Posted in April 2013

Rain is awesome

I am fond of rain.

To be specific: I like overcast days and steady, drizzling rain. Cool temperatures, a steady patter in the background, dim light, empty streets. I love it. It’s conditions like these that bring a lot of my ideas to the surface, as if they’ve been hiding from the light and noise and bustle of normal days. I try to nurture them and tend them when they’re like this, get them to play a little and explore. Then I take notes–figurative pictures, really–so I don’t forget what they had to say and do on these days.

I often go for long walks when days like this come around. I like going for long walks anyway because it helps me think in general, but it’s even nicer on gloomy, brooding days. I’m even excited about carrying my umbrella (which is a proper umbrella, roughly cane-sized in length and hooked at the handle, not some tiny compact thing that breaks in the first respectable wind), even when I don’t use it to block any rain (you can’t just go around using umbrellas like that for any ol’ trickle, it has to be a heavy, substantial, meaty kind of rain). It’s a prop, like most of the things people around themselves with; a tool or symbol of who we are that helps encourage and propel our brains and attitudes.

It’s easy to lose track of time when I’m out walking, and that… causes problems. Time is the enemy, or at least the belligerent attendant. “Hey, didn’t you have some things to do? Weren’t there deadlines? Errands? Chores? You’ve better get on that stuff! Forget about the rain, man, you need to get busy!”

Time isn’t wrong. But sometimes I’d rather walk around, listen to the rain, and get lost in the world for a while.

UBS Prequel 1

Just finished my first run through the prequel short story–although prequel may not be the right term. It certainly happens before the main story, but by a significant margin, and it doesn’t actually lead directly into what’s happening now. Just an earlier story.

At any rate, it’s provisionally done. Now to edit it and make sure it’s presentable, and then I’ll start putting it up for all to see on this site (so be on the lookout!). It won’t be quite as rigorously polished as a novel, but you should enjoy it nonetheless. I mean, if fantasy’s your thing. If it’s not… well, give it a read anyway. It’s free. What have you got to lose? (Don’t answer that)


Tomorrow I’m taking a break from my usual activities to go to a “writing retreat.” It’s not, like, an official writing retreat or anything. I’m heading to a hotel with a handful of creative-minded crazies to work on a script for an upcoming project that we’re putting together. Plays aren’t usually my bailiwick, nor is collaboration, but I do love dialogue and these people are a dangerous mix of intelligent, deranged, and inventive, so I’m excited to see what we come up with.

If you’re curious, our troupe is Off The Quill and the show is Violent Delights; it goes up at this year’s Capital Fringe Festival in (of course) Washington, DC. It will be a spectacle of one kind or another, I have no doubt. Come see what we managed to put to paper, and then what horrible, fantastic things come to life from that paper. Also, I suspect there will be violence, and everyone likes a good bloodsport, right?

Otherwise, it’s business as usual. Stealing time to write when I can, minding the day job, reveling with the people that tolerate me. The short story’s coming along nicely–there was a snag, but it turned into an opportunity that I am content to explore further. I’m also itching to get back to the rest of Under Broken Stone, but I know this needs to happen first. I am learning a lot about the world I’m building.

Fill this space!

Hi. JPL again.

I survived another year on this planet, which is cool and noteworthy, and always makes me consider what I am doing and why I haven’t finished it yet (this is a common thing writers do, as I understand it). I always kind-of know, in the back of my head, exactly what I’m working on at any given moment, but this is rarely narrower than 3 projects at once. I mean, I don’t actively work on them all, but like unwanted house guests, they refuse to go away. They get some brain time, whether I like it or not.

I talk a little bit about what I’ve got on the agenda in my FAQ, but I wanted to tease the idea that one of them will appear here very soon. I’m somewhere in the field of 20,000 words into my next piece, and to help some of the characterization, I started sidetracking to write some short stories in the same setting with, more or less, the same characters. They are small installments that I really have no interest in publishing in any kind of organized way since they were basically made for my selfish benefit, so I’m going to put them here! The first one looks like it’ll be a five-part short story (probably only like 10,000 words overall), so I hope you can swing by, read, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

No immediate plans to make another one in the same series, but you never know. I’ve always wanted to put some freebies on this site while I’m working on novel-sized stuff, so more of something will show up, I’m sure.