Rob’s Update: Main Monkey Business

Week 28 of 2020

Greetings all

Things didn’t go exactly to plan this week, but in many ways that was a good thing. Since the stepdaughter-type creature moved in with her beau, we decided to condense my sweetie’s sewing, quilting, and weaving stuff.

Condense. Seems like an interesting word to use for stuff that fills 4 separate rooms. Ah, well, she’s worth it.

Anyway, that included a bunch of moving around of boxes, furniture, and all sorts of things. We’d been planning to have movers come in and do the work, but we sort of expected that would be down the road.

Instead, Mike Hammer Moving got us on the schedule on Wednesday and we were able to get nearly everything moved either to its new spot in the house or to the curb for the trash guys on Tuesday. What a wonderful thing. The house feels so much more empty and comfortable.

Side note: I did sort of chuckle at the movers’ name. There were no smoky alleys, no down-on-their-luck, treacherous hoodlums, no femme fatales. Heck, it was even sunny and bright on Wednesday.

Anyway, while I got all the way through Part 8 of None Call Me Mother, I didn’t get as much into the final battle as I’d hoped.

But the moving/cleaning/re-arranging was well worth it. I even improved my office, with the help of a new TV. Right now, I have a Cowboys game going on with Tengger Cavalry providing a soundtrack.

I also have a cat sitting on my monitor ledge, limiting my view of the monitor, but that’s to be expected around here.

I’m taking off today because I get to game again, but will be aiming to get Part 9 finished this week, or at least really close.

Have a great week, everyone.

What I’m Listening To

Rush’s Main Monkey Business. A tremendous instrumental from Snakes and Arrows.

Quote of the Week

Today is the 60th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird. I love both book and movie, but I have to admit Gregory Peck is so fantastic as Atticus Finch I can’t read the book without hearing his voice. And this is a great quote.

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
– Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (127,474)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (7,378)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Moved instead of blogged

Upcoming Events

  • 8 August, Olathe Writers Zoom Event
  • 3-7 September, DragonCon, Atlanta, GA
    https://www.dragoncon.org/
    CANCELED (Much sadness)
    There might be on-line things happening. Stay tuned.

New Releases

This week’s new Amazon orange tag recipient in the Four Horseman Universe is Jason Cordova’ Daughter of the Pride. Jason is a fantastic mil-SF author and I love his thread within the 4HU. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Pride-Guild-Wars-Book-ebook/dp/B08CK9Z1LP/

Also, I should mention Chris Kennedy has added  a new imprint. This one is called Quillcraft Press and it’s specifically for books by writers about writing. I don’t know the release date, but the first title will be Have Keyboard, Will Travel, by Bill Webb.

Today’s Weight: 378.4

Updated Word Count: 80,992

Shijuren Wiki: 39 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: Happy 4th To All

Week 27 of 2020

Greetings all

The big work this past week is closing in on the final draft of None Call Me Mother. There are nine parts to it, chosen very specifically as the readers will see when they read it. Seven are locked down. Eight is coming along, and nine is sketched out, though I have yet to really do the epilogue.

In other words, getting there. I know I keep saying it, but I’m trying to eliminate as many loose threads as possible. This is more challenging than I anticipated because I’m collecting threads from both I Am a Wondrous Thing and Brief Is My Flame. This is a disadvantage to being a pantser and I suspect one reason GRRM never finished the Song of Ice and Fire.

Anyway.

Today is July 4th and I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a happy holiday. My sweetie and I are not doing too much different, thought we are going to liberate a carpet from a floor and put down bamboo in the next few days.

Next week, I’ll be trying to finish these last two parts in None Call Me Mother and get that ready for the editor. Because of my delays in production, I have no idea when the editor will get a chance to look at it, so I don’t have a release, but I’m going with baby steps right now.

If I need to step away from that for a day, I’ll be throwing the initial words down for The Ravening of Wolves, the next Foresters 4HU novel. I need to get serious words going on that, though I know where I’m headed with it.

With that, I’m going to finish another chapter. Have a great and safe 4th.

What I’m Listening To

A perfectly appropriate song for the 4th, Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell. I came to Pantera late, long after Dimebag had been shot, but they’re a standard for me now.

Quote of the Week

I’m not going to paste the entire Declaration of Independence here, but I find it’s a useful thing to read every now and again, as is the Constitution and its amendments.

The text of the Declaration of Independence:
http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1776-1785/the-final-text-of-the-declaration-of-independence-july-4-1776.php

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (126,813)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (2,473)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

New Releases

(Note: I’m changing this to New Releases, in part because I know so many good authors now that I want to support, but also so I’m not constantly posting new releases on my social media. That would get annoying quickly.

Today’s Weight: 379.8

Updated Word Count: 80,206

Shijuren Wiki: 39 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 Ramblings: Portmanteau

(Note: Published first on Mad Genius Club at: https://madgeniusclub.com/2020/06/29/portmanteau-a-guest-post/. Thanks to them for letting me join them with a guest post.)

You might know that portmanteau is a great word, but do you know just how wondersational it really is?

In medieval French, portemanteau meant “the “court official who carried a prince’s mantle” as of about the 1540s. This is fairly easy to see. “Porte” is the imperative of porter, which means “to carry.” Hence we get porter. “Manteau” is simply mantle.

In other words, “Hey, you, go carry that cloak.”

In the 1580s, it shifted to the more modern meaning: “traveling case or bag for clothes and other necessaries.”

While that’s still a current meaning of the word, it’s the not the one I find most fun. My favorite meaning is, of course, the combining of parts of two or more words to form another. Motel is a mashing of motor and hotel, for example.

The technical definition of a portmanteau in linguistics is: a single morph that is analyzed as representing two (or more) underlying morphemes. This means words like starfish or foreshadowing are compounds using two full words are not actually portmanteaus.

Now that we’ve got the boring linguistics stuff out of the way, lets get to the true magic of the word.

Did you know you can say tigons, ligers, and bears and be right? A tigon is a male tiger crossed with a female lion. A male lion and a female tiger is, obviously, a liger.

How fun is that?

OK, maybe I’m easily amused.

I bet eating a turducken with a spork is really difficult, but maybe delicious with a Cambozola cheese on the side. That actually sounds really gouda… (Sorry, I can’t help making cheese puns, even if they are a non sequitur).

Did I mention easily amused?

Anyway…

Here’s a portmanteau you probably use quite often. “Velours” is French for velvet. “Crochet” is French for hook (which is useful to know if your sweetie crochets everything). However, if you attach one to the other, you get Velcro. (Attach. See what I did there?)

Very easily amused, am I. Very.

Unlike most words, we have a specific time when it was first applied to this usage. The first person to say portmanteau in this way was….

Wait for it…

Humpty Dumpty.

No, really. Totally was.

OK, fine, it was Lewis Carroll having good ole’ Hump (as he’s called by his friends) speak to Alice in Through the Looking Glass. He said, “You see it’s like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.”

“Slithy,” by the way, is a portmanteau: slimy and lithe. “Mimsy” is one too: miserable and flimsy.

Speaking of amusement, now I’m wondering how many of you will spend hours scouring Jabberwocky for all the portmanteaus you can find. Bwa ha, bwa ha ha. For mine is an evil laugh.

But here’s the best part of it all.

Now when you use your Garmin (Gary and Min founded the company) to find a motel in Texarkana (or somewhere in Eurasia) and then undo the velcro holding something in your luggage, you can now let your mind drift to Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll’s imagination.

And ain’t that spifftastic?

 

Rob’s Update: Some Other Beginning’s End

Week 26 of 2020

Greetings all

I’ve had a good couple of weeks since the con in Georgia.

Writing-wise, I wrote a draft of a really short story I’ll return to in July. It’s set in Shijuren, but centuries before the time of Edward and Irina. It’s for an anthology of flash-fiction I was invited to headline getting released in the fall from the Corner Scribblers. You can find some of their previous anthologies here: https://www.amazon.com/The-Corner-Scribblers/e/B082YQWLCZ.

Many thanks to them for inviting me.

I also made a major step in None Call Me Mother this week. I needed to split the various threads apart to make sure I had them working. This week, I re-assembled them and started editing them. I’ve finished 4 of 9 parts, though parts 7, 8, and 9 will need serious revision. Still, it’s an entire novel now.

I dabbled with another project. I don’t know if it will ever turn into a novel or anything, but it might. Right now, it’s just some scraps that are more coherent than most. I’m calling it Cynewulf and I’ll be playing with it every couple of weeks.

I also played around with a couple of snippets from The Ravening of Wolves, which is my tentative title for the sequel to The Feeding of Sorrows. Long way to go, but it’s started.

As for other projects, we’ve completed a bunch of stuff. We had a room that needed new trim and new casing. Thanks to a buddy of mine, it’s now finished and my sweetie is now arranging things.

Actually, the house is in the midst of a major shuffling. The step-daughter moved in with her boyfriend and we’re claiming her room as more space for the sweetie’s crafting stuff. That will probably be the sewing room, as opposed to the quilting room to one side or the sitting room with looms to the other.

Thank goodness we have a big house.

We’re really excited with what we’ll have when we’re done, but there’s lots to do, including replacing carpet in yet another room with bamboo. Fortunately, we’ve gotten pretty good at that.

Oh, and we had a major victory. We changed the front door deadbolt and handle assembly together without cussing at each other. Relationship win!!!

This week I’ll be working to get a full draft of None Call Me Mother finished. I doubt I will by next Friday, but it’s getting close enough it’s not out of the question.

Also, I’m trying to get back into a normal daily routine. These past months have sort of shifted me into a more withdrawn state, as I’m sure many can relate. However, between the con two weekends ago, major progress on None Call Me Mother, and ticking off projects around the house, I’m starting to build back up.

And with that, I’m off to drag some bricks into the house for a project.

Have a great week.

What I’m Listening To

“Closing Time” by Semisonic. Not a great song by any stretch, but enjoyable nonetheless because it does a great job of capturing that moment.

Quote of the Week

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
Closing Time, Semisonic

Yeah, it’s pithy. Yeah, it’s obvious and corny. Yet, for all that, it’s an easy sentiment to forget. Just because the good times have ended at one place doesn’t mean the next step in our lives won’t be better. Just gotta keep our chins up and make every day a step forward. Even a small step forward is useful.

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (121,212)
  • CB (8,418)
  • AOOE (1,030)
  • Cynewulf (2,473)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on Mel Todd. She just released a new book called My Luck, the first of a new series. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0893KQX8X.

Also, Ian J. Malone just released the second in his Mako Saga. It’s called Red Sky Dawning and you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BRB719G.

Today’s Weight: 381.4 (Note, the bad news is last time I accidentally typed 376 instead of 386. The good news is that I am still losing weight, and 381 is getting there.)

Updated Word Count: Will update next week

Shijuren Wiki: 34 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: Georgia On My Mind

Week 24 of 2020

Greetings all

I’m in Dalton, GA at ConFinement, the mini-convention to replace LibertyCon. It’s been fantastic to get out and see people. Since I’m on the road and lots of things are going on, this is a bit abbreviated.

And I’m clearly not the only one. We’re having a great time.

While it’s much, much smaller than LibertyCon, it’s been especially nice to actually get to talk to some people I’ve been aware of, but haven’t really gotten to konw.

I’m still making progress with None Call Me Mother. It is almost not vaporware. Finally.

Too much is going on here. Having a great time. Will talk more later.

What I’m Listening To

The Baen Road show is happening on the other side of the room. The Baen people talk about what’s coming, give out books, and generally have a hoot. Most LibertyCons I can’t go because I’m usually scheduled against it, so I’m really happy to to get to watch this time.

Quote of the Week

“There is one true way of writing, and it’s whatever helps you get words on the page.”
– Me, to many new writers. Keep writing everyone.

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother
  • CB (8,418)

Upcoming Events

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

Weekly Update: Time Keeps on Slippin’

Week 23 of 2020

Greetings all

Clearly, I have been losing track of days of late. It’s been four weeks since my last update and I barely even noticed. What have I been doing in the last month?

Glad you asked.

I wrote and sent off a short story for one thing. It’s to a publisher I’ve not worked with and I’m excited about the opportunity he gave me. Publication date hasn’t been set, and I can’t tell you much about it right now, but it’s a lot of fun.

I also made a lot of progress on None Call Me Mother. I know I’ve said that over and over, but it’s been tough sledding at times. This is the first time I’ve ever written a trilogy, and there are things I would definitely do differently. Of course, I’m a better writer than I was when I wrote I Am a Wondrous Thing, and I already do some of the things differently now out of habit.

I completed a number of small projects here and there. As I look around the house, we keep getting more and more done. Currently, we’re focusing on the back yard. Also, I keep adding a bit here, a bit there to get the Wiki back to its updated and improved form.

Also, I got interviewed by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. It’ll get published on Sunday and you’ll find it here when it goes live: https://www.nwaonline.com/features/whatsup/

The writer, Becca Martin-Brown, has been a buddy of mine for a long, wonderful time, so this is definitely a case of it’s good to have friends. I really appreciate her and this interview.

Next week I go off to a small mini-con designed to replace some of LibertyCon’s functionality. I am so looking forward to getting on the road again. I’m a wanderer by nature and it’s time.

Speaking of LibertyCon that wasn’t, this week sees the release of Give Me LibertyCon, the anthology including a bunch of big names written to celebrate the memory of Uncle Timmy with all the proceeds going to charity. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Give-Me-LibertyCon-Christopher-Woods-ebook/dp/B087H4BM3R/.

Well, that’s enough for now. I’ve got writing to do. And I’ll try to be more aware of the passage of time going forward.

What I’m Listening To

AC/DC Thunderstruck.

Side note: If these talent shows always had performances like this one that is sure to “brighten” your day, I’d watch them more often. Of course, this is *Australia’s* Got Talent…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO1bGlyHDNU

Quote of the Week

The song immediately after Thunderstruck was Steve Miller Band’s Fly Like an Eagle. How appropriate.

“Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future ”
– Steve Miller Band, Fly Like an Eagle

News and Works in Progress

  • None Call Me Mother (About 110k)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Sheesh, not a damn thing except adding items to the wiki.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on Give Me LibertyCon, an amazing anthology just released by Baen. Basically a bunch of big names decided to celebrate the memory of Uncle Timmy, founder of LibertyCon, with an anthology. Side note: The profits go to charity.
You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Give-Me-LibertyCon-Christopher-Woods-ebook/dp/B087H4BM3R/

Today’s Weight: 376.4

Updated Word Count: No clue, will pass that on next week

Shijuren Wiki: 33 entries (which actually includes probably more like 100 of the old pages as I have condensed a number of pages to make it easier to navigate).

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: 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

Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.

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