Currency of Settled Space

In the Star Master universe, Settled Space is inhabited by humans who were abducted from Ancient Egypt by noncorporeal beings several thousand years ago. The people of Ancient Egypt used barter instead of currency, but they seem to have expressed the value of barter-items in terms of quantities of gold (and later, silver).

Unlike its parent culture, Settled Space has actual currency and coinage, backed by gold. Even so, it’s worth noting that most money in Settled Space moves around digitally through bank accounts, debit cards, etc. Two of the major currency unit, the deben and the qedet, are derived from Ancient Egyptian weights. The smallest unit, the bajat, may be derived from the Egyptian word for bee. Below, you can see the values for the deben, qedet, and bajat expressed in imperial ounces (oz.) of gold. You can also click on this link to see the current price of gold per ounce, which will give you a better idea of what debens, qedets, and bajats would be worth in the currencies of our world.

Deben90 oz. of gold
Qedet9 oz. of gold
Bajat0.0001 oz. of gold
Currency Units of Settled Space

End of Year Wrap-Up

This year, the writing and publishing went fairly well. With the help of some family members who graciously became my beta readers/proofreaders, I finished, polished, and published a new book in a new (for me) genre, and finished NaNoWriMo2020 in spite of some setbacks. I cut severely back on my marketing costs, which had gotten out of hand in past years, and only got back into active marketing at the very end of the year, coinciding with the new release. So far it’s going better than I had any reason to expect. The modest royalties from my book sales and pages read in Kindle Unlimited to date, would almost cover the costs of my test ads on Bookbub and my low budget ad spend on Bookbub and Amazon. We’ll see how long this moment of almost breaking even lasts.

My hope was to finish and publish my first space opera, start working on the sequel while I was polishing the first one, and maybe write the second half of the sequel for NaNoWriMo2020. I didn’t manage that, and given the extra time that the Covid shutdown bought me, first during administrative leave and then with telework, I feel like I could have done more. But it took me a long time to feel my way through the second half of the first space opera, and a moderately long time to clean up the initial complete draft of the book. I finished that cleanup/polishing process only a few days before NaNoWriMo, and it left my creative energies kind of drained. I’ve found at least three short scenes and two longer sections that need major reworking in the second space opera, before I proceed anything further with it.

Still I wrote 100,000 more or less useable words over the course of the year (second half of first space opera+first half of second space opera), polished and published my longest book to date, created its cover, and constructed a wallet-friendly promotional campaign for its launch.

Plans for next year? Try to have Star Master Book 2 published by the end of 2021; refresh the Ancestors of Jaiya series (proofreading and new covers) somewhere along the way. Write as much as I can of Star Master Book 3, and keep daydreaming and outlining that high fantasy idea that keeps popping up. We’ll see how all that works out.

And 50149 words

So, I’ve completed one more NaNoWriMo successfully. I still have a long way to go on the second space opera; I’m only about halfway through, and I already know some of the scenes I’ve already written will need some reworking. I am not entering my totals on the official NaNoWriMo website for the first time in a long time; I’ve not been happy with the direction the official site/organization have taken over the last few years, and I don’t expect that will change.

I’ve made some interesting discoveries, such as the fact that description, exposition and basic banter between established characters are the easiest things for me to dictate, while more “choreographed” elements (action scenes, high-drama conversations, etc) are easier to type. For dictation, my preference is to do seven minutes at a stretch, then clean up punctuation and misheard words for seven minutes or less, and then repeat the dictation/cleanup cycle.

If you’re curious, here’s what my wordcount totals by day looks like:

DateWords Per Day
11/1/20203332
11/2/20202575
11/3/20201444
11/4/20200
11/5/20200
11/6/20201257
11/7/20203174
11/8/20201805
11/9/20201432
11/10/20201920
11/11/20201668
11/12/20201441
11/13/2020952
11/14/2020593
11/15/2020612
11/16/20201845
11/17/20202026
11/18/20201927
11/19/20200
11/20/20202004
11/21/20201120
11/22/20202940
11/23/20201576
11/24/20202440
11/25/20202119
11/26/20201950
11/27/20201933
11/28/20201957
11/29/20203264
11/30/2020843

Just crossed 26000 Words

Got a little bit behind earlier this month and now I have to do 1900 words per day to finish on time. I tend to have fairly predictable “stallout” timeframes:

-The first one tends to be in the first week, usually 3-5 days into November if I push myself too hard in the opening days. I could blame my failing to write during November 4 and 5 on the issues with the US elections, but honestly, if that hadn’t distracted me, something else would have. I was right on schedule for a crash after getting ~7300 words in the first three days.

-Somewhere in between 20000 and 26000 words. This year, I started dragging badly at the 20000 word mark, which I reached on November 12. I think I went through a period of feeling tired/unwell roundabout then. I tend to need more sleep now than when I first started doing NaNoWriMo, about a decade and a half ago.

-I sometimes have another stallout around 30000-35000 words, and one in the 40000-45000 range. I hope I don’t get that this year. I don’t think I can afford another delay like the two I’ve had so far.

Once More, We’re Gonna Do What They Say Can’t Be Done

Cleaned house. Paid bills. Set up excel spreadsheets. National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow, and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. This will be the sequel to the space opera novel I started for NaNoWriMo2019. I would really like to get my 50000 words done during the first half of the month, so I can focus on prepping for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the meantime, I found yet another variant on my unofficial NaNoWriMo theme song:

…And I Could!

I finished polishing the space opera today. Final wordcount: 110685. Now it is in the hands of my volunteer first readers. Right now, I’m hoping for a Christmas/Boxing Day Feast of St. Stephen release, but that depends on what the first readers find, whether I can come up with a cover that I’m happy with, and what kind of mental shape I’m in come December, when I’ve finished with NaNoWriMo2020. In the meantime, victory dance!

Complete at 102926 words…For Now

Yesterday, I celebrated my country’s freedom from bad cooking, Received Pronunciation, and taxation without representation. Tomorrow, I will celebrate my temporary freedom from first drafting. You see, tonight I finished the first draft of the longest book I have ever written. The space opera I’ve been trying to write for years finally came together.

A few notes on the process:

Continue reading “Complete at 102926 words…For Now”

Jaiya Series Collection Released

2020 Jaiya Collection Final

Three Books in One!

Hello! I hope you and your families are all well in this time of uncertainty. While on administration leave due to COVID19, I finally found time to replace the cover art on the original Jaiya Series and compile the three individual novels into one volume. This compilation is available at AmazonBarnes and NobleAppleGoogle, and Kobo. Just click on the name of the bookstore of your choice to be taken to it. I’ve included a synopsis for the collection below.

Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here, humans ride trains, drive cars, and use cell phones, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…

Marrying a Monster: As a favor to her parents, Rina agrees to come back to her hometown and take part in an old local custom: a symbolic marriage between the town’s women and the Mountain King, a mythical guardian spirit no one really believes in. But the Mountain King really exists: a monstrous being that feeds on fear and suffering. Rina’s only hope for survival may be Vipin, the dashing scholar hunting the Mountain King, but Vipin is hiding a few secrets of his own…

Waking the Dreamlost: In a place like Jaiya, a woman can’t just back out of an arranged marriage to a bigshot, even if her amnesia keeps her from remembering when and how she agreed to it. Her engagement to a politician makes Itana a target for terrorist attacks, but a former soldier named Marish keeps rescuing her, and gives her a chance at real love. She doesn’t remember hiring him to find out who is stealing her memories, but he is determined to finish the job…or die trying!

Loving a Deathseer: In a place like Jaiya, a servant has to obey his employers’ every whim, even if the whim isn’t in the job description. Erno spends his days rushing around while his wealthy employers bark orders at him. By night, he cases out his employers’ homes and sells the information to his burglar friends. He has only three rules: don’t get close to anyone, don’t let anyone get hurt, and don’t let anyone get framed for the crime. But his latest job will plunge him into a world of political intrigue,and test his rules to the breaking point. His only chance at redemption lies in the love of a persecuted young woman named Zeni, with the power to foresee his death….

New Books in November!

Wilson New Releases Nov 2019

Happy Thanksgiving! So, NaNoWriMo has started, and most of the posts you see from me at this point will have been written a few weeks ago, and scheduled for release during November.

Steampunk author Dean F. Wilson has put together a promotion at SFF Book Bonanza, showing off the latest releases in science fiction and fantasy. He graciously agreed to include Slaying a Tyrant, the first book in my Ancestors of Jaiya series, but there are plenty of other new releases to check out as well. Be sure to click here to check out all the latest books!