Words spoken, printed, or glowing in phosphor Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:59:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Summer Time Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:59:43 +0000 First of the month which means I need to post an update. Last month was a busy one.

Health News:

I’m getting my diabetes under control. Liberal application of exercise and some dietary changes have made a huge difference in my numbers. I’m working on new recipes and meal plans that don’t penalize the family – or sap my will to live.

Book News:

To Fire Called has been a moderate success. Podium has the manuscript for audio production but I don’t have a date for release yet.¬†Yes, I’ll publish a paper version. Probably not this month but soon-ish.

I have to convert Milk Run to paperback as well. I will get it onto Audible. Eventually.

Suicide Run got a great kick in the pants early but has stalled for the moment while I’m distracted by everything else. I really want to finish the first draft this month – which is one reason I’m unlikely to get the paperback of Fire ready.

I have the South Coast proof copy on my side table. It’s marked up and just needs to be updated. I’ll probably take a couple of days and deal with that soon, just to get it off my plate.

Travel News:

I had a great time at BaltiCon. The travel was relatively painless. The Con itself was fun. Dave Robison’s new game – Manifest – turned into my favorite activity. If you like tabletop games, keep an eye open for it. I met a lot of new people and touched base with some old friends.

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May Day Mon, 01 May 2017 08:21:38 +0000 There’ll be dancing around the May Pole! To Fire Called was published last night and is available right now on Amazon.

Yes, it’s only available on Amazon.

Yes, I’ll be putting the paperback together ASAP.

Yes, Podium has the file and will put out the Audible version as soon as they can.

No, I’m not publishing another book this month.

Next in line is Suicide Run but it will be at least two months – probably more – before it’s out.

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April Already? Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:26:43 +0000 I lost the change over because I was hip deep in the second draft of To Fire Called.

You read that right. The second draft. I also got the book converted and distributed to betas (who have until tomorrow to get back to me) and I’ve got an editor on speed dial to take the final manuscript as soon as I can get it to her. Look for this ebook by the first of May.

The breakthrough came during a Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s event where we challenged each other to write 25k words in 4 days. I wrote 32k in five and hit the end of the book about a week ago.

To answer the usual questions:
1. The ebook is only on KDP (and in KU) because I can’t afford to go wide.

2. I will publish it in paper – maybe as early as the end of May (so I can take it to BaltiCon)

3. Podium is scheduling Jeff Kafer now so the audiobook will probably be out in mid-May as well. That’s beyond my control but they’re eagerly waiting for me to toss the manuscript their way.

In other news:
1. The Tanyth series will be produced in audio this year. How soon is still being negotiated. I will NOT be reading it.

2. The next book is probably going to be Smuggler’s Tales 2, Suicide Run. I’m anxious to get back to that story line to back-fill what you discover in Fire.

3. The Smuggler’s Tales series will be produced in audio, but probably not until 2018, definitely not until I have all three books done, and I won’t be reading those either.

I know that audio is the go-to for some people these days, but I sell fewer audio editions than I do paperbacks and I only offer paperbacks as customer service because they generate just a tiny fraction of my revenue.

Safe voyage.

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Ides Of March Wed, 08 Mar 2017 01:57:03 +0000 Well, almost. That new month snuck up on me and I’ve been trying to catch up for a week.

There is good news.

Not that good news. To Fire Called is still on the word processor, but I think I’ve found the problem and I’ve been beavering away to get it settled so I can get this book off my desk and onto your readers.

I’ve had some great help and good advice from a variety of folks. I’m grateful to all of you.
– In other news:

  • I still have the galley for South Coast here on my desk. It looks lonely.
  • I haven’t converted Milk Run to paper yet so there’s not even a galley for it. I will get it into Audible. Eventually.
  • I haven’t made any progress on getting the Tanyth stories into Audible yet. That will probably happen this year.

A few people have asked about my meditation. I started a program a couple of months ago and it’s been very helpful. It’s called Headspace and you can find out more about it at The first 10 lessons are free but after that it costs. I paid for a year and don’t regret a penny of it. YMMV.

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Ground Hog Day Thu, 02 Feb 2017 01:01:38 +0000 That time of the year when I stick my head up to update you on what’s happening.

The good news is that I’ve finally broken the logjam on To Fire Called. I figured out what I’d done wrong.

The bad news is that I may have made another bad turn and I can’t seem to find the path to the end of the story.

Fingers crossed that this doesn’t last much longer.

On the subject of audio: I’m getting a lot of pressure to put Natalya’s stories into Audible. They’ll get there, just not right away. I don’t have the time I need to give them the attention they need. I can’t even seem to find the focus needed to finish the galley proof for the paperback of South Coast that’s sitting on my desk.

All told, this hasn’t been an auspicious start to the year, but I’m working at it.

Here’s hoping I see my shadow tomorrow and can burrow back into the words.

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A Decade Thu, 12 Jan 2017 15:41:57 +0000 On this day in history, I took up the challenge to write science fiction. Little did I know what I’d started.

It’s true that I wrote four books that year – and podcast them all at before the year was out. I haven’t managed to replicate that feat, and I probably never will. Starting out, it’s easy to find something to do better on the next book. After twelve titles, just defining what better might be becomes a challenge – as is finding new stories to tell.

I’m working on being the best storyteller I can be. I don’t expect to be a master of this craft I’ve come to late in life, but I aspire to becoming “better” at it. One book at a time.

Thanks for all the support over the years.

Safe voyage.

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Happy 2017 Sun, 01 Jan 2017 10:00:47 +0000 I’ll remember 2016, not exactly fondly but not exactly with warm regards. Mostly I’ll remember the great fans and getting Milk Run out the door finally. I’ll remember it because it’s the year I started my bullet journal and I’m looking forward to increased productivity in 2017.

On the plate:

  1. Finishing To Fire Called. I’m 65k words into it and I think I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque. I’ll find it right path and finish it as soon as I can.
  2. Suicide Run is waiting in the wings and we’ll see how Natalya Regyri fares against the universe.
  3. By Darkness Forged falls after that. I have an idea where this is all going, but getting there – well – that’s the journey, isn’t it?
  4. Home Run should round out a year of four releases. Yeah, I know I’ve tried to do this before and failed. Maybe 2017 will be the year I repeat 2007 with four releases in a single year.

Other stuff:

  1. I’m working with a different production company to produce Tanyth’s stories. I’ve seen the contract and it’s not horrible but I’m dragging my feet for the moment.
  2. Travel: I’ll be at COSine in Colorado Springs in January. I’m planning on BaltiCon in May and MileHighCon again in October.

That’s about it from here other than to thank you all for hanging in through what has been a very hard year for all of us. I’m doing my best and looking forward to doing even better in the coming months.

Here’s hoping each of you have a safe – and profitable – voyage.


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Happy Hollandaise Thu, 01 Dec 2016 20:59:45 +0000 Yeah, I’m making a sauce of it.

In good news, In Ashes Born should be available on Audible by mid-December.

In not so good news, I still don’t have To Fire Called done. I think it’s about 60% and I’m leaning heavily on these next two weeks to get it completed. We’ll see how well that goes. Podium is waiting for it so Jeffrey Kafer can do the narration.

I’ve got the galley for South Coast. As soon as I can get it marked up and corrected, I can release it in paper. It’s taking a back seat to getting the next Ishmael book out.

I’m working with Artistic Whispers (Dan Sawyer’s company) to get Tanyth Fairport into Audible sometime in 2017. The advantage there is that I only have to sign the contracts and pay the bill in order to get Tanyth into audio. We’ll see how the project goes as the new year unfolds.

My bullet journal has made a huge difference in terms of getting me focused and keeping me focused. It’s worked on everything except the writing – so far – but I’m working on it. Getting ducks quacking in the same direction and my environment controlled should make a big difference going forward.

Fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Wishing all of you happy holidays and best wishes for the coming year.

Safe voyage.

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November Now! Sat, 05 Nov 2016 12:56:54 +0000 Sorry about that. I just realized that November had started and I forgot to add a status post. With everything going on, I forgot.

I’m still grinding away on To Fire Called and have Suicide Run loaded into NaNoWriMo’s profile for November. I don’t know if I’m going to get to it but it’s ready in case I can. It’s a bit of incentive to try for 50k before the end of the month to move this along a little.

Jeffrey Kafer’s Audible narration of Owner’s Share is now available for pre-order and In Ashes Born should be out mid-December. Podium wants To Fire Called as soon as I can get it to them but then we’ll have a bit of a delay while I get Suicide Run done and get By Darkness Forged written. I wouldn’t look for Suicide Run before February or By Darkness Forged before April.

I’ve started a bullet journal to help me stay focused. I learned about it from a video for ADHD brains (See @HowToADHD on YouTube) and – so far – it’s been spectacular at getting my head back in the game and helping to keep it there. I’ve done more work in the last couple of weeks than I’ve done in the previous few months. (For more info on bullet journals see Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal website and blog.)



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Autumn Update Sat, 01 Oct 2016 19:42:52 +0000 autumnOctober is one of my favorite months. The cooler weather, the changing colors, and the shift in diet to soups and stews all remind me of growing up in rural Maine. While I don’t have to dig up the potatoes any more, and my gardening is limited to clipping back the odd shrub, it’s still a month I look forward to.

This year, I’m looking forward to finishing To Fire Called and getting it out. I’m about 27k words into it and – while the story isn’t what I expected (they never are) – I’m still pleased with what’s happening.

Podium releases Captain’s Share on Audible this month. It’s available for pre-order now and will drop on October 11. Owner’s Share is on schedule for release in November and In Ashes Born in mid-December. That’s another little spur to get To Fire Called done. They’ve reserved a slot in December for Jeffrey to record it for release in January. But I have to write it first.

Milk Run has had some mixed reviews. At least a few people expected more in the way of smuggling and we might see that. My goal was to introduce Natalya and Zoya, Toe-Hold space, and give readers a chance to see how it is so they can compare it to what Pip has told Ishmael about it. I achieved my goals and I’m pleased with the way the book has been received in general.

Last month I was at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers annual Colorado Gold conference and later this month I’ll be at MileHighCon – the annual SF fan convention in Denver. I’m still planning on going to COSine in January.

Some of you may have noticed that the websites were all offline last week. We did a little cleanup and de-lousing with the help of Bluehost’s support team. Apparently we’d become infested with some unsavory hitchhikers. In theory we’re cleaned up and spiffy now.

Thanks to everybody for your continued support. Safe voyage.

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