Laughing All the Way

I found myself laughing as I edited today, because I was dealing with the holes.

Still editing Book Five, An Undying Quest, of the Incomplete States series, I have half of the novel edited. The thing about the holes and the society that use them is that I hadn’t planned these holes. The holes in discussion are worm holes, but small, controlled to some degree, such as the way that we control water by channeling and funneling it, and managing levels and temperatures, etc., that are located in a cavern on another planet. The people use the holes to travel to other places, and sometimes to other times, and, if they’re brave enough, to visit the dead.

As noted, they were completely spontaneous when I was writing that section, and created a history and structure on the go. Reading, editing, and revising it today, this society’s depths, history, and complexities surprised me. There’s a sense in reading it that it’s historic fiction, and that you have some sense of what’s meant by the terms and relationships because that’s your history.

I quite enjoyed reading it. Will it work for others? Maybe, maybe not. I think it was James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) who said something like, “Tell the story, and let the reader catch up, if they can.” That’s what I’m employing in this instance.

I must admit, one aspect of the holes was inspired by a scene from Field of Dreams (1989), when Terence Mann (James Early Jones) accepts the invitation from Shoeless Joe (Ray Liotta) to enter the corn. Love that scene.

Done writing and editing like crazy for another day. Off to join the real people, the real world, and the real sunshine.


Progress Report – Incomplete States

I finished editing and revising A Sense of Time today. It’s the fourth book in the Incomplete States series. It’s three hundred thirteen double-spaced Word pages, and seventy-five thousand words. I’ll begin editing and revising the fifth book, An Undying Quest, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’ve continued work on the side with the sixth book, The Final Time. I look forward to working on it full time after I edit the fifth book. Based on my projected social calendar and holidays, and my pace with the other books, I’ll probably finish editing and revising An Undying Quest by December’s end.

Done for today, though. It’s becoming cold outside. That bastard wind never relented and the sun is skulking behind layers of clouds. Time to go home, maybe have some hot soup for lunch.

It was a good day of writing and editing like crazy.

Killing Time

It was an excellent day of editing, with little re-writing or revising required. Five chapters were edited. Although I kept part of myself separate as an objective measure to ensure continuity and clarity, reading my work was a reader’s delight. This was the sort of book I enjoy, and I was pleased with myself for what had come of my efforts of drinking coffee, staring out windows, talking to myself, dreaming, thinking, and typing. So, congrats to me.

Meanwhile, this evening, I had spare time to kill. It happens often when the daylight hours grow shorter. It suddenly seems like, hello, it feels like eight at night but it’s four P.M. I have energy but the darkness discourages activities.

So I’m reading. I’m usually reading several books. To pass time this evening, I resumed reading Carlo Rovelli’s book, The Order of Time. 

His book is a slow read for me. I typically read a few pages a week. Sometimes I don’t read it for a week or two. His book gives me a lot to think about. As I read, ideas stir in me like mice creeping out in search of food. I begin pacing, hunting for the handle about what I’m thinking.

And suddenly, I realize, there is a potential sixth book in the Incomplete States series. There is something else that can happen, that can be done. It seems like it should be done.

Drawing out a notebook that I kept for scribbling about ideas, I confirmed that I’d formed the basis for this final book back in March, 2017. There it was, in the musings about Chi-particle states as they decay and transition from being imaginary and traveling faster than light to gaining mass and energy as they slow to less than FTL, to interacting with a wave-function collapse to establish arrows of time. In those fourteen pages of thoughts, written over three days, was the answer that could be the basis for the final book.

I’m astonished that I overlooked something that I think is sort of obvious, now that I see it.

Naturally, a muse leaps out to take charge. Words flow like lava from an erupting super-volcano. Opening a new doc, I type. As I do, ideas accelerate. Scenes expand. Dialogue rushes in. Plot points follow. Pages are typed.

Of course, I was writing at home. That’s fraught with interruptions as my wife laughs aloud at things she sees and reads on the Internet, plays videos, and talks to me about the news. The cats come in to see why I’m making that noise with my fingers and whether it’s something that they can eat, and if it’s not, can I give them something to eat?

All this puts me on edge. I’m frustrated with the interruptions, excited about the ideas, and pensive about writing another book in the series. Knowing me, one book can easily become two, or three. I’m almost finished with editing book four, A Sense of Time. Do I really want to pursue a sixth?

It’s anguishing. It feels like, I’ve envisioned the framework for the book so I’m now compelled to write it.

I didn’t know how to finish this post. I write to help me understand what I think. I write to channel my thoughts and enthusiasm. I write to wonder…

I returned to the new document to read what I wrote. More ideas and arcs are squeezed out of me. I’m reluctant to agree to the muse and write a sixth book but the writing fever has me, again begging the question, who is in charge here? Is there a master?

I’ll see what I think tomorrow, when it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Progress Report – Incomplete States

I wrote five books (originally four) for my latest work in process.

I began work on this series in July, 2016. It was originally one book in concept, but what did I know? Eventually, it became four books. Then I felt it necessary to split the original final book into two books because it was over six hundred pages and three hundred thousand words. In an amusing aside, twenty-five documents were created to develop the five books, with well over a million words.

I considered the first take on the entire series to be a beta draft because the novels’ story lines were so interwoven. While written one at a time, I often edited and revised the previous books as I learned the story.

Now I’m editing the fourth book, creating a true first draft of the Incomplete States series by clarifying that story. Once the first draft is finished, another draft will be required to ensure that the same story is being told in the series’ five books (Four on Kyrios, Entangled LEREs, Six (with Seven), A Sense of Time, and An Undying Quest). Then comes another draft to sharpen and polish, and then it goes to the editors for their input.

I’d expected to have the series’ first draft completed by Thanksgiving, but my error (not saving a backup) set me back (lesson learned). I now have December twenty-first as my target date for completion. It’s not unreasonable, as long as I don’t do anything stupid.

Meanwhile, it is fun to read my creation. I’m enjoying myself. My writing /editing time is a sanctuary from existence’s frustration, pain, and weariness.

Time to edit and write like crazy at least one more time.

The Character Dream

Kanrin came to me in my dreams.

Kanrin is one of the main characters in my current work in progress, a series called Incomplete States. I’m editing the last book in the series with dreams of publishing them next year.

I’ve recently been dealing much with Kanrin. A fully-fleshed character who is well-understood, he’s the main character/star of the current chapters being edited and revised. It’s going well, meaning no problems have been discovered.

In the first dream, Kanrin and I were there, and he was talking about his situation. We were outside for this, and I was watching him in profile. The day was late, with night’s purple shades being drawn. A chilly wind and dropping temperatures had Kanrin in a jacket with his hands in his pockets. Wearing a hat pulled low, he was looking out over a rough, rolling green landscape as he talked. Past him in the dimming light were pastures, fences, and stone walls. I don’t know if he was aware that I was there. He didn’t deliver anything that I didn’t already know, but he did put it in some new way.

Awakening, I considered going to the computer and working on the ms. As it was four thirty in the dark and I was still groggy with sleep, I declined and nestled in for more zzzs.

Imagine my reaction when I dreamed of Kanrin again, essentially talking about the same thing that he addressed before. Okay, odd. I must be really into those chapters. Perhaps something bothered my subconscious.

About thirty minutes had passed since I’d awakened from the first dream to when I awakened from the second dream. It remained too early to go to work. I went back to sleep.

Which gave Kanrin a third opportunity to visit me, addressing again the ideas, concept, and story that he’d addressed before.

It was seven thirty when I awoke from the third dream. I got up now, but didn’t go to work. I went into my usual routine of feeding the rug floofs. If whatever Kanrin was sharing was important, I was certain it’d come out when I was editing and revising today.

Got my coffee. Time to write edit like crazy, at least one more time.


Today’s editing was like surgery. I wrote Book Four, An Undying Quest, in a coffee-stoked and idea-infused blaze. Feeding me, the muses took me in different directions simultaneously. One over-arching arc was eventually uncovered as definitive. Excising paragraphs, merging, and clarifying the one great arc and staying true to the final concept and story involved a lot of reading, thinking, and revising.

Thank god for coffee. Terrific day of writing editing like crazy. Time to call it a day.

I might go get a doughnut.

The Heat

Now we come to the part of the novel that I say, “Huuuhhh?”

I’m editing and revising the fourth novel, An Undying Quest, in the Incomplete States series. I remember writing these chapters last December and January of this year. First, there were five chapters, which became ten, a reflection of the multiple POV. These chapters were being written in parallel in a mad heat of intensity. The muses were crazy and insistent during that time, and I sat back and typed as fast as I could.

Typing as fast as I can leads to a lot of stumbling over the keys, and a great deal of swearing as I miss a stroke, realize it and back up, muttering, “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” as I do. The chapters were interesting to edit in the first pass after writing them because sometimes the tense changed. In reflection of that, I came to see how I was sometimes doing method writing, imagining myself to be the character to take in their senses, know their thoughts, and act correctly. I wonder, in retrospect, how that writing process affects my relationships and interactions with others. It intrigues me, too, that I can’t remember what I wrote, but I remember writing and editing it.

The weave pattern of these chapters means they’re more challenging to read and edit. The twists give me pause. To track them, to ensure they’re correct and consistent, delivering the end of that stretch while staying true to the concept, arc, and ending, required me to drop back and create another document. The document’s contents are, “This happened here,” and, “That happened now.”

Yes, it’s tricky, but it delights me. That worries me that I’m not being objective.

Yes, it’s tricky.

Time to write edit like crazy, at least one more time.


I considered my plans for today last night.

It was about midnight. Today, from what I saw, would be part of a continuum, another day of editing and revising. While I’m happy to make progress and I enjoy what I do, sometimes I get tired of the unending routine. Sometimes I long for a break.

Then I brightened because, hey, I was beginning to edit the fourth and final book in the Incomplete States series.

While I’d been thinking these things, I’d been preparing to close down the computer for the day. Instead, I opened the file for the fourth book’s cover. I regarded and admired it for a while. I’d created covers for the four books as carrots, to make the books seem more tangible and remind me of my goals. With covers, the effort seems to have more promise. It seems more real.

Sitting down, I opened the book’s Word document and began reading and editing.

There wasn’t any plan behind this impulse. One chapter began two. Soon, without me noticing, it was one thirty in the morning. I’d read and edited six chapters. Short chapters, I’d worked through but forty pages. This is a six hundred page, one hundred fifty thousand word draft. There’s a lot more to go.

Despite complaints from my butt cheeks, eyes, neck, and hands, and a more sensible side reminding me that I need to sleep, I didn’t want to stop. I was enjoying what I was reading, and pleased that I’d written it. But prudence finally won.

Now, guess what? Time to write and edit like crazy, at least one more time. I think I may need more coffee.

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