Writing collaborations, insane weather patterns, and new friends.
This morning I had big plans for the day. Why? Because it is my day off from work, all the kids are at school, and my wife works. A few things went wrong with this plan but will get to that later.
I have four kids across a wide spectrum of ages. One of my middle children is in college and on the rowing team. I remember this particular part of the training season fondly, or maybe an absolute horror, but yes fondly. I was in shaped back then.
So my daughter is on her way to indoor training, translation let’s see how bad this can hurt until it’s time to get on the water again. She informs me, possibly in a slight panic, that an ice storm has completely encased her Jeep in frozen precipitation. I calmly explained to her that I’ve done this before and even though she thinks it is basically un-scrapable, that we can get it done.
The Moon teamwork begins. I use all the skills I’ve learned in Kansas and abroad, notably how to cut grooves of the ice with the scraper and then break those down. I lean my two hundred pound frame into the work and begin to clear away the windows. Sleet and snow continued to pour down.
Then, a flash of lightning.
Keep in mind it is very dark this early in the morning… And snowing.
Why is this so amazing? Probably because I’ve been writing a novel with Richard Fox called The Rage of Winter. It is set on a winter world and has some similarities with the Winter War of nineteen thirty-nine — except in a sci-fi environment with the fate of the entire galaxy at stake. Last week I did research on Google about thunder snow, because it sounded cool.
Thunder snow is extremely rare. For reasons that are slightly beyond my scientific capacity to explain, but that I can basically understand if I read it from someone else, you get a thunderstorm in the winter with flashes of lightning. Very cool and scary.
So that was different. I made a video and put it up on our Keystroke Medium Facebook group.
The Rage of Winter is the second book in the Terran Strike Marines series I am writing with Richard Fox. The first book, The Dotari Salvation, is alive and well and never has too many reviews… Hint, hint. Please and thank you. (All the books mentioned in this article are available through Kindle Unlimited, a service I was on the fence about for a long time. Now I couldn’t live without it. I’m reading more than ever before!)
My solo work is still coming along nicely, but I have had fantastic opportunities to collaborate lately. In addition to Richard Fox sharing his writing awesomeness with me, teaching me his very impressive plotting and pacing techniques, I’ve been working with Craig Martelle on the Darklanding series.
Darklanding is something really special in the world of science fiction. We originally conceived it as something like Firefly meets Tombstone and other old westerns. The characters have taken on a life of their own since then and fans seem to really like it. Episode five, An Unglok Murder, is coming out very shortly and will be a little bit of a murder mystery. Despite my background in law enforcement, I’ve never written a murder mystery. So this is mostly space opera / Western, but there is a little bit of whodunit.
I hope you will check it out. Each episode after number three is thirty thousand words, a decent sized novella. (And, spoiler alert, six and seven are complete…ready for launch every 18 days. What started off as a short tale at the end of the known galaxy is now pushing two hundred thousand words and will be three hundred thousand by the time it’s all said and done.)
So back to what’s going on today. Turns out we had a snow day which has cut into my writing productivity, but hey the kids like it. Except for one who has a migraine kid, thanks to my genetic code. Life is always interesting. Sometimes it’s less easy than other times. I’m happy to be here and feel blessed. Once we get through today’s headache, there will be great celebration!
I hope you have an aweome day.