Projects

Jan. 29th, 2012 12:09 pm
mmerriam: (Coffee)
I have finished outlining the contemporary non-HEA romance coming-of-age novella. Now I just need to finish writing it. And then turn it into a screenplay.

I also plan to write a story featuring the angry spirit of a derelict building, and then a couple of Arkady Bloom steampunk stories (one a riff on both Arthur Conan Doyal's "A Study in Scarlet" and Neil Gaimen's "A Study in Emerald" and the other a caper/robbery/mystery piece on a train). There is a planned story featuring U.S. Marshal William Blenchy and Lady Priscilla Talbot, characters who appeared in (and survived) The Horror at Cold Springs. (The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore Smashwords.)

I'm also thinking about working on the Spear of Destiny novel again. I think I might have grown enough as a writer to tackle that novel now. And I'd write the next Sharisha Zajicova (aka the Monster-Hunting Barista) novel if someone would buy the first one.

Projects

Jan. 29th, 2012 12:09 pm
mmerriam: (Coffee)
I have finished outlining the contemporary non-HEA romance coming-of-age novella. Now I just need to finish writing it. And then turn it into a screenplay.

I also plan to write a story featuring the angry spirit of a derelict building, and then a couple of Arkady Bloom steampunk stories (one a riff on both Arthur Conan Doyal's "A Study in Scarlet" and Neil Gaimen's "A Study in Emerald" and the other a caper/robbery/mystery piece on a train). There is a planned story featuring U.S. Marshal William Blenchy and Lady Priscilla Talbot, characters who appeared in (and survived) The Horror at Cold Springs. (The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore Smashwords.)

I'm also thinking about working on the Spear of Destiny novel again. I think I might have grown enough as a writer to tackle that novel now. And I'd write the next Sharisha Zajicova (aka the Monster-Hunting Barista) novel if someone would buy the first one.

From Here

May. 31st, 2009 09:29 am
mmerriam: (Default)
As I told [profile] mylefteye in comments, I've been hammering at Rija's Tale off and on for nearly 2-1/2 years, and the short story that was the basis for the novel was written 5 years ago. I've been with Rija ( and Jeyla and Raif) a long time, and while I had the darnedest time writing this novel, I'm going to miss discovering Rija's story as she unveils it to me. That said, while this is a complete, stand-alone novel, I left myself some room to revisit these characters in the future, should the desire or need arise.

What’s next? I think I'll take a couple of days off to read and relax, and then head into other projects. While Rija's Tale sits and simmers, I need to go back and hit the rewrites of Dark Water Blues, finish the submission packets for Old Blood's Fate and The Horror at Cold Springs, and make some decisions about Last Car to Annwn Station.

I also have several pieces of short fiction waiting in the wings, which I think will be a nice change of pace from novel writing. I only have nine short stories out circulating, which is a low number for me, but I've (happily) sold down my inventory of short fiction while writing the last two novels. I prefer to have at least a dozen stories out at any given time, so I need to work on few of these ideas that have been waiting on the back burner.

And then there's the next novel lurking on the horizon, Move Along Home (Spear of Destiny, ceremonial magicians, evil antiquarians, blind Gaius Longinus, roman witches, tunnels under the Twin Cities) which has been waiting in the wings for a long time. And of course, probably this autumn, rewrites of Rija's Tale.

Yeah. Not going to get bored or anything.
mmerriam: (Default)
I occurred to me what the problem might be.

You see, every night at bedtime you invade my brain, offering me the next sequence, the next scene, more story, more back story, more grounding details. More cool stuff. You keep offering me more of everything.

So of course, every night I ask, "Are you sure you're not really a novel?"

And you say, "No, Mr. Writer's brain. I'm still a novella. Really. Trust me on this. I'm a novella."

And then we keep on going, with no end in sight.

I think I've figured it out. You really are a novel, but you are afraid to tell me.

You're afraid I won't love you anymore.

Because you know that Last Car to Annwn Station is in the final rewrite stage, and you know that I've been poking at Old Blood's Fate again and I've decided there's nothing wrong with it that another draft won't fix. You know I'm a third of the way through Into This Land (the not-a-milkmaid-of-destiny novel) and that I've had Move Along Home (spear of destiny, ceremonial magicians, blind Gaius Longinus, roman witches) waiting in the wings for a long time.

You're afraid I'll slap you with the title of Novel #5, close your file, and forget you for year and years.

I won't. You're my current love among my projects. If you are a novel, that's okay. The Phantom Streetcars were supposed to be a 15,000 word novelette and look what happened there.

But if you are a novel, now would be a good time to tell me, what with us closing in on the 25,000 word mark.

It's okay. You can tell me. I'll still love you.

Fey and Mage In Need of a Title
mmerriam: (Default)
I occurred to me what the problem might be.

You see, every night at bedtime you invade my brain, offering me the next sequence, the next scene, more story, more back story, more grounding details. More cool stuff. You keep offering me more of everything.

So of course, every night I ask, "Are you sure you're not really a novel?"

And you say, "No, Mr. Writer's brain. I'm still a novella. Really. Trust me on this. I'm a novella."

And then we keep on going, with no end in sight.

I think I've figured it out. You really are a novel, but you are afraid to tell me.

You're afraid I won't love you anymore.

Because you know that Last Car to Annwn Station is in the final rewrite stage, and you know that I've been poking at Old Blood's Fate again and I've decided there's nothing wrong with it that another draft won't fix. You know I'm a third of the way through Into This Land (the not-a-milkmaid-of-destiny novel) and that I've had Move Along Home (spear of destiny, ceremonial magicians, blind Gaius Longinus, roman witches) waiting in the wings for a long time.

You're afraid I'll slap you with the title of Novel #5, close your file, and forget you for year and years.

I won't. You're my current love among my projects. If you are a novel, that's okay. The Phantom Streetcars were supposed to be a 15,000 word novelette and look what happened there.

But if you are a novel, now would be a good time to tell me, what with us closing in on the 25,000 word mark.

It's okay. You can tell me. I'll still love you.

Fey and Mage In Need of a Title
mmerriam: (Type)
So remember how I promised I was going to write something light-hearted, even if I had to write a short story? Remember?

Last night before bed I added another 670 words to The Novel, getting a chunk of scene involving Jack, the protagonist, and Old Man Lobo put down. Jack's decided to stop letting things happen to him and start taking control of the situation. Good for Jack. This scene will happen at the one-third mark of the book, but I may want to move it up even earlier.

Side note: I've started writing non-sequentially lately, writing scenes that come latter and connecting them up, writing new scenes for earlier and plugging them in. I've never done this before. I've always written in a sequential, linear manner. I blame [livejournal.com profile] mrissa for this change. After reading her journal while she wrote her last novel, I got the itch to try writing non-sequentially just to see how it felt. I like it. End Side Note.

Last night in bed the monkeys in my brain wouldn't stop chattering, so I got up, thinking maybe a mindless infomercial and a glass of milk would help. An hour later I had a rough draft for a short story. Today I wrote it. 1700 words of Dark Fantasy.

I'm still waiting for the light-hearted.

The Reverend Selena has shown up and requested fuzz time, so I must go pet the warm purry creature.

See you all later
Michael
mmerriam: (Type)
So remember how I promised I was going to write something light-hearted, even if I had to write a short story? Remember?

Last night before bed I added another 670 words to The Novel, getting a chunk of scene involving Jack, the protagonist, and Old Man Lobo put down. Jack's decided to stop letting things happen to him and start taking control of the situation. Good for Jack. This scene will happen at the one-third mark of the book, but I may want to move it up even earlier.

Side note: I've started writing non-sequentially lately, writing scenes that come latter and connecting them up, writing new scenes for earlier and plugging them in. I've never done this before. I've always written in a sequential, linear manner. I blame [livejournal.com profile] mrissa for this change. After reading her journal while she wrote her last novel, I got the itch to try writing non-sequentially just to see how it felt. I like it. End Side Note.

Last night in bed the monkeys in my brain wouldn't stop chattering, so I got up, thinking maybe a mindless infomercial and a glass of milk would help. An hour later I had a rough draft for a short story. Today I wrote it. 1700 words of Dark Fantasy.

I'm still waiting for the light-hearted.

The Reverend Selena has shown up and requested fuzz time, so I must go pet the warm purry creature.

See you all later
Michael
mmerriam: (Default)
Vacation has ended. [livejournal.com profile] careswen and I had a lovely time, though we didn’t get to do everything we planned. There are several things that people suggested we do that we just did not manage. I promise we will eventually.

I promised myself that during this vacation I would set aside the writing and just relax. No working on the novel. No tightening up short stories. No writing crits. Just relax and recharge.

So I sent my muse off on vacation, giving her the metaphorical credit card and ticket to the Bahamas as it were. Told her to have a good time, drink a few rum drinks for me, watch out for those wacky Greek Gods, see you in a week, and all that jazz.

She came by and visited on Monday. Said she'd left her toothbrush behind, and oh by the way here's 700 words on the novel. She waved bye and headed out the door again.

On Wednesday, she dropped in unannounced. Didn't have the right dancing shoes she told me. While I'm here, why don't you write that one scene, then do some quick revision on a couple of short stories. She swished out around midnight, humming some disco tune.

Friday she sneaked up behind me, covered my eyes and said, guess who? Turned out she had the wrong bathing suit. And what the heck, how about another 1000 words and some more revision, just for fun.

Today she came home, luggage in hand, new sunglasses, and a big goofy smile, giggling about someone named Dionysus. She looked tanned, fit, and ready to tackle the world. 5000 words burst from the keyboard. Then we sat down together and concluded that Move Along Home doesn't fit the novel anymore as a title. It does, however, work for a novella I am about to start at any second.

The plan is to have the first draft of what I am, for the moment, calling Novel A finished by New Year, then a round of revision or two.

Vacation's over, back to work.

In Peace
Michael
mmerriam: (Default)
Vacation has ended. [livejournal.com profile] careswen and I had a lovely time, though we didn’t get to do everything we planned. There are several things that people suggested we do that we just did not manage. I promise we will eventually.

I promised myself that during this vacation I would set aside the writing and just relax. No working on the novel. No tightening up short stories. No writing crits. Just relax and recharge.

So I sent my muse off on vacation, giving her the metaphorical credit card and ticket to the Bahamas as it were. Told her to have a good time, drink a few rum drinks for me, watch out for those wacky Greek Gods, see you in a week, and all that jazz.

She came by and visited on Monday. Said she'd left her toothbrush behind, and oh by the way here's 700 words on the novel. She waved bye and headed out the door again.

On Wednesday, she dropped in unannounced. Didn't have the right dancing shoes she told me. While I'm here, why don't you write that one scene, then do some quick revision on a couple of short stories. She swished out around midnight, humming some disco tune.

Friday she sneaked up behind me, covered my eyes and said, guess who? Turned out she had the wrong bathing suit. And what the heck, how about another 1000 words and some more revision, just for fun.

Today she came home, luggage in hand, new sunglasses, and a big goofy smile, giggling about someone named Dionysus. She looked tanned, fit, and ready to tackle the world. 5000 words burst from the keyboard. Then we sat down together and concluded that Move Along Home doesn't fit the novel anymore as a title. It does, however, work for a novella I am about to start at any second.

The plan is to have the first draft of what I am, for the moment, calling Novel A finished by New Year, then a round of revision or two.

Vacation's over, back to work.

In Peace
Michael
mmerriam: (Default)
I've managed little work this week, some notes and a small amount of words (650) on Move Along Home, plus around 1000 words on Stopping By which is almost done, just two more scenes to write.

I haven't managed much work because I've been having migraines, which is a new development for me. Add to the irregular sleep, and I'm feeling like a mess. I know, I know, I should go to a doctor, but I tend to be one those males. You know, the kind that won't go see a medical professional for anything short of broken bones and bleeding wounds.

I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist in a couple of weeks. After that, I promise to go get my regular check up. I really do.

Part of my problem is that I can't seem to stop worrying about stuff. I'm worried about my son and his expected child. I worry about my mother, who's in poor health and refuses to do anything about it (see a pattern?) I worry about affording a car to replace the old grey Mazda [livejournal.com profile] careswen has been driving. I worry about the fact [livejournal.com profile] careswen's job is stressing her out. I worry about the baggage retrieval system at Heathrow.

Sigh.

This post sucks. I worry about sounding like a whiney brat.

I'll shut up now.

M
mmerriam: (Default)
I've managed little work this week, some notes and a small amount of words (650) on Move Along Home, plus around 1000 words on Stopping By which is almost done, just two more scenes to write.

I haven't managed much work because I've been having migraines, which is a new development for me. Add to the irregular sleep, and I'm feeling like a mess. I know, I know, I should go to a doctor, but I tend to be one those males. You know, the kind that won't go see a medical professional for anything short of broken bones and bleeding wounds.

I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist in a couple of weeks. After that, I promise to go get my regular check up. I really do.

Part of my problem is that I can't seem to stop worrying about stuff. I'm worried about my son and his expected child. I worry about my mother, who's in poor health and refuses to do anything about it (see a pattern?) I worry about affording a car to replace the old grey Mazda [livejournal.com profile] careswen has been driving. I worry about the fact [livejournal.com profile] careswen's job is stressing her out. I worry about the baggage retrieval system at Heathrow.

Sigh.

This post sucks. I worry about sounding like a whiney brat.

I'll shut up now.

M
mmerriam: (Type)
Move Along Home continues to, well, move along. I've reached chapter eleven, and about thirty thousand words.

My question for you gentle reader is this. How do you (or even would you if you've never done it before) approach writing a novel. I ask because I'm basically writing sequentially, moving in a linear way from point A to point B and so on. However, I know that other writers go about it by writing this bit here and that chunk there and connecting the bits and chunks at a later time.

I can see pros and cons to both. With writing non-sequentially, one can write the important or interesting bits, then make the bits connect as needed. But by writing sequentially, I seem more in tune with the continuity of the story. I feel like I'm building the next thing on the bones and muscle of the last thing.

Of course, I don't write completely sequentially. I do write bits of prose, or a scene, and in fact have a tentative ending sketched out for the novel. These I set aside in a special document until the story meanders along to that part, then I plug it in. And I admit that sometimes it helps to have something to write toward, especially if I find myself stuck in the Sargasso Sea that is chapter whatever.

So anyway, tell me how you do it, and more important, tell me why you do it that way.

In Deep Peace
Michael
mmerriam: (Type)
Move Along Home continues to, well, move along. I've reached chapter eleven, and about thirty thousand words.

My question for you gentle reader is this. How do you (or even would you if you've never done it before) approach writing a novel. I ask because I'm basically writing sequentially, moving in a linear way from point A to point B and so on. However, I know that other writers go about it by writing this bit here and that chunk there and connecting the bits and chunks at a later time.

I can see pros and cons to both. With writing non-sequentially, one can write the important or interesting bits, then make the bits connect as needed. But by writing sequentially, I seem more in tune with the continuity of the story. I feel like I'm building the next thing on the bones and muscle of the last thing.

Of course, I don't write completely sequentially. I do write bits of prose, or a scene, and in fact have a tentative ending sketched out for the novel. These I set aside in a special document until the story meanders along to that part, then I plug it in. And I admit that sometimes it helps to have something to write toward, especially if I find myself stuck in the Sargasso Sea that is chapter whatever.

So anyway, tell me how you do it, and more important, tell me why you do it that way.

In Deep Peace
Michael
mmerriam: (Type)
I wrote almost 1300 words last night in just over two hours. I typed and typed and could not stop. I thought it was going well, and I turned the computer off and went to bed feeling good about the whole thing.

Then I read it this afternoon and realized it was pretty much crap.

Actually, crap is probably too nice a word.

I did manage to salvage about two paragraphs worth of useful prose from the wreckage, so it wasn't a complete waste. The rest I dropped onto a document I keep for text that I've written for Move Along Home, but haven't actually used for one reason or another.

Reasons like, say, it's crap.

But 1300 words of crap at least got me moving again, and today, despite my incessant cat vacuuming, I managed to write about 900 words of not-crap, which I suspect will, after editing, work out to be about 700 words of usable text.

I'll take that.

In other news, the SF Writer's Meetup was last Sunday at Betsy's Back Porch on the corner of Nicollet and Diamond Lake Road. The group seemed more at ease and relaxed with each other, and we had a new person join us. It is always nice to meet other writers.

Where were you? Yes, you. You know who you are. I didn't see you there. Shame on you.

Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] careswen and I plan to go to the Speculations Reading at Dreamhaven's in October, so I expect to meet more of my tribe at that worthy event.

Well, back to the novel.

In Peas

Michael
mmerriam: (Type)
I wrote almost 1300 words last night in just over two hours. I typed and typed and could not stop. I thought it was going well, and I turned the computer off and went to bed feeling good about the whole thing.

Then I read it this afternoon and realized it was pretty much crap.

Actually, crap is probably too nice a word.

I did manage to salvage about two paragraphs worth of useful prose from the wreckage, so it wasn't a complete waste. The rest I dropped onto a document I keep for text that I've written for Move Along Home, but haven't actually used for one reason or another.

Reasons like, say, it's crap.

But 1300 words of crap at least got me moving again, and today, despite my incessant cat vacuuming, I managed to write about 900 words of not-crap, which I suspect will, after editing, work out to be about 700 words of usable text.

I'll take that.

In other news, the SF Writer's Meetup was last Sunday at Betsy's Back Porch on the corner of Nicollet and Diamond Lake Road. The group seemed more at ease and relaxed with each other, and we had a new person join us. It is always nice to meet other writers.

Where were you? Yes, you. You know who you are. I didn't see you there. Shame on you.

Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] careswen and I plan to go to the Speculations Reading at Dreamhaven's in October, so I expect to meet more of my tribe at that worthy event.

Well, back to the novel.

In Peas

Michael
mmerriam: (Default)
Around a thousand words of various degrees of worthiness were committed to Move Along Home. I suppose the revisions were just the thing needed to get myself moving again. I hope to recreate the feat tomorrow.

I also managed to get some fuzz and purr from the Reverend Selena today, which is a nice byproduct of laying on the bed while I write, though it does interfere with the writing process a bit. Especially when she lays on the keyboard. I can't type through the fuzzy kitty, though the laptop does spit out some interesting character combinations.

Other plans this week include finishing mobility instruction at VLR, and then going to class six hours a week for only Braille. Also on the agenda is SF writers meetup, which is occurring on Sunday this month as an experiment. Come see the Science Fiction Writers in their natural habitat. Or at least a coffee shop. Possibly a diner. The place is still to be announced. As a special treat this week I get to go to the Retina Center and be poked and prodded about the eyeballs, as well as have all manner of bright lights and possible flash photography done after having my eyes dilated.

Oh Joy. Oh Rapture.

See y'all tomorrow! (Maybe)

Peace Porridge

Michael
mmerriam: (Default)
Around a thousand words of various degrees of worthiness were committed to Move Along Home. I suppose the revisions were just the thing needed to get myself moving again. I hope to recreate the feat tomorrow.

I also managed to get some fuzz and purr from the Reverend Selena today, which is a nice byproduct of laying on the bed while I write, though it does interfere with the writing process a bit. Especially when she lays on the keyboard. I can't type through the fuzzy kitty, though the laptop does spit out some interesting character combinations.

Other plans this week include finishing mobility instruction at VLR, and then going to class six hours a week for only Braille. Also on the agenda is SF writers meetup, which is occurring on Sunday this month as an experiment. Come see the Science Fiction Writers in their natural habitat. Or at least a coffee shop. Possibly a diner. The place is still to be announced. As a special treat this week I get to go to the Retina Center and be poked and prodded about the eyeballs, as well as have all manner of bright lights and possible flash photography done after having my eyes dilated.

Oh Joy. Oh Rapture.

See y'all tomorrow! (Maybe)

Peace Porridge

Michael
mmerriam: (Default)
The paltry four hundred words I reported last time seem like a godsend at this point. I have produced almost nothing in the last week. A few revisions on Move Along Home, a little bit of character sketches for a possible short piece to be written later, a few dozen words of Stopping By, nothing more.

I did however discover things I need to change in Move Along Home. Parts of chapter eight need to be in chapter seven. Stuff I wrote for chapter nine belongs in both seven and eight. A secondary character is getting a complete overhaul. I plan to work on these revisions and hope it will jumpstart the creative process.

[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I have been very busy over the last several days. Stuff is going on both internally and externally. We have decisions to make on important personal matters. We've both been a little under the weather. Mercury is in retrograde. Stuff. Lots O' Stuff.

Now, back to work.

Peace.
mmerriam: (Default)
The paltry four hundred words I reported last time seem like a godsend at this point. I have produced almost nothing in the last week. A few revisions on Move Along Home, a little bit of character sketches for a possible short piece to be written later, a few dozen words of Stopping By, nothing more.

I did however discover things I need to change in Move Along Home. Parts of chapter eight need to be in chapter seven. Stuff I wrote for chapter nine belongs in both seven and eight. A secondary character is getting a complete overhaul. I plan to work on these revisions and hope it will jumpstart the creative process.

[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I have been very busy over the last several days. Stuff is going on both internally and externally. We have decisions to make on important personal matters. We've both been a little under the weather. Mercury is in retrograde. Stuff. Lots O' Stuff.

Now, back to work.

Peace.
mmerriam: (Default)
Which is how I feel right now. Fortunately for you I promised long ago not to discuss the color of my phlegm (or other bodily fluids), so on to other things.

I've been practicing Braille at home using the only thing in Braille in the house; two pages in my St. Paul Saints 2004 yearbook, which is nice, but not that large of a challenge. I need to check out a Braille book from the library. Soon.

I sent "The Foundling" to the Online Writer's Workshop today. So far it has received almost a dozen reads, but no critiques. I'd like to think that is because the story is so deep and wonderful that the readers need to step away and allow it to All Sink In. On the other hand, it could be that the story rots to high heaven and the readers are Fleeing for their Sanity. I'm sure reality falls somewhere in between.

A solid 600 words on "Move Along Home" today. Chapter seven is finished, chapter six is almost finished, and chapter twelve is ongoing. I've spent the last two days wrestling with the story, trying to get it to go the direction I want (or at least in the general direction I want). I also spent a sizable amount of time simply considering the story. Where is it going? How is it going to get there? Why are we in this hand basket? I also wanted to make sure I didn't accidentally give anyone a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card, item, or power. I also made what is to me an interesting observation concerning the protagonist, the antagonist, and myself, but I think that this information falls under the Waxing Mystical taboo, so I shan't.

I may need to set the novel aside for a day or two. I have a short story idea bubbling up that I really want to write, plus I need to get something ready to send out to Tales of the Unanticipated before their submission deadline on the 15th of this month.

I guess that's all the news that is news for the moment.

In Peace

Michael

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