Good news! My editor has accepted my newest manuscript, tentatively titled Stress Relief. She's done her first read-through and is now going through it paragraph-by-paragraph and making her notes; she'll send it to me when she's done. Then I go full-blast into rewrite/edit mode and with any luck, we'll have a finished piece by the end of Februrary. After that, it's in the publisher's hands and comes out in their first available release slot. So keep your fingers crossed and maybe it will be published by this summer :) .
This is a newsy post, I guess -- since I have many plates in the air right now. Remember those plate-jugglers on the Ed Sullivan show (yes, I know. I've just dated myself)? That's what I feel like right now. I have a Second Life Valentine's Tour of readings, I've already begun a new manuscript, I'm recording some short stories for audio release, and am reworking an older set of stories for retelling in a brand-new way. You know me -- always keeping busy! Read on for details.
While finishing Stress Relief, I bowed out of Second Life for a while. Needed to concentrate on getting that puppy finished. But I'm back now, giving occasional readings in two sims for January. Come February, I have a five-stop tour planned to read my Lovestories -- a collection of short pieces (some erotic, some sweet romance). As a part of this I'm writing a new piece to add to the body of work. At the moment I have five in the rotation; this will give me six.
Connected to that is the audio recording. Since these stories exist nowhere for publication and several people have asked for copies, I've decided to keep them "in the air" as Taylor Mali would say and offer them as audio stories. I recorded a few over the summer and am now finishing them up. My wonderful songwriter husband is creating music for the opening and closing tags and is working as my producer on the project. Won't be fancy -- my "recording studio" is my study and our "mixing board" is the computer. But it's amazing what a home system can produce nowadays! My goal is to have them finished and available by Valentine's day.
Yes, you did read that I already have another work in progress. This is a shorter piece (novella length) that will be offered under a different name to a different publisher. Ellora's Cave does not publish hardcore stories and this will be my second venture into some of the VERY dark undertones of BDSM. Since it isn't a "typical" Diana Hunter book, I write with a different psuedonym. Endings aren't necessarily Happily Ever After and the sex isn't always consensual in these books, so beware! That should be finished by the end of February and off for consideration to a strictly BDSM publisher.
And then there's the last project, which will take the longest to see light, I suspect -- simply because of its complicated nature. Two years ago I started a serial in SL called As the SL World Turns. The theory behind it was to present a series of stories with different leading characters in each thread. The threads would interweave and separate as the characters wandered around SL meeting new people, seeing new sims, having new adventures. At first, I bit off more than I could chew and planned for a new adventure every two weeks. But RL has a way of saying, "What are you thinking? You have other responsibilites, you know!" So I went down to one new adventure a month. And then one every two months...and you get the picture.
If I didn't have a full-time job on top of all the writing ideas/projects I have, I think it would have worked. But I just couldn't devote all the time to it that I wanted and so it has died a slow death. This week I pulled it out of SL, taking down all the episodes while I thought it through.
Another way of telling the story has come to me, you see. A more interactive way. I've always been intrigued by the hypercard idea, ever since I first worked with a Mac back in the late 1980's. Telling a non-linear story definitely intrigued me. Then I played Myst...and got hooked on the idea. But until now, I couldn't figure out the right medium. I'm not a visual artist (at all!) and I can't write code (there's a reason people refer to it as a foreign language!). I only have words and like it or not, words are read in linear form. So how to break out of that?
I think I've got it now. I'm starting with the threads of As the SL World Turns, renaming it As SL Turns (I think), and going interactive with it. There will be a central starting spot (in SL) but several "colors" one can choose from. Each color is a different character. Won't matter which one you pick or what order you go in. At the end of the notecard is a link -- a place to teleport to for the next episode. Or perhaps several links, depending on what you, the reader, want to do next. Think the "choose your own adventure" books. Only here you can actually wander through the places where the story takes place.
Okay, I'm rambling now :). Lots of plates in the air -- let's hope I can keep them all spinning!