Category Archives: Meta

May Writing Report

First, by the numbers. I reported 21k written in April and 24k written in May. My writing numbers are holding steady, mostly thanks to Restless Dead. I gained one Patreon patron.

I finished one short story about pirates and mermaids for submission in early May, and started a second one about mad science and superheroics near the end of May. I wrote one scholarship essay, but no blog posts.

I did a lot of worldbuilding practice this month, and am building a dice-based randomization system for character traits I don’t care about but want to include, like precise ethnicity. Cal, who is the best cat friend, transferred Tapestry into a Scrivener file, and I’ve started breaking down all my outlines and worldbuilding notes as I work on giving it the underlying structure I didn’t know a long story needed, when I started writing it more than a decade ago. I haven’t been working on Colony X, but my work on side characters in Restless Dead has been teaching me how I can flesh out my ensemble cast, if/when I go back to CX. I’d rather work on Tapestry than CX, because Tapestry has had a wider audience and it’s far more unfinished – CX is at a pause point, even if it isn’t a perfect pause point.

Peace by Any Means, a sci-fi story from my trunk, went up on Patreon.

New Project: Vampires vs Zombies FIGHT

The title is actually The Restless Dead Want YOU to Fight Necromancy, but I’ve been calling it Vampire Quest in my head. It’s an interactive storytelling quest, a cross between a RPG and a web serial. The twist is that everyone comes to a consensus about what the best next action is, which does suggest that Morgan, the main character, has a lot of voices in their head. (Shh, spoilers.)

Morgan is a telepathic accountant with a penchant for wine and musical theatre, and also a 600+ year old vampire who loves ritual magic and destroying those who disrespect the dead. I’m having a lot of fun.


I haven’t mentioned my fanfiction here before, but I’ve been very active on AO3 the past few years. My biggest project is a 222k Harry Potter series, starting with Harry Potter and the Problem of Potions. It taught me a lot about writing long pieces, even more than some of my novel drafts, and I recently finished the sequel, Harry Potter and the Language of Serpents, which is entirely Cursed Child fix-it fic set after Hogwarts and I have no regrets.

Patronage, Web Serial Writing Month, and Dragons

Very happy to welcome Wispfox into my little circle of patrons on Patreon. We’re quite close to buying me a subscription to a short story news service that helps me find places to send out short stories.

Speaking of short stories, I put Dragon Attendant up for subscribers/patrons. It’s a 4,600 word fantasy Rome story about gladiator dragons. I’m still very pleased with it. It honestly feels like it wants to be a novella, but I must finish my second draft of the sci-fi novel (character profiles currently going up for Patrons on Patreon as I finish them) and get Tapestry a buffer.

Speaking of getting Tapestry a buffer, it turned 8 years old this year and has just about a week’s worth of daily updates in the hopper. I’m writing it in the mornings before work and trying to get up to a month’s buffer before the end of August. That’s about two periods of work eating my life, so hopefully it would be enough to keep things even-keeled.

Notes on writing and style

As I’ve been finishing more writing projects this year – including my novel draft, a handful of short stories, and a few novella-length stories that are more fluff than plot, I’ve noticed my writing evolving. The first thing I’ve noticed is endings – my stories, short and long, are tending to have endings, even if I toss it on casually or don’t intend to revise the story. I’m doing things that I find myself adding during revision to the first draft – dropping unnecessary dialogue tags, for example. I’m probably using one where I used to use five or six. I’m getting more of a sense to how much plot fits into how many words in my writing style, so my short stories have stopped being twice as long or half as long as they’re meant to be.

One interesting thing I’m finding about plotting novels is that plot-collapse that happens part of the way into the story. It used to be that all my stories, consistently, collapsed around 10,000 words. Either I wrote a 10,000 word story, or I wrote 10,000 words of a longer story and got stuck. A year or so ago I would have said my stories collapsed around 25,000 words. (I don’t count serials, which are a different kettle of fish.) Colony X is, to my memory, my first story that didn’t collapse around either point, though I did have the 2/3rds doldrums (you know, the ones where you want to throw your computer against the nearest wall and then never write again). Its first draft has been finished for months now, and since then I’ve found that my view on length has shifted – I tossed off an 18k novella for fun the other week. I don’t intend to do anything with it, I just kept going with it and it turned out to be 18k of a duke’s son having adventures and affairs with royalty. (He also became a pirate. I don’t judge myself.)

I’m also asking for commentary/editing on my writing more than I have since I was taking creative writing at university, and that’s very helpful too, though I wish people would agree with each other about commas. In one short story, a beta reader removed a pile of them and then the short story’s editor proceeded to add them all back in.

I’ve been reading a lot of books on the art, too, most of which are terrible. I currently have two categories of books I’m not allowed to read until I finish my drafts (terraforming/survival on an alien world stories, and diary memoirs), but I’m reading nonfiction and articles relevant to them.


So I hit a Patreon goal this month, which means I owe y’all a Tapestry update before the end of the month. I’ll get it done in the next day or two. (My Patreon: )

Looking for book recommendations

Hello all,

I’m trying to come up with writing books I should read sometime in the next little while, as I work on this thing. What I have in mind are books like Le Guin’s Steering the Craft and King’s On Writing. What have you read that helped you write better, faster, more elegantly, more cleverly?



January writing round-up

The big news in January is definitely having finished the draft of Colony X, available for closed alpha review if you make an account on this site & I approve it. It’s currently marinading while I figure out how long I should wait before starting editing. I’m thinking through the end of February or whenever I finish my current round of short stories, whichever comes first.

The other interesting news of January is I’ve gotten a short story, a 3,000-word romance set after the zombie apocalypse, accepted into an anthology. I’m very pleased about that. I’ll be making that available in some form after I see the contract and see what’s acceptable sharing and what isn’t.

I’m also working on a short Lovecraftian tale set in a museum, also for an anthology, and contemplating a literary/emotional story about bears for a contest. I’m writing a lot of silly little flash fictions in my writing-doodle journal, and Tapestry has been updating with a new direction that I think points to more updates all around.

That’s my good news, and I’d like to hear yours – what projects are you working on? It doesn’t have to be fiction, it can be anything creative or crafty.


So I’ve put together a Patreon page because all the cool kids are doing it and I’m susceptible to peer pressure. (Very susceptible, really. It’s embarrassing.) People who find typos and grammatical errors get internet cookies, and I’m hoping someone will have ideas for other reward levels / shinies I can offer. Here’s the link: