January was a bit of a disappointment. I started out really strong, and then, of course, illness inevitably struck (thanks, dear toddler), and I’ve spent the latter half of the month taking care of a sick toddler and feeling like garbage. The inauguration did nothing to improve my spirits, but I think I’m finally recovering from that, if not from the cold that now plagues me.

Regardless, I’m proud of what I accomplished this month, despite not being a lot of output. It’s a new year, a new book, and a new character, and it’s been a refreshing change so far. I spent most of last year editing and working on old projects, so drafting something new for once feels good.

The new project is a continuation of the Chroniker City series, a novella set during the events of The Guild Conspiracy, but with Emmerich as the lead character, chronicling what he was up to in Paris while Petra was working at the Guild. It’s going to be novella length, somewhere between 30-40,000 words (I’m guessing on the higher end, but we’ll see), and it has a lot of new information to better flesh out the world and the characters who populate it.

The working title is REBEL ENGINEER, and this is my working description so far:

To save the girl he loves, Emmerich Goss agreed to start a war.

Now in Paris, tasked with building a mechanical army for the French, Emmerich crafts a machine deadly enough to satisfy his father’s demands, but his compliance hides other motives. Somewhere in France lives one of the last remaining members of the Chroniker family, someone who may be able to prove the identity of the girl he left behind…

With war imminent and his loyalties questioned at every turn—to his father, to his country, even to the girl he loves—in his heart, Emmerich knows one thing to be true: for her future… he would give everything.

Where my other Chroniker City novella, THE MECHANICAL THEATER, had little effect on Petra’s overarching story in the novels, REBEL ENGINEER ties directly into the events of THE GUILD CONSPIRACY. I wanted to show Emmerich’s side of the story, and writing a novella from his perspective seemed the best option. (At one time, I entertained the idea of adding interlude chapters to THE GUILD CONSPIRACY in order to show Emmerich’s actions in Paris concurrent to Petra’s, but that would have made an already long book even longer, and it would have muddied the focus of the novel.) This way, readers who wish to get a broader picture of the world and characters can do so, especially those who missed Emmerich in THE GUILD CONSPIRACY.

Otherwise, I wrote this blog post about politics and my fiction.

So, the numbers…

January Word Counts:

how i track my daily output

REBEL ENGINEER: 6,951 (outline/brainstorming) + 7,736 (drafting)
Blog posts: 1,029
Epic fantasy: ~2750 (11 handwritten journal pages)
Other/Miscellanea: 2,356

Total for January: 20,822 words

(Total for 2017: 20,822 words)

Plans for February:

First, I want to get over this cold. I had originally planned to finish REBEL ENGINEER by mid-February, but between getting sick and the outlining stage taking a week longer than anticipated, I’m behind. So now, the goal is to finish the first draft of the novella by the end of February. Depending on my weekly word counts for the rest of the month (essentially, I’ll need to write 10,000 words per week on average… hoo boy), I may or may not make this goal. Here’s hoping.

Upcoming Events:

I have added a new page to the website detailing my upcoming events for the foreseeable. You can reach it from the navigation bar at the top of this page, or follow this link.

This month, I will be at Barnes & Noble in Rogers, AR on Saturday, February 25th, from 12:00–5:00 p.m.

I will be signing copies of The Brass Giant and The Guild Conspiracy, which will be available for purchase at the store for $6.99 apiece.

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