Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Massive List of Projects Update

The Retreat

I’ve been promising an update on this project for a little while now, so here it is. The story has gone through a few twists and turns and ran headlong into a brick wall. I was tempted to wad the whole thing up and throw it away, but after leaving it alone for a little while, I’ve come back to seeing a way through the mess I started. What all this means is The Retreat is back on the agenda and with a new plan in place. I’m still working on it and I don’t want to say too much, because I already did that and got myself into trouble, but I am looking at a couple of different twists from the original ideas which make it easier for me to move the story forward. Primarily, the main character and her reasons for being at The Retreat are being reworked.

Now for those who forgot and those who just don’t know, The Retreat is a very special place where professionals are sent when their behavior has fallen short of their career’s expectations. It was referenced in the Quest Five story and ever since its first mention the idea has been churning for a first hand(person?) visit. The things I’m certain about with The Retreat are not numerous, but in short it is a place where corporal punishment is used liberally on its inmates. The inmates are required to stay within the facility until such time as their sentence is over and while the people running the place may seem unreasonable, even cruel, the inmates are their own worst enemies.

Currently, I have no final release date on the project, but I am expecting it to be done sometime in July.

Jessica’s Toil

This is the permanently delayed project. Just kidding. It has, unfortunately, been pushed back several times over though. Initially it was meant to be part one of a three part project, but as long as it has been pushed back I’m considering wrapping all three parts together when I finally get this project on the top of my priority list. Of course, if I do that, it means this story will still be a bit in coming because the tale is not a short one. I’ll have to update you again later when this project is a little more in focus.

What is it about? Well, Jessica’s Toil is fundamentally a love story. It takes place shortly after the American Civil War (as if war could ever be civil) and Jessica is a young woman who, like many of her generation, was orphaned during the war. Reaching the age of adulthood, she is about to be kicked out to the streets. With hardly any means to support herself, she jumps when she is offered a position of employment as a maid. It probably needs not be said, but as the maid, she soon finds herself on the receiving end of corporal punishment. At first, her problems are confined to the quality and quantity of her work, but as she becomes more comfortable with her employer and her duties, it is her mouth or rather the words coming out of it, that keep her in trouble. Not surprisingly, she falls in love with her employer, but there is a lot more than just their status in society keeping them apart.

Currently, no release date is planned. I would like to see it done before Fall, but there are many factors which can effect my goal. I’ll have to post another update on this one when it is a little closer to the top of the list.

Lyrics Are Lies

I was very focused on this story in the closing days of Quest Five and it remains one of my favorite ideas. Right now, it has been pushed back to make room for a few other ideas that came more recently. In my order of priorities it is shifting back and forth between coming after The Retreat or after Jessica’s Toil. If I can figure out how to do a poll I might ask what all of you are more interested in reading first, but in the meantime you can always weigh in anonymously (or not) in the comments for this post.

Lyrics Are Lies is set in the last days of prohibition in America, the early 1930’s. It’s an interesting time period because the Depression is in swing and at the same time a whole lot of social changes, technological changes, and political changes are going on. Mobs, gangs, organized crime is peaking with a backbone on supplying moonshine to the average man. Bank robbers are heroes, striking back at a system that failed everyone and the lines between right and wrong are so blurred the criminals and the cops can end up fighting on the same side.

Amidst all of this is the perfect setting for Lyrics Are Lies, which features a woman singer in a speakeasy who has essentially sold herself to a gang of mobsters in order to guarantee safety for her family. She never fools herself about the kind of people she is mixed up with and when she sings it is with a pessimistic heart and a voice that knows everything and everyone is wrong because there is no right left to choose. When an undercover FBI agent enters the fold, she knows, one way or another, her entire life is about to change and that means no one is going to be safe.

The release date will depend on this story’s priority in the list. I will have to update when this story makes its way to the top.

The Spanking Days of Summer

This is the top of the list. I am working away on this project and have pushed everything out of the way until it is finished. The main character has already become one my favorites and the rest of the characters are starting to feel a bit like family. This is probably the most fun I have had writing on a project since beginning Quest Five. I realize the placement of The Spanking Chronicles of Cedar Lake: For the General Assembly might have given the impression I valued it more, but rest assured that is not the case. Cedar Lake was a short term project which moved in front of Summer only because it required far less time to complete and I thought it would be well enjoyed by you, my readers.

The Spanking Days of Summer is all about Summer. Hot days, hot nights, no school, and partying all the time, oh wait, that’s not the story. In brief, the story is about a young woman forced to live with an Uncle she barely knows on his ranch. She’s trying to get her life together and find a way into college, but she has got some baggage that’s holding her down. Mostly, she does a lot of dreaming and thinking about doing things instead of actually doing things. Her Uncle has a few solutions for that and they all end up the same, bright red.

The release date is still in question, but I’m shooting for July 3, 2010. I hope everyone can wait that long.

The Spanking Chronicles of Cedar Lake: For the General Assembly

It is out and available on Lulu.com as a pdf download. My sincere thanks to all those who already purchased and I do hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

If you’re wondering what it’s about, Lulu has a free preview of most of the first chapter on the product page and here is a basic synopsis:

College senior Kylie Langston, is facing a formal school paddling before a general assembly of the Cedar Lake students and faculty. She has seen it happen before, but this time is different because Kylie did not do the crime. With an official Inquiry pending, she is off on a hunt to find who is setting her up and why. But things get complicated when she lands in the Dean’s office after confronting her chief suspect, former friend and roommate, Gabby Jones. The Dean is a stickler for the rules and he never plays favorites, handing Kylie one of the strictest punishments of her college career. Kylie’s troubles are far from over with a uniform restriction and Saturday detention hampering her investigation, can she solve the puzzle in time for her Inquiry or will she be for the general assembly?


Karl Friedrich Gauss said...

Ashley, no one can say you're not an organized writer. That you're able to give us this detailed an overview of your works in progress is most impressive!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to all of them. Thank you for taking the time to give us this update.


Paul said...

Ash, thanks for the updates.
I'm a patient man and your work is well worth waiting for.
Write at the pace that you are comfortable with, the only person who has the right to push you is you.
Of course when you are a best seller, then you will at the beck and call of your editor and publisher.
Warm hugs,

Ashley J said...

Karl, Thanks, I do try to keep things in order, but if you saw my desk.... LOL.

JC, You're welcome. I do try to keep things moving and keep everyone apprised of what is going on, because inspiration has a way of interfering in my plans at times.

Paul, You're welcome and thanks for the patience. My pace for writing comes from within. Most stories I write can't really wait to be told, so most of the time its just figuring out when I do anything else that is the problem.