And that’s what I’ve been doing

So, it’s been a while.  Yep.  Sorry.  Entirely my fault.  Life is just hectic so keeping up a blog becomes the first thing to fall off the radar.  So, what have I been doing the entire time?  Well, I have been writing my filthy black heart out.

Current Stuff:

The Broken Pack (The War-Weary Saga Book 2) – I am currently working on round two of revisions and edits –  35%.

This is getting 95% of my writing time these days.  I would (ideally) like to get this out by this summer.  The excellent news about this is: I’m very excited for it.  The writing is significantly improved, and I love what’s going on with the story.

New Speculative-Fiction/Cyberpunk Story (Working Title: The Soloist) – 50% finished with the first draft.

I’m super excited about this story.  Since I am working on three series in a row, this is my “palate-cleanser” story.  I write on this when I am shifting gears between other projects.  Expected release date? Fall?  End of this year? It all depends on what’s going on in my family.

Dark Fantasy Story (Working Title: The Cleric Gambit) – 25% done with outlining and character bios.

This is my next big project.  Highly episodic, with 10-15 “episodes” per “season.”  Each episode should (ideally) be around 25K words.  The plan is to release on a monthly schedule and at the end of the year do a wrap up of the entire season’s story with some extras to make it worth people’s while.  Currently, my outline for this project has five “seasons,” so this is a big story.  This is something I haven’t shown to anyone yet, so keep it under your hat.

Short-Story / Graphic Novel (current title: Twenty Steps) – this is basically done.

It’s short, but it’s intensely personal.  I’ve allowed a handful of very close, trusted friends read it, and that response has been overwhelmingly positive.  Still working on my vision for the art and layout, but it’s definitely coming along.



Well, Spudford is doing great.  He’s just awesome.  Walking and all that.  Really trying to talk.  Every vehicle he sees is a “Cah!”.  You’re right buddy, that’s a car.

My wife (Julie) and I are expecting our second child in a few months – our first daughter – codename: Stormageddon.  Whey yes, we are fans of Doctor Who, why do you ask?


Well besides the work as mentioned above, I’m reading some stuff for other author friends of mine, and just keeping my head above water.  But, I’m making time for writing through all the chaos.   I will endeavor to publish updates for my projects in a more timely fashion in the future.  I’m shooting for no less than two blog posts a month for this year.



On Outlines

I have been writing my stories off and on for about 20 years now.  My early stuff is horrific.  A true affront to the English language.  That’s saying something since I feel that English (the language) took the best parts of like six other languages, drug them behind a dumpster and beat them with a shovel.  I had a tale that was about the early European colonization in the Caribbean; it was horrible.

I was recently asked about what, if any, planning and outlining I did when I sat down to write my first book, Grenheim’s Thorn, I had decided just to post it here.  I write very “organically.”  When I hear authors say this, what I hear is, “I write when I feel like it and will probably miss my deadline.”  There’s nothing with writing “organically,” I know, I do it.  The real issue is that when you write this way you can sometimes wander far afield from your original story.  Wandering like this happens to me all the time.  I like to say that it’s because I want my characters to “feel real.”  They (my characters) have their responses and impulses.  I put them into a situation and then try to see what they will do.  Here is where I run into trouble.  I know what they are supposed to do, but my brain just wanders with my imaginary friends, and they sometimes do their own thing.  Makes for some interesting stuff.

Due my wandering imagination, I must use an outline.  I hate outlines.  I sincerely, hate them.  I hate writing them; I hate following them. But they are pretty much the only way I stay on course.  So my outlines are very – ahem – sparse.  I prefer to write using an outline like it is a compass rather than treating the outline as a map.  When you have a compass, you know the general direction you want to head.  You may wander off the trail a bit, but odds are, you are going to get where you’re heading.  With a map, you’re never going to investigate that unusual sign and find something cool six miles off the highway.

So, yes, I have an outline.  Or more, I have a good understanding (which is written down) of where the story is going.  I know all the key characters and events.  But outside of that, I am just winging it.  I know who dies.  More importantly, I know when and why.  But when I had two characters make a bet early on in my book, I didn’t plan it.