Tag Archives: Brief Is My Flame

Rob’s Update: Waving Towards the Clearing Sky

Week 8 of 2018

Greetings everyone, with a special shout out to all of those I added this week. Thanks for joining me here.

It was a busy week, highlighted by Planet Comicon. I had a great time, and it was my best year yet. You can find my full AAR at: http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=950.

One result from Planet Comicon is discovery of some more regional cons. You’ll see that I’ve added O Comic Con, an Omaha convention to my list. I’ve got several others I’m looking at in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Salina, and Hutchinson. Going to be a busy summer.

Sometimes the exhaustion of a busy con like Planet Comicon can help me think through things. I don’t have a solid number of words on Brief Is My Flame this week because I’m in the midst of switching something around. Basically, I had characters coming at something in one direction and that was fighting me. By flipping the direction, everything falls into place. The good news is that all the work I’ve done will go directly into None Call Me Mother.

I didn’t get a chance to do much writing on anything else. I did some work on the Wikis, but essentially this last week was about Planet Comicon and nothing else.

However, after I recover from a successful convention, I tend to get enthusiastic about where I am and what I’m doing. Sometimes writing is just a slog, but you gotta push through that. Not this week.

In fact, it’s time for me to get back to work.

Current Playlist Song: “Peaceable Kingdom” by Rush. Now Rush has effectively called it quits, but we thought that might be the case in the late 90s after a couple of tragedies made it so that Neil Peart didn’t want to play anymore. However, he came back and Rush gave us three brilliant albums: Vapor Trails, Snakes & Arrows, and Clockwork Angels. This one is from Vapor Trails.

Quote of the Week

Today is the birthday of Anthony Daniels. You might know him better as C-3PO. Here’s a quote from the man himself.

“I have a greater appreciation for kitchen appliances, having played one.” – Anthony Daniels

News and Works in Progress

  • TAV (1144)
  • AFS (2681)
  • Brief Is My Flame (?)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

Today’s spotlight is on a just released novel in the Four Horsemen Universe, Assassin by Kacey Ezell and Marisa Wolf. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YTRLFN/

Today’s Weight: 384.0

Updated Word Count: 14441

Shijuren Wiki: 738 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 159 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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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 Steaks Are High

Week 7 of 2018

Greetings all

I’m making my preparations for Planet Comicon. I hope to see all of you in the KC area there to join us. I’ll be at booth 2444, and it should be a great time. This is my third year there, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

There’s been a lot of navigating government websites this past week as I deal with state sales tax stuff. It always feels like a major accomplishment when I actually manage to get something tax related done. The behind the scenes stuff of being a writer is probably the worst thing.

Aside from imposter syndrome, which is endemic to us, I think.

Anyway, I got lots of stuff done on that side of things, as well as a goodly amount of writing. The breakthrough in Brief Is My Flame is coming, as I have my characters in places where things are bursting to happen.

I have also found out that I think I was a Jewish mother in a past life. I do most of the cooking around here, since I’m home writing during the day while my sweetie goes off to her 9 to 5 job. The only real problem is that I make too much food for her.

We didn’t do anything tonight for Valentine’s because she has a work project she is focused on and we decided to do something fun and whimsical when it’s complete. Still, I bought flowers and made steaks. However, I bought about three times the amount of steak she, I, and her daughter can eat. Yes, the steaks were high.

There are, I suppose, worse problems.

Current Playlist Song: This week’s song is the Olympic Theme, which is a fantastic song, actually.

Quote of the Week

Of course, the Winter Olympics are going on. I have them on in the background pretty much all the time. There are always great scenes of raw emotion as athletes give everything they got. Chloe Kim and Shaun White have been my favorites so far, as has the Matt Hamilton, the curler with the great mustache. Yeah, I love curling. It’s such a fun game to figure out the angles.

But the Winter Olympics are always defined for me by these words, from one of the most powerful moments in my life.

“Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”
– Al Michaels

News and Works in Progress

  • TAV (1144)
  • AFS (2681)
  • Brief Is My Flame (38567)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

As I inch closer to Brief Is My Flame, I have to start thinking cover art. Fortunately, Patrick McEvoy of http://www.megaflowgraphics.com/ has been a master at deciphering what I want from my strange clues.

Today’s Weight: 386.8

Updated Word Count: 13,335

Shijuren Wiki: 738 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 133 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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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: Adopted Strangers

Week 5 of 2018

It’s been an oddly productive week. Productive in the sense that I got quite a few things worked on, but odd because they don’t all mesh yet.

For example, at the beginning of the year a friend of mine had a brain aneurysm. I offered to tuckerize anyone who donated over a certain amount to help him. I was pleasantly surprised at the response, and I spent much of last week starting those scenes. None of them are included in my listing for Brief Is My Flame, as I don’t know where they’ll go yet. Some might show up in None Call Me Mother.

Also, I worked on an especially large entry on the Four Horsemen Wiki. The entry is here: http://mercenaryguild.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=CASPer. CASPer is an acronym for Combat Assault System, Personal, and they’re basically power armor. They’re the central weapon system in the Four Horsemen universe and that entry is large and detailed. It’s probably the single most important thing to create in that world’s wiki, but it took forever.

I also started another novel, though this one is not set in Shijuren. I’m aiming for December with it. It’ll be listed below under TAV.  I started one other project, at least in terms of laying out ideas. I’ll talk about that more next week.

All in all, a good week, but the true value won’t be readily apparent for some time.

In the meantime, I’m getting ready for the Super Bowl. Sort of. I’ve never been so unenthusiastic about a Super Bowl in my life.  I loathe both teams. I’m rooting for the Patriots because I despise them far less than I do the Eagles. When this matchup occurred previously in 2005, I at least had the opportunity to host a Super Bowl party. That’s not an option this year. I’ll watch it, and I’ll appreciate the game as the last real example of football for some time, but it’s hard to get fired up.

At least good draft scouting reports are starting to flow in. This year, they’re holding the NFL Draft in Dallas and I wonder if I can finagle a way to afford going.

We shall see.

Current Playlist Song: “Three Days” by Jane’s Addiction. This actually one of my top five favorite songs of all time. It’s about 11 minutes long, but I will listen to it over and over. This update’s title comes from a line in the song: “We choose no kin but adopted strangers.” This quote resonates with me, given the family I’ve accrued in the SCA and am starting to build in the writing world. I love those actually related to me, but I have been lucky in the strangers who have adopted me.

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote comes from John Madden, because few people put more enthusiasm into the game.

“If you win a Super Bowl before you’re fired, you’re a genius, and everyone listens to you. But a coach is just a guy whose best class in grammar school was recess and whose best class in high school was P.E. I never thought I was anything but a guy whose best class was P.E. “- John Madden

News and Works in Progress

  • TAV (1144)
  • Brief Is My Flame (34914)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

Today an author friend of mine passed his dissertation defense. Congratulations Dr. James Young! He also writes alternate history besides his normal naval history, and you can find his stuff on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/James-Young/e/B00AVKCQZQ/.

Today’s Weight: 387.0

Updated Word Count: 11970

Shijuren Wiki: 736 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 82 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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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: Only in Dying, Life

Week 4 of 2018

Greetings all

I have successfully made it back from ChattaCon. You can find my ChattaCon AAR here. The TL:DR version is that I really enjoy working with a number of writers and had lots of panels, but I don’t think I got enough value out of the cost of the trip. We’ll have to see about next year.

It’s good to get back. I don’t have any huge trips planned until Gulf Wars, though I am going to a few things. I’ll be at Clothier’s Seminar in a couple of weeks, then to Planet Comicon in KC in February.

Hopefully during that time we’ll see a change in the house situation. We’ll see. It cannot go on forever.

Still, I’m anticipating getting back into the rhythm of producing content and being a house-husband. I rather enjoy cooking, and I’ve hand fun playing around with new recipes.

One drawback of traveling is that it’s hard to eat well. I did my best at the Bird House, but overall I gained back about 5 pounds. I’m basically back where I started the year. Still, things could have been worse.

I’m adding two numbers below, just because I want to keep track of them. One is the number of articles on the Shijuren wiki, and the other is the number on the Four Horsemen wiki. I’m mostly doing this out of curiosity, but I know that Chris and Mark are anxious to see those numbers increase on the Four Horsemen wiki.

And speaking of that, after I send out this email, I’ll add some more entries. By the way, the Four Horsemen wiki is at: http://mercenaryguild.org/wiki/tiki-index.php.

Current Playlist Song: Saltarello Wascherschloss by Corvus Corax. Corvus Corax is one of those bands that plays medieval music with medieval instruments, but with an almost metal energy.

Quote of the Week

2018 has been rough for me, and I’m sad to see Ursula K. Le Guin passed. The Wizard of Earthsea was the book I latched onto after Lord of the Rings. I vividly remember finding it in my 6th grade library. I know it was 6th grade because I remember the library and it wasn’t the one I had in 5th nor the one I had in 7th.

Anyway, today’s quote comes from her, and I hope she’s enjoying its fruits.

“Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

News and Works in Progress

  • No short stories this week.
  • Brief Is My Flame (32437) There are actually some snippets flying around that will get added next week.

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

I mentioned last week that I’ll be in an anthology bringing back the Pussy Katnip characters. Here’s the first of four novels Brett Brooks has written so far in this universe: https://www.amazon.com/Red-Darkest-Color-Pussy-Katnip-ebook/dp/B01HJB3O1Y/

Today’s Weight: 389.0

Updated Word Count: 10704

Shijuren Wiki: 736 entries

Four Horsemen Wiki: 59 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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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

Brief Is My Flame Snippet

2018 is starting off hellishly, in terms of bad things happening. Even worse than last year.

I’ve been writing a bunch this week of characters that are based on people I know. Most of that is to help my friend Mar, who had a brain aneurysm on New Year’s Day.

This, this is not for that. It’s for someone else. Another fyrd brother who has days to live.

North Road, Svellheim

Somehow, a large drop of rain slid through the birch leaves, evaded Geirr’s hood, and landed on the tip of his nose. He woke with a start.

He stiffly rose and with only one slip to his knees in the morass that had once been dirt, he reached a birch tree and relieved himself. His cold hands fumbled with the string of his pants, but eventually he was able to get everything back together. He started back to his bedding when…

What that something rustling?

He stood motionless, ears seeking to hear something besides the next drop striking its target.

He was not reassured when he did not hear anything. He went to his sword, noticing that Thyri was already stringing her bow. He pointed at his ear without saying anything. She nodded.

“Jussi and Sveinn?” he whispered.

She shrugged.

They looked at Ansgar, who had awakened and was watching them silently, but not moving or trying to escape.

Geirr stared out into the rainy blackness. “I don’t like this.”

“Nor do I.”

“Cut him free,” he gestured at Ansgar.

Her eyebrows rose.

“This isn’t right.” He looked at Ansgar. “I’ll cut you free, but you must do as I say.”

“Aye, I’ll be doin’ that. I’s feelin’ something, too. Like one a’ them mountain wolves we’s havin’ in the Rueckenberge or worse.”

Suddenly, the darkness was split with a battle cry.

“That’s Sveinn!” cried Thyri.

“But which way?”

Then, just as suddenly, a bright light erupted down the hill.

“Ansgar, stay here!” Geirr sprang down the hill, sword in hand and shield at the ready.

Thyri followed, cursing the rain, again, but stringing her bow nonetheless.

After clearing the trees around the campsite, Geirr could see Jussi holding up a stone that was infused with some magic. The stone glittered, clearly some sort of quartz, and the light came out in rainbow beams. He held his sword in the other hand, but he was not being attacked at that precise moment.

Sveinn had charged into the two great creatures, thereby giving Jussi the time to pull out the lightstone.

Are those bears? Giant wolves? Geirr stop wondering what those creatures were to race towards the fight.

Sveinn chopped at one of the beasts with his favored sword, one that was almost as tall as he. Geirr could see water fly off both the blade and Sveinn’s beard as he twisted all of his sturdy form into the immensely powerful strike. The drops shimmered in Jussi’s light, glinting like diamonds.

The beast screamed in pain when the blow landed.

But it didn’t fall! How could anything not be slain by that? Geirr stopped wondering as he reached the nearest beast. It turned from Sveinn, swinging the back of its great paw.

The blow impacted on his shield and it shattered. Pieces of oak flew past Geirr’s head. He staggered at the power, but stabbed instinctively at the wolf-bear’s belly. His blade sank deep, and Geirr yanked it out with a twist.

But the wound simply enraged the beast. It smashed its clenched paw straight down at Geirr, who managed to escape most of the blow. It still hit his shoulder, and knocked him down.

The creature roared and stepped forward. An arrow sliced into the light to hit it in the chest. Another followed a breath later. The impact of Thyri’s arrows caused the creature to step back and give Geirr time to rise again.

Sveinn, meanwhile, had been knocked aside as well, but the tough huscarl bounced up with a lunge that went full into the beast’s chest. The wolf-bear shouted his anger and flung itself around. Sveinn had tried to hold onto his sword, but the creature’s twist sent him flying. Geirr heard a thud in the darkness as Sveinn landed.

Geirr stepped in with a quick slash at the creature’s knee. He did not follow through on the blow, as he had done earlier, but he did nick the wolf-bear and bounded out of the return swing. He stepped forward and nicked the other leg.

It seemed like the beast barely felt the wounds, but once again Geirr was able to step backward and avoid the creature’s swipe.

Three arrows in quick succession flew over his shoulder to impact in the wolf-bear that had tossed Sveinn away. Two sank next to Sveinn’s huge sword. One went deep into the creature’s roaring mouth. The creature stumbled off as it tried to catch its breath with an arrow in its throat.

Geirr jumped in again, just as he had done before, but this time instead of aiming a quick swipe at the creature’s legs, he swung at the arm descending upon him.

The impact knocked Geirr to the ground. He heard the sundering of his family’s water-patterned sword and saw the tip shine in Jussi’s light as it flew away.

The blow had hurt the creature though. Its arm dangled, barely attached at the elbow. It tried to pound Geirr with it and looked confused as it did not react properly.

Geirr pulled out his short knife, though he had no idea what he would do with it against that thing.

It stepped forward to swing its other paw. Geirr braced for the impact. An arrow whistled past his head to join the earlier pair.

The creature hesitated, but only for a second, and again Geirr braced as the paw descended upon him.

But the paw suddenly curved up as the beast bent backwards. Sveinn had staggered back and he was calmly twisting his own knife deep into the back of the creature’s knee.

He was covered in blood. A nasty knock on his head slid down his hair and his cheek, giving color once again to the beard that had long since started towards gray. The creature’s blood gushed over his arm as he twisted the knife.

The creature turned towards Sveinn, ripping the blade out of his hand and raking his claws along his hauberk. The iron ripped, and blood seeped through the mail. Sveinn fell back.

But Geirr finally saw what to do with his short blade. He jumped on the creature’s back and jammed it into its neck.

It rose in a roar, throwing Geirr off to the side.

He looked up with blurry eyes as three more arrows streaked in, but it was Geirr’s knife that did the trick, and the wolf-bear, clutching its throat, toppled over, landing on Sveinn’s legs.

Jussi rushed to Geirr.

“I’m fine.” He coughed. “Or at least I will be.”

“No you’re not,” spat Jussi.

“I’m fine enough,” repeated Geirr. “Just help me up.”

Dubiously, Jussi helped Geirr stagger to his feet.

“Now go look at Sveinn.”

“He’s not my lord.”

“No, he’s not. I am, and I tell you to go look at him,” snarled the Jarl of Skjaerdalen.

Startled, Jussi rushed off.

Geirr started towards Sveinn, but would have fallen if Thyri had not come up and caught him.

“Careful, Geirr. You’re not fine.”

Geirr stretched. “I think maybe a rib isn’t right. And my knee is wrenched.”

“You’ll have Woden’s own headache tomorrow.”

He touched his head where a lump was forming and grimaced. “Help me to Sveinn.”

Jussi had set the stone next to the huscarl and was fussing over him.

Sveinn watched with his normal relaxed expression as Geirr tottered up to them.

“How is he?”

Jussi snapped, “Let me work, boy.” He glanced at Thyri. “See if the two of you can push that creature off Sveinn’s ankle.”

It took Thyri gathering a largish stone and a fallen oak branch, plus garnering Ansgar’s help, to allow them to lever the creature off Sveinn.

His foot was twisted, the ankle obviously broken.

Sveinn glanced down. “Not seen it look like that before.”

Geirr barked a laugh at Sveinn’s dusty dry comment. “When’s the last time you let a wolf-bear thing fall on you.”

“Now that you’re sayin’, I don’t recall.”

“We need to get him, and you for that matter, back into some shelter,” said Jussi. “Thyri, you and Ansgar, carry him back to our campsite.” The older huscarl glared at Geirr. “And you, boy, you carry the lightstone. Try not to fall.”

Geirr nodded and followed quickly as he could. The others trudged, carefully, up to the campsite. Sveinn said nothing, but the pain of each step forced gasps out of his throat.

When they set Sveinn down, Jussi reached into a pouch and handed Thyri a small stone. She raised her eyebrows when she saw it. “We could have used a firestarter earlier.”

“We didn’t need a fire then,” snapped Jussi. “But we do now, so get it lit.”

She rapped the stone sharply on another rock, and then slid into the tinder and kindling that had earlier resisted all her previous attempts to light. Soon a fire blazed, hotter than normal, with steam rising off the wood.

By that point, Jussi leaned back, coughing. Thyri caught him before he fell into the fire.

“Sveinn?” asked Geirr.

He ignored him, and with fumbling hands, splinted Sveinn’s ankle.

“Sveinn?” repeated the jarl.

Jussi crawled to his bedroll. “He’ll need water. I’ll need food… when I wake.” Almost immediately, he fell asleep.

Geirr looked at Sveinn. “How do you feel?”

“Not my best, lord.” Sveinn said drowsily.

The jarl held up a waterskin, and Sveinn drank. Then, pushing it away, the huscarl nodded off.

“I’ll be back in a moment, lord.”

“Where are you going, Thyri?”

“I want to make sure the other one is actually dead.”

Geirr considered Ansgar. Then looked up at her. What was it? I’ve never seen the like.”

“Neither have I.” Thyri hesitated.

“But?”

“But I’ve heard of such creatures. They never come down to the North Road, though. They’re seen in the deep mountain valleys. Many ridges to the north and east. Not here.”

“Well, they are now. By all means, make sure it’s dead. We can’t have it attack other travelers.”

“Yes.” She slipped away.

Geirr tried to stay alert, but he too soon nodded off.

Thyri woke him with a soft hand to his shoulder. “Some guard you are, lord.”

“The worst,” agreed Geirr.

Ansgar chuckled. “That was certainly my chance.”

The jarl snorted. “You’ve had others.”

“Yes, lord. But I do what Eleonore says.”

“Or you’ll die.”

“I’d rather face whatever that was than her, iffin’ I hadn’t done as she said.”

Geirr shook his head as Thyri laid Sveinn’s sword next to him, the pommel close to his hand.

“So it was dead.”

“Yes. Though how it ever lived so long I’ll not know. It was about a mile down the road.”

“Did it attack anyone else?”

“No.” She paused. “I didn’t see anyone else.”

Geirr’s eyes widened. “No caravans? No travelers at all?”

Thyri shook her head.

“Over a mile or so of the North Road? Right now?”

“No, Jarl. Not a soul.”

“Something is terribly wrong.”

She nodded. “I’ll get more firewood.”

Rob’s Update: In the Bird House

Week 3 of 2018

It’s been a weird, and productive week. My original plan was to go to Meridies 40th Year, but the weather was not conducive. Instead, I found myself an AirBnB place called the Bird House near Dunlap, TN.

I’ve had a kitchen, plenty of food, and WiFi. Other than my sweetie, what more could I want?

I’ve been very productive this week, starting with finishing a short story entitled A Gift of Crimson and sending it to the editor. It’s kind of an odd balance between Raymond Chandler, Stan Lee, and J.K. Rowling as it’s for a buddy who’s bringing back Pussy Katnip, a series of superhero comics/stories from the 1930s. Maltese Falcon noir with anthropomorphic animals in a superhero world aimed at young adults. I had a lot of fun with it.

It was challenging too because he asked for shorter stories than normal, around 4000 words. This one ended at 3868. Go me. I’ll have more publishing details when I know exactly.

I made huge progress on the other side project this week. I’ve been building a Wiki for the Four Horsemen universe. You can find the Wiki here: http://mercenaryguild.org/wiki/tiki-index.php. It’s low on content right now, but I’ll be updating that consistenly.

I actually wanted to make sure I could talk about it on this post, which is why I decided to wait until this morning to actually send out my update. Thanks for your patience.

Well, I suppose I should get back to work. This is my last full day on the mountain and I should take advantage of it.

Current Playlist Song: Yngwie Malmsteen, “Flamenco Diablo.” Yngwie is an incredible guitarist, and does some amazing versions of works in classical and other genres, as well as metal.

Quote of the Week

As mentioned, this week has been odd. I’ve literally not left this little above garage mother-in-law type apartment since I got here on Saturday. I’ve had internet and phone, but it’s been… remote.

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
― W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

News and Works in Progress

  • A Gift of Crimson (3868)
  • Brief Is My Flame (30000s)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

Since I’m announcing the Four Horsemen Wiki, I suppose I should announce that tomorrow Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey will release the prequel in that universe, The Four Horsemen: Alpha Contracts.

Today’s Weight: 385.4 (from last week)

Updated Word Count: 6807

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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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 Star of Dogs

Week 2 of 2018

Greetings all

This week I’m on the road, and travel has been a little discombobulating. While I had planned to leave when I did, I had also planned to go through Fayetteville, AR to visit a friend. That would have worked out nicely.

However, one of my favorite dogs ever will probably get put down before I return from my current trip so I changed plans and went to see him. His name is Sirius, and he is the Star of Dogs. He’s been a great dog, always happy to see me, but this time he is in so much pain he can’t quite wag his tail properly. I’m glad to go see him and pet him one last time, but it was tough.

To get to him, I had to accelerate part of my schedule, meaning that I didn’t get much sleep on Tuesday night. Hence, when I reached Tupelo, MS, which was a reasonable stopping point, I basically ate something and passed out.

I’m now in Perry, GA, getting ready to go to Meridies 40th Year Celebration. Meridies is one of the kingdoms in the SCA, and I’ve a number of good friends here, so when I realized I could combine coming to this event and then go to ChattaCon next week, it was an easy choice.

My publishable word count won’t go up much this week, because I realized what I meant was “published.” I’ve got a short story that is complete and just needs editing, so that will jump the count up, but only when I send it out.

I made some progress on Brief Is My Flame last week, but I didn’t think to email me my progress email, so I don’t actually know how many words are written, and won’t until I return.

Tonight I’ll do some more work, watch the Shockers play if I can find the game, and get ready to sell all weekend long.

I’ll also think of Sirius and the great pets that have graced my life.

Current Playlist Song: “Wild Rover” – Dropkick Murphys. This seems an appropriate song for roving around Georgia this week.

Quote of the Week

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
—Charles M. Schulz

News and Works in Progress

  • DOR (3972)
  • Brief Is My Flame (28834)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

Today, Jason Cordova released Devastator, the sequel to his recently re-released novel Corruptor, tomorrow. I haven’t actually read Corruptor yet, but I read and loved Wraithkin. Also, if you like Kaiju fiction, he has a bunch of stuff about big lizards. You can find his stuff at: https://www.amazon.com/Jason-Cordova/e/B004CZHHPU/

Today’s Weight: 355.4

Updated Word Count: 1670

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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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: Love Alters Not

Week of 19 November – 2 December

Greetings all. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was wonderful in many ways. My sweetie and I cooked together and ate great food.

We also bought Zombie Munchkin and Mansions of Madness, which of course we played both. Munchkin is always fun, of course, so no surprise there.

Mansions of Madness, though, is a fantastic combination of technology and board gaming. The game is built around the app, which randomizes all sorts of things and exposes clues here and there as the players find them. It scales up and down to reflect the number of players in the game. Really neat design.

Also, it’s a collaborative game and perfect for a family to play together. In other words, it’s a game where all the players are on the same side trying to solve the mystery. I should say, it’s usually a collaborative game. It’s based around H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu stories, so characters can not only be killed by the monsters, they can also be driven mad. And when they’re driven mad, the players might end up having different victory conditions.

Yes, I won the game, all by myself, by knifing my proto-incipient step-daughter. Go Me! And my insanity 😀

The only thing that would have made Thanksgiving better was if I hadn’t gotten a nasty cough and cold. When I wasn’t cooking or playing a game, I was mostly a slug. I didn’t do much, though I pushed through a little writing.

I did have a chance to record a couple of episodes of Write Pack Radio. You can find us at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/write-pack-radio/id870221780?mt=2 and http://www.blogtalkradio.com/writepackradio. On Sunday the 10th, we’ll discuss the differences between writing fiction and non-fiction. On the 17th, we’ll talk about making characters.

Quote of the Week

Today I am in Kansas City, where I am officiating the wedding of some friends this afternoon. I based the ceremony around one of Shakespeare’s most quoted sonnets, so it seems right to quote from that sonnet today. Congratulations, Nicholas and Margaret.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.

– Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

News and Works in Progress

  • Brief Is My Flame. Making progress. Treachery, deceit, war, and an ancient horror are on the docket for today.

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

One of the other Write Pack members is Brad R. Cook. He writes a lot of steampunk, and I enjoy hearing his takes during our discussions. You can find his work at: https://www.amazon.com/Brad-R.-Cook/e/B01EQZ7GEM/.

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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Website: www.robhowell.org
Blog: www.robhowell.org/blog
Shijuren Wiki: http://www.shijuren.org/World+of+Shijuren+Home
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/robhowell.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhodri2112

Currently Available Works

A Lake Most Deep (Edward, Book 1)
The Eyes of a Doll (Edward, Book 2)
Where Now the Rider (Edward, Book 3)
I Am a Wondrous Thing (The Kreisens, Book 1)
Brief Is My Flame (The Kreisens, Book 2) Forthcoming 2017
None Call Me Mother (The Kreisens, Book 3) Forthcoming 2018

Weekly Update Archive

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Rob’s Update: Toys for Tots

Week of 12-18 November

Greetings all

It’s been a good week. Lots of work on Eleonore’s portion of Brief Is My Flame, which is always fun for me. She’s one of my favorite characters. The only real problem with her is not having too many words about her. There’s no real way to write a full novel just about her in this sequence, but I easily could.

One of the threads I’ve added that was not part of I Am a Wondrous Thing is Geirr Stronghair in Svellheim. He and Eleonore will have some interesting times together.

On a different note, I may have found a replacement for Brewbaker’s. If you recall, Brewbaker’s in the Kansas City area was a bar that proved especially comfortable and productive. There’s a barbecue place in Council Bluffs that may prove just as productive a spot.

And if it doesn’t turn out quite as well, I’ll somehow survive eating the ribs and pulled pork. And the brisket. Oh, the sausage balls are tasty too. It’s not quite B&C Creations in Wichita level of barbecue, but I’ll make do.

Tomorrow, I will head to Calontir’s Toys for Tots Tournament. It’s a great event because of all the toys we gather. Always over a thousand. It’s definitely a cool thing to have Marines come into a medieval-themed court and accept the toys formally. For those readers not coming, which is most of you, I ask that consider finding a Marine and giving him a new, unopened, and unwrapped toy. It’s a good cause in my opinion.

Well, I should get back to writing another battle scene. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.

Quote of the Week

One of the interesting things about writing is how much you have to honestly evaluate what you’re doing, and that’s hard. Imposter syndrome makes it hard to like what you’ve written sometimes, but at the same time each sentence is one of your babies. Don’t want to cut what is good, but nothing is good if you leave in the extra stuff.

Rush, of course, helps me when I’m fighting through some of this, so we get this week’s quote. I hear this song and then I remember to distance myself from myself when I look at what I’ve written. I should probably just put this song on repeat when I’m editing.

All puffed up with vanity
We see what we want to see
To the beautiful and the wise
The mirror always lies
– Rush, “War Paint”

News and Works in Progress

  • Brief Is My Flame, about 25k now
  • A short story about the meeting of Edward and Deor
  • A seeeekrit project that I’ll open up in December.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

Today, The Good, the Bad, and the Merc, the third collection of short stories in the Four Horsemen Universe was released into the wild. You can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Bad-Merc-Horsemen-Revelations-ebook/dp/B077H6H36M/

There’s a lot coming up in the Four Horsemen Universe and these three collections have a ton of background information and backstories. And, of course, my excellent story “Where Enemies Sit” in For a Few Credits More 😉

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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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Rob’s Update: In Flanders Field

Week of 5-11 November

I would like to begin by thanking every veteran or their service. I appreciate the gifts you have given to all of us. I especially want to thank the memories of my grandfathers, Edward Gay and Bob Howell, and my father John Howell, who all served in their time.

This has been a reasonably productive week as I get settled back in. Brief Is My Flame is finally starting to roll again, and I’m finally past the 20k word barrier.

I’m really enjoying where the story is going.

I also started a project I’ll talk about more in the future, but am not quite ready to put out there just yet.

Quote of the Week

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.   Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
– John McCrae

News and Works in Progress

  • Brief Is My Flame (about 20k)

Recent Blog Posts and Wiki Additions

  • Nothing yet, but you’ll see more Wiki additions over the next week.

Upcoming Events

Spotlight

Today’s spotlight is on a friend of mine who started writing in part to help him deal with his time in the service, J.R. Handley. He’s in For A Few Credits More and he’s got his own series of military SF. Check him out at: https://www.amazon.com/JR-Handley/e/B01N0SEX3A/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1510426976&sr=8-1

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
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels

Currently Available Works

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