Notes on the next Spells of the Curtain books

Hello, everyone. I hope you good readers are all doing well.

I have been having trouble keeping up with my release schedule, so Spells of the Curtain: Fire Mage (Book 6 in the series) is going to take a few additional days to release. Expect the release around Halloween instead of the 25th. Thanks for your patience.

Also, going forward please be patient as I think I will need to slow my release schedule for future books by a few days per book.

Life is going alright for me right now, but it’s not without difficulties and my ADHD has been a greater challenge lately than in the past.

Thanks for reading.

Advertisements

Seven Minute Check In

Well, what could that be? A 7 Minute blog? You didn’t need to ask.

I feel a little bad about almost going dark, given that last week has been the only one in a couple years I haven’t dropped a podcast episode over at mentalcellarpublications.com.

Between technical issues that wrecked the episode I recorded with the amazing Mur Lafferty and the ongoing Of Mooks and Monsters break, I took a time out from podcasts.

I’m still excited to return to releasing episodes, but writing has to get done sometime, and podcasting requires a lot of mental space, at least by my standards. Writing also takes a lot of thinking power and time, and if I really had to choose one it would be writing. Luckily, that point has not come yet.

Having put that down, I really think I’ll be happier to write more and podcast less stressfully. Anyway, the next Clean book has been punishing as a book I’m trying to write. It’s a difficult project because at first, I didn’t know what I wanted from it. The more little elements from past settings I link to this world, the better I like it. Lately, I often feel as though I’ve been preparing this alternate future-world for most of the past four years.

So many of my ideas connect to this universe and fit in it. I like that, but writing a giant universe takes some getting used to rather than designing discrete worlds with their own rules for separate stories.

Anyway, this is a seven-minute blog. Brief: I am working more off the page than on it lately.

Write again soon.

Thanks for reading.

Shout Out

astronaut-1388582

Please find enclosed a letter to a friend I’ve found myself missing lately.

Sir. Greatest of nerds.

You may remember I met you while trying to meet someone else. And with the other, I barely know why I bothered.

You sat down, so casually loud, abrasive, and gross talking to the girl at the table suddenly seemed like it had been easy.

I never would have guessed that you, like some heavyweight Loki to my overwrought Odin would prove a most intriguing friend. But unlike Loki, who’s friendship with the ruler of the gods would prove part and parcel of his undoing, I think I only benefited from knowing you.

My friend, however much I sometimes wished your volume was under my control, you always seemed to understand me as a parent understands a child, and that includes the part where I never appreciated it at the time.

If I’m a basket case, now I can only imagine how crazy I was then.

And yet when I tried to be mean or cruel, you told me something like “That doesn’t work for you.”

So, I’m grateful, king of nerds, for those bits of self-knowledge that broke the surface of the madness that is thine ocean.

Yeah, I’m a bit uncomfortable writing this, knowing it won’t go unseen.
I’m sitting here in the cafeteria where I first met you. And I wonder how you’ve been.

Thanks for reading.

Dichotomy: Truth and Kindness

I recently decided to cut myself off from a few youtube channels of which I was a regular viewer.

Why?

Well, these were political commentators. While I agreed with the commentary most of the time there was something I never agreed with on these shows. Their emotional approach was always angry or derisive, usually a combination of the two.

I think these shows have stressed me out. I can’t be dealing with the anger of people I don’t even know all the time. Such a negative emotion is useless to me.

My point.

Even when someone has a truth, they should offer that truth in a wrapper of kindness. Rage is good for inflaming people who agree. Kindness is a better way to convince someone of a true point if there is any way to convince that person at all.

Thanks for reading.

What’s Out and Loud

I took last week off of blogging, kinda without planning things that way.

I kept meaning to write a post, but I also kept forgetting and putting off the work.

Now that all sixteen chapters of “Tenlyres I: Ilsa and Blue” is out on this blog and the website, the ebook is published on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo (As well as others like Tolino for international markets) I think I am taking two weeks out of publishing chapters. So, on May 20th, 2016 “Tenlyres II: The Gray Lector” launches on this blog, my site, and fictionpress.org. I plan to release more stuff over the summer than Tenlyres, however.

Writing on the sequel to “Hunter and Seed”, called “Spurring the Beast” is in the works, but the going is slow. It will also be a longer book than “Hunter and Seed” in all likelihood. I have three other novels I may release at some point this year. These are all longer books that need a bit of editing before I put them out, but I would like to release at least one of them this summer.

Also, I’m looking into ACX for audiobooks for “Hunter and Seed” and “Tenlyres I” at the moment. I think that audio would be a cool addition to my catalog of releases.

Speaking of which, I am going to be starting a podcast soon. This one I hope to last a lot longer than the previous attempt I made. It will definitely be available on Youtube and my website, and I think this one will be a lore podcast for my fictional worlds, starting with the world featured in Tenlyres.

That will release later this week, though usually on Thursday or Friday most weeks, but not this week. This week my older brother has his graduation ceremony for his Ph.D. over in Colorado, and I am going down there on Thursday and Friday. I’ve never been to Colorado before, so this should be a fun weekend trip.

What else is there to add, really? Have a good day, and a good week.

Thanks for reading.

700

This the seven-hundredth post published on this blog. That’s a lot of posts over the past four or five years.

I have no intention of shutting up. I don’t know what more there is to say today, however.

Oh, I am going to be releasing the first volume of Tenlyres as an ebook this Friday. I’ll post about it again, along with the new chapter for that story on that day.

Have a good one, folks.

Thanks for reading.

Covering Fiction and #Tenlyres

First off. I am near the end of writing the rough draft of Tenlyres I. So here is the cover reveal for the second part, which will start releasing chapters in late May.

Tenlyres II cover

Today isn’t really about fiction. Today is about art.

Given my big, dumb hands, I’ve never been a natural at drawing or anything that requires manual dexterity. However, I have an active imagination, if I do say so myself. I have a lot of images that never existed in my head, and it can be frustrating not having the skills to create those images.

In general, this does not bother me too much. I get to write about my crazy ideas. I just don’t get to illustrate them. Over the last few years, I have been learning a lot about cover design. I want to chat about that a little bit.

I spent a few hundred dollars on a book cover a few years ago. That book still has not released, but the cover is good and having it inspires me to push toward publication with the story. That book requires fairly drastic editing, so it will be a while yet.

Back to my point. A few hundred bucks for a cover was what I was told to expect to pay. I’m not made out of money (Just yet) and a 300 dollar minimum price tag to produce a novel makes me cringe to consider. So, after I paid for one cover I resolved to design them for myself in the future.

I had photoshop, but little knowledge of how to use it. I had the visual imagination but little skill to put it into use. So I started to study, and practice, and figured a few things out.

At least for independent fiction, a fully-custom cover design is not normal. The excellent cover I spent 300 dollars on was photo-manipulation and not original art. That’s primarily where I’ve been building up my skills.
While I like the cover of my first released novel, “Hunter and Seed,” I know it is a little abstract for the audience. I have been careful to pursue more concrete images in the newer covers, such as my ongoing serial project, Tenlyres.

One wonderful article I read by Andrew Mayne in his book “How to Write A Novella in 24 Hours” is about cover design. I loved that article, and have taken to heart a major piece of advice from it: The most successful covers are simple. I love visual art, especially science fiction concept art, but this was great news for me. I don’t have the ability to create digital paintings, and I don’t have the budget to pay for them. I can, however, put elements together and use my knowledge of composition to figure out the best layout.

I think the cover for Tenlyres II shows a big improvement in my design skills. Just wait for the story that goes with it.

Thanks for reading.