• Mark Meier

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the status of my various projects, so I thought the time is right for doing such.

The Brotherhood is in the final stages. I’d hoped to start sending out submissions this fall, but that was not to be. A second round of Beta Reading just started today, so it’s going to be at least a month before comments will be returned and processed. With Christmas so close at that point, shopping for publishers and agents will be on hold until next year. That might be for the best, though.

The Archives is on hold. I was asked to read through a couple of books and comment, so my time is going to be used for that in the next couple of weeks (or more). When those two are finished, I’ll be splitting my time between The Archives and Ravid.

Ravid is going through another revision, in case you missed that notification. There are aspects of the story I thought were a good idea at the time, but upon reflection perhaps weren’t wise. Other narrative sections will get fleshed out a bit more so it’s “not so boring” (as Nick and John pointed out).

One of the things I’ve heard editors and agents do is ask new novelists, “What else do you have?” If you have something else to show them they can determine if an author is a One Hit Wonder. They try to select authors with their career in mind. If Ravid is nearly ready to shop around, I can give them an example of what else is coming up.

Since Ravid is the first of three, I’m kind of torn about what to do after that. I’d like to work on the sequel, Aviel. Then there’s a prequel for The Brotherhood I’ve been toying with for years called, The Wizards of Ephesus. Another project with promise is Siba, which would kick off an entire series (Tome` is the planned sequel to that).

The writing I really want to do, though, is The Archives. That series could reach thirty books all by itself. If, somehow, I’m able to write a complete Archives novel every year, I doubt I’d live long enough to finish the series.

One of the authors I used to read had a system where he’d finish four books every year. I kind of remember what he described in the Author’s Note of one of his novels, and it could work. But when I look back at what he wrote it seems simplistic compared to what I want to accomplish.

“What is it you want to accomplish, Mark?”

That’s a fair question. My main purpose in writing is to introduce people to concepts they might not otherwise be exposed to. To do that the books have to be entertaining enough to hold a reader’s interest, and simply cranking out four books in a single year won’t have the depth I want.

Ravid and the sequels used to be a single book. When I began that project I thought of it as my career’s crowning achievement. The decision to split it into three was a tough one, but I think doing that was the right thing to do. After that the concept of The Archives blew that out of the water.

Now I see Ravid as the starting point of my career as an author - the spark which ignites the tinder, so to speak. But where does that leave The Brotherhood?

Only time will tell. But that time is coming soon.



  • Mark Meier

Anyone who knows me beyond a casual acquaintance knows I don’t like poetry. Even simply reading this blog should be enough to know that much about me. Last year, nobody was more surprised than me when poetry spilled from my mind onto paper.

Yes, Blacker than Black was the first poem I’d written (other than tripe smeared across the computer screen in college). It was published in the anthology Lost and Found. Since then I’ve written a bunch of poetry, though I’ve not been exactly prolific.

When the first poetry was brought to a critique group I attended, I had nothing to say. I was still caught up in “what does ‘love is like a red, red rose’ have to do with anything?” I thought a writer should simply write what he or she thought. And what can anyone else add to . . . poetry. (Blech!)

Since that first poetry critique I’ve watched how input from others can help refine a poet’s efforts. I’ve been the recipient of honing provided by others. Whispers in a Storm is one such poem, thanks to fellow author Larry Bastian. I’ll never forget “that moment” when a simple word substitution could make that poem (ahem) POP!

Those who are helping critique The Brotherhood will get that joke. Everyone else will have to wait.

Prismatic Blossoms and Granite Boulder followed in short order, and then months passed before the poetry bug bit again. Now The Highway will introduce my upcoming book, The Brotherhood.

Critiques have played a major role in The Brotherhood. Everyone who has helped out know how rough that material was at the start. (Hint for beginners: they all are.) The Highway was no different.

If anything, critiquing poetry is even more vital than in prose. Poems, with the exception of epic poetry, are typically shorter than anything in prose. Every word has an impact, and a simple word substitution can be the difference between good poems and great ones.

The upshot of all this is I’d like to thank those who have helped bring about what I think is a great book which will come out soon, and the poetry I’ve published.

For your enjoyment, here is Blacker than Black.

Blacker than Black

Blacker than black

My soul disintegrates in the onslaught

Hope no longer remembered

Vanished across years

Despair



  • Mark Meier

I admit it. When I see something wrong I tend to shake my head, and have to fight with myself to NOT correct things on social media. “That’s not question.”

GAAAAH!

“I could care less.” In other words, this doesn’t reach the level of “COULDN’T” care less.

The thing is, social media is full of this kind of thing. I’m not so much of a grammar cop that I HAVE to correct this - it is social media. That’s not meant to be the epitome of correct. Anybody spending a few minutes there would notice that.

On the other hand, I’m an author. My goal is to get my writing as close to the ideal as possible. But the English language is fluid, and what’s correct tomorrow might simply be what the usage is today.

“There’s less dollars in my account” has become an accepted practice, when not that long ago that would have required “fewer” dollars, because the dollars could be counted. “Fewer gallons” in my tank, “less gasoline.”

Even though that kind of thing is “doesn’t matter” these days, I’ll still fight against it.

I even try to use correct grammar and spelling in text messages.

Cn U blame?


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