Hello and good morning! It’s Thursday again, and thus time for another weekly blog post. I took the train today*, since my vehicle is in the process of some repairs/part replacements. It’s nothing serious, and I rather enjoy riding the train from time to time, though when doing so I get sick more often than when I don’t. This is surely not surprising, and in the era of Covid-19 it points out why they encourage people not to use public transportation if they don’t have to. Unfortunately, many people—weirdly enough—still have to work to make a living and don’t have easily viable alternatives. At the very least, taking the train makes me nostalgic for the writing of Prometheus and Chiron, which was inspired by my then-daily wait for the train.
Speaking of stories and inspiration: as most of you who follow my blog probably already know, Unanimity Book 1 is now available in both paperback and Kindle editions. I posted my usual blog entry/link source here on my blog last Saturday, and of course I shared the info on my (limited) social media. I’m excited!
I gave several (signed) copies to selected people at work. It felt slightly hubristic to do so, as it always does, but in a certain sense, this is the most personal gift that I could possibly give anyone. I certainly don’t make them pay for it, for what that’s worth**. I also certainly couldn’t possibly sit near them—or anyone—while they read it. I’d be constantly worried about them suddenly tossing it aside with words to the effect of, “this is terrible,” but with more profanity.
I decided to go with Book 1 and Book 2 instead of developing subtitles of any kind for the two volumes, obviously. Writing about and thinking about what titles to use last week led me to conclude that I could not come up with any pairs of titles that worked ideally together without clashing and which didn’t distract from the main title. I’m satisfied with that, but wasn’t satisfied with the others, so it’s now “Book 1” and “Book2”, the latter of which is planned for release on September 22.
Moving on to other titles with which I’m not satisfied, I finally restarted work on my novella Safety Valve this week. Monday morning, Tuesday morning, and most of Wednesday morning were taken up with rereading (and minor editing) of the fifty thousand words I’d already written of it (oy, I write a lot), but at the end of yesterday morning, I was able to produce one new page! It’s been over a year, I think, since I’ve written any new words of fiction, thanks to editing Unanimity, and it was wonderful to be able to get some new bits of a tale down. I’m happy to say that I really like the story, and particularly its main character, but I cannot abide the working title. This was one of the stories whose raw idea popped into my head randomly and I jotted it down in my smartphone notes app, returning to it later. That has turned into what will be quite a longish novella.
Of course, as I’ve said before, I plan to use that novella as a portion—first story or last story, most likely—of a collection of otherwise previously published works, including all my short stories that have been released in Kindle format only, so that anyone who wants a paperback story collection*** can buy it, and will still be able to get something new into the bargain.
However…given the recent trouble I had with the length of Unanimity, I’m worried that the combination might end up being too big. If the novella even approaches a hundred thousand words, then with the other stories added, I fear the thing might grow to be comparable in size to the un-split text of Unanimity, and if that’s the case, I don’t know what I’m going to do. Maybe I’ll have to release just a collection of the short stories and then release the final product of Safety Valve as a stand-alone novella or shorter novel, available for paperback as well as e-book.
I’ll keep you posted about this, obviously. I’d very much love to be able to release it in time for Halloween, but I’m not sure how doable that will be. I suppose, if I do see that I’m going to need to leave the new novella out, there’s no reason I couldn’t get the collection together in time, barring the unforeseen.
In any case, I am not unsatisfied with the proposed title for my collection…in fact I like it very much. It will be called Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Be on the lookout for it!
And that, I think, is plenty of news for today. I do encourage you to peruse Unanimity Book 1 and if interested, buy it in paperback or Kindle version. If anyone wants a copy signed by the author…well, I’m not sure how we would arrange that, but I’m sure it could be done, and I’d be happy to do my part. While you read, and while you do whatever else you do in your lives, please stay safe and healthy.
*All duly masked and social distanced, have no fear…they only allow use of one seat per row. They’ve reduced the train schedule significantly, but have suspended fares for months now, which is quite impressive.
**$15.99 plus any applicable tax, I suppose.
***I know that I have always loved such collections.