Once again I feel the need to reiterate that I exist, despite having left this revamped blog thing hanging. It’s the end of the first semester and I’ve found some extra minutes of time to consider things other than math and concrete. Some of these things include:

  • Eating properly
  • Doing things
  • Picking up some, but not all of my guitars
  • Running
  • The gym
  • ARCHON Part I

Somewhere in this period the plan was to get my entire condo painted and replace the floors. And by “get my entire condo painted” I mean “make a huge mess everywhere myself and hope it ends up looking better than it did in 1976.” Is that still going to happen? Derr.

Make no mistake—I’ve only completed one of seven final exams. So am I trying to weasel out of painting by mentioning that? Who knows.

What’s been really been on my mind outside the realm of civil engineering is Archon. The one good thing about not having time to write is that I get to totally forget what I’d written. When I read over the latest draft of this project, it was so foreign to me . . . a lot more foreign than what I’d experienced when I was writing all the time. When writers give you advice to put away your work for a while, it’s not just something that sounds nice. I never fully grasped the concept. Sure, I gave a mandatory three-month cooling-off period before attacking first-drafts. But I admit I did it more because it was standard practice than anything. Going over those drafts felt nothing like the strange world of reading something you can barely recall writing.

What of it? Well, you tend to catch idiotic writing tics a lot faster than normal. They’re like glowing toxic waste spills in the middle of your manuscript. You can’t miss them. But you can definitely miss them if you’re still close to the draft. The actual editing seems faster this way. Before it would take three or four passes to catch a lot of these things. We’ll see where I’m at after the first round of revisions, but it looks like it should take less time to polish.

Of course the other angle here is the fact that the story itself appears new again. It’s actually a good read this way. Before, it was kind of painful to keep reading stuff I already knew word-for-word. Not so this time. Part of why I’m so excited about this project is the very fact that it passes this test—the test of holding my interest at a time when I have no attachment to it whatsoever and have a million other things I need to do besides worry about my fiction. This is a really cool serial, and that’s why I don’t mind stringing along potential readers like I have been. Once it finally appears, it’ll be worth the wait. The only other time I felt anything close to this was with Blightcross, and that was just one novel among eight others . . . and consequently the only one that made it to print.

So what’s the holdup? I can get this thing ready to go relatively soon. I’m just unsure about the idea of cover art. If I just release this for free on my own (which is probably what I’ll do), I don’t want it to just be some text file floating around on the internet. Trouble is, I can’t make it myself and don’t know how to solicit artists on my own, never mind pay for it. The other option is getting it in with a few of the epublishers out there who handle serials, but the problem there is that they’d want at least two episodes up front. That I can do, but then the wait would be extremely long since I’d have to wait for the second part to materialize . . . and that might take a while given the current circumstances. I’d rather gauge the time I spend on future installments on reader interest in the first one.

Is cover art a big deal?

Am I too concerned with window-dressing? Should I just quietly place it on my blog and hope people find it?

Right now, I need some feedback about how people are finding new stuff to read. This is especially important given the niche audience I have.

Who wants to read some out-there dieselpunk where epic fantasy collides with Memphis Belle?