Monday, November 30, 2015

Yellow Ocher

I finished my book for NaNoWriMo yesterday morning. And by yesterday morning I mean like 2 AM.

Granted I'm typically awake at that hour and I made myself useful. It's a little disjointed, and there was some laziness in regards to continuity, but I'll have to go back over it with some notes. I'm kinda disappointed that Johnny goes out like a punk, but I made an executive decision that Johnny's absence is a disappointment in general and the closing of his arc should reflect it. I managed to salvage it and make it a little bittersweet. It still sucks, but he gets his reward in the end. I really didn't need 50,000 words to tell the story, and I was tossing in shit tons of fluff just to hit the goal, but I can take it out in the next draft. Regardless of length, I'm really proud of what I made, and think it has some great bits. I just need to cut it, clean it and cook it into its final shape.

I always pictured Some Call Me... as being part of another novella bundle anyway.

Speaking of bundles, I'm working on a new set of short stories. Trying to flesh out a little more of the history of the future. Working on the rise of Pharrel Inc. on the west coast and introducing a major player/villain across a majority of the pre-futuristic Lilim Chronicles. It's all in prep for wave 2 which will begin after To Slice The Sky is released. Some Call Me... will be the kick off for it. What sucks is the more I write the more directions I want to run in and the more stories I want to tell. But I still have so much history and projected tales to write, I wonder if I'll get to them all. I'm still sitting on research books to read as well before I tackle some projects.

Granted, I've been going through all sorts of feelings of self doubt lately. I've had a busy first year of publishing work on my own, but I feel out of touch with the people that consume art out there. It feels like everyone's too scared to step outside of their well defined boundaries of what they think they're supposed to consume or enjoy. Genre lines feel so hard and defined in a world of infinite subgenres. The slightest variation from the norm becomes too odd while adherence to the code is too vanilla.

I was thinking about this today, and my best guess is everyone has a varying level of imagination. It's a shitty answer, but it's probably closest to the right one.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Red planet blues

Ah, the beginning of a fresh week.

Well, I'm all done with By Starlight. Been plunking away at my NaNoWriMo book, Some Call Me...

The whole exercise of writing a novel in a month is quite mad. I hope you all know this. The people that finished their books days after have more drive than I do. I'm currently ahead of the curve, Sitting at 40.5k words. Making the last crawl towards the finish line at 50k.

My book started out easily enough as Django on Mars and it's sort of mutated into a revolutionary tale with meditations on the nature of consciousness, what value is a synthetic life, and where people call home. I'm a little upset with my going off on an AI tangent. But that's mostly out of fear that I'm not smart or interesting enough to not repeat old ground when I write about AI later. Granted this time around it's looking at an AI that "deserves life" opposed to an AI trying to destroy all humans. I toy with the notion of that, but I took the cowards way out to avoid a Shakespearean tragedy ending.

I was planning on posting my days work every day, but since I was pecking away only a few hundred words a day at some points, it felt like it would be pointless and annoying to do that every day. But when I'm doing rewrites in a month I think I'm going to post the chapters I'm working on.

I find it funny that I have plenty of stories and novels in my head ready to start writing, but this book really sprung up in the last couple months. I jotted down a bunch of notes right at the beginning of my fall semester of school, had a bunch of ideas in my head that clashed together that I realized I could blend into the same work. When I finished up By Starlight - Before Dawn right at the end of October, all the stars aligned to make this book work.

I've always wanted to write a story on Mars. I had an idea for a weird west story with vampire and werewolf cowboys that still needs some fleshing out before it becomes anything workable. And I've wanted to do some kind of more limited tech than cyberpunk allows. All of that together has become this novel that I'm going to get back to work on.

I'm hoping that this newfound dedication and speed of process rubs off when I start rewrites on my first novel I'm going to release next. That's my December project before shipping it off to the editor. Lots of work to do.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


It's been another week, and what a week it's been.

Still plugging away at the NaNoWriMo book. I cracked over the halfway point of 25,000 words just after midnight Friday. Making the slow but steady climb to 40k by next Saturday, keeping at least a day ahead in regards to word count. It's a good thing they give out badges for this thing. I will do anything for imagined prestige and internet points. Or at least my gamerscore agrees with that sentiment.

All my energy has really been focused full force on Some Call Me... as I've been mucking about in Act 2. I really hate falling prey to the slowdown in the middle period, but when I obtain enough writing skill to pen a Mad Max: Fury Road style, balls to the walls, non-stop action thrill ride, you better believe I'll do it. Of course, while I'm totally an action genre fan, and love to write fight scenes like erotica writers make fuck scenes, I also enjoy contemplating my navel when I'm allowed the open freedom of novel writing. I hope that some day in the future that doesn't come back to bite me in the ass on a review. I can see it now... 

"Bollweg's prose is as bloated and over-indulgent as a King Crimson album. He meanders about tired concepts with hardly any new insight on the subject. In the rest of his work, he builds a house of sticks surrounded by a paper thin facade of flashy gimmicks and hyperviolence..." - Guy Someone LA Times Book Review

Wow, future me has not grown at all as an author.

Speaking of growing as an author, this week is the post of the final chapter in my latest novella, By Starlight. We've gone from Cyberspace, to the real world, and now we're in the subconscious of the Universe itself. It's now time for our intrepid heroine Tressie and the ravenous Succubus Gribelle to end this chase. Who will survive, and what will be left of them?!

I've got nothing left to say this week. Enjoy the story after the jump...

Sunday, November 8, 2015


This past week has felt like a year.

Sales were actually existent for By Starlight - Before Dawn. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy in eBook or Paperback. If you bought it in paperback, you can get a free kindle version through matchbook. If you bought it on Smashwords but would like a paperback, I'll be running a promotion Thanksgiving weekend for 50% off. And while I make sure all my products are the best quality I can make them, I'm a fan of the printed word, so the paperback is the preferred version in terms of formatting and style. And it looks great on a shelf when you're not reading it!

My busy week has mostly been filled with me plugging away at Some Call Me... for NaNoWriMo. I'm at the close of Act 1 and 15,813/50,000 words in. I've also been annoying about my progress on social media already, so I'm less excited to be throwing up my hands in the air and celebrating the first week of my new novel being written.

I really should be more excited, because the story is turning out really fucking cool. Of course it's a mess currently, and being done for the word count at this point. But, there's definitely a diamond surrounded by a bunch of coal in there. I've been wanting to write something set on Mars ever since I read Bradbury's Martian Chronicles back in 11th grade English class when I was supposed to be following along in Huck Finn. And while I've read more than my fair share of cyberpunk and generic Science Fiction, I haven't really delved into Steampunk as a literary genre (really only read Bruce Sterling/William Gibson's The Difference Engine. If you have suggestions where to go from there, please share in the comments). Or westerns.

I've never read a western. Watched tons of sing-songy Gene Autry ride alongs, rough and tumble John Wayne and Henry Fonda fodder, and blood and whore drenched Spaghetti Westerns, but never read one. So translating the feel of the idealized Wild West on a planet that will kill the shit out of you if you step outside, all won by the power of your steam powered sidearms, it felt like a fun challenge. And it really has been. I've been having a blast writing it, with only one day of slogging through that dreaded but necessary exposition so far. I haven't been this stoked about writing something than I was when I first wrote To Slice The Sky.

But you didn't come here to see my rattle off things that I'm currently writing (unless you did. Did you? If so, sorry, your time in this world grows short. The collectors will be by shortly with pliers and hacksaws to make sure you never make that mistake again). You're here to read what I've already written and polished into a presentable state. We're almost at the end of By Starlight. Our players are gathered into place, and shit is about to get real as we slide into the action packed climax.

So here we are this Sunday. Part 7/8 of By Starlight.