Sunday morning I engaged in one of the finest old American Christmas traditions. The tree and everything went up the Friday after Thanksgiving, most of the shopping is done (and much of it had been done since February, since Yvonne doesn’t play games in these matters), and only one thing remained. The one thing that, to me, divides the Christmas Season from all the other holidays that Wal Mart would happily serve up as a live sacrifice to a pagan god. The thin line that keeps Thanksgiving from being nothing more than a dress rehearsal for Christmas dinner, with Halloween sitting nervously and wondering when it’s next on the chopping block. And that thing is Alan Rickman, God rest his soul, landing ass-first on the ground outside Nakatomi Plaza. Die Hard is everything you want in a Christmas movie, unless you really need to see more airplanes to get your metaphor erect, in which case you should opt for Die Hard 2: Die Harder. In case you want to fight me on this, know that I stepped away from the TV afterwards to see the first proper snow accumulation of the season. Coincidence? Yeah, but I’m still going to use it to my advantage because I’m not a good person.
This post comes with an apology to our beta reader. He has actually been done beta reading for some time now, which until now was not reflected in these posts. In fact, the beta reader’s input has already been assimilated into the text, and Yvonne has taken her red* pen to the second revision pass. Not sure how many passes remain; a few sections have already been flagged for significant rewrites, and we’ll need to play the editing by ear for those.
As mentioned in our last post, the waiting game is still ongoing, with Book #2 still being perused by the beta reader. Some basic feedback on the early chapters has come back, mostly because I caved in and asked said beta reader how it was going instead of sitting back, playing it cool, and not being over-eager. I hate waiting; if it’s something bad I’m waiting for, then I have to sit there and stew in the negative emotions instead of just ripping off the metaphorical bandaid and getting it over with, and if it’s something good then I have to just sit there and tremble with antici…
Right, so as of now the official blog schedule is “when something happens”.
Apropos of nothing, something happened. Specifically, the first draft of Book #2 is officially complete and in the hands of beta reader. Not plural, singular. It used to be plural, but of my 5 beta readers, two never responded, the third was upfront that he didn’t like it, the fourth was Yvonne and the fifth came back with notes. Yvonne will be tagging in later, but since she was basically able to read over my shoulder while draft 1 was being type there isn’t much sense in having her sit through it again until something significant changes.
Revisions and additions are already being plotted, but for now they are just sitting in a document waiting for their day in the sun. Additionally, the book needs a name. Naming stuff is always something I have issues with, and whenever possible I put it off for later. Fortunately, through the magic of placeholders, and “[” brackets that are easily searchable in word processing programs, this issue does not slow me down.
As mentioned previously, this Book #2 is technically the third book; the original Book #2, which ironically already has a name, is still just sitting there. Yvonne has suggested putting some work on it while waiting for feedback, but I feel no great rush to go back and finish it. The text as writ (and outlined for the parts not actually written yet) exists as part of the canon, but I had concerns about some aspects of it. Chiefly, the fact that Caroline effectively gets sidelined while secondary characters run around and get into fights and solve mysteries. While the other characters having a life outside of the main protagonist doesn’t bother me, the fact that the protagonist only features in 40% of the first two books would send odd and mixed signals. Hence Arms Race got sidelined until we could get Caroline established a bit more firmly. Then the Professor can host wacky homicide hour.
In other news:
- Good news: Payday 2 has finally started to fade from my attention, and will not consume my time for the foreseeable future. Bad news: It has faded because I finally have Fallout 4. The game has it’s high points and it’s low points, but overall we’re having a good time so far. Unfortunately for one of the best RPG franchises, some of the low points are dialogue and the roleplaying elements, though the settlement building options are interesting. Also unfortunately, sometimes I wonder what the developers were thinking with some of the places that get suggested for settlement locations, like the drive-in theater (“Sure Preston, let’s set up shop on a flat concrete slab with no natural defenses, no resources other than scrap metal, and a radioactive pool in the center. Jackass.”). My pipe dream hope is that we will see a repeat of what happened with Fallout 3 and New Vegas, where Bethesda makes a numbered Fallout game that introduces a number of interesting technical innovations, and then bring in a pack of ex-Black Isle people to take those innovations and use them to make a named Fallout with better writing. Dare to dream.
- Yvonne is at work on her next set of books, as well as taking some time to work on a few unrelated projects. Mostly craft themed. Will keep details to a minimum; if she gets the urge to share, it will be up on her blog.
So it turned out that there were never pics of the sword. I’d like to say that this absence of pics was the cause of the delay in this post, but the flaw in the system exists between the keyboard and chair. Specifically, I get distracted while writing the still-untitled Book #2 and helping Yvonne with her 3rd, and the Blog ends up being bottom priority. In a related good news/bad news scenario I’ve cooled off my Team Fortress 2 activity… because I finally have a machine that can run Payday 2, so expect that to crop up in the tags for the next few posts.
So, picking up right off from October, we were doing Halloween props. The party went pretty good, though as expected dressing up as a character that exists in your head and in an e-book is a good way to hear many variations on the question “what are you?”. Yvonne had the same problem, though she did wear her costume well.
The pistol turned out fairly well. Not perfect, but good enough to look impressive around the campfire. For scale/comparison, Yvonne’s Captain pistol is presented next to the finished Marv.
In the future we need to acquire a few holsters. For the past two Halloweens we’ve been passing around a “universal” holster that Yvonne’s sister picked up for a Meryl Silverburgh costume. Partially out of a sense of getting maximum use out of a prop, partially because we’re cheapskates.
And for some infernal reason the in-progress pictures I took of the Wilhelmina sword aren’t where I though I left them. Will post Part Three after I run them down.
So… it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Which, in a step up from the last time I went a while without posting here also included leaving a “Part One” of something sitting around with no part two. To those who are still set to follow the blog, thanks for sticking around, and I will strive to do better in coming months. Those who are no longer set up to follow the blog aren’t reading this, so any apology to them would be a hollow gesture.
First and foremost, Yvonne has released her second book in the Frohman’s War series, Campaign of Acceptance. It is now available on Amazon for $2.99, or “free” with Kindle Unlimited. She has a preview segment up on her blog.
Second, “Arms Race” has been on hold for a while. Things just weren’t working out, and it’s been shifted to the back burner for the time being. Work has been progressing on what is shaping up to be the second book in the Shattered Continent series, which is currently sans working title. Out of a desire to avoid last year’s presumptuous mistake, no estimated time of arrival is being provided for it until we are much closer to release.
Third, I’ll get Part Two of that Halloween post up, hopefully in short order. More details to come later.