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Blog

Author of the Saga of Ukumog discusses the challenges of being an author, the tools and processes he uses while writing, and sometimes posts something completely unrelated. This blog is the author exposed.

Filtering by Tag: Book 3

Traveling, Conventions, and More!

Louis Puster

Well, it has certainly been a while since I was here. Sorry for my absence, but I have been a little busy.

Time has really been getting away from me lately. I hear that is a symptom of getting older, even if I refuse to believe that I am getting old, I have to admit that I am not sure where the year has gone.

This year has been rather devoid of conventions for yours truly. I have attended zero. Every time I think about reaching out to a con about being a guest or getting a table, there is either a conflict or time just gets away from me. Don't misunderstand me, I do actually love doing shows. Meeting new people, other authors, and seeing friends and fans is always a great time. I just don't know where the time is going. Perhaps I am getting older. Naaaaaah.

As it turns out, I will be attending Liberty Con again this year. Right now I am schedule for very little during my time there, which means I will likely be wandering around trying to figure out what I should be doing next. If you see me there in the hallways, please feel free to say hello. I might not have time to stop and chat, but who knows - I might be interested in checking out your panel on science, gaming, or stories.

If you haven't attended Liberty Con before and you like books, science, or games: You really should consider it. The collection of people at the Con are very unique and welcoming.

I also just came back from a trip to Charleston. Traveling always has a way of recharging my batteries a bit. Going to cons also includes travel sometimes, so going to shows sounds like a winning proposition to me.

Oh, one more thing!

Here is an excerpt from what I am currently working on, with very little editing (so be kind). I am sure it is nothing:

    With Ukumog in my hand, I walked the stone road up towards the castle in Flay. Behind me the city was on fire, the grand statue in the center had been cracked, the raven cut in half, and the head of the regal man lay in the leaking basin below. In my other hand I held the large bronze crown from the statue. Blood ran from my hand down the crown and dripped onto the hot stones of the street where it sizzled and smoked. There were no cries of panic, no one running for safety. All the people of Flay were either gone or dead, and I didn’t care to know which. Purple flames rose from Ukumog as I ascended through the first gate and into the high city of Flay.
    I saw the banners of all eight of the great houses of Flay, and I knew their names. First came the house called Horn, with the banner of two pairs of antlers. These antlers were stacked, one set on top of the other, and the top ones were much larger than the bottom pair. Next came a banner with three inkwells and one quill. Each of these items was in a separate quarter of the space, with the quill being in the upper left quarter. This was the banner of house Juindar. Next was the banner of house Xyan; it was a simple banner with nothing but a triangle in the center. The banner that followed was of a hammer and shield, and belonged to house Numerum. House Aeochael stood out against the rest, as their banner had wavy lines coming together in the center forming a stylized cat’s eye. The banner of three mountains belonged to house Ruthrom. House Chundai’s banner was of a stalk of wheat and an ear of corn crossed in front of a green and growing tree. The gruesome banner of house Grunnax was that of a hand with palm facing outward, but with a large slice missing between the thumb and forefinger. The white raven on house Ellarin’s banner had rubies for eyes and was carrying a simple ring in its beak.
    I passed each of these houses with their banners flying in the wind, and as they fell behind me, flames consumed first the banners and then the buildings themselves. As I reached the great gate leading into the castle itself, I saw the banner of House Kalindir itself: A mighty sword pointed downwards, with raven’s wings on either side of the sword, as if the sword were the body for these wings. Hovering over the pommel of the sword was the regal image of a crown.
    Without saying a word, I walked directly up to the gate and, casting the bloody crown to the ground, I grasped Ukumog with both hands and lifted it over my head. I screamed in anger, frustration, and pain so loudly that the castle trembled before me. The banner of the king’s house burst into purple flames over my head and I brought Ukumog crashing down into the massive gate of the castle. The gate’s doors and portcullis reacted as if a mountain had come crashing into them. Wood splintered, metal twisted, and stone exploded.
    Before me, I saw two figures wrapped in smoke and dust, each wearing a crown. Rage built in my chest, and I wanted to raise Ukumog again and charge into them, but suddenly there were more figures with them. These were like the shadows I had seen before in my visions. Before I could do anything, I saw them erupt into action, and to my surprise it was not me they engaged in combat, but each other. As I watched these men, women, and monsters dance with violent intent, I heard a soft and subtle chuckle from somewhere behind me.
    The ground erupted, and some giant unseen thing from under us sent the burning ruins of Flay into the air like a handful of dirt.
    These images were so powerful and their sudden end jarred me, and my fear, out of the dream and back into the world.

Shadow of a Pyramid

Louis Puster

Right.

So, the Shadow of a Pyramid story got a little longer than I expected. My goal was a short story, and as Morgan, my editor, pointed out, "Once you cross 20,000 words it is technically a novella."

I had planned on putting the story up on this site as a something people could come and read here, but now it seems a little long for this format. A narrowly formatted page on this site might not be a great way to read it. Instead I have decided to release it in eBook and paperback.

Read More

New stuff

Louis Puster

In the interest of keeping the site more alive, I may start posting small segments of writing that will likely end up in the next book - or in the short story which I hope to release on the site before book 3 comes out. 

I also may start putting up details about book three in the Saga of Ukumog section.

Also, I was thinking about creating a page in there that talks more about the world and the story, but my fear is in giving away too much.  As the world of the story is full of ancient and modern secrets.  I would hate to ruin that.

What do you think about additional content and rough work being shown before it might be ready? 

 

Worry.

Louis Puster

When I wrote both Wracked and Desecrated, I was unemployed. I wasn't sitting around only writing, I was looking for work and trying to find a way to make rent.  A few times I was hosted by very generous friends who wanted to help get me on my feet, and I was grateful to them for that kindness.

For nearly two years now, I have had a fairly good job.  I can make my rent and then some.  It is actually how I was able to afford hiring an artist to do the symbols on the cover, and my editor.  But now I am too exhausted when I come home to explore the world of Wrack and his friends, and it worries me.

It worries me because I have so much more story to tell, but I feel like it is on the other side of this wall.  When people comment on my books, I have always said - "I know I will never make any money at this, I am just doing it because I want to".  The trouble is, I still want to, but this wall is in my way and I am not sure how to tear it down.

Look, I am not naive about this.  Most writers in the world don't make a living from writing books that they want to write.  Most authors write books that they know will sell.  Only the lucky few get to agonize over their dreams and get paid to do it.  So how do I tear down this wall?

Also, I know that there are only a handful of people reading my books, and even fewer following this blog.  Of course if I spent more time on the blog that might be different, but again - wall.

So what do we do?  Do we live as a starving artist, mostly living day-to-day on the kindness of others?  Or do we abandon the dark dream of Wrack, Brin, and Avar?  I don't really like either option.

Lately I have been asking people to review my books online.  To tell people about them, and some people have responded.  I am grateful to them for that too.  But still, I am crossed with this worry that the dream of Ukumog will fade, if I don't chase it.  I am left with trying to figure out how, and I worry that I won't find the way.

Revisions and short stories

Louis Puster

Right.  Since my last post about writing, I have finished my proof of Book 2 and sent it on to a few trusted folks for them to have a go at it.  Honestly, I find the whole revision process the most annoying and frustrating thing about writing.  I didn't realize this when I set out to write a book, but it is actually impossible for anyone to completely proof/edit their own stuff.  It simply cannot be done.  Well, I suppose if you had magical powers or indeed had made a deal with some greater power for the ability to write perfectly with a natural knowledge of how your intended audience would receive said perfect words, then you might be able to do it.  But without magic, it is kind of impossible.  

The problem is that you can't always know what combinations of words mixed with tens of thousands of other words will, with out any chance of failure, tell the story you want to tell.  There is also the comprehension factor, wherein your audience might not completely see all the implied or hidden things where the words don't say what you want to share.  I have found this particularly difficult in a first person story wherein the "author" doesn't exactly know what is going on, like say in Wracked.  Things left unsaid, or tiny problems of continuity that the main character misses don't always speak to the audience.  Sometimes people just get confused.  Whereas when I read it - I know exactly what Wrack is missing or trying to say.  So it isn't easy.

 

Ultimately, my big problem with revisions isn't the making changes part, or the add things to clarify part, or even the this is too much part.  My problem with revisions is the waiting.  I am an impatient person when it involves the things that I am working on.  I want to do them well from the get go and share them or even move onto the next project.  It's the doing that I enjoy, not the waiting.  Perhaps, I just need to learn to be more patient if I want things to be the best that they can be.

 

Ok, so...  Today my intention is to work more on the secret Short Stories that are a tiny thread in the Saga of Ukumog.  I want to finish these up and share them with everyone (again with the impatience).  When I left off, I was about a quarter of the way through the overall story.  My goal is to quickly finish the first half, because the story will be told in two parts, then perhaps work a little more on Book 3.  I just can't seem to stay away from Wrack, Brin, and Avar.

 

Between you and me, I am aching to work on Book 3.  Like you, I can't wait to see what happens next.