My wife left on a road trip to visit her family and took the kids. At my new job, I haven’t accrued enough time off yet to go with her. So I stayed home. If you’re used to three screaming children, then an empty house for a week is really odd.
Since I had no distractions, I vowed that I was going to do two things while they were gone, work out religiously, and get as much writing done as possible. Well, one out of two ain’t bad, since I failed totally at exercising, and managed to eat pizza for approximately half of my meals. There are a lot of pudgy writers out there.
While still working 40 hours at my finance manager job, I managed get a ton of really good writing done. I’d come home from work, sit down, and start writing until I was too tired. Thursday night was hosed because that was Nightcrawler’s last night in town before shipping out, so we ate Thai food and then Echo Tango showed us videos of him doing SCA fighting until midnight. That’s a quick, angry, little man, especially with a sword. Friday night was shot because I taught a CCW class. (but I brought home all the leftover pizza and have been living off of that until Sunday morning).
Saturday I got up at dawn and wrote until 8:00 PM, when I joined a couple other local authors at a local Star Bucks to talk about writing, shoot the bull, and show each other what we were working on. Not being a coffee drinker, I had a strawberry smoothie. Nice. Saturday was a 9,400 word day.
So as of this morning I’ve got 28,600 words done this week. I’m a little fried, and will be taking a break until church. When I get back though it is back to the grind. My family should be home tonight, so I’m shooting for an even 30,000 words in one week. I’ve not accomplished that kind of volume since I was unemployed. I’ve not even played Call of Duty ONCE!
Though I did rent the movie Splinter, which was absolutely excellent. When anything I write gets made into a movie, Jill Wagner gets a part automatically, because she’s a gunnie in real life, CCWs, and actually keeps her finger off the trigger even though her character was supposed to not know guns. (you can even see it on the back cover of the box). Cool monster too. Reminded me of John Carpetner’s Thing.
My current project is the Grimnoir Chronicles, an alternative history/fantasy that takes place in the summer of 1932. I’m really excited about this, as I get to combine hardboiled pulp, an epic fantasy style magic system, alternative history weirdness, super SCIENCE!, all with a secret society dedicated to fighting evil lead by Black Jack Pershing and John Moses Browning. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to battle teleporting ninjas while riding a flaming magic dirigible during the great depression, then this book will be for you.
This all started because I was a panelist at a writing convention, (LTUE) and the other authors had all written some sort of fantasy, but I’d written “contemporary” fantasy. (I don’t like when people lump MHI into “urban” fantasy, because it mostly takes place in rural Alabama, and most urban fantasy is about sexy vampires and the nymphomanicas that love them. Note, I said most, not all) I figured it would be fun to write an epic sword and sorcery yarn, complete with a quest and all that goodness, but I didn’t have any good ideas for one. That’s a tough genre because everything has been done to death. (hence the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, and all tradtional fantasy creatures in the MHI world are a little “tweaked” ) Most epic fantasy is pretty much the same, with a few really good exceptions, and I wanted to be a little different, so until I could think of something original, no epic fantasy for me.
Then one day Nightcrawler was eating dinner at my house, picked up one of my kid’s comic books, and pointed out how cool Spiderman looked in the advertisement for Noir Spiderman, with aviator’s goggles, a trench coat, a revolver, and a fedora. That turned into a conversation about how cool hardboiled pulp was and a brainstorming session that lasted for about six hours while we invented a complete world.
If you can’t tell, I’m kind of excited.
So now I’m probably nearing the half way point. I’m going to shoot for around 120,000 words, with an absolute outer limit of 150,000. I learned my lesson trying to sell the 200,000 word MHI.
Other than that, MHI:2 The Rough Draft is still sitting on Toni’s desk, waitng for her feedback. My half of the Dead Six and its first sequel or done. I’m cowriting the Dead Six books with Nightcrawler, and he’s still working on his half. Then we need to edit them together, and it will be ready for submission.
Since I’m the faster writer, and I’m not the one in the military currently attending “don’t touch the red wire NOOOOOOOOO- (insert huge explosion)” school” I have more free time than he does. We have made a bet. If I finish Grimnoir before he finishes Dead Six, then he has to get all dressed up, and go with Echo Tango to an SCA event and he has to actually participate. If he finishes before I do, then Echo Tango has to wear his full suit of armor, and Nightcrawler gets to hit him with a big blunt sword for two straight minutes. So, as you can see, either way, I win. It is good to be me.
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