Summary: I’ll be taking a two week writing break to catch up on life. The next story, Solaire VII, will be posted Sunday January 19th, 2020. I take some time to do a retrospective on what’s been published so far, hint at a new series that will be starting sometime next year, and thank some people I really should thank.
So let’s get the actually news stuff out of the way first. My life is an absolute circus right now. I’m trying to figure to get an apartment lined up to move into before the end of this month, without a car or a computer (a little less vital, but still annoying), all after working an average of ten hour shifts every day for the past three weeks (Friday was an overachiever with a literal thirteen and a half hour work day right before I had to work a Saturday I normally don’t for a six day work week). Oh, and it’s the holidays! And as much as I love my parents and are looking forward to seeing them again, juggling that is yet another stressful time-sink.
Needless to say, I don’t have enough time to sit down and write (with the exception of the little bit I’ve carved out right now). So I’m taking a brief hiatus from my regular schedule; the next two weeks will be suspended to give me time to recollect myself and get drek back in order. Rest assured, though, I will be back the 19th with the next Solaire story. And trust me, this one’s worth the wait.
A Look Back and a Look Ahead
And while we’re waiting, let’s take some time to look at what’s happened so far, shall we?
Ah, my favorite child. It’s weird looking back and reading Liam’s intro; I was in a very angry and hurt place when I wrote this, so much so that I had to go back and clip most of the venom out. It still shows, though. As for the story itself, yesh. Those writing skills were definitely stiff.
But man, am I proud of what came out in the end. With Episode 8, this series has really begun to morph into a tangible product that I can show off with joy. Zoey and Liam have begun a very long journey. They’ve showcased talents that will be pushed to their breaking points in the days ahead. And they’ve found the first inklings of a larger, darker world: hidden spaces in reality, a secret battleground of faith and fear, and a cast of shadow players that will be far from happy to see such obnoxious intruders.
Looking at the roadmap for what comes next doesn’t showcase a calmer time, either. We’ve got more strange monsters to find, warps in time as well as space, and the introduction of more problematic foes, some with mundane goals and some with some truly strange origins.
And of course, there’s always the looming threat of Archangel…
The Adventures of Solaire
Seems like every measure I can use suggests that The Adventures of Solaire is more popular than Creepy America. Which is fine. Not like one is the foundation I’m using to build the cosmos I’ll be using form this point on and one is the adventures of my friend’s D&D character that I decided to write down because I thought it was neat. No, no problem with this at all.
In all honesty, I’m not mad, because how could I be? This series has turned out to be far more fun to read and write than I ever thought I could be. Describing the onomatopeias of Lorian’s various sounds, the machinations of Weiss (both physical and mental), the chaos of Solaire and his friends, all wrapped up in the delightfully pleasant and insulting voice of Patience: there’s really nothing here that’s not to be enjoyed.
It doesn't stop here, either. We’ve got more steampunk contraptions, mermaid solicitation, gunpowder battles, anarchy galore, and apples out the wazoo waiting in our pale noble’s future.
If you thought it was crazy now, you’d better find something to hold onto.
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Oh, this? This is my subtle hint that we’ve got another series in the pipeline. One with off-the-wall characters, insane problems, and *gasp!* art! That’s right, the reason I’m dusting off my drawing skills with my writing skills to start a webcomic. As for more info, I’m going to hold off on giving that until early next year, when my life is a bit less chaotic and I can estimate my free time a bit more confidently.
But I promise you, the wait will be worth it, because for as much horror you can find in Creepy America, and for as much chaos is packed into The Adventures of Solaire, it’s got nothing on the scariest place of all:
Acknowledgements and Thanks
So that concludes all the stuff I wanted to announce. But the real reason that I’m sitting down and writing this is because my roommate and good friend of two plus years just moved out of -our- my apartment and that, more than anything else that’s happened this year, makes me feel like a major chapter of my life has come to a close. And it has. I moved from Cincinnati to Ann Arbor to finish school, and literally did anything but. I had a crisis or two, made some good friends, lost some others, reevaluated myself and what’s important, and, finally, returned back to the passion I’ve had since childhood me wandered between filled bookcase shelves taller than myself and seemingly forever wide. By most measures, I am in a far worse place than before I moved here. But I’m excited for what comes next in my life, which is an improvement far more important than any setback so far.
It’s also made me realize that I’ve never wrote the normal acknowledgements most authors write at the beginning of their works. I suppose it’s because I’ve never written anything as lengthy as an actually novel. And sure, maybe I still haven’t written anything arduous enough to warrant an acknowledgement section, but I do want to spend some time saying ‘thank you’ to some people that deserve it, so why not?
First, to my Mom, who taught me how to read, and to my Dad, who taught me why to read. The combination of technical skill and excitement for storytelling propelled me into the craft of writing and the absolute joy and fulfillment it brings. I know nothing’s really gone the way any of us have planned, but the continued support you guys give me means more than any words I could ever write.
To my good, old friend Brandon who, for many years, was the only one who had any interest in my ideas. I’m not going to dance around it: I treated you like dirt. And while I could blame it on the drek that’s been happening up here, the truth is that I’ve just been a drek person. If you still want it, here’s my promise that 2020 will be the beginning of a fresh start.
To my good, new friends, Collin and Brian, with who I’ve played many a tabletop rpg and with who I’ll play many more. Your enthusiasm for the characters and worlds I created while running games was what convinced me to begin writing again and there’s no price I could put on the conversations, advice, and general fun we’ve had over the years.
To my coworker Mike. You didn’t help me with any of my writing, but you did help me with my life, so that more than counts.
To the youtube/podcaster/whatever the frak you are, you blue-suited mutant, MrCreepyPasta, his silent companion Myuu, and all the various creepypasta and horror authors he’s narrated over the years. Those words narrated through that magical voice is what inspired Creepy America in the first place, and Myuu’s notes assisted me in breathing life into that world.
To all the people I’ve had the pleasure of hosting at my rpg games: Brandon H., Zach, Hal, Kevin, Justin, Josh, Ryan, other Noah, Jacob, Mica, Rachel, and all the other people I can picture but just can’t remember the names of right now. And to all the people at Collin’s table who have ever had the displeasure of encountering Solaire. The seas of Lorian, Imm, the Ageless Vale and beyond simple wouldn’t be the same without you, friends.
Oh! And an extra special thanks to my first DM ever, Martin, and my old group at the Rocking Rooster. Those were fun times, weren’t they?
And finally, a huge thanks to you, my readers:the consistent ten Smashwords readers I can always count on to be there for a new Creepy America, the favorites and likes I got from my deviantart readers on the Adventures of Solaire, the two people in the U.K. and one guy in India who apparently downloaded some of my works (seriously, that is so awesome!), and every other silent reader out there. Without you, this would literally be pointless.
Merry Christmas everyone! I’ll see you in the New Year to continue this adventure.