Progress Report: April 2022
In which the Easter bunny may have been consorting with plague rats.
Hey friends. If anyone is counting, you’ll realize I missed sending out an email last week. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I have to introduce someone to you all…
For the sake of preserving my daughter’s anonymity, I’ll be referring to her as almost anything but her actual name since I don’t have any one specific nickname for her here at home. One time I called her Slartibartfast, because it was the first thing to pop into my head. Since she’s with me most of the week and my writing life basically revolves around her school schedule, she’s going to pop up here now and again. I figured she deserves a proper introduction, insofar as an anonymous entity can be introduced.
The Traveling Librarian [1st Draft Complete]
With just three chapters left to go in The Traveling Librarian, the Easter bunny brought a flu to our house. The kind of flu that comes with a fever and involves sleeping with a bucket next to the bed. I managed to hold out at first, but things like being woken by the Hobbit crying out at 2am with a temperature of 38.7º C (101.7º F) took a fair bit of wind out of my sails. Between full-time parenting and nurse duty and eventually catching a severe chest cold myself, I lost out on more than week of productivity.
That said, I did manage to knock out the last few chapters of the book this weekend!
The draft is currently sitting at about 435 pages, and I’m expecting that to go up a bit during revisions as I fill some story details and flesh out a few scenes that require more research than I was willing to do while in the writing flow.
Mrink & Mrank Short [In Revision]
Since I’m still a couple months out from my next publication, I wanted to give you a little something to read in meantime. Mrink and Mrank are a couple of rogues I dreamt up about after reading Fritz Lieber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser characters in his Swords and Deviltry collection of short stories. I’ve never intended Mrink and Mrank to be the focus of their own full-length novels, but a little while ago I wrote an as-yet-untitled short story for an anthology that has since fallen through. This short story (technically it’s a novelette, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone outside the industry use that term) is currently running about 38 pages before revisions. Now that I’ve gotten the last few pages of The Traveling Librarian finished, I’ll be taking a week to clean up Mrink and Mrank’s heist story so I can share it here. Because the story is long enough to choke some email clients, I will be releasing this as a text post before sharing links to e-books in every format, and potentially even a full audio version for those of you who prefer to listen to stories when you can. Audio recording is going to depend on my health, since it’s obviously not something I can do if I’m still as congested as I am now.
Mrink and Mrank inhabit the same world as The Traveling Librarian, so I’m also going to be putting some hours into updating my map of Tellen alongside the revisions.
I’m really hoping to get this story to you by next week. Epub, mobi, and PDF downloads will be made available the week after all three sections are posted. The full story and any potential audio will be available to all subscribers.
Saber and Stone [Awaiting Revision]
As soon as I’ve wrapped up the Mrink and Mrank story, I’ll be diving headlong into a revision of the first Braelorne Academy book. I’m quite happy with the state of the first draft, so I don’t anticipate this revision taking too long. Despite the short-term setbacks from this flu, Saber and Stone is still on track for a Summer release. I’ll dive into this book in a bit more detail in a future update.
While the above books are my main priorities, I do have a few ongoing projects with unspecified timelines that I’m working on whenever I have a moment. These include, outlining potential standalone novels, drafting short stories for this newsletter, drawing concept art for characters and locations, and expanding my map of Tellen beyond the immediate scope of the first Traveling Librarian book.
Thank you so much to everyone who has upgraded to a paid subscription, especially those of you who’ve been generous enough to become Founding Members! Your support means the world to me, and it really does help me make time to create extra content like the Mrink and Mrank story. I want as much of this newsletter as possible to remain free for subscribers, but the more paid subscribers I have, the more time I can put into creating new content alongside the main novels I have planned for the next few years.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a special shoutout to Jean-Paul, who kindly informed me that I SPELLED MY OWN DAMNED NAME WRONG ON EVERY IMAGE I’D CREATED FOR THIS NEWSLETTER.
Though I was too sick to do any writing for over a week, I did manage to do some work on my Tellen world map. I’ll be sharing both the full map and some detail sections that relate to The Traveling Librarian and the Mrink and Mrank heist story next week.
Until then, thanks for reading, and see you among the stacks!