Yes, I am still here. For better or worse.
Summer proved to be pretty busy for me. I actually got to fight some fires this fire season. However, it kept me away from the internet for most of the time. I did, however, have time to do some serious editing and polishing on Kricket's Song, and I can now say with confidence that it is complete. Over the summer, I have been querying continuously for it. These efforts have largely met with rejections, with 7 queries still unanswered and in the wind. I remain convinced that this is due to my inability to write a decent query letter, despite my repeated attempts at revising and polishing the letter.
With Kricket's Song complete, I've turned much of my attention to the sequel, Kricket's Key. Even though this new book is a sequel, it's important to understand that the first book is completely standalone. Yes, it leaves things open for a continuation, but you don't need to read the second book in order for the story of the first book to be complete. In order to read the second book, it's probably advisable that you've read the first book as well, but I'm trying to make it so that's not necessary. Kricket's Key continues with many of the same characters from the first book, including Jonah, Skip, and Mouse. There are a couple new characters (including a Guv officer) and some old characters in new forms. It will expand the world I started building in the first book, and will further explore the technologies and magics introduced earlier. The Guv gets even more brutal, and the Grounders are back to cause yet more havoc.
I've also gone back to one of my science fiction short stories, "Abyss." I actually finished it this time around, and did some serious edits to polish it up and cut out unnecessary fluff. Instead of trying to sell it to a sci-fi magazine (which I don't think my stories are really suited for, anyway), I've decided to publish it on Amazon's Kindle, and see how it fares there. Right now, the manuscript is edited, polished, and formatted for Kindle, and I'm currently working with an artist to develop a nice cover for it. When it goes live on Kindle, I'll be sure to make mention of it here. I really don't know what to expect as far as how it will perform on Kindle, but I figure it might help get my name out a bit. If it goes well, I may try to publish some other shorts. I may even end up publishing a book here, if I just can't find an agent. We'll see.
So that's where I'm at for now. I'll try to get back into regular updates on this blog, but it will depend on how much writing I can accomplish. Hopefully more than I have recently.