Changing Directions

I realized yesterday that I haven’t written anything on here in a while. There are plenty of things I need to write about.

First, and most importantly, I have quit my full-time job.

I’ve had a number of reasons for taking this step. I wasn’t happy working in an office, for one. While I write and play video games and work on computers, I don’t like being restricted to four walls. There’s a bit too much Neumiller in me to be content there–after all, neither my brother nor my father was content with a regular office job, either.

I also wasn’t happy with the life I have with my wife. Don’t get me wrong, I love her dearly, but we’ve found that, with both of us working full-time jobs, and my own job particularly high-stress, there was so much in our lives that we were sacrificing. We’ve struggled with the basics of housekeeping, proper eating, and spending time together. With this step, I’m able to get so many projects done we just couldn’t manage before.

And finally, I want to pursue writing full-time. I wrote Destiny’s Heir over a span of about six months, but it shouldn’t have taken me nearly that long. Quite simply, I didn’t have the time to write during the day, and when I had the time, I didn’t have the energy. I did manage an hour a day of writing most days, but it wasn’t every day and often it wasn’t even a full hour. With this change, I’ll finally have the time to dedicate to writing.

My wife, bless her soul, has been entirely supportive of me, which is great, because there’s no way I could do this without her. While finances will likely be tight for a while, she’s still bringing in a  steady paycheck, which is what makes this possible.

Second, I’m going to be focusing on writing some shorter stories while I wait to hear back on Destiny’s Heir. My mentor, Joe Nassise, and I have been discussing this at length, and he has strongly suggested I focus on self-publishing some e-books for the near future. There’s a fair amount of money to be made in that part of the market right now, and I’ve decided to take his advice and focus there for now.

My writing output should be dramatically increasing in the near future. Right now, I’m still working part-time for my old job–they asked me to work from home, half-days, to help ease the transition as they try to fill my job and add staff to cover the work I was doing. By the end of May, however, I should be working full-time for me, myself, and I.

So, what’s on my plate?

Destiny’s Mantle is moving to the back burner to simmer for a while. I need to get some of the logistics of the story worked out before I start setting pen to paper. The story’s not really on hold so much as it needs some further thought and exploration before I commit it to text.

Thirteen Swords is on my short list for stories to write, but it’s also not finished cooking in my mind. I’m still intending to write it on this site, and then convert it to e-book format when I’m complete. The story probably need to be retitled, too; originally, Thirteen Swords was going to be a single story, but lately I’ve been thinking it needs to be thirteen stories–one about each of the sword-bearers. Mostly, I’ve been tinkering with three different ideas for Thirteen Swords, and only recently (yes, I’m this slow) did it occur to me that I could write all three!

I got my start in writing long works with a fanfiction. X-Wing: The Nallera Conflict, which was a story about an ex-pirate on an undercover mission for the Rebel Alliance to purchase high-grade ore from a group of miners, to support the development of the A-wing project. Of course, much of the story is spent shooting at stuff and it isn’t at all as boring as it sounds. One of my projects is to rewrite it and set it appropriately in its own science fiction universe–e.g. make it salable.

Fourthly, I have the tentatively titled The West Point Project, which will most likely not be the final name of the story. It’s another science fiction story, most likely set in a different universe than my Nallera Conflict rewrite. I originally conceived it as a novelization for the social game Artemis, but I couldn’t come to a proper agreement  (read: that I was happy with) with the game’s owner to properly set it in his universe.

Side note: if you’re interested in social gaming–and by that, I mean gaming in a social setting, not some stupid Facebook flash game–you should really check out Artemis. You won’t be disappointed.

And finally, I have the also-tentatively titled The Unknown Enemy. The title, and the concept of the book, are loosely inspired by X-COM: UFO Defense, one of the best PC games of all time. The story focuses on an ex-Marine sniper discharged from the service after having a “mental breakdown”–claiming he and his partner (KIA) were ambushed by aliens, whom they had seen meeting with Al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq.

So, what first?

Nallera Conflict rewrite is at the top of my list, as the story is already cooked and just needs “translation”. It’s also the appropriate length for an e-book already. I’ve wanted to do something with it anyway, so I’ll be able to turn it over in pretty short order to get it ready for publication.

What follows that? I’m not sure yet. There’s a better-than-decent chance that, should the rewritten Nallera Conflict sell, I’ll rewrite Arms Race to follow, and then finally sit down and write The Talus Crucible, which was planned and outlined but never written.

Any way about it, you can expect to see my name on some writing very soon.

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