Friday, 19 April 2013

What's Up With Me...

So, it's occurred to me that I haven't really posted anything lately. Other than the usual SFFSat snippets, which are always fun!

To be perfectly honest, I've retreated back to myself. Okay, that sounds odd, right? Hehe, what I mean is, I've dived back into writing after a few months (well, on and off since the beginning of the year, really) where I've been in been tying up loose ends (the roll over stuff from last year) on various writing projects. It's been a bog-down of getting short story anthologies ready, Marlin shorts edited and lined up for release, and various other things that involve writing including offering the Saturday snippets.

But now, I have to switch it off and jump back into finalizing, once and for all, Bengaria's War. Looking at the original file, I started this book in 2011. It has gone through four betas in all, four drafts, multiple changes to the beginning, reverting back to the original, going back to the changed version, many head-scratching and screeching moments from me, and two short stories spawning off it that, honestly, have been very satisfying in allowing me to see which direction the beginning should go. Actually getting that done is the main problem.

Phew. And I'm still not happy with the beginning and may even brutally hack it to pieces and start wham-bam in the middle of an action scene and work my way backwards in short recollections (without it being an info dump). The rest of the story is fine...just that irritating beginning bit. I somehow see a 5th draft emerging from this all.

The idea of splitting this book into two also looms before me. Of course, I really did not want to do that but already, it spreads way past the 110K mark. Oiy! I'd thought my long rambling tales had ended with the Lancaster Trilogy...but, I guess not. For now, I've decided not to even think of the word count, and just finalize it and get it to a satisfactory point.

Anyways, moving along... I've many more Marlin shorts to write, they are still only exist in note form and in my head in brief flashes of scenes. Meanwhile, a brand new story about a generation ship has also spawned but I've had to set that aside to tidy up Bengaria's War. Also set aside, is Time Fracture, something I'm working on with my brother, and a spin-off from the Lancaster world, The Grosjean Chronicles. For the moment, those two are way, way back on the burner.

And now we get to personal stuff. Starting the year out with the plague is not the most conducive way to do it. The ick left me drained both mentally and physically and took me well over three weeks to fully recover (I'm positive a new germ warfare virus has been developed!) So, my entire January went down with the snot rags and phlegm. Lovely, right? But with looming writing deadlines and commitments, it's hard to loll back and chill and be 100%. So, bring on February where I sorted out my projects in chronological order.

Aside from the ick-plague, family issues (MIL had a tumble and for a while, things were suspended as we rallied around her), day-job, dog issues (he needed a behavioural adjustment in the form of a de-balling operation), then social activities that could not be avoided if one still wants to be part of the human race and maintain friends, there finally came a much needed lull. And my thoughts and brain could finally get back into proper gear and get back into the writing groove.

So, that's it. I'm trotting along in the writing saddle right now. Keeping my head down, listening to my writing tunes, and getting this effing Bengaria's War done! 


Friday, 5 April 2013

SFFSat - April 06

Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday (SFFSat) is a place where a bunch of us post snippets from our written works and also shoot the breeze a little. And before I get ahead of myself, thanks and appreciation as always to those who stop by and leave fantastic comments.

Still featuring my new WIP (and this may be the last one from it for a bit). I've asked for title suggestions last week, and we've narrowed it down to two: LOST LEGACY, and THE ACQUISITION OF THE LEVI. (Gotta say, I'm liking the latter...)

A little preamble (sorry for the repetition)...The story is about a young woman, Ranger Serafina Derwynde, who works for the Acquisition Guild - an agency that procures and retrieves items of historical and human interest. Sort of like an official treasure hunting agency, with training and university studies specifically targeted to such items of interest and their historical background. Not to mention ways and means to successfully procure them - by whatever means (force) necessary.

Last week, Serafina and her annoying AI, Bertram, after discovering an old ship, were trying to determine whether or not it was, in fact, a generation ship - the Levi, thought to have been lost for millennia. We move along a little bit, after they've argued some, Serafina decides to get a closer look and gets into an exploration pod. (And in case you forgot, 'solam' is a word I created since it just sounded cooler than kilometers or whatever-meters. You'll see the distance parameters explained in the snippet).

In all her ten years at the Guild, four of them in intense and grueling training at the Academy, boarding and acquisitioning a generation ship had never been covered. Not even in theory. She’d be the first one to do so.

Bertram’s voice piped through the onboard communications interface. “Shida Class ships span roughly eight hundred by a thousand pre-Migration kilometers, which is our current point eight by one solam, with a capacity to sustain three to five million souls for several generations.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Markings indicate it as the ancient ship, the Levi.”
Pay dirt. The bounty on a find this big would definitely ensure her retirement; she’d be the youngest Guild member to retire. “Hail it.”

If you are interested in participating in next weeks SFFSat, just click HERE, and follow the rules. Sign up is open every Wednesday - and if you're on Twitter, use the #SFFSat hashtag.