Rob’s Update: The Wind-Swept Sky

Week 10 of 2018

Wow, what a week it has been. Since the last time we talked, I took my sweetie on a mini-vacation, wrote a bunch, and traveled many hundreds of miles. I sit at the moment in the Keg and Barrel in Hattiesburg, MS getting some work done.

The mini-vacation was excellent. We roamed around western Iowa, starting off with the Lucky Pig restaurant in Ogden. It was pretty darn tasty, and the pig was especially lucky since we had steaks.

Then we headed to the Hotel Pattee in Perry, IA. This place is awesome. It’s beautiful, with an excellent restaurant, and a pretty good, if limited bar. Each room is themed. We stay in the Welsh Room, which had a Dylan Thomas quote (not the one you expect) painted in both English and Welsh as well as a collection of his poetry. The furniture is all antiques, and there were a variety of Welsh-themed items like a framed version of “Men of Harlech” with both the lyrics and music.

We’ll be back. In fact, we should have stayed there the next night, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

We left the Hotel Pattee to go south to Winterset, which is the home of the Iowa Quilt Museum and John Wayne’s Birthplace. It also has a yarn store, a quilt store, some interesting antique places, and a great cafe. Well worth the time to spend a weekend there.

From that point we headed west towards Omaha. We stayed the night in Greenfield, but the Greenfield hotel was not what we hoped. The lobby and exterior are beautiful, and the room was a step above a motel, but it was essentially much like staying at a Motel 6, only about twice the price. Will not go back.

On the way back we stopped at what I call a Swiss restaurant. It’s Moreau Backerei and Pizzeria. A French name of a German bakery serving italian food is about the most Swiss thing ever. It was quite good. Will go back.

From there we headed home, with one side trip to Red Oak, IA. Red Oak is about an hour from Omaha, but there was a beautiful house that my sweetie thought might be worth that kind of a commute and we were able to get to see it. It is, indeed, a beautiful house, in our price range, and with all we want. Except a back yard. Probably won’t be our choice. Sigh.

Anyway, it was a great trip. We got back in time for me to do final preparations and some writing. I made a lot of progress, again writing about 10k words, though only a couple of thousand will show on the total for Brief Is My Flame as more keeps getting added to None Call Me Mother. As I get closer to finishing a draft for Brief Is My Flame, I’ll start organizing the leftovers and providing you a running total of None Call Me Mother. Expect that to start in April.

Now I’m in Hattiesburg, and tomorrow I’ll get on site for Gulf Wars. I set up my tent tomorrow. Saturday we set up Calontir Trim and my portion of the booth. Sunday through Saturday we sell, and then pack up on Sunday the 18th and leave.

In the past I’ve written quite a bit at wars, because I sit there with my laptop in the booth and write until people come up. I expect to be close to a final draft of Brief Is My Flame by the end of the week, with a goal to get it out by the end of the month.

With that, I’ll get back to writing… and trying local IPAs.

Current Playlist Song: None, since I’m sitting in a place that actually doesn’t really play music overhead. So, I’ll pick something I’ve heard recently. The first song on the trip was Chic’s “Le Freak.” Disco is a guilty pleasure. I grew up in the 70s. Sue me.

Quote of the Week

Any week is a good time for a Kipling quote, but after roaming and finding treasures in Iowa and now coming to an SCA war where there are always 15 seconds of magic that make the trip worthwhile just by themselves, this quote comes to mind:

“The wild hawk to the wind-swept sky,
The deer to the wholesome wold,
And the heart of a man to the heart of a maid,
As it was in the days of old.”
– Rudyard Kipling, “The Gipsy Trail”

News and Works in Progress

  • TAV (1144)
  • AFS (2681)
  • Brief Is My Flame (42,288)

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Today’s spotlight is on a guy I want to read more of, but have barely touched so far: Michael Scott Earle. He’s got quite a bit, with a pulp and early SF feel, and you can find his stuff at:

Today’s Weight: 384.8

Updated Word Count: 17,821

Shijuren Wiki: 740 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 187 entries

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

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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