Magical July; Sailing Boldly into August

July was magical.

We completed the Micronomicon Kickstarter with a total of $7,004. The project needed $1000 to fund the basics and $5,000 to fund the Thule stretch goal written by Steve and me. We made it in spades so now we are putting the finishing touches on Thule and writing a card game to go along with Thule. We have the basic game done but we need to get a better sense of the spells on the cards to finish it.

Other Gaming Projects

We signed a contract for a major gaming supplement with a well-known publisher. I told you that I would reveal the project once the contract was signed, but the contract has a non-disclosure requirement. I can tell you only this: it plays to Steve’s academic expertise and it gives me a chance to flex my Illustrator skills and do some writing. We hope to see it in print next summer.

Submission Game

I am now playing a new submission game. Here are the rules:

  1. I get a point for every work that is currently being considered by a publisher.
  2. If they reject the work, I lose a point.
  3. If they accept the work, I lose a point.
  4. If I self-publish the work, I get a point.
  5. The only way to keep my score rising is to keep submitting or publishing.

My goal by next year is to have a score of 50. Right now my score is 4.


No work done on my main novel this month, but I learned some things at GenCon that will help me with it. In addition, I wrote a short story that gave me an idea for a new novel featuring Jewish magic and pulls from my own family’s heritage. I’m excited.

The Great Challenge!

By the end of July I’d written twelve short stories in twelve weeks for the Great Challenge.  Two of the stories I wrote in the last two weeks I wrote while traveling snatching tiny blocks of time. I even wrote while trapped in a hotel elevator when the power went out. In my personal opinion, I’ve leveled up.


We attended GenCon, which was amazing and overwhelming. I focused on the writers track, which was one of the best craft-focused writing tracks I’ve ever attended.

I bought four items from the artists at GenCon: two prints from Reiko Murakami, one print from Meredith Dillman, and a play mat from Echo Chernik.

Steve bought me real copper dice and a beautiful necklace replica of Lasciel’s Blackened Denarius from the Dresden Files. I have a certificate of authenticity that I plan to have Jim Butcher sign. I am in geek girl heaven here!

Hot Hairy Hilly

Steve at run sm

Steve ran 55K (almost 35 miles) for his 55th birthday at the Hot Hairy Hilly cross-country race. I’m filled with wifely pride for my strong, sexy husband. He could have made the easy decision to stop at 50K and we all would have been blown away by his accomplishment. But he didn’t stop. He went on to get the extra 5K.

The race itself was one of the best we’ve attended. Lots of friendly people, soft grass and dirt paths, and it wasn’t crazy hot (at least by Memphis standards). I walked the 10K and didn’t injure myself. So I count that as a win.

Tall Ship

ships wheel

In the name of research we took a ride on a nineteenth century schooner. While I was nervous to start with, I enjoyed it and got a lot of sensory experiences I can turn into writing.

August’s Plans

I will continue to write a story a week through the rest of August.

We will finish the Thule micro-setting and turn it over to the editor.

We will finish Thule: the Card Game and hand it over to the editor.

We will start the secret gaming project we have a contract for.

I will try out the new novel idea and see where it goes.

New stories written this month are:

  • Wedding Into the Dark (Viking Fantasy)
  • Backpack of Trouble (Crime)
  • Living Gold (Crime)
  • Swamp Kisses (Urban Fantasy)
  • Ibbur (Historical Fantasy


GOALS map divider sm


I’m working my way through Dean Wesley Smith’s “Advanced Depth” course, which is going slowly. Also I learned a lot at GenCon’s Writers Track.

small gratitude clock

Time for Gratitude!

Every week I experience things that make me better and that I’m grateful for. Some are books, podcasts, websites, or videos. Some are simple experiences. I share them here.

One of my favorite Zen stories is about the four kinds of horses:

It is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones.

Now Dave Farland, writing teacher extraordinaire has also written about writers as horses in his latest writing tip:

You may not know it, but you’re a racehorse. If you look at writers from a publisher’s point of view, that’s exactly what you are. You’re someone who writes glorious novels, and if you want to make a name for yourself, you’ll do it frequently—once a year or more.

Read the rest.

Best Short Story

My favorite short story this month comes from the Arcanist: “Tattered Flower” by Annaliese Lemmon.

Short stories completed in 2019

  • “Made of the Future” First draft 4,217 words
  • “The Cat Ate My Naked Shorts” First draft 3572 words
  • “Dangerous Goods Done Dirt Cheap” Final Submitted 4695 words
  • “Djinn Fizz” Final submitted 3702 words
  • “Crocodile Favors” Final submitted  4,946 words
  • “Secret Memoir From the Pirate Portal” Final submitted 4984 words
  • “Cloning Sensation” First draft 6,000 words
  • “Lost and Found” First draft 5,500 words
  • “Every Lavender Dog Has His Day” Final submitted 4,500 words
  • “Emissaries From Artemis” Final submitted 4,100 words
  • “The Snake that Bridged the Heart” Final submitted 4,200 words
  • “Frozen Solstice” First draft 5,257 words
  • “I am Libitina” First draft 3,652 words
  • Wedding Into the Dark 3,577 words
  • Backpack of Trouble 4,853 words
  • Living Gold 3,264 words
  • Swamp Kisses 4,521 words
  • Ibbur 3,577 words

Submission Game Score: 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *