[Obviously, two weeks lag if you aren’t reading this from Patreon. See details at the bottom.]

Having a good Monday so far. Went to breakfast. Went to the archery range. Even shot pretty well. Did some Tai Chi Chuan and some cane form. Let’s call it something approximating normal. I’d like that, after all the craziness of the last several months. A flow.

Met with Sifu and seniormost student for class on Saturday. Hadn’t seen Eldest Brother in a while, so it was good to catch up on his life.

We three were alone at the end after everyone else departed, so I mentioned the possibility of creating a new open hand/closed fist form (Can you call it Tai Chi Chuan if it’s not Chinese Lineage? I doubt it.) for a set of aliens in the coming Corsac Fox series. They both thought that was pretty cool. I might make a serious effort because the CPL 99 for puts a lot of stress on my left knee, which I’d rather not do after nearly tearing it several years ago (might have microtears, dunno).

The goal of Tai Chi is to still be limber and flexible (intellectually and emotionally as well as physically) when I’m ninety. Thirty-seven years. Open mind, open body, open heart, because I read a study the other day about how the mind starts to shut down and prune after about you hit forty if you aren’t actively working it. Television really does rot your brain, and you turn into that old fart yelling at the kids to get off your lawn.

Then I asked Eldest Brother if he felt like creating a new sword form for me to practice. I studied English Longsword as well as English Quarterstaff, back in the day, which are both radically different than equivalent Chinese or Japanese weapons. Takes me a bit to adjust to using the cane like a sword, when my hands want to grip it like a quarterstaff. Especially with one double block in the second section that leads into a horizontal chop, when I would step forward and punch someone in the face with the far end of the cane.

Again, moving uphill instead of downhill. Looking forward to two new martial arts in the world, because there is simply not enough art in the world today. You should do something about that. (Yes, you!)

Let’s see: Last week, I finished the third Derlyth novel. All are dropping in June, 2023 as part of a set. Not a trilogy, because I already have notes for #4 and #5 already, but I want to shift back to some SF for a while.

Always writing different things to feed the muse.

Derlyth is Occult Detective by genre. London, 1924. Magic. Demons. Shenanigans. And Augustus Dexter Derlyth is a thief and a bit of a necromancer by trade. Not a nice guy. Still a hero, but that’s circumstances and blackmail more than anything. Tremendous amounts of voice. Rich characters.

Better, I hung out with some friends on Saturday and one of them recently got hired to create an rpg game engine and setting for someone. He’s going to look into the contract itself, but he thinks that he retains the Intellectual Property rights to the engine, so I might hire him to create a 20th Century Urban Fantasy rpg for Derlyth and friends. Probably worth a kickstarter project in 2023, if the books do well.

And I wouldn’t mind if they exploded.

Every time you hit the publish button, there is a one in a million chance that you capture the cultural zeitgeist and become JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins. With that in mind, I often counsel writers to make sure that they enjoy some sub-genre before diving into it. In this case, what would happen to my SF if suddenly I was expected to kick out several Occult Detective novels every year to feed a USA Today bestselling series? (Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.)

I’d write them. And spin things off. And on. And explore the 1920s with magic. And maybe do prequels for Derlyth as a young man (he was born in 1877), plus explore the world when he’s an older gentleman, in the vein of Henry Jones, Sr. against the Nazis.

Because it would be a tremendous amount of fun. When we get there, remind me to ask everyone who they would cast as Derlyth, Captain Digby, and Lady Claudette to make movies. I have images in my head, but not names that I would hire if I suddenly were making movies based on these books.

But it would be awesome. And I still have the greatest job in the world, when you get down to it. I’m paid to make shit up and entertain people.

Does it get any better than that? Dunno. Stupid amounts of money would probably help, so you should tell your book club about me. Or go form a book club so you can read my books and analyze them. At my current writing speed, I’ll stay ahead of a one book/month club for several decades. (I just finished novel #84, and that doesn’t count 30 or so novellas worth exploring.)

Heh. Just heh.

Anybody else ever have moments where they break out in maniacal laughter, because things are going well? I highly recommend it sometime.

Hmmm, past that, I started the fourth Thriller story yesterday. NOT a Fatima story, because there was no easy way to shim in a story to the theme required, without a lot of unnecessary twisting. Instead I started someone else. Hoping he’ll be fun, because he’s an a-typical hero. No guns. Tall, skinny Englishman who’s a wheelman by trade. Oh, and a thief. The story is the aftermath of a caper, when the guy who put the job together decides to kill everyone else so nobody can talk later.


Beyond that, I have the fourth Stephanie Machesky (EROTICA, you’ve been warned) novella done and ideas for the fifth, which I’ll write soon. I have a list of “Done by Dec 31” writing projects to get to, in no particular order. More Last Stand. More Punk Rock Opera. More Space Adventure and Opera in existing series.

I have also been thinking deep thoughts about comedy. As noted elsewhen. Written comedy loses a lot of the visual elements of vaudeville, including the fourth wall breaks where the main character turns to the camera and shrugs.

But I also have some silly fun planned with a series intended to be humorous, without being comedic in nature. (First rule of comedy: never punch down.) Working on a bizarrely silly setting and a main character who will likely be my “straight” person captain in the middle of things, with a wacky cast of misfits chewing the scenery around them.

Went back after talking to the Ambassador last week for an hour and realized that I have written a lot of things that were light and funny, so I have it in me. Just gotta pull out a setting that can be funny all by itself. Also been watching comedy tv, but avoiding family sitcoms. Got season one of WKRP in Cincinnati and been watching old episodes. Get Smart and McHale’s Navy are both on reserve at the library. Might see if I can check out Futurama at some point.

What else should I be watching or reading as I expand my horizons?

As with the open hand forms, the goal is to stretch the mind. Become a better person and a better writer.

And have a lot of fun.

Check y’all next week.



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