Our summer journey has come to an end. We have a house and have moved in with our roommates. Maxine has started school. The only thing left is for the moving and storage company to bring our stuff – I say this after having almost been moved in for a full month.
During our time at Quinn’s dad house, we took a trip up to Chicago and stay with my sister for a few weeks, and visited other friends that live in the area that we hadn’t seen since our wedding. Like I said previously, my family and I aren’t exactly the closest but my sister is my closest sibling while being the furthest in age from me. Staying with them was a breath of fresh air because we click on a great level. In our weekend up there we got to go to Taste of Chicago, which was great even if we got rained out. I barely got any work done, but I got to recharge my batteries.
When we got back to southern Illinois, we settled on a house – our first pick that we were struggling with. It’s a beautiful 5-bedroom house with an unfinished basement. It has creaky stairs, hardwood on the main floor, and double doors that separate the dining and living room. It’s haunted, and when we find that ghost, we’re gonna ask it to pay rent.
In our last week in Illinois, I sat down for an Improbable Task. You may have heard me talk about a project I’ve been working on that I call Wardens or Wardens on The Wall. This is a series of novellas I’ve been working on, and I started outlining it quite a while back, and last year I sat down and powered through the first draft of the first book, Ignition. When I finished it, there was a lot of fluff, the story was kind of bloated, had a deus ex machina ending, and the prose was a bit mechanical for what I was going for. It was also intended to be Young Adult.
Over the last year or more I’ve been stripping away at the first draft, making notes, changing things, and compiling necessary changes that needed to be made. That’s when I realized that instead of Young Adult novels, these wanted to be hard science fiction novellas. The Improbably Task here was sitting down, and cranking out the second draft. Why is that Improbable? Because I don’t think it’s impossible, but it was also daunting. I compiled all my notes, sat down and wrote about 8k words a day for three days. I finished the second draft of Ignition and then handed it to my colleague and friend Jaym Gates, who’s an amazing editor and has done a lot of work in SFF. Once Jaym gave me her feedback I worked through some necessary changes and started shopping it around.
That hasn’t slowed down my other writing, though. I finished a short story that needs some polishing. It’s sitting at about 7700 words, and I’d like to get it down to 7000. I wrote in an ending because I was getting quite alarmed at the word count. I’m putting some distance between it and me to get my head on straight about how I want it to end, and where I can consolidate information. I’m also writing some short stories set in the Blue Rose universe that will be fun and has one of my most fun characters; a too-smart-for-his-own-good rhy-owl with some sass.
There’s been a lot going on in the last month. Not only did I knock out a whole novella, but I’ve buckled down on RPG writing and design. Over on my Patreon, I’m releasing a new One Page RPG each month – they look a bit cheap because they’re being designed in Word. My first Patreon goal is to be able to afford the subscription to InDesign so that I can pretty them up, but that’s pretty far away right now. Also in the world of RPG design, I finished up my first paid freelance gig so you’ll be able to see some NPC designs and lore in a coming Modern AGE book.
A week after we moved in was GenCon. Thankfully, this is close to us so it wasn't a hassle to deal with moving in the same week as gaming's biggest convention. This GenCon was particularly awesome - it was Maxine's first and Quinn's first GenCon in a few years. It was also my first with the amazing and welcoming team at Green Ronin and getting to meet the whole team in person was wonderful. I had a blast, was incredibly productive, and still managed to have fewer meetings than any of my previous years that I worked.
This concludes our summer journey, and the start of a new leg on my career journey. If you want to; you can follow me on Twitter and if you want to support budding designers, please check out my Patreon. See you next time!