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Works In Progress, July Edition

Posted by Shannon Haddock on July 3, 2013 in Uncategorized |

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.

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