What I’ve Watched

Continued watching Mystery Science Theater 3000:

814 - Riding With Death
815 - Agent for HARM
817 - The Horror of Party Beach
818 - Devil Doll
911 - Devil Fish
912 - The Screaming Skull
1006 - Boggy Creek 2
1010 - It Lives By Night
1011 - Horrors of Spider Island
104 - Women of the Prehistoric Planet
203 - Jungle Goddess
213 - Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster

And with that I’ve seen most of what I wanted to see of classic MST3K. I’m going to move onto other series. I think it’s also important for me to remind you that Doctor Who starts back up January 1, 2020, and I’ll be watching that as well.


Restarting My Newsletter

I’m going to give an email newsletter another go.

My thought is to mention what’s inspiring my writing, talk a little about what I’m watching and reading, and let subscribers know what I’m releasing. The plan is to send it out on the first Thursday of each month. The first one will go out in February. This should give me time to get things ready.

You can subscribe through the link next to this post. I’ll try to post another reminder next month. I hope you’ll like the new newsletter!


Recently Read

I’ve read a few more books since my last post on this topic.

I completed the last half of Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series, Competence and Reticence. I really enjoyed both books, and the series as a whole. There was quite a bit of building out the world, even up to the end of the last book. Both books had delightful character romances of quite different kinds (I won’t say more because spoilers.) I liked that both books were told from other point-of-view characters. Gail’s characters are good, but it was fun to get into lots of heads and see everyone from a variety of perspectives.

I also read three short books by Victorian author George MacDonald. He was one of the era’s pioneers in the fantasy genre. The books of his I read were The Light Princess, The Princess and the Goblin, and Phantases.

The first two are breezy little fairytales with a good sense of humor about them. The first is about a Princess who loses gravity (in both senses of the word) while the other is more of an adventure. The third book tells of a young man’s visit to Fairy Land and the strange, dark, and wondrous things he finds. It’s intriguing but also somewhat overwritten, which slows it down.

I’m not sure how much I’ll read coming up, but what I do read I’ll post about it. I hope you’re enjoying what you’re reading!

P.S.: You might notice that box on the right. Yes, I am going to restart my email newsletter. It won’t start until February so I can work any kinks out before the first newsletter goes out. I’ll post more later...


Writing Stats for November 2019

Almost to the end of the year! Here’s how much I wrote in last month.

November zipped along, much like October. I managed to finish two novellas (14K & 12K words) and 3 short stories (8400, 4200, & 7250 words). In addition, I’m about 2/3 done with a short novel (32K words as I write this post).

All that means I wrote 278 pages in November. That’s almost 50 pages more than what I did in October. I did pause for a week that month, so the numbers this month feel only a little ahead of normal.

I have a few more projects to tackle once this work is complete. I have some ideas on what to write after that. I think I should end the year in good shape.


What I’ve Watched

Been watching more Mystery Science Theater 3000 since the last post on this topic:

617 - The Sword and the Dragon
620 - Danger! Death Ray!
701 - Night of the Blood Beast
705 - Escape 2000
804 - The Deadly Mantis
806 - The Undead
807 - Terror from the Year 5000
808 - The She-Creature
809 - I Was a Teenage Werewolf
810 - The Giant Spider Invasion

Plus I snuck in the shorts “Out Of This World” and “The Chicken of Tomorrow.”

I get to these through the Club MST3K website. I still have more to get through, so there’s bound to be more posts. Nor have I forgotten about posting about other videos I’ve watched and enjoyed, so as they say, stay tuned...


Recently Read

I read some more books in October. As before, the links with the titles go to Goodreads. Here they are:

The One-Armed Queen


The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

You can send me a friend request at Goodreads or follow me. Also, if you’ve liked the books I’ve written, you can rate or review them there, too.


Tradecraft: Revenge

Central Station is a gathering place for the artists, merchants, and politicians of the Galactic League. Aliens come from all over the galaxy to exchange ideas and resolve disputes.

Paolo Chelini transports a human to an unoccupied planet inside the Elsora Imperium. Buried on that rock in space is a fortune in gold and silver. The client claims a deceased Elsora criminal left the wealth to him. Sure enough, the claim checks out.

Chelini and his friends on Central Station find themselves puzzling over the connections between that client, scandals in the Elsora Imperium, and an ancient human novel...

Tradecraft: Revenge is now available in print and as an ebook. Check your favorite online store to get a copy!


Writing Stats for October 2019

Time for another update about how much I’m writing.

In the middle of the month I finished what I was working on. The project ended up being a 48,000-word short novel. I paused for a week to outline more stories and to get some publishing work accomplished. At the end of the month I started work on a new story, which ended up being a 14,000-word novella.

That means I wrote 231 pages in October. That is, oddly enough, about 14 pages less than what I accomplished in September. I had quite a few very productive days writing that short novel.

I’ve got a number of stories to work on moving forward. They do appear to be short, so I might have to plot out more to keep me going to the end of the year. That said, I think November will be fine.

Onward! And to those of you taking part in NaNo, I hope you achieve your writing goals!


What I’ve Watched

Some months back I decided to watch episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that for one reason or another I’d missed when they first aired. I thought it might be fun to post here what I’ve watched. Here’s what I’ve seen (or raced through) since this started:

314 - Mighty Jack
322 - Master Ninja
407 - The Killer Shrews
414 - Tormented
415 - The Beatniks
418 - Attack of the Eye Creatures
421 - Monster A-Go-Go
502 - Hercules
504 - Secret Agent Super Dragon
505 - The Magic Voyage of Sinbad
508 - Operation Double 007
606 - The Creeping Terror
607 - Bloodlust
608 - Code Name Diamond Head

Recent skips: 609, The Skydivers; 614, San Francisco International

There’s still episodes I want to get through, so there’ll be more posts. I might also post about other things I’m watching, too. Keep checking in to see!


Recently Read

I got back to reading last month after a couple of months away. Like previously, the links are to the books on Goodreads. Here’s what I read in September:

White Jenna


You can send me a friend request at Goodreads or follow me. Also, if you’ve liked the books I’ve written, you can rate or review them there, too.


Queen Maisy Rises

Maisy is now the Witch Queen of Hatham, and faces many challenges. One of her advisors seeks power for himself. A Prince is coming from a distant kingdom to seek an alliance, and possibly marriage. There are reports of one of the Fairy Folk enticing a village girl from her brother.

Maisy must use her wits, her magic, and her compassion to face these challenges. Though she had claimed her birthright, she must work to remain THE WITCH QUEEN.

Queen Maisy Rises is now available. Check your favorite online bookstore!


Writing Stats for September 2019

Another month has gone by, so here’s another update of how much I’m writing.

By the way, check the new picture! I’m now writing on my new iPad Air 3. I’ve moved much of my publishing, social networking, video and podcast consumption, and few other things to this from the old MacBook Air.

I tried out the new tentative schedule of writing 3 sessions a day, Monday through Friday. I’ve been productive throughout each week, and the weekend breaks are allowing me to rest and recharge. This will be the new schedule for now.

All that means I wrote 246 pages. I finished two short novels, both around 35,000 words long.

I have one more project to work on. After that there will be a pause to plot out an idea or two, as well as proof some future releases. I guess I’ll see how October goes...


Alliances & Armies

Nemya is the daughter of Queen Nonya of Poneclia. Poneclia and the other kingdoms that used to be part of the Usaru Empire are swept with rumors of conflict.

Queen Nonya dispatches her daughter as a Royal envoy to make alliances. Nemya tries to make allies and arrange a marriage. She must also seek allies among the kingdoms of the Etoiya, who are little known to Poneclia and her neighbors.

Nemya is also a growing young woman, struggling to find her place in a complex and dangerous world. Will Nemya’s heart and head take her to her destiny?

Alliances & Armies is now available.


Writing Stats for August 2019

Another month has gone by, so time to report on how much I’ve written.

August zipped along. There were a few missed sessions, and I took the last five day of the month to plot upcoming works. That means I wrote 284 pages. That’s 5 fewer pages than July. Among the pieces I wrote were some short stories and another short novel.

I have projects ready to go as the new month gets underway. I’m back to releasing new books, so keep an eye out for those. I’m also hoping to get back to reading.

Stay tuned!


Writing Stats for July 2019

It’s early in a new month, so that means an update on how much I’m writing this year.

July was the first full month of my attempt to write 3 sessions a day. Most days I was able to make the sessions. There were a few breaks and pauses, though. What all that means is I wrote 289 pages. Since the schedule isn’t official, I don’t know how that works out. But it sure felt good!

So what did I write? Two novellas (22k and 23k words), and three short stories (4800 words, 6100 words, & 5100 words). I like those last three because I haven’t written a short story in years.

Already I’ve made some good progress on new works in August. I have a few projects to get to, then it looks like I’ll have to figure out some new story ideas. And I have a new release to get out. Looks like another busy month!


Recently Read

I re-read a few books to get me in the right frame of mind for my current projects:

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Expecting Someone Taller

Who's Afraid of Beowulf?

You can send me a friend request at Goodreads or follow me. If you've read and liked the books I've written, please rate them.

Happy reading!


Writing Stats for June 2019

Back again to tell you how much I wrote in the previous month.

In June I finished the novel I'd been working on. It turned out to be 109,000 words. That's the fourth novel in a row that came in for me at over 100K words. Seeing as I'd only gotten up to about 85K before, I'm pleased that I've stretched myself like that. Furthermore, the novel is a stand-alone, so not only can I do a series of books that long, but I can write a single novel of that length.

I completed the novel in the middle of the month. I paused for a while to rest and do other stuff, then I started on a new work. All that means I wrote 210 pages in June. That's 10 pages over what I would have achieved if I'd only met my session goals.

One reason for that is that I'm trying an experiment. I'm trying to add one more writing session per day. I want to try it out for at least one full month before I make this change permanent. But so far I haven't felt burnt-out from three sessions a day. I'll find out how it goes through July.

Whatever the number of sessions a day, I hope to continue to be productive as the summer rolls on!


Recently Read

Here's what I've read recently. As always, the links go to the individual book pages at Goodreads. The books:

You can send me a friend request at Goodreads or follow me. If you've read and liked the books I've written, please rate them.

Happy reading!


Tradecraft: Theft

Central Station is a gathering place for the artists, merchants, and politicians of the Galactic League. Aliens come from all over the galaxy to exchange ideas and resolve disputes.

On the minds of all at Central Station are attacks on merchant starships by raiders, who steal cargo and rob passengers. One such attack on the ship of human Paolo Chelini has made off with technology from the advanced Alphans. The incident starts an investigation that shakes governments and societies.

Paolo Chelini thought he was just another starship operator. He and his ship Tradecraft are about to become more famous, more influential, and more pursued…

Tradecraft: Theft is now on sale. Here is where you can get it:

Amazon     Apple Books     Kobo     B&N     Smashwords 


Writing Stats for May 2019

Here's another update on how much I'm writing this year.

May was another good month. I'm plugging away on the novel. As I write this post I'm three-fourths through. I might finish it early this month. Check my social media if you want to know exactly when that happens.

I wrote 234 pages in May. That's with losing a few sessions to errands to boot. Once again I was over what I would have written if I'd only hit my session goals.

Once the current novel is done I plan to take as brief a break as I can, then move on with the next project. I've written some largely serious novels of late, and the next project will be light, so I'm looking forward to the change of tone.

I hope the streak of good writing continues into June!


Recently Read

Here's what I've read since I last posted on this subject back in January. As always, the links go to the individual book pages at Goodreads. The books:

The Calculating Stars

The Fated Sky

How to Marry a Werewolf

Snow White Learns Witchcraft

The Bayern Agenda

You can send me a friend request at Goodreads or follow me. If you've read and liked the books I've written, please rate them.

Happy reading!


Writing Stats for April 2019

It's time for another post about how much I'm writing this year.

April was another good month. I completed the third book in the trilogy I've been working on mid-way through the month. It ended up being 106,000 words. I paused for a few days to rest and to take care of some routine medical stuff. I started on a new project and it's moving along.

That means I wrote 226 pages in April. That's about 20 pages over what I'd have done if I'd only stuck to my session goals!

As I said, the new project is flowing. My hope right now is that it turns out to be a full novel. What I'd really like would be for it to be over 100K words. It's a stand-alone work, and I'd like to write a stand-alone novel that comes in at 100K or more.

Here's hoping for more good news in May!


"Young Maisy" and ballads

In my last post I mentioned I have a new book out. Young Maisy is the first novel in my new series, The Witch Queen. I thought I might mention some of the influences on this novel.

One of the biggest influences on the whole series has been my reading of ballads. A few years back I read through the "Child Ballads," the collection of ballads compiled by Francis James Child.

The ballad in particular that started the seed of Young Maisy was "Fause Foodrage." I won't go into detail because doing so would spoil part of the novel. If you want you can search for it yourself and find out what happens in the tale. I do like that the ballad does have a strong female character.

More generally, though, the idea of ballads runs through much of the early novels in the series. Characters talk about learning from ballads. They talk about being the subject of ballads. They talk about how ballads can be used to shape opinion. As for me, some ballads served as plot ideas while others seemed good inspiration for world-building.

I hope you'll check out the novel and take an interest in the series. I'll try to put up other posts about the next novels in the series and where the ideas came from.


Young Maisy

Maisy is a village girl in an ordinary dukedom. One day a fight with other girls drives her into the nearby woods. While sorting out her actions, Maisy encounters a talking stag, a member of the Fairy Folk in disguise.

This begins Maisy’s life as a Witch attempting to reclaim her birthright. She learns that she’s not a common girl, but a daughter of royalty hidden away for her safety. She must use magic and her wits to figure out how to reclaim her title and someday become THE WITCH QUEEN.

Young Maisy is now available. Here is where you can get it:

Amazon     Smashwords     Apple Books     Kobo     B&N     Google Play


Writing Stats for March 2019

Time for another update on how much I'm writing this year.

March was a bit of an odd month. I finished one project and started on another. There was a couple days' break between them. Also, in the third week of March, my sinuses acted up, so I lost a few days. But when I was writing the words were flowing.

That means I wrote 202 pages in March. That's a few pages under what I would have written if I had met all my session goals for the month. So good numbers despite of missing several sessions.

Another thing I did writing-related was complete edits on all my upcoming books. Not just for this year, but for the next few years. This way I won't have to worry about edits taking away from writing time.

I'm about two-thirds through the present book, the third in a trilogy. I hope that April will see the words continuing to flow!


"Empire Breaker" and "Hardcore History"

Last week I posted that I have a new novel out, Empire Breaker. I thought I'd follow up with a post on what inspired it.

In 2016 one of the history podcasts I listen to, Hardcore History, had a three-part series called "King of Kings." It was about the rise and fall of the First Persian Empire, in the period most associated with Biblical history, the Spartans, and Alexander the Great.

What caught me was how it arose out of the fall of an older empire. It rose to dominate the world, then it fell in time. It was an empire ruling several kingdoms and peoples. That older empire was the Neo-Assyrian Empire. It fell due to a series of civil wars and rebellions among the many peoples it dominated.

It was this idea of conflict within an ancient empire ruling over a wide area and with many constituent cultures that got me thinking. I did a little extra research, thought up a system of magic, and came up with my heroine.

Because the novel is just out, I'm not going to go into too many details. It's also been a few years since I wrote the novel. My mind is already off to what I'm writing at the present. :)

Feel free to chase down these various rabbit holes of history if you're intrigued.

If you like this post, let me know. I'm thinking of doing more posts like this as books come out, so tell me if you'd like me to talk about my inspirations.


Empire Breaker

Nonya is the daughter of the king of Cunarra, one of the many lands ruled by the Great King of Usaru. Nonya is to marry the youngest son of the Great King.

Marriage will take Nonya from her home in Cunarra to the seat of the Usaru Empire and another kingdom in the Empire, the coastal land of Poneclia. Marriage will also give her close relationships with spell-casting magisters and foreign scribes. It will also plunge her into the politics of the Usaru Empire.

What happens when the sons of the Great King come into conflict? What will Nonya do to survive such turmoil?

Empire Breaker is now available. Here are the stores where you can get it:
Amazon     Smashwords     Apple Books     Kobo     B&N     Google Play

This is the first of five new books I'll be putting out this year. Keep checking back as these books go live!


Writing Stats for February 2019

Here's the second post of the year on how much I'm writing in 2019.

February was a month where the words just poured out. I passed the mid-point of the novel I was working on, and I blazed through to completion on February 27. That means I wrote 216 pages. That's 30 or so pages over what I'd have written if I'd only hit my session goals.

The novel came in at 110,000 words. It's the second in a trilogy. The first came in at 115K words. My hope is that the third book will also be over 100K words.

In between all that writing I prepped my March release. I decided to go through the books I'll be putting out this year and get them edited as well. That's done so I've moved onto next year's. I figure why not get all this editing work done now and take one less task off the list for all my future book releases. Also, if I decide to put out more books in a year they'll be ready to go.

The day this post goes up is when I plan to start on book three. I hope I'll have another good month of writing!


What I've Read in 2019 (Part 1)

Here's what I've read since I last posted on this subject back in January. As always, the book title links go to the book pages at Goodreads. The books:

Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

I had read Alice's Adventures some time ago, and had started Through the Looking-Glass, but both had faded from my mind. It seemed like a good time to get back to them.

Next month I start publishing new books. Between editing and writing, I probably won't have as much time to read as I have these last few months. There might be some time before the next post like this comes out.

In the meantime, you can send me a friend request at Goodreads or follow me. If you've read and liked my books, please rate them.

Happy reading to us all!


Writing Stats for January 2019

It's a new year, so it's also a new round of monthly posts about how much I'm writing.

January started off a bit slow. I read on one of the forums I've joined that it's become much easier to directly upload to the online stores of Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple. I've switched from using Smashwords to get into those stores to going direct. I took some of my writing time to make the switch.

I finished the novel I had been working on. It turned out to 115,000 words long. It's the first of a trilogy, so after a brief break I started in on the second book. Once the uploading was done my writing took off. That means I wrote 209 pages in January. If I had met all of my session goals for the month, I'd have written 216 pages. So, not that far off.

The book seems to be moving along well. I might miss some sessions because I'll have to edit my next book for publishing in March. My hope is to edit outside of writing time, but I'll have to see how that works.

Here's hoping for good numbers in February!


What I've Read in 2018 (Part 4)

Here's what I've read since I last posted on this subject back in November. As always, the book title links go to the book pages at Goodreads. The books:

Record of a Spaceborn Few

Micro Living


The Well at the World's End

The Mummy!

So, in 2018, I read 30 books. Most were fantasy but there were a few science fiction titles on that list. How does that compare? Well, in 2017 I read 10 books. So, yeah, something of an increase.

I looked at my shelves at Goodreads. I have 45 books on the Classic shelf; 89 on Fantasy; 69 on Science Fiction; and 79 on Nonfiction (plus 10 on Game Books). There are some overlapping titles in the three fiction categories. Overall, though, I have 340 titles listed at Goodreads as books I've read. Out of those, 54 are my books. That means I have 286 books listed at Goodreads that I've read.

I don't know if I'll read 30 books in 2019. But I am hoping to read quite a few. Follow along and see how much I read this year!


Writing Stats for December 2018

Another year has gone by. Allow me to tell you first how much I wrote in December, and then how much I wrote overall for 2018. Buckle up, it's gonna be a long post.

December moved right along, in spite of not writing on Christmas and missing a few sessions. I wrote 214 pages, which ends up being over what I could have written if I'd strictly met my session goals (188 pages). This is in part due to me adding a Saturday afternoon writing session partway into the month.

I'll confirm it next month, but I think I am going to permanently add a Saturday afternoon session. That means I'll have two scheduled writing sessions a day Monday-Saturday. I want to do this so I'm not feeling bored, and so I can light a fire under myself to write a little bit more. Since my current project is turning out to be long, I would like the added session as a motivator to keep trying to write longer works.

As for 2018 itself, I wrote 2324 pages. That comes out to an average of 194 pages written per month, which is within the range I ought to be reaching by meeting my session goals. That means the year wasn't super-productive for me, but it went well. I am more than happy with that.

Here are the word counts of the projects I've worked on this year (with the month of completion):

55K short novel (February) - novel expanded from 44k to 77k (February) - 59k short novel (April) -
68k novel (May) - 75k novel (June) - 56k short novel (July) - 56k short novel (August) - 60k short novel (October) - 70k novel (November) - and 105k into novel (not yet completed)

That looks like quite a few books. But that's 5 short novels, 33k words to expand a work, and 3 novels around 70k words. What I am proud of in the last work in that list. It's now the longest fiction work I've written, and my first novel that will come in at over 100k words. It's the first in a trilogy. My hope is to replicate that feat with the other two books. I'd also like to have at least one more substantive novel written in 2019.

By the way: in 2017 I wrote 3 novels, a short novel, and was much of the way through the work I completed at the start of this year (1,853 pages written). In 2016 I wrote 2 novels and 2 short novels (1,483 pages written). I don't know if I'll write much more in 2019, but I'm glad the numbers have been increasing the last few years. Here's hoping!

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