It’s been quite the productive week — scenes spawning new scenes, some shuffling of things that came too early or too late, and steady growth to Lady Mistress. Total word count sits at about fifty-four thousand words, with another twenty-four scenes left to write. (And who knows how many more will add themselves to the mix as I go?)

I like it when a story grows beyond my original plan. Most of the time, my outline is bare bones and… unpretty. As the story gets written, it fleshes out and makes the former ugliness worth it.

Still no word regarding the editing progress of Broken Trails with PD Publishing.

As noted in my earlier post, however, there’s great news regarding the Sanguire series! I signed a contract with Bella Books earlier this month for three titles. The first, The Strange Path should be out by spring of 2012! Lady Mistress, on which I’m currently working, is slated for publication by mid-summer barring any emergencies or snafus. The final book hasn’t been officially titled (though the working title is Defender of the Crown.) It’s hoped that it will be out by the end of 2012, but there are no guarantees that far in the future.

WOOT!

Now, here’s your official warning. BEWARE! FANGEEK NERDISHNESS AHEAD!

The One Constant

As much as I’d like to say that my wife is the One Constant in my life, I’d be lying. (She’s been the One True Constant for nearly half my life! That’s gotta count for something!) No, the One Constant in my life has been, and always will be Star Trek.

Last week, George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek) was at my hotel. He was the guest for the Oregon Japanese Nikkei Endowment dinner, a group whose mission is to preserve and honor the history and culture of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest. I was fortunate enough to have time during my shift to listen to the onstage interview. Didn’t get to meet him, but that’s probably just as well… I’d have gushed and stammered. I told my coworkers that I would just like to shake his hand and thank him. For everything.

At seventeen, I had my allowance and went to K-Mart with my step-dad. While he wandered off to do whatever, I hung out in the book section. I found Star Trek Lives! by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Sondra Marshak and Joan Winston. (Wow! I even remembered the authors without having to Google!) That was it for me! I was hooked.

If not for Star Trek, I wouldn’t be writing these words, I wouldn’t be writing at all. Star Trek fired up my imagination in ways no other television show did. My first fiction writing was a Trek fanfic. (Entitled ‘Touché’, it was – not surprisingly – the first chapter of a romance between Kirk and Mary Sue.) My first poem (not forcibly assigned to me by a teacher) was about Spock. Both were eventually published in a local fanzine. (That was long before the internet!)

My first attempt at serious drawing was a picture of Deforest Kelley (Dr. McCoy) with a yellow number two pencil and a piece of typing paper. From there I drew many of the other characters, and branched out to other celebrities. Eventually, I displayed my artwork at science fiction conventions, and sold a number of pieces.

From there I attended college, and fell in love with airbrush. My brief stint as a professional artist was lucrative enough to invest a several hundred dollars into a compressor and airbrush, and still allow me to almost make it into the black in my ledgers.

My first adult friendships weren’t from college. I didn’t attend college until my late twenties. They were a group of crazy, loving people I met at a Star Trek club in Boise, Idaho. They were my greatest friends for years and introduced me to so many things. I’m still in contact with some of them.

Because of Star Trek, I learned about raising horses and Doberman dogs, Shakespearean plays (my fave is The Twelfth Night,) Japanese American internment camps, the plight of American Indians, and Roman history. I’ve been a research junkie since I was a kid, and every episode of Star Trek had something intriguing. When it wasn’t an episode, it was a movie or television show that the actors and actresses went on to do afterward. Devoted follower that I was, I remember going through the TV Guide every week in search of the familiar names, which then introduced me to new concepts and ideas and points of view.

When Star Trek: The Next Generation came out, I was upset. I was stationed in West Germany, and didn’t get to see my first episode until the second or third season. It was a horrible hardship, but I was glad to see that the depth of character and episode-as-a-metaphor continued onward. In my house, it was a known fact that when Star Trek was on, no interruptions were allowed. Period. LOL! I didn’t miss any new episodes until I began working nights, and cursed and swore every week when I did.

I’m sure a lot of my readers can relate. Many of you are die-hard Xena, Warrior Princess fans, right? I know many of you out have reached out to attain your dreams because of the moral support you received from the friends you’ve gained and the things you’ve learned about yourselves because of the show. My own interest in the show helped me discover things about myself – that I could finish a novel on my own – and opened the door for publication.

I’ve achieved my dreams because of Star Trek. It’s been with me since I became a fan over thirty years ago. I carry in my heart a belief that the Human race will prevail beyond our violent and irrational views, that we’ll make it to the stars and go where no one has gone before. I’ve learned plot, character, dialogue and description from the shows and the books and the movies. It has been he one constant throughout my life, and I’ll probably go to my deathbed quoting Spock:

“Live long and prosper.”

Or… maybe…

“Kill ‘em all!”

LOL! Who knows?

If you have any questions, or suggestions on what you want see me write about, please let me know! The comment form will require a valid email address to ensure you’re a real person. (I don’t collect the addresses or do anything with them, so you won’t be getting future spam from me.) If that’s not to your taste, you can email me — the link is up above on the left.