Monday, November 18, 2013

Slightly damp index cards are the best thing ever.

Not pictured: tears of joy.

Teh Novel is with the Final Beta for its final round of notes before it goes to a nice person who asked to see it … and who will keep it busy until at least January or February. Which means it’s about that time again …

That’s right. Masks Volume 2 is ah-LIVE.

A few of you may have seen the joyous photo post on Facebook last night. Short version: I had been looking for the deck of scene cards for Masks Volume 2 for several days, and had been growing increasingly worried when they didn’t turn up. It’s not that I didn’t have backups—it’s just that there’s something about the physical cards that makes my brain work in ways that digital backups just … don’t. (Okay, AND the backups had gone missing. If I ever made them. Don’t judge me.) But around midnight last night, I finally located a tattered, unbound stack of index cards sitting loose on top of a basket of CDs that I swear I’ve searched half a dozen times now. All 24 scene cards for Mv2, neat as you please, except for some mysterious water spotting that hasn’t really affected the notes. Much.

I don’t remember dropping the cards in the bath or carrying them around in the rain. I don’t remember taking the rubber band off them. (That’s something I normally do only to decks I’ve finished with—I take the rubber bands off, tie them with string instead, and stash notebook and cards in my box of Things I Will Donate To A Library Someday If Anybody Cares. The box does not have a lot of stuff in it so far. I’m weirdly proud of that.) I definitely don’t remember leaving them on top of the CDs, as opposed to in their notebook where they belong or in some safe receptacle. But at least I’ve got them now. And it’s time to get to work.

The first order of business, I think, will be a little random writing—picking out the scenes that definitely work in my head, writing them down, and building out from there to the more problematic ones. From there, I can get the serial cranked up again.

I have also decided I’m going to at least polish the early chapters, and then re-post them with art. There might be major changes, but it’s not terribly likely. More probably I’ll just make the sentences flow better and be content with that. In any case, you’ll want to follow the serial on Twitter and Facebook, as that’s where I’ll be posting links to the updated chapters. It doesn’t make sense to post all-new versions, for a variety of reasons, but I will try to be clear about what’s being changed. And then, not long after that and perhaps while the polishing’s still going on, there will be NEW CHAPTERS.

Because this story is a long way from done. There’s a mysterious kid Patriot to be explored. There’s Trevor’s dance with the Masked Rider about Rae’s fate, and Rae’s showdown with Hawkins about Trevor’s destiny. There’s whatever the hell is going on with Soleil. There’s the matter of what really happened to the Black Mask all those years ago, and the solution to Trevor’s coded journal (it’s a real code, btw, that you could theoretically solve with widely available materials). There’s Mike, of whom all I’ll say is … there’s Mike. There are hearts to break and souls to mend and a surprise or two. And there is a coyote. Oh, is there ever a coyote.

When will you see all this bounty, you ask with bated breath?

December. Sometime. That’s the plan. Some tweaks to the website, a lot of staying in and painting while it’s a bit chilly, and a general cranking-up of things and advancing of the spark. I’ve got some ideas for the Volume 2 cover, as well, and you’ll eventually be hearing about those … and some plans to add some color to the site’s design … and other goodies … but all that’s for later.

For now, I have 24 slightly damp and curling index cards. And life is good.

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