Rob’s Update: Under the Thumb

Week 4 of 2024

Greetings all

Was a bit of a dreary week this week because we’ve had mostly gray days. One drawback to the new building is its lack of insulation, so not only has it been gray, it’s been chilly inside.

My wife thinks it’s hilarious, though, as when we lived in Kansas City, I never wore sweaters at home. Now, I often do. She likes to knit, but she’d never make me one that I wouldn’t wear. Now she just taunts me with it a bit.

I spent much of this week helping not only write Okkorim stuff but assisting with G20, which is the newsletter that Luke Gygax puts out. If you’re part of his Patreon, you can see some of what I’ve written for his world, plus get other tidbits. His Patreon is here:

I did about 5,000 new words in Okkorim, plus started reading through the notes for The Ravening of Wolves.

I also made great strides with getting Paladins of Valor done. I feel odd a bit this year, as I feel like I’m really late. However, FantaSci is a month late, so I’m really exactly where I should be.

I did some reading this week too. I’ve been getting back to my roots, and currently I’m re-reading the Barsoom books from Edgar Rice Burroughs. Also, I spent a lazy afternoon re-reading The Ghost of Dibble Hollow. This was a book I read in 4th grade or so, one of the many things I pestered my parents about during the Scholastic Book days, and it was one of my favorites as a kid.

I hadn’t read it since the early 80s, at least, and I was a bit nervous that it might not have aged well. However, it’s still a great kids book, even if the editing of 1965 used different standards than I do nearly 60 years later. The book has action, mystery, suspense, rivalries, and of course, a ghost. I’m keeping it to read to the grandkid.

And hey, tonight, I’m going through making this newsletter under the thumb of viewers. A couple of writers who are on the New Mythology Discord joined me as I typed it up. I showed them my methods, and hopefully it’ll help them.

Really, it’s been another one of those weeks where I didn’t think I got much done, but in retrospect, we did a goodly amount.

And with that, I’m going to go introduce myself to the wife.

New and Cool

Did I mention G20 from Luke Gygax on Patreon? This month’s issue, edited by me, along with a lot of my content, comes out in a few days. Sign up here:

Quote of the Week

It’s been 7 years since Mary Tyler Moore passed, but I still love watching reruns of shows she’s in. Plus she provided all creators with a great quote here.

Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
– Mary Tyler Moore

Dragon’s Tidings

We had our first game night at the store. Sadly, as it was the first and the weather was wretched (cold, gray, and icy), we only got one person. However, I expect that’ll grow as we go along.

Every Monday night starting 5ish to 9ish.

Tonight, we’ve got the second session of the wife’s Beginning Quilting class. Also, we have some paper piercing classes coming. If you’re interested, check out our class schedule at:

New Mythology Works in Progress

I had an incredibly hard time choosing the winners of this year’s open call for Paladins of Valor. So many stories I wanted to publish, but here are the four I finally selected as the best.

  • Chris Hepler with High Water Mark
  • Nathan Balyeat with Welcome to Detroit
  • David Birdsall with The Passing of the Mantle
  • Chad Boyer with Apprentice in Trouble

I’ve edited all of these at this point, and I’m pleased to say they’re even better than I realized.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)
  • Okkorim (52,813)

Upcoming Events

Freebies and Cool Stuff

Step out of the shadows

Adventure, Horror, and Wonders in Space

New Releases

More 4HU awesomeness this week in Foiled Ambitions from John M. Olsen. This is the eleventh book in the Four Horsemen’s Phoenix Initiative. Get it here:

Your pre-release this week is Stolen Dreams from Dennis M. Myers, the 4th and final book in his Rise of the Automated Empire. Get it here:

Tracked Items

My Weight Today: 368.2lbs

Updated Word Count: 15,467

Firehall Sagas Archives: 758 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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