Jellied Eels

So I lost five days solid of cranking out the post-apoc tale. Nothing could be done about it, life just swaggered in through the door and got in my way. My thousand words a day minimum dried up into a festering ball of fish crap and lay on the counter, choking me with its stink. Still, this isn’t a mournful post where I curse the restraints on my time. Quite the contrary, in fact.

See, Eel Town is about as organic as it comes. I sit at my desk, pop open the word processing app and start slamming keys. Sure, it works at around the tune of 1k words per day (did I just say that?) Sometimes things go a little higher. For the better part of a week, they went a whole lot lower (I definitely just said that). Luckily, I’m a filthy little word cheat who likes to keep a project or two on the side.

While smashing out my second post-apoc western, I’ve been scribbling notes for an idea based on the old superhero jive. No, I haven’t read a comic in the better part of 30 years (Elf Quest, if you’re interested), but I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies (Orchid loves them).

Part of the reason I’ve been twitching on an outline is I noticed that although going in blind is one big bucket of crispy fried fun, it’s also damned slow. When I started this blog, I set myself a challenge of writing a 17.5k novella in 24 hours. With only 5 hours of plotting to hand, I managed to crash out that word count in less than 12. That’s a big difference in productivity (although it is kinda offset by the amount of ideas I trash at the planning stage), so I wondered if I had a kinda project-on-the-side, I’d pay less attention to the inner critic as I wasn’t working on my ‘proper’ story.

Turns out, as ideas go, it wasn’t so bad. Although I’m miles behind my previous record of 17.5k (commitments, who’d have ’em?), I have punched out 4k words since sitting down to write this morning. Since this little romp into vigilante justice is set to be about 20k long, I’ve completed 20% of the project in on sweat-soaked sitting.

What does all this waffling mean? Not a lot really, but also maybe something important. See, Tin Man (working title, obviously) is now my main project. Since my crystal ball is a little cracked, I can estimate completion by the end of the month. ‘Course, life’s a bit crazy this year, so maybe I’ll get it done by the time the kids really start chatting about Santa. If I get a lot more days like today though, I’ll be hitting that publish button a whole lot sooner.

In case you care about Eel Town, I’ve not abandoned it completely. Visser’s crouched in the mud, staring into the barrel of a sawed-off and wondering how the hell he got there. It’s an interesting position, but I’ll have to wait before I find out where it’s going. I’m enjoying both the setting and characters, so I’ll definitely return, but since it’s looking to be a (possibly) novel-length work, I’ll pick it up when Tin Man’s done. Chances are though, I’ll work on another bit on the side while I’m at it. Writing blind and plotting on the side seem to be an excellent productivity tool.

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Transmission Delayed

I’m thinking of retitling the blog.

Back in August, I had reached the last stages of editing a collection of sci fi shorts. I’d also started work on a longer space opera piece that involved swaggering through distant galaxies trying to not get shot up by bloodthirsty pirates. I probably gave working titles and expected publication dates to any who come here. As usual, when the appointed hour arrived, I was nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, I find myself on the sidelines of a legal dispute. Orchid’s ex is not only an idiot, but also the lowest form of scum. His constant imput into our lives is becoming more than a little troublesome. 

Luckily (?), due the current economic uncertainty in this fair, triangular isle to the west of Gaul, I’ve had very little work since my last post and have had plenty of time to engage in a battle that I don’t particularly want and, with Twain’s famous words in mind, probably can’t win.
Hopefully, the above will be explanation enough as to why my output dropped below my customary ‘not very much’. 
As with everything in life, there are peaks to counteract the troughs. A few days ago, I read an article on Dean Wesley Smith’s website (search pulp speed to find it). It’s a brief look at the jaw-dropping output of the ‘old timey’ masters who lived well (enough) on a cent a word. After reading it, I opened my kindle and devoured DWS’s book Writing into the Dark.
As ever, Mr Smith’s book filled me with the urge to get down the words that had been lurking at the edges of my brain fog. With every page I finished, I remembered why I started writing over 3 decades ago, how much I get from it and how stupid I’d been to worry myself into mental paralysis. 
I doubt Mr Smith’s section on overcoming the inner critic was written with the intention of reminding a hack across the Atlantic that the only way to overcome obstacles is roll up one’s sleeves and imitate Dr. David Banner’s less socially aware alter-ego, but there you have it.
For a little under a week, I’ve been working on a project set in the same universe as Scavenger Hunt. It’s not a sequel, but I’ve managed to grind my teeth and churn out around 1000 words. Admittedly that’s not a touch on Smith’s Pulp Speed 1, but it’s an improvement on recent tallies and something I damned well intend to continue.
Again, of course, troughs dwell behind the peaks and today I had to bury my poor cat.
Maybe I should retitle the blog after all.

Man, I say this A LOT!

July huh? When did that happen? I’m guessing right after June, but these days I can never be quite sure. Still, it’s only 3 months since I last updated so…

So anyway, things are awesome! The construction firm has had three months so flat that I almost poured maple syrup on them. So many keys have come off my writing machine that I’ve had to stash it in file 13 and I’m growing a bloody rhino horn. 

Despite my new snout adornment, the failing business (technically I picked up 2 contracts today, so I can eat next month) and a bout of Venusian flu, I have actually managed to get some writing done.

 I didn’t keep up my book a month game  (I’ve always had a habit of setting goals I can’t reach), but I do have a collection of short fiction in various genres ready to roll. It’s edited, formatted and just waiting for some cover art (obviously I spout about it when I’m done).

Also, I’m currently (well, not right this second) working on a bit of space opera. It goes a little something like this:

After being abandoned on a freight-hub world, a mercenary spends his time hunting vermin to gain enough money to get his kit out of hock and his arse off world. After turning down worm as a hired gun due to some personal reasons, he crosses a bunch of pirates, he finds himself picking up the gig he wanted to avoid.

There’s more to it, and it’s coming along nicely. Of course, I’d like to get it done and out by the month’s end, but we both know late August is more realistic. Again, I’ll keep you posted.

I think that’s enough from me, mostly because my take-away has arrived.

It’s grim out west

It’s April 4th. That means I’m late telling you all I missed deadline for the second supernatural adventure story. Once again I made a promise I didn’t keep. 

My reason this time? Research.
See, I had a look at my sales figures. Predayne and Scav are ticking along nicely. The graph looks like a stegosaur’s back. Even a couple of crime thrillers I wrote a few years ago (under someone else’s name) are have started moving again. Wood Hollow (as I type) has sold 2 copies.

Don’t get me wrong. I was mega excited to see that double spike. I told Lady Orchid with rabid delight then felt the sensation evaporate as I watched her face shift into a look of either guilt or constipation. Turns out Orchid and her best mate Wolfie picked up a copy each to boost my sales.

So anyway. Horror obviously isn’t my strong point. Stark has been sent to the naughty step and I’m working on something a little more spacey.

I’ll definitely get it done by the month’s end.

The beat goes on

It’s Tuesday. My hectic work schedule has been knocked back by three days (issues with other contractors) and Wood Hollow us out on the virtual shelves.

Other than stroll the dog, my diary is looking pretty empty. Lucky for me, my Random Awesome Generator is always ready to come up with something epic. This morning it tells me I’ll be doing something a little supernatural again.

Since there’s 17 days left in March, I reckon I’ll be able to get another Ryan Stark jaunt done and dusted by the first of April.

I’ll let you know how I get one

Wood Hollowed Out

Wood Hollow by [Grimaldi, J.P]

 

There it is, the cover for my latest offering. It’s just over 10k words long and retails at a MASSIVE¬† ¬£0.99/$1.20. I know that’s asking a lot, but I have a dog and jeez can she fill her jowly little face!

Here’s the link for .com version

And here’s .co.uk

If you do pick it up, I’ll love you forever (or probably only ’til Tuesday) and if you leave a review (even if you think the book sucks and I should die in an horrific ice cream-related accident) I’d probably manage to stretch out ’til Wednesday.

Aaaaand we’re done!

Wood Hollow (yeah, changed the title during the edit) is now crawling through the KDP system. I’ll receive an email when it’s good and done.

Obviously, I’ll post a link here when I can. Right now, I’m off to start a new project. I’ll let you know what I’m up to when I’ve read the runes (okay, perl generators I put together).

And That’s a Wrap

Stark Truth is done. Outlines written. First drafts typed and expanded into second draft madness.

Okay, I need to format the thing, give it one final read through then sort out the matter of a pesky cover, but the thing itself is finished.

Despite the fact I’ll probably change a couple things (most likely the title), Sand Dragon has his copy. That’s one of six (?) China Offerings made.

I think I’m done for the night, so I’m off to grab a beer, see Lady Orchid and chow down on some noodles before waking up tomorrow and working on offering numero dos.

 

Big Fat Stinky Excuses

I said I’d get Stark Truths (or whatever) finished by this evening. I said I’d have it wrapped up and ready to go tonight (despite having no cover designed as yet). I said I was awesome. I’m a big fat stinky liar.

Yep, I’m roughly one scene away from project completion (except the cover thing) and I’m calling it for the night. I could tell you that I work a manual job, it’s been a hard day and that I’m tired. I could rattle off the number of unexpected social engagement that sucked up writing hours over the weekend. I could just admit that I’m a lazy blob of lard and logging on to WoW seems like a better use of my time than writing. I could tell you all that, and I guess I just did.

I’m tired and I’m going to need a day’s extension and that’s going to make the Sand Dragon cry.

Updates. Updates. Not a lot of Updates!

Well February went fast. Shifted out the window with the speed of a greased-up burglar. I wanted to get an update on here every week of this year, but I guess that shifty little tea leaf made off with all my time and motivation.

Actually, I have plenty of motivation, it just happens to be for other projects. In my last update I mentioned my good buddy is currently living it large in China and before he left I said I’d drop him a novelette/novella every month he’s away.

The first Chinese Offering is coming along strong. I’m about 40% through the second rewrite and still set to finish up E.O.B Monday. As usual my weekend is jam packed busy, but to (mis)quote the anathema of my youth you gotta live while you’re alive and sleep when you’re dead.

The first offering will be one of six. The current is a two-fisted pulp horror yarn featuring a messed up smuggler and a group of nefarious cultists. Unlike my previous offerings, it’s set in modern day England with a low magic garnish. 

Anyway, if I’m going to get finished on schedule, I’d best bugger off back to the corner