playing for keeps

the blog of g.a. matiasz


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Three Excerpts from 1% Free by G.A. Matiasz

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 14, 2017

excerpts together 2I have three free PDF excerpts from my novel “1% Free. “The first is entitled “A Galactic Derive” and offers a glossary of terms to help the reader navigate the world of 2042.
#1 A Galactic Dérive

The second is entitled “Salvage Run,” which introduces the main character Becky Wiley in a blaze of glory, a firefight in which she recovers a mysterious artifact.
#2 Salvage Run

The third is entitled “Black Widow Mouth,” wherein the main character Jimmy Hidalgo chases a seriel killer who murdered his best friend.
#3 Black Widow Mouth

Share and enjoy!

Please feel free to copy and distribute these files as widely as possible.

Print-On-Demand $18.95 Ebook $4.99


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Designing a killer drone

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 24, 2018

Jon Hunt then sent me 6 different sketches, 6 potential versions of a homicidal drone for use in my cover illustration.

I liked the overall design of #2 with perhaps the potential gun turret flexibility of #6. #2 has the surface area for a couple of partial logos, plus the surface area to show damage from being attacked.

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Working with my illustrator: the initial rough sketches

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 22, 2018

The writing, editing, and rewriting of my story “The Death of David Pickett” is finished. Now I’m working with my illustrator Jon Hunt. I sent him an email describing the project and its various elements (background, drone, main character, his t-shirt, action sequence). He sent me back the following two rough sketches. I chose #2, then emailed him back the marked-up sketch plus my revisions: larger drone, larger character, and my author byline under the title. Can’t wait to see the finished graphic.

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A writer is someone who cannot not write

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 12, 2018

To be is to do.—Albert Camus
To do is to be.—Jean-Paul Sartre
Do be do be do.—Frank Sinatra

So goes a version of humorous graffiti mentioned by Kurt Vonnegut in “Deadeye Dick.” As a writer, I have my own clever exchange of sayings:

A writer is someone who writes.—Pat Schneider
A writer is someone who cannot not write.—Sol Stein

Pat Schneider’s declaration is an affirmation of identity: “I am a writer.” Sol Stein’s aphorism is an affirmation of the need to write. I’ve rarely needed to affirm my identity as a writer, I’ve always just written.

I recently finished a major rewrite of a longish short story. Now I’m turning to work on my next MRR column. Last month I wrote about individual political changes, crossovers, and conversions on the Right and Left. Now I’m tackling the rise of and interplay between the New Left and the New Right using 1968 as a linchpin year. I started yesterday and, as usual, I’m attempting to write the history of the world in 1,500 words. In my remaining 500 words, I need to summarize how the New Right—in the form of the European New Right—seduced the New Left—in the form of the academic journal Telos. I have Tamir Bar-on’s brilliant book “Where Have All The Fascists Gone?” to guide me. Walk in the park, right?

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The final edit

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 2, 2018

4/26: I’ve been futzing around with my manuscript “The Death of David Pickett” for the past several days, working and reworking my editor’s corrections and comments. But there’s only so much I can do before I acknowledge I’ve done all I can. So I’ve just sent the “final” document to my editor for a last read-through.

5/2: “The Death of David Pickett” (TDDP) project started when I realized that a longish story I’d already written could be repurposed and reconfigured as a prequel to my novel, 1% Free. TDDP would then be formatted into a digital book and given away for free en mass to publicize and promote the novel. Since that decision TDDP has been rewritten a dozen times, given to select readers to evaluate, submitted to an editor for developmental and line edits, and rewritten several more times.

I got the final read through from my editor last weekend, worked on it for the past few days, and finally declared it finished this morning. Initially, my editor pointed out that one relationship in the story was so undeveloped as to be farcical. She advised that I somehow make my readers care about the relationship. But when I rewrote the relationship putting the necessary depth into it, my editor didn’t like the direction I’d taken matters into and commented she didn’t understand why I still wanted the relationship in the story at all.

At first I was taken aback, and a little miffed. My editor was vocal about what she didn’t like with the revised relationship but not how to fix it. Did she suggest I rewrite the entire story to eliminate the problematic relationship in question? But her editing job was done. I reexamined her comments and realized that part of the relationship’s problem was that it stood alone, apart from the story’s other themes and plot lines. I rewrote the relationship once again and connected it up to the rest of the story, its plot and characters. That should take care of the problem.

Tonight, I’m attending our 6-week-on/6-week-off Finishing School to further chart my course for the TDDP project. One thing’s certain, I will continue to rewrite the manuscript up until I submit it for the final copyediting, just before I pour it into digital pdf/ebook formats. The writing and rewriting are the fun part, the rest is just getting the job done.

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The creative rush

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 21, 2018

4/18: I’m working through my editor’s comments and corrections rewriting my story “The Death of David Pickett.” I’ve given myself a target of 5 pages a day, and I’m already there this morning. Everything else is just catnip.

4/19: Zipping right along. I’ve completed rewriting 9 more pages today. While not as exciting as the original creative work, the process of rewriting–correcting mistakes, inventing solutions to persistent problems, taking plot and character in new directions–is reinvigorating the story and re-energizing my writing.

4/20: I’m off to the gym. Afterwards, I’m back to continue rewriting “The Death of David Pickett.” I’m at the end of a section halfway through the manuscript, and I really have to rebuild that part line by line and paragraph by paragraph. That should be fun.

Writing is a process of building stories and solving creative conundrums along the way. The same goes for rewriting to a lesser extent. I’m invigorated by working through the edits on my manuscript, so much so that I find myself racing along with the rewrite even though I hope it doesn’t end. I’m almost done which makes me excited and sad at the same time. Here’s to finishing today.

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Nothing works the way I want it to. Especially software!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 16, 2018

I’m trying to figure out how to use MS Word’s Track Changes option in going through my editor’s notes and comments for my manuscript “The Death of David Pickett.” At first glance it seems pretty straightforward. I have the option of viewing the document in full markup mode and then of going from one correction to the next either accepting or rejecting the proposed changes. But the markup is messy and confusing and there’s more than just corrections in the marked up document like comments and notes and suggested revisions from my editor. I tried switching over to the compare mode that supposedly allows me to view my original document side by side with the editor’s marked up document. To do so however, all the changes in the marked up document must be accepted in order for the two documents (original and modified marked up) to be viewed next to each other in a single MS Word window. To view my original document next to my editor’s unmodified marked up document means keeping two separate MS Word windows open simultaneously, which defeats the purpose of the compare option. I do have the option of removing my editor’s comments but again, that defeats the purpose of having those comments available for a side by side comparison with my original document. I want to work out a process of rewriting my manuscript which allows me to rework the manuscript into a finished document while maintaining a comparison between the original document and the editor’s marked up document. But I fear that will require keeping THREE damned separate MS Word windows open simultaneously. Aaaarghh!

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Found weekend

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 16, 2018

A man, a typewriter, a weekend. I got the edited manuscript back from my editor. You know where I’ll be this weekend.
[all photos are of Ray Milland from “Lost Weekend.”]

I spent the weekend going over my editor’s notes and comments. There are a dozen problems with the manuscript, but she liked it overall. I’m jazzed. Now I’m setting up for the rewrite, and the more I organize myself for one thing in my life, the more organized I get in the rest of my life.

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When to split

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 11, 2018

I’m working on a new column for Maximum Rocknroll about changing politics from one extreme to another; between one end of the Left or the Right, and between the Left and the Right. I’ve got my examples but I still need to explain the whys and wherefores. I’d intended the piece to cover both examples of individuals changing their politics and of social contexts that enhance or inhibit such political crossovers. Things are running long however and I’m committed to keeping all my columns to 1,500 words or under. So I might have to make this part one.

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Once in the editor’s hands

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 24, 2018

Last week, I sent the “The Death of David Pickett” manuscript to several readers, one professional and a couple of friends. I used their feedback to rewrite it, at the same time I researched editors for an extensive developmental and line edit. Today, I committed to one editor, signed the service agreement, and sent off the deposit. Things are moving along.

I’m not good at editing my own writing. At the same time, I’m an inveterate tinkerer, always rereading and rewriting my work, changing a word here and a sentence there. So when I sent off “The Death of David Pickett” to the editor I just hired, I was at a loss. The editor insisted on “version control” where “[c]lient shall not make any revisions to the manuscript” once I’ve submitted it for editing. So now what do I do? Why, write something else, of course.

Posted in "What's Left?" by "Lefty" Hooligan, 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »