Breaking a Fairy TaleĀ 

Except for my efforts to get Wine Bottles and Broomsticks published on I’ve got two major works in progress at the moment. The first is the Deep Space Help Desk – I really want to knock that out, but I got stuck -I have to back up a chapter or two and take a different angle. Really, I just need a solid day to focus on that project to get it put back on the rails again. The second project, The Dark Queen of Darkness, is in slightly better shape, even if I’m finding it a slightly more difficult project to write. 

The Dark Queen of Darkness is an unexpected project. It launched as a way to test out my new iOS version of Scrivener, and also an excersize in employing tricks learned (stolen) from Terry Pratchett. Not so much as taking his words or style as incorporating parts of his approach to story telling, it appeals to me and, as they say, what doesn’t kill you or get you sued for copyright infringement will only make you stronger. In any case, the story has taken hold because it’s got a fairly clear trajectory. At least, it has if I treat it like a fairy tale, albeit a seriously broken, yet true-to-form fairy tale.

With all that in mind, and some advice received after sharing the first part of the first chapter, I went back and pivoted slightly more toward a YA vibe, and starting working the fairy tale angle a little harder. Right now, I’m looking largely at Snow White, while brining in characters from other tales. This isn’t anything like a new idea, but it’s a new approach for me. I also happen to be fortunate enough to have in my possession a stack of books containing hundreds of old fairy-tales with a publication date of 1928, which I realize as I write this puts these books at nearly 90 years old – the oldest we have in the house by a considerable number of decades. The image up top features one of these books with the illustration of Snow White and Rose Red, which I only know because I read that one last night from the other book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

In any case, the idea with this story is to make it an upside-down fairy tale that takes on the well trodden tropes and re-uses them in a slightly bent or fully ironic manner. For example, there’s the huntsman. He appears in a bunch of stories, I’m going to work him in with a lead role. Prince Charming comes in all over the place, even if not by that name. He’ll appear, after all how could a good, epic fairy tale end without a kiss by a Prince Charming? I’ll also see about writing in some dwarves, trolls, elves, wizards, and other various characters. With that, I’m off to do a bit of research and plotting.

Wine Bottles and Broomsticks Inkshares campaign


Inkshares link:

If you’ve spent any time at all following me on social media the past week, it’ll come as no surprise that I’m working on getting this project published on Inkshares. It’s more than just that though. I’m also trying to get the most pre-orders to win a contest with Geek and Sundry. If I can work this to the top of the list, Geek and Sundry will help me promote and sell this book. In order for that to happen though, I need support. Like A lot of support. I need hundreds of pre-orders. So, like a profoundly broken record with no actual sound, but lots of repetition, I’m asking for help. And the help is its own reward – if you pre-order for the usual price of a book, you get the book once it’s been edited. You’re just buying it ahead of time. Of course, if you wait, there won’t be a book to buy, so if you’re in the mood for a light-hearted urban fantasy in the vein of The Dresden Files, check out the first chapter. Don’t worry though, if i don’t make my goal, which really nobody wants, you get your money back. So, this is a win only situation, what do you say? Take a look at the sample on Inkshares.


On a break

This week, I’m headed off for a break. It’s a writing break, a work break, and an at-home stuff break. My family and I are hopping on an airplane tonight (a few hours) to head off to LA (Yes, Disneyland). We’ve never all been on a vacation together, the closest we’ve gotten is a trip down to Seward or that one time we went to Fairbanks for a weekend. 

Normally, the airplane is a great place to write, it’s one of the few places where the distraction IS writing. Hotel rooms are also particularly productive, I mean, what else would I do? Last couple of work trips I spent my hotel and airplane time knocking out about half of Wine Bottles and Broomsticks. That’s even after dinner with co-workers and talking with the wife on the phone. This isn’t that sort of trip though. I’ve got the kids with me so there will be those distractions, plus I’m flying late-night flights there and back. I’m not going to have the energy to be creative or productive in any meaningful sense. 

At the moment, most of what I’m working on is line edits and various bits of polishing, not an awful lot of content creation going on anyhow. By taking a break like this, I’m hoping that when I come back, after I get a bit of sleep, I’ll be able to focus on not only editing book 1 of the Rick Basket stories, Wine Bottles and Broomsticks, but I’ll be able to start seriously thinking about plot details and outlines for the second book. I think a good break to absorb some of the real world will do wonders for my created world and make sure I stay excited about the project. 

In any case, I’m sure I’ll be all over Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook during my time off, so if you’re wondering what sort of trouble I’m getting in to, there will be a full-public accounting of that. Except for the moments where I’m getting told to ‘put that damn phone away.’