My New Old Book


So I’m back to work on my old, new book again.

Old, because it was birthed in my head during a late-night drive on Rt. 81 North about five years ago.

New, because it’s my current book.

And I’m pretty excited.

At the time of inception, I couldn’t start it as I was coming off The Lion Vrie, starting Athera’s Dawn, and Wayne and I were in the midst of Curse of the Spider King, and then Venom and Song. But once VnS was wrapped up, and with little hope of ever writing the 3rd book of The Berinfell Prophecies once the publisher declined our third installment, I had time to start in on the story. Twenty-five chapters worth to be exact.

But it was again delayed when Wayne and I journeyed into the very real possibility of self-publishing The Tide of Unmaking. Which we did. And which you read.

In the wake of tToU’s release, I needed a break from writing. To refresh. To reset. But recently I’ve felt that nagging itch to get writing again. And nothing provokes me more than a snow storm.

In recent weeks I’ve been making copious notes about plot twists, themes, politics, and character issues. Then finally, today’s 9″ snow storm pushed me over the edge.

I set in to editing the first five chapters, re-internalizing the story, reworking some major character points, and—most dramatically—transforming the entire manuscript into first-person-present. I’ve wanted to attempt to write from this POV for years, having first been challenged to do so by friends Sharon Hinck and Bryan Davis, and further inspired by Stephen Lawhead, Suzanne Collins, and many other notables.

I will say that it’s a bit tedious at first; getting my head in that writing mode when I’m already so well versed in past-tense-limited is quite the ordeal. But once engaged, it’s addicting, fast-paced, and dangerously powerful. I love it, and not quite sure how I got along without it in the past. Present. Er—

I’m still not ready to release the concept names yet, so you’ll need to wait a bit longer (still code named “TSR” for now). But I can say that there will be three installments, and each from a different character’s view point. And it’s definitely a veritable steampunk wonder-world of awesome.

And I’m working very hard to release all three in one year: 2013.

Crazy, I know.

But I think my readers’ veracious appetites can handle it, and the lack of publishing restraints on this new self-publishing model allows me to try and meet it. We’ll see.

Thanks again for all your support, my faithful readers. Knowing you’re out there to devour these books once they’re released encourages me greatly.


Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 3

Yesterday I had the honor of watching two of my heros collaborate.

Master audio engineer and producer Peter Hopper dreaming with master designer Jason Clement.

It was epic. Drawings everywhere, ideas spouting, visualization well underway. The studio is framed out, over 35,000′ of cabling laid, and ready for insulation and sheetrock. Now we’re working on the finishes list and lighting.

Team work is everything to me. Whereas before I preferred to work alone – taking credit, and penalties for myself – today I wouldn’t dream of doing something by myself. Co-laboring has become the only way I know, cherishing the inspiration and insight that others bring to the creative table.

Interesting that God views humanity with the same interest. Thus why he loves building with us, not around us.

Sprig Records is rising. ch:

The Blur Effect

Wasn’t it just July?

Probably one the most frequent conversations my wife and I have stems around the elusive, missing months.

Where did ________ go?

It’s gotten so bad that we don’t even have to say it anymore. We’ll both just feel it, look at each other, and say something like, “Yeah, I know.”

But then, when did time ever feel slow?

My knee jerk reaction was when I was in 5th grade. Long summer days. Playing outside from 7am to dusk with my buddies. Summer took half the year. Now it takes half a week.

But as I was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room the other day, I realized there was a time ten years ago where I was bored in such a place. There wasn’t a flatscreen TV on the wall. I didn’t have an iPhone glued to my hip. Nor did I have a MacBook Pro or iPad slipped in my backpack. Just a stack of crusty, over-read magazines on a coffee table drenched with the bubonic plague.

The point is, I’ve realized it’s impossible to be bored today.

There is always something to see, read, look up, or connect to. Wi-fi, cellular, broadband. Always something to keep us distracted.

Think about it. When was the last time you were actually bored?

While every one of us in the modern age could do with a little less internet access and TV time, nostalgia could very easily jump in and say, “We must have simpler times again. Death to smartphones!”

But that’s a pretty easy copout.

The greater, more astute determination is what are you busying yourself with? Distractions of the right sort can actually keep us from pursuing the wrong course.

I want to be distracted from self-centeredness by serving my family. I want to be distracted from the mundane by living out the Gospel in front of unsaved people. I want to be so preoccupied with the creative advancement of the Kingdom that I don’t have time to fret over the failing kingdoms of man.

Working hard, staying focused, and being the consummate student are all things I was raised to do. It’s amazing how often I encounter people who are allergic to “hard work without a break.” As if their mandatory smoke break or magical vacation solve everything. Which they don’t.

It’s how you play your life that counts, not how you pause it.

So if the scenery seems blurry to you, don’t worry about the speed: the course is far more important. And the passengers.

I’m running fast with my wife and children. We’re proclaiming the Gospel with every ounce of energy we have. Every creative idea. Every mile traveled.

The key to living “at speed” is being a better savorer then a backward looker. Because while you may be traveling at a great rate of speed outside, inside the vehicle you’re at a relative “0.”

The moments we have are fleeting. Cherish them. But keep moving forward, as there are many more to come.

Let’s change the question “Where did the week go?” to “How did you live it?” ch:


CiCi’s Progress Pics

In honor of our newest CiCi’s Pizza store in Watertown, NY starting its new hire interviews today, I thought I’d share some of the behind the scenes pics I’ve collected of it’s development.

As with anything worth doing, the team of talented men and women who’ve collaborated on this project deserve a great deal of thanks. I’m very excited for its completion and grand opening in just a few weeks.

LOCALS: If you know of any hardworking, fun-loving people looking for new work – or just a game change – send them over to New Life today and tomorrow between 10am-12noon. ch:



TWLC Update

Here’s an excerpt of an email I sent to my Proofies yesterday:

Out of courtesy to you, I feel I should explain that my lack of communication, the impetus of which stemmed from three primary issues:

1.) A global switch from Microsoft Word to Adobe InDeisgn as primary layout application. Because InDesign is so much more elaborate, and I’ve never used it before, the learning curve alone set me back a few weeks. I must have gone over nearly every page of [ROTD] no less than 20 times. Working with the Miller brothers also meant that I had to cater to certain time limitations on their part.

2.) Three weeks ago I suffered a herniated disc (an old injury revisited) which literally knocked me off my feet, unable to sit in one position for more than a few minutes. The prescribed medication made me fuzzy, and far from able to keep track of the details needed for a 300+ page manuscript. (Please keep me in prayer as I’m not out of the woods yet).

3.) Summer kicked in. Frankly, many mornings and nights I did not want to even touch my computer to work on much of anything. As most of you know who follow my blog, my pace is pretty intense. So I allowed myself days off.

Needless to say, I’m back at it, feeling stronger physically, mentally, and with a better handle on InDesign.

I’ve finished my editor’s changes to TLV, and I’m beginning work on formatting it in InDesign; yes, hopefully it will be much faster now that I have a stronger handle on the application. I’m anticipating this to take about 2 weeks, [before it’s ready for the Proofies’ review]. While you’re busy going through TLV and searching for changes, I’ll be editing and formatting the long awaited AD.

In an effort to offer my loyal readers at least something date-wise, I’d say ROTD will be for sale in early September, TLV in late September, and AD in late October, though this is not concrete. Your sincere patience means the world to me. ch: