Monthly Archives: January 2016


This was the “mother of all storms” if you listen to the media, but it’s nothing. In my opinion, if the snow is up to the second floor of my house, then that’s the mother of all storms. We got a few inches.

While I was hunkered down for the blizzard, I did some editing for War Mage. After editing, I need another pair of eyes to read through and tell me what to describe, because I can’t tell. Even when I try to read it as an editor, I end up rewriting whole scenes instead. So I am not an editor. I am a writer.

I also finally finished “Custer’s First Stand”, the first mission with Brent and Task Force “Deuce”. This is going to be the free story that I’m giving away when people join my mailing list. I am going to eventually write the story that Mark refers to when he and Brent talk about “full contact” in Homecoming. I have done no writing to show for it in the 800 Words blog, as what I did today was finish the short story.

I attempted to read a couple of book marketing books I got on Kindle Unlimited. One of them “Book Marketing is Dead” was so full of grammar and spelling errors on the first two pages that I tossed it back. Another, about a book launch, read like a Writer’s Digest article of “top ten tips to make your book launch a success”. Another book marketing one read like a top 100 tips. I’ve also been listening to podcasts, such as The Creative Penn, The Smarter Artist, The Newbie Writer’s Podcast (which I want to be on so bad). This is in between podcasts of Fresh Air, Serial (research), The American Military History Podcast, and The Art of Manliness (also research).

The writing podcasts basically state that one of the most important things to do is to have a mailing list. So I’m trying that. On the main website is (or will be) a box for you to put in your email. Now, I promise not to spam every day (like some other writing sites seem to do with the guise of “being helpful” but are actually sales pitches). I might just send you a note once a month, or when something new is happening. You’ll be the first to know. Heck, you can come here every week to see what’s new. You can also give me your email by commenting on 800 Words.

I hope to be contacting you soon. I have to mess with the setting for my Twitter, FB, and Tumblr feeds to get those straight. Don’t link from them using the icons on the page.


I just noticed I missed last week, so this week you’ll get two posts.

Last week was hellacious. I had a cancer scare – yes, that’s a real possibility in my life, as you’ll find out when I write my memoir of the experience. I was on eggshells all weekend, so could hardly concentrate on anything. But I’m free and clear now.

Homecoming is coming along. I’m a little miffed that the cover I had paid for is not going to be used in its entirety. It initially had a house with a hook in the clouds. The hook was meant to be a meat hook but someone pointed out that it looked like a hay-hook. It wasn’t as important to the plot. But it is a symbol of what he’s carrying into the next book. However, it won’t work for this book. So they took the hook out entirely and now it’s a house. I’m a little bummed out, but they said they’ll use the hook for the banner ads. And when I make the poster of it, I’m going to use the hook, too. It’s supposed to make the reader wonder “What’s that there for?” so that way they read the book to find out.

The book is short (184 pgs) enough to read in one sitting. I hope that people want more, which is the point of it. It’s a prequel to War Mage, where I’ve done the research and have set it in an exotic country. I’ll put the bibliography here sometime.

I’ve still been writing scenes, a couple of Champions stories based on my muse from that game (Scott the Mage’s player). He threw me a curve ball after the “Marker” story and I’ve been trying to recover ever since.  Which is a good thing! I love when I get a challenge.

Grimaulkin, when I finish that book, is going to be dedicated to those muses.

New Year’s Resolution results

So far, it’s been almost a week, and I’ve been pretty religious about writing every day. I’ve started 3 stories and done 2 scenes.

I’m describing a lot more. I just finished reading Word Painting, which I think is an excellent book on description. I should use simile and metaphor more often when describing (simile is like, while metaphor is). Hell, I need to describe and detail things more often as well.

I’m proud of myself these last few tries at describing things. I’m going to pull out War Mage this weekend and start editing it. I know that it needs description. I just need to find the places for it.

I’m looking over the final edits for Homecoming. If I approve them, and I probably will, then we start the production.

Oh, my, scary time. Scary but exciting.

I can’t wait!

A new year, a new blog


Real Soon Now (tm) I’ll be an actual published author. The date we’re now looking at is late February. This gives me time to have War Mage possibly read by my beta reader before going off to the editor (or should it be the other way around?).

Anyway, I have a blog right now that consists of mostly Champions Online stories. I’m going to be changing that to just Champions Online stories. I try and do other writing every day (that’s the new year’s and birthday resolution, btw), but I have no place to put it so people can see the progress.

I plan on having the webmaster create another blog for me, this time for a daily word count of 800 words, which is what the other blog was supposed to be. Thing is, most of those fans are from Champions Online, so they’re not interested in seeing stuff like Iron Butterfly or War Mage, or dips into other genres like dystopian fiction or romance, or other writing prompt exercises that I find on the web or in my many writing prompt books that I own.

I’ll link to it from this blog, of course.

Now, what else? I decided to put aside Iron Butterfly in favor of editing War Mage. I’m not doing so well with that. I find myself not editing, but reading. And although I see everything in my mind’s eye in three dimensions and with colors and smells and textures, I’m not putting it across very well on the page. Maybe I should try scriptwriting.

I’m not lyrical or flowery, it’s the journalism teaching in me. I pay attention to what people say, how they say it, not what’s around them, and that translates to the page. They’re talking heads in space. Mind you, I can keep the pace going and advance the plot, but as for the setting, or the surroundings? Not so much.

So I’m going through the manuscript, in chunks and sections, not in sequential order, to see if I’m describing everything well enough. Also doing line editing at the same time. I’ll edit for consistency on another pass.

I’m also working on trying to get together a mailing list. I’d do a newsletter once a month to let people know what I’m working on and what’s coming next down the pipeline. Maybe once I get that going, I’ll put together a Patreon account and try and get people to see if they want to patron me to write stories for them. I could do different things, like write novellas or short stories for people using characters either from Champions or from other books, Or I could do a few non-fiction pieces about the writing craft and stuff. Or I could get some artists from deviantart to do work for me. (Hmm. Anime Grim…)

This year I hope to have 3 published books, not counting Homecoming. War Mage, maybe Iron Butterfly at a different publishing house that does romance-with-a-twist, Blood From a Stone with Paper Angel…or who knows, maybe something entirely different.  What’s important this year is the marketing and getting my name out there, I think. The writing, although still daily, will be secondary.

Oh, and to blog here at least once a week, probably on my own stuff or ideas on what I’m doing to help plot/character.  Watch for my book reviews on Goodreads. This year the goal is 100 books!