Rob’s Update: Farewell to Farewell

Week 39 of 2023

Greetings all

Farewell, Farewell, My Ugly!

Where Now the Rider
Where Now the Rider

For the first time in far too long, I finished a novel. In the last 6 full months, I only wrote about 34,000 words in that, plus a few here and there on other stuff. That’s really slow for me.

Farewell, My Ugly comes out on November 7th.

Before that, of course, we have Where Now the Rider, which comes out on Tuesday! Edward has to fulfill a promise, though no one wants him to dig under that particular stone.

Of course, we all know I had reasons for that, not excuses. Still, it’s nice to fell like I’m really getting back into the flow. I’m even more excited for once we get to a normal keel, which should be sometime in early 2024.

So we’ve got a while yet, but each week gets us farther along. Here are some pictures of where we’re at.

Multipurpose Room Before
Multipurpose Room Before
Multipurpose Room After
Multipurpose Room After

Let’s start with the multipurpose room. This will have classes, game nights, and temporary office space. The first picture is after we cleaned it out, and it needed cleaning, but before we put the subfloor down. The second is after the floor went in along with the new lighting. It went from a dreary room I didn’t like going into to a great place to do stuff. Perhaps my favorite transformation so far.

Quilt Store Pews
Quilt Store Pews 1
Quilt Store Pews 2
Quilt Store Pews 2

Now here are some pictures of the quilt store. When we bought this place, it was an open room filled with a bunch of pews. As you can see, we found great use for these. They stack nicely, and already had holes drilled to screw in place. They’re amazing shelves. By her calculation, we can put over 800 bolts on display at any given moment. That seems like a lot to me, but what do I know?

Quilt Store Front
Quilt Store Front
Bolts on Pews
Bolts on Pews

As you can see, stacking them works perfectly for bolts of cloth.

Then we get to a broader look at the room with a picture aimed toward the front. We’re adding all sorts of shelves and displays on the ends and up front, but this serves as the core.

Quilt Store Battleship Row
Quilt Store Battleship Row
Loom Goddess Assembling a Floor Model
Loom Goddess Assembling a Floor Model

Now to the important part of the room, which is opposite the stacked pews. I call this Battleship Row, though I suspect the wife has a different name for it. Speaking of the Loom Goddess, here she is assembling a floor model and telling me just what she thinks of me taking her picture.

In the back, you can see the longarm quilting machine, a sewing machine setup, then we have the big loom (the one that wouldn’t fit in the van), then another loom for making rugs. As mentioned, we’ll have other looms to try out, along with a variety of other toys along that front wall.
And we haven’t even talked about the side walkway. We’ll get to that eventually.
Front of Bookstore
Front of Bookstore

I suspect many of you have been curious about the bookstore. My side isn’t as organized yet, though by the end of next week it’ll be much closer. Here’s the front, where I have 3 sets of 4 shelves plus 2 on the end and a shorter one in the window. I’ll be adding endcaps to each of the 3 sets, probably where I put some of the small publishing displays.

SFF Books Getting Sorted
SFF Books Getting Sorted

Here’s a picture of the main wall of SF/F, along with horror and possibly mystery. This is just a start at getting all that alphabetized, and intermixed are new books plus books I’m keeping. For now, just getting this all sorted is a huge step.

I’m waiting on brackets to put up all the shelves. There’ll be 8 total 10ft long shelves here. The top is 12in wide for storage and fun displays. It’s to tall for me to reach easily, so it’s mostly just for flavor stuff. Yes, that’s a Munchkin figure as the first thing. Seems appropriate.
The next shelf down will likely be too tall for many readers, so again, that’ll be for displays. However, that leaves 60 linear feet of space, which should do for SF/F, at least for the moment.
By the way, some of you eagle-eyed folk might spot titles by friends. Again, this is a mass sort, and the books given to me by other indie/small press authors are going onto a bookshelf in the break room. The break room will serve as a place for those waiting on people shopping at the quilt store to relax. It’ll have comfy chairs, books, and a TV. Hopefully, they’ll check out some of your guys’ stuff.
This idea, by the way, comes from the quilt companies in Hamilton, MO, who have a storefront dedicated entirely to getting non-quilters a comfy place to wait. Pictures to come when we get this somewhat close to done.
Office and Counter
Office and Counter

Finally, at least for this set of pictures, is my desk and the counter of the store. Some friends might recognize the counter, which was made by some awesome people in Canada for their Pennsic set up. They decided it was too much, and I pounced. I think it’s an amazing piece of furniture and will proudly display their heraldry in my store.

Then there’s my desk. It’s a mess, but again, each day a few things get put into the right place. It’s a comfy, productive setup, so that part’s nice.
Through the open door is our shipping station and then also a small den for me to relax in (and watch football without disturbing the wife). Most importantly, it has a chair that serves equally well for naps and bediting. Bediting, by the way, is when I edit on my phone, and the small screen really helps me see stuff I don’t on the computer.

So that’s a small tour of the building so far. It’s exciting. Not as exciting as typing “The End,” but it’s up there.

What I’m Listening To

Empire of the Clouds, by Iron Maiden. It’s an epic song about the R101 airship disaster.

Happenings in Anthony

Fall Fest is in a couple of weeks.

Our team name in trivia this week was “Even Mom Don’t Know.” We did really well, actually, missing out by only one point.

Quote of the Week

On this day, in 935 (maybe 928), Wenceslas I was assassinated. This is the Good King Wenceslas and the events around his death are interesting to any writer. Also, there’s a picture of his skull used for a ceremony on the Wikipedia page here:,_Duke_of_Bohemia, and how cool is that?

Speaking of cool, here’s a link to Heather Dale’s version of the song, which is just amazing.

And here’s the 4th verse of the song, the one I like the best.

Sire, the night is darker now,
and the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how;
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page.
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
freeze thy blood less coldly.
Good King Wenceslas, Václav Alois Svoboda, translated by John Mason Neale

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 gave birth to an age in elementary fashion

Latest Snippet: Chapter 1 of The Eyes of a Doll.

New Mythology Works in Progress

I’m pleased to announce the 2024 FantaSci Short Story Contest. Get the details here:

Of note, this now includes our recent releases, so if you’re not sure what we’ve put out lately, you can go here and check.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • Ruriksaga (48,341)
  • Farewell, My Ugly (106,401)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

The Eyes of a Doll is live! Get it here:

This week’s pre-release brings us back to the amazing Salvage Title universe. It’s Alex Rath’s Tails of Revenge, and you can get it here:

D.T. Read’s Ganwold’s Child is out. This is not the next book in her excellent Seventh Shaman series, but is actually book one in the Sergey Chronicles. Get it here:

Your pre-release this week is

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 353.8

Updated Word Count: xxx,xxx

Firehall Sagas Archives: 743 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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