[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.]

Looked it up this morning and realized that we’ve been at this for four years and change now, with the first Patreon blog dated 20190923. Been blogging for much longer than that, but I prefer only having one spot to think in public. Less need to come up with something to talk about, when I can just dive into a review and a prognostication.

Hope everyone had a nice holiday. I stayed home. Stayed in. Went to bed at a reasonable hour instead of staying up late. Slept in a bit, then got up and got to work.

Not entirely with it, but that might be lack of second coffee. Or lack of giving a shit. Been working straight through instead of taking days off.

On the writing side, I finished Red Branch last week. 1949. Exiled Soviet pilot turned mercenary captain. Look back at the old Blackhawk comics, with some twists thrown in because I get to play with early jet era aircraft and global politics.

Started the first Maddox Nevin novel, spun off from the Marrakesh series (you’ll understand a lot better when you read Crossroads, which is #5 in that series.)

Over the weekend, I built a catalog, and realized just how many individual short stories and short fiction characters I have. Lots. Had been working on assembling Agent Kiesler’s Secret War for publication (first five stories, with a promise of more later). Also been working on the Gunderson Case Files, Volume 2. Realized I have a half-dozen more. Plus a lot of other things to push out at some point.

Expect a lot of new short fiction in collections in 2024. Fabulous Publisher Babe™ suggested a series name for them that I find attractive. And lets me just assemble them and not worry about it.

I have been doing the monthly Patreon for that many years. And more years of short fiction prior to that. Plus twenty-four issues of Boundary Shock Quarterly and seven issues of Blaze Ward Presents. Plus other things.

That adds up to a lot of fiction. Most of it stuff only a handful of you have ever read, if that. A few never published anywhere before they come out now.

Gonna fix that.

Additionally, I finished the year at 1,074,484 words, down from the previous average of 1.4 million for several years. Intentionally slowing down. In 2024, I might slow down even more, because we’re looking at several long trips. Camping/Driving type, plus a few international trips where we don’t take computers with us, so no writing. Or longhand, then scanning and putting through an OCR to see how much it can pick up.

No idea how many words I will hit this year. Fewer. Still have a lot of stuff in the can to publish over the next several, so not at risk of running out any time soon. And a lot of series where I need to complete them. Or add more to the end.

Enough to keep me going. Patreon readers will also see some of the new extensions as they go, though maybe not with the full 6-12 month lag. Dunno.

New Year. New goals. Don’t do the resolutions thing, because that’s not me. And I rearrange my life in June anyway.

But changes are coming. Good ones, I hope.

What do you have on tap?

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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