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Research & Thoughts

Update on Projects during Quarantine

I want to give myself a tally of the projects I'm working on and felt this the best place to do it, since I know no one reads me here, so I can be self-indulgent, right? And yeah, I'm talking to you anyway, since I hope all you non-existent people out there will be my readers someday.


Anyway, since leaving work on March 24th I've had what I've longed for - uninterrupted time, no longer wracked with guilt about finding a job, free to work all day every day on these projects that have lingered in the dark for too long. Here's the list of current projects:


My Vampire Trilogy - still marketing Journal of an Undead: Love Stories. Though formerly published as Adventures in Death & Romance, I'm finding no interest, even from those who take formerly published works. I finished a great new edit of Journal of an Undead: Climax where I had to decide on Arabus's final fate and I think it concludes in the best way possible. It needs, I think, one more edit and then I'll have to self-publish, if I realize I have killed my chances for an undead publisher.


Pensaukee: Voice of a Landscape. I started research on this in my undergrad degree, and got the Arndt Sawmill site on the National Register in 2006 as part of the Arndt Team. But the project has languished ever since. Imagine trying to find all my resources now! It's an on-ongoing challenge to pull this together, and I recently decided to remove all footnotes and opt instead for references to sources within the text and the full bibliography at the end. I've seen others do this, and except for querying the state historical press, I'll just put this up on Amazon myself. Somehow I have to get it under 150,000 words first. It starts with just the American Indians on the land, and takes us through European conquest, up until 1950 and how the area gradually polluted. Truly is the voice of a landscape, and I hope it gets attention past local consumers. Taking out footnotes also reduces the book's length.


Movie scripts. I did two very good - I hope - edits of Journal from the Grave and Bighorn Deceit. I also renamed Skin Changers to POS Amerika or The Rio Grande River Wall War.  Problem with my editing is that with each edit I think I've got it perfect. And then a couple months later I go back and see all kinds of errors. Truly hate that. But I have now invested money in all three of these edits, so will report if they start getting any attention. Next up is my low budget horror comedy.


From Lincoln To Trump: I began researching and writing my pivotal look at the Republican Party, starting with Lincoln, in October, and have now completed second edit. I pulled some of this from my published nonfiction, but there is a lot of material here that didn't make that book, which ends with a look at Teddy Roosevelt. Here, seeing through an objective look at their accomplishments, with an intense focus on why the violence happened in the 1960s, we get a clear view of how this political evolution happened. Of course I am anti-Trump, and I cannot hide that, but there's plenty of factual material here for even a skeptic on my subjectivity to pick up on. There's no fake news here. I expect to get this published on Amazon because no publisher could take it on and get it out by October - and getting it out after the November election would be a bit anti-climatic. Because I don't see how Trump can possibly win again. With any luck I'll have it out before the end of July.


Dinner at Marshall Field's: This is an edit I'm vey proud of. I'm going through each chapter two to three times. Before the read-aloud final edit of each chapter, I ask myself, now what is the reason that this chapter exists? By asking myself that, I am approaching each chapter as though a mini-story in itself. I'm going to try querying a few agents with the first couple of chapters. I also removed a ridiculous gimmick that I thought would help it sell, indicating that I didn't think much of myself as a writer. I thank Malavika Jagannathan for giving me her copy of "The Paris Wife," which is also in first person, set in a similar time period, for inspiring in me a more poetic tone to the piece.


Copper Resource Manuals: Because I opted to get out of my godaddy website, which also cancelled my email account from which I sent my newsletters, I've put the newsletters as they were away and am now focused on sending out copper tips here on its own page. I've yet to create a mailing list at Yahoo to let my subscribers know, and I'm not sure that many of them would care, but what I really need to focus on is getting the first copper resource manual done. Wisconsin, of course, will be first, and again I'll try the Wisconsin history press to see if they're interested. But if not, I will publish these myself. This is the ultimate culmination of the work that first started over a decade ago. I applied for a grant from Iowa to continue research in that state this summer - but with the virus, traveling might be what keeps me from getting it.


Movie Making: For a while, I was happy to have three roles in different local movies. One was simply a phone in, so I finally taped an audio and sent it in. I have yet to hear if it's acceptable. The second was a role created for me by Robb Chase, in Madison, very appreciative of his support. He's so far had only online rehearsals. The third is a role I didn't think I was suited for, but he fought to get me to take it. But he started having in-person rehearsals in Milwaukee, which made me uncomfortable. So I told him he better find someone else. He asked me to hang in there, in case he can't find someone else. It's an intriguing role of a madam, and godmother of a killer, so I told him to just let me know. I'm also working on editing my own documentary now. I did a good job editing a short video, but trying to combine two videos didn't go well. Everything was going great until a part of it went black and I have no idea why. I'll see what happens there today.


Lots of miscellaneous to work on. I'm trying to pull on my success in writing for Muse and younger kids, plus I have several short works I think are worth putting out there. Watch for my Muse announcement. They're supposed to let me know how to tell others how to get copies. I wish wish wish they werea available at newstands. A goal of my life, sitll unfulfilled, is to be found on the shelf in Barnes and Nobel.





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