Archive for the ‘Meta-Issues, Real Life, Out of Character, Etc.’ Category


The front fell off

   Posted by: amrath

Ok, as of 1 Sep, I am counting myself as recovered from this summer’s massive burn, and therefor am hitting the third book hard every morning. Though, to be honest, this may be spotty this week, in that September is planting season in Florida, so I will be spending a lot of the mornings prepping the garden spot this week, before it gets to hot to work outside. It will be late morning before I hit it, for now.

So the first order of business is dreaming up a better final wrap to “War God’s Will” than is currently planned. There is good stuff at the beginning and in the middle, but the end is broken. Not only does it have central action by a character who died in “Mad God’s Muse”, it’s just not all I would like. The events do not meet with the tension I want, and the characters are not all as important as they need to be.

So we fix. Still would love to have some ‘alpha’ readers who might be interested in discussing the work as it progresses.



I forget how to write

   Posted by: amrath

As I have noted recently, after ‘finishing’ “The Mad God’s Muse”, we welcomed our new daughter into the world, and I began working a second job. It’s eaten a good two months, but now I have a bit of free time again.

Only I have forgotten how to write.

Okay, perhaps that’s a little hyperbolic, but it’s built on a kernel of truth: every time I stop for any extended period of time, it’s as if I have lost everything. The reasons vary, the causes for the stoppages. Chiefly, it’s that writing is not my day job, and so it must always give way to matters of practicality: I am a weak creature, and have become far to accustomed to luxuries such as food and shelter. My writing has yet to provide me with such extravagance as a living wage, much less the vast sums of wealth I have always envisioned as my rightful due for my genius, so I must needs program, too.

During those gaps, I forget.

I forget how to start. I forget that it was deliberate, an intentional process, not some foolish notion of being guided by a muse, of waiting for inspiration. It is art, but art, like code, does not simply come into existence. It must be crafted. It may be joy, but it is also work.

I forget the work is actually good. I remember it as drek, as half measures that desperately need editing and rewriting. I avoid it, ashamed of it, not wanting to take up what feels like an impossible task of making it even marginally acceptable. But in fact, when I finally force myself to return to it, the work is much better than I remember.

I forget that the story is still not done, or that there might be people who would hear how it ends.

I forget that the characters themselves want to live, to have their moment in the sun and be who they would, and they cannot do that without me to channel them, to dream them, talk to them, cajole them.

So, this week, having caught my breath again, it is time to remember, time to take my seat in the morning and type words, even if I throw them away later.

I’ll remember soon enough.


Uniform Bricks in the Wall

   Posted by: amrath

Still trying to shake the exhaustion. I suppose it may be some time until I feel normal again, but at least I am recovering.

As I work my way back to writing, I can’t help but consider that coding is, in many ways, every bit the creative effort of the written word. It’s another language, to be certain, but it has the same capacity for eloquence or thud.

But only in the right circumstances. In the ever more rigid world of corporate code, we have fewer and fewer options. The ‘one true way’ notion permeates everything, its adherents woefully blind to the notion that monoculture creates myopia and a dearth of creative solutions.

I just walked away from a position where the powers that be (and they were good people, just less visionary than they might have been) chose to encourage one-size-fits-all solutions, to the exclusion of myriad approaches.

All this time, and we have yet to learn the lessons of the Tower of Babel. It’s sad.



Status report: coming up for a breath

   Posted by: amrath

Okay, so, status report: for the last three months, I have basically dropped off the earth because I have been working my ASS off as a programmer, and have had no time for writing. Oh, and my new daughter was born right at the start of that period, too. Yeah, it’s been…busy.

Hopefully I will have a bit of time here to rethread the plot for book three soon. It’s broken now, in that one of the characters who played an important role died in book two. (Yes, it was a surprise to me as well, but it was best.)

I also really need a final editing pass on the second book. And in theory, the first book is being considered by a publisher, though in practice that may just mean it is moldering away in someone’s inbox. We’ll see.



DeRon’s Challenge

   Posted by: amrath

One of my favorite people on twitter recently challenged folks to go ‘outside their comfort zone’. I proposed a redneck, ex-gay-porn star exorcist. Here’s my opening. What do you think? Finish or no?

Exorcism, like tech support, often ends up with somebody asking to escalate to a higher level. That’s how I got involved.

The B team had got themselves in a world of shit, literally. Demons have a weird sense of humor, and a good notion of what upsets your garden variety human. Nobody likes shit. So he (or it, to be technical) gave it to them. Literally.

“Jesus Fucking Christ,” I sighed as I entered the room. Father Joshua (the guy who had thrown in the towel and called me, mind you) did a double take, eyes bugged out in righteous shock, and I flipped him the bird. The ‘patient’ cackled like a loon, ripped a prodigious fart, and did a three-sixty with his head.

“Yeah, I saw that movie,” I sighed, and gestured for Joshua to take his crew and hit the showers. As they slipped outside and slammed the door, I drew back my duster and let the ‘patient’ have a good look at the Python on my hip. He was having a little trouble maintaining the “I am so wicked and I am about to eat your soul” pose. It was the wide-eyed, “Oh, shit!” look that gave him away. Definitely a B-teamer.

I flashed him a wicked grin. “New Sheriff in town, Poindexter. This can go easy or it can go hard, but one way or another, it’s eviction day.”

The demon swoll up like a tick and played badass. “Cocksucker! Motherfucker!”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, as it happens, I have seen a few up close, now that you mention it. Fucked a mother or two, too, but none kin to me.” I fingered the Python, just long enough to make my point.

“Fuck you!” the demon bawled. “Shoot! I got nothing to lose!”

You know, they do this wicked laugh that chills your average exorcist to the bone. I’m pretty sure they feel the same way when I give them mine. “You sure you don’t want to escalate now? This ain’t gonna be pretty. Run along, boy, and put your daddy on the phone.”

“Rotting bag of meat! I’ll feast on your soul!”

I expected no less. There was never a demon that saw discretion as the better part of valor. “Fair warning given. Last chance. You sure you want to do this?”

“Fuck you!” Not a good sign for him. He was already repeating himself.

“It’s your funeral,” I told him, knowing that was a lie. Mortals find peace from their mistakes at some point. Demons, they have to live with it forever.

Not that I felt sorry enough for him to explain that little wrinkle.


Please Follow me on Twitter

   Posted by: amrath

Follow me on twitter and help me spread the word about the novels. @AmrathOfNihlos



Starting Week3 on Kindle Scout

   Posted by: amrath

I was shocked today to see one of the books I had picked as a sure winner did not make the cut. Shows what I know, eh? The whole process is hard to grasp. I have no idea if the book is doing well or is being hopelessly crushed.


I definitely still need all the support I can get. Please, if you have time, go here and support “The Mad God’s Muse” with your vote.


Meet the Xanthians

   Posted by: amrath

Here’s a small excerpt from chapter one of “The Dead God’s Due.” Let me know what you think!


For no reason, this needs to be posted

   Posted by: amrath

The next time you find yourself reading a post that is so mind-numbingly stupid and incomprehensible, I recommend this as a response:



“The Dead God’s Due” is free today

   Posted by: amrath

You can get it here. I could really use some reviews, if you have the time.