Tag Archives: Kevin Ikenberry

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: Over the Hump

Week 38 of 2023

Greetings all

Another productive week! Almost ready to send Farewell, My Ugly to the editor. Soooo  close.

Where Now the Rider
Where Now the Rider

First, I’m really excited about Where Now the Rider. It comes out on October 3rd, and is the 3rd of the Edward novels. In this one, Edward fulfills a promise made in A Lake Most Deep. Unfortunately, that promise involves asking questions most everyone thinks are better left forgotten. Edward ends up facing a foe who’s been plotting against Edward for far too long.

The ARC went out to the advance team this week, so if you’re on the team, check your inboxes. If you’re not on the advance team, but want to read new stuff before anyone else, drop me a line.

This is one of those “negative” writing weeks, in that I ended up with less words. However, somewhere around 85% of the story is polished so I’m getting there. Today, for example, I did my “that” search. I eliminate as many “thats” as I can, which ends up getting rid of a whole bunch of wasted verbiage. I did that for a couple other phrases/words that often just clog up the reading.

This is also the part where I’m starting to really love the story. I start with a cool idea, then I get to about 70k, and things get slow and boggy. Frustration sets in a bit as it’s tough. Then I get over the hump, and the story pops of the page again.

I’m at that point, which is always a great feeling.

Also close is the layout of the bookstore. By this time next week, I should have all the shelves constructed and start sorting books by category. Hopefully, next week, we’ll have a bunch of the layout of the quilt shop done. Also, might have our POS computers up.

What we did finish is the big multi-purpose room floor. It looks good. I’ll have pictures next week after we have the lighting redone. It has a dropped ceiling and we’re putting in 2x2ft LED panels that are really nice. We also put these in the AirBNB.

We aim to have the AirBNB ready at some point in October. We’ll be painting it next week, and might even have part of the floor done there too.

Progress, progress, progress.

What I’m Listening To

49ers v. Giants. Right now, the step-spawn is yelling at the TV.

Happenings in Anthony

I’m starting a new category this week, and that’s a local report from Anthony, KS.

We’ve started going to the Idle Hour’s Wednesday night trivia and half-price wings. Our name last week was, “We Don’t Have One.” This week it’s “We Still Don’t Know.” We’re doing okay, though it’s just the two of us and we have no clue about popular music. If you know popular stuff, come join us!

Speaking of trivia night, the city is hosting a trivia night on November 4th as a fundraiser. More details next week.

Quote of the Week

Today is Bill Murray’s birthday, and that’s a fact, Jack!

Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you’re donating blood.
– Bill Murray

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: patreon.com/rhodri2112, 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: chriskennedypublishing.com/2023/03/28/2024-fantasci-short-story-contest/.

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 (92,450)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Book 4 of Kevin Ikenberry’s Guardian Covenant series is out. It’s entitled Volunteer Fury and you can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CHZ14TWK.

The Eyes of a Doll is live! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CGMV3B91.

Your pre-release this week is D.T. Read’s Ganwold’s Child. This is not the next book in her excellent Seventh Shaman series, but is actually book one in the Sergey Chronicles. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0CJDLJ4H2.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 351.6

Updated Word Count: 212,924

Firehall Sagas Archives: 743 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: A Man, A Plan

Week 18 of 2023

Greetings all

I bet you all are tired of hearing stuff about the move. Good news we now start the last week of getting out of the old house. Yes, it’ll take months, many months, to fully organize the new place, but getting everything down to one house will be a huge victory.

One more week of bouncing up to Olathe or down to Anthony about once a day. That’s 3.5 hours each way, by the way. I’m ready to be done with it.

I’m also ready to really get back to proper work. We’ve been pushing through this move at warp speed, and I’m glad because I’d hate it if it really dragged. I mean, when I look at what we’ve done since April 11th, I have to say, it’s been impressive, especially since neither of us truly believed we’d get the house in Anthony until close actually happened.

We’re ecstatic about the new house and I daresay you’ll get some cool pictures as we get rooms and things organized. I’m hoping to have my main working area arranged by next Thursday and have a full week of work starting then.

I’ve been nibbling at Shadow, Ash, and Prophecy, book 2 of the 27 Kingdoms series by Trisha J. Wooldridge. I’m behind, but making progress. I hope to have that ready to publish at LibertyCon.

Partially, that’s because the art is done and it is awesome.

Anyway, I need to get back to packing. Have a great week everyone.

What I’m Listening To

La Villa Strangiato by Rush. Seems apt for my life right now. Intricate, amazing, and long.

Quote of the Week

A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.

In 1904, work on the Panama Canal started. I had the great pleasure of transiting the canal in 2016, and much of The Eyes of a Doll was written on that cruise, so here’s a quote by Teddy about the accomplishment.

“A finer body of men has never been gathered by any nation than the men who have done the work of building the Panama Canal; the conditions under which they have lived and have done their work have been better than in any similar work ever undertaken in the tropics; they have all felt an eager pride in their work; and they have made not only America but the whole world their debtors by what they have accomplished.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

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: patreon.com/rhodri2112, along with a sample riddle.

I apologize for the hiatus on the move. Back to full speed soon, hopefully next Monday. Thanks for everyone’s patience.

New Mythology Works in Progress

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)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have Hunters and Hijinks, a new Salvage Title novel by Nick Steverson and Melissa Olthoff. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0C3KVXYS6.

Also, it’s not a new release, but there’s a sale on The Last Stand, book 1 of the Guardian Covenant by Chris Kennedy and Kevin Ikenberry. Get it here: amazon.com/gp/product/B0BJNW843S. Get it for half off now!

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 352.4

Updated Word Count: 111,491

Firehall Sagas Archives: 737 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: Planet Comicon

Week 11 of 2023

Greetings all

Wynnifred On My Shoulder
Wynnifred On My Shoulder

My supervisor was looking over my shoulder all week.

She’s not a bad boss, but man, does she have to use her claws?

In any case, it’s been a solid week here. Good progress on Farewell, My Ugly. I’m now over 70,000. I had aimed at 80,000, but I think it’s going to run to about 100,000 after all. Oh, well. I should still have a full draft at the end of April.

I also wrote another femtostory for another anthology in the vein of Postcards From Mars. This one had a steampunk theme, and Cedar Sanderson gave me a great image as inspiration.

I call them femtostories because to me, a microstory is about 1000 words. These are 50. Picostory is probably more correct, but I think femto- sounds more fun.

If you want to see the image, I will put it up on my Patreon site on Monday along with a new snippet from Farewell, My Ugly.

Bonds of Valor
Bonds of Valor

The big thing this week is the cover reveal of Bonds of Valor. J. Caleb Studios did another excellent job, as you can see by this cover.

Take note of the amazing list of authors. It’s an incredible honor to work with such masters as Todd McCaffrey, Jody Lynn Nye, and Glen Cook.

This is another Black Company story, and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s so fun to publish these as that’s one of my favorite series.

By the way, many of these authors will be joining us on CKP YouTube on Tuesday, the 21st.  The YouTube link is: https://www.youtube.com/live/r4M0qkZWU4s.

I hope you’ll join us.

I also hope a bunch of you join us for the release of Bonds of Valor at FantaSci is about a week. Where has the time gone!

Side note, Sarah’s story is my favorite story I’ve had the pleasure to edit.

With that, I better go to bed. It’s going to be a long, exhausting weekend at Planet Comicon.

I can’t wait.

What I’m Listening To

My computer hum. I was chatting with Becca Gardner, who’s a great writer and an even better arranger of publicity. She’s really helped Todd Fahnestock, who’s also staying here for the con. However, she went off to do projects and I’m enjoying the white noise.

Quote of the Week

I love William Butler Yeats. He has such a vivid way of sending emotions through the reader with his poetry.  Here’s a quote I love. every fantasy author should know.

Seriously, how good is this?

“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

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: patreon.com/rhodri2112, along with a sample riddle.

First Line of Next Riddle:

I swirl and I swoop          Swiftly striking my prey

Latest Snippet: Chapter 3 of Farewell, My Ugly

New Mythology Works in Progress

Bonds of Valor comes out next Friday! Here’s the blurb:

A private eye saves his dead friend.

The Black Company deals with something fishy.

Deathmages, space mages, and forgotten magic.

It’s all here in fourteen stories of valor, heroism, and bonds that tie folk together, for good or ill. There are bonds of love, oaths to gods, and life-long friends.

Will the old, crusty worn-out veteran find his new partner just might be something? Will the knight learn humility from those who serve him? Will Indrajit and Fix restore the path of true love?

Or will the bonds between characters break under the pressure of evil wizards, ancient enemies, or massive dragons?

Come find out.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • Farewell, My Ugly (70,064)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

We have a new 4HU novel from Jason Cordova and Kevin Ikenberry entitled The Misfits. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BXWJGNDG.

And The Chimera Coup, book 1 of Christopher G. Nuttall’s amazing Heirs of Cataclysm series, is now out in audiobook. Get it here: books2read.com/u/bxrG6d.

Your pre-release this week is The Last Argonaut, by Ian J. Malone. I’ve been waiting for this warball novel in the Salvage Title universe for months! Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BYHP4RX2/.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 350.8

Updated Word Count: 106,969

Firehall Sagas Archives: 737 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: Carthago Delenda Est

Week X of 2023

Greetings all

No, that’s not a typo. It really is Week X of 2023, not just my template. Yes, I’m the guy who puts up a V and says “Five beers please.”

Ha! I slay me. And it matches this week’s quote.

Anyway. It’s been a huge week here, though you won’t see it in all the numbers. Lots of projects around here and the next couple of months are going to be something, let me tell you.

This past weekend was an SCA get together, a heraldic retreat. Yes, I’m into heraldry. I’m sure that’s shocking. We spent the week talk about charges, field divisions, ordinaries, and so much more. We also played Puns of Anarchy, which is perfect for heralds.

If you didn’t think I could get any geekier, well, there you go.

But more on that when the time comes. I did a bunch of work Farewell, My Ugly and I’ve just about pushed through a major snarl that I had to unravel. I’m pretty pleased about that. Only one more transition to go, really, and transitions are what truly slow me down.

Even with all the other stuff and the snarl, I ended up with over 5000 words written and a bunch of issues cleared up on the draft. I tend to mark things on my manuscript that I need to fix later or double check with XX. I found a bunch of those and fixed them. Go me.

I also did some editing on Where Now the Rider. My hope is to have both ready to go by the end of March, and I’m on track.

What I’m Listening To

A Marple mystery from the BBC. I love the fact that they occasionally show her reading Raymond Chandler novels.

Quote of the Week

Carthago delenda est!
– Cicero

It’s the anniversary of Rome’s victory over Carthage in the Battle of the Aegetes, which ended the first Punic War. Cato, famously, ended his speeches in the Senate with today’s quote, which means, “Carthage must be destroyed.”

It’s such a famous phrase, Wikipedia even has an article about it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est.

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: patreon.com/rhodri2112, along with a sample riddle.

First Line of Next Riddle (Coming March 13th):

Love have I waged                   War have I wooed

Latest Snippet: Chapter 3 of Farewell, My Ugly

New Mythology Works in Progress

Hunting the Hart is out!!! This is book 5 in the Milesian Accords by Jon R. Osborne, and here is it’s blurb:
Magic has returned to the world, but so has an ancient foe.

Erin Donnelly, descendant of Cu Chulainn and Champion of the Folk, searches for Nechtan—her lover cursed to live as a stag for a year and a day. Enlisting the aid of allies, Erin maintains a vigil, turning back hunters and predators who might harm Nechtan in the wilds of the magical otherworld.

But when Stangr Iron-skinned escapes his imprisonment in the River of Time, he has one thing on his mind—revenge on Nechtan. Stangr’s thirst for vengeance takes him from the Seelie courts of the otherworld to the windswept Great Plains.

Can Erin find Nechtan before Stangr tracks him down? Erin beat Giwargix the Dragon-Slayer, but can she defeat a jotunn-blooded Viking impervious to blades and bullets?

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • Farewell, My Ugly (65,545)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

D.T. Read’s Running from the Gods, book 4 in her Seventh Shaman series, is out this week. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BHCMKH2L.

Your pre-release this week is a new 4HU novel from Jason Cordova and Kevin Ikenberry entitled The Misfits. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BXWJGNDG.

And The Chimera Coup, book 1 of Christopher G. Nuttall’s amazing Heirs of Cataclysm series, is now out in audiobook. Get it here: books2read.com/u/bxrG6d.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 348.2

Updated Word Count: 106,104

Firehall Sagas Archives: 737 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: Groundhog’s Day

Week 5 of 2023

Greetings all

What a week! It was so busy, I’m going to have to a list.

  • Approved the cover for Hunting the Hart by Jon R. Osborne (Out February 21st).
  • Approved the cover for Bonds of Valor (Out March 24th).
  • Finished the manuscript for Bonds of Valor and sent to the copyeditor.
  • Did about a third of the new edits for The Eyes of a Doll.
  • Hosted a postrevel.
  • Wrote 2 riddles (and had my first correct guess, way to go David).
  • Read and responded an old slush submission.
  • Wrote about 3000 in a new Firehall Sagas short story.

Not too shabby.

I also taught my wife Call of Cthulhu, so she can play a lawyer as a hero.

Next week, Saturday, I’ll get the ARCs out to the Hunting the Hart ARC team. By the end of next week, I’ll be turning my eyes to Where Now the Rider.

I’ve been building new processes after the lessons of 2022, and man, have they been working.

Speaking of which, I’m going to go edit some more. Have a great week.

What I’m Listening To

The sound of a mechanical keyboard. I’m getting to this update a little late after a long day of work and family stuff.

Quote of the Week

In 1141, Empress Matilda defeated King Stephen I at Lincoln. This is a good reason to quote from the Cadfael series, and I really don’t even need a reason, as it’s a great series of books. The BBC versions with Derek Jacobi are excellent too.

“Whatever the rights or wrongs of their affection, in the teeth of danger and despair love is entitled to speak its mind, and all others should be blind and deaf.”
Ellis Peters, The Hermit of Eyton Forest

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: patreon.com/rhodri2112, along with a sample riddle.

First Line of Next Riddle (Coming Feb. 13th)

I live in the ground                   but my greatest is high above

Congrats to David for guessing the riddle from January 23rd. Great job.

Latest Snippet: Chapter 1 of Hunting the Hart, by Jon R. Osborne.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Hunting the Hart is the next new release. This is book 5 in the Milesian Accords by Jon R. Osborne, and here is it’s blurb:
Magic has returned to the world, but so has an ancient foe.

Erin Donnelly, descendant of Cu Chulainn and Champion of the Folk, searches for Nechtan—her lover cursed to live as a stag for a year and a day. Enlisting the aid of allies, Erin maintains a vigil, turning back hunters and predators who might harm Nechtan in the wilds of the magical otherworld.

But when Stangr Iron-skinned escapes his imprisonment in the River of Time, he has one thing on his mind—revenge on Nechtan. Stangr’s thirst for vengeance takes him from the Seelie courts of the otherworld to the windswept Great Plains.

Can Erin find Nechtan before Stangr tracks him down? Erin beat Giwargix the Dragon-Slayer, but can she defeat a jotunn-blooded Viking impervious to blades and bullets?

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 (3,082)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

We have new 4HU goodness with On a Cloudy Day from Jason Cordova and Kevin Ikenberry. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BT11JHWK.

Your pre-release this week is Prince: Peacemaker, book 4 in the Prince of Britannia Series by Fred Hughes. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BTL4NFLC.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 340.8

Updated Word Count: 59,622

Firehall Sagas Archives: 742 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: Sweet Memories

Week 4 of 2023

Greetings all

Wynnifred
Wynnifred

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: patreon.com/rhodri2112, 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: amazon.com/dp/B0BSMLDQ27.

Your pre-release this week is On a Cloudy Day, a new 4HU novel from Jason Cordova and Kevin Ikenberry. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BT11JHWK.

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 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: A Dream Within a Dream

Week 3 of 2023

Greetings all

I’m back from MarsCon! It was as good a time as one could have with insomnia. I mean, if I’m going to stay up to 5 and 6am, I want to have at least been out reveling, but sadly that wasn’t the case.

The con itself was excellent. I got to hang out with too many great people to name. Probably the best part was going over New Mythology plans with Chris Kennedy. We’ve got a goodly amount coming down the pike. I’ll get into that in a moment.

I was on 6 panels, which is a great load from my perspective. I moderated panels on Food and Drink in SF/F and then one on the other jobs authors have had. Let’s just say this one turned fowl thanks to Kelly Grayson and Mark  Wandrey.

I was also on a panel of CKP upcoming stuff. There’s a lot. Just saying.

Then there were panels on Advice for the Late Bloomer, Researching for your Story, Creating Alternate World Histories, and “I Got a Great Idea For a Book.” Good stuff.

Back stuff coming down the pike, let’s talk about Hunting the Hart, the fifth book in Jon R. Osborne’s Milesian Accords. It actually went to the editor today and I’ll have a firm release date next week, but it’ll be out soon.

I did some work on The Eyes of a Doll for the re-edits. By the way, if you want the old versions for nostalgia’s sake, I’m going to pull them down next week, I think.

I got feedback on the new version of A Lake Most Deep and it was very positive. I’ve a couple of things to clear up, but it’s basically ready to go when the time comes.

I’m almost ready to send Bonds of Valor to the editor. That’ll happen next week. Cover reveal will happen in mid to late February. Once again, I’m honored to get to work with such talented authors.

It’s interesting. There are weeks where I think I got almost nothing done but look up and see a bunch of stuff. This was one of those weeks, and I know I didn’t do as much as some because I’m always a bit slow coming back from a trip. Still, I’m quite pleased in retrospect. Now, off to do some more editing.

What I’m Listening To

Tai Shan, by Rush. I know a lot of Rush fans get down on this song and it’s often chosen as one of their worst. That may be true, but I really like it.

Quote of the Week

Today’s a great day for birthdays, but in the end, the choice was easy. Happy birthday to Edgar Allen Poe, and here’s one of my favorite poems of his. It is, by the way, without any ravens.

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand–
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep–while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

– Edgar Allen Poe, A Dream within a Dream.

Rob’s Riddles

I have a new Patreon where I write Old English style riddles and provide snippets of my work.

You can find it here: patreon.com/rhodri2112, along with a sample riddle.

First Line of Next Riddle:

In me souls are seen     And once were stolen

Latest Snippet: Chapter 2 of Farewell, My Ugly

Plus a bonus riddle! I thought of this one while on the drive back from MarsCon. By the way, it’s just one line total, so here is the whole riddle. I think this one is really easy, but your mileage may vary.

Occidentally, I weave innocence

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)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have is book 5 in William S. Frisbee, Jr.’s Last Marines series, Genocide of Mankind. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BS443W6S/.

Your pre-release 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: amazon.com/dp/B0BSMLDQ27.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 342.0 (I didn’t quite make it. I’d been aiming to stay under 340 with all of the holidays, travel, and events. I’d have made it, I think, if I’d slept better at MarsCon. Still, it’s not as bad as it could have been).

Updated Word Count: 29,234

Firehall Sagas Archives: 737 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: On to Kris Kinder

Week 50 of 2022

Greetings all

December always brings so much fun stuff. Family, holidays, good eating. It also brings one of my favorite events in the SCA, Kris Kinder Market. It’s a time to sell, chat, and hang out with friends. I’ll be there this weekend, and as usual, be hosting the postrevel afterward.

I’ve spent the week cleaning and recovering, as well as catching up. Midwest GameFest was amazing. I sold far more than I expected, which is nice. I also met a number of local folk, and for the first time, am looking forward to gaming here in town. I even joined the Role-Playing Guild of KC.

Well worth the time, though it was grueling. Closing time was a little flexible, any time after 8pm. Opening was 10am on Thursday, and 8am on the other days. Add on a 40-minute drive each way and those were long days.

I had a couple volunteers to help some (thanks guys!), but really, they can’t sell my books like I can.

Knowing the long hours, being unsure of traffic flow, and having electricity meant I brought my laptop and set up like I would at Pennsic. I did get some writing done, more editing, and a number of emails, but the traffic was so constant I got far less of that sort of work done than anticipated.

That’s a good thing.

But I’ve needed to rest some this week. It’s been a productive week, but it has been slower than normal. It’s been the kind of week where I do a bit here, a bit there, mostly to keep myself going. For example, I got 1300 words written yesterday, but it was 100 here, 200 there between other projects.

Speaking of other projects. Pandora’s Box has done extremely well on pre-order. Thanks to all who have already gotten it, and for those who haven’t started the Heirs of Cataclysm series by Christopher G. Nuttall, you’re in for a treat when you do.

One of the other things I’ve been focused on this week is reading submissions for Bonds of Valor. Because GameFest ran started on the 1st and because I’ve gotten a lot of good submissions, I’m still a bit behind. I’m working my way through things and hope to have everything sorted and the winners announced next Thursday at the latest.

It’s going to be a hard choice. Thanks to all who submitted for their patience.

With that, I better get back to work. These stories aren’t going to read themselves.

What I’m Listening To

Rush’s 2112. There’s something here that’s strong as life. I know that it will reach you.

Quote of the Week

There are a ton of interesting people born on the 8th, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Sam Kinison, Kim Basinger and more. I chose one who’s older than most, Horace. Here’s a quote you know, at least, you know the first part.

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

(Sieze the day, trusting as little as possible in tomorrow.)

– Quintus Horatius Flaccus

Dudes In Hyperspace

Follow the Dudes In Hyperspace here:
bleav.com/shows/the-dudes-in-hyperspace-podcast/

The latest show includes a thankful ramble through the minds of three strange dudes. Tonight, we record an important episode.

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Currently available:

Get all the Eldros Legacy novels at: amazon.com/dp/B09Z9WVKYV

New Mythology Works in Progress

2023 FantaSci Short Story Contest has ended. Judging is still in progress and the winners will be announced next week.

Current Schedule of New Mythology Press

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • Sowing Spring’s Wrath (3,213)
  • Farewell, My Ugly (58,812)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)

Upcoming Events

  • Kris Kinder Market, 9 December, Independence, MO
  • MarsCon, 13-15 January, Virginia Beach, VA, marscon.net/wp/
  • Planet Comicon, 17-19 March, Kansas City, MO, planetcomicon.com/

New Releases

William S. Frisbee, Jr’s Revolution Calling is out this week. This is book 4 in his Last Marines series. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/product/B0BNMGNQ46.

Again, we have 2 pre-releases this week.

First is Vortex Stingray, book 2 in the Covenant series by Kevin Ikenberry and Chris Kennedy. This particular book is Pacific Rim-style mechs by Kevin on his own. Breaking news: Kevin does everything well. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BPCT7MQS.

And then, of course, we have Pandora’s Box from Christopher G. Nuttall. This is book 2 in his Heirs of Cataclysm series. You can get that one here: amazon.com/dp/B0BNPQ61DX.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 332.2

Updated Word Count: 425,697

Eldros Legacy Archives: 813 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: Moving On Up

Week 44 of 2022

Greetings all

I teased last week about some changes. The first, and biggest change around here is that the Eldros Legacy is moving on up to from its own publishing house. They’re taking that franchise to a new level.

I said, “they’re” because I’m opting out, however. This is because I simply can’t be a major force in two publishing houses and still write my own stuff. I’m proud of what we’ve done, but there’s not enough time in the day.

So, we’re slicing Shijuren out of the Eldros Legacy to become, once again, it’s own setting.

This will, not surprisingly, require more than a bunch of fiddling, but the basic TL:DR version is that they’re building something cool, and I’m building something cool, but we’re building two different things.

This is one reason why, as I mentioned last week, I’m freshening up A Lake Most Deep. In fact, I’ll be freshening up all seven of the Shijuren novels and all the short stories as well. Got one of those edited this week, in fact.

I’m also going to rename the universe. Shijuren will stay, but instead of The World of Shijuren, I long ago realized I need a much stronger universe name. Here are the four I’m considering at the moment:

  • The Kolossoi Chronicles
  • The Firehall Sagas
  • The Reckoning
  • The Wyrdlinga

If you like any of these, let me know. If you don’t like any of these, especially let me know.

This is part of a new branding for the universe. One of the things I did very poorly as a new writer is think about branding. Well, that’s not entirely true. That implies I actually thought about branding, which I did not. I scrambled to do some of that as time went on, and in the process of making the Eldros Legacy, I learned a ton about branding. With this split, I have the opportunity to, essentially, start from scratch.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be creating a world logo, setting up a particular style for all the covers, and getting it all arranged to reflect many of the lessons I’ve learned over the years.

I’m incredibly excited about that, by the way. As I mentioned last week, I’m loving going back through A Lake Most Deep again. It’s a fun story, and now that I know more of what I’m doing, I’m excited to see where I can take it.

It was either Clarke or Asimov who said something like, you only know what you’re doing after the first million words. Well, I exceeded that a while ago, not to mention over two million words worth of editing.

Time to make my production match the quality of my imagination.

What I’m Listening To

The Prince of Denmark’s March. If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it, I always say.

Quote of the Week

Happy birthday to Teddy Roosevelt, perhaps my favorite president ever. Certainly, one of the most quotable, and here’s one I love.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
– Theodore Roosevelt

Dudes In Hyperspace

Follow the Dudes In Hyperspace here:
bleav.com/shows/the-dudes-in-hyperspace-podcast/

The latest show includes a great conversation with Sarah Burris and what libraries can offer.

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Get five free stories and signed up with the Eldros Legacy mailing list! Here There Be Giants is at: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

Currently available:

Get all the Eldros Legacy novels at: amazon.com/dp/B09Z9WVKYV

New Mythology Works in Progress

2023 FantaSci Short Story Contest open call.

The theme is Bonds of Valor, and you story must include deeds of valor centered around bonds between characters. This could be a romantic relationship, a buddy adventure, oaths to kings, or whatever you can come up with.

Deadline: November 30th, 2022
Word Count: 7-10,000 words
Specifics: Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1.5 line spaced.

Current Schedule of New Mythology Press

Giveaways

Celebrate Spooky Season
Celebrate Spooky Season

Celebrate Spooky Season

storyoriginapp.com/bundles/a38c5180-4056-11ed-b896-2b25f4dc3ff7?bundleLinkId=vppIALO

Cyberpunk for Kindle
Cyberpunk for Kindle

Cyberpunk for Kindle

storyoriginapp.com/bundles/ed9315f6-2347-11ed-b81e-cfc44d75a42b?bundleLinkId=Vc2GpEx

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • arewell, My Ugly (38,428)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • The Feasting of Vengeance (3,405)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

Your pre-release this week is The Last Stand. This is a new series from Chris Kennedy and Kevin Ikenberry. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B0BJNW843S/.

There is no pre-release this week as everyone was busy at FactoryCon. It looked like a fantastic time.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 333.2

Updated Word Count: 397,958

Eldros Legacy Archives: 813 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

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series