Writing Progress, November 2020


Here’s the latest update on how much I’m writing this year.

As I posted this time last month, I had just finished a short novel. The rest of the first week of November was lost due to, well, events. But I started a new project the second week of the month.

The project was one I’d only got a few chapters into before stopping. As it happened, reading Gail Carriger’s The Heroine’s Journey got the project on track again. I tinkered with the plot, got to writing, and it ended up being a 62,000-word novel.

But I still lost a week. That means I got 231 pages written last month. I would have written 252 pages if I’d met my session goals.

I’m now at work on another project. I have two more outlined, and I might have an idea to pursue after those. With luck I’ll close out the year on a high note.

By the by, if you want to know what else I’m reading, and what’s inspiring my work, subscribe to my newsletter. I send it out promptly the first Monday of every month.

Thanks for your support!


Ballad Girl

Jeremy is the son of the leader of the village of Bald Rock. One day his father asks Jeremy to find a place for Mildred, a young woman who’s turned up and taken over an abandoned house.

Mildred tells Jeremy she wants to turn the house in a place where ballads are kept, a “Ballad House.” He’s talked into helping her, along with three other young people in the village. The five form The Order of The Ballad House, and set about remembering and writing the tales they’ve heard.

What starts as a diversion from village life becomes more than Jeremy ever dreamed possible. He’ll encounter magic and monsters, and feel fear and love. His world will be turned upside-down because of Mildred, the Ballad Girl.

The book is out now. I hope you like it!


Writing Progress, October 2020


Here’s the latest on how much I’m writing.

October was, well, a month. When I was writing I was productive. But I had days where errands & minor sinus troubles kept me from writing.

I started the month by writing two short stories, with both coming in at about 7100 words. I finished a 45,000-word short novel just into this month. That amounts to 218 pages written. However, if I’d met my session goals I would have written 264 pages.

So, because of events, I didn’t write much the first week of this month. But I have a project to get going on, and another to get to after it’s done. Here’s hoping for progress, and hope for you if you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo!


The Codex of the Hidden

Denys has come to the mighty city of Bladeport to become a proper wizard. He also wishes to learn more about a book his Duke gave him, “The Codex of the Hidden.” The riddle of this mysterious and magical book will make Denys a wanted man and expose him and his friends to Bladeport’s bloody past.

The book is on sale now. I hope you’ll check it out!


Writing Progress, September 2020

I hope you’re all well. Here’s the latest post about how my writing is going.

September was a busy month, except when it wasn’t. Late on Labor Day my sinuses started acting up due to the change in the weather. That caused me to miss a few days of writing. I also took off a few sessions to edit some future releases.

I continued to write short stories about “Jilla the Rogue.” I completed 9 of them in September. Here are the word counts: 4500; 7900; 8200; 6750; 8500; 5800; 8700; 11,300 (!); 5250.

That adds up to 247 pages written last month. If I’d met all my session goals I’d have written 264 pages. So, down a bit but not too bad.

I’ve finished one short story to start October. I have one more with Jilla to write, then a longer work featuring her. I have a work plotted out with another character for after that, then I don’t know what I’ll write. Sounds like I have to plot more stories.

By the way, my email newsletter goes out today. If you’d like to find out what I’m reading, what’s influencing my writing, and get the first word on my new releases, please subscribe. Take care, and thanks for your support!


The Hub Trilogy 3

 I’m releasing all three books in this trilogy this month; here is the third:


The struggle to rule the Goblin Empire ends in murder. Princess Ischo is forced to flee to the Elven Holding. She hopes the elves will help her regain power, but that is as much in the hands of her and her people as the elves.

Meanwhile, the elf scholar Avahyl is tasked with examining ancient and mysterious scrolls at the edge of the Holding. Her journey will be fraught with madness, but might lead to acclaim and friendship.

In these disparate experiences of two women, the influence of Hub will continue to be felt, as it is around the world.

All three are on sale now!


The Hub Trilogy 2

I’m releasing all three books in this trilogy this month; here is the second:

 A struggle over succession is underway in the Goblin Empire. Two Princes aim to follow the aging Emperor. To gain favor they plot against other lands.

The unity being built by Duncan of Salt Bay and his friends and allies will stand against these schemes. The other races and domains must come to each other’s aid. Magic and intelligence can combine to stop this threat to peace and prosperity.

Far away, a Ship’s Master from Salt Bay has to prove to the humans of one land that others no longer seek to conquer them. Will world events convince them of everyone’s honest intentions?

All three are on sale now!


The Hub Trilogy 1

I’m releasing all three books in this trilogy this month; here is the first:

The races and domains have created the town of Hub as a place for them to negotiate with each other. Hub sits on the border of the Elven Holding and the human Kingdom of Flint Plains.

Duncan, a scribe from the human Kingdom of Salt Bay, comes to Hub to get permission to visit the Holding. His purpose is to learn more about the lands across the sea west of Salt Bay. This simple mission will have consequences for the wider world. It marks the dawn of efforts by most domains to help each other.

But building peace is not on everyone’s mind. The Goblin Empire seeks to use the calm to undermine the other domains. Yet connections are being made and found between humans, elves, and dwarves. History is still being written. Who knows where the tale will go?

All three are on sale now!


Writing Progress, August 2020

Another month gone means another blog post about how much I’m writing.

I wrote short stories in August. 10 of them, to be precise. Here are the rough word counts of the stories I completed: 6500; 5300; 6300; 7000; 8000; 7750; 7700; 7800; 4400; 3400.

In terms of pages, that’s 254 pages written in August. As it happens, I missed a few sessions and one day, since I didn’t want to start a new story immediately after finishing a story. I also had a few things to take care of that happened to fall during writing time. So 254 is just a couple pages over what I would have hit had I met all my session goals.

As for September, well, as I write this, I just finished another short story. We’ll see if this month is as strong as August.

One last thing: I’m changing the schedule of my email newsletter from the first Thursday of every month to the first Monday. That means you have time to subscribe before the next issue comes out. I suggest you do subscribe, as I’m mentioning there what I’m reading and watching, giving a first look at my releases, and talking about my model railroad videos.

Take care!


Dal the Thief, Part 1

Starting a new series of short books with 3 releases:

Dal, a thief, has come to Romallia, the seat of power for the kingdom of the same name, looking to steal a fortune. Before he gets the chance, he’s ordered to investigate the often-absent Royal Wizard. This “innocent” mission sends Dal across the sea to a desert land. He has to deal with a magical ship, lizard folk, plotting courtiers, and a pesky Princess.

Will Dal get to steal anything? Will he get paid anything? Will he survive his adventure with his wits and life intact?

Dal the Thief has arrived in Andulia to practice his trade. But before he can, he’s brought before Princess Eliarra. The Princess needs help. Her father, the King, wants to marry her!

Is the King mad? Are spells being cast upon him? Dal has to sort through suspects and come up with clever tricks to figure out what’s going on. It seems he’s caught up in yet another adventure...

Dal the Thief has arrived at the twin cities of Perra and Orren in the kingdom of Farren. He would like to practice his trade, but the situation in the cities is complicated. Many merchants and tradesmen want to end the rivalry between the cities to obtain peace and prosperity. Two rival families would prefer to keep the rivalry going between the cities and between themselves.

The Captains of each city want Dal to put his wits and skills onto the task of unifying the cities. Can he fool bitter rivals into ending their feud? And what about the romance blooming between two members of the feuding families? Dal has his hands full once more, and he’s not happy about it...

All 3 are now on sale now, and more will be coming next year!


Writing Progress, July 2020

Another new month means another post looking back at what I wrote the previous month!

I hope all of you are doing okay. July saw me writing more on this new character and her adventures. In broad terms, I wrote 282 pages in July, which is a handful over what I would have written if I’d only reached my goals. That output came in spite of losing a few sessions here and there.

Here are the specifics of what I wrote:
Completed - one 20,000-word novella; short stories of 8500, 8700, 5700, and 8000 words
In progress - about 17,000 words into a novella, which seems to be 2/3 done

Looking forward, I have this present work to finish, plus a number of short stories to move to. I think at least one other project with this character could be novella-length. In addition to the outlines I have set up, I’ve got other story ideas I can plot out. So, lots to keep me busy!

Take care!


The Journey of Princess Anna

Another fantasy novel for your consideration:

Princess Anna takes an interest in fighting at an early age. She grows up to become a skilled and renowned warrior. But there’s little place in her kingdom for her, seeing as she’s also the youngest of three children.

She chooses to leave her kingdom and explore the surrounding region. She hopes to learn more to benefit her father the King and her brother, the Prince and heir to the throne.

Anna quickly finds war, injustice, and slavery. She refuses to let good folk suffer at the hands of bad rulers. She vows to fight for what is right, even if she must side with outlaws and common villagers. She also finds her affections challenged in a most unexpected way.

Princess Anna journeys not only away from home but away from the life she was certain she’d lead…

The novel is on sale now; check your favorite store to get a copy.


Writing Progress, June 2020

Half the year is now gone. I’m okay, and I hope all of you are okay as well.

June was an interesting month for me as far as my writing went. I completed a short novel that came in at 43,000 words. I paused for a few days to come up with some story ideas. I went onto the next project, which was supposed to take place in the same world as the novel I’d just finished.

I say “supposed to” because I wrote only few chapters before giving up on the project. I just wasn’t feeling the story. Another feeling I had was that I was treading on ground I’d already been on with other projects. I’m going to hold onto what I did write; I might be able to use some of that in another work. So after a day’s pause I went to another project I’d already had plotted out. By the end of the month I was almost done, and by the time you read this I should be done.

All that means I wrote 248 pages in June. Considering that I didn’t write a handful of days, that’s only about 15 pages off what would have been a normal pace.

I have some projects plotted, but I want to get one more ready before I start on this new world and character I’ve created. The character has been in my head for weeks, so I’m eager to get going. Here’s hoping that her tales flow right out me!


The “Witch Queen” series concludes

My Witch Queen series ends with one novel, with two more side novels also now out:

Queen Maisy has always been in favor of expanding knowledge. Others feel threatened by her efforts, and they’re standing against her...

A bitter feud stands in the way of one woman’s love. How far will she go to find happiness?

A high-handed deed against a toolmaker sets a kingdom on fire. Will magic or words put out that raging blaze?

For more on check the Witch Queen series page. All three books are on sale now; check your favorite store to get them.


Writing Progress, May 2020

Another month has passed. I hope you’re all doing well. Here’s how my writing has been going.

May was a strong month. I completed a novel that came in at 63,500 words. After taking care of some publishing business, I started on another project. I think I’m about a third into that. Both projects have seen some very productive writing days.

That means I wrote 259 pages in May. That’s a handful of pages over what I’d have done if I’d only stuck to my session goals.

This project looks like it’ll be a short novel. That suggests to me that the follow-up, in the same world, will be the same. I have those two to write, plus another project after that. I have an idea or two on what to tackle once those are done. I might do some plotting to put those ideas into shape.

Take care, and here’s hoping for a solid June!


Boodle Land

Here’s a different sort of fantasy novel for you:

Harrison County lies in the High Plains of Kansas. Settlers are coming west, and even this small and isolated county is growing. But all is not peaceful on the prairie.

Two towns, Verona and Promontory, want to be the county seat. The town that gets the seat will get the county government, the chance for a railroad, and hope for the future. The town that doesn’t get the seat might not exist in six months or a year. This desire will spark a rivalry between the towns that will last for years.

Magickers won’t decide the outcome. Neither will gunfighters or the Army. No, the battle will be waged at the ballot box, in civil court, and in the columns of the towns’ newspapers. Which town will prove itself, and which will be nothing but a “boodle town?”

Why, yes, this one was inspired by one of my nonfiction books. This novel is on sale now.


Writing Progress, April 2020

Another month has passed, so it’s time to update you on how much I’m writing.

First, I hope you’re all doing well. Things continue to be fine with me.

I finished another novel in April. It came in at just under 79,000 words. While that’s good, most of my writing sessions were just hitting the goal. I also missed a few days due to various and sundry, including pausing between projects to edit some of next year’s releases.

That means I wrote 248 pages last month. That’s about 15 pages shy of what I would have written had I hit every daily session goal.

The last few days of April saw me start on a new project. It’s moving along pretty well. I’ve also outlined three more projects, and I have thoughts on another. Keep following this blog to see how I do. Also, please subscribe to my email newsletter to keep up on what I’m reading, watching, and learn about my releases before I post here.

Take care!


Recently Read

I’ve read a few more books last month. All were 4-star reads that I enjoyed.

As before, the links go to Goodreads.

Meat Cute: The Hedgehog Incident

The Lady Astronaut of Mars

 Romancing the Inventor

From here on, I’ll only be mentioning what I’m reading and watching in my newsletter, except when I want to write a really long post about something. So I hope that’s another reason for you to subscribe. :)


Space Hero Emma Tiffany

Here’s a light sci-fi novel for you:

Emma Tiffany is not having a good time these days.

Her mother is a famed law enforcement officer in the new Interstellar Alliance of Independent Worlds. Emma would like NOT to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Then she comes to the rescue of a woman she met in a bar.

She’s “rewarded” with a posting to the Alliance Space Patrol. She’s given command of a ship, the duty to protect the Alliance, and all the aggravations that come with command and duty. She has to deal with criminals, a conspiracy, and all-out war.

Will there be a better reward at the end of Emma’s service to the Alliance? Emma is hoping there will be, and something a little more valuable than a gold watch...

The novel is now on sale.


Writing Progress, March 2020

Another month has passed, so another update on how much I’m writing. Before that, though, I hope you’re staying inside as much as you can and that you’re staying safe.

I’ve been inside most of the time as usual, writing. I finished the novel I’d been working on when I put up my last progress post. It came in at around 77,000 words. I ended on a Friday, so I was able to start on the next project the following Monday. I’m still working on it, and it looks like it might be a proper novel like the one I just finished.

What that means is that I wrote 287 pages in March. There were some pretty good days working on the novel. I haven’t has as many working on this new one, but it does seem to be picking up the pace. By the way, that’s over 20 pages more than if I’d just stuck to my usual goals!

I’m guessing that it will take the rest of April to finish this novel. I do have one more project outlined, but I have two ideas I’d like to pursue. I might plot them out before starting on that next project. Follow this blog to see how I do.

Oh, and if you want to know when I have new releases out before I post them here, subscribe to my email newsletter. I’m in the habit of doing it, and it comes out the first Thursday of each month. Thanks!


The “Tradecraft” Series Concludes

My science fiction series Tradecraft comes to an end with the following three books:

A kidnapping sends the galaxy racing towards war. Who benefits from conflict?

A dictator has taken control of a distant colony. An escapee from that world begs for help. Will the galaxy respond?

Several independent colonies face attack from an outlaw planet. Can they unite in time to prevent another war on the galactic frontier?

For more on the series check the Tradecraft series page. To buy the series, search at your favorite online store from my store links page.


Writing Progress, February 2020

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

February started well, but then my sinuses acted up, and I lost much of the last week of the month (more due to being tired than sick, which is what happens when you don’t sleep well because your sinuses are acting up).

All that means I wrote 191 pages in February. That said, I got quite a lot written. I finished five short stories (two @ 5700 words, 7700 words, 3100 words, & 5800 words). I’m also one-quarter to one-third into a new novel. Still, if I had been able to keep to my schedule, I’d have written 240 pages.

I am feeling better, so I should be able to get back to the novel right away. I have a few more longer projects after that ready to go, and I have an idea for another project to outline. Keep following this blog to see how I do. Also, subscribe to my newsletter to learn about my releases before they’re posted here, as well as what I’m reading and watching.


“The Witch Queen” series continues


There are now three more books available in The Witch Queen series.

In book 3, Queen Maisy has to deal with a nearby kingdom with designs on conquering her allies.

In book 4, Queen Maisy makes a new ally while an old foe plots against his enemies.

In book 5, Queen Maisy travels once more, making friends but also being witness to a disaster.

All three books are on sale. Check the Witch Queen series page for longer descriptions. Check the store links page to find your store and buy copies.


Newsletter Changes

So, I was all set Thursday the 6th to send out the first issue of my new email newsletter, even though I was the only subscriber. I finished the newsletter and hit send.

And nothing. For hours.

It finally showed up in my inbox, but only after three emails to the service I was using, none of which were all that helpful. I chose to sign back up to MailChimp. I copied as much of the February issue as I could and sent it out.

It turned up in my inbox instantly.

I’ll be sticking with MailChimp for now. I hope you’ll sign up. It’ll be a work-in-progress for a while, so signing up and giving me feedback would be helpful.


Writing Progress, January 2020

New year so new series of posts about how much I’m writing.

January was a productive month for me. I wrote a 48K-word novel and three short stories. One of the short stories was 7100 words long, the second 6500 words, and the third 5300 words. In terms of pages written, that comes out to 268 pages written to start off 2020. That’s 10 less than last month, but still pretty good.

I’ve got a few more short stories on deck. After that I have a few projects that I think should end up being novels. I’m hoping at least one of them will end up being fairly long. You’ll have to keep following my blog to find out how I do.

Speaking of following, and yes, I have said it already, but I’m starting up a monthly email newsletter this week. If you subscribe you’ll hear about my new releases before I post about them here. You’ll also hear about what I’m watching and reading, and what’s inspiring my writing. It’ll be something of a work in progress for a time, so subscribing and commenting on it can help me tweak it.


Newsletter Reminder

Here’s a picture of the dusting of snow we got from a couple weeks back. I’m using the chance to post this little wintry photo as a reminder that I’ll be restarting my newsletter soon. If you like me & my writing please subscribe. Thanks!


Recently Read: Becoming Superman

In the first weekend of December I read Becoming Superman, the memoir of J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, Sense8, and quite a bit more.

I wanted to read this book when I first heard about it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: some of the science fiction I write takes inspiration from Babylon 5. I felt I had to know more about the creator of that series. JMS’ memoir was tough going, but I really needed to hear his personal story.

In the book JMS tells of his terrible upbringing of abuse and poverty. He writes about trying to find his way, and not always succeeding, but never giving up on the effort. Some of those efforts led him to become a journalist, a writer for animated TV series, a writer and creator of live-action TV series, a comics writer, a film scriptwriter, and a novelist. Yes, the man has bounced around over his writing career.

The first several chapters are difficult to read. I won’t detail the abuse and hardship here; read the book. Suffice it to say that it was awful.

Yet even there JMS found hope. He discovered the old Superman TV series as a boy. The character of Superman gave him a better example to live by. He could be kind instead of cruel, helpful instead of selfish, honest instead of deceitful, and above all good instead of evil. That discovery in turn led him into the world of science fiction and fantasy. Getting into that world led him to the realization that fiction didn’t just appear, but was created by writers. Writing could be his way out as well as a way to channel his thoughts, feelings, experiences, and beliefs.

This is one of the great values of this memoir. Creating is a method of showing ourselves to the world. We create to be heard and to express who we are. You don’t have to be born creative. You just need the desire to channel yourself into whatever it is you make, be it fiction, art, cosplay, gaming, or anything else.

Later on, as JMS goes through different aspects of his writing career, another theme pops up. Time and again he’s asked to compromise his values or plain common sense to remain where he is. Time and again he refuses, because the compromises often boil down to the notion that the audience is stupid or that egos must be flattered at any cost. I think the lesson is this is if you’re going to put yourself into your creative works, you should show your best self.

This was a powerful read. At points it’s a very hard read. But it’s worth reading, even if you’re not a fan of JMS and his works. There’s hope in creativity, and this memoir drives that point home.


By the way, I counted how many books I read in 2019: 24 books. I’ll see how much I read this year.


Writing Stats for December 2019

2019 is over, so it’s time to recap December and my year in writing.

I got the last bit of a 45K-word short novel done to start the month. During the month I got a 41K short novel written. Towards the end of the month I finished a work that came in at 27K words (wrote the last thousand or so on New Year’s Day). That means I wrote 277 pages in December. I’m good with that.

Overall in 2019 I wrote a total of 2902 pages. That ends up being an average of 242 pages a month. I did up my writing schedule during the year. I imagine that total will go up in 2020 as I continue to settle into it. As a reminder, I aim for 4 pages a session, 3 sessions a day, Monday through Friday.

What’s that in terms of words? Roughly speaking I wrote 725,000 words in 2019. That’s well over 100K words from 2018. If I can keep to the bare minimum of my schedule this year, I might be able to write three-quarters of a million words. Not quite the million words a year some writers can do, but who knows? I might be able to get there sometime in the future.

So, what will I be writing? As this post is published I plan to start on the fourth of a quartet of fantasy-romance stories I’ve been writing. After that I have some short stories to pursue. After those I believe I have some outlines that I’m hoping will lead to novel-length works.

How will I do? Keep following my blog this year to find out how much I write. There’s also going to be lots of releases this year, too. Please consider subscribing to my newsletter to keep updated.

Here’s hoping for a productive and creative 2020!

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