Sunday, February 7, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING FEBRUARY 6, 2016

Well folks, I kept trying to work.
At least on writing, if not continuing the final edit on PROJECT ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON, before submitting the manuscript.

However, errands and other life commitments took away most of Tuesday and Wednesday this past week.

Then the bad snowstorm and the lack of electricity took away Friday and Saturday.
Did some more handwriting on a rough draft for what will eventually be my Sherlock Holmes story for Airship 27, but ALPHA is strictly a computer task and without power...

Hoping for a better week ahead, despite the weather predictions for the next couple of days being more snow just as bad as what I've already had.

In any event, see you around the Internet.
(I hope.)
Lee Houston, Junior
7 February, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JANUARY 30, 2016

STILL wearing my editor's hat going over PROJECT ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
Have trimmed some sentences, and even moved a few paragraphs around here and there.
Started at 71,041 words.
Currently at 70,855 words after four chapters; for 186 less words.
Still 16 chapters to go as I post this.
Will the work be done by next weekend?
I honestly don't know.
But what I have gone over is now reading much better than the first draft.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
31 January, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JANUARY 23, 2016

Still wearing my editor's hat, but have finished going over the second Lazlo Dragon volume of Companion Dragon Tales for my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen.

There are some pretty funny tales in this volume, as anyone who has read Lazlo's debut in A FAMILIAR NAME can attest.

Once Nancy finishes going over my work, she will be sending it on to Pro Se Press for future publication. When exactly that will happen remains to be seen, for at that point it's out of our respective hands.

Have started going over the completed manuscript for PROJECT ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON!

Alpha
Besides wanting to make sure the novel reads well as a coherent whole, I wanted to see if I can tighten up my prose any. It started at 71,041 words and at the end of the first chapter, I have only trimmed 12 off so far.

I'll admit, it's kind of hard to edit your own work, but it's a task that must be done to make your creative endeavors the best they can possibly be. Which is why after I make my "final" pass, my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader will be going over it one last time as well.

As for what actually happens in Book 2...
Well, it does pick up events shortly after the conclusion of Book 1: PROJECT ALPHA.
Otherwise, you folks will just have to wait and see for yourselves when it (hopefully) comes out later this year from Pro Se Press.

But to make that happen, I better get back to work now.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
24 January, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JANUARY 16, 2016

I spent this past week in Victorian England, working on the Sherlock Holmes story that I promised Airship 27.

I freely admit that it did take me a while to develop a plot that would be worthy of the famous consulting detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for I have read and seen both good and bad adventures featuring the English sleuth, and certainly do not want my tale to be amongst those in the latter category.

My Editor's Hat ;)

However, while that adventure is far from finished, this week I must return to the present and will be wearing my Editor's hat for the foreseeable future.

First, I am going over the stories within the second Lazlo Dragon volume of Companion Dragon Tales for my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen, then I shall be making my last pass over the manuscript for PROJECT ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON to make sure it reads as a coherent whole and tighten what I can, for the first draft came in at over 70,000 words; and I didn't even get to do everything I originally had planned for that novel!

Any way you look at it, I've got a busy week ahead of me.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
17 January, 2016



Sunday, January 10, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JANUARY 9, 2016

O FRABJOUS DAY!
CALLOOH! CALLAY!

PROJECT ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON IS DONE!

I still have to go over the entire manuscript to make sure the novel reads as a coherent whole before submitting the book to Pro Se Press, but otherwise...

With some personal events scheduled for this coming week through Wednesday, I have decided the best use of what time I will have available is to start writing my Sherlock Holmes story for Airship 27.
Therefore, the final edit of PROJECT ALPHA 2 will begin in earnest on Thursday.

Either way, I better get back to work now.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
10 January, 2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING JANUARY 2, 2016

HELLO, and welcome to the start of a brand new year!
I sincerely hope the third day of 2016 finds everyone safe and sound.

Now then, exciting news! I have FINISHED Chapter 20 of PROJECT ALPHA: BOOK 2, WAYWARD SON!
Of course, it is now in the capable hands of my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader, and once it's settled, I still have to go over the entire manuscript to make sure it reads well as a coherent whole; but I should finally be submitting the novel to Pro Se Press by the first of February!

Project Alpha 2 IS coming!

Despite the false starts, mistakes, and life interruptions I've faced over this past year; a LOT of hard work has gone into the creation of this novel, and I'm happy to be so near completion now.

So, what ELSE did I accomplish in 2015?



Last year saw the following short stories published...

*IT ALL STARTED INNOCENTLY ENOUGH in the Judson & Gardner anthology as part of the Charles Boeckman Presents project for Pro Se Press

*THE SOUND OF OBEDIENCE published in Ghost Boy, Volume 2 from Airship 27; my first contribution to Captain Ron Fortier and Loyal Airman Rob Davis, but far from my last

*THE SUBSTANDARD QUINTENT: COME TOGETHER, and I co-edited Jim Beard's Super Swingin' Hero 1968 Special from Mechanoid Press; which was truly a great honor in and of itself and I look forward to working with Jim again...

AND
*THE UNFAIR FARE in Legends of New Pulp Fiction, the Tommy Hancock benefit anthology, Airship 27; which was truly a labor of love for all involved to help out one of our own.

You already know my immediate plans for the beginning of 2016. After PROJECT ALPHA 2, I still owe Ron and Rob a SHERLOCK HOLMES story, and then I'll start work on whatever will become HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, BOOK 3.

Beyond that? Let's see what the new year brings.                Lee Houston, Junior
3 January, 2016


Note: All book links are active, although for some reason Amazon doesn't always list both print and Kindle editions in the same screen.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

BACK STORY: "THE UNFAIR FARE" FROM LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION

Originally "rally cry" poster
When I first heard the news, I honestly didn't know what to think.

Tommy Hancock of Pro Se Productions was seriously ill (which I would later learn involved his heart), so Jamie Ramos had presented an idea to Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 (yes, the friendly competition!) to do a benefit anthology on Tommy's behalf, with Hancock getting all the proceeds to help his family out with medical expenses and other bills.

Of course, I volunteered to contribute a story immediately.

For those of you who don't know Tommy Hancock, you would be hard pressed to find a nicer or more knowledgeable man in this crazy creative field that we call "New Pulp". There would be less talent out there now if Tommy hadn't given them (and me) their first big break, so it's only natural that when the need arose, we'd rally to return the favor somehow.

Now, this is far from the first time that a group of people in one specific field united in a common cause and "paid it forward", so it didn't surprise me at all that our small little creative community of writers and artists got together to help out one of our own. The fact that we were able to do so in such a spectacular manner is what flabbergasted me!

Cover painting by Doug Klauba
Back cover creator list

The end result of everyone's hard work is LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION!
At first, the projected totals were (as expressed by the black and white "in-house" poster that was circulated) that the anthology would obtain a tad over fifty contributions, but the project wound up with 64 writers (including Tommy) and 37 artists helping to provide an illustration to each tale under a gorgeous cover by Doug Klauba!

At 776 pages, this is the biggest volume Airship 27 has ever published (to date) and Ron and Rob, along with Jamie and associate editor Todd Jones, deserve a hearty round of applause and time off to rest and recuperate from all their hard work.

As you can see by the back cover list, there is a plethora of creators representing a wide variety of pulp genres within this anthology.

As for my humble contribution...
Everyone had a small word count (4,000 minimum/8,000 maximum) and a short deadline. At first, I seriously considered writing a short story featuring one of my "signature" creations, but there was no way I could do an ALPHA the superhero story without tipping my hand in regards to plot points that will be revealed within his forthcoming second novel, and I honestly didn't know the legalities that might be involved if I did a short HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE mystery.
But that left me with the quandary of what to write?

One thing you must know about New Pulp is its definition. We are telling brand new stories in the classic pulp style of the past with modern sensibilities. Being pressed for time, I intentionally set my tale in the present day to avoid any potential research snares that might arise from doing a period piece, and therefore, a couple of days later, the result was "The Unfair Fare", which came in at a modest 4,677 words.

The story, complete with such modern references as GPS and flash drives, was then sent to Airship 27 for consideration.
Now, no writer expects to hit a home run every time they submit a manuscript; but I was truly happy when I got Fortier's e-mail response to my tale about a cab driver who winds up in an even bigger mess when a passenger tries to skip out on paying the fare...

Damn, Lee, that was a fun little gem.  I really liked that a lot. Great story...authentic pulp feel throughout.
Thanks so much,
Ron

THAT certainly made my day!
The stories are presented in order, alphabetically based upon author's last names, so I am in-between "SeƱor Tijras" by Joe Hillard and "The Gentleman Thief and the Artist" by Emily Janhke, with an illustration by Joe Arnold.

The one thing I could never decide upon was WHO the cab driver should be, so I'll leave it up to your opinion dear reader as to who the driver is.

Otherwise, on behalf of myself and everyone else involved with this anthology, we really hope you like LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION.
It's a great read for a worthy cause and is now available in both print AND Kindle e-book editions at Amazon.com