November Games

This month’s games were #TheMerryWriter, #WriterChronicles and #WriterlyWIPChat.


  1. Please welcome Drew, He’s a self-professed general nuisance who considers his main hobby to be lying. If you can believe that.
  2. Although there are some moments of levity, I think it has to be considered a tragedy overall.
  3. To me, or to other people? Ash is relatable to me because we’re very similar. How relatable either of us is to other people, I haven’t a clue.
  4. Erm, he’s kind of endearing, I hope.
  5. It depends. If it fits in with the sense of story, then sure.
  6. That’s something I hope to explore more in book 3. So far, he’s killed enemy soldiers and had someone tortured.
  7. BREAK.
  8. BREAK.
  9. Probably Twitter. It’s certainly the one I use the most.
  10. I can only speak for myself but I think Twitter has done more for me.
  11. I don’t know that I have, but I suppose it’s been the little snippets I’ve posted here.
  12. If I’m honest, I always hate questions like this because I never seem able to picture myself that far ahead.
  13. I think it, combined with some of the other things going on this year (the situation with my mother, my own mental health), has actually lead me to be less productive this year.
  14. BREAK.
  15. BREAK.
  16. I think TV series. More time to allow for character development and world-building.
  17. Submitting work.
  18. Assuming that my wife doesn’t already know (and I’m not sure who that could happen), it would be her. Otherwise, M.L. Spencer would be high on the list, due to her long-term support & advice.
  19. Not as far as I recall.
  20. See below.
  21. BREAK.
  22. BREAK.
  23. I hope I’ve learned something and am technically better although I also seem to be over thinking things a lot more than I used to.
  24. I don’t have a particular word count in mind, my attitude is it will be whatever it needs to be.
  25. To be honest, a lot of times, I’m just relying on memory.
  26. Well, I suppose this is as close as I’ve got…
  27. A lot of the time, I’m not sure it ever will be ready for that.
  28. BREAK.
  29. BREAK.
  30. 66,845


  1. The sour feeling intensified, nausea hitting me along with a swell of anxiety. I forced myself not to start panicking, to keep still & breathe normally. I told myself that this was the plan & focused on what I could hear beyond the confines of the coffin.
  2. I’m not sure if I’m doing #NaNoWriMo or not. I wasn’t intending to, then yesterday I started acting like I was & had one of my best writing days in months.
  3. Three words to describe House in Exile – Struggles. Growing. Trust.
  4. The setting of the House Valerius series is a version of our world circa 2003-2004. But with a society of genetic vampires spread around the world.
  5. Ash’s impromptu family (Feel free to guess who’s who.)
  6. Ash Valerian, formerly heir apparent to House Valerius, oldest of the Ceteri Houses, now on the run.
  7. Probably Quinn. At least, he’s the one I tend to enjoy writing the most.
  8. Despite my assurances to Anja, while waiting for Quinn it was difficult not to feel the same tension I’d felt back when I was still drifting around the UK. I kept a pistol close, my ears attuned for any sounds outside.
  9. Piter De Vries. An independent Ceteri who has been known to run various self-serving scams and has certain ideas about the redistribution of power in the Ceteri society.
  10. Ash does enjoy reading.
  11. Hates might be too strong a word but he has difficulty giving orders to his group; since everyone has much more experience than he has.
  12. See below.
  13. Well, without going to spoiler territory, a period of imprisonment in the prison at Arkhangelsk was a factor.
  14. Well, aside from the vampiric nature of the Ceteri (which I try to explain with genetics, etc), the only other thing is the suggestion that there is a family history of prophetic dreams.
  15. It was a challenge to start but once I did it was as if a dam had broken inside me, the words flowing from me, tumbling over each other. I had to force myself to rein myself back, to keep things in their correct order.
  16. I think the fact that I’m answering this a week late is pretty emblematic of this month…
  17. I usually describe the series as urban fantasy.
  18. Hopefully, adults of any age that like urban fantasy. A 1000th of The Dresden Files audience and I’d probably be happy.
  19. See below.
  20. Blood, quite literally.
  21. Fractured, as of the beginning of book 3. Ash is on the run. His father is imprisoned & his mother died years ago. His cousin Elizabeth is essentially a hostage for De Vries & isn’t sure where his aunt & uncle are but hopes they’re safe.
  22. “I know some things about your family,” Anja said. “This isn’t the first time your House has had to rebuild itself.” She shrugged. “Change might be disruptive but use it, embrace it. Make yourself better because of it.”
  23. Right now, I think I’d have to say Anja’s intervention. No telling how long Ash would have been drifting without her finding him.
  24. Technically the major events, the loss of his home & being accused by the Curia, take place in books 1 & 2. Book 3 examines the effects they have on Ash & how he changes in response, especially how far he will go to fight De Vries.
  25. The only Ceteri specific date that tends to be celebrated is the winter solstice. There is a major gathering, hosted by the leader of the Curia.
  26. See below.
  27. I’m not sure I have a good answer for this one.
  28. I’m hopeless at pitching things.
  29. I nodded, finishing mopping the sauce from my plate with the last of the bread. I felt stuffed, not having eaten as well since my brief stay at House Takeda.
  30. Well, it went.


  1. I’m not sure if I’d doing #NaNoWriMo or not. I wasn’t intending to, then yesterday I started acting like I was & had one of my best writing days in months. Anyways, my current project is House in Exile, House Valerius book 3.
  2. I think it would depend on the circumstances. It could be as simple as “wow” or there could be swearing.
  3. Usually by phone, more often by exchanging voicemails rather than direct conversations.
  4. “Who is it?” – Hopefully you’ll forgive this but, technically, that’s the second line of dialogue Ash has in book 3 but his first line is a bit of a spoiler for some events in book 2.
  5. Strangely enough, another short line. – “You too.”
  6. Somewhere between 10 & 100.
  7. At least have a dozen House Valerius short stories plus a few other bits and pieces that could stand to be fleshed out.
  8. The majority of my writing so far has been in 1st person, although the shorter pieces tend to be 3rd person.
  9. Most of the time it would be simple, just a hello or similar. And probably not using any names.
  10. Usually quiet, slight accent, not very deep.
  11. At Shadowcroft, he would visit markers in the mausoleum beneath the house. Otherwise, he remembers the good things and speaks well of those gone.
  12. Depends on who it is. If it’s someone high up in another house, Ash would try to return the compliment. If it’s someone in his group, he’d be pleased and thank them for their help.
  13. I was a bit late for #WorldKindnessDay but see below.
  14. Since the books in the series are written in 1st person, Ash’s internal thoughts do make up a fair part of it. I’m hoping it will show how Ash changes as the series progresses.
  15. When possible, yes.
  16. Partially, I think.
  17. Email or messenger, especially for friends/family still in the UK.
  18. Fifteen years ago or more, I think.
  19. In a familial sense, I think maybe a couple of times in each of the previous books. Hasn’t happened yet in book 3 and not in a romantic sense in any of them.
  20. Re-listening to the audio for Temptress of Fates by J.C. Kang so I can get a review up shortly. And I was lucky enough to get an advance ebook copy of Dragon Mage by M.L. Spencer.
  21. Not very often. To be honest, although the writing peoples I’ve met through the #WritingCommnunity here have been nothing but kind, I’m often too intimidated to discuss my own feeble attempts.
  22. Mooses. (yes, I know)
  23. When he’s been on the receiving end of Lady Mallory’s snideness & scorn. Mostly, he’s kept the impulse under control.
  24. I honestly don’t know how to answer this one, since I’ve let stuff sit for years without a proper edit.
  25. Well, it’s January so it’ll be a while before Thanksgiving, but I think they’d like to be somewhere a little more homey than a former air force bunker.
  26. Not as such.
  27. Probably MacReady.
  28. Actually, I think De Vries would consider himself the most misunderstood character.
  29. Elizabeth would probably be the best one to do such a thing.
  30. I don’t think it’s changed much.

As Always, Thanks to the hosts:

#TheMerryWriter – Ari Meghlen & Rachel Poli

#WriterChronicles – Amber Elzinga

#WriterlyWIPChat – Kerri Davidson & Mark Gelinas, Sr.

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