Walls of Men

Veterans Day, 2022

Later today I will be playing "Taps" for the last time as an active service member.  Amidst all of the changes of the past couple of years, this is one that has come in an entirely unexpected way.

Just as with storytelling, how an experience ends can have a profound impact on how one looks back on the whole thing.  I've written before about how a botched conclusion can not only wreck a particular film or book, but trash the entire franchise.  I'm talking about you, Star Wars.

As I wrap the 21st and final season of "A.H.Lloyd's Remarkably Uninteresting Military Career," I'm definitely getting same vibe as watching the lamentable last season of Miami Vice.

Maybe it will look better in re-runs.

On the positive side, I will have a lot of spare time and  more much more latitude to vent my spleen on military affairs.  This opens up new areas of writing as well as more time with which to do it.

Speaking of writing, Walls of Men is now undergoing its final edit prior to being formatted for publication.  It's been through my hands and those of two test readers, but reading it aloud has found a great many areas of improvement.  I think this will be standard practice for me from now on.


The Great Wall of Edits

The test readers have finally finished their labors, and we're now coming down the home stretch of Walls of Men.

This project really got out of hand developed beyond what I expected.  Based on my experience with Long Live Death, I figured I could hammer out a concise military history of China in little over twice the time it took me to write about Spain.  I was wrong.

Badly wrong.

Target completion dates kept slipping backward, from March to May to July to September.  I'm now reasonably confident that I will at least have a proof copy printed in November.

On the plus side, the feedback is very positive, which is great.  On the other hand, I've got a bit of work ahead in terms of cleaning things up.  I'm not really bothered by that because almost every one of my books has required a post-publication update as new typos and mistakes are brought to light.  Given the scope of this particular work, I'm willing to delay final publication until it's as clean as can be reasonably expected.

What next?  I'm not sure, but I need a break from the non-fiction realm.  Things are too stressful and disappearing into a world of my own creation will do me some good.  Both Vampires of Michigan and Battle Officer Wolf are long overdue for sequels, and I've been thinking about both of them.

I'm also looking at a revised one-volume version of Man of Destiny with some new content added to it (along with improved cover art).

To put it another way, I've still got stories to tell and things to say and with my impending retirement from military service, I'll have a lot more time to do it.

 


Back to work at Bleedingfool.com

While I was in the throes of writing Walls of Men, I decided to forgo other creative activities.  As a result, my output here and elsewhere suffered.

Today my first new content since June appeared on Bleedingfool.com: a scathing review of Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai.

The review itself is less significant than the fact that I finally have time to do something other than research or write about China. 

Don't get me wrong, it's fun to take on a major project and feels great to get it behind you.  Still, it's also tough to give up sidebar hobbies and just grind away on a single topic.

I'm still decompressing from the effort, and am taking something of an intellectual vacation in terms of heavy reading, but the notion of getting back into turning out short pieces is appealing to me.


Walls of Men - my book on China - is finished

Today I completed the first hard-copy edit of Walls of Men: The Chinese Way of War 2500 BC - 2020 AD.

The next step is to send it to the test readers and to get to work on maps, the blurb and design a cover.   I think a mid-September publication date is within reach.

This this is big - the biggest book I've yet written.  I'm interested to see what people think.

It's kind of overwhelming and I'm glad that the heavy lifting on it is done.

I really want do some fiction now.  Two histories is enough for a while.