January 2020 Update

Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it’s January 2020 now. 2019 was a very busy year for me, at times feeling as if it was whipping by too quickly and other times as if it would never end. December was a relatively light writing month for me (but also productive?) with the holiday and a week of kiddo home sick. I had really really hoped to finish the first draft of BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL last month, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m so close (I nearly typed slow close there, which is also accurate) to finishing the book that I hope I’ll be able to finish up the draft this month. I did write up a 2019 In Review post, with goals for 2020, if you want to check that out.

Word Counts in December:

Blog/Newsletter: 747
Cartridges & Catacombs: 2269
Patreon: 663

Total Words Written in December: 16,128
Total Words Written in 2019: 292,044

Plans for January:

Today is my first day back to work after the holiday break, so I’m spending it catching up on emails and other boring administrative tasks that need doing after two solid weeks away. Namely, I need to clean my office. It is a disaster zone right now, and I’m finding it increasingly more difficult to write with a messy work area. I really need to work on that whole keeping-things-clean thing, so that’s a goal for this year. There are also things like sending out this newsletter and other whatnots that need doing.

Moving forward with writing, I’m going to try to schedule my time better this year, which means blocking out specific hours that I’ll be writing and only writing, instead of letting other things creep in at random. Last year, my work for my nonprofit claimed a lot of my writing time when I should have been scheduling a specific time to work on it. So that’s another goal for this year. I now have my Google Calendar set up with a weekly schedule that should work for me and allow me to do everything I want to accomplish week to week and month to month. I also bought a new planner/organizer for the year, and it is purple and pretty and better laid out than the one I used for 2019, so I’m hoping that helps with the time management aspect and keeping track of everything that needs doing.

For the actual writing, the primary goal for this month is to finish the first draft of BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL. I’m at the cusp of the climax now, so there shouldn’t be that much left.


After several months of lackluster updates, I decided to revamp my Patreon to give myself more breathing room when it comes to posting content on a regular basis. I added a Discord channel for mid-tier Patrons and changed up a few of the other rewards. As part of scheduling my time better, I’ve blocked out some time each week to work on Patreon things, so updates should be a lot more regular moving forward.

Cartridges & Catacombs:

I wrote a couple of posts for the gaming blog last month, but less than I had wanted to. I’m still trying to find my feet there, and this year, I really want to find a nice groove for updating the blog, so I’ve added it into my weekly schedule as well. I still need to figure out how exactly I want to format my regular posts, how regularly to do them, etc. I’ve thought of adding a D&D Diary to recap what happens each session I play, weekly (or monthly) updates with what I’m playing, and occasional deep dives into those games. Right now, I’ve mainly written about Hearthstone, but I have a lot more to talk about, if I’m being totally honest with myself. (Like, I kinda want to rewrite the plot—or a fanfic?!—for the Battle for Azeroth expansion of World of Warcraft so that it feels more satisfying to me story wise, but I’m not sure how interested anyone is in that.)

Word Count Progress

2019 in Review

Now that we are nearing the end of the year, it’s time for the year end summary! I’m not likely to write anything significant by the end of the month, since it’s the holiday break for us, so it’s as good a time now as any. (Check out previous years: 2018 | 2017 |...

December Update

November was another light month for me with planning Ozark Book Con (and the needed rest time after), but I did manage to write a little bit before Thanksgiving break. I started a new gaming blog, Cartridges and Catacombs, that I’m excited to continue to write for...

November Update

Writing: How on Earth is it already November?! Where did the year go? October was a very light month for writing for me, with event planning taking up most of my time. I did manage a little bit here and there, though, way more than I expected to, so I’m happy with...


January 2020 Update

Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it’s January 2020 now. 2019 was a very busy year for me, at times feeling as if it was whipping by too quickly and other times as if it would never end. December was a relatively light writing month for me (but also...

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The Brass Giant

Chroniker City #1

Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. But when Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for…

The Mechanical Theater

Chroniker City #1.5

Petra Wade’s older brother, Solomon, has always dreamed of being an actor. Instead, he works grueling shifts in the clockwork city’s boiler rooms to help support his large adopted family. When Le Theatre Mecanique holds an open call for their upcoming performance, he decides to audition, but the only role he is suitable to fill is that of the theater’s custodian…

The Guild Conspiracy

Chroniker City #2

It has been six months since clockwork engineer Petra Wade destroyed an automaton designed for battle, narrowly escaping with her life. But her troubles are far from over. Her partner on the project, Emmerich Goss, has been sent away to France, and his father, Julian, is still determined that a war machine will be built. Forced to create a new device, Petra subtly sabotages the design in the hopes of delaying the war, but sabotage like this isn’t just risky: it’s treason. And with a soldier, Braith, assigned to watch her every move, it may not be long before Julian finds out what she’s done…


Brooke Johnson is an avid tea drinker, nonprofit co-founder, amateur seamstress, tabletop RPG enthusiast, and dabbling artist, in addition to all her book writing. As the jack-of-all-trades bard of the family, she adventures through life with her fiercely bearded paladin of a husband, their warrior princess daughter, a cowardly wizard of a dog, and two roguish cats that somehow rolled high enough persuasion to join the party. 

They currently reside in Northwest Arkansas, and once they earn enough loot and experience, they’ll build a proper castle somewhere and defend against all manner of dragons, goblins, and whatever else dares take them on.

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