News Archive: July 2014-June 2017
I really became a denizen of the internet starting in the early 2000s. At that point, most of the websites I love (and, in particular, the webcomics I loved) had all their news posts available in one more-or-less endless scroll. I always enjoyed that, as it offered a chance for insight into the history of the website and the people involved. So every so often, I'll declutter the main page, but archive all the original news posts here.
Zodiac Brave Story 6/22/17
A sister finds her missing brother. A brother stands torn between the need to speak and the need to keep his sister safe. And the wheels of history turn ever onwards. Chapter 30, The Safer Lie, is up.
Chapters like this are often the most fun for me to write, because I get to go completely off-script and fill in events myself. In particular, I get to show off Alma's character, which is something I really enjoy. In spite of playing a fairly pivotal role in the original game, Alma's a pretty flat character with relatively few scenes. If I'd abided by the game's script, we wouldn't see her again between Chapter 15 and Chapter 71. She serves a background role--the princess Ovelia is her close friend, after all--but I wanted to give her more agency in the story. Here, we see her as someone fierce, proud, and inquisitive--someone very distinct form her guilty, self-doubting brother. Sidenote: I actually had a hard time reconciling the prominence of female knights such as Agrias, Meliadoul, nd Miluda with the fact that almost all the noblewomen in the game don't have much agency. Having to invent a social reason for that was actually pretty fun, and let me build a more complete Ivalice with its own laws and customs. I got to explore some of that through Teta: I'm hoping to explore a lot through the chapters to come.
Zodiac Brave Story 6/15/17
Double update today. First, meet Annabel Iphis, whose family has always served as loyal Lionsguard, protectors of the crown. Her loyalty is tested, however, by infighting among the royal family, and a conspiracy that reaches from the highest levels of power all across Ivalice. Far away from Annabel, Ramza Beoulve and Radia Gaffgarion finish another campaign against bandits and rebels, one of the many fights they've been part of in the two years since the fall of the Death Corps. But when Baron Grimms and his ragtag Black Sheep offer them a place within their ranks, they may see a hope and cause they can believe in once again.
The Annabel Iphis chapter is a brand new addition to the story of my own invention, and a comparably recent one, too. A lot of the major events of Final Fantasy Tactics happen off-screen, which is something I'm in a position to rectify since I'm telling the story in novel form. I think Annabel Iphis is a useful way to introduce the political plotting and conspiracy that's going to characterize a lot of Parts 2 and 3. I've also changed the names of the individual parts, as you've probably noticed by now.
I was really excited about the first Ramza chapter, because we first get to see how Ramza has changed over the previous years, and then get to meet Baron Grimms. The Baron never appears in FFT, though we do hear of him. I liked the idea of a unit of soldiers made of the black sheep of Ivalice--kind of a version of the Death Corps that works within the system. I think it's also a good way to show the dynamics between Ramza, Radia, and Gaffgarion, and the complexities of this life they live on the peripheries of Ivalice.
I'm sorry for the long delay (and the double update is, in part, an apology for this fact). I've got ongoing issues in my personal life, and it's easier to maintain the current update pace. I'll hopefully be able to get you another update next week.
Zodiac Brave Story 5/25/17
A failed cadet whose friends lie dead and wounded. The sole survivor of a band of noble revolutionaries. Under the guidance of a mercenary who insists on unpleasant truths, these broken idealists take their first weary steps into a world of grey. Chapter 27, The Unknown World, is up.
With that, we've finished Part One of the story (and, in so doing, have put the entirety of Part One on this website as a downloadable pdf). It's been a much wider, wilder ride than I expected, and that was the simplest part of our tale. There's still a lot more ground to cover, which we'll be doing at a pace of every two weeks while I deal with personal stuff and other projects.
The original game opens with Ramza fighting a Nanten attack, only to discover Delita is still alive and seemingly in their ranks. This prompts a flashback to the events of the Campaign against the Death Corps. I chose to eschew that form for a number of reasons, but most importantly because I wanted this to be a proper novelization. I wanted it to appeal to fans of Final Fantasy Tactics and newcomers completely unfamiliar with the story. By preserving the fact of Delita's survival, newcomers will get a thrill of discovery to find a supposedly-dead character embroiled in a mysterious new plot, and fans of the story will get to follow Ramza's character arc, and how it led him from a young idealist to a mercenary under a fake name.
So you're probably wondering what comes next. I'm planning on approximately 6 parts in total for the Zodiac Brave Story. The next part opens after a two year timeskip, and tries to both relate the kind of people Ramza and Radia have become under Gaffgarion's guidance and the situation across Ivalice. Along the way we'll see through the eyes of mercenaries, clergy, royalty, and revolutionaries: we'll touch on secret schemes and terrible plots; we'll glimpse, ever so briefly, some of the darker truths that lie beneath Ivalice.
The quest for truth continues. Thanks for joining me as we search.
Zodiac Brave Story 5/11/17
A young man awakens in the care of his former enemy, and both try to make sense of all they have lost, only to be confronted by a mercenary who mocks the very notions they hold dear. Chapter 26, Nasty Little Words, is up.
There's a lot of work being done in this chapter. Ramza and Radia have their first proper conversation, and Radia's father steps into the light--Gaffgarion (in case it's not clear by now, Radia is substituting for Rad/Ladd from the game).
In the game's original one-year timeskip, there are all sorts of interesting questions about how Ramza ultimately fell in with a mercenary who both knew his true identity and looked at the world so differently. Gaffgarion also adopts some of Argus' words from the game, since Argus and Delita were a little too busy murdering each other for fancy speeches. Here, the timeskip will be extended to two years, and by giving Ramza a Death Corps foil, I think I both make sense of his eventual joining with Gaffgarion and give him a more compelling narrative along the way.
Zodiac Brave Story 4/27/17
A man lies dead. A vow lies broken. And the hopes of two young men are blasted to ruin along with an ancient fortress. Chapter 25, Collapse, is up.
It's a short chapter, and there's not much to say about it. All the action comes in the preceding three chapters: this is just the end of the scene. Though it's short, it's also pivotal: the events here with set the stage for the story to come.
Thanks for reading. Part One is almost over.
Zodiac Brave Story 4/20/17
The last scion of a noble house fights with all his strength to fix a mad and broken world. Chapter 24, A World Gone Mad, is up.
I usually enjoy writing villains. It's an exercise in empathy. As human beings saturated in easy hero vs. villain narratives, it's tempting to see paint people who disagree with you as monsters (remember, I've discussed this before). But there are no monsters in the world. Every person makes sense inside their own head. Terrorists think they're on the side of God. So do American soldiers who rape and torture. So did Hitler, and so do atheists. Everyone's story makes sense, from their perspective.
I've been excited to write this Argus chapter for a long. It recontexualizes what we know about him. Here, we see that he was always a simmering ball of resentment, because he felt like he had to fight his tongue. He felt wronged by the world, and justified in the things he had to do to make it right. Argus doesn't think he's a villain: he thinks he's a hero, surpassing his grandfather's legacy and fixing the mistakes of fools like Ramza. Just remember that when you have an enemy. They're not your enemy because they're evil. They're your enemy because they believe they're the hero, and so do you.
Zodiac Brave Story 4/13/17
An arrow flies, and the world comes unraveled. Swords are drawn and swung: words are spoken that can never be unsaid. Chapter 23, Nightmare, is up.
I've been excited about this section of the story since about the time I started writing it. There are some serious gaps in the original narrative--in the game, we don't see Wiegraf again for a long time between this episode and his next appearance. The last word we had of him was that Zalbaag had gone off to fight him. Here, I did something I wanted to do since I played the damn game: I put Wiegraf and Zalbaag in a scene where they have to fight.
More importantly, I love the symbolism here. The disgraced noble being hunted by the knight prodigy. The noble-killing revolutionary fighting against a symbol of royal order and authority. And Ramza, caught in the middle, as the snow falls.
Zodiac Brave Story 4/6/17
DOUBLE UPDATE: a noble revolutionary faces off with the young men who killed his sister, only to find that they have fought and killed so much in the name of rescuing the sister of one of their own. That's Chapter 21, the Wheels of History. In Chapter 22, Cycle of Vegeance, the captured sister struggles to make sense of the chaos and clamor of the world, and finds a moment of solace with a revolutionary woman questioning her own choices.
I apologize for my long absence. I'm actually in the process of trying to centralize all of my work in one website for convenient access by all readers, but it's tough going getting everything in one place and providing the tools you should have so you can enjoy the stories in the easiest manner possible. My goal was to start publishing again after I finished building a new website, but with so much other business to attend to, and some rather hectic days in my personal life, I figured it was best just to get the story rolling again. On the plus side, I've got a pretty substantial buffer of potential updates now, so the story should continue for the foreseeable future.
Zodiac Brave Story 2/2/17
A frightened woman prays for her own safety and the safety of her brother. A commanding man is shaken by word of his sister's fall. How can people cling to decency in the face of such fear and violence? Chapter 20, By Nobler Means, is up.
With this latest chapter, the Zodiac Brave Story is officially longer than the Collaborative Sessions. It's a funny feeling. I wrote the Collaborative Sessions in fits and starts over four years, usually making notes about what I wanted to do when I got home in class or at work. ZBS is a very different different beast: I've planned it out rigorously, and I know what major storybeats I want to hit and have some of the major scenes plotted out. It's been a fun experience so far. I hope to keep bringing you content through the years to come.
Zodiac Brave Story 1/26/17
The battle is won, but the victors exhausted by their fight. They build a funeral pyre in honor of the women who fought for a noble cause, and try to make sense of the war they are fighting and the world they are living in. Chapter 19, Funeral Pyre, is up.
The story's been moving at a pretty good clip, and things are going to happen very quickly with little time for rest and reflection. Funeral Pyre wasn't in the original outline. It was something I wrote rather off-the-cuff, because there's not going to be a lot of time for Ramza, Delita, Beowulf, and Reis to share their thoughts as they plunge towards the climax of Part One. I think the scene came out very well. I hope you agree.
Zodiac Brave Story 1/19/17
Delita chases after his stolen sister, Miluda fights for the living and the dead betrayed by the cruelty of the high-born, and Ramza plunges into the madness to try and keep his hands clean even in the heat of desperate battle. Chapter 18, The Valkyries, is up.
The chapters thus far have not exactly been devoid of action, but there's been a considerable amount of stage-dressing so you can understand the capabilities of the protagonists and antagonists and the factors that motivate them. From here on in, we're at the climax of the story, and you're going to see a lot more action.
Zodiac Brave Story 1/5/17
As her friend and allies die around her, a revolutionary woman searches her past and present for the demons and decisions taht led her to this last stand. Chapter 17, In This Hopeless Place, is up.
I apologize for the long delay. I dramatically overestimated my ability to produce new material, and that, combined with some family drama and the holidays, meant that I did not manage to produce nearly as many chapters as I had hoped. You'll get them just as quickly as I can write them.
Miluda Folles is a really important character to the story of Final Fantasy Tactics. Her shadow hangs over most of the game, shaping Ramza and Delita through the years as they chase the individual paths that their confrontation with the Death Corps led them to. But this legacy is always implicit: only a single character explicitly refers to her later in the story. One of the nice things about the written word is that it allows you to show a character's perspective, and here I get to outline just what kind of person Miluda is and why she fights so hard, even when everything seems so hopeless.
Zodiac Brave Story 12/19/16
A young woman hides behind a false name trying to survive and make sense of the terrible violence of the world. Chapter 16, Violence, is up.
Writing women in general--and in medieval fantasy, in particular--can be challenging for a man. You want to create a character who's authentic and human, but it can be hard to disregard your own perspective and privilege. Nor can you escape the connotations of certain behaviors and actions. Sexual assault is pervasive even in our times, and denying that reality hurts women. At the same time, rape as a narrative device touches on a lot of problematic areas. And women historically had less agency than men in medieval times, so how to give a compelling, sympathetic portrayal that addresses the grim realities of a woman's experience without being reductionist or exploitative?
The source material has limited me thus far: even if I take liberties with the basic story of Final Fantasy Tactics (which I intend to) this part of the story is dominated by male actors. This is the first time I've been able to have a principally female cast, which is a lot of fun for me. Teta is a woman whose habitual powerlessness has narrowed her intelligent mind to the problem of survival. Miluda is a revolutionary warrior woman who has lost a lot and teeters on the brink between the ideals she pursues and the rage she rightfully feels. And Radia is a woman struggling to match her ideals with the grim reality around her. I think in playing off each other they exposed a lot of their basic characters, and learn and grow.
For the next several weeks I'll be trying to update the story twice a week, after which time there'll probably be a bit of a hiatus. I hope you enjoy the story.
An Embarrassment of Riches 12/1/16
Oh man, guys, you are in for a treat today. You should know that I haven't stopped publishing chapters in the Zodiac Brave Story, even if the site was down for a time. I've been hard at work, publishing regularly and trying to give you all the content you could hope for...which includes The Renegades, the second in a trilogy I started with The Wanderers. You can click on the Books tab above, or any of the links below, to get it in your preferred format.
Want it in print? Click here.
How about on Kindle? Click here.
Maybe you prefer it on Nook? Click here.
Do you prefer a different electronic format? Click here.
Or maybe you haven't made up your mind? Well, what if I gave you a free preview? Just click here!
And if you're looking for more free stuff to occupy your time, you can read the Zodiac Brave Story, updated at least once a week! You can start the story by clicking here, and the chapters you may have missed while the site was down include a young man trying to end a war without blood on his hands, the same young man trying to convince everyone he knows to see beyond their hostility, hate, and distrust, and a surprise attack upon the young man's family and ancestral home. The latest chapter sees the young man trying to make sense of a world that seems to be falling apart around him.
Zodiac Brave Story 11/3/16
Prince Larg and Dycedarg Beoulve share a quiet drink and look to the future, when the throne of Ivalice will be firmly in their grasp. Chapter 11, The Best-Laid Plans, is up.
Gustav is not the only alternative perspective I'll be drawing from. Ramza may be our principal protagonist and perspective character, but Ivalice is a kingdom welded together from seven disparate nations, and the various powers and peoples within them have their own stories to tell. Here, we get some insight into one of the brothers Ramza so admires, as well as his liege lord. We also set the stage for the conflicts yet to come.
For the next few weeks we'll be back to updates every Thursday instead of the Monday/Thursday schedule we've been keeping. Thanks for reading.
Zodiac Brave Story 10/31/16
The Marquis is safe, and the four young men receive their rewards. But Ramza Beoulve is still too haunted by what he has seen, heard, and done, so he searches for some answer to his questions, looking to his friends, his brothers, and the man they rescued. Looking for a way to be just. Chapter 10, The Righteous Path, is up.
This wasn't my intention, but there are elements of this chapter that parallel current events. At what point is violence justified, and how much violence can you use and still be just? When a government that has been your habitual oppressor continues to oppress? When you cannot trust the police because of the color of your skin? When the candidate you believed in seems to have the election rigged against them? Of course, we've struggled with these questions since the birth of the United States. That's why the Founding Fathers felt the obligation to craft a document outlining their reasons for war. The pursuit of justice often requires at least the ability to use violence. Figuring out what is allowed and when is the key to building any nation or civilization that endures. Ramza is trying to solve these questions for himself. You should, too.
Zodiac Brave Story 10/24/16
The four young men finally find their missing Marquis, and come face to face with the brother and sister who would tear down the ruling powers of Ivalice and build a more equal nation. Chapter 9, Foes By Birth, is up.
In some sense this chapter is an apology for the very dry, very political, very introverted chapters of the last several updates. I think we've all earned an actual action sequence, though the confrontation does once again slide into the philosophical. What can I say? I can't help myself.
Zodiac Brave Story 10/20/16
A man stares down at the Marquis he kidnapped, and thinks about all the choices and mistakes that led him here. Chapter 8, The Cornered Rat, is up.
Ramza is absolutely our protagonist, and he and his friends will carry the story forwards. But there is far more to the story than just a young man trying to make sense of his place in the world. This is my first attempt to expand on that world, by telling our tale from another perspective. From the perspective of a man who has become faintly monstrous in his struggle to rise above his circumstances.
Zodiac Brave Story 10/17/16
The young men chase after the man who may have their missing Marquis, only to find themselves face to face with the most wanted man and woman in the Kingdom. Chapter 7, In Search of Gustav, is up.
Building a world is that feels at all authentic is ridiculously hard. You have to attend to sights, smells, architectural styles, fashion, the little quirks of etiquette and appearance and speech that make a place feel unique and alive. I'm not claiming to be any good at it, but trying to give you a sense of these characters and the world they live in has been an exhilarating test of whatever skills I have. Another update coming on Thursday.
Zodiac Brave Story 10/13/16
Four young men drift through a simmering city, piecing together the clues that point to their missing Marquis. Chapter 6, of Merchants and Murders, is up.
Not much to say here, except that this chapter is pretty important in establishing both relevant backstory and some of the character dynamics. There will be another update on Monday, since I don't want to leave you guys hanging.
Zodiac Brave Story 10/6/16
As the young men and their loved ones celebrate their survival and victory, Ramza learns the shame of House Thadolfas, and feels the true weight of his brothers' shadows. Chapter 5: The Weight of a Name, is up.
I had some fun writing this chapter, in part because this is the first time we've really gotten to see Ramza at all relaxed and the first time we've seen Alma and Teta when they're not grieving. We also learn what drives Argus. Argus is a character who has a lot of anger and resentment, and a lot of reason to feel that way. Besides, I kind of love doing drinking scenes.
Who Do You Hate?9/23/16
So I've been thinking a lot about the social and political climate in the United States. I've been thinking about all these pointless political memes and the tone-deaf outrage that surrounds almost every conflict of ideals. I've been thinking about the fact that no one, left or right, seems willing to sit down and compromise, and the few that do are punished by a ravening public that seems to see any concession, however minor, as a sign of unforgivable cowardice.
I have faith in humanity. I have faith in our collective intelligence and our ability to reason and extend compassion to our fellow man. but I think we could all use the reminder: there is nothing noble about hate, and you have to resist the urge to define yourself by it.
Zodiac Brave Story 9/22/16
The wheels of a conspiracy churn in the distance, while young men ask themselves how they can be just with blood on their hands. Chapter 4: Kill or Be Killed, is up.
Ramza is meant to be a very uncertain protagonist, and Argus and Delita serve to demonstrate different sides of that uncertainty. Each of them has reason to lack confidence in themselves, and each is struggling to find the answers that will let them match the men they idolize. I also wanted to highlight some of the weirdness that violence can introduce to our social interactions. Ramza's hands are still technically clean, but he feels guilty about that fact. Meanwhile, Delita feels guilty for the killing itself. How do you reconcile those feelings of guilt and responsibility?
Zodiac Brave Story 9/15/16
Three young men set out with dreams of glory, but such dreamms do not often survive contact with reality. This chapter introduces a new character and sees protagonists forced to fight for their lives for the first time.
I have two principal goals in this chapter: firstly, to make it clear that the nature and necessity of violence is going to be treated in a serious and sometimes brutal manner. The source material alluded to a lot of horror but left many things ambiguous: a lot of those ambiguities will not survive in this tale. Second, I want to make sure the world of Ivalice feels alive and real to the readers. To make it clear that this is a place of history, and that for all the world-building we do we're not always going to have time to cover everything.
Zodiac Brave Story 9/8/16
In a kingdom haunted by unrest, two young men start to find their place in the world. This is the start of the first arc of the story, dealing with bandits and rebels haunting Ivalice, and the political necessities that see two young cadets forced to fight against them.
For fans of the game: this probably also marks my first serious departure from the game's story, with my earlier introduction of Beowulf, his markedly-different age, and his relationship to Daravon. Both Daravon and Beowulf will have a heavier role in the story this time around, in which their relationship plays a significant part.
Zodiac Brave Story 9/1/16
The story continues with the death of a hero. This is going to be a very expansive story, where very small details can come back in very big ways. For frame of reference: this chapter references the major conflict of the first part of the story and also namedrops a character who will not take a direct part in the narrative for close to a hundred chapters.
While this one is based on Final Fantasy Tactics, I'll be playing quite a bit with the exact nature and order of events as well as the dialogue and the characters. The goal here is to tell the story that inspired me in a way that makes it still more relatable. I hope you enjoy.
Beginnings and Ends 8/25/16
The first chapter of The Collaborative Sessions was published on July 18, 2012. It was a way for me to tell a fun story and keep my writing skills sharp while I worked on other projects, some of which are available on this website and many of which I'm still working on to this day. As of today, the final chapter of the story has been published. It took approximately 1500 days to tell the tale.
I was a very different person in 2012. I was fresh from one relationship, headed into another (though I didn't know it at the time). My mother had just gotten remarried, and my time at Loyola University was coming to an end. I had no idea what the future held, except for this: I always wanted to be telling stories, no matter what else was going on in my life.
There have been many stops and starts along the way. Stories I've outlined but haven't written: stories I've written but not yet perfected. I have moved cities, moved jobs, graduated from college, lost friends, gained new ones, and stayed connected with sveral wonderful people. And at every step of this strange journey, I was writing this story. Now it's over, but there will be more stories, and more epics and epochs of life.
This story is over. A new story has begun.
Thank you for reading.
The Collaborative Sessions 8/18/16
It's coming to an end. This is the penultimate chapter of The Collaborative Sessions, where the long quest is finally over and we have to start saying goodbye. It's been a long delay between this chapter and the last, and an even longer time since I started this shindig. The good news is: with my time away, I've been able to refine and work on a number of outlines and stories, and I should have a steady stream of content for you guys in the coming months. In the meantime, please enjoy the fond farewells of two crews.
Ke$ha, Justice, and Capitalism 5/26/16
Wrote this one up awhile ago. It's not quite as timely as it was, but I still think it's a half decent piece of analytical writing. I'm a big fan of capitalism, but loving a thing means understanding its flaws, and many of those flaws are perfectly encapuslated in Ke$ha's battle with her music producer.
The Collaborative Sessions 3/11/16
Wow, I am an umabigously terrible person. I am not going to ply you with promises you have no reason to believe I'll keep. Instead, I'll just give you this new, incredibly dramatic chapter of revenge, the nature of fear, and the nature of ethical obligations, told by a very smart dog. This may be my favorite chapter of the story.
The Collaborative Sessions 11/27/15
No real excuse for my long absence. Just been very busy with personal projects, one of which should be pretty expansive and rewarding for any readers out there. The Collaborative Sessions should be over by the end of January 2016, with my new story taking over the same day it ends. Renegades should be out in 2016, as well. By way of apology for these delays, please enjoy Ed giggling her way through a major military action.
Bitches Be Cray 10/1/15
Taking a hard right into terrible territory by thinking about why women are crazier than men. Enjoy it? Feel enraged at what I've said? Let me know!
The Collaborative Sessions 9/24/15
So close to the finale of The Collaborative Sessions! In this one, Malcolm Reynolds takes on the Alliance once again.
Main Attraction 9/17/15
Work work work! We're near the end of The Collaborative Sessions, just gotta finish those final few chapters while I edit The Renegades and keep all you fine folks entertained. In the meantime, dug up a refurbished story of mine in which a young man enters the Jaws ride at Universal Studios and is hunted by an actual shark. Hope you enjoy it!
Space Cowboys 9/3/15
Sorry for the long hiatus, folks! I've been working on a number of projects including helping my excellent friend Derrick with some comic reviews and editing the sequels to the Wanderers. Should be back on a regular schedule now. As way of apology, please enjoy Book preaching to the Alliance.
Space Cowboys 7/30/15
Still working on projects of actual substance, but sometimes you need to let your mind take a break by having Wash get behind a fighter and tear up the Alliance. And don't forget, you can still get my book in print.
The Wanderers 7/23/15
After a great deal of work, it is finally done. The final version of The Wanderers is finished and published online on Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords. For the first time, it is also available in print. You can get it through any of these fine venues.
The Patriarch Speaks 7/17/15
Whoo, been workin' on this essay for awhile, wherien I muse on Gamergate and Men's Right's activists. This may kind of set the tone for a lot of my essays to come. Big news coming soon!
The Collaborative Sessions 7/10/15
And delayed once again! No real excuse. Still a stupid amount of content in the works and a number of big-life decisions to boot. Take another chapter of the Collaborative Sessions for your troubles, wherein Spike faces off with the Hands in Blue.
Short Stories 5/25/15
Sorry for the delay, everyone! I'm actually working on a stupid amount of content right now, but that means I got kind of backed-up. I'll try to publish 4 pieces of content over the next two weeks starting today and continuing through 5/29/15, 6/1/15, and 6/4/15. In the meantime, I posted a new story to my blog, written in the style of the Decameron, about one roommate seeking revenge on the other for all the trouble he's caused.
The Collaborative Sessions 5/14/15
It's strange, for some reason I hadn't gotten around to writing a Zoe chapter yet. Oh well, fixed that problem real quick by having Zoe and Faye talk about what it means to be happy.
Shut Up 5/8/15
After being basically genial and easy to ignore, I've decided to shake my cane at the proxy wars about race on social media. You know, piss everyone off in one fell swoop.
The Collaborative Sessions 4/30/15
I'm at work on printing a hardcopy of The Wanderers for those who eschew e-books. But that's not a new slice of content, is it? No, I'm sure all your bounty hunters in the universe are looking for Mal and Spike to keep almost killing each other, right? Well, your wish is granted.
Son of the Patriarchs 4/23/15
Hard at work on a number of projects yet. Tentatively thinking I'm gonna get a hard copy of The Wanderers out before the summer's end. In the meantime, I wrote an essay I'm not totally ashamed of while I was musing about the bizarre facts of wealth in this country, especially this week. Take a gander, why don't you?
The Collaborative Sessions 4/16/15
And we're back in the saddle! This time, Inara and Spike have a flirty but intense conversation about what it means to be alive. This was actually one of the first scenes I imagined when I started putting this fanfic together.
The goal with the site was always to update on Thursdays, and after several months of chaos and tumult, I think I can finally stick of that goal. So check back every Thursday for a fresh slice of new content; books, book samples, short stories, fanfiction, articles, and essays!
So Many Projects 4/9/15
Wow, it has been a long time since I've touched the site! Sorry about that. But that doesn't mean I've been idle; I'm in the final stages of editing the Renegades, I've finished a rough draft of The Redeemers, and in the meantime I managed to fix all the broken links from my time at the Maroon! In addtion, I posted a few updates to The Collaborative Sessions, such as this one where everyone beats up Spike, this one where all the manliest characters discuss philosophy in a manly fashion, and this one where Simon and Faye talk about home.
The Collaborative Sessions 11/14/14
I've got over a hundred thousand words done on my newest book, and I'm working on a number of other projects besides. In the meantime, though, please enjoy Spike Spiegel versus River Tam, and Jayne giving an inspirational speech.
The Collaborative Sessions 9/18/14
You know what you've always needed in your life, but didn't know? A piece of fanfiction where Spike Spiegel kicks Malcolm Reynolds in the face. Now that I've awakened you to that need, you better go and satisfy it.
Working on a number of things, including The Redeemers, notes for a new series, and some fan fiction. While I labor away, why not take a look at some of my other work, including a play about Gilgamesh and Orpheus arguing on a beach?
The talented Lauren Frederick (author of Lucid) gave me an author challenge, and I'm obliged to answer it (much as the devil must always accept a rock-off). I have to answer questions, then point you guys in the direction of another author. Let's begin!
What am I currently working on? Editing The Renegades and putting together a rough draft of The Redeemers, so I can finish off the Wasteland trilogy. After that, who knows? I've got a lot of story ideas, but I don't want to think about them too much until I get this project finished.
How does my work differ from others in my genre? As much as I love to world-build, I'm in some ways a very TV-oriented writer, thinking of chapters and stories as distinct scenes I build around. The stories are tell are more about character interaction than they are anything else, whether it be in urban fantasy, absurdist realism, or near-future sci-fi.
Why do I write what I write? Because those are the stories I want to tell. I don't have a message or a motivation. I come up with scenes and characters and worlds and try and put them together in an interesting way. I write the fiction that I would want to read, and I tell these stories because it's the only way to get them out of my head.
How does my writing process work? I start with characters and concepts. In more fantastic settings, some heavy world-building, sketches of the things I want to do. And then I come up with an ending--with the conclusion I want to see happen. How could it emerge? Why would it emerge? What of these characters I have would lead to this ending?
But now I get to issue my own challenge in turn. Short story master Lexi Wangler, you're on deck!
I'm not just writing these days. I'm also working as associate editor for a nifty little gaming magazine called BlipTalk. Heck, I even co-wrote a piece about the Destiny Beta for those folks. If you want to see what's keeping me busy, check it out!
Working hard on a number of nifty things for all of you, including a rough draft of my next book. Until then, why not enjoy an even better version of The Wanderers? You can find links to the various portals up in my Books page, and you can enjoy a preview here.
Sorry for the long delay, everyone. There's no excuse, really. From now, I'm dedicated to checking back in with this site weekly, and giving you guys updates to boot.
But oh man, there's a lot of exciting stuff going on. The sequel to The Wanderers is nearing completion. Once I can get a decent cover going, I'll see if I can't get it online for you guys. Until then, how about a preview?