What I’m Writing: Novels, Stories and Chapter Books

I thought it might be fun to update readers on what I’ve been working on. You’re probably already aware that I launched the second book in the Spit Mechs series this month (Spit Mechs 2). In December, I hope to launch the first in another chapter book series Squint & Rocket. If I get a reasonable response to these two books, I will most likely continue these two series in 2018.

But I also write adult fiction. Up to this point that has been almost exclusively fantasy and science-fiction, which of course, includes steampunk (greatest sub-genre ever?) I published a short story last year in the British sci-fi journal Singularity. (And have sent out dozens of other stories to other journals.) I have two separate steampunk novels that I have been sending out to prospective agents. Recently, I’ve developed the outlines for two separate novels. One is set in modern day southwest Texas and follows a young woman who, while navigating a sexist culture and a strained relationship with her father, makes a fantastic discovery that transports the story into something bordering fantasy. The second outline is for a full-out sci-fi novel that touches on themes of racism, conspiracy and competitive sports. Not yet satisfied with either, lately I have been pushing around an idea I have for a modern-day literary story with possible hints of magical realism that would focus on somewhat philosophical dialogue.

And I write the occasional poem too. Since there’s not a real monetary market for these, I’ve toyed with the idea of publishing those online (for free).

And that’s it, for now. Would love to hear your thoughts!

In the Beginning: Finding the Flow

So, I’d been jotting down notes on the new steampunk novel for some time now: world notes, character notes, plot notes, etc. All in one long, jumbled document. The process was feeling rather grand. But there came a point when I begin to wonder among the growing complexities, how was this all fitting together? At this point, I had about 15,000 words, all notes, completely disorganized.

I decided that I needed a tangible way of dealing with organizing the mess. I remember reaching this point with the last novel. Then, I reacted by sticking post-it notes all over the closet door. This time though, I printed out all of my notes and cut them up, sorted them all out on the dining room table, adding notes as they occurred to me and taping the whole thing together in a long strip. It was something of a painstaking process, but gloriously rewarding. I’m starting to find that, when searching for the right story flow, there’s a lot to be said for a) working with your hands and b) working it out on a big surface (instead of that tiny computer screen we stare out for too many hours a day).

What I would like to have honestly is a wall-sized touch computer screen that I can grab little notes and slide them around, make connections, write new notes, etc. (Guess what, when I’m the next Kurt Vonnegut, that’s exactly what I’ll have.)