July 2020 Update

June was a relatively slow month, though I did get quite a bit done in the first couple of weeks. Writing has very much happened in short, productive bursts with long periods of nothing in between. I did more worldbuilding for STARCALLER, and I even updated Patreon, for the first time in forever. Most worldbuilding work was localized to creating my conlang for the book. I finished reading The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder and highlighted a few things to look back over later.

Considering how little I wrote in April and May, June looks extra productive.

Word Counts in June:

Blog/Newsletter: 716
Patreon: 1370
Other: 1295

Total Words Written in June: 11,042
Total Words Written in 2020: 72,624

Plans for July:

As of today, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be doing this month. After finishing The Language Construction Kit, I ordered The Planet Construction Kit by the same author, to help focus my worldbuilding. I still need to do a bit more work with the conlang before I can start naming things. So I may focus on that before developing the world further.

On the flip-side, I’ve been considering starting edits on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL. I finished the first draft near the end of March, so it’s been a good three months and change of not working on it. I don’t know how quickly I’ll make progress on it, but I may go ahead and print out the first few chapters to see if I can edit anything effectively right now. I need to cut the word count in half, so it’s going to have to be a really brutal edit, right from the start. The first pass will mostly be big-picture story stuff, rearranging things, smashing things together, and eliminating as much fluff as possible. I expect I’ll need to organize myself beforehand to get the most out of it and examine each scene for maximum impact. I normally just read through and make notes as I go, but I think this book calls for a more… surgical approach, considering how many words I need to cut. (It’s currently 272,000 words! Ahh!) My initial goal is to get the second draft below 200,000 words, at least. If I can cut more, that would be best, but if I can get down to under 200,000, that’s a good start. Each subsequent pass will require more trimming, until I get it to a more reasonable number. The ultimate goal is 135,000. The closer I get to that number with each pass, the better. Line edits are going to be… interesting.

So this month may be divided between making a little worldbuilding progress with STARCALLER, and edits on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL, depending on how much I’m able to focus.

June 2020 Update

May was another month of mostly not-writing. Homeschooling took up most of my time, and when I wasn’t doing that, I was playing Animal Crossing or Elder Scrolls Online. I did manage to do some non-writing work that doesn’t amount to a word count, but it was progress...

May 2020 Update

Writing: Like most people around the world, I got nothing done last month. I’ve transitioned to full-time homeschooling, and I don’t have the time or energy for anything else. This will be brief! Word Counts in April: Blog/Newsletter: 1452 Cartridges & Catacombs:...

April 2020 Update

Writing: I finished my book! Woohoo! Last month, I made one, final concentrated effort to finish my dang book, after taking at least six months longer (and 100,000 more words) than I expected, and I finally finished it (on March 20th, to be exact, which was the day I...


July 2020 Update

June was a relatively slow month, though I did get quite a bit done in the first couple of weeks. Writing has very much happened in short, productive bursts with long periods of nothing in between. I did more worldbuilding for STARCALLER, and I even updated Patreon,...

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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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