[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.]

Year Two of The Thrill Ride is in kickstarter right now, in case you missed it. That includes three new Chace Haig stories.


Have you backed it yet?

We’re still trying to figure out the Milestone Indie Publishing Newsletter. Probably sending a short note this week putting it on hiatus, but that’s so we can bring it back in the fall or something. Got some stuff going on right now that I can’t really talk about. Kind of overlaps and might subsume it at some point. If you miss it, stay tuned.

Spent last week working on the old fence in the afternoon. Previous owner had fenced spots for horses, but I’m not sure if they were his or someone boarding. Got large areas with a top of barbed wire and then three rows of straight stuff. Problem is that a lot of it has disappeared under blackberry and overgrowth. He died in 2006. I bought the land in 2010 and finished the house in 2015. Been slowly winning the war against blackberry, but it is a hard struggle. (I don’t own goats and am too cheap to hire them for what people want to charge around here.)

Slowly winning, though. Pushing it back. Blackberry is not native to Washington. It was brought in to help fence cattle, who won’t eat it. And to provide a fruit crop for farmers. Seven varieties, and none of them are harmful. Just invasive as fuck and you gotta crush them time and again.

Last summer, I started clearing the bowl at the bottom of the hill. That will require a year or two to finally keep it under control. The grass will choke it, if you keep it mowed down.

At some point, I plan to sell this place and move to town. Will be 55 this summer, and that amount of physical labor stops being fun after 60 or so. When I do, I want everything to be in the best shape possible for the next owners, so I can get the most money out of them. Heh. That means clearing and planting and mowing and whatevering. Getting downer trees and burning them. Keeping paths cut through the brush.


And it keeps me in shape. The shoulders are mostly healed at this point, letting me actually use a machete last week for the first time in 8 months. And things look a lot better, but the winter is not over and I lose trees with every windstorm.

On the writing side, I am approaching 30k on Ollie. Target 80k for book three. Expecting it to run 4 and done for now, but I’ve left threads to explore later.

Started planning out a whole new series over the weekend. Started with the universe of The Deeps (itself inspired by Leah’s Mirror Mirror universe), and moving into a place of mercenary navies, working up from the Condottieri Era of Italy, 14th and 15th Centuries, give or take. Also adding into some faint horror elements, mostly because The Deeps lend themselves to such things.

That, and the tvtropes page on the Eldritch Starship. And the Alien Starfish Starship.

If you venture down into The Deeps, what might you find? I don’t know, because I haven’t worked out all the rules yet for the physics. Undecided about having aliens in the classic sense, or merely space-Cthulhu and friends as dark gods you might encounter.

Lovecraft had some interesting ideas on Cosmicism, until Derleth decided that he had to “Fix” everything by making “happy gods” to make it all a giant war between good and evil.

I don’t need space angels and space devils in my science fiction, but beings so strange that no basis for communication can be fun. How do you talk to Hastur, anyway, if he sees you as an ant or especially tasty vole that he can catch and eat?

There are dark things down there, once you start pushing deeper into such hyperspatial realms. And many of them want to eat you if they can catch you.

From there, I have a crap-ton of notes, including a full progression of book titles that follow the old rank-escalation concept of an officer, where he gets promoted between books, thus ramping up the operatic elements and increasing the stakes.

And, like Jessica, it lends itself well to all manner of spin-offs. If what folks really want is epic space opera, it behooves me to make sure y’all are entertained.

Speaking of which, I had a busy weekend, and am planning to send you folks your story later tonight. Was gone all Saturday, with Friday consumed in the prep and Sunday a blah day to recover. Mostly back now. The Wine and Chocolate Party was a blast, even if it was smaller than previous ones as the late notice meant some folks had already made plans.

The people who showed made it memorable. Looking forward to doing it next year. And having a big BBQ in the summer, like we do.

Past that, back to the words.

This year is another slowdown, and I have to adjust my brain to it. There will be days and weeks I don’t write at all for various reasons we don’t need to go into today. My hope is that I can hit 750k this year, down from 1M last year and 1.4M the year before.

Having things that excite me to write means that I will get a lot of words on the days I can.

Hope y’all stick around for all the fun.

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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