[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.]

I woke up and found Noah hard at work in my front yard, building something he refuses to discuss in any detail as the rain MONSOONERATED down all night. Fall has arrived, perhaps a week early.

Seattle weather is ^generally^ predictable. Dry season usually starts around noon on the Fourth of July, just in time for the fireworks. September tends to be dry and nice, with the rains starting on October 1. Seriously. I’ve been here twenty-six years now, and that’s a thing.

This year was hotter than normal, and our usual “Junuary” wasn’t as bad as it could be. My apples never recovered. I have a Fuji and a Honeycrisp, because that’s a combination you need in order to cross-pollinate. Fuji flowered early with heat. Honeycrisp flowered late. I got five apples from the honeycrisp and none from the fuji. No quince. Half a dozen pears. About a half-gallon of grape juice. Few cherries. Not a lot of blueberries. I have seriously considered cutting down the cherries, but I’ll let the next homeowner deal with them.

Figure I’m going to sell this place by 2030 and move into town somewhere. I’ll be sixty in 2029, and this place is a lot of work. Served its purpose, though. And continues to.

Gray, drizzly, yucky kind of Monday, which puts a smile on my face, because I moved to Seattle for the rains. They hardly get rain here. A horrible, terrible, OMG!!! Pineapple Express might drop several inches of rain over a twenty-four hour period. Trains have to stop because the hillsides slump (poor design and cheap railroad companies).

I’m from Kansas originally. I’ve been outside in storms that dropped several inches of rain in an hour, instead of a day. Knock you on your ass amounts of rainfall coming down. This is a gentle shower, a little too cold to stand out there naked, but about as much force hitting you.

Writing is going well. Finished the Gator novel. Still don’t know what I’ll call it or the series. Gator is good enough for now. Got a block of thriller stuff written now, so I’m ready to make a bigger push next year when the Chase Haig stories come out in Thrill Ride magazine (I hope).

Started the fifth Marrakesh novel this last week. Going a little slow, but that’s how crappy my August and September have been, with a hope that this time next week things will have hopefully finally recovered some. (I’d like a normal week for once, going back to at least May.)

Along the way of working out this plot, writer brain decided to spin off one of the second-tier characters into a new series after this, the so-called Survey Corps Tales that I’ll work on later. It’s nice having an entire universe designed and built. And four full novels completed, so I have things in reasonable detail. Plus, because it is space adventure instead of space opera like Corsac Fox or Auberon, I can shift over and not worry about saving the galaxy every episode.

And it lets me confront an element of military science fiction that most authors get wrong. (And I’m as guilty as the next nerd.) In a real military, officers will frequently be promoted and/or transferred on a regular basis. Call it two or four years, then you move on to something else. It requires a lot of personal and bureaucratic sacrifice to keep a ship’s crew together for a long time, in spite of what the writers of the show or series want.

So I’m taking out one guy who is at that point in his career where he could get a major promotion in terms of responsibility. A minor character in Captain Boru’s narrative, but he’ll become the hero in his own story. As they should. And I’ll widen the overall IP, by being able to tell stories that are outside the realm of many of the others (and series I have) because these will be survey and exploration sorts of things, instead of tramp freighters, pirates, or military warships.

And a much smaller crew, because I’m looking at the new USCG Legend-class boats and working that way. I’ve even gotten permission to tuckerize a friend of mine as the person the ship is named for. (Mad cackling approval, even.)

Coming up, I’ll be working on more Holden and Riley. The next Corsac Fox (with #2 delivered to kickstarter backers and going up for pre-order everywhere. I’ll be starting #5). More Beckett Fernsby. The next Heather Lau book. Possibly the third and final in Kincaide’s War. At some point, the 14th Science Officer, so I have something for NEXT December, with Dragoon’s Honor coming out this year for the holidays.

Lots to do. Two anthologies to complete and deliver this week. Planning for more. More books. More everything.

Mostly, just trying to let it settle down, ya know?

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.