August Update

July was much like June for writing, which means I didn’t do very much of it. The good news is that physical therapy is working wonders for my back, and I can finally sit for long periods of time without pain. I reduced my two-monitor setup to one monitor to prevent bad posture habits (leaning over to look at my right-hand monitor all the time put unnecessary strain on my back) and to help me stay focused on work instead of the internet. I bought a new office chair with better back support and set up a standing desk in my office to help mitigate back pain as much as possible. I was worried it would be a difficult adjustment to switch to standing while working, but I actually prefer it to sitting at my desk. I’m not sure how my enthusiasm will hold up once I start writing full-time again and work for several hour stretches, but I like it so far.

the rare portrait of a clean office

I’ve been a bit antsy this past month, wanting to work on something but not having the time or energy or focus to do it. I’m annoyed with THE MERMAID & THE BEAST for being so difficult to get right. I keep trying to tell myself that I can’t fix a draft that isn’t there, but I also don’t want to write 200,000 words of the wrong book either; I did that with THE GUILD CONSPIRACY and that is a process I do not want to repeat. So I’m doing a lot of not-writing work by mentally working out the kinks that had me stall out before, and I finally feel like I’m starting to get a handle on the story as I want to tell it, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ve spent a lot of this month trying to convince myself that the story is even worth telling. I keep having doubts about my ability to tell it, and I worry that either it will end up being garbage, or no one will want to read it, or it won’t sell, or someone else will beat me to the concept because I’m so damn slow, or or or… I feel like more than anything, I want to prove that I can write it, this crazy story idea that popped into my head after idly watching Beauty and the Beast and Ponyo each a dozen times in a week (thanks, kiddo), but I’m afraid that I can’t. Yay, writer insecurities.

I’ve gotten a few ideas for other stories to write, and part of me wants to just sit down and bang out a horrible first draft of anything just to prove to myself that I can still write a book. I still haven’t quite recovered from losing my publishing contract last year, and that’s put a damper on my confidence and self-motivation. It doesn’t help that the book I decided to work on is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to write.

Mostly, I’ve occupied my time by running a game of Dungeons & Dragons with friends every week and spending every other spare hour playing World of Warcraft. I wish I was reading more, but I haven’t even had the focus to do that. About all I can muster the attention for right now are comics and graphic novels.

It’s really hard to do anything that requires any modicum of concentration when I’m interrupted every thirty seconds for this or that or whathaveyou (at this point in the blog post, I’ve had to step away from my computer twice and have otherwise been interrupted at least five or six times), and it’s just generally loud with kiddo in the house all day.

What writing I did do this month was minimal, and most of it was brainstorming how to fix THE MERMAID & THE BEAST when I eventually get back to it.


Blog posts: 208
TM&TB brainstorming: 1,412
Other: 1,260

Total Words for July: 2,880
Total Words for 2018: 56,099


The end of summer is on the approach, which means kiddo is going back to school soon, and I’ll be able to start working properly again. I’ll be on “vacation” for a week when the new World of Warcraft expansion drops (For the Horde!), so I’ll be playing the crap out of that while kiddo is at school. But after that first week, I plan to dive back into writing.

I guess my first priority is editing REBEL ENGINEER, which will be more of a kind of rewrite, I think. The plot and conflict aren’t really strong enough as-is, so I need to reshape the narrative a bit and fill in all the gaps that will take it from a subplot companion to THE GUILD CONSPIRACY to a book in its own right. The good news is that it will probably end up full novel-length as a result, instead of a long novella, but the process is going to be a pain. So, this month will probably involve a reread of the draft and writing an outline/plan for revisions. I have good feedback from two beta-readers to work with, so that will help a lot. I expect the full revision will take me a couple of months (yay, eight hours of uninterrupted writing time each day!), and then I’ll probably get some more eyes on it. I’d love to publish it by the end of the year, and that’s my goal, but that all depends on how revisions go.

July Update

Summer is going by pretty fast y’all, and with it, a whole lot of not-writing. As I mentioned last month, I was in a car wreck at the beginning of May, and I am still recovering from that. I still can’t sit at my desk for too long without pain, but I started physical...

June Update

I spent all day today making two separate D&D characters and totally forgot it was the first of the month (which says a lot about how May went), so here is a belated update. I was in a car wreck at the beginning of May (hydroplaned on the interstate, hit the median...

May Update

My forced writing break at the end of March ended up stretching into the first half of April as I had literally no motivation to work on my book.  I would sit down at my computer and immediately want to do something else. So I read a few books, tried my hand at a...


August Update

July was much like June for writing, which means I didn’t do very much of it. The good news is that physical therapy is working wonders for my back, and I can finally sit for long periods of time without pain. I reduced my two-monitor setup to one monitor to prevent...

read more


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 is a stay-at-home mom, amateur seamstress, RPG enthusiast, and art hobbyist, in addition to all that 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 daughter the sticky-fingered rogue, and their cowardly wizard of a dog, with only a sleep spell in his spellbook.

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

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