Progress Report: Readying “Please Give”

It’s almost here — publication day! Please Give is in its final stages. It’s with a beta reader, and will soon be with Doug Puller for formatting (you’ll recall that he designed the cover). I’m a little nervous, but mostly excited. I anticipate publishing on Dec. 19. I can’t wait to share it with all of you, especially after talking about it on here for almost a year.

As I put the finishing touches on Please Give, I’m taking some time to write my next pieces. I’m slowly working on my next book — yet another piece I’ve started, but this is one where I have a clear arc in mind. I’m still keeping my unfinished pieces on the table, and adding to them as inspiration comes to me; but I’ve also been trying to focus on this new(er) one so I can get going on it. Even if I write a bare-bones framework that’s more novella length than a novel, I want to get something written down, and something substantial. Please Give took a while to get going too, but it’s easy for me to forget that when, once it took hold, it wouldn’t let me go — and to an extent, it hasn’t yet. But I feel its fingers loosening with each step closer that it gets to publication.

I am also getting ready to submit some short stories to Evelyn, my editor. I’m hoping to put out another collection by mid to late 2018, depending on how edits go. I have five finished pieces of varying length. As of now, their titles are Wither, We Really Shouldn’t, Do Something, Nesting, and Smoke Circles. I may add a sixth story if I can finish another between now and next spring. I’ve created an entry for the collection on Goodreads if you’d like to shelve/follow it.

Thanks for following the blog, and stay tuned for the publication of Please Give!

Progress Report: Circling Back

First, I want to do two things up top …

  1. Say thanks to all who’ve purchased, read, and left nice comments for The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales. Seeing the initial feedback helped make my first publishing endeavor a little less scary. So, thank you!
  2. Remind you all that The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! I hope you enjoy it.

The past couple months have mostly been focused on preparing The Crow’s Gift for release, as well as various writing projects. Most of them have either been new stories or continuing ones I started and didn’t finish. Some of them still remain unfinished, but I believe that stories worth finishing find a way to get done, in due time. Sometimes they just need to percolate.

I did start and finish one long story. I started it in Canada (and on my phone, since my laptop was on its own Canadian adventure), and started it on a random story thought: what if someone was friends with a married couple — friends with both the husband and wife independently — and when he met the wife for lunch one day, he did so with the knowledge that the husband was cheating on her? It morphed into a rather long short story that’s currently called Do Something. It’s a simple premise on the surface, but the choices Peter makes about what to say and not say to his friends take some interesting turns, ones I didn’t fully expect as I wrote. I started with a set idea of what would happen, but the story went pretty far from that idea by the time it reached the end. I like when that happens, though; and it’s one of the reasons I prefer to avoid outlining when I can. The characters tell me what happens as I write their story, and I become surprised by the results — it’s more fun that way. (I admit that works better for short stories than novels)

With the exception of Do Something, though, my writing has been a bit scattered — a revision here, an added page or two to an unfinished project there. I am used to working on one thing at a time, but I suppose as I write more, it’s to be expected that I’d be juggling a few projects at a time. I am still used to what it was like when writing became ingrained in my day-to-day — which was when I honed in on Please Give and almost nothing else for several months.

Please Give will be back for revisions soon. I’d shelved it while working on other pieces, though not entirely — I’d still think about some lines, or the characters, or a possible revision (though I’m not making any until I get it back from my editor and see what she says). It was around this time last year, though, that the story first came alive in my mind. What started as a title and a basic premise based on a shared joke with my colleague (now, sadly, my former colleague; though I’m happy he’s found a new job) morphed into a story I had no idea I’d get so involved with — and one I loved engaging with. I find it fitting, then, that it’s coming back for Phase 2 of its novel life around the time it became a story to begin with.

I look forward to sharing Please Give in its finished form later this fall, and the next batch of completed short stories in 2018. Thank you for reading!