The Resurrection Sequence: Hitting the Return Key

portrait of a brutal warrior with sword in smoke

Amidst the swirl of life-changing chaos that is the maelstrom of my life right now (we’re leaving Japan in 2 months with no solid job, house, or fool-proof plan at this point!), I also at work on the next phase of my writing career.

Kind of the next phase.  It’s also partly the old phase.

“Okay, hold the phone. You don’t have a job, but you’re screwing around with writing?!”

“Well, we have a semi-plan and some good prospects, but we’ve managed to save enough that we can float for now and not drown. We’ll be fine in the short term and once we’re back in the States, we’ll be in a better position to figure out the long term.  But thanks for your concern!”

Anyway, after having attended and learned so much and been inspired by the Oregon Coast Masters Class, I have some proto-plans forming.  One aspect of those is what I call “sequencing” or “burst publishing.”  (It’s not that I invented the idea, it’s just that I don’t know what other people call it.)

The gist is this: instead of publishing stuff here and there as they come ready, and then having months in between releases, you save up related books/stories and release them in sequence, one a month, in a nice, neat string.

This has two advantages:

  1. It gives readers a nice steady feed, so if they buy and read book 1, book 2 is coming right along behind, followed right away (a month later) by book 3.  (I, for one, am so far terrible about releasing–or writing–series in any fashion that allows for steady following. Hopefully once I’m out of the Navy I’ll be in a better position to avoid that problem.)
  2. On the Amazon side of the house (which is just one side, by the way–they might be king shit in America, but they certainly aren’t king shit of the world), having a steady release, like once a month, activates something in their mechanism that says, “This person is a regular publisher, let’s push his books more.”  The algorithm likes that.

So my first sequence in this new vision unto the future is “The Resurrection Sequence.”  It has a few aspects to it, as well:

  1. The main “resurrection” thing is bringing back a couple of books I’d previously published but retired for different reasons. Namely, A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley (terrible title, but a nice, genre-specific cover) and the Thunderstrike Edition of Tarnish, which is basically a four-book omnibus. A Long Walk became Eating in the Underworld (perhaps not a severely improved title, either).  The collection has now reverted back to Walk and Eating is it’s own standalone story from that collection. Tarn-TS is still in the works. I also made a new, much cooler cover for my story Puppet Theatre and relaunched that.
  2. Republishing several (and eventually all–probably) of my titles in a new format using Vellum and with improved front and back matter.  (If you don’t know what the hell any of that is, don’t worry about it.  That’s more writer-speak than reader concern. The stories are still the same.)
  3. Launching my first single-author bundle on Bundle Rabbit, which will basically be all my titles Fugitive Fiction published in 2017, gift-wrapped as kind of a readers’ introduction to my work.  Buyers will be able to get $30+ worth of ebooks for less than 10 bucks.

Detective walking at night city lights.

But to get there, and in reformatting to Vellum, I am hitting an issue.  I am being haunted by the Return Button.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

You may have noticed that I sometimes tend to write in big blocky paragraphs.  (Or have tended to write–past tense, as I’m trying to be more conscious of it.) As I’m re-upping older work, especially the 125,000 words of Tarnish, I’m finding that the asshole perfectionist in me wants to spend lots of time combing through and breaking up those huge half-page long blocks of text.

I think doing so will make for a smoother, easier read, but holy shit does it take time!  Time I could be writing new stories, of which I have hundreds to go!

Dean Wesley Smith would probably say, “Those old books are snapshots of how you wrote then. Stuff you write now show you’re improvement. Don’t waste your time on the past. Move forward.”

And I would agree.  Or at least I’m trying to.

But it’s hard for me, in good conscious, to republish those big ugly blocks when I could improve on them.

On the other hand, some of that stuff is 5 years old. And I am definitely feeling the withdrawal symptoms of not writing new, fun stuff. This old shit is getting to be like an anchor around my neck! I have to move on!

We’ll see how this inner struggle goes. Either way, I’m hoping to get it all out well before the New Year. But if I allow my insecurities and neurosis to drag me back through 400+ pages, I might not make it!

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Silk Spider, Wasteland, and Sky

silk spider-mini

Thanks to a tweet that’s now about 3 months old, I found that Mr. J. D. Cowen had reviewed my Silk Spider story on his blog, Wasteland and Sky. (Or maybe it’s called “And between the Wasteland and Sky” or is that just a quote…?)

I only hit up Facebook occasionally, and Twitter rarely. Back in August, Mr. Cowen reviewed Astounding Frontiers magazine, as well as my story and one by Dominika Lein, all as part of his quest to find more pulp fiction. He tweeted about this and included me in the tweet. Today, November 4th, I discovered that tweet from August.

Oops.

That’s me and my cyber aversion.

Better late than never though! Thanks J.D. for the kind comments–glad you liked it!

 

Planes, trains, and Automobiles

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“Those aren’t pillows!”

If that line means nothing to you, you’re either too young or it’s been too long since you’ve seen that movie. But the holidays are coming up, so chances are it’ll be on TV. Just in case, though, here’s that scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on Youtube, via Fandango’s “Movie Clips.”

Why am I referencing that John Candy and Steve Martin holiday classic? Because that was my day coming back from Oregon to Japan. I traveled for about 18 hours straight, crossing the International Date Line and losing a day on the calendar. Two hours by car from Lincoln City to the Portland, about three in the airport, 11 in-flight, another 1.5 on a bus and then the last 30 minutes by train.

I’m not kidding!

But it was worth it. I learned so much at that Writers’ Master Class that I still, days later, am not prepared to process it all. And now I have to go back to work for the Navy (leave’s over), to night shifts, and continue my preparations for getting out of the Navy in just 2.5 short months! Whew! But it’s all downhill from here. Looking forward to the roller coaster ride into the next chapter of our lives!

Meantime, I’ll slowly be implementing changes to the way I do business as a writer, publisher, blogger, and general weirdo. Hopefully for the better, for me, my family, and even you, the reader eager for quality escapism and entertainment. Stand by for those.

The first will be a freebie book available to my Conspiracy Newsletter subscribers. If you’re not onboard yet, enrollment is always open. Join the conspiracy and join the adventure! I’m eager for feedback as I start up new and exciting avenues down the developing indie author pathway. And as soon as I get a chance to explore a new cybernetic delivery system, everyone on the mailing list will get a chance to test it out for me in the form of a free downloadable book.

“Join the Conspiracy!” Sign up by clicking here.

More coming soon…

(Note that this post is slightly out of sequence. I actually traveled before Halloween but the costume pics yesterday—and the offer for a free book—were more time-sensitive to get out there.)

Batman, Robin, Spider-Man and a Very Super Halloween!

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Just wanted to share some fun pics before the seasonal window closes.

I made it back to Japan in time for enjoy Halloween with my family. Trick or treating on base here is an amazing event. You don’t realize how many kids and families are here until Halloween night. And that’s then augmented by a number of Japanese folks coming aboard to celebrate this super-fun America tradition too. I’m assuming they don’t have this here in Japan, because they’re sure happy to jump in with us here on base.

Can you guess which of these jokers (pun intended) is me? I saw this costume online and had to have it! I love the old 60’s Batman show. (As evident in my story “Puppet Theatre”.) I was also very popular this season. I had a lot of folks posing for pictures with me, which was strange. Never been a celebrity before.

biffff

Oh, and the “BIFF” sign there?  Not mine. I was walking around to see everyone else’s costumes among the throngs and hordes of kids and parents rioting for candy that night, and ran into a very nice couple who had both a BIFF and a POW. They said they had made the signs before for a homemade Batman movie they’d done and insisted that I take one with me. They were so excited to bump into me if only for the irony of it all. And I was excited to have met them and to get such a cool and appropriate gift. If you happen to be reading this, Thanks again!

Hope everyone made the most of the season. No other time of year can we dress up and become someone else quite so easily, and join a wandering mob of sugar-hyper children of the corn doing the exact same thing! And if if you look like a dork, you can get away with it. Love this holiday!

And I’d love to see your costumes! Tell you what. If you email me a pic of you in costume and tell me what ebook of mine you’d like, I’ll respond with the file for your enjoyment! (And no pics of yours will be retained or shared for any reason. I promise to delete them right after I send you your reward.)

Send them to jdbrink@brinkschaostheory.com with “Halloween Reading” in the subject line, which book you’d like, and what format (epub, kindle, or pdf) you prefer.

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

Indie Writers’ Workshop Comes to a Close

I’m tapping this out quickly while waiting to board my flight in Portland. This week I attended the Masters Class from WMG Publishing, namely Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  A fantastic week of learning about the modern and future indie writing world. I have a notebook full of notes, carpel tunnel, and my head is still too overwhelmed to start sorting through it all. But it was a great week with a lot of great, like-minded people.

And as nice as it is to get away, it’s nice to be headed home too. One funny thing… I’ve been eating out for a week, 2 or 3 meals a day, and just had the best meal of the week here in the airport! It was a breakfast bowl at the “Beach Shack” — eggs, potatoes, onions, peppers, spinach, bacon and gravy on top.  Holy shit was that good! Closest thing to home cooking I’ve had all week. (Other than a nice spaghetti dinner that Kip hosted for our group; too much to explain there.)

Anyway, made some great connections with fellow writers, including a few other names you’d likely recognize, and got way too much of a to-do list for the future. As well as a better understanding of this business (and the out-moded old publishing structure that’s sagging into old age now).

For those interested in my work, stand by for some changes in how I do business and some experiments with new digital delivery methods and promotional freebies.

Also learned an slight appreciation for the technology I have thus far shunned… I don’t own a smart phone, which I deeply regretted when I wanted to take pictures of the awesome Oregon scenery and had no means of doing so. Maybe it’s time I get with the times after all…  (Maybe…)

Okay, gotta get my passport and boarding papers ready…

Just in Time for Thor: Ragnarok

dmg

Is it that time already?! The movie kind of snuck up on me. I’ve been busy.

But that’s not the only surprise I found tonight…

I had submitted a superheroic story to Steve Beaulieu not long ago and didn’t know what to expect after that. Probably my own fault for not taking the time to pay more attention. And were it not for my wife posting a silly picture on Facebook and telling me to check it out, I would not have bothered to go on there (I hates me some Facebook) and, therefore, would not have seen the update from Steve saying that the book was coming out next week!

So as you, me, and every other nerd in the universe gear up for Thor: Ragnarok, you might consider a collection of new superhero–and supervillain--stories coming out at the same time.

Me and 12 other writers all have great tales to tell in Collateral Damage.  There’s also a paired collection of 12 misadventures from the bad guys’ points of view called Ha-Ha-Ha. 

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Both of these are up for pre-order on Kindle Unlimited for only $0.99 right now.

But wait, there’s more!

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Click here to see the whole series of four on one nice spread.

What a nice surprise, just in time for another superhero movie season!

Speaking of which, I’ll have a fun picture to share on Halloween (or the day after). Assuming I can squeeze into my damn costume after this week! (Been doing a lot of sitting in class and eating greasy shit. Not pretty…)