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Writathon + April

So I’m working on something new. This idea had been fully making me think about it for a long time. The only change was making it a deck builder after listening to A summoner awakes by Kerberos. I highly recommend it.

If you like that book or All the Skills or Jakes Magical market, the magic system is heavily influenced by those. It’s been helping me write 2k words a day so yeah, goals. I’m pretty proud of it right now and we’ll see what it turns into. Also if you’re into TTRPGs and in particular Band of Blades, this might tickle your fancy.

I used placeholder AI artwork until I get the final one from my artist, and let me tell you what-AI cannot do caravans/wagons for shit. It’s free to read on royal road. Link below:


Caravan of Blades.
The entire world has been taken over by hordes of zombies. Of course there’s no profit in that. So why do heroes keep getting summoned to this world to try to save it anyway? Their money is worthless.

At least that’s what Finley, the roving tinker sales elf* finds out when the pantheon keeps summoning heroes into his path to save the world, all he wants is the quiet life. When the horde comes calling, you had better have an escape plan.

Heroes?

In this economy?

*May or may not be an elf.

https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/84538/caravan-of-blades-a-litrpg-deckbuilder

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Octoblog

This is mostly a review of “A Discovery of Witches”, the show on sun dance. I heartily recommend you view it the same way that I did. Alongside a wife who has already read the books with a penchant for explaining the situation.

Readers beware that this next part has huge spoilers for “A discovery of witches”. So I just finished watching this wonderful show with my wife and truth be told it was a great bonding experience because she had already read the books and was able to briefly insert commentary about how much had been left out. The audio book which I started while we were in season two, is like 24 hours long and I have several thoughts. One is that the book is very clearly written in first person with a strong female voice/gaze.

I didn’t expect that. I expected that the book would be in a tight third person POV because of all of the side characters who have their own scenes. Now I’m not sure how this happened. If I can reference another work, “The Forge of Destiny” trilogy is also a first person POV and you get a lot of the side characters stories because the main character asks them what they have been doing so the reader gets to hear it there. Also there was this business about the author having the audience vote on who the MC should talk to next so there was a bit of movement there where it was stochastic and they had to adapt for it. It’s still an excellent series that I highly recommend.

Anyway, so in between wifey telling me that there’s stuff I missed because the context is gone, I’m like yeah they took a female gaze and they… Meaning the show runners… gave it nearly an action movie pacing. They keep getting into more and more trouble and…. honestly near the end I was tired of the MCs not using the help that they brought to the final battle. Like if you have chekovs vampire death squad with you, you use them in the final act.

What you don’t do is leave them behind when other vampires are much faster than you since you’re a witch.

And really the whole solving the DNA thing baffled me in so many ways because I have a tenuous grasp of the science. I’m here like… Vampires yeah makes sense that they use MRNA, but the other two? DNA? Uhhhh. Thankfully the author is a historian so I’ll give her a pass on that. You might get the sense from me being a writer of hard sci-fi that I would have a problem with hand wavey stuff but on a molecular level I’m like what is the method that this would work? Uhhhhh.

Yeah no.

Great story though.

Oh and the other thing. Diana Bishop is totally a formula mom. As a Dad yeah she’s just handing off them babies once she pops them out, like girl? You’re less than a month post parting out here killing it(and your enemies).

Did you like this series? If so, drop a comment about what you liked about it. our favorite character was gallowglass.

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August is a hot baked mussel

This is it for reals now. I am in my slow season at work. I am reveling in it.

Some of you may wonder what I do for a living, and if the particular genres I write in (fantasy/sci-fi) are affected by that. As many of you know already, I’m a full-time military officer, so yes some of what I went through is reflected in certain characters, but for the most part, there’s a fantastical element at play that complicates things. In the Bobiverse(the book that inspired the Chronicles of the Badger company), the main character is decidedly not military, so he doesn’t have the mindset of someone whose entire life was living and breathing that.

Not that my crews/teams are particularly good at what they do, or that the bobs could do, but they have the time and they have a disinclination to fight. Part of the idea behind the Badger company was this idea that there are combat arms and yeah you can quickly write a fight or espionage thriller, but what if we wanted to write something entertaining about the guy who designed the ships that got us to Mars and beyond? That’s Malcolm.

In other news, Embedded agents is plodding along. I have two other projects that I want to pick up and get into but I keep telling myself to focus on the one. If you know me, that is the hard part. Putting 500-1000 words a day into my upcoming Xianxia+Litrpg+Therapist Isekai-ed novel. I spent some time editing it and it’s over half finished. Maybe I need to finish this project to get the other one jogged.

I had a great field exercise last month where everything that was supposed to go smoothly went smoothly, and everything else? Well, there was a lot of white space for everyone to do the little things they need to do. It’ll be reflected in my writing for sure.

I don’t have a release date for anything so let me get back to my status.
Red mist Volume one-100% done first pass
Volume two- Paused at 10%
Embedded agents-75% done, needs some more meat in the third act.
Nascent Soul Child-50% done, somehow.

And I switched the theme to twenty twenty because my blog wasn’t working so, yeah. (This should work now, feel free to drop a comment or a recommendation for me.)

What am I reading? I am going through the Kingkiller chronicles by Rothfuss and I can see why people love it. I’m on book two and it’s long, but very pleasant to listen to.

I just caught up on, Deadworld Isekai https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/71319/deadworld-isekai which is great (and in the top ten of rising stars now so give them a read).

and

An infinite Recursion of time.
https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/43761/an-infinite-recursion-of-time

Both are great from a ‘here is a great normal fiction that uses the rules of a system’. They are both LITRPG soooo. The latter is done though, so yeah take it slow.

If you’re looking for a bit more of what I do with the little otters here is a great one:

https://www.vox.com/even-better/23818627/how-to-talk-to-kids-adult-conversation

Also if you want to read about publishing contracts my buddy has posted this on his substack.
https://medium.com/@aaronsofaer/five-publishing-contract-clauses-i-hate-and-how-to-fix-them-7c971ee4680f

I’m going to leave you there because I want to finish a damn project at some damn point in time. Just know that as your father, I love you all equally.

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June Blog

Things continue to be strange as a month of having the Otters not sick with a lot of vacation days has been restorative, like a good cup of tea. But at least the air conditioning is finally on. As the summer season has begun, new ideas have been flowering. Does this mean that Embedded Agents (Badger Company book 2) is done yet?

No.

I’m still working through it, and I’ll probably put the whole thing up on Royal Road to generate interest as I complete the series. I’m doing something now that I think is a first in the genre. A first person “This is the events leading up to now” as a primer for the second book. I’m going to add it here at the end for you super fans. This summarizes the events in the Badger Company book 1 from Stevies perspective. Stevie Long is the Team Leader for Team Owl, the primary POV team for Embedded Agents.

Here’s the current blurb:

“It’s hard when you’re traveling at near light speed in between systems to stop and appreciate the local sights.”

Team Chief and Marine Corps Major Stevie Long is on a mission, destination unknown. She can’t deny that the three teammates that she has brought along for the ride are the finest people she has served with, but the circumstances that brought them to Alpha Centauri? Yeah she was uploaded into a self replicating spaceship and sent off to explore planets. She didn’t even get one of the cool mugs that came with it, but she’ll definitely be buying the shirt.

And here is the excerpt:

Malcolm Parker arrived on on the Moon Base August 30th, 2040 and made the rounds. He met up with my buddy, Jennifer Jones and then I met him as I was the logistician on ground there working in the J41. I was the plans logistician, which mean that people came to me to ask for money for pet projects. That or time with the 3d printer.

We did a survey of the moon on September 16th and I showed him around our current project, which at the time was a big old hospital. Of course we used the giant Moon Dozer Optimized for Gravity, or MOON DOG for short. A week later he was trying to persuade me and our boss to change the current 3d printer queue.

A week after that, Malcolm, Erwin Yang and Jennifer Jones convinced me to become an AI upload of myself. That was a hard sell until an incoming missile alert showed us the that there was a short shelf like for the moon base.

We were underway to Proxima Centauri and we arrived in February 2043. That was when Jennifer began to torture us with the flight simulator. Did I mention that she’d come with us? Yeah we packed four fully grown adults into one Von Neumann probe and sent it far away from home. Well four full grown adults uploaded into AIs. Then we started mining materials and making more of ourselves.

TChalla, a clone of Malcolm was one of the first. He was brought on board in June 2023. Clones tend to take more colorful names, mine included. Seraphina was my DND characters name for fucks sake. We all got our own EXODUS probes.

We started exploring the system but it wasn’t until July 2043 when a Russian Von Neumann probe attacked us and made Jennifer eject. It took us a month to recover her, but it was worth it in the end. Then, in October 2043, we split into three teams under the Badger Company umbrella.

Team Ghost left first to return to Sol system. Team Honey Badgers set up shop in Proxima Centauri, and the best team, Team Owl flew to Alpha Centauri.

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May Blog (We have Art!)

The air, conditions, and situation have all conspired to keep me stuck on the ground for the last two months, but don’t worry fair reader, this just means that I am a safe airborne otter. Such has been an issue with the other side of my life which should mean that I’ve been spending more time writing, right?

Maybe.

As of right now, I’m 2/3rds of the way through the first draft of Embedded Agents, the sequel to the Badger Company. If you wanted to see a space heist? Yeah, this is it. If you wanted to see people argue about flight hours? Also this. Will there be romance? Probably not. Lesbians in space? Lesbian(singular) but hmmm. Maybe a few back on Earth.

In other news, I’ve halted Red Mist in an effort to finish Embedded agents, so I expect to be sending it to the Developmental editor later this month.

What have I been listening to? What do I recommend? Well…

I’ve just listened to the first five books in the Beneath the Dragons Eyes Moons series, which was excellent. Selkie Myth really drew me in and yeah it’s ridiculous and over the top, but totally worth a listen.

I’ve also been listening to Forge of Destiny by Yrsillar, and loving the narration. Natalie Naudus is a talented narrator. Enough said. Five stars, go read it now.

Status of things

(1) Red Mist is paused while I finish Embedded Agents.
(2) Same with Sect Leader.
(3) Full Steam ahead on Embedded Agents, which by the way, without further ado, please see the artwork below!

Now go forth and do great things!

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MARCH: IT’S BEEN A YEAR HUH?

Well, sometimes you do the thing, and sometimes life really smacks you in the junk. It’s alright when it happens, but often it stings.

Such was the problem for all of February in the Weaver household where 3/4 otters were sick for most of the month.You know what, it was nice to be able to take care of them, but at the same time, we really don’t want anyone to be coughing all the time.

Thus, it became a month of relistening.I just finished “You should talk to someone” By Lori Gottlieb for character analysis- (Upcoming Main character is a therapist.)

I highly recommend that book for anyone who wants to get into the nuts and bolts of how therapy works. So when I put my therapist into a portal fantasy cultivator world, yeah it will be epic. I will probably toss the first five chapters up here in advance for comments. That and the much delayed Harem cuties which I have written about 1/3rd of.

I would suggest that anyone reading this go and listen to or read “Worth the Candle” as I’ve just done a relisten to get a sense of how it was written in first person for the same book. That book, code named Nascent, is in first person, as well as Harem Cuties.

So with that stated, let’s get into the status of things.

1)Red Mist Volume two is posting, and I have several chapters ahead in patreon for those interested. I will probably not do heavy edits on Volume one until I am done with part three in case I need to go back and drop in world building items and edit.

2) Sect Leader is now getting an overhaul for publication. The free version will stay up since I would rather it be widely spread, and the cover is finalized. I don’t think that I will make a sequel to Sect Leader but the other cultivator novel I write will be in the same world.

3) Badger Company Volume two is stalled and I need to get into it and write the rest of it. I’m in the middle of it and though I have parts of every chapter written I need to flesh out a lot of what happens when they reach the final third of the book.

Finally if you’re a writer I will be running the second iteration of the Dragon Realms Saga Accountability group(on the DRS discord) from April 1-June 30. It’s three months and if you have an address, you get a velcro patch for participating. I may need to start charging for these if more people join though. Rules will be there and I’ll have a nice writeup here of the current participants when that is finished. I’ll be running one every three months so long as there is interest. It’s something special that we’ve been building with our small community.

Anyway, leave a comment about how I should torture my main characters next.

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January Blog

We’re going to start off 2023 with a couple of new announcements

As a reminder: Red Mist Volume one is completed, so read the 486-page behemoth on Royal Road. It will stay up there, never going KU.

Check it out here:https://www.royalroad.com/author-dashboard/dashboard/46687

If you want to read advanced chapters of Volume Two as it’s written, check out my Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=14418898

Chapter one is there for subscribers, and Chapters 2/3 will be up shortly. Additionally you can get very early content, such as the draft of Harem Cuties, the timeloop deckbuilder litrpg that is still WIP. It’s fun and a bit different than my other work.

Additionally I was pleasantly surprised by The Accidental Summoning https://www.amazon.com/Accidental-Summoning-LitRPG-Adventure/dp/B0BLZKRGK3/

Which was written by my friend Kos Play. It’s a romp.

But if you want something that will really scratch your head? Look no further than my book of the month.

Magical Girl Crystal Genocide

This book is just amazingly off on its own. I would never expect to love something as much as this. Think Hunger Games meets Sailor Moon meets Cradle and you’d be close.

Also we have a new Instagram page. Follow us at riverfolkp, for more memes and content. Next blog, we will have two big cover reveals, I promise! (I’ve seen the early drafts and they’re great.)

And in closing. let me lend you… a dad joke for your troubles.

Again, go read: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/62977/magical-girl-crystal-genocide

Then maybe catch up on Tales of the Riverfolk, which has resumed posting: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/46916/tales-of-the-riverfolk-company

Finally, leave a comment and tell me what I should review next. I’m looking to watch Devs.

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A December to Rember (Year End Wrap up)

If you’re reading this on December 27th, the Badger Company is free for a limited time on amazon, go and get it (link on the front page).

It’s been an interesting year, what with me finally releasing a book, but you take what you can get.

Red Mist Volume one is completed, so go on and read the 486-page behemoth on Royal Road. It will stay up there, never going KU.

I really wanted to do a video categorization of the many books I read this year, but instead, I’m going to list each one, give a short summary of my feelings on the book itself, and then a rating of how good the book is and if it helped me as a writer. My tiers here are going to be…

Caveat: You should also know that I write fantasy and scifi and my major books that I wrote this year are Sect Leader and Red Mist which are about as far apart as they can get.

Book Rating:

F – Probably don’t read

C- Average

B- Good

A- Great

S Tier- Groundbreaking, read it now

Let’s start off with the book I just finished: The Selection

 This was off a recommendation from a friend. A good friend. They said “Hunger games plus the bachelor” and I liked the concept.

Where it fell flat was that it was not those two put together at all. I thought the various contestants or the selected ones would fight each other in duels en masse. If you’re writing that? Let me know.

Rating F

Worth it for the Romance angle alone.

Gamer Girl

I bought this one on a whim, again trying to understand YA fiction as an author. It reminds me that it’s important to have a grovel section and a happily ever after or a happy for now.

C rank as a book.

It’s a bit too dated in the references to recommend it

Worth the candle series

S rank

As an Author(and dungeon master) the book is worth every second(or candle, if you will).

I wish that I could read this again fresh. Like nothing else here.

Sixteen ways to defend a walled city

My writing group made me read this. I regret nothing.

S rank as a book

S rank as an author. Everything Malcolm is now derived from how K.J. Parker wrote this book

He who fights with Monsters Series 

A rank as a series. I’m at book five and it’s well-written. I have stopped listening to other things because of this series.

It’s need to read for anyone who writes or enjoys litrpgs.

Orconomics/Son of a Liche

S Rank. 

Read it. It’s top of my list besides worth the candle for a reason.

The Wandering Inn

Picture this: an older Soldier working on his run times in Fort Benning, airborne school. Listening to the wandering inn for hours on his training runs. He cries more than once because of things said in this book and the sequel.

It’s S rank for a reason.

Rise of the Cheat Potion Maker, Book 1: A Cultivation LitRPG Saga

Solid work. Very silly.

B rank. 

It’s just like… exactly the silliness I needed. Maybe not the best thing you need as an author but it’s great.

Primal Hunter

I heard this was great, and it’s pretty good. It’s a solid B for me, but Travis Baldree makes it close to A rank.

The hype is real.

The Lost Metal

I’m a cosmere fan, and this is the most cosmere aware book out and it came out last month. Solid Sanderson. Came out around my birthday.

A rank.

Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

Council of the Eternal Hiatus made me read this one and it’s alarming. Solid A tier, but more informational than otherwise.

Swarm: An Army Building LitRPG/LitRTS Series (I Don’t Want to be the Hive Queen, Book 1) 

 In the same vein as the Potion Maker, this is just silly fun. I’m excited for the sequel.

B tier.

Small Town Crafter

 In the same vein of the Potion Maker, this is just silly fun.

B tier. A bit better than Swarm for me.

Paranoid Mage Series

It’s good but hard to detach the artist from the art, so I’m not going to keep up reading the series.

C rank

Petition

S rank. Debut author. Great youtube channel, great gal.

The Night People

—————————————

S Rank. Great author I may be biased because she’s in my group and I’ve read some sex scenes that she’s written. This one does not have that, or I don’t recall it, but it’s good clean fun.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

I’m not always surprised by how a book goes, but that was this book. I predicted one ending and it went sideways. Also, it is not cultivation no matter how much I thought it was.

The Menocht Loop

It’s weird being a fanboy of someone that is a vocal member of a lot of social groups you’re in as an author but hey.

A rank

S rank for time loops (hey I’m writing one of those ;)

Dreadgod (really all of cradle)

—————————–

So much had been written about this. I find it hard to see faults with Will Wight. The man is a legend.

S rank as a reader.

S rank as an author.*

(I will buy whatever book this man writes the day it drops.)

Jakes Magical Market

B Tier

Read it. It’s quite nice. Its special warfare meets shopkeeper.

In summary, a good year for audiobooks, with several standout books. I’m looking forward

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September Update (Book is out!)

I’m very happy that at long last my debut novel is out on Kindle Unlimited (it’s free for subscribers or you can just buy the ebook).

“If I die, you’d better come back and avenge me, you goddamn ghost in the machine.”

Malcolm Parker was poised to make history as the habitation engineer who made his country’s colonization initiatives possible—until a stealth missile strike destroyed the U.S. moon base. All that’s left of him is his A.I. clone, who must carry on both his fantasy tabletop campaign and the original mission: find and secure the closest habitable system.

Trapped inside a space probe with a computer for a brain and other AIs for company, Malcolm and his crew face hostile spacecraft alone. The same assailants in pursuit or an opportunistic third party—either way they seem intent on wiping out the last remnants of America’s space program. Artificial intelligence isn’t recognized as people under U.S. law, so as far as the top brass in the U.S. military is concerned, the crew is on their own.

Or are they?

You can read it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BD6V44V4/

In other news, I am closing in on the end of Volume One of Red Mist. Let’s hope that it ends with a yowl!

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An August Update

Hey so apparently I have figured out my busy season and it is from May to late July. I am still recovering but the work is done and back to the slow season I go.

Did I jump a few times? Yes. Was it better each time? Yes and yes!

Did I get to write much? No. However with a book launch in a few short weeks, I’ll be revealing the cover art here shortly for “The Badger Company”, our debut novel on amazon as well as the first book published by the Riverfolk Community Trust and Mercenary Company Publishing House(Riverfolk Publishing for short.).

Next: I’ll be completing the first volume of Red mist this fall, working my tail off to give it a memorable ending. I have the outline ready, and I am going into my slow season. Following that I’ll finish Riverfolk Volume 2(things from Volume 2 RF will affect red mist more than Volume 1). When that’s done? We’ll see.

Status Report
Red mist-85% done
Riverfolk V2-65%(hiatus)
Riverfolk V1(will be published after badger company, but it’s ready to go wide)
Badger Company intended launch date is September 5th.

I’m not even going to touch the back burner right now but it’s going to be fewer.

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