According to the Internet, Confucious was the one who said “the hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither,” and man, does that explain what happened to my blog this year. It’s been months since I updated it, because I was busy chasing three other rabbits: posting my progress on Twitter, Facebook, and now Bluesky.
The good news is that my updates are largely positive. It was a good second half of the year for me, and there’s progress on a number of writing-related fronts, so let’s focus on those.
First, There’s The Singing and the Deep-Fried Jello
Airship Syndicate, whom I work for, officially ended my contract this summer with an offer to be brought in-house. I took it, of course, and in September, we opened our game, Wayfinder, to early access players. While the other writers worked on the main story quest, I took point on the holiday event and as of December 15th, the event is on!
The downloadable patch is called Eventide, after the winter solstice holiday in Evenor. There’s new seasonal quest content, seasonal loot, seasonal bosses, pets, a snow-covered version of the Highlands and Skylight with lights all over it, craptons of citizen dialogue talking about the season, and some singing carolers. (Yes, I wrote the songs.) Lastly, there’s the goblin tradition of the Plunderfool, a world event where one unlucky goblin is given the most valuable gifts by the whole tribe, a chest to hold them in wrapped in colorful lights…
…and a running start.
Anyone who lures him out and catches the Plunderfool can beat the jingle bells out of him to get him to drop presents. Of course, he takes the traditional goblin painkillers and steroids, so he’s a tough nut, and it’s expected that you bring a few friends to help with the process. Whether or not he survives this mangling is not the point of the holiday, but it’s considered good luck if he lives. After all, next year you never know who the Plunderfool might be.
The Eventide event is live now, and is planned to end January 12th, 2024.
Second, There’s Been Vampires on the Campaign Trail
At my last update, I was 38,000 words into Civil Blood’s sequel. I am happy to report that I was able to focus pretty well over National Novel Writing Month, and though progress has been slow, I am now up to about 75,000 words. That’s nowhere near the end: Civil Blood was 129,000, and I’m shooting for approximately the same size. But progress is progress.
Incidentally, during the holiday season, I’m making Civil Blood on Kindles on sale until December 25th. 99 cents for a 400-page book on Kindle ain’t a bad bargain, so if you’ve ever wondered if I’m any good at this novel writing business, this is the time to stock up for less than your average parking meter fee.
And Third Come the Paladins
I revisited the FantaSci writing contest this year, the contest I won back in 2022 with “The Torturer of Camelot” in Keen Edge of Valor. Like that year, this year the top four short fiction entries will be published in their new themed anthology, Paladins of Valor in 2024. If past is prologue, there will be around 15 stories in the anthology, all about paladins in various forms, oaths, and eras.
My short story was one of the four selected. Though I don’t think I can say much about it, it’s called “High Water Mark,” and if you’re a student of history, you might be able to put together where and when it’s set. I did a fair bit of research for it, which always gets me psyched. It’s great to have more fiction coming out, and I’m really curious to see the other stories that got chosen. Heck, I want to see the ones that didn’t make the cut, too, because the editor, Rob, says the talent this year was on full display!
Catch Me On Bluesky!
I’m trying to make the transition off Twitter, so now I’ve got a presence on Bluesky. In case you’re on there too, I’m now @theotherhepler.bsky.social.
And that’s all he wrote!