Sunday, December 31, 2017


I think I've figured out a solution to the plot problems I had previously mentioned. I have re-written a portion of the plot to fix the issues, and in the process I've also strengthened a couple of character arcs that I felt were lacking in depth.

No actual story prose has been written yet, but I feel much more confident now than I did a few days ago. And that feels like progress to me!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

E-book Sale!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! The Hand of Tyr is on sale, now through January 1, 2018, for $1.50 USD over at Smashwords. This is the first time I've run any sales on the book, so if you have been waiting to buy the book, or simply haven't got around to it yet (believe me, I understand procrastination), now is the time to pick it up.

Head over here ( to check it out! Be sure to use code SEY50 to get the promotional pricing.

I may run a pricing promotion directly through Amazon in the next month or so, but I need to figure out how Amazon's rules work. Unfortunately it's not quite as easy as setting a sale price and date range for the sale.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Ugh, sorry for the long delay. I've made practically zero progress on the book since my previous post a month ago. Having some serious doubts about the plot as I have laid it out. Parts of it I really like, but others are looking really ugly at the moment. And the ugly parts are where I am in the story, leaving me with a nasty case of writer's block.

Not sure what I'm going to do about it, if anything. But since I haven't been able to power through this writer's block, I think I need to review the story as a whole, figure out what it is that I don't like about it, and fix those things.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Final Word Count for the Day: 2,500

Forced myself to sit down and just write today, even after the previous blog post. 2,500 words a week is almost enough to keep me on track. I really need to be at 3,000, but I can make that up later this week.

3,000 words per week, multiplied by 50 weeks (assuming I have a few breaks in the coming year), should be enough to finish the rough draft by the end of 2018.

Another 1,100 Words

Unfortunately, at this rate, I will not complete the rough draft of the book by my self-imposed deadline. I will therefore need to do better.

I will be writing more today, probably about another 1,000 words. Chapter Two should be about half complete at that point.

One thing I have noticed is that I get easily side-tracked into writing narrative or dialog that may be interesting to me, but does not necessarily advance the plot or characterization. It's something I know that I do, but need to keep in mind so that I also stay focused on writing the interesting and important parts of the story.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Chapter Two is Under Way

Haven't made a lot of progress over the last few weeks, but I did lightly edit chapter one as well as start chapter two.

I've got a bunch of ideas for the chapter, and for the characters, rattling around in my head. Just need to get them down on (digital) paper at this point. I really should have done this stuff a couple of weeks ago, but have allowed myself to be distracted by other activities.

In other news, we're painting the upper level and split entry area of the house -- just one of those distracting activities I mentioned. We'll probably take a few photos and post them on Facebook when it's all done.

ETA: Spent some time writing today (Nov 19th, 2017), and pounded out about 1,000 words. Total word count is now 12,946.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

11,857 Words

Yep, back to making a bit of progress on the story. I didn't exactly finish the detailed synopsis I was working on, but I got somewhat further along and had a couple of ideas today that I just had to write down so I wouldn't forget.

After the last three weeks of almost no progress, today felt really good. The lack of progress wasn't entirely my fault: I was on work related travel two weeks in a row, followed by recovering from jet lag and getting caught up on everything I'd let slide at the office while I was away. So all of that left me pretty well brain-fried every evening and weekend up to now.

Anyway, today marks a return to normality. For now anyway.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Back at Work on the Synopsis

As I mentioned previously, I generally write a detailed plot synopsis that acts as my guide to the eventual writing of the story. I was experimenting a bit this time around, and thought, "Hey, I could just write the detailed synopsis for the prologue and first chapter, and then move my focus forward with each chapter that I write, fleshing out the synopsis when I get to that point rather than doing it all beforehand." It sounded good in theory, as my previous experiences have shown that I will end up modifying the final story quite a bit from the original synopsis, such that it almost feels like wasted effort.

In practice, I have already noticed that I get hung up writing when my synopsis doesn't have enough detail for me to remember what it was that I had planned to write.

So, I've gone back to the synopsis to flesh it out for real, all the way to the end of the story. Chapter Two is still waiting to be written, but for the moment I'm focused on answering some questions about characters and plot that I had hoped I might just figure out when the time came. Not a big deal, as this was an experiment to see if it would work. Since it did not, I'm going back to what I know does work and will help me to produce the best story that I can.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Chapter One Complete

Book Two of the Balfrith saga is now at about 8,700 words, which includes the Prologue and Chapter One.

Chapter Two begins today!

Looking back at The Hand of Tyr (Book One), it has sold far more copies than I ever expected. Given the extremely limited marketing I have done, I'd have to say that readers' word of mouth, posted reviews, plus whatever built-in marketing that Amazon and Goodreads do has driven this.

If you have read The Hand of Tyr and enjoyed it, but have not reviewed it on Amazon, I would really appreciate if you take a few minutes to give it some stars and write a couple of sentences about what you liked. Meanwhile, I will continue working on Book Two, so that you can eventually enjoy the next story in Balfrith's saga!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Chapter One Has Begun!

Actually I'm on scene four of chapter one, with two more (planned) scenes to go. Though it might need another one or two scenes to finish what I have planned for the chapter. I'm definitely moving faster, more quickly into the conflict, than I did with the Hand of Tyr. Not only is the main conflict presaged in the prologue, but that conflict will touch Balfrith and draw him into it sooner that it did in the first book.

It really is a different story, more adventurous and action packed, than The Hand of Tyr.

Oh yeah, I'm at 6,000 words, too. Moving right along!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Another 1100 Words...

...and the first two scenes of the prologue are complete!

Unfortunately, at only 1200 words a week, it will take me 3 almost years to complete the rough draft--which is completely unacceptable. Guess I'll need to up my game, by a factor of about 3, if I'm going to reach my goal of having the first draft complete in a year.

That's doable.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

1,362 Words

Yes, I've begun writing the story. Working on a prologue with this one, which gives a hint at the conflict to come in the main chapters.

I've mentioned before that I use Scrivener for my writing, which is a great tool to make it easy to organize my book into chapters and scenes. When I write my outline/synopsis, I generally break it down the same way, with chapters and scenes, so that it flows naturally into writing in Scrivener.

For example, the plan (per my outline) for the prologue is to have four scenes. It may be extended to five scenes, depending on how the last scene works out in the writing. This first 1,362 words is for the very first scene of the prologue, and it is almost done. Probably less than 500 words left to complete it.

So... progress!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Work on the Plot Synopsis Continues

Although my use of the word "continues" implies that I had been working on it in some regular pattern--which is not the case. But I did have a lot of thoughts rattling around in my head during the week, so today has been a really good day for getting those thoughts down on paper.

So, in short: I've filled out probably 1/4 of the plot outline into something approaching a synopsis. It's not a full-on detailed synopsis yet, but it is getting much closer. My current plan is to complete the first pass through fleshing out the outline, then go back and make another pass to add even more flesh--also some fat, skin, hair, and other details that will make it start to look like a real person story.

I may also take a remedial class in the proper use of metaphor.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Magic, Macguffins, and Monsters, oh my!

The brainstorming is coming to an end this weekend, as I flesh out the story idea and begin actually writing a plot synopsis.

"Sysopsis?" you say. "I thought authors started with a plot outline."

Not me. I just don't work that way. I've tried to stick with outlines, but I always end up writing actual sentences and paragraphs because that's just how my brain works. An outline simply isn't detailed enough for my taste.

So, for the next few weeks I will be focused on writing an essay of 20-30 pages, which outlines the plot, characters, central themes, conflict, and whatever else I can think of. When I start writing the actual book, that 20-30 pages will be expanded by a factor of about 20, so the final book is 400-600 pages.

Now, if you're wondering about the title of this blog post... all I can say is that it's your first hint of what the next book will be like. But don't take the hint too far -- you won't be finding any rainbows or ruby slippers in this story.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Still Brainstorming... Also a Bit Busy

The Geeekwif and I are preparing to move to a new house this weekend, which means that the past several weeks have been focused on preparing for said move. I've still got the story ideas in my head and on paper (of the digital kind), and am playing with some character ideas. Kind of like casual brainstorming... or maybe more like a "brain shower".

In any case, writing hasn't progressed much for obvious reasons but once we are moved into the new house, I am looking forward to getting a start on the plot outline.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Book #2 Has Begun!

So I've had a few ideas for the next Balfrith book rattling around in my head for over a year, but I just haven't been willing or able to settle on one that I liked. As of this past week, I finally did choose one.

Still a secret for now, but I can tell you that it will likely have more action and adventure than the first book, along with unraveling a mystery and some fun character development. At this point I'm still just brainstorming--the plot is still very rough, but I think I've got some really good seeds for the story. Another week or two of brainstorming ideas will probably give me enough to build a real novel.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Expanding My Reach

Although I published first through Amazon, it was never my intention to limit myself to just that one market (though it is a really BIG market).

As of this morning, I have also made The Hand of Tyr available through Smashwords, right here:

Publishing through Smashwords provides more e-book formats for readers who prefer PDF, ePub, and other formats. It's a win for everyone!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thank You

Well, the book's been up for sale for about three weeks now, and I'd like to thank each and every one of you readers for buying a copy. I hope you enjoyed it!

And if I may be so bold, I would like to add a request: after finishing the book, if you enjoyed it, please go to (US link here: and post a review. It doesn't have to be anything long or complicated (although you can certainly do that if you like), but just a few words indicating what you liked about it would be great.

Again, thank you for giving this author a try!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Free Preview - The Hand of Tyr

For those who may be contemplating buying either the paperback or e-book versions of The Hand of Tyr, but have yet to decide, here's a free sample of the book to give you an idea. It covers Chapter One and part of Chapter Two.

Happy reading!

And We're Live!

When Balfrith flees home with his father’s cursed sword, he heads north to find the magical domain of the Elves. But what starts out as a childish flight from home, leads to a quest that will take Balfrith to places and peoples he could only dream of. In his quest to find answers to questions even the Elves do not know, he will awaken an ancient and forgotten evil—and the cursed blade alone holds the power to fight it.

But will Balfrith have the courage to take up the sword, and risk his very soul to wield it?

The Hand of Tyr is available in paperback ($12) today on Amazon world-wide. The e-book ($2.99) will follow in the next 1-2 days.

UPDATE: The e-book went live later this morning!

Happy reading! And if you enjoyed this book, please consider writing a review on Amazon at, your blog or social media, or any place that book-lovers gather to discuss their latest reads.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Cover Art

We're still working on the final edits and text layout (some minor issues with the way text flows in e-books), but here's a sneak preview of the cover, to whet your appetite!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Coming Soon...

The book shall be published!

Working on cover art and layout now. Planning to self-publish through Amazon (e-book) and CreateSpace (print on demand).

Can't believe I finally made it.