How the Writing Is Going: January 13, 2023

But first, kitten pictures!

Small, VERY dark tabby kitten standing on a burgundy towel and looking at a light brown boot.

That’s Soot Sprite (Sprite, for short), the new kitten. She’s older than she looks; she’s just tiny. It doesn’t show well in this photo due to the lighting, but she’s a black tabby with white/pale grey undercoat.

And here, for comparison, are two of the older kittens, also with that boot:

Believe it or not, the white kitten on the right is only a week older than Sprite. (Both were born in May, 2022.) She’s tiny, and he’s huge (as white-furred “thistle cats” tend to be). The inky beast on the left is Tristan. He’s named for the main character in Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. (We’d recently watched the last couple of episodes of She-Hulk when it was time for the kittens to choose their adult-cat names, and since actor Charlie Cox was in that series as Matt Murdock/Daredevil… *shrug* It made sense at the time, and since the kitten formerly known as Tootles answered immediately when called Tristan instead, he clearly liked that name.) Martin is named after a cartoon mouse — don’t tell him that, though. (Something about his fur reminded Grace of one of the mouse children in The Secret of NIMH.)

And now, the writing stuff:

Paul finished the first draft of the second Endless Realms book (working title: Stormriders) yesterday. Since he’d already done a round of editing/revisions on the first seventy percent or so of the manuscript, all he has left to do is edit/revise the few chapters, and then it will be ready to hand over to his copyeditor (*waves*) to make it ready for publication.

Oh, yeah — there’s also the matter of the cover art, etc. I don’t expect that to take long, though. Paul has always done cover layout, formatting, etc., himself. (Yes, I know it’s conventional wisdom that literally no one who has the skills to be a writer can also have the skills to create a book cover, because supposedly it’s impossible for any person to be good at more than one thing. Imagine me making a rude gesture to express how I feel about such “conventional wisdom.”) Sometimes, we’ve paid an artist for the actual art, as was the case when we (I) commissioned Jerome Peabody to create cover art for Paul’s sci-fi novel The Remnant. We know what we want the art for Stormriders to look like, at least.

Paul and I have joined an online writers’ group that’s, as he says, more for support than for critique. So far, so good. No one in this group is going to tell Paul that he’s “not a real writer” because he doesn’t “writer everyday.” Nor would they say, “You’ll never finish a fiction novel if you don’t have a work ethic and write everyday even when you have nothing to write about and no time anyway, because you need ten thousand hours of practice before you can be good at it.” (Okay, I am not completely certain no one in the group would say that, because I’ve only recently met most of them — the creator/moderator is the only one I knew previously. I just don’t expect it to happen, because these aren’t the sort of people who parrot “conventional wisdom” as if it were the Fifth Law of Thermodynamics.)

Instruments of Faith, the second Hand of Providence novel, went live sometime when I wasn’t looking. At any rate, both the paperback and the ebook are available now.

Behold! the (oversized, because it can’t be made smaller) link to the Amazon page where you can purchase this novel:

Speaking of the Hand of Providence novels — of which there will be three, eventually — as well as the Endless Realms novels — of which there will be three, eventually… Clever, observant readers of the first book in each series (or clever, observant readers of this blog) will probably have noticed that the protagonist in the Endless Realms books is friends with one of the major characters in the Providence books. (Michael Delling is mentioned by name in the first chapter of Project Brimstone, and he’s in chapter six.) And if there’s a big, red-haired guy leaning on the mantel, metaphorically speaking, in the beginning of a story, there ought to be a later scene in which this character is important to the story. So we talked a bit yesterday about choreographing the plot threads, synchronizing the differing time streams, or whatever. Paul has already started writing the third Providence novel, and he has a good idea where the third Endless Realms novel will go, at least in the early chapters. (If there’s a cyborg on the mantel, metaphorically speaking, in the first novel and also a related short story, maybe that ought to be addressed in a later scene.) The set-up for the third novel is in the final chapter of book two.

Part of the problem with ‘synchronizing the differing time streams’ is that one character in the Endless Realms books will be needed elsewhere, eventually: sometime between Wooden Ships and Necessary Precautions. (The latter is only a working title, and not one to be taken seriously.) So we have to line everything else up so that he’s available at the right time, neither too early nor too late. (He’s not a wizard, obviously. 🙂 ) Even though Paul has stopped insisting that everything written by the “Spence Clones” must be published in chronological order, he still wants to write in as close to chronological order as possible. (Fun fact: We knew the “prequel” story many years before Paul ever wrote The Remnant…, so of course we ended up rewriting all that to change backstories, add characters who weren’t there originally, and have big fun with dramatic irony. The nerve of Drake telling Jason not to keep secrets from Geoffrey! *shakes head* Yeah, I know that last bit doesn’t make sense unless you’ve read The Sleeping and the Dead. So maybe you ought to read it, so you can understand the weird jokes the author’s twin sometimes makes.) 



About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have eight cats. I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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