The door creaks open letting in a sliver of light from beyond. The light is then briefly disturbed and followed by a shuffling sound as something moves through the darkness. Opposite the door and along the path of the shuffling there is a loud thump, followed by a sharp scraping sound.
A sudden silence falls over the room and you know you have been heard.
Cautious footsteps echo in the darkness back towards the doorway and its small beam of light.
There is a click and light floods the room.
“Oh, hello there! You’re still here. That’s great!”
So yeah, I have had a lot going and coming back to to this space feels like walking into an old closed up room and finding a long lost friend there. In a good way, not a ‘It puts the lotion in the basket’ kind of way.
“What’s been going on?”, you ask?
Well let’s see. First, I started a new job last month and that has obvious impacts on my free time for the immediate future. I also started down the path of a Mac user at this new job which has been less than stellar fun. I am working it out but in a corporate environment with a Microsoft backend and little infrastructure in place to support Macs, the experience leaves a lot on the floor. Outside of that the kids started school in September which is its own special brand of chaos in my household. Throw in a few health issues while changing over benefits between jobs and Wa La! there goes a month or more in the blink of an eye.
So now back to writing and some updates that are more pertinent to this blog…
Since my new job involved more drive time and less time in the comforting embrace of the NY/NJ mass transit system I have started listening to Brandon Sanderson’s Write About Dragons lecture series on YouTube. Basically someone had a great idea to cast his lecture series on novel writing and the publishing industry. It is all on YouTube and even only a few lectures in I highly recommend it. I watched an episode (?) of it earlier this year on short stories which really drove home my ideas and plans for “47 Seconds”.
(well that was subtle)
This is still happening. I have been getting lots of communication from TANSTAAFL Press about their upcoming “Enter the Apocalypse” series. My short story “47 Seconds” is slated for book 3: “Enter the Rebirth”. Super excited about that as it is my first paid writing gig, outside of self published work.
In other news, I may have to make some changes to how “The Mason Chronicles” is published now that the Amazon KDP Police are giving me grief that it is available outside of Amazon. While almost all of meager sales are from Amazon, part of me wants to remove it from KDP for a variety of reasons now that it has probably run its course. So more to come on that when I make a decision.
That’s all for now. If you know of any other great resources that are in an audio format that I can listen to while driving hit me up in the comments!
I’ll try not to be as sparse.
I am beyond excited to announce that TANSTAAFL Press has accepted my short story “47 Seconds” for their “Enter the Apocalypse” trilogy of anthologies!
Here is more information about the series from TANSTAAFL Press:
The first book in the anthology series will be Enter the Apocalypse. This will be devoted to apocalypses just starting.
The second book in the series will be “Enter the Aftermath.” This will be devoted to the height or burnout of an apocalypse.
The final book in this series will be “Enter the Rebirth.” What is the new normal after the apocalypse is over.
Looks like a very interesting series and I am intrigued to see how “47 Seconds” fits in.
At its core it is a story about the value of time in the extreme setting of the apocalypse. Apocalyptic fiction often deals with the lack of resources like food, energy, water, medicine, and/or security. These are all things that we take for granted today. The idea behind “47 Seconds” was to take something we value today, something we constantly want more of, but that is truly finite, and consider it in the same way. So what if you only had 47 seconds to save everyone that you loved? Could you do it?
So there it is, “47 Seconds” will appear in the third installment “Enter the Rebirth”, due out next summer from TANSTAAFL Press.
For more information about the series hit up their website:
I am sure there will be more information as we get closer to publication, so stay tuned!
I have some news to share soon about “47 Seconds”, a Short story I wrote about the value of the time in the Apocalypse. (It also has really cool robots!)
Well, that took longer than expected!
As you know, (since I know you follow this little blog religiously) I have been doing some editing. I finished up Contact a few (ed. several) weeks ago. So when that was done I turned my sites on Connect. Same process. I used the Hemingway App which helps to focus on readability. I found it helpful to tighten things up a lot. New version is posted to Kindle and Smashwords will follow soon after I get the reformatted version through the Meatgrinder. (Seriously that is the name of Smashwords’ program that converts the files to ePub, Mobi etc.)
At this point though now I have to swear off of that stuff. You can easily turn into George Lucas and keep going back and revising, re-editing, r-writing. And we all know how that goes. I am better writer now than I was when I first typed out
No one knew what had happened to the world Before.
Only that what had been Before was now gone and all that was left was After.
Of course, none of that was Mason’s concern at this moment.
But that doesn’t mean I should be rewriting the book.
Time to move on to some new things. I will be posting a short story I wrote called “47 Seconds” in this space soon. After that I have work to do on Conflict, the Mason Chronicles Part III (Gasp! Spoiler alert!) and I think I have several other good short stories to be told. I want to branch out of the world of After, so expect to see some other places and faces.
Good advice, me thinks!
If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed that I have doing some edits…
— Rich Jones (@IM_RichJones) February 10, 2016
Day 4 of Edits. The red is abating. Am able to sleep, but still the dreams come! #amwriting
— Rich Jones (@IM_RichJones) February 11, 2016
Day 5 of Edits. I think I am done. WooHoo! Wait…OMG…What have I done!? WHATHAVEIDONE!!? #amwriting
— Rich Jones (@IM_RichJones) February 12, 2016
Day 7 of edits. What is a Semi Colon? No seriously WTF is it!? WHATISIT? *Whimpers into glass of whiskey*
— Rich Jones (@IM_RichJones) February 15, 2016
So far I have been doing most of my writing without a good editor who doesn’t have the same name as I do. Editor’s cost money and so far I have been hedging on investing too much in this little hobby of mine.
I still don’t have an editor, but I found a nice option that I think helped me tune up the prose. I used the Hemingway Editor app in this revision. It’s a simple tool and it basically scans your text and flags various things for your consideration. Think of it like Spelling and Grammar check in Word, but where it focuses on things that make it hard to read. So it color codes sentences that may be Hard or Very Hard to read and it gives you counts on usage of Adverbs and Passive Voice. It also points out any place that there is a Simpler Alternative to what you wrote. By no means is it a replacement for a true editor, but I found it helped me zero in on sections of my writing that were not user friendly. A lot of my writing came up as Hard to read. Mostly it was because of complex sentences with lots of “and” usage that merged a few ideas together which in turn made the prose less concise and a lot less tight and readable. Kind of like that last sentence. See what I did there?
So I pushed the edited versions out and now new readers will hopefully find Contact much more enjoyable and easy to read. Also if you want to see the difference, I would suggest re-reading the first chapter. That had a lot of edits. Makes sense because it was the first one I wrote and I was trying to introduce a lot of complex ideas. As I made my way through the edits I clearly improved and found a lot less edits were required. So reading Chapter 1 – Tank, should you give you a good idea of the improvements.
No I don’t expect anyone to re read the book, this was more for new readers.
So there it is, I am working on Connect now and will let you all know how that goes.
“What shall a man profit if he gain the world and lose his soul?”
–Recorded Wisdom of Before, vol. 2, ch. 1
Picking up right after the thrilling events of Contact, we find Mason and his team of Contacts fractured. Mason, C’er, and Tank race towards a destination that they do not know while Diana sets out on her own path towards revenge. Dathan’s horde of Brothers continue their crusade across the wastelands of the world of After. They offer a simple choice to all those they encounter: Join them and rebuild world from the ashes, or be burned to nothing.
Connect continues the Chronicles of Mason in the world of After. It is a harsh and unforgiving place and Mason is its perfect paladin. He travels with a Prophet named C’er whose precognitive abilities are maddening, but somehow stifled by Mason’s presence. For this task he has made two contacts so far. First is a mutated giant named Tank who has exceptional abilities with all forms of tek, but otherwise is like a small child. Second was Diana, a teenage girl with natural affinity for all forms of weapons and combat. While Tank needs to bring the group someplace special, Diana is bent on revenge against Dathan and his army of Raiders who destroyed her village.
Meanwhile in a mysterious Facility from Before, a small group of people struggle to restore systems that they do not fully understand. Systems that may not want to be fully restored…
You can get Connect starting today at the following links:
Note – Not only can you get Connect in any eBook format (.epub, .pdf, mobi, etc.) at Smashwords, they will also distribute it to iBooks, Kobo, and several other eBook outlets over the next few days and weeks. So if you read your eBooks on a different platform than we see above, either grab it from Smashwords directly and upload it to your reader of choice, or just be patient.
If you have not read Contact, (gasp!) then please don’t be one of those people who starts on Part 2. You can get Contact here.
So please get you downloading on, and then be the first to post a review! Seriously, go post a review. Do it now. Well, actually read it first, and then post a review. But don’t forget the review part.
I have made my way through the submission process for Google Play Books and now Connect is available here. So if you are one of the Google type people or use an Android phone or Tablet this may be the place for you. Especially if you are a member of Google Rewards where you get small credits for answering like 2-3 question surveys from time to time. One or two of those and you can get Connect on Google’s dime and not your own!
If you use other eBook stores and still want Connect, that’s great and see this post.