New Short Story! Liquid Melancholy

It’s time for a scaaaary story and–what? Halloween is over? Oh, so it is. Well, it’s not actually scary. Unless you count depression and loneliness to be scary. So… it’s scary.

Liquid Melancholy is a return to some old frenemies and wait that’s how you spell frenemy? I mean, it’s in spellchecker and that’s how you spell it?? But friend has an I before E except after C and oh never mind.

Liquid Melancholy heads back to Mintop to see how Conrad the Conqueror is doing. He has plans, but who cares about him we’re focusing on the magma monster here! Nobody ever visits the magma monster, and that has made Cagnorm lonely. They want a friend. Will they find it? To what lengths will they go to find one? That’s what this story looks at. Hope you like it!

This month’s new profile is… a rerun?? How about just some end-of-year plans instead?

Okay so this is hilarious and dumb. This month I was going to post a new species profile for Help Blocks. They’re not really a species but as a special type of robot I figured I would detail them. After I put it up for Patreon–$3+ patrons get to read those things early–I realized… I already had a profile page up for them! Somehow I’d missed that and typed them in as still needing one! I didn’t realize this until after writing a new one, but the new one was better so I put that up, so it’s still new in a way! (That said, it appears to have not been added to the Species page, so… what am I even doing????? Did I never make it public? Did I just not add it to that page? My head hurts. Moving on.)

So anyway you might be wondering why the font is different. WELL. WordPress used to not carry the font over from word documents, where I copy chapters and stories from, but it did take other formatting such as italics. Well now it takes the font, so either I have to start using the font I use in word documents (Corbel) or remove the font every time I post a new chapter. So this is my way of saying, hey, guess what, you’re going to start reading everything in Corbel! Uh, let me know if it’s worse. It seems kind of thinner, but that might be because it’s sans-serif, and I’ve read that it’s easier to read sans-serif on computer screens than serif anyway. Maybe at some point I’ll get around to updating older pages with the font change, and I really should because it’ll look bad being different at places, I wonder actually if there’s a way to just set it to automatically make everything the same font, in fact let me look right now… Okay it looks like there might be but it doesn’t have Corbel so bleah. To do so otherwise might be to dig through code and let me be honest I would rather brute force it than mess with code. My head hurts enough as it is.

SO. ANYWAY. I said I was going to discuss plans for the rest of the year! November 1st is not a new Wandering Fortunes chapter, but instead I’ll be posting a new short story! We’ll be visit some old friends, or enemies, or acquaintances, or something. It’s sad and lonely and lava. Should be fun! Then, in December, an intermission for Wandering Fortunes. It’s not a full chapter, and in fact it’s really short, so the end of the year might be a bit light on content, but on the flipside I’m hoping to have another one of those Top! Interruptus! scene thingies. The Wandering Fortunes intermission will actually go up on Patreon November 1st, a month early–with this, I’m going to start putting chapters up a full month early instead of half a month, so patrons get an even better bonus! (I’m also considering rearranging some rewards, but more on that when I get to it.)

Anyway, that’s about that. Might also have a small chance of a preview for another project before the year’s end, but honestly, don’t hold your breath, it’s had quite a few snags along the way–but I’m really hoping to have at least a preview by February, the one-year anniversary of Darmenzi‘s full release…

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!

Now up: Wandering Fortunes Chapter 14: Top’s Tasty Turmoil

Chapter 14 of Wandering Fortunes is now available. Top, Alden, and Ropak start their first day in the Zhopian Guard, and Top causes a food fight. This is another one of those food-centric chapters, and to go with that the most important character in Homestuck nothing is introduced, Fridger the talking fridge.

It also happens to have some signs of “hey earlier chapters are gonna be edited more” because I don’t think phossers have been mentioned before but here it acts like they have. Phossers are related to horses, and young ones are, like horses, called ponies. Now you’ll understand the best joke.

Don’t forget, people who give to both my Patreon and my new Ko-fi get to read chapters ahead of time, along with other cool stuff like weekly update previews and signed copies of books. Yaaay! And I’m sure now that we’ve had a food fight chapter the rest of this story will be just as fun and whimsical!!

Darmenzi Chapter 2 preview is up!

You can take a look at the final version of Darmenzi‘s second chapter here! You can also read it on Wattpad or Medium.

We just have two more weeks until Darmenzi‘s official release on Smashwords! Pre-orders are live on Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo. Those who pledge on my Patreon will also get a copy of the book (or Slubes, if you like).

New species profile for… Help Blocks?

Help Blocks aren’t exactly a species, but they are a type of robot that are usually referred to separately from other robots. They’re basically just a block with a face that can do stuff. They help. Also, they’re soft, so go ahead and punch them, Super Mario.

By the way, some news should be coming this weekend, and don’t forget there’s something special coming next Wednesday!

New Wandering Fortunes chapter is up! Chapter 12: Unbalancing Act

The next chapter of Wandering Fortunes is available to read! In Chapter 12: Unbalancing Act, Alden and his friends apply to join the Zhopian Guard, a police force for the city of New Zhopolis. Before they join, however, they have to pass an interview–a head examination–basically Top is doomed from the start. If Alden and Ropak can pass their interview, they’ll have to figure out some way to get Top to–provided the beach ball doesn’t eat the interviewer first.

With this, an entire year’s worth of Wandering Fortunes is now up. That still puts us under a third through, though!

I’d like to make note as well right now that this coming month will be a little different. Instead of the beginning of the next month, the next piece of writing will be released December 20th–less than three weeks away. Ooh, I wonder whyyy? To accommodate the early schedule, those giving $3 or more on my Patreon–who ordinarily receive new pieces on the 15th of each month–will receive it five days early on December 10th, just over a week away. Join up to see what the fuss for this month is all about! Or if you just want to give one dollar, you’ll still get weekly updates on why I’m so slow what I’m up to. Check it out!

New Wandering Fortunes chapter up! Chapter 10: A Place for the Placeless

Here’s chapter ten of Wandering Fortunes! This brings us to the end of the first quarter of this story and about halfway through the first part. This chapter introduces a lot of new friends! With a place to stay found in New Zhopolis, Alden, Top, and Ropak meet their new housemates. Some ignore them, some are enthusiastic, and some are mysterious. Also, one of them says memes. You’ve been warned.

As it turns out, three of the characters introduced in this chapter are inspired by characters of my friends Paperlanty, Devon, and Darvo “Cthulhuigi” Prower. (Sheesh.) Try to guess which ones! Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.

Also something new with this chapter is a new design for the chats between Duth and Wally. Instead of having their name followed by a colon and then what they say, their text is on a separate paragraph. Not sure how good it looks online, but it looks a lot better in regular text.

Final work on completing Darmenzi has begun. It’ll still be a little while before I’m done, but I’m hoping to be able to release this book in December. You know, so people can buy it for Clichemas. Obviously. As a reminder, not only do patrons of my Patreon get the serialized chapters half a month early, but when Darmenzi releases you’ll get a copy of the ebook. Not only that, but if you give $3 or more you’ll receive a copy of the ebook a whole month in advance! Then you can see how amazingly it has improved from what I posted online last year.

Wandering Fortunes: details on the new Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos setting

On January 1st I will post the prog first chapter of Wandering Fortunes, my third book. While the fist two books, Slubes and Darmenzi, focused on some slubes from the planet Mintop, Wandering Fortunes focuses on the two neighboring planets of Zhop and Derantu. This means an entirely new setting, cast of characters, and species, but still in the same universe and right next door to Mintop anyway.

Right now Zhop and Derantu are only briefly mentioned by name in the about page for the CCC. As new chapters of Wandering Fortunes are released, new character, species, and location profiles will be added. It’s finally happening. The information sections on this website have only had about a third of the CCC. Now the full picture will begin to form.

Ha ha ha, just kidding, it’s not even close to a full picture. But for the main setting, Mintop, Zhop, and Derantu is a large portion of that.

Mintop is actually the least advanced of the three planets, and the focus was on a small village on a small island where technology is generally clay. We did see Interpolis, a big city of tall buildings and cleeple, but it’s nothing compared to Zhop and Derantu. Robots are actually a pretty common sight in the major population centers, the weapons they have makes the Mallet Blaster that Zeth gave Numer look like a toy, and vehicles that makes Zeth’s Transpide look like a starter vehicle in a video game are everywhere.

In the major cities and countries, anyway. Wandering Fortunes starts out at pretty much the Zhop equivalent to Nottle. It is basically like the sticks here on Earth. And just around the riverbend over that hill there is a tribe of mages with robes and masks and they do dark magic and, oh geeze, listen, these guys are figgin dangerous, do not go messing with them.

Well, actually, that’s the very first thing we do in this book. Science and technology is everywhere, and magic lies underneath. Science fiction-fantasy.

Zhop is a cold planet, the furthest inhabited one from the solar system’s sun. (In contrast, Mintop is the closest inhabited planet to the sun.) Most of the forests on the planet are sparse, and outside the forest is even sparser. It’s mostly drab, gray tundra when there are any plants at all, and it’s all one supercontinent surrounded by ocean. Most of Zhop is occupied by tiny, oft-squabbling kingdoms, but everything is under the thumb of the Zhopian Guard, a planet-wide police force and military that exists to keep the peace. It’s headquartered at the planet’s capital, New Zhopolis, near the northern pole, where tall, dark buildings and advanced technology rules. Civilization here is highly developed and technological. Self-powered vehicles are the expensive norm. Robots are commonplace assistants. However, few realize the magic that hovers everywhere and in everyone, and monsters lurk everywhere, some greatly disguised.

Derantu is between Zhop and Mintop, and is the most highly advanced of the three. Lots of technology on Zhop was taken and adapted from Derantu. Simple robotic assistants are commonplace and are becoming more advanced all the time. They’re totally stealing your jobs. Unlike Zhop, Derantu has individual countries without an overarching controlling organization, though there has been a loose coalition of countries for centuries. Two countries in particular have been enemies since nearly their founding, and what strikes everyone as odd is that the main species of these kingdoms were also found on Zhop. Derantu is a vibrantly-colored planet with bright colors everywhere you look, but the planet is less peaceful than it first looks and old grudges are hidden under the cheery colors everywhere.

Between these two and Mintop lies the Planet Peacemaking Power, an organization designed to balance the three planets’ powers and to solve crises. This was mentioned briefly in Darmenzi.

And through all these highly-advanced, technology-filled worlds of science and machines, one beach ball comes to life. Magic is real here. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. It doesn’t care. If you can think it, it is already here.

January will bring both the first chapter and a new character profile, and then nothing will make sense ever again. But in a good way! More to come.

The conclusion of Darmenzi! Chapter 20: Fallen Oblivion

It’s finally here. We’re finally here. The final chapter of Darmenzi, Chapter 20: Fallen Oblivion is here! It all concludes with a bang, a smash, and a reveal. Will everyone survive? Will everyone live? Will I let this stand??

The conclusion ends with a brief discussion on the next book, Wandering Fortunes. More on that when I have time. For now, enjoy the conclusion to this story running for 1 2/3 years, the second (and first real) story I wrote for NaNoWriMo, which… begins today. Coincidence? Yes. I’m too busy to do anything for it, though.