Oh yeah that thing…

*EDIT* Turns out the page I used for the contest last year still works fine. I just had to pick an end date. So The Second Annual Joseph Devon Fan Art Contest (TSAJDFAC) is now officially open.*EDIT*

It was around this time last year that I launched the Joseph Devon Fan Art Contest. It was a lot of fun and helped me find a lot of new readers and I said that I was going to make it a yearly thing. And I am. However, with the new book I haven’t had time to write up an official How-Dee-Do and work out all the details.

But I’m going to get on that.

Soon.

Last time around I ended it in April and I had a lot of art students writing in saying that they wanted to enter but that they had final projects due right around then and couldn’t ‘get to it. This time around I think it will end in mid-summer to give everyone a chance of entering. Also that should make up for the later start date.

So, no details, but if you were wondering if I was going to do something like this again, the answer is yes. Absolutely. I guarantee it.

But right now I’ve got too much going on to work out the exact prizes and deadlines.

Soon, though. Sooooooon….

Yup, still editing…

Nothing new there. However, I’ve come to actually enjoy my seat on the floor that started back when my back was tweaked and I had to sit up against the wall for support. I have like a little fort that I climb into with my couch on one side and an ottoman in front and an end table rounding things out. It’s my rewriting bunker. And, yes, I’m a lunatic. But that’s where I’m getting through the most pages so that’s where I’m parking my ass.

And, frankly, this process breeds lunacy anyway. I’m reading the story I made up over and over and over again with very little else in the way of entertainment. I put on shows in order to have some background noise but those usually get paused when my nose finally touches the grindstone and then I’ll look up awhile later and unpause for a few more minutes before getting back to the rewriting and, once again, pausing. I’m used to, like, other books being in my life. And other movies. You ever tried reading the same book over and over again? It’s very weird.

Or maybe I’m very weird.

Maybe it’s a happy combination of the two.

Either way it was a three day weekend and alternating nights out with afternoons rewriting has driven me insane.

I didn’t know if it was morning or night when I woke up today.

Interesting feeling.

Hooray for Presidents.

Jaggerdebloooo

My eyes hurt and I’ve been staring at computers too much. I don’t really have a lot to say and since all my free time is spent editing I’m not bursting with blog ideas. But these are my recent thoughts:

What the hell is Nic Cage doing with his career?

Why is Adrian Brody making beer ads?

Law and Order: CI is, for some reason, the greatest show to have on in the background while writing.

I require noises in the background to concentrate. I would expect, in fact, just the opposite.

I need a hair cut because I look like Wolverine. I mean, without the claws and the grizzly good looks. But my hair is fucking nuts right now.

I really need a new profile picture. I’m embarrassed by my current one at this point. I’m not even wearing a scarf in it.

Frozen peas are freakishly versatile for first aid purposes.

The picture for this post is what popped up when I typed in “nonsense.” Wow. How nonsensical.

If you could name three things to be incorporated on the cover of the new book, what would they be?

I’m starting to enjoy doing research, which basically gives me the right to approach anyone and say, “I’m an author, can you tell me whatever I want to know?”

Oh yeah, and the Matthew and Epp stories are definitely going to be (at least) a trilogy. So make this second book last, okay?

Oh to heck with it, here’s Part 1

I tweaked my back (nothing serious) and have been sitting on my floor with my back flat against the wall for the past two days. Which, outside of the numbness in my butt, is actually a pretty good thing as far as rewrites go.

It is a bad thing, however, as far as cabin fever/dementia goes.

I’ve been keeping this book under wraps for what seems like forever. You’ve been hearing about this book for what seems like forever. I’m sort of bored with that whole situation.

So…here’s Part 1.

TADA!!!! (well technically the link is  a little lower down there at the bottom of the post)

This is still a rough(ish) draft and this is NOT open for The Great Typo Hunt yet. So, frankly, you might want to wait for a fully polished version. That’s up to you. The language is a bit rough but the story is where I want it. Also the the font is tiny so if you’re printing it out you might want to change that.

Click here to download Part 1 in Word.

Click here to download Part 1 as a PDF.

(and if you want some other version contact me and I’ll see if I can throw it up on here)

Oh and if you need a refresher on Probability Angels you can go here.

Spread the word. Tell your friends. Argue about whether it sucks or is awesome.

Go do that voo-doo that you do so well…

I Love Formatting Things in Word

Oh, wait. No I don’t. It’s hell. Somehow visualizing something in digital format does not work in my brain. It’s like playing Jenga with a blindfold on. And you don’t know the shape of the blocks. And a monkey is throwing his feces at you. Possibly while laughing; it’s hard to tell under the blindfold. Monkey noises are strange like that when you can’t see the monkey’s expression.

Anyway I can never quite get a mental grip on where I am within the document and when I need to format one section differently I have to check then double-check then triple-check and then do it wrong anyway.

It’s fun.

However it’s also yet another step towards this being one of those real “book” things.

That actually is fun.

Back to reading until I fall asleep.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere are Signs

Man I hate that song.

Anyway I was going to have a fun-filled post for today where I would unveil the cover of…the LAST book, Probability Angels.

“But what’s this?” You ask? “We’ve already seen the cover for the last book?”

Yes, you have, only now there was going to be some mention on it, like a subtitle, that it was the FIRST book in a series.

Dun dun dunnnnnn….

You know, because now that the second book is almost done I can officially make that claim.

But, since I used the drag-and-drop cover creator at my publisher, when I went to put the subtitle in I thought it sort of looked like crap so now I have to figure something else out or maybe tackle redoing my cover from scratch.

Also I think I accidentally shut off my book sales for a day.

And my cool idea for today’s post is now utterly irrelevent.

So…how ’bout them Packers?

The Spell Check From Hell

I don’t often make broad sweeping statements like this, but there is nothing in the world like churning a 490 page manuscript through Microsoft Word’s spell check for the first time.

Holy hell.

My eyes are killing me and I think I left even semi-rational thought behind hours ago. There’s obviously the sheer weight of words that this thing is checking and the to-be-expected typos. I’m already sick of “awhile” vs “a while.” But my writing appears to be some sort of hybrid language between English and Batshitcrazyglish.

I mean I went for a walk to grab lunch today, debating the entire time whether my creating of the word “crappily” was based enough on the root word “crap” to pass muster.

Then there are names to be added to the computer’s dictionary so it will stop telling me to correct “Fatboy” into “fat boy.”

And I still have no idea if it’s “spacetime,” “space-time” or “space time.” Microsoft Word isn’t exactly up to date on it’s quantum physics.

To top it all off I hate most of this stuff. I hate grammar, I hate rigid sentence structure, I hate pristine writing.

You know what I like? I like expressing thoughts, feelings and tactile sensations with a poetic flow of words that burrows into my reader’s head.

So yeah.

So far I find this process to be proceeding very crappily.

One Down, God Knows How Many To Go

Well I made it. I was hoping to get my first read-through in before January ended and I managed just that. Persistent Illusions has been read in its entirety now by at least one person on this earth: me.

Now all that’s left is to read it again, and reread and rereread it with freakish compulsive abandon that would probably drive you nuts if you were forced to watch it. There are, of course, typos to be corrected. And there is my punch list of ten or so items that I need to see to. But there is also the general polishing of details that can only come through reading a book until it makes you want to vomit.

I mean, I’ll be honest. I had no freaking idea what this book was about during this first read-through. I had a general sense of the plot but over the course of a year or so one tends to forget the details. So, for example, on page 25 Character X might declare that he has an exact knowledge of Character Y’s whereabout. Then, on page 55, Character X might declare that he doesn’t have a clue where Character Y might be found. And the weirdest part is that until I have a good firm grasp on the book as a whole, I don’t know which version of Character X is right.

So I read, and read and read and slowly all the little rivers of detail become familiar enough to me so that I can smooth out such bipolar characters.

The good news? This is a much faster process than the first read-through. I have little to no actual writing to do now and it’s just read and polish, read and polish.

Seems so simple now.