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Matt's Occasional Writing Blog

YONDER & FAR: THE LOST LOCK IS NOW AVAILABLE

It's Book Release Day!

 

I'm thrilled, pleased, and delighted to announce that Yonder & Far: The Lost Lock is now available in print and e-reader. It's my first book with Ellysian Press, and it came out great!

 

Here's the link: Yonder & Far

 

Thanks so much for giving it a read, and if you like it, please leave a review wherever you can. Enjoy!

 

- Matt

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A Lil’ Lotl

"I can see into your soul."

A few weeks ago, I was blissfully unaware of what an axolotl was. But thanks to a naturally curious and highly enterprising 10-year-old son, we're now the proud owners of one. Meet Mango. He(?) is the newest addition to the Lucas family, and what a unique pleasure it is to have him.

 

For those who may be unfamiliar with these critters, Wikipedia defines the axolotl as "a paedomorphic salamander related to the tiger salamander ... unusual among amphibians in that they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis." Mango enjoys cold water (you have to keep the tank under 70 degrees), moonwalking on the slick floor (you can't have gravel in the tank; apparently their little feet are delicate), and staring with his little, unblinking black eyes straight into your soul.

 

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The Lost Lock Now Available for Pre-Order!

Now Available for the Pre-Order Price of $3.99 (until May 17)

I'm very pleased to announce that The Lost Lock (Book 1 of Yonder & Far) is now available for pre-order on your Kindle reader! The special pre-order price of $3.99 will be good until the book releases on May 17. Get your copy now at the link below...

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09XYRMGHB/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2WHVJ226AYQ1P&keywords=Matthew+C.+Lucas&qid=1649973097&sprefix=matthew+c.+lucas%2Caps%2C72&sr=8-5

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The COMMA Act of 2022

"Just call me Bill ... Please."

In a welcome display of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Curtailment Of Misused and Machinated Acronyms Act, or "COMMA." If signed by President Biden, the act would prohibit future legislative acts from being festooned with needlessly long titles for the sake of creating seemingly clever acronyms (such as, FRESHER (Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation Act of 2013), PROSTATE (Prostate Research, Outreach, Screening, Testing, Access, and Treatment Effectiveness Act of 2013), or WE CARE (Working to Encourage Community Action and Responsibility in Education Act)). Going forward, proposed bills will be titled by the date they are filed and whatever the solution to Wordle was on that day (thus, an appropriations bill introduced on March 5, 2022, would become the "Brine" Act of 3-5-2022). The legislation would also mandate the use of the Oxford comma in all publications.

 

In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said: "We have to stop this insanity. Nobody's impressed and we're starting to look silly." When asked about the COMMA bill's most controversial feature, the Oxford comma mandate, Sen. Schumer responded, "C'mon, it just makes sense."

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Look With Your Eyes (Coming Soon…)

Not as harmless as you think ...

I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be teaming up with Ellysian Press for my recently finished novella, Look With Your Eyes.

 

What's the story about? 

 

Deadly squirrels.

Hidden conspiracies.

A bagpipe band.

And North Florida's answer to Miskatonic University.

 

The story was a blast to write, and I'm really looking forward to working with EP again.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

"Looking at you, 2022 ..."

We've been through a lot this past year. Some parts were rough (keeping the kids in masks that they oh so much loved wearing). Other parts were a bit bewildering (remember when walking into a bank while wearing a mask was very much frowned upon?). All in all, though, I'm counting myself blessed. My family's stayed healthy and even expanded thanks to the addition of a little terrier mutt from Texas we named Sky. 

 

Looking back, I'm also thankful for what I was able to get done in writing. The Mountain, the decade-long work-in-progress, the quarter-million-plus-word behemoth, came out in May from Montag Press. Seven years of writing, a year to find a publisher, two years of editing (it took a lot of editing) and design work culminated in a successful release. It would have been nice to have thrown a launch party, but like many things during this pandemic, that had to be scaled back to social media announcements and "atta-boys" from family, friends, and fans (all of which were greatly appreciated).

 

Yonder & Far, the historical fantasy due to be released in 2022 by Ellysian Press, went through the first couple of stages of editing. I've got a follow-up novel in the same universe about half-way finished, but I set it aside (for the time being) to finish some other projects, such as ...

 

(1) I started, finished, and edited a novella (that's still being shopped around), which was a first for me. I've written short stories, written novels long and short, but never had a story end up in that gray area in between (most folks in writing circles consider anything between 17,500 and 40,000 words to be novella length--basically, it's something between a really long short story and a really short novel; a famous example is the gothic novella, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr Hyde);

 

(2) I resold a previously published short story, Coin, to a "Best of" anthology; and

 

(3) Best of all, I am within inches of the finish line of my current WIP, which had a tentative title of "Godless" but that's probably going to get chucked for something else. I came so close to finishing it before the year's end! All that's left for the first draft is to finish out the final scene (half done), write the epilogue (another first for me, I've never done one of those before), insert a brief scene in the middle that I had outlined based upon later developments in the story, and then ... a ton of editing. But finishing out a first draft is always a big milestone and will assuredly be celebrated in the Lucas household. No book ever got read all the way that didn't get written all the way. (yeah, I know, pretty banal; cut me some slack, it's still early morning on New Year's Day). I'm hopeful to have this finished and polished by the middle of next year.

 

What's coming up? I'm liking the historical fantasy vein, so I'll certainly finish out the Yonder follow-up (tentative title is "The Parson's Prayer"). I've also started outlining and poking around with an idea set in 1700's Prussia ... 

 

As for the blog, I'm going to try to post at least once or twice a month (hello, New Year's resolution!). I'm thinking about devoting a post to "the writing process" since I get asked about that a lot. There is definitely a process (though different folks approach it differently), and mine has developed enough that I trust it to see me through from start to finish on a work. I'll probably also put up a couple of more reviews.

 

2021 is done. Here's looking at you, 2022. I hope you and yours have a very happy and healthy New Year.

 

All the best,

 

Matt

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Season’s Greetings!

"I should probably think about automating..."

According to something someone told me they found on the internet, a physicist somewhere computed the trip specs of Santa Claus's annual worldwide appearance. There's some assumptions, of course, about numbers of households, proportions of "nice" versus "naughty" children, etc., but they worked out some interesting back-of-the-napkin calculations that really put his workload in perspective. If each child received just one package of legos, Santa's sleigh would have to haul 321,300 tons--or four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth. And the reindeer (that payload would require a team of 214,200 of them) would need to fly at a speed of 650 miles per second, which is 3000 times the speed of sound. How Santa manages a plate of cookies at each stop is a feat in itself.

 

So although things may seem busy, gotta keep perspective.

 

For me, there's been the usual bustle at work heading into the holidays, and picking up presents, getting a tree (which, per ounce, is now almost as expensive as platinum), trimming it, visiting family, etc. It can be a challenge what with Florida's weather--78 degrees can feel kind of balmy when you're lugging a Christmas tree off your car roof. But all of it is a blessing, and I'm thankful for all I have.

 

I've also been able to work in a little writing since the last post. Yonder & Far, a historical fantasy set in Boston in 1798 is going through its final, final edits with the editors at Ellysian. The cover has also been worked up and looks great. Look for a cover reveal here soon, and the book should hopefully release in the first half of 2022. I really like how this one has shaped up. My recently finished novella, Look With Your Eyes, is currently under submission. A dark, humorous suspense tale set in north Florida, I'm hopeful this will find a good home. Finally, my work in progress, Godless (working title), is rounding the bend towards the finish line. Yesterday, I finished the penultimate chapter of the rough draft. There's a final chapter and an epilogue to go, a couple of scenes to flesh out, and then, my least favorite part of writing, the self-editing stage. Don't get me wrong, I love editing--when it's with an editor. But the self-editing part of writing has always been a slog for me. Word count on Godless will probably come in at around 95-96k words. So that slog will take some time.

 

Wishing you  and yours a safe, happy, and blessed holiday season,

 

- Matt

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