It’s Starting to Sing

I’m giddy. Smiling a lot. Fingers twitching.  Desperate to type.

I got me a story.

I’ve been playing with a few different ideas ever since I turned in Book 2 on December 1–500 words on this one, 1000 words on that one, 750 on this one over here–waiting for one or the other or the other to grab me, shake me down like a rough gangster demanding his 100% interest, and possess my soul.

A few moments ago I realized I’d been working on one and only one of these ideas for a few days now. So I sat back and asked myself:

“Self? Do you want to go and work on one of the others for a bit?”

And Myself answered, “Are you freaking kidding me? Shut up and get back to typing!”

I can be cruel when it suits me.

So yeah, it has occurred to me that I may have found Book 3. And I’m totally jazzed. The winning concept is–like most of my projects–based on older, less-formed ideas. Characters from here and there, situations from there and here. A keen eye for brand and marketing. Lots of opportunities for sequels.

To this point I have not pitched this to anyone. For all I know, Awesome Agent may hear the idea, roll his eyes, and drop-kick me into the new year. But I’ll cross that bridge when I arrive at the toll booth. Right now, I’m writing, and it feels good. I’ve already fleshed out the plotline, the stakes, and the main characters. And as I write, they all come alive.

So, yeah. Giddy. Smiling. Twitchy fingers. All good.

Of course, there’s every chance that I’ll write a post in a couple of days about how I’ve torn everything up and started over, this time on a new idea centering around a horde of man-eating walleye who develop the ability to breath air and so come out of the world’s waters to get their revenge on mankind.

You just never know.

War Against the Wall-Eye Not Going Well

Comrades!

These are difficult times, indeed. Our major offensive against the Wall-Eye has failed, and our forces are in retreat. The brave men and women gave their all, but they were simply no match for the diabolical cunning of these cruel, merciless creatures.

The assault began when the 5th Regiment, made up mostly of out-of-work circus performers, rounded Bulbous Bluff. These 23 men, women, and monkeys hefted their pitchforks and rolled-up Yo-Yos and stepped past the big rock that looks like Gilbert Gottfried ready for anything.

But what they encountered was not anything. It was something. Something horrible. Hundreds of ravenous Wall-Eye launched a counter offensive, leaping into mouths hanging open in shock, and burrowing their way through our soldiers’ soft, fleshy bodies. The bluff was awash in blood before an organized retreat could be called for, and only seven of our men and women (none of the monkey’s made it) survived.

Not content to obliterate the Fighting Fifth, the Wall-Eye pressed their advance, forcing us to abandon Glassy Glade, Mellow Meadow, Oddly-Shaped Oasis, and about a third of Trenton, New Jersey. We apologize to the civilians abandoned in this time of chaos, and hope your new overlords butcher you all swiftly in the name of common decency.

All humans should know that this is but a single battle. Or rather, a bunch of battles all sort of connected. It is not the war. We will prevail in our struggle. If only because our opponents do not have opposable thumbs.

Remain vigilant!

walleye2

One of the foul demons an instant before it bit the head off of little Jimmy Skateboard–mullet and all.

Writing is Re-writing

With the rough draft of Untitled Second Middle-Grade Novel complete, I now turn my attention to the monumental task of editing.

The thing with this particular book is that it has been a far more difficult project than the first book. Because it far more complicated. Because I’m a glutton for punishment. And besides, I’m already losing my hair, so my tearing it out in frustration won’t do much more than speed me along the path I’m already on.

Somebody smart somewhere once said writing is re-writing. And if they didn’t, then I’m saying it and want full credit. My completed rough draft began life at just over 70,000 words, with multiple narrators and shifting motives and things I’d added at the end that I hadn’t thought to set up in the beginning and character arcs that switched gears somewhere in the midst of Act 2.

So there’s some work to be done.

On top of all that is the need to go and make it ‘more goofy’ since this is for Middle Grade (generally ages 8-12) and some of what goes on in the story is a little dark. But when things are goofy, you can be a dark as you like!

I also need to add that ‘David Neilsen’ flair that I’m told I’m going to have to have if I want to build a brand.

So there’s a lot to add. And then I have to also cut around 15,000 words. So… add stuff, but cut words.

I’ll be bald in no time.

***

The war against the walleye continues, and I’m sorry to say that casualties are growing in both number and ferocity. Just last week, Igor Schmidington was lost to us when a pack of aquatic evil devoured him until there was nothing left but his artificial leg. You will be missed, Igor.

NEVER SURRENDER!

(the scourge of the seas)

Let the Blogging Begin!

It has come to my attention that I do not have a blog on my website. That seems like a terrible mistake. Because anyone who is anyone blogs, right? And I’m pretty sure I’m anyone, so that means I’m supposed to blog.

What will I be blogging about? In the coming weeks, months, years, and decades, I will be talking mostly about Walleyed Pike, or simply The Walleye, as it is sometimes known. What makes them such amazing creatures? Why did the blue walleye go extinct? Or is it really extinct? Are there massive hordes of blue walleye hiding out in Quebec, biding their time… waiting…? Why do they hate us so much? How can you survive the coming walleye apocalypse? And of course, how to best please your walleye overlord.

I also might mention new works I have coming down the pike (but not down the walleyed pike), as well as other fun stuff from my life as both an author and a storyteller.

You have been warned.