FayTown Calling Update

Had a thought on the way to pick up dinner last night. That thought cascaded into a multitude of others and I think I have figured out a major flaw in the current story, as well as a way to correct it.

Funny how this works. I have played a few different puzzle games throughout the years, one of my favorites being Unblock Me. It’s a game you can play forever without really doing anything. Often times I would get stuck on a level, so tightly that I intimately knew all the moves I could make. I’d have to set it down. I’d pick it up later and without even trying, knock out the level and the next dozen after it.

It is perhaps the Procrastinator’s Faith, but I am a big believer that I am never not working on something.

I’m letting it stew.

Anyway, I’ll be working on the opening to FayTown Calling while continuing to stew on the end. None of the opening changes where I want to go, just helps set it up. The last third of the book is something that I’m still puzzling it through. I have written two incomplete versions of it. Both are similar and I am starting to think that’s the problem. I had an initial way I thought this would end and I kept to it. Then I realized that wasn’t working, so I made modifications. They weren’t small, but they weren’t all that different either. I’m thinking I need to go in a different direction.

This is one of those times when I wish I was one person in a two person team. I could talk through the specifics of this, bounce ideas off them, and have someone tell me what they think is smart or stupid. Instead, I’m going to talk to myself on the way to work tomorrow. Luckily Memphis doesn’t really have a public transportation system, otherwise that’d just be weird.

Book Music

I don’t listen to music just a whole lot, normally when I am working on something (such as at work, working in the yard, writing, etc.) An odd thing I have noticed is that when I am focused on something monotonous, and the right song hits, I sometimes tie it to pieces of my story. A lot of times it just seems to be the background music for a bunch of disjointed scenes, like movie trailer. Other times, it might provide flavor and context to a scene I already have in mind. A few have even given me ideas for whole stories altogether.

This is my current list of songs. I am trying to shake it up because some of these are starting to get stale. I don’t choose these. Most of the time, I have heard them on the radio at the right time and they just strike a chord. I keep them around for as long as they give me goosebumps. Rainbow in the dark is just about the only one that is about something that has already been read. I already had most of the story for Sorcerer Rising written when I first heard it, but it fascinated me. All the rest of these are for future things, but I’ll call them out one day.

  1. Hair of the Dog (Nazareth)
  2. Love Runs Out (OneRepublic)
  3. Undone (Korn)
  4. Rainbow in the Dark (Dio)
  5. Bad Moon Rising (Creedance Clearwater)
  6. Run Through the Jungle (Creedance Clearwater)
  7. Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum)
  8. Phantom of the Opera Medley (Lindsey Stirling)
  9. Bang Bang (Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicke Minaj)
  10. See You Again (Wiz Khalifa)
  11. Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked (Cage the Elephant)
  12. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Eurythmics)
  13. The Sound of Silence (Disturbed)
  14. Enter Sandman (Metallica)
  15. Thunderstruck (AC/DC)


One Year of Being Published

My mother in law reads this blog (she’ll get a kick out of this), so I can’t use the expletives I wanted to when I realized what day it was.

One year ago, I clicked submit and began funneling Sorcerer Rising through the process of being published on Amazon through KDP. That was a big friggin’ day for me. I spent the night prior polishing and getting things ready, then spent that Sunday writing out six and a half thousand words (a record for me until a couple months ago). That was one of my best writing sessions, those words went into the book with almost no editing and are a couple of my favorite scenes in the whole book.

I spent Sunday night in a state of panic and euphoria, waking up throughout the night to search for the book on Amazon. I did that probably a dozen times between midnight and six. I dreamed, literally, that the book was selling thousands of copies.

Finally, around six or so, it was live.

I sold nine copies that first day. I’ve sold around eight-hundred since, making about $1,200. Not a lot, but not a bad start either.

This started out as one of those posts I hate. You know, the ones where the blogger/author/whatever comes on after a month of silences and says, “Hey, still alive, I swear.” They’re never fun. They usually signal the end of whatever enterprise the website is centered around, a lot of times because the Creative in questions has gotten bored, lost interest, been discouraged, etc.

That’s not the case here.

I know I haven’t been on the blog in a little while, and I haven’t updated anyone on the second book or anything else. That is a failure on my part and your patience is greatly appreciated. I am going to do better on that, both in updating and in actually writing.

So, for a quick update, I am extremely behind where I thought I was going to be by this time of the year. I had originally conceived of having FayTown Calling out in May, with the third on its way out by the end of the year. That has, if you go through my history, steadily crawled later and later into the 2014.

And that sucks.

It’s also life though. I’m not a full time writer. Hats off to those who’ve figured out how to do that, but I haven’t, so as a reader of my work, you get this kinda is it/isn’t it mentality of whether or not I’m going to hit my deadlines.

I have worked in one roles for my particular company for most of my legit writing career. Shortly after I released Sorcerer Rising, I went into a new position, a position that, much to my surprise, I actually find pretty damn fulfilling. It’s hard, work intensive, and occupies more time than my old job ever did. But I’m also getting to do work I really never thought I would get to be involved in.

In June, a big part of that work changed. Not in a bad way, actually that’s what made it more fulfilling, but in a way that nevertheless has demanded more from me, both in time and energy. Then I had a deadline for something looming and spent every ounce of focus I had making sure it happened right. Honestly, it’s been one thing after another, and I know you don’t want to hear about all that.

You want to hear about FayTown Calling.

You want to know, where the hell is it?

My answer is simple, it’s not ready yet. There are some big chunks that need to be filled in, then I need to apply a lot of polish. One thing that I’ve learned in my new job, one of the many things I’m applying to my writing life, is that the timeline is less important than making sure things get done well.

Anything else, would just be a disappointment. If you liked Sorcerer Rising, I am going to make sure that you like FayTown Calling. Now, that doesn’t mean it gets to languish on while I nitpick over everything, hissing at anyone who asks, my fist raised in the air, shouting about how “You can’t rush art!” The other thing I’ve learned is that you always, ALWAYS, have to have a date in mind, otherwise you don’t hone in on what you have to do to reach said date.

The date in question, by the way, is November 17th. I think that will give me time to finish, polish, give to Alpha/Beta Readers (because ya’ll are probably going to get mashed together) and then get it to publication.

I’m only really worried about one thing, and for that I’m going to give a quick appeal because I don’t really know what to do.

I have always been a proponent of the publishing world’s overemphasis on editing. Don’t get me wrong, I think the book needs to be as perfect as possible before people read it. I just disagree that it should cost $2,000-$6,000+ to make that happen. For Sorcerer Rising, I did it all myself. Overall, I think I did a pretty damn good job. And for the most part, my reviews would agree.

Except for a handful, and unfortunately, those handful were perhaps more perceptive than some others, myself included. I’m pretty good with spelling and typos, but homonyms and some basic grammar rules kick my tail. So, if anyone knows how to find a good proofreader, that’d be great. This is something I have to start pricing and allotting time for.

For now, I am focusing on writing. I will keep updating here and via my newsletter, something else I’ve sorely neglected, but I promise the results will be worth it.

Dracula Untold and Vampires in Virgil’s World

I wanted, so very, very much, to hate this but it actually doesn’t look half bad. Did Dracula need an origin story? No, certainly not, and definitely not as the hero, but it looks like it’ll be better than Maleficent or I, Frankenstein. I have yet to see it, but if the trailer and reviews are any indication, it was horrible. At least Frankenstein’s Monster is a bit sympathetic, I don’t know how they screwed it up so badly.

Trailer for Dracula Untold on TrailerAddict.

I’ve been wanting to write a short story about Vampires for a while, and this just might have goaded me into action. I hate that Vampires have lost their monstrous quality, that the only dynamic anyone wants to tell anymore is that of the sympathetic, abused, misunderstood, glittery, romantic immortal. Even in stories like Underworld, where the vampires are the baddies, they’re really just guys that fangs and guns that are a bit tougher. They downplay the raw power, the awe, of a legend that has haunted mankind for millennia, crossing across nearly every culture. At least with this, they seem to have gotten the Sorcerer aspect of that right.

From a purely emotional level, I think my favorite portrayal was Salem’s Lot. King said he wanted to portray the vampire as a monster, a ravenous unthinking beast, barely contained and concealed behind the facade of an elegant and dignified noble. It wasn’t a curse, not to the vampire, but the true source of his power. He celebrated that but was intelligent and stylistic enough to know that each had its place and time. This is a complete opposite from, say, a werewolf which is usually victim to their other self. Vampires, Dracula in particular, were rarely the victim, always in charge, unstoppable, a force of nature.

That’s a true villain of the night.

So, I’m gonna try and crank out a short story. Who knows how long that’ll take, but I’ll send it out in my email but may put it on the site as well. Like everything else in Virgil’s world, it reflects my favorite aspects of fantasy and how I see things, and in this case I want everyone to know how I feel.

I think I’ve got a fun take on how Vampires should be.

Writing FayTown Calling 6/15/14

Better today than last night. This afternoon I worked on the section that’s been troubling me, adding 1,250 words to the story.

Not a lot more than that. Usually, I have something to add about storytelling or writing…but, nope.

Anyway, this week is going to be a bit dicey as far as time goes. That’s not really any different than usual, it’s what held up last week, so I’m declaring a plan. Get up early and spend time making new words with a goal of a thousand before I leave for work. At night, do the same thing, or, edit. There is a lot of polish I need to start adding to the story now that things have passed by, so it’s time for that second coat of paint.

That’s the plan. See ya’ll tomorrow.