Weekly Update – April 4, 2017


The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Managed to sneak a little more work in over the weekend. My Saturday was occupied with Robin Hood Faire auditions but I had Friday and Sunday to work, and my word count is now past the 42,000 word mark. My last full writing weekend is coming up, so I hope to push through a good chunk of the story before I have to dedicate myself to teaching people who to pretend to kill each other.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.



The final details are still being hammered out, but this summer I’ll be participating in the 2017 Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference, specifically on an authors panel on the final night of the conference. K.R. Conway is putting this thing together and invited me to participate, since I’m a native Cape Codder and need to periodically return to my native soil — or sand, as the case may be — to recharge.

Power Play – Available for Pre-Sale Now!

af6-cover-ebook-editionI’ll keep it short and sweet: Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play is up on Amazon for pre-sale! Buy it now for $3.99 and get it when it drops on Tuesday, February 28. The paperback edition should be available about the same time. Sorry I can’t be more specific but unlike the e-book version, I can’t specify when the print edition becomes available.

Panel Time! Imaginary Friends: Crafting Memorable Characters

Monday, 10 AM in Marina 3

Even the most gripping plot will fail if you don’t have memorable characters. How do you create a sympathetic protagonist? How much backstory should you give them? How do you develop interesting supporting characters to accompany them on their journey? There are many ‘tricks’ you can use to flesh out characters, as well as ways to juggle multiple character viewpoints. Come learn how to write characters so realistic your audience will be talking about them long after they finish your story.

Panel Time! Writing a Worthy Adversary

Sunday, 8:30 PM in Douglas

Nothing brings a story to life like a worthy antagonist, but how do you figure out the yang for your protagonist’s yin? What is your villain’s backstory? What are some of the ways they can twist, torment, and temper your main character? And how can a good antagonist act as your protagonist’s mirror? Boo! Hiss! Come learn how to write bad guys your audience will love to hate.

Panel Time! Writing Swordfights, Knives, and Hand-to-Hand Combat

Saturday, 2:30 PM in Otis

Violent encounters are a good way to up the tension in your story. Our panel of martial artists will not only explain the phases of combat, what goes through their mind prior to ‘going at it’, and what makes a realistic swordfight, knife-fight, stick-fighting or hand-to-hand encounter, but they will also demonstrate a few basic moves, answer questions, and help one lucky attendee work out the mechanics of their work-in-progress.

“Make Good Art” – Neil Gaiman

Today I’d planned to post something about the shows I’ve done over the past year. I had insightful analysis, a lot of statistics, some advice for other writers doing shows…I spent an hour or so writing it up and was quite pleased with how it came out, even if the subject matter was a little dry and definitely for a select audience.

I just trashed it and I’m posting this instead.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year — and if you have been, I kind of envy you — you know there’s an election going on and it’s ugly at every level, from the discourse between the candidates themselves down to voters who are can’t articulate clearly and in a civil manner why they support their chosen candidate. It’s depressing.

So instead of boring people with writerly business crap, I’m going to use this space to encourage everyone to ignore the political crap, just for a little while, and go make some art. I don’t care if it’s a poem or a doodle or you singing that annoying-as-hell 1-877-Kars-4-Kids jingle off-key in a YouTube video. We’re absolutely flooded with negativity and nastiness and ugliness right now, so it’s time to make something beautiful to counter all the crap.

When you make your thing, whatever thing that is, post it here in the comments section. If you already have something handy, be it something you wrote or drew or painted or sang or played or filmed or sewed or knitted or whatever, throw it on up here.