In any case, enjoy! Posted as-found, corrected only for formatting. I call it "Butcher Bullet" for reasons that will become obvious.
Friday, September 12, 2014
I found this gem while digging through old compositions on my desktop. I really need to spend more time on my desktop.
In any case, enjoy! Posted as-found, corrected only for formatting. I call it "Butcher Bullet" for reasons that will become obvious.
Monday, August 4, 2014
First off, I want to touch on what I do for research. I frequently do hours of research (though to be fair, it's done online and some of it comes from Wikipedia, so you can give me as much credit for accuracy as you wish) for small details, just to make sure they're right. For example, the Sanskrit I used for Skorpion's gloves in Reagent Protocol and the mythology associated with the word I chose for poison took me over two hours. That doesn't seem like much, when you consider the years some people spend researching certain subjects, but most of these people are doing research for entire books, or series, etc, not just a small aspect of one. I could have picked almost anything, but I wanted something different, perhaps unique, to make the book stand out. Besides, I do pride myself a little bit on accuracy, even if it is fictional.
Let me give you another, specific, example of the research I do. When attempting to find some way for Shawn to forge the one ring (couldn't resist) he made in Reagent Protocol, I watched a demonstration of something called crucible steel. When I say demonstration of it, I mean a demonstration of everything from the forging of a sword from the steel to the actual refining of the ore. That's where I got the idea for the oven he melted the ore in, actually. Okay, that's where I ripped the idea from. I just added a little magical pizzazz to make it fit better. If you have any interest in seeing this demonstration, I can highly recommend an episode of Nova where they make a Viking sword roughly a millennium ahead of its time. For those of you with Amazon Prime video streaming, you can watch it through that service in high definition. You'll want Nova Season 8, episode 11. If you're anything like me, just watching the sword getting forged is very entertaining, but in the finest traditions of the Nova show, it's also very informative and moves along at an excellent pace. If you're not a Prime subscriber but you are a Netflix subscriber, you can watch it there, too, if you'd like. Just do a search for "Secrets of the Viking Sword" and it'll come up fine. If you don't subscribe to either, you can watch on PBS's website for free (assuming you're a resident of the USA or have a proxy set up properly to view content). I found it fascinating.
So, if you've ever wondered why I'm so specific about certain details in my writing, it's because I have reason to be.
Anyway, speaking of Reagent Protocol, I have plans to eventually add another short story to it. After all, I've only showed what, arguably, are success stories for those seeking redemption. Not every story has such a happy ending.
Moving on to the future (don't want to disappoint people by not coming through on that), my plans seem to fluctuate with whatever I can create at the time. At the moment I'm working on a (hopefully much more successful and, outlined, much longer) followup to The Grand Granger. I'm in very early stages of the rough draft, but we'll see where the tides take us. That's not to say I'm not also pecking away at Guild Files: Rogue, but it's definitely taken a back seat. Why? Sociopaths are easy to create but hard to write.
Take from that what you will.
On that note I'm going to wrap things up. Yes, I'm still alive. Yes, I have reasons, and reasons aplenty, why I haven't been more talkative or creative lately. No, I'm not going to share them. They're personal and this isn't a blog about my personal life.
Thanks for reading and be sure to tell all your friends about how awesome at least some of my writing is!
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
The first thing I noticed about him was his hat. I supposed this was intentional. Everything else about his clothing was hard-wearing, worn, and possibly even a little shabby. From his almost-olive-drab t-shirt, blue jeans that had holes in one leg, shoes that looked like they'd seen better months, unzipped jacket that looked tough enough to stand by itself when taken off, three-day stubble, and single ring gracing the middle finger of his right hand, I'd have been forced to say he was halfway to vagrancy.But there was more. His beard was growing out from a neat trim but was still well-maintained. It was a fussy style, too. His sideburns grew down his jawline, along his jaw, and into a goatee. His neck, which looked like his razor needed replacing, was shaven – aside from the stubble. His hair was long, but he'd pulled it back in a loose tail so it wasn't in the way, and just starting to gray a little at the temples.His middle was thick, like he was used to eating big, or at least heavy, meals, but not so thick as to make someone think he was fat. His legs were well-hidden by the jeans, but the thighs looked ever-so-slightly strained over the muscle moving when he walked. Actually, when he paced.He kept his hands in his pockets, but he hooked his thumbs into the belt loops just above them, like he was used to resting his hands on something hanging off his belt. His eyes darted from door to door and looked out each window. He never looked over his shoulder when he changed direction, but you could tell his awareness was keyed up.He didn't pace like a caged animal as he waited for his clothing to finish getting mauled by the industrial washing machine. No, he moved too slowly and deliberately for that. His pace was measured and cautious, like he'd grown used to watching where every footfall went. He never moved in one direction too long, either. He didn't turn his head, he turned his whole body to check behind him. And there was more. Whenever he didn't have his hands in his pockets, his thumbs locked in his belt loops, he moved his arms in a curious way. They swung like coiled springs, ready to loose their tension in less than a heartbeat on anyone incautious enough to come too closely.I felt the corner of my mouth curl ever-so-slightly in a half-smile.The hat, though. His jacket was faded and starting to fray around the cuffs, his shirt had bleach spots from a hurried hand putting the cap back on the bottle, his jeans were torn in several places on his left thigh, and his shoes sported soles that were obviously more than half worn and the bodies were starting to deteriorate, but he had that damn hat. Everything else he was wearing was obviously hard-used and designed to take it, but the hat was new and, aside from a few stray cat hairs, well-cared for.It looked good on him, don't get me wrong. It just stood out like a sore thumb, and nobody could say it was laundry day and that's why he was dressed down. He was far too comfortable wearing the shabby clothes to be that image-conscious.The hat was a fedora. Not a damn trilby, a fedora. There's a big difference, just so you know. Anyway, it was black, with a smaller brim than I would have expected, but nothing too obvious. It rode his head comfortably, and he was patently used to wearing it because he didn't hit it on anything he could have.It just seemed, well, odd.His right leg was minutely stiff and he had a barely-discernible limp from it, but nothing that would disqualify him from a ten-kay march.No, the more I watched him the more I came to the conclusion that the deliberate movement was to conserve energy, that the thickening middle was from eating habits from long periods of privation and heavy exercise rather than laziness, his hat was a peacock tail, and that this man had spent some serious time first in the suck and then in the shit. And, like so many other veterans, still spent part of his time there. At least he did in his own head.He didn't engage anyone. The only time I caught his eye I could see a stare that went beyond the horizon. I didn't try to hold it. He wanted to be left alone and it was the least I could do for someone who still hadn't come home. I left him alone to continue his solitary march through hell.
Well, there you have it. By the way, if you're not following me over on Google + you're missing out on a few things.
If you want updates on Rogue or Reagent Protocol then follow me there or on Twitter, because I post there more than I do here.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
Since I'm mobile I'll keep this as brief as possible. Reagent Protocol, the second book in the Guild Files universe, will be done in a few days. The cover is holding me up at the moment. While I'm sure many of you reading this wouldn't care what I used for a cover, it's still important for overall sales.
On another note, to all those who find this blog via Google, looking for my second Guild Files book, stop by and drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Don't forget to read the preview if you want. Make sure the book is something you want before you buy! Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!
Since I'm sure at least one person reading this is interested, my personal life is still a shambles. I'm doing the best I can and trying to continue getting my life back in order (a very long-term project), but my emotional state can only be described as "in turmoil". It's impossible to keep this from affecting my professional life, but I'm doing what I can to minimize the impact. While I'd like to go into detail, I won't. It's not really important and it's personal. I won't go dumping personal details on you because this isn't Facebook or Myspace.
Now, with that out of the way, down to business. Several years ago I wrote a book about a PI. I never named this character, nor did I even have a title for the book. Sound familiar? It should. I already admitted that I suck at titles.
I wrote this book back in 2006 or so. That was well before I started working on Subject 12. As such, any resemblance between the two can be attributed to good ideas, bad ideas, or just plain cussedness on my part.
I needed a break from Reagent Protocol because of my emotional state and the association I was developing between the story and the problems going on in my life at the time. So I took one in editing Triggerbreak (not the original title) for publication. Why I did this after such a long lapse between when I last touched finger to key to edit the book is a question that has many answers. I've touched on my money problems. I've touched on my need to get my life in order. I've already said I needed a break from what I'd been doing. I've also always felt that the story, while a little rough, was worth publication. I've even started work on a sequel to it, though I haven't worked on it in months if not over a year or more. But it's definitely a secondary piece; the Guild Files universe is where I'll be doing most of my work because the story I've been writing is far from over, and it won't end even after Rogue is finished, though much will be made clearer about Hammer and the, let's face it, strange title of Subject 12.
So, the question on everyone's lips at the moment has to be "What is Triggerbreak about?" Well, it might not be, but work with me here.
Let me post the jacket blurb I already posted on Google+. Which, for the record, you should be following me at because I really do post more there than here. And Twitter. Probably should be following me on all three, actually.
I hadn’t liked my brother-in-law from the moment I met him – I liked him even less when I found out how he spent his Saturday nights. I’d never even heard of Turk before he cracked one of my ribs and the local Mafia boss put him in his place for it. I’d never met Betty before the night I saved her life.
Tracer was the best fixer and information broker in the city. She was the go-to girl and everyone knew it, even if they couldn’t afford it. She was probably the best ally I had. Nick ran the Gentle Arms Hotel; he was the high priest of the only Holy Ground in this godforsaken town and my best friend. Jared was crazy, an ex-spook, and the most trustworthy man I knew.
When I got up that morning all I’d wanted to do was get drunk, smoke a few cigarettes, and forget about everything in my life that had gone wrong. Seems somebody had other plans, though. That’s why they left me in a pool of blood with a head wound that sent me to the hospital.
Now, with two psychopaths and a hired gun trying to kill me, the question is simple. Can my friends and I pull my fat out of the fire before someone does more than just cave in the back of my skull?
Monday, January 20, 2014
Back to the flesh and blood readers. As I've been telling you, for the last few months I've been hacking away at the main story in my upcoming release, Guild Files Volume 2: Reagent Protocol. While I haven't fielded any questions, I'm sure there are some, so I'm going to try and answer a few.
First off, is Reagent Protocol a sequel to Subject 12? No. I already answered this, but I'll go into a little more depth here. While it's not a direct sequel (in fact, it takes place during the events of Subject 12), it sets up characters that make appearances in Rogue, and it expands the overall universe in ways that I plan on taking advantage of.
Second, is Reagent Protocol an anthology like I had discussed before? Yes and no. It will bundle Banshee, which you should be familiar with (if you're not, click that link), and the story I just finished the rough draft to, which is about Shawn Doolish, a 200 year-old shadow mage who has left the Villain's Confederation and joined the Heroes' Guild. Current word count on the Doolish story is over 67,000 words. Banshee clocked in around 10,000 words, so we're looking at probably around 80-82.5K words total when I get some reader feedback and do my editing. And no, I haven't done the Guild Intelligence file(s) for the main story yet.
Third, what does Reagent Protocol mean for the publication of Rogue? Well, obviously I haven't worked too intensely on Rogue while I've been working on Reagent Protocol. While I need to keep many irons in the fire so I don't get too burnt out on any one project, the lion's share of my attention does go to the project that I feel is of the highest priority, and that usually is the one that I feel the most inspiration for. In this case, Rogue just didn't make the cut that often. I'm still working on it, I swear, it's slow going. I do, however, plan on making it my next Guild Files release.
Fourth, do I still have plans for an anthology of short stories set in the Guild Files universe? Not as such, no, and certainly not immediately. I do, however, plan on possibly tacking another short story or two into Reagent Protocol, provided they fit the criteria for a Reagent Protocol story. I'll explain what I mean about that in the actual publication.
Fifth, is there any way you can read the rough draft and give me reader feedback? To be honest, possibly. I've had a couple of offers and, even if I haven't responded to them, I've heard them and remember them. The issue at hand is twofold. Of highest priority would be the fact that I need feedback both on the story as I've presented it. Is it good enough? Are the characters believable? Are they exciting? Is the story plausible within the constraints of the universe? Are there any gaping plot holes... That's a lot to ask of anyone, especially someone I don't know, and that doesn't even cover the other part. If you think you can handle all that and get back to me in a timely fashion (by Monday the 27th), I'll consider the first three people who contact me with a valid e-mail address. Drop me a line on Google+, Twitter, or in the comments here. Thanks!
Those were the only questions I could really think of, so I'll wrap it up here. I'd planned for a character map of the main characters, but this is getting long already and will only get longer from here.
Now, on to why many of you might be interested in reading this blog post at all, the excerpt. Keep in mind three things. This is a rough draft. That means what you see here may not bear any resemblance to the opening of the published story. Secondly, this won't be the same excerpt as you'd get from Amazon when I get the book published. That will, if memory serves, be substantially longer than what I'm posting here, and cover at least in part a different section of the story. Third, I will not change this when I publish. Consider it a glimpse into the creative process if you so wish. If it stays the same, then you'll know I did good. If it changes dramatically, you'll be able to see the difference. Also, though this goes without saying to anyone who has read Subject 12, there's a content warning for language. You have been warned. So, with those things in mind, enjoy!
Friday, January 10, 2014
No, this post is me pointing to my Google+ account. I'm trying to increase my direct interaction with my readers (that would be you), and Google+ seems like the most direct way I can. I know some of you would suggest Facebook, but I have numerous problems with that. Suffice it to say, Facebook is a non-issue, so we'll drop it now.
So, if you want to interact, you can head on over to G+ and drop me a line. If you have a gmail address you have a G+ account, as far as I'm aware, so the cost for admission is pretty low. I don't know much about G+, not being a Facebook user, but I'll try to keep things either on-topic or at least light. I'm learning, and all this is pretty new to me, but I'm going to give it a shot. I'm not giving up my blog or my twitter, so you'll still be able to reach me either place, but G+ might get updated a little more frequently. I'm going to try.
Thanks for reading!
Saturday, January 4, 2014
I won't go into too many details since this is supposed to be about my writing and not about my personal life, but when my personal life intrudes into my writing and I let you guys down I feel I have to explain. As such, I'll give you the top two non-relationship issues I'm facing.
First, money. I don't have a regular job or regular source of income other than book sales, and those have sunk like the Bismarck, leaving me with little in the way of resources. Money worries, in short, are stressing me out. This makes me want to write more, obviously, but just because I want to write doesn't mean things come out easier or faster. To help remedy this situation I looked for some freelance writing jobs online and found that I was in so far over my head I couldn't see daylight. The systems for doing the work were confusing, the escrow fees were incredibly high, and the bid averages for anything that I'd be comfortable doing were so low that I'd be essentially working for free, especially with the escrow fees. I may revisit the idea in the near future, but what I saw was very disheartening.
Second, my place of residence is falling apart. I'm not really exaggerating, either. Half the electricity in the house is wired through the same breaker and simply flipping it on throws sparks in my face as it slams back off. Every time it drops below zero (like it does every winter for days at a stretch up here) I lose water. I've already had a pipe burst requiring the services of a plumber (more money gone) and spent days without power in the last couple of weeks. I'm currently without hot water except at one faucet, and that sink needs the drain replaced because water doesn't just leak, it runs in a steady stream out the bottom. While I'm moderately handy, I don't have the tools to perform the repair myself.
I have many other minor reasons that keep getting in the way, too. It's hard to think about being creative when all you can think about is how you are losing a person you love, how you can't afford to pay for things you need to have done, and how every other minor thing in your life seems to be coming up at once. My car's trunk stopped shutting and seems to pop open at the smallest bump. Just what you need when you're in the middle of an ice storm, right? I've lost almost 20lbs due to stress because I just couldn't eat, which I needed to do, but the reasons for it are very unhealthy. I just caught a cold that triggered another sinus infection flareup and if it hadn't been for some penicillin I could inject myself with, I'd be having extreme difficulty breathing right now with another case of bronchitis if not outright pneumonia, and I'm 17 days away from being able to see my doctor.
I need to relax and I need to write. I've managed a few thousand words lately that I'm actually happy with, so maybe I can have something ready for publication by the end of the month. I'd like to do that, both for all of you and for myself, and I need the revenue stream boost, but I can't make any promises. I've broken too many to you guys already.
Having said that, I will make a promise. I will answer any questions you guys ask. I'm actually hoping to hear pretty much anything from you guys, so I'm going to ask you guys for two things. First, if you have any questions, ask. The worst I can do is not answer you. Second, spread the word. Tell people about the book(s). You know Subject 12 and/or The Grand Granger is/are good. I'm sure you know some people who would enjoy reading about Hammer or Reg and Xii. Encourage them to take a look. You'd be doing me a huge favor, and I appreciate that.
And, I have some news about that inquiry I received back in 2012 regarding the movie rights to Subject 12, From the looks of things, the woman who contacted me left ICM Partners shortly, if not immediately, after contacting me. This not only means that I have a good reason for not hearing back, it also means I have no way to contact anyone within the company to possibly expand upon that inquiry. I do feel somewhat better knowing why I never heard back, but I just want to put the word out there that I am interested in representation, a movie deal, whatever. Just contact me with whatever you have to say and I'll get back to you ASAP. Thank you.
So, thanks for reading and for all of your support over the years. As I get this piece closer to publication I'll update you again! Take care and here's to both a prosperous and happy new year to you and yours!
Monday, December 2, 2013
For the record, as soon as I come up with a better title for the Grand Granger universe I'll stop calling it that. But in the meantime... Meh.
So, where do things stand? I'm almost done with the rough draft of the next Guild Files story. While this one isn't a sequel to Subject 12, it does tie directly into the Subject 12 story and introduces a character or two that will have roles in Rogue. I've had some feedback on the story and I think the majority if you will enjoy it, especially if you enjoyed Banshee.
Monday, November 25, 2013
I promise this post will be soon, my intention being within the next 72 hours, though the impending holiday and seriously crummy weather may force a delay of up to another 72 hours. With that in mind I can't make any guarantees.
So why post this saying I'm going to post soon with some news? I haven't posted anything since my bout with and recovery from pneumonia earlier this year, that's why. I'm still alive, and yes, I have been working when I've had time. So, if you have any questions you want answered, drop me a line here or on Twitter and I'll do my best to answer without spoilers.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, April 29, 2013
Still get out of breath easily, though, so it's going to be a while before I'm approaching 100% again. How sick was I?
Last Monday was the first day I could sit at a computer for more than 5 minutes without needing to go lay down or passing out. Yeah, I was bad. I was on bed rest for a week and shotgunned almost the entire run of Burn Notice on my Roku. Even if it does seem a little long in the tooth, plot-wise, at the 81st episode mark, (and perhaps a little repetitive at times) I recommend it. For the record, Roku or Netflix needs to fix the applet on the Roku HD, but that's neither here nor there.
I'm picking up my laptop again and trying to get back to work, but it's been so long I've lost momentum as well as time -- but I refuse to give up even if I have been coughing up blood.
Thanks for reading! I really hope to have something for you guys soon.
Monday, April 1, 2013
To give an idea of the situation, I'm almost done with the first draft of the first chapter. I refuse to give even a ballpark guess of when I'll be done because life seems to get in the way whenever I do.
Guild Files: Reagent Protocol is on hold for the moment. I wrote myself into a corner and I don't see a way out of it without losing about 20% of the story. I'm currently weighing options. The good news, as it were, is that the pause in GF:RP is what allowed me to return to Rogue, and I know that's what nearly all of you reading this are most interested in. However, I haven't given up and will probably be back to it soon. Probably. I do have another short story to write after the novella I've been banging away on for months is done.
The followup to The Grand Granger has been started and I'll peck away at it as I feel the need, unless I feel the project is too ambitious in which case I'll trash it and start on something else. The Confederation, Empire, and Church aren't done with each other yet, I assure you.
I started a story a couple years ago I tentatively called Hellhounds. I've been feeling the need to get back to it, though perhaps with a slightly different take on it. Originally I'd intended it to have some serious religious and spiritual overtones that were central to the story, but that would have made it too heavy a read, so I'm going to tone those down and go in a slightly different direction. More on that as it develops, but I will say it's about the ghost of a dead guy, will involve supernatural artifacts, angels, demons, zombie taxi drivers, and some really nasty bad guys.
I was intending this blog post to be done a month ago, but I'd also intended it to involve me answering questions from you guys and gals. Since I received none, I couldn't answer any, so I'll save that for next time (which will be sooner than 3 months) if I get any by then.
Just to prime the pump -- pick one character from the book and tell me who you think would be best to act the role in a movie and why. Leave a comment to that effect or hit me up on Twitter. All suggestions, no matter the source, will be posted here. I have my own ideas, of course, but the one I'll share is this:
Hypnotico, as portrayed by David Hyde Pierce, would be fantastic. He's a talented actor whose native intelligence would be a boon to the role. His build fits my description of the character very well, and his experience playing a psychiatrist on Frasier would be very helpful.
Oh, and if any of you are wondering, no, I haven't heard any more from the agency that contacted me back in November, and yes, I have given up almost all hope that I ever will. Maybe if I can get more in the Guild Files series written I can get more attention. A guy can dream, can't he?
Thanks for reading! Be sure to tell your friends and family to pick up a copy!
Monday, December 31, 2012
So, as promised, the "big" news.
On November 2 I received an email that had me stunned. Someone working for ICM Partners asked me who holds the film and TV rights for Subject 12 and all following works in the series. I was also asked if I had an agent.
Just to be absolutely clear on the matter for anyone reading this, the answers were then and are now "myself" and "no".
I replied (after doing some due diligence by vetting the individual as best I could with internet searches) within 24 hours. My e-mail was brief but I passed along the requested information. I had some time constraints preventing me from being more thorough in my reply.
A week later I sent another e-mail because I hadn't heard back yet. This e-mail was a little more informative and friendly as I was far less occupied (I was watching the merchandise at a psychic fair during the night because the hotel had no way of locking the rooms to prevent intruders when I sent the first one) when I replied. I felt it was better to reply promptly than take the time to butter the buns before serving, as it were, the first time.
So, now it's December 31, 9:40PM and I have heard bupkis from her, ICM Partners, or anyone else. I don't know if this is because my e-mail replies bounced, were eaten by spam filters for some reason, I haven't been patient enough (almost 60 days so far), I didn't meet criteria for continued discussion (the lack of an agent), whoever thought of it lost interest in the idea, or whatever. Suffice it to say, the fact that I haven't heard back from one of the largest entertainment firms in the world (look at any top-ten list of talent agencies in Hollywood and you'll see them in the top five or even the top two on virtually every one, and check out their website for both information and a telling lack of flourish) for an unknown reason after they approached me has been a bit disheartening. Still, it hasn't stopped me from doing what I can to get more ready for you guys to read.
I'm not holding my breath to hear back from them. I haven't yet and I won't.
So, as there has been interest in the past... I am the exclusive copyright and rights holder to Subject 12, The Grand Granger, and all future works unless otherwise noted. I currently have no agent. I'm not looking for one but I'm also not against the idea of having one -- I just don't feel like jumping through a bunch of hoops again only to be ignored like I was the last several times I've tried. As such, if anyone has any questions or whatever, feel free to contact me.
Thanks for reading and have a fantastic new year!
Friday, December 28, 2012
I survived the horrible storm that just passed. It dumped in excess of 10 inches in my driveway, which I had to shovel out over the course of 2 days. My back, my knees, and my left arm all hurt and don't want to work very well, but I did survive and I did get myself dug out so I at least I won't starve.
Despite the fact that it seems the snow plow driver on my road has a vendetta against me, I have to say that, all things considered, things could have been a lot worse and I am in okay shape.
It looks like I will be sharing thr information that I have been keeping secret since early November with you, but not until New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, at this point it is entirely too anticlimactic to be really worth mentioning. I'm just going to do it because I'm stubborn like that.
Work continues on my projects, so with any luck I will have something good to announce shortly. Thank you for your patience!
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The Grand Granger is a novella. Novellas are currently out of favor with the American public for some reason I cannot fathom as they fill a useful niche in the storyteller's ecosystem; longer than a short story yet shorter than a novel they allow more character and plot development while allowing for a faster pace than a traditional novel as well as the quick satisfaction and brevity of a short story. Many of our greatest classics are novellas, especially in the realm of science fiction: War of the Worlds comes to mind, not that I'm trying to put my work in the same league as Verne's. If you look at the Hammer's Slammers novels by David Drake (and I recommend you do as they're great reads if you like military sci-fi), they are collections of short stories and novellas. Stephen King writes a lot of novellas. I give you the following link for the list: http://www.stephenking.com/library/novella/
Novellas, like short stories, don't have much fluff. As a result they pack a lot of punch in a small spaces. Also like short stories, when they end, they end. There isn't much more to say, so they don't usually say any more than they have to. This is why The Grand Granger ends the way it does. Some might find it abrupt, but that's where the story ended. While I don't currently plan on giving Xii and Reg any more "screen time", that's not to say they won't appear again. Their story, for the moment, is over. That doesn't mean I won't be writing more in the Tal'Red universe, just that the characters you've seen so far may not be making another appearance.
Subject 12 ended on a cliffhanger of sorts. This was, at the time, a matter of necessity. While I find some people are capable of writing upwards of 10,000 words in a day, my output is much lower. Part of that is physical, some of it psychological.
My arthritis causes my hands to hurt when I type too much, my back hurts because of my crappy office chair (there was $200 well spent, not), and I get chest pains from the bad angle I have to sit at in order to type on my PC for any length of time (again, office chair) -- and none of this can be helped with even OTC pain medication because I can't even take acetaminophen without experiencing gastric issues that can last for 24 hours. I'm a rather large man and require a plus-rated office chair to sit in, so I can't just run to Office Max or Walmart and pick up the $69 special and expect it to last more than a few days. I also spend upwards of eight hours a day in a chair, so it has to be durable. As such, my research has lead me to the inexorable conclusion that I need a 24-hour chair rated at more than 300lbs as the one I currently have is rated at 300lbs (though I thought it was supposed to be 350 when I bought it, which I got to make sure I'd have a lot of reserve) and was showing signs of fatigue after two weeks of use. As for the psychological reasons, I find writing to be a very intense and often emotional experience. I agonize over things, and I'll spend hours researching minor points just to make sure I'm not making a mistake. While this may lead to a superior product, it really cuts into my output some days.
I try to output at least 1,000 words per day when I'm writing regularly, but that's hard for me to do most days because of everything else I have going on, arthritis issues (some days I can't even hold a pen to write with, let alone type much), or just plain writer's block. However, unlike these writers who slam out 10,000 words a day during NaNoWriMo (or as I call it, November), I find that I prune very little of what I write unless it's utter trash. I sculpt and massage and shape and hammer on what I write until it's in the proper shape, or temper it until it's the right hardness, but I don't cut 30% of my writing from first draft to final. Actually, I find I'm adding anywhere from 5-10% of the first draft's word count per revision (or the equivalent if not more in rewrites). If I do find something that needs to be cut, be it a sentence or a few thousand words, I cut it because sometimes things just don't work, or the story's gone in a new direction.
What I'm trying (and failing) to say is that I just ran out of steam by the end of Subject 12, and I think it really showed in some of the errors that crept in despite a substantive and at times exhausting editing cycle. At the time I simply couldn't write any more. The story wasn't finished -- isn't finished, unless I die before I can get Rogue up for you guys -- but I couldn't write any more of it. I had a choice; delay publication and try to get the story wrapped up in another chapter, which would be doing you, me, and the story itself a huge disservice, or finish it on a cliffhanger and write a whole novel as a sequel. I chose the latter for two reasons. First off, comic books (which Subject 12 is both an homage to and send-up of) are the epitome of cliffhangers. Denying that would be pointless and flat out wrong. I felt justified for this very reason. Secondly, rather than trying to condense everything to ~20,000 words, by giving myself an entire novel to stretch in, I'm allowing myself to do justice to the story as it could, nay, should be. I owe it to my readers as much as to myself to do it justice, so I will do my best to do so.
Speaking of Subject 12, I've finally gotten the feel I needed for the characters in the story I'm working on in Reagent Protocol, which will be an anthology of three stories (See, that pesky novella crops up again.) as I've mentioned. They will tie into Subject 12 quite nicely. Banshee you're already familiar with, and I've given you the outline for the story I'm working on now. The third one is in preliminary planning stages. I can't say as the whole thing will be worth the wait, but I hope it will be well-received. I will keep you posted.
As the title of this post indicates, and as I've alluded to a few times, I've been giving thought to the concept of opening up a Google Plus page. I've received a single piece of feedback on the matter, and it indicates that I might get more feedback if I open said page. Well, I don't want people to think I'm hard to reach, or difficult to speak with once I've been reached, so I'm thinking it'll be a project for the new year. I look forward to hearing from you, even if you just want to say "hi" or "you suck". I actually already have a G+ account activated; I just haven't done anything with it yet. I'll have some free time coming up soon, so hopefully I can look into it a bit more. Everything I post here will be cross-posted there, so this blog may even become a bit pointless -- but I'm not giving up on it.
Anyway, it's time to wrap this up. My traffic from Belgium is back so: Bonjour, mes amis! Comment allez-vous?
Thanks, everyone, for reading and Happy Holidays!
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I hoped to share some really big news with everyone. Unfortunately, the whole idea seems to have died. If I don't hear more by the end of the year I'll probably tell everyone about it in the new year, with details, just not e-mail addresses or names.