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Well, it came and went.  I had a good time.

I am sorry, folks, I am swamped with work fuckery.  I am balls-deep in Russian software, broken Windows 7 logins, and the Windows 2012 release candidate came out with its new Play-Skool interface.  This weekend, I am on a rescue mission I can’t go into online, and I’ll be busy with that.

Short summary of Balticon: I had fun.  I met new friends, reconnected with old friends, and had no assistant so I starved to death with no one to remind me to eat.  One of those statements is false.

I am still editing Alpha Draft 2, and 53% of the way through.  Almost ready for beta.  

Balticon hosts its 46th convention at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn this Memorial Day weekend, and as usual, I will be there! My publisher (Soylent Publications) will be sharing a table with Cold Moon Press, so you can see me there or at one of many panels:

Friday 6:00 pm (Pimlico) – Me reading for 17 minutes with other 17 minute increments from J. Sherlock Brown, III and Lyle Blake Smythers. The programming book states, “Please note that the authors are listed in alphabetical order. They’ll determine reading order amongst themselves.” Speed reading.

Friday 11:00 pm (Chesapeake) – Late Night New Media Meet and Greet where I moderate a motley crew of podcasters and the like: Trish Wilson (Elizabeth Black), Doc Coleman, and Paul Elard Cooley

Saturday, 1:00 pm (Parlor 1041) – Anime 101 where I moderate an introduction to Anime to old people. Includes a history of Anime, art, voice acting, and Japanese culture. My fellow panelists are Lee Sarfati, Christine Chase, Kat Sarfati, and Tyler Waldman. A must see for those who have never seen anime, and especially for those who have.

Saturday, 5:00 pm (Maryland Foyer) I am having an autograph session: Sharing my long table by the escalators are Michael S. Bracco and Robert I. Katz

Saturday, 6:00 pm (Chesapeake) Comedy Improv hosted by the great Alex R. White, as I, Norm Sherman, Stephen Granade, and Laura Nicole Spencer try to create mayhem. This is a must-see. You will divide your life as a before and after this event.

Sunday, 11:00 am (Parlor 1041) Anime for Parents: a continuation of what we have been doing at Katsucon, I moderate this with Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani, Sharvonique Renee Fortune, and Stephanie M. Burke.

Sunday, 2:00 pm (Salon A) – Xenoarchaeology Road Show where GoH Jody Lynn Nye moderates a motley crew of science fiction writers to determine what will future archaeologists make of common 20th century household objects? Mark L. Van Name, Christiana M. Ellis, and John Hemry (Jack Campbel) will be my cohorts in speculative thinking.

Sunday, midnight (Salon A) – Eye of Argon – the Play. It what will be described as 90 minutes of pure torture on a Vogon Poetry scale, Michael A. Ventrella will host a literary catastrophe with me, Hildy Silverman, Susan de Guardiola, and Walter H. Hunt.

I haven’t even gotten my own schedule yet, I had to glean this from their pocket program on my own. So the times, places, and people are scheduled to change.

First alpha pass of Space Bitch done. One more alpha pass until the first beta goes out to editors!

This stage marks the end of individual text files in gedit to one big piece in Abiword/LibreOffice. All major edits and revisions are done, so now it’s cross-checking facts, names, and motivations. At about 135k words currently which won’t change very much unless I do some major last-minute root-pulling.

I hope to be done with the second alpha pass by next weekend!

So, I just did some major re-write of Chapter 13 of 29, and wondering how much I should chop off. I got some spiritual crap in there, and while it adds to the character building and motivation later on, it slows the story down a lot. Like:

BANG BASH HAHA POW BOOM… … and now let’s talk about the history of the agriculture in northern Europe… no, no, let us wait for everyone to arrive… cucumber and watercress sandwiches, anyone? No…? YEAHAA DEATH PKWSHHH!

So I have to work on that. Found my first major contradiction, but it’s easily fixed as I delete a sub-plot it was tied to.

But I’m moving ahead. This leads to one of the next questions, “what’s gonna happen in 2013?” Well, I have a lot of choices.

  1. Finish the Tony Bumper Saga. I already have 90% of book 1, and 95% of book 2 already written. Lazy me.
  2. Write/publish the sequel to “Space Bitch.”
  3. Publish some “Punk Walrus stories” digitally, like $2.99 one-off novellas.
  4. Something else
  5. Something other than else.


Boy, I sure can spell creatively… yeesh… but I progressed really nicely for one weekend.  I won’t be able to do much next weekend, as I have Roller Derby bout recaps to do and then mother’s day.  I don’t have a mother, but my wife is one, so we’re taking her out.  The next weekend I will I hope to have the first alpha pass done by the first week of June.

Okay, I don’t want to be all arrogant and stuff, but I am really proud of some of what I wrote.  Right now, it’s not the best book; it needs some work, but man… there are some parts I laughed out loud at.  Some I cried a little.  And some will never see the light of day like a hair clog in a shower drain.

“I wrote what…?  Yee…”

I have managed to get a little under halfway of the actual first alpha before I do another pass of the second alpha.  Once that’s fixed, onto Beta 1 and my editors, who will attack it with rock and scissors.  I hope to have all those done by the end of the summer.  Then negotiations with my publisher, and then a Christmas 2013 release I hope by Thanksgiving.

I *should* have some readings for Balticon.  I don’t have a schedule yet, but I’ll post one when it becomes finalized.

I still don’t have a better title.  This one may stick, although it may limit my market.

I am at 127k words.  The first pass is usually when by the end of the book, the characters have been fleshed out a little more, so you make the first part match the second part.  Notably foreshadowing and moments where, “Sarah wouldn’t say that…!” 

Speaking of Sarah, she’s been a difficult character as far as motivations are concerned.  I understand her well, but making the reader see what I see has been difficult.  Otherwise, I think readers might go, “Come on…!  She just stands there and TAKES that?”  Her captain is severely abusive, and one of her shipmates is also very complicated. The perspective switches several times from Sarah to Jen, and making that work has been a little bit of a balancing act.  

Also, in many cases where I had writers block, I leave whole sections as skeletons.  Like:

“I am not sure if being dead to your family is really the same as not knowing who they were in the first place,” Jen said.  “But I suppose that’s not my place to judge.  But what I do know is that… you and I… have one common bond. The desire for love.  And right now… there’s only the two of us against some pretty slim odds of survival.”

Sarah swallowed.  Her constant fear of discovery had prevented her from attending to her needs; she knew that much.  But could she take on any sort of relationship now?  Or would she always wait until it was too late?  And was she even attracted to women?  But as the distance between her and Jen closed, she felt her self-analysis drift apart.  She just wanted reassurance once in her life that someone genuinely cared for her that didn’t need her for just her professional skills.

“You smell like cloves…” was the only thing she could utter in reply as their lips met.


“You guys make me sick,” Eliza said. “If there’s one drawback to having a human crew, it’s their disgusting habits to mate.  And Jen’s not even the opposite sex.  You can’t even fucking get THAT right, Sarah.”

This is going to take several passes.

“Space Bitch” is currently 125,932 words. Of course, now I have to edit it. So… lots of fun ahead.

I’ll be in my bunk…

Working title “Space Bitch” is at 150k words, and I am not even done. I am mostly done, cutting down to the final confrontation. I have a list of programs I’m going to do at Balticon, awaiting times and scheduling.

I still need a better title.

Not surprising, really, it was a long shot and I was stunned there was a mini campaign for me. But thanks to those to did vote for me. Now I know I had 5/932 ballots for Best novel, so I know what I am up against for the next few years. I’ll need about 200 votes to be on the ballot, and then, of course, actually winning the award.

The story so far…

Yes, Katsucon is foremost on my mind but I am at 103k words for my second book which is about 5000 words since Jan 15th. Still 90% finished, working on crafting that grand ending. This book will likely have a sequel, as I was getting a little too… Tolkien-esque in my storyline. Definitely not finished by Balticon. 😦

Well, better do it right than rush it.