Poems #37 and 38: “Omen” and “Marriage Counselor”

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, mainly because of midterms and having nothing much to update on my writing. My white board is accumulating a cluster of post-it notes, though. I’ve developed a bit more of the plot outline for my next book and jotted down a few story ideas, but that’s about it.

I’m still toying with the possibility of writing a good vs. evil fantasy series, but I haven’t talked myself into it yet. I have a few ideas for characters and setting, but not much more than that. If I set it in the same world as my other fantasy novels, I’ll need to work up a better historical timeline than I have at the moment and decide whether it precedes these novels / series or follows after them. I’ll also need to decide on a name for the world, and I’m leaning toward calling it Skein. (The other option is Knittingham, but that’s a bit of a cheesy pun. It would work for The Drunken Wizards but not the other books.)

Anyway, here are a couple of short poems I wrote earlier this year.


after flower
the petals fall,
always ending
on she loves me


© 2016, all rights reserved.

Marriage Counselor

The Kama Sutra
lies open to
page 3.

© 2016, all rights reserved.


(Non-)Writing Update and Poems #35 and 36: “ASL 101” and “Barometric Pressure”

I spent the last week and a half dealing with allergies and sinus issues, and then preparing for midterms. This week and next, my students will be taking those midterms and I’ll be reporting midterm grades. If it goes normally for the Fall semester, there will be quite a few students in the 50-65% range on the exams, but I’m always hopeful students will use the review to help them do better than that. I’ll find out soon enough….

Needless to say, I haven’t written anything of note during this time. However, you may remember that I read the Harry Potter series earlier this year to find out why it has such widespread appeal. I’ve been thinking about it and may take a stab at writing something similar after I have finished my Aftermath series. I might be able to work a world-shaking battle between good and evil into the history of the world where my Angus the Mage and Aftermath series are set, but I think it may be better to build a new world for it. Either way, I’ve jotted down some notes for characters and potential ways to link it to my other series. We’ll see how it germinates over the next year or so.

In the meantime, here are a couple of short poems that I wrote earlier this year:

ASL 101

Her fingers flutter
softly spelling her name
over and over again—

but all I can see
is what lies hidden
behind the words.

© 2016, all rights reserved.

Barometric Pressure

the deeper

the silence

the deeper

the wound

© 2016, all rights reserved.

Poem #34: “mo[u]rning”

Well, it looks like my writing is on hold this semester. I simply don’t feel like doing it, and the note I put on my whiteboard isn’t making me feel guilty like I thought it would. It says in bold caps:  WRITE SOMETHING! (I suppose this post constitutes writing something, but that’s not what I intended….) Anyway, I have a rough outline for a couple of the characters in I Will Be King, but I still have quite a bit of thinking to do for the other three. Unfortunately, I just don’t feel like thinking about writing right now. Maybe after the midterm I’ll get something done, but no promises.

I haven’t written very many poems this year, either, but here’s one of them:



crisp air
fluffy white clouds

cold dirt

light rain
with silent tears

© 2016, all rights reserved.

Poems #31 and 32: [ostriches] and [Dust bunnies]

I’m adjusting to my Fall teaching schedule. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a regular sleep schedule (my Summer course was an online one), so I’ve found myself to be rather sluggish and tired most of the time. That lethargy makes it too easy to get distracted by online games (mostly sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, Plants vs. Zombies, and Slotomania), but I’ve managed to get the first draft of a couple of scenes for Symptata’s Curse done. As for I Will Be King — the book I should be working on — I need to sit down and skim through some of Angst so I can bring the general outline into focus. All I have so far is a stack of notes printed off that are in need of trimming and organization. I might do that this weekend if I don’t visit my mom and sisters, but even if I do, I probably won’t get a lot of writing done this semester — especially after the Fall TV schedule starts up.

I might rewrite The Tiger’s Eye, but I don’t know about the other books in the series. I was happy with how they all turned out when I finished them, but I’ve learned quite a bit about writing novels since the first book in the series. If I do anything, it will relate to word choice, sentence structure, and presentation rather than content changes. I’m happy with the plot and characters, but there are too many me-dashes and ellipses in The Tiger’s Eye (I also got a bit carried away with some of the descriptions). I still need to talk myself into it, though. 🙂

Anyway, here are two more poems that I wrote earlier this year. I haven’t written any poems in the last month or two, either….


their heads
in the ground

climate doubters
in denial

© 2016, all rights reserved.


Dust bunnies
under the sofa
lie as still as
the rabbit
on our lawn.

© 2016, all rights reserved.

Goal Update and Poem #27: “Add On”

Well, I said I was being ambitious with my goals….

  • I still haven’t written the query letter.
  • I still haven’t done anything more with Penguins or Installments; however, I did get a picture of myself to use for when I submit Penguins to Kindle Scout. It’s not a great picture, but that’s because I’m not photogenic. 🙂
  • I did quite a bit for Aftermath, but I didn’t finish the third section. I focused on a few of the characters, and some of the scenes will appear in the fourth section. Anyway, it’s up to ~60,000 words. Once I revise the new scenes, it should be close to 62,000 words.

I’m waiting on one student to finish her exam, and then I’ll be able to do the midterm debriefing for my students. I probably won’t be able to do it until tomorrow, but once it’s done, I won’t have much to do for my class for the next couple of weeks. I hope to get Aftermath done during this time, but I think I’ll be more conservative with my goals from now on. We’ll see where I’m at on July 8. My intention is to be up to 80,000 words by then, but it’s probably a bit of a stretch. Anyway, I’m going to revise some of the scenes I wrote last week tonight, and tomorrow I intend to submit Penguins to Kindle Scout after I finish up the debriefing for my students. In the meantime, here’s a playful little poem:


a three-toed sloth
the number four

© 2016, all rights reserved.

Goal Update and Poem #26: “Sam[s]ara”

I didn’t make as much progress with my writing this week as I would have liked, but I wasn’t exactly idle. Here’s what my week was like:

  • The grading took longer than I anticipated, but I shouldn’t have too much more of it to do until the end of the month (when midterm grades are due).
  • I spent Father’s Day visiting family.
  • I spent an afternoon thinking about the next section of Aftermath and working up a tentative outline.
  • I wrote a couple of new scenes (~2500 words), but it was far less than the 10,000 words I had hoped to get done.
  • I sent the first two sections to my mom to find out what she thought about them. She liked what I’ve done so far, but I may have to rework the scenes related to one of the characters.
  • I went through the copy edit for Installments. There wasn’t a lot that needed to be done. However, after I talked with my sister about a few of her comments, I need to take a look at a few more things.
  • I am nearly ready to submit Please Don’t Eat the Penguins to Kindle Scout.
  • I still haven’t written the query letter to get an agent.

I think the issue for the last two items on the list is that writing is a hobby for me, and once I pursue a publisher and agent it will be more of a job. I already have one of those. 🙂

I’m going to be a bit ambitious with my goals for the rest of June. There are eight days after today, and two of them will be devoted to grading / calculating midterm grades. That will leave six days for writing and other stuff, and I intend to do the following:

  • Submit Penguins to Kindle Scout by June 30.
  • Finalize Installments and decide upon a cover image.
  • Write the query letter.
  • Finish the first draft of the third section of Aftermath (or at least make significant headway).

In the meantime, here’s a little poem:


windblown maple seed
drifting downward

a spiral of life

© 2016, all rights reserved.