60,000 New Words

Hit the 60,000 Word Mark!Victory! 72,037 words, 60,164 of them new. Boo-yah! I leave you with this:

“Fair enough,” Jeremiah said. “Alright. We know where we’re going, and how we’re handling this. And we all know who we’re facing: the Baron Abinger, who handed us all our hats on his last encounter. Be on your guard.”

She looked up at Lord Birmingham. “Sir, I have said what I need to say,” Jeremiah said. “I now place myself in your hands. This ship, and this mission, are yours. At your discretion, Godspeed.”

Lord Birmingham straightened. “Thank you, Commander,” he said. “All you need do is let Lady Georgiana and I guide you through the dark heart of Georgia, and then the rest of this mission is yours.”

“Then take us away, sir.”

Now I go take nap now.

-the Centaur

Cracked 70,000 Words

58,000 Added Words
Just reached 70,000 total words in THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE … 58,735 total added during this month, so it looks good to hit 60,000 words tomorrow. Woohoo!

As usual, Nano’s raw rough-drafty stuff, but here’s where we are in the story (suitably snipped and edited not to give too much away):

The engines of the Machine spun up with a terrific rising whine and discharged all at once, lightning in a bottle, illuminating the entire diving bell interior with a crackling foxfire glow. Even the handcuff that pinned her left hand to a support arch shimmered as the transelectric field rippled through it, but as she was grounded to the same pole it left her with little more than a shudder.

As the Clockwork Time Machine rattled and clacked, ticked and swayed through the tunnels of possibility, Jeremiah hunched in a little ball by the pillar in her bloodied shift, her left hand high over her head, twisting uselessly in the cuff as two footmen stood over her, watching, their six-strings at the ready. It made her feel small and helpless, even though they’d made the mistake of cuffing her bad hand; but she hadn’t the heart to do her usual scheming for escape.

She had to see this through.

-the Centaur

I Can’t Stop Writing

At Work on the Clockwork Time Machine at Borders
At Work on the Clockwork Time Machine at Borders
I’ve “won” National Novel Writing Month for 2010, but I just can’t stop writing. I know I have bills to pay, books to edit, projects at work, and a massive cleaning project in my library … but THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE has me right now and I can’t stop.

But … really … is that such a bad thing? Since I’ve “won”, I’ve written 4200 more words, 2600 today alone. Fantastic!

-the Centaur

Where is BLOOD ROCK?

National Novel Writing Month Kickoff Card
A fan wrote:

I would like to purchase Blood Rock, but I have not been able to find it anywhere…. Can you direct me to a site which has it for sale? If it is in fact for sale? I am a little curious since your site says it is in Beta release, but the site has not been updated in several months, so I am unsure as to the status of the book.

Well, sorry about that … Blogger changed their terms of service and the Dakota Frost site is frozen until I can fix it.

The answer? BLOOD ROCK is in editing right now – the publisher wanted some big cuts, but I’m in the last throes of National Novel Writing Month right now and had to put BLOOD ROCK down while working on my new series. I’m picking up BLOOD ROCK December 1st and hope to have it to the publisher before the first of the year, so if all goes well it will be out in March. I’m well into the sequel to the sequel, LIQUID FIRE, which I hope will be out the following October.


Viiiiictory … A New Series

Winner's Badge for Nanowrimo 2010Once again, I have completed National Novel Writing Month! This year’s entry is the first in the Jeremiah Willstone series, THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE:

On an alternate Earth, the feminist revolution started a century early, technological progress doubled … and Mary Shelley’s granddaughter Jeremiah Willstone is an adventurer defending the world in a flying airship! She’s used to fighting off monsters with nothing more than goggles, an electric gun and the advice of a half-human computer, but what will she do when her own uncle changes the rules of the game … with a Clockwork Time Machine?

I’ve posted a few snippets in this series … let me see if I can find one which doesn’t give any key plot elements away.

With Patrick’s blunderblast slung over her shoulder, Jeremiah whizzed through the streets on her autocycle, discharging its cylinder flat out, its teakettle scream and clanking frame adding another layer of mist and noise to the steam and bustle of Boston. Her legs were tensed, her knees bent against the pedals, half to jump the cycle over curbs, and half to keep the juddering vibration from the cobblestones of Beacon Hill from rattling her tailbone clean off.

She squealed to a stop before the Moffat’s, pulled the cylinder and tossed it to a street urchin. “Top me off?” she asked, hopping off onto the sidewalk with a whirl and pulling her bag out of its basket in one smooth motion.

“Yes, ma’am,” the boy said, taking the cycle. His eyes lighted on her vest, her denims—and on the big brass buttons on her lapels, a steering wheel, sword and airsail overlaid with a stylized V. “Are you an Expeditionary?”

Jeremiah smiled. “Yes,” she said, ruffing his cap so that tufts of blond hair showed. “Maybe one day you’ll become one too. Polish the brasslite a bit and there’s a second shilling in it for you. Quick now; I won’t be long.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, walking the cycle off.

Jeremiah turned to the tottering three-story shop, glancing up at the enclosed balcony jutting out from the newer brick buildings around it. Beneath the balcony, carbide-etched into the thick window of carbonate glass, were the words:


Her mouth quirked; as usual, today she was in the market for a bit of both.

Unlike last year, I didn’t have to write 38,000 words in only ten days. But I did do pretty well; I still have a few days of writing left and I’m going to try to push further on the story.

Victory Point for Nanowrimo 2010
Victory Point for Nanowrimo 2010

Prevail, Victoriana!

-the Centaur

One. Day. Ahead.

At last a day ahead...

At last, a day ahead on Nano … 28580 words out of a needed 26666 … even ahead of tomorrow, which needs 28333 … excellent, it’s all falling into place…

-the Centaur

“Then we shall follow,” Sir Alice said. “Commander Willstone!”

“Yes, sir?” Jeremiah said, standing at attention.

“It seems that Lord Christopherson has cracked the secret of travel to the past,” Sir Alice said, her own objections, once overcome, completely forgotten. “Outfit the Prince Edward with one of his own devices and hunt that blackguard down to the very ends of time,” she said. “I’ll see no-one destroy Victoriana on my watch, much less undo Liberation!”

“Yes, sir!” Jeremiah said. “Prevail, Victoriana—”

Lord Birmingham cleared his throat. “Sir Alice, might I remind you that the destination the Lady Georgiana has charted is over the dark heart of Georgia?”

Oh, the point … what Warren Ellis uses.

books, montalbano, reflected books, and gabby

Oh, there was a reason I got on the Warren Ellis kick. He posted a note on what he uses to write. Maybe I’ll me-too sometime and post a note on the tools I use, already having done the why and the how, but for now I wanted to focus on the following piece of wisdom from Warren Ellis which should be familiar to anyone who’s ever worked on a Ph.D. thesis:

Back-ups. Oh, my god. Burning your stuff to CD or DVD is not good enough. Trust me on that. Things go wrong. Understand that Storage Will Always Fail. Always. I have a ruggedised, manly and capacious 32GB USB memory stick that can withstand fire, water, gunshots and the hairy arseteeth of Cthulhu itself — but my daughter decided she wanted to liberate one of my bags for her use, took the stick out of it and put it ’somewhere safe.’ It has never been seen again. Storage Will Always Fail.

Dropbox is your friend. 2GB of storage for free, a frankly superb little piece of software that syncs your stuff off into the cloud as easily and simply and clearly as possible. I know writers, artists and tv producers who swear by Dropbox, and so do I. I have Dropbox on both computers. If you have a smart phone of the iOS or Android type, you can also have an Dropbox instance on your phone, a fact that’s saved my arse more than once.

I also auto-sync Computer 1 hourly to Jungle Disk. Very cheap, very good. My media library lives on another storage service, Zumodrive, that lives both in the cloud and on my machine as a z:/ drive. (The Zumodrive application also lives on Computer 2.)

Also, I do all mail through Gmail. Which means that a copy of every document I send off lives in the Gmail cloud.

And every five minutes or so, a Western Digital 1TB MyBook copies everything on Computer 1’s desktop.

Paranoid? Yes. Covered? Yes.

Got that, everyone? If you write, especially if you want to do it for a living, go do something like this. And for God’s sake, please, keep a copy offsite. I know too many people who have lost their homes and their art or writing to fire.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Books, Montalbano, reflected books, and Gabby – a reminder to me that my library is a potential firetrap (God forbid!) and that I should be better at storing stuff offsite.

Station Ident … NOT

This is not warrenellis.com. If it was, I would be more irritated, irritable … and interesting.

this is not warrenellis.com

(Also, Warren Ellis doesn’t post me-too station idents because he’s overslept for church after a long night writing. I don’t think he does go to church, but if he did miss church because he’d spent a hard night writing, the minister would come to him, at the pub, when Warren Ellis was damn well ready – God being everywhere, of course, and it’s the minister that would need him some Ellis. Me, I need me some God.

Stupid earlybirds. Why doesn’t anybody have proper Evensong anymore?)

-the Centaur