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.

NOVEL UPDATES

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!

OTHER WRITING

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.

BOOKS, MUSIC, AND POOHSTICKS

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 AulĂ« 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!

Best,

Daniel

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