September slumps (and updates)

So Septembers come in two varieties for me: incredibly productive, or incredibly unproductive.  This September, thus far, has been strangely both.

The first week or so was insanely productive, especially when it comes to Awakenings, and I have to admit that this past week wasn’t so bad, either.  Epsilon: Broken Stars still requires quite a bit of attention before it’s ready for e-publication, so it may not see digital shelves until October, since the magnitude of the additions I decided to make (and the breadth of some of the rewrites I decided to do) were greater than anticipated–we’re talking the addition of several chapters here and a couple of unexpected subplots, which up the complexity level of the story quite a bit.  My schedule at the store last week basically meant I had to decide between sleeping and writing, and I wisely chose sleep when and where I could (I help a lot with the visual merchandising where I work, and my store manager was out of the business for a week–when we were supposed to be totally rearranging the store–so guess who got to do most of the rearranging by herself.  That’s right.).  Schedules are becoming lighter in that regard…just in time for me to prep for the 16th Annual Grand Valley Renaissance Festival in Allendale, MI, which I’ll be attending with Jude’s Chest again this year.  Something’s different about it this year, though, and that’s me bringing someone who’s never been (and therefore, since I’m there with the booth, will be requiring garb for the trip).

There goes more time.

The upshot is that as a result of the sewing break, that helped kicked some writer’s block in the sorry arse.  I’ve managed to finish Chapter 10 of Awakenings much sooner than I anticipated (I wasn’t expecting to be done with that until next week) and I’ll be able to launch into working on Chapter 11 as early as tonight.  I’ve also been getting some words down on a page for an Awakenings side story, one involving some characters that won’t debut in person in the narrative proper for some time.  The story will either serve as a filler after Awakenings: Book One is completed or will be released as an extra with the ebook version of Awakenings: Book One.

Of course, if I’ve got the cover designed, that means it should be coming soon, right?  Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no.  This is the third or fourth version of the cover that I’ve played with, but it’s the one I’m the happiest with.  However, in this case, I can fairly safely say that Awakenings: Book One should be complete on the website within another few chapters–probably by Chapter 12 or Chapter 13, but we’ll see where the story takes me.  Following that, there’ll be a time-skip forward probably a couple months, then a resumption of the (mis)adventures of our hapless heroes.  I have plans, after all.

Those plans, of course, change as I write onward, but that’s what keeps webfiction fun and interesting, isn’t it?

Speaking of…I was a guest on a podcast that’s available streaming here or as a download from iTunes.  It was a lot of fun, and I love the Webfiction World folks.  They put on a good show (even when they’re put on the spot–hell, especially when they’re put on the spot!).  Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they do a show based on Jim‘s superhero webfiction idea.

Awakenings and Epsilon: Broken Stars update

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Broken Stars” goal=”70000″ current=”47107″]

[progpress title=”Awakenings WebSeWriMo” goal=”35″ current=”10″]


As you can see, I’ve posted updated goals for Epsilon: Broken Stars and Awakenings.  I’m goaling Broken Stars at 70k because I think that’s probably a bit more acceptable as a piece of prose than the shorter 60K original goal, and it looks like I’ll be adding at least two to three chapters to the piece (and, by extension, more background).  It also looks like we’ll be going with Cover #2.  Most of the people who’ve had a look at it like the darker text on that version, and I think I do as well.  The only thing that may change is that I may remove “Book 1” from the page and just have the title page read “Epsilon Broken Stars.”

The rationale for this is that I don’t know exactly how many books there will be or what order I will decide people should read them in (release date, as we all know, sometimes doesn’t determine these things).

I’ve been working on a new Chapter 5 for Broken Stars, which expands on Aaron’s first run off-world with Mac and Sam.  Here’s an excerpt:


            I left the cockpit and headed for my cabin, confident that Desantis could handle the Scarlet.  He’d done well enough at that when we’d run into a sticky spot at Alanis, where we’d almost gotten crushed between a heavy cruiser and a luxury passenger transport thanks to some damn sloppy traffic control on the part of Alanis System Operations.  We’d come out of that close call mostly intact, though we’d have to make some repairs to our secondary communications system.  We’d sheared off one of the antennas.  I had to grudgingly admit that he certainly wasas good a pilot as Caren, if not better.  Thinking that maybe he was better than her hurt something inside of me—maybe it was my pride.  I wasn’t sure.Inside my cabin, I sank down on the bunk and thought about my mother, something I hadn’t done since Caren and I had been prepping for Carmiline.My mother, Madeline Terrel, been a filmmaker—documentaries, mostly—and had met my father out here in the Borderworlds, on Cantrell.  He’d been working at the university, some sort of post-graduate work there.  She was from Epsilon, out to make a film, and met him, fell in love with him, and when they talked about a life together, it was always back on her homeworld.  She’d been proud to tell me growing up that her family had been on Epsilon for over a hundred years by the time I was born.  That had been a point of pride for her, and it was her deep connection to the Alliance capital that made she and my father go there, for him to start over and her to pick up where life left off.
            She’d loved Daniel Taylor and kept loving him until the day he died, despite everything.  Despite him leaving when I was eight.  Despite him joining the Imperium military, getting assigned to Special Projects with the father he’d always told me he hated, and then continuing to work for the Imperium with Special Projects even after Adonis Taylor was dead.  If it was some kind of fear of his father that had driven him to Special Projects, I could’ve understood that while he was still alive.  But not after he stayed with the division after Adonis was dead.  Something about that scanned wrong to me.
Then again, a lot of things about my father had scanned wrong to me in the years he’d been gone.  That had never mattered to Mom.
            Nothing I’d ever said, no evidence I could ever martial, could shake her faith in or love for the man who’d abandoned and betrayed us both.  I just couldn’t understand it.  She’d accepted that lack of understanding on my part, but I knew it hurt her.  She never stopped reminded me that in her estimation and viewpoint, he’d never stopped loving either of us.  I still couldn’t understand how she could believe that and probably never would.  It’s hard to believe someone shooting at you to kill actually still loves you.
            I rubbed the scar tissue on my left side, dead center between my lowest rib and my hipbone.  Daniel Taylor had been the cause of that a little more than six months ago, before Carmiline and before this assignment.  The medics had told me it was almost a miracle that I’d survived.  The way this year was shaping up, I was trading in lives faster than an accident-prone cat.
            No.  Daniel Taylor didn’t love me.  I was the enemy, and that made me a target.

 Copyright 2011, Erin M. Klitzke.  All rights reserved.


As for Awakenings, I’m not doing so hot at WebSeWriMo, but at least Chapter 9’s finished now, with the last post of the chapter set to debut on Labor Day.  I’m also going to be featured on Episode 6(?) of Webfiction World, which is supposed to record (and livecast? I’ve never actually been home at the right time to listen to any livecasts!) on August 28.  Pretty awesome stuff if you ask me!

For better or worse, Awakenings suffered a lack of attention because I made decisions about Epsilon.  At the same time, Epsilon is going to end up suffering a bit due to my need to create an Awakenings buffer.  And the E-557 trilogy, still without an overarching name for the set, suffers from my inattention due to a need to work on both!

There is, of course, the fact that I’m reading again, which doesn’t help matters (beyond helping me decompress and allowing me to be in touch with the craft as a consumer rather than a writer).  I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the latest Black London book by Caitlin Kittredge, Devil’s Business.  T-minus eight days and counting!  I just finished Storm Front by Jim Butcher, the first book of the Dresden Files.  It was not quite long enough to get me through until the release of Devil’s Business.  I may read some non-fiction until it comes out.  No decisions yet.


Today, more writing, then work at the store.  Joy.  Oh well…at least it pays the bills.

At least until I start releasing ebooks, it does.