Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!
This is the year that at least the first in the Scarred King trilogy will be self-published, and possibly the next two as well. Or, possibly, the editor we hired will persuade Josh to connect all three into the one novel they started life as.

2014 is the year I "joined" the 500 club, as explained by Randy Ingermanssen, the SF thriller writer in Battle Ground: once the novel has been figured out, I write at least 500 words per day on the thing, no matter what. It used to take me years, but this time I wrote a novel in two months. The next novel took three months. I don't know how long it will take me to write The Journey of Pledgekept, but I expect not too long as so much of it has already been written in other novels. I merely need to take the same scenes and rework them from his viewpoint. fun, fun, fun.

I had a good time over Christmas brainstorming another novel with my oldest. With the caveat that they all need editing, here is what we have so far in The Tales of Talifar series: The Scarred King I, The Scarred King II, The Scarred King III, Sailing From Stoneshell, Killing The Siij, Finding Home, A Little Magic, the short story The Ungols Ride to War, and the two novels I'm working on now: The Journey of Pledgekept, and the Kruliss novel. The Kruliss started out life as Binkutts, but I complained that every time I tried to think of their names, I kept coming up with Binkies. I'm still fussing about the specie's name. I'd rather they had a name that did not end in two esses. So, polar bear/centaurs that live at the poles of Talifar. Josh wanted me to write a novel with a brilliant and profound ending, but he could not tell me what that might be. So I had a species I still did not understand, no plot, and no idea what profound thing any of them might do. Generally, when writing about aliens, authors will throw in a human as a point of reference, so what if we had a slave human? What would a strong, giant alien that lives on ice need a human for?

Josh wondered if we would be too (something) if we made the slave's story something like Joseph's in the Bible. I seized on that idea like a pit bull. Think of the strength of Steinbeck's East of Eden. Okay, now what. So we started to draw timelines, and discovered that what I thought Josh wanted for the big boss battle, or the climax of the book, he actually wanted as preface to all the adventures. Aargh! So we played what if for a couple days and hammered out a rough plot that I think is going to be a lot of fun to write. I've already sent him the first chapter, and he's written back what he wants to see changed. We're using the Aleut language as inspiration for names, and Vikings for the starting point that then morphs into alien morality. We're always concerned about reasonable physics, economics, and social structures. We spent a lot of time watching on-line videos about icebergs and floes, and thinking about food and physiology. Yeah, this novel is going to be fun.

2014 I threw two novels I wrote decades ago onto Amazon for downloading onto Kindle. I haven't advertised Streets of God or Pilgrimage. I just wanted them out in case Shatterworld and its sequels ever gets published and a reader wants to read more stuff by me. Josh is trying to figure out how to push Tales of Talifar without using his GuildWars connection and thereby being unethical. If he were saying these were GuildWars stories, yeah, that would be unethical. I don't think announcing that he is an artist for them is unethical. Everybody else announces what their background is. Why shouldn't he?

In 2014, I reentered the world of the hearing (although music is still hideous noise) and found out I was allergic to much of the world. Also had a gall bladder taken out and a host of medical issues came and went, so I'm in pretty good shape now, better than in years. We sold (are selling) our house and moved into a small apt. to free up money to build a strong house for us, our autistic daughter, and her caregiver that we hope will last without needing major repairs for the next forty or fifty years. If the house and business sales go through as they look as though they will, 2015 will be a busy year of continual plan revision and building. And writing.