Watcha Writin’?

Recently I caught up on where I’ve been since finishing the ride across Mexico, and what ridiculous Hallowe’en festivities we had here in New Orleans. But my biggest focus these days is my career as an author. And I think it’s high time to share what I’m working on.

Here are my top projects, and where I’m at with each one.

Image by Lívia Cristina

Mexico Stories

When I started my ride across Mexico last year, I promised I would write four short stories based on the places I visited. If you backed the crowdfunding campaign to launch the trip, depending on the level you came in at I may owe you a copy of these stories. Accordingly, they’re my top priority.

All four stories are finished in draft form. They all need more editing. However, I do realize it’s been a year since I set out in Mexico. I’m hoping to have them done within the next 30 days.

I think you’ll like them. Three of them are magical realism pieces similar to Lúnasa Days and one is a tale of lost love. All are set in real places, but none are based on my actual travels. They’re fiction.

As backdrops I chose some of the the most dramatic places that you saw in my road logs. Concha and the Saints happens in the bullet-riddled border region. The Cloud Desert takes place on pilgrimage through the misty, high-altitude wasteland. Guadalupe Calling, starring a 60-year old doña on a mission, is set by the pirate walls of Campeche. And the last story features my favorite city in Mexico: Meet Me in Xalapa.

Just because these stories are finished doesn’t mean they’ll be immediately available to the public. I will send them out privately to those supporters who are owed a copy, prbably before Christmas. Then I plan to enter some of them in literary contests. Eventually, they’ll be published.

My First App

The next project is a not a book at all. It’s a game. I grew up wanting to create my own video games, but I was always told you need a big budget for that. Then I saw the success of simple, story-driven games like A Dark Room. Minimal graphics, compelling gameplay, and a mystery to unravel. That’s something I can do.

I teamed up with a friend who’s a coder (creater of the Ananda app, which you can see reviewed here.) and we decided to make it as an app for iOs. After kicking a few ideas around, we settled on the game we liked best: Hunger.

You start Hunger alone in a dilapidated cottage. Your food supply is dwindling, just a few morsels. You own nothing else except an old ring on the shelf.

Outside, Ireland is starving. Soon you’ll be forced to leave the cottage and wander town to town in search of food or a better life. And in the process, you might start to change things…

My friend and I are working on this game slowly, one chunk at a time. It will come out in 2016.

“Project 30”

The last item is a collaborative fiction project about coming of age in your 30s. It consists of a “season” of 10 short, written episodes. My coauthor Am ber has been my writing partner for over a year, which usually just means we critique each other’s work. But this is a topic near to both our hearts, and we decided to take the big leap and write it together.

The story will center on four 30-something friends living in New Orleans, each coming to grips with a simple truth: they aren’t doing what they wanted to do with their lives. They have jobs and they get by but they yearn for something more. Some of them don’t know how to get it; others don’t even know what it is. The story follows them as they date, work, and struggle to launch a new life.

We’ve nicknamed the series Project 30 until we get a better title. (Do you have a suggestion?) It will appear in 2016.

Odds and Ends

Lower on my list, but still on my radar, as a few side projects:

  • Sky People, a novel about two girls who find a crashed airship and go to a lost kingdom in the sky.
  • Heart of Adventure, my long overdue book on the philosophy of living life as an adventure

Do any of these strike your fancy? Do you have a title suggestion for Project 30? I’d love your feedback.


10 thoughts on “Watcha Writin’?

  1. It is good to hear what you are working on, Sky People sounds great and I will have to look into the Dark Room game and be on the watch for yours to come out!


  2. A. Waite says:

    I will be interested to read Heart of Adventure when it comes out; I don’t mind the delay, since it means that you’re really putting an effort into formulating your thoughts and polishing the text. Those other projects sound like they could be pleasant reading as well. Is the novel you were planning to set in an alternate Medieval Europe still on the list as well?

    • Good question. It got moved way down the list. It’s set in medieval Spain, and I think it would be better to actually visit Spain first before writing it. But yes, it’s a project I’m still enthused about.

  3. Calluna Took says:

    Darn it! I have an Android!

    Also… I LIKE the title “Project 30.” It sounds just right to me… but I don’t know what your vision is exactly so. There you have it.

  4. Marcus n says:

    Here’s a brain dump (based on how you describe the story):
    Trying on Thirty
    Thirty Learnings.
    Between 20 and 40 (neither here nor there)
    Thinking Thirty
    and my complete favorite – Thirty Something (sorry)

    • Ha, thank you Marcus! I love it when people are willing to just pitch ideas out there. Sorry for the slow reply.

      I really like “Thirtyish.” I was also thinking just “Thirty”. What do you think?

    • Aww thanks Moe! I appreciate the kind words. I feel like I am long overdue to publish more. I will let you guys know when something is finally coming out.

      My hesitation with Heart of Adventure is I originally wrote it as aphorisms, in a sort of poetic style. Then I put just short (one or two page) essays between each aphorism, sort of a clear prose to clarify the ideas expressed poetically. But I’m not sure these essays really drill down into the underlying points enough. In other words I’m not sure it’s a strong presentation of the Heroic Life and the ideas behind it. I worry about publishing something that could be seen as “fluff.”

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