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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

This weekend I returned to Bryan Aiello’s podcast to record a second discussion with him that turned out great. The YouTube video above is this latest interview, and if you missed the first one we did back at the end of April, here is a link to that one as well.

Like the last time we spoke, the conversation was fun and lively. I talked about my convention experiences as a writer and game master for a short time, and the dialogue then moved into a discussion on the fantasy genre and the works and influences of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard.

We ended up using those two masters’ different approaches and strategies to writing –and living a writer’s life– as examples that are still quite relevant for modern authors today. It was a really good talk, and I even got to speak about my upcoming novel Vivian’s Last Cigarette for a while.

With the rest of my weekend, I started getting caught-up on a bunch of projects put on hold during the chaos of June. I finished editing a short story that had been on the back-burner since May and posted it here on Saturday. I also did edits and review on a more recently written flash fiction piece that will go up on the blog this upcoming Saturday.

I followed-up on correspondences with several authors that had been on hold, and that work spilled over into Monday as I replied to responses. In particular, my friend and author Lauren L. Garcia and I are planning a few interview exchanges between our respective blogs. She has many interesting things to say, and I’m excited to be hosting an open discussion between her and I that should be both insightful and entertaining!

Given those investments of time over my weekend, the progress I made returning to work on Vivian’s was minimal.

On the editing side, Lauren (who is also a critiquing partner) completed her edit and feedback notes on the new chapters four and five of the novel. She’s excited to read chapter six, and on Sunday I got some work done towards finishing it. I didn’t get as much written I would have liked, but I did give its opening three-thousand words a solid read-through and edit sliding back into the piece again.

I added a bit less than a thousand words to the chapter beyond the editing: Getting started again on the book has proved to be slow going. It probably doesn’t help that the chapter itself is going through a major shift in scene after a big chase at this point, making “getting back into the flow” difficult because my very task is to change that flow rather than to ride it.

But problems or not, I did make progress. And next weekend should have less distracting me from the novel (like an interview) than this one did.

I do have a side project I’m going to try and squeeze in on my workday evenings for the next week or so. You see, last week it was my turn to unleash a new monthly writer’s challenge prompt on the FantasyWriters group. This was my long-planned-but-kept-secret Dinosaur Challenge:

Your Challenge this month is to write a story containing fantasy elements that features a dinosaur or dinosaurs as major components. Imaginary or speculatively evolved humanoid dinosaurs won’t cut it by themselves. Submissions will need to be three-thousand words or less in length to be eligible to win.

Prior to this reveal, another writing friend (and critique partner) of mine made a funny statement on her Twitter:

To which I replied:

Prior to that exchange, I was actually thinking that I would expand this particular Fifty Word Fantasy piece I did featuring a dinosaur into a short story. Yet now the gauntlet had been thrown!

Penning a Magical Girl story likely isn’t something folks would expect me to do, but truth be told I’m not unfamiliar with the genre. I was into anime back when it was still called Japanimation, and thanks to working a third-shift job in the mid-nineties I watched the American syndicated run of Sailor Moon most mornings eating cereal after I came home from work.

It was honestly the best thing on at 6 am in 1995…

I also love superhero fiction, and most magical girl stories share a lot of tropes and conventions with the former. The major defining difference is that the latter is focused on pre-adult girls as magic-powered protagonists, and their sub and even main plots often involve comedy or drama unrelated to superheroics.

As odd of a concept as it is, I can’t get the thought of a fifteen-year-old girl with the magical power to save the day by becoming a dinosaur out of my head. It definitely has humorous alludes, but after outlining ideas and background for an in medias res short, I can truly see this actually working as a YA tale.

Seriously.

And that’s why I’m putting aside weeknight time to write Cretaceous Queen when I’m not working on Viv’s over the weekends. :-)

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!

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