Status Update – 2014-03-31

It’s April Fools Eve and there are no jokes in this post. Just remember, believe nothing on the internet tomorrow. More so than you already disbelieve it. Just assume every web page is the Onion tomorrow.

So, exciting times last week. I finished a short story AND a novel. Very exciting. The novel will need some work later. Details were omitted. But overall, I like the way it turned out. I’m excited to get back to doing some more fantasy based work now. I’m still editing Dwarf Lords, and I’ll also begin edits on the short story.

Other excitement? Nothing too crazy. Summer is drawing near, which we’re ready to enjoy. Winter has felt particularly long this year. My wife and I also started in playing the EverQuest Landmark beta. So far, it’s like MineCraft with updated graphics. It doesn’t really feel much like EverQuest, at least not yet. But the precision of the building tools is nice.

-Keep Writing.

Time Travel

Our good friend Chuck Wending proposed that we write a story about time travel. As a result, I wrote the story Living in the Past. Hope you enjoy it.

-Keep Writing.

10K

Today is July 23 and I’m 10,000 words short of my total for last year. I’d say that’s pretty damn good. So far I’ve finished one novel. Wrote a second, and turned out a handful of short stories. Not too shabby. Still plenty more work to do.

-Keep Writing.

Another Story

Today we have another flash fiction story in the Free Fiction section. It’s called Random(). Hope you enjoy the story.

Update and New Fiction

So, I’m back on track with the Write-A-Thon. I’ve ran through the first two chapters. There was a lot of cleaning up to do, cities to be named etc. So that’s progressing well. This week I will take a look at Chapter 3.

In case you missed it, Saturday I posted a new story in the free fiction section. Chuck Wendig challenged us to re-imagine a fairy tale into a modern setting. Which prompted me to write the story The Broken Promise. I hope you enjoy it. Though it is a little on the dark side, so maybe “enjoy” isn’t quite the right word.

The Broken Promise

Chuck Wendig of TerribleMinds issued this challenge to write an updated fairy tale. Here is my contribution:

The Broken Promise

by Joshua D Evans

Aaron slammed the door as he entered their house. He carried a box, filled with family pictures, a potted plant, and used pens. Aaron dropped the box next to the door.

“Aaron?” Samantha said as she entered the living room. “What’s happened?”

“I’ve had enough Samantha,” he said. “I gave them everything I had. I was so close to finding a cure and they fired me.”

“They can’t–”

“Well, they did, with a month’s severance as though that could somehow make up for the lives I could have saved. They just care about their damn bottom line.”

“There’s other places you can work.”

“No,” he said. He held up a USB drive in his hand.

“What’s that?”

“The data from my hard drive. I’ll find a cure to the virus without them and then they’ll beg me to come back. Get the kids, pack what clothes you can carry, and let’s get in the car.”

The warehouse at the edge of town was better than Aaron expected. With the money from their sold house, Aaron could work for a long time on finding the cure. Samantha believed in his work and would sacrifice anything for him. Even if it meant cooking over a gas burner and a ten mile trek to the nearest store. Jake, his oldest son was pissed at having to leave his friends behind. Molly was as strong as her mother and little Andy, who was only ten, was just happy to be with everyone. They fell into an easy rhythm. Samantha home schooled the children while Aaron plunged through the data. The answer was there, he just needed to find it.

When the virus caught him, everyone was shocked.

Aaron called his children to his side. The virus ravaged the body quickly with no discernible pattern, making even the strongest man weak as a baby.

“Children,” he began. “I fear your mother will follow my path soon. You must always remember there are evil men in this world. Whatever you do, take care of Andy. He’s too small to fend for himself.”

“We promise,” the older children said together. Andy smiled, not realizing what was happening to his father.

As their father predicted Samantha died eight months later just as the chill of fall was starting to touch the city. They all knew the reason was a broken heart. On her death bed she called her children to her side.

“You must never forget the promise you made your father.”

“Never,” the children said.

Jake stepped into the role of provider. He found odd jobs nearby and kept his siblings fed throughout the winter. As spring came the snows melted and Jake found himself restless.

“I met a girl,” he told his sister. “She said her father can get me a job fixing cars.”

“You must remember your promise to father. Andy needs us.”

“I have work to do. I’ll be back.”

Jake never returned that night. Molly continued to take care of Andy, scraping together for them what food she could find. Fall came, settling a chill into the city. Winter then set upon them with a vengeance. As the temperature grew colder, so too did Molly’s heart.

“Andy, I’m going to find our brother and bring him back. There is food here for a few weeks. Don’t waste it.”

Molly found her brother. He wasn’t hard to track down and she spied him with his girl, her belly round with a child. Molly couldn’t bring herself to bring Jake back or face Andy again.

Andy finished the last of the food within a few weeks. With no one there to watch him, he started to explore the areas around the warehouse in search of food. It was on one such trip that he found a gang that called themselves The Wolves. They scared Andy at first, with their tattoos and leather jackets, but they left him scraps of food too. Eventually one of the gang members took him in and they started to teach Andy their ways.

Andy pulled a ski mask over his face, tucked a pistol into his belt and set out to earn his place with The Wolves. He came upon a car stopped at a light. Never a good idea in this neighborhood but Andy wasn’t going to complain. He ran up to the driver side window, drawing his pistol as he went. He slammed the butt of the weapon into the window, sending fragments of glass flying through the car.

“Get the fuck out of the car,” Andy ordered.

“Hey man chill,” a familiar voice said. “Just let me and my girl go. You can have the car.”

“Good, play it smart.”

The man opened the door and slid out of the car, his empty hands in the air.

“Jake…?” Andy mumbled. The gun in his hand wavered.

“… Andy … is that you?”

“Not anymore,” Andy said. “Get out of my way.”

“Hey brother,” Jake said. “I’ve been looking for you.”

“Jake, what’s going on?” the girl said as she struggled to get out of the car.

“Yeah, looks like you looked really hard for me.”

Jake crossed the distance with his arms spread wide. Andy lashed out with his pistol striking Jake with the butt of the weapon. Jake crumpled to the ground blood welling up on this forehead. The girl started to scream once she saw Jake fall. Andy turned and fired his pistol, the shot ringing out on the empty street.

“I’m a wolf now,” Andy spat. He jumped in the car and gunned the engine.

Jake dragged himself across the street to where his girlfriend lay on the ground. Blood poured from a wound in her shoulder.

Jake cursed himself for breaking his promise.

Write-A-Thon: Week 1, Epic Fail

I signed up the Clarion West Write-A-Thon probably a month ago. See the handy link at the side? Yep, you can click that to donate if you like.

My goals are to edit one chapter a week.

Little did I realize, the write-a-thon started the week of June 24th. Oooooops.

So this week, edit two chapters if I can. Also need to edit my mythical story with some feedback I received from other writers at eFiction. It was a good reminder of how critical it is to get that outside look at a story you’ve been so intimately involved with. I knew the story too well to see some of those problems with it.

Other than that, still progressing well on the novel work. I should finish it this week. Still ahead of my goal overall. I think I’m going to work on some shorter fiction in the meantime while I work on the novel edits. I’ll post regular updates each week to keep you aware of the Write-A-Thon progress.

-Keep Writing

February 2012 Total

Another leap February has come and gone. Here’s a look at how I did for February.

Final word count for February 2012: 20,939 words

I am currently 33.5% above my word count goal. That means I can take a break! Unless I want to actually make something of this.

Goals Status for February:

  • Keep hitting the daily word count goals – Done
  • Final round of edits on my mythology based story (post ebook version for free or try to sell to magazine?) – Done
  • Start edits on Dragon Lords novel. – In Progress

Goals for March 2012:

  • Keep hitting the daily word count goals
  • Continue with Edits on first Dragon Lords Novel

Other things of note:

So I completed the SF story I was working on. This was also another story that I started in 2010 and never finished. So I’m happy to see it completed. My main point of contention with the story is that the science was all over the place. If I go back to edit this at a later point, those issues will need to be hammered out.

I started using Scrivener. At first I thought it was a little bit much, but now that I’ve really started to use it, I’m finding it to be incredible useful. Especially in the area of edits. When I opened the first Dragon Lords novel and started to read through it, the thought of doing this for 300+ page word document was pretty daunting. Using Scrivener to break this out into more manageable pieces makes this process a lot less intimidating. I’m also using the app to write the second Dragon Lords novel.

I also wrapped up edits on my mythology story. I’m pretty happy with it. Now I just need to figure out if I want to submit it to a magazine or create an epub and distribute it myself.

Free Fiction – Really

Okay, I’m really posting this story now.

It was up. Then I ripped it back down. (Sections were missing; no idea what happened there.)

And now it is back up. The full version with my edits. Just click over to the Free Fiction section and you will see the story.

I also uploaded an epub version of the file. It’s hosted through box.com and should just let you download it for free, no account required etc. If it works otherwise, let me know. WordPress doesn’t want to upload epub files.

So, I hope you enjoy the story. Let me know what you think!

The End

I wrapped up the first Dragon Lords novel tonight. It was interesting typing those words in the document today. The End. Those words sound so final. Truly, it is just the beginning.

The story has merit, but I have no doubt it could use a round or two (or four) of edits. I need some distance first. Everything is fresh and great and awesome right now. Later I will take a sledgehammer to the story.

What’s next you ask?

Working on two fronts:

1) Word count goals are going into my dwarven epic. I don’t even know what I will write yet, I just know I want to write some kind of epic dwarven story. We’ll see how it works out.

2) Edits on my story I want to submit to On the Premises for their Myth and Legend contest. I need to cut that story in half. Submission is due Sept 30th, so I have plenty of time to work that one out.

Keep writing.