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Hectic Times

May 27, 2016

Life is super crazy these days.

The series remains un-shopped because I’ve been trying to clean up the bible, whilst getting my kid enrolled in college, selling my house, acquiring a rental, and finishing up paid writing gigs I took on to avoid using a credit-card, when we move back to Pennsylvania.

Last we spoke, I set about dullifying the house for a quick sale. I’m not a beige person, so it was rough, but worth it. We got a 200k cash offer on the house, after just five days on the market. The plan is to close on June 29, and that means I need to find us a rental, for a July 1 move in. Spouse and I butted heads about buying a new home. We’re a hair close to being empty nesters (oldest move out and has place of his own, FT job, a life), and youngest is going to college in the fall. We love historic homes, but he’s 50, and I’m almost 50, and I’m not down with more house and yard maintenance.  We both agree that a condo, or townhome, might be nice–but spouse is keen on having NO neighbors, and would like to return to the woods. I’d prefer metro. The truth is, I can write anywhere, so long as I have private space to do so. Spouse’s job is software, large accounts, high stress. I feel that his habitation needs trump mine, so we’re going to go with what he wants.

He’s managed to find a cabin (I hate log cabins!) outside of Birdsboro. It’s isolated, but in driving distance to pretty much anything we might need. It’s updated, has vintage appliances (love vintage appliances–it’s the only reason I even considered this place) It’s got acres, woods, and detached office space for me to write, a loft studio for Mag to art, and a woodshop and garage for the spouse. It’s a rental, the price is affordable, and it’s close to Lancaster, where the Mag is going to college.  It’s a win-win because it has 3 beds and 3 baths, so when oldest visits, he has a place to sleep.

Now I’m saddled with getting a survey of our sold property, and get the inspection done by our buyers, all within the next two weeks.  We’ve a wedding this weekend to attend, out of town. It’s one thing after another–all conspiring to limit the amount of time I have to clean up this series-bible, for presentation to an agent.

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Coin for Charon

April 15, 2016

Time to cross the river…

It was summer of 2002 when I began a serial space opera called Ramaxia. My society were matriarchal dinosapien-like creatures, there was political and imperial intrigue spawned by religious differences between the two empires. I had a blast building that world, and creating those characters, but I put my I Claudius meets Walking with Dinosaurs series on hold in 2004, to write fan comics with an artist friend from Poland. We began producing our fan-comics, called doujinshi, and that led to being published professionally in 2005. I was published by the awesome Class Comics in Canada, Yaoi Press, DramaQueen, and Iris Print in the US, and in Germany by Fireangels Verlag, and Cursed Side Publishing. As the publishing scene for homoerotic manga began to wane, I started producing my own original works. After my last graphic novel was written in 2010, I took a job at a bank to get rid of my debt (trust me, when you produce your own comics and attend conventions, you accrue some debt).

While working at the bank, I decided to leave the medium of comics, and get back to writing prose. I cracked out ye olde box of Ramaxia, and began rereading some unsent comics properties–PAY attention, this how Femitokon was born.

My feminist sensibilities, combined with my experiences in the world of fandom, didn’t allow for many of the plot-devices crucial to my sci-fi script for Ramaxia (male pregnancy just doesn’t work, it can’t, it just can’t!). Putting Ramaxia away for a bit, I dug out a few of my unsent DC Comics submissions.  The first of them to jump out at me was series set in the world of Batman Beyond–I called it, Beyond Wonder. My character, Sophita, the daughter of Wonder Woman and Superman (this was the secret to her power), was a morally ambiguous soldier in the United States Navy (future-tech, mind you). Another submission of mine, a mini one-shot called Crossing the Rubicon, featured Amanda Waller (still large and in charge!) putting together a team of female toughs to protect herself in her retirement years, from the Justice League. Her crew consisted of the Amazon that lost her faith (Phillipus), the misunderstood hero (Cass Cain), a super-strong amnesiac (Little Barda), and the anti-heroic upstart (Rose Wilson)–she trains them, earns their loyalty, and talks the geneticist daughter of Lucias Fox (Tye Fox) into fusing their energies together as one, to create a being called “the Goddess”. The New 52 obliterated any possibility of polishing either of these, for submission. Despite this, I never gave up the idea of a soldier hiding in the shadow of her mother and fighting the relation, because the expectations weren’t what she was all about.

In January of 2011, I began a story about six Femmar that woke up under the ice of Antarctica. After stumbling through some origin stories, I settled on an ancient Cryogenian race, and their life-form, the Femaki’xirpaxul. That soon spawned of an asteroid striking Earth, their fight for Antarctica, and the eruption of a supervolcano that wipes out humanity. Since fandom writing never leaves you, I spent my evenings after work creating stories about the descendant of my original six–and this led to building the world 23rd century Ramaxicon (Earth). My stories revolved around Sofita/Fusada Kul, Eppis Banto, Laxum Jyr, Pitana Dag, Velto Wram, and Fyla Uym. While fleshing out these characters I created their mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, and soon found myself creating a culture, history, and an encompassing story arc. By Thanksgiving of 2012, I had enough of a world created at WordPress, to begin writing the novels. I hammered out Sofita’s first mission in two months. The second, third, and fourth novels began as one big ass book I finished by mid-2013.

Just as things were moving along, my hard drive died. I had only backed up my bible, and the dialog scripts I’d written. All the finished first-draft manuscripts I’d completed, were gone. I was crushed, I couldn’t believe it–I still can’t believe it. In December I made the decision (after much crying, screaming, and soul-searching), to quit my day job and dedicate full time to rewriting, and completing, the series. My comics debt was long paid off, and my savings account rather full–so leaving the job was doable.

I continued cannibalizing my space opera Ramaxia, adding elements of the DC specs Beyond Wonder and Rubicon, and utilized the bible I’d been smart enough to put on a cloud server (thank you WordPress!) I wrote seven hours a day, five days a week–and managed to rewrite the novels I’d lost, in just over a year. I spent the next years completing the rest of the novels in the series, I have one left–and it’s already started.

It’s now 2016, Femitokon is ready. I’m about to query some agents.

Wish me luck.

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