Monthly Archives: March 2014

Aetheria’s Daemon in Beta

As of last night, the second draft of Aetheria’s Daemon is complete. Smug self-satisfaction levels are at an all-time high, though no other super powers have yet developed.

In all seriousness, I feel I’ve come out of a bit of a battle.  This book did some serious ballooning in length from my original plan of 100k words, and ended up a bit over 152k. That might not be a lot for some people, but it was for me, and the sheer amount of work to get it into its proto-complete state was grueling and may have even left me with some lingering health issues.

But still, I finished the revision. The ending was even better than I remember when I first wrote it (of course, adding some foreshadowing and callbacks during the second draft may have helped with that). The book is ambitious, a sprawling but intimate adventure fantasy with elements of science fiction and steampunk, in a world unlike any you’ve seen before. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, though that could change depending on whether the early readers say I’m a deluded fool or not :-).

So, I’m handing off Aetheria’s Daemon to said beta readers for now, and turning my attention to other things until they’re done with it. I have a short story which needs polishing, and I need to help edit my father’s next book (you didn’t know my dad writes books too? And my mom also! What a family). I have some reading to do, including research which might influence which project I undertake next. And most of all I need to take it easy and recover from the  pace of editing so many words in a relatively short time. And eat some celebratory cookies. Many, many cookies.

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Random Smarch Update

This blog has been pretty barren lately. Part of that is due to the lousy weather (see title)–lots of snow days means more time at home with the kids and less time to write, and what writing time I do have is devoted almost exclusively to finishing the 2nd draft of Aetheria’s Daemon, which given that I’ve been working on it since last summer combined with my legendary impatience is a much higher priority than anything else.

In the past two months I actually started writing up two long-form posts about various craft-related things, but couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted to say and abandoned them. So it goes. The way I operate this blog is to only post when I feel like I have something substantial to say, as opposed to posting on a regular schedule. Not that the latter strategy is bad (in fact if you want people to actually read your blog it’s the better way to go), but it’s just not the way I’m approaching things right now. I reserve the right to change my mind on that later, though.

So, since I’m breaking my own rule here and posting about nothing, what exactly is going on so far in 2014? I have re-written the opening chapters of Aetheria’s Daemon a few times, and I’m pretty happy with their current state. In my opinion the book is shaping up to be pretty badass, but I still have around 50k words left to revise before I can send it to beta readers and they can shatter my illusions. Luckily, with Spring coming and a whole bunch of random household issues taken care of, there is little now preventing me from doing that (knock wood).

I got an Honorable Mention in the Q4 2013 Writers of the Future contest. They sent me a nice framed certificate. Very cool. I’m looking forward to reading the anthology when it comes out, especially since my acquaintance Megan O’Keefe won first place. Congratulations again, Megan.

I wrote another short story which turned into a medium-length story (what the Hugos call a “novelette,” though I don’t think they’ll be involved here). Originally I was planning on submitting it to WoTF again, but that would mean cutting all the profanity, and given the setting (some “bad” neighborhoods in NYC circa the mid-90’s) I’m not sure it would make sense to do that. In any case, the WoTF deadline isn’t until the end of March, so I’m in no big hurry to revise it, especially if I could finish Aetheria’s Daemon before then (haha…).

I’m trying to read more novels this year, with an emphasis on recent releases from active SF/F authors. The idea is to acquire a nearly complete picture of where the genre is headed at the moment, which will make it easier to relate to agents and editors since that’s the world they’re entrenched in. Reading a lot of books sounds like an easy thing to do, and a lot of people I know make it look easy, but it’s never come easily to me. One problem is that I’m picky, with a low tolerance for a book which is merely “good” as opposed to “great.” If I read through an Amazon sample and don’t find it engaging enough, I’ll just move on since I know there are so many other books out there which will definitely blow my mind (cough Mark Lawrence cough). Repeating this 3 or 4 times can seriously cut into my reading schedule. Now add in to that time spent critiquing other people’s work, or getting sucked into manga (I had a thing with Gantz for a while, and am now hooked on All-Rounder Meguru), not to mention non-fiction (Max Tegmark, whose ideas were influential in the creation of the Reintegrators, has a book out I’m dying to read)….oy.

In any case, that’s where I stand. I don’t know what 2014 will hold for me, but I’m writing, and I’m reading, so I think I’m on the right track. Let’s see where it leads me.