The Legion Grows: Another Editor Reports for Duty

Red Pen of Doom.jpgMy back was against the wall. The grammar errors were all around me.

“I’m a developmental editor,” I said. “This grammar stuff is kicking me in the tender bits.”

“Fear not, Corey-the-human,” a voice sounded through the darkness. “The Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom is here.”

In a sick-ass flash of power and insight, Thomas, the mercenary copy editor, hacked the manuscript to shreds.

All was right in the world again.

In short, Thomas joined the Legion. Find out more about the mercenary proofreader and read his intro by clicking right here (the link will teleport you to the Human Legion website).

You can look forward to seeing our collaborative editing prowess on display in J.R. Handley’s next book in the Sleeping Legion series: Operation Breakout.

More of an update than an informative post today, but I have some how-to posts coming. I’ll be starting a new series tackling point of view, as this is the most common issue I seem to deal with in my editing work (also the item most people ask me about). Until we cross quills again, keep reading, keep writing, and as always—stay sharp!

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Moved in: Hello Virginia

home-sweet-home-1456862578eiX.jpgAt long last I have moved into the new house and am sinking back into a normal schedule. *maniacal laughter* This is my fifth or sixth military move, and let me tell you, this one was a kick in the poop shoot.

Regardless, the house is now painted, baby-proofed, and mostly unpacked. I felt bad for the garbage collectors because I had a mountain of broken down cardboard boxes and packing paper stacked into the stratosphere in front of the driveway.

Other technical difficulties included: transitioning my business to a new state, building a companion author page to this one (located here), going 2,000 pounds over the weight limit for household goods (whoops), and attempting/succeeding to move a 200 pound desk and other miscellaneous furniture up a flight of stairs…two story houses are the worst.

study.jpg

My new home office—where the magic (insanity) happens.

I wrote a post a while back about how environment impacts writing. Some people are flexible and can write at a rock concert, and some people need a perfect little nook. I seem to fall into the latter category. But I have my nook now and am looking forward to judo chopping all the work that has been piling up.

A big “thank you” to J.R. Handley for stopping by the house and bringing over a housewarming gift from his family. Talk about a warm welcome to Virginia. Not only did we eat lasagna until our stomachs almost exploded, we also plotted out a short story for an upcoming anthology. We will be co-authoring the short story, so that should either be really mind blowing, or make people weep uncontrollably. Maybe both?

Wastelander Cover.jpgI mentioned my companion site, that is where I am going to start keeping updates on Wastelander, other book projects, collaborations/co-writing projects, and my author updates. I’m not dense enough to think everyone who comes here for writing tips gives a hoot about my hack fiction — but if you do, be sure to swing over for updates on that front.

All right, moving forward. Time to start doing what this page was meant for: writing tips. Please stay tuned and thanks for bearing with me during this overly long move. Until we cross quills again, keep reading, keep writing, and as always — stay sharp!

 

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Wasteland Wednesday #5

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.

Wasteland Wednesday

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had an update from the wasteland.  It’s still there, I promise.  As for progress, the first stage of rewrites begins next week.  I’m pretty excited to dive right back into it.  It’s been hard stopping myself from starting early, but I try to practice what I preach (irony…you’ll see).

Today I’ll introduce another character from the book, Daniel.  A member of the Lost Word, Daniel has traveled the wastes extensively. He’s not the only Daniel out there.  In fact, all members of the Lost Word are named Daniel.

Name:  Daniel

Nickname: Preacher

Age: Unknown (old)

Bio: Daniel, or Preacher, as Drake and his group like to call him, offered a helping hand when hundreds of hungry mouths were coming to gorge on their flesh. Not much is known about his background.  Of course, being a member of the Lost Word carries a lot of implications. Also, a body covered in scars often tells more about a man than any word could.

faith.pngMuch like all people in the wasteland, Preacher has some secrets.  One thing that isn’t a secret is his apparent allegiance to the Lost Word.  He carries his faith around his neck, and reveals it with his words.  The Lost Word are the keepers of what is left of the religions.  They offer it freely to those they encounter, and focus on spreading the “good word” at settlements and outposts.

You would think faith doesn’t play a large role in wasteland. Well the hundreds of Daniels that comprise the Lost Word would disagree.  Their sect has been known to purge communities who hurt or harm their members or interfere with their practices.  How they are able to do this with just a few men—nobody is really sure.  All that is known for certain is communities of crucified men and women stand testament to their abilities and few challenge them outright.  The children?  No one knows what happens to them.

This particular Daniel, Preacher, is a little different.  He wanders alone.  This is odd because most Daniels travel in a group of three.

pills.jpgAbilities: Members of the Lost Word have access to unheard of pharmaceuticals and are trained to protect themselves with whatever is available.  They rely heavily on stimulants and other meds and tend to wade into combat with a single pistol and knife.  While this may sound outlandish, stories tell of a groups of three wiping settlements off the map.  A forest of hastily erected crucifixes sprout up when this happens.  Daniels must be carpenters too.

Personality: Preacher is quick to smile and quote various religious texts.  Drake doesn’t tolerate this being directed at him, but Lex and Jim (you haven’t met Jim yet) are more open to it.  Preacher respects Drake’s wishes, which only makes him more suspicious to the one-eyed madman.  Preacher is easy-going and will talk with anyone willing to listen.  Drake knows the potential for violence hides behind the old mans gray eyes.

Drake, being older himself, understands that to grow old in the wasteland you have to be one tough bastard.  Preacher appears to be much older than Drake and this makes Drake wonder how the hell the old fool was able to stay alive at all.

Motivation:  Preachers’ motivations are complex (and to remain spoiler free, won’t be talked about much).  What I will share is that he is a member of the Lost Word, but has grown disenchanted with the group.  There is a time he can remember when the order spread hope.  Now, purges are all too common.  He feels purging a community, no matter how far they have fallen or what they have done, is barbaric and wrong.

He dreams of restoring the order, but knows this is likely impossible.  He seems to content himself by helping strangers he encounters. Self-medication also seems to help him, and he is often seen consuming pills.

Drake doesn’t believe Preacher is actually still a member. In his opinion, which he voices (typical Drake), any fool can dress up like one of those nut-jobs and play pretend. Regardless, after Preachers explosive entrance in the book, Drake doesn’t have a lot of options and requires his help.  While Drake will never say it, he respects someone hard enough to grow old despite the wasteland.

bag.jpg

Bag is similar to this.  Concept art is in the works.  Updates are coming!

Equipment:  Preacher carries an engraved black revolver.  It’s much larger than seems necessary and Drake wonders how the old man can even wield it effectively.  Drake, even with his vast knowledge of firearms, couldn’t put his finger on the make and model.  All he could tell for sure is that it would be able to chamber a variety of ammunition.  He also noted the metal and engravings on the pistol were unlike anything he had ever seen.  This is uncharacteristic of standard wasteland weaponry, which is usually in a state of constant [dis]repair.

Preacher also carries a worn leather messenger bag. Beneath the brass buckled flap fastening the bag closed is a silver dagger.  Drake observed Preacher using this dagger to silence the cries of some inbreeders who were trapped under rubble (rubble Preacher created). The contents of the bag are a mystery to Drake.  All Drake knows for sure is that the bag contains meds of some kind—meds that can mask pain.

Author’s Note: Preachers character in the book was important because it serves a number of purposes.  It reveals the existence of the Lost Word, and it also examines faith in the wasteland, or lack thereof.  While Drake is governed by a set of “virtues,” Preacher is guided by something else entirely.  The two are an interesting contrast because both of them are lost souls who prescribe to a sort of debatable faith.

question-markThat’s it for today’s wasteland news!  I hope you all stop by next Wednesday for more information about Wastelander: The Drake Legacy.  I’d love to know what you think about Preacher.  This is only a brief glimpse, but hopefully it did him justice.  Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.

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QE vs Hurricane Matthew & Maintenance

Almost a month ago exactly, I wrote a post about my family preparing to evacuate due to Hurricane Hermine rolling through.  Fortunately for us, Hermine only succeeded at throwing around trashcans and stripping a few trees of their limbs.

Hurricane Coming.jpgWell guess what, another hurricane—Hurricane Matthew—is making its way toward us.  According to the Weather Channel, the whirling monster is supposed to impact the Charleston, S.C. area directly (where I live).

I guess this is what happens when you name your son Thor…

Conflict 101: Man vs Nature

On a more serious note, we are under a Level 3 advisory from the base where my wife works.  As she is active duty Navy, we can be ordered to evacuate and must comply.  I am currently gathering food and supplies.  There’s a chance I’ll be getting to play Yukon Trail: Hurricane Edition™ with my wife, baby, and cat.  (Hopefully, we don’t die of dysentery.)

I also was planning on having my monthly maintenance period this upcoming weekend.  When I wrote my 100th post, I talked about scheduling maintenance once a month to ensure categories and site analytics were being tidied up.  With all that being said, I’ll likely roll my maintenance into this unscheduled outage.

The QE page may go dark for a few days, but I’ll still have recycled posts scheduled and rolling through.  I may also toss in an update if I can, but until the storm passes I’m going to have my hands full.  So if any of you leave an amazing comment and it sits for a few days, know that I am likely convoying away from the storm.

To my blogging friends in the impact areas, stay safe.  To the rest of you, stay classy.  I’ll be back just as soon as the storm subsides.  Until then, keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay sharp!

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Hurricane Hermine: Potential Evacuation

Hurricane_Warning.jpgHey there my literary storm chasers!  Instead of your regularly scheduled blog, today is just a short update.  I live on the coast in South Carolina so we are preparing for potential evacuation due to Hurricane Hermine.  My wife has been sent home from work and if they call and tell her we need to evacuate (she’s in the military) off we go.

I told baby Thor to stop beating on his anvil, but no, he had to go whip a hurricane into existence.  I don’t think we are in any immediate danger, but only a fool doesn’t prepare for potential outcomes.  We’ll be packing diaper bags, stocking the car, getting our cat Niblet’s stuff together, and preparing for the exodus west.  Fun times!

Until tomorrow (or whenever I can get back to a computer) keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay dry…

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Wasteland Wednesday #1

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday will be full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.  I’m talking f-bombs, thrice-bosomed mutant women, and potential buckets of gore.

Wasteland Wednesday

Corey:  Welcome to Wasteland Wednesday!  I have a very special guest here today to talk about what Wasteland Wednesday is and what we will be doing from here on out.  He rose from the dead, destroyed entire settlements, battled slavers, and butchered an army of renegade flesh eaters!  I’m very pleased to introduce…Drake Nelson!

Drake Nelson:  Eh?  The fuck is this? 

I’m using you as a marketing tool to sell books.

You suck inbreeder balls Corey.  First you create the fucking wasteland to absolutely bone me and now this?  I refuse. 

Refuse?  You one-eyed ingrate!  I created you.

…fuck you.  

* slams door shut on Corey’s imagination *

Ugh!  Frigging useless moronic piece of—

* door re-opens * 

I want bullets.  At least fifty .45 rounds.  You give me that and I’ll help you out with this idiotic sales pitch.  

Fine!

* Corey opens manuscript and types,  “Drake springs a monumental boner as his foot kicks a box of fresh .45 rounds hidden beneath some leaves.” *

Nice!  Got it.  Okay, about this stupid book of yours, maybe you should talk about the cover art you just got updated?  People seem to either wet or stretch their undies at the sight of sexy cover art.  

That’s actually not a bad idea.  After all, you are featured on the cover.  Maybe you could explain what you were doing in the scene?

That’s such a great idea Corey.  I’m in a sharing mood right now too!  Just kidding.  Adios.

*door slams shut again*

Drake?  Are you friggin kidding me?

*sighs*

I don’t have time for this.  All right folks!  We are going to continue on without that geriatric madman here to slow us down.  The next iteration of the cover art did come in.

Many moons ago I wrote a post about how I am currently collaborating with the amazing Michail Mamaschew.  The post featured some of his stellar artwork.  You can check it out here if you missed it.

In that post I revealed how Michail (who is working from Berlin) and I have been collaborating to make the exchange of information easier.  I also shared my original concept art.  Here is my doodle.

Cover Art Concept

*door opens*  

You suck at drawing and your “doodle” is much smaller than this.   

*door closes again*

Screw you Drake!

* Corey locks door *

Okay.  So that was my attempt at the drawing the scene.  Michail recently emailed me his rough concept art for approval.  He added a superficial strip down the center of the image to approximate spine location for the print version.  If you consider the space to the right of the strip, this is what the electronic cover will morph into.

Cover Concept.jpg
The concept cover art for Wastelander: The Drake Legacy. This image is owned by Corey Truax. Any manipulation or use of this image without written permission from Corey Truax is not permitted.

*door rattles*

Yeah, we know Drake, you look badass and Michail rocks.  This is the rough creation without any details added.  I, for one, am pretty stoked about how it’s coming along.

If I fail at traditional publishing, the print and typesetting company (something I’ll talk about in future post) I have selected for the indie route will create font and set the cover text.  Once I get the final product from Michail, I will create a cover draft with temporary text so you can see what it looks like in all of it’s wasteland glory.  That’s pretty much—

* door explodes and Drake jumps through giving thumbs up * 

That is one magnificent bastard right there! 

Humble as always.  Can you share at least one thing about the scene here?  People are curious man.  Do me a solid.

Well the image shows me making my approach to Last Chance.¹  A few minutes later I obliterated the place using only wit, balls, and fucking grit.  Or did I?  Maybe I ninja’d my way in.  Hell, maybe I’m a shit bag slaver myself!  Guess you’ll have to read this ass hats book if you’re curious.  Drake out!

* Drake runs off through broken door waving a middle finger at me *

I’m really sorry about all of this you all.  Next time I’ll try to get Collins, Jim, or Preacher to help me out.  Drake’s kind of a wildcard.  I guess you learned a little though, hopefully.

We’ll see what my broken brain comes up with next week.  Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.

¹ Fun Fact!  The Last Chance slaver fortress is modeled after the Moundsville Penitentiary.  In fact, the story occurs in this region of the United States.  

For giggles and evaluation purposes…here’s a poll if you are bored.   

 

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Weekend Maintenance #1

maintenanceJust a quick update to my daily viewers, and anyone else who stumbles across this.  I’m going to be doing maintenance and overhaul this weekend so posting will resume on Monday.  This page started on June 5th and it’s already sporting 75+ posts.  I’m noticing on my tracking that many of you are going pretty deep into some of the content, which is great.  It’s time to take a weekend and organize everything better.

I‘ll still be stalking your pages, I just won’t be adding any content until I resolve the issues I’m listing below.  As a side note, I’m listing these items for transparency.  After the reception I received on my post about how I blog, I thought some of you may be interested in what I’m doing to maintain the page.

Things that will change:

  1. Improved categories for easier navigation from home page.
  2. Linking pages together.  Throughout time I’ve presented different concepts.  As with most things in writing, there are overlaps.  I want to be sure to link pages together for easier navigation (i.e. if someone is interested in archetypes, I wan’t to ensure all posts regarding archetypes have links embedded to point readers toward applicable information if they want it).
  3. Revamp of all applicable images to ensure all information is shareable (i.e. removal/replacement of any potential images that could cause copyright infringement issues in the future).
  4. Additional page of information regarding services I provide as I transition from online freelancing to small business ownership.  This should save people the trouble of emailing me and will cover the questions I’m most commonly asked.
  5. cyborg.jpgUpdate to page listing my book Wastelander and corresponding novella The Wasteland Survival Guide.
  6. My cyborg clone should be coming to life Monday and will assist in day-to-day operations.  It took 278 boxes of Cracker Jacks, one chipped tooth, and three cavities, but I finally got the prize I was looking for: a Palladium mini-arc reactor.  With this in place, my cyborg clone should now have sufficient power to assist me.  (I wish…)

That’s it!  For all of you who stop by regularly, I can’t tell you how great it is talking about something I am passionate about with you.  For those of you who are just wandering in, brace yourselves, Monday is coming.  Until Monday, keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay sharp!

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