It’s a Jungle in Here

So, Thursday update …

You ever have one of those moments where you’re all gung-ho to do something, and then you sit down and your mind goes blank? Yup, that’s me at this post right now. So I suppose I’ll just go with the basics, starting from the top.

First, don’t forget about the Birthday Sale! Seriously. Even if you’ve already bought my books, April 19th (which is now just six days away) will be a great day on which to share one that you particularly enjoyed on Facebook or another site or what have you. So please do, as it would be really helpful.

No, it really would. Right now it seems the biggest wall I’m running into is just getting my name out there. Which, in today’s very crowded world, isn’t easy.

Anyway, that’s my pitch. Please share a book when April 19th hits!

So, on to other news: This month I have been working my tail off. See, the last three months I’ve come in just below my quota every single time. And that’s a reduced wordcount quota of about 60k-70k, on account of me having this other job I have to spend time at. And quite frankly, while I’m fairly tired of that job, I’m not so tired that I can’t do the math and see I’d be homeless without that little income (it’s risky enough and I cut far too many corners even with it).

In any case, I decided that this month I was going to get things back on track. Saturday is no longer a break day, for starters, and I’ve become a lot more stringent with my time. The result: I am keeping up with my quota this month. Which means a quicker turnaround for some of the newer stuff down the line.

Speaking of which, the update on that.

Jungle is now sitting at around 114,000 words, and I estimate about 1/3 done. Maybe a little under. Yes, the first draft will be longer than Colony was at this rate. Which isn’t surprising to me, given what’s going on inside the story. And I’ll probably trim things in Alpha, since that’s what happens in Alpha. But even so, it’s shaping up to be a pretty grand adventure. It’s also an interesting experience, since it’s such a direct sequel to Colony, I have to sit and make things work for both those who read Colony and those who haven’t, without spoiling too much of Colony at the same time for those who still want to read it. At the same time, I have to make sure that my explanation of in-universe elements such as neural skinsuit armor is still entertaining to read for those that have read Colony.

Like I said, it’s an interesting mental exercise. I look forward to finding out how the Alpha readers react. That’s a long way off, however.

Still, tricky parts aside, the story is coming along rather well. Like Colony, a good chunk of the first third is careful set-up—even more careful than Colony‘s was. Which, given all that’s going on, makes sense, but …

Nope, no spoilers. All I’ll say is that it’s going to be quite the payoff. Today actually marks a point in the plot where I get to start writing some of that payoff too … Huzzah!

I should probably drop some updates on other projects as well. Discord Day Care, for example. The current fanfic project. Currently I’m spending my Saturdays—well, part of them—editing it and moving it out of Alpha and into Beta. Which means I should probably start looking for a cover artist, because hey, it’ll be ready to post soon! I’m starting to think of a May release? Which, admittedly, is really late for something I threw together before Christmas … but on the other hand, it grew from a 10K short to a novella, and between writing full time and working part time, my life gets pretty squeezed.

Other story news. How about, since I was on the topic of fanfic, Hunter/Hunted? Right now, the plan is to start writing Hunter/Hunted once Jungle‘s first draft is done and I’m editing Shadow of an Empire. Along the way, I’ll reread (and at last) do some touch-up work on the first Dusk Guard story, Rise. Nothing Alpha worthy, just fixing the myriad of typos and old problems that I never really got around to looking at. Anyway, if all goes well, that means Hunter/Hunted could be out sometime late this fall or early winter.

Now, I have a little bit more to say about that. I’ve been hearing some rumblings lately from readers that they’re getting annoyed about having to wait so long to see it. Well, tough cookies. If you’re really sold on it, support some of my other works so that maybe I don’t have to spend so much time at my part-time job and can spend more time writing. Seriously, writing takes a lot of time and work. Between Rise and Beyond the Borderlands alone I’ve already written over half-a-million words. That’s a lot of effort. And it’s quality writing. But the thing is guys, and I know some don’t want to hear it, but that quality comes from time I have to spend working on it, and that time isn’t free. Nothing in life is free … and that means that any time I sit down to work on fanfiction, I’m spending time doing that which I could be spending working on something else. And given that I have to watch my budget like a hawk as it is to be assured that I can pay my rent, health insurance payments, and selfish things like food (no joke, I once had a reader contact me letting me know that they thought it was pretty selfish of me to be worried about losing my housing, because after all I could still write them fanfic while homeless, right?).

Point being, I will get to Hunter/Hunted and the rest of the Dusk Guard stories when I can afford to. Time is money, and I’m short on both. If you don’t like that, well, tough. Either consider supporting me through Patreon support for my Being a Better Writer posts, by enjoying some of my published works, or spreading the word about them. But if all you care about is reading free fanfiction when I can provide it, be patient and wait. You’re not entitled to all the free content you want. You’ll just have to wait until I can afford to work on it, and if you’re not willing to put your support where your mouth is … what do you expect?

For those of you who are not acting like entitled freeloaders, and that have some patience, start getting excited. Hunter/Hunted is going to be a fun one. And, oddly enough, one of the shorter ones, at least in its current outline. Possibly the shortest of the main Dusk Guard stories. Which, on the plus side, will get us to Fires of the Earth and the rest of the series quickly. And it’ll mean Hunter/Hunted won’t take as long to write.

Anyway, moving on (since I do need to get to work), still planning on getting Shadow of an Empire out sometime this fall. Am I excited? Yes. Yes I am. I think a lot of you will really like this one. Fantasy-Western is just a fun genre, and I really like the magic system I came up with for this one. It’s so simple its elegant, but it impacts the entire world in unique ways and makes for a truly unique setting. I’m fairly sure I’ll revisit it someday in the future. Maybe in another Unusual Events-type short collection, or maybe in another Fantasy-Western story. We’ll see. I really did enjoy working with the two primary characters, Sali and Meelo. They were both a lot of fun to write.

Of course, I need to do another Unusuals story at some point as well. More Jacob Rocke, which has been requested from some fans. Projects for next year, I think. And then there’s Fireteam Freelance …

Oh, right. I haven’t actually announced that yet. So I guess this will have to count, since I just mentioned it … Which also brings this post full-circle, since it ties back into Colony and Jungle.

So …. Fireteam Freelance. This is an old idea of mine, dating back … oh … ten years now? Maybe longer? The original concept was actually a game design.

Anyway, one of the bits of feedback I got with Colony was that a some readers wanted to hear more about what was going on back on Earth while Colony was happening. I see their point: The precarious situation the Earth sits in at the start (and over the course of the story) is pretty ripe for writing about … but of course, our cast gets shipped off to Pisces (which is equally as interesting). It wasn’t that they wanted to read about Earth instead of Pisces … more just a feeling of “Man, I wish we’d gotten that side of the story too! Future Earth is interesting!”

Well, with Fireteam Freelance, you’re going to get that chance.

Now, I’m not going to say much at this point. But right now, here’s the plan: Fireteam Freelance will posted on the web first.

That’s right. you read that correctly. Fireteam Freelance will be written while I edit Jungle, and then will be posted chapter by chapter right here on Unusual Things (probably on Patreon for the supporters first, though) as the months go by. As a result, it’ll be more “episodic” than Colony or Jungle. Once the whole story is complete, I’ll publish the whole thing as normal, though I’ll still leave the chapters up here on Unusual Things. As for what it’s about, when you can expect it, and so on and so forth … well, I’m not going to say much. Realize that this is a very early project still. But it’s kind of like a side-story to Jungle. In fact … Well, I won’t say anything more. Jungle is what happens to Jake, Anna, and Sweets in one part of the universe, Fireteam Freelance will be about a new group of characters in another corner of the galaxy. And that’s all I’ll say on the subject for now. It’s still a work in progress.

Okay, that about does it for the news. I need to write. And—

Wait. One last little tidbit. I’ve got work on Monday again. So Monday’s Being a Better Writer post will either be delayed or on Tuesday. Unless I can get it done Saturday. We’ll see.

Anyway, time to go write. Jungle isn’t going to write itself!

One thought on “It’s a Jungle in Here

  1. Glad I was going back through blogs. I saw a you mention Jungle and had to read the whole post. I would like to say that you are a horrible tease and that I’ll be waiting for it to be released.


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