Thanks Australia! Writing Update: Sigma Draconis and Other Projects

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Writing Project(s) Update:

First off I’d like to thank my readers in Australia.  October was a pretty good month for downloads there.  I taught my students the awesome song Waltzing Matilda weeks ago so obviously that news made it’s way from Washington State to the land down-under and thus the uptick in downloads there.  I love that song…perhaps the best unofficial national anthem ever.  The real one, “Advance Australia Fair,” is the official anthem but the one everyone really knows is Waltzin’!  Love it!

To YouTube:  John WIlliamson - Waltzing Matilda
To YouTube: John WIlliamson – Waltzing Matilda

Sigma Draconis is coming along.  Not as quickly as I’d like but it’s coming along.  The trouble is not the writing.  It’s finding the time to do the writing!  Holding down a full-time job with a commute that’s more than an hour round-trip really cuts into my writing and brain-working time.  I’ve changed things up this week writing at home a couple hours before I leave for work.  This worked well for me while I pecked away at The Bellerophon: Ambush last spring.  I tried to change things up this year by writing after work but then people saw my light on which then obviously meant I was there to answer their questions…so I stopped that this past week.  When your door is closed and your classroom lights are off and the only light on is your desk lamp that should say something.  Many are deaf to this however.  So from now on,  when it’s 4pm, I’m out!  If I’m still in the mood when I get home I may be able to put another 500+ coherent words for a current writing project (Sigma Draconis novel, TBA short story/novella) or to outline a new story.  I have dozens and dozens of those.  Writing story outlines is almost as addictive as writing the actual stories!  Perhaps even more so in fact.  Wouldn’t it be great to have an 8th day of the week that was all yours?!  I could go with that.  No wonder folks that work 4 ten-hour days instead of 5 eights are so much happier.

Long story short…the writing update for SD:

Despite the change in writing schedule, a crazy work week, and my brain outlining new projects seemingly every day, I managed to get Act/Part 1 done yesterday.  The draft comes in at 50K words and without looking through it yet (which will change what I say next most assuredly) I’m pretty happy with it.  It is different than my first book TB:A but I promise it’s still great fun.  I’m more excited for this piece than TB:A in fact.  The plan is to start Act/Part 2 tomorrow morning and see where that goes.  What it looks like right now is that for sure there will be 3 overall Act/Parts and possibly a 4th.  If it goes to a 4th Act/Part it will probably mean it’ll be split up into two releases so I can hit my self-imposed deadline.  I’m happy either way that goes.  The only problem is that it may push back the direct sequel to TB:A just a little bit but I promise it will be a month delay at most.  I hope to get that done by this late spring.  Stay tuned for more on that!

Update:  TBA short story/novella

So this is a shorter piece of fiction following one of the crew from the Bellerophon and how he or she came to sign-on with Captain Wray.  I’m experimenting a day a week on writing this.  It looks to be first person which I’m very excited to do for several reasons.  For one it’s great to write in this manner because you get a lot of extra dialogue and character development because you get the internal dialogue and how the character is thinking.  And second it’s my homage to one of my favorite books of all-time, Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.  Finally, I’m exploring this point-of-view writing style because it may return for the direct sequel to TB:A.  At least part of it anyway.

To Amazon.com!  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

Thanks for following and keeping up with my notes on this and that.  I watched Snowpiercer on Halloween night and a review on that film is forthcoming.  Let’s just say I’m very glad I saw it.

Cheers and keep the faith!


If you find yourself in Portland, OR try Via Chicago grab some of the best pizza, craft beer, and sandwiches around.

Via Chicago. Alberta St. Portland, OR

New Cover Art! Thanks Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds. PLUS other updates.

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Good morning Sci-Fi fans.  I’m very happy to display here, for the first time, the new cover art for my first released book The Bellerophon: Ambush.  The original art was done with the cover art maker software on Amazon.com and it worked for me.  For a time at least.  Then I started to see others with nearly the same cover…so it was obvious that I needed something different.

From time-to-time over the years I’ve chatted with the talented Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds, a friend, brother really, for nearly 30-years (I cried at his wedding which means nothing as I cry at all weddings).  We’ve talked about graphic novel work because I love to write, he loves to draw, and we both love to create.  So here is the cover he came up with.  I think it very well evokes the minimalist environment that is the arena for much of this series: deep space.  I immediately thought of one of the original covers of the Greg Bear book Eon and one of the original covers for Rendezvous with Rama, one of my favorite books by perhaps my favorite author, Arthur C. Clarke.

To Amazon.com!  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

I look forward to again work with Kevin Reynolds in the near future on more creative projects.  Hopefully he can find time to fit me into his busy schedule of being a husband, father, co-owner operator of the Via Chicago restaurant (ttp://www.viachicagopizza.com) on Alberta Street in Portland, OR, (stop by and have a slice!) oh and he’s a Senior Art Director for Leopold Ketel & Partners (http://www.leoketel.com) in…you guessed it, that same Rose City.  I need a nap after writing all that.  Again, he’s quite the busy guy!

And an update on how things are going on Amazon.com…

For an Indie-writer I’m as happy as a clam with these numbers.  Never thought I’d write “happy as a clam.”  Ever.  Thanks to all you readers out there.  Now to get some work done.  Also, stay tuned for some movie reviews.  I’ve watched some off-the-beaten path films lately that I thinks folks will enjoy.

Have a great weekend and as always…







Thanks for the Downloads, oh…and Pizza in Portland!

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Still going strong my brother and sister readers and writers!  Thanks for giving my book a look.

Currently there are 2,947,025 e-books on Amazon.com.  And The Bellerophon: Ambush is:

I’m writing more stuff as fast as I can.  Tough to get my words in while I’m trying to teach the 6th grade especially when…don’t get me rambling about that!  Anyway…I’m done with Act 1 of Sigma Draconis (FIB ALERT!).  Okay…half a chapter left and then the draft of Act 1 of 3 is done but I’m over 40K words now so it’s looking like a book kinda!  I’ll also be devoting a day a week (I write 7-days a week I do) to working on a novella to get something in the 15-30K realm done before Christmas.  I’m afraid to really get into this though because that was how Sigma D. started!

If you haven’t already downloaded a copy…here you go.  Help a starving teacher transition into the role of a full-time starving writer.  Shameless I know.

Book 1 in the Captive Galaxy Series. Kindle. Amazon.com
Book 1 in the Captive Galaxy Series. Kindle. Amazon.com

Thanks to all my friends in the UK, Australia, and Canada for buying quite a few copies of my work.  Hope you continue to enjoy and tell your friends!

Also, that new cover for The Bellerophon: Ambush is inbound from Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds.  Who, besides being an extremely talented and creative individual, operates Via Chicago which, if you want some good pizza and craft beer (and much more), it’s the place to be in the Rose City.