Sorry again for the delay between posts, but I have been busy! Michael Ireland – now my sole editor – has finished his run-through of The Light of Civilization, and I am now going through his comments and editing – the final run-through for TLOC! I just hope that we catch most of the typos. One of the first things Mr. Ireland told me was to not slap the reader in the face with the backstory/lore in Chapter 1. So, as a result, I expanded the Prologue and cut down Chapters 1 and 2 significantly, making the slap in the face far less hard. Unfortunately, the plot requires one to know a few things right off the bat, so I apologize for the density of the first two chapters. It gets easier after that, I promise – and the action starts Chapter 3!
All-in-all, though, both my Chief Editor and I agree that this book is far better than the first – you can even see my writing improve as it goes along (less so now that it is edited, but the differences are still there)!
I have currently made my way through slightly less than a third of the edited copy – I shall be starting on Chapter 11 as soon as I finish this post. I am hoping to try to get through, in the next four or five hours, the next nine chapters – it won’t happen, but I can dream, can’t I?
I missed the before Christmas deadline by a lot, I know, but hopefully the quality will be worth it! In addition to all of this frantic editing, Ms. Kindler has continued work on the cover, and I have now a vague idea of what it will look like… and it will look amazing! If all goes according to plan (which it won’t), I hope to release the book late next week. I also have to write two more appendices (a glossary and an explanation of how time is organized), so the total number of appendices should be equal to six. If I counted right.
Enough about TLOC – TLOB is still advancing slowly, though more quickly than before! Jak has met a second (more permanent) love interest, whose full name is currently tentatively Derekk Andrés San Paolo. Jak is in some pretty dire straits now…
And in other news, TLOS is now on the B&N Nook! The Books page has been reflected to show this. Go buy it now! My apologies for the poor formatting – B&N made it rather difficult to do.
I also finished another short story! It is called “The Horror in the Woods.” It is probably the worst yet of them, about what appears to be a serial killer lurking in the woods near the town of Arkheim, Maine (anyone get the reference)? It is a rather strange one. Below is an excerpt (yay!):
Harney had always said that there was something in those woods; those dark, twisted woods past old man Jenkins’ cottage, across the stream, and through the ditch. We had played there as children; the ditch we had dubbed “Dead Man’s Gully,” as it was rumored that a dead man had once been found there. We played at being murderers and thugs every weekend, when our parents let us off of our rope. I was usually the dead man.
When I was in the seventh grade one of my erstwhile playmates, Ernesto Valdez, vanished without a trace. I was home ill on that fateful day, but the story was that Erich had dared him to go bring back a branch he had thrown deep into the thickest thicket. The woods were very thick, and that thicket was nigh impenetrable. It wasn’t too deep into the woods, but was far enough in to be out of sight, right at the spot where the trees grew closer together and became taller and gloomier. An aura of dread always hung over that place, and to this day I wonder what courageous folly prompted Valdez to make that fateful journey. There was a parting of the trees in the thicket, and he walked in – but never came out. Adults later turned the thicket inside and out, but no trace was ever again found of Ernesto Valdez. After that day, we stopped playing near the forest.
But some of us just couldn’t leave it alone. Tragedy again befell our community during my last year of high school. My former friend, Tommy Whitman, now the star player of the football team, dared George Pickman, a year our younger, to spend a night out in the woods in order to be admitted to his top-secret jock club. Whitman was eager to please and leapt at the opportunity, leaving that very same night, sneaking out his house with his sleeping bag under his arm. Pickman had always been overly rational; he always had said that there was nothing to be afraid of in the woods.
But something in there got him that night.
His skull was found in his sleeping bag. It bad been picked perfectly clean; it was immaculate, without a trace of any flesh to be found anywhere on it. But there were no bite marks on any surface of it, or any sign of trauma. It was just a skull, and the dental records and facial structure showed them to be his. No one knows where the rest of him went.
And no one has ever since dared venture into that wood…
But for the future, the plans are like so:
-Finish Editing TLOC, release it.
-Finish TLOB, begin editing it, eventually release it.
-Work on more short stories!
-(Re)Begin work on People of the Storm. This will be a very long-term project. Don’t expect to see it out anytime soon.
-Begin working in Torrek’s Slumber, the next book in the Juxian Mythos, examining aspects of the two Elders Torrek and K’Shatryan.
So that’s the plan, roughly in that order! Let’s see if we can stick to it!
On the reading front, I just finished Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic. It was slightly disappointing – though considering it was Pratchett’s first Discworld novel, it is not surprising. It seemed very disjointed to me, and at times the plot was impossible to follow – let’s hope The Light Fantastic, which I am starting now, is better. Pratchett’s writing can be said to have, at the very least, improved drastically!
I also have had the pleasure of watching a Doctor Who episode that scared the living daylights out of me – “Blink.” Following that, I proceeded to watch “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone” from much later on as well. What do these have in common? Weeping Angels, the most creative and fascinating alien race I have ever seen visualized; beings that look like statues when you look at them, and can only move when no sentient being is looking at them. “Blink” especially was remarkably well done, and might cause me to lose a night’s sleep. It was very scary. If you haven’t seen it, I would recommend doing so – I am not a huge fan of Doctor Who myself, but “Blink” was amazing – and doesn’t even have much of the Doctor or his companion!
The last thing I have to say is a rant on Paranoia – I just played a game with nine players, and it was not nearly as fun as other sessions. Why? Two things: people made teams and people did not off each other with anything even remotely bearing a distant appearance to subtlety. It just turned into a slaughterfest, and nobody even tried to complete the mission. It ended with one player turning into a Black Hole at the end using the polymorph ability. I didn’t even get to use all that I had planned out…
So next time we meet, I’ll be running two Call of Cthulhu scenarios instead – I personally like the system better, and hopefully it will calm them down. On that note, I also need to read some more Lovecraft…
But back to editing! Hopefully I’ll update this more regularly now! Ta-ta for now!