Wednesday, May 24, 2017

'The Devil's Pipeline' draft is in the editor's hands

POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - The first complete draft of the novel The Devil's Pipeline is in the capable hands of Admiral Fox, first reader and frontline editor extraordinaire.

     The draft was completed in a flurry of writing Saturday, May 20. I was sick with an allergy/flu attack for nearly a week before that. But in a fevered state, the final chapters & twists became sooooo obvious, I couldn't believe I hadn't seen them before. Damn characters didn't want to reveal the secret until the very end.

     The draft of the novel came in a few thousand words heavier than planned. The goal was about 70,000 but ended up close to 73,000. Describing a catastrophic fire, a wild parking lot melee, sheriff's deputies firing weapons into a crowd, an Iowa courtroom in chaos - well, the final chapters took a few more phrases and verbs (Verbs!) than expected.

     The chapter/section headings in the final draft are changed slightly from earlier drafts and published information here. And, of course, they might change again before The Devil's Pipeline actually flows into print and e-reader form.

     But for now the section headers are:

Iowa
Welcome to Mars
Drums along the Ogallala
Wrongful deaths
The fire this time
Epilog




Thursday, May 4, 2017

'Pipeline' draft thought lost - has been recovered

   POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - One of the most sickening moments any author can have - and I speak from recent experience - is losing a manuscript, or even a part of a work-in-progress.
     The annals of authorship are full of horror stories of such accidental - or purposeful - losses.
     One of my favorites is a particularly horrific tale, about an author's work of horror - Robert Louis Stevenson and his famous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

     It seems the first draft of the 30,000-word story was tossed  in the fire (on purpose) by Stevenson's wife who deemed it less-than memorable and not worthy of publication. Ironically, a redraft, written feverishly by a very-ill Stevenson, went on to become one of his most famous works.
     And so it was early May 4 that the last 10,000 words of The Devil's Pipeline draft went missing. Not because Admiral Fox had taken a dislike to the draft - she hasn't seen anything except the first few chapters. It was thought lost due to a Microsoft Word glitch combined with author sloppiness in saving two-days work.
     Luckily, the latches on the windows of our four-story condo were firmly stuck this morning when the words went walkabout for an hour or so.

     After searching backup copies, the most recent draft surfaced. It seems in this author's haste to finish, the most recent backup copy was mislabelled and misfiled. It has since been backed up in two offline spots, with an entirely new naming system to avoid any more high-blood pressure episodes.
     Now the explosions, arrests, and courtroom dramas in the formerly missing 10,000 words back in play, all leading up to one last gasping surge of writing this week and into next.








Thursday, March 9, 2017

'The Devil's Pipeline' resumes post election

   POINT  RICHMOND, Calif. - The idea that characters control novels - and least my novels - has been written about before on this page. Several times, I think.
     So it's not that surprising that every time in recent weeks when I sat down to see what they were up to, they remained as elusive as copies of Donald Trump's income taxes.
     But today when I opened the draft of the novel The Devil's Pipeline, I had to referee a near brawl in progress among three characters (all newspaper editors).
     Tempers were flaring as the editors - one month before the November 2016 election that catapulted Trump into the White House - debated his chances of winning.

Photo of the May 4, 1970 Kent State shooting
   It all seems like such old news now, of course.
     Sad.
     The characters' debate this morning got at the heart of how he slipped into office. The theory they came across (and were debating) doesn't bode well for future elections of presidents or anyone else in the nation for that matter.
     And it's a theory most people haven't heard yet. (No Russians involved, by the way.)
     That bit of skullduggery aside, the characters are still racing towards the novel's finish line tying up the loose ends of pipeline construction, corporate corruption, government malfeasance, law enforcement overreach (and brutality), a wrongful death lawsuit, and even the cause a ghastly fire.
     And, of course, then there is the Devil's Pipeline corporate connection to the 1970 shooting of students at Kent State.

    If Jack Stafford, et al, continue to be cooperative, The Devil's Pipeline will continue construction until the first draft is ready for editing sometime before I head east late this spring.
     Another piece of in-process writing, The Pre-Trump, Interstate 80, Cross-Country Boogie, is officially on the back burner - as of today - but ready for quick revival if the characters decide they need to slow down again.

Who died in this Devil's Pipeline-related blaze - and who lit it?