September 1st, 2016 Titan 3030 Update

Personal Struggles

I feel like I’m starting to be more consistently organized, I mean, I’m starting to write this post a week ahead of time. I just feel like it’s time to get real. Time to get serious.

It’s not like I haven’t been serious, it’s more to say seriously motivated. Or seriously driven. Maybe I don’t like the idea of being driven so much as I like the idea of having motive, but then just the idea of being driven, of being ridden makes me think of Loa and veves in the world of voodoun.

I was reading Mona Lisa Overdrive a couple weeks ago and I was struck by the usage of it so integral to the narrative. I don’t recall any sort of mention of voodoo culture when I read Neuromancer years ago. William Gibson definitely gets a hat-tip to my creative process. By no means the largest direct contributor; his work influenced the very culture that raised and shaped my own artistic style and sense of scifi expectations.

See, I start off going on about how serious and organized I am, and I’ve already run off topic talking about cool ideas that won’t see light in my series until The Cats of Callisto.
But enough of vague references. Let’s get down to business.

Today is the first of September. It marks the closure of the window of opportunity for my alpha readers to submit feedback for their pass of my third revision.

Let me just say now, with a week still to go (when writing this), it’s not looking promising. I never imagined it would be so difficult to secure someone’s opinion of a story.

Now, I understand, there are a lot of variables and conditions at play for each of these people as to why it might not be so easy to accomplish. I get it. But it does little to help me with external perspective. I don’t like the idea of my novel germinating in complete isolation from other people’s opinion. It’s hard to gauge what success will look like with that sort of benchmark.

But I’m not here to complain about friends and family not reading my book. I’ve come to accept that it’s not for them. I didn’t spend all this time, effort, and energy to write it for them. Their disinterest only illustrates that fact.

I wrote Titan 3030 for you. Whoever you are. Reading this blog post, following my progress. Interested. A fan. I do it for the fans. The ones that I don’t have or don’t exist yet. I do it for them, and for me. Lately, it feels like I’m only doing it for me, and that’s hard. Really hard.

Professional Struggles

I haven’t worked a lot these last four years. In a ‘job’ I mean. Employment. Sure I’ve had some, and I’m technically employed now. But what good is a label of employment when your effective schedule is TBD. It’s a joke. And it’s not like I haven’t been trying. I’ve applied for easily over 500 positions in the last 4 years. Maybe 500 is an overstatement, but it’s in the multi-hundreds for certain. Most of the ‘opportunities’ were dead end or temporary.

I’ve had a bunch of interviews where I don’t get the call back, and more often than not, I don’t even get a reply or a decline for interview. It’s hard, it’s demoralizing, and it’s exhausting. That’s why feeling like Titan 3030 and Shades of Samsara are only for myself is even worse.

I need to provide and contribute more to my life and my relationships. I know that. But I also need to launch this book. Right now I’m teetering the balance of job searching and writing. I have a solid lead with an IT position here in town which is a rarity. I’m hopeful and optimistic about that.

I’ve been writing the second short story while The Krill is being serialized on Shades of Samsara. It features Walter Domini, the founder of The Corporation and a pivotal character of the SOS series. I’ve been trying to piece together a series of events that I know need to happen either in or around the time this short story takes place.

Roswell That Ends Poorly takes place in 1947 and it incorporates and parallels the crash and cover-up incident. I don’t want to say too much more about the context because I’ll just start giving it all away. Regardless, the events integral to this story are linked to two of the other short stories that will be serialized up to the release of Titan 3030.

Connecting these narrative dots isn’t always easy. But I am feeling confident about the direction these three short stories are collectively taking in their development. I want to try to get as much of them done as I can as quickly as I can so I can redirect my focus on Titan 3030 edits. If possible, I want to try to squeeze two more revision passes on the book before I send it out for pre-release/testing/review phase.

I say that like I have a concrete understanding of what any of that is going to be like, and truth be told, I don’t yet. I’m biting off this project one nibble at a time, but eventually I will have consumed it all and made it a part of me. And then, then—I will be an author.

Confidence?

It’s amazing the kind of emotional swings I can have in a weeks-time. I felt really hopeful and optimistic when I began writing this last Thursday. Now, on Tuesday, I wonder where all that hope went.
The weekend was rough, and I’m not even exactly sure why. I mean, this whole idea of I need to be contributing more is eating away at me. The depression I consistently come to blows with is epi-centered on that problem. It’s incredibly hard to promote your own book, and yourself as a writer when you’re internally trolling yourself. And, that is, essentially what is happening. I’m my own worst, most vocal, and cruelest critic. At times it has proven helpful, but lately it’s nothing but a hindrance.

I managed to get The Krill, Part 3 posted on time. Even with the story already written, getting the serial-quality-pass done on time was still a crunch. Working on Roswell That Ends Poorly has me pulling my hair out trying to figure out the POV angles I want to explore. I just don’t understand how to put myself in the mind of a woman, let alone a gender-neutral-feminine-leaning alien.

And it’s not only Kinowyn that I have problems with, but the entire sequence of events that equate to the pillar as I call it, that supports the entire episode. The problem with not having Roswell written already is that, it is so closely related to the next two short stories that I have to plan and outline them concurrently.

It has proven to be taxing since the events follow about a 100 year span of what we might call recent, contemporary history. So far I have maybe three quarters of Part 1 complete, and maybe 1/3 of Part 2 complete. But in addition I’ve really allowed myself to flesh out the following short stories, making this process easier on myself when I reach those points.

It’s all just so much work. So much effort. Easily the grandest long-term-strategy I’ve ever employed. But we’re trucking right along on schedule. The Krill is a moderate success so far, it’s driving about a dozen people to read it each week, and while a dozen might not seem like much. That’s twelve more people that stop in to check it out than your short stories get every week (maybe, I don’t know, maybe you’re Stephen King or Neil Gaimen, or J.K. Rowling or G.R.R. Martin (but I doubt it!)). And the point is, really, to try and captivate those twelve people, and convince them Roswell is worth exploring when they’re done with The Krill. If I can manage to do that, and pick up some more people along the way, I’ll be in good company this Spring when Titan 3030 is launched.

I’ll check back in on the First and Fourteenth of each month here at http://titan3030.com to keep you posted. In the meantime, don’t forget to explore the Facebook page: link and our twitter feed: link.

Also, one last note, I have an active Kickstarter with just under two weeks to go and I have already secured one backer at the $25 pledge level. It would only take 100 people donating $25 each to make the goal. While I realize, that’s a lot of people (and a lot of money), when I think globally, its really not. I do have a feeling that this phase of funding at Kickstarter might fail and I’m already thinking of ways I can better structure my reward table for backers to appear a little more enticing, but we’ll see once the deadline is met.