Archive for December, 2009

Writing and where we are at, what I have accomplished:

1 Space Mine 97,915
2 Graces of Brantley 112,871
3 Colonel Pen 98,362
4 KoTohLan 144,672
5 The End of the World 101,376
6 Trevanion’s Legend 36,238
Roses War
Born to Grace II


This last week of the year I started new work on Born to Grace II which is the middle book of my big fat trilogy. The first big weighed in at 210,000+ words. I had written the first 39K words about 20 years ago and so it has taken effort to return to it. I finished the first draft of Roses War which I started I think in the Redondo Beach years (between 93 and 98) It was about 12,000 when I started it and on monday we got the book to 126,000+ Also this year we have finished the markups for the 2nd edition of Caution’s Heir but have not typed them into the computer. We have done the first 4 chapters of The End of the World, and have entered those into the computer. It nearly growing by 2K which will be recorded when the book moves into the 2nd draft column.

I started the year having written approximately 1.15 million words. This year I increased that total by over 63%

One of the great things of 2009, not that there was many things that were great, was that three of the seven writing projects that I had at the beginning of the year were finished. Trevanion’s Legend, and Roses War were very old projects, and Space Mine started sometime last year now finished. Then four books completely created out of nothing this year.


Books that were read (reviews can be found at David’s Reading List) :
1) Two tales of Korval         PastedGraphic.kedll2i6nsle.jpg
2) Fellow Travelers          PastedGraphic1.Zvb6Lse2aJTp.jpg
3) The Light Ages         PastedGraphic2.oNxNfdw1wIZY.jpg
4) The Yiddish Policemen’s Union         PastedGraphic3.j5rzuFoKE6pv.jpg
5) The Dark is Rising         PastedGraphic4.5PGtFJXlaraU.jpg
6) The Fallen Angels         PastedGraphic9.pAukEJlQGiWx.jpg
7) Starrise at Corrivale         PastedGraphic8.Vso4HFSdzCTH.jpg
8) At Ambeleaf Fair         PastedGraphic7.cqhKG8r3bU1m.jpg
9) Venetia         PastedGraphic6.ntMazbd1vuwu.jpg
10) The Coffee Trader         PastedGraphic5.GVd7mKTdC7vw.jpg
11) Italian Neighbors         PastedGraphic11.v1feYqAwixrA.jpg
12) The Final Empire         PastedGraphic10.3TsTZcXLYZNE.jpg
13) Do Not Disturb         PastedGraphic13.eOnHuC1SvOXg.jpg
14) Service for Two         PastedGraphic12.wDjNSjjCrVqx.jpg
15) The Missing Manual:OS X Leopard         PastedGraphic14.rboB8mrZCLbi.jpg
16) Eat, Drink, and be Buried         PastedGraphic15.I1LTLGNXZVO0.jpg
17) Check-out Time         PastedGraphic16.U3XUcM7sxcNu.jpg
18) Grounds for Murder         PastedGraphic18.1AXxKgp7xFhp.jpg
19) Northworld         PastedGraphic17.uHMVdYsP70Cn.jpg
20) The Way of Shadows         PastedGraphic20.r5MU8H5GjXRz.jpg
21) Shadow’s Edge         PastedGraphic19.mcNZ6QZxvXiK.jpg
22) The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas 2008        PastedGraphic22.DDYUy1KcngMA.jpg
23) The Name of the Wind         PastedGraphic21.8VMq2gHDitBK.jpg
24) Beyond the Shadows         PastedGraphic24.wG4bBmdI8OJS.jpg
25) Wrath of a Mad God         PastedGraphic23.zjRHeClxGFG2.jpg
26) Creating Web Sites         PastedGraphic25.pLsT14FzYQQs.jpg
27) Rides a Dread Legion        PastedGraphic26.3NxIj1n0vBkx.jpg
28) Pay the Piper         PastedGraphic27.wmkaCMXearDo.jpg
29) No Quarter         PastedGraphic28.nrFiRoTfFSkm.jpg
30) The War of Knives         PastedGraphic29.ry2zPsMCFFRM.jpg
31) Chivalry is Dead         PastedGraphic30.KEY2N0DDAh03.jpg
32) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers         PastedGraphic32.QcnZ56qYYiCa.jpg
33) Before they are Hanged         PastedGraphic31.eETqSg7XhWv3.jpg
34) Medicus         PastedGraphic34.MFHWWUJg7JZn.jpg
35) Persona Non Grata         PastedGraphic33.3E3L7j7bv0nX.jpg
36) Hussar in Winter         PastedGraphic35.TGYXjKkA65pg.jpg
37) A Conspiracy of Paper         PastedGraphic36.mDINBBRxMRzx.jpg
38) A Spectacle of Corruption         PastedGraphic38.12dClG6Jh9J7.jpg
39) The Devil’s Company         PastedGraphic37.0Ux8nEocy7i9.jpg
40) New Spring         PastedGraphic40.hQLxw5Pbsfep.jpg
41) Ring for Tomb Service         PastedGraphic39.vqsSUbVABLNy.jpg
42) The Eye of the World         PastedGraphic42.bDqu5ElWk39i.jpg
43) The Great Hunt         PastedGraphic41.R2RTTAmggne2.jpg
44) The Dragon Reborn         PastedGraphic44.10GPbXlMrhOx.jpg
45) My Life in France         PastedGraphic43.ivRyV4yaKpZ0.jpg
46) Wellington’s Generals         PastedGraphic45.sAh8hWZHGL26.jpg
47) The Shadow Rising         PastedGraphic46.ABcFA1fuaCuG.jpg
48) The Fires of Heaven         PastedGraphic47.wjWIR0DBvAce.jpg
49) Lord of Chaos         PastedGraphic48.3hUtEbJl8pbY.jpg
50) A Crown of Swords         PastedGraphic50.XzvNX9ngI19T.jpg
51) The Path of Daggers         PastedGraphic49.jKz5ZHLfK8xz.jpg
52) Winter’s Heart         PastedGraphic52.KGvkvPA64fq7.jpg
53) Crossroads of Twilight         PastedGraphic51.5bo6dWTZ3PIf.jpg
54) Knife of Dreams         PastedGraphic53.kbIpedSH15iL.jpg
55) Storm from the Shadows         PastedGraphic54.srKLUdzELC7I.jpg
56) By Heresies Distressed         PastedGraphic55.vuqNeQ20gjFW.jpg
57) Victory of Eagles         PastedGraphic56.7rpIH7vm7mEj.jpg
58) Into the Storm         PastedGraphic58.htukkkJERD8P.jpg
59) Relentless         PastedGraphic57.RcmgQDKW8cDh.jpg
60) The Gathering Storm         PastedGraphic59.IbF6AihM5eSZ.jpg
61) Vimeiro 1808         PastedGraphic61.nXdMW54v7BaO.jpg
62) The Blind Side         PastedGraphic60.gONwgqx7btgJ.jpg
63) Crusade         PastedGraphic62.pJnPdH8Ok1Bu.jpg
64) The Alchemist’s Apprentice         PastedGraphic64.amLJg4GFEBRi.jpg
65) The Eagle in The Sand         PastedGraphic63.0ps3cmCW01J2.jpg
66) The Scourge of God         PastedGraphic65.Q4yRsrxgTKF3.jpg

My Gratitude Log for the year:

  1. Cheryl-P1000802.uWsMggjO9T86.jpg A horrible year would have been made unbearable if not for Cheryl.
  2. Writing- This has kept be sane this year. I hope that 2400 pages will account for something in 2010 but it did occupy my time and I think has been worthwhile. As the entry devoted to writing shows, I have worked on 8 books this year, 2 science fictions, 4 fantasies, 1 historical novel, and 1 regency romance.
  3. Friends and Family-DSCN1497.zFNfGa3ENde9.jpg DSCN1541.uoNcbjnkhmJB.jpg 20091213_Wilkin_IMG_0867.YoK89sJlOcjC.jpg We had our losses and our weddings this year. We had a big family reunion and lots of good parties. Friends moved and others had wonderful occasions.
  4. Pets–DSCN1481.GKXCtwR9NeuR.jpgDSCN1482.WnWJi7kHxiU8.jpgDSCN1774.MI4QHqeIqIno.jpgP1010042.W0qfpzdp0Zft.jpg our little family grew by a turtle and two cats… We inherited Flash from Cheryl’s father, then picked up Mefistofolees, and Licorice.
  5. Apple Computer-1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic.JdlxcWOnnS5T.jpg1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic2.Kn865UenqsGw.jpgAlmost every day there is something that makes using these machines better and better and gets me access to things I need and want more easily and more quickly.

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Christmas is over and it was a bust present wise and for visiting family. Cheryl has had back pain and so decided to spend the day at home instead of our usual trek to her sisters house for the event. My Gratitude Log for the day:

  1. Fresh and Easy-Screenshot2009-12-28at9.33.08PM.SSxJ0d14UP3V.jpg went to Costco for Dogfood and realized that human food was needed also. So stopped in at our local which was on the way and scored all that was good.
  2. Costco–PastedGraphic1.QQmCcdywYzbW.jpgDuring my dog food run I took care of my lunch needs with the Costco Hot Dog. PastedGraphic2.LxapJ4wk3veQ.jpg $1.50 is the best price for lunch anywhere in town.
  3. The Green Bay Packers– Screenshot2009-12-28at9.41.20PM.8Dxt3V91GUS3.jpg are in the Playoffs! I was dragged into watching football on a regular basis in 1994. So watching monday night football, Bad Moon Rising, Andre Risen as I remember, does a Lambeau leap early in the season. Thinking that was cool, and my buddy Bruce was a Niner fan, I became a fan of Brett Favre and the Packers. Who Went All The Way To The Superbowl That Year!!! I have been a fan ever since…
  4. Computers-Aside from making writing so much easier for me, these productivity helpers are now letting me take my favorite movies on DVD and store them on hard drives so I can watch them a lot faster then searching for the DVD, loading it, and playing that way. Very soon now the home entertainment issue will be solved.
  5. Warm shoes–Cheryl brought me some fleece lined slipper for my cold feet. Very nice.

My progress on Empire Total War. 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic1.2gFAmltGt1u9.jpgcontinued. My Wooden Shoes game came to end when I traded all the territories of the north of America I conquered and France and Spain to the english for the Victory condition of New York… But then nothing happen but one screen and the game continued. Online I found that you have to play to the year 1750 in the short game for true victory. That is 100 turns. So I went back to a save and these last three days kept at it without trading everything away. The French liked my rule and it took a lot longer to get Spain to settle down. But they did. My conquest of North America continued and while it did, the Iroquois took over New York. Well I no longer had to attack my ally the British, and so the Dutch army in America took back New Amsterdam, shame we don’t get to rename these things.

Now onto the tales of my writing. I have been working Roses War as mentioned previously. A story about what happens when the king dies, he was the son of a great king, and resented that, so he does the best he can to take for himself. He leaves a baby son, who is not his, since he was sick with an STD. He drugged his cousin who commands the nations armies, another thing the king had not been good at, and drugged the cousin who is our hero fathered the child on the queen who also had been drugged. The king not a very nice guy, but he dies. And so now all concerned would want to establish a regency for the little baby.

Our evil dead king though decides that a last trick to play from the grave is to let all know that the son is illegitimate. And a succession crisis, civil war, and invasion by a neighbor who thinks the country must be weak ensue. Finished that today. First draft came in at 126,000 words. Also today crossed the threshold of 700,000 words for the year. Stretching now to 720,000 to 725,000 to complete by Sunday.

Have written 5 complete books and finished two others. Now in my small group of unfinished stories, I have four left. 3 at about 100 pages each, and 1 at 30 pages or so. Starting to play with ideas for new stories, but will work on some of the uncompleted manuscripts so they are finished.

Also continuing to edit The End Of The World, having done 3 of the 16 chapters, and having typed those edits into the manuscript. Hope to have that all done by January to send for publication.

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Christmas should be a good time to be grateful and since no one gifted me on Christmas, I have in my Gratitude Log for the day:

  1. Empire Total WarPastedGraphic1.ohoqjp05PQfz.jpgI started playing this game as the United Provinces, the Dutch, which many of the gamers on YouTube have problems playing. After a few turns I started to do well. They have to attack a power in India, some minor holdings of the great powers in the new world, and just a few provinces near them in Europe, like Flanders. Doing that makes the Spanish angry since its theirs and the French are allied to the Spanish. Good use of Diplomacy make the Spanish back down, but the French can’t seem to forget after peace was signed, they couldn’t let go so they attacked later on. Can you imagine the Dutch destroying the French and setting up control of Paris in the early 1700’s? Then the Spanish seemed to feel threatened by that so they attack, only to fine Madrid having an influx of Wooden Shoe wearing soldiers. Then a great deal of their holdings in the new world fall also… What fun. PastedGraphic10.AaGYjlbtqHLq.jpgPastedGraphic9.OCkAwa11wkX2.jpgPastedGraphic11.xNm2De9PujF3.jpgPastedGraphic2.mReOpYHvyfHI.jpgPastedGraphic4.LdYAcPAmmD9Y.jpgPastedGraphic5.oITxbv5II8ud.jpgPastedGraphic6.RycWuhgraNE3.jpgPastedGraphic7.sMSWraRlli9N.jpgPastedGraphic8.7JXodinVyVm2.jpg
  2. BiscottiPastedGraphic.fSTTYeOOJC6m.jpgWe picked some up at Costco the other day and we needed them for snacking.
  3. Constant Comment tea- PastedGraphic3.sAKA9lbP3wzj.jpg This is one of our favorites. Just a well balanced taste.
  4. Baseball caps–The hair has started to thin and a handy baseball cap is a quick cover
  5. Movies–We went and saw Avatar at the Imax, and Cheryl remembered how much she enjoyed going out to see movies.Screenshot2009-12-26at1.32.20PM.kQDJENi2mWKE.jpgScreenshot2009-12-26at1.33.11PM.7NDa3QWxBpsP.jpgScreenshot2009-12-26at1.33.31PM.g600AiXNHV0D.jpgScreenshot2009-12-26at1.33.00PM.Nw3GYBeVurFa.jpg

My progress on writing slowed this week as I played Empire Total War. But Roses War is near it’s end. The Battle took much longer to write, this was the second battle, the civil war sequence. One of the challenges is that a general should not pull their sword but be around for the big picture, which in a medieval setting you must use different terminology.

I do, but the set-up, the fight took chapters and a great deal of pages. In addition, a general would have a lot of lieutenants, staff that have to be reduced to a number the reader and i can keep track of. Then our hero does have to pull his sword at some time. Else the action would be a little dry.

Roses war has grown by 21,000 plus words this week, it is over 111,000 words now.

Then there is editing The End of the World. Have gone through 2 chapters, and added about 1000 word to the 12000 words that comprised those two chapters. At this rate it might end up at 110,000 words when finished.

For the year my writing total as of Christmas 2009 is 689,000 words.

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In my Gratitude Log for the day I have:

  1. Scrivener–This is the program I use to write and it is very handy. These guys are nice too. They gave out a discount of 50% to all who completed the NaNoWriMo challenge
  2. CCOBS–This is the Curious Collectors of Bakers Street which I belong too and where some of our best friends also belong. A group that likes Sherlock Holmes but to me that is secondary to the friendships we have in the group.Screenshot2009-12-20at11.26.58AM.l0P3MsTtX3RQ.jpg
  3. Amazon.com–Great place to start looking for things to buy.
  4. Music–Another great thing to have going on in our lives. How advanced we are to have it whenever we wish and not have to stop what we are doing and make it ourselves. We are very wealthy in this regard.
  5. Costco-It had a gift for my wife on sale cheap enough that it was worth going back to and getting when she wasn’t with me…

Now onto how we are faring for the year with only 2 weeks left.

My writing year, for number counts will actually end on the third, as I start my counts on mondays. So I have two more weeks. I am 2/3rds done or more with Roses War and have reached 89,000 words. 46,000 for this month so far today. As I write and do more words each day, I keep pushing my goals further. I had thought just at the end of September to hit 500,000 words would be good. I was at 370,000 and with 3 months left, just under 50,000 for each month of the rest of the year. But 600,000 came and went and now I am closing on 700,000 words this year.


I have been hitting about five thousand words a day easily. I speed write these last few days. Put a timer on and pound out 700+ words in fifteen minutes. I take a few seconds to read where I had left off, think about my plot lines and scene and then start. I think I could do more than 5 thousand a day if this was full time, though it cuts into my other activities like looking for work full time, editing what has been written before.

At 5000 a day and skipping the 25th of December, and the 1st as those are holidays, I should pass the threshold easily. The 2nd will be writers group so a chance to catch up, but in just a little over a week, i think we will pass 700,000 words.

This year has seen five books written start to end, another manuscript brought to completion and a seventh could be finished by the end of the year. Pretty productive I think.

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First for Gratitude today we have the following

  1. Tommy’s-Makers of a Los Angeles favorite, chili hamburger, the Original Tommy at Beverly and Rampart has been part of our culture for as long as I have been around.Screenshot2009-12-16at1.34.33PM.0B5rDe6PQyZa.jpg
  2. Family Tree Maker–This software was invaluable in helping me create our family Tree which came out looking great with 185 people just on one side of the family where we only had a sketchy idea of 50 or so. We learned of six generations and had a reunion of 50 people just last sunday.Screenshot2009-12-16at1.38.20PM.bv0NCXB02qOh.jpg
  3. Paper Cutter–Scissors are really not fine. Even good scissors, but a paper cutter with a straight cut works out well.
  4. Empire Total War–The price has recently come down and I can think of no better game this year. Screenshot2009-12-16at1.39.52PM.QQ06kPrQ2ktz.jpg
  5. YouTube–One of my favorite time wasters is subscribing to a few series on such things as Empire Total War and watching numerous gaming battles played out. I watch several of the younger generation conquer the world, while my videos on Time Commander and Rollercoaster Tycoon have been watched over 18,000 times.

So now where are we today in my writing…

First I crossed a threshold today and expect another tomorrow.
I am tracking 18 works that I either have completed or started in a significant state that I wrote enough to be worthwhile (Not just three pages, but at least 40.) I now have just 5 that remain in Work In Progress State, and today I completed between all 18 of these works, 1.8 million words.
I expect tomorrow to reach 650,000 words for the year.

My chart on this, one of them is:

Count Book Name Word Count Srage
1 Born to Grace 210,968 2nd Draft
2 Chivalric Dreams 166,726 2nd Draft
3 KoTohLan * 144,672 Ist Draft
4 Mrs. Bertram’s Hazard * 129,462 Ist Draft
5 Caution’s Heir * 123,431 Ist Draft
6 Amnesiac Cowboy 118,089 2nd Draft
7 Graces of Brantley * 112,871 2nd Draft
8 Trevannion’s Legend 125,206 Ist Draft
9 NaNoWriMo 2009 * 101,376 Ist Draft
10 Colonel Fitzwilliam * 99,959 Ist Draft
11 Col. Pen * 98,362 Ist Draft
12 Space Mine * 97,915 Ist Draft
13 Tranquility Hilton 77,277 2nd Draft
14 Born to Grace II 39,387 WIP
15 Muskeeters * 37,873 WIP
16 Terra’s Birthright 35,339 WIP
17 Roses War 68,284 WIP
18 Steam and Thunder * 12,805 WIP


So i think I have done quite well for the year in production. And it is not just verbal potpourri that comes from my fingers, but I think very good material now. The first few books twenty years ago would have extensive notes and paragraphs in the margins as I edited for I had left themes undeveloped, or I had construction problems, like POV. Now, these last couple years of intense writing, I see only a few notes as i go along. I added 2000 words or so between drafts of Graces of Brantley, for instance.

This week I also completed the edit draft by hand of Caution’s Heir, so I can start entering it into my computer file, and I have now started the edit draft of The End of the World. When finished with that, it will go to publication at Regency Assembly Press.

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Mid December

It is a quiet saturday. Rainy outside.

Finished putting together a new web site today
Regency Assembly Press

After finishing the NaNoWriMo Challenge
They offer an opportunity to have proof copy of your book printed, with the hope of course of cross publishing to Amazon and other places.

Well is the writing good enough?

100,000 words in 21 days. (twice more than the challenge and in less time, about 3 times the output of the challenge.)

But at this stage my writing group, who I have been with for eight years has encouraged me. Not only as a writer, but as an editor, so trying our hand at that with works that I like, the time has come to start a small press.

Hence: Regency Assembly Press

In Gratitude today we have the following

  1. Michaels–The craft store. It had all I needed to make a posterboard of the 12 sheet, 184 person Wilkin-Vilkin family Tree for our family reunion tomorrow.
  2. Rain–I turned off the sprinklers for a bit. Water bill is 100 or more a month
  3. My basement office–Cheryl is blasting christmas music which makes me nuts because she uses the satellite TV feed to do it, so she has basically a radio station on the TV set. It will not be non-stop every chance she gets to play this until new years.
  4. Glue Sticks–Who knew these were so much easier then glue and tape
  5. Command-Shift-4–Which is what you use on a mac to make a selection box. Great for cutting and pasting pictures quick.

In writing, I have been on Roses War since I finished the Rebellion story. That has not advanced as fast as the other works because this week the Reunion got in the way of typing a great deal each day. Now it stands at just about 10,000 for this week and still some more to write. A total of 38, 500 since picking up on this again, or a grand total of over 52,000 words for the book so far. About half way.

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Long time really since the last update.

A few statistics to get out of the way… I have passed the 600,000 word mark for this year.

The books that I have finished are

  • Space Mine        97,915
  • Graces of Brantley        112,871
  • Colonel Pen        98,362
  • KoTohLan        144,672
  • The End of the World        101,376
  • Trevanion’s Legend        (36,238 new)                Total 125,206

and now I am writing more in my book which I call Roses War I have added 19,096 since last sunday to it, roughly 5000 each week day.

In looking at these numbers I have found that of all these major works, I have written close to 1.8 million words. Of that over a third this year alone.

Gratitude Log

  1. Licorice


  1. 2.House M.D.
  2. 3. Computers
  3. 4. The iPhone, best device ever inventred
  4. 5. Cash

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