Rob’s Update: Prog Report

Week 19 of 2020

Greetings all

Another productive week around here. We did a bunch of yardwork and a lot of prep for summer and fall.

Also, I finally overcame a whole bunch of weird problems and learning curves. I discovered why I couldn’t upgrade the old one (if you can .css files, it will prevent that, something not even my tech guy at Metapros knew). Then I discovered that the new version of Tiki Wiki uses a real cool web development idea, the Bootstrap grid. It’s really neat and powerful, but it took some time to learn.

But now I can say, the Shijuren Wiki is live again at  www.shijuren.org. It has only a minimal number of pages yet, but I’m adding a few each day.

If you looked at it before, you’ll see a few changes to the new version. I’ve rearranged some things, like all the odd words I use will be gathered in lexicons for each language instead of separate listings for each. I think that’ll be easier to navigate.

Also, I’ve been taking advantage of the need to add the content back. I could probably figure out a way to batch upload my backup, but instead I’m having fun to flesh out some of that content. I’ve added a box of pertinent details to a bunch of things.

I’m loving all of this worldbuilding.

I also put aside the short story I’m working on to let it freshen up and returned to None Call Me Mother. It’s amazing what setting something aside will do. I come back with fresh eyes and see cool fun routes of where my pantsing has led me.

I’m just plugging away.

What I’m Listening To

The Prog from Home web concert. This is a really cool thing where the Prog Report gathered a bunch of musicians to play from their homes. Really cool stuff and I’m finding some bands I’d never heard of before, like Chattanooga’s own Glass Hammer.

Quote of the Week

Today would be Tony Gwynn’s birthday. Gwynn was, in many ways, the ideal baseball player to admire. He was a great athlete when he was younger, but as he aged that athleticism went away. He still excelled, though, because he had worked so hard to hone his skills, and it’s always an inspiration to think of him when I’m fighting at a paragraph or something like that.

I apologize that this quote includes a bad word, but there’s sometimes such a word is the correct one. This quote is by Greg Maddux, clearly one of the greatest pitchers ever. I could take the word out, but nothing else demonstrates as well how much Tony Gwynn frustrated pitchers.

If a pitcher can change speeds, every hitter is helpless, limited by human vision. Except for that fucking Tony Gwynn.
– Greg Maddux

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (Appox 110,000)
  • CB (8,418)
  • TSK (7,563)

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

So much going on. Do I mention When Valor Must Hold again? How about Gates of Hell, released only a couple of weeks ago? There’s my new personal online story at: https://aescandthorn.com/store/. And there’s the Shijuren Wiki, coming back after such a long hiatus.

Today’s Weight: 391.2

Updated Word Count: 65,936

Shijuren Wiki: 874 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: A Vicious Kidnapping and Murder Saved Me

Week 19 of 2020

Greetings all

Sorry about not getting out an update last week. I should just plan for that weekend to be empty, because the NFL Draft is one of my favorite events of the year. This year I actually got to wallow in it more than normal, which was a lot of fun for me.

Building a team, whatever the sport, is fascinating to me. It’s like multi-dimensional tetris with amorphous, changing parts. The best players don’t always fit, and this is especially true in football. More than any sport, football is a team sport, and fit is incredibly important for players.

It’s one reason why the hit rate on draft picks is so low. If the fit isn’t right, and you can’t always know until the attempt is made, then the player may never succeed. Conversely, if the fit is right, then that same player may become a Hall of Famer. It’s that much of a tightrope.

I love that sort of puzzle. It’s why I love tracking minor-league prospects as well.

Anyway, back to my work. I’ve spent this week hammering on a project that’s a bit of a change for me. It’s for a publisher I’ve not worked with before, and it’s a task with a number of interesting constraints. I have to match the editor’s specifics, which is making me work extra hard. Kinda neat, actually.

It’s sort of like writing certain kinds of poetry. Drottkvaet, for example, requires a slew of things including specific syllable counts, alliteration, and rhymes (preferably interior half-rhymes).

This particular project is something I’m having a lot of fun working on, but with the restrictions and the desire to impress a new editor, it’s been interesting.

In the end, though. I think you’ll like this story when I can tell you about it.

Speaking of stories, I had a new release this week. Gates of Hell, the newest Four Horsemen anthology, hit the virtual shelves yesterday. My story is “Fire from Fire Quickened,” and it’s a follow-up from The Feeding of Sorrows.

This is the 50th book in the Four Horsemen series. I am so proud to have contributed the Queen Elizabeth’s Own Foresters to that universe, and will be writing the sequel to The Feeding of Sorrows as soon as I finish None Call Me Mother.

it’s a tough day to work, as it’s beautiful outside, but gotta get words on the page. Have a great day.

What I’m Listening To

“Schism” by Tool. Tool is such a great band to write to. They are intricate, powerful, and get my mind going.

Quote of the Week

“A man, a horse, and a vicious kidnapping and murder saved me.”
A Lake Most Deep, by me.

Why this as my quote? A Lake Most Deep turned 5 this week and this is the first line. I love that story, though I wince at times at my writing. I am so much better now than I was back then. I’m supposed to be, of course, but I wouldn’t have gotten here without A Lake Most Deep.

So glad I took the risk and dived into the deep end.

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (PAGES)
  • CB (8,418)
  • TSK (7,563)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Been working on the Wiki. Finally overcame a number of weird issues and I’m making good progress now.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on the Gates of Hell, the newest anthology in the Four Horsemen Universe. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087T7FW9M/

Today’s Weight: 394.2

Updated Word Count: 65,936

Shijuren Wiki: Making great progress

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Nor War’s Quick Fire

Week 17 of 2020

Greetings all

I finished re-writing and editing my story for Semper Paratus. This is an anthology from Jamie Ibson, who also edited We Dare. My story is a prequel to “The Chaos of Well-Seeming Forms” with was in the first anthology.

This one is entitled “Nor War’s Quick Fire” and we see the two feuding families meet. The time they meet is not a good one, though, and things don’t go where anyone expects, including, I suspect, the readers.

The story took a little longer. I can usually tell when a story works and the first version didn’t. In the end, I realized it tried to do too much. This is becoming a fairly standard thing. I try to put certain things in a story, and they may very well be great elements, but this particular story doesn’t work with them included.

Sometimes, this requires help from other eyes. I got great help from Jamie and also Yvonne Jacobs focusing the story down.

This is part of the be prepared to kill your baby part of writing. It’s not easy, but if you can do it, it results in much better stories and quite often, future story ideas.

This weekend, I’m basically taking it off except for projects around the house. Next week, I’ll be doing a couple of small writing projects, starting a new short story, and working on None Call Me Mother.

Have a great week.

What I’m Listening To

Still watching Burn Notice. Again. Love this show.

Quote of the Week

Sir Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, was born today in 1757. Who is he? He was a very successful admiral in the Napoleonic Wars. You can find his details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Pellew,_1st_Viscount_Exmouth.

More importantly for me, he was Mr. Midshipman Hornblower’s captain on the Indefatigueable. Anytime I get a chance to reference Hornblower, I’m going to take it.

“You have fought your duel. That is well. Never fight another. That is better.”
– Edward Pellew, in the Duel, from the Hornblower movies.

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (Approx. 115,000)
  • CB (8,418)
  • HM (6,374)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Added a few more products on the website and focused on the wiki this week.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is still on my new webstore at www.aescandthorn.com/store. I have my new books, old science fiction and fantasy magazines, and will add a bunch of used books.

Today’s Weight: 396.4

Updated Word Count: 65,098

Shijuren Wiki: working on it

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Time for a Mojito

Week 16 of 2020

Greetings all

What a really busy and productive week. Most of this week has been focused on my story for the sequel anthology to We Dare, Semper Paratus.

I’ve actually had a number of issues with this story. The most important one is that I didn’t fully read the submission expectations. Let that be a lesson to everyone.

But the first draft had issues anyway. I didn’t like the pacing and flow. Like in many things, having one problem is a problem, having two and they might solve each other.

I’m re-writing it this weekend and I’m already much happier with it. It’s a story, now, or at least will be.

Second note. Always communicate with your editor. They can help, and Jamie Ibson has helped a ton. Also, if the story gets bigger than expected, you can ask for permission. This story is already larger than I anticipated, and I have a new ending and a battle scene to write.

The other big news this week is that I now have an online store:
www.aescandthorn.com/store

Here you’ll find physical copies of all of my books. For electronic or audio versions, you’ll still buy them through Amazon. However, if you want signed copies, you can get them through this site.

Also, I’m adding a variety of used books and science fiction and fantasy magazines that I have available. The magazines are ones I have multiple copies of and I’ve been winnowing down my books as I convert to e-versions.

I’m really excited about the potential of this store for me. Please take a look.

What I’m Listening To

One of my favorite shows ever is Burn Notice and I saw all seven seasons on Amazon Prime. Time for mojitos, spy tricks, and extra violence.

Quote of the Week

There’s so much great writing in this show. I especially enjoy Michael Westen’s voiceovers.

“A hitman is like a plumber, a dentist or a mechanic. Everybody is always looking for a good one.”
– Michael Westen, Burn Notice

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (PAGES)
  • CB (8,418)
  • HM (6,374)
  • NWQF (13,840)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on aescandthorn.com/store. You can get all of my novels and the anthologies I’ve contributed to, along with a variety of used items. I will add more items each week.

Today’s Weight: 397.4

Updated Word Count: 49,935

Shijuren Wiki: 874 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: The Little Gray Cells

Week 15 of 2020

Greetings all

Wow, what a major week of procrasti-projecting. I built a new bookcase for my SF/F magazines and spent part of the week not only shifting them around, but also organizing them. I now know just what treasure I have with those. It was so much fun.

Also, that led to organizing everything. So many small projects that I had just never gotten around to.

  • I now have a video camera on my computer. Well, I’ve had it for a while, but not actually plugged it in. I’ll be doing some FB Live stuff or YouTube things when I figure some things out.
  • I got a new color laser all-in-one. I’ve needed that functionality for a while. I rearranged the office and my printing setup is much more organized.
  • I organized my inventory. I now have a standard loadout for small events. I’ve needed this for a while as well.
  • I also made huge progress on my next short story. I may even finish the first draft tomorrow, giving me all week to polish it.
  • I had some great news, and a neat vote of confidence given to me.
  • Oh, and I made major progress on something I’ve been needing to do for a long time. I’ll expand on that next week.

Now I’m sitting with my sweetie enjoying a relaxing night. We’re watching Hercule Poirot and puttering around. She’s knitting a sock and I’ll be playing a game after I send this out.

Have a great week, everyone.

What I’m Listening To

Hercule Poirot, the Triangle at Rhodes episode. I love David Suchet and his +4 Mustache of Smiling.

Quote of the Week

“‘I belong to the world, Madame,’ said Poirot dramatically.”
– Agatha Christie, The Murder on the Orient Express

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (a bunch)
  • CB (8,418)
  • HM (6,374)
  • NWQF (4,125)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Spent the week puttering around instead of being on the blog.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is still on When Valor Must Hold, which you can find at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086236WMT. Still getting lots of great feedback. We did good.

Today’s Weight: 398.4

Updated Word Count: 49,788

Shijuren Wiki: In progress

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: Weird Albuquerques

Week 14 of 2020

Greetings all

It’s been a really productive week here. I’ve been getting off my butt and doing projects around the house. I had some leftover lumber from a project and built another 6-board chest. It’ll be finished tomorrow or Sunday. I’m down to touching up the paint, adding the hinge, and putting in the handles.

I also started a new bookcase that is explicitly designed to hold my collection of Analogs, Amazings, and other SF/F magazines. I may have to build two, but this all came out of lumber I had in stock with the exception that I’ll need to buy a sheet of 1/4in plywood cut the right dimensions to match the back.

I also decided to buy something that I’ve been looking at for some time. I have never had an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier because I get so little call for such thing. However, it’s happening more and more. Also, I’ve had very little need for a color laser, but it wouldn’t hurt to improve my signage at events. Color laser all-in-ones have come down to under $300 so it was time.

Writing also went really well this week, especially today. I’ve been pounding at one thread in None Call Me Mother for months. I have to get one person in the thread to the final battle and every attempt I made just felt forced. This snarl was worthy of Order of the Stick.

I finally came up with an answer.

And today was one of my most free and relaxed writing sessions in ages. I knew what had to be done, but this snag has literally held me up for a month.

Of course, last week was the release of When Valor Must Hold and I’ve am pleased with the response. I’m not surprised that all of our reviews and ratings so far have been 5 star, because I knew it was that good, but it’s pleasing nonetheless to have that confirmed once it got released into the wild.

As I mentioned last week, I have another short story coming out on 1 May. It’s entitled “Fire From Fire Quickened” and it will be released in the next Four Horsemen anthology entitled Gates of Hell.

Currently, I have two more short story projects in the works, one due in the middle of April and one at the end of May. Next week I’ll write the draft for the first one, which is a prequel to “The Chaos of Well-Seeming Forms” from We Dare. I’m working with Yvonne Jacobs on this one and we have some fun ideas. As for the second one, I have some ideas coming already, though I need to wallow in a particular style before writing it.

It’s been a busy week around here.

What I’m Listening To

Weird Al’s Angry White Boy Polka. Al is really a national treasure. If you’ve never seen him live, I suggest it, even if you’re not a huge fan of his parodies. He and his band are actually extremely skilled musicians. His schtick would never have worked this long if he and his guys hadn’t actually been good.

Side note: I’ve won a number of fantasy leagues with the team name: Weird Albuquerques.

Second side note: You know, that’s not only a great team name but a fun title for an update…

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote is incredibly apt right now. Weird Al is not only skilled, he’s prescient.

“Look
If you had
one shot
to sit on your lazy butt
and watch all the TV you ever wanted
until your brain turned to mush
Would you go for it?
or just let it slip?”
– Weird Al, “Couch Potato” from Poodle Hat

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (a bunch)
  • CB (8,418)
  • HM (6,374)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • I actually dropped the ball on blog posts this week. I kept getting distracted.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

WVMH Orange Tag
WVMH Orange Tag

This week’s spotlight is still on When Valor Must Hold, which you can find at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086236WMT. Now up to 15 5-star reviews.

Today’s Weight: 398.4

Updated Word Count: 49,244

Shijuren Wiki: Making progress

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Rob’s Update: When Valor Must Hold

Week 13 of 2020

Greetings all

When Valor Must Hold came out today and it has already earned an orange tag as number one new fantasy anthology. This is so cool, it deserves a screenshot.

WVMH Orange Tag
WVMH Orange Tag

You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086236WMT

I’m really proud of what we did here and I think you’ll all like it.

The final battle scene of None Call Me Mother is going to be epic and I’m loving how it’s shaping up. It’s been my primary focus this week. I also added a bunch of foundational stuff to make that battle even more powerful.

Incredibly powerful wizards, great heroes with flashing swords, and brothers fighting each other. It’s a lot of fun.

Wednesday I also got into a bit of a mood and wrote a couple thousand words on the next Edward novel. I’ve been re-reading Spenser and watching Spenser for Hire on Amazon Prime. Makes sense that I want to write some on my Spenser character.

Speaking of Edward, if you get When Valor Must Hold, you get to read how Edward and Deor met along with a bunch of great stories from all the other authors.

Also, I signed the contract for Gates of Hell this week. This is the next 4HU anthology and has my story “Fire from Fire Awakened.” This continues the Foresters’ saga with Rick Blaine working on a loose end from The Feeding of Sorrows.

Have a great week everyone!

What I’m Listening To

The Atlanta Falcons in Dallas to face the Cowboys in 2009. Man, Romo when he was healthy was so good.

Quote of the Week

When I asked the authors to participate in When Valor Must Hold, this was what I told them I wanted. I wanted them to tell me of the days of high adventure!

“Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to bear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!”
– Akiro the Wizard, Conan the Barbarian

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother
  • CB (8,418)
  • HM (6,374)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on When Valor Must Hold, which you can find at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086236WMT

Today’s Weight: 399.6

Updated Word Count: 48,342

Shijuren Wiki: In progress

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

If you think you received this email incorrectly or wish to be unsubscribed, please send an email to shijuren-owner@robhowell.org

Interview: Christopher Nuttall

When Valor Must Hold comes out in 2 days! I’m very excited. Today’s interview is with Christopher Nuttall. His story is “The Game’s Afoot” and it sort of a fantasy Guns of Navarone. I think you’ll all like it, and I’m honored that he participated.

Interview: Christopher Nuttall

What is your quest?

Christopher Nuttall
Christopher Nuttall

I try to write the sort of books I like to read – action and adventure, mainly; almost all science-fiction and fantasy.

What is your favorite color?

Too many things to count, really.  I like decaying empires and how they can -sometimes – flourish into something new.  I like exploring the use and abuse of magic, and how politics can interact with science to change the world.

What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?

I’d like to do a really big story – something akin to the Night’s Dawn or Game of Thrones books – but I find them a little annoying.  In my view, each novel should be at least partly a novel of its own – that’s what I’ve tried to do with the Schooled in Magic books – but that’s difficult to maintain. I have these ideas that are basically AMERICAN CIVIL WAR WITH MAGIC or GREAT WAR IN SPACE that would be huge, but force me to write in a format I don’t like or narrow the story too far.  No room for character development if the stories are small, you see <grin>.  The only person who did that in a single book was Tom Clancy – Red Storm Rising – and only a handful of his characters were truly 3D.

What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?

The series I like the most, I think, is Schooled in Magic.  It draws on so many of my hobbies – history, alternate history, etc – and lets me have fun.  Ark Royal was an astonishing success, in so many ways – I’m proud I got so much out of it.

How do I write?  I come up with the plot, I sort it out and then I start writing.

Lightning Round

  • Favorite Muppet? [Insert politician’s name here.]
  • Favorite Weird Color? Black.  You can’t go wrong with black.
  • What Cartoon Character Are You?  I like to think Bugs Bunny.  More likely … Millhouse.
  • Best Present You’ve Ever Received? A stack of books …
  • What Do You Secretly Plot?  I have ideas for stories that will probably never be written.
  • Favorite Sports Team? None.
  • Cake or Pie? Cake.
  • Lime or Lemon? Lemon
  • Favorite Chip Dip?  Brown Sauce.
  • Favorite Cereal? Corn Pops.
  • Favorite Musical Performer We’ve Never Heard Of? The McCalmans- http://the-mccalmans.com/
  • Whisky or Whiskey? I don’t drink.
  • Favorite Superhero? Green Lantern (Kyle Reyner)
  • Steak Temperature? Medium-well.
  • Favorite 1970s TV show? Battlestar Galactica
  • Best Thing From the 80s? Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Spring.
  • Best Game Ever? Chess.
  • Coffee or Tea? Tea.  I go 3000 words to the pint.
  • Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Both.
  • Brought to you by the letter ___?  Q.

Tell me again where we can find your stuff? 

And where can we find you?

Right now, I’m not due to attend any conventions.  My health is a constant issue right now – and I have kids!


Thanks to Christopher for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.

Also, thanks to you for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326. If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at rob@robhowell.org.

Finally, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.

Have a great day.

Rob Howell

 

Rob’s Ramblings: Discombobulation

Greetings all

Like many of us, this is a discombobulating time. Events canceled like Gulf Wars, FantaSci, and March Madness. Concerns over family friends. And people will be talking of the Toilet Paper Rush of Ought-20 like they did the 1849 Gold Rush.

There are silver linings, though. One, I get to use discombobulation again and again. It’s one of my favorite words.

Two, I’ve seen people in various communities band together to help their friends and neighbors. It’s not unusual for these people to do that sort of thing, but it’s more obvious right now and that’s comforting.

But it’s still a discombobulating time.

As a writer and someone who works from home, I have some nice advantages. Obviously, if I have food, water, and electricity, I can do my job normally. Without electricity, I have to hand write things, which I can do, though my hand problems make that challenging. Still, I can get through a reasonable time and still do my job. That’s comforting too.

But it’s not without dangers. I am an only child and a tendency to get too withdrawn.

Worse, the cancellations and the discombobulation exacerbate my tendencies to hermit and dwell on things far too much. I ponder where things go and game scenarios out in my head. It’s a great trait as a writer, of course, but can often send me down the road to thinking too many bad thoughts. That’s what cost me September, along with fatigue.

Today I’m writing from Brewbakers. I suspect, I’ll be here most days during this discombobulation as long they can stay open. I need to get out and see the world and not simply through the lens of social media.

My suggestion to you all is to do the things you’ve been putting off because you didn’t have time. I’m going to throw myself at None Call Me Mother and work on some projects around the house.

I also suggest everyone look for cool things to do for other people. Discombobulations bring stress. The word is fun to say, but the experiences are often not. The more nice things we do, even small ones, the better we’ll all be when we get back to our normal rat race.

The best thing about doing nice things for people in a discombulated time? It has a tendencies to combobulate all involved.

Rob’s Update: A Scientific Pursuit

Week 11 of 2020

Greetings all

Made a goodly amount of progress on None Call Me Mother. I have one thread just about completed, a second that’s close, and a third that needs tightening up.

I also made progress on the final battle, which is pretty complex and I’m mapping it out. The best part about it is that I *finally* get to use some of the plants I placed in I Am a Wondrous Thing years ago. I’ve been waiting for some of this the whole time.

My word count actually went down this week as I’ve been clearing out some chaff, too. I’m in the 107k range, though it’s scattered among several files right now as I make sure the threads are complete and tight.

In two weeks, though, you’ll get some new Shijuren stuff for the first time in a while. My story, “What’s in a Name” is in When Valor Must Hold, and it’s how Edward meets Deor. It’s a story I’ve wanted to write for a while, as it’s in my head every time the two of them interact.

Tomorrow, I’m off to quilt stores with my sweetie. She’s got this quilt store quest and I’m driving her about to spend time with her. I’ll actually get some editing done as I sent one thread to my phone and I’ll read it on my Kindle. As I’ve mentioned, it’s great for seeing things in a different way.

Have a great weekend everyone!

What I’m Listening To

Blood Sacrifice Shaman by Tengger Cavalry. The Hu have gotten more popular of late, but these guys were the first Mongolian folk metal band I heard of. Unfortunately, their lead guy died last year. He was a hell of a musician and they’re well worth listening to.

Quote of the Week

John Herschel was born on this date in 1792. This quote from him is true of just about every endeavor.

“Every student who enters upon a scientific pursuit, especially if at a somewhat advanced period of life, will find not only that he has much to learn, but much also to unlearn.”
– John Herschel

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (107,000)
  • RQS (1,312)
  • CB (8,418)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on Bill Webb, whose story in When Valor Must Hold is “Island of Bones” and it mixes old school horror and fantasy. You can find my interview of him at: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=2032

Today’s Weight: 398.4

Updated Word Count: 46,597

Shijuren Wiki: Rebuilding

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
Shijuren
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

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Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.

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