Tag Archives: Writing Process

Short story 4 is back from the editor!

The fourth short story in my upcoming dark fantasy is back from my editor, the merciless ogre and wielder of the blood pen!

Progress is good.

He excels at BJJ, so I must approach his revisions carefully, at the risk of my ancient joints and bones.

Once finished, that leaves eight remaining before we finalize the anthology for publishing. Updates will follow!

Thanks so much for everyone’s encouragement and asks about the anthology’s progress! I promise, we’re going as quick as we can, while adhering to some fairly demanding quality standards. (I cannot escape neck cranks. Therefore, I must rewrite). Being an Indie, limited resources means fluid timelines. Your patience is much appreciated!

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Crazy Fast Amazon Developments in Canada!

When I started out with Amazon’s KDP service, customer delivery was less than stellar. I had customers on the other side of Canada simply just not get their book because they weren’t home to receive it, and a wait time from click to doorstep of longer than three weeks.

Well, welcome to 2019!

Not only was I grateful to hear a reader had ordered both of my novels for Christmas (Merry Christmas!) on Thursday, but I was amazed when she told me it was delivered Saturday morning!

Seriously.

That’s a huge improvement.

To think that we’ve arrived at a time when the purchase click creates a printed book, ships it, delivers it into the customers hands, records and sends statistics on the sale directly to the author, and instantly deposits their advance, all in under 48 hours, is pretty mind-blowing, even for a jaded old get-off-my-lawner like myself.

Maybe this isn’t news to our American KDP comrades (and maybe even Canadian indies operating through KDP have already grown accustomed to this), but it sure is a rapid advancement in business efficiency for me.

Speaks well for the future of all indies. In a world where new creative product is, I feel, the biggest of future economies, making our products available faster for cheaper, and, I assume, catching us up to speed with the American ‘Zon market practices are the kind of assist we can all benefit from.

Speaking of cheaper, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that both paperbacks of To Drown in Sand and its sequel, To Drown in Ash, are on sale in time for the holidays, in case you’d fancy a copy.

Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment
Scoundrel. Saviour. Sniper..
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HUGE News: Sand Audiobook underway!!

I’ve been keeping it under my hat for awhile now, and believe me, it’s been a struggle to keep my mouth shut. (A constant struggle at the best of times).

But I can finally announce that recording for the To Drown in Sand audiobook starts in two weeks!!

My friends over at Iron Wave Studios have announced that they are good to go and will begin production in less than 14 days!

The cast has been picked, the mics are hot, and the crew is ready!

Venturing into the audiobook field is a new world for both me and the Ironworks gang, so there’s lots to learn. I’ll keep all of you blog peeps updated as things unfold (read: catch fire and trip me up as I stumble my way through this new venture).

If you haven’t read it, To Drown in Sand is Book One of my trilogy about a man who goes to a war zone to find peace. His regiment is populated by people from all the different Atlantic Canadian cultures.

Since it’s military sci-fi, those places don’t exist anymore (the earth died; sorry), their accents and cultural nuances are what stand out in their dialogues, and would make for a challenge for any production team.

That, and the signature sound of a rail gun rifle. I am dying to hear THAT.

Almost as much as hearing the people in my head given voice. Surreal.

To Drown In Sand: Book One of the 10th Lunen Regiment Trilogy
Order your copy today! On sale for Christmas!

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NaNoWriMo? Maybe NaNoEvMo…

Bricks in the wall. That’s my process. Same as training in the gym; everyday, one more brick, neatly mortared and tucked into place, grooved the gaps and levelled, before moving on.

That’s why I find NaNoWriMo not really workable. I write every day at around 5 am, and have for about 20 years. Many brick walls have resulted. Several now, thanks to Indie pubbing, turned into actual novels and short titles. I’m more like a NaEVERYWriMo sort.

But I love the energy November brings to everyone who puts their thought-worms to the page during NaNoWriMo. And it’s always encouraging to hear about so many independents working on their craft. Community, and all that.

Not too shabby, mister.

It’s been a tight month so far, with life and work demands. Some mornings I’ve only been able to swing little more than 20 minutes at the keyboard, but they are a happening 20 minutes, let me tell you, as I race to squeeze the juice out of every second and every creative synapse.

So, 17th day, and I’ve pumped out 7,665 words. That’s at chapter 22 of my current project, which is closing in on a healthy 150k words as I roll into Act Three.

That’s also while working on several different projects during the same period; the actual word count output is much higher, but I only count one major, current project at a time.

One in the man (first draft and rewriting), one in the can (being edited and prepped for publish), and one for the fan (new title on the shelf) is my approach. And I just received word that my current ‘work in the can’, a dark Fantasy anthology that tees up my whole new series titles , is almost ready for final read and cover prep. Gonna be an exciting year!

Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment
Saviour. Sniper. Survivor.
Download the FREE story of one of The 10th Lunen Regiment’s most notorious characters today!

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Publishing Industry Nightmares.

In the ongoing discussion about whether indie publishing is tenable, or even a thing, a lot of ugly business emerges. Most of it is discovered after some careful digging through sites like J.A. Konrath‘s and others in the field who have exposed life in the publishing tower’s secrets. Every year, it seems more of Big Publishing’s practices are exposed, and more and more, they remind me of Big Oil and other “Bigs” who are desperately struggling to understand life in this digital age, and failing.

I strongly believe that we are just as immersed in a technological revolution, that has really just started, by the way, as society was during the Industrial Revolution. Fists are being banged onto desks refusing to acknowledge new ways. Furious millionaires are determined to choke every last dollar from dying industries and practices before they draw their last breath. Men who rose to power with typewriters and letters in the mail scoff at those who dare to publish without them, and do their level best to crush their progress.

Don’t believe me? Read through Konrath. or read this:

https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2017/09/an-insiders-view-of-publishing-business.html?fbclid=IwAR1ltemVunMfjPrdJFe4_nvoayR-bm-KzCNZcNhlHdjV2MoQ1Py5EGO7UWg&m=1

I’ve written in the past about developments in the publishing field in the midst of all this; I find it fascinating to study. I also continue to describe my own journey through and around the barrage that is modern publishing. Note that I do separate that from writing; I don’t believe the two are necessarily connected, and for most people, shouldn’t be. (Same as self-publishing and indie-publishing are not necessarily the same thing).

Erica Verillo‘s not wrong. The chaos she describes is pretty plain to see; just look at your average bookstore chain’s shelves over a year and you’ll see it too.

I firmly believe the future is micro-economic. Small, cottage producers of content that grow organically to be sniffed at by Big Industry, prompting the creators of that content to decide to sell their wares to the machine, or not. And new, pioneering companies like Engen who take their drive and dreams and carve out a chunk using the current technology and craft relationships with their local writers who would never get a chance elsewhere. That is the future, friends.

This is not a new concept. See Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu, and every other small project that eventually became a marketing powerhouse.

And how did they do that?

Quality.

It always starts with quality.

I’m not saying I’m one of those. But I am saying I’m writing to write, small and in the dark every morning, shaping my stories, grooming them for the world that technology has finally made possible.

I’ve gone from coil-ring notebook, longhand writing to typing on paper, to blogging with clickable links, to printed copies in my hand and my amazon store of published novels and short stories.

And we are just getting started. But the journey, the process of this evolution, is really fascinating and worthy of recording. I really do see it as one of the greatest advancements of the arts in generations.

There was nothing like this for H.P. Lovecraft, or Charles Dickens, or Stephen King. Imagine if there had been! I’ve discussed such in The Write Podcast.

Society is quickly growing exhausted of reboots, and throwaway conclusions of stories because the writers had more lucrative things to do, and the endless mining of old material. They are starving for fresh stories, new worlds, and original ideas. There has never been a better time to have an idea. Everything you need to present it is literally at your fingertips.

And that’s me talking; the darkest, most jaded person I know. So, you know,…possibly relevant.







Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment
Saviour. Sniper. Survivor.
Download the FREE story of one of The 10th Lunen Regiment’s most notorious characters today!


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Be Your Joy.

Today? Just for today?

Be this hedgehog.

Even just for a full minute.

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Fall and Dark.

November. A time to write outlines and novels as the days die far too soon.

Writing in the dark is all I know how to do. Daylight burns away the divine, the imagination pilot light, with its work and worries and wars.

Leaves fall; light become rare.

Lack of light has always brought me the solitude I need to ignite the furnace of plots and characters and stories; to pop on the stage lights in my mind, in a way. No sense turning them on without darkness.

Could be why writing can be so dark in nature, too, I guess. It gets in.

Darkness. Worth embracing.

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Weird experiences only writers would understand 2.

That moment when one innocent message tips you into a rabbit hole of intriguing research from which you never emerge but finally do two days later…

…with a crammed research browser full of war and guns…

…and you suddenly find yourself craving a replica musket because muskets.

I can haz boomstick? No. really. I can haz BOOMSTICK.

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“Okay, writahs! Novembah is here!”

NaNoWriMo is upon us! Now is the time to dive into that work you’ve been planning all year.

By gross income measures, all writers are probably bums.

I’m not the biggest NaNoWriMo’er. Intensive spurts are not my style. I’m more of a disciplinary, brick-on-the-wall-every- day sort of writer.

My view, every day, at 5 a.m. Yeh. Diagnosis imminent.

But I do love the blizzard of activity that hits the writing community every day-after-we-toss-the-costumes day, especially in the indie world.

In that spirit, I’ll be posting All The Memes to keep the bear poked. And I’ll be posting a host of playlists that hopefully will keep your fingers flying on the keyboard for hours on end. I find nothing eats time like a few hours of ambiance sounds tailored to your character’s environment.

(NEXT TIME: Sci-Fi Sounds and Scores!)




Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment by [Laybolt, B.C.]
Sniper. Scoundrel. Saviour.
Click on the image to get the FREE short story about one of the 10th Regiment’s most notorious characters!

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Writing Playlist: Sci-Fi.

Want to cruise the Andromedan Belt? Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion? Settle in for the long shuttle run from Cixca to Shastre? Who doesn’t, really.

In celebration of NaNoWriMo, feel free to find the sounds in my Sci Fi playlist that work for you, put on a hot pot of writer fuel, and get back to the keyboard.

Behold! Propellant for the creation of fiction, jetted into your earholes.

Click on the thing for The
Things.





From sipping perk-caff on a star liner to ducking and scrambling to avoid getting your brains blown out on the battlefield. So much space goodness.

Check in regularly; my playlists are constantly being pruned, grown, and added to. Ambiance producers are soul gardeners to me.

Hopefully it will inspire you to hit your word count today! Enjoy!




Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment by [Laybolt, B.C.]
Sniper. Scoundrel. Saviour.
Click on the image to get the FREE short story about one of the 10th Regiment’s most notorious characters!

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From Notebook to Word Doc

Sunday mornings are Note Transcription day. All the week’s thoughts, scenes, moments, and catchy dialogue bits have to go somewhere to be seeded and start germinating.

And my trusty old desktop (completely disconnected from the internet) is the perfect planter box.

All part of the manic scramble to catch my brain leaks. Sunday mornings used to be one of Emma’s favourite times, because the typing always lasted longer. She’s still with me. Just in a small jar.

#notmorbid. Remembered.

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Writing Playlist: Fantasy.

There’s nothing in the world like music to trigger my writing brain. And in 2019, it’s easier than ever to build writing resources that can keep you going for hours at a time.

Talented ambiance artists all over the Tube of You spend countless hours creating amazing content just for the sweet, sweet happiness of our writing earholes.

This week, I’m sharing my playlist for fantasy writing from my channel. Feel free to give it a listen, build your own, or send me suggestions below this blog entry to check out!

Over fourteen hours of music to swings swords by, or sneak through medieval village markets, harrowing graveyards, and lots more, all in one place. They’re great for role-playing game background sounds, too!

I’m constantly adding more to every playlist I have because hoarding. In my day, we had to build mix tapes of this stuff. On ACTUAL tape. Yeeeg.

Lock yourself away with your keyboard and disappear into wherever your inspiration takes you.

Click here for The Things.

These are just a few of the scores and sounds I’ve gathered that have kept me writing through multiple coffee pots, two novels, and a gazillion upcoming projects.

Before you know it, your characters will be cringing, chasing skittering demon squirrels into the night, arguing with each other, falling off rooftops, and saying things to each other you simply did not expect.

Other genres in upcoming posts!

May your ears send your typing fingers into a frenzy, fellow writers!



The Dog Kindle Edition
A walk in the dark invites an inescapable terror.
A horror short story in the spirit of Cthulhuian nightmares. $0.99 on Kindle today!

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I wasn’t gonna, then I kinda was, now I totally am

Engen books is calling.

Submissions for “pulp era” Sci-Fi From the Rock, their next collection, have a deadline of Oct. 31.

I didn’t think I had anything that quite fit, but I did find one l’il gem buried in my files (Old Man Laybolt Writer’s Rule #3: Never Throw Anything Out). I thought it might work for the anthology, if I ran it through the brain wash and rinse cycle. A quick three hours of rewrite, and a run through Cliche Cleaner and Grammarly, and I think it might be ready.

Now that I’m reading the third draft, I’m really pleased with it. Pulpy like freshly squeezed! So I’m totally hitting that submission deadline.

Stay tuned to see if it gets in!




Click on the image and grab your copy of Juris Lunence, a short story prequel about the 10th Lunen Regiment! FREE today!

Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment Kindle Edition

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Just a tease of this year’s work (to be released in 2020)

Oh, the beautiful expanse of shorts, patiently waiting to be squeezed together into the blessed amazon algorithm.

13 short stories of dark fantasy, all carefully threaded together with character cameos and a tapestry of plot crossings. It will be an anthology that reads like a novel. With blood.

So much blood.

Intrigue, blasphemy, betrayal, and madness.

The Glyph Beckons.

More updates coming soon!




Read the epic short story prequel to my first novel in the 10th Lunen Regiment Trilogy, now available!

Upon a Wake of Flame (A tale of The 10th Lunen Regiment) Kindle Edition
The story that started it all!


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Engen Books Podcast, The Write Project, Episode 2! (Actually 56, but it’s me, so…)

(Click on the image. It will take you to the Cloud of Sound, wherein the magic lies).

Another episode of Engen Books‘ podcast, The Write Project, in which I blather about big publishing companies I do not work for, thingies King, Lovecraft, Tolkien, my theory about Game of thrones, and writer’s block, in which I foolishly test the literary divine.

Out of sheer existential terror of all things internet and extinction thereof, I made a MP3 thingy. Take THAT, 6-week Soundcloud storage limit! :

(Much editing was required, because, as my wife will tell you, I talk too much).

If your ears are not bleeding (or, if they are, and you’re kind of into that), see my previous post for Episode 1, which is actually Episode 54, but I get too excited about being on podcasts, so it’s 1.





Visit my kindle store for terrifying titles like The Dog and more!

https://www.amazon.com/B.C.-Laybolt/e/B00EMDWWNE%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

A walk in the dark invites an inescapable terror.

A horror short story in the spirit of Cthulhuian nightmares.



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While the world sleeps…

There just ain’t no writing like 5 am writing.

Such things, that emerge from the gloom of the early morning dark and the waking brain.


What are YOU writing?







Click on the link to my Amazon store to read Juris Lunence for free!

Juris Lunence: A Tale of the 10th Lunen Regiment Kindle Edition


https://www.amazon.com/B-C-Laybolt/e/B00EMDWWNE/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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Guest appearance on The Write Project!

Of all of the things I was doing during my blogging hiatus, one of the most exciting was to appear on Engen Books‘ Podcast, The Write Project. In which I discuss dark childhoods, Stephen King, my writing process, “Shut and get typing”, and much more!

Hosted by Matthew LeDrew, the show appears every Monday on CHMR at 4:30 Newfoundland Time, and is available on most podcast platforms.

Out of sheer vanity, here’s an MP3 of Episode 1 of my interview. I am told that if you place the speaker near a sink drain, my voice will scare away fruit flies and Drain Goblin spore vapours. Probably worth a shot. You never want to see what comes out of those spores. *Shudder.*

(In which I talk far too much…)

Here is the location to find the archive of far more talented writers than myself talking about their amazing projects, like Tasha Madison, Julia Blackmore, Tracey Waddleton, and more.

And here is the link to Engen’s The Write Project youtube channel.

May your earholes rejoice, should that be warranted.

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Visit my Kindle shop to purchase Ebook titles like The Dog, To Drown in Sand, To Drown in Ash, and more!

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Of Blogabsences Substantial.

Aaron Dembksi-Bowden, one of my literary heroes and one of this generation’s Shakespeares, is mulling dumping his blogging, because it eats time.

Which is true. It does. It SO does.

But I am not him. I am, however, a bad blogger.

I had no idea my last entry was August 2018. That’s like, more than a whole year. Yeesh.

So, I’ve been busy during that time. Silly busy. Life, end of life, a full time career in a challenging field, my wife’s managing a chronic brain disease…oh, man. There’s been LOTS.

But that’s all a bunch of heavy stuff. More on The Heavy later. Too much of that already in this world right now. What I am happy about is the work I’ve been doing while Notblogging.

Holleeeee Firesticks. It’s been a big year at my desk. Dark fantasy short story anthology? Completed. Currently enduring the preparatory rites known as the Thousand Cuts of the Blood Pen, administered by a ruthless ogre who adamantly states it will be ready within six to twelve months. That’s PUBLISHED ready. As in, on the shelf and kindle.

And, I’m 296 pages deep into my fourth book, a fantasy novel that follows one of the shorts teed up in the anthology.

Funny thing, that. There are 13 short stories in the anthology, and each short tips off a separate novel to form a franchise. Which is brain-boggling to me. But there it is.

More details to come; just wanted to drop a hey to show I did not get snatched by a nightgaunt and swallowed in two pieces. I mean, whole would be tasteless, and three would just be messy.

And yeah; I know. They don’t have faces.

It’s called OSMOSIS, Chad.

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Cthulhuian Short Story Cover Reveal

I love Lovecraft.

Since reading At The Mountains of Madness at 16, I have never been able to read enough of his work. He opened my mind to a level of tragic darkness that I had never thought could be acceptable to write about. At that age, for me, darkness was all there was. Darkness was my Disneyworld. Lovecraft taught me to embrace it all and harness it; to welcome the things that pull us down, face them, and wrestle with them. And thus, I think, the writer in me was born.

I’ve written several Lovecraft-themed stories, all of them shuffled away in old file folders, the hand-written ink faded into the browned looseleaf. It wasn’t until recently that I took them out and decided I may as well turn them into product, since that’s what we can do now in indie publishing.

While grinding through the fantasy anthology I’m putting together (with the incredible editing of Espresso’s Holly M. Kothe), and hammering out the final revisions on To Drown in Ash (which is almost Very Nearly Done, I PROMISE), I got Holly to edit The Dog, which I first wrote back in ’89.

My stupendous cover artist, Dylan Edwards, has been shackled to his Mac, toiling away on several covers and other projects for me while ignoring his family, his nutrition, an Continue reading

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Of Very Busy Times and Such Things.

I’ve been a negligent Blog writer.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure whom I was writing to, until I checked my stats recently.

Wow. Peeps are reading stuff here.

Little surprises are the best ones.

So; quick update!

This happened:

 

Picture 1

 

It’s my first fantasy title. I just bought the cover from Dylan Edwards over at Rootwoodpress. Needed to get back to cobblestones and sword-blades for a break from the railguns, snarling madmen bent on Triumvirate destruction, and interstellar mists for a bit. Chew the mutton and gulp the mead, as it were. This will be the cover for a short story anthology that is currently underway. The first of which is right now being edited for final draft, and will be a freebie on Amazon and Kobo.

And how’s business, you ask? Well, I haven’t reached my goal of being able to buy a tank of furnace oil yet, but Princess (my wife’s insistence on the nickname, not mine) and I did go for a delicious coffee date using the sole proceeds of my writing income for the first time.

It’s the little things.

Before Juris went live for free, it was crickets. A few sales once in a while, but mostly just little red mountains on my Amazon horizon:

For blog 3

 

 

That has changed substantially:

 

Picture 2

Only one ‘Dead Day’ since release. Every day, someone new reads a title of mine. And lots more little red mountains. That makes me smile into my pillow.

When Juris Lunence hit over 500 downloads in two months across three countries, I nearly screamed from my rooftop. (But, the pitch of my roof is too steep, so I settled for a quiet chuckle on my deck, thus avoiding startling my puppy and kids).

 

Picture 4

 

Then, the sweetest thing happened. My first cosplay fan, Joseph Crosby, designed a replica of Lunen gear, right down to First Squad’s shoulder-pads (Love shoulder-pads), and walked into our local Chapter’s bookstore, with a copy of Sand in hand, as a part of a Halcon Cosplay promotion:

 

Picture 6

 

Can’t really describe how Joe’s very kind gesture and incredible input of time affected me, but warm molasses coating my heart comes close.

And now, the planning for the new Fan Festival is underway (more on that later).

All this during my minor league football coaching season (Go, South Shore Seahawks!), replacing my deck, packing one son off to university, and working my Real Job.

None of which excuses my negligence, but perhaps explains it adequately.

Full lives are the best lives.

Thanks for reading!

Onwards!

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