Sand and Blood 26, Flight of the Scions 31, and doubt

This week, we have doubt in many forms. It is something that has inflicted my life in many forms but, like my depression, it is something that I've learned part of who I am. That doesn't mean it doesn't show up in my stories because I like to show a reflection of my own world.

Sand and Ash

I'm looking for reviews for Sand and Ash. It has been out a month and I'm not sure if anyone has read it. It would be nice to have a few reviews, this is the first time I've released a book as Creative Commons and didn't charge for digital copies. If you are interested, please consider reading it or Sand and Blood, it would really help me.

Sand and Blood 26: Preparing for Battle

Violence is an addictive concept. Once it is used as an answer, it is very difficult stop using it. You need something like the Cold War and MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) to give us the Long Peace (and New Peace) that we are currently enjoying. But in some ways, WW2 was just the continual escalation of violence from hitting each other with rocks.

This is actually a point where Rutejìmo is caught up with the violence. He's been attacked, his friend has been kidnapped, and the only thing in front of them is revenge. What he doesn't know is that this is also the point where he realizes he doesn't like violence, it sickens him. The actual epiphany never happens in any of the novels, he just gradually fell into the role of a pacifist.

Later, he will look back at this point and hate himself for it. By the time Sand and Ash comes around, he has acknowledged that he is a pacifist but doesn't have a name for it. Actually, he never gets a name for what he is, he just knows that he has no stomach for violence despite everyone around him willing to accept it as a simple fact of life.

Chimípu is actually that that “common sense” of the desert world. She knows that her life is going to be dominated by violence. She will kill hundreds in her life to defend her clan because hundreds are going to attack them. They are going to try to interrupt the treaties by killing the delivery person, or slaughter the messenger of some critical mission. There is no doubt, in her mind, that the answer is violence.

Mikáryo is the same way (she is also a warrior). Both her and Chimípu's language is about attacking and winning. At least I tried to write that aggression from the beginning of both characters. It is a subtle contrast against Rutejìmo's language which is always less aggressive and more accepting.

The other party I really love about this chapter is Chimípu's hesitation. Even though she's accepted being a warrior and probably dying by the sword, she still has a doubt. There is fear that she may not be doing the right thing. There is also the fear of dying, something she hasn't accepted quite yet. That isn't something I see that often in fantasy books, going into the final climax without having confidence. There are some stories, but it seems to be glossed over and I really like the idea of doubt being one of the enemies.

It is hard to remember that these three are still teenagers. She's a few years older than him, but all of them were kept innocent to manifest their powers and then thrown into a violent world without direction or guidance. She has never killed anyone and I don't think it makes sense that she would be eager to do so.

Rutejìmo's brother, on the other hand, was eager for death in his novella, Raging Alone. I'm hoping to get that out this year but… things aren't looking good for that until I get a few more patrons.

Read Sand and Blood 26: Preparing for Battle at

Flight of the Scions 31: New Plans

I had forgotten I wrote this chapter. I know we are quite a ways into the book, but I thought it was good to remind the readers about what happened with Kanéko and her father. Originally, there was a chapter before this where Ronamar was struggling with his own doubts by visiting his first wife's and son's grave. That chapter was cut for the single POV plan, but Kanéko doesn't understand what her father was going through.

Ronamar was married near the end of For Glory. He was happy with his beautiful wife who was a combat mage. Between For Glory and For Revenge, they had a young boy who had a strong talent for magic, a “proper” successor for Ronamar's power. I never really wrote up the details of the boy's talent, but he was probably going to be an earth archmage with a talent for folding (teleportation, pocket dimensions). For Revenge is when his wife and boy were assassinated by the same powers who are trying to kidnap Kanéko in this book, not that he knows it.

That was also a cut scene, the Big Bad. Actually, the Big Bad was completely written out of the series by the time I changed it to single POV and had to “fire” a number of antagonists. He's still there, he just doesn't have a name or face because it wasn't that important to Kanéko's story.

Because Ronamar lost his son who had all the talent and he now has a daughter with absolutely none, he is treating her like a china doll. Except that he isn't. He doesn't know what to do other than he loves her so much that he would be willing to risk his lands, fortune, and title for her.

Of course, Kanéko doesn't know that. I considered writing For Family as the third book of the series which talks about Ronamar's struggles during this book but I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in it. I really want to write Cow first before I go into Ronamar's story.

Kanéko just wanted to prove herself to her father. Her father wants to protect her but doesn't know how. Neither are sure what to do, so there is a lot of doubt and stubbornness that is getting in the way. That, on the other hand, does get addresses later in this book. I just hope it does in a satisfying manner.

Read Flight of the Scions 31: New Plans (subscribers)

Sand and Bone

Sand and Bone is currently with the first editor (I'm going with a development editor and a copy editor). I had this in my Facebook notifications lsat week.

I just finished reading Dylan R. E. Moonfire's upcoming book, Sand and Bone. It was amazing.

I really think Sand and Bone is one of my best stories so far. The hard part is getting it out and encouraging readers to read it to see if they agree. Regardless, I'm really excited about getting the trilogy out.

The current plan looks like beginning of next year for that book. Mainly because I'm getting a small PR set up but also because Novembers and Decembers are usually pretty rough. The exception is if I get more patrons, they help me produce books faster. :) And patrons will be able to read it before it comes out (it is on my site now).


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