Contracts/Ideas/Stories

January 27th, 2015

In one of those strange confluences, today I find myself with three contracts to read and a short interview to answer. Not a bad situation to be in!

And a couple of days ago I stumbled across the seeds of what might be my next novel. It’s much too early to know, but I am very intrigued.

Also, I have a short story coming out in March, so if you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter, please do so. It’s the best way to keep in touch. The next issue I have planned will go out to announce the release of the story, titled “The Way Home.” Find the sign up form over there –> in the right sidebar.

More soon…

Hoist

January 25th, 2015

This post is for the few gym rats who might be out there — my thoughts on weight machines by Hoist.

Around Thanksgiving our local 24-Hour Fitness gym closed for a few days, and when it re-opened most of the old weight machines were gone, replaced with a new line of equipment by a company called Hoist.

My evaluation so far: I don’t like Hoist all that much — not so far anyway — although I can appreciate aspects of their equipment, and I presume as time goes by I will adapt.

The main factor that makes Hoist different is that the seat moves on most of the machines. I presume this is to get more benefit from the exercise through every angle of the lift, and this aspect is fine with me. I don’t have any objection to it.

Another positive aspect is that the hand grips on most of their machines are a material somewhat like hard-rubber, so it’s more comfortable to lift with bare hands than with gloves.

There are three factors that I don’t like:

Read the rest of this entry »

And now, to wait…

January 21st, 2015

After several weeks of intense revision, Book 3 of The Red Trilogy has gone off to Joe Monti, my editor at Saga Press. I am eagerly awaiting his opinion.

This was a difficult book to write, but I like the way it’s come together, and look forward to the improvements that will happen as I get more editorial feedback.

How long did it take to write? This question might be of interest only to other writers, but for me, when I’m in the midst of a first draft it can feel like the draft is taking forever, with very little progress. Then again, for me, progress is usually made in fits and starts, with seemingly useless days of incredible effort, followed by a day of fantastic word flow.

At any rate, looking back at my notes, I did some initial brainstorming on this story in early April, and then again in May. I tried writing the opening a couple of times, discarded most of this effort, and began again on May 12. That day I managed 1300 words. Then I didn’t write anything else until after I returned from the Nebula Awards. So let’s say around eight months to a really solid draft. For comparison, The Red took around five months, and The Trials took seven. You’d think these books would get easier to write, not harder…but at least it’s “done”–for the moment anyway!

Cover: The Trials

January 18th, 2015

And another amazing Larry Rostant cover, this one for The Trials, book 2 of The Red Trilogy, to be published by Saga Press in August.

TheTrials_600x1075

New cover: The Red: First Light

January 18th, 2015

Here’s the full image of the Saga Press cover by the amazing Larry Rostant:

TheRed_600x1075

Stealth Cover Reveal

January 13th, 2015

This popped up on Twitter yesterday:

CLICK THROUGH TWICE TO SEE IT IN FULL!

Artist is the awesome Larry Rostant.

As it turns out, the covers for both The Red and The Trials are up at Simon & Schuster’s website. The images are small, but you can find them here.

Storm!

January 4th, 2015

Late in the day on January 2nd, a predicted storm rolled in over Maui with high winds and rain. Over the last few years, the electricity has been going out at our house every time any sort of mild storm blows through — at least five outages in 2014 — so given the strength of this storm, we we were all surprised the power held out as long as it did. But around 7:30 pm two explosions announced the end of light and heat.

As expected, power was not restored overnight, so in the morning we finally had a chance to put into use the two generators Ron had picked up a few years ago. None of the earlier outages had lasted long enough to bother. The little Honda generator provided that essential of life, morning coffee:

coffee

The big Honda generator successfully ran the refrigerator all day, along with occasional use of the microwave (at the same time!), as well as charging up phones and laptop computers — all of this on one small tank of gas. I was very impressed with how well it worked. And I was able to keep working on book 3 of The Red Trilogy!

We were fortunate and didn’t have much damage — just a lot of leaves and twigs in the driveway and a few broken branches. We also collected a lot of avocados that had blown off the tree:

avocados

Oh, and there was a bit of frost on Haleakala’s summit. I think that’s ice, not snow:

Ice_on_summit

Power finally came back on at 10:30pm last night, after a twenty-seven hour outage. My gratitude goes out to the amazing, hard-working crews at Maui Electric. But at the same time, this storm ought to be a wake-up call for Maui County. We do not have a resilient electrical grid and if/when a hurricane rolls through her, the damage will be vastly more.

Writing Goals For 2015

January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year!

Back in 2011 I started posting an annual list of writing goals that I would try to accomplish in the ensuing year. “Goals” in this sense are things that I can accomplish through my own efforts and perseverance, as opposed to “dreams” which require the cooperation of others (for example, writing a novel is a goal; having a novel sell madly well is a dream).

So here are my writing goals for 2015:

1. Revise and polish the third novel of THE RED trilogy so that it’s ready for publication. (The first draft is already done.)

2. Write at least one novella set in an existing story world. I really want to write a novella, though I’m not sure why. Maybe because it feels like a novel, but doesn’t take so long? ;-)

3. Write at least two short stories unrelated to anything else I’ve done. (One story is already commissioned, so I have an extra incentive to meet this goal at least halfway.)

4. Write at least three nonfiction posts that I feel comfortable marketing to high-circulation websites. (I copied this one from last year. Maybe this year I’ll do it.)

5. I almost forgot this goal: WRITE A NEW NOVEL. But I’ll go easy on myself and call this goal fulfilled if I have a new novel planned and well begun by the end of the year.

I should be able to do these five goals. Right?

Writing Goals for 2014: The Assessment

December 26th, 2014

At the beginning of the year I published my writing goals for 2014. Now it’s time to assess how I did. And in short… I made very few of my goals. But you know what? I’m giving 2014 a big thumbs up anyway, because it turned out to be a positive year for my writing career in other ways.

So here’s how I did on my planned writing goals for 2014:

1. Revise and polish the existing first draft of my next novel, The Red: Trials. Publication is tentatively scheduled for May.

Well. I did revise and polish it, and I had it all ready for publication…and then I sold the entire series to Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. So The Red: Trials, now The Trials, will be published in 2015. Oh. And I also revised it one more time.

2. Write and finish two more Zeke Choy stories, bringing to an end the cycle that began with “Nahiku West” and continued in “Out In The Dark.” If I can pull it off, the last story will be long, maybe a novella.

Uh…nope. Didn’t even start on this. I think I’ve put this off for three years now, because all my writing time has been going to commissioned stories and novels. Expect to see this one reappear in my 2015 goals.

3. Write the initial draft of another novel. I’ve been debating what that novel should be, and though I haven’t decided yet, it will almost certainly be a sequel to something.

That was written by my younger self… and apparently I hadn’t decided yet if there was going to be a third novel in THE RED series. Well, younger self, there is indeed a third novel and I DID write an initial draft, and I am presently in the process of making that a presentable draft, so this goal gets a thumbs up.

4. Write at least three pieces of short fiction that are not part of the Zeke Choy cycle.

Nope. I wrote one short story at the beginning of the year and I did not like it. I refused to submit it to the requesting editor. :-( And the rest of the year went to novels. Well, I had a nice three-year run of short story writing. I was more prolific in 2011, 2012, and 2013 than I have ever been. Hopefully I’ll return to that in 2015.

5. Write at least three nonfiction posts that I feel comfortable marketing to high-circulation websites. (Nonfiction is very hard for me.)

Hmm…wanders off to check files…nope. No. I don’t think I wrote ANY. What was I doing with myself this year?? Oh, right. Working on three novels in various degrees of completion.

In summary, while I didn’t do everything I’d hoped, I’m pleased with what I did accomplish.

How did you do with your 2014 writing goals? Please comment. I’d love to hear from you.

The Sale is ON at Book View Café

December 25th, 2014

Memory by Linda NagataSurf on over (does anyone still say “surf”?) to Book View Café, because from now through January 1, 2015, you’ll find a lot of ebooks on sale at 50% off, in many different genres.

Included are mysteries, historicals, romance, science fiction, fantasy, and probably a few others. Epub and mobi formats are available and everything is DRM free. Forty-eight authors are members of Book View Café, and most of them have something on sale.

I’ve got three books included in the sale: Memory (nominated for the John W Campbell Memorial Award), The Dread Hammer (scoundrel-lit fantasy), and The Bohr Maker (Locus Award – Best First Novel). Find them on this page.

So please visit! There are four pages of discounted ebooks. I hope you find something you love.