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Magic by Starlight

On to the Next Project

From LOC: Highway intersection near Belle Glade, Florida. Negro bean pickers hitchhiking
Click to enlarge. From LOC: Highway intersection near Belle Glade, Florida. Negro bean pickers hitchhiking. URL:

So I officially finished East of Yesterday. I made a few changes around this website to reflect that fact, including the front page and the East of Yesterday page, under Fiction. I removed the Petroleum Sunset pages for now, because I don’t have the time to finish those stories at present, and I never really considered them “launched”. When I do launch them, I will probably re-issue them under another name that I decided to write under for East of Yesterday. They are more closely related to East of Yesterday than my fairy tales.

I started plotting the second book in the series. I think there will only be two books unless I start weaving other characters into the story in order to continue their stories in later books. I have not decided yet.

In the last few weeks, I have also been going through my other in-progress novel, Magic by Starlight. I only have a few more chapters to re-read, and then I will have two completed, marketable novels on my hands. I will probably continue to write under Tia Nevitt for that series, since it is so different from East of Yesterday, but not so different from my fairy tales. The problem would be juggling the two series. I would need to be able to write full-time in order to write two series.

How many novels have I written altogether? I consider my first three to be trunk novels. The third book, I think, had potential, but my writing was just not quite there yet, and I had not yet grasped the concept of driving the plot forward with every scene. I sometimes think of doing something with it, but then I always have other ideas.

For now, I am committed to these two stories. And right now, my next writing immediate goal is to come out with a high-level/low detail plot outline for the second story in the time travel series.

Back from Hiatus

I am almost done with my contest judging and I am now writing again. At work, things are quiet as we wait to see if there is going to be another layoff with this expected reorg. So I will attempt to resume my twice-weekly posting schedule, one personal (like this one) and one something-else.

I’ll be taking a staycation soon, and during it I need to determine whether I keep this site where it is or move it to another host. Right now, this site is hosted on, which is good, but does not have the flexibility of a self-hosted site. However, flexibility = time commitment, and I’m not sure if I need another of those. This site may have to remain good enough for now.

East of Yesterday is up to 82,000 words. I’ve been retrofitting the first 100 pages before I launch into the ending.

I have also been thinking again about Magic by Starlight. Once I finish EOY, maybe I can finish up MBS and have two books to market.

And I have been thinking epic fantasy again. I have always wanted to write one, and I have a new idea. I am still in the early idea stage, but I did start a wiki for it yesterday.

I have not been reading many books that I can review lately because I think I ought to remain discreet about my contest judging, but I still get review copies from time to time and some of them look amazing, so I may have some book reviews soon. (I still don’t take review copies–these are unsolicited books from publicists who have my address.)

I discovered a very cool website that I’ll be posting about on Wednesday.

Do any of you use Office 13? I am able to get it inexpensively through work, but I don’t want it if it is too tightly-coupled with their online services. I may jump ship and use OpenOffice because they appear to have vastly improved their Navigator functionality. Any word processor I use must have some sort of document navigation tool, which is what has kept me with MS Word all this time.

Forthcoming Section, Research, Dog Training, and One Sultry Summer

A couple of months ago, I put up a page under Forthcoming for Magic by Starlight. Today I added to it an excerpt from the opening chapter. Have a look if you wish, and feedback is always welcome. It is quite raw–the beta readers have not seen it yet–so you can consider this a first look. Comments are open.

While pondering the final scenes of Magic by Starlight, I have been working on East of Yesterday as well. I realized that I was not documenting my research very well, so I am going to start keeping track of research sites on another Forthcoming page for East of Yesterday. That means working on the query as well, which I have not really tackled. I hit the 50,000 word mark for this story, and I think it will end up between 80 and 90 thousand words.


My mother gave us her eight month old puppy. He is a sweet Maltese, and so we have been adding “dog training” to our daily activities. Housebreaking a dog is a lot of work! We do have what we think is a good dog training method (the Dogfather), and we are already getting results even though we have only had the dog a week. Here’s his picture; his name is Finnegan.

FinnInActionMdIsn’t he so cute? We’re getting him used to riding in the Jeep, too! Got any hints for training an unneutered dog?


I am going to be glad to see the end of this summer. Not only because of the heat, which really wasn’t all that terrible this year, but because it will at least be an ending, and autumn will be a beginning, and it will mark the end of one chaotic summer. Remember my post from around Memorial Day, where I detailed my action-packed vacation week? Well, stretch that kind of pace out through the rest of the summer, and you know what my summer has been like. This summer has included:

  • Tragedy for family member
  • Surgery of family member
  • Squatters living next door
  • Dog-sitting
  • Major vehicle breakdowns and repairs
  • Vehicle purchase
  • Five trips out of town
  • Adoption of dog

I think the squatting episode and Finnegan’s adoption will make some good blog posts.