Writer Battle and…Cookies!

The year is almost over. Again. They seem to be somewhat rapid fire lately. As I write this, I am craving cookies. I’ve been craving cookies all day. There are no cookies in my house.

I am also riding the stationary bike as I write this. I know! Ridiculous! But this is something that I’ve started doing. I was worried it would be too difficult to stay focused on my writing, to keep my train of thought, but as it turns out, it’s not difficult at all.

I get the same word count on the bike as I do off it. And I’m burning calories without thinking of that effort, without the awful thought of “Ugh. I’m exercising. When can I stop?” constantly in my mind. It’s just happening in the background while I’m thinking about my characters’ adventures or whatever I’m writing about—in this case, this very blog post.

Exercise and writing are now in the same time slot—to a degree anyway. I still do wushu with my wife once a week, I still fence at the club, and I occasionally do yoga. I haven’t found a way to do yoga and write at the same time. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Here is something cool that happened this month!

I collaborated with S Shane Thomas on what he calls a Writer Battle. Or rather, Shane butted into my already written story, which required zero effort from me. Thanks, Shane!

Essentially, he takes someone else’s existing work and then, without rewriting the original, inserts his own characters and story into it. He hijacks it and creates a new narrative. What results is a possible course of events that wasn’t covered in the original piece, or perhaps a dream sequence or alternate reality.

I offered him Headless to see what he would come up with and the exciting result is here on the Extras page. If you have read Headless, you might get a kick out of reading a coinciding narrative and extended ending of the first chapter. What happens immediately after Sayaka confronts that mysterious yet so familiar intruder?

If you haven’t read Headless, the entirety of the first chapter is included in the Writer Battle, but has been divided into two parts: One and Three, for the purposes of Shane’s story, which is comprised of parts Two and Four. They feature Thokmay and Acacia, members of the Order of Skinchangers from A Paleolithic Fable. They are hunting a Ghostkin warrior when they encounter a “rotbringer darker than any Ghostkin.”

Read more about A Paleolithic Fable on the author’s site. Or find it on Amazon.

This is my first introduction to Thokmay and Acacia, but I look forward to catching up with Shane’s existing novels. Check out S Shane Thomas’s website, LARC-SCIFI.com, for his books, other Writer Battles, and more.

Read Writer Battle: Heads Up here.

In Other News

I have recorded the audiobook for Headless, and it is currently in the editing phase. It will be out before the end of the year. Maybe somebody would like a holiday gift?

The illustrations for The Wrong Monster, my first children’s picture book, are being done by Jiyoon Shin, and are coming along beautifully. I hope to show you some samples of that soon. In the meantime, you can check out her other work on her Instagram page.

I’m very sporadically working on the glossary for Headless. I will finish it someday, and I hope it will be a valued resource for fans of the book. But it’s a lot of work and other deadlines feel more pressing at the moment.

I’ve updated my Now page, if you’re interested in a quick synopsis of what I’m doing, reading, etc., but not much has changed since last month, as I’m still plugging away at mostly the same things.

I hope you have oodles of things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, and even if you feel like you don’t, I hope you can focus on anything that you DO feel grateful for: food on the table, a friend to talk to, a cat to cuddle with, even simply a good book to read. It helps.

I try to make a gratitude list every day, even when I’m feeling crappy. It puts things into perspective. I know for some, holidays are full of joy and laughter, and for others, sometimes it’s a difficult time. I’ve been there, and I know how it is. So hang in there. If it means anything, I’ll be raising a glass to you.

Don’t forget to check out the Writer Battle

And remember, as the holidays approach, I always appreciate cookies.

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