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Back from DC. Five hours of sleep in the wrong time zone. Managed to break the garage door. Screwed up breakfast twice (of course I had to go out and get it since everything in the house is curdled but for the cream I put in the coffee and it's merely lightly clotted). My soul is about three hours away and everything feels like it's wrapped in faintly tacky plastic the color of old coke bottles.

Let's break some news.

I danced around this last time, but I'll come right out and say it. I was supposed to have a book come out this October, called My Drowning Chorus. An actual and for-real book published by someone not with my own name on it.

That's not happening. I'm parting ways with the publisher, which I'm not going to go out of my way to name. There's plenty of tracks and traces as to who it is and I'm not going through old blogs to weed out the name, but I'll be revising pages on the site, since I was going out of my way to boost their name wherever I could. And while I wish them well in the future, I'm not carrying water for anyone else at the moment. Just too goddamn exhausted.

In all reality, the book was supposed to come out in late 2020 to begin with. Then everything happened just as I was finishing the first draft (which is really the second draft for me but that's a story for another time.) And by everything, I mean the pandemic which made a lot of hidden truths very evident. In that, it was apocalyptic. Go ahead. Look the word up. It doesn't mean cataclysm necessarily, though sometimes the cataclysm does reveal those hidden truths. Okay, so we were going to try for Autumn in 2021 for a release. We got kinda close to the date and nothing had happened on the publisher end, so I moved to Spring this year. No soap. Went for a last-ditch shot at an October release this year. I called to end it for real a couple weeks ago, though in reality I knew that it wasn't happening as early as April of this year. Hoped against hope that it wasn't playing out exactly as it was playing out. That's what hope gets you.

It's too bad. I think it's a good book. Certainly the best novel I've written, for whatever that's worth. It's also difficult to classify, and not easy to make up comps for. Note that this practice is one that the author shouldn't be coming up with unless they're self-publishing. This is all the publisher's job. Or the agent's. But we live in a world where the author has to be selling from before the first page is written. And that's just not how I work. I've apologized for this so many times that it's become meaningless. Doesn't keep it from being true. Anyways, a couple of writers who I very much admire (one of them being a major and direct impact on me as I started out writing a long time ago) read the book and had very nice things to say about it that I happen to agree with. So that's worth something.

Ultimately, I don't know the fate of this book, and as it's the second book in the Hazeland setting, I'm not sure of the future of that whole place. I've got a short novel, novella, long novel and a constellation of short stories (working on two collections worth) all written, not to mention a pretty rough arc for, let's just say several if not many more, novels each with their own arcs more or less planned out. This also means taking pops in the mouth from the writing process and changing direction, but that's really half if not more of the fun of this. So I'm looking for an empathetic publisher who gets what I'm doing. This is a trickier thing to find than you'd think. Or if you know me, it's absolutely par for the course. I expect to spend some time and energy on this process over the rest of the year. I might even do some light writing, but probably not much other than work on the skeletal structure and the thought-swarm behind the whole series.

My wife, who has been very patient about these sorts of things, has been owed a trip abroad for some time. So we'll be taking that in about a month, over to the continent. There's also a number of trips out to see our children, who have left home now. Hopefully trips to see friends who I haven't in some time, in various cities throughout the west coast and interior. Might even sneak a trip in to the Baltimore Comic Con since the timing looks like it'll line up. That's a fun show and I haven't been back in more than a decade I think.

Gosh, I guess I should put in some Writing Wisdom here. Maybe some Writing Encouagement. I know that if I just keep up with this, I'll get my name in lights. Just like you will. Not only success but acceptance and satisfaction in your work will follow. It's guaranteed. Written in stone. Right there. Lemme just find the tablet.

In the meantime, there is only the work. Which is as it's been for a very long time now.

Oh, right. The cover above. I made it myself. It's true. Sure, that's a placeholder element in the foreground, only temporary. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Had My Drowning Chorus come out in October, I'd have announced the reissue of Queen of No Tomorrows, put together with a novella entitled The Stars are Made of Us, another story set in Hazeland. This time about finding success when you think you're over the hill and everything that it ends up costing you. Or the one you love. It starts out like this.

"This town eats youth."

Which it surely does.

Until next time, folks.


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