May Newsletter

I can’t believe it’s May already. Time has flown by, and there’s been a lot of excitement in the meantime. I’ve been lucky to maintain my job teaching full-time at the local middle school, and I’ve been weathering this pandemic pretty well considering that I’m naturally introverted.


Today I began the last 25% of “The Charred Justice of Dragons”! For those of you who don’t follow my updates on social media, that’s the novel that I’ve been working on since January 2020. It’s an allegorical fantasy and the first draft is reviewing very favorably. I’ve gotten a lot of terrific feedback on it and I’m looking forward to receiving more!

When that draft is finished, I’ll return to “Dawn-Rider, Moon-Stealer” which has been sitting anxiously on my brain for these past months. I had to abandon it when it ran into some severe structural issues, but I returned to the outline and believe I’ve solved the problems. There’s so much potential in that one; I can’t wait to get back to it!


In April I started working on a short story I called “Dragonhawks in Autumn” and I finished the first draft just a few days ago. The story opens with this line:

“On the first day of autumn, before the leaves could think to gild themselves in sun-splendid finery, I saw the dragonhawks fly north to roost in the ashes of the burning mountain.”

I think it’s a keeper! Hopefully it sells somewhere.


I’ve been reading a lot of books in quarantine. Here are two that really stood out to me:

“The Crystal Cave,” book one of Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy. I found this book excellent; gripping, with consistent and brilliant characterization with a substantial amount of historical background. It felt much like another recent read, “The Sarantine Mosaic” by Guy Gavriel Kay.

“The Bell At Sealey Head,” a novel by Patricia McKillip. Those of you who know me will remember my fondness for McKillip – which borders on obsession. Pat is a wordsmith, an artisan equal to Aulë in his prime. This book is no less brilliant than any of her others. It weaves a family epic that would have Jane Austen humming with approval, with a story of magic to make Tolkien proud, set in a quiet, secluded town that Stephen King might fancy; and manages to fit in action, magic, romance, illness, drama, and so, so much more!

It has made me want to write a family epic someday. I think it would be fun.

I’ve been obsessed with listening to The Petersens, lately. They’re a family bluegrass band based in Branson, MO, and they’re amazingly talented. It helps that their genre and hometown are both near and dear to my heart! They use their talent to glorify God and I admire that a lot – it’s something I aspire to with my own work as well.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope to have some news about the novel soon!




You may have noticed a new addition to the header menu. Yes, those funny made-up words mean something special. Sagestar Galactum is a d10 tabletop system that I’m creating from the ground up. Its goal is to package complex systems in player-side mathematics that are simple, easy, and smooth.

The setting is a mixture of space opera and fairy tale settings. It draws its inspiration from classic tabletops including Traveller (which is regrettably too convoluted for my tastes) and World Tree (which is regrettably too furry for my tastes) and of course Pathfinder.

Access it here:  Sagestar Galactum – Google Drive Access

Sagestar Galactum is a system that emphasizes science, magic, and mystery over combat encounters and conflict. In the spirit of classic science-fiction and enduring fantasy tales, the best sorts of drama are driven by desire and discovery, not lightsabers and dragons. (But rest assured, dear player, that those are featured as well.)

At the moment, the Core Rulebook, Character Creation Guide, Weapons Arsenal, Ship Catalogue, Race and Class Guide, and Cartographer’s Guide are all available to view in .pdf format. Those files (with the exception of the Cartographer’s Guide) are at roughly 80% completion and exist in a playable state. Future plans include the addition of an Ars Magicka Handbook, a Codex Imperia (Galactic Primer), and an Advanced Race and Class Guide, in addition to completing the Cartographer’s Guide.

With the exception of magic, the game exists in a playable state, and with luck will be playtested shortly. I’m looking forward to the sorts of adventures that emerge!

December Newsletter


Writing continues. I’m working on a novel that I think shows a lot of promise, even in the early draft. I’ve identified several problems, none of them disqualifying, and so I’ve continued to write with my fingers crossed – but not so crossed that I can’t type!

Much of my time has been devoted to finishing up my education, which has been difficult and rewarding. I will graduate in a little more than two weeks, and then I’ll see what the future holds from there. I’ve had some really encouraging conversations recently that give me hope for job prospects and my future in this town. I love this community that I’m in, and hope to stay.


The novel is currently titled “DAWN-RIDER, MOON-STEALER.” Here’s an excerpt from the 6th chapter, “At Lord Sunrest’s Vale.”


The child acted as though she had never seen the city before, which of course she had on many occasions in her ten years. But her watchful guardian did not care to temper her impish, careless joy, for it was infectious, and he was weary after many late nights burning candles down to the wick. It was the sort of weariness that began to whisper — first to the heart, then to the body — that all hope of pleasant things are traitors to the truth; that the dark, vengeful, midnight lies are the real substance of life. Hama did not despair of finding an answer, not yet, but only because the long days and nights had not robbed him of little Enya.

The girl was a raindrop in his still waters, an ember fallen on his dry bed of fallen leaves. She danced where he hobbled; she sang, and he croaked. When the Frog King of the Deadmarsh first beheld the Tulip Maiden all clad in yellow gossamer, Hama felt that they two must have had very similar experiences. Enya had begged faerie stories of the stodgy academic, and he had begrudged her the dalliance. To his surprise, he soon found that he enjoyed the tales as much as his work.

“After all, grandfather,” she would say, for she called him such when she was in a good mood, “these are stories about dragons. It’s as good as work, and twice the fun!”

“A thousand arrows, dearest,” he would reply with a smile and a thump on the head. “We’ll fire the right one before long.”


Happy December, Merry Christmas! May your pen always be sharper than the enemy’s sword!

August Newsletter


I don’t have much to announce yet, but I hope to have something to share within the next few weeks. I can share some details, especially since my readership here is so slim. (This is really more of a public journal than a blog. I don’t mind. I’m a good listener.)

I’ve been working on an anthology of fantasy short stories. This was my attempt to break out of my “summer blues” (read: writer’s block) by writing stories that were adrenaline-pumping, action-packed, schlock-fests. By that metric, I failed miserably. I couldn’t help myself, and from the very first story I had already begun attempting poignancy, reflective moments, and drama that rises more from internal conflict (characters) rather than from the external (fireballs, pointy objects, guillotines).

Who can say whether or not I succeeded? But I now have a product: seven short-stories (and the prologue story makes eight) that total around 15,000 words. I’m currently searching for the best market for these to find a home, one that’s a fair reward for my effort as well as one that is the right fit for the stories to find an audience.

More news on that… later.


Seems like an interesting tradition to start. Oh, what the heck: I’ll just share the title and first line of each story in the anthology. That’s fun, right? (Right?)

PROLOGUE: RED FIRES AT DAWN – “The cock crowed to the full moon, mistaking the fires of persecution for dawn’s first light.”

THE FIRST DREADLORD – “The Children of Freya marched against the First Dreadlord on an autumn midafternoon just after the Festival of Chronicles.”

THE SECOND DREADLORD – “The boy did not cry when his father marched off to war.”

THE THIRD DREADLORD – “‘At them, you bloody cowards,’ shouted the sergeant from a safe vantage behind his company of men. ‘Charge!'”

THE FOURTH DREADLORD – “In one of the curious ironies of war, it was the priests and priestesses who killed more men than any soldier or cavalier.”

THE FIFTH DREADLORD – “‘I would meet with them, my lord. I think prudence demands it, even if a soldier’s duty forbids you.'”

THE SIXTH DREADLORD – “Fire and fury, thunder and glory; Alcazar Moss rained down a mage’s artillery on the walls of the capital city, and the screams of awe and terror were reward enough for the sweat that dripped down his brow.”

THE SEVENTH DREADLORD – “The thieves took what the crows didn’t.”

“Lutwidge Ranch”

And we’re off to the races.

Deep Magic has officially announced the lineup for its Summer 2019 issue. (Spoiler alert: I’m on the list.) But as much as I’d like to have all of the glory, I want to remind my four readers that there are other authors as well. I’ll be published alongside Anthony Ryan, Kate Julicher, L.B. Spillers, Django Mathijsen, Kristin J. Dawson, and Melanie Cellier. I’m not familiar (to my regret) with many contemporary fantasy authors, but even I know there are some talented folks on that list.

The (gorgeous) cover art for this issue comes from the amazingly talented Melanie Delon. And the links to all of those people can be found at Deep Magic’s announcement.

But back to me. I’m incredibly excited to share this news. I’ve been waiting a long time to get to this point, and now that I’m here I want to keep going. I’ll keep writing and (hopefully) keep publishing, no matter where I am or where I end up. Many of my heroes are writers; I’d love to do them proud.

You can find the link to preorder here:

Several Announcements


We have our very own forum section! You can locate it at:

The purpose of the forum is to develop a community around a shared passion for fantasy. That passion can manifest in any number of ways: in books, in creative writing, in film or television, in video games, in worldbuilding — and we want to talk about it all. It may be a sort of silly dream, but I would love to create a space where writers and artists and developers all get the chance to meet each other and reach out for collaborative projects.

We have a specific area (“The Writer’s Guild”) designated for the purpose of developing creative writing. That is password-locked, so lurkers and visitors aren’t able to see. I want to protect your privacy as well as mine. I’d hate for work that you shared publicly to be stolen or otherwise misappropriated. If you’re interested in joining, contact me for the password and we’ll talk.

To join the forum, follow the link and work through the quick registration process. If you’re having troubles with verification, don’t hesitate to contact me.


I obtained an SSL-certificate for this site, which means we are now HTTPS secure. That may sound like a fairly basic requirement for a website like this (and that’s because it is) but I’m a writer not a web developer, and your security is something that’s important to me.

If you encounter any bugs or glaring errors with the website, contact me at and I will get on it right away.


Depending on how you arrived at this site, you may know of several ways to contact me. Those are available in the new tab up top, but I want to remind you that you can find me on Facebook or email me at any time.

I also added a bibliography section that we hope will grow to be somewhat more substantial than it is. There are two stories listed right now: “The Cuckoo Clock With A Magic Wand”, which is available to read for free now, and “Lutwidge Ranch”, which will be available for purchase soon.

Grand Opening!

Welcome to the blog!

We’re going to roll out the red carpet, cut through that decorative ribbon, toss all our bottles at that ship, and whatever else is done to generally celebrate the beginnings to what we hope is a long and fruitful journey.

There isn’t much to post here yet. I’m still working on getting the site up and running, so I’ll be busy with tech stuff for a while. I’m not tech savvy in the ways I ought to be, so that will likely take embarrassingly longer than it probably ought to.

In the meantime, email me any suggestions, complaints, or recipes for stew that you come across. Or leave them in the comments — if you can comment. I don’t even know if those are enabled yet.

Goodness, what an exciting way to start things off!