Being P. H. Campbell


28 July 2019 7:30 PM

Just when you think inspiration is completely gone, lightning strikes.

Amid the drama of trying to find a new place to live, the rising tension of getting closer to becoming homeless, and dealing with assorted bullshit, I apparently went into complete reality denial mode and came up with potentially the best trilogy (or series) I've ever written.

It combines ideas from about 4 failed stories - ones which I started and never figured out where the hell they were supposed to go.  Better still, I figured out where it would go, how, who, when and pretty much invented an entire world, six societies, a single whole religion (of sorts), a quest whose ending NO ONE will see coming, and a battle-filled resolution unlike anything I've ever heard of put to paper.

I know I've said in the past I'm excited about a project, but this one has really vast commercial potential AND has engaged my attention to the point that I wrote OVER 50,000 words in less than a week, and am closing in on finishing the rough draft of the first of at least three novels.

I RARELY know exactly where one of my books are going when I start. Most of the time I play "what if?" and roll from there.  But this one I sat down and worked out the general story line from start to finish of all of the books, the major characters, their background, traits and aspects, and refer back to that outline often.

I DO indulge in many twists and turns along the way that weren't worked out in advance, in order to increase interest and lengthen things, as well as explore avenues that could add more drama - or comedy - later.

The working title for the series right now is Saga of the Dragon's Daughter - and believe me when I tell you that the impression you got from that title is 100% wrong.  This will make your head explode when you find out where it goes, and what happens when they get there.  And I have six main characters, some of whom are pretty neutral, some you will love and some you may hate, while following the Dragon's Daughter in her quest.

Without giving too much away, I took inspiration from Avatar: The Last Airbender and to a smaller extent, Lord of the Rings.  I also grabbed the Chinese Zodiac as a major aspect to it.  The rest is quasi-based on the ideas I've been trying to do for at least 4 stories I've tried to write without much success over the last four years.  This one uses the most important elements I wanted to write from all four stories, all in a much more compelling story than they ever hoped to be.

I also plan to use new editing tools (the same ones I'm using for Seren: Legends of the Galaxy) to vastly improve the quality of writing in it.

Oh, and for anyone who's interested in the home-finding saga of our own, we have found a new place to live, despite a rental market tighter than accessing a beyond top secret clearance site - literally as of today.  When we viewed it, I could see huge potential for creating some really good things.  It's quieter than where we live now, it's closer to markets and jobs. (Literally within walking distance - and I don't walk so good anymore.)   And I think I'll be sleeping better than I do where I live now.

So we scored a jackpot there.  I credit the on-site manager, an Army vet named Danny who was an MP like my sister, stationed at the same base as she was, though earlier, and the apartment complex's owner who is also a vet, for making an offer we could meet.  Of the dozens of places to which we applied, they were the only ones who had any shits to give to help out a household of service-related disabled veterans (My wife, our roommate and myself) who had to leave our rental because the owner was more disabled than we were, and needed it back.

It's people who still have a shit to give about their fellows that pushes back against my natural inclination to be expected to be screwed and always planning for the worst.  We put down the money and sign the lease tomorrow, then we go out and buy Danny a case of his favorite beer, because he went way the hell above and beyond what anyone else did, and probably saved our sanity, if not our lives, in the process.

The dedication of  all of the books in the Dragon's Daughter series will be to him.  It would not get written if he hadn't gone to bat for us.  And we are all grateful beyond words that he did.

10 July 2019 12:30 AM

Life in general got stupid shortly after my last post in May.  Long story short, we have to move again.  It's not anyone's fault, but it is a major pain in the ass, especially now when finances are just on the verge of being fine, but not quite fine enough to be certain that we won't end up on the streets for a while.

As you might imagine, this hasn't done my writing schedule any favors.  In fact, while this is going on, I really haven't gotten any more new writing done, and only managed some editing on Seren: Legends of the Galaxy.  We have to be out by the end of this month, and we've applied to rent a nice place not that far from where we are now.  We're hoping we can get it based on our history and recommendations, because our finances look like crap at the moment (which will be vastly different in 2 months).

The timing for this couldn't have been worse.

As to whether or not I'll make the 4 books per year goal, that's in serious jeopardy.  Between trying to get the rental market figured out, finding a place within our budget and all the other hassles, well, there's not a lot of time, and even less thought, given over to writing.  I hope to have things back on track next month, but it's going to be a very hard month ahead.  I even put out a GoFundMe campaign, in case we needed more than we had (and we did, because some things we hoped to get didn't pan out).

We'll know in a few days or less whether or not we got the place.  

In the meantime, there's a small gas leak that the gas company has chased with jackhammers all day, going into the wee hours of the morining, which is why I'm writing this now, instead of tomorrow morning.  It's not a serious one and no one is in danger, except our peace of mind and our daily allotment of sleep.

So, very little progress on books, but I do have a new book idea I'll be chasing (it's trying to tie together about 6 different started, but never finished, books, taking elements of each for it).  I can flesh out the idea while I'm chewing my nails hoping we get into that place we applied for.

Being P. H. Campbell, at the moment, sucks out loud.  But we'll get through it, I expect.  I'd just like to wake up to having gotten through it and skipped all the horrible things moving entails in the meantime.  

...and the jackhammers start up again...

Competence in simple gas line repairs seems to be an extinct quality...

25 May 2019  1:00 AM

I'll have the rest of the website up by the end of the day today.  I made the templates for the individual book pages and will be adding the text for the other 18 or 19 I have left to finish to them over the day.  One of them will be the up-coming book Seren: Legends of the Galaxy, which has the cover art work mostly done and  is in the editing phase.  It's part of the SCOUTS Universe, and has cameos from many of the crew of the Talon, and even from Cinder and Ash.

Getting the website up is the current priority, but once that's done, I'll finish the editing on Seren 3 and get it ready for publishing.  My goal reamins to put out 4 books this year.  I have some work done in Full Spectrum:: Labrynthian Time and have a wicked twist in store for Full Specrum: Genesis of the Legion.  Those are books 2 and 3 for this year.  I'm looking at other projects to see what I can do before the end of the year, including the second book in the Warrior trilogy (Warrior King) and the first book in the Paladin's/Shepherds series (titling to be determined).  Both of those have been written in total, but need to be edited and do the cover art work so either one is an option.

I'm also looking at other projects, to keep my interest up in what I'm writing on.  I have an odd book about a boy with a girl in his head.  It's a superhero story.  Unfortunately, it's not actually "done".  Another one is another wierd book about life in the distant past emerging in today's world.

So what comes next will be a mystery until I decide on exactly what the fourth project of the year will be.

24 May 2019

This is where I'll be writing about the goings on in my life, for better or worse.  MOST of it will be book-related, of course.  I'll be adding entries at the TOP, and dating them, so you don't have to scroll down to the bottom to find the latest posting.