Status report from Stikmanz Intergalactic HQ

6/6/015 - Austin, TX. Emerged about an hour earlier from the chrysalis case visible beneath her, she dries her wings. Photo by Robert Stikmanz.

Main items on the stove at HQ right now include a print edition of Rose Moon & Death on the Toilet, a short story that has reached fourth draft, and the first Dvarsh font. The book is stalled, but the latter two are in active development.

Except for a few, minor details, the planned print edition, Rose Moon & Death on the Toilet, stands ready to go as soon as I can accumulate $2,200.00 to pay for production. Funds were on hand at the time I originally announced the edition, but then life happened. Cash set aside to make the book was suddenly vacuumed up by one of those flurries of crises that come out of the blue to remind us that chance and its demands are ever in play. As things stand, I need help to make this volume happen in a timely manner. The market at features a special pre-publication package for those who would like to help reach the funding target while locking down a claim on Stikmantic swag. Please help.

While that book waits for its dollars to mount, I’ve been hacking away at a new short story, “The Seven Jewel Bird.” Once again, I have failed to remain within either genre conventions or my own previously established boundaries.  Although set in a near-term future, the story is almost demurely realist in tone and execution. Progress has been in fits and starts. The second draft clocked in at slightly more than eight thousand words, third draft tipped scales at barely more than five thousand, but fourth draft again nudges close to eight thousand. I anticipate it will grow by another 500 to 1000 words as I clean up setting and fill in plot holes during draft #5. It may shrink again in draft #6 as I excise purple. The growth and contraction of this story from draft to draft leads me to conclude that I proceed in a manner utterly different from other writers I know. With envy, I read their word count postings like milestones passed on a trek. If I were to announce that I had written 10,000 words on Saturday, I would have to announce that I had struck 4,000 of them by lights out on Sunday. Ultimate length for “The Seven Jewel Bird” is anybody’s guess.

Too long away from working on Dvarsh language finally drove me back to the font, and progress is good. Last time I checked in on this project, the character set was complete. Now, happily, I can report that keyboard layout has been worked out–which has collaterally involved design of some of the user support materials–and I have begun processing the glyphs for importation into my font-making application. It takes on tangibility. Mere weeks may separate me from the thrill of typing Dvarsh language texts. Once that mark is reached, I’ll beg for beta testers to try it at home.