The cover to “Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of Paranormal Investigation” in which my story Forgotten Memories appears has been posted. Ok – now I am getting excited.
Forgotten Memories is one of several stories I wrote as world building for “The West Wind.” It is Weird West tale set in Johnson City, one of the main locations featured in the book, with Rachel and Clarence West playing walk-on parts. Unlike the book, however, I get to have some fun with the paranormal – ghost hunting obviously. The story centers around “Joe” who wakes up in the Marbury Sanitarium with no recollection of his past or how he arrived there. As the story unfolds, he begins to suspect that his circumstance is somehow related to a recent horrific riverboat accident. His journey of self (re)discovery nearly becomes a descent into madness as he struggles to uncover the truth about his past.
Hello lonely blog follower, Facebook friends, and even Twitter account holders who made the ill advised action of following my never so frequent updates. You can be thankful at least that I am not filling your mailboxes and feeds with endless posts. Focused posting. That’s good enough for me… when I get around to it that is.
Despite numerous heartfelt attempts, I have decided that I am completely incapable of generating any enthusiasm for rewriting “The West Wind ” (at least presently) I am therefore pursuing what I believe to be the only sensible course of action… Start writing a new book! If there is a rule that I need to finish rewriting the previous before starting anew, like some sort of literary lima beans before desert, I am afraid I am guilty of its violation.
“Due West” picks up roughly a year following the conclusion of “The West Wind.” Rachel West returns as a principle POV character, as does my favorite troubled and unstable heir Eli Hardy. For my third POV I am introducing a new character, the inimitable inspector Edward Percival Alford sent by the American Colonial government to investigate the extraordinary events of the previous story. The setting remains the same – the Steampunk Western alternate world of the early 1900s.
Scrivener files created, timeline drawing template opened, let the plotting begin!
Even if only in a small way. I am excited to announce that one of my short stories has been selected to be included in a forthcoming horror short story anthology. My first of, hopefully, many more.
I have written and submitted several short stories recently, each taking place in and around the events of The West Wind. Yes, I know, I should be working on the book but I can rationalize these side efforts in a couple of ways:
Short stories have word counts. Writing with a word count forces me to write as tightly as I can. A good discipline and habit that will benefit a longer work where there is no word count.
World building with a purpose. I have heard of writers spending years on world building without eventually even writing the novel. I am doing it the other way around. I wrote my first draft and now I am world building through the short stories. My rewrite will benefit. I also can’t help but thinking that the short stories benefit by being set in a world where it is clear that there are other things going on outside of the perspective.
Editing. I hate it but learning how to do it takes the edge off a bit.
At the very least, I must admit that a little short term gratification on the longer road of writing a full length work ain’t bad either!
Status as of 10/23/11 11/26/111/29/12 11/23/12: Putting the rewrite “on hold”
It is the summer of 1912 and the western frontier of the British American Colonies is a pressure cooker of intrigues fueled by greed, resentment, and the need for revenge in this steampunk adventure dominated by plots and power struggles between rich and powerful industrialists. It is a world of massive floating mansions, horses, stagecoaches, airships, private railroad cars, dusty western towns, flying machines, and a traveling mechanical freak show.
Roland Pritchard – a true success story of Her Majesty’s American Colonies having built an extensive railroad empire that is the backbone of industrial development in the western frontier.
Eli Hardy – the only child of Jakob Hardy, recently returned from studying abroad (something more controversial) and is confronted by the real truth behind his father’s success.
Rachel West – an apprentice clock maker (something less banal) has emigrated fled to the American Colonies in search of a place where she and with her half brother Clarence will be accepted for who they are and not what society dictates. to escape a deadly conspiracy only to find herself embroiled in even more dangerous intrigues.