Good-bye summer and hello autumn! The warm seasons are officially behind us. While I’m sure some folks are already feeling anxiety about the arrival of winter, I couldn’t be happier to be smack dab in the middle of fall. Comfortably cool weather, apple picking, Halloween, pumpkin-spice everything. Fall is my season, folks.

What Have I Been Up To?

We’re not here to talk about my seasonal preferences, though! It’s time for another Side Quest round-up/update. The past few months have been solid ones, if I do say so myself:

· Zelda Metal: Q&A w/ Master Sword's Matt Farkas

· The Sword of Our Fathers

· Absent Touch of Battle’s Glory

· Orcs, Coffee, and the Rise of Cozy Fantasy

· Heroes of Cerulea: Q&A w/ Lucas Falk of Bläckfisk Publishing

I’ve had the chance to talk with some interesting people in the past few months, including everyone from rock stars and game designers to fantasy authors and more. Getting to chat with Master Sword founder Matt Farkas was a really fun way to celebrate falling in love with their music. I was also happy for the chance to bounce questions off author Travis Baldree. Legends & Lattes is one of the novels I’ve enjoyed most this year. It’s a real gem if you’re looking for a book to make you smile.

The piece I’m most proud of, however, is probably The Sword of Our Fathers. It might have only been a piece of flash fiction, but it’s still a big deal to me personally to have sold a piece of fiction somewhere. It’s a boost to the confidence, at least! Which brings me to my next big project.

A “Not Quite” NaNoRiMo Adventure

In addition to some fresh poems and my continued work with Carolyn on The Legend of Clintpoo, I’ve decided to move ahead with a novella-length version of Gran’s Emporium of Used Goods for the Thrifty Adventurer.

I had originally considered writing a longer version of Gran’s Emporium… as a part of National Novel Writing Month. Since 1999, writers all over the world have used November to participate “NaNoRiMo.”

The goal of NaNoRiMo is to write a full-length novel over the course of November. It’s something I’ve always wanted to take part in. The more I thought about it though, the less feasible it felt. There were two main issues:

· I’m not intending Gran’s Emporium… to be novel length. NaNoRiMo defines a full-length novel as being around 50,000 words. I’m shooting for something closer to novella length (under 40,000).

· With work, family, dungeon mastering, and my other creative projects, there was no way I’d be able to write the 1,667 daily words NaNoRiMo requires.

I decided to go with a schedule and goals I could more realistically stick with: 500 words a day every day for October and November. I started this morning and hit 850 words before I stopped. Wish me luck on my way to the finish line!

What Have I Been Enjoying?

While I have already sung the praises of Master Sword, I would also be remiss if I didn’t recommend the album from another of my favorite groups. The Midnight released their latest album Heroes in September. Their synthwave style is a far cry from the metal music I usually stick with, but they’re fantastic at what they do and the new album has some top-notch songs.

Heartbeat by The Midnight.

I would also recommend folks give Rings of Power a watch. While some have taken issue with elements of the shows casting, and others dislike its more measured pacing, I have absolutely loved the first season so far. The performances are excellent, and you can really tell that they (literally) spent a billion dollars filming this. (There are worse ways Jeff Bezos could spend his money!)

I hope everyone has a great autumn season and I’ll catch you next time! Thanks for all your continued support.