The Lays of Marie de France

As I was trying to figure out what to write next, I went back to poking around medieval ballads. I came across The Lays of Marie de France. I downloaded the book at Project Gutenberg and read it.

Unlike other collections of this sort, the works in Lays are mainly romantic stories. One or two have themes of friendship and platonic love, but most are about romantic love between men and women. There are tales of the triumph of love, interrupted love, and the betrayal of love. I recall at least one being about adultery.

Perhaps the most well-known of the stories in the Lays is "The Bisclavret." It's an early werewolf story. Strangely, it's not about how the man turns into a werewolf, or how a woman falls in love with a man who's a werewolf. It's about loyalty, both to partner and to the nobles you have to answer to.

Originally these works were written as ballads to be sung orally. However, the most common way to get the stories today is to read them as text. While there is something to be said about losing the poetry of a ballad, these works were written in French (albeit for an English king). Any translation out of the original language wouldn't be ideal for getting the flow of the ballads. As it is, these stories seem to be told in full as text, which makes for good reading.

Overall I enjoyed the Lays. A couple gave me ideas for stories I'm writing or planning to write. If what I've described interests you, go ahead and download the collection (seeing as it's free.)


Fixer Jake

As with the trend this year, I've consolidated another series, but this time into separate print and ebook volumes. First is Fixer Jake:

The three novellas featuring Jake Bonner (Expert Assistance) have been available for some time now. However, they’ve only been available as separate volumes. Now all three, Heroes Eat Well, Janitorial Service, and Haven are together in one volume.

In Heroes Eat Well, Jake deals with a mysterious woman and her strange red box. In Janitorial Service, Jake has to clean up a planet in an oddly-familiar scenario. In Haven, Jake has to cope with a greedy mogul and secretive androids.

It’s all in good fun until complications arise…

That's the description of the print volume. The ebook volume, Jake Bonner!, contains those three novellas, plus Expert Assistance, the short stories in the Above Average Jake collection, and the short novel The War Scam. You can find links for both at the Jake Bonner 'verse page at my blog.


Writing Stats for May 2017

Here's the latest update on how much I've been writing.

So, for the first 4 days of May, I wrote 34 pages. Not bad for that amount of time. Those 34 pages concluded the project I was working on. That ended all the writing for the month.

However, that didn't end the work I did in May. As I've been consolidating my series, I thought I should do the same for all my short story collections and novellas. After I finished writing I went to work formatting all those collections into three books, both print and ebook editions. I plan on releasing them towards the end of the summer.

In looking those over, I noticed that the bio in the back of my books was getting out of date. It also seemed split between being "about the author" and "about me" in terms of tone. I put together a new bio with a single link here to my blog. Since I didn't want all my works to have a mix of new and old, I put the new bio in ebook editions of all the works I have out now. With the exception of works that are being retired, you'll find the new bio in all my ebooks.

Finally, I had to proof a work that's coming out next month. So that too got accomplished in May.

As for June, I have a new work plotted out. I have another project to proof as well. Here's hoping for more progress!

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