Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What I'm Up to, 2014 Edition: Wonderbook, Bookmaking, and Making Progress

It's been a while, folks, and I'm sorry for the delay. I've been getting my ducks all in a row for this massive, year-long project to reclaim my productivity. I've been working on a bunch of smaller projects, and in the past few years, some things have gotten pushed aside for one reason or another. Mostly it's been my creative writing. Last year, I was all set to start this process again, and I got an offer that I couldn't (at the time) refuse. So I put this aside once again and, well, I kinda backed the wrong horse, in hindsight.

No more. My modest goal this year is to write 500,000 (that's half a million to you and me) words in the service of creative writing. This will mostly be prose; short stories, novels, comics and you know, maybe even a radio script or two. I've got a list of short stories I need to work on, and three novels in various stages of completion. It's time to clear the decks.

This is Jeff, leaning forward to imply action.
One of the tools in my utility belt is a new book by Jeff Vandermeer, called Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. It's not a "how to" book, meaning, Jeff doesn't tell you to "write this way," which is good. I can't read those kinds of books. They mess me up. But I'm very interested in Jeff's thought process, and so I'm going to start going through the book, section by section, and posting the results here. Sometimes, I'll be assignments that grew out of the reading. Other times, I may talk about what he says about certain things. It's going to be a regular thing on the blog, and I'll tag it for you in case you want to follow those posts. If Jeff did his job, I'll come away at the end of the book with a fresh perspective, some new building blocks, and hopefully a finished story or two. Maybe another book. We'll see. I'm open to this and hope you'll find it interesting. I like Jeff a lot and respect him immensely as a writer, and even though his tastes in movies utterly baffles me, when we agree on something, it's usually ironclad. It'll be cool to take this "creative writing class" from him.

So, 500,000 words is a lot to generate, but why stop there? I've got several books that's I've had published, or nearly so, just laying fallow. It's time to dust them off, and reprint them in an ebook format. Specifically, I've got six books that I'm going to turn out in small batch paperbacks, followed by ebooks. This is mostly stuff from the Clockwork Storybook years, but in the case of the "Con-Dorks" novels, the final chapter was published online just last year. Putting them all out is going to feel so good. I'm really excited about getting all of this stuff back into print. I've even cleaned up my Amazon Author's Page.

Why am I doing all of this? It's real simple. I've got newer projects that I want to get to, and this old stuff is holding me back. I don't mean that in a negative way; rather, I want to clean house, finish up these things that are still in my head, and in general, get back to writing daily, producing weekly, and selling stories--and maybe even a book or two. I have people ask me all the time when I'm going to finish X or come out with Y or publish another Z.

The answer is now. This year. 2014. Stick around. I'll share what I can, when I can, with you guys, and I'll let you know about new and upcoming projects.


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