Uploaded on the 4th of July

To m American readers: Happy 4th of July! Please stay safe and sane.

New release update!

This was a story I wrote a couple years ago. It ran here on my blog for a week, then turned back into a pumpkin. I held onto it. I just didn’t feel it was ready to go out into the world at since then.

Our planet has had some trying times lately. COVID, racial violence, suicides, and all manner of things that the news likes to spew around. (I will keep my personal opinion out of this, I swear! – that’s a chant I’ve been saying to myself for 2 days now when I’ve tried to write this post.)

As it turned to July, I started thinking about this story. I don’t know why it popped into my mind, perhaps because of the title, and I laughed at myself that another year was going to pass without me being able to release it.

That’s when I got the sense I’d be releasing it on the 4th.

Here it is July 1st and I’m thinking of releasing a story I hadn’t looked at in nearly two years within three days.

Thank goodness the story is very short!

As I was reading through it, I saw why I needed to release it now. I think the story reflects the demoralized feeling many in the world have today and gives a message of hope.

Uploaded on the 4th of July was born out of a “fear” I had two years ago, along with some of my own personal feelings. At that time, we approached the 1 year mark for my father’s passing. I feel like this story helped me purge some of the emotions from my system and refocus. I hope that those who go and read this story have the same kind of healing I experienced.

For the moment (and this could change in the future), Uploaded on the 4th of July is only available on Amazon as an ebook. You can read for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, otherwise the ebook is only $0.99.

As an added bonus, there is a sample of Tangled Magic.

Keep believing that everything will work out in the end. Tough times come around and we must go through them as best we can. We may have different skin colors and different customs, but we are humans and we are all that humanity has. Be excellent to each other.

P.S. This was actually uploaded on July 3rd, but let’s not split hairs. (grin!)

Tangled Magic

Ah, yes… in the post of my weekly chapter last Friday, I did mention that I would talk about why I’d been absent. Look at how well I dodged that!

Hehehehe!

Okay, well, if you figured from the not so discrete announcement, I’ve been busy getting Tangled Magic up. I had so wanted to let it have a longer pre-order time, maybe get some hype worked up for it. But after finding it delayed for nearly a year, I couldn’t do that. I just didn’t want to wait any longer.

So, I finally had to draw the line in the sand and say that I was getting it done.

I wish this here was even a better announcement, but I’m going to leave it at: the ebook for Tangled Magic is now available for pre-order (releasing January 28th) and the print book is out now. You can get an author signed copy here (Sorry, I’m not Amazon, I have to pay for shipping and this is a very heavy book — so heavy that it qualifies automatically for the priority mail).

Rivic’s story starts now.

Read it before the Sacred Knight story starts towards its conclusion with The Missing Thread (more on that to come!)

In case you are wondering, this story has changed significantly since it here on the blog under the working title of Onesong. Which, honestly, it should because the chapters I release here are merely work in progress to keep me moving. By the time I make them into a book, they should be worked out and cleaned up. It’ll be familiar, but (hopefully) delightfully different.

Let the adventure start anew!

Alexander’s Den

I mentioned Alexander in Cirvel’s story, Palladium, a few weeks ago. I said that I had a short story about Alexander coming soon.

Tomorrow, that story releases.

Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Andreiuc88- Dreamstime.com, © Chaiyas – Dreamstime.com, © Albund – Dreamstime.com

I wrote Alexander’s Den several months before I started Palladium. It really was only when I needed the mention of a dragon that Alexander started to take part in Palladium at all. Granted, he is only a side note in Palladium, but of course my head expanded the story so much more. Much like a novihomidrak, I knew exactly what would happen if Cirvel actually did find Alexander. Of course, I can’t say much more because Palladium isn’t far enough along for you to have read exactly what the Onesong had in mind for Cirvel instead.

Currently, only the ebook version is available. I’m considering options for the print version. And, I’m working on an audiobook version which will be releasing soon. Stay tuned for those. Meanwhile, you can find your favorite ebook distributor here.

Thoughts on Write, Publish, & Market Like a Boss

I am often asked how someone can get their book published. Or I get asked, “What advice would you give someone writing a book?”

Most people don’t want the real answer: finish the book you’re writing first.

Just finishing the book (whether fiction or non-fiction) is usually the most challenging for anyone. See, it seems simple to sit down and write a book. If you just leave the bull your mind will try to feed you at the door, yes, it is that simple. However, most people can’t do that; the myths that an artist must suffer for their art is just too alluring, especially to those who like the idea of writing but don’t actually want to write. So, I always tell the inquirer to write the book first.

Surprisingly (not!), no one has every come back to me and said, “Okay, I wrote the book, now what?”

For a long time I wished that I’d had something I could tell people to go read and it would help them answer a lot of questions on their journey, including step 1: writing the book.

Now I do.

Enter Write, Publish, and Market Like a Boss.

I picked up this set because I really wanted to listen to Market Like a Boss, but the price on the audio for all three was irresistible.

I did listen to most of it at double speed. I found the narrator painfully slow at regular speed and 1.5 speed was about what I considered normal reading speech. At double speed, I felt like he was really at 1.5 speed.

Since I’ve been writing nearly all my life and have published 25 titles, I wasn’t certain there would be much information there for me. I was surprised that I did find a few nuggets of good information — you can always learn something. Besides, it was a good pep talk for me too.

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Feeling a little bad today

I love writing about courageous characters. I have such a longing for people to be virtuous.

But every now and then, I like to look deeper into the mind of something gone wrong. Of course, novihomidraks (humans born of the dragon) are generally so noble, that when things go wrong with them, it gets a little bad, which can be fun. It also gives me great insights into their world.

Let’s go take a look at two of them.

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For Sale, Call Loki – the audio

Yes, it’s now live and available most everywhere you get audiobooks. See below for links.

For Sale audio

Yes, I tinkered with the cover a bit for this version. I’m still on the fence whether or not I want to change it for the ebook and print version, especially now that the 5 novellas are all put together into 1-800-CallLoki; I’m just not sure that it would be a good use of my time. Maybe. Maybe someday.

But for now, you can get this lovely cover on your audiobook!

Here are some links. If you shop at another audio store, just search for my name. My books should come up. If they don’t, please send me a message and let me know where your store is. I have a good reach, but it might not be everywhere since there are so many. So do let me know.

Audible

Amazon

Google Play

Kobo

iTunes

Side note – This is my 700th blog post. If someone had told me that I would write 700 blog posts, I would have laughed. There’s no way I could be at a task for that long – I don’t have that type of consistency in my nature. Well, here we are!

Inktober #4

Here are the 4th week of Inktober drawings. See the others here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3.

Prompt #18 was “Bottle.”

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Several years ago, I went to the park and sat alone in my car. My boys were off visiting their father. I was lonely and couldn’t stay at the quiet house any more. So I sat at the park and watched the clouds drift by. And cried. Okay, I’m going to admit it now, I cried. Hard. Long and hard.

Something encouraged me to open my eyes and look toward the sky. I did, and there was this cloud floating along that looked like this twisted genie lamp. I grabbed my sketchbook and drew it out. Then I did another, and another. I went home and continued drawing these all weekend long. It’s not like I was filling pages, but whenever I felt the mood to let my hands draw some elegant curves. 

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Loki is back at it!

It’s out!

1-800-icebaby front small

Loki of Midgard – not something he ever thought he’d be – is back in this new adventure.  Up until now, he’d always liked sending unauthorized visitors to Midgard back to their home realms.

Now it no longer feels like retribution, but a chore. Can’t he sit back, drink his coffee, and run his businesses? Why must Bronwyn call him yet again?

All to check out alleged poltergeist activity centering around a lowly janitor at the mall.

Really?!! What does he look like? A security guard?

But the temperature is about to drop as Loki discovers the truth. And someone is going to take a fall.

Get it now.

Progress – April 2, 2018

Feeling a little bushwhacked.

No lie.

I have spent all weekend working on Prince of the Ruined Land. Will it be ready by the  release date of April 17th? The ebook version will be. Still not sure about the print, but it’s getting there. I mean, hopefully formatting won’t take too long. If I have one done, the other shouldn’t be too hard, right?

So, I’ve been revising this latest draft by using the strikeout feature in Word. That allowed me to kill passages without actually taking them out. Now, before I broke Prince, the manuscript was about 96,000 words as I recall. As of Friday when I finished threading it back together, it was over 102,000 words. After I lopped off all the scrap sections and the chapters I was pulling out, the manuscript was 70,000 words. Now it’s approximately 72,000. I hope that helps put a little perspective on why this has been a major project.

I’ve done an initial continuity read-through. I still have a little work to do to slow down or revise one scene that goes a bit too fast — end-of-book-itis? Possibly. It might need a complete tear down and revamp, but since I’ve done that to all the rest of the book, what’s one more scene?

I would still love to read through it one more time since I was still revising as I went. If I can have one draft where I don’t correct major issues, then I’ll feel a lot more confident in releasing it.

I still have a map and a character list to build. The cover needs some tinkering. Blurb for the back needs to be written. Just a few things. No worries!

Last week I also decided to start to get up earlier in the mornings. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 a.m. to work for about half an hour on audio, twenty minutes on Weblinks or Rockin’ Life, and about an hour editing. So far, this has been a workable schedule. We’ll see what happens as the weeks progress onward. I do like the idea of having scheduled time for editing. Right now it has obviously been time I’ve used on Prince, but next up is Loki. I really hope that someday I get well versed enough at my craft that I can cycle back better than I do now. It would save me a lot of time. But writing like I am now doesn’t afford me this looping. Someday.

Well, I’ve been looking at words all weekend, so I don’t even want to write at the moment. Let’s just get to the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week: 4,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,160 words

Writing month to date total:  29,009 words for March. April has a whopping total of 630 words mostly because I was reading today and deleting nearly as many words as I was putting in. No joke. At one point my word count was actually negative. My writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 13 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 96,407 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 2 hours working on Rockin’ Life and Weblinks.

Audio: I spent almost 5 hours editing audio.

Progress – March 26, 2018

skl1 fb promoAside from Prince of the Ruined Land being blown to bits and having to rebuild it, this week was decent. I was tired, but I had fun.

My youngest son was home for spring break. He tore my story apart (in a good way – grin), but considering he’s been helping me plot and work on this book since he was 12, he’s forgiven. He knows the story almost as well as I do even though he’s only read the first book. I hope someday he’ll read the others.

But it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of that I don’t have to worry about spoiling the story for. It lets me be very open about what I “know” about the story as well as explore other avenues.

As I said above, I was also very tired. I think the time change finally caught up to me and shook me like my dog with his toy. Not fun for me.

The boys and I went to see Black Panther last weekend. Not as life-altering as the Sailor Moon musical, but a good story nevertheless.

I’ll speak to a few certain things as I go through the numbers for this week, but since I want to keep this short, let’s get to those numbers.

Fiction words written last week: 4,869 words – all of this has been on Prince of the Ruined Land. I did have several thoughts about Onesong and Elliot’s story (that’s the prequel to Onesong —  I seem to write stories in reverse).  This next week will see me making sure that Prince is coherent. I absolutely must have it done by next Sunday if I want to have a print version done close to the ebook. I will say that I’m glad that I’ve switched to Vellum for my ebooks. That makes that job so much simpler.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,876 words

Writing month to date total:  22,521 words — my writing streak for hitting the weekly goal is now at 12 weeks.

Writing year to date total: 89,289 words

Drawing/painting last week: I spent about 3 hours working on Weblinks. I also started looking at some of work I did on Quest for the Three Books many years ago. While I don’t want to draw the whole thing as a graphic novel, I am thinking about an illustrated version of the novel. I think it’d be a lot of fun to add in some extras. I didn’t get started on; just thinking about it right now.

Audio: I spent 5 and a half hours editing audio. I’m currently on chapter 20 of Quest for the Three Books. Yes, my Sacred Knight series has been on my mind all this week in one form or another.