Tag Archives: The Ravening of Wolves

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: 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: 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 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