Update on Book 5 of Raven of Iskandar

The writing on Book 5 has just topped 64,000 words. Not sure what the final word count will be but probably over 100,000 again. Not satisfied with a title yet. It was originally meant to be called Vysse: Bestmartin, but I found that I’m writing more about Iskandar Prime than Vysse. Vysse does play a prominent part in the book and for those of you into trivia, Myra is back in a big way. Which is an interesting turnabout for a waitress!

And for more trivia, if you remember way back to Raven’s second match with Prime and the four fans that showed up in white face? Well, you’ll finally meet the four of them.

One of the things I finding is that I’m writing a lot of recap of incidents that happened in the previous books in the series. The characters keep bringing up these incidents and joking about them, but I don’t want the reader to be lost in that dialogue because even I don’t remember all the stuff the characters have been through. Any writer will tell you that characters can get quite unruly at times and here they are insistent in talking about the stuff they experienced in the earlier stories.

One of my favorite writers goes by the name of Howard of Warwick. I think all of his books are kindle, no paperbacks. He writes, and let me see if I get this correct, Medieval Mystery Comedy. It revolves around a monk, who is totally socially clueless, who has a knack for solving murders, but hates doing it. He has two constant companions and not to ruin any of the stories, the one book I found hilarious was ‘The Garderobe of Death’. To give you an idea of the humor, a ‘Garderobe’ was a type of bathroom.

The reason I mention this is that he has the same situation with his characters always referring to previous stories (there are like 15 or more novels) but he adds references to the books the incidents occurred in by using footnotes.

Is using footnotes a good idea? Not sure myself. It would seem strange. As a reader, most of the time I ignore footnotes.

Book Links:

Book 1 – Raven:  The Call from Central  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B076GVQKWB

Book 2 – Raven:  Mirabelle  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CSQJMGM

Book 3 – Raven:  The Triballi Incident  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TN79S9Y

Book 4 – Raven:  Necris https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086JBH82B

Book 5 – Coming Soon!

Christmas Eve 2226:  A Raven of Iskandar Story  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082KFJQYJ

The Day the Elves Stole My Wife and Other Stories  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KTDT1WS


Kindle Book Giveaway — July 4-5-6

Book 5 is under development and rapidly moving along. So it’s time to catch up or join the fun. The team has been through assassination, revolution and even pig-hurling (?) and sometimes even plays a match!

The Champions, Iskandar Prime, will be back in action in the new season coming up in Book 5.

The first three books will be free this weekend July 4-5-6. Limited time only!

Vacation, Walking and Plants and Words

Due to the way my day job figures out vacation time, I usually take the week of July 4th off. So, I’m currently on vacation.

Even on vacation I make it a point to get my walking in. Someday I may ‘graduate’ to running. HR at my day job had a one-week program to promote health telling people that they should get out and walk a minimum of 10,000 steps that week.

When I thought of how small a number of steps that is for one week, I decided to do 10,000 steps per day. That’s not a lot, it’s only 5 miles per day. Even with a ‘sit-down’ job like I have, I would normally get 4 to 5 thousand steps without any special walking session.

Now to the plant part.

My normal walking trail around my neighborhood is just over 2 miles long in a nice big loop of all sidewalk. When I get up to Fairway Drive, I would pass by a house with an unusual plant outside. Take a look a the pictures below.

This looks like a tropical plant and, if I remember correctly, there was nothing in that place during the cold weather. Which meant that this plant either grew up quickly or was transplanted. It was there last year during the summer but then absent during the winter.

Anyone know what this is? Personally I think it’s pretty cool to have something like this stuck in among the normal bushes and hedges.

Finally, Book 5 of Raven of Iskandar is coming along great. I’ve assembled a number of the chapters into one file and the total is now over 32,000 words. I have at least that amount, pre-written, that needs to be added. Of course, at this point, I’m not sure at what point I’m going to end this book.

The Grave of the Secret Porpoise

Maybe I do have a knack for finding the bizarre. This is a link to some discussion (and bizarre humor) about the grave of a porpoise found in the ruins of a monastery found on one of the smallest channel islands. The Youtube channel is called ‘Ask a Mortician’ and hosted by Caitlin, who, when she found out that her degree in Medieval History resulted in low job expectations, turned to mortuary. She also runs a funeral home.

Covid-19, Target: Earth, Coming Attraction

Now that things are beginning to return to normal, I think back to what I saw right at the beginning of the lockdown. My day job was considered to be a critical business (putting us on the level of a grocery store), so work continued.

The first workday after the lockdown, I drove over a mile and a half before I saw another car. There weren’t any people on the street and very few cars. It reminded me of an old B&W movie I’d seen on TV as a kid.

After all these years, I was able to track it down. Of course, there was a little bit of chagrin as the movie doesn’t seem to be exactly as I remember it. Or maybe I mixed up movies in my memory. I did what a lot of the old Sci-Fi movies!

The movie is Target: Earth and it begins with a woman wandering around a big city (I think it’s supposed to be Chicago) all alone. Water and electricity are not working, streets are empty, nobody is around. Sound familiar?

She eventually runs into a man who is just as clueless as to what is happening and they journey the city to try and find out what was going on. They inevitably run into another couple who, also not knowing what is going on, decided to visit all the nightclubs and drink up all the alcohol (this is the fifties).

Eventually, you run into scenes outside the city that tell you what happened. The movie is available for free from dailymotion. Be warned, however, that dailymotion is horrible for advertisements.

In addition, there was a sci-fi story that did sort-of predict what we take today as everyday…the wearing of masks. The story is called ‘Coming Attraction’ by Fritz Leiber. I was recently re-reading the Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume 1.

In the story, a British man in America experiences some ‘American’ culture the dominant feature of which is that all women are wearing masks. The premise being that the center of sexual attraction has progressed from the thighs to the breasts and finally to the face. So the face is covered up.

“Her voice came shudderingly from behind the sleek black satin mask. I fancied her teeth must be chattering. Eyes that were perhaps blue searched my face from behind the black gauze covering the eyeholes of the mask.”

At least we haven’t gone so far as to cover up the eyes. It’s nice to see eyes.