It wasn’t part of my long term plans, but I’m going to take a kind of break. This doesn’t mean I’m not writing, It just means I won’t be drafting new stories right now.
This morning I finished the draft for The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. I’m debating a couple more paragraphs, but don’t know if they’re necessary.
This story involves Lizzie and the hat in pursuit of a pair of rodeo cowboys. These guys are now members of the undead. This allows the band, Lizzie and the Pythons, to explore country music as part of catching the bad guys. Made for some cool outfits and hat styles, too.
Lizzie has a small melt-down over the music. At the end she returns to more familiar ground. I could add a couple of paragraphs to show how they weave in some country songs without compromising what they like. Or I could leave it out.
I’m calling it finished, regardless of what I decide. I need to work up some blog ideas for the books, work with my cover artist, decide if I’m spending any promo money, but I doubt it. Think about formatting. Oh yeah, I’m going to need some of those silly graphics to put in Mrs. Molony so as to keep with the theme.
I’m going to be storyboarding, too. The final Lanternfish is going to require a storyboard. I have two novels full of information that I have to stay faithful to. There are a bunch of loose ideas for the finale. A board helps me mold all that into a decent story.
I think next year’s Hat story could benefit from a storyboard, too. I want this one to be more grim with an undertone of sadness, while still keeping the humor going. Not an easy task. It’s my intention to break Lizzie mentally toward the end of the next one. That will lead into another one that has a lot going on including a revisit with the witching community.
Aside from that, I have some stand alone novels that are already in the early phases of storyboards. I should probably hold off on these until Lanternfish is complete.
There’s also reading. I haven’t taken a serious reading break for a long time and there is a lot I want to catch up on. I also have a bit of a blog makeover in mind.
Honestly, if I can get Lanternfish out this summer, then Mrs. Molony for the Halloween season, I will have met my yearly goals. If I don’t write another word this year, I’m in pretty good shape.
Just because I’m not working on a draft does not mean I’m not working. We’re going camping this weekend. I’ll probably do some reading while I’m up there.
It’s about 10:00 a.m. as I start this post. I just finished the draft of HMS Lanternfish. It’s one hell-of-a-lot bigger than I wanted it to be, but it’s all good stuff.
This is where I start contemplating the old phrase, “Kill your darlings.” It’s an important concept in fiction. Today isn’t the day for that. Today is the day to savor the moment and not dive into something I’m not ready for.
One of the things that occurs to me right now is that every stop the ship made in this adventure involves something important. Every stop does something to advance the story in one way or another. If I start eliminating chapters, characters, or scenes, the story will lose something. If I eliminate some of the monsters and such, it will change the world Lanternfish is set in.
Honestly, in science fiction or fantasy, 120K word volumes are common enough. I didn’t hit that watermark, but I’m not far off.
Only a few of you will know what I’m talking about here, but you can get it from context. If I eliminate Fēngbào, the bringer of storms, or the Omcrom, the story will lose something. Besides, I have a cool Lisa Burton poster on order that involves Lisa vs the Omcrom.
The critique and editing phases always tend to reduce words to a degree, so the count will go down in a small way.
I might eliminate some characters, but who? There are some that were barely used in this volume, but will have a bigger role to play in the final book.
This is why I’m not doing it today. If I send a chapter per week to my crit group, it will take weeks for them to see the end. I have some specific work to do after that, then I always read from start to finish one more time. At this pace, I’ll be lucky to have it out by August.
Somewhere in there, I need to finish The Ballad of Mrs. Molony, too. That ought to clear my head for the Lanternfish read. My hope now is to have Lanternfish out in time that it doesn’t interfere with releasing Mrs. Molony for the Halloween season.
I need to be content today. Show a bit of patience, then turn my attention to the critiques I received over the weekend. I also have a submission to mark up for a partner. Back to the regular grind, tomorrow.
I admit it isn’t my best writing day, but it really shouldn’t have been a writing day at all.
I had some critiques back and my only goal was to work through those. Old What’s Her Face is off today, so I went into my home office for the sole purpose of doing that.
I’m also trying to get more organized. It’s easier to send out my submissions as whole chapters. It also makes those submissions easier to understand because they are chapters. Prior to this, I used a word count to send out submissions. With this goal in mind, I wanted to get to the end of a chapter.
I don’t hit the backup story as hard as Lanternfish right now, but it feels nice to have everything on an even keel. Lanternfish has 32 chapters completed. The Ballad of Mrs. Molony has 7.
They’re different genres, and stories about Lizzie and The Hat are short on purpose. Lanternfish kind of fits the mold of epic fantasy, so it is longer. The spread between these genres could misrepresent the proportions of giving you simple chapters alone. Also, Lanternfish is sailing toward the end, while Mrs. Molony is somewhere in the middle.
So, my 650 words kind of brings my writing life into balance. It’s a small thing, but it’s good until I mess it up again. I’ll probably mess it up this evening.
Messing it up involves the fact that they called my wife in for an extra shift. She’ll go to bed about 6:00, then report for work at midnight. I’ve been staying up when this happens unless it is one of my work nights. It’s just easier on her that way.
I have an entire evening to myself. I may break down and look for an old movie, but I’ll probably work on one of my stories. I’d like to get Lanternfish across the ocean and right up to the face of the action.
I’ve been dealing with scenarios that require certain characters to be in two places at once. I’ve been thinking about them for months, and writing it is going to be how I solve the problems. Some of my scenarios will have to fall by the wayside. After I commit to where they will be, that will build the fences for how the rest of the tale shapes up.
I also need to keep planting some things as they cross the last ocean. These can payoff in the final book somewhere. Tonight could be the night for some of that.
Tomorrow will probably be a strange day. I have no idea what my wife will expect. Sometimes she wants to sleep, and I try to be quiet. Other times she wants to stay up so she doesn’t get jet lagged or whatever you might call it. I’m not making any plans for tomorrow, and will take it as it comes.
It doesn’t sound all that productive, but it was good stuff to get done. How is your weekend shaping up?
Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m excited to be on the air in this time of national crisis.
Many of us are sequestered away right now, and that leaves room for a bit of reflection. I think we can all form an idea of what that’s like. Which brings me to my special guest today. “Welcome to the show, Jonah.”
“Hi, Lisa. Thanks for inviting me.”
“My bio says you’re alone on an island somewhere. To be honest, that sounds like a dream come true to many people. What can you tell us about that?”
“Oh, yeah, dream come true. Let me tell you about that. It’s anything but a paradise. The whole island is covered with tangled brush with thorns and stinging nettles. And that doesn’t even include the poisonous flowers that burn the skin horribly. But the monsters that inhabit this godforsaken place are the worse. They have long red fangs that glow and claws like that of a giant eagle. They threaten me at every turn. On top of the horrific dangers, the only food I can scrounge to eat is muddy fish and bugs.”
“I suppose most of us don’t think about the downside of being stranded like that. In our minds it’s all sunny beaches and coconut drinks. How did you wind up in such a place?”
“I lived on the streets for many years once I escaped from the orphanage. The city was huge, but I had a turf and controlled it with iron fists. Everyone who knew me feared the Wrath of Jonah. But, then I got arrested and convicted of my crimes. They gave me a choice. I could either be locked in a cement box beneath the ground or be exiled to this island. I chose the island. In hindsight, imprisonment might have been easier. Let me tell you more about the creatures. I was terrified of them at first. But I soon discovered a secret. You see, when they dropped me off on this island, they gave me a dagger and a few meager supplies. After the creatures had me cornered, and I couldn’t run anymore, I turned and prepared to die. I screamed at the top of my lungs and lunged toward them with the dagger drawn hoping I could take out at least one of them. To my surprise, they backed down and slunk back into the brush. After that, I try to keep my dagger handy at all times.
“But let me tell you about something else that just happened. I’ve been keeping track of the days I’ve been on this island for thirty-one days. Just this morning, I awoke to a loud thud outside my hut. Imagine my surprise when I poked my head out and found a package. I looked all around and could not see anyone or any means of it getting there.”
“Oh my God, someone has to be watching you. Don’t leave us hanging here, what was in the box?”
“Yeah, pretty creepy, huh? It was a burlap wrapped package and inside I was thrilled first of all, to find a package of dried Buffalo. I couldn’t wait to tear into that. It was really good. Then there were a few hygiene items, two books, a pencil and a note. One of the books was “The Four Agreements” and the other was a blank journal. Let me read you the note because it’s very puzzling. ‘There is only one way off this island. You must examine yourself, face your truths and make peace with your demons.’ Now, what do you make of that?”
“This sounds like one of those escape rooms. You know, where people pay money to solve the puzzle so they can escape. It’s fun.”
“Nothing fun about this. And, there’s more and perhaps the strangest of all. I heard footsteps outside my hut and was sure my imagination had gotten in overdrive. After all, I was alone and hadn’t seen any sign of another human since they dropped me off. But, then I heard it again and lunged out of my hut prepared to fight. Imagine my surprise when I saw a young boy around twelve standing there.”
“You mean there’s someone else stranded there, too? That was a lucky stroke.”
“Well, that’s just it. Titus isn’t stranded. He tells me he lives on the other side of the island where everything is lush and beautiful, but when he tried to take me through the portal to his home, legions of green slimy snakes blocked my way. He seems to be able to come and go, but I am not allowed to follow. So, he brings me fresh fruits and vegetables from his place. You can’t imagine how amazing that is. But, there’s something strange about this kid. He has some kind of magic. Webbing grows between his long fingers and he has luminescent green eyes that glow in a strange way. But, he’s a good kid and he’s helping me in lots of ways. He told me that his mother died, and his father disappeared. It seems that his father is a Wizard. When he tried to tell me about his father, a huge storm blew in and totally destroyed my hut. I grabbed my stuff and threw it into a duffel bag and pulled Titus along with me. He was in some kind of a trance. Finally, he snapped out of it and held a huge Amethyst Crystal up to his forehead and chanted some words. The storm immediately stopped.”
“That’s terrible, but at least you had each other to get through it all.”
“I suppose so. For the first time in my life, I felt the urge to protect someone other than myself. So, we made our way back to where my hut had been and to my surprise, there stood in its place a bigger and sturdier built shelter. And there is another package lying beside the door. Inside this package was another book, ‘The Dark Side of the Light Chasers,’ and another note that simply said, ‘Because you cared for someone other than yourself.’ The other weird part about the whole thing is that the ground that was covered in torrential rain a few minutes earlier was hard as a rock and dry. So, now I’m working my way through this book. Titus comes and goes, and I never know when he will appear, but we’ve grown close. I can’t imagine how all of this is going to end, but for the first time since I arrived here, I don’t scan the horizon every day for a boat coming to take me back home.”
“Oh, Jonah, this sounds like some kind of weird rehabilitation program to me. Dangerous and with no defined ending, but the reward kind of feels like a positive step. I hope you complete the program and can get back to your loved ones soon.”
“I have no loved ones to return to, Lisa. My mom was killed when I was very young. When I think about going back to my old turf, I know that I can’t be the same way I was before.”
“ So sorry to hear about your mother. I know I speak for all of our listeners today in wishing you the best of luck escaping from the island. Any last thoughts before we go off the air?”
“Maybe I don’t even want to go back to the mainland anymore. As long as Titus is here and my living conditions are better, I can be content. But I crave the magic that Titus has. Who knows? One day, he may be allowed to teach it to me. I’d like that. In the meantime, I’m going to make the best of the situation.”
“You can read all about Jonah and Titus in the book, Jonah, by Jan Sikes. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website after I go off the air.
“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I know Jan and Jonah would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
Fantasy meets reality when a young man is forced to choose his punishment for crimes committed. Jonah must decide between imprisonment in a concrete box beneath the earth or be exiled to a deserted, barren island. He chooses the island, but nothing can prepare him for the deadly creatures, and poisonous plants at every turn. Then there’s the maddening isolation that drives him to the brink of insanity. There is only one way off this island and it’s more difficult than anything he’s ever imagined. It’s much easier to face mortal danger than the demons within. Will he find redemption or another unexpected offer?
Jan Sikes openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way.
She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to bring the story full circle.
And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings
I spent yesterday clearing my plate of busy work associated with promoting Grinders. This worked out well, and other than a few tweets, I don’t have much to do on that front.
I also addressed the critiques for both stories, so that left me free to write. I opened the HMS Lanternfish manuscript and read my last chapter. After that it was off to the races.
I answered some questions about a ghostly encounter Mule and a couple of the other officers had. Since this is pseudo Asia, there are some awesome ghost stories to pirate from. I also set Mule up to have another one at a later time. I don’t know if it will happen in this book or in the next one, but this book seems more appropriate. It would be pretty easy to do either way.
A lot of research went into the world of Giapon. Not only ghost stories, but something cool called a turtle boat, too. James and friends are stuck with three ships now, which prevents his ability to leap magically ahead. He’s stuck sailing the old fashioned way. Obviously, I’ll free him to maneuver later on, but for now, this suits the story.
Perhaps the most fun part was putting Serang in charge of the turtle boat and all it’s inhabitants. These aren’t people who are glad to see her, but I like the way she handled herself. She also promoted herself, and General Serang is going to have some interesting adventures ahead of her.
I still need to iron out some details, then they’re going to be leaving Giapon. Other details can be worked out at sea. I had to stop because the general needs to assess her army and appoint officers. This is going to require me to do some research into names, and come up with a bunch of new characters. (As if Lanternfish needed more characters.)
I need to do a flashback to Serang’s past, but I can manage that at sea as they head north.
All this will be worth it when they get back to the actual war, and even the land war. I also need to come up with some fantasy ideas for arctic exploration, because that’s where they’re headed next. I’m trying to include some fantasy elements at every stop. I have the weird creatures on the floating island, the ghosts of Giapon, and I want to keep that coming.
I still need to work in a little surprise I have planned for James, the captain. This is going to be a fun plant that I can do many things with later.
I actually checked my numbers, because it felt pretty good. Today it came to 3800 new words. That’s a pretty great day by my standards. Yeah it probably needs some work, but it exists to be fixed now.
Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love. My special guest today is Chastity Sullivan, and Chastity is someone I respect. She’s an independent business woman who operates between factions that don’t always get along.
On top of all that, Chastity is a vampire. “Welcome to the show, Chastity.”
“Mab and Clyde told me all about their visits. So, I’m very excited to be here.”
“I think we all kind of know what a vampire is, but you’re something new. Can you give us an idea of what being a Dawn Fang means?”
“When people hear the word ‘vampire’, they are probably thinking of the Old World variety. Weak or killed by sunlight, an array of powers, and uncontrollable blood lust. Dawn Fangs are completely different. We’re actually alive with heartbeats, the ability to breed, eating regular food, and a full immunity to sunlight. I can pass as a mortal with ease, which is very beneficial to my business. Dawn Fangs can be a little overly emotional at times and we traded our magic for three unique powers for each of us.”
“Spill it, girl. This in an interview show. We want to know what special powers you got when you became a Dawn Fang.”
“Well, my abilities aren’t trade secrets. Our powers tend to work off our personality and habits prior to turning. A major part of my business is letting people indulge in their sexual desires, which can involve my participation. So, I ended up getting the ability to never tire and a charm mist that I can emit from my skin. I have a lot of fun with it too because I can make people do what I ask or have them fall asleep. Helps calming down some of my impulsive friends too. My third ability is telekinesis, which I’ve honed to the point where I use it without thinking. Floating mugs to my hand when I’m tending the bar or stroking an attractive patron’s neck from afar is always fun.”
“Okay, so that mist thingie is pretty cool. Can you make it smell like Clive Christian perfume?”
“Come to think of it, I never really considered the smell. It doesn’t have any odor that I can sense, but I have heard people describe it. One man claimed it smelled like his mother’s home cooking and a woman last night swore it was the scent of roses after a heavy rain. From what I can tell, the charm mist takes the smell of whatever my target loves the most. So, the perfume scent could happen if that’s what you’re into. Not sure I can charm a robot, so I don’t know how to test it.”
“My bio says Clyde is the leader of the Dawn Fangs. It’s been a couple of years since I talked with him, but it seemed like he just wanted everyone to get along.”
“Clyde really is an odd one, huh? He’s the most powerful Dawn Fang and possibly the strongest creature outside of the gods of Windemere. I’ve seen him cleave a mountaintop in two with his fists, so you know he could conquer the world if he wanted. Yet, his goal is to show that Dawn Fangs and mortals can live in harmony. Many of us are already living among what would normally be our prey and aren’t causing any trouble. My business is a great example since I cater to both sides who will unwittingly drink alongside each other.”
“That’s what I mean. He dreams it, but you live it. Your business is called the Scrumptious Siren. It’s an amalgamation of services, but it’s frequented by Old World vampires, Dawn Fangs, humans, elves, dwarves, and well, basically everyone. The fact that they all get along proves that it works.”
“To be honest, I don’t see many Old World vampires these days. They’ve aligned with Nyte and I’m not always seen as a neutral location. Can’t blame them since I was part of Clyde’s gang long ago. Even without them, we do have occasional rule breakers. I can stop the fights inside with my mist, but there are times when a vampire or mortal will take a grudge outside. That’s why I have vampiric hummingbirds in the surrounding forest. They really only go for vampires and drain them of any blood they steal, but I’ve had to change them since becoming a Dawn Fang. Now, my pets deliver a knockout drug and leave them for me to handle. Beyond that, everyone plays in harmony under my roof.”
“Okay, Windermere is not Earth, and I get that. Here we have laws, and our enforcement might not be so swift, but those systems can work with a bit of respect from the participants. Just to keep things interesting, you’re also kind of an informant of sorts. What can you tell us about that?”
“I would call myself more of a broker of secrets and rumors. The Scrumptious Siren is a popular place for a variety of people. It functions as a bakery, tavern, inn, sex palace, spa, and just sometimes a dance club. This means I get to hear a lot of what’s going on around the area. Since I need to make deals with traders across Windemere for the best supplies, I get more information from them. Maybe I have a few intimate friends in every port and some high places too. I’ve spent centuries creating a global network of connections, so stories always seem to find their way to me.”
“Having a good source of information is important. I myself have been known to hack into computer systems while others go into harm’s way.”
“We don’t have computers, so my hacking is more physical. It isn’t that I get involved, but I usually get what Clyde needs and hand it off. Things are probably going to be different this time. I really need to take a firmer hand in events now.”
“It seems like you have a good thing going here, why risk it all at this time?”
“Where to start? Somebody has shown up with this weapon called the Fist of Durag. Durag is the Sun God of Windemere, so you know he doesn’t like vampires. This person has already depowered and killed at least a dozen Dawn Fangs across the globe. That’s only the ones we know because we’ve lost contact with more. I worry that an army is building around this person. The last time the Duragians marched against vampires, we barely survived and that was only because Clyde returned with his new powers. They’re ready for him this time. There’s also an . . . incident with the Fist of Durag holder that has made this personal. Probably best that I not make that public. It would be really bad for business right now.”
“Okay, I can see the desire to get involved at that point. Aside from everything else, you are very powerful, and Clyde could probably use the help.”
“The whole scenario has me worried, especially because Clyde isn’t acting like himself. I don’t know if I would call him scared, but he’s definitely nervous. I’d compare it to someone seeing a ghost that they swore would never return. I think this weapon was created from the same accident that turned Clyde into a Dawn Fang, so it could be the one thing that can kill him. I can’t really sit on the sidelines when one of my closest friends is in such danger. I’m not as good a fighter as Mab or the Vengeance Hounds, but I have a good amount of tricks.”
“I wish you all the success possible. Then you can get back to helping everyone get along. What’s next for the Scrumptious Siren?”
“I’m looking into building a simple racetrack around the hill and possibly turning one of the lower floors into a small brewery. I need to find people who are more knowledgeable than myself. My business is only as good as my employees since I can’t master everything. I might expand the relaxation area around the hot spring I made too. It’s a fairly new type of business in Windemere, so I’m not sure what else to do with it. We already have massage rooms. Maybe I’ll take a trip to explore the world for new ideas once I know I won’t get murdered by a crazy priest wielding a god-powered weapon.”
“Chastity, I think all of that is cool. The world needs more people like you who build and bring folks together.
“For our listeners today, you can read all about Chastity and the Dawn Fangs in the War of Nytefall series by Charles Yallowitz. The newest edition is called War of Nytefall: Eradication, and Charles promises it won’t be the last one.
“Thanks for listening today, and I’ll add all the details to the website once we go off the air. Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. Charles has done it for everyone who ever appeared here, and he deserves a bit of love today. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”
As Dawn Fang vampires are found dead across Windemere, their infamous leader will remember what it is to be afraid.
With the truce between Nyte and Nytefall nearing its end, an old enemy has emerged to rekindle the vampires’ most ancient feud. A Duragian priest is on the move and he is wielding a weapon that can depower and kill Dawn Fangs. This follower of the Sun God has claimed enough victims that Lord Tempest wants the weapon for himself and Clyde is beginning to worry that his fledgling kingdom is in danger of extinction. When it becomes clear that the mysterious relic and Clyde’s transformation into the first Dawn Fang are connected, he will be forced to face a past that he can barely remember.
What can Clyde do to defend his people, his life, and the child he does not know is on the way from the terrifying Fist of Durag?
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.
Not having WiFi sucks, but now that I have a hotspot available, I decided to get busy.
I skipped out on most of my social media lap this morning, opting instead to address my work in progress.
My writing days always start by reading the last section I wrote, and this really helps when I’ve been away from it for a few days. The Lanternfish crew arrived in Giapon and got into a bind with the political upheaval in that country.
I picked it up from there, and approached this problem with more of a diplomatic approach. At 1.5 books in, they’ve blasted their way out of plenty of issues, so I felt like something else was in order.
Of course, this poses even more problems when it comes to reaching the ultimate war in Prelonia. They now have a third ship, and only Lanternfish can jump ahead and speed up the travel time. At this point, what’s one more when you have to sail the old fashioned way.
However, this new ship is full of disgraced soldiers, criminals, and even soldiers from the opposing side of their own local conflict. This is not going to be an easy group to manage.
It also poses the problem of not having enough veteran sailors. James has spread the Lanternfish crew thin by trying to man the two ships he has already. There is a small hope that some of these new people will have some sailing skills, but getting them to embrace the mission could be a deal killer.
In his mind, he’s acting as a privateer. The job is to provide war materials to his queen. They still have most of their captured gold. Add in two new ships, and possibly some soldiers, and it may be a successful voyage. Even if the soldiers serve as nothing more than cannon fodder, it could buy some time for the Prelonian forces he’s supposed to be supporting.
Oh, and I also wove in a ghostly encounter. It wasn’t much, but it turned out pretty cool. Every stop in this series has provided some kind of fantasy element, so why not Giapon. I’m still thinking about revisiting it for a bit more fun. I ought to be able to milk it just a bit more.
I didn’t do a strict word count, so I’m estimating here. I know where my last critique submission ended. I know about where I stopped writing after that. It isn’t perfect math, but it comes to around 2500 words today.
That’s a pretty good day by my standards. It’s going to need another 500 to 1000 words before I’m ready to submit the next section to my group, but it’s more than I had yesterday. Then, of course, I need to comb through it and try to fix all the stupid mistakes before I ask them to do all that work.
My “shift” ended with a short tour through blog land. I didn’t get to all of them, and many of you got a like and a tweet. I’m working without WiFi here, so I hope you’ll forgive me. I ought to be back online once the regular work week resumes.
Back to the paycheck job tomorrow. If I do manage to get WiFi back, my first priority has to be publishing Grinders. I had it earmarked for this weekend, but it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t give up on me here. Grinders is a fun cyberpunk story, and I think many of you would enjoy it.
Old What’s Her Face is off this weekend, so I did what I could. Things were pretty calm this morning so I added words to HMS Lanternfish. I didn’t track it, but it feels like about 2000 words.
Part of this was coming down from the action scene I wrote Wednesday. My crew, particularly the captain, needs time to process, and in this case heal. Those bits always take me longer to write.
Then I added a few root monster antics, because they’ve been fairly quiet for a chapter or two. It worked out kind of cool, because it led into a scene involving St. Elmo’s fire at the top of the main mast.
Since this is fantasy, a rare natural phenomenon isn’t good enough. It brought James a vision, and it’s going to let me reveal some cool things. I just haven’t written all of that yet.
Basically, it involved the king of Saphelon discussing the arrival of the Fulminites on their continent. James’s father started the first war on behalf of this king, but that’s not in the history books. The books make the current enemy, Hollish, appear to be the aggressors. The fun part is that it was James’s father who brought the Fulminites to this part of the world. When I write that out, maybe that’s why he fled with his young son to a safer area.
I also got to add a minor sea creature, and that helps with world building. Then another root monster earned a name.
Beyond that, I had my final critiques for Grinders to deal with. I spent a few hours tweaking this story, and am basically finished. I’ll take it out in January and give it a complete read over before publishing. I think you guys are going to like it.
Tonight, I sent an email to Sean Harrington about cover art and Lisa Burton posters. Grinders is a stand alone book, and was one of my side projects over the summer. I hope to release it about the time the snow melts.
In other news, we have our Star Wars tickets for the 21st. We’ve also been digging The Mandalorian on Disney+. Just listen to this theme. You have to give it a few, because the intro is long.
When I close my eyes and listen, I get a visual of Serang walking down the dock toward some unseen enemy whilst twirling her guandao slowly. It has a throwback sound to it that reminds me of Ennio Morricone.
Aside from this, Apple has yet another update. This one screwed up WordPress for me. Now everything I do, it tries to force me into the app. Don’t get me wrong, the app does some great things, but reading and commenting on blogs isn’t one of them. I have a way to force it all to work in Safari, but don’t think I should have to. Why does it seem like any upgrade only seems to break things that worked fine before? It seems to be that way for all apps, and platforms.
I doubt much, if any, progress is happening tomorrow, but my flex day is Monday. I kind of expect to move Lanternfish ahead on Monday.
Hope all of you are having a great weekend. It’s time for a nice vanilla porter and an older Star Wars movie.
I allowed myself that extra hour of sleep the time change provided. This isn’t my first book, so I didn’t completely panic when I got up.
I went through my morning routine, fed the dogs, etc. When I check email, Amazon said it was a book. I dedicated some time to updating BookBub, Goodreads, claiming the book for my Amazon author site, all those fun things. I also updated Entertaining Stories so Serang shows up in the sidebar.
I’m too lazy to cover my banner image with bamboo or jungle vines, so I’ll leave Clovis’ car and dog there for now. I could ask Sean for an art update, but I’m trying to save a buck here and there.
As of now, the cover in the sidebar links to Amazon. Then I did something unusual. I added another 1500 to 1800 words to Grinders. This one is racing toward the finish line, and I want to clear my deck so I can take Lanternfish back up.
I wrote one promotional post and sent it out, then decided to update my blog. Here is some data about Serang.
Monastic life is all about duty, service, harmony. For Serang, a young girl abandoned at the temple by her mother after the death of her father, that life becomes all she knows. The monks give her purpose, and become her new family.
When political upheaval causes chaos throughout the land, Serang again loses everything and everyone she loves. Alone, she struggles to survive. She convinces a wandering monk to take her under his wing and complete her training. Thus begins her adventures through strange lands and her trials to become a confident, capable, independent adult.
This is a coming of age story set in a fantasy world. It’s filled with monsters and martial arts, difficulties and dangers. The serious situations preclude the story from the levity of its predecessor, Voyage of the Lanternfish, but it provides a compelling look at the origin of one of the saga’s most fascinating characters.
This story is a supporting story to the Lanternfish trilogy. Serang was so interesting, and her part of the world so different than other places in that story, that I though she deserved her own tale. I also intend for it to hold people over while I finish writing the next volume. I hope you guys will give it a chance sometime this winter.
I have everything I need to publish Serang today, but I procrastinated. People aren’t hurting for something fresh from me, so I have time.
Side note, still time to read Viral Blues for Halloween.
I’d like to publish this before the year runs out, and next weekend is a fair option. I need to devote some time to the blurb for this one. Because it’s a supporting story for Lanternfish, it takes place in a mildly fantasy setting. It isn’t quite as big as Lanternfish, but there is a dragon of sorts, (Maybe two or three depending on how you count) and I don’t want to mislead anyone.
Serang is a coming of age tale, so I need to communicate that. It takes place in a time of great political upheaval, so that has to get in there. I don’t want people to be upset because there are fantasy elements, or disappointed that it isn’t epic fantasy. A bit more thought might help when writing this blurb. By next weekend I might have it all sorted out.
What did I do with my spare time? I spent some time supporting the Something Wicked blog tour, along with some of my older posts. Today there is a blog push from the paid promo I did, and I already saw one sale from that. Fingers crossed for more.
I’ve also been staying up late for the World Series. So far the home team hasn’t won a single game. That’s never happened before, and it’s been a great series. Game seven is tonight, so I’ll be tired at work tomorrow. A nap seems like a good idea so I’m not too flat in the morning.
We had a chore day, so we got the camper put away for winter, and managed a date night out of the deal. Halloween is the only beer tour I participate in these days, and got my glow in the dark tee-shirt. I’m wearing it right now.
I spent a couple of days adding thousands of words to my side project. This one is a cyberpunk tale set in a futuristic version of San Francisco. It challenged me to use science fiction to exaggerate some issues we see in current society, and it challenged my world-building skills, too.
I’m very happy with a piece I wrote yesterday that went down during the Chinese New Year parade. A cyberpunk version of that parade. If the stars align, I can publish it on actual Chinese New Year for a bit of extra luck. I’m year of the rat, next year is rat. Maybe I’m due for some luck. There are rats in the story…
The story is called Grinders, and I’m at 71,000 words right now. Getting it done this year shouldn’t be too tough, and if I can afford the artwork, publishing on Chinese New Year seems realistic.
I didn’t do anything particularly exciting, and it felt great. I did what I wanted, when I wanted to do it. I was mildly productive and I wasn’t at the office. Sometimes it’s good to have a break from the workaday world, and that’s what I did.
Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween, and finds a way to take a small break on occasion.