A note from the fireside~ 8/5/18

     Hello, dear friends. I’ve missed you a lot these past weeks, I really have. Please forgive my absence this last week, I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking about this blog and my goals and how I’m going about them. Firstly, let’s talk about the upcoming chapters, then I’m going to throw down a little writing theory, or ideas. Lastly, I want to talk about my plans going forward from here and see what you all think. Paranormal Cleaners and Second-Hand Rumors are both going into their home stretches. Paranormal Cleaners will see Jack come home to a house without his father. He’s going to have to navigate his changed position in the family. Really, the whole struggle for him is how he doesn’t really want to be involved with his family anymore, and this is the tipping point in the next couple of chapters. Rumors continues the fight from where it left off last week. I’m still working on that, but I should be able to get it out on Friday. I really don’t want to spoil the chapter, but I’m looking forward to it.

So let’s talk about tone. I am, at heart, a humorist. I think I intended something very different for Jack and Stan from the start. I wanted to make it funny, but here’s the catch. So there’s a gag manga I like to read called, “I didn’t ask for this kind of here” or something like that. It’s about a psychic named Naga who joins an organization of superheroes called Spoon to fight against a group called knife. It’s utter nonsense, but it does have a plot. I may be the only one who cares about seeing a resolution, but you can’t keep telling me characters are so badass and then never let them do much of anything. It’s like watching a baseball player wind up to pitch, and then just quit halfway over and over. My writing for these series buzz the most when I’m being funny, and I get that. I just want you to know that, even if nobody else does, I take the plot seriously enough to want to see it resolved. It has a rough ending spot it’s heading for. There’s so much more history than you know, all planned out, that may never get shown.

I may have bitten off more than I could chew as well, which leads me to my third and final point. Effective as of last week, this inn will close every other week so I can get other writing done. That snafu this last month was really not my fault. It’s hard to write when you’re exhausted from moving boxes all day, and then I went on a trip. I also had some medical problems to deal with, but the stress really got to me. In order to provide you all with the best chapters possible, I have to pace myself better. I have other writing projects I need to complete, and much as I love you, I can’t keep breaking myself like this. You all are my world, as a writer, but I need to figure out how to do this in a healthy fashion. I’m kind of nuts, and I would break myself to get you a good story. I’m sorry for my absence, please forgive me. Expect a chapter tomorrow for Cleaners and Friday for Rumors. Next time we meet will be the week after next. I’ll miss you terribly. Please come and visit us again. I’ll be sure to save your seat right where you left it by the hearth.

A note from the fireside~ 7/22/18

     Hello, dear friends. This will be a short post. I really didn’t want to write this post. God knows I wanted to avoid writing this post. This last week has been such a mess. I have two rough drafted posts, but I finished them far too late for my wife to look at. This last week was mostly spent helping my sister in law move out, and then my wife and I had a mini vacation planned. Between those two things, I got so little writing done. I’m sorry. I was tempted to wait until tomorrow to write a post, but you deserved to hear it from me today. God, I screwed up this last week. For what it’s worth, the added time has really clarified in my mind what I want to get done. Please forgive me, dear friends. I’ve been sick and I’ve been tired, but that’s no excuse. I’m going to give my wife two posts to edit tomorrow, and hopefully this week will be smoother and I can give her two more on Friday. Thank you so much for your patience. You all mean the world to me.

A note from the fireside~ 7/15/18

     Hello, dear friends. I can’t begin to express how much I’ve missed you. This week has been very long, very disappointing and very full. I will attempt to do my best to avoid giving you too much personal details, that’s not really what these posts are about. Neither Cleaners nor Rumors posts are ready. I’ve tried so hard this week to get any writing done.  Today, I rough drafted most of a Cleaners chapter and things felt more certain this week than they have in weeks past. Chapters 44 and 45 will wrap up this arc, and I have something special planned for the end. It’s given me an opportunity to tighten up the last part for Paranormal Cleaners, which excites me greatly. Second-Hand Rumors as well, I felt bad about. Something felt off about this last couple of chapters, and I realized that I may have bitten off more than I could chew. It’s been a learning experience, but it’s not fair that you had to suffer through those chapters.

     I had an epiphany on how to save this last arc and keep my promises mostly intact. I feel bad that there were no posts this week, but everyone had to pitch in to deal with a family emergency. On top of helping my sister in law move, I spent the last couple of days looking after my nephew, who is two years old. Anybody who has a two year old knows exactly how exhausting that can be. That I got any writing done today is honestly shocking. I can’t make any promises for this next week either, because we have to move all their things into a storage unit. I will do my absolute best to find a way to make this up to you. I feel dreadful about the way things have gone. This last week did have some silver lining to it, though. For weeks, I’ve been attempting to function on my desktop. I function much better on a laptop. Maybe it’s silly, and maybe it’s not something I should take seriously, but nobody ever questions the Natural about his bat from a tree struck by lightning, or maybe they do. I have no idea, I still haven’t seen the movie. Anyways, long story short, I splurged and bought myself a laptop this weekend. It’s glorious not sitting in my wife’s grandfather’s studio chair, which is wonderful and sentimental, and had some sharp thing sticking out of it, which pushes into my butt. The seat is almost entirely worn away, in terms of cushioning too.

     Anyways, I just wanted to let you all know what’s going on. I might count this as a break week, and start the five week counter over, though this week was hardly a break. Honestly, taking the time to sit down and write this little note to you has lifted such a great weight from my mind. Once more, I am so sorry that there were no posts this week. I’ll try to be better about posting on my author’s page on Facebook about that in the future. Thank you for coming and seeing me every week. Your visits mean the world to me and my wife. Please come back again soon. I’ll be sure to save your seat right by the hearth where you left it.

A note from the fireside~ 7/8/18

     Hello, dear friends. I hope you’ve been well this last week. I’ve been thinking about you a lot, for more than a few reasons. I have a few things to talk about this round, so we should get into it. This week’s Cleaners was no fun to write. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve had to rethink where the story is going for the forseeable future. The end of this chapter certainly points out some of those problems. Jack needs a reason to stay, as opposed to just leaving. He does have one, and so do I, but it will really change the tail end of Cleaners. Thematically, I think it works better, because the original point of the opening story as a whole is Jack getting intertwined with his family again. His sister getting kidnapped is a good way to do that, and it ties the story back into the main antagonist, Ezra, or Dr. Lightning. Expect to see him a few more times in the next part, looking ahead. Rumors as well is steaming ahead towards its ending. The interruption of one of the Fourteen Kings will certainly prove to have ramifications both for the end of this story, as well as the following series of stories. It was unexpected for me, so it took a long time to get that feeling right.

     I wanted to briefly discuss health issues with you as well. I don’t mention them often, or I try not to, because that’s really not the point of this blog. I will mention it here, because I care about you. I’m sorry the story was late this week. I wanted so badly to post on time. I’ve been having trouble sleeping, and perhaps because of that my bipolar disorder has been acting up as of late.  I’ve also been fighting off some sort of sickness, which has made it difficult for me to recover mentally or emotionally. With that in mind, I’ve decided to plan on posting late this next week. In an ideal situation, that will be Friday. I’m doing this because I plan on spending the opening of my week rough drafting like mad. I’ll come back towards the middle of the week and redraft what I’ve got, get it edited and post it. Saturday or Sunday might be more realistic, but I have high hopes.

     Thank you for being so patient with me, dear friends. My wife works hard editing for me, and I work hard trying to get her work which is easy to edit. This week must have been hard, because I consider these chapters to be a bit of a train wreck. I look forward to next week, though. I’ll miss you, and I hope this week finds you well. I’ll be sure to save your seat by the hearth, right where you left it.

A note from the fireside~ 7/1/18

     Hello, dear friends. I hope you’ve had a good week. I’ve got a lot to say this week. Let’s start with the professional bits, and then I have a few personal things to say. I had a chapter of Rumors ready this Friday, but for various reasons I couldn’t get it edited until today. This is the last arc for Rumors, before moving into Second-Hand Lives. We’re definitely going to see a lot of characters to this point. I’m looking forward to the ending, because I get to showcase Liam’s growth as a character. The last couple of chapters especially are going to be a roller coaster ride. Cleaners continues it’s arc this next week. I’m reluctant to say anything about that, because it’s got some…fun things coming down the line. The end of that arc will see the return of another Goodbody, Julian. I’m quite fond of Julian, because he gets along with Jack and even Samantha quite well, though she would be loath to admit it.

     This marks the end of the first week out of our first cycle. Four more weeks to go, then we’ll take a week break. I have some things planned for that break, so here’s hoping I can kick butt over the next week. I want to actually start writing the Total War series, though I have some questions about how well that story will work for completely unrelated reasons. I’m not sure how many of my regular visitors are American, but this next week is 4th of July set of all the fireworks week. This shouldn’t affect our writing schedule, but I will post on Facebook if it does.

     Still not sure what to do about our Patreon. Should I leave it dead? Should I bring it back? It’s been so fruitless a venture. If you have any thoughts, let us know. It’s been a hard week, because we lost one of our mice, Lottie. She was the biggest sweetheart, who loved to be petted. She would nuzzle her head up against my thumb when I stopped petting her. Losing a pet is so very hard, so I’m grateful for your visit. You help me and my wife get through the hard times. I missed you this last week, and I look forward to your visit next week. I’ll be counting down the days while I work on the coming chapters. Please do come again to see me and my wife. I’ll save your chair by the hearth, right where you left it. You have a home here, dear friend.

A note from the fireside~ 6/25/18

     Hello, dear friends. It’s been a very long week off. I missed you all a lot, and I have a few things to mention. Unfortunately, I almost forgot about this because the last couple of days have been busy, messy and frustrating. Good news first. There should be a chapter of Cleaners tomorrow, posted by 5pm. It’s mostly drafted out at this point, and the opening of the story has been flowing really well. This is a mega-arc which will end part 2 and lead into part 3. Second-Hand Rumors should also be out on time. I’m going to be using my renewed vigor and energy to try and up my writing game. Writing week to week gives you a ton of respect for manga artists and writers, who have to keep a schedule or their fans will lynch them and their editors. I’m glad I have the fans I have. I’m so glad you’re here, even after a week off and a late weekend update.

     Second-Hand Rumors also goes into it’s final arc for the part before leading into Second-Hand Lives. It’s not as long an arc, but it’s going to have a doozy of a conclusion. Expect to see some old faces show up again. The Dirt Gremlins are going to make a show stopping appearance as well. Second-Hand Lives will mark the completion of Liam’s story, and it will lead directly into the next set of stories. I consider Paranormal Cleaners to be the main storyline, and it is ultimately on a collision course with those characters in New York City. The difficulty right now is going to be the end of Paranormal Cleaners part 2. In order to make this current storyline work, I had to take an arc from the sequel set of stories, strip it down and rebuild it to suit my purpose. I’m not really sure how much retrofitting I need to do.

     This last week was a bit of a wake up call as well. My Patreon deactivated, I assume because it had been about a year and I was getting zero patronage from people. I’m not sure I can blame them. I’m not sure what I could have done. Maybe it’s because I always considered Patreon to be a shot in the dark? I certainly didn’t spend enough time on there to convince people I would be around. It make me think a lot about my writing and what I want to do with it. It motivated me to improve for you and start trying to be more systematic about my editing and writing. I guess it’s just depressing that I’ve been working on this story for years, and I feel like I have little to show for it. Now I’m just complaining, so I’ll wrap up by mentioning a few more small details. This next week will begin our first official cycle of five weeks on and one week off. Depending on how well my writing goes over the summer, there may or may not be a period of break in December, as there was last year, because my wife works at a bakery.

     I guess the best way to end this is by saying thank you for your visit. You are the oasis of hope in the desert of hopelessness which writing can feel like. I like forward to seeing you next week, and I hope you enjoy the stories to come. Please, pull up a chair and stay for a bit. When you leave, I’ll save your seat right by the fire where you left it.

A note from the fireside~ 6/17/18

     Hello, dear friends. I hope you’re having a good father’s day weekend. I myself haven’t been so fortunate, though I hope to be a father someday. We’ve got a few things to talk about this week. Goodness, that sound so serious. Maybe I can be a father after all. Anyways, the current arc for Paranormal Cleaners is done. It leads directly into the last arc for this part. Very likely, this over-arcing story will lead into the third part and make up the end of the story. In the original version, everything was going to get wrapped up in the next arc, but I felt this portion of the story needed a little weight. It’ll be interesting to see how this effects the overarching story for Paranormal Repossession, the second overall story.

     Second-Hand Rumors also ended it’s arc this week. It was a small arc, and not a lot happened in terms of actions, but I think the character development was very important. The last arc will encompass the end of the part. I am looking forward to the build up and the ending, and I would love to hear what you think about how it ends. Liam started off in a very different place, but in this last chapter he admitted he was becoming friends with someone. I would love to keep writing, but I am exhausted. This last week was so very long. I work a job where I am on call. I got called in every day, and I have a major project to work on for a student. With that in mind, I am cutting this weeks author’s note short. Next week, we’re going on break so I can try and get back on schedule. I might post something this next week, but let’s just say we’re closing our doors until next Sunday. I will miss you so much. Thank you, as always, for coming to my inn and spending some of your time with me. I am so glad that you came. I will save your chair for you right by the hearth.