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Long term writing updates

I was looking through some old blogposts, on a different site so don’t go looking for them here, that were writing related updates.  I thought it could be amusing/interesting to revisit these old updates and see what became of these stories.  And then I decided to do the same to one from here from last year, because I’m kind of bored and feeling utterly uninspired to write:

From November 4, 2011 (No change meant I hadn’t touched them in a month.  Reference to puppy is because I had a nine week old puppy at the time, so writing had obviously gotten complicated.):

1) Once A Hero (Bobby and Viktor go to buy brandy and end up saving the world): rejected as of yesterday. Driving self insane trying to decide whether to try a couple of other places first or epublish. Realizing that I can’t remember the last time I bought a short story magazine — oh, wait, I can, well over a decade ago, before I had internet — is making me lean more towards epublishing. After all, if I’d never see it, it’s probably safe to assume other people who’d like it wouldn’t see it if it was in a magazine either, right?

Self-published, then revised heavily and re-published.  Available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, DriveThruFiction, Smashwords, and iBooks.  I still have that “Why am I bothering?” feeling every time I submit a story to a short story magazine, but I do it because self-published short stories don’t sell.  At least not in sci-fi.  At least not without spending more marketing them than I have.

2) How Bobby and Karen Met (Three guesses what it’s about): a bit farther along than last month, but between puppy and illness, no progress for weeks.

Renamed No More Lies and should be published somehow sometime in the next year or so.

3) Viktor’s Life Story (I suck at titles): no change

Abandoned after about the fifth failed attempt.

4) Thingy Based On Early Universal Nexus Gaming (soap operatic/action-adventure/slice-of-life stories in a space opera universe): no change

Abandoned because what makes an interesting game does not necessarily make a good story.

5) Fantasy Story (Dude is the first elven magi in a very long time): no change

Abandoned because of that fucking voice of doubt I’ve blogged about before.

6) Tales From The Sword & Scroll Tavern (alien is collecting stories from people at a bar): no change

Reworked into stand alone short stories, most of which I’ve posted here under the “short stories” category.  Still love my frame story and hope I can find some other purpose for it.

7) Visiting Earth (Vik and family visit Earth and encounter difficulties with customs): got some proofreading done on what’s written of this so far, at least.

Abandoned because it was becoming too formulaic and dull.

8) The Fall Of Drochslem, Book One (the tale of how Viktor came to be Drochslem’s slave and his time as a slave): now stuck because I can think of two different, completely incompatible ways to do the next chapter, and have decided to wait until I’m fully over this damned cold to decide.

I have two half-written blog posts explaining why this might never be finished.  If you’re curious, remind me to finish one of those.

9) Lance and Jasmine Drabble Series (a story told in a collection of drabbles about Jazz’s first visit to Lance’s family): no change

Posted here under the “Short stories” category.

10) Jake’s Last Mission (Jake’s ship encounters a Mugdaran ship whose captain doesn’t feel that the war is actually over): no change

Self-published.  Available in ebook form from AmazonKoboBarnes & NobleDriveThruFictionSmashwords, and iBooks, and in print from CreateSpaceAmazonPowell’sBarnes & Noble, and BookDepository.  Also an expanded version based on the original novella that will have a different title that I haven’t decided on yet is currently being written and will be out . . . let’s call it a year after No More Lies for now.

From October 29, 2012:

1)  Story I started Thursday is already at 7,100 words.  My longest completed work is only 7,600 or 7,700 words.  I’m not sure how this much word count has happened, but I’m quite liking it.  Pretty much know how the story is going to end now, just got to get there.  Not sure how much more will happen be betwixt now and then.

I’ve explained elsewhere what I learned from that first NaNoWriMo experience, and that that story is presently being rewritten as two different stories.  My longest completed work now is around 120,000 words.  And 7100 words in five days is on the low end of average for me now.  The story I’m talking about there, by the way, ended up around 40,000 words.

2)  Since I’ve discovered that I am, apparently, capable of writing a thousand plus words a day, I’ve been considering doing NaNoWriMo to force myself to work on a superhero idea that’s been in the back of my head for some time.  It’d be in a “Not City of Heroes, honest, I swear!” setting.  Until I revise it.  Then it will probably end up something so different that even I can’t always remember what was originally what, like Universal Nexus has.

Thousand plus words a day?!  Yeah, if I don’t hit 2000 any day I write now, I start trying to figure out what’s wrong, with the story or myself.   I never have done that supers idea.  Or that other one I came up with.  Or the third one.  Hmmm . . . maybe when I finish or abandon one of my current projects, I’ll tackle that genre.

3)  I keep seeing people saying things like “My finished novel will be about 100,000 words”.  I am confused.  How do you know how long something will be until you write it?  I expected the story from point 1 to be 1,000 to 2,000 words, based on how long most stories based on my first thing in the morning ideas turn out, but as I had no clue where it was going to end at the time, I’m not really surprised it’s ended up longer.

I think I’m getting better at tailoring my ideas to be certain lengths by choosing what to focus on.  That said, there’s a bit of wishful thinking in the lengths on my progress bars.  I’d rather write shorter works because then I can move on to new ideas sooner.  I’ve got to start writing and editing faster!

4)  What is the correct etiquette when a work by someone else directly inspires something you write and publish?  It’s not fanfic, just a phrase in a novel I read that led to a short story in Universal Nexus.  Free copy?

I actually asked someone in publishing about that, and was told that, yes, that is the polite etiquette.  So the inspirer was sent a copy both times this happened.

From August 8, 2013 (since I seem to have skipped doing one of these for several months after this) (comments from today in red because I got tired of arguing with WordPress over formatting):

(Yes, this IS supposed to go in my professional blog. But it’s not working right now for no reason that I can think of.)
I don’t think I ever figured out what was up that day.

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) 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.

Totally forgot about it.  Not sure why I listed something that was only 301 words.  If I counted everything I’d gotten that far on as a work-in-progress, that’d be a hell of a list.  Is an interesting idea.  Might revisit it some day.

2) 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.

Abandoned, for the moment.  The ending of Stolen Time sets up a sequel.  This was to have been that sequel.  But it’s been constantly plagued by various timeline issues.  Basically finding a time when all the characters we want to be involved can be involved has proven impossible.  I have some vague ideas though, and might discuss these with Jaye later.

3) 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

Already talked about.

4) 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.

Didn’t work well as a story.  Relevant bits were incorporated into exposition in No More Lies.

5) Bobby Meets Karen:

Status: This was going along quite smoothly when I suddenly got hit by inspiration for another story which kind of took over my brain. As I don’t want to smack the characters in the other story nearly as often as I do Bobby, it’s more fun to write.

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.

Already talked about.

6) 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.”

Already talked about.  What’s bugging me, now, is the number of things I kept on this list for two years without touching at all.  Self, when you haven’t touched something in two fucking years, it’s no longer a work-in-progress!

7) 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!”

Already talked about.

8) 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.

Already talked about.

9) 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 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.

This is that first NaNoWriMo project, so already talked about.

10) 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: Jaye and I both want to work on editing this, alas never at the same time. So progress is not happening. Though she did write some intro bits the other day.

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.

Most of the stories in this are somewhere on the website . . . and most of them that I haven’t already posted on this blog specifically aren’t in good enough shape for me to want to link to them.  Some of them are so rough that Jaye and I have discussed taking them down completely.  If I had less on my plate, maybe I’d edit them and do the short story collection or collections thing.

11) Second Kavaliro Cousins book:

Status: Over 11,000 words in and I realized I started in the wrong spot and cut 9,000 words. Then, before I could write any more, I was questing in Ashenvale and suddenly realized I was going about things all wrong and totally losing the space fantasy feel of the first book. So it’s been started over.

Synopsis: The rewrite isn’t far enough long yet for me to really know what’s going on.

First line: Polthaina had been attacked by enemies so often in its long history that the entirety of the world was covered in ruins.  

I did a whole blogpost about why I abandoned this not so long ago.

12) 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. I’d make it a drabble series, but the first bit is perfect as is and it’s 202 words.

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.

I decided to combine it with #17 in this list.

13) 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.

Already talked about.

14) 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.”

I can’t remember if I’ve posted this one or not.  If not, I should clean it up and do so.  It’s fairly amusing, as I recall.

15) 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, so I’ll amend this to not much), 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 xenoanthropologist 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.

Reworked into one of the viewpoints in Intertwined Lives, my possibly permanently on hiatus serial.  I’ve considered writing a Richie novel from a different point in his life, but I don’t have any concrete ideas yet.

16) 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.

Included at the back of Jake’s Last Mission, to the complaint of some reviewers who felt it added nothing, clearly not getting that it was just a fucking related short story that I was including for free, not another bit of that story!

17) Rusark and Lyn

Status: Stuck because Lyndsey wants to describe herself in a very Sue-ish fashion, and I won’t let her. And because I jinxed it by posting about how well it was going.

Synopsis: It’s a love story between the Sweytian Defense Force Special Forces new martial arts instructor and a member of Darrien’s Daggers who is infamous among the SDFSF guys for her comments insulting them.

First line: I sat down at the kista table opposite one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen. 

want to write this.  It was partially included in Intertwined Lives, but I think I only got one of Rusark’s chapters up.  I think the problem is that Rusark just isn’t that interesting a viewpoint character, and Lyndsey is so egotistical that it’s hard to write from her viewpoint without feeling like I’m writing a Mary Sue.  Which I just realized is a fucking stupid reason to avoid writing a story.  So this is officially the next project on my to do list.  It, then the supers story.

18) The Art Exhibit

Status: Possibly complete. I’m not really sure. It’s one of those “Fine, characters, since you won’t leave me alone I’ll write this!” things. It’s not really even a vignette, I don’t think. It’s more like two almost disconnected scenes that just happen to take place at the same event.

Synopsis: There’s an art exhibit showcasing works about the Dichidian War. Viktor Blue, Slayer of Drochslem, and his brother, one of the artists featured who was formerly a Dagger sniper, have a very touching conversation. And then there’s the bit with the queen that doesn’t connect to it.

First line: Viktor stood in front of the painting with the somewhat pun-y title The Fall of Drochslem and felt tears stinging his eyes.

I combined this with another vignette about Vincent into a story called “Hope” that I’m currently waiting for a rejection letter for.  I’m not being pessimistic.  I discovered after submitting it that Word had stripped out all of my quotation marks when I tried to fix the fact that some were smart quotes and some weren’t. Fuck.  I have one more market to submit it to after this, and then it gets self-published, because know it’s awesome, regardless of what all the editors who’ve rejected it think.

From October 17, 2014:

I’m changing the format to make this easier to read and a lot less stream of conscious.

This looks enough like the last list that I’m kind of wondering what format I was using between the two.  I’d go look, but I probably have something I should be doing by now, like eating lunch since it’s after 3:30.

I’ve made very little progress in anything this month.  That’s a bit depressing.  I’m blaming Patrick Rothfuss.  I keep losing hours to The Name of the Wind.  It’s an awesome book that I highly recommend.  Anyway, NaNoWriMo is coming up, and hopefully I’ll have 50k words added to one of these at the end of November.  Or 25k and 25k more of No More Lies edited.  I haven’t decided which I’m doing yet.

I combined several into Intertwined Lives and worked on it.

  1.  Richie

Synopsis:  Slice-of-life in a space opera setting about an up-and-coming rock star trying to juggle that with family life.

First paragraph:  Somewhere out there in the tri-galaxies, one of Richie’s older sisters was fighting to free a world from tyranny.  Somewhere out there, another of his older sisters was engaging in a bit of smuggling.  He, however, was in the nursery of his house in Namenlose Province, Sweytz, trying to convince his daughters to take a nap.

Present status:  1,622 words written, possibly stuck

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

Already talked about.

  1.  Kayden

Synopsis:  Slice-of-life in a space opera setting about a stay-at-home dad, his apprentice jeweler husband, their baby girl, and Kayden’s large family, most of whom are in some sort of exciting career.  Focus would be on the contrast between his life and that of his siblings.

Present status:  Vague ideas

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

Abandoned because Kay proved horribly boring.

  1.  Bobby’s Daughter

Synopsis:  This is sort of a sequel to the novel I’ll have coming out next year, No More Lies.  Twentysomething years after it, someone shows up on Bobby,’s the main character of both stories, porch claiming to be his daughter.  A bit of self-loathing occurs and disappointment from just about everyone, then adventure will happen.  And a bit of stupidity.  It’s a space opera, though a bit small scale for one.

First paragraph:  The knock on the door surprised me a bit.  Most people who’d be visiting unannounced at that time of day would’ve just walked in.  I slid a knife into my left hand and opened the door with my right, figuring I could never be too cautious . . . especially after the shit with Andrei last year.

Present status:  4,172 words written, have possibly plotted myself into a corner and need to rethink things

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

Now called Dangers of the Past, and I’m rewriting what I’ve already got because I had some timeline problems.

  1.  Giant Space Spider

Synopsis:  In a different, more pulpy space opera setting than the other works, a ship goes to investigate a world no ship has ever been able to get past.

First paragraph:  No one knew what lurked beyond Alzas.  Spacer rumors had put everything from ancient evils from before the dawn of time to pirates very determined to keep their stronghold secret.  All that was known for sure was that something was there, and that something didn’t let anyone past.

Present status:  789 words written, possibly stuck

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

This is another one that I dearly want to write.  Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to get further than this.

  1.  Jake’s Early Years

Synopsis:  This is a prequel to my novellaJake’s Last Mission.  This would be the story of how Jake went orphaned ranch hand to military officer.  It’ll start a space western and shift as it goes on to military space opera.

First paragraph:  “I can quit school.  I already know how to read and do math and such.  I can figure out anything else, Dad,” I said, sounding as mature as I could at eleven years old.

Present status:  Don’t know how many words written as some is handwritten.  I idiotically switched from third to first person, so I’ve got to decide which I’m using and rewrite the rest.

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

Abandoned at present while I try to figure out how exactly I want to do this.

  1.  Second Kavaliro Cousin

Synopsis:  Lyndsey and Taliza, the main characters from my novella The Crown of Eldrete, and a team are going to Polthaina to try to secure the space port and naval base with the help of local rebels.  Someone’s been feeding the bad guys intel.  It’s space opera.

First paragraph:  When Lyndsey got to the bridge of the yacht, Taliza was already there and talking to someone.  “I understand that,” she was saying, “but we’re unarmed, so clearly there’s no reason to fire on us.”  Taliza hit the button that let other occupants of the bridge hear what was being said over the comm.

Alternate first paragraph:  Polthaina had been attacked by enemies so often in its long history that the entirety of the world was covered in ruins.  Lyndsey paused to try to read an inscription on a vine and moss covered arch in one of these ruins.  “Hey, Cousin?  You got any clue what this says?”

Present status:  2,553 words written in one version, 363 of another.  The existence of two different versions that are that incomplete should make clear how very badly this story is going.

Aiming for:  Novella

Already talked about.

  1.  Lyn, Rek, Ana, and Bobby Have An Adventure

Synopsis:  This is set years before the Kavaliro Cousins series when Lyndsey’s wife, Anastasia, was a Dagger (rebel-for-hire) too.  She and Lyndsey were on a mission when they ran into Bobby (from No More Lies and Bobby’s Daughter) and his best friend, Rek, who are on a mission for the Sweytzian Defense Force Special Forces.  The two groups are targeting the same organization, but for different reasons.  It starts with Rek’s disguise being good enough to fool Lyndsey so she shoots him, and things go downhill from there.  This one is also space opera.

First paragraph:  Son of a fucking bitch! Lyndsey thought as the guard got into sight.  He was looking right at her.  Guess I’m not as well hidden as I thought.  With a quick prayer, she pulled her holdout blaster and shot the guard.  Having not taken the time to aim, the bolt only scorched his leg a bit.  Should at least slow him down some, she thought, quickly hitting a button on her comm with the hand that didn’t have a blaster in it.

Present status:  6,809 words written.  Might need to back up a bit and rewrite from there.

Aiming for:  Novella or novel

Abandoned because it was stuck for so long that I decided to quit trying to push a story that didn’t want to happen.

  1.  Magi

Synopsis:  Elianthir has just become a mage.  His grandfather died under mysterious circumstances years ago.  His girlfriend, who’s a member of his hometown, just found brutally killed sheep.  An evil mage is somehow involved in all of this.  That’s all I know so far.

First paragraph:  Elianthir touched the intricately carved silver cover of the codex with trepidation.  He knew that once he opened it, all of his grandfather’s hard won knowledge would disappear from its pages.  The words — those the Order of Tylar considered important anyway — had been carefully copied into the Grand Codex of Tylar, of course.  But that didn’t stop Elianthir from feeling like he was about to destroy something of great value, to destroy the last remaining bit of his grandfather, who’d vanished in a cloud of pale blue smoke while fighting a telazir years before.

Present status:  2,619 words written.  I need to do some world-building first.

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

If I ever got around to doing the world-building, I could probably manage this.  But I think I want to tackle that fantasy travelogue idea first to kind of ease myself into writing fantasy.  Maybe they’ll be in the same setting.

  1.  Loving Her

Synopsis:  Renata, Bobby’s sister and Lyndsey’s mother, is stabbed in the lung and nearly dies.  The story contrasts the way her husband of thirty-three years and her “not-a-boyfriend” of a year and a half handle this, and the “not-a-boyfriend” realizing he can’t keep up the charade that he doesn’t love love her.  Her marriage is open, so this has nothing to do with a love triangle or anything like that.  This will be a romance in a space opera setting.  It also will have stuff about her debating retiring from being a Dagger.

First paragraph:  Renata and I had been enjoying each other’s company in my tent when the alarm sounded.  Within moments, ((enemies)) were pouring into the camp from every direction.  The battle was long and hard, but I don’t remember much about it now.  Nothing about it was nearly as important as what happened near the end.

Present status:  2,601 words, and some bits here and there from a writing exercise thing that I might be able to incorporate, written.  This and two of the other things on this list have overlapping timeframes and characters, so I . . . am getting an idea that I’m not sure I’ve actually got the skill to pull off, especially as the plots, themes, etc. don’t really . . . wait, I just might be able to make this work!  Hmmm . . . this, 3, 2, 1, and 12 may all end up combined into one longass, about as many viewpoints as A Song of Ice and Fire story.  Maybe.  Or this could be a “sounds good at 4 in the morning” idea and tomorrow I’ll be like “What the fuck was I thinking?!”

Aiming for:  Novel

This is the one that last blogpost of mine about titles was about.

  1.  Super Hero Story

Synopsis:  Super villain stole an important thing.  Super hero team that usually deals with such things is too well known to super villain, so they’re recruiting a new team.  I think I was planning to go with something Avengers like . . . new team learning to work together while thrust into the crucible sort of thing.

First paragraph:  The red energy field contained by the pentagon pulsated.  Mona Cathar, known to most as the Pink Spider, studied it from afar, daring not to get close enough to be tempted to try to touch it.  The others present, actual scientists, unlike her, jabbered about “revolutionizing our understanding of Quaglon science” and “non-electrical power” and other such things.  Mona, however, saw one thing when she looked at it:  Money.

Amount already have:  372 words written.  Pretty sure this is stuck, which is sad.  I have the bad guys and their motivations, but the good guys are proving much harder.

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

Already talked about.

  1.  Viktor’s Life Story

Synopsis:  Viktor has finally conceded to have an official biography written, decades after killing the tyrant Drochslem and bringing peace to the Vorton galaxy.  That’s the frame story to him telling the tale of how he went from quiet bookish teenager to war hero to Dagger to Drochslem’s slave to Drochslem’s killer to crippled bar owner, poet, and professor.  Space opera, needless to say.  Space fantasy to a certain extent too, I think.

First paragraph:  I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d expected Viktor Blue to look like, but it certainly wasn’t the gentleman standing in front of me.  His silver hair, the only part of him that betrayed his age, hung to just past his waist, part of it pulled back in an elaborate braid.  His clothing was much like that his husband normally wears, but tamer:  a loose, long-sleeved white shirt with ruffles at the cuff and collar; a black vest with silver embroidery; black silk pants; and black boots polished to a gleaming shine.  His jewelry was plentiful, but simple and understated, save a pair of silver filigree earrings he absent-mindedly untangled from his hair as he limped towards me.  There was a black cane with a pearlescent handle next to his chair, but he’d left it behind.  He was tall with piercing blue eyes and spoke in a cultured baritone.  He sighed softly before asking, “You’re the Royal Historian, I presume?”  His accent was odd, which I didn’t find surprising since he hadn’t learned to speak Allurian until he was in his thirties.

Present status:  1,111 words written.  Like this story, but am just not feeling inspired.

Aiming for:  Novel or series of novels

Already talked about.

  1.  Rusark and Lyn

Synopsis:  Rusark is a widowed Sweytzian Defense Force Special Forces officer.  He’s rather calm, collected, and rational.  Lyndsey is a Dagger fighter pilot/ninja who is considered eccentric, if not outright crazy, by other fighter pilots and Daggers.  The Daggers and the SDFSF are friendly rivals.  They fall in love, despite Rusark not really wanting to be involved with someone who’s so likely to die young.

First paragraph:  My new friends had decided I was going to enjoy myself that night regardless of what I wanted.  It’d only been two sulida since Tanya and I had broken up.  I’d thrown myself into work instead of dwelling on how broken-hearted I was over her behavior.  Dalrek and Harrison decided I’d thrown myself into work a little too much, apparently, and pestered me about needing to go have some fun until I’d relented.

Present status:  2,260 words written.  Have made a previous attempt at it, so the next 6000ish words will be rewriting stuff I’ve already written.  This is what I’m planning to work on for NaNoWriMo, but now that I’ve got that new idea of combining lots of things . . . ~sigh~  I’ve got to do some thinking.

Aiming for:  Novel

Already talked about.

  1.  No More Lies

Back cover blurb:  Years ago, Bobby Kavaliro ran away from Sweytz, from everything and everyone he’d ever known, lured by promises of money and power made by the smooth-talking dictator of Anerix.

A few years later Bobby came to realize how stupid he’d been and became a spy for the very world he left.

A spy posing as an assassin.

A spy whose best friend and mentor has just had his cover blown.

A spy who jilted someone who would now like to see him dead.

A spy, in other words, who needs a vacation.  And a spy who is hoping to meet someone to share his bed while on that vacation.

Bobby finds more than that when he meets Karen.  So much more, in fact, that before too long he’s moving back to Sweytz, looking for a job, and trying to quickly learn how to be a responsible adult for the first time in his life.

Meanwhile, Anerix’s High Command, now very much suspecting he was a spy, are sending assassins after him . . . and after Karen.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, Karen doesn’t believe half of what he’s told her about his past, nor is she sure she wants to be with him after she gets to know just how temperamental and immature he can be.

Bobby has to grow up fast to keep her love, deal with everything he’s missed while he was gone, try to avoid being killed, try to keep Karen safe, and try to rebuild his relationship with his family, all at the same time.

First paragraph:  This is exactly what I needed, I thought, as I leaned back against a tree in Thil Park on Sarglerich and began tuning my loothin, a break from sneaking around listening to things I could get killed for overhearing, worrying every second that somebody’s gonna figure out what I’m up to and kill me, and all the other shit that goes along with my job.

Present status:  4,111 words written in second draft.  112,000ish to go before I start looking for beta readers!

Is:  Novel

If I have to tell you what’s going on with this book, then you haven’t been paying attention to this blog at all this year.  And now it’s 60,000ish words before I look for beta readers . . . if I can find ones who understand the difference in beta reading and rewriting a story the way they’d have done it.

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