Monday, January 6, 2014

News for the New Year

It seems absurd to get jet lag from the 1-hour flight from Milwaukee back to DC, even if the flight did include a harrowing forty five minutes waiting on the runway for nonspecific technical anomalies to be repaired. But I've definitely been feeling laggy these first few days of 2014. But never mind. The sun is up, a sudden rain last night washed away every spot of snow in the District (this is downright creepy to a Midwesterner), and I'm sort of up for blogging.

I hadn't been homesick much in 2013, but after 2 weeks back in Wisconsin in which I got to reunite with friends and family I haven't seen enough of, it's strange to be so far away from them. Maybe that's part of the 'lag' I'm feeling. Happily, I have the internet and Skype.

Before 2013 was over, I got to go rock climbing, experiment in making syllabub, and unwrapped my first ereader, a Nook HD+. Yes, it's positively huge for an ereader, but that means I can go through PDFs and browse the internet--though I'm trying to keep that latter distraction to a minimum. 'Paging' through ebooks by tapping the touchscreen rather than scrolling will be a welcome relief to my scrolling finger, which has gotten downright achy during my past few manuscript reviews.  Using Calibre, I've also been able to convert MS Word documents into .epub files, which meant I got to read a manuscript while stranded on the runway in Milwaukee. At least the time wasn't completely wasted!

Progress on Starter Guide revisions and formatting continues, including more research and practice with the use of Calibre for converting files. I also have a few more notes to make on ebook marketing from the reader's perspective (I've read something like 20 of them since Christmas, which is downright rapid even for me).

I also have new goals for 2014. High on the list is the completion of revisions to my novel, One Hundred Days, which I'll start work on as soon as the Starter Guide is finished. I'm also making significant progress on my short story series Across the Curse-Strewn World, featuring the sorcerer Aniver, his companion Semira, and their quest to rescue a city lost to rogue Time. The next installment, "For Lost Time," is forthcoming from Beneath Ceaseless Skies, where "The Storms in Arisbat" appeared in 2012. I'm currently writing the last chapter of Aniver and Semira's story...as well as the first, a novella about exactly what happened in the Glass-Clear Sea. I'm also writing a short piece about the Queen of Yesterday that might form a sort of prequel to the core trilogy of Arisbat-Lost Time-and the third story, currently known as "The Grace of Turning Back."

Usually I laugh at authors who claim to have trouble writing terrible things happening to their protagonists, but I have to tell you, "Grace" is difficult and I want to write Aniver and Semira letters of apology. I can't wait to finish. Muahaha--sob sob.

But all is not grief and loss (fictional or otherwise). In fact, with the help of Grace or otherwise, some things do return. One of those returning things is "Charismatic," a science fiction piece that first appeared in Crossed Genres Issue #21 [Invasion] and has since lapsed out of print. It has, however, been accepted for reprinting by a new magazine, Ares, which combines science fiction and gameplay in each issue. Ares is currently running a Kickstarter to fund their first year, with perks that might be of special interest to gamers--getting your face on custom designed game cards, for instance!

Draft of Ares Magazine Issue #1 Cover