WIP-it Wednesday: October 25th, 2017

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

The domino effect from getting my author’s site ready and the establishing a small publishing business continues to wreak havoc on my writing schedule.

Last weekend, setting-up the posts I schedule for this blog got pushed out, and I thought that I could get them done during the work week. But thanks to a mini-crisis at work and two other creative projects with more pressing needs, that mostly didn’t happen. Instead it got done this weekend. Mostly.

I still had Lovecraft essays to compose for a pair of upcoming Throwback Thursdays come Sunday afternoon, but then a good friend in need of an ear gave me a phone call.

We talked for over 90 minutes. I was able to help her, and it’s always a good feeling to reconnect with a friend and take them from despondence to laughter by the end of the conversation.  But after that long talk, getting back into gear was difficult. I STILL haven’t gotten those essays done.

It’s frustrating. I’ve gone three weeks now without being able to devote significant time to writing fiction. I’d even go so far as to say I’m a little depressed about it. :-(

I take solace realizing that what’s going on isn’t normal. In fact, it’s a confluence of very atypical events. My month started with an emotional and delayed unpacking of items from our move in 2015. That lead to a reconfiguring my writing space, which was a good and needed thing, but still a lost weekend for working on fiction. Then there were the two weekends thereafter that were spent working on my author’s site and planning a small business. However, from all that I did write a good personal biography of myself.

These are all one-off things, so at least it’s not like my weekly routine is out of control. I just need to keep going and get on the other side of this stuff to restore my time to write creatively.

But it’s still frustrating, probably because I have nothing to show for most of that work yet. However, to look for positives, I did complete some things this week… and a number of my ongoing projects are still rolling along:

 ⇒ Cretaceous Queen has reached a 5th draft, and I’m working with a fine friend of mine to secure some art for its November — December serialization here on the blog. :-) My work with her this week also resulted in me writing down and plotting out some points of background and future expansion for the story.

In other art news, Kate Whitmore has completed the cover artwork for my novelette, A Contract in Azure and Indigo… and it’s gorgeous! :-D Combined with the art she’s completed for The Brynesmark, my two longest novelettes now have all the components they need to be made into eBooks and are that much closer to being ready to publish early next year.

My flash fiction story Ogre Sweat was released and many people really enjoyed it. :-)

I’ve made some progress on the RPG games I’m planning to run for PortCon in June of next year. Beyond getting those done for the fun of it and to fulfill my commitment to the convention, getting them done in a reasonable way so that I can avoid a very disruptive “month of RPG writing” followed by the “month of getting my shit back together” that happened this year and last is a scheduling goal on my timetable for 2018.

I’m still in the planning stages, but I’ve been streamlining and consolidating my initial ideas in my mind to reduce the amount of work it will take to create them. I’ll still be running four total game sessions, but they’ll consist of two independent pairs of games. Within the pairs, the same pool of player character choices and overall setting will be shared. But the two adventure scenarios will otherwise be unique and can be run so that events/outcomes of one scenario are independent and don’t carry over to the other. In effect, both sessions utilize the same “cast” of protagonists, but aside from that starting point they branch very differently story-wise… and take place in separate, closely related, but ultimately alternate narratives.

The convention theme this year is “Spooky” and I’m trying to stick with it. Currently, I’m thinking about running one pair of games that are based off the weird horror works of H.P. Lovecraft. The second pair of games follows supernaturally animated toys trying to protect the children they belong to from the truly nightmarish beings out to harm them.

Finally, and by accident, I plotted a novel outline this week.

It started out as a character write-up for one of the aforementioned RPG scenarios above, specifically one using Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. But then it evolved into a five-page treatment sketching out an enigmatic young woman named Meredith, who is determined to solve a bizarre and frightening mystery interwoven with a past she keeps secret.

‘Meredith Danes Sketch’, by Kate Whitmore. Click here for more of her work!

It’s a weird-horror tale with a subdermal touch of existential dread, and therefore would be something quite different from anything else I’ve written. Set in 1929 amid the era where HP placed many of his Mythos stories, most of the action plays out in Maine. But it’s got a twist building throughout that I think will climax in a way that will surprise and make the themes my own rather than a rehash of Lovecraft’s.

I will also be respectfully challenging and refuting some of HP’s themes that I disagree with in it. The main protagonist being a woman is one such challenge, although elements of her background resonate strongly and intentionally with concepts found in some of Lovecraft’s most memorable characters and stories.

All that said, I’m not going to start work on this anytime soon… but I think I’ve got a really good idea to build a story upon down the road.

I’ve got a lot going on Friday (a workplace haunted house event and handing out of candy to disadvantaged kids) and Saturday (the annual Abbott Halloween Party), but then my wife and I have three days off… a mini-vacation we both need to recover and wrap things up with. Kim should have my author’s site ready to launch by the end of that time, and while she’s coding I hope to be writing my way out of the slog I’ve had with my latest story, Shadow of the Black Tower.

Maybe I’ll have the draft of it done of it by Halloween. That’d be a treat. ;-)

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

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