Sunday, October 26, 2014

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 25, 2014

FOR THOSE WHO CAME IN LATE...
Time flies!
I am currently on the fifth, and hopefully last, attempt to complete the manuscript for ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
Over extending myself on short story commitments between the latter half of 2013 and a major chunk of 2014 kept putting this project on the proverbial back burner, along with hitting a couple of snags in the work itself trying for a high, yet very believable sense of realism in the manuscript; hence this being the fifth take on the novel.
But I honored all those short story promises without missing any deadlines, and am now fully concentrating on this novel!

Technically, the book is not late, since there was never a deadline assigned to ALPHA 2, but I do feel bad that this hasn't already been finished.

A motto to live by
However, I stand by my promise of "quality over quantity" and will not hack out anything just to have something out there. The readers and fans deserve the best I can humanly create each and every time I write.

With that said, since last week, I have finished Chapter 10 and am now currently on Chapter 11!
However, my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader still hasn't had a chance to go over Chapter 9 yet. I know the reason(s) why and also know that she will get to it and her other commitments as time permits.

What will he do?
Chapter 11 is the transition period not only between the first and second acts of the novel, but also the switch between Alpha's first and second days on the "mysterious planet whose name I won't reveal, yet". Chapter 12 will fully be part of Day 2, where Alpha tries to come to terms with the world he finds himself on now, and decides whether or not he will stay.

Sorry I can't say more right now, but I'm sure you'll want to read/buy BOOK 2 when it comes out in 2015.

So I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
26 October, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 18, 2014

YES!

There has been progress this week on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON!

Chapter 9 has been completed, although my friendly neighborhood proofreader has yet to have a chance to review it.
Meanwhile, I am working feverishly on Chapter 10, the aftermath of Alpha's heroic rescue efforts. Chapter 11 will be the transition period between Days 1 and 2. And in Chapter 12...?

Still available on Amazon.com
As mentioned previously, this will conclude Alpha's first day on whatever planet he's on now, and no, you will have to wait until BOOK 2 comes out in 2015 to discover where our fledgling champion is.
Have gotten plenty of guesses, especially several since BOOK 1: PROJECT ALPHA was first released.
A couple of them were correct too, but I won't spoil the mystery for the rest of his fans.

Meanwhile, The Free Choice E-zine is doing well.
As it's humble Editor-In-Chief, I'm proud to announce that we've already received over 3500+ page views from our loyal readership this month, and still have almost two full weeks left in October 2014 as I post this.
I can't help wondering where exactly we will end the month.
The E-zine has done a couple of 4000+ page view months before, but could we possibly break 5000?
Will just have to wait and see.

In any event, I better get back to work now.
Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
19 October, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 11, 2014

Well folks, I truly wish I had more news to report than I actually do concerning ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

Picking up where I left off last week, Alpha will complete his first heroic mission on planet <???> in Chapter 9, and then Chapter 10 will deal with the aftermath.

Then Chapter 11 will cover the transition period between Alpha's first and second days upon this mysterious new world, whose name I keep hiding with <???>, as Act 2 of the novel begins.

But I'll also be honest with you.
I wish this novel was already done so I can go on to other writing projects.
Part of it is my own dang fault, concentrating so much upon short stories from January to the early Summer months.
Then there were some days that I honestly never had a say in the matter between life and other commitments. There have been times when it was just plain luck that I even got to the keyboard at all that day.


Yet I am still a firm believer in quality over quantity, and I will not just throw a bunch of words haphazardly into a manuscript and consider it a book.
YOU as the reader deserve the best possible work I can humanly create, and I shall give you no less.
Otherwise, I don't deserve your interest in my stories.

With that said. I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
12 October, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 4, 2014


Work IS proceeding apace on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON!


Marc Guerrero art
I figured the best way to go was to finish writing out all the sequences that will comprise "Act 1", which is basically Alpha's first day on Planet <???>, and then figure out the chapter divisions like I talked about last week.

How many chapters this will equal beyond the already established eight I'm not sure of, yet.
Of course, "Act 2" will begin with the next subsequent chapter and start with Alpha's second day on Planet <???>, while there are THREE "Acts" plotted for Alpha's second novel.

Meanwhile, thanks to its loyal readership, The Free Choice E-zine closed September 2014 with 4,398 page views!
As its proud Editor-In-Chief, I'll be honest and admit that this is only the third time we have ever broken the 4000+ page view mark, but we ARE starting our second year of continuous 2000+ page views!

So, quite a lot accomplished last week, although it may not seem like it right now.
In any event, I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
5 October, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 27, 2014

My time is not always my own, as the other necessities and demands of life must be met.
This past week I had to see both my Primary Care Physician AND my Cardiologist, with the conclusion of both doctors being that I'm about as well as a man who has SURVIVED BOTH congestive heart failure AND an aortic aneurysm can be!
But there has actually been some decent progress this past week on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON too.
Chapter 8 is complete!
I'm working on Chapter 9 now, and all is going well script and plot wise.
My only big concerns are time, or more specifically, the lack thereof; along with whether or not I shall wind up keeping the current chapter divisions as originally planned.
Either Chapter 9 and/or 10 may wind up shorter than originally planned.
I shall either combine the two or else make Chapter 9 part of 8 entirely, or split its material between 8 and 10 and renumber accordingly. I have already moved one section out of 9 into 8 because the overall narrative worked better with it there.
Will have to see how things turn out.
But after so many short stories this year, along with a couple of failed draft attempts and other problems that I have recounted in this blog (like the supporting characters I had to "fire" and recast) it's good that the manuscript is finally back on track!
Not sure when specifically it will be completed, for after the last chapter has been beta/proofread, will still have to go back over the entire manuscript from beginning to end to make sure it works as a complete book and no additional problems arose in between all the day to day writing.
Whether or not I manage to submit the manuscript before the end of the 2014 calendar year, you will get to read it in 2015!
In any event, I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
28 September, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

Okay folks, I'm going to be totally honest with you here.
I'm having trouble with the villains in ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

Not in regards to what I want them to do, but in trying to make them as believable as possible.
As I said in last week's Progress Report, I'm at a crucial juncture in the book.
Chapter 8 did not pass muster with either my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy A. Hansen nor myself.
So because of the villains, I'm rewriting Chapter 8 once more and tweaking Chapter 7 accordingly.

No matter what their objective(s) and how they go about obtaining them, a villain's motives should make sense, at least to themselves if no one else.
After all, there are plenty of instances through (entertainment) history where the hero didn't figure out the villain's dastardly plan until right near the very end, before racing to the rescue while risking life and limb in the process.

A black hat today
Well, in this case, you also have to remember that in BOOK 2, Alpha has been <somewhere I'm not revealing yet> for less than a few hours as we measure time, so he obviously hasn't gotten the hang of the place yet. All the people there are as alien to him as he is to them.

And if that isn't bad enough, Alpha has to stop <???> from <???>, or else <something really bad>!!!

I'll have it all worked out in time.

Conalaric by Marc Guerrero
And for those wondering, Conalaric (Alpha's arch-nemesis from BOOK 1: PROJECT ALPHA) WILL be in BOOK 2 as well! But when and how are my secrets. For now.

I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet.

Lee Houston, Junior
21 September, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

PROGRESS REPORT: WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 13, 2014

First and foremost, I have submitted that short story with the Halloween deadline to its potential publisher AND returned my friend's novella with my notes and corrections, so those two projects are completely off my agenda now!

As to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON...
I went back over Chapter 7 and a few of the corrections there led to a couple of other changes, which resulted in me going back over Chapter 8 before resubmitting it to my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen for review. She will be getting the new version sometime this week.

I want to get all my ducks in a row and make sure the manuscript is as good as I can possibly make it before submitting it to the publisher.

THE STORY SO FAR...
At this moment in Chapter 7, Alpha has been on planet <???> for less than a couple of hours, as we measure time, and is already in the middle of a pretty intense situation. The <???> is <???> by hostile forces and unless <???> isn't <???> soon, the hostile forces will <???
>!
All this, plus the fact that Alpha hasn't decided yet whether or not he even wants to be on planet <???>.

The pretty intense situation at <???> will run though at least the beginning of Chapter 10, and then afterwards... <???>

If you're wondering what all the <???> are about, it's just my sneaky way of telling you what's going on without giving away all the great details before the novel is published.

All of this, plus the fact that The Free Choice E-zine celebrated a couple of major milestones this past week, achieving 1000+ page views for 3 consecutive years AND 2000+ page views for one full year!
So you can imagine how happy its Editor-In-Chief (me) is.

In any event, I better get back to work now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
14 September, 2014