Weekend Stuff: Upkeep and Such

Provided I have some time to get it done this weekend, you’ll hopefully see the last of the old site’s archive go up on the blog. At this point I think I have most of April and March of 2013 left to port, and that should be it. So if you’re subscribed to the site (and if not, why are you not?), you may see a bunch of weirdly outdated posts pop up in your feed or inbox.

Apologies for that; we’re nearly done with the mess of moving the site, and we will be done by the end of the month.

When it’s over, thank the gods, I’ll finally be done with the old site and its abysmal interface. Things will be nice and intuitive from here on out, and I suspect I will do much, much less bellowing at my computer.

As for work, I find myself ending the week a bit behind schedule. Friday brought some must-address issues, and I had to bow out of both my afternoon freelance work batch and the D&D game I usually run Friday evenings. Not my favorite decision to make, but a necessary one. Today brings the task of catching up, lest I dig myself a deeper hole.

Outside of that, this weekend will be spent making a decision about which direction to take the second quarter of ‘Beasts’ starting next week.

The first half of the second act is having its guts ripped out and reconfigured, and I have three ways I could potentially reimagine it. Each has its pros and cons, so it’s a matter of deciding which one I’m most in love with (hint: probably the one that requires the least mental gymnastics on my part).

Whatever I pick, though, Monday will begin a hard charge to get the second-quarter rewrites in place, with a goal of having them more or less done by the 30th. From there, of course, it’s on to the third quarter, and the fourth after that. Then I pump out all my blood, replace it with coffee, and start cutting and polishing.

Okay, well, maybe the blood thing isn’t exactly true.

(But I do wonder if it would help…)

Anyhow, the shorter overall length of the work (10k to Oath‘s 86k) is making it much more digestible. It’s easier to see the big picture, and to envision finishing it before the glaciers return or the seas evaporate or such. It’s also forcing me to be very picky about what I choose to include in the text, since I don’t really have room for tangents—a very good exercise for someone who enjoys her own pompous windbaggery.

Plus, I’m generally digging the novelette format, especially for this character’s adventures. The short, episodic nature has me thinking in terms of, say, hour-long television series episodes, which inclines me to explore what that could mean for the character in the long run. Perhaps, if you fine folks turn out to like him, we could see a whole slew of these shorter stories, in addition to the novel material that’s in the pipe.

But at the moment, that’s putting the space-cart before the orbital horse. Right now, I need to untangle this particular story, so I’d best quit blogging away my day and get to it.


Onward, Upward, and Sideways

As I observed yesterday, I spent Monday afternoon making some decisions about this quarter’s side project. I have, at this moment, a total of four stories in various stages of progress, including one that’s entirely drafted (but needs some serious love), one that’s half done, and two that are maybe a quarter drafted with accompanying outlines.

I spent a good bit of time stewing over which to work on, since I like them all—I mean, I wouldn’t have started them otherwise—but in the end I decided to work on the fully drafted one first. It’s a short story that’s flirting with novelette territory, and it’s seen publication before, but the anthology where you can get it has limited availability, and some folks on Amazon seem to have very high opinions of what it should cost.

($293.18? What?)

Which, you know, that’s no fun for me or you. I want you to read my stuff, and you probably want to pay less than multiple hundreds of dollars to do so. Though if you do want to pay that much, I think I have a personal copy or two around here…

Ahem. Anyhow.

(As Jeff points out in the comments, though, and as my sadly undercaffeinated brain apparently failed to recall, you can still get the book direct from him right here at the Strange Worlds main page. So if you want some Sword & Planet goodness and you don’t want to pay like three hundred dollars, go check it out! )

Ideally, what I intend for this story is an eBook rerelease, pending some fix-ups and minor changes. I have grown significantly as a writer since it was first published and, well, it needs some assistance in certain areas, as well as some expansion that existed in the first draft, but which was cut because of the word count limitations in the anthology. And since that universe itself has now expanded to include Oath of Blood, some of the text in the original needs a bit of adjusting to fit the bigger picture.

In any case, the editor of the anthology (Jeff, over at Barsoomia) and I have talked about it, and he’s given his blessing for the rerelease, among other things, so for the first quarter of this year, my main goal is to get the revised “Beasts of the Abyss” whipped into shape and ready to start earning its keep on Amazon, making me perhaps tens of dollars in the process.

Riches, I tell you. Riches. I’ll be able to take a bath in…pennies or something.

Whether the revised Beasts will come out during the first quarter isn’t something I’m willing to say right now. That will depend on external factors over which I have only limited control: beta reader response times, editing, revisions, graphic design and layout, and so forth. But the idea is that it will be, at a minimum, ready for those things by the end of March.

At that point, it’ll be in-process at a minimum, with a goal of its being available by the end of the year at the latest, and I’ll move on to one of the other things I have on the list. As you might have surmised, these side projects are more or less an effort to finish all the half-finished things I have around the office, and to get them out to a wider audience.

Some of them, like Beasts, I’ll prefer to handle myself. Others I’ll shop to outside pay markets first. But regardless, there’s going to be a lot of shoveling through my stuff this year and putting old ideas to bed. They’ll get sold, or they’ll get pushed out onto Amazon to fend for themselves, or they’ll get trunked, but regardless, they will no longer be permitted to squat on my To-Do list.

Regarding the website and such, I didn’t have time to port any blog posts yesterday, so we’ll see what today brings. I will be starting the process of tying the main domain to this new site by the end of the week, though, so lisavtomecek.com will soon point here, and not to the old site. At that point, the old site will lie dormant until I can finish picking its bones clean, at which point I will take it down.

For now, though, I’ve got plenty of work to do. Look for another post tomorrow, in which I shall continue to let you know how things are going!

Monday Fun-Day

The weekend was fairly busy for me, between addressing some freelance projects, setting up for others, cleaning out the office, and attempting to wrangle this site into place. Oh, and of course there was Skyrim, but not too much. Today promises to be just as lively, as I have new freelance work to start, more site wrangling to do, some writing to get done, and a D&D session to run tonight at the local game store.

Regarding the site, you’ll see that I now have the most recent year and a half or so of blog posts ported from the old site. As I had to do it manually, that ate up a substantial chunk of my evening on Sunday. I’ll do a few more today, time permitting. The Contact page is also working now, and the one on the old site is now disabled…so if you want to get in touch, you can now send me a snazzy email through the fillable form right here.

And have I mentioned how much I like the WordPress interface? It’s so unbelievably simple compared to the old site’s editor, and I now sort of wish I’d been using it this whole time. There are some things I really haven’t explored yet, along with others I have explored and haven’t quite figured out, but I no longer feel like I’m in an unholy pact with the son of the Geocities editor, so there’s that.

D&D tonight promises to be fun, as the audience at the local game store will be primarily folks who are new to the hobby. It’ll be a little bit different than my usual game on Fridays, where many of my players are old veterans of the game, but it’s always fun to bring new people to the table and let them explore the possibilities.

Regarding my solemn pledge to de-crapify the office, the space is looking a lot cleaner and more inviting this morning. I emptied about a half dozen sizable boxes this weekend, sorted out probably just as much stuff that was boxless (read: heaped up in the floor), and shredded an astounding amount of paper. All in all, the office is not at the level I intend yet, but it’s a livable, workable space now.

In terms of writing, it is the Day of Project-Wrangling. I have several things I could be working on while Oath is with the editor, some partially completed, others still in note and/or outline form. I intend to dump them out, sort through them, and pick one for my first-quarter effort. Which one I choose will likely depend upon which one delights me the most as I leaf through the crapstack.

How about you, horde? Any big plans for your Monday?