Back From Hiatus

I’m a tinkerer by nature so when I see something that isn’t working exactly as I want, I try to fix it. My writing “career” as it currently stands, needed a little examination to see if it needed some improvement. It did, but as I discovered, not in the ways that I originally thought. I’ve adjusted keywords, updated descriptions, rewrote blurbs; all the usual things to get the stories noticed.

As I updated, it occurred to me that I was spending more time adjusting what was already out there instead of the one thing that was most important: writing and releasing new material. Stories have limited shelf life and after a while, no amount of effort will improve them after a particular point. They run their course and have to be let go in favor of new material. That’s just the way of things.

I’ve read that a following doesn’t truly start until at least the fifth book and since Lights and Shadows is my fifth book before I jump back into The Parallax Trilogy, I take heart that although my current sales are less than stellar, I’m on the right path.

Progress and Parallax: Darkfall

Today has been a day fit for The King of Procrastinators or Insanely Ambitious Overachievers…you make the call. I woke up early, got some coffee, settled in with Scrivener opened to Lights and Shadows, Parallax: Genesis, this blog, and a new project: Parallax: Darkfall.

I know, right? Planning a THIRD project?

The feeling seemed right, because once I looked in Parallax’s original story notes, I found a lot of items that I wrote up when the Trilogy was just one really big storyline. People, Places, and Things that didn’t end up in Parallax, but would work very well in either P:G or P:D. So, they got moved and the skeleton for the third book was born.

You’re probably scratching your head thinking, “But Wally, that doesn’t sound like procrastination at all. In fact, it sounds like you’ve been pretty gosh darned busy.”

Well, I did take 2 hours and 40 minutes to watch an animation someone did on YouTube of the Titanic sinking in real time. Totally unrelated to my writing projects, but pretty cool.

Then I worked on the Series Bible I put together ages for a proposed series that would pick up after the Trilogy ended. Same Pratt and DuBois, only new adventures out in Deep Space. Yada yada yada…heh.

Lights and Shadows? Glad you asked. In a roundabout sort of way, I’m working up my enthusiasm to dive in and make some progress on the story. You know, for a story that was supposed to kill some time while I relaxed in preparation for P:G, it’s become a big deal on its own. I’m all over the creative spectrum today and I’m loving every minute of it. This stuff is supposed to be fun.

Enough rambling for now. My Muse is whispering in my ear to get things moving again. Have a great day and Happy Writing.

Four Books, Three Different Universes

While I was working on The Book Redesign Project, I took a moment to analyze what I’ve created thus far in terms of where they fit in their respective story universes. What I discovered was interesting, but not surprising in retrospect.

Corona, The Three Safeties:

Both of these books exist in The Falling Stars Universe (Falling Stars isn’t finished yet, but I have every intention of knocking it out one of these days. It’s one of those books that I always wanted to write, but have been delayed for one reason or another. A lot like how Parallax evolved to be.)

Vessel:

It occupies its own pocket universe, one that I’ve thought about revisiting but have shied away from because when your choices are War and War, it doesn’t leave much wiggle room. Apologies if I’ve inadvertently given out a plot spoiler.

Parallax:

The Flagship novel that established its own story universe. I’m working on the first of two sequels, Parallax: Genesis, as part of an overall book trilogy that I am thinking of expanding into a new series that will pick up where Parallax: Darkfall (as yet unwritten) leaves off.

All of these books are currently available through Amazon.com in both Kindle and Print formats. There is a link to my Amazon Author Page in the “About” Section of the Blog.

The Book Redesign Project: Wrapup

Yes, the flurry of redesigning and uploading new book covers actually had a project name…hehe.

Anyway, now that all the new print cover files have been uploaded to Createspace, the originals safely backed up, the promotional posts, tweets, whatever, have gone out, and the wait begins as Amazon updates the appropriate files, it feels like the aftermath of a huge party around here. I went to a new level with this project and each step adds to my experience of how to do it better. What’s next while the ramifications of what I’ve accomplished sets in?

Well, that’s easy: work on Lights and Shadows and Parallax: Genesis.

You see, The Writing never stops. It may sputter, it may slow, but it never really stops so long as a single idea burns inside the mind waiting to burst out like the proverbial Xenomorph. Without the Face-Hugger Stage…EW.

Parallax: Genesis, The Preliminary Synopsis

Note: I generally don’t do this, but I’m proud of my efforts today so I’m going to share the preliminary synopsis for Parallax: Genesis, the second book in the Parallax Trilogy. Please keep in mind that this is a preliminary synopsis and may not necessary reflect the final story. In any case, enjoy. 🙂

John Pratt has been in some sticky situations. He’s faced the enemy in battle, watched his life get taken away over accusations of treason, and encountered his former co-pilot working for a race of beings determined to invade the Milky Way.

After thwarting their attempts to recapture him through mind control manipulation, Pratt finds temporary refuge in the Mixton System, where he gathers clues to the Signiferians and his connection to them. When an unexpected event reveals him to them, they attack the system, causing him and his crew to narrowly escape Mixton with the help of System Militia and United Earth Union reinforcements.

During the battle, his ship is damaged by a stray shot and its Hyperspace Regulator is damaged, stranding him and his crew in Hyperspace. After regaling his partner, Alliance Intelligence Agent Ariel DuBois and his new engineering crew, Jonathan and Michelle Pi, with a story about the loss of the Beacon Ship, Meridian, Pratt goes to the Forward Gunnery Station to brood in solitude. DuBois joins him and they discuss the situation. A call from the Pis pulls him out of his despondency and takes him back to the control area. When he gets there, the Pis explain that they have a way to disrupt the Hyperspace Engine in such a way as to drop them back into Normal Space. However, the cost of this maneuver is that once back in Normal Space, the Hyperspace Engine will be out of commission until extensive repairs are made. In addition, there will be no way to accurately plot where they will reappear because certain components need to be cannibalized from the navigation computer. Stranded in Hyperspace or randomly reappearing back in Normal Space are tough choices, but Pratt decides to allow them to do it. They make preparations for the attempt. Hours later, amid a shower of sparks and several electrical fires, the ship drops out of Hyperspace luckily within contact of a space tug which gives them a tow to a station orbiting Pluto.

After settling their affairs to get their ship repaired, Pratt and DuBois book a flight from Charon Station to Earth. When they get to Earth, Pratt accesses her portable computer and works on deciphering clues in the Signiferian Database. A group of clues stand out and after some speculation, evidence emerges of a possible location of an ancient base located in The Black Hills of South Dakota and long considered a place of mystery and supernatural potential. They arrange travel to the outskirts of The Black Hills and enter on foot, bypassing a number of suspicious security outposts along the way. Their suspicions are confirmed when they encounter a weapons testing center built close to their destination in The Badlands. Skirting carefully past the security patrols, they make it to their destination at the foot of a large grass-covered mound.

At first, they are stymied by the abundance of nothing they find except for a narrow cave opening. Pratt surmises that the base must be located underground to avoid detection by indigenous lifeforms and may be activated by a hidden switch. They explore the cave and find a wall etched with unusual markings. The symbols correspond with ancient Sioux and Lakota Indian Tribes but as Pratt uses his computer to analyze them, a power feedback begins and forces him to shut off his device. The symbols turned out to be warnings from both groups not to disturb those who lay beyond the barrier yet ironically gives the means to produce an opening in the wall. Pratt figures out the instructions and opens a path through the wall into a tunnel beyond. Opening the door triggers a cave collapse and they manage to make it through before the way behind them becomes impassable and hard to breathe.

They continue down the tunnel, eventually reaching a metal door untouched by time and inscribed with clearly visible Signiferian markings. They don’t have the means to decipher the markings, but Pratt and DuBois realize that the door uses a genetic lock keyed to certain DNA sequences. Pratt tests a theory by placing his hand into the lock’s receiving mechanism. When it doesn’t respond, he takes it one step further by making a small cut in his left palm and placing it in the receiver, allowing the DNA in his blood to come into direct contact. The gamble pays off as the door grinds open and allowing them passage.

Inside, they find a treasure trove of Signiferian information, including their plans to breed a slave race from early hominids, their success in doing so, the exporting of slaves to several worlds in The Milky Way, and the ultimate abandonment of their settlements due to a virus created in the evolutionary process that proved deadly to Signiferians. They also find electronic maps of an extensive Hyperspace transport system from Earth to the galaxy NGC-4822, presumably the Signiferian Home Galaxy. One of the transport system nodes allowed entry near Alpha Centauri in an area known as the Mersey Anomaly. After disabling the power overload system, Pratt records much of the knowledge contained in the Signiferian computers when he notices a silent alarm has been tripped. The genetic virus contained in his blood has activated a biohazard protective measure designed to destroy the facility to prevent the spread of the virus. They barely make it out before the facility crashes down around them.

Trapped in the cave tunnel, they search for a means of escape before the air runs. Just before they succumb to lack of oxygen, Union troops break through the rubble and rescue them. They are revived before charged with trespassing in a restricted area. Pratt and DuBois protest, showing their credentials, but the Security Commander disbelieves them and has them confined until their story can be verified. Shortly after their incarceration, a Signiferian ship attacks the settlement, drawn there by the base’s ancient distress signal. When the battle seems lost, Koren arrives with a pair of accompanying Locknar warships and successfully defeats the invaders. Citing Diplomatic Privilege, he takes Pratt and DuBois into custody and returns them to retrieve their ship at Pluto. Thankful goodbyes are shared and Pratt sets course for a science station studying The Mersey Anomaly, Pegasus Station.