Category Archives: Science Fiction

20240318

[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.]

It’s always weird when I’m standing at my desk writing and see a deer walk by out the window behind the monitor. Just hanging out. Chilling. Moved over to the side yard and parked his butt under a tree for a few hours. Two of them, when I looked closer. Ignored me when I went out to do yard work. Ignored the Fabulous Publisher Babe™ when she went back and forth.

Chill.

Obviously, utterly terrified of us. Later, we had to go run errands, and one of the dorks was grazing in the yard. I came around the corner and said hi. He bolted all of about ten meters, then went back to eating.

Seriously.

Things getting more or less back to comfortable for now. Still in the middle of a six-month stretch where things are utterly unsettled, but most of that energy isn’t mine, and my job continues to be hanging cool like those deer.

I am, however, reminded of one of my favorite lines from “The Long Run” by Daniel Keys Moran.

If you can keep your calm while everyone around you is losing theirs, perhaps you have misunderstood the situation.” (roughly. Don’t want to flip through the book to locate it at this moment.)

Hoping I have not misunderstood. Being the rock against which storms break and tides are thwarted. It’s a living.

Mentioned that I was writing the next Science Officer. #14. Exile. Having fun. Crossed 20k this morning, with only a vague guess how long it is. Should probably go look at previous novels. (Don’t go anywhere.) Okay, somewhere between 55 and 65k, so I am likely around a third of the way done. Writer-brain understood that, because that’s about where I am at this moment in terms of story.

Will keep pounding away at that. Then circle back to Ollie 3 at some point. And get back to work on Ivette (needed to pause because I realized that I was missing critical component of plot and characters and needed to have those before I proceeded. Writer-brain, again.)

Reminder that Boundary Shock Quarterly has a shop now, where you can buy individual issues, as well as sign up for a subscription so you don’t ever miss one. Plus, subscriptions work out to $4 per instead of $5.

I have written six Beckett Fernsby stories so far, ranging from 25-32 only skipping 029 (First Contact) because I wrote the first Wardog Charlie story there. And will write more Charlie stories, because I have a pets issue coming up in a few years (I tend to run 2-3 years out in coming up with themes, then trying to write that far ahead).

Also working on Holden and Reilly some more. Need to keep pushing that out a ways to keep folks entertained. And possibly turn that into Vol 1 at some point, but I have a lot of ground to cover first. Sitting right about 90k, which feels like maybe 2/3-3/4 mark of the opening. Crazy big, but folks backing the Patreon at the $5 mark have been reading their adventures. Hope y’all been enjoying it.

Not a lot past that. Quiet week around here if I’m lucky. Spring, so a lot of yard work to do as things wake up. Still figuring I’ll end up selling the place in another 5-8 years and moving into the city someplace, where the walk score is at least 88. Start saving your nickles if the old farmstead appeals to you.

Chat more later.

shade and sweet water,

blaze

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.

20240311

[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.]

A Monday that almost appears normal. Which is good, because I spent most of last week recovering from a head cold I picked up on the flight from Guadalajara. Then gave to the Fabulous Publisher Babe™. She’s a little pissed about that.

I had a moment in Mexico. Woke up one morning and a stranger greeted me in the mirror. It happens. Not a lot, but often enough to recognize.

Transition.

Becoming someone else.

Someone new.

A fork in the road taken.

2024 is likely to be full of them, when you think about it. This is the year when I simply ride out the storm as best I can sail it.

At present, I am roughly ¾ of the way through Ollie 3, and hit a wall where I had to put it aside. That was getting my head into the place to go to Mexico.

And I am roughly 13k into Ivette 1 (Gunship Commander), and had to put it aside, because I had to stop and rethink the plot that I had, in light of new ideas that came up while I was in Mexico.

That, and I simply had no enthusiasm for anything by the end of last week. That also happens. Think of it as a kind of hangover from the travel, plus being sick. Plus a bunch of other things.

Had to get up Friday morning hollow. Nothing there at all.

I had written notes for future projects while in Mexico. Took my phone with me for that exact reason.

Friday, I had to reach deep and tap a vein of pure rage.

Those of you who have only known me over the last decade or so have never seen me angry. Not even remotely close. Possibly a bit cross, at worst.

Not like the old days.

Not like when I was a machine fueled by rage.

Woke HIM up Friday to get shit done. He did not disappoint. Probably won’t go back to sleep for a few months, because there are situations upcoming where the willingness to go for someone’s throat with my teeth is suddenly a possibility. Hopefully not a necessity.

Shit’s on the table, though.

Got a guy who desperately needs to be popped in the mouth. Maybe a few times, until he shuts the fuck up. And minds his manners. Personally, I doubt that he’s capable of it, because he’s a malignant narcissist who likes to gaslight people.

Still trying to decide if I should bait him into starting something, so that I have an excuse to put him through a wall. Or a window. Whatever happens to be in the way.

Don’t like him. Don’t respect him. Have to tolerate him for reasons. For now.

Other folks involved have identified me as the nuclear option and refused to take it off the table, so they understand.

In Mexico, I simply projected it outwards like a scent, and NOBODY got that close. I could walk through a crowd and folks would shove others to get out of my way.

So he’s in the back of my mind as I work today.

Started the next Science Officer book. Have been drawing a blank for the longest time on what it should be. Letter “E” for those of you paying attention, but nothing past that.

Woke up in the dead of night in Mexico with the opening, which was good enough to get me into motion. Got 8k on paper right now, and just getting started.

Return of the Pirate Clans that we last saw in 7 and 8. ALL of them. At once. Come for Zakhar and Javier. And everybody else.

Gonna be a mess.

Good thing I’m in a rough mood as I write it.

How’s your Monday?

shade and sweet water,

blaze

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.

20240108

[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.]

Oh, hell, there is a lot of snow in the forecast. Maybe a foot coming, without getting above freezing for several days. Not so bad if I lived in town or on flat terrain, but we’re out just past the first ridge of the Cascades going east. (Literally, when I drive to Enumclaw, there is a humpback of hill that separates the two roads for a good stretch.)

And I was talking to L* at the restaurant this morning about the various horizontal weather zones between Enumclaw and Ravensdale: Enumclaw. Birch. Veazie. Deep Lake. Cumberland. Bayne. Kanascat. Reaver. Ravensdale. Landsburg. Hobart. Etc.

I drive to Enumclaw enough to watch each zone hit. Winds and storms coming and going off the nearby mountains, which tend to be escarpments with sheer sides and valleys.

Got home safe. Going out later to do a bunch of errands. Might not leave again for a week after Wednesday, depending. Got better things to do than drive around with a bunch of yahoos who bought Jersey tractors and have no idea how to drive them.

She bought too much minivan, didn’t she?”

Writing. Took the weekend off. Not feeling well, so slept in a bunch both days instead of Tai Chi. Feeling better. Getting back into the swing.

If you remember the story I did called “The Deeps” I have dug that universe back out and have been taking notes on something in there, but well off to one side. At least I think so. Expanding the universe and the denizens. Mostly deep-diving (literally) into megapredators of the ocean, from sperm whales to sharks to rays to whatever. Things you might find if you go too deep into hyperspace.

Plus, the lighthouses. I was inspired to create this universe from something the Fabulous Publisher Babe™ wrote, about lighthouses visible in various aspects of hyperspace. My world isn’t hers, I don’t think, but got some of the same concepts to explore, and I am looking at exploring it with a series of short stories. At least for now. Stuff you folks will see before anyone else, obviously.

Speaking of short fiction, I started cataloging all my shorts, and realized that I have a shit-ton, so I have been organizing character collections. All the stories about one character, under one title. The Gunderson Case Files, Vol 2 is with first readers, because only you have read 9 and 10. Similarly, Eva & Nik, Trevor, Harper, and Pizzafarmer have all been assembled, so those will go out over the next however long.

And I have more. Maybe short collections (20-30k). Maybe actual collections, where I only ever wrote one story.

Peter Najjar, Flight Officer Brannon, and Oleg Chilikov all turned into Book Ones, so I have to write more of those before I publish them. Got a lot of books in the can to come out as we go. The Maddox Nevin novel I’m working on right now happens to be novel #100. Going to throw a Haydn Party when I finish #105, for all the obvious reasons.

Maddox is at 12k, so really towards the start. Been going slow because I’m feeling my way into a whole new everything. Derived from Operation Marrakesh, but also radically different in tone, location, setting, and concept, so I have to identify those differences and make sure everything is recognizable while changed.

Having fun with it.

Also got by comments from the editor on Thrill Ride Magazine and he’s loved all four of the stories I submitted for Year Two. There should be a kickstarter for them in February, followed by issue #5 (Sisters In Arms) in March. Then three issues where I think I have put Chace Haig stories. The first of those will come out in June, which is when I aim to drop the first Chace novel as well. Hopefully.

Not much past that. Need more coffee to get my Monday in gear.

How’s your 2024 holding up so far?

shade and sweet water,

blaze

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.

20230925

[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,

blaze

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.

20230828

[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.]

Monday. Drizzle. Lots of drizzle.

Spent the weekend sitting down. Normally, I stand to work on my computer, but I ate something Friday night had got poisoned pretty bad. Was okay by Saturday afternoon, but ZERO energy or endurance. Just walking down to the mailbox and halfway back up the hill left me winded. Took a nap Sat afternoon, which I almost never do.

Much better today. But it’s a funky week, so I don’t have to wind up.

Going to San Diego on Wednesday. Bouchercon is a thriller/mystery convention that moves around. Matt and the Fabulous Publisher Babe™ are far better known in that genre than I am, so I’m kinda a Plus One here, but I plan on writing and publishing more Action-Adventure stuff over the next few years. Fatima and Boston in the first four issues of Thrill Ride. Chase and a few others in Year Two. Even have the first Chace novel done, and plan at least two or three with this arc.

Still keeping at the SF, but I need to expand in other directions. Urban fantasy with Labyrinth. Derlyth and the gang. And modern thriller.

Spent last week working on Beckett Fernsby. You’ll meet him next year. I’ve got the first four done, and ideas for 29 and 30 already, plus 31 will call back to 27 in silly ways when I get to it.

  • 25 Gulliver’s Other Travels (done)
  • 26 Future Crime (done)
  • 27 Cold Steel and Hot Blasters (done)
  • 28 Space Horror (done)
  • 29 First Contact
  • 30 Fading Empires
  • 31 Swords and Sorcery and Starships
  • 32 Zeroes and Ones

Because it is the end of the month, I have already hit my writing goal, so I can take off and goof around. Useful, with flying on Wed and doing a con for the weekend, as I don’t have to worry about word count. Just have fun. And backbrain a lot of ideas.

They say you should read lots and lots of things if you are going to be a writer. And practice by typing out pages or chapters from your favorite writer. I suppose so, except that I don’t intend to sound like anybody else. And I used to have a stupendous number of books. (I think I got rid of about 3000 books when I downsized. Only have about 500 left at this point, and I keep recycling things out or buying ebooks instead.) In the old days, I’d read several books a week, when most Americans read a few books per year.

I got lots of ideas percolating. Plus, I am constantly editing for BSQ and other projects, so it’s not like I’m not reading all the time, too.

Woke up this morning with a cool idea for Beckett’s “Fading Empires” story. Stole from someone, but you’ll probably have to ask to identify the concept. Same as the Cold Steel and Hot Blasters story.

When you steal from one person, it is plagiarism. When you steal from everybody, it is art.”

I’m committing art. Heh.

Only other thing to write in the short term is my newsletter for Friday, and I can do that and post it on a timer, so maybe today. Maybe tomorrow.

After August (and July. And June) I’m looking forward to next Tuesday, after Labor Day. Kinda a hard reset on things, going into the autumn.

That, and I gotta fix the washing machine again. We got hard water here, so it builds up crud in the intake filter. Turn the water off, pop the hoses, and use vinegar and a handful of q-tips to clean, and all will be well. Good thing my day is already kinda meh, ya know?

It’s Monday. What are you folks up to?

shade and sweet water,

blaze

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.

Last Week for the Corsac Fox Kickstarter

Corsac Fox, Book Two. Mistaken Identity

I’m lagging a bit here, but it’s summer and things happen. As I write this, we’re in the last week for the Corsac Fox kickstarter for Mistaken Identity (Book Two).

Hopefully, y’all have ready Flight of the Corsac Fox and enjoyed it. Certainly, the reviews have been lovely. Right now, I need your help getting unfrozen.

We’ve made it to postcards for stretch goals, which is utterly cool, but I need everyone to tell all their friends. Some of the folks who have read both books (first readers, etc.) have said that they think it is my best stuff since Science Officer, which makes me blush.

I think I’ve gotten better as a writer over the years. And, like Science Officer, Uly and Dan have been deep in my head for a long time, so they’ve developed. And this is a story about found family and how it goes beyond merely shape. People are people, regardless of species. Uly lives that motto, and has drawn together a mass of folks who support him. Who will help him in the coming war that he intends to fight, because he can’t stand bullies.

Along the way, he’ll need allies. Lots of them. The Khet. The Ononguli. A whole bunch of others, because Uly intends to declare war on the entire Auga Empire.

Right now, he’s got one stolen Heavy Interceptor. And a plan. They’ve got thousands of star systems. Millions of ships. Trillions of citizens.

But nothing is going to stop Uly from trying. From reaching out and making friends.

From trying to save the galaxy, when nobody else will.

Come join us for a case of Mistaken Identity.

20230731

[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.]

Got the Mondays. Behind me, the pantry is closed up with a couple of big fans and a dehumidifier that have been going like hell since Thursday, so I’m reasonably confident that the floor is dry on top. Spare fan blasting the other side of that same wall since Friday. More gear in the crawl space. Sometime in the next few hours, I expect a call or text from the gang letting me know that they are inbound to inspect and probably collect everything.

It would be nice to have peace and quiet again. And figure out how soon I can finally start rebuilding everything. I still have bits and pieces left over from the bathroom remodel that keep getting pushed out by circumstances, so the house is a mess.

Been newslettering this morning instead of anything else. Got the BW monthly newsletter on publishing. Got the quarterly BSQ newsletter reminding folks that we put out another issue. Got this little tidbit of things. Probably won’t actually write fiction today, on account of it’s the last day of the month and I’m at about 96k words with what I’m writing here.

Last week, I finished the fourth Corsac Fox novel: Warlord of the Spinward Reaches. I am having a tremendous amount of fun with these. At some point (TBD), Kickstarter will finally approve the campaign for Corsac #2: Mistaken Identity and I can launch that.

At this point, I’m planning to drop 3-5 as part of the regular schedule, then save up ideas for #6 (or 7, if it ends up running that far) and aim for a big KS with a lot of swag. Mostly, that’s folks really liking this series and giving me great sales and reviews of #1, so I don’t want to stretch them out as long as I had originally planned to by only doing 2 KS campaigns per year.

After that, I have been working on the rpg. Got a lot of notes, and am slowly expanding things as I come across bits and pieces I need. The game is going to be set in a mythical Tang Dynasty China where all that magic that you read about in those stories is real. Gods, demons, whatever. At the moment, I’m working my way through a magic system that is not European/Tolkien/D&D in nature or scope, because I honestly expect everyone coming out with a new rpg to be making variants of Dungeons and Dragons (whichever edition was most formative for them) as WOTC pissed off a lot of people, first with the OGL debacle, and now by announcing that there will be no rule books.

Instead, you apparently have to sign up for a monthly subscription that lets you access the books. And lets them turn the books off whenever they want to. Sure, they promise that they won’t, but they make a lot of promises, and unless you own the book, you don’t own anything.

“The Cloud” is just a fancy way of saying “Somebody elses computer you don’t control.”

F#$% you very much, WOTC. I still have my 1st Edition books. I don’t play them, but I have consulted them in the last month for certain details. And my 2nd. And 3rd. Etc.

So I’m deep into Tang history. Wrote the origin story for Wan-Xian and her sister. That’s pure Action/Adventure, so no magic, because these are for The Thrill Ride Magazine.

However… (and I get to blame the Fabulous Publisher Babe™ here)

We are training for a long walk in England next year. Hadrian’s Wall. 80+ miles in a week. We walk trails here to get into better shape. We also talk about something other than sportsball.

Saturday morning, we talked about the game, and Chinese history (she hitchhiked from Beijing to Hong Kong in the early 90s, after taking the Trans-Siberian Railroad across.)

She reads a lot of fantasy, both modern as well as historical/epic. She suggested that I look at some WuXia books and see what tropes they use and how they run them.

Writerbrain engaged. It’s all her fault.

So I have a plan for perhaps some short novels or novellas in a series, vaguely inspired by Hua Mu Lan (Disney did not invent Mulan. They merely made the 179th movie about her, and did it animated with a dragon. She’d Robin Hood or King Arthur to the Chinese. Maybe both.)

In this case, I will be writing directly into this new game world, to provide an expanded universe of world-building. Hell, I planted a seed in English Paul’s ear for a musical soundtrack, so I’m hoping I can convince him to write me a short symphony and theme music to game by.

Welcome to my Multimedia Publishing Empire.

Speaking of Paul, sometime in the next day or three, song #2 should go live everywhere. Time to Say Goodbye. I should have links by next week, and will add it under the music tab on my website. All I ask it that you buy it, because the 30 cents I make from you 99c purchase is the equivalent of you streaming it every day for the next decade or so. Seriously.

Next song is a Scottish folk tune. I sent him the melody and demo vocals and instrument list. He’s noodling with composition at this point, and then I’ll rerecord my vocals when we have something better. Hopefully, it won’t take a year this time. (He got sick, then moved to Los Angeles since last September when we recorded the final vocals for #2.)

More news soon. More silliness.

More Monday.

shade and sweet water,

blaze

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.

Kickstarter: Mistaken Identity (the Corsac Fox #2)

Heya,

off-schedule post tonight because I got news!

The kickstarter for Corsac Fox #2: Mistaken Identity is LIVE!!!

Uly and Dan and the gang are back. And this time, Uly’s going to convince the Khet to hire him to end piracy in this region. It helps when he’s got Haydar, Ethir, and Piruz as a legal department, because the Khet have raised business to a religion.

They want to deal, but first, Uly has to convince them that Humans are dangerous enough to hire. After all, what’s one little heavy interceptor against pirates?

But Uly has Dan. And Sterling Huff and Drew Roscoe. And a lot of friends who are willing to help.

And when Adrian Sobol’s cousin shows up, everybody things that this ship is Iron Wasp. Lukyan could have warned them about Tuesdays, but nobody was listening.

Move quick to score your copy of Mistaken Identity long before anybody else does. Available in ebook, paper, and hardcopy now, or you have to wait for a while to see what havoc the Lords of the Endless Plains have in store for everyone.

20230710

[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.]

Woke up to drizzle. Not much. Mostly a heavy marine layer more than anything, but nice, after several hot days. Enough to skip going out. Plus, the Fabulous Publisher Babe™ and I both work up at 5am Sunday, and ended up going out to breakfast at one of those farmer joints down in Enumclaw. Ate a third, had a third for dinner, had the last third for breakfast. Still have a muffin to go. Damned good food. Place called The Kettle, if you are local or traveling soon.

Working on a new project. This one has a deadline, so it might slip in somewhere shortly. The Thrill Ride magazine has posted the Year Two themes already. Those of you paying attention know about Chace Haig. First Chace story will go up in a few weeks, then I have three more for submission.

Same with a new project to fill that elusive fourth slot with Thrill Ride.

The “Five Man Band” is a common trope in adventure fiction. And boy bands, but we won’t go there today. Leader, Lancer, Heart, Brains, Brawn, and everybody fills a role.

I asked Matt about “low hanging fruit” for “Sisters In Arms” and he expected most of his stories to be female special forces troopers, or maybe cops. My original idea would have been slightly to the weird of that. The new idea is well to the weird of that.

The T’ang Dynasty ruled China from 618 to 907 CE. Often considered China’s Golden Age, and perhaps the most culturally advanced in their history. Certainly the most sophisticated place on earth at the time.

So, Five Man Band in 680-690CE. In T’ang China. No magic, but one mad scientist inventing things for the leader and lancer to use. Action/Adventure with a historic beat.

I’m having WAY too much fun studying history, and how all the pieces go together, because this is the end of the Merovingian Dynasty in France. And there is a Jewish trade network running from the French coast to the Chinese one. An early Silk Road before it collapsed for centuries.

So all sorts of crazy silly ideas, plus I get to read history in depth and pull up my martial arts studies as well.

Gonna write an origin story soonish. Got most of it in mind. That lets me settle the voices and the setting, then I can write a Sisters In Arms story. And more.

I’d like to have more Action/Adventure/Thriller in my catalog. Add another leg to my income. Derlyth doing well means I’ll write more Occult Detective stuff soon. Historic Thriller means that I can write exotic stories and most of the folks reading won’t be experts on most of it. (and if they are, I’ll recruit them as editors. Any of you into T’ang Dynasty or Migration Period history? Heh)

Better? I’m not the weirdest story he’ll read. The Babe™ is working on a story about a team of modern-day crime-fighting drag queens using Chinese Fan fighting forms.

Because why the hell not? Matt’ll never know what hit him, that’s for sure.

So it’s a Monday. And a weird one. I’m about to dive back into Corsac Fox #4. And I need to get my ass in gear on the second Kickstarter, but I’ve been a little overwhelmed with other projects that still aren’t settled. It’ll get there. And I’m having fun with my writing. Folks seem to enjoy #1, so that’s a bonus as well.

Y’all stay out of the sun. and the drizzle. Go walk around the block and get some exercise.

shade and sweet water,

blaze

West of the Mountains, WA

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[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.]

If you’ve been paying attention, I wrote the first nine stories in nine days. Averaging about 4500 words each. Flipping back and forth between two main characters who won’t meet until possibly the last paragraph of book one, or at least the last chapter.

Friday, the streak broke, but that was because I had other things to do. Got about 2700 words of it done. Wrote the other 2000 this morning (I always take weekends off writing these days for other tasks.)

That’s ten stories. Quick eyeball says 48k words. Maybe a third done. Epic Space Fantasy, so it’s going to be kinda big. Swords and Sorcery on starships, ya know? Rich and deep and a little crazy, because honestly, this is a new thing for me to write. And I’m leaning in on all the tropes I usually avoid. Because why the hell not? (Kinky Friedman used that as the basis of an entire campaign to be Governor of Texas, once upon a time.)

Y’all will get the first story later this week. I’m done with 10 and looking at 11.

My plan right now is that they have stopped being pure short stories welded randomly together, and have become somewhat serialized chunks of something much larger. The eventual novel from this will be assembled from these chunks, so a bunch of short parts, or possibly long chapters. Dunno.

It will be different from what you are used to, because why the hell not?

MIGHT be calling this series The Scattered Tribes Chronicle. And book one MIGHT be Warlock At Large. Don’t quote me, as there’re a lot of miles between here and there.

Didn’t go out this morning. Holiday in the States, so lots of folks would be off work and both the restaurant and the range will be zoos. (At least I remembered this year.) Also, I have an early D&D game today. (Start at 4 instead of 6pm, play late.) I am not the GM anymore, because three of the group decided to blow up my game last week, leading to several character deaths and everyone else arrested and thrown in jail prior to being hung as cattle thieves.

I closed up all my books, packed them up, and told the group that someone else was in charge. And I don’t honestly expect to GM for these players again. Hell, I’m not sure if this group still exists, after some things that got said to me over the weekend. Figure I’ll show up tonight and smile, because these are not my monkeys and this is no longer my circus.

And if they have reached the point of not wanting to be a group anymore, I’ll go find others to play with. Not like I don’t have a lot of friends out there I could contact.

Rest of the week will be weird, writing-wise. Keeping at Warlock At Large. World-building something entirely new for the next story I need to write for Boundary Shock Quarterly (“Gulliver’s Other Travels” due out in the fall). Might pivot over and write the rest of Marrakesh 4 while it’s fresh in my head. Dunno. Will update y’all as we go.

Also, the shop: Starting on July 1st, we’ll start releasing my books there on the first, and not everywhere else until the 10th. Get yours early if you’d like. I could use the extra buck or two as well, since I don’t have to pay the distributors that 30% of cover price as a fee.

Also working towards doing coupons for folks going forward. Haven’t worked out all the details yet, so keeping it vague, but watch here and the newsletter for updates.

Not much past that. Kinda monday. Gray and drizzly out there. House is set to cool rather than heat, so its currently about 65F in here and I’m wearing a sweatshirt, but expecting it to warm up later. (Or I’ll kick the heat on when I get home from game.)

Around Seattle, we frequently call it June-uary, when things get like this after heat in May. Might have come a little early this year.

Shade and sweet water,

b

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.