Tag Archives: projects

Thirteen in Twelve

By now, it’s probably no secret that I have a love affair with maps. Particularly the historical maps of antiquity and all their quirky idiosyncrasy. Because of this love, I took it upon myself to embark on an expansive project for 2019. One that I am excited to say I have finished.

As many of you noticed, every month for the last twelve months, I’ve been releasing royalty-free brush sets for authors, game masters, worldbuilders, and general map enthusiasts. Anyone interested in making a fictional map, really. It’s a part of my #NoBadMaps initiative. While there’s no substitute for a professional illustrator, I saw these brush sets as a quick way to enable storytellers to create authentic-feeling cartography for their worlds. Digital brushes can work like “rubber stamps,” allowing anyone to click and place map elements wherever they want—no artistic talent needed. It’s a simple but effective solution.

With December’s release of Vischer, I’m excited to say I exceeded my goal. The target was twelve brush sets in twelve months. But! I was over-eager in February and released two that month, so I ended the year with thirteen.

celebrate!

I intentionally didn’t make a big announcement when I started this project, this was more of a quiet personal ambition. Making these was a small way I could give back to a community I cherish. Hopefully, these sets allow creators to feel empowered to tackle daunting projects, and perhaps, the connection to historic cartographers and engravers has helped make the history of cartography come alive.

There’s a line in Robert Baden-Powell’s final letter that I recall people repeating when I was a kid, and it’s resonated with me as an adult. It’s a mantra I try to embrace in everything I do, and I think it encapsulates the spirit of this project: “…leave this world a little better than you found it…”


…leave this world a little better than you found it…”


I believed I achieved that. Giving back is one of the greatest things we can do as creators, I find it personally fulfilling, and I’ve been humbled by the results. Sure, it serves a small niche within our sprawling fantasy community, but it’s a niche that has welcomed these open-sourced sets. Since their launch, I’ve received many emails and twitter messages from creators making amazing things. That’s why I released these sets, and I couldn’t be happier.

✨🗺️


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Project Tracker Shifts

Project Tracker Shifts

For those who pay attention to such things, you may have noticed that there have been some shifts in my project tracker. (See sidebar.) I have a couple of thoughts I wanted to share.

  • I’ve gotten great feedback for my fantasy project (I’m still keeping the name quiet), but I wanted to let it rest a bit before I roll up my sleeves and start to rework it. It’s a regular part of my process that allows me to return not only refreshed but with a critical eye. So for now, it’s been moved to the infamous back burner.
  • Coal Belly has moved up to the top slot. It’s been my major focus lately. It’s also becoming huge, currently sitting at 92k words. When I initially listed it, I targeted 100k words since that’s the goal for all The Bell Forging Cycle novels. However, as I’ve written it, I’ve started to realize that it’s going to be much bigger, so I have readjusted my target to 200k words. Which means it’s about halfway (the actual final number is fluid, the book will be done when it’s done.)

Whenever I make changes like this, I tend to see questions from readers. So I figured a small post like this would help explain some of my decisions. Progress continues to chug along, and I’ll soon have new stuff for you all to read.

In the meantime, eBooks of The Stars Were Right are on sale for 99¢! If you’re looking for something Lovecraftian for yourself or as a holiday gift, check out the 2016 Lovecraftian Gift Guide. Loads of fun stuff.

Okay, time to get back to writing.

Sunsetting the Friday Link Pack

The Sunsetting of the Friday Link Pack

The Friday Link Pack is going away at the end of the year.

I realize that might not be the most welcome news for its handful of readers, so I figure I owe you an explanation. The first Friday Link Pack I posted arrived on September 6th, 2013, little less than a month before I launched my first book, The Stars Were Right. It was an idea I blatantly stole from SwissMiss (a design blog I have been following for years). While her Link Pack tended to focus on design, I had decided that mine would focus primarily on writing, with forays into the artistic and random categories. It’s intent was to serve as an outlet, A place to share some of the interesting links I found over the course of a week and do something other than document my journey as an aspiring indie writer. (Which was primarily the focus of this blog at the time.)

Since those days a lot has changed. For one, I’m no longer aspiring as I have three books and the start of a successful series behind me. (You should read ’em if you haven’t.) Meanwhile, the Friday Link Pack has continued, with a few minor hiatuses and a few gracious folks (thanks, Drew, and Will) stepping in during my absences. The post itself has also shifted, categories have been added and fallen away, the Lovecraft story of the week and the gif of the week has always remained. The quality has drastically improved. I am proud of the work I’ve been doing. All in all, it’s been a fun if not time-consuming and often distracting post to write.

If you read my post The State of the Cycle, you know there’s some changing coming in the way I work. I’m making some personal adjustments and removing distractions. The results of those shifts will affect where I spend my time and where I focus my creative efforts. The first casualty of that change is the weekly Link Pack. Luckily we’re coming up on the end of the year so, the final post will be the End of the Year Edition, coming out on January 1st of all days. As always it will highlight the most interesting links of 2015 and—if my math is correct—it will be the 100th Friday Link Pack. There are worse numbers to end on.

I’m sorry to those readers who actively visited the Link Pack on the regular. Thanks for your interest and engagement. Thank you for sharing and submitting links. You kept it going as long as it did. Depending on how things go in the future, it’s possible that it will make a glorious return but until then, I got a lot of writing to do, many more stories to tell, and new worlds to visit.