jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Another week of wacky weather here in the Bay Area. All told, it's been rainy, sunny, overcast, hailing, sunny, raining, blustery, calm and rainy this morning. And it's only just past noon. [Case in point: a tiny cell of hail passed over our apartment while I was in the shower and I didn't even notice it until A. told me about it later.] After our little jaunt to the other end of Clement Street for the farmer's market and a tasty Hawaiian brunch, we're back at home where we plan to stay, where it's nice and warm.

In other news, next weekend is our visit to the East Bay (Walnut Creek in particular) for FOGcon, where I'll make my stellar debut doing a reading as well as being on a panel about post-self-publishing promotion. An auspicious and probably quiet debut at that, but hey, William Gibson's debut was a reading in an almost empty room as well, so I'm not going to worry. :p

After that, we've got the entire week off for vacation, and this time out we've decided to keep it local. A lot of sleeping in, a local show or two, visiting places we haven't been in quite some time. We're thinking we might head over to the East Bay once or twice, since we so rarely head over that way...we're thinking maybe Berkeley and/or Oakland. [And yes, I know...the media doesn't always paint those areas as fun and peaceful, but come on -- it's a big area and there are indeed some nice places over that way.]

Speaking of writing...still working at getting back into the groove of a normal schedule after ages. I've had a few superbusy Day Job days where I haven't been able to sneak any work in during breaks or on the sly, and my energy levels haven't been all that high. Still, I've been making it a point to clear my plate as much as I can so when I do have the time, I can easily slide into it without distraction. Still a few rough patches, but it's getting better.

As for the Lidwells project...well, that seems to have hit a bit of another snag, but it's nothing I can't fix. It's the way I'm approaching it...right now I'm basically transcribing what I have, and I've realized that's not working out -- the chronology is all out of whack and there are far too many plot holes that need fixing. The initial outline I created is helping a bit, but it's still not enough. I'm going to need to break out the index cards for this one to set it all straight. And then once I have the chronology straightened out, THEN I can revise and rewrite. And that will be the easier part!

And just when you thought I wasn't going to talk about the trilogy anymore...I'm planning on having some fun this month with the 20th anniversary of me starting The Phoenix Effect...the origins of what ended up being the Bridgetown Trilogy. The physical trade of The Balance of Light will come out sometime this month, for starters...I'll also be posting a lot of fun things over at Welcome to Bridgetown...notes, maps, outtakes, remembrances, footnotes, all sorts of stuff to celebrate. More on this soon!

Hope everyone's having a good (and drier) weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Every time I choose to do a bit of book purging, I find myself a bit fascinated by my decisions. It was another major 'will I ever read this/will I ever reread this' process, and this time I included not only my fiction but my music and my writing books as well.

What's this, you say? Getting rid of writing books??? *GASP!* Well, most of these were from the Writer's Digest Book Club (or whatever it was called then) where I'd ordered a handful of 'learn how to write' books. I used a handful of them, but for the most part, they've been getting more use as dust traps, so it was high time for them to go. And the good thing is that we've been donating all our books to the Friends of the SF Public Library, who run a twice-a-year Giant Book Sale down in Fort Mason, so they get to be bought and used by others who can get more use out of them. And the best part is that opened up a spot on the bookshelf near the window for Jonc's Officially Published Works. Which for now contains two titles and those two ZYZZYVA issues I was in, but hey, at least I know it'll expand over time!

As for the music books...many of these were bought between 2010 and 2012 when I started thinking about writing Walk in Silence. I did get some use out of them, but with a good handful of them, I doubt I'll pick them up again, so they too can go. Quite a few of those will probably be 'read and get rid of' as well.

But that's not all! The Spring Cleaning Bug seems to have bit hard, as I now have decided it's high time to get rid of some other things as well. I still have some old PC and laptop stuff from the last six or so years, and when I have the time, I will donate those to the local electronics recycling place down in SoMa that I usually go to. [They not only recycle the parts but for a fee will run the hard drives through the woodchipper (or whatever it is they use) to make sure they're completely destroyed.] I may have a few other things to get rid of in the next few months as well. Just one of those things where you just want to let go of things you don't need anymore and start fresh.

The downside to the book purge is that Spare Oom is once again getting a bit crowded with boxes. I'll try not to keep them here for months on end this time, though.

As for month, new writing schedule. I'd given myself most of April to relax and do some fun short-term projects (like the A to Z Challenge meme and build up a backlog of Walk in Silence entries), and so starting today and going forward, I'd like to get back to work on stuff I need to do. Primarily, starting the Epic Revision of The Balance of Light. I'm going to take my own time with this one, needs a lot of work so I'd like to make sure it gets all the TLC it needs. I don't have a set date for the release of that one either...just a rough guess of late autumn.

I'd also like to return to the small exercises again as well, just to keep my writing muscles moving. Nothing big yet, just the usual 750 during the day, and also posting at the two WP blogs. I should (hopefully) have time to put up some short 500-700 words a few times a week. I still have the weekends open for catch-up and whatnot. Once Book 3 is out, I'll have much more time to spend on new projects. Speaking of which, I told a friend earlier that I'm curious as to what my turnaround time will be for my new projects...I'm not going to hazard a guess, considering I don't know what scale these new projects will be.

However, I do have some interesting writing-based plans in the works that I'm looking forward to...can't reveal them just yet, but hopefully soon!


Apr. 17th, 2016 03:59 pm
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
So yes, The Persistence of Memories is out there, and has been met by...crickets. A few sample downloads, but that's about it.

But I'm okay with that. No, really! I am! Even though I consider it the best of the bunch!

I know very well why, of course. It's because I haven't done all that much advertising and shameless plugging at all. I posted the news on all my blogs as well as Twitter and Facebook, and that's a good start, but I have to do more than that.

Much, MUCH more than that.

See, this is the hard part. This is where I'm going to have to spend money to make money. I'm going to have to do a bit of advertising. I could very well go to all the writing websites and Twitter feeds and do a bit of plugging, but there's only so far I can go with that. I've got to get past the Ultimate Don't Wanna's (my next psychobilly-blues band name) and face the demon that is Sales. I just cringe at the idea behind it, mainly because I'm more than aware of how fake it can be, especially when you get a sales rep who's less than interested in what they have to upsell. [Believe me, I HAVE BEEN THERE. It truly is a soul-sucking experience.]

BUT. This needs to be done. And I've already made up my mind that I don't just want to learn how to be a better writer, I want to learn the whole business.

Why am I totally fine with crickets on the first week of release? Well, that's the thing, isn't it? I'm not a publishing house that needs to see immediate sales to know whether or not it'll be a moneymaker or a bomb. I'm not a film production company that needs to make back its multi-million dollar investment within the first couple of weeks. I don't need to rush it; to be truthful, I'd rather not, because that would give me more chances to screw it up. I'm learning as I go, and I'd rather learn it right the first time, that way I can do it right again down the line.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

If you haven't seen my posts today on both my WordPress blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and I think pretty much everywhere else:

YES!  Book 2 in the Mendaihu Universe, The Persistence of Memories, is now out and available in ebook form!

Here's a few links to the fine establishments where it's available:


Barnes & Noble



Don't forget to support your local bookstore! If they sell e-books, go ahead and download from their website! Here are a few of my favorite local bookstores where you can buy it:

Copperfield's Books

Green Apple Books

Books Inc

Thank you for your support! :)


A DIVISION OF SOULS is also STILL FREE! Want to get caught up first before jumping in? Head over to B&N, Kobo or Smashwords (or hey, even NoiseTrade) and download the first book, and your reading list is good to go!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
*sigh* It's Sunday afternoon and the last day of vacation, so now I get to look forward to two months' worth of Q4 ridiculousness at the bank. On the plus side, Q4 in EDI is nowhere near Q4 in retail, or any tax season for that matter, so while we might get waves of OMG requests (usually in the form of "something broke HALP"), it's not as if I'm forced by guilt to work hours of overtime. And as long as the systems don't get all jacked up for some ridiculous reason, I should be okay. Still--it's kind of weird that on the one hand, I'm kind of sad that our final vacation of the year is coming to an end, but on the other hand, I'm totally fine with heading back to the grind tomorrow. We got a lot done, had a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to visiting places old and new next year already.

So did I get anything creative done over the vacation? Well, yes and no. I did keep up with Inktober for the most part, missing only a few days but catching up quickly thereafter. I did finally get a response from Angry Robot (rejection), which has given me some food for thought as to where the Bridgetown Trilogy will go next. I did another Two Thousand reread to remember where I am. But other than that? Not a sausage. No poetry, no journal, no 750 Words. Though I did bring those notebooks with me to Portland, I chose not to break them open, mainly because I wanted to take a mental break from it all. I can afford a week's distance every now and again, I think. Besides, with all my extraneous creative energy going nowhere, it ended up in some of the drawings, so I managed to reawaken my love of art pretty quickly. I even chose to buy some quality drawing pens. All my art pens and some of my pencils are now in a repurposed takeout container under my monitor, right next to my journal and notebooks.

So! What's next, once Monday rolls around? Back on the horse, of course of course. Back to hitting the daily 750 Words (aka the New Idea Playground), back to working on Two Thousand and Walk in Silence, back to weekly WordPress entries, back to the whiteboard schedule. I'm ready to go!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
There's not too much that's different, other than that it looks like they changed the fonts, updated and fixed all the outdated/faulty coding, and streamlined a few things. Everything's still there, it's just shinier. It's kind of a way, it's almost as if LJ finally let go of their bloated (yet fun) glory days look and scaled back into a much cleaner, sleeker blog site.

Anyhoo. A few things to report:

The Great Trilogy Revision Project is DONE! I've mentioned this at my Welcome to Bridgetown site, but just a few more personal things here. After just shy of two years of major revision work, it feels kind of weird not to be working on the trilogy, or even anything within the Mendaihu Universe for that matter. I'm finally at the point where I've completed everything I set out to do with this particular project (short of working on submission and possible agent-finding, of course). So technically, the current version of the story of Bridgetown which I started on 9 March 1997 finally came to an end on 14 May 2014.

So how does it feel to have a finished project? It feels very strange, to be honest. It feels different than when I finished Love Like Blood, as I'd finished a story and knew it still needed a crapton of work (I eventually trunked it, but that's another story entirely). And definitely different from my earlier works, because most of them were along the lines of "Yay! I wrote a novel/screenplay!" This is the first serious project I've had that I wanted to see through to completion and publication, the first one that I devoted years and emotions to. One that I'm extremely proud of.

Will I return to the Mendaihu Universe somewhere down the line? Of course I will! I've got a handful of ideas and story arcs I'd like to play with. It wasn't until the last few days that I realized I couldn't work on them yet, at least not until the Bridgetown Trilogy was fully put to rest, because there would be too much bleedover, too much repetition of ideas. The next few stories in this Universe need to transcend the original story arc, and I couldn't have done it then. But I can do it now, given the time and inclination.

So what am I writing now? As mentioned, I've been doing nightly work on Walk in Silence. It's mostly been doing outlining, and I'm almost done with the first run-through. There's more outlining I need to do, this time adding all the points I'd like to hit concerning the music. And once I'm happy with that, then I'll proceed with writing the book proper.

Will I be writing any fiction in the interim? Most likely, yes. I haven't written any new fiction in years, so I'm going to take my time with it, see what I want to work on. They'll be backburner and side projects, just things I'd like to putter around with that I could possibly expand on once the WiS project is done or at least at a point where I can balance it with something else. There's a good chance I may do what I did back in 1996, in which I open up a blank document and just start making stuff up off the top of my head and see what grabs me.

The WiS project has also let me look at my personal life with a different perspective as well. As you know, I've been big on the "starting from the beginning" mantra over the last few years, basically taking bits of my life that have become cluttered and directionless, rolling everything back and starting over from the beginning again, setting them off in the right direction now that they have an anchor. WiS has given me a base for how I see life, how I saw it then versus how I see it now, and how I react to it, and making adjustments when and where necessary. And I like how it's turned out so far.

So that's my weekend in a plans, other than heading to Q for brunch soon, maybe checking out the sidewalk sale up the road, and heading to the farmer's market on Sunday. It's the quiet life this time out. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
So ends the eleventh month of the year, and where do I stand in terms of writing?

NaNo still remains elusive to me. November was a crazy month workwise, and writingwise I had other plans. I may yet do it in the future, but it'll probably be quite far into the future, if at all. I'm not bothered by that.

It's been quite some time since I've actually written anything truly new--that is, something unrelated to the Bridgetown trilogy, unrelated to any current or backburner projects I'm working on. Possibly a few years, really. Some time ago, probably even this time last year, I may have been bothered by that fact. However, in the year and a half of major trilogy revision, I've actually written more on a daily basis than I have in the last few years. I've also learned a lot more, and made great strides with perfecting my writing. I'm glad to say that my prose is a hell of a lot better than it's ever been.

Revision work on A Division of Souls started sometime in 2012 and completed earlier this year; I'm about ten chapters from finishing the revision of The Persistence of Memories, and if I can finish this off by the end of the year, that'll give me the start of 2014 to work on revision of The Process of Belief. [Side note: I've been contemplating changing the title of Book 3, but I'm yet to come up with one I like. My only prerequisite is that the phrase is similar to the other two.]

One of the interesting side effects of spending over two years on major trilogy revision is that it's given me all sorts of ideas for related stories and novels set in the same universe. I've always wanted to do that since about 1995--I like the idea of discovering new twists and turns in a history of my own making, over multiple generations. The background isn't dense in terms of rules and regulations, but there are quite a few points of historic interest that could be used as fodder for other focused ideas. The maiden alien landing in Bridgetown two hundred years before the setting of the trilogy (and a hundred years after first audiovisual contact) could be a standalone novel itself. McCleever District just begs to have a novel or two written about it. This is all aside from the spiritual relations construct I created for the trilogy, which also has endless possibilities.

Will this mean I'll never get around to some of the other novel ideas I came up with in the past? Will they become trunk novels, some that haven't even gotten to "novel" status yet? Who knows. For now, a lot of them have fallen by the wayside, worth looking into much further in the future when I have the time. And I'm okay with that.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
I've been thinking lately about how a reader would digest my trilogy. By digest, I mean how they would understand it, process it, and what their reactions would be. What would be their take on it? Would they love it? Hate it? Be indifferent? Of course, a lot of writers think this at any given time. Some obsess over it, some dismiss it. You can't avoid it, but you probably shouldn't let it ruin you either.

I've also been thinking about how some manga artists and writers react to this as well. Every now and again if you pick up a tankobon (one of the bounded volumes), you'll often see the occasional afterword page often adorned with a silly self-portrait, with the artist/writer saying something to the effect of a humbled "thank you for buying the book/following this series!" and a promise to do the best they can ("Ganbatteimasu!") to keep you entertained with the story and hope you stay until the end.

I've been taking that to heart over the last few years--not the American "do your best" (i.e., aim for bestseller) (yes, I mean that with tongue firmly in cheek) but the Japanese "do your best" (i.e., aim for the best that you can possibly achieve). I don't want my book to be a bestseller or get all the awards. I want someone to read my book and say "wow, that was impressive." I want them to have the same reaction I have when I read a book or see a movie that moves me that much.

I'm curious as to what the reaction to my trilogy will be. If anything, I want to say it's Science Fiction, maybe with some Fantasy elements to it. It's not a typical adventure or quest, or a war against overlords, or a political thriller, or an allegory about the world we live in. If anything, it's an internal quest--it's a story about being given an ultimate goal and how tough it is to keep focused on it. It's a war of one's own being against outside influence. It's a spiritual thriller (not a religious one--and this isn't Christian fiction, in case you were wondering). It's an allegory about our inner worlds, our mind and heart. I often wonder if the reader will get all that. I'm doing my best to convey those things, without forcing it or making it too vague, and at the same time making sure it's not too fantastical.

When I first started trying out this whole writing thing, I of course thought the same as every other beginner--my stuff is awesome! It's got cool scenes! People are going to love it! We all know how that usually ends...! The second stage is usually 'okay, I know better now, this is more professional...people really will love it this time!'...which usually ends the same way. It's that third stage, the make-or-break, the "oh GOD my stuff sucks ass, who will even read this crap?", that really tests you. That's where you make the real decision to move ever forward, or give it up and become a register jockey at a shopping mall. Thankfully, I was stubborn and crazy enough to still enjoy this writing thing, and kept with it.

It's been thirty years since I thought of taking writing seriously, and twenty since that first initial "Vigil" idea that eventually came the trilogy. It's been a long haul with plenty of hard work, sweat, wrong turns, laughter, tears, annoyance, disappointment, half-assed attempts, trunked ideas, naivete, amusement, entertainment, and learning between then and now. It's not for the weak, I'll tell you that. But I'm doing my best, and I'm glad I am.


Dec. 18th, 2012 07:42 pm
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo.

In a fascinating way, this short documentary (about 20 minutes long) touches on some pretty important points in my trilogy, so I'm kind of glad that I think I got it right. ;)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So I haven't exactly been coming up with new words lately, but I've been keeping myself busy on a nightly basis by working on a few projects:

Love Like Blood edit/revision
It's been bothering me that I now have at least (1..2..) six projects in various states of completion (nine if you count the trilogy books separately), two/four of which are complete and just need revision. I've sat on this one for quite a bit since having [ profile] emmalyon and [ profile] dancinghorse give some of it a once-over, letting it simmer while working on other things. There's also the fact that I've been reading Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books lately, which I realized has a similar feeling as LLB.

So far I'm in the middle of reworking the first chapter, and I like how it sounds so far. There were a lot of passages that needed padding, and a lot of phrases that needed reworking, and I think it's coming along nicely. Who knows, I may post a revised version over at [ profile] jonchaisson later on for your enjoyment! :)

Walk in Silence
I'll admit I haven't been working on this lately, partly due to the above, but it hasn't left my mind. I've been doing a bit of research now and again, as it were, looking through the discographies of some of the bands and albums I'll be mentioning and putting them in some semblance of order. That, and I'm kind of plotting in the back of my head of where I want to go with it.

Can't Find My Way Home
I haven't picked this one up yet, but it's off the back burner and simmering close by. I have a printout of what I have so far, as well as the completed outline, and as soon as I find more time I'll be toying with this one as well. There's a few issues with the outline that I've been contemplating lately and again, when I have time, I may pick them up.

The Bridgetown Trilogy and the sequels
Again, when I have the time. The start of the first chapter of the new book is kind of feeling flat, so I may play around with it a bit. First chapters of new projects are kind of like that for me...I tend to work on something for a few days, see where it goes, and then think about it a bit more before picking it up again. As for the original trilogy, every now and again I've been doing a bit of revision. I'm still contemplating cutting or at least moving a few passages that, in retrospect, feel a bit clunky where they are (specifically Governor Rieflin's first few scenes) and I'm thinking of cutting those and inserting new scenes a little later on, once the scenes with Poe and Caren calm down some.

So yeah...not as if I've been completely goofing off on the internets and/or playing with my music collection. I'll admit there's been that, but it's not completely eating up my time!

More as this evolves...
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Thanks for your patience! All chapters of all three books of the Bridgetown Trilogy of the Eden Cycle are now up at [ profile] edencycle, as the remaining two from The Process of Belief have just been posted.

As usual...that LJ is very friends-locked, so if you don't have access and have an LJ account, please let me know if you'd like to read, and I'll add you to the list. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Almost done! Chapters 40 and 41 are posted together at [ profile] edencycle, and Chapter 42 is up as well. That means two more to post! I will more than likely do those tomorrow, time permitting. Enjoy! :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Got a bit over 500 words for Keepers of the Wards last night amidst being distracted by the Olympics in the other room (oh all right, I admit--there was a bit of internetting going on as well), and I managed to give the scene a bit more oomph. At the moment it's still the opening scene with not much going on, but I inserted an Unknown Factor Nearby for the lead to react to, and it looks like it may work.

Two things about this scene are revealing themselves to me:

1) It could be that a hint of the storyline from my still-unwritten idea Children of Dun Corran might be seeping into this one, and that may not be a bad thing. It could actually be a really good subplot--and give a secondary meaning to the "Wards" in the title. I love it when my storylines make an unexpected but completely brilliant left turns. :)

2) This opening scene is definitely mirroring the opening of the first trilogy--Nehalé's first scene in A Division of Souls--except that instead of his actions affecting a sizeable part of the population of a large city, this takes place in the middle of country land, with only two people being affected. Same opening, but different reasons and settings.

I think I've suddenly figured out exactly where I should go with this one, and I'm quite happy about that. :D
jon_chaisson: (Default)
New chapter up at [ profile] edencycle. I'm particularly proud of this one. :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
A bit of music to show what inspired me (or at least what I listened to) during the writing of the trilogy. Enjoy!

videos below )
jon_chaisson: (Default)
I just finished a trilogy...I'm going to Dizz Knee Land!

[No, really, I am going to Disneyland, this weekend with [ profile] emmalyon (and meeting up with [ profile] queenoftheskies! Yay!) ]

Seriously, though...'s done. The Process of Belief, and the trilogy itself, is finished. The subject of this post being the last sentence.

I am now going to bed, as I am WIPED.

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Man, that last chapter kicked my ass. It's hard to deliberately write a chapter where the character is purposely performing in a void--and reacting to said void. What can you do aside from have him react with 'this wasn't here before...'? There's only so many times you can have him have that reaction, and even when he figures it out, you can only have him think 'what should I do to change this' so many times before he finally does something about it.

That said--this chapter was pretty short, probably about five pages, and may or may not stay (bringing up the question "well, why write it in the first place?!??"), but it's done now, so there ya go. If I do use it, it'll most likely be retooled a bit, and a lot of additions in earlier scenes to build it up--specifically, building up the reason why he reacts to the void the way he did. Nothing too involved, just some character actions in earlier scenes that should build up to this.

So if anything...I probably have four more chapters to write, and then I'll be done. I've already done a bit of outlining--that is, the outlining I've done in the past, where I make very vague mapping notes on who ends up doing what, and where they end up. In this case, I made a list of all the primary and secondary characters and a word or two on their setting, to be used as triggering keywords. Most of them have been taken care of, but I now have four columns sigifying the next chapters. These columns basically just have the character names in them, with headers being another trigger keyword: Vigil, Trisanda, Denni, and Denouement.

That's pretty much how I've outlined in the past, and it's worked well for me. Doing an extended one like I did with Can't Find My Way Home probably hindered that story more than helped it...but that's another writing post altogether. For now, I'm working off this piece of paper (originally drawn up at work, natch). Hopefully if all works out, I'll have everything done by next month.

Woohoo, the trilogy's nearly finished!! :D
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Bits and pieces, but it's coming together. Just wrapped up the bare-bones first take of Chapter 34 that's just a little over 1500 words, but will most likely get an expansion before it gets posted. I'd finished Chapter 33 (the last posted chapter at [ profile] edencycle) a little before we moved, and I like how that one came out, though the beginning needs a bit of revising. And Chapter 35 has just started, just a few moments ago, with the contiunation of the scene from Chapter 31 (long story short--Amna, Kai and Poe duking it out).

Yay for words again! :)
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So yes. The first two chapters (of thirty-one) of The Process of Belief are up at [ profile] edencycle and already I see a problem.

It seems I may have completely skipped writing Act I of the book, as it were.

Chapter 1, while good as an opening, doesn't work correctly. Great opening scene, but it doesn't fit, mainly because it's a scene using minor characters instead of a main one--in this case, Denni, who picks up halfway through. I do like the Katelyn/Elise scene, but it needs to be replaced with something more important and focused on major characters instead.

And Chapter 2? Great "battle" scene, but it's definitely the wrong place for it. There should at least be a good four to six chapters BUILDING UP to this scene. With the first two books having quite a lot of character building and a slow-but-consistent build of action, starting this one off with nothing BUT action just seems a bit...misdirected, perhaps.

We'll see where the next chapters go so I can build from there.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
I've posted some Endnotes for Book II over at [ profile] edencycle, and will be posting something further about it over at [ profile] jonchaisson. Just so you know. ;)


jon_chaisson: (Default)

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