The TRANSMUNDANE PRESS kickstarter for AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER crossed the $1,000 mark.
There is still a long way to go, and time is running out. Your pre-order helps pay our contributors more for their work as well as allows us to produce a limited edition hardcover version of this massive anthology. To meet our goal, we're offering everything from coffee mugs, t-shirts, posters, and there is even a tier you can purchase where ALISHA COSTANZO and I will edit a story up to 10,000 words. This is a great way to clean up something you've penned or it makes an awesome gift for that writing friend who has everything.
Only 20 days remain, so make sure you get involved.
Speaking of editing and the writing process, next month is NaNoWriMo, that insane writing project where authors bash out 50,000 words in 30 days. It's stupid tough to keep that momentum going, but the idea is that by the end of the month, you have a raw draft of a novel.
I used to participate every year. In fact, I pounded out the first draft of SYNCHRONY in 31 or 32 days, missing the mark by a few hours, but making it the most work I've ever finished in the allotted timeframe. The draft, however, was filled with flaws. Going back and cleaning up the mistakes took a lot of work and started the meticulous planning I now devote to longer projects.
I'll write more on development preparation, mapping, and pre-gaming in future posts.
With NaNoWriMo, I thought about trying to helter skelter slam out a first draft to the street kid novel that I've been planning for almost two years, PARIAHS. I have two notebooks filled with its outlines, character arcs, dialog, and locations, so most of legwork is finished. Pounding out a workable draft wouldn't take too long as fast as I type.
But I have this problem.
They're the ghosts of my writing past.
In the abyss of my hard drive, there are three novels, a short story collection, and a few other odds and ends in various stages of completion that I haven't finished. They keep me awake at night and haunt my waking consciousness. I have notes for all of them scattered throughout order tab sheets from the bar, spiral-bound scratchpads, and recorded in my phone.
Before I start another novel, these projects have to see their ends. I must clean my slate, and I'm using November to begin this process. With any luck, I'll be able to keep the juju flowing past November and into the New Year, finishing these bastards I gave life to but abandoned before they destroy everything I'm capable of in the future.
A lot of this work will appear on my blog so readers and peers can witness the progress and call me out when my crazy ass lags behind. New Orleans, music, and film often distract me, so this will help me concentrate on the material and thus become more productive.
I want readers to play an active role, using the comment sections to criticize, comment, or chit-chat about the work. I'll fix any errors that aren't deliberate, and tell you to go fuck yourself when defending the ones that are.
Here's the plan:
1) Figure out what projects are worthy of completion
2) Organize and Prioritize
3) Follow through
STEP 1: FIGURE OUT WHAT PROJECTS ARE WORTHY OF COMPLETION
Here are the works in question:
BROTHERS IN SOLITUDE—a zombie novel about two brothers surviving the wasteland. (big project)
CAFÉ ELYSIUM—a diner between life and death, the first part originally published in the first volume of BETWEEN THERE. Originally meant to be a monthly serial culminating in a collection. (big project)
UNTITLED SHE GHOST STORY—a novel about an alcoholic and the ghost he's in love with but cannot touch, this work is in its second draft. (big project)
MY UNTITLED COLLECTION OF 13 HORROR SHORTS—most of these are near completion. (in final editing and rewriting stages)
STEP 2: PRIORITIZE AND ORGANIZE
I've decided to start with BROTHERS IN SOLITUDE.
It began as a short story, a Christmas gift to my brother Steven before THE RISING, WALKING DEAD, and 28 DAYS LATER sent a zombie movie, book, and media tsunami over the world. That very bandwagon prevented me from fleshing out the work into the novella or novel I envisioned because it seemed as if the market was saturated with the genre, and often the work wasn't great. I didn't want my personal love letter to my brother swept away in the undertow and drowned beneath the inundation.
But I cannot shake the tale.
More so than the other projects.
Since it is so important, starting November 1st, I will begin posting completed chapters on my blog, at least one chapter a week—hopefully more—until I finish the book. I'm aiming at Yule as my finish date—the deadline full circle from its original purpose.
A perfect circle.
I will follow with CAFÉ ELYSIUM and then the ghost story.
During all three of these projects, I'll steadily finish the short story collection. It's easy for me to bring pages of a story to the bar to work on rather than hauling around my laptop through the Quarter. Since this collection is almost finished, I hope to have it released by Valentine's Day 2017.
STEP 3: FINISH
Ok, here we go. Hold me to this shit, cats. The faster I get over these four hurdles, the faster I can start the new book. Your help will not go unrewarded.
Since each story, novel, song, or project I start is a spell I'm casting, a magical circle where my energy, dreams, and prayers are focused, I am calling this effort CLOSING CIRCLES and using #closingcircles to tag posts with my progress.
Adelle often tells me I rewrite too much, rendering myself incapable of moving forward. I insist everything needs more and more revision. Somewhere in the middle is right formula. May the moon, sun, and stars help me find the perfect balance.
Today's prizes are 2 DVDs:
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2004)
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (1986)
These films differ vastly in their tone and reflect what horror movies were before and after Y2K. To enter for these prizes, comment in this blog or on facebook posts where this giveaway appears and tell us if there are any circles you need to close this November. Make sure you use #closingcircles so we can find all the posts.
Thanks for reading, and good luck. Stay scared, creeps.