[As usual, two weeks lag here, if you aren’t reading this on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/blazeward). If you’d like your news fresher, and the monthly Anti-Stodgy/Redneck Chef newsletter, all I ask is a buck to help keep the lights on around here.]

Sent out the Corsac Fox ebooks to everyone last week. Hopefully you got it if you backed. And enjoyed it. As noted last week, I finished #3. Six in the first block/series, I think. At least that’s how it is shaping up.

Also finished the Chace Haig “origin” story you will read in April, as I prep to write a whole series of shorts for The Thrill Ride. Plus at least one more Fatima. That’s between now and December, so I have time.

Closer to home, I started a new novel on Friday. The Science Officer #13. Working Title: Dragoon. I’d say a change of pace, but only compared to Heather and Uly. Lighter, but that’s because those two are darker by their nature. More Space Opera.

Javier is always space adventure. And snark. Sass. Attitude.

I’m about 5000 words in at this moment. Have framed the setting and hinted at issues, without diving too deep into what’s coming, because I want this one to slowly unfold, dragging you deeper and deeper before you realize it.

Like more Science Officer stories, when you think about it. Space exploration, in a galaxy where only Humans achieved anything like technological sentience. No aliens, not counting Suvi and her cousins. Vaguely Earth-based, only in the context of we talk about Earth.

I don’t always, you’ll notice. Sometimes, I talk about a galaxy where folks have been in space for so long that they only have theories as to where they came from. Flight Officer Brannon, for instance, takes place at least thirty thousand years in the future from us. Or eighty thousand. Dunno. Doesn’t matter, because there is no “Earth” at the center of things. Merely peoples in different groupings.

From here, more Javier and Djamila. Figuring we’ll come in around 50-60k. Longer than Alien Seas and Buried Among the Stars. Shorter than Captain Navarre. I think so, anyway.

At some point, I will write the twelfth Last Stand. Been watching as that series slowly starts to gain traction. Folks do not like you challenging their religion, which is weird considering who and what they worship, but that’s not my place. I’m here to entertain.

And readers who get past that variation have seemed to enjoy the series. Three of them out now. Up through six for pre-order. Eleven written. Notes on another twenty or more, depending. Hell, I might just keep putting out another Last Stand episode monthly for years if folks like it.

One of my first readers got back to me to complain as he was sending me back #10, because he was afraid I’d stop at #12 and he’s enjoying these characters and stories too much.

Tell all your friends, including Hollywood producers you know or folks in Japan making anime. I’ll do them a great deal on licensing. This series was always written to be visual. I’ve cast the actors in my head, and they are not the ones you think.

I used Zhanna Zhumaliyeva as my model for Tessa, except taller. (See pic, and drool.) The others follow similar patterns, to the point I have to stop and remember those other character names when someone asks, because I’ve moved so far beyond them in my head.

Past that, not a lot to say. Busy writing. Busy editing. Busy sewing. And martial arts. And music.

Spring is coming up and I’ll be spending less time at the keyboard this year and more time out doing stuff.

What’s your year going to be like?

Chat more next week.

Shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


Thank you so much for being my patron and for funding these essays!

If you’re reading the free version (which is published two weeks after the Patreon version), please consider joining the ones who do pay at https://www.patreon.com/blazeward. It’s only a buck and helps keeps the lights on around here.