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Posts tagged as “Jeremiah Willstone”

[drawing every day 2024 post one four one]: quick now, jeremiah

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Long day helping clean up after Silicon Valley Open Studios and taking art to Kaleid, so here's a quick sketch of Jeremiah, based on a drawing of Jeremiah that happened to be sitting near me, after I had mostly assembled the furniture which goes in my new home-away-from-home office out in California:

You can barely see her next to the chair there, but it's the same drawing I have used for a variety of JW things, including the upcoming Jeremiah Willstone audio dramas:

Still, kind of appropriate that a character whose catchphrase is "Quick, now" (and who complained about her author reducing her strategies down to just the quick-strike) would be rendered in a quick sketch.

Drawing every day, even if I am shy of time.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Quick sketch of Jeremiah, with a little photoshoppery to jazz up the red scribbles around the Kathodenstrahl pistols, and my new home office, plus some of Sandi's sculptural furniture - believe it or not, the freaky egg thing is a combination hatrack / cupboard / jewelry case.

[twenty twenty-four day one two two]: fools try to win with tactics battles the wise avoid with strategy …

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A wise man once said, "Fools try to win with tactics battles the wise avoid with strategy, but true experts win with logistics only the wars that they cannot avert with policy." I think I'll give that line to Jeremiah, though in the series narrative she probably got it from her mentor, "The Last General", General Weiss I think it was.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Our late cat Gabby, who appears to have constructed for himself a crude fort of stone.

viiictory, thirty-eight times …

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Woohoo! I have successfully written 50,000 words in the month of April, completing my 38th writing challenge (counting November Nanowrimos, April/July Camp Nanos, and Script Frenzy).

This was a pretty rough Nanowrimo, given the prepwork that I had to do ahead of Clockwork Alchemy.

But, I did it, and learned so much about my story and the overall arc of the series as well. So, huzzah!

So, I am really churning with the edits on this one, but here's a segment which is relatively coherent:

The trim, egg-headed man emerged from Air Force One like royalty, the crowds of military personnel actually cheering him as he descended. At his heels, a lantern-jawed, white-haired man followed, grinning broadly, waving awkwardly at troops that seemed to like him even more.

Both kept smiling as they strode towards Jeremiah, but their body language

“Oh, my,” Jeremiah said. “They hate each other, don’t they?”

“Now, that,” Marcus said, “is an understatement.”

The pair stopped twenty meters from Jeremiah, on one side of a rough ring of Secret Service agents that made Jeremiah feel like she’d just entered a gladiatorial arena; she wondered what the agents thought they would do if the Scarab decided to go all apocalyptic on them.

“So,” the President said. “You’re … Commander Willstone, correct?”

“Sir, yes sir,” Jeremiah clicked her heels, watching, without appearing to watch, a larger group of dignitaries forming up just outside the ring of Secret Service agents. “I am Senior Expeditionary Commander Jeremiah Willstone, and I am at America’s service, sir.”

“Are you?” the President said. “I hear that you gave our security detail some trouble.”

“I heard that too,” the challenger said. “I notice you refused to be disarmed.”

Jeremiah nodded; her blunderblast remained slung over her back.

“My people use nonlethal weapons,” Jeremiah said, “even this impressive blunderblast, which I will demonstrate later. From a security perspective, however, consider it just show: I’m the weapon. If I had wanted to blow up your plane, I would just have pointed at it.”

The President shifted, just slightly, but the challenger grinned.

“Will you demonstrate that for us later?” he asked.

“Er—yes,” Jeremiah said. “Of course, sir—”

“Not on my plane,” the President said.

“Ah!” Jeremiah said. “No, of course not, sir. I’ll use our psychic’s car instead—”

“Commander!” the Owl said. “I just got—you’re kidding. Tell me you’re kidding—”

Jeremiah Willstone and the Watchtower of Destiny

Oh my. I hope they manage to convince each other to work together without blowing anything up.

Nevertheless ... viiictory!


-the Centaur

[twenty twenty-four day one two one]: light at the end of the tunnel

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Less than 3000 words to go on Camp Nanowrimo. This was a challenge, but we're close to the end now.

I think I was behind for essentially the entire month this time:

Note to self: don't try launching an anthology, launching a Kickstarter, serving as guest of honor at a con, and running a business all at the same time as doing a Nanowrimo project to write 50,000 words in a month.

Still, almost there ...

-the Centaur

Pictured: Sunshine through a really cool tree in Alum Rock Park, and some scary yet hopeful graphs. Yes, that was 8,000 words this last Sunday. That was a day.

[twenty twenty-four day one two zero]: aaalmost there …

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Staying on target. Wrote 8,000 words yesterday, only ~5000 words left to go for tomorrow. Gonna try to put a bit more of a dent in that before I crash tonight.

One cool thing happened today: I figured out EXACTLY WHY a certain mysterious plot event happens.

Now I just need to figure out PRECISELY WHO is responsible for it ...

-the Centaur

[twenty twenty-four day one one nine]: still behind

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Still trying to get ahead on WATCHTOWER OF DESTINY. Lots of progress today though, on multiple levels: a lot of words written, and some very good ideas for both this book and the overall series, based on some background reading about computation and technology based on closed timelike curves, from the computer scientist Hans Moravec and the physicist David Deutsch. Nevertheless ...

This is not the worst I've been behind, but it's in the top three, and it ain't pleasant.

Back to it. I want to push it a little bit more today if I can.

-the Centaur

[twenty twenty-four day one ten]: at clockwork alchemy 2024

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So we had a great first day at Clockwork Alchemy! I got a great Guest of Honor banner for my table, and we had a delightful Tea with the Author Guest of Honor in the con's amazing Tea Room!

My co-editor for The Neurodiversiverse, Liza Olmsted (far left on the picture below), was on an #ownvoices panel, which was very informative! I particularly liked her quote:

The world is so much more beautiful with intersectionality ... everything is so much more nuanced."

Liza Olmsted

"Intersectionality" is a funky word for the simple concept that people aren't a single attribute, like "black" or "women" or "gay" but that each person is a combination of all these things - and discrimination isn't just additive, but can compound in interesting ways. In one famous court case, for example, a court ruled that a group of black women weren't discriminated against because the company had hired a lot of black men (in a factory setting) and a lot of white women (in an office setting) thus improving the percentage of blacks in the factory and women in the office - but the point was, the women were being discriminated against for being black and women at the same time, and the court was essentially arguing you couldn't be one or the other. But, if you acknowledge that people can be more than one thing, you can take their distinctive appearances into account into how you treat them, rather than sweeping it under the rug.

Neurodiversiverse author Clara Ward dropped by and left us a few of her new book, "Be the Sea", which is (as I gathered from discussions) a climatepunk story featuring neurodiverse and nonbinary characters. I worked with Clara before on Doorways to Extra Time and we're excited to have her back for this one!

We hope to see you tomorrow at the con! Next up, Steampunk Vehicles, Bringing Anthologies to Life, and the world premiere reading of "Jeremiah Willstone and the Choir of Demons"!

-the Centaur

[twenty twenty-four day one oh eight]: entitle me, bro

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Not much time to post today - flying out to Clockwork Alchemy, where I am the Author Guest of Honor. But, it's still Camp Nanowrimo, and I had wordcount to get in on Jeremiah Willstone #2, THE CITADEL OF GLASS. And, yes, I do count it as word count if I'm futzing around in the appendix reviewing the characters and revisiting ideas for the title, but the bulk of today's word count was in the climax, which I had sketched out earlier (almost a decade ago!) and am now adjusting to fit the new ideas in the fleshed out plot ... so I can in turn reverse-engineer how that plot shall proceed to reach that climax. Very ouroboros.

-the Centaur

Pictured: A title brainstorming session for CITADEL OF GLASS.

[twenty twenty-four day one oh seven]: departure angle on viewer

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"Off we go towards Clockwork Alchemy ... there we'll have tea with all of our fans." I'd say "sung to the theme of 'Wild Blue Yonder'" but I actually don't remember the words to that other than the first line - and it's relatively hard to parody something you don't know all that well.

Regardless, we'll have books, and panels, and the debut of Jeremiah Willstone and the Choir of Demons!

-the Centaur

Pictured: an accidentally blurred shot of my book stock, and a fortuitous super closeup of the books that I had taken pictures of at the Kickstarter.

The Neurodiversiverse Kickstarter – and Clockwork Alchemy Author Guest of Honor!

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Hey folks! This is a "sticky" post up for the next week or so to remind you that I will be Author Guest of Honor at Clockwork Alchemy - and that we're running a Kickstarter for The Neurodiversiverse! Please check out the Kickstarter - and click to be notified when it goes live, I'm told that helps "the algorithm" when it launches.

I was selected as Clockwork Alchemy GOH not just because of the Jeremiah Willstone steampunk series, comprising one novel and a dozen stories featuring the rayguns-corsets-and-aliens world of Victoriana, but also because I've been involved in Clockwork Alchemy since its inception. Please visit us at the con!

At Clockwork Alchemy, I will be joined by my Neurodiversiverse coeditor and friend Liza Olmsted. Our schedule at the event is the following - including a Tea with the Author on Friday and the debut of the audio drama "Jeremiah Willstone and the Choir of Demons" on the anthology panel on Saturday:

Friday, April 19

  • Own Voice Stories - 2:30pm / Synergy 5 - Liza Olmsted, M.D. Neu, Sumiko Saulson, Emily Flummox
    Why promoting and celebrating 'own voices' stories is imperative!
  • Tea with the Author Guest of Honor - 4pm / Synergy 2-3 - Anthony Francis
    Come have tea with me! Ask your questions. I don't promise enigmatic answers!
  • Author Signing with Anthony Francis - 6pm / Convene Lobby
    Come get your books signed!

Saturday, April 20

  • Steampunk Vehicles - 1pm / Inspire 1 - Anthony Francis and Michael Tierney
    We'll talk about airships, land walkers, behemoths, and time machines!
  • Author Signing with Anthony Francis - 4pm / Convene Lobby
    Buy more of my books in Author's Alley, and I'll sign them too!
  • Bringing Anthologies to Life - 5:30pm / Synergy 5 - Anthony Francis, Liza Olmsted and Dover Whitecliff
    We'll discuss the challenges of bringing anthologies to life, and debut the very first Jeremiah Willstone audio drama, "The Choir of Demons"

Sunday, April 21

  • Favorite Steampunk Books - 10am / Synergy 5 - Anthony Francis, Madeline Holly-Rosing, Dover Whitecliff
    What are the greatest steampunk books and series? We have opinions! And will share.
  • Author Signing with Anthony Francis - noon / Convene Lobby
    Buy more of my books in Author's Alley, and I'll sign them too!
  • Author Signing - Last Call with the Author's Alley - 4pm / Convene Lobby
    Buy more of ANYONE's books in Author's Alley, and we'll all sign them! Or sign our own. Whatevz.

Finally, for the duration of the campaign, will link through to the Kickstarter! We're campaigning to get enough funds to pay our authors full "pro" SFWA rates, and if we surpass that, the funds will go to the planned second book in the series: The Neurodiversiverse - Binary Stars! Back and share, folks!

-the Centaur

[drawing every day 2024 post one oh two]: jeremiah willstone logo sketches

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What a long fricking day. No real drawing for you ... just sketches of a proposed Jeremiah Willstone logo. I created these as feedback to a fellow artist I'm working with who will design the actual logo in a form suitable for putting on pins and stickers. We started with an old logo idea I had a few years back:

But that's kitbashed together from a number of different public domain images and my own quickly hacked logo designs in Photoshop and Illustrator. However, Kimchi Kreative did such a good job with the Neurodiversiverse logo I asked her to apply some of her magic to Jeremiah. We're iterating on it now, with super rough sketches to bounce ideas back and forth.

You know, it's great to learn to do things on your own - and I focus on doing most of the work that I can myself, especially for my own creative projects. But when you have access to an expert, it's foolish to forego that for things in their area of expertise - and learning how to work with others on creative projects is a skill all its own.

Drawing (and learning) every day.

-the Centaur

Clockwork Alchemy Day 3

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[the fae delegation has arrived]

So, day 3 begins! The con is going swimmingly: there are lots of people, everyone seems happy, the organizers feel it's going well, and I sold all my number ones! Even on Easter Sunday, people are still showing up!

[still busy at the author's alley]

Yesterday evening after panels were done, I chilled at the bar, worked on SPECTRAL IRON, struck up a conversation with a writer who saw me writing and had a lot of questions about getting back into the game. (Talk about doing the right thing putting you into the right places!), and still had time to catch the end of the Lee Presson and the Nails concert!

[lee as the easter bunny]

All in all Clockwork Alchemy appears to be a success. Here's hoping we do it again!

-the Centaur

P.S. Almost forgot: at 2pm I will be on the panel for "Getting Past Chapter One" to help writers overcome their creative barriers!

Well, I did it …

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... I finished Nano for the umpteenth time. But it's just shy of 3am, so I am going to hit the hay and do my usual "Viiiictory N times" post tomorrow.

-the Centaur

P.S. (It will be "Viiictory, 34 times", for 1.8 million words written in Nano).

Sales for Dakota, Jeremiah and Nicole!

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So a number of sales are running this month featuring stories about Dakota, Jeremiah or Nicole.

First off, Dakota: on February 16-28 of this month, BLOOD ROCK will be back on sale for $0.99 wherever fine eBooks are sold - for example, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. BLOOD ROCK continues the story of Dakota and her weretiger daughter Cinnamon, facing their greatest challenge yet: getting Cinnamon into a good middle school. Oh, and there may also be magic graffiti, deadly fires, cranky werewolves, magical police investigators, and vampire romance. You should check it out.

Second, Jeremiah: the LATER series anthologies are on sale at DriveThruFiction through the 11th. Each features pairs of stories set in Jeremiah Willstone's time at Liberation Academy. We're adapting these for audio, so I feel this is a good way to get into this universe early!

Finally, Nicole. Everyone's favorite killer computer's debut story, SIBLING RIVALRY, is also on sale at DriveThruFiction: .

Also, a few of my friends who are published through Thinking Ink Press also have books on sale at DriveThruFiction:

The DriveThruFiction sales ends February 11, so strike while the iron's hot!

-the Centaur

P.S. Also, while I'm under the hood, let me point out that the new WordPress editor continues not just to suck, but to get worse over time, as it was markedly harder to write a blog post on the Library of Dresan than the Jeremiah Willstone and Dakota Frost websites, both on older versions of WordPress. It's harder to edit text, insert links, navigate texts, add lists, or add tags, and the tags no longer show the relative category sizes. "Modern looking" is not a substitute for usability, and never will be. End of rant.

Transitional Updates

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mocha from alexander's

Out with October, in with November, and with it, a bunch of updates. Dragon*Con came and went and was a success. Our Kickstarter for Beyond Boots 'n' Bars was funded; thanks to everyone who participated! But most importantly, the move from California to the East Coast is mostly done.

That last I blame for my lack of posting (and drawing - sheesh, I am ~80+ drawings behind) but, ultimately, that was the most important thing that I and my wife needed to be working on for quite a while. Now, she's got a functioning art studio again, and my library is ... getting there.

But, now it's time to get back to it. I'll be doing Nanowrimo again - JEREMIAH WILLSTONE AND THE FLYING GARDENS OF VENUS, something-like-book 2.75 on my original outline. Since Nano has been so great to me, I'm sponsoring it this year, which in turn, means you can find FROST MOON there!

Welp, back to it. Onward, fellow adventurers!

-the Centaur

Days 189-192

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Well, something weird happened with my blog which interfered with updates, so, boo, but nevertheless, it cleared up on its own despite my best debugging efforts, so ... yay? #nervous_laughter  And updates. First, here's a quick concept sketch from JEREMIAH WILLSTONE AND THE FLYING GARDENS OF VENUS of the antagonist character "the Parasolite" ... or, more properly, one of her bodies:

the parasolite concept sketch

The Parasolite prime interrogating Puck in her throne room. Looking at both of these, I'm not getting the length of the human leg correct; I need to work on body proportions as much as faces.

parasolite and puck

After a long day of writing Camp Nano (oh, I'm doing FLYING GARDENS OF VENUS for Camp Nano) I gave up and did this quick sketch of Brainyon, the brain-jar spider-boy shown earlier, drafted as a mercenary by our "Robert De Niro in Casino"-styled protagonist / antagonist:

brainyon again

Concept sketch for the Parasolite Prime.

parasolite prime

Drawing every day, even if I can't always post.

-the Centaur

Day 186

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puck and the skywall cleaned

Re-sketch of Puck on the skywall, using a lightbox. That really cleans it up.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Days 181-185

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Just because I was on vacation doesn't mean I wasn't drawing ...desk toy sketches

Above, a sketch of some desk toys ... below, I think it was a from-memory quick sketch of Indiana Jones, but I find that hard to believe.

jones sketch

Below, test sketch of Puck climbing a skywall from JW&TFGOV.

puck climbing

Test sketching the shape of a face ...

face sketch

And another quick sketch of Gabby.


Drawing, even a little, every day.

-the Centaur

P.S. Monterey is, as always, awesome.

Day 178

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puck sketch with flats

Another take on Puck from JEREMIAH WILLSTONE AND THE FLYING GARDENS OF VENUS, a quick sketch with roughs in non-repro blue, Pigma rendering, and flats in Photoshop - through which process I discovered she was black with blonde hair. Concrete descriptions for the representational win! Below, a quick sketch over non-repro blue of the Wings of Wisdom or Wisdom's Folly, the ramen sailshop where Puck works. All she wants to do is serve Venus some ramen, man, cut her a break.

wings of wisdom

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur