• Live Reading of “The Four Keys” — Part 2: The Northern City

  • Live Reading of “The Four Keys” — Part 1: The Great Tree and the Crossroads

    This is a live reading I did of the first part of “The Four Keys” I did on Twitch on December 5, 2022 during my regular stream.

  • NaNoWriMo, Book Progress, and now on Twitch!

    November has been a busy month! My proofreader finished up the last novel of the first series of the Survey books, which means we’re going into formatting mode now! Yay! We’re looking at a release date somewhere in early 2023.

    I’ve also discovered that there are writers who stream on Twitch, and now I’m one of them! You can catch me live on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Sundays will be 10 pm Zurich time (4 pm US Eastern/1 pm Pacific). I’m still working on the right times for Tuesday and Thursday. They’ll either be 2-6 pm (8 am EST/5 am PST) or 8 pm (2 pm EST/11 am PST). Mostly I’ll be doing writing sprints and co-working with some chill music. I’ll also doing readings from time to time, and will have a live launch party when the Survey books come out!

    NaNo has been good, and although I’m not going to “win” this year, I still managed to log over 25K words, and that’s not too shabby! My approach to NaNo the last few years has been to keep chill about it. If I make it to 50K, that’s great! If not, I’m not going to worry about. I’m still writing nearly every day, and that’s what matters.

    This month I also started a discord server for self-publishing authors called Publishing Heretics. I’d been trying to find a discord for self-publishing authors that was geared towards folks who were doing it on principle. I do feel that the way that traditional publishing works is torturous to people, especially for those of us who are neurodivergent, with the endless rejections and other trappings. Especially since publishers are moving towards making authors (especially new ones) do all their own marketing anyway. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. So, if you’re so inclined, feel free to come and check out the Discord!

    It’s strange to think that there’s only one month left to this year. This year has been a wild ride for our family, for sure. We decided a while ago that we’ll just have a chill December. We’re not going to crazy about, well, anything. We might go to a Christmas market for some tasty noms, but even that is something where, if we go, it’ll be for fun and not for last minute shopping or whatnot. And if we don’t go, we’re not going to sweat it.

    In talking with other folks, it seems that a lot of them are going the same route of keeping the holidays chill. I’m all for that.

    One last thing is that I have my Diamine Inkvent calendar sitting at my desk waiting for December 1! I had a lot of fun opening last year’s and trying all the inks, so I know I’ll love this year’s as well.

    Have a safe and happy holiday season! Remember to mask up and get your vaccinations!

  • Blessed Samhain

    I suppose this is a fitting time to write this post, as the last two months have been long ones for both me and my wife. My Father-in-Law passed away on August 25th after suffering several strokes and vascular dementia. It was really difficult for my wife, for a lot of reasons, and it was hard watching her father decline in those last months. We got through it, and through the aftermath, and this last month has mostly been recovery.

    I say it’s a fitting time to write this post because October 31st, along with being Halloween, is also the pagan/Wiccan holiday of Samhain, where we honor our ancestors. For us, it’ll be a difficult one. But to be honest, Samhain has been difficult since 2020. So many dead. So many confused and angry Spirits. 

    And this year, the Spirits are LOUD. Even here in Switzerland where it’s generally psychically quiet. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on yet, but maybe when we do our ritual on Monday, I’ll find out more. There’s so many things making the world a hostile place, a part of me feels that Spirits being this active is not really a surprise. 

    I’ve been coping a lot by getting into gaming, specific Elder Scrolls Online (as you can tell by the previous fanfic) and writing more novels. Another thing that’s keeping me occupied has been preparing for NaNoWriMo. The biggest thing was creating a Discord Server called “Publishing Heretics” for those who are self-publishing on principle and/or by choice. I also moved a couple of websites off our personal web server. You know, keeping busy.

    Of course, the other day I updated my Mac to Ventura and borked my ESO launcher. *sigh* But my Super Awesome Bestest Wife is building me a gaming PC. I’m stoked for that! 

    So, life moves forward. I try not to dwell in the land of Spirits, which is hard to do this time of year (although, not that easy during the rest of the year, either, since my vocation is to work with those who are dying or grieving). I drink coffee, cook, game, and write. One day at a time.

    For those who celebrate Samhain, I wish you a Blessed day with your Ancestors. For those that don’t, Happy Halloween!

    I’ll be back after NaNoWriMo. 

  • New Fanfic: Shadow Pawns (The Elder Scrolls Online)

    There was a plot whoops in Blackwood with the Dark Brotherhood, so I did some headcanon for it. Enjoy! 🙂

    Shadow Pawns (5398 words) by worthyadvisor
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Elder Scrolls Online, Elder Scrolls
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Characters: Elam Drals, Eveli Sharp-Arrow, Original Dunmer Character(s) (Elder Scrolls), Original Argonian Character(s) (Elder Scrolls)
    Additional Tags: Headcanon, Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood, Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, Dark Brotherhood (Elder Scrolls) – Freeform, elder scrolls online – Freeform

    Velyn Nass is a new initiate of the Dark Brotherhood, sent on a mission to Blackwood from the guild’s newest Silencer, but then finds herself pitted against Elam Drals.

  • Where your author has a month and learns other ways to make coffee…

    Hello. I know it’s been a bit. July was…

    Well, just ugh. There’s been a lot going on for me and The Wife (not all of which I can talk about here).

    I took a trip to a hotel for a few days to have some me-time. Took the train to a town called Bad Ragaz here in Switzerland, which was very beautiful. The hotel was great, food was good, and all that. I did really need the time out, for sanity’s sake. Unfortunately, though, I got COVID, even though I was careful, wore my mask, and avoided large groups of people. We think I probably got it on the train going there, since I was sick when I came back. *sigh* I’m glad that both me and The Wife are vaxxed and boosted, since we both got a relatively mild version of the damn thing, but even the mild one hit me like a ton of bricks. Still have the “tireds” three weeks later and I’m finally done with the sinus ick. I’m taking it easy, though. I am definitely NOT going to rush my recovery.

    Then, to our horror, the week after I got back from my trip, our espresso machine broke. As in, non-functional and non-repairable. The Wife ordered a new, but not so technically advanced, espresso machine and grinder. I also paid for a service that would bring the machine, set it up, and take away the old one. Of course, Swiss customer service being what it is, it’s taken two weeks for them to deliver the thing. But, as of tomorrow we will have espresso again.

    Turkish Cezve

    While The Wife has been nerding over the espresso machine, I’ve been nerding out on non-standard coffee brewing methods. I’ve now got a Turkish cezve and I’ve successfully made a pot of coffee in it! It was pretty good, too, and very different than I expected! I also have some proper coffee spices and am going to try that soon. I was surprised how well this worked with our decaf espresso roast.

    My other coffee obsession has been Vietnamese-style coffee. I ordered the metal phin (filter) and a bag of ground Vietnamese coffee and have been using it every morning so far since it got delivered. It’s nice to make a single cup of strong (caffeinated) coffee. I don’t use sweetened condensed milk, though, because of the sugar, but Swiss coffee cream or my barista oat milk work really well, especially for iced coffee. (If you’re wondering, I use monk fruit for sweetener.)

    New desk lamp! So cool!

    For my other obsession, the most recent pen-related thing I’ve bought at the end of June was this amazing desk lamp from Blue Star Crafts, and I adore it! Old timey looking bulb (it’s LED), with a drawer for pens! There’s also two USB ports on the back and the lamp is dimmable. I love it!

    Aside from coffee nerding, pen gear, and getting sick, I am still writing. The next series of books is coming along, and it’ll be an epic sequel to the first four books.

    The first set of Survey books are nearly done with editing. There’s only one left to finish with the proofreader and then The Wife and I will do the formating, cover design, and publishing wherever we can publish it. It’ll be in ebook form and paperback-by-demand first. I’m also planning to do an audiobook. We’ll be releasing that in podcast form initially (for free), then cutting it together to sell as a regular audiobook that will be in the usual outlets.

    I’m excited and nervous for these books to be out, but the excitement of people finally getting to read these books is winning out over the nervousness. I can’t wait to hear what folks think of them!

    In between writing chapters, I’ve been playing Elder Scrolls online. I’m on both the PC EU and NA servers, so if you play, feel free to ping me there, especially if you want to run some dungeons or delves (username is @worthyadvisor)!

    And finally, the end of July was our 4th anniversary of moving to Switzerland. It’s amazing that it’s been four years already! It’s one of those things where the time has gone by really fast, but it feels like we’ve been here forever. I mean, Switzerland isn’t perfect, but you know, it’s not so bad.

    Stay safe, folks and make sure you’re boosted. Trust me on this one!

  • It’s a hot June night in Zurich, and the heat is making me think too much…

    I wasn’t sure what to write this month, since my books are still in the editing process. Life has also happened. We’ve had some family issues in the last couple of months that have been difficult, but we’re hanging in there. For me, I’m just taking it day by day, writing book #5 when I can, taking care of The Wife, and playing Elder Scrolls Online. (If you’re on PC/EU, feel free to friend me there if you like. Username is @worthyadvisor.)

    What’s mostly been on my mind lately, besides the family stuff, is the news coming out of the US. More mass shootings, the January 6 hearings, anti-trans bullshit, anti-queer bullshit, racist bullshit, and so on, ad nauseum.

    I can’t write about it anymore. It’s all stuff I’ve written about for years on this blog. There’s the right wing fascists who want to kill people like me and my wife and create a theocracy. There’s left wing fascists who demand ideological purity and still want to kill people like my wife (who is transgender). I feel like I’ve lost my country. There are days where I want to march to Bern and hand in my passport. (I’m not going to do that, though, because that would make my life way more complicated than it needs to be.) My wife’s lost her country, too. And it’s not entirely from the Tories, either. It’s because TERFs have taken on positions in the the UK government, and there is massive anti-transgender sentiment in the country now (fuck you JK Rowling).

    It’s exhausting. I mean, at least, being in Switzerland, we don’t have to worry about getting shot.

    I’m tired of writing about compassion and spirituality and feeling like I’m talking to brick walls. I’m tired of having to prove that I’m perfect when it comes to anything progressive. I’m tired of people being shitty with each other and not giving people the chance to change and grow.

    I want to have more hope. I want to think that we can get ourselves out of this rut of hatefulness that we’re in. But it’s hard to see any end. Things sometimes seem to look up, but then nothing happens. The priest in me wants to fix everything, but it feels like nothing can be fixed, or that what people try to do to fix things just won’t work.

    I try to put hope in my stories and I’d love it if I’d inspire people to strive for something better. But right now, change seems so very far away.

  • May Update- Short and Sweet

    It’s May 2022. Good lord, it feels like it’s been a million years since I last posted. Lots of family stuff in the last few weeks, which I won’t get in to, but it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster.

    It’s been a few months since I finished my first 4 novels. They’ve been in the editing process since January, and I’m still hoping for an end of summer release of the books. I’ll say again, that my editors are awesome and have been really great about everything.

    After the editing’s done, it’s time to do cover art, formatting, and uploading.

    The books will be available via Amazon and as many other formats I can do as ebooks. And yes, you’ll be able to get dead tree versions as well.

    Yes, I’ll also be doing audio books, but I’ll be originally doing them as a podcast. When the podcasts are done, I’ll be cutting them together so I can upload them to the usual places for audiobooks. That way, there’s a free version if you don’t mind the podcast format and a regular audiobook version for folks who like it that way. To start with, I’ll be doing a podcast of “The Four Keys” and I’ll let you all know when it’s going to come out. The podcasts will be available from the usual places (Apple, Stitcher, etc).

    My brain’s been a bit scattered lately, so I’ll keep this short. And a reminder: the pandemic isn’t over yet, so wear your masks and get vaccinated!

  • Site move is done.

    Thankfully! Hopefully that’s the end of the weirdness for awhile.

    I am back from Mallorca, although the Wife will be there for a little while longer.

    Still working on book five and waiting for edits to come back for the first four. Writing is going slowly, but life, you know?

    Hope you all are doing well!

  • Brief update:

    Writing is going slow, but that’s because I’m also in the middle of working with an editor and proofreader. Response to the books from folks who are helping with the editing process has been awesome. I feel like the novels are now getting closer to publication!

    Next, though, comes formatting, cover art, doing dead tree proofs, then, finally, getting it out to you all! My impatient self wants them done RIGHT NOW, but my rational brain knows that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So, I try and work on the 5th book between edits.

    One interesting bit for folks who like journaling and RPGs: I was introduced to this journaling RPG called “Over the Mountain” by Marz Corbeau, and it’s been fun to play with it. It might actually be the start of a totally different type of novel (read: Non-Survey Universe). I also had to bring out my pink sparkly dice for it, but it’s been fun. I’m not doing a full version of the game (I’m mostly doing the time/place/person prompts), but some of my other friends are and love it! I also like the fact that you “win” by filling the journal! I have plenty of journals and notebooks that I could fill with a game like this!

    Also been playing a lot of Elder Scrolls Online. If you’re on the EU server and want to say hello, ping me and I’ll give you my info.

    OK, back to the grind…