by Todd

The magic word.

June 28, 2010 in Blog by Todd

The 100,000th word in THE LIMINAL MAN is “operations.” I haven’t hit this mark since 2006.  I did not expect to hit it on this book. Let’s hope all 100,000 of them don’t suck.



by Todd

I’m a deviant in print.

June 26, 2010 in Blog by Todd

Not really.  Well, sort of. A kind fellow by the name of Jay, otherwise known as Memnalar, chose to showcase the Kickstarter project for ALT 2.0 as the first in a new article series called Deviants in Print.  You can check it out here.


by Todd

Milestone 200.

June 26, 2010 in Blog by Todd

I hit 200 pages last night. As you can see, it’s almost 98k words.  Ch. 11 is finished. Next up is 12, then 13, and then the Epilogue. And then?



by Todd

Where we stand.

June 21, 2010 in Blog by Todd

Afternoon, folks.  Been a few days since I updated here.  I’ve been more than a little busy in the interim.  Juggling multiple projects is a challenge, but it’s been fun so far.

Right now the Kickstarter Project to save ALT 2.0 is at the 35% mark with $700 pledged. This was all pledged within the first two weeks, which is incredible. I love you guys.  Really.

I want to mention something about the pledges.  I realize the tiers go up into the thousands.  I do not expect to receive pledges in those amounts; I merely made them available in the incredible chance someone with the means to do so would choose to make that pledge.  Don’t let that discourage you.  The minimum pledge is $5.  I’m cool with that.  I would’ve made it higher if I wasn’t.  I don’t want anyone to think that they have to give more than that.  You don’t.  I think the things I’ve planned for the Access posts are worth the $5 admission fee alone.  Give or don’t give–that’s your call–but don’t think you’re expected to give beyond your means.  I don’t ask that of anyone.

Today I have a new piece of flash fiction up at  This story, like most flash I write, ran longer than the maximum 600 words.  I kept two versions–the trimmed flash piece, and the uncut piece.  Tonight I will make the uncut piece available to backers of my project, in the first truly “exclusive” Access post.  I’ll be doing this periodically along with many, many other insights into the creation process of ALT, from the characters to the plot to the cover design and trailer.  I’m going to go much more in depth with things there than I ever did here.

If you want to take part, your ticket is $5. Nothing more. And if the project earns out, you’ll get a nice, printable PDF of ALT 2.0 as well.

Now, as far as the other book is concerned, I’m halfway through chapter eleven.  It’s a very intense chapter, with lots of action from the very start, and will end on a serious, somber note.  The book stands at nearly 94k words right now.  Unless chapter twelve runs short, it looks like I’m going to blow past that 115k word mark.  Not a major deal, but it will mean more cutting later on.  We shall see.

That’s all for now, though.  If you’re one of the folks who pledged, look for a post later this evening, Eastern-Standard. I hope you’ll like it.

Until next time,


P.S. I’m still looking for suggestions on the next Word Machines feature.  Shoot an email to suggestions [at]

by Todd

The Project, and other things.

June 17, 2010 in Blog by Todd

The last 24 hours have been a virtual whirlwind following my post over at Self-Publishing Review.  It started with a re-tweet by the official Kickstarter account over on Twitter.  Then the project became “recommended by staff.”

This morning I learned it’s today’s featured project:

I think I peed a little.  Okay, not really, but I am so excited I could if I didn’t have better bladder control.  So far the project has raised 27% of its required funding in a week’s time.  Just one week.  Everyone has been incredibly supportive, and I can’t thank you all enough for that.

I’ve come up with a number of cool things to post about over on the project blog.  It’s going to serve as an “extras” sort of thing, with early notes, anecdotes about its creation, and more.  This may also include further insights into the creation of ALT’s sequel, THE LIMINAL MAN.

Speaking of which, I’m working on Ch. 11 this weekend.  It’s going to be a tense chapter, so rather than do the usual start & stop routine throughout the week, I’m saving it all for Saturday and Sunday to focus without interruption.

I’ve also finished a new piece of flash fiction.  I’m submitting it to 365tomorrows.  An “extended” cut of said story may also end up on the Access blog.

Sorry if this post seems all over the place. Things are just a bit crazy at the moment.  I’ll post an update on TLM later this weekend.



by Todd

New article is now live:

June 16, 2010 in Blog by Todd

When Self-Publishing Review asks you to write a post about the Why and How of your Kickstarter project, you do not say no.


by Todd

90,000 little labors of love.

June 13, 2010 in Blog by Todd

This is what 90k words on paper looks like.  Ch. 10 is done.  Three more to go.

For now I’m stepping away from this computer.  Six hours in this sauna I call an office has taken its toll.

Until next time, folks.


by Todd


June 12, 2010 in Blog by Todd

Normally I don’t have much to warrant a “weekly recap” of things, but this past week was special for a number of reasons.  In case you didn’t feel like showing up, here’s what you missed:

  • Word Machines: Kirsty Logan – The first of a (hopefully long-running) feature series about fellow writers.  Kirsty agreed to be the first, and it appears to have been a hit. Go read it and discover her fiction. It’s awesome.
  • Call for Suggestions – I’ve already received a few suggestions regarding other writers to feature, but I’m still looking for more.  You can email me right here and tell me why I should shine the spotlight on their work.
  • The Last Four – I’ve outlined the last four chapters of THE LIMINAL MAN. It’s the home stretch. In fact, Ch. 10 will be finished this weekend, which leaves only three.  Well, there’s an epilogue, of course, but we’re not counting that as a chapter.  Otherwise it would be called “Chapter,” wouldn’t it? Don’t get sassy with me.
  • Kickstarting ALT 2.0 – The latest post, in which I discuss my decision to retire the first edition of ALT and seek funding for a more direct, more polished, more prestigious second edition.  We’re already 16% of the way to the goal – and there’s still plenty of time left to make your pledge!

Exciting things on the horizon, folks. Now I’m off to get some work done. Try not to melt in this June heat.

Until next time (probably next week),


by Todd

Kickstarting ALT 2.0

June 9, 2010 in Blog by Todd

I wrote last week about the incredibly disappointing, incredibly shitty quality of the ALT proof produced by CreateSpace.  My plans for the second edition were derailed.  I had to go back to the start and rethink things.

So I did.  Here’s what I came up with.

Rather than utilize the services of a middleman company like Lulu or CreateSpace, I want to deal directly with a reputable printer.  I looked into Lightning Source back before ALT was finished.  I’d heard–and continue to hear– great things about them.  They’re the best in the industry, often utilized by the big leagues, and there’s a good chance most of the books you own were printed by them.  Thing is, getting started with LSI is expensive.  Atop the set-up costs and the fees associated with the possibility of re-submitting artwork (which must always be considered), there is the cost of the ISBN block.  Those numbers exemplify independence.  Once you have those, you are officially your own publisher.  And they’re not cheap.

I got some info and pricing schedules from LSI.  I signed their contract.  I went as far in the application process as I could without ownership of the ISBN numbers. How could I possibly come up with the cash to get this off the ground?  After all, this would mean more than just making ALT 2.0 available; it would also mean establishing a publishing entity to back my own work and, potentially, the work of others.  This could become something huge and, as a dear friend of mine often reminds me, great things have humble beginnings.

First thing’s first, though. It needs cash to get off the ground. When I published my first collection back in college, I paid for the offset run by accepting donations. Anyone who donated got a free, signed copy and their name in the book. Could I do something like that again? Yes, I think I could, but on a much larger scale.

I remembered reading about this guy, Robin Sloan, and how he used a site called Kickstarter to raise money to fund the completion of his novel. He gave away rewards in the form of free signed copies and other little things to anyone who pledged cash. As you can see from the link, he raised over $13k. I wrote a proposal to Kickstarter last week. This past Tuesday it was accepted. I have since retired ALT from Lulu (due to a non-compete with LSI), and in about 6 to 8 weeks it will be officially out of print across all distribution outlets. If you bought a first edition, congratulations–it’s now a collector’s item.

My intentions: Publish ALT 2.0 and subsequent works by way of LSI, completely independent of third parties, in order to guarantee creative freedom and the highest possible print quality in the industry.  This means hardcovers and paperbacks. They will be available simultaneously alongside digital editions, across all distribution channels.

How I’m going to do it: Utilize Kickstarter to raise the funds necessary to make this happen and get it off the ground.

What’s this mean?: It means, starting now, I have the next 65 days to raise $2000 in pledges.  Those who pledge get varying rewards based on the amounts they pitch in.  If, at the end of 65 days, I’ve raised at least $2k, I take the cash and put it toward making the best damn book I can. The more that’s raised means upgrades for everyone. If we hit $5k, everyone gets a hardcover. If I hit $10k, I’m going on tour. And, if I can’t raise $2k, I get nothing, and ALT 2.0 doesn’t happen.  At least not in print, but that’s a bridge we’ll cross when we come to it.

Now this is where I turn it over to you. I do not expect much given the state of the world’s economies. I know how tight things are. Even if you can only toss $5.00 into the hat, I will be eternally grateful. And if you can’t do that, then pass it along to a friend or relative, someone who enjoys books and supporting the little guy. I believe ALT’s message is important, and I do not want to see that message compromised by crappy presentation. With your help, this can happen. I know it can.

There ends my rousing speech. The link to my Kickstarter page is right here. Show some love.

Eternally grateful,


P.S. If you have any questions, or want to give but don’t want to use Kickstarter, email me and we’ll figure something out.

by Todd

Word Machines

June 8, 2010 in Blog by Todd

In the last couple of months this site has experienced a surge in readers.  Judging by the analytics, they’re coming from all around the world.  Most come from right here in the US, the next from the UK and Canada, and from there the list begins to pepper the globe.  I’m happy to say that I have a following in Japan.  That seems odd to me, but I’ve always wanted to be able to say “I’m huge in Japan.”

I’m grateful for your attention.  I know more than half of you who come here spend, on average, almost an hour reading.  That means a lot to me.  Now that I have your attention, I want to share it with others, so I’d like to tell you about some great writers, people who are addicted to words, who need to get them out of their head before anything else.  These are writers who are passionate about what they do, and in doing it they transfer their passion into their art.

These are people who deserve it way more than I do.  So, starting tomorrow, I will debut a new feature titled “Word Machines.” Every month or so, I’ll write up a feature on a writer whose work I admire.  This feature could entail a review of a book, an interview, or links to their works.  Ideally, these are up-and-coming writers, folks whose words you’ve probably never read.  Sometimes I may feature a particular work of a more established writer.  In either case, the plan is to pay things forward a bit.  Call it an act of karma.

I have a list of folks I want to feature, but that list is not nearly as long as I’d like it to be, and I’m only one guy, with a finite amount of time.  If you’ve read my posts over these last couple of months, you know how busy I am.  My reading time is at a premium.  So, this is the part where I ask for your involvement.  This is where I say, “Hey, readers, recommend some writers to me.  Indie, unpublished,  established, whoever—just so long as they’re good.”

Shoot an email to suggestions [at]

I’m looking forward to what you send!