jon_chaisson: (Default)
I don't know what possessed me, but I took Friday off from writing.  I just sort of happened...I'd thought of working on my Daily words and new Lidwells words....and didn't even try to get to them.  It was like a conscious choice to take the day off.  And I took Saturday off as well.   After all these years, I'm still not used to doing that.  The funny thing is when I do take a day off, everyone around me will invariably say "Good for you!  You should take a day off now and again."  Never fails. 

It's not that I actually needed it this time out.  I'm not exhausted or overworked.  I'm not feeling creatively drained at all.  It was just an 'I don't want to work today' couple of days.  

Which of course means that, like being in school again, it's Sunday and I probably should stop procrastinating and get some work done.


In sort of related news, I'm quite proud of myself for coming up with a possible idea for Secret Next Project while falling asleep on Friday and remembering it the following morning.  I have a few secondary characters that need a lot of fleshing out, and as I've pretty much got the four or five major ones nailed down, I needed to work on these people as well.  The neat thing is that this is the second time around where my world building work on one project has been in tandem with the main draft writing of the main project.  I just sort of fell into this new way of working, and it's working quite nicely, so I'm very happy about that.  I'm really looking forward to sharing SNP with you soon, but alas, I need to finish Lidwells first! :)


Hope everyone is having a good weekend!  Happy Pride! :D

jon_chaisson: (Default)
Oh, it's Monday again?  Our weekend kind of flew by, considering the two of us went on a road trip up north sort of as our little anniversary vacation (it's our 12th as of the 28th).  We drove up to the Mendocino/Fort Bragg area and had a lovely time.  It's a LOOOOONG drive -- 230 some odd miles round trip, per our odometer.  It was also stupidly hot at some of our destinations, which we're no longer used to.  Still...lots of picture taking, lots of drinks, lots of tasty food eaten.  And even a few good local radio stations found!

In other news, it's kind of sad yet amusing when an online troll ends the argument with a version of 'you make no sense you're stupid whatever bye have a nice life'.  It usually means I've not only won the argument, but I've also cut off all their avenues for clever comebacks.  FTW!

In other other news...during this weekend I also read what I have of Meet the Lidwells as well as the Secret Next Project outtakes and I'm glad to say I think both are coming along quite nicely.  Both need a bit of correction and revision work, but for the most part I'm really happy with what I've got so far.  I'm really looking forward to getting these out into the world.  MtL is (hopefully) going to drop in September or October, and Secret Next Project will most likely be released next summer the latest.  Suffice it to say, I am so not used to quick turnarounds like this (given that my last project took two decades...!!), but it looks like I can handle this speed and output without too much stress, which also makes me happy. :)

OKAY.  Time to get back to the boring ol' Day Job.  Woohoo. :p

jon_chaisson: (Default)
Wait, it's Saturday already?  When did that happen?  It was a fast week of Day Job stuff and catching up on writing, and not much else of import, so time seemed to fly by rather quickly this week.  Not that I'm complaining.  Midweek had some crappy weather as well, but currently there's no clouds in the sky so it looks like it's going to be a really nice weekend all around.

I'm still concerned that I might not make my autumn deadline for Meet the Lidwells but I think that's mainly because I'm having a bit of trouble at the moment.  The first act is done (creation of the band up to their initial success), and now I have to shift from that to act two (the highs and lows of success and creativity), and it's a bit harder than I expected.  If all else fails, I think I'll have to just make a hard shift there for now, and smooth it out in revision.  We shall see.

Secondary Project, aka The Apartment Complex story, is slowly evolving via the 750 Words site (much like I did with Lidwells a few years ago), and this one promises to be a lot of fun to write.  I'm coming up with some really fun characters and story ideas for it.  I don't think I'll be outlining this one as strictly as I did with Lidwells, but I should at least get the characters and places down. 

Related, I think this might end up being my writing process for a while.  I like the idea of working on new ideas in a playground atmosphere to let them grow and expand (thus letting me work on them during slow points of my day), while dedicating more serious writing time to the current project (which I'll have given a deadline for finishing).  This not only gives me a quicker turnaround, but also lets me work on and self-publish more projects.

Which of course brings up the question, do I want to keep self-publishing?  Well, funny thing about that:  yesterday I got a completely unexpected email response from an agent.  It was a rejection for a submission of A Division of Souls and I couldn't find the date of my original response...so I have no idea when I sent this.  This was before I ultimately decided to self-publish, so this must have been at least around 2015, possibly earlier.  I'll be honest, I'm amused and touched that they got back to me even after this long, even if it was a rejection!  But at the same time, it really put things into perspective: I simply don't want to spend all my time waiting for a yes/no from an agent or a publisher and not knowing either way until then.  I don't seek vindication...I just want to know if I'm Doing It Right or not, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to go that route.  Sure, self-publishing means a hell of a lot more work, but I've already proven to myself that I'm willing to do it all.

Anyhoo...going to have a relaxing weekend here, hope you have the same! :)

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Friday afternoon and I'm already out of gas. Not exhausted, just sleepy. A busy week at the Day Job and a gloomy rainy day will do that to me sometimes. On the plus side, I just had a super tasty and super filling meatball sub from Appel & Deitrich around the corner (our little mom & pop grocery a few blocks down) -- Chico there makes the best damn sandwiches in the neighborhood!

The Bridgetown Trilogy project is winding down to post-production and marketing now...the other night I finished the formatting of the trade, which I will make available by the end of the month. I'm going to be playing the long game on that project, to be honest; I'm not looking for huge-and-consistent sales right out of the gate, but longevity and availability. The focus now is to share it more proactively with the public. That includes advertising as well as going to cons and other things.

Which completely opens up my schedule for my new project, Meet the Lidwells!. A non-genre, lighthearted litfic story about a musical family and the ups and downs of fame. I've got a very loose story already written for it, but I need to tighten it up considerably. Which means....index cards! This is a new process for me, one that I avoided in the past for whatever reason, but this time out I want to see how organized I can be when it comes to working on a novel project. I'm also giving myself a strict deadline: instead of just writing it and saying "it'll be done when it's done", I'd like to try getting it done on time. I actually work pretty well with deadlines when I put my mind to it. So far I've laid out that I want to get the outlining and index carding done by end of April, spend the summer writing and revising, and putting it out by early to mid-autumn. Will I make it? Who knows...but it's worth a try!

So, what's up for this weekend? Not much, I think. We might go see Sword Art Online which is playing around the corner. Food shopping, maybe some housecleaning...and that's about it! Boring ol' us. :p
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's almost September! How the hell did that happen?

So...what do I have planned for next month, anyway? Good question. I've been making a little bit of noise that I want to return to a more packed whiteboard schedule again, as my only major project focus at the moment is finishing off this manual line edit of The Balance of Light. [Okay, there is a non-as-major-but-still-important project of working off the galley edit for The Persistence of Memories and getting the tpb for that available for purchase, but that shouldn't take me long to do. A couple free weekends should do it.]

I'd like to return to the daily 750 Words once more. I'd like to return to my artwork on a more consistent basis. There's also a longhand project or two that I'd like to toy with in my spare time. More importantly, however, I'd like to get myself back in the habit of prepping my blog entries a day or two beforehand and giving myself a buffer. As I've said before, I can finally see the light at the end of this long-ass Trilogy tunnel, so I'd like to prepare myself ahead of time for the new projects.

Am I going to announce what these new projects are? Well, not as of yet. I'd like to make sure they've got a good strong hold before I start obsessing over them online. You've heard me talk about them before, I'll say that. I'm trying to stick with the JK Rowling quote: "I find that discussing an idea out loud is often the way to kill it stone dead." I've had this happen before, so I'd rather not jinx them this time.

That said...right now I'm just looking forward to new projects. It's been far too long and there's nothing more fun than coming up with new ideas from a completely new universe! :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
So yes, it looks like I'm going to be doing a weekly review here on the good ol' LJ, so I should probably mix up the subject lines now and again, shouldn't I? :)

February started off much better than January's finish. After a great start last month only to be derailed halfway through due to work issues, I figured it was a good a time as any to climb back on the horse and continue where I left off. I was able to find some spare minutes during the day where I can pick up my journal notebook to write what's on my mind. The 750 is working out well too--more on that in a moment--and though I'm still slogging through Chapter 2 of The Process of Belief, it is getting there.

We're also FINALLY getting rain here in these parts! So while that's a really good thing for California (we're in drought status at the moment), it's doing a number on my sinuses, and it seems to also be sending ants into various parts of our apartment. Neither are a high-level concern, more of an irritation and a fixable one at that. Unfortunately it's also turning us into hermits who don't want to venture outside lest we melt...that's our northern California winter, I guess.

So! What's been going on with the writing? An interesting and unexpected new idea came to me in the form of a random picture I saw on Facebook. It was of a woman who looked like a typical townie from the Pioneer Valley (that's midwestern Massachusetts following the Connecticut River, for those of you unfamiliar with that term). She reminded me of some of the women I used to work with at Yankee, and started thinking about what her untold story might be. For my daily 750 Words I started riffing on her backstory--who was she, really? She was a waitress at a restaurant and was seeing a truck driver, for starters, but there's MUCH more to her than people expect. She has a business degree and owns half of the restaurant, is a strong musician that makes extra money writing and selling songs, and is totally fine with not being a be-suited business careerist. She's someone who does her own thing, regardless of others' expectations. But she's still hiding something--she and her two older siblings share a secret she's been hinting at but won't reveal. I haven't quite decided what that secret might be yet, but it'll be the catalyst for whatever story comes out of this. I'm as curious as you are, believe me.

In other writing news...as said, slogging through Chapter 2 of The Process of Belief. My worries were well-founded here: plotwise everything seems to be working okay...but the prose is absolute CRAP. Good lord, what was I thinking here? I think my downfall on that book was that I was focusing too much on achieving word count and getting the project done in a year, that the prose suffered from weak word choice and too much stage direction. I've been tidying up and revising where necessary, but like the first book, I'm pretty sure I'll need to do a bit more tightening on another go-round. Ah well, the price of being a writer...

Last weekend I also FINALLY updated the next-to-last Blogging the Beatles entry in the series, so that gives me one more to go. I'm hoping I can get it done this weekend, and of course will update everyone once it's finally up.

OH! And I wrote a guest music blog post for one of my online friends--you can find it here. Just a short and fun post about bass playing. :)

Other than that, it's been a busy but productive week with other personal and entertaining things going on, so I'm happy about that. Onward and upward!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Eesh. I'd planned on writing a follow-up post to my previous one, but I keep running out of time! I guess that's what happens when you're too busy juggling a day job as well as churning out my morning 750 words, doing some heavy duty revision, catching up on reading, and writing a 5000+-word post on one of the most defining rock albums of the sixties. Oh, and watching some extremely silly anime. ;)

Anyhoo! Lots of different writerly things milling around my head.

--Still hammering away on the revision of The Persistence of Memories. No major revision here, not like ADoS, but I have run into a few passages here and there that need a bit of work. Most of the work on this one is on redeveloping some of the characters--not that they're flat, but now that I've reread the entire trilogy in one go (and am re-rereading, and will probably do so again another time or so until all three are completely revised), I'm seeing a few bland spots here and there, and I'm also taking the opportunity to throw in a bit of development that ends up completely unveiling itself later on.

--I've also been thinking (again) about the possibility of self-pubbing the series instead of going through the majors (so to speak). I'm still really up in the air about this, to be honest. On the one hand I would really love to see it released by a professional publisher, and I'm still going to submit it out into the wild until I get a bite. But in this day and age when there's a lot of good self-publishing going on, and I can honestly see myself going that route if it comes to it. Sure, I won't get the super-shiny art cover or wide recognition...but at the same time, the books aren't going to be seen by anyone if they're going to remain sitting on my computer, either. And who's to say the book wouldn't just sit there gathering dust on the bookstore shelf until it gets remaindered? The publishing field isn't what it used to be, that's for sure (and yes, I've read Judith Tarr's recent posts about it...it's a sobering but quite interesting read). I've been doing a bit of homework on this end as well: possible cover pictures (and possible people to contact to take said pictures if it comes to it), possible editing services, and even which self-pubbing companies I can reach out to (I'm on the mailing list for a few of them already). If I'm gonna go that route, I'm gonna do it right.

--That said: A Division of Souls is currently in "please beta read me" phase, so if anyone is at all interested, let me know and I can float it your way. I have it in .doc and .mobi format and can probably change it to most other formats if need be. Thanks!

--In non-trilogy news, I was typing out my morning words yesterday (thanks to 750words.com), and at the same time I was listening to my latest music obsession, KSCU (Santa Clara University's radio station--you've heard me going on about it in the past, and its playlist is VERY similar to the college radio back in the late 80s heyday...check it out here if you're interested). And with college radio comes thoughts of autumn...and with thoughts of autumn come my old trunked novel Dream Weaver. Trust me--the old version is pretty bad and not worth revisiting. However, just for the fun of it, and to get my morning words out, I thought I'd do a bit of brainstorming to see if I can create something new out of the old setting. In the process I came up with a lighthearted and fun storyline of alternate realities bumping up against each other. Equal parts Adam Christopher's Empire State universe, Studio Ghibli's character studies, anthropomorphic comics, growing up in woodsy New England, and my college rock obsession, I came up with what might promise to be either a YA or at least an interesting fantasy story. I'm not going into too much detail at the moment, but I may expand on this idea in my spare time as a possible future project. We'll see where this goes!

--The Blogging the Beatles posts seem to be going over well! That last one was pretty long and detailed, but I'd wanted to do that on purpose. The Beatles of 1962-66 are definitely different from the Beatles of 1967-70, not just with the Red and Blue Album compilations, and I wanted to focus a little on why and how they changed at that time. The next half of the discography is going to be pretty interesting work--the releases get stretched out a bit more, but in the process I also have to work my way through the White Album, which is going to be quite interesting in and of itself. And yes, I will be commenting on "Revolution 9"--there's a lot of fascinating stuff on that track if you have the tolerance and patience!


Okay, more about writing later...back to work and the other twelve things I'm doing! :p
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Gods, I hate the fact that I'm spending time doing another project when I should be working on the A Division of Souls rewrite. Even worse that I've temporarilly halted the revision of Love Like Blood until I decide if I want to go the same route as ADoS and give it a thorough cleansing revision.

Tonight, I'm working on a young adult story that's been brewing in my head for quite some time now. It's about what happens when you let the loudmouth bullies on the playground take control, and when the parents refuse to take responsibility and the teachers can't do much because their hands are tied. And when one kid who witnesses it all feels that he has to do something about it, and what happens because of that.

A bit of Lord of the Flies-style metaphor for the current generation of politics? Maybe, but like I said...it's been brewing and I REALLY need to get it out of my head. [I need to get a LOT of projects up and running, but that's another post entirely.]


We'll see how this one pans out.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Just thought of this while playing around with the Chapter 2 outline for the New Project:

Would it be considered a Mary Sue if I based settings and character setups on real people and places (with a little bit of myself thrown in), but more for inspiration than Mary Sue-ing?

Thing is, two of the characters are brother and sister and have two older siblings--Kati is the youngest, Tim the next oldest, and two as-yet-unnamed older brothers, the gender opposite of my family. Added to the fact that the house they grew up in, while definitely not an exact blueprint, bears a few similarities (color, age, surroundings, etc.) to the one I grew up in, changed just enough to protect privacy, of course. And while I do see some of myself in both of these characters, I'm constantly making them do and think things I wouldn't automatically think of doing.

Anyway, my point is that I'm not doing a Mary Sue, at least not consciously...but I'm curious as to what others might think on the subject? What's the line between inspiration and outright putting myself in the book?
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
The still-untitled New Project is still in the idea phase, and not much has been put down on paper or screen, but some ideas are still popping up. The weird thing about it is that said ideas are coming to my while listening to my Zune on the way home from work. At the moment I have a goodly amount of music from the late 80s on there, just for nostalgia's sake, but a lot of music from that time period is inspiring some pretty nifty ideas.

In particular, Concrete Blonde's self-titled album from 1986 keeps on popping up, and a lot of songs on that album are inspiring ideas. "Cold Part of Town" has given me a subplot idea of a strained relationship between the lead guy and the love interest/person 'at the other end of time', for instance.

I'm already compiling a "soundtrack" in my head for this thing. Sad, but true... :p

Oh man, I cannot WAIT to work on this project once I'm done with LLB... :)

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