“What is your vocation? To be a good person.” —Marcus Aurelius
It’s been a bit since we last visited, yet I want to send you a quick update, Dear Reader.
November is around the corner, and those who have been following my updates for the last few years know it is one of busiest months for me. Busy with all things writing, that is. What an exciting time!
I always look forward to November for several reasons:
—My birthday falls within the month. While I don’t celebrate the day, it does help me meditate on how last year went and how I can do better in the coming year.
—I get to write a lot.
—Thanksgiving grows closer, which means I get to visit with family and friends I may not have seen much throughout the year. It seems that with each passing year, we are all becoming more and more busy. Thanksgiving offers an
excellent reason to gather, slow down, and just enjoy life. We are all in this together. Let’s celebrate together.
—Did I mention I get to write a lot?
Finally, within one week of this update’s arrival, you’ll see another message with an excerpt from The Blighter’s Shadow.
Progress on the first draft of The Blighter’s Shadow is reaching its conclusion! Now that I am near to the end, here is some tentative information:
My short story for an upcoming anthology is tentatively titled The Undying Schism of Ana Kane. I have the outline completed, and I’ll tackle this story in November. It’ll be 5000 words or less. This one will be a horror story in the vein of last year’s anthology story.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts next week. I am privileged to lead the Writers of Warrensburg again this year on the month-long endeavor.
What is my plan for November, you may be thinking?
I’m expecting to have a very productive month, and I am excited to continue the work on The Blighter’s Shadow.
I have a few Beta Readers committed to assist with reading the entire book prior to its final publication. There is still time to assist. If you are interested, please let me know via email. I’ll get you details on the next steps as soon as I finish the first full draft, which will be in late November/early December.
You may be thinking: how can I help an author?
It’s easy really – share this update or other authors’ newsletters with other people. Encourage them to sign up for newsletters/updates of the authors they enjoy reading. Write a review of the book you finished. You don’t have to write much at all. “I enjoyed this book” is a simple, yet effective method and takes a few seconds.
What am I reading, watching, and listening to?
Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America by Heather Cox Richardson
Richardson's daily letters started in mid-2019, and they now reach over a million people per day. This book helps reach additional folks who may not have heard of her; ultimately, this book will likely spur on readers to catch her emailed letters. Regardless, this book offers a concise understanding of the chaos known as American history. It also helps readers better grasp the ongoing authoritarianism which is still afflicting the nation by those seeking power solely for selfish reasons. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to be more informed about US history, past and present.
The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix series)
It is October. Halloween is around the corner. I love all things horror, and this series is loosely based on the Poe story by the same name. I am only 2 episodes into the 8-episode series, but I am enjoying the morality tale about destructive elements that a consolidation of wealth can have upon society, in general, and one family, in particular. So far, I recommend it.
Is it kid-friendly? No – I’d give it a strong R rating.
The Harmony Codex by Stephen Wilson
This album came out in late September, and I’ve loved every minute of it. Each track is unique, and rarely do I get hooked on an entire album. I’m listening to it now, in fact, while I write this update. Wilson is one of my favorite artists, and this album offers the new listener a unique take on Wilson’s own musical journey. (My brother introduced me to Wilson and his numerous bands many years ago, and I can’t thank my brother enough.)
https://stevenwilsonhq.com/ is Wilson’s link. Check out his work, if you’ve not heard of him before.
Challenge for November:
Visit a natural area that you've not visited in a while. Take time to soak in the beauty of whatever spot you've chosen.
A place to ponder the world of writing, among other things.