• Back from Vacation, Announcements, and Such

    I just got back from my vacation and figured I should make a post letting everyone who isn’t subscribed to my Newsletter (and why aren’t you? It is easy and make sure you get every update first!). For those of you who ARE subscribed to my Newsletter, there is only one detail that is any new (mostly because I only found out about it two days ago) and it shouldn’t change anything. I’m not attaching specific dates to anything yet because this is all tentative, however

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  • Draft 3 of By Duty Bound Complete

    Last Saturday I finished Draft 3 of By Duty Bound, which is a lot of progress. I’ve taken a short “break” in the interim, both to unwind from the grueling pace I set and to compile materials I know will help me with the next step: Proof Reading. I keep a checklist of common grammar and spelling mistakes, and a list of common issues I’ve noticed crop up in my writing. For instance, during my last editing pass I noticed that I am using the words “just”, “really”, “simply”, “immediately”, and “actually” far too often. Obviously I tried to fix that during my last edit, however this checklist reminds me to do a very through check by using common word-processing functions like Find and Replace, allowing me to locate every instance of these sorts of mistakes and be sure I fix them.

    As I was editing Draft Three I was helped by a new beta reader who gave me some good comments (in addition to some flattery). Actually implemented most of his suggestions to some degree or another, in addition to fixing some other issues I noticed. There is only one major thing that he pointed out that I haven’t fixed, although not for lack of wanting to. The problem is that he believes (and I agree) one of my characters is underutilized. Unfortunately, correcting that would mean rewriting large swaths of the book and I am so late in the process that it would basically send me back at least 4, and likely more, since I would need to restart editing process.

    In any case, I’m not exactly sure how long it will take me to work my way through this new checklist. It is about 9 pages long, and once I reach the end of it (and do a couple other things) I can say that I am finished with drafts and move on to release candidates. Doubt I will have the book ready by May like I hoped, but am definitely going to have it out by summer. Already thinking about how I want to go about handling the launch (if I want to have it up for preorder or what have you). Those are all business-y decisions, however.

  • Pens

    This is a post I’ve been wanting to make for a while, which feels really weird to say considering this is going to be all about pens. How long you ask? Well, instead of launching into a hyperbolic story I shall answer you with a single image:

     

    Those of you with keen eyes will notice that the Last Modified date for the post was in December of 2015, nearly 2 years ago. If you have bothered to look you will also notice that it was just a few months after I first launched my blog. I have sat on this for a couple of years, mostly because I wasn’t sure I should ramble on about what I like about pens.

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  • How To Update Amazon Books

    This is just a quick announcement to everyone who has bought my book: I recently updated the book to correct some errors that I (and a few others) have found. Most of the corrections are fairly minor, however there are a few that I am actually embarrassed to admit made it through before now. If you’ve already bought my book you have probably received an email from Amazon telling you that you can update it. If you haven’t seen one it may have been caught by your spam filter or accidentally deleted, so I am making this post to tell you how to get the updates (if you want them).

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  • Adventures in Vertigo

    So just as I hoped I was getting over my illness, I got struck down by new (even worse) symptoms. Not sure if this was unrelated to the initial sickness or just a sign it had moved elsewhere in my body, but if I thought constant coughing, congestion, and sore throats were bad I was about to get shown something far worse: Vertigo. Initially very intense vertigo.

    At first I assumed it was just a sign I had stared at my computer screen too long (sometimes that can disorient me), but when I took a break things didn’t improve. Instead they got far, far worse. I was effectively unable to move. Literally. I was lying in bed, and even moving my arms or legs caused the sensation to intensify, regardless of if the rest of my body remained stationary.  All I could do was lay in bed and try to keep completely still while focusing on my breathing. An hour later the dizziness had subsided enough that I was able to get up and function, but I remained disoriented until that night.

    In the days that followed things were never quite that bad, but I kept having spells of dizziness and light-headedness. These got fewer and more mild as time went on, thankfully, but kept me more or less incapacitated until recently. Obviously certain activities made everything worse (basically anything that involves me looking up and down a lot, or has me turning quickly).

    That said, it has given me some ideas for how illness can play into a story. So often sicknesses are portrayed as the usual symptoms: coughing, sneezing, fever. All that is fine, but I can imagine how something like an inner ear infection could cause bad headaches and vertigo, which would lead to different challenges for a character beyond merely feeling bad.

  • Sigilism pt1: Overview

    For my coming novella I wanted to try my hand at a story quite different from the Honor’s Path series. This comes with a shift to a setting that is inspired by a combination of Feudal France and the Byzantine Empire. It also means that I’ve decided to try my hand at writing a story with magic. Not going for high fantasy here, so don’t expect mages slinging absurdly powerful spells. Continue reading  Post ID 814


  • November NaNoWriMo plans, book update!

    Just a short update before I start having regular posts going up here once more (I’ve got a backlog built up that should carry me through November), but I wanted to officially say that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Everything is already set to go, I just need to throw the switch and start working on it.

    There is one slight caveat: because I will be traveling by car for Thanksgiving I intend to start 2 days early (tomorrow) to make up for the time I will lose driving. For a time I actually considered starting 5 days early (enough to cover the entire duration of my Thanksgiving plans), but ultimately decided that didn’t really fit the spirit of NaNoWriMo.

    To be perfectly honest, I’m a bit nervous about this undertaking. This year hasn’t been the greatest for me when it comes to writing, so I’m a bit wary of my ability to complete this. That said, I’ve found that doing the thing that keeps me feeling safe is rarely the way forward.

    For those that are interested, I am also beginning the next editing pass on my novel. This is less about major story changes, and more just cleaning up what is there, tightening the prose, and so forth. At this point I am committed to launching the book in Spring of 2018, but I am not yet ready to set down a specific date so keep an eye out.