Anders, Shoshanna and I walked down to Lake Superior last night and shot a video of the animation from Boggle and Sneak. Great animation, Mozhi! Shoshanna gets a combat medal for flipping steadily despite the mosquitoes biting her hands!
Ed, Will, Andrew and I spent the day at Maker Faire asking fairegoers to read pages out of Boggle and Sneak in our time machine. Each person or group read a single page, and we’ll be editing all the the pages into chapter-length videos. The readers were great! We had individuals, couples, parents and kids, moms and babies, groups of friends, and a man with the devil on his back. We’re still hoping to get R2D2, but we haven’t been able to get his attention yet.
Lots of great Boggle and Sneak news!
I have been working with freelance editor Marisa Ring, and she has given me the green light to send the manuscript to the copy editor. Mozhi is working so hard on the illustrations that he has become completely obscured by a corona of splashing ink and wadded paper. Everything is on track for a May 1 release date of the free PDF and hardcover (via Lightning Source) editions.
Mark your calendars!
Boggle and Sneak and Pismo are nearing print-ready status. In two weeks, I’ll be traveling (in an armor-plated all-terrain Chris-Craft) to Mozhi’s secret headquarters, to work with him on the book designs. If all goes well, you can look for publication announcements in January!
As of today, my friend Maryalice (that’s her holiday greeting above) will be doing some of the illustrations for the blog. She was over on Friday, and we got into a speed-drawing contest. I ended up being so inspired that I immediately produced a comic in the form of a deck of ninety-nine cards (Web and print versions will be out shortly).
That was so much fun that I started work on a book of ninety-nine 750-word stories including Azuki Beans, in which a chain-letter leads to love won and a house destroyed, and Saint-Nectaire, in which a farmer digs a hole and strikes soup.
The comic is called BOTHER-Chickens (trust me on this) and the blitzenjammer book will be called The Ox because I needed ninety-nine arbitrary nouns and The Oxford Companion to Food was the book o’ nouns closest to hand.
Thanks Maryalice for the inspiration, and thanks Nana for the child care!
Wish me luck and an inexhaustible source of energy!
The whole world knows November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but I’m at a juncture where I don’t need another month’s worth of first draft. On the other hand, I really could use some time to fix all my busted-ass first drafts and get them ready for publication. I therefore declare November to be my own personal Busted Novel Repair Month (BuNoReMo).
I’ve got baling wire, elbow grease and gaffer tape all lined up on my bench in the woodshed. Wish me success!
Here’s what I’ve got up on blocks:
Boggle and Sneak
This story was formerly known as Troll Story, but the Folklore Enforcers tell me the eight-inch-tall creatures in the story most closely resemble imps or bogles (which is a bit of a disappointment: I was sort of hoping to be able to call them boggarts). They bust into houses and bogotify stuff, i.e. leave stuff on the fritz.
This is really coming together (thanks to incisive reads by Ryeon Corsi, Josh Ferguson and the Bisco Kid) and may just need a push over the finish line.
A family of compulsives tries to escape certain death in a car that only turns left.
This is mouldering in manuscript. Once I type it, somebody can read it and let me know how it looks.
Lime (That’s the working title because that’s what’s written on the cover of the first notebook in the stack.)
The CIA’s Directorate of Operations is outsourced to a reality show.
This has a beginning and a middle, but no end.
The Derby Ram
On a visit to the Minnesota State Fair, ten-year-old Al runs off from her parents. Lost, she wanders into the Coliseum, where she discovers a twenty-foot-tall ram about to be slaughtered before a roaring crowd. She frees the ram and the two of them make a run for it– following the Burlington Northern tracks west-northwest toward the mountains, pursued by the furious Butcher and his thirsty knife.
Again: A beginning and a middle, but no end.
Over the River (a ghost story for October)
It is the hottest night of the summer. Nick is parked at Porkyâ€™s Drive-In on University Avenue, pretending to tune his 1928 Model A Roadster Pickup (which doesnâ€™t need tuning). Suddenly a rangy, weather-beaten woman rides up on an impossibly-cherry 1914 Michaelson Big Twin, grabs him by the penis, and drags him across the Mississippi to the Underworld.
October spilling into November.