May has come and gone and it was, as I anticipated, a quieter month at Side Quest. I have started work on a new essay and I did write two new poems, but most of my efforts have been focused on writing Chapter 3 of The Useless Cleric.

I’ll admit that I’m having trouble with this chapter. This is actually the point, with previous projects, where I would have abandoned it in frustration, but I’m sticking with this one. My lovely wife Amanda has been very helpful with keeping me from giving up. It will get there in time.

I digress. Here are the two poems I wrote this month, in case you missed them!

· She Dances in the Dew (Poetry)

· Shadow of my Shadow (Poetry)

For June I hope to wrap up the essay I’ve started and finally get this chapter finished so I can share it with you all!

Don’t Forget to Get Your Copy of Simple Tales!

The biggest reason for my lessened productivity in May was definitely just my brain being a bit frazzled in the wake of Simple Tales publication. I like writing. I like it when people read my writing. I can’t say I have any affection for the process of assembling a book. The editing and tweaking and making tiny changes here and there was Grade-A headache fuel. I intend to get more help next time.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Simple Tales yet, please swing over to Amazon and check it out. Physical copies are only $4 (and they look great!). eBook editions are $1 or free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. Grab a copy! Tell your friends! (Or don’t. There’s no pressure.)

Other Creators to Watch

Simple Tales wasn’t just a product of my own effort. I received editing and developmental help from my wife Amanda Shearer. She’s a freelance editor and does great work in that field.

I would also have to be a mad man to not give further credit to Carolyn Smith for her vibrant cover art and interior illustrations. I’m proud of the poetry I wrote, but I definitely feel her artwork made the overall package special. Check out her Redbubble shop and maybe grab a little something (or two!).

I also received eBook formatting help from subscriber Josh Egosi. Josh offers a variety of services ranging from line editing and formatting to ghostwriting and more. He’s also the author of the Demonheart books – a dark fantasy series available for sale on Amazon!

Demonheart: Book 1 - Raging Elementals

What Have I been Enjoying?

Obi-Wan Kenobi for one! Only three episodes are out as of this morning, but I'm already impressed with how genuinely good it is. Not "good for a Star Wars show" but genuinely good. Ewan McGregor is so excellent returning to this role and the series is really embracing its exploration of guilt, trauma, and how those can affect even the greatest of heroes. I'm also dipping my toes into Stranger Things season 4. I enjoyed the rest of the series and I'm looking forward to seeing how this one continues.

Tender is the Flesh wound up being one heck of a disturbing read. I'd highly recommend it. I've started in on The Splinter King by Mike Brooks. This is the sequel to The Black Coast which I really enjoyed. It had everything from Viking-ish settlers to political conspiracy, prophecies, and dinosaurs. I'm enjoying book two!

The band I've been listening to the most this month is Judas Priest. I've been a fan of their music for years, in no small part because of how bonkers silly it is! You know you've struck gold when you find a band that sings songs about cyborg gods swooping down from the sky on rocket-powered motorcycles to save humanity from Armageddon. They even have an seven-minute song about The Terminator.

Blood Red Skies (Live in 2020) by Judas Priest