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This round of updates was brought to you by the letter K on June 30th, 2012.

The latest on the publishing roadmap

Page up for Heart of the Dragon's Realm

You can now read the first chapter of Heart of the Dragon's Realm, as well view the cover:

Current writing projects

Sigil-beasts drafted

So I've got a short gamebook planned out. Now I need to fill out the sections with more graceful writing, then test it all not only for story soundness, but also gameplay enjoyment. Guinea pigs have been located and inducement is underway. I had a lot of fun working on this, and someday I may share a picture of the 17″-by-22″ sheet of paper where I madly scribbled all my ideas. In the meantime, here's a bit from the beginning:

You live in the desert inside a petrified dragon’s bones: the gaping jaws your front door, the arches of the ribcage your living room, the empty left eye socket your window. Cloth wrapped over the skeleton shields you from sun and sandstorms, while scorpions and rattlesnakes know better than to venture near. The desert nomad tribes sometimes wander onto your lands, and you trade food and stories.

It is a proper home for a dragon-mage, when there are no more dragons.

After you rode your last wind, you forsook the Janari court and its lord — your twin brother — to seek the peace of the black sands and desolate sky. Oddly, the bones are a comfort as well: a reminder that there truly once were dragons, that you did not weave them from the threads of your imagination and vanity as the creature you could command. You helped your brother carve out an empire with your powers; surely there’s no more he can ask of you.

So it is a surprise when the messenger comes to your home to evict you.

Recent reading

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Romance and intrigue amongst concubines and senators, gladiators and emperors. This is a complex weave of interactions among a bevy of flawed characters, but in loose terms you could see it as the oddly parallel and intersecting lives of a slave girl and a scheming heiress as they scale society — down to the men they encounter. I couldn't help being reminded of Downton Abbey, although against an epic backdrop and with far more fluid positions. Avoid if too many points of view, or an antagonist's perspective, is a turn-off, but I found it entertaining despite these thanks to generous heapings of schemings and high-stakes relationships.

Miscellaneous updates

Traveling, reading, writing

I'll be heading out of town soon, which means stocking up on books to read on the flight and in my connecting airport. This is where reading fast is a curse, because I need several books to tide me over for the whole trip, and finding good travel reading is hard. Obviously I have to want to read the books I choose, but not so much that I've devoured them already. (Also: erotic romance, even safely ensconced in my ereader, tends to be a bad choice for someone who blushes easily.) My recourse shall be my faithful netbook, although it's always a toss-up whether I'll get any serious writing done while I'm on vacation.

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