Author Archive: seabrass

Russia Trip pictures for Days 1 and 2 are now posted!

It’s been a week since I got back from Russia. Been working a bit every day, then slammed a bunch of web page stuff together during work Saturday night. Now that I have one good page with a lot of pics prepared, the rest should be a lot easier, since it’ll be mostly a cut and paste type of thing.

Anyway, I’ve posted pages for my flight to Moscow, my first day of sightseeing, and my Moscow by Night excursion. Click here or use the menu link above, and enjoy!

Is this negligence or what?

So… It’s been over a month since I posted. Hrmm. I wouldn’t say that’s typical of me, but in all honesty, I can say it’s not entirely unexpected. I don’t think I’ve really expanded any effort on my current WIP during this time, either.

Since the last post, a few things have happened. I’ve decided to put my current WIP, A Ghastly Gillion Stars, aside. During the latest efforts to make something of it, I decided to take an entirely different course. The original antagonist, the malevolence preventing Kreek from establishing an anchor portal at the Edge of All, just wasn’t going to work in this version. Having that strange thing moved the conflict from between the Shiss and the Pheelm to the Shiss and… whatever. Just didn’t work. I wanted to keep the conflict down on the personal level I established early on. So the Malevolence is out. Which means I have to establish a new set of good guys and bad guys right from the start again. So… yeah. Let’s table the idea for a while.

Second, I done did gone to Russia! This vacation was a year in the planning. It finally came to pass. And I had a very good time. Coming home presented a set of problems. One still lingers in the form of a chest cold that’s more nuisance than anything, but a somewhat very irritating nuisance. Haven’t had a cold like this in a very long time. I’m pretty sure I caught it on one of my three flights home. A couple of other people who have taken long flights like mine recently also reported the crud. It’s been a good week since the flights and my cough sits right at the top of my trachea. Each deep breath is followed by a chest-rattling cough. Not pleasant, but I can deal. At least the sore throat that hit me Saturday morning is gone. Gargling with warm salt water cured that right up.

Finally, I am working on all the pics I took during my trip. Got a couple of good ones already looked at. I want ones I can hang on my walls. That was part of the reason I went- for pics to hang on the walls. As I progress through the days I’m sure I’ll find more. I need to see all of what I have before I really decide what to print at what size and hang where. But stuff for the walls is what I’m shooting for at this point. From what I’ve seen already, I’m encouraged. The weather cooperated, and most of the shots are outside, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Just don’t want too many of the same thing.

What this means is I should be posting a lot more, and with greater frequency. I’m going back to work tonight, and that’ll be as good a time as any to get the ball rolling. I’ve hooked Dreamweaver to my GoDaddy account, so now I can load true HTML pages, instead of the PHP pages used by WordPress. It’s nice to have the know-how to do all that. I don’t have pics for every day I was there, but I have enough to make this a couple-weeks-long project. I hope it’ll take me right up to August 1st. That’s when I intend to dive into my next work-in-progress, a fantasy novel about a young lady who may or may not be possessed by a powerful entity known as a devilq. This will be my first true original novel in a long time (my previous publications were revisions of stuff I’d written a few years ago).

Stay tuned!

Something Just Happened…

There I was, at work, writing away on my current work in progress, A Ghastly Gillion Stars. At the back of my mind, I felt something was off a little with the story, despite this being my second big draft. This new version was a bit different than the first draft. I dropped the focus to the two main characters, Kreek and Tybis. I wanted it to be more their story than anything. But in doing so, I trimmed, out of necessity, some of the initial big picture. And that had unexpected consequences, in that the main thrust of the story, the primary conflict, was lost until chapter four.

In looking at that, I realized that just couldn’t stand. I had to bring that big picture to the front. Had to introduce it right away. I’ve constructed it so billions of lives are at stake, as is the future of the entire Shiss race. And only the main character, Kreek, is fully aware of those stakes. It is her story, her conflict. Her decision to do what she thinks has to be done, even though billions of her fellow Shiss might very well die. I think I’ve built that part of the story well enough. Now, I have to make it the main focus.

So. I think my new chapter four may very well have to become the next chapter one. It introduces two of the main characters, Kreek and her friend Pench. It centers around Kreek and her illicit communications with another race, which Pench makes happen. It’s the result of that communication that starts the ball rolling. Adding Tybis into the mix after that process will have a much larger impact. Making it so that Kreek views Tybis as a tool, a thing that allows her to accomplish her goals, devastating as they may be, will only add to the central emotional wrangle. I think I’ve found the part of this story that’s been bugging me quite a bit, and after a night’s thought, I’ve also determined how best to fix it all. And I think this will work.

Now, do I put all these changes into effect immediately, or keep writing this second draft? I’m thinking change, myself. Because if what I envision right now works out, this will be a lot more fun to write. And it will make for a much stronger story. So, change it is. Meaning I’m on to what will amount to be the third big revision. I’ll keep you posted.

Busy Night at Work

Well, it’s quiet now. Just after 3:00am on this fine Monday morning. I started work at 6:30pm Sunday afternoon. And I’ve been busy that whole time, pretty much.

Just finished my last ER patient. Looks like his appendix needs to come out, just like the patient before him. I think that’s about the fifth appendicitis I’ve done this weekend. They come in spurts.

Had a couple of victims from car crashes roll in. Now, we do get car crash victims from time to time, but usually not so many all at once. I did three Trauma CAP (Chest Abdomen/Pelvis) CTs in a row! Sometimes the requesting doctors in the ER ask for spine recons, which takes a bit of extra work. Only the middle crash CT got that special treatment tonight. And that patient was sent to a bigger trauma hospital in Minneapolis right away, if that’s any indication of the seriousness of those injuries. The other two didn’t look to have much wrong with them. Still got the crash to deal with, though. Insurance companies. Lawyers. Police. Ugh. (I don’t think they hit each other, just two car crash victims that happened to come in at around the same time.)

Had a few in-patients, too, for both CTs and MRIs. Last Sunday, the first of June, I did three in-patients during my twelve-hour overnight shift at the hospital. Three! That’s one more in-patient than I did all of May! And this weekend’s in-patient tally just added to that. Might be a record month. Good thing I got that Russian vacation lined up for mid-July.

I don’t mind the work. My worst day in CT or MRI is better than my best day in radiology doing plain x-rays. And I have so many days where I don’t even do a single patient, that busy nights like I just take in stride. In the end it’ll all balance out.

In a few hours, I’ll get to go home and begin my weekly three-day weekend. That’s right- I get three days off each and every week (unless it’s a holiday and I have to work or something, like Christmas and New Year’s this year). So is the hassle of a stupid busy day like this one worth it? I say, Hell’s to the yeah!

Earth Cell’s tour enters its final days

Earth Cell cover artIt’s June 6th now, and Earth Cell: The Ux-Blood Trilogy, Book I has been on its book blog tour for nearly a month now. I’ve seen a small uptick in sales, and a few sales of the other two books in the trilogy. Oddly, no one’s picked up a copy of A Child of Byne. Puzzling, but there it is. I think that one has the most dramatic cover. I wonder if I need to put it back on Kindle Select for it to be seen as available. Maybe make it an Amazon exclusive.

As for the tour, the events are as follows:

A pretty fun character interview at The Book Daily. Another one, of a different character, at Cassidy Crimson’s Blog. Won’t tell you which characters get interviewed. And both interviews reveal a little bit of backstory for each character. They’re not long. you may want to check them out!

Some book excerpts at Hollow Readers, 365 Days of Reading, The Book Gazette, and The Reading Guru. I tried to pick some interesting moments in Earth Cell. One of them has a stupid typo, dammit.

I got a book review from Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock, an author interview at Books A to Z, and I dropped in a guest post at Endazzled Reading (there’s also an excerpt here, too). It’s about typos, oddly enough…

And that’s it so far.

On the schedule, there’s two more book excerpts, two more book reviews, and one final author interview. I will drop in those links as they become available. I also plan to make a page for this book blog tour, with all the links, for your convenience. (And mine, truth be told.)

One thing I’ve learned is future tours will focus more on book reviews and interviews. I’m not a fan of the excerpt. I’d prefer to be able to talk about my book through an interview, or have someone else talk about it through a review. I know reviews can be risky, but I’m confident in my writing and will to take that risk.

As usual, Earth Cell remains free in PDF format. Grab your copy here if you haven’t already!

Revisions mid-revision

Diving back into my latest work-in-progress is not going so well. I finished chapter three easily enough, but that had its own internal flow I found easy to slip back into post-vacation. That chapter possessed a particular ‘short story’ feel. I’m a whole 374 words into chapter four and already decided it’s poop. And in looking at the first 2300 words of chapter two, I see a whole lot of wholesale cutting in its immediate future.

The story itself is not the problem. I know what I want to say and how to get my characters through it all. With the first draft in hand, I’m on target, more or less.

The problem now is I need to change some of the technology being used in chapter two. I want to show how that technology permeates the Shiss society, and let the reader actually see it in use, to set up later terminology and use of said technology. As things stand, the current opening simply will not work. I have decided on the fix, but that will essentially demand a complete re-writing of those first 2300 words. There’s a good chance that word count will drop a bit with a tighter opening. Here’s hoping, anyway.

In chapter four, it’s time to lay the hammer down on the main character, Mother Kreek. She’s the one with the sense of unease, the worry at the back of her mind that the Pheelm are a bad influence for her people. That creeping dread is her motivation to do what she does for the remainder of the story. So it needs to be drawn out. Intensified. She’s already taking a huge risk communicating with a member of a race that openly defied the Pheelm. A huge risk. As is her merchant friend Pench. The letter from her Handresi friend had better well be worth it. (And spoiler: it is.) So the lame opening I’ve penned in those first 374 words is pretty much junk. I’d rather fix that now before digging myself a deeper hole for revision number three.

So, the plan now is to hop back to chapter two and extensively revise. I normally do not do such heavy revision during a heavy revision. This is a second draft that will have substantial changes from the first draft, which I wrote mostly on the fly, with no real planning. I sometimes do that, and it works well for the most part (Earth Cell and A Child of Byne are my two most-recent examples). With a first draft in hand giving me the story’s broad strokes, this second draft is my first chance to narrow down the focus, ratchet up the stakes, and make the consequences, good and bad, for all characters involved far more substantial. Seeing where the current revisions need revising is actually a good sign. It means I’m really buckling down and giving the more subtle elements of the story the deep consideration they deserve.

A Child of Byne cover artEarth Cell cover artWe’ll see in a few weeks how it all turns out.

PS- I jiggered the css for this theme to remove the underlining of links. I’m not a fan of that text decoration at all.

PPS- Earth Cell: The Ux-Blood Trilogy, Book I remains free in PDF format! Click HERE or on the book cover art over there!

So, Earth Cell’s book blog tour continues…

Earth Cell cover artEarth Cell: The Ux-Blood Trilogy, Book I has been getting the royal treatment for a couple of weeks now, and will for another couple. So far, there’s been only one review, and it was extremely positive (check it here at Bookish Madness). But I feel so damn embarrassed about the typos in the book blurb I provided. Pash instead of path? Male instead of make? Man! Shoot me. And there’s a typo in whoever typed up ‘Trilogy’ in the title. I’m pretty sure that’s not mine, as I would not have put ‘Book One’ in paraenthesis, or used ‘One’ in lieu of I.

There’s been one author interview, too. You can look at that here, at The Single Librarian. Another few interviews are coming.

Mostly it’s been excerpts. Here’s one at Deal Sharing Aunt. Here’s another at Bookaholic Ramblings.

Finally, I submitted a guest post at Editor Charlene.

In addition, each Friday I made Earth Cell free at amazon.com in Kindle format. And you can still get a PDF copy free here.

So, Earth Cell is getting some much needed publicity. We’ll see if it slowly translates into sales for this book and the rest of the trilogy.