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Breaking radio silence finally

Regular

Sword of Fate has gone through the first round of edits and is back with the editor to take her next swing at things. Looking forward to see what she has to say about my changes.

Secret project #2 and #3 have been accepted as proposals. Now currently working on pilot scripts. More to follow.

Spent four hours working on Crossed Swords on Monday at one of my favorite Japanese tea shops to celebrate the holiday. Got home – computer didn’t save a drop of my work. 5000+ words gone . . . poof. Sank into serious depression.

Watched the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS. I was very pleased with the results there. Busted out the powder blue baseball cap to wear this week.

Worked on two new ideas for stories down the road. Never enough time to do everything I want to write. *sigh*

And so it goes.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Some days you get the bear . . .

Regular

And in other news:

There are good times and less-than-good times when you are an author.

I received a rejection notice for a project I was really hoping to get involved in. *sigh* Still, I like the concept of the story and I really like the characters. It might be they aren’t a good combination, or perhaps these characters need something a bit longer than a 5000 word story. *shrug* Put them back into the box and I’ll get them out later and see what happens.

Then, on the way home, right after getting the rejection letter, I thought of the perfect way to redo the opening to Steel on Target. I wrote down my thoughts when I got home and hope to get started on it as soon as I get back from Archon.

Then, I got my editorial notes back for Sword of Might. I really like this editor and I can’t wait to dive into the edits.

Could I sit around and grouse about my rejection? Sure, but I have too many other projects under development to let one bump derail me. Just means, I need to get better.

Writers who don’t strive to get better only get worse.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

FenCon XI Report

Regular

Friday was a good day. The first panel was on writing media tie-in works, and there was no pressure. After all, it was just me and Timothy Zahn. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Actually, it was a fun time and we did it more like a talk in the round rather than an actual panel. We had a good time talking about the successes and sometimes the drawbacks of playing in someone else’s sandbox. We had a pretty good crowd for an early Friday panel and they had a lot of good questions.

The other Friday panel – WarTech – was a mixed bag. We had a good crowd, but I’m not convinced it was a very successful panel. The conversation wandered quite a bit and I’m afraid a couple of the panelists didn’t get the chance to participate as much as I had hoped they would. I probably wouldn’t do that panel again at the next show.

I had a ball at the parties Friday night. Found out KC won WorldCon for 2016, so I’m signing up for that one. Also, found a party being put on by Noah Ramon, aka DJ Illuminator. Not only did he have his room lit up with damn near every type of laser light, LED light, or electronic system, but his musical tastes are as eclectic as mine. I think I spent most of the evening hanging out in his room. Also visited the SoonerCon room party and I think that will be one of my 2015 cons.

Saturday’s signing was fun, although I spent most of it visiting with people I’d met the night before. Then it was time for my Writer Beware panel. Luckily, Amy Sisson, (one of my fellow Star Trek Writers), volunteered to run the slide show for me so I could wander about in front of the table. I didn’t do an official head count, but I’m estimating there were about 25 people at one time or another (people did wander in and out). Lot of good questions and the conversation ran on out in the hall for an hour or so afterward.

More room parties on Saturday and then into the last day on Sunday. We opened at 10am on Sunday with “What’s On Your Playlist”, where we discussed music and writing. Not only did I get some new ideas on where to find music and have a good time listening to what other people like to write too, but I was introduced to Country Zombie Rap. (I’ll let you look that up if you’re interested.)

I did a reading right after lunch and then i took advantage of their “pro table” offer, to sell some books, comics, miniatures, and T-shirts.

My trip home was quite a bit less fun – 2 hour delay at Dallas, changed planes twice, still got into Houston 20 minutes after my connecting flight left. Had to catch a 7:40am plane in, therefore burning another day of leave I hadn’t planned on using. *sigh*

Still, all in all, FenCon XI was a lot of fun and it definitely feels very comfortable. The staff went out of their way to take care of us and special kudos to the Con Suite team.

And now, time to finish the laundry and get ready for Archon this weekend.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

FenCon, we are here!

Conventions

Made it to Dallas with a minimum of annoyances and am ready for FenCon to start here in a few hours.

However I learned a valuable lesson today. Don’t stand still too long during Con set-up. One minute I was talking to a couple of the volunteers, and the next thing I knew, I was hauling in water and soda for the con suite. *grin*

It looks like the FenCon staff and volunteers are a fun bunch to hang around with. Looking forward to doing it for real.

(This was supposed to have been posted last night, but the hotel wifi was less than cooperative . . . *sigh*

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Convention weekend . . .

Writer Beware

Getting ready to take off for FenCon tomorrow morning. Finally feel like I’m shaking this cold that has knocked me down for the past three days, so hopefully, with a good rest tomorrow night, I’ll be ready to enjoy the show.

My schedule at FenCon is:

Tie One In
Friday 3:00 PM Live Oak
w/ Vickey Kennedy and Timothy Zahn (no pressure there, nah.)

War Tech!
Friday 6:00 PM Red Oak
w/J.R. Hargenrader. William Ledbetter, Selina Rosen, Brad Sinor and David Gray

Autographs
Saturday 10:00 AM Gallery
w/P.N. Elrod

Writer Beware: How Not to Get Published
Saturday 1:00 PM Red Oak

What’s In The Playlist?
Sunday 10:00 AM Addison Lecture Hall
w/ Rachel Caine, Melanie Fletcher, Frank Summers, and K. Hutson Price

Reading
Sunday 1:00 PM Pecan

Plus, I’ll have a small table to sell some of my books on Sunday from 2-4.

The only pain about this trip is the fact I have to fly out of Reagan International. Tomorrow isn’t too bad (plane leaves at 1200). However, on the return trip, I arrive at Reagan at 2340. So, it’ll probably be close to 0100 when I get my car from the parking lot for the Metro and then 0200 by the time I get home.

Oh, and I may have jury duty on Monday – which means I’d have to be at the courthouse IN Baltimore by 0830.

I really, really, really hope my number doesn’t get called this weekend.

 

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Collaboration: Not for the fainthearted

Regular

Had a great day writing today.

Worked on additional ideas and story directions for Chronicles of the Sea Dragon with April MacDee as well as working on the Black Talon and crew. The Black Talon is the sister ship to the Sea Dragon, although they don’t always work toward the same purposes.

This evening I worked on the expanded proposals for a publisher. Hopefully, I’ll finish that this evening and get it off to the publisher on Sunday. Then it will be time to finish Crossed Swords.

I love kicking ideas around with other writers.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Expanding the universe

Pleasantly surprised

Took a short break from Crossed Swords tonight. But, I didn’t spend the night completely idle.


I heard back regarding one of my unnamed projects. It wasn’t a rejection, but it wasn’t a complete approval either. So, I spent tonight and I’ll be spending some time tomorrow doing revised and expanded proposals for two concepts. (Still haven’t heard anything about the first secret project with this same publisher yet.)


So, I’m walking that tight-rope of including enough information to make them want to sign off on the project, but not so much information that their eyes roll up in their heads and they fall asleep. I’ll try to get everything finished up tomorrow, give it a day to rest and then get it off to them this weekend after last minute revisions.



Yep, query letters, proposals, synopses, novels, short stories, Facebook posts . . . all of them need a moment to rest and then edit before sending off.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Eat. Sleep. Write.

Writing 5

Continuing with the edits for Crossed Swords this evening. I’ve hit 2883 words and let’s just say, the tempo is on the rise for the main character. He’s just ridden into an ambush, but it’s not the fight with the main protagonist, so, it’s the pseudo-climax . . . the pre-climax . . . something. I may be majoring in English, but I have to admit, I’m much more interested in books that are entertaining to read than I am about breaking down everything into its minutia.


Still, considering I went to bed at 0230 last night (or technically yesterday morning since it’s just past midnight here), It would probably behoove me to call it a night much earlier. I have a feeling my day job wouldn’t appreciate the hard work and effort I put into my writing if it meant me falling asleep at work.


Employers are funny that way.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Here we go down the editing trail . . .

Writing 3

Sat down with a good selection of music and a nice Spanish red wine and started editing my first draft of “Crossed Swords”. I’ve written my story on a different computer and I’m working off of the hard copy. As I type it in, it allows me to make the first real edit of the story. Plus, since I’m not just “editing” from “track changes”, it forces me to actually read what I had written in the first place and identify plot holes, rough spots, and pacing issues.


Yeah, it may be the old fashioned way to do editing, but then again, I’m an old fashioned guy. *grin*


I hit 4587 words tonight on the edit. Just about the halfway point. I hope to have this done in the next day or so. Then I’ll give it one last going over and get this off to the publisher.


With this done, I’ll actually be out of contracted work. This has been an exciting and interesting two years. I don’t think I’ve ever written this many short stories and novellas. Now, back to a few novels I’ve been putting off.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Anticipation


Here’s the logo for my WWII short story collection that will be coming out soon by Pro Se Productions.


Can’t show you the cover art for this story yet, (but the artist caught exactly what I was going for, so you’ve got that to look forward too).


f you’re wondering what it’s like, I was definitely trying to channel Sgt. Rock, The Rat Patrol, Combat!, Our Fighting Forces, The Haunted Tank and all those other 60s WWII TV shows and comics, but keeping enough realism and research in there to keep the historian who shares the same head space with the creative writer happy.


But, as always, I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about it.







Coming in Days from Pro Se Productions…


Photo: Coming in Days from Pro Se Productions...

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Amping the volume for some other people

Spotlight

And the 2015 schedule keeps filling in. Just purchased an exhibitor’s booth at Rocket City Lit Fest which will be October 10th and 11th, 2015.


Please take a bit and check out their site. This looks like it’s going to shape up to be a pretty cool convention . . . and it’s in Rocket City. What more do you want?



Promoting the power of reading to all ages with a massive literary festival in Huntsville, AL




Also, I want to promote a blog.  I can’t recommend the Charlton Neo team enough.  This group started out with a number of people who just loved the old Charlton Comics and then old contributors to the comics started popping by and as writers and artists are wont to do, they start reminicing about old projects they would loved to have worked on and then, in their best Andy Hardy voice, someone said, “Hey, I’ve got an old piano, you’ve got a barn, let’s put on a show.”


And thus, the Charlton Arrow was born.


OK, there was a little more thought put into it than that, but this crew feeds off the energy between older creators and new creators and just good ol’ fans and this team seems to be off and running.


I highly recommend checking out the Charlton Neo blog


Logo




And as long as I’m promoting other people’s websites and blogs, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend my writing sensei, and good friend, Steve Roman’s publishing company’s site, StarWarp Concepts.  Along with printing some graphic novels by some guy named Rich White, Steve is putting out an outstanding YA Dark Fantasy series, The Saga of Pandora Zwiebeck. The first in the set is currently available  (Blood Feud), while Book two, BloodReign will be released this year and and Blood and Steel will be released next year.


I can’t recommend Steve’s work enough and suggest checking it out.



Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Back into the deep end of the pool

Conventions

Just placed my order for a table at Awesome Con (May 29-31, 2015). This will be the first time I’ve exhibited at a comic convention by myself as myself instead of working with (or representing) my friend and co-creator, Steve Roman.  I wish it wasn’t the same weekend as BEA/BookCon, but a local show almost always takes precedent over one where I have to add in hotel/travel/food.


I used to hit the comic convention circuit pretty hard in the 90s/early 00s, but as I did less comic work and more short story/novel work, I shifted to SF/F shows, which was a definite culture shock. Going from the idea of 18000 being a small con to 3200 being a huge con took a lot of mental gymnastics, but I came to see how the two cultures were focused on many different things, even thought there was a lot of crossover in them. I have some friends who’re going the other way (from SF/F shows to Comic conventions) and I’m trying to give them some pointers, so they’ll enjoy themselves the next time they go. (Don’t even get me started on Anime cons.)


Now, I won’t be doing this alone. My daughter will help me man the booth on Friday and Sunday and my friend and co-creator on Chronicles of the Sea Dragon, April MacDicken, will be there to help promote the booth.


Now, I just have to hope I have plenty of new projects to show.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Journey’s End, Journey’s Beginning

Writing 5

And a bittersweet milestone has been reached tonight. My final revisions to The Sword of Fate are finished. Need to run this past my wife for review one last time and then it’s off to the editor.


This wraps up the tenth story to feature my “Rogue with No Name” and that brings this particular collection to a close. It’s going to be tough to put him out to pasture for a while. He’s been a big part of my life for the past four years, ever since I first began developing this character. I can’t say every story wound up working out like I initially envisioned them, but it’s been a great deal of fun going through folktales, fairy tales, and legends to find just the right story that would work with this guy.



So, I suspect at the end of the weekend, my 16,000+ word short story, (O.K.,, that’s probably a short novella for you purists out there), will be en route to my more than patient editor for this series of stories and eventually, it’ll be available for purchase or review.


Now, it’s time to turn my attention to other things that need to be written.


What? You thought I was going to take the weekend off and do something fun like play Guild Wars or Mage Wars or go to the RenFest?


O.K., well, maybe a bit.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Writer Miscellanea

Mischevious

Let’s see, what all can a writer do when he doesn’t add to his word count?

1) Sent off two contracts to a publisher for work coming out late 2014/early 2015

2) Sent off a newly revised proposal for Secret Project #1. (Keeping fingers crossed.)

3) Submitted a proposal to another publisher for Secret Project #2. Don’t expect any movement on that for a while, but keeping other fingers crossed there.

4) Made my hotel reserved for Archon.

4a) To do soonest: make my plane reservations for FenCon and Archon.

This is the home stretch for my four “out-of-area” conventions for the year. After this, everything I’m going to in 2014 is either in the Washington D.C. or Baltimore area so that’s just a short drive or light rail trip away. It’s nice sometimes to go to new towns and find cool shops and restaurants, but it’s tough to beat going to a convention and still getting to sleep in your own bed.

5) Pro Se Productions released the cover to my novella (formerly known as Murder in Monaco, now known as Mouse Trap), featuring The Original Black Cat

From their FB post:

The cover below features the Golden Age Comic Heroine The Black Cat! Author Richard White breathes prose life into this classic character in his upcoming story- MOUSE TRAP- to be a part of an imprint to debut from Pro Se later this year entitled….

Well, we think that’s enough announcement for now…:)

Black Cat Proposed Cover_color

I had to add, “I have to thank Rock Baker, Jeff Austin, and Marc Haines for this fabulous cover. Great job, guys. Here’s hoping my story is up to this incredible cover.”

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

“The stuff dreams are made of . . .”

Regular

The Pearls of Darkness Affair has been edited, re-edited, re-formatted, and sent off to the publisher. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing it and The Full Moon Affair released later this fall. (crossing fingers)

Plus, I added another thousand words to Crossed Swords today, so there was some progress there too.

Also, I’ve revised the proposal for the secret project, did the page breakdowns, and I’m ready to submit the pitch to the new publisher once he gets back from vacation.

That might be enough for tonight. I think hitting the sack early might be on tap for tonight. Time to curl up with a good book and relax.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

One down, too many to go.

Running Around

Success!

Tonight, I finished the line edits for The Pearls of Darkness Affair. The second story of my Theron Chase duology is finished. All I have left to do it type the changes into the computer, make a few more edits (because, I always do), and then get this shipped off to Tommy Hancock and Pro Se Productions.

Also, wrote about 750 words on the secret project. How many of them will survive when I get back to it tomorrow? Not sure yet. Again, I’m not always the most comfortable when it comes to writing short, especially when I’m introducing a new story and characters. Got to get right into the story, but still have some character development too. It’s a balancing act, but one I hope to get better at as this project comes along.

Now, it’s back to Crossed Swords tomorrow.

*looks around* Now where the heck did I leave that time-turner?

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Giving a story a breath test

Regular

We’re making progress on several fronts. Plotted out the next section of Crossed Swords and worked up a plot for the secret project while I was at work today. So, while no “words”, there is now forward movement on both projects.

Then came home and edited the first 36 pages of Pearls of Darkness Affair. Hopefully, I’ll have all the edits done by Friday and then I can spend Sat/Sun getting them retyped and do one last “vocal” pass before sending it off.

With my short stories/novellas, I definitely like to read them out loud as a form of editing. If sentences sound stilted, if you have trouble getting phrases out, if you simply run out of breath between periods, then you may want to find a better way to present that thought. I learned that the first time I tried to do a reading in public and realized maybe pearl divers had enough oxygen in their lungs to say a couple of my early sentences, but I didn’t. Ever since then, I try to ensure my stories are readable vocally as well as visually.

Onward and upward!

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

The other things a writer does besides write

Overworked

Ah, the joys of finishing a story . . . that means it’s time to start editing. Printed out a couple of copies of The Pearls of Darkness Affair. I’m editing one and my wife, Joni is editing the other. By the end of the week, I hope to collect up both edits, merge them together and then send this puppy in to the publisher to get assigned to their editor.

On top of that, I’ve been chatting with another editor about a project that I can’t wait to officially announce. I’m really excited about this, since it’s a project I’ve been developing sine 1985. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this one.

Plus, just finished signing a couple of contracts which will get mailed out tomorrow for projects that’ll be coming out later this year.

So, maybe no new words on the “official word count”, but lots of good words. Lots of good words.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Finishing and Starting

Writing 5

And the first draft of The Pearls of Darkness Affair is finished. Now, it’s time to print out a copy and take the red pen to it.


This story took way too long to write, but given this summer, everything’s taken too long to write.


I need to concentrate on getting Crossed Swords done and I need to finish the edits and retype Sword of Fate and get both of those off to the editor. Then we can consider some of the other stuff to come.


Wow, it feels good getting some of the stuff off of my plate.


————————————————————————————-





Something I have to tell myself from time to time:


Remember the first rule of writing:


”The first draft of anything sucks. That’s why they invented editing.”


And the second rule:


“You can’t edit a blank page.”


Just let it rip. Write, edit, and then write more.

Even if you don’t sell it, you learn something from the act of writing. You have to simply keep going, even when it sounds horrible. Probably because it may be. But, once you have it, then you can go back and say, “this isn’t too bad, just needs polishing,” or “Self, you were right, this sucks” and edit it out of the book.


But, you can’t edit yourself into not writing. That’s getting the cart before the horse.



Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Finishing and Starting

Writing 5

And the first draft of The Pearls of Darkness Affair is finished. Now, it’s time to print out a copy and take the red pen to it.

This story took way too long to write, but given this summer, everything’s taken too long to write.

I need to concentrate on getting “Crossed Swords” done and I need to finish the edits and retype “Sword of Fate” and get both of those off to the editor. Then we can consider some of the other stuff to come.

Wow, it feels good getting some of the stuff off of my plate.

————————————————————————————-

Something I have to tell myself from time to time:Remember the first rule of writing:</p>

“The first draft of anything sucks. That’s why they invented editing.”

And the second rule:

“You can’t edit a blank page.”

Just let it rip. Write, edit, and then write more.

Even if you don’t sell it, you learn something from the act of writing. You have to simply keep going, even when it sounds horrible. Probably because it may be. But, once you have it, then you can go back and say, “this isn’t too bad, just needs polishing,” or “Self, you were right, this sucks” and edit it out of the book.

But, you can’t edit yourself into not writing. That’s getting the cart before the horse.

 

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Playing catch-up here

Daydreaming

1) Shore Leave was a lot of fun for Friday and Saturday. Really enjoyed Meet the Pros, met some new people, sold some books, signed some stuff. The get together in the bar afterwards was fantastic and stayed up with friends way too late swapping “No fooling, there I was” war stories until 3am.


Saturday’s panels went very well. The Writing Historical Fiction panel was overrun and overshort. We had so many attendees, we couldn’t even finish our portion much less answer all the questions. We’re hoping to get a two-hour block next year. Howard Weinstein did a great job setting this up. The Writer Beware panel went well. We had both Michael Capabianco and me from the Writer Beware committee and David Wilson who sat in to give not only another writer’s POV but also a small publisher’s.


2) Sunday? Not so hot. Apparently I picked up a screw in my tire coming home Saturday evening, so I spent what should have been the third day of Shore Leave at the tire store. 4 new tires and a brake job later, I decided it was time to punt.


3) Sunday – good: Watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Going to see it again tomorrow night. Yeah, it’s that good.


4) Wrote 1400 new words on Crossed Swords this week. Almost ready to put that story to bed.


5) Spent Tues/Weds working with some artists to get everything coordinated for the cover to Murder in Monaco. Can’t wait until the publisher gives me the green light to tell you more about this project.


6) Talking with a publisher about pitching a comic series to them as well as writing some other stuff for them. More to come.


7) Went on a writer’s walk-about today. Spent the day at Macha Time Cafe in Ellicott City. Knocked out 4700+ words on The Pearls of Darkness and will be getting back to work on it as soon as I post this. Hopefully, I can finish this up tonight. *crosses fingers*


And that’s the week in a snapshot.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

2014 Shore Leave Schedule

Conventions




Looks like it’s going to be a quiet Shore Leave for me this year.


Friday 10pm – 12am Meet the Pros
Saturday 11am – 12pm Historical Writing Workshop
12pm – 1pm Writer Beware!
Sunday 12pm – 1pm Historical Settings in Fiction (moderator)

I had hoped to be on the Godzilla panel, but there was a scheduling conflict that couldn’t be overcome. Given the choice of helping Howie Weinstein with the Writing Workshop or being the sixth member of a panel, well, I figure helping Howie made more sense.


Which is too bad in a way. I already had my Japanese Beanie Baby versions of Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghihdra ready to bring along, plus my Best of Godzilla soundtrack with the monster’s roar and the “March of the Monsters” cut from “Destroy all Monsters”.


Perhaps, next convention.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

“There is only Zuul”

Great Day!

Now this has been a reasonably productive weekend.

Contacted one publisher to discuss covers for a couple of stories coming out later this year. Contacted the artist doing the cover for a different book to coordinate our ideas before submitting it to the publisher. Spent part of yesterday talking with an upcoming convention to ensure we’re all on the same page.

And on the geeky technology side of writing, I picked up a new projection screen. I had bought a mini-projector which came in handy at Origins. Now, with the 30″ projection screen, when I have a table at a conference, I can project a slide show of my book covers for the visitors.

I also received my final birthday present. I am the new owner of a Livescribe 3 smart pen. This will allow me to write in longhand and it will appear on my iPad mini thanks to the app. Then I simply save what I’ve written as a file and upload it into my laptop. This will be good on those nights I don’t feel like sitting at the computer, but still want to get some writing done. I have to thank my friend Jane Smith for the idea.  This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Oh yeah, and then I went on one of my writing pilgrimages to a local eating establishment and wrote. 4200+ words later and I’m hitting the home stretch on The Pearls of Darkness Affair. A couple of good evening writing and hopefully I’ll be in editing mode come this weekend.

Now, see here’s where my new smart pen could come in handy. Instead of having to haul the laptop to the restaurant, I could simply take a pad of paper, my mini and the pen. Unlike some of my other writer friends who are typing fiends, I’m a notoriously slow typist. I actually write faster than I can type, which is frightening if you think about it. So, this could wind up being the best of both worlds.

And to top it off, I watched Ghostbusters this evening.

“Ray, the next time someone asks if you’re a god, say YES!”

And now, it’s off to get ready for work tomorrow. *bleah*

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

The Joys of a Busy Schedule

Conventions

It appears I will not be attending the Baltimore Book Festival in 2014. I received my invitation on 13 July, but looking at the dates, it’s falling the same weekend as FenCon in Dallas. I contacted them back in March about doing programming and a Writer Beware workshop/panel, so that has to take precidence.

I mean, I love going to conventions where I can sleep in my own bed and just drive to the show or take the Light Rail/Metro in the morning (hello conventions in Baltimore/DC). My second favorite shows are the ones in NYC, because it gives me a good excuse to visit with my writing sensei, Steve Roman of StarWarp Concepts – and then take the subway in to the show in the morning from his place.  (Are we noticing a trend here?) I don’t mind paying for a hotel, but if I can minimize expenses then that’s definitely an added bonus.

I’m running into the same issue in 2015. I have a choice between doing Awesome Con and BEA/BookCon since they’re both going to be the same weekend. At Awesome Con, I’ll have a dealer table, while at BEA, I’d just be helping out at the SFWA booth and then the StarWarp Concepts booth. And as much as I like helping my friends out, making some money toward going to other conventions/expenses is the better idea at this time.

I hate missing shows, especially shows I enjoy, but scheduling conflicts happen and sometimes, you just have to follow your gut.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Finally back in the saddle

Guarded

For the first time since the start of July, I really felt like writing again. It’s a little slow because I’m having to re-read a lot of what I had been working on to hunt down things like character’s last names and so on, but there was movement and progress was made.


First off, I’ve made my hotel reservations for FenCon and sent them an updated bio/picture for their web site. I swore I thought I had done that earlier this year, but apparently it wound up in the bit bucket. Also contacted Archon to verify my attendance before I start booking hotels/flights. So, that’s out of the way.


Also, I re-verified that Kashi Tan and April MacDee still wanted to attend Awesome Con. So, I’ll need to contact them soonest to get my table in Artist’s Alley for 2015.


Then, we actually got to writing. I added 1014 words to Crossed Swords in the Moonlight, my musketeer-inspired story, and about 1000 words to The Pearls of Darkness Affair. I say about because I rewrote a big chunk of the scene I had added right before my father’s illness.


So, it looks like I did about 2,014 words for the first day back in the saddle. Tomorrow I need to answer some correspondence I haven’t gotten to, reformat a few documents to pass to an edtior re: Terra Incognito, and then get back to writing.


After all, I am a writer. It’s what I do and I think it’s what Dad would want me to do.


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

And for something completely different

Thinking

I’ve started participating in the “Ask the Author” function on Goodreads. So far, it’s only questions generated by the Goodreads staff, but it’s open for anyone. I’ve responded to three of the questions and will update as I get a chance.


It’s not writing writing, but it’s a good warm-up for me getting back into the groove.


Hopefully, I’ll get something put together this evening.


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/809463.Richard_C_White


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Darkness and Light

Sad

This has been a rough last couple of weeks. I apologize for going dark, but some things take precedence at times and this was one of them.

My father passed away on 29 June. He was always a large part of my life and I am who I am today because of him. We didn’t always see eye to eye but I knew he had my back no matter what path I decided to take. I was able to get there in time for his 83rd birthday on the 28th and then spent the morning of the 29th with him while he was in the hospice. We didn’t do a lot of talking, but he knew I was there and we were just there for each other. Somehow, that made all the difference.

The rest of last week was devoted to helping my mother and putting together Dad’s memorial service. My wife and I helped put together a slide show of pictures of Dad at different points in his life, from early baby pictures when he was probably four months old, through his high school, Army, college days, early marriage, then pictures of Mom and Dad growing older together. Joni found some great music to accompany the slide show and she got a number of compliments on the show at the service.

We just got back into town last Monday. I took today off to get stuff done around the house that needed doing after our long absence and I start back to work tomorrow. Hopefully, there won’t be too much catch-up there.

So, as you can imagine, it’s taking me a bit to get back on the ol’ writing horse. I’m sorta easing into it. I talked to two of my publishers in the last couple of days to coordinate stuff I still owe, plus I’ve talked to a third publisher about putting my old magazine column into book form for the 2015 convention season. I’m going through the columns and trying to get them ready to make the transition from magazine to book form and trying to decide what stays in, what needs to come out, and what can stay if it’s rewritten. Also, I’ve been sending out some email I’ve owed since Origins, so hopefully, I’ll get some feedback on some leads I got there.

Additionally, I started sketching out a plot to a new story. Well, not new to me, but new to prose form. We’ll see if anything comes out of it, but it felt good to finally feel creative again.

It’s never going to be better, but it can be liveable.

 

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Hand Me My Trench Coat and Fedora

Daydreaming

And calling it a bit earlier than last night. 1750+ words added to The Pearls of Darkness Affair. I’m probably going to revisit this last scene and add in some more description. However, I do have the dialogue down and I’m pretty happy with the tones of voices and I think they sound like the people they’re supposed to represent.

Sometimes, the problem I run into when I’m doing a pulp/noir type of story is I listen to a lot of the old radio dramas, which, of course, are very dialogue heavy. That’s usually why I wind up doing them in two passes. The first I try to focus on voices and get the give and take of the repartee down. Then I have to turn off the audio track in my head and figure out what I need to describe and/or elaborate on to fill in the world around the people conversing.

I admit, I do like dialogue. I don’t know if it’s from my time as an actor or my time doing radio, but I have been accused of having two people standing against a white canvas at times. So, it helps to go back through and ensure I’m painting the background and identifying the props to go along with my story.

There are times when it feels like an author is padding by going into “such” detail when it’s not moving the story forward, but setting the stage helps set the atmosphere in the reader’s head. So, there’s always the war of “how much is not enough, too much and just right.”

No one told me writing was based on the Three Bears. *sigh*

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Clearing the Decks

Writing 1

Worked on Crossed Swords and The Pearls of Darkness Affair today. Only added about 350 words to Swords, but I was busy looking up things about the era of Louis XIII of France.


However, it was a much more productive evening with Pearls. I added 4178 words and tied together some scenes I’d written earlier. It’s a good feeling to finally be making some progress on this one. I’ve been stuck for a while. I’d written myself into a corner, so I had to step back and redo the outline completely for this one.



Now, that is no guarantee I’ll stick with the outline if something better comes to mind as I’m writing the next section, but I know where I “think” I’m supposed to be going with this story. That sometimes is all the boost I need to get going again. With any luck, the main villains will remain the main villains this time and I won’t be killing them off too early like I did already once with this story. (Bad characters, no cookies.)


Clearing the decks is not always fun, but it’s a good feeling when you stop for the night and can look back on a body of work.

It’s a good feeling to know you did about 4500 words in a day and most of them might be keepers. *grin*


And, FYI, I saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 yesterday at the theater. I think I know another movie that’s going to be coming home to join the collection as soon as its available. Because, you know . . . . dragons!


Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

Guarded

Got some great writing in on Sword of Fate this week. 5,684 words in two days (Thurs & Fri).

If the back holds up, I hope to finish this story and hammer out the plot points on The Pearls of Darkness so I can get that finished up before Tommy gives up on me completely.

Plus, there’ll be some letters going out today on some super-secret projects that came up at Origins.

I also suspect there’ll be food and coffee consumed today too before it’s all over.

And tomorrow? Dragons!

 

Oh, and speaking of catching up. I plan on spending some time this evening/tomorrow updating the site. I apologize for letting the front page get a bit out-of-date.

__________________________

Last minute addendum: I see the Legend of Korra is starting back up next Friday (June 27). I’ve been a fan of many franchises, but the whole Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra story has really captured my attention. If someone came up to me and said, you can write for any franchise that you want but that’ll be the only one you can ever write for again, this one would be my choice.

Honestly, the TV shows have just barely touched on the world. This is a license just begging to be mined.

Originally published at Richard C. White. Please leave any comments there.

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