Thursday, 28 January 2016

An Ancient Peace



This is the latest book in The Confederation Series by Tanya Huff, and I'm going to be cruel and post a link to the series TV Tropes page.  Be warned you can lose days clicking on links, I know I did.

An Ancient Peace is the sixth book in the series but I would say that you can start here as easily as anywhere.  Yes, you'll have missed the backstory, but there's enough call-backs to tide you over and allow one to be immersed in the Confederation universe.  Arguably the first book in the series is the weakest, but I should qualify that by saying this is only because the battle is a call back to Rorke's Drift, which bugged me a bit, but may not be an issue for those who are not into military history.

It should go without saying that this book is one I would recommend if you like military SF in a reasonably hard SF setting – not super hard as there's FTL but otherwise nothing egregious.  The main character is engaging and the supporting characters are well drawn with some interesting character quirks for the aliens. Again, arguably, the series has gone from hard Mil-SF to mildy-military as the main character leaves the Marines in book five for very realistic reasons.

Besides reading we've also been watching Hell On Wheels, which is a TV Western series about building the first transcontinental railroad across America.  It's a bit like Deadwood, but with a lot less swearing.  Every time we hear the theme music it makes us think of Firefly.  Be warned there's a lot of violence, which shouldn't be that surprising given the historical setting.

Writing wise I managed to do a first pass edit of five more chapters for a total of 16,538 words worth of work this week.  I'm just about to move into act five, which means I have 13,757 words to go.  So hopefully this week will see me finish the first pass edit.  Then I want to do an out loud read through to complete the third draft of Ghost Dog.  After that I'll let it rest while revising Strike Dog in light of the Beta reader feedback.

Still no word back about Bad Dog, which means that's it for another week.  Catch you all later.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Just Another Week Blah Blah


The blah, blah, being where the heck has it gone.  I'm sure it was only yesterday that I posted last weeks blog only to find that was ten days ago.  Still no news from the agent, but I don't expect to hear from him for another week or so.

In the meantime, Susan and I have been re-watching Dark Angel the James Cameron TV series from 2000.  Season one is really good, every episode working for a living with little or no padding of note.  The second season is still good but reverts to standard TV show tropes of having a Halloween show that really doesn't add much.  Saying that the second half of season becomes tighter and overall I'd say if you haven't caught this show it's well worth watching.

Writing wise I've been plugging away on the second draft of Ghost Dog.  Over the last ten days I've sorted through and revised 23,500 words, which isn't bad, and this takes me up to 63,848 out of the running total of 95,317 words.  So the end is in sight.  My plan, after finishing, is to let it rest while working through the Beta reader comments on Strike Dog.  So I have plenty of work on my plate.

I've also finished my Elementary Introduction to Archery course and was given a Certificate of Merit, which means when I go next week I will be standing on the grown-ups shooting line.  I've been really enjoying learning how to shoot a bow and the bug has really bitten i.e: thinking about how to improve my form and, more to the point, wanting to go shoot some more arrows.

And yes, one day, in a yet to be written story, there will be shooting of arrows (actually as my Beta readers will attest there's already been a scene referring to the shooting of arrows already) so I will now be able to write a convincing description of shooting arrows when the time comes.

As always, thank you for reading and catch you all later.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Bad Dog: I Need an Agent


As I write this blog I have the song I Need a Hero running through my head.  But imagine for a moment the song is about literary agents instead.  Well in my mind anyway it's what I can hear, and if you can't who can resist the Pixar's plundering of an old song for Shrek?  It's worth watching for all the shout outs to other films too.

So yes, Bad Dog is finished, as in I don't intend to revise, or add anything unless someone buys it, and says they'll pay me to do so.  And yes, I have sent Bad Dog out to an agent and hopefully, fingers crossed, they'll like it and want to represent me.

Have I mentioned the sense of palpable relief.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

First Week Back - Running Late

Getting back into the saddle after the Xmas break is definitely a thing.  I've spent this week getting back into the rewrite/editing of Ghost Dog and finding it hard because of too many distractions.

These include having thoughts about the feedback I've received of Strike Dog from my Beta readers, which I'm not actioning until I get the last lot back from Clive, who if he is reading this will no doubt think I'm chivying him.  I'm not Clive, you have until the end of January.  The other big distraction was answering the questions the editor had about Bad Dog.

So last week I managed work on three chapters of Ghost Dog, total 10,030 words, and gnawed by anxiety I reviewed and revised the first five chapters again for a total of 11,777 words, which is OK given all the distractions and losing track of where I was.

Yesterday I got back the editorial copy Bad Dog and on Monday I will start work on reviewing the changes.  So, I'm rather excited about that and it's all good.