Sunday, September 24, 2017

Current writing projects....

I'm working on the writing the third draft of Kepler Falling.  It will take until New Years Day 2018 to get the novel done.  I'm also starting to revise and write Eternity's Edge.  That's the sequel to Kepler Falling.  I don't know whether it will just a novella or a full length novel, yet.  I started the chapter outlines last week, however....

I'm also revising Nordic Sun.  That should take until the winter of 2018 to complete.
Regards,
Blake

Friday, August 18, 2017

Want to know a secret about Sapper Joe's reading list....

Want to know a secret about Sapper Joe's reading list?  It's all audio-books!  I set out to read 30 book by the end of 2017.  I've now achieved that goal.

Being a writer, you're required to read to keep abreast of the field of new and emerging authors.  It helps to know who your competition is.  In fiction, you're labeled by what genera you write. It determines how your books are marketed and how they are sold.  The publishing houses came up with it as a way to market their "brands."  It's lazy and stupid.  Because there are many good writers who's work defies labeling.

But, it's the only game in town.  I've been reading science fiction and fantasy since I was ten (except for a break of ten years).  It's what I write and am familiar.  I also read military history and biographies.  Sapper Joe listens exclusively to military history.  He's listened to about 30 books on the Russian Civil War.  Sapper Joe doesn't read fiction and hates most commercial published works.

I read 50 pages per day/four days per week.  Two books are nonfiction.  Two books are fiction.  I read both hard copies and NOOK ebooks.  The rules for writing nonfiction are the total opposite of fiction writing.  Most authors are either nonfiction or fiction.  Then there's genera.  Science fiction and fantasy are lumped together.  They are really two separate markets.  If it involves magic and fairies and vampires, it's fantasy.  If it involves plastisteel starships, sci-fi.

Right now, there's a dearth of chick-lit vampire/zombie porn being written and marketed because that what's selling.  If it has sex and demons and no plot, that will sell, too.  There's some steampunk/alternative history, too.  Not too much military sci-fi or decent speculative fiction besides Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet Series and Melunch's Tour of the Merrimack Series.  I don't consider Star Wars/Star Trek serious speculative fiction.  It has it's fan base.  I like to think, so that leaves me out.

WH40K and the Horus Heresy series are almost as bad as Star Wars/Star Trek.  Depending on the authors, the books either well written and enjoy or a dredge to read.  I thought I'd put my two cents on my own reading.  I like popcorn military action in enjoyable amounts.  Military sci-fi is an acquired taste.  I've broadened out my reading of female military sci-fi to see who writes it well.  I've found a few pleasant surprises like William Deitz's Andromeda's War and Legion of the Damned series.

My other interest in military history.  I've read a tremendous amount on the Vietnam War and First Indochina War.  I've also read about more recent conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan.  Some recent books have included:

The Rhodesian War:  A Military History by Moorecroft; The Roman Empire and the Silk Road; Four Days in September;  A Devil of a Whipping:  The Battle of Cowpens; The Road to Guilford Courthouse:  The American Revolution in the Carolinas; The Madness of Alexander the Great; and Empire of the Summer Moon.

The reading piles has about 55 more books before I'm caught up.  I'm looking by the end of 2019 to done with all my current read.  That doesn't include the manuscripts I review and critique as part of a local writing workshop.  However, I am making progress....  lol.  However, slow.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

More rewriting/editing...

I'm about 100 pages into my rewrite of Kepler Falling.  That's probably about 1/4 of the manuscript.  It's going to take me the rest of 2017 to complete the third revision....

I'm also working on revising Nordic Sun.  That will take the rest of the year to complete, too.  However, my poetry chapbook, Lies I Was Told, is now complete.  Both it and Half A World Away need to eventually published....

Regards,
Blake

Monday, June 12, 2017

Recent writing...

Sorry for my blogging lapse.  I've spent the previous months getting manuscripts ready for publication and taking some writing workshops.  Most of the work I've submitted has been rejected.  I need to find new short story and novella markets for my speculative fiction.

I took a workshop called The First Five Pages by Jeffrey Ricker.  I found out I needed to completely rewrite my novel, Kepler Falling.  That project started in May 2017.  I should be done with it by the end of the year.  I'll need to go though and then line and copy edit my work.  That's another 3-6 months worth of work....

Needless to say, I've been rewriting since then.  I haven't had time to write anything new.  I spent several months reediting novellas and a short story.  They are need of critiques from my local writers group.  It will take the next six months to get through two novellas.  Right now, I'm working on editing a chapbook of poetry.

I've also been reading.  I signed up for a reading challenge on Goodreads.com back in January 2017.  I'm 2/3 the way through my book pledge.  I need to read more each week in order to clear my book pile by the end of 2019.  That is the goal.  Whether that happens remains to be seen...

Blake

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Completed renewed editing on Kepler Falling....

I spent the past week completing renewed editing on my novel, Kepler Falling.  The manuscript is now in need of Autocrit.com, a website that will edit and suggest grammatical and structural changes to your manuscript.  It's a paid website.  I'll see about using it this summer.  I'll use it for my other novellas that haven't been critiqued by WUTA.

I'm working on Eternity's Edge.  I don't think it'll make it into a novel.  Novella, maybe.  More like short story.  Damned my luck....

Blake

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Recent work has been short stories and novellas...

My recent work has been short stories and novellas.

I'm not sure why.  I don't know if the time I'm giving myself to write has something to do with it.  Or whether my muse has betrayed me into writing shorter fiction works.  I've spent a good part of the year editing a current work, Kepler Falling.  I finished the rough draft of my steampunk novella, Johannesburg Passage, in December 2016.

I also work a short story called Vanishing Point.  It was about a French MD who goes aboard an interstellar expedition to a tropical water world, only to be hijacked in space.  Which brings me to my current project, Eternity's Edge.  It is a sequel to Kepler Falling.  I'm about 2,000 words into it.  I have more to write this morning.  I hope it will lead into another novel.  My luck would be a novella...

Speaking of which, I've written four novellas in the past two years.  Those being Johannesburg Passage, Tales from the Red Planet, Ganbaatar, and Nordic Sun.  Tales from the Red Planet is the only one to be critiqued and ready for publication.  I also have Price of Command and the Desmon Singh stories, too.  They too have proved to be without a publisher also.

The only thing gaining traction this year is my poetry.  I have one chapbook ready for publication and a second chapbook in the process of being revised.  My poetry has always been one of my strong suites getting published. Recently, it hasn't proven to be the case.  I keep my rejection letters organized to see where I submit.  However, literary journals haven't been kind to me...  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Completed my latest rough draft of a steampunk novella

I completed the latest rough draft of a steampunk novella set in South Africa during the Boer War today.  I went through and did line editing.  This is the last manuscript I'll write.  My writing has been cursed turning into novellas.  I wanted a second novel length manuscript.  All I got was three novellas.  I started to bring the first sci-fi novella, Nordic Sun, to the weekly WUTA critique meetings.  Its my longest piece at 32,000 words.  I have another historical/fantasy work called Ganbaatar  It's set during the Mongol invasion of Russia in 1223 and is 19,900 words.  I also the steampunk novella called Johannesburg Passage.  It's a wartime tragedy.  It's only 12,000 words.

These works need weekly WUTA critiques in order to be revised properly.  I'd also like to take them through WUTA Big Books for a more thorough critique after they've been revised a second time with suggestions from WUTA's weekly critique group.  I figure it will take all of 2017 in order to get the novellas reviewed.

I also have poetry at our Maya Cafe sessions to be critiqued, too....