Rob’s Update: The Works of Gifted Hands

Week 38 of 2020

Greetings all

This was a solid week, but not my most productive. I had to fight through my usual case of fall allergies, so I haven’t slept well all week. Also, since I was traveling back from Tennessee, I lost a day.

Still, I’m over 80% done with this round of editing on None Call Me Mother. All that’s left is the final section. Admittedly, this is a huge section, with a final battle scene worthy of a trilogy, I think, but I intend to send it back to my editor next Friday at the latest.

I’ll be turning my focus more and more on the new fantasy anthology. Stories in that need to be done by 30 November, so if you’re still interested in submitting a story, please make sure it’s by that date. Also, pay attention to the submission parameters.

The next long-form I’ll finish is The Ravening of Sorrows. I had some great discussions with Mark Wandrey about fitting it properly into the 4HU, and will do more with both Chris Kennedy and Kevin Ikenberry soon. I am excited about some of the pathways they’ve suggested for the Foresters, the Stalkers to the Stars, and Rick Blaine.

Speaking of the 4HU, I had some great news. The Feeding of Sorrows will be available on audiobook on 13 October. You’ll be able to find it on Audible and on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T3B8BGB. Perfect timing, as I’m sure listening to it will help me keep the flow and voice of The Feeding of Wolves.

Have a great week everyone.

What I’m Listening To

The climactic crescendo of 2112 from Live at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1978. That’ll get your blood pumping.

Quote of the Week

Every once in a while, I’ll watch the Beethoven’s 9th flash mob video from Italy. It’s brilliant. You can watch it here if you’d like, and if you haven’t watched it before, I heartily suggest it. That moment when the chorus comes in and it explodes from something fantastic to incredibly majestic is possibly my single favorite musical moment.

Beethoven also said a number of great quotes. For me, this is one that I try to put into my writing.

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.”
– Ludwig von Beethoven.

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (29,837)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Nothing this week.

Upcoming Events

  • Nothing, but maybe something in February. Such a strange time.

New Releases

Ian Malone has another out in his Mako-verse. It’s called Detron City Vice and it’s heavy on the action. While it’s set in a universe with three other books, this is a stand-alone story. You can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08J6K3HBT/.

Today’s Weight: 360.6

Updated Word Count: 238,747

Shijuren Wiki: 77 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 Updates: More Than a Thought

Week 37 of 2020

Greetings all

Today is Neil Peart’s birthday. 2020 has been an awful year for everyone, and I’m not trying to minimize anything for anyone else, but for me, the loss of Neil has been the hardest thing to accept.

It is unlikely at best that I would have ever met him. I doubt he would have ever read any of my stuff. In truth, I am not appreciably less likely to have a personal interaction with him now than in December.

But I miss having him in this world.

Anyway, I’m wearing my 40th Anniversary of A Farewell to Kings shirt today. I’m doing it as much for Neil as for the small convention I’m at. As you probably all know, I wear Rush shirts when I’m at cons, in part so people will know it’s me, and in part so other Rush fans will talk to me. I’ve had a couple of such conversations today and it helps.

I’m over halfway through editing None Call Me Mother. I apparently added more fluff to this first draft than I usually do, as I’ve already deleted nearly 13k from the story. I’m quite pleased with the result, though, as it’s a lot sharper and faster. I think, in retrospect, I knew the problem existed but it wasn’t entirely clear until I finished the full draft and had my editor confirm it.

Now, though, it’s rocking along and I think you’ll love it.

Next week, I’ll also be editing for the Corner Scribbler’s release, than I wrote the introduction for. It’ll be call Dragons and Dribbles and I’ll let you all know the release date when I know.

I have also made some progress on The Ravening of Wolves, my next 4HU novel. This has been more along the lines of a few sentences here and there and some plotting and planning. Again, I’m pleased where it’s going.

For now, I better get back to talking about my books.

What I’m Listening To

Various Rush songs have been playing in my head all day, though I’m not in a place to listen to songs. The one that comes to mind right now is “Lessons.”

Quote of the Week

“Sweet memories Flashing very quickly by
Reminding me Giving me a reason why
I know that My goal is more than a thought
I’ll be there When I teach what I’ve been taught

You know we’ve told you before
But you didn’t hear us then
So you still question why
You didn’t listen again

Sweet memories I never thought it would be like this
Reminding me Just how close I came to missing
I know that This is the way for me to go
You’ll be there When you know what I know”
– “Lessons” by Rush

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (29,837)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

  • Nothing at the moment.

New Releases

This week’s spotlight is on William Allen Webb’s High Mountain Hunters, a new entry in the 4HU. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HQWWCNB/.

Today’s Weight: 3640

Updated Word Count: 238,017

Shijuren Wiki: 77 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: Holy Cow!

Week 36 of 2020

Greetings all

I was very productive this week… when I could work. I lost Tuesday and Wednesday to because I wasn’t feeling well. Not anything big, just my body will occasionally shift out of place and I’ll have, in this case, a dislocated ankle. Worst I can remember. Knocked me for a loop. I guess I’m getting old.

Anyway, on Monday I submitted a short story called “An Oath’s Other Edge” to a Corner Scribblers anthology. I also got to do the introduction. Really nice of them to invite me to join them, and I hope you guys check them out on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/The-Corner-Scribblers/e/B082YQWLCZ.

Then I got into editing None Call Me Mother. I may have mentioned that my editor said it started of slowly, but by the end of it she lost track of working because she fell into the story. That’s a great compliment, of course, at least for the second half.

So I went into editing with the goal of streamlining and cutting. It’s much stronger already. I’ve already cut over 7000 words and I’m only about 150 pages in out of about 520. It’s actually about 10-15% shorter in those pages now, but definitely faster and more powerful.

It’s an odd thing. I’ve spent years fighting this book to get to the end, but I’m loving chopping major chunks out of the draft. Useless. Gone. Gloat. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Next week the sweetie and I will be out on a trip to Clarksville, TN and we’re having a few people over on Monday for Labor Day. That means I’ll only have 3 days or so in the next week to really hammer at it, but I expect finish this pass middle of week after. Then I’ll do one more editing pass to make sure I haven’t chopped something important (which I will have and will miss but my editor will catch).

By the end of October I’ll send it back to the editor for line editing and proofreading. Then I’ll do my print and read out loud pass. Then it’ll be ready. I expect the artwork to be done early October. Overall, it’s looking like some point in November and it’ll be live.

Getting there.

What I’m Listening To

The Cardinals playing in Wrigley Field against the Cubs. There’s something very soothing and right about this matchup, even without fans. Call it the Harry Carey Battle, given that he actually announced for the Cardinals way back when before ultimately going to the Cubs.

Quote of the Week

And since Harry was such an interesting guy, we might as well use one of his quotes. No, I’m not going with the low-hanging fruit of “Holy Cow!” Instead, I’m going with something thoughtful. Yes, by *that* Harry Carey.

Odds are I won’t write for 54 years, though I can hope. Still, I hope I always remember this quote by him. I’ll never master this craft so much that I can’t learn something new.

“I’ve only been doing this 54 years. With a little experience, I might get better.”
– Harry Carey

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (29,837)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Focused on None Call Me Mother

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Robert E. Hampson is an incredibly smart man. Like an actual real genius. A brain surgeon working on cool stuff like artificial memory. Not only that, he’s got the best initials evah!

You’ve probably read him in the 4HU, but yesterday, his first completely separate novel came out. It’s called The Human Side, and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08H7DLJC9.

Today’s Weight: 363.0

Updated Word Count: 237, 231

Shijuren Wiki: 72 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: Friends and Family

Week 35 of 2020

Greetings all

A week of things projects as much as writing. Only 3 real writing days, but still productive. Still getting over 2k per day done on The Ravening of Sorrows.

We finished a major project here that’s been something we’ve been stepping around for months, but it’s now to the finish work stage. We’re really pleased to have that done.

We spent a lot of the week dealing with stuff. Neither of us have gotten great sleep for a while because one of us has had to sleep with the cat that was wearing a cone of shame. The cone of shame is off as of today and everything seems back to normal.

I’ll be editing a short story next week and adding to The Ravening of Sorrows a bit. Then I’ll be switching to editing None Call Me Mother. Getting close on that.

And with that, I’m going to go watch a movie with the sweetie.

What I’m Listening To

Good friends on a Zoom meeting call. It’s good to see friends, even if only virtually.

Quote of the Week

Today is Mary Shelley’s birthday and here’s a quote from one of the founders of science fiction and fantasy. This is a perfect quote for writing SF/F.

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.”
– Mary Shelley.

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (29,837)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Didn’t have a chance to work on anything else this week.

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have a new release in the Fallen World, The Island of Dr. Laroue by Christopher Woods and Chris Kennedy. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GQ6R9VR/.

Also, we have a couple of entries on Bookbub this week. A Time to Die by Mark Wandrey is today. Tomorrow will be Jon Osborne’s A Reluctant Druid. Both are 0.99 cents. The Bookbub links are awful, so click on the titles to go to those specials.

Today’s Weight: 364.4

Updated Word Count: 234,350

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 Measure of a Life

Week 34 of 2020

Greetings all

Generally, it was a good week. It’s fascinating to me how easy it is writing the The Ravening of Wolves after beating against None Call Me Mother for months. I’d power through 1k and be exhausted. Right now, I’m putting out about 2.5k per writing day, so I’m quite pleased.

However, I haven’t had as much writing time as I’ve wanted because of a couple things getting in the way. Still, I wrote more than 10k this week despite it all, along with setting up a number of chapters that should go quickly.

None Call Me Mother is still at the editor, which is to be expected. I suspect I’ll get the edited back in the next week or two, then do my second pass, then get it back to her. At this point, I’m targeting some point in late October as a release date, but that all depends on what suggestions the editor gives me.

In the meantime, I have a story to send off in the next week or so. It’s basically written, I just have to do a polish run.

I’ve also been working on some of the early submissions for the FantaSci anthology. I’ve been pleased, in general, with the ones I’ve gotten. I can’t wait to see more. If you’re writing fantasy short stories, send a submission over before the end of November and see if you get selected.

This week I also did a number of wiki additions. The important entry is the one for Periaslavl. It’s large and is the new template for other major nations. Yeah, I world-build as a hobby, so it’s fun creating historical events in Shijuren.

That’s enough for now, time to go throw more words at the page.

What I’m Listening To

“The Garden” by Rush off Clockwork Angels. The last song on the last album. It’s the perfect ending, really. An amazing song. I’ll pick something for the Quote of the Week, of course, but really, its entire lyrics are worth the read. You can find them here: https://www.rush.com/songs/the-garden/.

Quote of the Week

“The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned”
– Rush, “The Garden”

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (22,364)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

More 4HU awesomeness. One Minute to Midnight by Tim C. Taylor and Chris Kennedy himself. It also has a bonus short story by Chuck Gannon. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08G8TQM4T/.

If you’re looking for urban fantasy, Amanda Green just released the third in her Eerie Side of the Tracks series, Rogue’s Magic. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D8ZJJY5/.

Today’s Weight: 366.6

Updated Word Count: 233,740

Shijuren Wiki: 72 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: Of Teeth and Claws

Week 33 of 2020

Greetings all

Well, it was a very good week around here until tonight. One of our cats had a problem and she’s at the emergency vet. She’ll probably be OK, and hopefully there’ll be no long-term issues, but it sucks.

The big news, of course, is the release of We Dare: Semper Paratus which includes my story “Nor War’s Quick Fire.” This story is a prequel to “The Chaos of Well-Seeming Forms” from the first We Dare Anthology.

William is an eccentric billionaire who loves Shakespeare and is determined to establish a colony on Mars. Just as the colony is about to become fully self-sufficient with all of his first-stage colonists in place, the Earth is engulfed in nuclear flame. Please take a look. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FQY6QFD/.

On the writing front, I only had four days I was able to write, but I got 12k new words in the sequel to The Feeding of Sorrows. I’m currently calling it The Ravening of Wolves. I like tying titles in a series together, but that might be too close. We’ll see when we get closer.

I am really pleased with where it’s going. I like the challenges that jumped out at me. The Foresters and the Stalkers in the Stars are not going to have an easy time of things.

But that’s it for now. Heading back to the vet to get the kitteh. Will let you all know next week how she’s doing.

What I’m Listening To

Watching the Rangers at the Rockies. My birthday present from my sweetie was MLB TV. I gave up on live/cable TV for now since really all I watch is sports. I already have NFL Gamepass, which allows me to watch games over and over, though I can’t watch them live. Still, I don’t know if I’ll get anything ever again because I’m really enjoying this.

Quote of the Week

This one fits the day. Also, happy birthday, T.E. Lawrence.

“He was old and wise, which meant tired and disappointed…”

– T.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

News and Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (12,004)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Nothing this week.

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The big new release this week is We Dare: Semper Paratus. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FQY6QFD/.

Today’s Weight: 368.2

Updated Word Count: 232,371

Shijuren Wiki: 67 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: Mountains Rise and Fall

Week 32 of 2020

Greetings all

Somedays I never thought I’d be able to say this, but I just sent a full draft of None Call Me Mother to my editor.

It’s raw, and I will be adjusting my process so I never take this long to write a series again, but I cried at the end. That’s always a sign I like the story.

It was actually a fantastic week here, not just because I wrapped up a draft. I participated in my first DragonCon panel on Wednesday, and you’ll be able to see it as part of the virtual DragonCon package. I don’t know all the details about virtual DragonCon right now, but I’ll be posting that when I do.

I have already started to shift the notes from The Feeding of Sorrows around to begin The Ravening of Wolves, its sequel. Expect to see that appearing in the word count within the next couple of weeks.

Next week I will be cleaning up a short story, starting another short story, and start reading for the sequel anthology we’re putting out for FantaSci. We already have three submissions for the contest and I can’t wait to dig into those.

Tomorrow, I’ll be presenting a section of Brief Is My Flame in an online reading of a bunch of local authors. I thought about a chunk of None Call Me Mother, but all the snippets I can think will be fun to read are too long for my 15 minutes.

Here’s the link for the KC Writer’s Fair. You’ll need to register to watch the Zoom meeting, so plan accordingly. Thanks to William Mitchell for all his hard work getting this going.

There’s a bunch of work yet to do on None Call Me Mother, of course. However, this is one of the best points in the process.

What I’m Listening To

Survival by Yes. What an apt song for the moment.

Quote of the Week

None Call Me Mother is wrapped around a riddle written in the Old English style. I’ll post it here and see if anyone figures it out. I wrote it to be challenging and obscure, which it is, but you can figure it out, even if every riddle is frustrating.

I am a wondrous thing                    though I am truly nothing
Brief is my flame but                       mountains rise and fall
Ere my warmth fades                      and winter fills its place
Gold is given for me                         but such gifts buy me not
I have many children                       but none call me mother
Swans carry my grace                     but grow and fade without me
Some turn to the sun                       but never tame me in the light
Dogs may soar for me                      but daunted, they return sharply
So ere you your successor name     say what I am called

– The Riddle of the Great Mothers

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (148,130)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

  • 8 August, Olathe Writers Zoom Event (TOMORROW!!!)
  • 3-7 September, DragonCon, Atlanta, GA
    https://www.dragoncon.org/
    Digital stuff coming (Less sadness)

New Releases

This week we see the first release from Mark Stallings. It’s called The Elements, and it is the first of the Silver Coin saga. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C29BR62?.

Also, there’s a new main thread Four Horsemen novel out! You can find Gale Force here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F9TX11V. Thanks to Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy for creating this huge, crazy sandbox for all of us.

Today’s Weight: 369.6 (I held the same weight as last week, which I’m actually quite pleased about since I was too focused on finishing the draft to actually cook)

Updated Word Count: 231,733

Shijuren Wiki: 67 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
  • “A Gift of Crimson” in Hand of Gold and Other Stories (Pussy Katnip)
  • “The Chaos of Well-Seeming Forms” in We Dare
  • “Nor War’s Quick Fire” in We Dare: Semper Paratus (Forthcoming, 2020)

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: Come and Be Welcome

Week 31 of 2020

Greetings all

If things had gone to plan, I would have spent Monday evening trying to live up to the lyrics of the song Come and Be Welcome by Emer nic Aiden. I’d have hosted my yearly bardic circle at Pennsic, then taken my hungover self to the trim shop and done whatever setup we’d needed.

I’d have spent this week and next talking to people about my books and finishing None Call Me Mother. It’s the best workplace around, actually. I get to work, be really productive, and then afterwards I get to go sing and hang out with great people I only see this time of the year.

Ah, well. Time for me to focus on the things I can change, which has been my general philosophy for quite some time.

Finishing None Call Me Mother is something I can change. Emer has been one of those waiting patiently for me to finish it. I’ll have a draft to the editor by end of next week. Lots of little issues smoothed this week and it’s almost there.

I can also look ahead to future projects. Next big WIP will be the sequel to The Feeding of Sorrows.

Even more exciting to me is the upcoming anthology I’m editing for Chris Kennedy. It’s the sequel anthology to When Valor Must Hold and I am incredibly amazed at the authors who’ve signed up to be a part of it. David Butler, Larry Correia, David Weber, and Sarah Hoyt are all in, and there are some big names still to announce.

I am incredibly honored they all decided to join in and appreciate Chris Kennedy giving me the opportunity.

I look forward also to all the other writers who submit for the FantaSci prize. The top four will be in the anthology, with one getting chosen by the con as the best.

And with that, it’s time to go bring my sweetie some ice cream. Have a great day.

What I’m Listening To

Basil Poledouris’s excellent Conan soundtrack…. again. It’s one of the best things to listen to while writing fantasy.

Quote of the Week

“Come from the forest and sit ’round the fire
Come from the fields and enter our hall
Come drink from the guest-cup
Come join in our circle
Come and be welcome ye bards one and all”
– Emer nic Aiden

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (136,935)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week Ian Malone releases the third of his Mako Saga, called At Circle’s End. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DTYGTW2

Today’s Weight: 369.6

Updated Word Count: 82,811

Shijuren Wiki: 66 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: Opening Day

Week 30 of 2020

Greetings all

Finally! Today is the full opening day for baseball. They’ve had a couple marquee games already, like they do these days, but the first full day of baseball, which is usually packed from noon to after midnight is one of the great days of the year.

Interesting is, of course, the word to describe this year. Generally, a full-time hitter can expect to bat about 700 times in a given year. That might seem like a lot but it is still not enough to eliminate all the statistical biases of a small sample size. You need about 1100 to bring the plus/minus aspect down to small levels.

In 2020, a full time batter can expect about 300 times to bat. They’ve done some fun examples of what could happen in only 60 games, including batting averages not just above .400, but well above .400, even well past Nap LaJoie’s .426 in 1901.

So, yeah, expect some statistical anomalies.

And overall result anomalies, especially with 16 playoff teams. The playoffs are essentially about luck, as even the best team only slightly better than the worst playoff team in a single game. It will only take 2 coin flips out of 3 for the number 16 team to beat the number 1 team.

Fun stuff.

Made good progress on None Call Me Mother. Word count doesn’t really show much difference, but that’s because I’m cutting some of the dross as I go.

This last battle was always going to be a hairball, which is what I wanted. I’ve written several chunks  and plotted a number of others, but it’s a balance to get it all to flow smoothly. That’s most of what I’m doing right now.

The blocking is tricky, but to a certain extent, that’s what I have an editor for.

I think I’ll have the final draft next week, though, so I’m excited.

What I’m Listening To

Landslide, the Smashing Pumpkins version. Great version of a great song.

Quote of the Week

I don’t know that I’ve had a Casey Stengel quote here lately. Casey doesn’t get enough credit, I think.Yeah, he had a bunch of great ballplayers like Berra, DiMaggio, and Mantle, but even so he was a fantastic manager.

He’s certainly one of the great quote machines. This is what he said after getting fired from the Yankees, having ‘only’ won the pennant in 1960.

“They told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth program as an advance way of keeping the club going. I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy again.”
– Casey Stengel

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (134,151)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

Two from Chris Kennedy Publishing this week. One is Mark Wandrey writing in Chuck Gannon’s Caine Riordan world. It’s called Pearl and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Murphys-Lawless-Book-5-ebook/dp/B08D72Q4ZZ/

Also, there’s another Fallen World novel, this one by J.P. Chandler. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/They-Call-Princess-Fallen-World-ebook/dp/B08DG84QYJ/

Today’s Weight: 372.2

Updated Word Count: 82,082

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: Turkey Red Wheat

Week 29 of 2020

Greetings all

I had a very productive first half of the week, but got distracted by my birthday on Thursday. We had the electrician over for a variety of small things. Then my birthday present to myself was to clean out and organize a closet we could now get to after moving everything around.

Oddly, that was extremely satisfying.

Anyway, I want to take a moment to thank the nearly 400 people who went out of their way to say happy birthday. I tried to thank them all individually, but if I missed some, thanks very much.

On Friday, my sweetie and I actually celebrated by going to the Hoffman Mill in Enterprise. It sells heirloom turkey red flour that she can eat without normal gluten issues, so we came back with bags and bags of it.

Yes, we could just order it online, but then we wouldn’t have had the fun of driving here and there in small town Kansas. This is something my dad showed me could be a lot of fun. Found a cool bookstore/bar/coffee shop in Baldwin City, among other things.

We also stopped at the Coneburg Grill and Pub in Peabody. They make a delicious black and blue steak salad. While there, we stopped at the Peabody Sausage House.

As for work, I made good progress on None Call Me Mother on Monday and Wednesday, but Tuesday morning I woke up and had to write something else. It may never see the light of day, but I wrote 2k in a brand new universe idea I have. It’s one of those “nobody is writing exactly what I want to read so I’ll do it” sort of projects.

Also, I spent some time organizing the sequel anthology to When Valor Must Hold. This one is going to include some huge names, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

More importantly for right now, I want to pass on the contest that we are doing in conjunction with FantaSci, where the anthology will be listed. The gist is where offering four slots to any aspiring writer and FantaSci will pick one as their winner, but you can find the details here: https://mailchi.mp/e0ad89095250/announcing-a-contest-for-writers-everywhere.

I hope to get a bunch of submissions. For now, though, I’m back to seeing if I can save Irina.

What I’m Listening To

“No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

It’s fascinating to me how well the Beastie Boys have stood up over the years. I wouldn’t have guessed that in the 80s, but I still love them.

Quote of the Week

My birthday is the 16th, which of course was the date of the first atomic bomb explosion in 1945. Most are familiar with Robert Oppenheimer’s quote from the day about becoming “death, the destroyer of worlds.” However I much prefer this quote by him:

“In battle, in forest, at the precipice in the mountains,
On the dark great sea, in the midst of javelins and arrows,
In sleep, in confusion, in the depths of shame,
The good deeds a man has done before defend him.”
– Robert Oppenheimer

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (130,662)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (7,378)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week only has one that I know of, Warrior Embraced by David Hallquist. This is the third in the Singularity War series. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Warrior-Embraced-Singularity-War-Book-ebook/dp/B08CZ85NFB/

Today’s Weight: 376.0

Updated Word Count: 81,833

Shijuren Wiki: 47 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

Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.

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