2016 Vacation, part 1

No updates this week, because I’m on vacation instead! My in-laws are coming to town and thus I took the time off to enjoy their visit. As such, I’ll be trying to relax and have some fun instead of stressing out about being “on schedule” with my edits or “on task” with my No Books rewrites and such. If everything goes as planned, work will continue¬† next Monday (July 25th).

Not that I think anyone is paying anywhere near enough attention to even notice I was gone.

Hope to see you all after the break!


“No Books of Men: Vol 1” – Take These Broken Wings and Learn to Fly

Yet another No Books story. This one is intended as a direct sequel to the last one (i.e. “History Lesson”) and features the same James who wrote that essay, despite him not appearing in a speaking role here. Instead, this focuses on his immediate family: his wife Maria and their adopted son Eustace. This serves two purposes. The first is to set up James and this part of his family (there are more to his family, specifically Friday and Tom who are his adopted sister and brother-in-law respectively). The second is to close up the “backstory” chapters for the beginning of the book. Whereas the previous chapter was a broad overview of the Schism War and the general history of magic users in this setting (and generally optimistic), this chapter shows what’s changed in the twenty years since that was written and the personal (very negative) impact on the author of that piece.

Continue reading ““No Books of Men: Vol 1” – Take These Broken Wings and Learn to Fly”

“No Books of Men: Side Stories” – Tomas Sparks and the Grand Prix Showdown

My schedule didn’t really let up much from last week, so I’ve still been a bit too drained to do much beyond read and play vidya games. As such, you get another Tom stories from the archives. This one was written from the same convention book as the last one, but during a different year. The theme was racing that year and so the theme for this one is also racing. It’s the first time I tried a hand at writing my wife’s character June, who is Tom and Friday’s teenaged (or in the main No Books timeline, early 20s) daughter.

Once again, as a side story, this isn’t official No Books canon. It is however broad strokes canon, meaning Tom has gone to Monaco to look for a wayward June, but the exact circumstances may have been a touch different.

Continue reading ““No Books of Men: Side Stories” – Tomas Sparks and the Grand Prix Showdown”

“No Books of Men: Side Stories” – Tomas Sparks and the Mystic Cauldron

This has been a rough week for creativity, I’ve found. Lots to do round the house with the in-laws coming in a few weeks. Work’s been a mess for a number of reasons. Helping my wife bounce ideas around for a project she’s working. It’s been busy to say the least, and when I do finally have time to sit and write… Nothing.

Therefore, today you get something from the archives. This is a Tom Sparks story, originally written for a convention fiction collection, set in Scotland at an indistinct timeframe (as with most Tom stories). Tom is a favorite of mine and one of a handful of characters I’ve been writing off and on for about 10 years, and I always come back to writing him eventually. With the advent of my “No Books of Men” project, these Tom shorts (and there are more than half a dozen of them) are in a strange place in the canon of that setting. Tom exists in the No Books world, and we’ve already seen him in action here on the blog. The stories that predate No Books (in some cases by nearly a decade) are still canon for me, but in a broad strokes sort of fashion.

In other words: The Tom you have and will continue to see has been to Scotland, met the figure in the mists, and found a cauldron. It just might not have played out in exactly this fashion and the timing of it in his life is undetermined. It may happen in the future. It may have happened in the past. It may have happened in his “home time” which isn’t exactly the past but is also the 1940s (it’s a strange situation which will be illuminated in future No Books stories). In the meantime, enjoy “Tomas Sparks and the Mystic Cauldron.” This was written in 2012 for a convention whose yearly theme was “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.”

Continue reading ““No Books of Men: Side Stories” – Tomas Sparks and the Mystic Cauldron”