Post Hama-con Updates

I haven’t written in months. I’m genuinely sorry for that, but things have gotten so busy at my day job lately, then bad luck strikes at home; my AC died for the last month and then Hama-con and getting Totality 2 out. My yard has gotten over knee-height, so I’m going to have to find the time to put that back under control – hard to when any day I’ve got off lately, its been raining, or too hot to go outside at all. I’ve got a bunch of plants that need to be put in the ground still from this Spring, too… I just have no flowerbed in which to put them. Again, too hot to be out digging… or too wet. But now I’m borrowing my dad’s tiller and will be able to make flowerbed pretty quickly. The time consuming part will be spreading the mulch on it and putting the flowers in.

Since Hama-con has ended, I’ve been looking for new places to go that are local. I’ve got Huntsville Comic Expo lined up already (April 18-19, 2020). I’ll be going to Galaxy Con in Louisville KY in November (22-24, 2019). I don’t know what new release I’ll have available for that, but I do know I’ll be hanging out with the wonderful Randi Perrin again! I’m thinking I’ll have a sale on the old covers of my books, just to get rid of them. I’m tired of storing them, and the new covers Clockwork Joker made look really nice together. I’m almost out of book 1’s old cover, so I’ve just kept them as free copies to trade, but I’ve got a bunch of Phoenix Emperor and Symbol of Hope. Especially Phoenix Emperor. I had high hopes of selling out on that one when I ordered them. I’m learning to not order so many…

I’ve set up QR codes of the Natan Fleet Show so I can sell ebooks at my table! I’ll have the Totality series, Spar, and Touched by Death available soon. I need to do a little background stuff before that’s ready to go. I should probably make a flier for it or something… Clockwork Joker has been working on more fanart pieces to sell at the table too. I’m not really a big fan of selling fanart. Mostly because it’s very dodgy legality there. It’s making money off someone else’s intellectual property, but at the same time… it sells.

I’m working with Wayne on a project, it’s gonna be exciting! I haven’t sewn in a long time either, so I’ll have to refresh myself on it. In exchange, I’m getting Phyrra’s sword to go with the shield I’ve already got. I’ll need to revamp her armor though. My first attempt lasted long enough to do the photoshoot at AWA, but it fell apart and is now all flat in a bin somewhere. I’m only keeping it so I can make patterns out of the pieces for the next try. (I also need to lose some weight in order to fit into it again. Ugh. Why do anime girls have to be so SKINNY?)

Another project I’m working on is getting agreements with other authors on selling their books as an “affiliates” section of my table. Maybe if I get enough of those, I’ll open a roving bookstore in the dealer’s rooms at conventions. One day, I want to have a bookstore with a couple extra rooms for gaming and watching anime. I’ve got a location I really want to renovate in mind. I think it’s perfect. Especially if I’ve got a small coffee shop/bakery in it too. I already know who I’d hire to run things. I would just need the initial capital to set things up. But since I’m now over $5k in the hole from my AC unit replacement, that’s… even further out of reach. I still need to set up the heating option for my house, which will be some more money on top of everything else…

I did a panel at Hama-con this year. Publishing 101 again. I got a few people attending and asking questions at least. Public speaking is intimidating, but it’s something I need to work on. I also need to work on adding some more panels to my list of things I can do at conventions. Any suggestions? I’m going to post my PowerPoint slides on my Patreon this weekend from the Publishing 101 panel with all my notes on what I talked about. I’ve also got some more deleted scenes I can put on Patreon from Phoenix Emperor – such as the original version of Scheerahis and Vathion’s meeting. I still hate how the Shaxia draft is going and I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, other than maybe there are too many characters. I can’t figure out how to cut them, though. Politics suck. But life has been giving me more fodder for personalities to include… That will at least make the politicians more life-like and probably more satisfying to kill off- I mean!!!! Retire. Permanently. :3

I need to work on writing something a little less ambitious. I just need to work on writing, get back into the habit of it.

A Corpse Revived (Phoenix Emperor .5)

The following is chapter 1 of 11. It is a short story that happens one year after Phoenix Emperor. Thus the .5 designation. Because it gets a bit, in Fanfic terms, lemon-flavored I will not be publishing this story in printed form. I will, however, make it available as an ebook for a dollar after it’s gone through a couple of editing cycles. The ebook version will be available in April 2018. 

If you’re interested in reading the rest of it, I suggest subscribing to my Patreon, as the chapters will be posted there once every couple weeks.

Enjoy!~

Continue reading “A Corpse Revived (Phoenix Emperor .5)”

Sorry sorry

I haven’t had anything to say on Fridays last few weeks because I ran out of my queued posts and NANOWRIMO started :)

I’m halfway through the month, a little over halfway through the goal, and I think I’m halfway mark on the story. 

 

Have an excerpt:

 

Vathion waited.

He tried to wait patiently.

Daharn put a hand on his knee to make him stop twitching and shaking the tree branch they were hiding in. As Scheerahis had described, the spider-walkers were moving in a circle around the base building. There were about ten Carken playing in the mud. One of them was riding a spider-walker, waving his tentacles and yodeling. If there had been any Hyphokos out listening for signs of Shaxin or Gilon, they wouldn’t have heard a thing.

Patreon!

I’ve signed up for Patreon!

If you want to support me further than just buying a book, become a Patron and get extra stuff!

Paymeh and Savon

This is a scene that happened during Symbol of Hope that I had to cut due to story length. The conversation in this scene canonically happened. Maybe one day I’ll be able to make a Final Mix version of these stories that includes all the extra bits.

Continue reading “Paymeh and Savon”

Killing Darlings

I’d mentioned before how my writing process is a lot of ‘write a lot’ followed by ‘cut a bunch’. Sometimes I really like the pieces I’m cutting. That’s what the phrase ‘cutting darlings’ means.

This isn’t the same as killing off a character.

A notable example of an idea that didn’t make it into the final cut was the NPRP: Natan Personality Replacement Program. He was awesome. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit him in satisfactorily. I tried to revive him for Phoenix Emperor as the personality of Natan’s clone body, but still, that didn’t work, and he got cut entirely.

In the following deleted chapters, there are elements that I kept, such as Vathion playing with his new ship and his conversation with Bibbole. However, everything else in this excerpt was ultimately deleted because it didn’t work. As such, if there are spelling and grammatical errors, that would be why.

Here’s the best scene NPRP was in. And a drawing I did for it.

Continue reading “Killing Darlings”

Killing Characters

Is FUN AND EASY!! :D

I touched on this some during my live video, but I’d like to go more in depth on it now.

Killing characters isn’t all fun and games. Though it may seem like I casually toss off characters, I always have a plot reason for doing so. I don’t go into it thinking “I’m gonna kill SO MANY CHARACTERS!” and giggle gleefully (although I do giggle gleefully when I find a good spot that requires a character death). Knowing I was going to kill everyone from the start would just take all the fun out of discovering who my characters are in the first place, followed by them making stupid mistakes and ending up dead all on their own.

My rule of thumb when it comes to writing? Murphy’s Law.

Spoilers ahead for Playing the Hero and Symbol of Hope: Continue reading “Killing Characters”

Audio Drama

I’ve been trying to come up with an idea for a short audio drama to do for Natan Fleet Show. I’ve got a few ideas, but not sure which one I should bother putting effort into writing.

 

idea 1:

Vathion getting picked to play the lead in the school play before the beginning of book 1.

characters: Vath, Mirith, Jathas, Lisha, Paire, Carf, random students

 

idea 2:

a scene on the bridge of the Xarian after Vathion has taken over as admiral.

characters: Vath, Erekdra, Codas, Bibbole, Chira, Ahri, Gatas, Paymeh

 

 

idea 3

NFS episode.

characters: Natan, Erekdra, Codas, Bibbole, Chira, Arih, Gatas, Paymeh

 

anyone have thoughts?

Three Cards Down

It was dark outside when he woke.

He didn’t feel as awful as he did earlier, which Vathion suspected meant that he had felt a lot worse than he thought.  Amazing how sitting in meetings all day could be so tiring. Getting his cane, he shuffled out of his room to find Scheerahis and Luth in the sitting area. The Varas sat on the other side of the tea table from Luth, frowning at the handful of cards. Next to him he had a fairly impressive stack, compared to Luth’s.

Vathion shuffled over and sat in a chair where he could watch them both.

“Want in?” Luth asked.

“What are you playing?”

“Three Cards Down. He’s surprisingly good at it?” Luth set down his cards dealt six for Vathion and handed them over.

Vathion fanned them out, sorted his cards, looked at what was on the table.

Luth said, “Though I wonder if he actually understands what’s going on.”

Amused, Vathion asked in Varas, “Having fun?”

Fun?” Scheerahis asked. “I don’t understand the point of this strategy exercise.”

Its a game,” Vathion said. “Its your turn.”

I know. The point of this is to collect these in my pile, yes?

Yes,” Vathion said.

Scheerahis selected three cards and placed them on the table.

The point of this game is to add the cards together to equal or get as close to the number on the face-down card in the middle,” Vathion said.

“Oh,” Scheerahis said and looked at the cards he had just laid down. “I was trying to get them to equal five.”

Good strategy,” Vathion said, “Really good strategists will keep track of what numbers have already shown up and plan their next three down based on the likelihood of what is left in the stack.”

The Varas squinted up at him. “Do you do that?

Yes.” Vathion selected three cards and set them down. Luth dropped his three down and flipped the card in the middle.

How are you supposed to get two?” Scheerahis asked, confused as Vathion was handed the target card.

Three of the same suit gets you a card with a two or one.” Vathion pointed out the markings in the center of the cards. “That also tips the scales in your favor if you and someone else at the table were on target or had the same number in your three-down.

But if you both have the same,” Scheerahis paused for a moment and made an attempt to pronounce the Gilon word, “Sut?” Scheerahis asked.

“Suit,” Vathon corrected, “Points are awarded based on the single card you each set out as a duel. If your number is higher than his, you get the point,” Vathion explained as he set down his three cards face-down this time. “Also, Luth has been being nice and letting you see the cards he’s picked to lay down. Its usually played with all cards face-down until the point is revealed.”

So I am not as good at this as I thought,” Scheerahis said in disgust and laid three cards face down.

Vathion laughed softly. “Considering you don’t understand a word he says and you’re winning? Be more proud of your accomplishments.

Luth set his cards down, then flipped them and the point card. Vathion revealed his. Scheerahis turned his cards over. Luth slid the point card over to him.

Why did I get it this time?” Scheerahis asked.

You put down the Emperor. That automatically makes your three equal the point. There are only two of those in the deck,” Vathion explained as he drew enough to replenish his hand.

“Deck,” Scheerahis pronounced carefully. “Is what all of these… Card are part of.

Yes.”

What are these suts?”

“Suits,” Vathion corrected again. As they turned over their cards, he pointed, “Fences, Wheel, Flower, and Sword.”

Scheerahis took a moment to look more closely at the Sword, then set it down. Luth took the point card then dealt out the last few cards to refill their hands.

They set out their cards and flipped. The point went to Scheerahis.

There’s no point left,” Scheerahis said, looking at the three cards he still held in his hand.

Whoever has the highest total gets the point,” Vathion said and laid his cards out the same time Luth did.

Scheerahis glowered at his cards and set them down, revealing a pitiful total of three.

“That’s where all the ones went,” Luth said and snorted. He started sweeping the cards together and shuffling them. “Another?” he asked Vathion.

“I suppose. Long as you don’t mind me drilling him on numbers.”

“Seems a good place to start,” Luth agreed and dealt again.

How does he do that with… Card?” Scheerahis asked and picked his cards up once he had all six.

You’ll have to ask him to teach you how to shuffle the deck later,” Vathion said and leaned forward to take his cards.

“Shuf. Deck,” Scheerahis muttered looking hardly pleased. He laid down his first three. Vathion finished sorting his cards and put down his selection then replenished his hand.

Luth turned the point and his cards over.

Vathion pointed at each card and said their value and suit. “Repeat,” he ordered Scheerahis. The Varas stumbled through pronouncing all the words and took the point when he was done.