It was finally time to ditch the ugly old "I sort of remember HTML from six years ago" site design and transition to the wonderous age of "Hey! jQuery!" I have vague plans to start putting up more stuff, but writing still takes precedence, give or take.
It's been a long summer+fall and my first encounters with RSI issues this year have been slowing my life down in a lot of ways. I'm figuring it out, though, especially now that things have gotten bad enough to scare me into exercising every day. Turns out that helps! I've incorporated a lot of updates to my writing workflow, too, and doubled (or better) my writing rate; for now the battle is getting my body back to the point where I can put in the hours.
Considering that I just slept a full night without ibuprofen for the first time in four months, I think I'm close.
Feel the burn!
-- James Pray, December 2012
P.S. The site design starts to have trouble if you're running over a widescreen over 1600 px wide; I'll be making some tweaks to fix this and other issues eventually.
P.P.S. Tweaks are in. I'm concerned that I will run this out to a lot of Ps if I start using it as a revision history.
Among the many things that have been competing for my time this summer, I've been helping my wife update her site over at kelseyrottiers.com (as of the time of writing, the update wasn't up yet, but maybe it is now! Mysteries!) and studying site design to do it, and it's helped me see the shortcomings of my little thrown-together internet outpost even more than before. Let's be honest: it's pretty homely.
On the other hand, I'm not trying to sell you anything, and you probably won't leave snickering at me (unless you are into site design), so I figure it's okay for now.
Now get back to business and make it a good day!
-- James Pray, July 2012
Hey? What have I been doing?
Well, just writing. If it's details you want, I could add learning to be a better writer, in the (new to me) sense of learning how best to induce myself to build a solid novel with the least waste possible, rather than the (older, and certainly not discarded) sense of coming to understand more deeply the craft of writing better sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, arcs, threads, acts, and so on. I have been keeping track of my little lessons and may share them later, but for now, I am simply writing -- steadily and rather more quickly than any time in my life before now. It's great.
I hope you are great, too.
-- James Pray, May 2012
I am still alive, really; sometimes I get into a Mode wherein I work my tail off and accomplish
much, to a degree that precludes telling the internet about it. That was my Fall season for
Anyway, there's no news to speak of just now, except that I am close to re-starting my sequel (...again), and suspect that it will go a lot faster this time, on account of actually working. It turns out that you really can have too many good ideas, at least if you're trying to cram them all into the same story. I note that I've said I had this sequel thing figured out before, so I will not say more until I actually have the cussed thing drafted.
Have fun out there.
-- James Pray, January 2012
If you're wondering what sort of things I have actually written, the Bio page is now updated with
answers (of a sort). If you're wondering why I don't mention project titles, it's a) to keep them
out of search engines and b) because publishers pick them out in any case. I am at peace with this,
and I hope you can be, too.
-- James Pray, August 2011
Somehow I think I've neglected to mention that Donald
Maass is representing my work. Well, he is. He is great.
In other news, I got married in May and bought a house, which has had a detrimental effect on my writing schedule (this should not have been as surprising as it was). Something may be off when you feel as excited as I did last night about putting down seven hundred words. On the other hand, the washing machine is no longer helping rot out the laundry room floor, and I have shelving for slightly more than half my books, so my schedule's opening up. Onward!
-- James Pray, July 2011
Revisions are done (for the moment) and sent off...
Now, letting plans for the sequel percolate, and waiting to see if any changes are in order for the end of the novel. So far, plenty of good ideas, but I want to have my starting conditions a little more finalized before I start (because I've started it twice already, and don't want to get into the habit).
Also, I finally secured a Twitter account in my name! Still figuring out what to do with it, as Twitter is a medium I have tried very hard to learn nothing about up until now. Theoretically, it could be a useful promotion tool. In practice ... well, it will take practice, yes.
-- James Pray, March 2011
As of the first week of the new year, I've signed with an agent for my first* novel. To
criminally understate the matter, I'm excited. Once the celebratory phone calls, dancing, and loud
music are out of the way, though, it's GO TIME, which translates into TIME TO WORK HARD FOR A
LONG TIME, because I've got revisions to make.
I think this means it's probably time to start thinking about my web presence much more carefully than before...
More updates to come.
-- James Pray, January 2011
*The first novel for which I've tried to get an agent. It's the 8th I've started, the 5th I've finished, and the 2nd I've written end-to-end more than once.
After almost a year, the construction equipment is rolling in. The site is now in the process of
being built. All by hand, because templates are for sissies. (There's learning to do, though,
because since I was last in the business of coding sites, they've deprecated many of the ways I knew
how to accomplish things with html).
The manuscript is edited as far as I'm going to take it until an agent tells me to do more. I am currently in the process of finding an agent.
That's it for now.
-- James Pray, October 2010
It would be a grand fib to write "Under Construction" here, because this is the digital
equivalent of an acre of dark, bare earth, cross-stitched with grader tracks, with a chain fence
around it, and no construction machinery in sight.
I don't know when this site will begin to take shape. The priority is somewhere beneath finishing editing a hefty hunk of manuscript-editing.
However! When that's done, this site will grow up to, in part, tell you all about that very story. You should be excited.
--James Pray, November 2009
James Pray was born in 1984 in Michigan. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from LeTourneau
University and an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction from Western Michigan University (because he felt
like it, gosh).
He is married to singer-songwriter Kelsey Rottiers and is currently working as a technical writer. Apart from writing, he enjoys wakeboarding, snowboarding, snowkiting, fly fishing, drawing, 3D modelling, playing the bass, and energy drinks.
* A four-novel YA space opera (plus an unfinished follow-up novel). 300 years from now, a boy
genius and his genetically-modified ubermensch friend-who's-a-girl uncover a massive conspiracy,
hijack a military space cruiser, putz around like awkward teenagers, and eventually save the galaxy.
James wrote these in high school and thinks they might work very well, if he subjected them to
total structural reworks and rewrote them from the ground up. Don't hold your breath on seeing
these, as you would die. That doesn't mean you won't, though. (See them, that is.)
* A number of short stories written for MFA workshops, including various fictional and science fictional pieces. James also wrote a non-fiction story, "Little Boys are Made of This", which concerns a summer spent in Montana as caretaker for an ADD/Bipolar cousin and which won Western Michigan University's 2010 Frostic Graduate Creative Non-Fiction Award (leaving James in the interesting position of being a fiction writer whose only award is for non-fiction, but also slightly richer, so he won't complain).
* A fantasy novel represented by Don Maass.
Think Master and Commander meets Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with a dash of
steampunk and the thermostat cranked all the way down. If that sounds appealing to you, James
strongly suggests you buy the novel sight unseen as soon as it becomes available, if not sooner, and
thanks you ahead of time.
Stuff of interest to readers will go here eventually.
Stuff of interest to other writers will go here eventually.
It is a thing from my book! You will have to wait for it to come out, but after that I promise you will find all about that thing on the first page, unless an editor tells me to put in a prologue, in which case you may have to wait several extra pages.