Talking dinosaur update 8 – 5 days to release date

© Ralf Kraft |

I have waited 20 years to say it, and only the epilogue remains to be written of the first draft and the speaking of the word: “Finished.” This darkest Myke Phoenix story of deadly danger has eluded my grasp since I first conceived of the prehistoric predator who runs Astor City’s underworld. I’m hoping this last desperate plunge of authorial activity will give it the punch The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur has always needed.

This story is so special, so important to the Myke mythos, that I’m going to experiment with putting out a print edition. I’m not confident it can be available Monday, when the ebook comes out, but certainly by the end of next week. So if you prefer the crispness of ink on paper to the plastic feel of e-ink, wait a few extra days.

Objective: Release The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur on April 7
This morning’s output: 432 words, finished first draft of Act 5.
Session: Approximately 25 minutes.
Total words to date: 12,099 (goal 13,500) 


Talking dinosaur update 7: Still 6 days to go

Objective: Release The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur on April 7
This evening’s output: 493 words, finished first draft of Act 5.
Session: Approximately 45 minutes.
Total words to date: 11,667 (goal 13,500)

Talking dinosaur update 6: And 6 days to release

There’s just something about a deadline. If I could give fellow writers any advice at all, it would be to put a time and a date of completion on your project, and let no force on Earth allow you to move that deadline. It certainly appears that, even though an ailment sidetracked me Monday, The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur will be released on time.

Objective: Release The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur on April 7
This morning’s output: 1,293 words, moving through Act 5.
Session: Approximately 75 minutes.
Total words to date: 11,174 (goal 13,500)

Talking dinosaur update 4: Serenity, with 9 days to go

An hour’s time stolen on a Saturday morning resulted in the extension of a vital scene in Act 3 of The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur, and a strong start to Act 4. I also diverted to begin an Author’s Note that will come as an afterward, which begins:

What you have here is Serenity.

The reference, of course, is to the 2005 film that attempted to tie up some of the loose ends of the Firefly ’verse, the story of Malcolm Reynolds and his motley crew of fellow travelers, a 2002 television series that was canceled long before its time – after a mere 14 episodes were made and only 11 aired on the Fox television network. The series had a small but fierce crowd of fans that grew and grew after the 14 episodes were released in a DVD set. The collection sold so well that creator Joss Whedon was able to convince The Powers That Be to greenlight a cinema sequel. And oh, what a film it is.

At this writing Myke Phoenix has a tremendously smaller, fierce crowd of fans, but it does have a creator who wanted to pick up the story years after it fizzled. I first imagined this as a monthly series not unlike the wonderful pulp heroes of the 1930s and ’40s, but in shorter stories to fit the needs of the modern comic book reader. I wrote brief synopses for (ironically enough) 14 of these adventures, but only fleshed out four of them into completed stories, where they sat on a Commodore 128 floppy disk, then a Macintosh, and finally the iMac with which I type these words, until I published them in The Adventures of Myke Phoenix in 2008.

Five years later, after Kindle revolutionized the publishing industry and ebooks began to flourish, I finally saw a way to bring new stories to the world on my limited budget. I moved the tale along by 18 years and started over again, beginning with The Song of the Serial Kisser. Here and there I dropped hints of the adventures Myke had during the interim, but there was one story from the original 14-episode list that still needed to be told, because it involved the revelation of Myke Phoenix’s arch-nemesis: Deinonychus.

The opening scene of The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur was written two decades ago. Morty Davis has been awaiting justice that long. What follows is my attempt to replicate the purpose of Serenity: To fill in the gaps, leaving a few mysteries in case of a sequel, of course, but to condense the action of what could have been quite a few stories into one blockbuster. Whedon has estimated the seminal events of Serenity might have occurred during the second-season finale of Firefly, so let’s say the climactic scene you’ve just read would have occurred somewhere around Myke Phoenix Adventures #24, had I stayed on course back then …

Objective: Release The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur on April 7
This morning’s output: 720 words, extending Act 3 and beginning Act 4.
  (Extra output: 500 words of an Author’s Note)
Session: Approximately 60 minutes.
Total words to date: 8,012 (goal 13,500)