New Wandering Fortunes Chapter 22: The Pearl Kingdom

About a year and a half ago our protagonist friends arrived at New Zhopolis, and discovered a seedy hive of wretched folk out for no one but themselves. (A few months later they found some good folk though.) Now we’re now and they’ve arrived at a new kingdom on a new planet. What will they find at their new home? It’s as big as New Zhopolis, but warmer, shinier, more colorful–but is it nicer? Join them as they explore their new home in Chapter 22: The Pearl Kingdom.

If you want to read the next chapter in a hurry, they go up a month early on my Patreon, which also has weekly updates of what I’m currently working on and other behind-the-scenes odds and ends for people who give monthly pledges. You can also give a single donation at my Ko-fi and get the next chapter early.

Technology in Stories

As TV Tropes has an entire page about, cell phones are still hard to work into stories for some reason. Maybe we’re all still used to them being part of the future, like in sci-fi TV shows and such. One of my favorite books about writing, How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman, makes mention of this–in the past nobody had cell phones, and there are lots of stories from back then that would be totally different with cell phones. If you’re writing in an era that has them though, you at least need to remain aware that at least someone probably has one–unless you’re dealing with my dad in which case he might’ve forgotten or intentionally left it at home. Or you’re dealing with me, who hates all phones and refuses to have one. But I still have a tablet, and I’m at least gonna email somebody, even if they don’t respond.

My first two novels, Slubes and Darmenzi, featured protagonists from a small village–only a couple characters even have regular phones. So that wasn’t much of a big deal… except in retrospect I’m not sure why Zeth didn’t have one, but does have a phone in his vehicle. Ah well, what’s past is past. Maybe he was trying to hack his phone and install wings on it or something and he broke it. He doesn’t live at a place where he could buy another one, anyway.

In Wandering Fortunes, the protagonists again begin living in a very rustic area, so they have no cell phones. Then they move to the big city… so of course they’re going to get cell phones! Now I have to deal with this malarkey! Well, the first time it really becomes pertinent it actually makes more sense for them to not have them–they’re put in prison, of course their stuff’s going to be confiscated. But for the most part I actually have a note while editing, and one of my passes I actually keep cell phones in the back of my mind. “They have them, is there a reason to use them?”

Now then, the reason I didn’t call this “Cell Phones in Stories” is I also apparently have trouble remembering that cars are a thing. At New Zhopolis the main characters are always running around; initially they don’t have a vehicle, and at a big city I suppose I can imagine traffic being so bad that it’s easier to get around walking. It’s also particularly troublesome when there are few parking spaces. But you know what probably does exist? TAXI SERVICES. Buses! And if you’re going halfway across the city you’re probably not gonna run there!

A lot of times this probably doesn’t matter because you’ll show the characters once they’ve arrived, not on the way, but you’d better believe I had a chapter where they ran halfway across the city and when I started editing I was like “why are they running halfway across the city?? they’re in a hurry so they won’t wait for a bus but did you know there are services now where you can call (maybe with a cell phone??) and someone will drive to where you are to drive you somewhere??? I’ve used one before! what? no i’m not talking about uber. i think these are local. although an uber service would definitely be something you could easily have in a story, but honestly the only difference between it and taxis i can imagine is one of them probably isn’t unionized, and obviously you should make sure your fictional characters are properly unionized. what were we talking about? who are you, anyway?”

Anyway. Check your email. Then check your spam folder. Thank you.

Darmenzi is one year old today!

Well, in about a month it will b…

Wait, really? I released it one year ago today??? I thought that was next month! Well, fig!

So yeah, one year ago today I released the Darmenzi as an ebook on Smashwords. Maybe the February date was me thinking of the physical book’s release, which came a bit later on Lulu. This was all a little over a year after I’d put an in-progress version up for free online; you can still read that, too! It’s nowhere near as good as the final book, which is like, only a dollar on Smashwords anyway.

So, yeah, that’s a thing! You know, legally, this book is eligible for awards. Which awards? I don’t know I honestly have never paid attention to any awards for anything ever. Okay that’s a lie I paid attention to the Nintendo Power awards but there’s no way those weren’t rigged. In terms of books… not really. I should maybe fix that. It doesn’t help that I’m generally about 30 years behind on books. But I digress.

I’d wanted to have a special preview of something for this date, but that was when I thought it was in February! So, uh, an audiobook of Darmenzi is still planned to be made. So far we have only hit one major snag. And that’s… that… I haven’t… made… Dangeresque 3 yet. No but for real I apparently talked about doing some initial recording well over a year ago now and that’s just absolutely INSANE. So much gets in the way–my forgetful memory, which I’ve tried to alleviate with a gigantic two whole lines in my agenda of nothing but AUDIOBOOK over and over, but eventually even that just kind of… becomes part of the noise. Even when I do remember, well, both I and the guy I’m recording it with run into problems, schedule conflicts, technology issues, and general low spirits and sickness. Even if it’s a bit past the exciting time of release, this audiobook is going to be produced… even if it might not be until the second anniversary.

Wandering Fortunes Intermission is up

Wandering Fortunes Intermission is just a short piece to bridge the first and second parts of the book. It’s not much! It’s a bit fun.

It’s up a bit late; the last couple days my foot has been in pain again (it used to do this yearly around this time; it skipped last year for whatever reason) so I’ve been kind of out of commission on doing things. The next chapter should be up on Patreon tomorrow. I hope I’ll be up to mess with it.

New! Wandering Fortunes Chapter 20: To the Ends of Zhop

Here we are, chapter 20 of Wandering Fortunes, the longest chapter in the novel so far and the end of part 1! Alden and his friends have to flee Zhop from the Zhopian Guard. They get what family they can and make a great escape–or at least an adequate escape–well, I certainly hope it’s adequate. With the way things look, they might need a leg up–but the Zhopian Guard might even shoot that leg off! The jerks. I don’t even know if they’ll make it…

Of course, you can find out more about what will happen sooner, you can give to my Patreon or make a one-time Ko-fi donation. You’ll get to read chapters early and pretty much find out more about what I’ll be posting for the next rest of the year.

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 19: Homesickening

Here it is. Chapter 19. Ropak, Alden, and Top return home one last time. The Zhopian Guard is after them, they have to leave the planet, and they want to see their families one last time.

And then Ropak sees something horrible.

And then Ropak does something horrible.

This is probably the darkest chapter I’ve yet done. This is the one where everything is sad.

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 18 is up

Here’s Wandering Fortunes chapter 18: At Odds and Endings. Alden and his friends have been imprisoned for discovering corruption in the city, but even if they manage to get out of jail can they escape the cold arm of the mafia? Plans have to be made, and Top’s a wild card–which might work in their favor.

If you like this chapter and want to read more, you can help me out at my Patreon or Ko-fi. A dollar a day keeps the–wait, sorry–a dollar a month keeps the… thing… thinging. I dunno. gimme money.

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 17 is up! Ride of the Domestic Device Drover (etc.)

Ride of the Domestic Device Drover, but I Guess There Are More Important Matters at Hand! Now how’s that for a title? Following on the disastrous last chapter, Alden is out to get some answers, but he’ll find a lot more than he intends! Will this spell disaster for him and his friends? I referred to the previous chapter as the one where things start to go to hex; this is the one where everything firmly and completely goes to hex. The action is rising quickly now, and the first half’s climax will be soon!

Of course, once you’re finished reading this chapter, if you want to get a jump on everyone and read chapter 18 sooner, you can donate to my Ko-Fi! As an added bonus you’ll get a copy of Slubes or Darmenzi, whichever you like–not that you need to this month, because both books are free in the Smashwords Summer Sale! Grab both, read free books, read free in-progress books on this website–I love free stuff!

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 15 available!

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 15: For a Friend’s Benefit is now up. It… it, uh…

Okay, I’m gonna level with you. This chapter is about sex work. There’s nothing explicit, but things are discussed. I actually went back and forth some on if I should include it, and this chapter was written much later than the rest. I also tried to treat the profession with as much respect as I could muster. I don’t know how I did on that, but feel free to tell me what you think and anything I can improve on that front because honestly this is about as far removed from my own experiences as possible, as someone probably asexual. But I tried to write based on what I’ve read people say about the work and with the assumption that it’s just a job and people probably shouldn’t actually freak out over it so much.

If you think my writing is good and want me to write more and also live and be alive and exist, you can help me out and get cool stuff in return at my Patreon or Ko-fi! You can see behind-the-scenes updates, early chapters, or get special copies of my books! And then maybe someday I can make a comic and we can play a game.