Spring is definitely here!

Writer Update

This week I spent a lot of time working on this secret project. Don't worry, you'll find out about it soon. I did about 4 complete rewrites before getting it to where it has a solid foundation. Now I just need to work on the editing to polish everything up.

My commitment to Patreon is that I'm going to give you at least 3 stories a year. This is tough to do while planning a novel at the same time. I don't do well working on multiple projects at once, but I want a third story to send out. These short stories have been teaching me a lot about writing interesting stories, so maybe I need to make this third one focus on writing a good story while multi-tasking on another project?

And to that end I found out about an anthology that's accepting submissions that looks interesting. First, the anthology is being edited by the person that convinced me to write Rite of Passage, which kick started my venture into publishing short stories. Second, the theme actually works with one of the characters in the novel I'm planning, so this could be a great way to work on two stories at once without completely distracting from my novel.

But I need your help.

The story has to be about someone receiving a nickname and how they got it. The funnier the better.

My main character in my novel is a bounty hunter or mercenary that uses humor as a mask to hide what he's really feeling. So all I need to make novel's character work in this story is a nickname, and how he got it. The story takes place in a science fiction, futuristic, highly technological world.

Any ideas?

If so, please go to Patreon and leave them in the comments section. Or FB or Twitter or pretty much anywhere you know I'm looking works too.

Also, in case you haven't heard, Kills Like River WILL be appearing in the Ghost Hunting Critters anthology! I GOT ACCEPTED! :D

It looks like that is slated for publication this fall.

What I'm Reading

For We Are Many , by Dennis E. Taylor (Audio) (Finished)
This was a great sequel to the first book, We are Legion, We are Bob . Highly recommended series if you like sci-fi exploration type stories. 

Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher (Audio)
You don't have to know me for long to know that I'm a huge fan of the Dresden Files. While waiting for the next book in the series, and for more Audible credits (my commute gives me lots to time to listen to audio books), I have been going back and listening to the series again. This is the third book in the series and is excellent. This book really starts to launch several things that becomes important in the future books, from certain uses of the magic to some major conflicts, and it introduces one of my favorite characters in the series, Michael Carpenter. If you like urban fantasy and you haven't checked out this series, you have to start it. Storm Front  is the first book in the series.

To Fire Called, by Nathan Lowell (eBook)
I'm about 67% done with this book, and so far it lives up to the quality expected in this series. It's really interesting following this one character for so much of his life. He's changed a lot, and you can tell that certain traumatic events have really started to affect him. This series is a fascinating space opera. There isn't really any major conflict, no wars, army, aliens, or anything like that, but the exploration of the world and the characters trying to carve out a living in this universe is fascinating. This series has been one of the very few that I went back and read a second time, simply because the world is so fascinating that I wanted to live in it again. If you want to read the series, start with the book Quarter Share .

Blood From Your Own Pen, by Sam Knight (Paperback)
Yeah, I'm still working on this book too. (I'm a slow reader, what can I say?) I'm about 26% done with this book. It's a helpful guide for editing for those that want to publish their own books. A lot of the information wasn't really new to me, but I think that's because I have worked with editing anthologies where I see many of the mistakes listed here way too much and I learned from those examples what not to do in my own stories, but still there has been some great bits of information in here for me. So far I would say I highly recommend this for any newer author. If you are submitting your story to an anthology, to an agent, or even if you're just self publishing it, get this book and read it. Blood From Your Own Pen. I wish I could make reading this book a requirement for submitting stories to the Midnight Writers anthologies... :P

Personal Life

We have really been enjoying the weather this week. Saturday I spent the whole morning writing out on the back porch. To be able to have such an amazing place to live is just, amazing... I guess I'm kind of left speechless by the whole thing.

At work this week is going to be a rough one. I need to get a lot of hours in but I'm starting Monday off with appointments. Later this week we have a working group with a bunch of my peers around the city, in which I get to find out what this role exactly is that I volunteered for last time. I think I'm basically going to be taking minutes. Fun, I guess, but nobody else was volunteering. :D

Well, I think we're about ready for our new dog. Let me apologize in advance for all of the pictures you will be seeing of her, especially those who follow me on Instagram. We spent the weekend getting everything in the house ready for the new dog. We got a long chain and a stake for the back yard since we don't have a fenced in area, and got the cage ready. We also got some boxes unpacked! We've been in here for almost 6 months, and still we have boxes sitting in the corner of some rooms. 

We almost went to see the Case for Christ and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but just didn't have the time. I still want to see both movies, but I doubt I'll get to Case for Christ before it comes out on DVD.

Oh, one last new thing, I got my spotter ID for the National Weather Service. Now I can officially make storm reports for our area. Although a HAM radio & license isn't required to do this, it has been a great way to get use out of my gear and the daily weather net has been informative. There is a chance that sometime this week I won't be able to get to my house from work due to the risk of flash flooding in the pass. But I'll play it by ear and hope they get things cleaned up quickly.

To those that made it this far in this message, thank you. Your patience must be truly superhuman.

- Jon