With another heat wave hovering over us, we’re sweltering here in Portland, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been getting plenty of exercise…namely in the form of Happy Dancing (hopefully no neighbors have been peeking in the windows!).

And the reason for this jig of joy? Well…..

Last Saturday at about 5:25 p.m. I finished a major rewrite of my work in progress!!!

As you may know from a previous post, this project was originally written as a historical novel a few years ago, but had so many issues I crammed it in a drawer. A very deep drawer. Sometimes I would hear it calling from its dungeon, and a couple times I even tried to tackle it again, but could never brave the massive amount of work required to clear up those trouble spots (okay, not spots, more like gaping black holes big enough to swallow our entire galaxy).

When the idea came to me to turn this book from purely historical to historical fantasy and set it in the world of Osteria (prior to The Trials of Hercules), well, it wasn’t going to make the task any easier, but it did inspire me enough to come up with a plan of attack. In the spring, I did a read through, made minor changes, and formulated a notion of the “real” work that needed to be done.

Let’s just say it was a lot of work.

The original story took place within the Roman Empire when the empire spread from Britain to Africa to the Middle East. Cramming that into the geographical area of the Pacific Northwest was quite a challenge and I spent plenty of time staring the tattered road maps of Oregon and Washington I taped up on my walls.

There was also the challenge of trying to add a bit of fantasy to a purely historical novel. This tested my knowledge of my own world and it turned out to be fun to work in the culture and religions of Osteria. I still feel the fantastical elements are a little weak, but there’s plenty of oracles and centaurs in the manuscript now.

Finally, there was the issue of the story line. Let’s just suffice it to say that in the original manuscript I had crucial characters appearing out nowhere (as in never mentioned before in the story), I had storylines that just disappeared, the tension often lagged, and I had a love triangle that made no sense.

In other words, the manuscript needed a complete rewrite.

So, starting on 1 June, I set to work with the goal of having the rewrite done by the end of July. Each day, I printed out about 3500 to 4500 words of the original and then worked some writing voodoo (no animals were harmed, except the cats did hear many new curse words) to turn those words into something less horrible.

The end result? Well, let’s just look at the stats:

Original manuscript:

  • 141,000 words
  • 104 chapters
  • 3 parts

Current manuscript:

  • 210,500 words
  • 84 chapters
  • 6 parts


There’s still a little work to do with proofreading and cleaning up a few storylines and settings, but I think the worst of this project is finally behind me. Cause for happy dancing, indeed!

As I may have mentioned, I plan to serialize this book (that’s the “parts” bit) and had hoped to have Part 1 out by October. With the size and scope of the book though, I may have to move that out to December or January, but the parts will come out in quick succession, and the paperback version will come out as an entire tome sometime in late January to early February.

I’m also scheming up some special plans to promote this book, but I still need a couple weeks to work out the kinks of that (and to decide whether or not I really want to do it). In the meantime, my newsletter subscribers just received a full sample chapter from the new book. Of course, there’s always the regular freebies you’ll get for signing up (the exclusive Inside Osteria ebook, some short stories, etc), but if you sign up by Saturday, I’ll also toss that sample chapter your way.

Tackling any major feats this summer? Have any unfinished projects lurking in your closet? How do you go about motivating and organizing yourself to get a huge task complete? Be sure to comment below with your thoughts!!

Stay cool everyone and Finn and I will  see you Saturday with more Irish adventures…this time with cannons!!


There’s a fabulous 99-cent sale on dozens of Fantasy and Sci-Fi ebooks this week, including The Trials of Hercules.

Just click or tap on this link or the picture below to grab your copy today. This sale is worldwide and ends on 29 July 2018, so hurry over and snag a few summer reads at a terrific bargain.

And you still have a few days to grab a free copy of 13th Hour!!

12 thoughts on “Writing News: I’m Dancing the Jig of Joy!!!

  1. Ooooh, happy-dance-worthy indeed! Congrats on finishing your epic rewrite… I had thought you’d been quiet recently, and now that I’ve seen the numbers I understand why! I found the sneak peek chapter in my email this morning, too, and it made for some great reading over breakfast. I can’t wait to get my teeth into the whole series!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yay! Someone read it! Apologies for the massive amount of typos (sometimes autocorrect is a good thing and I accidentally had switched it off 😳). Yes, it has been a long quiet spell without social media and now I’m trying to drag myself back to it (kicking and screaming, of course).


      1. Hahaha, I hear you! I’ve recently been enjoying a spate of actually doing stuff, as opposed to talking about stuff I should be doing on social media! It makes for a waaaaay more productive work day – who knew? 😂
        As for autocorrect… Hmmm, I’m still divided! I find it makes more mistakes than I do. But that might have something to do with my brand of English, with its merry blend of words I made up, puns and Irish slang (from both sides of the border). Good luck keeping up with that, Google!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Autocorrect can be pretty evil when it comes to some of my Osterian words and when I try to type articles for Canadian magazines, so I can’t even imagine how you keep from tossing your computer/phone/tablet across the room when faced with the challenge of typing out Irish-y English. Then again, slam enough consonants together and you might have a fair approximation of Welsh. 😂


      3. Hahaha! I think I have it set to Hibernian English, so at least it doesn’t take the automatically default to American spellings of words like “colour”. That said, as I typed this, it tried to change the words Hibernian, English, spellings and words to something else! 🙄

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      4. Great idea! After one particularly frustrating bout with it, I considered leaving the “corrections” and just sending my emails and messages as they stood. Your way is much better – and maybe you’ll discover that the machines are trying to communicate with us!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done!!!!!!!!!!! And oh, hooray, sample chapter! Just the thing to make me feel less forlorn about having finished ‘Bonds’!!!!!!! Something to look forward to for the train journey home!!!!!! As always, your productivity astounds me 😀

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