deja vu with rain on the way

So, just got back from my somewhat daily walk.  

I don’t get out every day.

It was wonderful to be out in the sun.

Even if it was cool enough to justify wearing my Red Wings jersey.

It’s a Fedorov (91).

For most of the walk I mentally wrote the ending to Déjà Vu, the upcoming story. As I neared the end of the walk I decided on my next project.  Titled Rainmaker, it will be another short story tied to the Ghost Games series.

And yep, I’ll do the same as I did with Karma in terms of pricing.

I wasn’t passionate about the next project and in fact, doing another short story solves a problem.  A few actually.

  • I’m able to creatively channel excess energy created by the chaos
  • I didn’t think I had enough to make Rainmaker a full-length novel but loved the plot
  • I needed a break from series fiction.  Even standalone books in a series are intense

I’ve had fun working on Deja Vu though it was challenging, too.

It’s really different than anything I’ve worked on and short stories have always been a challenge for me.

Deja Vu solved a unique challenge I was having with the Ghost Games series.  Namely, What was going to be the inaugural story?

I had three very cool book ideas but couldn’t decide which one I wanted to release as the first in the series.  By releasing a short story, I was able to introduce readers to the style of the series without the pressure of having to choose.

I was also able to double back.  

When first considering the plot for the initial short story, I had two ideas.  I liked both but ended up choosing one for Déjà Vu.  I figured I’d eventually use the other one somewhere along the series way.  By doing it as another short story I tie all that creative chaos into a neat bow.

I’m guessing I’ll have Déjà Vu available for download within 10 – 14 days. 

Stay tuned. 

Here is an excerpt from Déjà Vu:

River’s stomach twisted at the look on his face.  She’d obviously ruined the moment.  “Sorry.”

Dodi put a hand beneath River’s chin, tilted her face so she’d look at him.  “Do you see, River?  The world is experienced not in fleeting moments but what we capture within through what we see, smell -.”  He handed her a glass of cool water, waited while she sipped before setting it down and continuing.  “Taste.”  He put a finger to her cheek.  “Touch.  Love is everywhere but to connect with it you need to be aware on a level that you have not yet mastered.  How could you?” he asked, “when your experience with the world has been so limited.  If you want to know love – to truly know love – you have to embrace the world and all that is within it.  Only once you let it inside through those senses will you be able to know what it is when you finally find it.”

No-Cost Download coming soon

I just finished the final edit for Karma, the inaugural installment in Metatron’s Army: Chronicles.

There’s still work to do but I’m hoping to have the story available for download by the end of the weekend. I should have a landing page up within the next day or so. The cover is finished but I’m still working on the “What’s it all about” task.

Summarizing 50,000 plus words in a few paragraphs is one of the more challenging aspects of postproduction.

I also have about /13 of Deja Vu’s first draft written though I have no estimated time of release.

Lots of other projects are in the works. I will update readers as appropriate. In the meantime, both Karma and Deja Vu, which is an introduction to the Ghost Games series, will be available at no cost.

Stay Tuned.

writing ahead

I’m happy to say that Karma, a short story related to the Metatron’s Army series is in post production.

Those who have not read MA or Metatron’s Legacy will still be able to follow.

This book will be released at no cost as a way to introduce readers to my work.

And help the thousands of people who are now at home find a way to take their minds off the chaos.

I am now working on Déjà Vu which is also a short story that will be released at no cost.  This one is tied to the Ghost Games series.

I have several projects in the queue including Shadow of the Gods and an app I’ve been working on for several years.

I delayed the public release until I’d worked a few things out.  The process behind it was in the works for years.  It’s just automated now.

The order of release of these projects is fluid and will likely remain so though I’ll provide updates as I have them.

A SHORT STORY: My definition of a short story is 40,000 words or less whereas I consider a full-length novel 60,000 or more.

Karma is currently at 50,600.  Not sure what final release will be.

I have to admit, my arms and fingers are a bit tired.  In addition to getting this draft finished in a little over a week I wrote blogs and texts and emails.  I’m ready for a break.  

But my mind isn’t.

I have Déjà Vu going and though I’m anxious to get that one finished I hope I don’t push myself the way I did with Karma.

Part of that was letting off creative steam as an answer to the chaos.  I also cleaned and caught up on all the laundry.  YUCK!  

I’ll post updates as appropriate.  In the meantime, I’m hoping to have Karma available for download within 1 to 2 weeks.

Stay tuned!

learning at home

With l-12 schools across the country closed I thought I would post some information that may be helpful to parents and caregivers by listing resources they can tap while the districts get online learning up and running.

Please be aware that home learning – homeschooling – has been conducted successfully throughout the United States for decades.  Because of this there are a number of great resources to help parents and kids – and educators – during this chaotic time.

Where to Start?  Here is a book that will help guide parents who want and need to be more involved in guiding the education, Home Learning Year by Year.

Kahn Academy:  An excellent online resource for learning.

Singapore Math:  An excellent curriculum for homeschool learning.

They do more than math.

Spectrum Language Arts:  Excellent books and workbooks for language arts.

Owl and Mouse:  Online learning resource

World Geography:  This site is free and fun.

The Learning Store:  Lots of resources including kits for science experiments at home.

There are other online stores where more sophisticated science kits, such as biology and chemistry, can be obtained.

I understand from a woman who homeschools her kids that Brigham Young University has some excellent online classes.  

Her daughter took high school French with them.

There are many successful homeschool stories.  I’m sure some of those parents have blogs where they are sharing information with others.

The woman who homeschools told me there are great online resources for parents who are homeschooling for the college bound, including how to do course transcripts for acceptance.  These individuals are generous with their time and information.

I will update this post if I come across additional resources.  I invite those who follow – if you know of other resources that would help – post in the comments.

Here Comes the Sun and more

Working on Karma and enjoying the additional evening sunlight thanks to the switch back to Daylight Savings Time.

And waiting for Congress to give us the waiver so we don’t have to go through the outdated and unnecessary bi-annual process.  We voted to do away with it after all and having lived in Arizona I know how sweet life is when you don’t.

I just finished writing a very challenging scene, challenging because though a vivid moving image in my mind, it is difficult to describe.

My entire body tenses up as I seek to recreate what I see in my mind’s eye on “paper.”

I started my writing career on paper so even though that paper is now virtual, to me it’s still paper.

I’m anxious to finish this shorter story that is part of the Metatron’s Army family.  I’ve really enjoyed working on it and though I went back and reread Adjudication and sections of other MA novels, this story is pretty independent.

The Twelve Star Systems are vast with numerous species living on a number of planets.  Lots of room for stories of those not directly involved with the saga though I do include familiar characters and provide backstory so anyone who hadn’t read MA or Metatron’s Legacy could follow.

I’ve started working with my art team on a cover design though it’s in early stages.  I’m hoping to have a landing page up within a week to give readers an idea of what’s coming.

I’m hoping the book will be ready for download within the next two weeks.

I have a number of projects I’ll be talking about soon, including a new app I developed.

This one was fun.

Stay tuned.

Writing: Let me count the ways

So, lots going on these days.  With Cauldron of the Gods released I’m on to the next projects.

Dragon Core:  Almost finished with the first draft of Shadow of the Gods, a follow-on to Cauldron. 

 I don’t have a projected release date outside spring 2020. 

Working on Shadow has been a lot of fun.  It hadn’t been part of the original series but toward the end of Cauldron I got the idea for it and felt it was perfect as a follow-on so I slipped it in front of Messenger of the Gods which will be the third in the series.  

What I really like about the Dragon Core series is that each book stands on its own to support a different main character with the overall series plot as a backdrop.  This gives me a lot of flexibility and the ability to tell each shifter’s story in detail.  

With Shadow of the Gods I delve into what it means to be a shape shifting alien living among humans as told through the eyes of the humans around them.  Especially, Mica who is the main female character for this book.  There will be plenty of familiar characters from the first book but with a new location and a new perspective it will be unique from the first.

Separate yet related.

Metatron’s Army:  I am working on a series of short stories that are part of the Metatron’s Army family.  

They take place after Adjudication but before Metatron’s Legacy which is set twenty years later.

Karma, first in this series of shorter stories is almost finished.  As a way to introduce readers of my paranormal fiction to my sci-fi writing style I’m going to offer this book to readers at no cost.

I’m hoping to have this available for download within two weeks.

I’ll be posting additional information about Karma as appropriate.

Ghost Games:  The idea for this action-adventure sci-fi series came to me a few years ago when I was about to walk the Embarcadero in San Diego.  

I was going down the stairwell in our building and got a vision/image – a glimpse of the mist that’s on the banner for the Ghost Games page.  I mentally acknowledged the vision then went on the walk knowing I would someday circle back to work on the storyline.

Each story in this series will consist of a “Case file” where readers are introduced to characters whose view of the world will be tested.

Because their reality will be tested.

I have three of the stories under construction.  

I’m really excited about each story and am having trouble deciding which one to release first.  

Other:  I’ve been creating new merchandise for my store, shooting videos, and developing concepts for blog material but I admit this work has been taking the back seat more recently to finishing Karma and Shadow of the Gods.

And I’m really anxious to get to the Ghost Game files.

Stay tuned…

Bringing a Story to Life: Alien Romance

1920x1080_px_abstract_angel_artwork_demon_fantasy_Art-774620.jpg!d-2Just listening to the playlist I created for the upcoming Dragon Core series and finishing final edits on Analysis:  Book 12 in the Metatron’s Army Series.

I need to remind myself I have upcoming projects as I wind down this series.  It’s been with me so long I occasionally feel a twinge of anxiety about it ending.

As I wind down the series, two elements have taken center stage.

  • Reveals
  • Relationships

Reveals. In coming along on a journey that traversed thirteen installments, readers of the series have put their trust in me.

The nature of the story necessitated this format where each book in the series is like a chapter in the life of the main character, who was born in one universe, raised in another before returning to her home universe to fulfill her destiny.

To end a century’s old war and save a race of energy beings which are not always complimentary objectives.

My focus in these final books is to ensure I share various secrets and individual and collective character motivations that reveal the numerous plots within the plot in a way that honors that trust while not revealing too much at one time.

I need to keep the reader entertained – and guessing.

Relationships.  Relationships between a variety of characters definitely take center stage in these final books for the simple reason I need to answer the question Then what?

Through much of the series, the characters have worked together for a variety of common goals that included

  • training to do the jobs they need to do
  • doing those jobs to the best of their ability while continuing to grow as individuals
  • protecting each other and themselves while keeping their eye on the overall objective.

Having something in common does not equal compatibility though I have created characters who not only respect each other, they generally get along well, even as they often work at cross purposes.

Alien V. Culture. Most of the characters have grown up in a universe where different species are akin to what humans would consider a different culture.

It’s just no big deal to have different physiology or physical characteristics that make you stand out.

That doesn’t mean the different species trust each other, even as they work together for a common purpose.  Focusing on how those relationships evolve and transform throughout the series has been fun and something I only had an overarching understanding of.

I knew the overall goal but not what any specific character(s) would do to fulfill that goal. 

I’ve had the joy of allowing characters to evolve in such a way as to transform from being a minor background character to a main character that contributes significantly to the plot and the saga.

I didn’t plan for these changes, they just happened as the story progressed and I got to know certain characters better.

I also need to deal with interdimensional relationships as I’ve brought people from Earth to the Vetria system.

From Analysis:

“Look, can we file this under the Light Beings don’t understand humans category and move on to the reason you are in my apartment?”

“For the moment.”

Fuck.  He so did not want to get roped into the help the Light Beings understand the subtle nuances of intimate relations.

There is also the necessity of addressing how characters move from one type of a relationship to another.

  • From being team players to individual leaders as their careers transform
  • From reporting to someone to becoming a peer as the roles evolve
  • From colleagues to lovers
  • From culturally different species to lovers

On the path to love. Those last two points have been surprisingly less challenging than the two above.  It’s not only been a joy to take various characters from soldiers to lovers, it’s been relatively easy.

The key has been to think – really think – about the challenges they would face.

  • As an individual
  • A couple
  • A team
  • A community

Individual.  When dealing with different species I needed to take into account individual expectations based on social customs as well as individual likes, dislikes, expectations.

There’s Two.  I had to address the challenges of being a couple.

Emotion isn’t a switch to be turned on so imagine being involved with a species for who emotion was forbidden for centuries, for example.

Team Player.  I had to consider how the characters would view themselves in terms of their professional roles, as well as how their teammates would view any changes in relationships.

How do you go from soldiers who fight side by side to lovers? 

Who’s coming for dinner?!  Imagine bringing someone considered the enemy into a community with the implicit expectation that he would be entering into a romantic relationship with a member of that community.

Assuming the individual would have them to being with.

In this situation the relationship is under a microscope as every member of the community takes note of every move.

Which actually happens with multiple characters who enter into romantic liaisons.  As Christine puts it, the universe is watching.

To facilitate the process, I simply looked at each relationship through those four filters.

But wait!  The challenge has been to pace the development of the relationships relative to upcoming plot developments and the reality that such relationships typically evolve over a period of time.

As Christine says at one point, loving someone isn’t the same as being in love with them.

I have to think ahead to what the characters will be facing and make sure that their feelings and thoughts about the relationship are in line with where they are in the progression of the story.

There’s more!  And of course, there’s the whole physical side to the relationships.  That has been a lot of fun to deal with as I’ve had the challenge of incorporating different cultural and personal views on sexuality.

And stopped to think what would each character be worried or excited about in taking that step with the one they love.

This last was a central focus of multiple characters in Promotion: Book 11 in the series.

Front and Back. As I wrap this article before going back to Analysis, I will add that another facet of relationship development is the need to shift the romance from front and center to back burner out of necessity as characters remain true to their roles.

There’s still a war and they are still soldiers, even if some of them are now “closer.”

It has been fun even as it has been, in spite of the implication of emotion, an intellectual exercise.

Analysis will be available August 1, 2019.

Note:  This article is cross-posted to metatronsarmy.com.