Monday Will Be Wednesday

Hey readers! Just a really fast post to let you know that this week’s Being a Better Writer post will be Wednesday rather than today. I have family visiting today, and a bunch of doctor’s appointments tomorrow, so I’m taking the smart route and just giving the post until Wednesday.

Until then, if you’re still hungry for some Being a Better Writer to read, there’s a massive backlog of it on the site to peruse!

Have a great Monday. I’ll see you all Wednesday!

Another Orbit Complete

Hey readers. It’s … my birthday! And, despite some stressful things going on that I alluded to yesterday, I’ve decided to celebrate a little bit.

Especially as my wrist is healed enough that I can mostly go biking without issue now.

So I’m going to celebrate by going on a nice long bike ride. And cooking a ginger-orange pork stir-fry for dinner. And playing some Borderlands 2, I expect.

I’ll resume normal operating hours tomorrow. But right now? I really could use a break for me.

On a side note, if you’re in the gift-giving mood, you could always leave a review or rating for one of my books on Amazon or Goodreads, help me along to that goal of 400 by year’s end! In fact, I woke up to another five-star review on Colony this morning, so that was a nice pick-me-up at the start of my day!

Or just grab one you haven’t read yet for yourself, as a gift to you. Or someone else, even! You can do that!

Anyway, I need to get riding. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I’ll be back at work tomorrow.

One More Orbit

So … tomorrow is my birthday.

I don’t have much in the way of plans. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that I have no plans. I’m considering just taking a nice long bike ride, and maybe making a stirfry afterwards. Nothing fancy. But maybe relaxing.

I hope so, because it’s been a really up and down sort of week. Month.

I won’t trouble you with all the ills of my life. Let’s face it, that’d be a pretty unfriendly post. Life has just been … rough. Lately. I’ll leave it at that.

So … happy birthday to me, I guess. I really don’t feel like celebrating.

Yeah, I know there’s not much to this post, and it’s a little down. But on the positive side, there isn’t much direction to go but up, so …

Here’s hoping it does.

In the meantime, the work goes on.

Being a Better Writer: Epics

We’ve got a one-word title today readers. Buckle up!

No news. Not today. No, we’re going to dive right in. Today’s topic actually was one of several inspired by my attending of Life, The Universe, and Everything this year, as I met with a number of young, aspiring authors who declared an interest in writing an Epic of their own. Even if, some admitted, they weren’t quite sure what an Epic was, or what went into a book that made it an “Epic” while other books were just “adventures.”

Today’s topic went right to the list the moment I returned home that evening. Because I love Epics, and would enjoy seeing more of them out there. And … there really isn’t that much about them out there.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty on the classic Epics, like The Odyssey or The Illiad. There are whole college course dedicated to those works that you can peruse online.

But those aren’t modern Epics. They’re not generally what someone means today when they tell you that they read this great book, and mention the genre as being Epic Fantasy. No, the modern Epic is something a little different. And … not that oft defined, though talked about frequently enough. Which in turn can lead to confusion or difficulty for a lot of young authors who know the genre that they would like to write towards … but aren’t quite sure what that genre entails.

They’re like those young authors I found at LTUE. They know what they like, and what they want to do. They can name books that they’re fairly certain are Epics … but they’re not one hundred percent certain what makes one book an Epic and the other simply an adventure.

So, let’s dive into it. What makes an Epic an Epic? And how can you prepare to write one?

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Good Things Coming!

Hey readers! It’s Friday evening, so I don’t expect many of you will see this post right away, but those of you that do? I wish you a wonderful weekend!

Me? Mine will probably be pretty busy. But I’ll discuss why in a moment. First I want to talk about that awesome featured image. Depending on your browser or how you got here, you may not have seen it, so get ready, because you’re about to see it in more detail.

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Looking good? I happen to think so.

Okay, so it’s a picture of a dragon and a warrior, which is cool. But why share it? Well, because this is the cover for, as I’m sure some of you noticed, A Dragon and Her Girl. A short story collection releasing in February 2020 to support the Life, The Universe, and Everything convention. Yup, that awesome one I go to every year?

And if you look at the list of authors featured, you’ll see a familiar name among them! That’s right, A Dragon and Her Girl will feature the first appearance of my short story A Game of Stakes!

Plus nineteen other stories involving dragons, heroines, and more from a bunch of other talented authors.

You can’t pre-order it yet, unfortunately, but I’ll be sure to let you know when you can!

Now, that said, I do have some other exciting news for you readers. You’re familiar, I presume, with Colony? That Sci-Fi Epic I wrote that’s easily been my most popular release by far?

Well, those of you who are may be familiar with a little promise contained in its final pages, that notice that Jake, Anna, and Sweets would all return in a book titled Jungle?

I am pleased to announce that working on Jungle is now one of my active projects. Hunter/Hunted is nearing beta. The Halo novel pitch is in Alpha. And that means …

Jungle. Yes. At last. I’m about 55,000 words through its 460,000 word bulk right now, trimming, editing, and modifying. From there, it’ll go to the Alpha team. Then the Beta team. Then? Copy Edit … and release.

That’s right. I’m planning on getting Jungle out this fall. Crud, if things go fast enough, maybe even late summer. No promises, though. Not yet.

For now, just two more things you can look forward to!

Have a great weekend!

Duel of the Marvels

So, in this past week I have seen both Captain Marvel and Shazam! Hence the title there. If you know your comic history, you know that the heroic protagonist of Shazam! takes on the name Captain Marvel, a deliberate choice by his creator’s to stick it to Marvel comics at the time. There’s a lot more history with that which went bouncing back and forth, but there are comic historians who’ve delved into that particular legal and trademark battle and produced write-ups for you to read with a little Google-fu, so I won’t go into that here.

No, instead, I’m going to drop my thoughts about both Marvel movies. One film #21 in Marvel’s massive and magnificent Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, the other the newest entry in DC’s own attempts to mimic Marvel with a DC Cinematic Universe. Which was good? Were either? Were both great? Well … let’s talk about. And I’ll start with the more controversial Captain Marvel first.

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Being a Better Writer: Chemistry

Welcome back readers! It’s Monday, which means it’s time for Being a Better Writer! But first, some quick news. Really quick. Then today’s topic.

Prior Alpha readers, look for an Alpha invite in your e-mail box today! For something short; the Halo novel pitch! That’s right, I’ll be sending out Alpha read e-mails for that today. Just for three chapters, since it’s a pitch.

Meanwhile, the Hunter/Hunted Alpha is about two-thirds of the way done. Then Beta! The next project for me? Getting Jungle into Alpha, and then writing Axtara: Banking and Finance, followed by Fireteam Freelance.

That’s the news. So, chemistry …

It was my worst topic in school. No joke. It took … I want to say the fifth time someone explained the periodic table to me for me to get it. Chemistry in the science portions of my education was always a struggle.

Thankfully, when we start talking about chemistry in a book setting, it often takes on a different meaning. Unless you’re writing a chemistry book. Or a character that’s a chemist.

See in stories something you’ll hear a lot, discussed everywhere from movies reviews to games, is chemistry between the characters. If you’ve ever read a review, or talked about a film you enjoyed (or didn’t) you’ve probably heard someone comment on the characters, saying something like “Oh yeah, those two really did have chemistry.” Or maybe, if it wasn’t good something like “those two had no chemistry.”

Sure, you’ve heard it. But what does it mean?

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