Rob’s Update: Into The Future

Week 30 of 2024

Greetings all

It’s been a good week here, and one that marks the passage of time. First, thanks to all who reached out to wish me a happy birthday. I do appreciate you all.

I got quite a bit done this week, though it was one of those weeks where no plan survives contact with the enemy.

For example, I had someone weed-eating and they kicked up a rock through one of my car windows. It’s fixed now with nothing out of pocket, so no big deal, just one of those things. Of course, that happened Friday afternoon as the wife and I were about to get on the road to an SCA event. With help, we frantically switched cars and, really, it all ended up fine.

Still, it took time. In fact, there was a lot going on this weekend. Appointments most days this week of one sort or another. Stuff that had to get done, and it all went really smoothly, for which I’m grateful. Anthony’s a cool place, and if you need tires, Joe at Pronto Tires bends over backwards to help us.

I got a lot of writing and work done, probably the most in quite a while despite all that, but none of it is finished and at least one project needs to be. In fact, I’ll be finishing it after I send this out.

Speaking of finishing, have you gotten your copy of Bureau 42 yet? It’s the new Four Horsemen anthology and it came out Friday. I’m really pleased with what Dan and I did with our story in there, and it’s feeding straight into The Feasting of Vengeance.

I Smell a Rat
I Smell a Rat

Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0D96DN6BY.

I actually made significant progress on that, though the numbers won’t show it. One reason is that I miscounted about 1000 words, having accidentally duplicated them. Another is some editing and smoothing of earlier chapters to fit with later stuff. Still, I think I’ll hit 40k next week and still aiming for the end of August.

I finished Ted Lasso this week. What an amazing show, and honestly it’s better as a whole than even the individual clips I’d seen. It ties together so well across all three seasons, which I find impressive. Can’t recommend it enough.

I also did a bunch of work around the building to get ready for Pennsic. I leave Wednesday morning, which means I have lots to do before getting on the road. As usual, I’m looking forward to it. It’s a cool thing where I get to work all day and enjoy myself in the evenings. I enjoy the second more when I know I’ve earned it.

But that’s enough for this week’s update. I’m a year farther into the future and I’ve got stuff to do!

What I’m Listening To

Over the Hills and Far Away. Not the song by Led Zeppelin, though I love that too, but rather, it’s this one: sharpe.fandom.com/wiki/Over_the_Hills_and_Far_Away.

Raise your hands if you’re surprised I love the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell and the BBC TV show with Sean Bean. Anyone? Bueller?

Quote of the Week

I’ve always been a wanderer, but not like this. Happy birthday to John Glenn, and thanks for being so curious.

“I suppose the one quality in an astronaut more powerful than any other is curiosity. They have to get some place nobody’s ever been.”
– John Glenn

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

Great treasures I hold, Trading past for present

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter Two of The Feasting of Vengeance.

Dragon’s Tidings

Check our website next week. We have a cool special thing about to happen!

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (34,799)
  • The Chivalric Orders (6,597)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have Bureau 42, the new anthology in the Four Horsemen Universe. Lots of great action as the Peacemakers deal with a host of cold cases.

In my case, Dan Bridgwater and I wrote a story with Rick Blaine on the trail of Kukuluki. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t go smoothly!

Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0D96DN6BY.

Your pre-release this week is more from Fred Hughes in his Prince of Britannia series. This book, number 9, is the conclusion of the first storyline! Get Prince Imperator here: amazon.com/dp/B0CYZ8Q92N.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 369.2lbs

Updated Word Count: 157,000

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Rob’s Update: Bureau 42

Week 29 of 2024

Greetings all

The exciting news this week is Bureau 42, the new anthology in the Four Horsemen Universe. Lots of great action as the Peacemakers deal with a host of cold cases.

In my case, Dan Bridgwater and I wrote a story with Rick Blaine on the trail of Kukuluki. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t go smoothly!

Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0D96DN6BY.

More news: I’m finished with the first pass of Responsibility of the Fleet, coming out on September 12th. Oh my goodness, the action in the second half of the story simply doesn’t let up. Great stuff!

I wrote a goodly amount this week, but to be honest, I got distracted by a story that has been pushing out of me for a while. Get the words on the page even if they’re not the ones you planned on.

Plus, I wrote I bunch of stuff for Okkorim this week, some of the most fun stuff I’ve ever created for a gaming world. I’m really excited about what it’ll turn out to be. Looks like I’m leveling up there as well.

We also made huge progress on my woodshop. I need to do work in it next week and you know what, I’ll be able to do so. Been a while since I could.

For now, have a great week everyone!

What I’m Listening To

Ted Lasso. The wife and a friend are spending a lot of the week at a big weaving conference in Wichita, so I decided to get the trial period of Apple TV to watch a show I’ve been looking forward to seeing for a while: Ted Lasso.

I’m 7 episodes in and it’s as brilliant as I’ve heard. It’s got that balance of comedy and heartwrenching moments of the best M*A*S*H episodes. It’s that good.

Quote of the Week

Happy birthday to E.B. White, born on this day in 1899. I’m sure glad he was because Charlotte’s Web was one of my favorite books growing up.

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
– E. B. White

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

Over and under Upside and downside

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter Two of The Feasting of Vengeance.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (34,791)
  • The Rattler Strikes (4,112)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week’s pre-release is Bureau 42, the new anthology in the Four Horsemen Universe. Lots of great action as the Peacemakers deal with a host of cold cases.

In my case, Dan Bridgwater and I wrote a story with Rick Blaine on the trail of Kukuluki. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t go smoothly!

Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0D96DN6BY.

This week we get more from John E. Siers in his excellent Lunar Free State series. I actually played a bit of hooky from reading fantasy to go through this series. In this one, Three Player Game, a new group of nations has joined the space race, and it’s going to upset the apple cart!. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0D76SLN6B.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 368.2lbs

Updated Word Count: 155,000

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Rob’s Update: When In The Course Of Human Events

Week 28 of 2024

Greetings all

Happy 4th of July to everyone! May you all have an excellent and safe holiday.

Anthony is fireworks mad, and they’ve been shooting them off for a week now. We get a nightly show out our windows, which is actually kinda neat. I like fireworks, and the SWMBO enjoys the lights, but the booms get to her. This means she gets to see them without all the sound.

I spent much of today setting up my woodshop (finally). It’s still a loooong way to go but progress is progress. In true American fashion, I have to run to the hardware store for specific parts.

Responsibility of the Fleet
Responsibility of the Fleet

I also made progress on Responsibility of the Fleet, by G. Scott Huggins. I’m chugging away and on the downward curve. I anticipate it’ll be back to Scott by the end of next week and then off to the editor after that.

The planned release date, by the way, is September 12th, and here’s the amazing cover by J. Caleb Designs.

This time, Responsibility faces demons at the end of the world. How can you not want to read that?

I made go progress on The Feasting of Vengeance too. Man, I love these characters. They, of course, hate me, given all the crap I put them through. Right now, Rhan’Kiial’Tala wouldn’t mind stomping me with his CASPer. I did the worst thing ever to him: he got a promotion.

I’m going through the open call submissions, though it’ll take time. I’ll keep everyone updated as I make decisions.

Speaking of open calls, CKP is having it’s own open calls for SF/space opera/mil SF novels and trilogies. Here are the details: chriskennedypublishing.com/ckp-open-submission-period/.

I also spent part of today writing out my plans for ChattaCon. In case you didn’t know, I’m the Toastmaster and man, am I excited about this honor. I hope everyone can come to ChattaCon in January. It’s the 50th one, after all.

Oh, and I’m cooking up something special for opening ceremonies. If you’re there, make a point of attending that for sure.

And with that, time to go enjoy the holiday! Have a great week, everyone.

What I’m Listening To

If Eternity Should Fail, one of the many great songs by Iron Maiden off their album Book of Souls. Some Maiden fans will consider this heresy, but I think it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done.

Quote of the Week

Can I quote anything but the Declaration of Independence today? Here’s a passage I think is really important but which often gets glossed over.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
– Declaration of Independence

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

Great treasures I hold, Trading past for present

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter Two of The Feasting of Vengeance.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Responsibility of the Fleet is the next release, but starting in October, you’re going to see the world of the Milesian Accords explode like the series of fireworks at the finale of the biggest fireworks display around. We’re very excited.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (33,245)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have more from the amazing Bill Fawcett and Casey Moores. It’s No Further, book 3 in their Blood and Armor series. This series is rapidly becoming a favorite, and you’re not going to want to miss it! There’s a new player in the arena that wants to wipe out the Kurdish Republic, but the peshmerga aren’t going down without a fight! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/product/B0D842YY8L.

Your pre-release this week is more from John E. Siers in his excellent Lunar Free State series. I actually played a bit of hooky from reading fantasy to go through this series. In this one, Three Player Game, a new group of nations has joined the space race, and it’s going to upset the apple cart!. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0D76SLN6B.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 369.6 lbs

Updated Word Count: 116,631

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Rob’s Update: Home is Where the Heat Is

Week 27 of 2024

Greetings all

i’m home from LibertyCon. What a great time, as always. Here’s my full AAR if you’re interested: robhowell.org/blog/?p=3534. The TL:DR version is basically that there’s never enough time to properly wallow in the great adopted family there.

The big announcement I made there was an upcoming series from Aaron Rosenberg. This man is ridiculously talented and has proven it in universes such as Star Trek, Stargate Atlantis, and Warhammer 40k. Now he brings us his own series, the BEO Files. You’re going to love them when the come out in spring/early summer of 2025.

Lots of stuff is percolating in the Milesian Accords as well. Jon R. Osborne is not only adding to his main line that starts with A Reluctant Druid, he’s joined by H.Y. Gregor and David Shadoin to bring two more threads into the universe. After that, who knows?

I’m going through the submissions and by the end of the summer, I hope to have similar announcements. Exciting times.

I’ve not done much this week, but of course, that was to be expected since I was LibertyCon and the travel back was grueling. I did get some writing done at the con, but not as much as I’d like.

Then, of course, the drive took it out of me. I’m basically back in the saddle now, but I’ve learned not to push it.

Next week, however, promises to be pretty productive as we roll into July 4th weekend. It is, however, hot! Of course, it’s always hot this time of year in southern Kansas, so it’s to be expected. Home is definitely where the heat is.

Have a great week everyone!

What I’m Listening To

Freebird. Need I say more? I suppose I do, actually, as it’s a live version that I love. I think the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert I saw in 2019 is the last show I’ve caught. I’m glad I got to see them. Another bucket list item.

Quote of the Week

June 27th is a bland day for birthdays, but a sad day for bassists as both John Entwhistle (2002) of the Who and Chris Squire (2015) of Yes died on this day. Two of the best to ever do it, and here’s a quote from one of these music legends.

“Being called a ‘music legend’ is a very funny thing. It’s nice to know that my work has been appreciated and that people have given me that status. On a personal level, however, I can’t think about it too much. It means a lot… but then it doesn’t.”
– Chris Squire

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

Great treasures I hold, Trading past for present

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter Two of The Feasting of Vengeance.

Dragon’s Tidings

We’ll be closed on July 4th but open on the 5th and 6th. Have a great holiday everyone!

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (29,799)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have the start of a new series, the Other Reaches, by A.J. Gordon and Peter J. Aldin. It’s entitled Iconic and you can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CW1HBPPS.

Your pre-release this week is more from the amazing Bill Fawcett and Casey Moores. It’s No Further, book 3 in their Blood and Armor series. This series is rapidly becoming one of my favorites, and you’re not going to want to miss it! There’s a new player in the arena that wants to wipe out the Kurdish Republic, but the peshmerga aren’t going down without a fight! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/product/B0D842YY8L.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 371.0lbs

Updated Word Count: 112,000

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

LibertyCon 2024 AAR

Greetings all!

I’m home from LibertyCon. As usual, it was the best of cons. It’s home. My biggest issue with LibertyCon is that I don’t have anywhere near enough time to catch up with everyone.

Before I get into that, I have to touch on the one true negative. The Marriott hotel was awful. I have a list of things they did badly, but suffice to say this: don’t stay there unless you have to.

But that just makes LibertyCon shine all the more. Despite the fact I know I’ll have issues with the hotel, I will stay there next year because that’s where LibertyCon is. I will go wherever LibertyCon ends up, no matter what, because the people who are a part of it are brilliant.

Let’s start with staff. It is the most organized convention around thanks to all these folks. Part of this is because so many of them have been doing it for decades. Of course they’re going to do well. They’re smart, skilled, and experienced.

However, that’s a thing in and of itself. I’ve worked in a number of organizations over the years and I’ve never seen a crew have less turnover from burnout. That suggests to me that not only do they want and enjoy what they’re doing, they process is made as easy as possible for them by the organization. They also like each other.

I’ve not seen every organization in existence, so I can’t say the LIbertyCon crew is unique, but it is unique in my experience.

In any case, my con started with a bang! William Joseph Roberts (Hillbilly) invited me to participate in the “It Came from the Trailer Park” panel which includes authors who’ve contributed to these anthologies.

Now, let me tell you, I had a lot of fun writing my story in the first one of these, but honestly, it’s been even more fun joining in on these panels. They are always a hoot! I got to riff with the Phil, Jenny, and Hillbilly who run the project and with Ian, Christopher, and a bunch of others who contributed.

And the fans! This panel was centered around the panel asking questions about their particular cryptid or monster and how rednecks would fight them. I won’t say all of the answers started with, “First, you make a roux…” but people left the panel contemplating Mothman recipes. Like one does.

As an added bonus, somebody brought Hillbilly a candy bar, the Flaming Anus chocolate bar. He loves hot stuff, so this was excellent, and perfectly appropriate given that it came in an outhouse.

I thought it surprisingly bland. Others had other opinions. I think everyone should bring Jenny Wren one. She was… um… amazed by it. We’ll go with that.

Anyway, I then spent much of the early afternoon writing and making some preparations for the party before opening ceremonies.

Side note: Opening ceremonies this time was the smooooothest I can ever recall, thanks to the amazing Kacey Ezell.

Anyway, after that, I went to one of the best panels I’ve ever been on: Worldbuilding for Epic Fantasy. You know the old line that if you can’t figure out the mug at the poker table, then you’re it? Well, I sorta felt like that here. The rest of the panel was Tim Akers (amazing), Dave Butler (amazing), Howard Andrew Jones (amazing), and Jon R. Osborne (amazing). What a lineup!

One of my favorite parts came when we talked about our foundational process. Tim talked about his background in theology, so he starts with the cosmos. Howard’s a classicist, so he looks at classical sources. I’m a medievalist, so I look at medieval ones. Jon looks at mythologies and religions, but on a less grand scale than Tim, and then there’s Dave, who’s extremely philosophical as well as brilliant.

That panel was the first of a long stretch. I went from that panel to cover the New Mythology portion of the CKP Year Ahead. We had a great audience for that, including a number of new faces.

However, at the time that started, I was supposed to be in the Author’s Alley, so I immediately ran back up to the Author’s Alley to set up. I’d prepositioned tanks near the Fulda Gap… err… my books near the area, so it went fairly quickly. I then spent until 11pm chatting with folks and selling a few books. Author’s Alley is nice even without selling, by the way, but it’s a bit of an oasis for actual conversations at times.

In any case, as I was hosting a party, my room was on the party floor. That meant I could stroll down a couple of rooms for a beverage and a bit of hanging out, but that didn’t last too long.

Saturday started with the Guest of Honor Brunch banquet. I always really enjoy it because again, I get to have actual conversations with a fairly random group of folks. I had a great table, as usual, and we talked about a huge variety of things. I suggest it to most people as it’s really good networking.

After that I did a Costco run to get food for the party. Chris had gotten the beer already, so I got ice as well. By 3pm, I’d basically laid out everything for the party that could be out of the refrigerator and arranged the room.

Then I was off to my reading alongside Dan Kemp. Neither of us expected anyone there as it was against the Baen Roadshow, but we actually had half a dozen. We both read from works in progress, mine being from The Feasting of Vengeance.

We had some time to chat after our readings before the panel ended, which was nice. I really enjoy chatting with Dan, who’s done a bunch of stuff in his life, but he’s often in a crowd so you don’t always get to hear him.

After that I rested for a bit, got dinner, and did the final preparations for our release party at 8pm. The party went great, I think. We were still going around 230am. I got about the right amount of food and drink. A little left over but not too much.

And there were chats! Lots and lots of chats. Good times for all of us, I think. If we hadn’t been on the party floor, I know we’d have gotten a noise complaint.

Side note: I really like how they do parties at LibertyCon. They put them all on the 3rd floor, which has only one wing of rooms. So it’s all concentrated there and can spill out into the hallway without issue. No noise complaint stuff either, plus there’s a bathroom in that hall to add to those in the rooms. Really, it’s nice just knowing that if you go onto 3rd after 8ish, you’ll find folks to hang out with.

Sunday was a slooooowwww day. I was supposed to go to the Kaffeeklatsch at 10am, but even though I kicked everyone out by 230am, I didn’t actually get to sleep until something like 5. Instead I rested and puttered. I did my book signing at 2pm, then put stuff in the car. By 6pm, I was at Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse with a crew having gotten nearly everything packed.

Then there was the Dead Dog party. This is always delightful, as it’s a chance for people to hang out again. For myself, I played a game of Munchkin with Brandy Hendren (con chair) and Matthew Fanny (who runs registration). I won and got to preen. Great time.

I think it’s interesting to note just how many people were there on Thursday and Sunday nights. These bookend nights aren’t needed to participate in the con, but they are brilliant opportunities to be with friends and this adopted family. It’s such a credit to the LibertyCon folks that there were literally hundreds of people on both nights choosing (in many cases, eagerly) to spend $100s in order to be a part of it.

And as I look back at this AAR, what jumps out to me is just how awesome it is to be in this crew. I never see everyone. In fact, I know Sarah and Daniel Hoyt were at LibertyCon but I literally never saw them. Not even in passing. Talk about ghosts in the night. Maybe Sarah needs to add LibertyCon to her list of places in the Tales of the Muses Darling series. Either way, this place is about awesome people.

Monday I drove home. It took a while. I took breaks. I got home eventually. That’s about all I can say, though I did enjoy listening to Path of the Fury by David Weber again. I always find that book funny because the tactical commander for the bad guys is named Howell and the main bad guy’s name is the same as someone who totally had spanking rights when I was young. I’ll not say the name, as I don’t want to ruin the mystery, but yeah, it’s an ironic connection. I would’ve liked that book anyway without that ironic connection, but more is more!

And with that, another LibertyCon is in the books. I’ve already committed to running a party at LibertyCon 2025.

See you there!

Rob’s Update: LibertyCon

Week 26 of 2024

Greetings all

I’m at LibertyCon after a I made a winding trip here. I caught the UFL championship game in St. Louis with some friends I haven’t seen in a while. Then I went to Townsend, TN, which is the Smoky Mountains, for some writing and recharge time. Then spent this morning with a leisurely drive on blue highways to Chattanooga. Honestly a delightful trip.

I got work done here and there. I’m approaching 30k in The Feasting of Vengeance. I was hoping to have more writing time today, but check in at the hotel did not go smoothly. Like a train wreck.

But I’m in my room now getting ready to head out and see folks! It’s good to be among my tribe. Because of that, it’s a short update, so you all have a great week.

I know I will. I’m at LibertyCon!

What I’m Listening To

Nothing except the hotel AC. It’s the first thing I do after I’ve gotten my stuff inside.

Quote of the Week

Happy 99th birthday to perhaps the greatest warrior in America’s history. Certainly, Audie Murphy is the most decorated.

He also suffered from his experiences, not only dealing with PTSD himself but also trying to help others, especially Korean and Vietnam vets, deal with coming home.

A true hero.

“No soldier ever really survives a war.”

– Audie Murphy

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

I am woven by wyrd My warp and weft tight on life’s loom

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter Two of The Feasting of Vengeance.

Dragon’s Tidings

If you’re at LibertyCon, hit me up! We’re offering a code for 20% off for those interested in quilting I talk to at the con.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Paladins of Valor is out! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CY9T4DHG/.

The Ruriksaga is out! Get this one here: amazon.com/dp/B0D35XF4RJ.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (29,231)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have a pre-release from A.J. Gordon and Peter J. Aldin. It’s entitled Iconic and it’s the start of their new series, the Outer Reaches. You can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CW1HBPPS.

Then we have three LibertyCon specials!

The Last Stand by Chris Kennedy and Kevin Ikenberry here: books2read.com/u/baB0La0.

Hunters & Hijinks by Nick Steverson and Melissa Olthoff here: books2read.com/u/mYQ2LP.

The Chimera Coup by Chris Nuttall here: books2read.com/u/bxrG6d.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 372.0 lbs

Updated Word Count: 110,000

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Rob’s Update: Dance Upon the Mountains

Week 25 of 2024

Greetings all

A Lake Most Deep
A Lake Most Deep

The big news this week is that A Lake Most Deep is on sale through tomorrow for $0.99! You won’t have a better chance to get it than now. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CCKVLPBL.

I won’t say it was my most productive week ever, but it was solid. I made progress in The Feasting of Vengeance, which is over 25k now. Not great progress, but hopefully I’ll boost that over the next week.

I’m also making progress on Responsibility of the Fleet, which is G. Scott Huggins’ next Endless Ocean book. One thing that happened is we finalized the cover art and it’s epic. We’ll have a cover reveal when we get closer to release date, which should be in August.

The wife was away at Lilies all week, so I’ve been eating and watching all the things I like that she doesn’t. Actually, the two of us are ships in the night this week as we’ll only touch base briefly on Saturday as I start my trek to LibertyCon.

Why am I leaving so early, you may ask. Glad you asked! I have a ticket to watch the inaugural UFL Championship Game. I’m bummed that my Battlehawks aren’t in it, but ‘ll get to hang out with a couple of dear friends I haven’t seen in ages.

Also, it’ll still be cool to watch live. Probably the closest thing I’ll ever get to going to the Super Bowl. Unless, of course, you all want to buy me a ticket and hotel rooms…

After that, I’m spending a couple days in Townsend, TN and aim to have a small writing retreat. I actually need to schedule a week off to do one for real. They’ve been really productive for me in the past. At the very least, I get to dance upon the Smoky Mountains for a couple of days.

I get to Chattanooga on Wednesday of next week, which is early. However, we’re throwing a party on Saturday night of LIbertyCon and I don’t want to have to rush around doing everything on Friday.

Should be a fun week and I can’t wait to see my LibertyCon buddies!

What I’m Listening To

All Good People from Yes. I love this song. It’s so weird and quirky. I like it so much I once actually built an RPGA dungeon around it.

Quote of the Week

Happy birthday to William Butler Yeats, one of my favorite poets. He was just so evocative, like in this passage.

“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.”
William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

I am woven by wyrd     My warp and weft tight on life’s loom

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter Two of The Feasting of Vengeance.

New Mythology Works in Progress

The open call is completed and man do I have a bunch to read! I got 15 submissions including one I’ve already decided to accept. I’ll tell you all who that is when the time comes.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (25,799)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have Devil’s Outpost by Chris Maddox. This is the second book in Chris’s Devil’s Choir series. Get it here:amazon.com/gp/product/B0D67MVPF9.

A Lake Most Deep is on sale through tomorrow for $0.99! You won’t have a better chance to get it than now. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CCKVLPBL.

Also on sale from CKP this week is The Moon and Beyond, which is book 1 of John Siers’ excellent Lunar Free State series. Trust me, it’s great. Get it here: amazon.com/gp/product/B097QMN7PJ.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 372.0 lbs

Updated Word Count: 109,075

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Rob’s Update: The Longest Day

Week 24 of 2024

Greetings all

Eighty years ago. Utah. Omaha. Gold. Juno. Sword. The names still linger in our memory. The tributes today are amazing.

Also amazing is the successful Starship launch from Space X. I have long looked at NASA and despaired of making it to the stars. Thanks to Elon Musk for pushing us down that road.

That being said, it’s been a down week here. Seasonal allergies/cold have knocked me back. Worse, they make it hard to sleep, so my brain’s been foggy. I got almost no writing and only a little editing done this week. I’m better today than I have been and if I get a good night’s sleep tonight, I think I’ll be able to rock and roll again tomorrow.

I did get a number of projects done this week that are ancillary or don’t require brainpower. Might as well do them when I simply can’t think up words.

But for now, I’m going to keep things short and sweet. Have a great week everyone.

What I’m Listening To

Karn Evil 9 by Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. I love the way this song trips off the tongue.

Quote of the Week

It’s almost impossible to imagine just what D-Day was like for those troops in the first wave. The opening scene of Saving Private Ryan was a glimpse. Then there’s things like this. Wow.

“They’re murdering us here. Let’s move inland and get murdered.”
Colonel Charles D. Canham, 116th Infantry Regiment commander, on Omaha Beach

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

I dash to and fro Daring dire perils

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter Two of The Feasting of Vengeance.

New Mythology Works in Progress

I’m pleased to announce New Mythology’s open call for novels and series. Here are the details: chriskennedypublishing.com/2024/04/25/new-mythology-open-call/.

Paladins of Valor is out! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CY9T4DHG/.

The Ruriksaga is out! Get this one here: amazon.com/dp/B0D35XF4RJ.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (20,486)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The Conqueror’s Promise, the third book in Chris Kennedy and Kacey Ezell’s amazing Ashes of Entecea series, is out!. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CW1HTN4M/.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 368.8lbs

Updated Word Count: 108,000

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Rob’s Update: Open Call Starting Soon

Postcard Front

Week 23 of 2024

Greetings all

A pretty productive week here despite taking some time off for Memorial Day. Once again, thanks to the memory of those who sacrificed for us all.

I’m over 20k on The Feasting of Vengeance and it’s still flowing smoothly. It’s a blast to write, will be just as much a blast to read with as many blasts, explosions, and rounds downrange as I can fit inside.

I Smell a Rat
I Smell a Rat

And there’s more in the Foresters saga coming! July 12th, we have Bureau 42, which includes I Smell a Rat by myself and Dan Bridgwater. Check out the amazing image Dan made using the cool cover art!

Also this week, I received Responsibility of the Fleet, book 3 in G. Scott Huggins’ excellent Endless Ocean series. I don’t have a firm release date, but I’m excited to see this amazing trilogy get finished. Don’t have the first two? Get them here: amazon.com/dp/B095CXTH85.

Postcard Front

I also spent this week catching up on some smaller projects. I’ve needed to update the cards I hand out at events, so here’s the front and back. As you can see, they’re much flashier than the Firehall Sagas cards I was handing out, plus it’s got all my relevant social media and Amazon details. I really like how they turned out.

I did a goodly amount of Okkorim work as well. By the way, there’s some special stuff coming out soon that I can’t wait to talk about from some folks you might already know. Exciting times!

Man, I’m enjoying having all this work. I’ve had times in my life where I didn’t have enough to do and I much prefer it this way.

Speaking of which, the open call for novel/trilogy submissions starts on Saturday! Send me stuff to read! Here are the details: chriskennedypublishing.com/2024/04/25/new-mythology-open-call/.

And with that, I wish you all a great week!

What I’m Listening To

Nothing, actually. I was only going to sit down and do a short task, so didn’t pop up my MP3 player, but got to doing things and didn’t notice until now.

Quote of the Week

Happy birthday to Mel Blanc! He’s be 116 today.

It’s amazing just how good Looney Tones really was. Great characters. Good stories. Images that remain with us.

“We didn’t make pictures for children. We didn’t make pictures for adults. We made them for ourselves”
– Mel Blanc

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

I dash to and fro     Daring dire perils

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

The current snippet is Chapter 1 of The Feasting of Vengeance.

New Mythology Works in Progress

I’m pleased to announce New Mythology’s open call for novels and series. Here are the details: chriskennedypublishing.com/2024/04/25/new-mythology-open-call/.

Paladins of Valor is out! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CY9T4DHG/.

The Ruriksaga is out! Get this one here: amazon.com/dp/B0D35XF4RJ.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (21,171)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

New stuff from Bill Fawcett and Casey Moores! It’s the second book in Bill’s Blood and Armor series called No Fail. Get it here:https://amazon.com/dp/B0D3VLLPB6.

Your pre-release this week is from Kacey Ezell and Chris Kennedy. It’s The Conqueror’s Promise, the third book in their amazing Ashes of Entecea series. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CW1HTN4M/.

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 372.0lbs

Updated Word Count: 107,439

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Rob’s Update: Though Poppies Blow

Week 22 of 2024

Greetings all

Whew! Balloon Fest was something else! We had a great time in the morning, but then the sun went past the building that shaded us and later on it got really hot. It might have only been 91 or so, but in the sun, and the fact nobody’s used to that heat yet, it was too much.

Balloon Fest
Balloon Fest

But it went well. I sold a reasonable number of books, but better yet, I told a bunch of folks about our quilt store. We did very nicely in the store, especially since as far as I could tell, all of them were first-time customers.

We sold a couple of sodas, which wasn’t worth the effort. We have them in the store, but people bought them from Higher Grounds who were next to me. Still, it was nice to be able to spread out for 16feet of table space.

I heard great things about the ESports tournament I set up. About 15 people played, they liked the prizes we got, and it went very well. Not bad for an idea I thought up literally on March 29th. We’ll do it again next year, but with advance planning and publicity. Hopefully, we’ll make it something cool for the region, not just Anthony.

Because of Balloon Fest, I didn’t have as many writing days as I’d hoped for, but I still got about 5k written. I started doing sprints again. I’ve finally figured out the new version of the Discord sprint bot that I installed on the New Mythology Press server, but it’ll take a bit for it to get instinctive again. The old way was much smoother. Ah, well, progress.

Ruriksaga
Ruriksaga

Speaking of progress, we had a great week of folks buying all of the Firehall Sagas, including the Ruriksaga. Thanks very much! Keep up the good work!

On that note, have a great long weekend.

What I’m Listening To

Cygnus X-1 by Rush. Wheeling around the galaxy on my ship the Rocinante. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Quote of the Week

This weekend is Memorial Day. This week’s quote is the entirety of In Flanders Field by John McCrae. Here’s his Wikipedia page, by the way, which talks about him writing the poem: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCrae.

This poem is special to me because my grandfather served in World War One at the age of 14. They knew he lied about his age to go overseas, but they couldn’t prove it, so they had him and all the others who did likewise assigned to the Forestry Corps. Their job was to cut down trees for trenches and do whatever else was needed. This included pulling wagons with dead and wounded.

Can you imagine? At 14? Yeeesh. Anyway, have a great Memorial Day everyone.

  In Flanders Fields
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

Rob’s Riddles

Like challenges? Think you’re smarter than me? Then see if you can answer my riddles!

You can find them by signing up for my Patreon here: patreon.com/rhodri2112. Not sure what I mean? Then check the sample riddle and see if you get the answer!

First Line of Current Riddle:

I am the killer of worlds and     Keeper of trust

Interestingly, I had more guesses than normal from this first line. All the guesses fit the first line, but none of them fit the rest of the riddle.

But wait, there’s more! You get new riddles on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, but on the other Tuesdays, you get snippets of works in progress.

This week’s snippet is Chapter 1 of The Feasting of Vengeance.

Dragon’s Tidings

We are closed on Monday for Memorial Day.

However, check out our Facebook page to see our first two graduates from our quilting class showing off their new quilts!

Also, check our website (www.reddragonquilts.com) for our May 30% off special!

New Mythology Works in Progress

I’m pleased to announce New Mythology’s open call for novels and series. Here are the details: chriskennedypublishing.com/2024/04/25/new-mythology-open-call/.

Paladins of Valor is out! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CY9T4DHG/.

The Ruriksaga is out! Get this one here: amazon.com/dp/B0D35XF4RJ.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (14,152)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have D.T. Read’s fifth book in her Seventh Shaman series, Trial by the Gods. It superbly blends Native American mythos with far future scifi. It’s one of a kind, and well worth giving a look! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0D46LXS5G/.

Your pre-release this week is from Bill Fawcett and Casey Moores! It’s the second book in Bill’s Blood and Armor series called No Fail. Get it here:

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 376.0lbs

Updated Word Count: 106,690

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

Opinions and fiction of person misplaced in time.

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