The month of November is National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo. From 11/1 through 11/30, participants are to write to a goal of 50,000 words. The length of an average-to-short novel. But the event, which is billed as a competition against your own hangups and indecisiveness is also about collaboration if you do it right.
So I am at just over 30,000 words as of the 18th – right on the daily target. All well and good, but honestly I’m having more fun hanging out with the local writing denizens of central Lancaster County than anything else. For someone who sits in his closet-office each morning pressing the keys, it’s just plain fun to be in the company of other folks trying to go from point A to point B in their writing. We meet on Tuesdays at Panera Bread, Thursdays at the new Wegmans (first in the county) and Saturdays at the public library.
I am thankful (Thanksgiving theme cue) for the friends I have made in this business – and it is a business. But my NaNo buddies make November worth it. This is my 2nd NaNo and I expect it to be a November staple going forward. Even better, I hope to keep in touch with the local peeps and encourage each other in our writing journeys.
The genesis of my “what if” premise for Halloran’s War was many years in the making, although I didn’t realize at the time that I’d eventually put a military sci-fi series together around the concept.
What concept, you ask?
“Competent crew and aggressive skipper get marooned on an enemy warship and have to figure it out in order to survive and win the day”
This idea has been in my head for literally four decades. I read a book by one my all-time favorite authors, Douglas Reeman, called “His Majesty’s U-Boat” in which an English Captain and seasoned sub crew are tasked with learning to fight in a captured German U-Boat in order to complete several missions of deception into enemy harbor in the Med during WW2. That book premise has stuck with me ever since.
Of course, I’m a sub movie fan as well. From Run Silent, Run Deep to The Hunt for Red October, there’ll all good to me – even the cheesy ones. Anyone remember Operation Petticoat? There was a more-recent called U-571 starring several interesting actors which featured a historical premise; the recovering of the Enigma code machine from a German U-Boat during WW2. Never mind the minor fact that it was actually the Brits who peached the prize during the war, this retelling has the intrepid American sub crew winning the day.
What I really loved about the movie’s premise, however, and what I think was the germ of the idea that is eventually becoming a far-future version Halloran’s War, is the way that the small band of surviving US crew are stuck aboard U-571 after their own sub is destroyed by a third sub, another German U-Boat. The crew have figure out how to operate their new best friend, foreign language and all, to stay alive and begin fighting back.
The movie is not a cinematic tour-de-force but it was a sub movie – and a WW2 one at that – so I’m good here.
When you get a chance to read Halloran’s War, in particular book one “War Without Honor”, let me know if you see the influences.
Kingpin haunts Matt Murdoch/Daredevil (courtesy Marvel and Netflix)
I’m definitely a Marvel guy over DC. My favorite movies are Iron Man and the Captain America series, and I’m pretty sure that nobody really died in Infinity War. My favorite character is Ant-Man/Scott Lang because he’s a regular guy who gets sucked into the Big War and I can empathize for him.
So I’ll admit I’ve watched every episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. My favorite is Phil Coulson. I really wish they had reconnected him with Tony, Cap and the gang. Even though there’s apparently going to be a season six my hopes are dimming.
That brings me to the Netflix shows. I like Luke Cage. I’m not a huge Punisher fan; the story seems too repetitive to me. I really wish Jessica Jones wasn’t so full of bad language, because I love the character and the more gritty setting of the show.
This show gets Marvel right on the small screen for me. The grit of Hell’s Kitchen is just right, and I love the glimpses of the city life. The characters are almost all unpowered humans, and even Daredevil himself isn’t imbued with superpowers. Matt Murdoch’s power resides between his ears – in more ways than one. As a blind man, his ears create a sensory experience that he claims is even more rich than a sighted person could be a part of. Add in the martial arts and the premise is set.
But, we need a villain.
Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is, in my opinion, the best and baddest Marvel antagonist. He literally gives me the heebie-jeebies when I watch him move and speak. You know that he’s already orchestrated the desired outcome and everyone else is playing into his hands. I can’t even imagine going up against him.
In Season 3, Matt Murdoch is back from the dead (not really) and in hiding, trying to understand why God spared him. That’s another thing I like about Daredevil; it’s the only Marvel series to talk openly about God as a real entity. Matt’s connection to the Catholic Church and the orphanage he was raised in is another of my favorite bits within the storyline. Now, though, Kingpin has engineering his own release from prison and the FBI is mixed up his plans. I like Season 3’s pitting of the NYPD against the Feds. Foggy is running for Assistant D.A. and Karen Page is getting in too deep again. All good, and I’m only four episodes in! Things are going to blow up. The prison riot sequence is one of the best fight scenes I’v seen in a long time. No holds-barred, homemade weapons and fists and knees. Daredevil is in over his head.
Daredevil Season 3, much like Season 1 before it, reminds me so much of the Batman movies. I mean the good ones starring Christian Bale. The societal chaos, the gritty Gotham, the police, Feds and reporters. And (almost) no superpowers needed.
I am looking forward to watching the rest of the season.
Last year I participated in my first NaNoWriMo – “National Novel Writing Month” is a worldwide collaboration among writing creatives that has gone on every year since 1999!
This year? To quote from their site:
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.
Last year I got to 55,000 words which became my third installment in the Immortal War Series, A Killing Time. I ended up at our local Panera Bread and met some fun Lancaster County writers working at their projects next to the fireplace. Good conversations were had and encouragement passed around throughout the month.
This year, I’ll be working on the second book in my Halloran’s War series of Military Sci-Fi. You interested in trying your hand at a novel? NaNoWriMo is a great way to challenge yourself and see how many words you can “let flow” in a month!
Maybe I’ll see you at the fireplace at Panera on Tuesdays in November between 7 and 9pm.
Book one of my new science fiction series – Halloran’s War – is in production and book two underway! I hope to launch the series in January with the first three titles. I’m having a blast writing science fiction.
I’m getting excited to share the storyline with you but…not yet! But, I CAN’T RESIST sharing the cover of book one:
Hi all, I just finished a new Chris Carter short story – an “Immortal War Series Snippet” entitled “The Ghost of Tom Summers.” It was a blast to write and fun to find myself sitting in the Konacup Coffee Shop once again, looking on as the residents of Julian parade through Chris’ life over a few days in October 2008. The story takes place during the time frame of “Swords of Flame” with no references to the events of Books Two or Three.
Mayor Bill Thomason has finally roped Chris into attending a Julian Town Council meeting, but he also wants the retired Army Sergeant to check out the old Summers place just over the hill from his own house, because he’s been hearing from residents about a “ghost” prowling around the still-unfixed home that Chris had a hand in blowing up! That evening, Chris and Officer Sarah Medina stop out to the Summers house to see what they can find.
As noted in the title of this post, “The Ghost of Tom Summers” is a bonus story for my reader community only – so if you want a copy, hop over and sign up now. And enjoy! I feel a few more “Snippets” coming on over the summer…
Very excited to bring to you the next adventure in the Immortal War Series of action fantasy. In this tale we turn to the backstory of one Travis Moore – a perennial nineteen-year-old featured in “Swords of Flame” – book one of the series. His journey of discovery spans the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is not without great loss and tragedy…
Don’t forget, I will be very appreciative of your support by joining my online community – I promise to send infrequent-but-useful updates, special offers and witty humor! (Well, maybe just a little of the humor…)
This has been an exciting week working on final prep for the launch of book two in the Altan Series – The Babylon Revenge! My expectation is to release it this coming weekend on Amazon… and even better, the first draft of book three is done!
If you’re a reader, I’m looking for some folks to read and review The Babylon Revenge once it goes live online for sale. If you’re ready, please sign up here to join my online community of readers. Be sure to reply to my welcome email with your willingness to help with reviews.
Thanks so much to everybody for your wonderful support of my writing!
I’ll be relaunching SOF around the New Year on Amazon – sign up to get notified of the FREE promo days that’ll be happening in January, plus BONUS backstory content AND a free copy of Book Two – The Babylon Revenge!