Saturday, June 30, 2012

In Which the Author finally shuts up for the month

Mostly because there's only 6 1/2 hours left in June. Then I start up yakking about July!

No, there's actually a point to this. I was rummaging through my old old OLD notes for the books and stuff, trying to find all the doodles and whatnot I have that have anything to do with Inferno, and I came across an odd list. I couldn't figure out what it was at first. Then it struck me.

It's a list of characters and symbols. For a PauC-themed project:

Tarot cards. 

Full major arcana of the major scenes of the series; full minor arcana for four symbolic items and the suit cards of minor characters.

Holy carp when did I come up with this? Never mind. I'm seeing it in my head now. And it looks COOL. I see art nouveau. Seriously.

If we don't fund the Kickstarter I'll be mentioning this in the Indiegogo campaign. Because dammit I want to see this come into being.

Particularly because of course, Victor Hugo is the Fool. X'D *

I don't know as I should mention it on the KS because it's only slightly more formed an idea than the maps, which are currently me charting the voyages on a paper and waiting for the maps I ordered to arrive so I can scan them and start photoshopping the bejeesus out of them. With the Tarot deck all I have is the list.

And it's a doozy.

I have the opposite of that thing, what's it called? Oh yeah. Too much time on my hands.

BRB brain broke.

*well actually, the Fool is the journeyer, so that makes sense; he's the one journeying vicariously through the lives of the other characters. I just however like calling him the fool. And yes the cards will be labeled in French. So it's Le Fou.

In Which the Author did it

Honor is done. A day early.

Final word count on the 2/3 of the book I did this month: 122,125. So probably tops out close to 200k total. Another brick in the bookshelf. Will let it sit a few days and then start printing out and picking apart.

But: first draft to bed. And so am I.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In Which the Author is really, really tired

Been up 24 straight hours, unable to sleep. Can't sleep means can't work. So, can't work at job means must work at home. Writing.

I have nine chapters to go (plus one section that's historical slush filler that may or may not get written so I'm not counting it right now) and I'm DONE.

I'm writing the final denouement scenes. It's all coming together.

Bodycount abnormally high. Angst level through the roof. This book is a bigger cliffhanger than the last one, on every single storyline.

But it's almost done. Then I can set it aside to congeal while I plan to write Inferno in August.

Just the words "Honor is almost done" are like ice cream and air conditioning right now. You have no idea.

Too wired to sleep. Going to write some more. May finish today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Which the Author is really, really mean

Just wanted to say that the closer I get to finishing it (and I am getting very close) the body count for Honor is getting kind of high. Not just my original characters, mind you. Until today I had told some people that no fewer than three of Hugo's characters are going to die in this one.

But today, it turns out to be four. Four characters!

On a related note, why not pledge the Kickstarter campaign? If it funds, the sooner and prettier this book will appear in your hands and e-readers.

Just a thought.

Mu ha ha ha ha ha...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Which the Author is driven a little crazy

For some reason, which I cannot seem to find, the ebook version of Adrift simply will not show up justified. It keeps showing a ragged right edge. I have tried everything to get it to match the other two books. Nothing seems to work.

I will keep trying though. Sooner or later it will work. I just have to hope that I don't have to UNformat the dang thing and then recode it from scratch. Because it takes a teensy bit short of forever doing that.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blathering.

Friday, June 22, 2012

In Which the Author is ready to throw up hands at Kickstarter

So remember how I said I sent Kickstarter a question about why they don't rotate other videos into the front page collage, and I got a canned email about how they choose what gets featured and that it's SO much better for me to push the project on my own media sites--in short, they didn't answer it at all.

So I emailed them again, asking if they have live people reading these, because I want an answer about the rotation of front page videos. And I shit you not I got a response from someone named Emily who wrote one line saying, "Yes, real people answer these!" with a smiley face

followed by the EXACT SAME CUT AND PASTE CANNED EMAIL about what gets featured and that it's SO much better for me to push the project on my own media sites, etc.

I'm about ready to give up. I'm not asking for a feature, I just want to be rotated in once in awhile with all the other videos, to maybe catch a fresh eye, but apparently that's only for the cool kids.

Flowered kitten leggings? Front page coverage! Books? Back of the bus muchacha.

I'm about ready to just let it drop and work toward putting together an Indiegogo fundraiser with a smaller limit that I can reach or, if not, that at least I can get what gets donated.

I am so frustrated I can't even tell you. I feel like I let everyone down with the generous backers, art print donations, and every retweet or facebook post.

One would think, since they only get a cut of successful Kickstarters, it would be in their interest to rotate out those videos not just to the trendy or hip projects. The more successful projects, the more they get.

Apparently this is not part of their business model. So.

I'm going to go write some more. Kickstarter is not ended; it's still running. But other than spamming everyone again with tweets and requests for retweets and so on, which I don't want to inflict on people because that's just goddamned annoying, I'm at a loss for what to do now.

In Which the Author checks in

Yep, still writing. Yep, still working on Kickstarter campaign. Lamenting again I tried to do both in the same month. It's got about two weeks to go and I'm not totally giving up but it's slowed down to a crawl and apparently Kickstarter only puts the cool trendy projects on the front page image montage, so, doesn't look like they're going to be showing it to any potential new backers. I am so frustrated with their attitude I can't even. I mean I understand them featuring the ones that they want to feature, but the huge map of video images? Would it kill them to make it random to give smaller projects a chance to get noticed? Apparently so.

I'm not totally giving up, as I said, but I'm going to formulate a backup plan, because as we all know I think in worst case scenarios.

Speaking of which, you all know I've been sick for the better part of a year. Still no word on what's causing it, but I've been set up for some tests. The kind of tests they give you after the preliminary ones. The kind where they tell you, "we found something, but it's probably nothing to worry about." Yeah, see above paragraph about how I deal with that kind of stuff. 

Meanwhile I'm still writing. That at least hasn't changed. And the book is getting done. As for the rest, we'll cross fingers and etc.

Friday, June 15, 2012

In Which the Author shows off something pretty

If you are thinking about donating to the Kickstarter campaign, maybe this will help seal the deal.

Everyone who pledges at the $24 level or above receives a print of this fantastic portrait by Colleen Doran.

The quote reads:

Nothing was so poignant as this face, wherein was displayed all that may be designated as the evil of the good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In Which the Author gets donations of a different sort

So I've now had two different people offer to donate prints to use for the Kickstarter campaign as backer rewards. Along with the original print offered, that makes three! This is great! And I'm working on an idea of my own too, something a little different. Things are being made!

The question has also been raised, if I don't make the goal, will I still do the prints? Oh, definitely. Prints and postcards will be produced. They will be used as promotional giveaways and, when the books get printed (even if the Kickstarter fails the books will get made, it will just cost me personally a lot more to see it done--the Kickstarter is to offset what otherwise would be out of pocket expense for me) will be offered as inclusions.

So, even though things are kind of quiet on the Kickstarter front right now, things are still happening. Everyone knows the middle of the book is always the slowest, and it's toward the end that things pick up speed and get exciting. I've been told that Kickstarter projects tend to work the same way. So, thumbs up and keep plugging.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In Which the Author takes a mallet to her manuscripts

No matter how many eyes you have looking on a manuscript, there's always something.

And we're finding them. Lots of somethings. Like a freaking literary whack-a-mole game. Hence the mallet.

Here's the thing: the print versions of the series were edited and formatted for PDF, which I am not allowed to use, but the word files I used to submit to the conversions originally apparently did not have the final changes. I'm finding discrepencies between the print volumes and the master files I created for Smashwords that, barring a side by side reading (and yeah, 500,000 words so far, not happening) I will never be able to find all of them.

So we're going through bit by bit and cleaning up all the manuscripts of all the tense issues, the double words, the missing spaces. If you've already downloaded a copy of any of the books fret not; you can always download a newer version that you've paid for. I am noting version numbers in the e-books and describing what edits were done (formatting, corrections, what have you). Of course you can also keep the earlier versions.

We have been reading these on the computer, or as I prefer to edit, printed out on actual paper. But it's only when looking at them in the confines of my e-reader that I'm finding things that my eyes skipped over.

By the end of the month, once I get the Camp Nanowrimo thing done and I'm not pushing myself to write new material, I can take July and work on edits and proofing. Because August is another book, so that's my only chance.

Thanks to all the beta readers and extra sets of eyes helping me out on this. If ever there was a demonstration why I need the Kickstarter to be successful--to be able to hire someone to professionally work these books over--this would be it.

Whack. Whack whackkity whack.

Monday, June 11, 2012

In Which the Author brings back an oldie but goodie

It has been suggested that I show off one of the neat pledge items on my Kickstarter project, the infamous "What would Javert Do?" t-shirt design.

I actually had these for sale way back around 2000 through CafePress, but it's been so long I don't even have the store anymore. The new shirts will be limited to the next rounded decimal above those needed to fulfill the Kickstarter pledges (so if there's 12, I'll make 20; if there's 5 I'll make 10, if there's 100 I'll throw a party)

Here's the front cover design. Art is from one of the original bookplate illustrations from the 1800's, with a little bit of text tweeking from me.

The punchline of course is on the back.

What do you think it might be? Feel free to speculate, except the ones who I told already.

We are currently at 26% funded on the campaign. Keep spreading the good word and I'll keep finding neat things to give you for pledging. Thanks everyone!

Friday, June 8, 2012

In Which the Author says Hooray

Smallish update: got a little stuck working on the segment of Honor I was working on so I went ahead and skipped to dessert and wrote the book's epilogue, where the merde is about to get vrai.

By the end of this book, not one, not two, but three of Hugo's original characters will not be continuing on to the fifth book, Inferno, and will sit out the rest of the books in the Green Room. And that's actual named, backgrounded and important-to-the-story characters. Not just "that one guy Jean Valjean talked to that one time."

And if you think that spares either of the two main characters, I'd just like to point out that while most of the books are flashbacks and being told as such, nothing protects them in Guernsey. Nothing.

And also: no one (with the exception of the one character who already has done so, who I'll refrain from naming because duh spoiler) dies in bed of old age in this series. No one.

Mu hu hu hu. Mwa ha ha ha ha.
 *cough hack cough*
I should know better than to cackle maniacally in a high register. Wow that hurts.

Anyway, back at it. Honor is more than 2/3 complete now with four segments to go: one Hugoesque diversion called The Fatal Flower (which I may save to tackle last, research and boring and all that) and three main storyline sections that I've tentatively titled Buttons, Sacrifice, and Misery.

Merde gets vrai, indeed.

Keep plugging the Kickstarter! the faster this gets funded and the printing worries go away, the more time and energy I can devote to finishing the whole shebang by early 2013. Every little bit helps!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In Which the Author dances around the campfire nekkid

Well, you would too if:

1) Adrift went up tonight! It's here! Unfortunately that means that until I finish Honor, there'll be no more releases like this, so make it last!


2) the Kickstarter campaign begins! So we can raise money to make print books of the series again, redesign and relaunch the website, and oh by the way once the volumes I'm doing now get done, they'll also go into print. And I can hire a professional editor and someone to design the print volumes for publication!

If you don't know what Kickstarter is, it's really simple. It's like public television. There's a goal amount for whatever you're doing. People pledge amounts that they want to contribute. Depending on how much you pledge, there are rewards. In this case, at certain money levels you can get the remaining e-books when they come out (a week before anyone else does) or the print volumes. You can get t-shirts and prints. You can even, with the right amount, be IN the book. That's right, I'll put you in it! But not the way you think.

Anyway, the thing that makes this different from public television is that if at the end of the pledge period (in this case, one month) you don't reach your goal, you get NONE of the money. It's okay to go over, but if you don't make your projected amount, it's as much fun as spending a night in Montfermeil.

So, if you want to pledge and by doing so get yourself some awesome swag, stop on by the Kickstarter page. Here's the link! Don't forget to laugh at my painfully amateur video.

oh and 3) don't forget to cheer me on writing Honor at CampNanoWrimo. Because otherwise you'll never know what happens next :-D

In Which the Author has Good News and Gooder News

Good news: Adrift goes live tomorrow (the 6th of June, perfect timing!) Or rather, the traditional launch time, 1am local time.

Gooder news: my proposal for a Kickstarter campaign has been approved. My goal is small, but it will cover reissuing the books in print in all new shiny editions and the relaunch of the poor old neglected website, also restored to shiny goodness.

When I get the Kickstarter kickstarted, which will ALSO be at 1am on June 6, I will post here and link to it. It's not just a donation drive; it's a donation and you get SWAG drive! E books, the new print editions, t-shirts, mini prints, and more! And you also get to look at the video I made. I'm a little proud of how it came out :-)

More later. Meanwhile, I'm imputing last few correx on Adrift for the launch. I'm sure after I download it and read it I'll find stuff I didn't see the first thirty seven times I read it through, but (and here's an incentive to donate to the Kickstarter if there ever was one) the goal I set includes hiring a professional editor to go over the manuscripts and really give them a workout. Not that I don't appreciate the beta readers and proofers who over the years have helped me out, because I do, but honestly, it's time to get a professional to get their hands on them.

Also: if you're not following my Camp Nanowrimo progress, shame on you you can follow it here, and also every week I will be posting a new excerpt from Honor, all new, never before read. So it's worth it. Because the book is getting written and the wheels of progress are turning again. Hooray!

In Which the Author has some ongoing Issues

First off, I've (temporarily) removed the donation link on the page. First because I'm in the final stages of getting a Kickstarter started, and I'd rather drive any money in that direction, and second, because Paypal is effing me up yo. Because of an ebay transaction that six months later someone decides to dispute on their credit card, my Paypal account is tied up with money that is not there until they decide what to do about it. Any money going through Paypal right now will just be caught up in a dragnet (dum da dum dum DUMMMM) and no sense leaving it there for them to collect interest on while I can't get to it. So.

(and btw, Kickstarter is done through Amazon Payments, so take that Paypal)

I will keep you updated as soon as I know anything. Meanwhile looking into other donation options.

But I'm > this < close never to selling on Ebay again, I swear. Those buyers are crazy.

In other news, Nano is going well, have completed 10k of new work on Honor that really really needs editing, you bet, but it's on the page so there. And in sports, Sanctuary has been reloaded on Smashwords because the Author wrote something really stupid and took out the whole paragraph rather than try to fix it. It reads better without it, but dayam stupid writer is stupid. I won't tell you what it is. I'm just embarrassed and need to have my researching credentials revoked. If you bought one already you can download the updated version. Please do.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In Which the Author hates to wait for things

So, it's four days early but screw it I'm tired of waiting. It's worse than Christmas.

Pont-au-Change Volume II: Sanctuary is now live.

Here's hoping Adrift goes up on the 6th but if I miss that date I won't worry so much.

Nanoing the rest of Honor is working so far! Please follow my progress here and I've even posted a small excerpt.