Rob’s Update: Tacos, Talons, & Talismans, Oh, My!

Week 38 of 2021

Greetings all

Tuesday! Yes, I mean the next one. October 5th. Talons & Talismans will be released to the public. There’s so much you’re gonna love in this and I can’t wait for you all to get a chance.

Talons and Talisman I
Talons and Talisman I

But what about tacos? Hey, I gave you the book. I suspect we all have our favorite taco place where you can get the tacos of your persuasion, pull out your copy of Talons & Talismans, and you’ll soon be in your happy place.

Speaking of happy places, I have just found out today is International Podcast Day. Happy Another Day of Being Awesome to Ian J. Malone, Kevin Steverson, and our awesome fans on Dudes on Hyperspace. I’ve been so pleased to be a part of this. Thanks for having me!

This was not my most productive week. I don’t often get sick, but Friday and Saturday were complete losses and much of Sunday. Feeling better and I’ve gotten lots done the last few days, but it’s catching up.

The big thing this week for me was to really get into gear with The Door Into Winter. I’m trying something new, and it’s a modicum of plotting. (Don’t fall over dead of shock, Quincy J. Allen). Actually, it’s more like Rich Weyand’s theory of river crossings.

Todd Fahnestock pointed me to the book Save the Cat Writes a Novel. Basically, it lays out 15 beats that all good novels need and this week I built myself a beat sheet for The Door Into Winter.

In one sense, I’m doing this to fix a particular thing. I always struggle getting from 50-75,000 words. Somewhere between there, I have a huge slowdown as I don’t know what to write. This will help.

In another, it’s because I’m getting close to leveling up again. In general, my way of doing things has been to jump in, screw up a lot, learn, get better, find new mistakes to make, get better. Lather, rinse, repeat until I feel like I can actually understand the thing enough for manuals and instruction stuff to be really effective for me.

One could say, it’s part of my transition from journeyman to master. I can’t really understand the stuff until I’m a journeyman but I can’t be a master without understanding the stuff. I’m in that point where I can work on that process with my writing, and it’s exciting.

Also, from a pantser’s perspective, this process is actually surprising useful so far. I’m simply jotting down ideas, and I can already tell nothing on the Beat Sheet is locked down. However, I have already realized how mutable and adjustable it is as I discover how I can make the novel better.

That’s why I’m a pantser, by the way. I always find ways to make a novel better during the writing process that can change my entire story. This allows for that, so I’m giving it a try.

Speaking of which, I’m going to go write!

What I’m Listening To

Happy people at Brewbakers. The music is wretched, but for some reason people seem to be really enjoying their conversations today. Honestly, that’s usually the case here, but for some reason it’s the dominant vibe I’m enjoying here today.

Quote of the Week

In honor of today’s international holiday, I’ve decided to give you a quote from Dudes in Hyperspace.

“Man, I totally screwed that up.”
– Me, in just about every show 🙂

There is, fortunately, a response every time.

“Don’t worry, I can edit that out.”
-Ian J. Malone, which is why my quotes are in the outtakes 🙂

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Have you downloaded your copy of Here There Be Giants? Five free micro-stories and you get signed up for the Eldros Legacy newsletter. You can find it here:

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

The House Between Worlds, fourth in Jon R. Osborne’s Milesian Accords series, goes out to advance readers this weekend. Email me at if you want to be a part of the advance team.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Door Into Winter (7,717)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have more great stuff in Charles Gannon’s Terran Republic universe entitled Watch the Skies. This is a braided novel that includes the great Gannon himself, Kacey Ezell, Kevin Ikenberry, and William Alan Webb, which is a heck of a lineup. You can find it here:

Out this week on audio is an anthology I contributed to, Gates of Hell. It’s another 4HU anthology and my story follows-up with Rick Blaine chasing down those who’ve attacked the Queen Elizabeth’s Own Foresters. You can find it on audio here:

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 332.0

Updated Word Count: 283,858

Shijuren Wiki: 797 entries

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

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

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