Sunday, December 24, 2023

A Writer's Week #127: Feeling Grateful

 Unbelievably it is Christmas Eve once again. It seems like just yesterday that it was Christmas 2022. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone this year! 

I am blown away by what I have been able to accomplish in 2023. I was able to find a fantastic illustrator in Emily Hurst Pritchett. She came up with new art and maps for the three books in the Deliverers Series. Then, I was able to arrange book signings and had great feedback on the books and the artwork. Finally, I was able to complete book 4 of the series and it will be published early in 2024. Completing the final book in the series means that Eric and company will finally have some closure.

It might never have happened if I had not had a talk with my dad on Christmas day. He wondered why I hadn't continued writing. I gave a couple lame excuses, but he would have none of it. I realized that I had been missing writing and feeling like I had some unfinished business.

My dad also suggested doing something that I had been struggling with. He said he thought I should get some new artwork to refresh the look. I had contemplated that several times over the past couple of years. After all, it had been 12 years since the first book had been released, and even Harry Potter had new art.

The next day, I began my search for a new artist. I also reread the manuscript for book 4. It was only 16,000 words at that point. The concept was good, but there were some plot issues. I did not know if I had a plot for one book or two. It took me several months to figure that out. In the meantime, Emily was working away on artwork for the first three books.

So, it's been a really great year on the writing front. Things have exceeded my expectations. Emily is currently working on the artwork for book 4. I've seen the sketches and I'm really excited by them. I'll share everything with you when they are complete.

Looking forward to 2024, I've got some new projects on the horizon. After the final book in the Deliverers Series is published, I am going to publish a collection of inspirational short stories. They are a little like fairy tales and should appeal to young and old alike.

After that, I am kicking around an idea for a book set in the Dragon Islands centuries before Eric and his friends visit. I'm starting to get excited about it. The Dragon Islands have a long history and several things were hinted at in The Golden Dragon of Ang that I am looking forward to exploring in more depth. 

I'm thinking of calling the series Tales of the Dragon Islands or maybe come up with a title and use the tagline A Dragon Islands Tale. Either way, I'm looking forward to exploring that world in more depth.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Cal Endria's Journal: Promised Land?

5th November, 4169

This morning we anchored in a secluded bay to take on water and forage for supplies. Every anchorage is a source of hope as our search continues for a plot of land on which to start our new settlement. I hope we find a place soon, for the Captain's behavior is becoming increasingly cruel and barbaric.

Just this morning Thompkinson was caught pouring an extra measure of rum. It was his bad fortune to be caught by Sharky. He doled out punishment immediately by stringing him up on a yardarm high above the deck.

It was not Thompkinson's day. The rope holding him up snapped in the gale and he was blown into the sea. Despite all my entreaties, Sharky refused to stop saying, "We're headin' inta that there harbor, he can catch up to us there."

Of course, he didn't catch up to us. So me and the lads are waiting until we find a likely spot to either jump ship or propose a deal to Sharky. I don't know how much longer we can wait. The way things are headed, it's only a matter of time until he does us all in.

Soon I must go ashore to gather water and supplies. It is my duty as first mate. I have to admit that it will be good to feel land underfoot once more. 

This bay has a pleasing look about it. The land starts out flat, then rises gradually. A large mountain range separates the bay from the rest of the mainland, and a waterfall cascades down into a river that flows into the bay.

Hold on, can it be? Why did I not see it until now? Of course, this is the very place we've been looking for! Oh merciful heavens, could our deliverance be close at hand? I must go and gather the lads. Not only will we go ashore to forage, but we will scout out the lay of the land to see if my hunch is correct! I will record our findings upon my return.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

ISWG Wednesday First Post: The Story's the Thing


The awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional! 

December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author? 

I always try to review the book. If there is something I think the author did particularly well, I will point that out. For the most part, though, the book is the thing.

Speaking of books, Book 4 in the Deliverers Series is complete. I am currently rereading, proofreading and editing it prior to sending it out to my beta readers after the first of the year. If anyone out there would like to be a beta reader and perhaps post a review on Goodreads, please reach out in the comments section.