August Update


I wrote a lot less this month than I wanted to, but this month has also been a whirlwind of STUFF HAPPENING. I’ve been swamped with non-profit work, especially in the last few days of July (I have an event coming up this weekend that I am both helping run and participating in), and the holiday in the beginning of the month kind of threw me for a loop with kiddo being out of summer camp. I can’t help but be a little disappointed that I didn’t reach the word count I wanted to (180,000), but it’s more of a disappointment with the lack of time I have had to dedicate to writing and less of a disappointment in myself for not writing more. I am doing the best I can and I know that, and I’m not going to beat myself up over a few thousand words. I also probably wrote a novel’s worth of emails this month, but unfortunately, those don’t count. I did have to spend a day or two rearranging my outline as I reassessed where I am with the story and where I need to be by the end. That was necessary work, and though it didn’t add any words to the book, it gave me a more solid plan moving forward. As of writing this, I am up to 167,718 words on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL now, and I feel like I’m about to hit the homestretch. The end is in sight!

Word Counts in July:

Blog/Newsletter: 1134
Patreon: 995

Total Words in July: 22,419
Total Words in 2019: 205,343

I’ve written more than 200,000 words so far this year!

Plans for August:

After the event this weekend (for which I still have things to prep!), kiddo has another week and a half before school starts back up, which means another week and a half of kiddo at home while I try to work. I don’t expect to get much written in that time, but I will try to do as much as I can. I’m at roughly 168,000 at this point, so I think I’d like to try for 190,000 by the end of August. (200,000 would be ideal, but there is no way I am going to write 32,000 words this month.) So, I’m going to be humble and attempt a goal of 190,000 by the end of August.

As mentioned above, I rearranged my outline, so I am actually past the midpoint of the story now, and what was my midpoint before is now my Act II climax. So I’m closer to 2/3rds of the way into the story now, and I feel like the story feels more focused now, and stronger. There will still be a lot of edits to undertake after the first draft is finished, but I’m getting there. I can’t say how many words are left in the book, yet, but I feel like I’ll have a much better idea of that once I reach the end of Act II, hopefully by the end of this month.

This book is going to be stupid long. I know that much.


I actually managed to get all of my things done this month!!! I have been so busy and so behind on so many things this month that to get all of my Patreon rewards taken care of feels monumental. (I still need to send out my physical postcard for the Postcard Poetry reward, but the poem is finished and posted here, so I’ll take it.)  I still need to catch up on some of the posts for May, but I’m slowly but surely catching up.

For $5+ Patrons:
POEM: “Rain Clouds” – A poem about taking the time to pause in the business of life.

For $4+ Patrons:
VIDEO: Ch 23 of BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL – A real-time writing session (sped up 8x) from my current wip.

For $3+ Patrons:
BEHIND-THE-SCENES: tk, ###, & [Other Notes to Self] – A post about the various tricks I use to keep track of changes or notes in a first draft.

For $2+ Patrons:
EXCERPT: “Freedom”
EXCERPT: “Destiny”
EXCERPT: “Invisible Tears”

(I also discovered this month that apparently I can assign more than 5 tags to a post. Who knew?)

July Update

Writing: Writing went pretty well this month, considering I spent the first week on doctors appointments and prepping for an event for a non-profit organization I volunteer for (not the one I run). I have a busy life. I’m proud of what I managed to write in the three...

June Update

Writing: May was not the month for writing, apparently. I scheduled myself to teach weekly writing classes, and also come up with all the material beforehand, last month, and as such, I spent more time prepping class material than I did writing fiction (as you will...

May Update

April was a fairly productive month. I managed to write nearly every weekday despite a lotof distractions and made good progress on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL. I’m a few chapters away from the midpoint now, and I’m getting a little bogged down in the minutiae, but...


August Update

Writing: I wrote a lot less this month than I wanted to, but this month has also been a whirlwind of STUFF HAPPENING. I’ve been swamped with non-profit work, especially in the last few days of July (I have an event coming up this weekend that I am both helping run and...

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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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