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What's in a name?

A much-awaited update:

The timeline for getting book four done before the new year is on track. One edit is finished. The second edit is also complete thanks to some very helpful writing software (Grammarly, if you're curious). Now comes the final edit, and I am currently several chapters in....give or take a few pages. Needless to say, I am happy how everything is coming along; and more importantly, how the story is progressing.

Now a bigger announcement: I've changed the name. I have my reasons, but I wanted something a bit more accessible and curious. Drum roll please -- The Lords of Wintertide. So now the fourth installment of the Outcast Alliance series is coming close to fruition. I even have the cover ready to go so it will be an easy transition.

Ok, so now I have some writing software to push me along -- the previously noted Grammarly and organizer extraordinaire, Scrivener. These will certainly help me in the future. But what about the past? I have decided on somethi…
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End of the tunnel...

I finally have something to say.

Despite my best efforts at procrastination, I have a book. Book Four, to be exact. I am sticking with the Lords of Nordhiem (tentatively) as the title, as the Outcast Alliance series continues.
Now before you run out the door in heated excitement, there's bad news. It's not quite done yet. Please, put down the mouse and iPhone; click off that Amazon site and back away from the computer. I've editing to do.
I have apprehensions of even telling you I am finished, because editing is still a laborious event for me --  but oh so necessary if you want something remotely readable! (and yes, I do define my books as remotely readable) But that is where the magic happens -- sometimes literally -- and the story goes from readable to even enjoyable. 
So keep your eyes and ears open for more updates, and let's get this done in 2017! Thank you for waiting...and God Bless Texas!!! (hit the road, Harvey)

the Final Approach

Nothing harder than writing fiction when real life presses upon you. It's not always bad stuff -- sometimes it's good. In this case, a much needed vacation. Before this the pages were flying along; at least for me. I am quickly nearing the 300 page mark and the end book four. So there it is: the Lords of Nordhiem update!

Now some perspective. My current dilema this time is something I call, the soft ending. You know; the Han Solo being carried off frozen in carbonite type thing. The build-up comes, but not the final part (of many final parts). The Lords of Nordhiem is a bridge book, linking a major transition to the final stroke of war and the enemy, and their opposition. but the break is necessary to carry us into the next phase. Things are getting deep.

I hope to resume the writing after my trip and have it finished in a few months. Then comes the final edit; but some of that is already done. I may actually have someone else look at it this time for a better edit. We shall …

hopeful quote

Pope John Paul II, in his Letter to Artists, quotes the following verse from a Polish poet, Cyprian Norwid: “Beauty is to enthuse us for work, and work is to raise us up”. And later he adds: “In so far as it seeks the beautiful, fruit of an imagination which rises above the everyday, art is by its nature a kind of appeal to the mystery. Even when they explore the darkest depths of the soul or the most unsettling aspects of evil, the artist gives voice in a way to the universal desire for redemption”

A long awaited...snippet?

As the Lords of Nordhiem takes shape, currently at 75k words, I realized it's time for a snippet. An older chapter, here we revisit Andro and his infatuation with a certain Randa (not to worry, folks -- it's still a fantasy). Enjoy:


Frost hung thick and the night deepened. Those about the fire had no complaints, tossing logs into the heady blaze. Ashes soared into the sky swiftly snuffed out by an autumn wind. Folks came and went – the heartiest not ready to call it a night. But Randa had enough and stood to depart some time before midnight. Andro was quick to offer escort. She shrugged her shoulders in her usual impassive manner. He took it as ‘yes’. “Randa, where are you headed?” hollered Rogan. He could not resist but laugh at the poor display of Andro chasing at her heel. “The road is the other direction!” “I know my way, Rogan. I wasn’t drinking tonight…not as much as you, at least!” “Then where are you going?” wondered Andro at her back as they left the others behind. “O…

a time for everything...

A time for everything sometimes means, a time for nothing. Well, not actually nothing, but as far as my imaginary world, not much at all. Hard to say what keeps me away --  actually, I know very well, but won't bother you with the details. Life has a way of interfering with fable. Pesky life.

In no way do I compare with Tolkien, who was a professor and determined and pretty much a genius. But I do find glimpses of similarities, aside from creating an imaginary world. J.R.R. was by no means a prolific writer: how long did it take for him to write the Hobbit, LOTR, and Silmarillion (which he never finished)? A lifetime. I'm trying not to take a lifetime, but in reality, I haven't written much in months, aside from a poem and some corrections. Not making excuses, but that's the life of a storyteller. A writer no, but creator of things previously yet seen, I'll claim that one. Keep me in mind as I attempt to kickstart Book four, which is well on it's way --  so th…

Trust me

I'm sure you are dying for an update. Book Four, the Lords of Nordheim (tentative name), is two-thirds thru, and a familiar thing happened --  change. When one writes as slowly as I do, and adds characters and names, as I do, details get a little blurry. I do keep a notebook in front of me with names, places, recipes, and the like, but sometimes it's not enough. So what do I do? Read it thru, of course.

Going all the way back has three good purposes: find out if I like the story; get a jump on my first edit; and make necessary plot changes. The plot changes are a tricky thing right now -- should this person do that, or know more, and when does this happen? Like everything else I've written, it comes down to trust. I can't over think the plot, or it might drive me crazy. Just like writing with imagination, sometimes you have to let go and see what comes thru. I often surprise myself.

Here's a snippet before heading back:

Andro sensed a change in the air, which seeme…