Rob’s Update: Sweet Memories

Week 4 of 2023

Greetings all


It’s been a very productive week here in Robville, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the cats are in control (especially Wynnifred).

Hunting the Hart is almost in the can. ARC Team readers can expect to get copies next week.

This is the fifth in Jon R. Osborne’s excellent Milesian Accords series and follows the adventures of Erin as she tries to save her love from getting hunted and killed. A curse has turned him into a stag, the mightiest in the forest and a prize for any hunter.

Plus, he’s got an ancient foe who’s come back to seek revenge.

The release date on this got pushed up because of convention schedules, so it’s coming out on February 21st! Yes, we know that’s only a month away, but we’ve been juggling art, editing, and all the details and didn’t want to announce a date before we knew it’d be ready.

Hunting the Hart comes out on February 21st. Spread the word thoughout the Dunwold.

I did a bunch of work on Bonds of Valor, too. It’s mostly in the can. One story I worked on came from Sarah Hoyt. All I can say is, wow, that woman can write. It’s one of the best short stories I’ve read in a long time. The only spoiler I’ll say is it’ll blow fans of Shakespeare away.

Here’s a good news/bad news thing. The bad news is that I’ve been wretched at dealing with slush submissions. I’ve routinely lost track of them for far too long.

The good news is I’ve revamped my process for these and the results look good. I at least went through a couple of the most egregious submissions and I’m on the way to catching up.

Still, I’ve owed a number of authors an apology, and I’m making good as best I can. I am sorry.

I made progress on The Eyes of a Doll too. I aim to be done with it in a couple of weeks. Given the juggling of a some deadlines, that’s ambitious, but I’m making progress.

I gave you all a bonus riddle last week that I thought of when I was driving home from MarsCon. Here’s the riddle:

Occidentally, I weave innocence

I’ll give you a few sections to think about it before giving you the answer in the Rob’s Riddles section below.

I also started a new Firehall Sagas short story, one that goes into a particular bit of history I mention in A Lake Most Deep. I’m in a race with a couple of other writers to finish it next week to go into Bonds of Valor.

I had an author have ongoing health issues that prevented them from providing the level of quality they expect, and time just ran out. It’s a shame when this happens, but it’s far more important that authors take care of themselves.

This is probably the most important thing I have to say this week. It’s true for everyone, of course, but if you’re a creator of anything, the most productive thing you can do is keep yourself healthy. No one writes their best stuff when they’ve got more important things to worry about.

With that, I better throw some words on the page.

What I’m Listening To

Right now it’s Lessons by Rush. It’s from side 2 of 2112, and it’s one of those hidden gems you get out of deep tracks. The opening is so smooth and strong.

Quote of the Week

So let’s have a quote from Lessons.

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
– Rush, Lessons

Rob’s Riddles

I have a Patreon where I write Old English style riddles and provide snippets of my work. You can find it here:, along with a sample riddle.

First Line of Next Riddle:

I have neither handle      nor spout, yet I am stout

Latest Snippet: Chapter 2 of Farewell, My Ugly

Bonus Riddle: Occidentally, I weave innocence

As I mentioned to one who commented on this, with a riddle of only 4 words, they all have to matter, except for I.

I used the basic meaning of “western” for occidentally here, not the more common usage of “western countries.”

Weave is here to give me a verb (yay verbs), but I chose it specifically for its letters.

Innocence and virginity are often intertwined in poetry.

Weave has W and V, and the riddle popped into my head while I was driving through West Virginia.

Yes, the part where I mentioned I wrote it on the drive back was also a clue.

So there you go. And yes, my mind is a little twisted and overly intricate. Who knew?

New Mythology Works in Progress

I’m pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 FantaSci Short Story Contest open call.

Bloodheart, by Justin Doyle
Stars and Shadows, by B.A. Ironwood
The Unwanted Legion, by Casey Moops
The Coward’s Shadow by Fiona Grey

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • Farewell, My Ugly (58,812)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)
  • The Wordbringer (1,274)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Coming out this week is Point Break,  book 3 in the Guardian Covenant. This is a joint mil SF project with Chris Kennedy and Kevin Ikenberry, so you know how good it has to be. Get it here:

Your pre-release this week is On a Cloudy Day, a new 4HU novel from Jason Cordova and Kevin Ikenberry. Get it here:

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 339.8

Updated Word Count: xxx,xxx

Firehall Sagas Archives: 742 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

Creator of the Firehall Sagas Universe

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