Saturday, March 30, 2013

So What's Next, Now That The Storm-Wing Is Published?

       This piece will be a kind of roadmap of what I intend to do in the upcoming weeks and months, both on my blogs and in the area of writing and publishing.
       First, I should say that I won't be publishing anything for a while.  I plan to let readers get caught up with the verbiage I have already produced! (LOL!)  And the third volume of The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head isn't anywhere near ready (I've shortened the name from The Tale of the Valley of Thorns to simply The Valley of Thorns.  I think, since I've chopped this into so many volumes, shorter is better). The text is in partially formatted shape, but it needs a good bit more editing and polishing, and I don't have a map or cover drawn.  That is, I have a large map of the whole Quest but I'll have to cut it down to fit the setting of this particular book, which will cover only a small part of the termite world.  I want to come up with a different way to show the mountains.  I don't like that hatched background -- makes the place-names hard to read (see the map for The Storm-Wing here).
       As for the cover ... well, I have only one drawing for this part of the book and it's very stiff and not to my liking.  Here it is (comments?):

Click for a larger view

       Actually, this picture isn't as bad as I remembered, but obviously it's oriented wrong to be a cover picture.  Also, you can see by the date in the left corner that I drew this way back in 2003.  At that time I was outlining all my termites in black.  Now I do them in orange -- it softens the effect.  I also don't like the canyon walls, so I would need to find some photos of rocky cliffs to use as models.  But "Lug'tei'a Battles the Demon-Sorcerer" may very well be the subject of the cover, although I have another idea that would require a brand-new drawing.
     So!  I will be working on all that off and on.  First, however, I'm going to take a break and do some reading.  I've promised several people to read and review their books, and also one person is waiting for me to read her WIP and comment on it.  I need to get caught up on all that.  I'm afraid my rather ambitious intention of analyzing all four of Evangeline Walton's Mabinogion retellings is going to have be put on the back burner.  I've only done the first one -- Prince of Annwn (see all four posts here, on my other blog) -- and I do intend to get back to it someday, but I need to do some other things first.
       One of these things is to extract a section of The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars that deals with what happens to the Jews in my future world and also with the psychological struggles of the first star-mission's Chief Engineer.  Most of that will have to be dropped from the final book if I ever get it published because it's somewhat peripheral to Capt. Nikalishin's life, but it's too compelling to leave on the cutting room floor.  So I intend to work seriously on that and it will probably be the next thing I publish.  It will have to be drastically shortened and condensed, with a lot of rewrite.  It will be a complete change of pace from my termite SF/fantasies and maybe that will be good -- show I can write about something besides termites and conlangs and introduce some variety into my backlist.  The book will probably be called Of Fathers and Demons.
       Betwixt and between, I want to keep posting chapters from Man Who Found Birds (in spite of the fact that I still don't know whether anybody is reading them), and I want to do more Mythmaker explication and also some more Olde Grammarian posts, etc., plus other less ponderous stuff.  On the termitespeaker blog, I have more bird myth material to post (people seem to like that), and I may put book reviews on both blogs.  I will also keep updating my progress on formatting The Valley of Thorns.  And there will always be promotional tasks to undertake.
       So I think I'm going to keep busy, don't you think?  Stay tuned!  And keep trying my books!  Read sample chapters!   Download samples from Smashwords!  And please do comment more!  I really enjoy your opinions!



  1. I like the image of the termites battling. I agree that the non-black outlining softens it. The cliffs are a bit heavy, meaning that they're so harshly lined that my eyes want to go there first, then make their way to the termites battling. Despite that, I really like the image and I think it will make a great cover. Looking forward to the story regarding Jews, btw.

    It's really hard to know who's reading anything. So many people would rather read than comment, I suppose. I almost never comment myself, mostly because if I commented on every interesting thing my wandering curiosity had me look at/read, I'd never get anything else done, lol!

    1. I meant that the non-black outlining 'would' soften it, and that it softens the other images, lol.

    2. Later I did a quite-good drawing of the Grand Canyon (based on actual photos of the site) - even my artist friend liked that (although she didn't like the foreground human figures, which were horrible - out of proportion). She told me that's why artists use models. But I think I probably will use this theme.
      I know my MWFB posts get a lot of pageviews, but that doesn't mean people are actually reading them. I guess I was hoping for some feeback in the order of, "This book really draws me in and if it were published, I would like to buy it and read more" or "This book is terminally boring; structured wrong, with the alternate plotlines; and overly verbose, and I wouldn't download it if it were free"!

    3. I really like your drawings. They're very organic. :) And yes, I'm in the same boat with our blog novel. Plenty of views, but no comments. Not that we're looking for any specific feedback. We're just sharing it because we want to and it's such a massive project, we're not even going to think about organizing it for official publication right now. Hopefully you'll get some feedback on the MWFB posts. You probably already know that my vote would be to publish it. Even without having read all of it yet or The Termite Queen(one of the next on my TBR pile), I have a feeling I'll be enjoying your writing style and themes.

    4. I haven't looked at your work - I've got it in the back of my mind, but I always run out of either time or energy - mostly energy. I advise you never to get old!
      Glad you think you would like my style! Reviews are funny - some people like one thing about a book and another person won't like that aspect at all!
      I worked on the "Judish" piece (28th c. spelling) this afternoon. One problem is, there are a lot of characters who would be familiar to the reader if they had read the earlier part of MWFB, but out of context I have to either explain who they are or else cut them out. I'm going to be doing a lot of cutting (I hope - cutting is not my strong suit).