So here's the latest on my writing:
*Battle for the Wastelands has been sent off to several agents after the latest rounds of revisions. These were made at the request of one agent willing to take a second look and were an overall improvement to the story--one character had very little physical description before and differentiating two characters helped better develop one. I think I'll send it off to one more agent and then I'll let it rest for a bit. Many agents don't mind "simultaneous submissions" but other agents do. I've been careful not to send it to agents whose profiles online or in my (2011 Novel and Short Story Writer's Market) say not to send simultaneously, but still.
*I finally managed to get The Thing in the Woods up to 50,000 words. It's actually 49,557 words, but after years of nit-picky word counting in my short story submissions, I was told to round. Even if the rounding is to the nearest hundred and not thousand (i.e 49,600, not 50,000), I've printed the whole manuscript for another round of revisions. One of my writing group members who took the time to read the whole manuscript warned me about some problems with antecedents (i.e. it's hard to tell which "he" is which character in a conversation) and a general need to show and not tell. I'd like to get it to 60,000 words, since several presses will only put out print editions (or even publish at all) novels if they're that length minimum. I've got some ideas to further develop the female lead and her relationship with the male lead that'll surely help. Fingers crossed.
*Printed and marked up the novella "Son of Grendel." Haven't plugged the edits into the document yet. If things work out with Battle for the Wastelands, I'll need that novella sooner rather than later.
*My friend Nick is having a summer writing contest in which participants write a short (1,000-2,000) word story per week. At the end of the summer, participants vote on the best ones and they might be packaged as a Kindle collection or something. He said they must be completely original--i.e. new characters and new worlds. The goal is to write something different from what one is already writing. I haven't written any sword-and-sorcery in a long time and I haven't really written any dieselpunk (other than 1,000 words for a novel about this character who's basically Indiana Jones if Indiana Jones were a racist with PTSD from WWI and the bad guys were Japanese instead of Nazis). I think I'll try to do some for this, especially since there's a big dieselpunk anthology with a deadline at the end of the summer.
*The collection Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire continues gestating. I'm thinking I'll have some tidbits to tantalize you with soon.
*I'm doing a new cover for "The Beast of the Bosporus." More tentacles and more Ottoman architecture. I'll post it when I get it from my artist.