News, Updates, Recap

Hey readers! It’s time for an update! So let’s start with the biggest thing on everyone’s mines: Covid-19, AKA the Coronavirus.

By now I imagine no matter where you are in the world you’ve been affected by this thing, and it’s no different in where I am. In pursuit of slowing the spread of this thing to manageable levels, public gatherings have been limited to ten people, no more, by law where I’m at.

For entirely understandable reasons, mind. I don’t disagree with it. I bring it up to illustrate how serious things have gotten over these last few weeks.

But everyone’s dealing with that seriousness fairly well. I say fairly because I have no idea why everyone got it into their heads that toilet paper was the new gold. For that matter, after going to the grocery store last night, I also have no idea why people are stockpiling Oreos and ice cream. The chips and popcorn I somewhat understand, as everyone’s ready to look at nothing but entertainment for the next few weeks, but Oreos? Ice cream? The latter isn’t even a good survival food, since you have to chill it.

Or maybe I’m just being picky and everyone really wants comfort food right now. Regardless, I’m getting away from the topic at hand, which is Covid-19 and its effects.

The big effect? Book sales have slowed massively. Saw a news article about it the other day, and it confirmed what I’d already seen. This week has been dead. Which, since book income is my only income right now, is not a good sign.

There’s not much I can do about either. After all, it’s a symptom of a pandemic, and I don’t have any control over that. This last week people have just been hunkering down, getting ready to ride things out. Maybe once that’s over and people are in the “ride” phase they’ll start buying books again, but it seems right now they’re more worried about other things.

Oreos, I guess. No, I’m not stopping harping on that one. Who loads up on Oreos in a disaster?

Still, if sales are dead for me they’re probably dead for a lot of other authors and creative types out there. Which … hurts. It takes a lot of work to even get both arms on a rung of the ladder of success in creative fields. Getting your feet kicked out from under you is brutal.

With luck, this downturn is temporary, and people stuck at home quickly decide they want some reading material to make their day better. If not, well … I don’t know. A bummer of an answer, but times like these are full of uncertainty and difficulty.

A bit depressing, sure, but I can’t help that. Sometimes bad news is bad news. So then, onward to some better news!

The entry for Parliament of Wizards is almost ready for submission. I’ve been editing it this last week and have managed to get within 500 words of the submission limit. That is, quite literally, 1500 words worth of cuts, which makes me pretty happy. Another pass of careful trims and cuts should get it down below the limit, and then it’s time for ALPHA and BETA readers!

Yeah, I do want to polish this up before submission, just like last time, so if you’re and Alpha reader, there will be an e-mail headed your way soon, maybe even this weekend!

Oh, and I’m sticking with the title A Trial for a Dragon. I like it, it properly speaks of events in the story, and it’s eye-catching. Both good things.

So what’s this one about? Well, I don’t mind offering a few teasers. A Trial for a Dragon takes place in the same setting as A Game of Stakes (featured in A Dragon and Her Girl) and Axtara – Banking and Finance. In fact, it even stars Ryax, the older sibling of the titular Axtara.

Yes, I know none of you have read that one yet, but it’ll be out by the time you get your hands on Trial, so it’s fine. Anyway, Ryax has been traveling the kingdoms for more than a decade, studying under every wizard he can with intentions of becoming one himself. The first dragon wizard. But of course, you cannot call yourself a wizard until you’ve passed the trials …

That’s all you’re getting out of me, sorry. Those of you who are familiar with my work, though, know there’s always more to it than meets the eye. After all, who could have seen A Game of Stakes going the way it did? Not many, I can tell you that!

Anyway, prior Alphas take note! There’s going to be an Alpha call coming soon!

Now, onto news about Fireteam Freelance.

So with everything else going on, I wasn’t sure what would become of Fireteam Freelance. From the public’s point of view, not my own. But to my grateful surprise, it seems to be fairly popular even with everything else going on. I guess even during a pandemic the adventures of a group of mercenaries make for good escapism reading.

So, with writing about to end on A Trial for a Dragon, does that mean that Freelance‘s next episode is on its way? Yes it does! I’ll be starting Underground Orbit next Monday. In the meantime, while there won’t be a new episode tomorrow, there will be a new entry next Saturday, whether or not Orbit is done.

So, what’s Orbit going to be about? Well, the team’s going to get a new mission, that much is obvious. But they might not be the only ones, and once again, this mission is … odd. In familiar ways.

That’s all I’ll give for now, but I think you guys will enjoy it.

Oh, I almost forgot! Thank you to the reader who let me know that the link to Episode Two on the main Freelance page was busted. It’s fixed now. Sorry about that!

Anyway, I need to get to work on Trial, so it’s time to bring this post to an end. But … one more thing first.

A lot of people are pretty shocked by everything that’s going on with this pandemic. Worried. Even afraid.

And, well … Yeah, that’s par for the course. Pandemics are fearful things. It’s fine to feel apprehension and fear.

But letting that fear take control, or worse give way to panic? Not so good.

Have courage, people. Face the fear, understand it, but don’t let it have control.

Maybe you feel like you don’t have any courage. Well, then now is the time, perhaps, for you to find some. Or find something solid to draw courage from.

Yeah, we’re looking at a long haul here. Currently, barring sudden changes, the CDC is expecting Covid-19 to be making its way across the globe in three waves totaling 18 months (as of the latest news I’ve read, as of this posting).

That’s daunting, I know. And a bit scary. How will we cope with months of quarantine and pandemic conditions? It’s something that does make for fearful conditions.

But giving into that fear will make things worse than the virus ever could. So don’t. Do your part, be that working from home, or staying in. Pick up a book, a controller, or popcorn, and push forward.

It’s fine to feel apprehensive or even a little afraid. But don’t let that control you. Rally your resolve, take courage, and push it back.

And if that seems daunting, well, think about what you take courage in. Who knows? Maybe it’s time to find something.

Good luck, readers. Keep your hopes up.

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