This month passed as a blur of spinning kicks and late-night writing sessions, the sudden cancellation of a book contract, selling other author's books by day, travel to Boston (my largest sales account is just outside of "Beantown"), and too much hot caf. (more on the caffeine addicts survival guide below)
Nathaniel earned his Blue Belt in Taekwondo and the award for best poomsae (form).
More about Nate:
Unexpectedly, my German publisher decided to exercise the "Kill Clause." That makes for a great title (it's mine - you may NOT have it). But, KC's don't work out so well for author royalties. Okay, so Unverwüstlich underperformed. It happens. Publishing is a tough business. That said, publishers have teeny tiny attention spans and even shorter time horizons. Publishing the translation of a book in September (in paper only), in a market where no one yet knows me, without publishing the e-book simultaneously, only to kill it five months later, seems ill-thought. Well, Auf Wiedersehen! Now I have the German rights back, which means I can sell them again. Time to make more schnitzel!
Many of you have asked about future books. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. You're a small cadre of Promise Paen evangelists...or literary shocktroopers. I thank God for you. The plan for now is as follows:
Picture Books? Yes, picture books. I'm developing two different series of books for young readers ages 0 - 5. The first series is of a religious nature. THE TINY BIBLE TALES feature Bible heroes in their littlest form. Three stories are written and five are under development. (more on those soonish) The second series focuses upon our solar system. I don't have a perfect series name, but "PLANETS" will do for now. Written with Dr. Deborah Bauers (mom), SUN AND MOON and RED AND BLUE (Earth and Mars) are done and being shopped.
As for more Science Fiction, yes, absolutely. SF is in my soul. Admittedly, the timing of the next novel is a bit up in the ether. I've made peace with W.C.'s production schedule. He may not write a novel a year. Some author's do. Some author's don't. With a busy, full-time job in publishing, and three young boys who need present, quantity time, I've had to reset my goals and expectations. Frankly, I'm happier for it.
Now, as promised, the caffeine addict's survival guide:
- W. C.
Two nights ago I saw Rogue One, a logic-defying adventure to be sure (never assault a planetary defensive grid without a sound plan), a western space opera with one of the grandest shoot-outs in cinematic history (the AT-AT Walkers against ground troops was an obvious and welcome nod to EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), a movie that at its core explores the concept of war. It's the perfect holiday film.
Actually, it's the perfect Christmas film. Really. In the Christian tradition, Christmas, specifically the birth of Christ, is at its core an act of war. The Christmas story shows us God as never before. God closes the unfathomable divide between the eternal and the mortal, draws close, puts on flesh, and rolls in the mire. Here comes the Lord of Hosts, the Full Metal Savior.
Saviors show up when saving needs doing, and saving typically involves combat. According to the Bible, the incarnate god/man - AKA Jesus the Christ - grew up, learned the family trade in his dad's carpentry shop, and then, in his 30th year, chose twelve novices to start a planet-wide insurgency. They wore swords and sandals and preached a revolutionary faith built upon twin pillars of grace and truth. Enemy number one: a fallen messenger named Lucifer. Jesus' infant cries were in actuality an epochal calling-out. As if to say, "I've come. What's Hell going do about it?" Christ the cosmic rebel. That's worth thinking about a second time.
ROGUE ONE'S Jyn Erso and a band of freedom fighters face seemingly insurmountable odds during the entire film and without a sound battle plan, and that's where the analogy between it and Christmas obviously breaks down. God's son came with the greatest ground game possible. In contrast, Erso and her rogue crew shoot from the hip the entire movie. Imperial walkers against ground troops should be a no-win situation. But bad odds are the rebel's currency and the director's calling card. Spend me some impossible, please. ROGUE ONE does that and more. Rebels do what seems impossible. They assault the unbeatable behemoth, the empire of injustice, evil incarnate. That's what Christ did, and guess what? He won.
So, yes, serve me up some war. After all, it's Christmas time.
December 7th will forever be marked on my calendar. I think of my grandfather, Chief Petty Officer William Coates, who endured horrors in the Pacific. I bear his name. I miss his war stores...about bad coffee and bawdy Naval tunes. If Grandpa took his sense of humor to Heaven, he's likely dancing down streets of gold to the Benny Hill theme song. Now that's a word picture.
Not many WWII vets among us. They are a rare breed. Thank you one and all. FBNF. Miss you, grandpa. You were (and are) a great man. Until we meet again.
"They say that in the Navy
The coffee's mighty fine
It's good for cuts and bruises,
But tastes like iodine!
I don't want no more Navy
Gee Ma, I wanna go home!"
Folks, we need to know how to win and lose, and how to graciously do so in either case, while respecting the law and the freedom of choice we are blessed to have in this great nation.
Obviously, there's a sea of all ages struggling to process Trump's win. And there's another sea of folks that are all too happy to gloat about the big, historic win. Our country is oil and water, and we're going to be shaken together whether we like it or not.
Let kindness rule the day.
If you didn't vote Trump, I'm sorry. Disappointment is never welcome. I don't know how you feel. If you're frightened, that's the last thing I want for you. And I can promise you this, no matter our political differences, if Trump tries something illegal or unconstitutional, like rounding up Muslims similar to what happened to the Japanese Americans during WWII, I'll proudly stand with you against it. If legal immigrants are harassed in the nation, I'll fight against that. If ICE squads storm America's streets in some Gestapo-styled cleanse, I'll speak out. Illegal immigration is a problem that must be addressed with both truth and grace. We are a nation of laws and compassion. It's not an either/or proposition.
I'm not in your shoes but I can at least try to relate to you, to some imperfect degree, by drawing from my own past. Years ago, my family moved from Colorado to Hawaii. My sister, a Korean American (adopted at age 3 months), for the first time found herself surrounded by people of all ethnicities, including folks from Korea and Japan and China and across the Pacific Basin. Hawaii is a wonderfully diverse melting pot. But our family encountered the unexpected. We were a white family with a little girl of color. My sister looked "local" but her middle-American upbringing stood out like a signal flare in a midnight sky. She was ostracized, and called names by her classmates. "Banana" means you look local on the outside but on the inside you're not one of us. I could share other injustices. There was that white family whose disgust over our "mixed" household was impossible to ignore. Their words hurt.
My parents told us to love and to let it go. We did so imperfectly.
I experienced great disappointment eight years ago. On most issues the President and I stood apart. His skin color was a non-issue. I wanted to know about the man. He's a good father, husband, and a great orator. At times I was deeply troubled over what he said and over what he might do. At times I feared for my country, my faith, and my family. For eight years I pounded into my own skull, as best I could, and my son's, that while we disagreed with the President on issues, we still respected the office and the man. (Even when in our eyes he wasn't acting worthy of it) And, we prayed for him, which at times was hard to do; in retrospect we didn't pray for him nearly enough.
For the record, I did vote Trump. Trump was not "my man" or my first, second, or eighth choice. He's said deplorable, indefensible things. I took him seriously on some policy issues but not literally on the stupid, ugly things he said. I do believe he was/is the better choice of the two viable candidates we were given. We could debate Hillary over Trump. Both are deeply flawed and both have said and done deplorable things. I'm just not interested in arguing over the prize for least worse sinner. I still have major reservations about Trump. He needs my prayers too.
Let's be honest. You already made up your mind over what you were willing to forgive or tolerate or overlook or pardon in your candidate, and so did I. Like President Obama said eight years ago, that's what elections are for. What matters now is how we move forward.
Civility and kindness must rule the day. The only alternative is hate. And neither one of us can afford that.
I'm making a couple of stops in October. Hope to see you there.!
B&N, Citadel Mall, S. Colorado Springs
Signing, October 22nd, 12PM
MileHiCon - October 29th (Denver, CO)
Double-check before you push send. Always. That's the leading-edge-equivalent of "think before you speak."
Email: Scan the fields, To..., Bcc..., Cc.., twice. Note everyone listed. Know everyone listed? Do they need to know what you're about to send? Yes? Then it's a go. No? #$%^ HOLD the digital locomotive in queue for a microsecond longer! Delete. Regroup. Thank the Maker you didn't just cause a rift in the space-time continuum.
Text: is that your wife you're about to text? Hmm...best make sure...particularly if your wife and boss (boss and sister, sister and wife) share names. Enough said.
First, is it spelled correctly (says the writer who vacuums at spelling). Secondly, is it well said. Thirdly, does it need to be said outside your head?
One final thought. We all need to slow down to catch our collective breaths. The pace of everything has outpaced the human capacity to manage it all. Hence, in the words of David Allen, “Do It, Defer It, Delegate It, and Delete it.” The Quad of Ds. Do the later three most of the time and the former as little as possible, and ONLY for the matters that truly matter.
This has been your PSA from your friendly neighborhood science fiction writer.
Sprechen sie Deutsch?
Thankfully, the good people at Cross Cult do. UNBREAKABLE, the German-language edition, releases in just over a week!
Now, for some unexplained reason, I'm craving schnitzel.
Die Kolonisten des Planeten Montana sind es gewöhnt, ignoriert zu werden. In der Pufferzone zwischen zwei rivalisierenden menschlichen Imperien gelegen, ist ihre Welt provinziell und unabhängig. Selbst als vorläufiges Mitglied der Republik verbündeter Welten wird Montana kaum beachtet – bis es zum Krisenherd eines drohenden interstellaren Kriegs wird.
Als Piratenüberfälle die Region zu destabilisieren drohen, beauftragt die RVW ihre Panzergrenadiere damit, der Situation Herr zu werden. Der Angriff wird von Marine-Corps-Lieutenant Promise Paen, ehemaliger Bewohnerin von Montana, geleitet. Vor Jahren schloss sich Promise den Marines an, nachdem ihr Vater bei einem solchen Überfall getötet wurde. Rache ist süß, aber sie hat einen enormen und verheerenden Preis. Und Promise ist keineswegs glücklich, wieder auf ihrer Heimatwelt zu sein, nicht mal, als die Bevölkerung des Planeten, einschließlich seines schillernden Präsidenten, sie als Heldin begrüßt. Was die Sache noch schlimmer macht: Promise wird immer wieder von der Stimme ihrer toten Mutter heimgesucht.
Währenddessen hat der erbittertste Rivale der RVW, das Lusitanische Imperium, die Ereignisse im Montana-System mit Interesse verfolgt. Die Truppen haben nur auf den richtigen Moment gewartet, einen Brückenkopf im Territorium der Republik an sich zu reißen, und nachdem Promises Marines drastisch dezimiert wurden, halten sie den Moment geeignet, um zuzuschlagen.
#iAmIndomitable Book Campaign and #Giveaway: Swag, Prizes, a NES Classic Edition, and more. Interested?
INDOMITABLE is out!. To mark the occasion, I'm launching the
I'm so excited to have the first book in the Chronicles of Promise Paen in a paperback format, and at a lower price point.
Now there's no excuse not to get your copy and dig in. Do me a favor and let me know how it goes. If you'd like a signed bookplate email me at write(dot)wcbauers@gmail(dot)com. I'll send you one on my dime.
Don't forgot the audio edition, here.