Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Anthology

Almost everything is done on the anthology except a final read through. I'm calling it Bitter Steel.

I did a preface that is 700 words, although I’m gonna try to shave that down a bit. The preface focuses primarily on Robert E. Howard as the man who created the Sword & Sorcery genre. It doesn’t say too much about the stories in the collection, because I want them to stand on their own. I did mention that some of the stories have alternate endings to those that appeared in the original publications.

I set the Thal Kyrin stories up first in the collection, after an opening poem, and I put them into chronological order. That meant doing some revisions on a few of them, and I also used very short “end notes” behind a few stories to explain where gaps still exist. I made judicious use of “Author Notes” at the beginning of a couple of stories, primarily to let people know when they were going to get a humorous story as opposed to the more serious stuff that makes up the bulk of the collection. I also did a fair amount of tightening on the pieces throughout.

I’ve always kept a file labeled Story Notes, where I put information about when I wrote the stories and about any influences or other items that seem important to me. And I edited these notes heavily and included them at the end of the entire collection. I figure most readers will probably skip ‘em, but the writers might find those bits interesting.

Tomorrow I’m taking off because my son and his girlfriend are coming up for Christmas. I’m looking forward to seeing him. I’ve got the meal planned. Steak, corn on the cob, garlic bread with cheese, and ice cream for dessert.

Merry Christmas to everyone. I’ll be checking blogs again on Wednesday and then may take off for Christmas eve and Christmas.
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48 comments:

MarmiteToasty said...

Your planned meal is JUST THE BESTEST I might invite meself to dinner lol

Have the most wonderful of christmas's despite all the family problems....... life aye, its what we sign up for..

x

Leigh Russell said...

Ice cream . . . more into hot mulled wine and hot mince pies here! It's snowing . . .
Have a wonderful Christmas, Charles.
By the way, I love the title Bitter Steel - (as the creator of Geraldine Steel, how can I not?)

the walking man said...

Came together pretty quickly it seems then Charles...not the writing but the organizing, congratulations for the brisk pace and hope you enjoy the kids. Best to Lana in her recovering from the old slice and dice.

pattinase (abbott) said...

A summer meal! Isn't it funny how we share this. Here the crockpots are out and steaming away. Have the loveliest of Christmases.

Charles Gramlich said...

Marmite Toasty, yeah, anyone can make Turkey for Christmas. lol. Thanks.

Leigh Russell, well it'll probably be close to 70 here today so Ice cream is no burden. But made I'll do Ice cream floats.

Mark, thankee. Yeah, it's amazing how much I can get accomplished when I have a few days off from "work."

Pattinase, they've been to two other Christmas family festivals and are probably sick of turkey.

cs harris said...

So much thought and planning! I'll never look at a collection of short stories quite the same again.

Enjoy Christmas, Charles!

Ocean Girl said...

I would like to sit in your class one of these days!

Happy time with family and enjoy the break.

David J. West said...

I like that title and look forward to being able to get my hands on the colection.

Merry Christmas to all as well.

Voidwalker said...

How long did it take you to compile this anthology?

BernardL said...

I definitely like the title. Your juxtaposition seems right. Does the poem you're starting out with have an edge to it? With a title like 'Bitter Steel' an introductory poem would need some bite.

writtenwyrdd said...

Have a lovely holiday with your family!

I must have missed the mention, but how are you going to be producing this book? Or are you shopping it out to someone?

Travis Erwin said...

My kind of meal. Enjoy the visit with your son.

sage said...

No shrimp and creole cooking? Have fun with your son and his girl friend. Let us know when your anthology is published.

ivan said...

I don't know how you can be so honest about the writing process.

I just down a half-quart of whiskey at night, Get up in the morning to see if my cigarette is drawing properly, brew up a caraffe of coffee and let fly.
Lately, I have eased off because my computer broke down before I did.

... wrong and unhealthy, of course, but how come I'm older than just about anybody?...but then the writin' ain't all that good. :)

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Sounds good, Charles - both the anthology and the meal. Have fun.

laughingwolf said...

grats on the progress, charles!

merry christmas to you, lana, and the rest of your kin :)

Erik Donald France said...

Congrats, man! Excellent, and perfect timing for the holidays' start. Three cheers' (the ordering of the collection sounds right on, and the title is a sharp one ;)

jodi said...

Charles, it must be a relief to not only have decided on the order, but to have DONE it. I'm sure you made the decision that is right. You dinner sounds yummy. Merry Christmas to You and Lana..

Cloudia said...

Enjoy that meal!



Aloha, Charles & Lana


Comfort Spiral

Rick said...

Bitter Steel? What a highly cool title, Charles. I'm anticipating some highly exciting swordplay...

Rick said...

Bitter Steel? What a highly cool title, Charles. I'm anticipating some highly exciting swordplay...

James Reasoner said...

Love that title. Have a great holiday.

Bernita said...

Oh, NICE title! I like your format.Always appreciate author's notes in a collection like this.

Charles Gramlich said...

Candy, Mayhaps I planned too much, but it seemed reasonable at the time.

Ocean Girl, thankee. And you too.

David J. West, thanks, much appreciated.

Voidwalker, the stories were written over a decade at least. It took a day to write and revise the preface and the author notes. Took about a week of reading through and revising the stories themselves. There was quite a lot of thinking during that time.


BernardL, the intro poem is a piece written on the same rhyme scheme and rhythm as Robert E. Howard’s “Recompense,” which is a great poem. I mentioned Howard quite a bit in the preface so it seems to fit.

writtenwyrdd, I’ve got a publisher in mind for it. You have a great holiday as well.

Travis Erwin, he ate every bite of his steak and lots of corn, garlic toast, and cucumbers. I was glad to see him have such an appetite. My best compliment.

sage, well I’m only a transplanted Louisianian so I haven’t mastered all those cooking intricacies yet. And mission accomplished on the have fun part.

ivan, maybe it’s the difference in what we right. In one strange way, your stuff seems more internal than mine. I pluck mine out of the air. I couldn’t handle either the whiskey or the coffee. Or the cigarette actually.

Don, thankee. And we did have some fun.

laughingwolf, thanks, and to you and yours as well. And the pup!

Erik Donald France, lol. Sharp one indeed! Thanks.

jodi, thanks Jodi. Looking forward to a bit of rest these next few days.

Cloudia, it turned out very good if I do say so myself.

Rick, I’m glad you like the title. I’ve had that in mind for a collection for a very very long time.

James Reasoner, and happy holidays to you and Livia and the kids! I came up with that title for a potential collection back when I was in grad school and didn’t even have any stories written. Talk about hubris eh?

Bernita, thanks. There are other ways I could format it but this seems to work. I hope I can keep from second guessing myself.

Sarah Hina said...

I love the title, Charles! And I'm glad Lana is doing better.

I hope you and yours enjoy a Merry Christmas.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Okay, I'm officially jealous of your Christmas meal! You guys are going to have so much fun -- have a great holiday and much love to Lana -- hope she's feeling much better!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Merry Christmas!!

Terrie

Steve Malley said...

If I don't see you before then, Merry Christmas!

Charles Gramlich said...

Sarah Hina, I'm glad you like it. Yes, she's feeling better, although she seems to have hit a plateau today. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

Michelle, My son ate like there'd be no food the next day. I was pleased!

Terrie Farley Moran, same to you!

Steve Malley, and to you and the Tiny Dynamo!

Richard Prosch said...

Merry Christmas, Charles. Wishing you and Lana all the best in 2010.

Voidwalker said...

It seems like it would be almost easier to do a straight novel, than compilation, but hey, nice job! :)

Barrie said...

Wishing you a very very Merry Christmas. (I didn't realize you had a kindle. Somehow I feel I should've known that. ;) )

Charles Gramlich said...

Richard, thanks, and to you too.

Voidwalker, well not as much time as writing a novel, though writing all those stories separately probably took more time.

Barrie, I haven't used my Kindle in a while but I have a bunch of books on it.

ANNA-LYS said...

Good Yule Season!

To You and Lana!

<3

Scott said...

Charles,

Can't wait to read the anthology.

You and Lana have a great holiday!

Charles Gramlich said...

Anna-lys, thanks! You too!

Scott, gonna be Howardian. I hope at least.

ivan said...

A Merry Ho-Ho to you guys!

Middle Ditch said...

I love the title Charles and your meal sounds absolutely delicious.

I wish you and yours a most wonderful Christmas.

Middle Ditch said...

Oh, PS! Christmas episode is posted.

Michelle's Spell said...

Merry Christmas, Charles! I hope you're enjoying that dinner! Much love to you and yours.

Charles Gramlich said...

ivan, same to you, my friend.

Middle Ditch, I'm glad my son really enjoyed it. I'll check out the episode.

Michelle, and thank you for the card. We both got a kick out of that.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Merry Christmas Charles. I wish you and your family sweet happiness.


Soft love,
T

jennifer said...

That meal sounds wonderful! I hope that you had a great visit.

Merry Christmas Charles.

Miladysa said...

Merry Christmas Charles :)

TechnoBabe said...

I know I am getting in on the tail end of your latest writing accomplishment, but it sounds interesting. "Bitter Steel" is an intriguing title. Hope your Christmas was everything you wanted it to be.

Greg Schwartz said...

hope you had a good holiday. the anthology sounds like it's really coming along. i like that title.

Charles Gramlich said...

Tara, thank you.

jennifer, Josh ate more than I've seen him eat in a long time. It was quite gratifying!

Miladysa, and to you!

TechnoBabe, thanks, and thanks for visiting!

Greg Schwartz, so far, so good, my friend.

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