And we’re live!

Sometime in the night, my vendors flipped A Togahan’s Debt from preorder to live order. If you haven’t already, please take a look/grab a copy. And thank you for sticking with me.

-Pete


A Togahan’s Debt is available now (ebook form only) at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

(Also, all Togahan books will remain at $4.99 until January 5, 2023, but then I’ll have to raise the price to help cover expenses, so grab them while they’re cheap!)

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One Foot in Front of the Other

Needless to say, these past few years have been tough. There were times when I just didn’t have the heart to continue writing, or I made excuses about how tired I was, or busy, or there was something more important that required my attention, or I just needed to relax, or, or, or…

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Adapt

Throughout the pandemic, we had to continually adapt to a changing, often confusing situation none of us had ever navigated. For me, the first few days of lockdown in March 2020 felt like extended snow days with our kids. Home bound, all of us endured what we hoped might be a short storm. We didn’t know much, and what we knew was frightening. We were good on supplies, so we just waited to see.

And waited.

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“The Enemy Gets a Vote”

… is a popular saying in the military. It means that despite the most thorough planning, all plans must adapt when, sooner or later, the enemy doesn’t behave as anticipated.

The last couple of years, despite my plans and goals, my own enemy didn’t behave as anticipated. My enemy, in this case, is what Stephen Pressfield calls Resistance. Most of my resistance has taken the form of escapism, including but not limited to:

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….And We’re Back!

Wooo. That was a bit of a hiatus. My last post was January of 2021. A lot has happened in the last couple of years, and perhaps I got a wee bit derailed in my writing, but I’m back on track with completing AT4.

First things first, however, we can’t call it AT4 anymore. Today I officially announce that the fourth book in the Togahan series will be called…

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2020 Year End Progress Report

Ho-lee shit, what a year. I feel like we crash-skidded into 2021 shot full of holes with only one landing gear down and all engines on fire. I won’t rehash all the damage; you’re well familiar with it. Ugh, good riddance, but it’s not the number that matters, it’s the work ahead…

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October 2020 Progress Report

It’s been about three months, so this would be a good time to update you on my goals. Like a lot of creatives at the moment, my enthusiasm has, how to put this, “shit the bed”. That said, I’ve tried to move things along, even if it’s at a snail’s pace, driven if only by the Will Rogers’ quote, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” But enough thoughtful pondering. This is 2020 week 41, with roughly 79% of the year behind us. How’s my progress?

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Grounded

Throughout this pandemic I’ve been passing the time playing video games with my daughters. Lately my eleven-year-old and I have been playing Obsidian Entertainment’s Grounded, where we each play one of four children who have been shrunk down to the size of bugs and have to survive in a vast backyard jungle rife with vicious insects.

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Dinkus

As I’m reviewing my beta reader feedback on AT4, some of the notes echo complaints readers have had with my past published novels. To break up sections within a chapter, I normally use an extra carriage return. It keeps the formatting simple, and most of the time when your eye jumps to the new section, you know the scene has changed. I also try to name the new point of view character in the first sentence as an extra cue.

If it were a printed novel, this break would be fixed and wherever it coincided with a page break, some typography magic could add an extra carriage return or editing magic would restructure the writing a little so that the break fell within the page and not at the beginning or end.

The problem with e-books is that there’s no way to predict this. Since every reader can set their own font type, font size, and/or orientation, there’s no way to tell when a scene break will overlap a page break and cause confusion. And despite my efforts and cues, I have caused confusion (and I apologize for that).

More than a couple folks have suggested putting in an asterisk or some other typographic symbol as a fixed cue that the scene is changing, and I think I’ll do this for AT4. I did some research, and learned a few things.

Any type of typography to denote a section break is called a dinkus (or lesser used dingus, although that can also mean a fool or a penis (because…why not)).

Three asterisks in a triangle is called an asterism. Other dinkuses can include three asterisks in a straight line, or three periods in a line (but not so close like an ellipsis), or a thing called a fleuron, which to me looks like a chili pepper.

I think I’ll use something, but the question is …what? Three asterisks centered in a line is pretty easy to format for .epub and .mobi, as is three periods (of the two, I favor the asterisks). An asterism, fleuron, or other widget will probably require a .gif, which looks weird if the reader switches from a white background to a black or beige one. I could do a custom .gif, like a pair of crossed pistols or something similar, but then I run into the same background contrast issue. I’d like to avoid a .gif if I can, but I need to think on this one.

What do you think? As readers, authors, and editors, what do you prefer to see?

Thanks, -Pete

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July 2020 Progress Report

I know, I know, I’m a few months behind in these monthly reports, but Q2 was a bus fire under the Prudential*, so let’s all cut one another some slack, all right? This is the 28th week for the year, or we’re roughly 54% of the way through the year. Here’s where I’m at for my 2020 goals.

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