[Storyteller’s Howl] Writing and Rewriting

Monday, August 15, 2016

I’m hoping to make Storyteller’s Howl a more regular piece of this blog. So in-between the Tooth & Arrows retro gaming posts, and the These Ancient Eyes blogs, you’ll likely be seeing a few more of these as I am now back to actively working on my writing.

For everyone who’s part of my Patreon audience, you’re starting to see the rewrites of a novel I wrote in 2009 as a part of National Novel Writing Month. (The only time I’ve actually “won” the event while writing something completely from scratch was this novel.) I’m editing and rewriting the book, chapter-by-chapter, and posting each chapter up on the first of the new month.

The awesome part is that for as little as $1 a month, you’ll get to read and comment on the book. Your comments will all be read and considered, and I may even edit per suggestion if I like it better or know it doesn’t destroy a later plot point in the book. And if you become a patron at the $5 a month level, you’ll get your name mentioned in the dedication of the book when it’s ready to go to a publisher. (You also agree to let me use any part of your words about the book, with attribution, in my personal testimonials – but that’s already a part of the Patreon process.)

This kind of interactivity and intimate connection between fans and authors is revolutionizing the writing side of the book industry. Due to my wife’s father’s death in 2010, and her becoming afflicted with strokes in 2012 at the age of 30, I haven’t had time to focus on the writing part of my life beyond blogging (and not even that until recently) for some time. It’s been almost seven years since the book was written, and honestly as I read through and edit it, I barely remember writing most of it. On the up side, this makes me a cold-ish eye that knows the whole story, so I won’t accidentally edit something important out. But my Patrons are SO much more important to this process than just my rewrite. Even an “I’m enjoying it,” like one of my patrons commented on the first chapter is a huge boost and encouragement to keep working.

On top of that wonderful interactivity, Patreon has given me the ability – through bringing money in based on things like works-in-progress and other exclusives – to produce more content. The Retro Gaming Wednesdays feature on Tooth & Arrows wouldn’t be possible without this support! But this has also given me the encouragement I needed to revisit this seven-year-old manuscript and clean it up – and even eventually publish it.

But To The Third Power isn’t the only book I’m working on right now. My Projects page has been revamped and updated with new information. However, since I’m talking about writing and rewriting for this blog post, I think it’s important to note that I haven’t abandoned my original novel.

After being unsuccessfully rewritten in two separate NaNoWriMo attempts, my first book, originally published as Tigerwolf under my birth name, is next in the shoot for a Patreon-funded rewrite. Now,I won’t actually begin this project beyond the brainstorming and bits and pieces of other content for the book, until the rewrite of To The Third Power is completed. At one chapter a month, this is going to take a little less than two years. (Yes, it’s a 22 chapter book! It’s over 50,000 words, after all.) So, in 2018, I’ll be beginning that rewrite.

With the encouragement that Patreon brings me, I have motivation to keep working on these projects that have laid dormant for years. Beyond that, I’m also working on two separate non-fiction titles.

The first is a book I wish I’d had, growing up. Based in my Shift Happens blog series of a few years ago, I’ve begun working on a self-discovery style book about therianthropy and the experiences thereof. Including topics I’m often asked about in emails, such as how to tell for certain if you are a therian, how to talk about your therianthropy to others (without sounding crazy!), and how to explore and discover more about yourself and your theriotype through meditation and research techniques. It will be full of stories from myself (and other therians – I’m going to be putting out a call for stories in the next few months!), and a lot of encouragement for those still discovering themselves as well as those who have known what they are for decades. In addition, it will offer a previously non-existent venue to open discussions of therianthropy with others who are curious or skeptical about the phenomenon. With Lupa’s Field Guide To Otherkin out of print, this will (when it gets published) be the only current book out there about the phenomena written by someone who experiences it.

Patrons are going to get to see pieces of these works long before the public even gets a chance. And that’s true for anyone who joins from the very lowest level and up. On top of that, I have a tendency to throw random gifts at my patrons from time to time – like free icons, and commission discounts. Once I have over 10 patrons, I plan to start running bi-annual contests for all sorts of awesome stuff.

There’s one more project on my back burner, and it’s a book that’s literally been my whole life in the making. Some of my favorite things to read are books about people’s pets – despite that almost all of them have sad endings. Pet memoirs are heartfelt and passionate, often amusing and always touching. My favorite book of all time is one: Merle’s Door: Lessons Of A Freethinking Dog. I highly recommend it, by the way.

With that in mind, I had pets of some kind since I was ten years old. I’ve had birds, a rabbit, a mouse, turtles, newts, dogs, cats, and even a few wild animals who have chosen to be my friends from time to time. Now, in my thirties, I only have memories of most of those pets. And given the fact that the places my parents and I buried most of them are fundamentally different all these years later for many reasons, I don’t even have graves I can visit or ashes to mourn and remember over. So I feel it’s about time that my pets got a loving farewell – a memorial that will last forever – their own memoir, which I’ve tentatively titled Beyond The Rainbow Bridge.

I’ve already created a website and a Facebook page for the project. The idea being that there will be one or two stories about each beloved pet that will be publicly available on the site. But if you want to read about their whole lives, and all the wonderful, sad, frighting, and precious times we had together, you’ll have to read the book. There are already a few stories up on the site, and every now and then I post new ones. This book is being worked on slowly and, despite the info on the projects page, doesn’t actually have a projected completion date. Still, in the mean time, feel free to like the Facebook page so you’ll see when the site updates with new stories. Beware though – some of them will be sad. After all, the end of a pet’s life is one of those milestones that needs to be remembered, even though it hurts.

Join me next Storyteller’s Howl, when I talk more about To The Third Power, and some of the inspirations behind the story. Storyteller’s Howls are posted once every third Monday.