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Writing Update 11/3/12

I was hoping to write a piece on podcasting, but I decided to share some news about my writings:

  • I have just submitted a revised edition of “A Perfect Hell on Earth” to the Cruentus Libri Press anthology War is Hell. The new edition contains spelling and grammar corrections, along with some additions to the story. Those who read the first edition will still find the story the same, but the new edition is still a superior version in my humble opinion. You can still get a copy of the first edition in the alternate history edition of Jake’s Monthly.
  • I have begun my rewrite of Down in Dixie. The new story is tentatively titled Parallel Pete and follows Nick, a human with the ability to hop across timelines without the help of machines. While working for the secretive Gordian Institute, he is framed for murder and all the evidence points to someone with the same abilities as Nick. The new novel will feature characters and settings from the Down in Dixie, but will be an entirely different story. This is going to be an ongoing project because I still have some short fiction to write, for example…
  • I want to submit something to the Flying Elephant Short Story contest. I am thinking about a dark fantasy story. Set in the aftermath to a war in heaven, a father tries to save his family…even if it means dooming countless generations. I really like the ideas banging around in my head.

Beta Readers Needed by The Masquerade Crew

The Masquerade Crew is looking for beta readers to help select the final stories for their time travel anthology. My short story “Road Trip” is one of the submissions you might get a chance to read if you volunteer. Find out more information here.

Writing Update 9/28/12

I know I say this all the time, but I need to get better about updating this blog. New goal is at least once a week.

Alright big news: Down in Dixie is coming along nicely, but I have decided not to submit it to Abaddon Books. I wrote it as a love letter to the alternate history genre and it is that indeed. Sadly I doubt anyone would actually be interested in publishing such a reference-heavy story set in a niche market. So instead I am going to spend more time on it, flesh it out and making it novel length. I might actually submit it to a publisher, but I will most likely be self-publishing this bad boy.

Speaking of self-publishing, it has been over a year since I wrote “Collapse Theory” and I have yet to find a publisher for the story. I like the tale too much to shelve it so in the near future (hopefully this October) I will be self-publishing it. It will get me acquainted with the process, which will only help me when I finally decide to publish Down in Dixie. Stay tuned for a brief excerpt from the short story just so I can hear from you whether it is a good idea or not.

I just submitted my new short story “Road Trip” to The Masquerade Crew for their upcoming time travel anthology. Wish me luck! In the meantime I am starting working on a really short story (max word count is 2k) for The Were-Traveler’s anthology featuring zombies in alternate history settings. My tale is tentatively titled “Revenants in Warfare” and will be a short excerpt from a much longer scholarly (and, of course, fictional) tome. I am really looking forward to writing this tale. Those who know me or else have read some of my fiction, will understand how much the zombie genre has had an effect of my writing. Ever since I stayed up late during a sleep-over to watch Night of the Living Dead I have been obsessed with the walking dead. Hopefully the lead up to Halloween will put in the right mood to write this horror story.

Writing Update 8/27/12

ImageWow, my last writing update was almost a month ago. I started this blog to keep my fans updated on what I was writing outside of Alternate History Weekly Update. Yeah, I have been falling down on the job.

Alright, just to prove I am still alive and working, I did record that guest spot on Dissecting Worlds and you can check out the final product where I join forces with my two favorite limeys to discuss alternate histories of the American Civil War. Please listen and if you need encouragement to do so, just look at some of these endorsements:

Interesting podcast about Civil War Alternate History. -Richard Small, author of Confederate Star Rises.

My knowledge of the American Civil War is not all it should it be and I actually learnt a few things listening to the podcast. -Geoffrey Wilson, author of Land of Hope and Glory.

Whoa, and that was my first ever podcast. When I raise enough funds to start my own, you can listen to my Chicago accent more often.

Okay, onto my actual writing. Wok on Down in Dixie is going well, albeit slowly. I have written about 7000 words, which is below the goal I set for the end of August. With work, Weekly Update and family keeping me busy I have found it difficult just setting aside time to write. Nevertheless, I am confident I will have something ready to send to Abaddon by the end of September.

In fact I am so confident about my ability to get back on track, I have actually started work on a new short story, tentatively called “The Road Trip”The idea for the story came about shortly after I finished “A Perfect Hell on Earth” (still available for free from Jake’s Anthology at Smashwords) during one of my free times from helping my wife chaperone high school students at the Illinois FCCLA state competition.. Reveling in my latest literary victory, I took a break to read an article about optimistic futures set after Peak Oil from io9. Intrigued by a post-apocalyptic scenario that does not end with everyone dying in a lifeless wasteland, I decided to write my own scenario and I came up with a bare bones outline of the future stretching into the early 23rd century. After finishing, I put it away because I really did not have any ideas for a character-driven story at the moment.

Then I saw this call for submissions from The Masquerade Crew looking for time travel stories to the future. My mind immediately went back to my old scenario. Eventually an idea formed about a group of friends traveling to southern Illinois to attend a college party and getting caught up in some weird occurrences down I-55. They and the reader catch a glimpse of one of our possible futures. It may be grim, but it is not without hope. The story should be ready by September for submission as well.

So that is what is new in the writing world of Mitro. Stay tuned for (hopefully) more frequent updates from me. If you are attending Chicon7 this weekend, keep an eye out for me. I will be walking around as a member of the press thanks to Weekly Update.

Writing Update 7/28/12

Wow, it has been a while since I last wrote a post.  Sorry about that.  Since I don’t want you thinking that I have been lazy this last few weeks, here is what I have been up to:

  • My revised draft of “The Enchanted Bean” is with my editor.  I will keep you posted on any new developments.
  • I have done some rewriting on “Collapse Theory”.  In the year since I wrote it I have learned a lot about writing, at least enough to realize that the draft I have been sending to publishers needs a lot of work.  I think the new version is a lot better and I hope that I will have some good news about it in the near future.  If not, I plan to retire it.  As the fist story I ever tried to get publish, I have a sentimental attachment to it.  I hope it will see the light of day, but if not, I will put away and return to it sometime in the future.
  • I have been world building a new universe that I might try using as a setting for my first novel.  Think League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Anno Dracula.  More later.
  • I will be recording my guest spot on Dissecting Worlds tomorrow.  The subject: alternate history based on an alternate outcome of the American Civil War.  I hope you guys like it.

Thanks again for reading.

Writing Update 7/3/12

Editing is not as fun as writing.

Revising “The Enchanted Bean” is going slower than I expected.  Nevertheless, it is a good experience and I am finding that the story has improved thanks to my editor’s suggestions.  When my wife goes down to Orlando, FL for the FCCLA Nationals, I hope to have a lot more time to dedicate to the story.

I have, however, managed to get some writing in.  I just sent my buddy Sean Korsgaard an article titled “5 Misconceptions of World War II” to be published on his blog in celebration of its second year anniversary.  It was a fun project and reminded me how much I love history.  I will let you know as soon as it is posted.

Expect more guest posts and short fiction updates throughout the month of July.

PS: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%

Writing Update 6/28/12

Right now it is close to 100 degrees in Orland Park and it is raining.  Time to stay inside and write.

My editor at Echelon Press, Karen Syed, has returned my manuscript of “The Enchanted Bean” with the corrections she would like me to make.  Thankfully she gave me a handy editorial guide and her critique on my writing brought up some good points.  Of course, I am just happy she did not change her mind altogether about accepting my story!  I have started going over the manuscript and hope to have a new draft sent to her soon.

I am finding it difficult to start new stories or finish old ones.  Along with double posting at Alternate History Weekly Update, I am also training for the Beach Dash.  A 5K obstacle course, I am going to be running in it with my family on July 14.  It will be tough, but after losing 40 lbs since 2010, it is time I start toning up.  I plan to be alive for a long time so I can bug my friends and family to read my most recent finished manuscript.

Speaking of writing, I just picked up On Writing by Stephen King.  James Gunn was interviewed on the Nerdist Podcast and said that he learned a lot about writing from King and since I have been a fan for several years I decided to buy the e-book.  An excellent, if short, book with tales from his own life to show what helped and what did not help him in his writing.  I hope to do a short review of it on this blog when I finish.

One thing I was pleased to learn was that King had grown up watching the same science fiction/horror films as a kid…that I watched get skewered on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Funny how movies that mesmerized us as children became laughable as the decades came and went.  I just hope I do not see some of my favorites get torn apart by the next generation of riffers.

The sun is now out and yet it is still raining.  I love sun storms.