Sunday, December 31, 2023

2024 writing/publishing goals

It's that time of year, time for resolutions!

I have many personal goals, but you're probably more interested, dear readers, in my books, so I'll keep this concise.

I am presently writing Book 18, SINS OF THE FATHER. The word count is at 34,000, and I have the final events to write yet. It will easily pass the 40K mark. Depending on how I care to develop the story ending--lots of potential yet--it could end up anywhere between 45-55K. That's a big range of word count to accommodate a range of ideas in which I could write a satisfying conclusion. I just can't let myself rush this. It's been quite the project.

And then I'll need to create a cover for Book 18 and write some descriptions for the upcoming books that are completed.

For 2024, I will finish writing Book 18. I also hope to complete Books 19 and 20. If the writing goes well, I may even get into Book 21 before the year's end; but I'll be satisfied with three books a year, especially since these have been a little longer than what I had originally planned (which was around the 42-45K word count).

In summary, I expect to publish these books in 2024, all in Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds, since that is my priority:

  • 16 - GHOSTS
  • Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds Collection 3 (Book 11-15) (print)

And I expect to finish writing Books 18, 19, and 20. I'll shoot to reach book 21, but I won't be disappointed if I only get three done.

Thanks for reading!

Have a safe and happy new year!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Writing trials

I got stuck.

This happens a lot more than most writers will admit. Usually, we don't get mired hip deep in impassible muck into which we've written ourselves, but it happens on occasion. It happened to me writing Book 18 of Forgotten Worlds. After thinking about what was happening, I realized that I had a plot hole I could spin a planet through, to my chagrin.

It's not as bad as Ghosts was, where I had to stop writing it and switch to editing another book to get my mind off it, then go back with a fresh perspective that showed me what I needed. This only required a couple attempts at rewriting from a certain point in the story.

I tried a couple of ideas but neither quite fit and I was getting despondent in thinking this story would never work the way I expected, but there was a lot of good stuff already.

Then the answer hit. It wasn't as bad as a complete rewrite would be. I needed a combination of the rewrites and original to make the closed plot hole work. I'm now working through the scenes to rewrite the new plot direction into it. Fortunately, a lot of it can stay, although reordered.

Better now than later. I had 30K words on the book, but now that's not the case. At least it's not 0.

Now, I'm moving on in the writing again, and part of what I didn't want to lose was some surprising new characters. They get to stay. 😁

Sunday, December 17, 2023

One-line prayers

I was inspired by a video (below) to share these simple one-line prayers that are easy to say when you need them. These are simple prayers that you can repeat over and over to great effect in your life. If you can't remember any other prayers, keep these in mind.

Note:  "To pray" means "to ask". (It is NOT worship.) You are asking, making a request. Requesting the Lord's mercy or the intercession of His Blessed Mother is very powerful in our lives.

Most precious blood:
Most precious blood of Jesus Christ, save us and the whole world.

Jesus prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Surrender prayer:
Jesus, I surrender myself to thee, take care of everything.

Miraculous Medal:
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Origins of the Christmas Tree

From the story of St. Boniface and the Christmas Tree:

From his missionary travels, Boniface knew that in winter the inhabitants of the village of Geismar gathered around a huge old oak tree (known as the “Thunder Oak”) dedicated to the god Thor. This annual event of worship centered on sacrificing a human, usually a small child, to the pagan god. Boniface desired to convert the village by destroying the Thunder Oak, which the pagans had previously boasted the God of Boniface could not destroy, so he gathered a few companions and journeyed to Geismar.

His fellow missionaries were scared and fearful that the Germans might kill them, so they balked when they reached the outskirts of the village on Christmas Eve. Boniface steadied the nerves of his friends and as they approached the pagan gathering he said, “Here is the Thunder Oak; and here the cross of Christ shall break the hammer of the false god Thor.”[4] Boniface and his friends arrived at the time of the sacrifice, which was interrupted by their presence. In a show of great trust in God and born from a desire to enkindle the fire of Christ in the German pagans, Boniface grabbed an axe and...

Read the rest of the story about what happened and how the Christmas tree became a new tradition at

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Writing update and cats

I'm still here, but I've been busy and haven't had much to say, except maybe on X/Twitter. I don't post much there either, however. I just don't feel the need to say much.

But I'm writing. Forgotten Worlds book 18 is moving along at a decent pace, but it's definitely not quite what I expected. I have over 24,000 words so far, so past the halfway point. It is a tricky one to write because of the developed relationships between the characters and the new characters of this particular plot.

Potentially, I could finish this book by the new year and then use January to edit Book 16 with an early February release date, but I can't promise that. However, my goal for Book 16, GHOSTS, is February. I just can't say when.

In the meantime, here's a video I shared on X/Twitter. Our youngest cat, Jack, is 8 1/2 years old and he goes on these talking streaks. We don't know what he wants. Once I picked him up for a little bit, he wanted down and took off, so I can only figure out he wanted some attention, just enough to satisfy something.

Cats are funny creatures. (Turn the volume up to hear him talking to me.)