Writing Update, 9/26

Writing Update pic
How’s It Going?
I’m 95% satisfied with the cover I’ve come up with for The Case of the Sorrowful Seamstress. That percentage might go down after I post this and see it in a new context.

Next up: Another editing pass (I’ll probably put the manuscript through a text to speech program) and writing the dreaded “back of the book” blurb.

About This WIP
One Ahead is a series of mystery novellas focusing on David P. Abbott, a magician who lived in Omaha, NE at the beginning of the 20th century. Aside from being an accomplished magician, David Abbott was a debunker of fraudulent mediumistic practices. I’ll be delving into the history of Omaha in 1915 as well as visiting some of the magicians, mediums, and skeptics that lived in that era.

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Writing Update, 9/12

Writing Update pic
What’s Going on Work-wise?
I spent time last week and the week before formatting Eric’s Martian Engineer’s Notebook series. It took a little longer than I expected. The books are a deep dive into the science behind Andy Wier’s The Martian and have a lot of mathematical and chemical equations. The biggest hurdle, though, was wading through the Kindle previewer/exporter’s error messages. I’ve been formatting in HTML/CSS and creating my own .opf and .ncx files which are what Amazon uses to build the book’s .mobi file. I understand what I’m doing with each file, but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally typo a link, save a file to the wrong folder, or designate something as a “class” instead of an “id.” Figuring out what I’ve done wrong from the error log is amusing/frustrating, but ultimately satisfying as are most debugging endeavors.

I’ve also finished the formatting for One Ahead: The Case of the Sorrowful Seamstress and this week I’m working on an editing pass. I’m 2/3rds through. And then I’ll start working on the cover. …I have very little idea what I want to do for a cover…

Since the beginning of September, I’ve also been reading up on the structure of mysteries. I’m not super great with plot, so I think I might want to try my hand at a more formulaic genre. While not exactly a “how-to” article, one of the more interesting essays on the subject that I’ve found is W. H. Auden’s “The Guilty Vicarage.” I’m toying with the idea of really planning a book leading up to NaNoWriMo. I do already have a character and setting in mind.

Recent Research Topic:
Related to that possible NaNo project, I’ve done a little research on how far into the 20th century the chautauqua edu-tainment movement lasted. Turns out, into the 20s, which is perfect for my purposes. As a shock to none, I’ve also been reading issues of The Sphinx to get a feel for what opportunities there were for working magicians post-WWI.

Writing Update, 8/22 ~ Return of the Uncanny Valley

Writing Update pic
How’s It Going?

First of all, I’ve put Our Past in the Uncanny Valley up for download for free at Entangled Continua Publishing. No strings attached. It’s available in .mobi, .azk, .epub, and .pdf formats. (Am I missing a format? Let me know, I’ll see what I can do.) If you’re interested in some classic short stories about automata, check it out!

The next thing I’m working on is publishing One Ahead: The Case of the Sorrowful Seamstress. I’m currently giving it an editing pass, next I’ll format it, then give it another edit pass, then make a cover for it, then give it another edit pass. I think I’ll be able to get it up on Amazon by early October.

About This WIP
One Ahead is a series of mystery novellas focusing on David P. Abbott, a magician who lived in Omaha, NE at the beginning of the 20th century. Aside from being an accomplished magician, David Abbott was a debunker of fraudulent mediumistic practices. I’ll be delving into the history of Omaha in 1915 as well as visiting some of the magicians, mediums, and skeptics that lived in that era.

Wrapping July 2018

Reading

  • Books Finished: 5
    • Highlight: A World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
  • Books DNFed: 1
  • Short Stories Read: 7
    • Highlight: “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
  • Challenge Updates:
    • #20 #15 Books of Summer: I’m at 8/15. Probably not going to make it…
    • 2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge: Making good progress here. 4/8 off my list and my percentage is up to 30% nonfiction read.
    • 2018 TBR Challenge: This month’s DNF was from my this challenge. I mean, I guess I’m clearing things off my TBR list…
    • Wild West Reading Challenge: Didn’t have a western planned for July.
    • Shelf Maintenance: Downloaded 3 ARCs and purchased 2 brand new books.

Continue reading “Wrapping July 2018”

Writing Update, 7/25

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How’s It Going?
Eh.

Well, Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is out of Amazon pre-pub review jail. I needed to remove a couple stories and I’ve since restructured it. I rewrote the pertinent intro materials, but now I’m not totally satisfied with the formatting (unrelated to the restructuring). So, I’m sitting on it for the moment.

I did reformat Bounded in a Nutshell, my anthology of short fiction. I’m really pleased with how it looks now. (And I realize now that I hadn’t “finished” the publishing process last night and my changes aren’t live. That might be my current state summed up in, well, a nutshell.) [Edit: But it’s updated now! If you want to toss a dollar my way for some (hopefully) entertaining fiction: Bounded in a Nutshell @ Amazon.]

I’m going to hit all our current books with formatting updates. Next up: Luck for Hire.

Writing Update, 7/11

Writing Update pic
How’s It Going?
Or rather, “Hey, Katherine, wasn’t some sort of anthology that you edited supposed to come out last week or something? What’s up with that?”

Reader, it’s been a rough couple of weeks…

Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is stuck in Amazon review jail. This is a good deal my fault. I don’t want to go into the whole story; I haven’t decided what the ultimate fate of the book is. This happened after I completely reformatted the manuscript in one day due to a problem with an embedded image. (These things are unrelated.)

But I’ve learned two things:

  1. Publishing public domain works through Amazon might be more work than it’s worth.
  2. I rather enjoy formatting ebooks. Maybe something should/will come of that.

So, I spent last week moping, building a palazzo in Minecraft, and deciding what to do next. I need to get back to work.

But it’s such nice place to hang out while my ms is in review jail.
(Created with Lord of the Rings Minecraft mod.)

Wrapping June 2018

Reading

Good-ish reading month.

  • Books Finished: 5
    • Highlights: Fall of Man in Wilmslow byDavid Langercrantz and
      The Burglar Was Caught by a Skeleton
      by Jeremy Clay were both solid interesting reads.
  • Books DNFed: 4 – Yeah, I know!
  • Short Stories Read: 25
    • Highlights: “Playing with Fire” by Arthur Conan Doyle (a non-Sherlock Holmes story concerning a séance before Doyle was into spiritualism) and “Bog Girl” by Karen Russell.
  • Challenge Updates:
    • 20 Books of Summer: I’m 4/15, which is a little behind, but I did DNF one of the books on my list.
    • 2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge: No progress on my list and I’m slightly below the 25% nonfiction  mark (24%).
    • 2018 TBR Challenge: No progress here either. I’m reading Heaven’s Ditch, which is good, but a little slow.
    • Wild West Reading Challenge: I’ve read 3/6 for this challenge, so right on track for the middle of the year!
    • Shelf Maintenance: Added three books; one I’ve already read, one was a prize, one is an October deadline ARC.

Continue reading “Wrapping June 2018”