Prompt for July 18, 2014 – Day 199

Happy Friday!  I’m happy it’s Friday…

Two opening lines in a row might be lame, but I feel like they’re less lame if they’re ones I’m currently using myself.  Yesterday’s was from the current version of When All’s Said and Done.  Today’s is from the current draft of Epsilon: Redeemer.

Prompt Type: Opening Line

Prompt: “Go. Get out of here before they figure out what you did for me.”


Got an idea for a prompt?  Email me at emklitzke (at) gmail (dot) com.

Epsilon Universe extra – Wil and Ren

Epsilon: War Stories coverFor NaNoWriMo 2013, I started working on a collection of stories and scenes out of the Epsilon Universe entitled Epsilon: War Stories.  In the midst of working on this project, I ended up writing some scenes that take place during the same period as Epsilon: Redeemer that might never make it into anything else.

The following scene is from Ren’s point of view, and it’s a pivotal point in the evolution of her relationship with Wil after the events of Epsilon: Broken Stars, so if you don’t want spoilers of any flavor for Broken Stars or Redeemer, don’t click below the break.

Continue reading

Schedule updates – scrapping the schedule

I’m scrapping the schedule–again.  We’ve been without a full time manager at the store, which meant that the other part time and I have been picking up a lot of slack (it’s a lot of store to run on three managers, let me tell you that much).  Instead of a full-on schedule, I have some deadlines roughed out, which now include some print versions of some already-released work.

Currently on tap:

  • Print version of What Angels Fear (including a brief essay on writing the work) – hopefully by the end of March.
  • Finishing up Epsilon: Redeemer, Girl from a Brigadoon, and When All’s Said and Done.
    • Tentative release time frames (all of these are subject to change and are for the ebook release; trade paper/print versions are a little later than the ebook release):
      • April – Girl from a Brigadoon
      • May – Epsilon: Redeemer
      • June – The Last Colony

I’ve got a couple of projects kicking around that will be released under a psuedonym that (for the moment) shall remain unrevealed.

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Redeemer” goal=”80000″ current=”65201″ label=”words”]

[progpress title=”When All’s Said and Done (a Lost Angel Chronicle)” goal=”85000″ current=”20018″ label=”words”]

[progpress title=”UNSETIC Files: Girl from a Brigadoon” goal=”45000″ current=”23642″ lable=”words”]

For anyone following the word count meters, they’ve probably noticed that I’ve been making good progress largely on Girl from a Brigadoon, though this past week I’ve put in some work on When All’s Said and Done and Epsilon: Redeemer.  The latter is probably going to significantly eclipse its word count goal and be longer than Epsilon: Broken Stars.

Speaking of Broken Stars, stay tuned later this week for a post revealing what my sales have looked like the past few months since I started releasing ebooks.  I’m still waiting on some numbers (Kobo, etc.) from some of the Smashwords distribution channels, but I can show off some preliminaries.  They’re not that impressive, but they’re “whole dollars!” as my brother puts it.


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke

And Amazon @ http://www.amazon.com/author/erin-klitzke

She offers two free fiction serials @ http://www.embklitzke.com/e557 and http://awakenings.embklitzke.com.  Stop on by and check it out.

 

Hello, my name is Erin, and I write character-driven fiction.

Confession time: I write character-driven fiction.  The characters are my stars, not the plot, not a world, not a concept.  I’m interested in the stories these people I make up in my head have to tell me, and I bank on readers being as interested in them as I am.

Maybe it’s the longtime roleplayer in me that causes that.  I can’t be sure.

I think about these things from time to time, but it wasn’t until a recent review in the @SciYourFi blog that I realized how much I invest in characters over the plots driving them, over everything swirling around them.  The review was of my first full-length ebook, Epsilon: Broken Stars, and the major takeaways for me as a writer were to make sure that all of the little things that struck the reviewer as “odd” pay of in the second book (Redeemer, forthcoming, release date unknown but probably in the spring or summer) and that the reviewer got interested in the personal stories of the cast.  That’s fantastic, because I’ve been in love with their stories for a long time (well, Aaron/Wil and Caren’s, anyhow).

Side note: Of course the review also sent me scrambling to figure out some formatting errors, which I think I fixed but could certainly be wrong on that count.  A full page-through of the Smashwords version is on my to-do list (I have been avoiding it so the story could settle in my brain–so I could get really, really used to the idea of it being “finished”).

Chris George, as I recall, said something similar about Awakenings in his review of it at the Web Fiction Guide–the saga centers less around the end of the world and more about how the young men and women left behind handle that event.  I’m sure eventual reviews of The Last Colony will say the same thing: that the story centers on the people reacting to and causing events in their universe.

My name is Erin, and I write character-based fiction.  It’s what I do.  I’ve got a bunch of worlds, and these worlds are peopled with characters I love (or, in cases such as with Casey Flannery and D’Arcy Morgause, love to hate).


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke

And Amazon @ http://www.amazon.com/author/erin-klitzke

She offers two free fiction serials @ http://www.embklitzke.com/e557 and http://awakenings.embklitzke.com.  Stop on by and check it out.

Schedule updates

As much as I really, really hate to do it, I’m going to have to make some significant changes to my writing schedule and my overall goaling.  This is largely due to a major uptick in the hours I’ve been working at the store–which are, in fact, incredibly insane hours as well as being very large in quantity.  I’ve gone from the 10-20 hours I was working two months ago, when I started releasing my work in ebook form, to working nearly 40 hours a week (add in an hour at either end to each 7-9 hour shift for transit time as well) and fighting a constant battle to not completely lose my sanity.

This, of course, means that my writing has suffered a bit of a setback.  I’m probably getting more writing done in the amount of time that I have to do it, but the time I’ve got to do it has been slashed severely.  This may change after the holidays, but I’m going to be perfectly honest and say that there’s no way humanly possible to finish the rewrite of When All’s Said and Done by 1/15/12.  I might be able to get the full draft of Epsilon: Redeemer done by then (the first 50K came in November–but since then, the story’s expanded beyond what I anticipated and the timeline itself for the universe has gotten twisted around a bit) and if I push I might even be able to finish the first draft of The Last Colony (more on that in a second) by the end of the month, but beyond that, it’s not going to happen.

I do have good news, however, and with the changes to the schedule comes an announcement.  Book One of Awakenings, which I’ve been releasing as a fiction serial at awakenings.embklitzke.com, is nearing completion.  After a bit of editing, I’ll be releasing it as an ebook through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords as edited copy with a few bonuses.  I haven’t decided what, exactly, those bonuses will be, but it’s entirely possible that they’ll include the original Marin work, The Vision, which would have run on September 13, 2001 in my university’s newspaper…if the events of September 11 had never happened.

So the schedule, prior to this writing, was thus:

November 2011

  • Write Epsilon: Redeemer first draft – 50,000 words (Nanowrimo project) – Deadline November 30
  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side story (Kira et. al.); UNSETIC Files

December 2011

  • Redraft When All’s Said and Done (Deadline January 15)
  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side stories; UNSETIC Files
  • Finish first draft of The Last Colony
  • Finish additions to Epsilon: Redeemer draft (50k deadline made)
  • Begin preliminary edits/replot of Princes of the Universe and associated cosm

January 2012

  • Finish redraft of When All’s Said and Done (Deadline January 15)
  • Begin editing of Epsilon: Redeemer
  • Freewriting projects – UNSETIC Files, Epsilon shorts, Lost Angel shorts
  • Begin full draft of Beckett (UNSETIC Files)On hold pending word regarding another project.
  • Begin full draft of third Epsilon book (Shattered? Sins of the Father?)

February 2012

  • Begin editing of The Last Colony
  • Begin redraft of Epsilon: Redeemer

March 2012

  • Finish first full draft of Beckett (Deadline March 15)On hold pending word regarding another project.

Revised schedule:

November 2011

  • Write Epsilon: Redeemer first draft – 50,000 words (Nanowrimo project) – Deadline November 30 – Done (at least the first 50k was done)
  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side story (Kira et. al.); UNSETIC Files

December 2011

  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side stories; UNSETIC Files
  • Finish first draft of The Last Colony (deadline January 12)
  • Continue Epsilon: Redeemer draft (Goaled at 85k words)
  • Finish Awakenings Book 1, begin book 2
  • Continue draft of When All’s Said and Done (New deadline: February 15)

January 2012

  • Finish redraft of When All’s Said and Done (Deadline February 15)
  • Begin editing of Epsilon: Redeemer (Week of January 23)
  • Freewriting projects – UNSETIC Files, Epsilon shorts, Lost Angel shorts
  • Begin full draft of Beckett (UNSETIC Files)Still on hold pending word regarding another project.
  • Begin plotting of third Epsilon book (Ren’s PoV)
  • Edit Awakenings Book 1

February 2012

  • Finish full redraft of When All’s Said and Done (Feb. 15)
  • Begin editing of The Last Colony
  • Begin redraft of Epsilon: Redeemer

March 2012

  • Finish first full draft of Beckett (Deadline March 15)On hold pending word regarding another project.
  • Finish redraft of Epsilon: Redeemer (March 30)
  • Finish editing The Last Colony
  • Begin editing When All’s Said and Done (March 1)

Only time will tell whether or not this is a workable schedule (and it’ll be heavily dependant on my schedule at the store as well–but writing doesn’t pay the bills yet, so I have to keep the PTSL job).

If any readers have managed to wander out here, I welcome comments and whines about what you want to see me working on next!  They do light a bit of a fire under me to keep me working hard at what I love to do, and encourage me to spend brainsweat on projects, despite their ups and downs.


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke

And Amazon @ http://www.amazon.com/author/erin-klitzke

A love theme?

A great deal of my work centers around relationships–both friendships and romantic entanglements.  Today, while working on the rough draft of Epsilon: Redeemer, I found myself listening to Josh Groban’s “Awake,” which struck a chord–it’s a beautiful, almost haunting song about loving someone but knowing that perhaps you’ll lose them someday.

“Awake”

A beautiful and blinding morning
The world outside begins to breathe
See clouds arriving without warning
I need you here to shelter me

And I know that only time will tell us how
To carry on without each other

So keep me awake to memorize you
Give me more time to feel this way
We can’t stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today

If I could make these moments endless
If I could stop the winds of change
If we just keep our eyes wide open
Then everything would stay the same

And I know that only time will tell me how
We’ll carry on without each other

So keep me awake for every moment
Give us more time to be this way
We can’t stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today

We’ll let tomorrow wait, you’re here, right now, with me
All my fears just fall away, when you are all I see

We can’t stay like this forever
But I have you here today

And I will remember
Oh I will remember
Remember all the love we shared today

It’s a perfect love theme for that whole universe, I think, since it touches on a lot of the emotions and themes embedded in the romantic relationships in the Epsilon series.

Of course, anyone who’s read my work can feel free to object–but at least listen to the song before you do!


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke
And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke 

Whispers and rumors of collaborations and Nanowrimos derailed

So, Nanowrimo this year is going well enough despite a hectic work schedule, though a friend threaten to derail both my project and hers with an idea that struck her.  She shared it with a mutual friend and then with me, and let me tell you.

I’m kind of stoked.

It’s a collaboration of a particularly epic order of magnitude, assuming we all agree to launch it.  If we do, it’ll be pretty awesome.  If we don’t, I’ll be a little (okay, a lot) bummed.  We’ve done a lot of talking over the past few days (I haven’t seen our third online since the conversation, so I haven’t been able to pick her brain yet, but I’m looking forward to the moment I can), and I’m just getting more and more excited.

So between writing Epsilon: Redeemer and working, I’ve been talking about this stuff.  And thinking about this stuff.

And thinking about the UNSETIC Files, cleaning up some stuff.  In doing so, I came across this little scene that was part of a narrative about how Tim McConaway and Brigid O’Connell, featured in a previous post (the first entry of Doc’s Writercraft), became partners in UNSETIC.

I can remember thinking that they probably should have hung a sign on the door that read X-Files in here.  As it was, the office behind the steel door was small, windowless, spartanly decorated but not necessarily uncomfortable.  What made it uncomfortable was knowing that I’d volunteered for this.

Of course, I hadn’t had many alternatives.

I sat in the hard wooden chair in front of the desk, staring at the fifty-something man behind it, his hands folded in front of him.  He didn’t smile.  “We’re waiting on another.”

“Oh.”  I folded my hands, staring at them.  What am I doing here?

The door behind me opened.  I looked over my shoulder toward the door.  The man that walked in was slightly older than I was, eyes haunted, face gaunt, a healing cut on his lip and fading bruises on his jaw and neck.  I knew him.

He was in the Gulf with us.  I thought he died.  That was years ago.  He moved stiffly, sat down slowly in the chair next to me.  He didn’t look at me, just stared straight ahead as if I didn’t exist.  Stared at the man who was our new boss.

Why did I volunteer for this?  It was simple, though.  I was a part of this because I’d seen someone turn a mortal wound into a minor wound and gone looking for answers.  It was all downhill from there.

“You’ve been working for us already for the past three years, Lieutenant O’Connell,” Paul Ballard said quietly.  “You just didn’t know it.”  He looked toward the man next to me.  “Are you sure you’re up to this, Lieutenant McConaway?”

He’s out of uniform.  The man next to me nodded slightly.  “Yes, sir.”  His voice was quiet.  “I’d assumed I’d be assigned someone from the Air Force to work with, though.”

Ballard inclined his head.  “That was the intention, but Lieutenant O’Connell’s potential partner tried to get himself blown up and yours is dead.  The assignment can’t wait for us to find a new partner for either one of you, so you’re stuck with each other.”

“What’s the assignment, sir?”  I asked quietly.

“You haven’t reconsidered volunteering, then, Lieutenant?”

I glanced toward Timothy McConaway, studied him for a long moment.  There were rumors about what had happened to him in the Gulf.  From the look of him now, whatever had happened then hadn’t left him whole.  But he’s still in the service, apparently.  Maybe.  I nodded.  “Yes, sir.  I’m in.”

“Very good.”  Ballard stood from the desk and took out a pair of files from the cabinet in the corner.  “There’s an installation in theArctic Oceanthat we need you to take a look at.”

“…that’s all?”

“You sound surprised, Lieutenant.”

McConaway frowned.  “Sir, what is it, exactly, that we’re supposed to ‘take a look at’ out there?  I was led to believe that what I was going to do for this agency was going to make a difference.”  He didn’t flinch under Ballard’s stare, but added, somewhat belatedly, “Sir.”

“Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you won’t be, Lieutenant.”  Ballard slid the files across the desk.  I leaned forward and took one.

We’re going to freeze our tails.  I thumbed through the folder slowly.  “As ourselves, sir?”

“You are, Lieutenant.”  Ballard eyed McConaway.  “He is not, but I think that’s par for the course, isn’t it, Mr. McConaway.”

“Yes, sir.”  McConaway’s gaze never wavered.  He took the folder almost mechanically and was quiet.

“You’ll get full briefing on the way out,” Ballard said, mostly to me, it seemed.  “You leave in two days.  You’re dismissed, Lieutenant.”

I stood up, saluted him, and slipped out.  I considered lingering a moment outside the door so I could maybe catch McConaway on his way out, to talk to him, but something made me think better of it.  I left that basement office and headed home.

I forget sometimes how much I really like these characters.  I’m not the only one, too, and that makes me feel fantastic.


You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke
And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke