What’s New

Learning More About My Cast of Characters

One thing that is always fun is learning about my characters as I write. I’ve introduced a few more characters than I had in Alchemist Rules that are likely to become a more permanent addition to the Cast of Characters. So far, the supporting characters  in the series I have include:

  • Elryn, Light Elf Warrior
  • Li’alla, Dark Elf Warrior
  • Nana, Dark Elf Matriarch
  • Tuzren, Demon
  • Fluffy, Vicious Chicken
  • Sabine, Ironspell’s Mom
  • Johann Henrik, Ghost
  • Spaz, Werewolf Hacker
  • Jimmy, Werewolf
  • Luna, Werewolf
  • Tobias St. Claire, Vampire
  • Duncan, Idaho Springs Police Officer
  • Smog, Dragon
  • Arden, Wizard
  • Alaric, Alpha of the Denver Wolf Pack
  • Frank Winter, DWTF Wizard

Thinking About My Cast of Characters

I have other characters, but those are the ones off the top of my head. Every character, both major and minor, are unique in some fashion. It’s incredibly important, given the large cast of characters. I have to really think how to differentiate between those our hero is constantly dealing with on a day-to-day basis. They all can’t act the same or talk the same, so I have to keep that in mind when dealing with them.

Why So Many?

After looking at the list of those supporting, major, and minor characters I need to keep on hand, I gasp at the number. But then, I realize that like us, Ironspell knows a lot of people due to the nature of his work as a cop. Also, I remind myself that few people are actually hermits. We all meet plenty of people in our day-to-day lives. So, why shouldn’t Ironspell? The fun part is making them realistic and quirky.

Word Counts

With that, I leave you with my current word count for Elfshot: 47,122 words. Getting close to the end. Still have to write the big fight scene.

And Since You’re Here

Since you’re still reading, if you’ve read That Dragon Was in No Way My Fault and enjoyed it, could you leave a review on Amazon to let others know how much you enjoyed it? What? You haven’t read it yet? It’s FREE on Amazon! Get your FREE copy HERE.

Elfshot Update

Another Elfshot update.

Word Count: 42,009

Snippet from last night’s writing

The chamber looked like it had once been a guest hall or something that housed a lot of people or things. Columns flanked its sides that led into smaller alcoves which housed statues of what I guessed were famous Dark Elves. Above them, the ceiling stretched for at least three stories in a type of dome that had no opening to the outside and yet shown with a luminescent glow that lit all the way down to the floor. We could see across the great expanse toward the single door guarded by two of Vindar’s soldiers. The Ignore Me spell seemed to work as their eyes passed by us without noticing the two apparent Drow soldiers and a demon on the other side of the hall.

Painted murals extended from floor to ceiling, worn over time by dust, heat, and earthquakes. They depicted scenes I didn’t recognize. Above us looked like the Norse god Freyr handing something to what I suspected was a Dark Elven king. The god was amazingly beautiful with long blond hair and a blond beard—even to a heterosexual man such as myself—he was attractive in a manly sort of way. A large golden boar stood before him and the Dark Elf king had one hand on its flank as if giving the boar to the god. Another god with red hair like fire and beardless, presumably Loki, was standing next to the Dark Elf king.

I had seen paintings of the gods before, mostly done in sort of Romanesque-type images, but this was not in that style. They appeared life-like and in clothing that the Northern tribes would’ve worn given the period of the design. My gaze shifted lower to the images of a battle. Dark Elves and Light Elves battling each other. The king of the Dark Elves stood in the center, fighting what appeared to be the Light Elven king. Another mural depicted Dark Elves breaking their chains with hammers. And yet another one showed a battle with newer armor and Dwarves attacking the Dark Elves. I turned and saw yet another mural showing two worlds, both lush and green, colliding in a terrible cataclysm. A chunk of one world spiraled off into space, while the two suns were caught together in a slow dance of death.

Word Counts for Elfshot

Yes, yes, I’ve been behind on posting word counts for Elfshot. So sue me. Elfshot is now at 35,030 words. Oh, and I decided to give you a sneak peek into what I wrote today:

Li’alla sat beside me. “Humans began to hate the Fae and blame us for all their maladies. While it’s true the Elves had Elfshot, most didn’t use it because the world was so volatile. The blue sickness had taken a huge portion of medieval Europe’s population and humans blamed us for it. They said we were in league with the Christian devil and called us demons.” She shook her head. “I remember those times. They were frightening.”

I took a sharp inward breath. The blue sickness was the name people called the Black Death during medieval times. “You were alive during the Black Death?”

She smiled sadly. “Yes, and I remember when my human friends died of it, refusing to take the medicine I brought because the parish priest told them it was poison and I was an agent of Satan.”

We both fell silent and I stared wistfully at the stars, wishing I was anywhere but here. I thought about Luna and how much I missed her cheerful smile. I thought about Elwyn and Duncan and hoped to the gods they were okay. Unlike the plague from medieval times, this plague would be Elfshot and it would kill not only humans but Light Elves as well. I turned to her. “Why do Light Elves hate your kind so much?”

Hey! Have you picked up your FREE copy of That Dragon was in No Way my Fault yet? It’s available on Amazon! Go there now and get your own copy!

Dogs, Goats, Word Counts, and Other Assorted Critters

If you know me, you know that I share a home with a bunch of critters. Right now, I have just three dogs, one cat, and a goat inside the house. Yes, a goat. I do have multiple goats, but I’ll tell you that story after the word count.

Word Count for Elfshot

First, before I forget, the word count for Elfshot is at 31,003 words out of a possible 60K. That means I’m past my halfway point, and I am certainly allowed to finish the book at 50K+. So, that’s the book word count.

Why There is a Goat in my House

I have goats. Due to our constant bad luck with kids (40 to 50 percent death rate), we’ve decided to switch to fiber goats and get the “wool” (called “fiber”) to process and eventually make yard out of. This is cool because I get to keep goats but not have to breed the doe goats every fall.

How the Cashmere Goats Started

I started with two cashmere goats. The buck we named Merlin and the doe was already named Sapphira. Sapphira is 1/2 cashmere and Merlin is pure cashmere. We have three does and two wethers (neutered bucks) who have come out of Merlin and my milk does. Sapphira didn’t get bred for some reason while the other does had kids. So, I assumed Sapphira wasn’t able to conceive.

Wrong, Really  Wrong

I was wrong about Sapphira. About three to five days before Memorial Day, I noticed Sapphira’s udders filling up. Merlin was all over her, due to the hormones.  The other goats were restless. I moved her to the kidding pen and on Memorial Day, she gave birth to a little buckling. It was a tough labor, so I was glad I was there. We named him Moose and while our intent was to leave Moose with Sapphira, the first thing she did was roll on top of him while she was lying down. I tried moving him again. Again, she accidentally squished him. So, Moose has been in my house since Memorial Day.

How Long Moose Will Be Inside

So, I’m a goat parent. Moose is still on bottled milk because even though he’s bigger, Sapphira won’t remember him. And he won’t remember her. So, once we get a pen set up for him, he can start getting used to all the critters at the barn, including the horse, chickens, and geese. He won’t go full time in the barn until he’s had at least a week in there.

That’s been my life, along with writing. How’s yours?

Hey! Have you picked up your FREE copy of That Dragon was in No Way my Fault yet? It’s available on Amazon! Go there now and get your own copy!

Back to Word Counts

So far Elfshot now stands at 29,021 words out of a projected 60,000 words.

Still have no fucking clue where this is going exactly. I have an inkling, but since I threw out the outline, it pretty much is going forward surprising me about as much as it will surprise you. It already has a twist–and I suspect it will have more twists by the time I’m done with it.

All good!  Have you gotten your free copy of That Dragon was in No Way My Fault? It’s now free on Amazon Kindle.

Hey Folks! Get a FREE Copy of Modern Sorcery on Amazon July 15th and 16th only!

I thought I would let you know that another Urban Fantasy writer and friend of mine is offering a FREE copy of his book, Modern Sorcery, on Amazon July 15th and 16th only. No strings attached. No nothing. Totally FREE. Gary is a terrific writer and a good guy, so I’m urging you to snag a free copy, the first in his Jonathan Shade series.

Why am I recommending a fellow writer’s work? Look, I know it’s not easy to find a good series that’s fun and well-written, so I thought you’d want to check out his series for free by downloading his first book. You’ll really enjoy the story, too. I know I did.

DEATH BY DARK MAGIC

As soon as I get over my ex, her father hacks her mother apart with a sword.

She hires me to prove dark magic was involved. Hey, it’s what I do as a paranormal investigator, so I get why she thinks I can help.

But my secretary, Esther, a ghost from the 1920s flapper era, and Kelly Chan, my magically engineered protector, are dead-set against me getting involved. With all the deadly magic flying around, they may have a point.

Because the sad truth is, I don’t have any magic of my own.

Click HERE to get your FREE copy of Modern Sorcery by Gary Jonas

I’m a Bestselling Author Again! How Cool is That?

That Dragon was in No Way My Fault has skyrocketed on Amazon! It’s a bestselling book. I FINALLY got them to get the price marked to FREE as a price match, which means you can buy my book on Amazon for FREE. Which is awesome! It is currently:

Look, if you haven’t gotten a copy, get one now! See what all the fuss is about!

 

Yesterday Sucked: Computer Crash

Yesterday I was diligently working on my computer on Elfshot and had taken a break when I discovered it crashed. Like froze up. Hard. So this isn’t the only computer crash I’ve dealt with in my life, having played software engineer and systems administrator, but still.  It sucked.

The Cloud Minders

This time I had my work on two clouds. Unfortunately, the One Drive cloud didn’t have anything saved from today and couldn’t restore new versions, and I hadn’t put the new version into Dropbox yet. I also have Google Drive, which is there when I remember it. But you’d think a computer crash wouldn’t wipe out a day’s work.

It did. That was major annoying.

Not That I Haven’t Had Issues with the Cloud Before During a Computer Crash

The cloud is a nice concept, given that it’s a cluster-fuck database. (The term we used was clusters when I worked as an Admin.) Long story short, the whole thing is supposed to provide redundancy. I nearly lost one novel back in the day because I failed to copy it over to Dropbox. I ended up losing about 15,000 words and had to rewrite.

Then, my latest dead computer proved Dropbox didn’t have ALL my files from some type of ongoing computer glitch. I managed to retrieve them by ripping the hard drive out of the dead laptop and using PCmover to get most of my environment back to what it was. It’s not fail-safe software, but I’ve spent plenty of money with Laplink (the parent company) to at least trust it will get most of my work back.

Lost 500 to 1000 words

So, with this computer crash, I lost somewhere around 500 to 1000 words and spent hours getting my system to a point where I could reboot. I tried rebooting normally and it froze. Dell’s semi-worthless admin software tested the hardware and pronounced it fine. Then I reboot for the umpteenth time and selected Window’s attempt to fix it.

Thank the gods for system restore. I had turned it on when I got this desktop started and it had an image from several days ago. I restored the system and got my computer back–only to discover the missing versions of Word.

Got to love it–not!

Word Count for Yesterday

Despite all that, I did do some work.  I ended up with a bit over 500 words at 25,016. Better than nothing, even though technically, I wrote more.

Disclaimer: This post has affiliate links which gives me a small amount of compensation if you purchase from it. By using these links, you support my writing and more books published.  Thank you!

Using Word Counts for Motivation

I’m thinking it’s time for me to start posting word counts on my projects. The idea is pretty simple: I’ll feel embarrassed if I don’t add to the word count and therefore will aim to post a good word count the next day.  My goal is to write 1000 words a day. In the past, I could write 2000 words easy, but nowadays, getting 1000 words in a day is a pretty good number. That’s not counting the extra work on the side I’m doing for pay.

Word Counts

So, without further ado, here are my word counts for Elfshot: 24,502 out of a projected 60,000 or 24,502/60,000.

Today’s Work

I think I got 1000 words in, but I don’t remember what the word count was. Hence the reporting. That way I can keep an eye on things and make sure I hit my deadlines. Wrote on Elfshot today. Looks good.

Elfshot — Or Pounding My Head Against the Wall

I’ve been trying to work on Elfshot, and I’ve learned one thing. You know what’s great about pounding your head against the wall? Stopping.

No, seriously.

A Type of Writer’s Block and How I Got Through It

It took a few days and a conversation with my spouse before I realized that I needed another twist in the story. So, I forced myself into the chair in front of my computer and found out what happened next. Elfshot is actually a complex story, which means it needs me to think about it a lot.

What’s Happening in the Ironspell Chronicles

Surprisingly our hero, Bob Ironspell-Cabas got stuck in the world of the Dark Elves thanks to a goddess. She gave him a mission to eliminate the enemy’s weapons.

Only enemies aren’t necessarily the bad guys. Oh, some are, but some aren’t, and it’s starting to sink in that there are shades of gray (not the S&M book by that name) and not necessarily good guys and bad guys. There are good guys. There are bad guys. But not everything is clear cut in this series, which leads me to some fun places to go.

OMG I Didn’t Outline!

One problem I’m having with Elfshot is that I’ve been working off of an incomplete outline. This is coupled with the fact I veered off the last part of the outline. Ah well. The writing will surprise me as well as it unfolds.

A Preview of What I Wrote Today for Elfshot

I thought I’d give you a snippet of what I wrote so you might enjoy:

I followed her down several tunnels until we came to a corridor with several doors down it. It was surprisingly well lit with mage lights and what appeared to be florescent fungi and moss along the walls, casting the tunnel in an eerie blue-green glow. The Drow fashioned the doors out of stone, much to my surprise. We took the third door on the left and it swung open with just a touch, like the door at the entrance to the caverns. She led me into a room, which I discovered was a living room with an upholstered couch, stone table, and several wooden chairs.

To my surprise, cool, fresh air circulated throughout the room. I could see a much younger female Drow in what appeared to be the kitchen, complete with a hearth and wooden shelves, as well as two boys that looked equivalent to human children ages five and eight.

“Li’alla, we have company!” The elder Elf called to the woman.

Li’alla turned and looked at me. Too skinny to be pretty, she met my eyes with her gaunt gaze. “Oh, Nana, what have you brought?”

“Nana! Nana!” the two boys shouted as they ran out of the kitchen.

Nana smiled and bent down for a hug. “How are my two rapscallions doing? Have you been minding your mother?”

“Yes, Nana.” The children spoke in unison and I tried to hide a grin. Children were alike all over, no matter how different they were.

Li’alla wiped her hands on a worn dishtowel before coming out. “And who did you bring us?”

“Li’alla, I want you to meet Ironspell. Ironspell, this is one of my granddaughters, Li’alla.”

Li’alla looked horrified. “Oh Nana! What foolish thing have you done?”

“Which one? There are so many.” Nana winked at me.