Again, I know all the reasons I should shun her.  Again, I don’t care.  Her books are a wonderful recollection of life in the late nineteenth century.  I  fell in love with them at nine and still reread them regularly at almost thirty-four.  That clearly makes them damned good books.

d) Ed Greenwood — Admittedly, as a fiction author he’s got some issues, which he readily admits to.  But he still can tell a very entertaining story, and I love his characters. But his true genius is in his world-building.  One of my goals in life is to have as fully realized a setting as the Forgotten Realms, that has touched as many other people.

e)  Terry Pratchett — If you’ve ever read a Discworld book, you understand.  If you haven’t, get to a bookstore or library and fix this!  They start out mocking fantasy tropes, but as the series progresses they become a delicious blend of social satire and comedic fantasy that words do not do justice to.

What are your favorite books?

Another list that varies by the day, though not as much.  Here are today’s top five:

a)  Imzadi by Peter David — It’s one of the two best love stories I’ve ever read.

b)  Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery — I identified with Anne way too much as a kid.

c)  These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder — The best love story I’ve ever read.  And reread.  And rerereread.

d)  The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien — The first fantasy novel I ever read and still the best.  I like the appendices of Lord of the Rings better than the books.

e)  Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein — I know, okay?!  Please don’t bother with telling me all the reasons it’s horrible, Lazarus is horrible, Heinlein is horrible, etc.  I know.  I also know that most people complaining make basic factual errors about the books that show either a lack of reading comprehension or a faulty memory of how exactly events came about.  I love the book.  It makes me question things.  It makes me think.  It’s also got the best western I’ve ever read as one of the stories in it — the bit with Dora and Lazarus.

What would you do if you weren’t an author?

I don’t understand the question.  If I wasn’t an author . . . these are words that don’t make sense.

What are you currently working on?

No More Lies.  It’s a romance about Jake’s son, Bobby.  Bobby, at the time of the story, was a spy posing as an assassin.  He meets a woman on vacation, falls in love, and then his life gets complicated.

Why do you write?

I think I adequately covered this under the inspiration question.

What are you reading right now?

Enough things that I’d actually have to check goodreads to get a complete list.  The ones I can recall off the top of my head:

a)  Han Solo at Star’s End — I’d be done with this, but I’ve misplaced it with less than forty pages left.  Annoying.

b)  Evermeet:  Island of the Elves by Elaine Cunningham– I’ve been slowly working my way through this for a couple of years.  I don’t know why, but I can’t concentrate on it for long at a time.

c)  Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery — It’s one of my favorite books.  I reread it once every couple of years.

d)  Stormlight by Ed Greenwood — I have a crush on Storm.  That’s really the entirety of why I’m reading this book again, I think.

e)  Blazon – I got it from the free books bin at the used bookstore.  It looked like cheesy space opera which I have a weakness for.  I’m a third of the way through and am considering giving up on it because so far what happens is you get a few chapters from a characters point of view, then they get killed.  This is getting old.

Why do you write space opera?

Because I saw the Star Wars movies way too much as a kid.  That really is the best answer I can give.  Also because westerns would require too much research.  So I stick with space opera where I can use western plots but not have to research things nearly as much.

How do you feel about ebooks?

The way I see it the format of a book is irrelevant usually.  I’ve got books that I dearly love that I have gone to great difficulty to track down in hardback so I’d have a copy that wouldn’t fall apart so quickly.  The ability to have those in electronic format instead is great.  Yes, I know there’s DRM and proprietary formats and all that sort of crap, but that’s still less annoying than having to replace my favorite books every few years because I’ve read them to death.

And it’s much easier to self-publish ebooks and get noticed than print books.

Who designs your covers?

Me!  It’s really not that hard.  I choose an image, I put text on the image, sometimes using a template, sometimes not.  Of course, describing it this way leaves out the hours of agonizing of not being able to find just the right image and the hours of crying because Photoshop has suddenly gone fucking insane.  So maybe a bettter way to put it is:  It shouldn’t really be that hard, but something always goes wrong.

So, there you have an interview with me.  Hopefully I amused or otherwise entertained you enough that you’ll go pre-order Jake’s Last Mission from iBookstore, Kobo, or Smashwords.  Or remember to look for it elsewhere on April 18th!

 

Free stories in here!!!

April 10th, 2014
English: Original Poster for Winter Fest by I....

English: Original Poster for Winter Fest by I.D.A.Soft Studio (GFPL) Русский: Оригинальный постер фестиваля Winter Fest от I.D.A.Soft Studio (лицензия GFPL) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winter Fest is a Galfarran holiday celebrating, well, winter, obviously, but it’s also a time for families and friends.  There’s feasting and partying and fairs and balls all throughout the korva (month, roughly), but the most important celebration is in the middle of the korva.  In Sweytz’s northern hemisphere, on Feino 14, known as Winter Fest Eve, there is a large fair during the day, a ball at night, and then while the children are sleeping, the solani — kindly winter spirits — bring them, well, what exactly they bring them depends on family tradition, but it’s always some kind of edible treats.

A drabble is a one hundred word story.  They’re not generally a format I write in, as I don’t feel they are really long enough to tell a story, but they can be useful for giving a brief view of a character.

In this case, they give a brief view of Jake, who you can read more about in eight days when Jake’s Last Mission comes out, on various Winter Fest Eves, starting with his first on Sweytz.

Without further preamble, here are the stories:

 

Winter Fest Eve 260

“Thank you again for having us over,” Jake said to Maia while cuddling his tiny daughter against his chest.

“No need to thank us,” Maia said.  “Winter Fest is about family and friends.  You’re our friends, and you’re far from your families.”

“Still, Valerie and I appreciate it more than I can say.”  Jake’s voice was full of emotion.

Maia touched the young man’s hand.  “There’s no need to say anything.  It’s your first Winter Fest on Sweytz.  You shouldn’t spend it alone.  If you can put that little darling down, come help me set the table.  Dinner’s almost ready.”

 

Winter Fest Eve 265

“That is cute,” Jake said to Renata who was excitedly showing him a doll being sold at the Winter Fest Faire.  “How much is it?”

With a smile at the cute little girl and her father, the Aslith vendor said, “For you, good sir, only twenty credits.”

Jake pretended to consider the matter, having made up his mind to get it as soon as he heard the price.  “Eh, it’s Winter Fest.  I’ll take it.  And that purple and green drathini there for my son.”

“Good taste, sir,” the vendor said, handing them over.  Renata hugged her new doll tight.

 

Winter Fest Eve 270

Valerie smiled a bit sadly when she saw Jake’s face on the other end of the call.  “Hi.”

“Hi,” he replied, looking a bit sad himself.  “How’re the kids?”

She sighed.  “They miss you.  Horribly.  But Ren and Bobby seem to understand that the war’s a little bit more important than having their Daddy home for Winter Fest.  And Jeff’s too young to care, really.”

“And how are you?” he asked tenderly.

Her lips quivered as she replied, “I miss you even more than they do.  Be safe.  That’s all I ask.”

“I’ll try.  I love you all,” he said.

 

Winter Fest Eve 275

“Daddy!” Ren said excitedly when she and Tera came in the door.  Jake hugged his daughter and her wife tightly.

“Weren’t expecting to see me?” he said teasingly.

“No.  I thought you weren’t going to be in until next sulid.”

He smiled.  “Great thing about the war being over:  easier to convince people to shorten patrols.”

Renata looked at him, mock surprise on her face.  “Did you pull strings to get home for the holiday, Father?”

He smirked.  “Nope.  Just told someone I’d ‘forget’ the money they owed to me from a kista game if they let me come home.”

 

Winter Fest Eve 280

Jake sat on the couch and his daughter, Ashley, climbed immediately in his lap.  “Story?” she said, getting comfortable.

“What kind of story?”

“Solani story.”

He smiled.  “Once a long, long time ago, before Mommy and Daddy were born even, there lived a man named Xavier Flores.”

“I’ve heard of him!” Ashley shouted.

“Shh.  You’ll wake your niece,” he said, nodding towards his granddaughter, sleeping peacefully nearby.  “There was also a bad man named Roderigo Caballera.  Xavier needed a ship to get to him.  It was Winter Fest.  He called on the solani for help.”

“Yay!” his wee daughter cheered.

 

Winter Fest Eve 285

Jake ran a hand through his hair and sighed deeply as he double-checked the date back on Sweytz.  Cursing the bad timing of his predeccessor’s death yet again, he called Valerie.

“Hi,” she said sadly.

“Hi,” he said, more annoyed than sad.  “Sorry I can’t be home.  Sorrier I didn’t realize the date until now.”

“It’s okay.  You’ve got a whole fleet to run.  Ashley and the grandkids understand.”

“Do they?” he asked, a bit incredulous.

She shrugged.  “They seem to.  We miss you though.”

“Not as much as I miss you guys right now.  I love you all.”

 

Winter Fest Eve 290

“That’s the great thing about running the fleet,” Jake said, smirking.  “I control the patrol schedule.”

Gerard, his first officer, chuckled.  “And you do everything you can to make sure you get home for Winter Fest.”

“I’m not selfish!  I do what I can to make sure my whole crew — which happens to include me — gets home for Winter Fest.  Because we deserve it.  We do all the hardest shit, after all.”

Gerard nodded.  “I suppose that’s the truth.  Thanks.  Hevel was thrilled to hear I’d be able to spend Winter Fest with him, even though I’d miss the ball.”

 

Winter Fest Eve 295

“I swear, this damned thing shrunk while it was hanging up,” Jake grumbled as he threw his dress uniform’s jacket aside.

Valerie chuckled as she picked it up.  “It couldn’t possibly be that you’ve gotten bigger?” she teased, pecking him on the cheek.

“You saying I’m fat?”  He sounded a bit annoyed.

Valeried sighed, wishing he wouldn’t be sensitive about his weight.  She hugged him.  “No, I’m saying that maybe, just maybe, that third helping of dessert last night wasn’t a great idea.”

“Or the second helping of lunch?” he said, changing suits.

“You said it, not me,” she said.

 

Winter Fest Eve 300

Jake stretched out on a couch.  “Ah, this feels nice.  No more needing to worry that someone’s going to ruin my Winter Fest by starting a war.”

Bobby, his son, looked up from the flower he was filling with candy, worried.  “Any reason to think anyone’s gonna do that?”

“Who’s intel here?  Why do you think a retired mithoska’d know more about things like that than you?”

“Because I’ve been on paternity leave for the past two korvare, and you played kista with Quirino last sulid.”

Jake nodded.  “Good reasoning.  Nah, everything is fine.  Relax and enjoy the holiday, kid.”

 

Winter Fest Eve 305

“Grandpa!” the excited little girl cried as she ran towards Jake.

He smiled as he picked her up.  “Hi there, Courtney!  You’ve grown since the last time I saw you.”

“Yep.  Daddy Vik thinks I’ll be as tall as Momma Ren soon.  I told him that’s a bit silly.  She’s lots … Oh … I like the next song!” the five-year-old telepath said as she wiggled free of his arms.

Chuckling, he bowed as he said, “May I have the honor of this dance, dear girl?”

She giggled and then bowed herself and said, “Of course you may, kind sir.”

 

Winter Fest Eve 310

While dressing for the ball, Jake couldn’t stop staring at Valerie.  “You like what you see?” she finally asked.

“Very much,” he said, before giving her a kiss.  “There oughta be laws against looking as good as you do.  Gonna give some poor old people heart failure.”

“You aren’t so bad looking yourself,” she said, straightening his collar.

“Never look good enough to be with you,” he said, as he’d said almost every time she’d complimented his looks for over fifty years.

She sighed, as she always had, and said, as always,  “Because you look so much better than me.”

 

 

 

What about Kristark? Who’s he?

April 3rd, 2014

Today, with just fifteen days to go until the release, we’ll be looking at the other main character of Jake’s Last Mission, the Mugdaran emperor, Emperor Kristark Zadeem Hulvim kir Pladeen, which, translated into English roughly, is Emperor Kristark Most Honored Battle-proven Warship Commander son of Pladeen.  I think it sounds better in Mugdaran, personally.

Kristark, which is the only part of that that’s his given name, was born Mirtelo 5, 255 (Sweytzian) to a spaceport prostitute and a merchant captain.  His father was not involved in his life.

Kristark completed the tagreeth, the Mugdaran coming of age ceremony that involves the bare-handed killing of a large predator for food, days after turning twelve.  Most people are closer to thirteen or fourteen before completing it. Being a bit of a traditionalist, he got the usual tattoo done the old-fashioned way instead of with modern tattooing equipment.

He joined the military two years before the Second Mugdaran War, which Mugdarans group with many other small wars under the name “Lorkik’s War”, after the emperor who started them.  Before Kristark was sixteen he’d earned the title zadeem for his actions in the Battle of Gentha, where he disobeyed orders and didn’t attack a ship that was already rendered helpless.  To most Mugdarans, there are few things more contemptible than attacking someone who can’t fight back.

After that, his rise through the ranks was meteoric.  Two years later, before he was even eighteen, he was already a hulvim, meaning not only was he in command of a warship, but he’d proven in battle several times to be a highly competent warship commander.

By the time Harjort wrested the makayitay of state from Lorkik and beheaded him, ending his war, Kristark was a very respected young hulvim and it was no surprise at all that one of the many young women who’d tried to gain his affection had succeeded.  They were married three years after the war ended and had their first child, a daughter, a year after that.

Kristark continued to have an impressive military career, now commanding one of the best ships in the Empire’s fleet.  He and his wife had three more children before her early death in a sporting accident.  After the loss of his wife, he devoted himself as equally as he could to his children and his career.  Emperor Harjort, it became clear, was very impressed with him.  So it came as no surprise to many when Harjort chose him as his successor instead of one of the older hulvim, fithin, or fithia.  Fithin and fithia are the leaders of the traditional Mugdaran clans.  The titles are almost entirely ceremonial these days, so it is has been a long time since one who wasn’t also a hulvim was named successor to an Emperor.

Shortly before this story starts — Jake doesn’t even know it’s happened yet, that’s how shortly — Harjort died, and Kristark became, while not the youngest emperor the Mugdarans have ever had, one of the youngest ones.  This is a source of some tension as many believe the position should’ve been given to someone older and that Emperor Harjort was clearly showing signs of senility when he chose Kristark.  Kristark has brief moments where he wonders if they might not be right, but for the most part is confident in his ability to lead his people.  There is that small matter of those pressuring him to declare war on Sweytz though . . .

 

 

 

Who is Jake, anyway?

March 31st, 2014
space

space (Photo credit: Sweetie187)

As some people reading this know Jake’s Last Mission, the fourth story in the Universal Nexus setting will be out in just eighteen days!  I’d meant to start doing posts counting down to the release date in some nice multiple of five, but life intervened.  Well, life and Hearthstone — Blizzard is damned good at making addictive games, aren’t they?  Then I discovered that I couldn’t remember what my brilliant ideas had been anyway.

A bit of googling and I discovered two things:  1)  there are a LOT of people out there trying to separate new authors from their money — just twenty dollars and they’ll sell you their book on how to promote your book!, and 2)  most of the ideas I can find won’t work for me anyway.

Talk about my inspiration?  Yeah, that doesn’t work when I get first paragraphs fully formed in my head and have to just put fingers to keyboard and see where the fuck things are going.  Though I suppose if you wanted to stretch things a bit I could say my inspiration for Jake’s Last Mission was having watched way too much Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Firefly.  (Not that there’s anywhere near enough Firefly for that to be possible.)  But that hardly makes a blog post.

Then I saw one that suggested talking about how I developed the characters.  Well, I can’t do that.  That’s not the way my mind works.  If I sit down and try to develop characters I get lists of traits that don’t connect.  But, I can certainly tell you about the characters!

So, let’s start with the titular Jake.

Jake Kavaliro was born on Jaudo 22, 244 (Sweytian) on a world that had been in decline since before the Galfarran Civil War and was now so backwater and run-down that when he was only a toddler his mother succumbed to an illness that could’ve easily been cured on a more prosperous world.  When he was still rather young, he successfully convinced his father, old before his time due to overwork and deprivation, to let him drop out of school and work on the local ranches.

Far too soon afterwards his father died when the animal he was riding was spooked and threw him.  Jake got a better paying job with one of the local ranchers, one who just happened to have a daughter Jake had a bit of a crush on.  That crush turned to love, and the pair were married before either was sixteen.

Shortly before they got married, Jake had given up working on ranches and taken up the slightly more lucrative career of being a spacer.  He worked a freighter that stopped on Sweytz and fell in love with the world from his first sight of it.

Kavaliros had for centuries, if not millenia, been guardian faeshir (warrior priests).  Jake’s grandfather had died single-handedly defending a temple from Imperialists.  He killed, the legends that sprang up immediately afterward said, one hundred Imperialists before he fell, armed only with a sword.  Jake’s grandmother had fled to the backwater Jake was born on with his father, who was only a toddler, intending to go back and have her son trained to be a guardian faeshir himself.  Unfortunately, she’d been killed in the line of duty while serving as the equivalent of sheriff.  So Jake’s father had to make his own way in life and, as shown already, never managed to scratch his way up very far.

Jake was doing better than his father, and Valerie came from a reasonably prosperous, by the area’s standards, family.  But Jake had sworn to himself that no child of his would grow up the way he had.  So when he came home shortly after his marriage to find Valerie pregnant, he started working on a way to get them off their homeworld.

They managed to save up enough that they were able to emigrate before the baby was born.  On Sweytz, Jake stayed a spacer for a while, but that instinctive calling to help others that had been a large part of why so many Kavaliros had walked the guardian path instead of settling down as temple priests somewhere for so long led him to enlist in the Sweytian Defense Force.

A few years later, he became an officer, which on Sweytz only happens when someone has shown leadership capabilities.  Shortly after . . . shortly enough after that his conception may have been part of a celebration of Jake’s commission . . . Valerie gave birth to their second child.

Jake’s military career continued to be impressive.  He moved up the officer ranks rather quickly and by the time the Second Mugdaran War broke out in late 269 he was already first officer on a ship.  He missed the first days of the war because it started literally days after the birth of his third child, but it became apparent very soon that where Jake really shone was as a battle commander.

Jake’s most notable accomplishment during the war was leading an attack on a Mugdaran boarding party before he’d even finished dressing — and while he was completely unarmed.  As Mugdarans average two inches taller than Humans and are apex predators with the strength and fangs that implies, facing them unarmed takes a man of unusual bravery.  Convincing others to fight them unarmed, which he did, takes a man with damned near supernatural persuasion abilities . . . or a man whose crew is utterly loyal to him, regardless of how insane he’s just gone.

This action got him a promotion and he spent the rest of the war and the next few years commanding the Nemes Kalapács.  A couple of years after the war, his wife gave birth to their fourth and final child around the same time their eldest daughter, Renata, joined Darrien’s Daggers.  (Who will get their own post some day.  Because they’re awesome.)

279 started with Renata nearly dying when the fighter she was flying crash landed.  Then before she was fully recovered, Bobby, his eldest son, ran away, seduced by the words of Anerix’s High Chancellor, which promised him power and prestige he thought he’d never get on Sweytz, where he felt he’d always be in his father’s shadow.  This was the lowest point of Jake’s life.  (You can read more about Bobby in the link below that says “Robin Thase” so I won’t go into what transpired here.)

The next year, things improved for him quite a bit.  He was given command of the Defesa Lâmina, one of the best ships in the fleet, and became a grandfather.

He continued to have a very impressive career and when Mithoska Rosanna Desjardins died when her ship was destroyed in combat in 285, Jake was almost the unanimous choice for the next commander of the Sweytian Defence Force Space Fleet.

Jake’s Last Mission starts fifteen years later, when Jake is less than a full korva from retirement and on what should be an uneventful final patrol.

Announcing . . .

February 25th, 2014

Jake's Last MissionA new Universal Nexus novella by me, coming to your favorite ebookstore sometime in the next few months!

Unfortunately, I can’t put up a cover image right now because some setting or another is being stupid, and I’m too tired to try tinkering with the five million things it could be.  So pretend there’s an image here above the blurb.

Jake Kavaliro was counting down the days until he could retire from commanding the entire Sweytian Space Fleet. Then during what should’ve been his last routine patrol, his ship encountered a Mugdaran ship whose commander was still fighting a war that ended decades before. In the fighting that followed, the Mugdaran ship was destroyed. The next thing Jake knew, he was headed to Mugdar to explain his actions to the Emperor in person.

This book also contains a short story about the coronation of the Mugdaran Emperor.

Notions [Reblog]

July 7th, 2013

This was posted by a friend of mine, and I thought she made some very good points, so I’m sharing it.

Notions

POSTED ON 7 JULY 2013 BY 

In reading and writing, who owes what to whom, I wonder.

Does the author owe it to the reader, to pander to their preconceived ideas and ideals?  Or is it the duty of the reader to put those notions aside at the door and open their mind to the text before them?  Perhaps both?

In a perfect world, to me, there would be no genre.  It’s a sticky thing.  It’s a useful tool, somewhat, for knowing what themes and tropes — what tools and building blocks — were used to create the story, but at the same time it can be a detrimental thing as readers may flock to a book thinking it’s something it isn’t, or scorn it for the same reason and all because of which shelf in the store it’s on, or which cute little sticker the library put on the spine.

In some ways, I do think authors owe a little to the reader.  I think, for example, that an author should not write a book that has signs of being built on fantasy themes and tropes, then call the short stocky things with beards and axes ‘elves’.  Most certainly she could do this.  It’s her world and story after all!  B’God write your story, not what someone else tells you it ought to be; but, and this is important, make a little concession to the reader by introducing that the short stocky bearded things are elves.  It comes down to description.  Don’t take for granted that your reader will decide that an elf is short stocky and bearded with an axe penchant.  However, if your elves are tall willowy and fae, then you need only say ‘elf’, because you’ve hit the natural assumptions.

The reader, however, owes the author a bit of slack.  Tropes, stereotypes, genre conventions, and so forth can only take us so far — we can only combine those in so many ways before we’ve run out of stories, unless we tinker and tamper with them.  We need to sometimes have dwarves that love trees, elves who love axes, and dragons who dance ballet.  We need redheads with the temperament of Mother Theresa, and blondes who’re super-geniuses.  We need sex-crazed Bible-thumpers, and professional companions who’ve taken vows of chastity. (continued on jayeedgecliff.com)

Works In Progress, July Edition

July 3rd, 2013

Welcome to a new, (supposedly) regularly scheduled feature where I tell you all about everything I’m currently writing.  Except the stuff I forget to put on the list because, yes, I have THAT many works in progress.

The list:
1)  The Search for the Crown of Eldrete, Kavaliro Cousins Book One:

Status:  Now available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords (where it’s on sale for 50% off all month!), Drivethrufiction, and CreateSpace. Coming soon to iBookstore too. I’ll make a separate post later today with links because I don’t have time to look them up right now.

Synopsis:  Lyndsey, the descendant of a legendary guardian faeshir (warrior priest, basically), a ninja/fighter pilot/rebel-for-hire/cocky adrenaline junkie meets her distant cousin Taliza, a guardian faeshir, while they’re both fighting to liberate the same world.  There are many complications — enough that I eventually had to make a conscious effort to stop adding more so some could start being resolved!, but in short, two bad guy groups have joined together and are taking things from temples from major worlds to try to fulfill an ancient prophecy.  As the title hopefully makes clear, the first book is mostly about them trying to find one specific one.

First line: “You’re a guardian faeshir, aren’t you?” Lyndsey asked, seeing the expert swordsmanship of the rebel woman fighting by her side.

2)  Retaking Vindoc:

Status:  This is so far all of 301 words long, but I’m sure it’ll be awesome if I ever figure out where I’m going with it.

Synopsis:  Nearly fifteen years ago, the Daggers, a group of rebels-for-hire, failed to help the people of Vindoc avoid being forcibly removed from their world when the Terran Confederation decided to repurpose it.  Today, they and some of the rebels have a plan to take it back.

First line: There were tears in Darrien Hawke’s eyes, tears he refused to let fall, as he boarded the last Dagger ship leaving Vindoc.

3)  Vengeance:

Status:  This story is driving me batty.  I know what happens, more or less, but WHEN is being a bitch to figure out.  So far, I’ve had to rewrite the first chapter twice, and it needs a third rewrite, JUST because I changed my mind about when it’s set.  Then I realized that a big part of the problem is that the prologue and the first chapter are set at least a year apart, actually.  EVENTUALLY this will get written.  Probably.  Hopefully.

Synopsis:  Five years ago (Or however many it ends up being!), a group of Daggers rescued Serena from the clutches of the nefarious Dr. Greenbriar.  Greenbriar’s work was set back many years in the process, and the High Chancellor of Anerix started watching his head scientist much more closely.  Now Greenbriar has hired an old friend to deal with the Daggers who were involved, before going after Serena herself again.

First line: Janoke Greenbriar grinned as he read the report an aide had brought him a nulair earlier.

4)  Jake’s Last Mission:

Status:  I either dreamed an editing pass happened that didn’t, or I somehow completely didn’t save a copy after ANY edits were made. And as my word processor of choice autosaves, I don’t see how that could have happened. So, it needs more work than I thought. Bummer.

Synopsis:  Mithoska Jake Kavaliro is ready to retire.  He’s been commanding the Defesa Lâmina since before some of it’s current crew were born.  Unfortunately, on his last patrol he runs into a Mugdaran ship that’s commander wants to restart a war that’s been over for twenty-five years.  And the Mugdaran emperor has just died and there’s a group trying to convince the new emperor to go to war with Sweytz — the world Jake is from — already.  And that’s just the biggest problem he’s dealing with.

First line: The klaxons blared, awakening Mithoska Jake Kavaliro from his sleep

5)  Bobby Immigrates To Anerix:

Status: This has been stuck for ages and really, I’ve already written the most interesting part of it, I think, so I don’t know if it’ll ever be finished.

Synopsis:  Bobby Kavaliro is fifteen and, in his own words, has nothing going for him except “a gorgeous girlfriend and a warhero father”.  So, sick of living in the shadow of his older sister and his father, he decides to immigrate to Anerix, a world that’s not a dictatorship because it’s High Chancellor says so in his speeches.  Seriously.  When his parents refuse to give permission, he pisses off just about everyone important to him.  Then he runs away.  Then he discovers that the only thing he’s qualified to do is join the infantry.

First line: I was fifteen.

6)  Bobby Meets Karen:

Status:  I just started working on revisions to the revision. I’ve caught up with where I was and now that I’ve had it on the back-burner for a year, I’m pretty sure I’m ready to finish it. This is, I admit, partially because my friend’s romance is seriously outselling The Crown of Eldrete, and for various complicated to explain reasons it looks like genre is the main reason.

Synopsis:  Bobby Kavaliro is now one of the Anerix military’s assassins (which don’t exist, honest, it says so right on this document here).  As far as they know, anyway.  He’s actually been a deep cover spy for the past few years, and the pressure is starting to get to him.  He meets a beautiful woman on vacation, they fall in love, and . . . this one is hard to summarize.  It’s a love story.  It’s just a love story involving a ninja/assassin/spy/total fucking moron so it gets . . . complicated.

First line: This is exactly what I needed, I thought, leaning back against a tree in Thil Park on Sarglerich and starting to tune my loothin.

7)  Untitled Fantasy Story:

Status: I’ve had the idea for the bit with the demon summoning and the final fight with the bigass demon for about seven years now, and have had the bit with the elf dude written for about two, but can’t seem to get any of the rest of it to take shape.  It’s getting frustrating.  Every time I think I know what happens next, something distracts me before I can get pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and it gets lost.

Synopsis:  Dude is the first elven mage in a very, very long time.  Baddies are about to summon a very nasty demon.  Elf dude directed by goddess of magic to a party she’s led into the forest.  They don’t get to the baddies in time.  Rest of book (series?) going to be about fighting demonic forces, culminating in a showdown with the very nasty demon.

First line:  “All smoke and no substance.”

8)  The Fall of Drochslem, possibly book one of a multibook thingy:

Status: This is dark, and depressing, and I’m really not sure I ever want to write it and don’t just want to, instead, mention it in other things because while what happens here is a very, very big part of why Vik is the way he is in later stories, I think it would take some of the . . . something . . . away from him to actually detail what broke his mind, instead of leaving it vague.  But, on the other hand, it seems wrong some how to NOT write something that I’ve already made five attempts at.  Though this could just be clear proof that I really don’t understand the words “Give up.”

Synopsis:  The situation in Vorton is worse than the Daggers expected, and what they expected was already terrible.  Very quickly, Viktor Blue finds himself stabbed in the heart by a Dichidian warbeast, then captured from the hospital, and then enslaved by the Dichidian Warlord Drochslem.  While there, he’s beaten, starved, and forced to witness people being eaten alive.  He escapes, but his sanity is pretty much gone.  A couple of years later, not as recovered as tries to convince himself he is, against the advice of just about everyone, including his psychiatrist, he goes back to Dichid with an invasion force and is personally responsible for Drochslem’s death — while very nearly causing his own, and his sanity takes another blow.

First line: “Run, Lance!”

9)  Tales From The Sword & Scroll Tavern:

Status:  I wrote most of this years ago now.  Some of the stories are on the website already.  Some are being reworked into longer stories.  I love my frame story and would still love to do something with it, so I might just take the frame story and write new stories to fit it, maybe salvaging a couple from the old version that can be saved with a bit of revising.  Or I might just go “Well, it was a good idea, too bad it fell apart.”  I don’t know.

Synopsis:  Yugovians don’t tend to leave their world, except for those Called to be Travellers.  Travellers travel around, collecting stories which they then bring home to tell the other Yugovians.  This is a collection of the stories one Traveller picked up in The Sword & Scroll Tavern, one of the finest taverns on Sweytz, an excellent place to collect all kinds of stories as it is frequented by Daggers, Special Forces guys, and spacers from three galaxies, courtesy of the wormholes near Sweytz and the tavern’s diverse liquor selection.

First line: It was a very cold evening when I disembarked from my craft at the Delthakk spaceport.

10)  Lance Picks Up A Stray:

Status:  I’m still not quite sure what I want to do with this one, but I did get an idea a few days ago to rework it to be more about the young space rat and then make it the first book in a series about him. So I might try that.

Synopsis:  Captain Lancelot Reddige, former orphaned space rat, now commander of an elite unit — basically the cultural equivalent of these guys http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Registry_of_War_Criminals_and_Security_Suspects – tries to help out a young space rat, who reminds him very much of himself at that age by giving him some money.  He ends up inadvertently getting the kid in trouble.  Feeling very bad about this, and discovering that the kid has been very badly mistreated by a past benefactor, he takes the kid in, and the kid learns to trust again.  Eventually, the kid ends up offered a position on Lance’s daughter’s pirate ship, which is pretty much the boy’s dream come true.  And a bunch of other shit happens that’s not relevant to this so I really probably should just cut it unless I can incorporate it more smoothly.

First line: “Where did you get this from?!” said a gruff, angry voice from the food stand Lance was passing.

11)  Tapestry of Life/Life in the Tri-Galaxies (There’s a bit of disagreement between my husband and I over which is a better title.  I think Tapestry of Life sounds like a different genre altogether than slice-of-life stories in a space opera setting.):

Status:  This has run into some technical complications. You see, some of the oldest stories that would be going into it were copy/pasted from TextEdit to one WordPress blog, then to Pages to edit them years later, then to this site, then back to Pages to put in the book and along the way, formatting glitches have cropped up. Fairly major ones, like fonts and font sizes randomly changing. The worst, alas, are ones we no longer have the original file for. Or they were typed live in a browser, in which case that bit about TextEdit becomes LiveJournal. So we’re considering retyping the worst ones — yes, some of them have problems that are bad enough it’ll be easier to retype them than to fix them — before finishing the editing. This will be the stories from the website, plus a couple more I think, edited and put in an ebook.  It’ll be free!

Synopsis:  It’s a short story collection.  It’s mostly random vignettes and other such “too short to not feel bad charging people for” things.  These vary quite a bit, being everything from a tale of two people realizing they were in love — two tales, actually, one from each young woman’s perspective, to a tale of Bobby Kavaliro and his best friend ending up in a bar owned by an ex-girlfriend/fuckbuddy (depending on which one you ask) of his who wants him dead, to the tale of someone losing her parents at a very young age to Dichidians.

First line: The little family sat beside the river trying to catch fish.

12)  Second Kavaliro Cousins book:

Status:  Being written.  The beginning is going to need some heavy revising as I was wrong about when it’s set when I started writing it.

Synopsis:  The Daggers and the rebels aren’t doing as well as everyone had hoped they’d be by now.  And there’s clearly a traitor in the ranks, as Darrien is dealing with assassination attempts nearly every day.  Lyndsey and Taliza are put in charge of securing a spaceport that’s fallen into enemy hands.  Then more stuff will happen!

First line:  Taliza was waiting for Lyndsey when she got off her ship.

13)  War Games:

Status:  I’m wondering if I’ll actually write this, because I’ve got vague disconnected scenes, most not even worthy of being called a vignette, but no real concept of what’s going on.

Synopsis:  The Sweytian Defense Force Special Forces and the Daggers in war games against each other.  I’m pretty sure the main focus will be on Lyndsey Kavaliro-Blue, Dagger, and her boyfriend, Rusark I-Can’t-Remember-His-Last-Name-Right-Now, Sweytian Defense Force Special Forces officer, being competitive.  And horny.

First line:  Both men would’ve rather been back on Sweytz, talking this over at The Sword and Scroll Tavern.

14)  Untitled supers story

Status:  Not started, as I get teary-eyed over missing City of Heroes every time I try to start still.

Synopsis:  Good guys versus bad guys!  Yeah, I might need to do a little planning here.

15)  Bobby Meets Kira

Status:  This depends on where I end Bobby Meets Karen.  If it goes to when he’s working on the dojo on Sweytz, then this’ll be rewritten to fit in it, as it’s in third person and Bobby Meets Karen is in first.  If not, then this just needs an editing pass or two before going up on the website.

Synopsis:  Bobby Kavaliro meets one of his fellow ninja’s hot young fiancée.  In typical Bobby fashion, he says something stupid and pays for it.

First line:  “Yum.”

16) Thingy in need of a title

Status: I just started it the other day, and it’s not a very high priority since it’s not something I’ve really got a clear idea for yet.

Synopsis: Universal Nexus has been the setting of my tabletop rpg for many years. Most of that time has actually been spent playing the more “Day in the life” type stuff, often enough that I sometimes describe the game as “a sitcom in a space opera setting”. I’ve always wanted to do a story more reflective of that, but couldn’t think of a focus and not having a focus was just far, far too chaotic. Well, this combined with some ranting I was doing about there not being any slice-of-life sf (I’ve since found some, that I haven’t had time to read yet), led to me deciding to write a slice-of-life story that just happens to be in a space opera setting. I chose a character who’s space opera level awesome — in music, and his immediate family. Richie’s a very talented young man struggling to balance being a stay-at-home dad to two rather hyper little girls with trying to further his music career. His wife, a xenoanthropoligist and xenoarchaeologist is pregnant with their third child. His husband is a masseuse who goes back and forth on whether or not he wants to give it up and become a full-time musician.

First line: Somewhere out there in the tri-galaxies, one of Richie’s older sisters was fighting to free a world from tyranny.

17) Kristark’s Coronation

Status: Complete. Needs an editing pass before posting.

Synopsis: It’s the coronation of the Mugdaran emperor from Jake’s Last Mission.

First line: “Kristark Zadeem Hulvim kir Pladeen, I, Ziran Fithin kir Zixat, the traditional leader of the Velmin clan, approve you as Emperor,” the aged Mugdaran man said, bowing his head deeply and then returning to his seat.

Works In Progress Update

June 12th, 2013

Welcome to a new, (supposedly) regularly scheduled feature where I tell you all about everything I’m currently writing.  Except the stuff I forget to put on the list because, yes, I have THAT many works in progress.

Any weird formatting is because I copy/pasted this from my other blog (not linked here, never will be. It’s non-professional.) and then edited it.

The list:
1)  The Search for the Crown of Eldrete, Kavaliro Cousins Book One:

Status:  This is currently getting footnotes and some last edits, then it’ll get formatted, then will be coming soon to an (e)bookstore near you!  There will also be a physical version for those who prefer their books on paper.

Synopsis:  Lyndsey, the descendant of a legendary guardian faeshir (warrior priest, basically), a ninja/fighter pilot/rebel-for-hire/cocky adrenaline junkie meets her distant cousin Taliza, a guardian faeshir, while they’re both fighting to liberate the same world.  There are many complications — enough that I eventually had to make a conscious effort to stop adding more so some could start being resolved!, but in short, two bad guy groups have joined together and are taking things from temples from major worlds to try to fulfill an ancient prophecy.  As the title hopefully makes clear, the first book is mostly about them trying to find one specific one.

First line: “You’re a guardian faeshir, aren’t you?” Lyndsey asked, seeing the expert swordsmanship of the rebel woman fighting by her side.

2)  Retaking Vindoc:

Status:  This is so far all of 301 words long, but I’m sure it’ll be awesome if I ever figure out where I’m going with it.

Synopsis:  Nearly fifteen years ago, the Daggers, a group of rebels-for-hire, failed to help the people of Vindoc avoid being forcibly removed from their world when the Terran Confederation decided to repurpose it.  Today, they and some of the rebels have a plan to take it back.

First line: There were tears in Darrien Hawke’s eyes, tears he refused to let fall, as he boarded the last Dagger ship leaving Vindoc.

3)  Vengeance:

Status:  This story is driving me batty.  I know what happens, more or less, but WHEN is being a bitch to figure out.  So far, I’ve had to rewrite the first chapter twice, and it needs a third rewrite, JUST because I changed my mind about when it’s set.  Then I realized that a big part of the problem is that the prologue and the first chapter are set at least a year apart, actually.  EVENTUALLY this will get written.  Probably.  Hopefully.

Synopsis:  Five years ago (Or however many it ends up being!), a group of Daggers rescued Serena from the clutches of the nefarious Dr. Greenbriar.  Greenbriar’s work was set back many years in the process, and the High Chancellor of Anerix started watching his head scientist much more closely.  Now Greenbriar has hired an old friend to deal with the Daggers who were involved, before going after Serena herself again.

First line: Janoke Greenbriar grinned as he read the report an aide had brought him a nulair earlier.

4)  Jake’s Last Mission:

Status:  Needs another editing pass or two.  I thought it was ready to publish.  Then I found more superfluous commas.  This is my favorite of the things I’ve written, so I’m very much looking forward to publishing it.

Synopsis:  Mithoska Jake Kavaliro is ready to retire.  He’s been commanding the Defesa Lâmina since before some of it’s current crew were born.  Unfortunately, on his last patrol he runs into a Mugdaran ship that’s commander wants to restart a war that’s been over for twenty-five years.  And the Mugdaran emperor has just died and there’s a group trying to convince the new emperor to go to war with Sweytz — the world Jake is from — already.  And that’s just the biggest problem he’s dealing with.

First line: The klaxons blared, awakening Mithoska Jake Kavaliro from his sleep

5)  Bobby Immigrates To Anerix:

Status: This has been stuck for ages and really, I’ve already written the most interesting part of it, I think, so I don’t know if it’ll ever be finished.

Synopsis:  Bobby Kavaliro is fifteen and, in his own words, has nothing going for him except “a gorgeous girlfriend and a warhero father”.  So, sick of living in the shadow of his older sister and his father, he decides to immigrate to Anerix, a world that’s not a dictatorship because it’s High Chancellor says so in his speeches.  Seriously.  When his parents refuse to give permission, he pisses off just about everyone important to him.  Then he runs away.  Then he discovers that the only thing he’s qualified to do is join the infantry.

First line: I was fifteen.

6)  Bobby Meets Karen:

Status:  It’s been stuck for over a year as I’ve tried to expand it.  It NEEDS expanding — it reads more like an outline than a story as is, so I’m not sure what the problem is.  I’ve just printed a new copy of the old version and am going to try to continue the first-person expansion.  If it stays stuck, I’ll start over in third person and see if that fixes it.
Synopsis:  Bobby Kavaliro is now one of the Anerix military’s assassins (which don’t exist, honest, it says so right on this document here).  As far as they know, anyway.  He’s actually been a deep cover spy for the past few years, and the pressure is starting to get to him.  He meets a beautiful woman on vacation, they fall in love, and . . . this one is hard to summarize.  It’s a love story.  It’s just a love story involving a ninja/assassin/spy/total fucking moron so it gets . . . complicated.

First line: This is exactly what I needed, I thought, leaning back against a tree in Thil Park on Sarglerich and starting to tune my loothin.

7)  Untitled Fantasy Story:

Status: I’ve had the idea for the bit with the demon summoning and the final fight with the bigass demon for about seven years now, and have had the bit with the elf dude written for about two, but can’t seem to get any of the rest of it to take shape.  It’s getting frustrating.  Every time I think I know what happens next, something distracts me before I can get pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and it gets lost.

Synopsis:  Dude is the first elven mage in a very, very long time.  Baddies are about to summon a very nasty demon.  Elf dude directed by goddess of magic to a party she’s led into the forest.  They don’t get to the baddies in time.  Rest of book (series?) going to be about fighting demonic forces, culminating in a showdown with the very nasty demon.

First line:  “All smoke and no substance.”

8)  The Fall of Drochslem, possibly book one of a multibook thingy:

Status: This is dark, and depressing, and I’m really not sure I ever want to write it and don’t just want to, instead, mention it in other things because while what happens here is a very, very big part of why Vik is the way he is in later stories, I think it would take some of the . . . something . . . away from him to actually detail what broke his mind, instead of leaving it vague.  But, on the other hand, it seems wrong some how to NOT write something that I’ve already made five attempts at.  Though this could just be clear proof that I really don’t understand the words “Give up.”

Synopsis:  The situation in Vorton is worse than the Daggers expected, and what they expected was already terrible.  Very quickly, Viktor Blue finds himself stabbed in the heart by a Dichidian warbeast, then captured from the hospital, and then enslaved by the Dichidian Warlord Drochslem.  While there, he’s beaten, starved, and forced to witness people being eaten alive.  He escapes, but his sanity is pretty much gone.  A couple of years later, not as recovered as tries to convince himself he is, against the advice of just about everyone, including his psychiatrist, he goes back to Dichid with an invasion force and is personally responsible for Drochslem’s death — while very nearly causing his own, and his sanity takes another blow.

First line: “Run, Lance!”

9)  Tales From The Sword & Scroll Tavern:

Status:  I wrote most of this years ago now.  Some of the stories are on the website already.  Some are being reworked into longer stories.  I love my frame story and would still love to do something with it, so I might just take the frame story and write new stories to fit it, maybe salvaging a couple from the old version that can be saved with a bit of revising.  Or I might just go “Well, it was a good idea, too bad it fell apart.”  I don’t know.

Synopsis:  Yugovians don’t tend to leave their world, except for those Called to be Travellers.  Travellers travel around, collecting stories which they then bring home to tell the other Yugovians.  This is a collection of the stories one Traveller picked up in The Sword & Scroll Tavern, one of the finest taverns on Sweytz, an excellent place to collect all kinds of stories as it is frequented by Daggers, Special Forces guys, and spacers from three galaxies, courtesy of the wormholes near Sweytz and the tavern’s diverse liquor selection.

First line: It was a very cold evening when I disembarked from my craft at the Delthakk spaceport.

10)  Lance Picks Up A Stray:

Status:  This one is driving me nuts to try and revise.  I can see two different paths I can take to doing so:  I can either add more subplots, so that the two disconnected ones there are fit better, and change the title to something reflecting the kind of story it’ll be then (more slice of life-y); or I can cut out both subplots and have to rewrite big sections that at least reference them, even if they don’t play a part in the actual story of Lance and the kid.  So basically this one is on the back-burner until I feel like experimenting with it to see which works better.  It’s the longest thing I’ve ever written, and it feels like the whole structure is kind of screwed up.  Yay.

Synopsis:  Captain Lancelot Reddige, former orphaned space rat, now commander of an elite unit — basically the cultural equivalent of these guys http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Registry_of_War_Criminals_and_Security_Suspects – tries to help out a young space rat, who reminds him very much of himself at that age by giving him some money.  He ends up inadvertently getting the kid in trouble.  Feeling very bad about this, and discovering that the kid has been very badly mistreated by a past benefactor, he takes the kid in, and the kid learns to trust again.  Eventually, the kid ends up offered a position on Lance’s daughter’s pirate ship, which is pretty much the boy’s dream come true.  And a bunch of other shit happens that’s not relevant to this so I really probably should just cut it unless I can incorporate it more smoothly.

First line: “Where did you get this from?!” said a gruff, angry voice from the food stand Lance was passing.

11)  Tapestry of Life/Life in the Tri-Galaxies (There’s a bit of disagreement between my husband and I over which is a better title.  I think Tapestry of LIfe sounds like a different genre altogether than slice-of-life stories in a space opera setting.):

Status:  Oops.  I totally forgot to finish editing this!  It’s the stories from the website, plus a couple more I think, edited and put in an ebook.  It’ll be free!

Synopsis:  It’s a short story collection.  It’s mostly random vignettes and other such “too short to not feel bad charging people for” things.  These vary quite a bit, being everything from a tale of two people realizing they were in love — two tales, actually, one from each young woman’s perspective, to a tale of Bobby Kavaliro and his best friend ending up in a bar owned by an ex-girlfriend/fuckbuddy (depending on which one you ask) of his who wants him dead, to the tale of someone losing her parents at a very young age to Dichidians.

First line: The little family sat beside the river trying to catch fish.

12)  Second Kavaliro Cousins book:

Status:  Being written.  The beginning is going to need some heavy revising as I was wrong about when it’s set when I started writing it.

Synopsis:  The Daggers and the rebels aren’t doing as well as everyone had hoped they’d be by now.  And there’s clearly a traitor in the ranks, as Darrien is dealing with assassination attempts nearly every day.  Lyndsey and Taliza are put in charge of securing a spaceport that’s fallen into enemy hands.  Then more stuff will happen!

First line:  Taliza was waiting for Lyndsey when she got off her ship.

13)  War Games:

Status:  I forgot until I just read this list that I’ve actually started this!  I’ve got the first 203 words already!  I’ll add more sooner or later.

Synopsis:  The Sweytian Defense Force Special Forces and the Daggers in war games against each other.  I’m pretty sure the main focus will be on Lyndsey Kavaliro-Blue, Dagger, and her boyfriend, Rusark I-Can’t-Remember-His-Last-Name-Right-Now, Sweytian Defense Force Special Forces officer, being competitive.  And horny.

First line:  Both men would’ve rather been back on Sweytz, talking this over at The Sword and Scroll Tavern.

14)  Untitled supers story

Status:  Not started, as I get teary-eyed over missing City of Heroes every time I try to start still.

Synopsis:  Good guys versus bad guys!  Yeah, I might need to do a little planning here.

15)  Bobby Meets Kira

Status:  This depends on where I end Bobby Meets Karen.  If it goes to when he’s working on the dojo on Sweytz, then this’ll be rewritten to fit in it.  If not, then this just needs an editing pass or two before going up on the website.

Synopsis:  Bobby Kavaliro meets one of his fellow ninja’s hot young fiancée.  In typical Bobby fashion, he says something stupid and pays for it.

First line:  “Yum.”

Some stories coming soon

April 20th, 2013

Because it would seem that Shanny doesn’t think this is important to know, I’m taking the opportunity to inform of a pair of new Universal Nexus stories coming very soon (like around June).

It’s a duology (or possibly longer) of short novels — each approximately the same length as Stolen Time.

It tells of the epic struggle to free a cluster of worlds in Galfarra from wicked Neo-Imperialists and their allies!  In the processes Lyndsey meets up with a distant cousin from a long lost branch of the family tree (well, technically it’s Lyndsey’s branch that’s long lost, but since they knew right where they were the whole time …).

It’s very cool, you should check it out when it goes on sale.

That’s a nice feeling

February 27th, 2013

Finishing a story, that is. Well, finishing the first part of one, anyway. It was supposed to be just one novel, but given the way it’s developed, it’s going to be two or more novellas instead, because of changes in focus and tone that are necessary as it shifts from being about searching for something the bad guys took to being about liberating worlds from the bad guys.

Started July 24, 2012. Finished first draft February 27, 2013. 27,831 words. Not too bad, considering I wrote the first roughly 1,000 words in just a few hours that early morning in July and then it sat, untouched, until November, when I wrote all but the last approximately 5,000 words . . . and then I had bronchitis, and then it was Christmas, and then I had the stomach bug from Hell, and then next thing I knew, it was February and I hadn’t written anything but some vignettes and drabbles in months. It needs proofreading very badly — I shouldn’t type while sleepy, apparently — and some little scenes added, to flesh out the impact the stuff going on has in the bigger picture of the setting, but the first part of the STORY is done.

Now if I just had a title that didn’t suck. The title, “Kavaliro Cousin”, was from when I thought it was just going to be a little vignette about Lyndsey meeting a distant cousin. Little did I know when I started writing it that they were fighting against an allegiance of two of the biggest villainous groups in that quarter of the galaxy.

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