Fast Lane to the Hinterland

There nothing like driving into Chicago at six-thirty in the morning with a cloudless sky above you, a lot of tall building before you, traffic filled with crazy people around you, and an old Japanese anime soundtrack blasting from your stereo.  It puts you in a certain frame of mine–unfortunately, for me, it was sort of the, “Why the hell am I doing this shit?” frame, and please don’t tell me it’s to pay the bills.

Still, there was a certain feeling while I was on the road.  I do love driving, if for no other reason that I can be alone with my thoughts, even if I’m accompanied by loud music.  When I used to make the weekly trek from and to The Undisclosed Location, I had two and a half hours to drive at 80 MPH, yell at drivers that wouldn’t get out of my way, and think out plot lines, scenes, and character development.

I thought a little about what I’m working on right now, which is editing and formatting Replacements so I can publish the work.  I’m getting this out of the way so when my covers arrive–that’s right, I was told I’m getting three covers for the low price of $200, and I can keep them or do some swapping, maybe using one of Smashwords and another on Amazon–I can then see about getting a cover for Replacements while I do a final edit and format on Her Demonic Majesty so I can get it online where it can take its place next to werewolf porn and a series about an eighteen year-old virgin who gets laid in about thirty stories–which means she must have regenerative abilities.

This morning I spoke with a friend about a story I’d submitted to a publishing house last May, and have heard nothing in return after they requested, and received, the full manuscript.  I’d mentioned that I’d sent two follow ups to the publishing house requesting an update on my novel, with none forthcoming from their end.  My friend’s comment was short and to the point:  “Fuck ’em, publish it yourself.”  This has pretty much been my attitude as well, since I’m getting antsy to find out what’s going on with that particular story.  If you want it, fine:  if you don’t want it, fine as well.  Just let me know, ‘kay?

This seems to be a common occurrence these days, where people send things out and sometimes never hear a thing back.  Or maybe it’s jut me:  maybe I’m stuck on this one with a lost in the aether and constantly waiting for it to return from the hinterlands.  Though I’m coming up on a year with it being out, so it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what I’m going to do with the story–

I’ll fix it up and I’ll publish it.

There’s no guaranty I’ll make any sales if I do this, but then there was no guaranty I’d make any sales by selling it, either.  Just as once I pay a couple of hundred scoots for a book cover there’s no guaranty I’ll get any sales from Her Demonic Majesty.  I do know this, however:

It will be out–and, with the right cover, it will be noticed.

The question then becomes:  by whom?

Hot Chocolate and Mountain Stars

One project ends, another begins; it’s how you do it, really.  Suggestive Amusements is in the can–or on the hard drive, as this case may be–and my information for a book cover for Her Demonic Majesty is off to a friend for her appraisal.  What is left to do?

Edit, what else?

Replacements is under the literary knife again.  I’m giving it another polish in, preparing it for it’s own publication date.  That will mean getting a cover for it as well, and prepping the manuscript for ebooks, but that’s easy.  Well, the formatting is:  not sure on the cover yet.  But it’s all coming together.  If anything, as I edit, I can format.  I did Chapter One last night; I’ll likely edit Chapter Two tonight, then start doing a format on Chapter One–which is a small chapters–to get back into the swing of getting an ebook ready.

Even with all this, there are always things going on in my mind.  Are those story ideas you’re talking about, Cassie?  Why, yes:  yes, they are.

There is a set of stories that I’ve developed of a particular set of characters.  As of this moment I have three stories written about them that amount to three long novels, one short novel, and a novella.  I’m so tied into these characters, in fact, that I have a time line of their lives figured out, and that the stories that revolve around those lives.

Last week I was thinking about one of those stories, one that takes place further along in their lives, and it’s an event that, as they say in the business, changes them forever.  It really does, because it’s needed for later in their lives, and for the stories that follow.  As I want to do, I thought out things from a meta standpoint, with the intention of figuring out things later.  As for the meta, it goes into a file, or my head, both of which are pretty good for that sort of thing.

Here is the kicker, though:  the night before, I had a dream that revolved around what I’d been thinking about, as well as some of the research I’d done, because I’m all about the research . . .

I know it was about a place I’d researched for this story, because I just did.  It was in the mountains; it was night and the air was crisp, with fall approaching.  I was sitting alongside someone, both of us wearing thick sweaters against the mountain chill.  There was wine, just a small glass each, because you want to enjoy the alcohol-infused warmth that comes from sitting a sweet white wine.

Then, after the lateness of the hour became apparent, inside we go to sit before a fire, stretching out upon an overstuffed sofa–

Which is where my dream ended.  But the writer in me–ah, I see thing going beyond that.  Because the overstuffed sofa reminds me of two people in a very different place, with their own sofa, their over comforters, their own fire . . . and plenty of pumpkin juice, hot chocolate, and cheese banitsas.  All the things meant to keep a couple warm . . .

All the things they’d need to remind them of their love.