Category Archives: administrata

how to outline a novel

On Facebook, reader Alon asks about the process of writing outlines.

“Can you upload an outline of a book you made before writing it? I struggle with the concept.”

That’s a good question. So for today’s post, I’ll explain how I outline a book, and then share the original outline from FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT below.

(Naturally, this post will have massive !!!SPOILERS!!! for FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT.)

To outline a book, I basically first decide on the conflict and the main villain. Traditionally short stories have an arc consisting of the introduction to a conflict, rising action, the climax, and then the resolution. Novels are the same thing except longer, and can contain multiple arcs – characters will usually have internal struggles as well as external ones, and will face several setbacks and minor conflicts before arising at the main climax.

I then make a list of really significant or exciting scenes that I want to see in the book. Things like strong climactic scenes, character interactions, funny parts, battles, important details to mention because they will turn up in later books, and so forth. (Like, right now the outline for GHOST IN THE GLASS is a list of important events and scenes I want to happen in the book, but nothing more.)

Next, I write a synopsis that encompasses all those scenes and links them together. Once that is done, I divide the synopsis into an appropriate number of chapters depending on how long I want the book to be. I usually assume 3000 to 5000 words per chapter.

Then I give each chapter a heading. I have to admit that’s one of my favorite parts, since in the bad old days of traditional publishing, a lot of publishers and agents had submission guidelines strictly forbidding chapter headings. So now I do it gleefully.

I do admit I sometimes and frequently decide to do things differently than how I outlined. The outline for FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT is a good example. In the outline, Ridmark, Kharlacht, Calliande, and Caius all leave Dun Licinia at the end together. But when I actually got to that chapter, I decided I would be better for Ridmark to leave alone.

I think this was better for several reasons. First, it fit Ridmark’s character. Second, it excellently set up the first couple of chapters in THE EIGHTFOLD KNIFE, since part of the action in the first part of that book would be Calliande trying to find Ridmark again. Third, it was a good foreshadowing of Ridmark and Calliande’s growing attraction, since it showed that she had started to care about him a great deal.

So I do outline everything in advance, but sometimes I listen to my gut, because I’ve written 60+ novels at this point and my subconscious occasionally knows what it’s talking about.

And sometimes I’ll change things literally at the last minute. In my recent book GHOST IN THE RING, the villain was originally named Sergei Nagrach. I was never happy with that, so about five minutes before I finalized the book, I went through and changed Sergei to Razdan, and was much happier with it.

Below is the original outline for FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT I wrote back in summer of 2013. It is interesting to look back and see how the final book changed from the original outline.

(I should mention that my outlines sometimes make no sense whatsoever to anyone but me, and I occasionally leave reminders about household tasks in my outlines.)

###

A Brief Prologue

Chapter 1 – The Knight and the Friar

The day it all began, the day the blue fire filled the sky, Ridmark Arban arrived at the town of Dun Licinia. Gray cloak and iron staff, the Breaksword brand on his left cheek and jaw.

Simply wants to pass through on his way back to the Wilderland, trouble with the militia guards at the gate.

Taken to see his old friend Sir Joram, acting as castellan until Dux Licinius sends out a new Comes for the town. Joram uneasy, doesn’t blame him for what happened to Aelia and Mhalek, but trouble. A dwarven friar has vanished in the wilderness from Khald Tormen, and embarrassing if he is gone.

Ridmark agrees to find him back.

Talks with the farmer about his cows, the farmer complains.

Ridmark finds orc tracks, orc hair, freaks out the farmer, and heads into the wilderness in pursuit.

Chapter 2 – The Omen

Ridmark tracks the orc tracks.

Finds a Mhalekite scout, instantly enraged, orc from the wild lands of Vharluusk.

Kills the orc in a battle, examines its gear.

Follows the trail, finds a half-dozen Mhalekite orcs surrounding the friar, a sturdy dwarf of middle years. Ridmark extremely impressed by his charisma and poise, steady certainty, turned away from the gods of the Deeps.

A vicious fight, Ridmark wins.

Caius introduces himself.

Ridmark says they have to go back and warn Sir Joram, Mhalekite orcs probably massing near the Tower of Vigilance to the north, ruined during the civil war of the Five Princes. Caius dismisses the piety of the nobility, but Ridmark says Joram is a good sort.

Then the blue fire fills the sky, emanating from the north.

Chapter 3 – Awakening

Calliande awakens in the dark vault under the Tower of Vigilance.

Has a disturbing series of dreams…white-skinned men with burning blue eyes, ice covering the world, and an elf with black veins and strange mercury eyes.

Awakens, but alone and panicked and terrified. Something has gone wrong.

Clothes covered in cobwebs, desperately seeking for her staff.

Missing her staff.

Running out of air.

An image of her seneschal, tells her that the War of the Five Princes destroyed the Tower of Vigilance, that they were unable to wait for her.

Stumbles out of the vault, manages to force open the door.

Expects to see a bustling castle.

Instead a charred, burned ruin.

Her robes crumble away, leaving her freezing.

Sees the orc.

Chapter 4 – The Tower of Vigilance

Ridmark and Caius go to the Tower of Vigilance, a half-day away from Dun Licinia.

Claims the Frostborn will return, but Caius doesn’t really believe him.

Attacked by a drake, drive it off

Talk about the Mhalekite orcs – five years earlier, Mhalek claimed to be one of the orcish blood gods reborn, led an army into Andomhaim, but Ridmark stopped him at the cost of Aelia’s life.

Stop and fight two more orcs, realize that hundreds of Mhalekite orcs are in the ruined Tower.

Chapter 5 – Shadowbearer

Calliande runs, but barefoot and unclothed, the orcs capture her.

Drag her before Qazarl and Kharlacht and Vlazar.

Questioned roughly by them.

Shadowbearer arrives, Calliande terrified by him, but cannot say way.

Orc attempts to assault her, Shadowbearer kills him.

Shadowbearer reads her mind, trying to find the location of the sword & staff, but her memory is too broken.

Tells him to take the empty soulstone and kill it with Calliande at the stone circle further up the black mountain. Do so and they shall be rewarded. Kharlacht and Vlazar get that task. Qazarl wants to burn Dun Licinia to ashes.

Party splits up.

Chapter 6 – Pursuit

Ridmark witnesses the argument between Qazarl, Vlazar, and Kharlacht, the orc in the dark elven armor.

The imprisoned woman in their midst.

Attacked by a drake, drive it off

Drag her up to the foothills of the Black Mountain.

Ridmark goes in pursuit, Caius following.

Heading for the stone circle further up the mountain.

Chapter 7 – Stone Circle

Kharlacht guards Calliande as they drag her up the mountain, gives her a cloak.

Vlazar threatens her, Kharlacht threatens him back.

Finally reach the altar atop the foothills.

Feels the tremendous dark magic there.

Bind her to the altar, and prepare to kill her as Vlazar works a spell.

Chapter 8 – Iron Staff

Ridmark sees what is happening, Caius says they must intervene.

Ridmark agrees, and then decides to rouse the nearby den of drakes.

Lures the drakes into attacking the orcs.

Kills several of the orcs, liberates Calliande, and takes her from the stone circle.

Kills Vlazar, and takes Calliande and runs, pursued by Kharlacht.

Chapter 9 – The Deeps

Flee alongside the Black Mountain, pursued by Kharlacht and his warriors.

Flee into an entrance to the Deeps, the vast maze of caverns that lies beneath Andomhaim.

Attacked by an ursaar, a dark elven bear, like the urvaalg. Can turn invisible.

Go in, pursued by Kharlacht, but a cave-in, sealing Ridmark, Calliande, and Caius in with Kharlacht.

Chapter 10 – A Pact

A brief, hostile stand-off with Kharlacht

Caius suggests that they all work together until they escape the Deeps.

Ridmark agrees.

Question Kharlacht – he is one of the baptized orcs, but Qazarl and Vlazar were disciples of Mhalek, and believe Shadowbearer will promise them glory.

Worries about Shadowbearer, the mythical figure who corrupted the high elves into the dark elves

Would not aid them, but part of his sister’s clan, and bound by ties of honor to do so.

Set off into the Deeps.

Chapter 11 – Lost Memories

Find a campsite in a safe place, Caius and Ridmark agree it is defensible.

Ridmark and Caius speak to Calliande.

Get the story out of her, but cannot remember anything that happened before waking up in the vault.

Caius thinks Vlazar altered her memory, but Ridmark doubtful.

Attacked by blind lizard, fights them off, pets of the dark elves. Or the kobolds, and see the spitfang has a brand.

Chapter 12 – Raiders

Travel deeper into the Deeps, Caius think it was once a dwarven stronghold.

Attacked by kobold raiders, who carry off Calliande.

BUY DETERGENT/LIGHT BULBS

Chapter 13 – The Shaman

Carried by kobolds into their village in the dwarven ruins.

Questioned by the shaman, who calls her powerful, says he will find a way to claim her power.

Chapter 14 – Fangs

Ridmark, Kharlacht, and Caius track Calliande back to the kobolds’ village.

Ridmark thinks up a plan, walks into the village, demands Calliande back.

Kharlacht attacks from the side, sabotaging the lizards’ pens with musk.

Drives the lizards berserk, and the shaman tries to take Calliande.

Fights him off and burns him, doesn’t know how, and with Ridmark flees the village.

Chapter 15 – Parting

Talks about the Eternalists, the kobold claimed to be an Eternalist Magistri named Talvinius who knew her.

Leaves the Deeps behind, pursued by angry kobolds.

Parts way with Kharlacht, tells them he will honor their agreement and not attack.

But he is bound by duty to speak with Qazarl, and to tell him what happened, and that Qazarl will come for Calliande.

Ridmark agrees, and they head for Dun Licinia.

Chapter 16 – Preparations

Ridmark returns to Dun Licinia, see the town unprepared for battle.

Goes to Sir Joram, warns him of the attack, gets Sir Joram to sound the alarm.

But the Magistrius refuses to call for help.

Chapter 17 – A Bargain

The Magistrius refuses to recognize the danger, badly frightened by Calliande.

Mentions the soulstone.

Ridmark forces him to reveal that he had taken bribes from Qazarl, a scroll of secret magic.

Sends a message to aid to Dux Licinius in exchange for his life.

Alarm sound, scouts report a great band of orcs is heading for the walls, accompanied by kobolds.

Chapter 18 – Siegecraft

Joram and Ridmark prepare for the siege, Joram overwhelmed, lets Ridmark take command. Kobolds with them.

Calliande feels angry and useless.

The farmer from the beginning comes in as the nearby villages flee into the walls of Dun Licinia.

The orcish horde arrives.

The first attacks on the walls. Kobold night attack.

Chapter 19 – Assault

Qazarl demands that Dun Licinia surrender.

Joram refuses.

Demands that they hand over Calliande, and the townsmen tempted, but Ridmark refuses.

Launches an assault, they manage to fight it off.

Chapter 20 – Challenge

Three days of fighting.

Calliande speaks more with Ridmark. Thanks him for everything.

Finally Qazarl proposes trial by combat. Ridmark agrees, and goes out as the champion.

Chapter 21 – The Duel

Ridmark fights Kharlacht, a ferocious duel, but Ridmark prevails.

Qazarl breaks the truce, and launches an assault.

Ridmark and Kharlacht fight back to back.

The Knights of Castra Marcaine, led by the Swordbearer Knight Sir Constantine Licinius, charge the enemy.

Chapter 22 – The Magistria and the Shaman

Furious battle, Ridmark and Constantine and Kharlacht charge through the fray, Constantine stunned to recognize Ridmark.

Hack their way to Qazarl’s side, but Qazarl’s bloodmagic too strong.

Calliande senses Alamur’s magic.

The Magistrius betrays Calliande, prepares to hand her over to Shadowbearer’s hissing shadow after Calliande overhears him, but recovers her powers, defeats him, and breaks Qazarl’s wards.

Calliande uses Ridmark’s dagger to defeat Alamur and overpower him.

Ridmark defeats Qazarl.

Chapter 23 – The Broken Orcs

Calliande’s POV, discussions with Sir Joram, Sir Constantine, and Caius. The Magistrius defeated, and Sir Joram named the new Comes of Dun Licinia.

Joram says it should be Ridmark, Constantine agrees, but says his sister will not, and Ridmark will never accept it.

Explains that his sister Aelia was married to Ridmark, and that Ridmark defeated Mhalek at the cost of Aelia’s life.

Joram invites Calliande to stay as the new Magistria, but declines.

Chapter 24 – The Omen’s Meaning

Ridmark leaves for Urd Morlemoch, dark elven ruin.

Calliande and Caius stop him.

Explains that the omen means the Frostborn will return, an urdmordar told him that the Frostborn will return, even though they are extinct, and that he needs to return to Urd Morlemoch to find the answer.

Calliande and Caius insist upon going with him.

Ridmark refuses, but finally relents.

Kharlacht also joins them, honor-bound to do so, now an exile from the clans of Vharluusk. Now has a new meaning – to follow Ridmark.

The four set off to the north.

Epilogue

Shadowbearer contemplates Qazarl’s failure, considers his options ahead – the world will burn, and he will have Calliande.

-JM

how to price paperbacks?

A question on Facebook this weekend:

“So out of relative curiosity, how do your paperback prices compare to ebook prices? I automatically assume anything in print will be at least slightly more expensive than the ebook edition.”

That is a good question!

Basically, print prices will always be more expensive than the ebook prices, but it depends on the physical size of the book.

(One exception: if you encounter an ebook that costs more than the print version, it means that the publisher is trying to artificially stifle the ebook sales to drive up the print sales.)

I use CreateSpace for all my paperbacks. Based on the number of pages, CreateSpace does a calculation for the minimal acceptable price (see the screenshot for this post). For GHOST IN THE RING, which was 332 pages, the minimal acceptable price was $12.08.

It’s generally best to set the price so it turns at least a $1 royalty on Expanded Distribution, which is non-Amazon bookstore sales. If it is below $1, small bookstores might refuse to order it for customers because there will be absolutely no profit.

So, paperback pricing comes down rather straightforwardly to page count. FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON was $19.99 because it was nearly 500 pages, but GHOST IN THE RING was only 332 pages so I could price it at $14.99.

Generally, paperbacks will always be more expensive than ebooks because there are hard costs that can’t be avoided – paper, ink, printing, binding, shipping, and so forth. CreateSpace probably has the most efficient book printing system in history, but the hard costs are still there.

That said, that is one of the nice things about self-publishing. You can get all 19 ebooks of THE GHOSTS/GHOST EXILE/GHOST NIGHT for about the cost of two (2!) traditionally published hardcover books. 🙂

-JM

three quarters

I crunched some numbers this week, and I’m pleased to report that as of April 2017, I have sold 750,000 ebooks worldwide.

Thanks everyone! Dang, that’s a lot of ebooks. The town where I grew up had only 20,000 people in it.

Back in the previous decade, GHOST IN THE FLAMES got rejected by legacy publishers a few dozen times, so I like to think the 750,000th ebook was a copy of GHOST IN THE FLAMES. 🙂

-JM

a sales snapshot

Some writers hate, hate, hate the business side of self-publishing. I don’t! Because if you understand the business side, it can give you the freedom and control to write what you like, which is why I’m finishing up the nineteenth Caina book for release next month.

Nineteen! How many other book series go that long? Some do, but not that many.

(And thanks for reading all eighteen of the previous ones!)

Anyway, I write and publish a lot, but in April 2017 I didn’t publish anything because I spent the entirety of my writing time for the month finishing up FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON. So I was really curious to see how the ebook sales would break down without anything new in the mix, because (usually) a new book sells better than anything else.

So, here is how my ebook sales broke down by platform in April 2017:

Amazon US: 39.3%
Amazon UK: 29.8%
Google Play: 17.7%
Kobo: 8%
Amazon AU: 4%
Barnes & Noble: 3%
iTunes: 2.4%
Amazon All Other Countries: 1.7%

Occasionally other writers ask why I don’t have any books in Kindle Unlimited. Based on the percentages above, the answer is because 25% of my book sales are on non-Amazon platforms, and I highly doubt I would be able to generate enough page reads in Kindle Unlimited to make up for that.

Which of my series sold the best?

Frostborn: 58.2%
The Ghosts/Ghost Exile: 13.1%
Demonsouled/Mask of the Demonsouled: 12%
Cloak Games: 9.9%
The Third Soul/Tech Books: 6.8%

FROSTBORN is still the big fish, but what’s interesting is that CLOAK GAMES is now punching above its weight, much like Nadia Moran herself. Like, there are seventeen GHOSTS novels for sale, and nine DEMONSOULED (the first in both series are free), but only six CLOAK GAMES books for sale, and CLOAK GAMES is only a few percentage points behind the longer series. I think that shows that making the first book in a series permafree is still a good sales tactic.

Anyway, I think in June I’ll do another post like this for May, since FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON came out in May, and it sold really well. (Thanks everyone!) It will be interesting to compare April and May.

-JM

fun with tech and games

I don’t think I’m going to write any new tech books this year. While I enjoy writing tech books, they’re more work than novels, and they sell less. So, on balance, my writing time is better spent writing novels.

That said, I do miss writing about technology and games. I was doing that for a long time before the Kindle and ebooks came along, and I had written what would become the Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide long before I found out about the Kindle. I wanted to get back into casual blogging about technology, but my jonathanmoeller.com website is not a good place for that, since people visit jonathanmoeller.com for information about my books, not to hear my thoughts on Pillars of Eternity or Ubuntu 17.04.

Fortunately, perfect opportunity came earlier this year when I had to switch my various websites to a new hosting provider. When I did, I rebooted my old Computer Beginner’s Guide site. It’s now mostly more about computer games and casual technology observations than articles guides about Linux (though some of that is still in the mix).

Check it out here!

-JM

 

new website

six freakin’ years!

I was pretty busy this month. So busy, in fact, I didn’t realize that I’ve now been self-publishing for six years. The first book I self-published was DEMONSOULED back on April 15th, 2011.

Six years! Man! There have been some jobs and activities in my life I’ve done consistently for more than six years, but not that many of them. Clearly God has been good to me. Back in April of 2011 I figured I would publish DEMONSOULED and SOUL OF TYRANTS, write one more DEMONSOULED book so I would have a trilogy, and then I would be done with novels.

Ha. That sure didn’t go according to plan, did it?

Let’s see. In six years, I’ve written:

-8 new DEMONSOULED books.

-16 new GHOSTS books (counting BLADE OF THE GHOSTS).

-16 FROSTBORN books (counting FROSTBORN: THE FIRST QUEST).

-7 CLOAK GAMES books.

-2 1/2 science fiction books (coming later this year).

-9 technical books.

-A whole lot of short stories.

Anyway, thank you all for coming along on the adventures of Ridmark, Mazael, Caina, Nadia, and all the others.

Now back to editing FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON. 🙂

-JM

why so serial?

 

Matthew asks in response to my post about writing 10,000 words in a single day:

“You ever thought about writing serially? Like releasing a few chapters of something a week and making it like 99 cents? 10k is absolutely insane. I’m not sure I know another author who makes 10k words in a week.”

Good question! Actually, I have tried something like that, and I concluded that it doesn’t work at all well.

I released THE THIRD SOUL as a serial, and I wrote THE BONE QUEST series of FROSTBORN short stories structured as a serial, and based on the reaction to them I’ve come to the conclusion that a large majority of readers simply do not like serials and prefer novels. Both THE THIRD SOUL and THE BONE QUEST get a lot of complaints because of their length.

So, I’ve concluded that the majority of readers prefer novels to short stories, novellas, and serials. (I like short stories, but I kind of suspect they might be an artifact of the old days when people did a lot of reading in magazines and there were only so many pages available.)

I think the only way a serial would work is if you wrote the entire thing in advance and made sure each, say, 10k words were ready to go every Friday, like a webcomic artist who prepares three or four weeks’ worth of comics in advance before launching his website.

Of course, if you did that much work, you could just release it as a novel to fewer complaints about length.

I’m launching three new novel series this year – SEVENFOLD SWORD, GHOST NIGHT, and a science fiction series, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to have short stories accompanying them. If I do, I think I’ll group the stories in their own series like THE BONE QUEST, but have each one be completely stand alone.

-JM

Military Fantasy Promo!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the FROSTBORN books in the Top 20 of the Military Fantasy category on Amazon for a while now. (Thanks everyone!) Some of the other writers on the list put together a group sale, and were kind enough to invite me.

Here are the books we put on sale this week. If you’re looking for something fun to read this week, you can find it here!

FATEMARKED, by David Estes.

In the spirit of fantasy epics like George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, The Fatemarked Epic promises immaculate world building, an ancient prophecy, a mysterious source of magic, a diverse cast of characters, war, political intrigue, and romance.

The Hundred Years War has ravaged more than three generations of kings, queens, and citizens across the Four Kingdoms. Corrupt rulers dominate. Religious intolerance runs rampant. The cycle of vengeance continues to turn with the seasons.

An ancient prophecy by a legendary oracle has been long forgotten. The prophecy promises the return of peace to the Four Kingdoms on the backs of a chosen few, the fatemarked, individuals marked at birth and blessed with specific magical powers. One shall be the Kings’ Bane, and will bring death to the warmongering rulers, using fear to force peace; another shall be the Peacemaker, bestowed with the rare ability to heal. Opposite sides of the same coin, dark and light, death and life, the Kings’ Bane and the Peacemaker are responsible for the fate of an entire continent.

As they fight to achieve their destinies, adversity will hinder them in every realm: in the frozen north, assassination attempts and a brutal power struggle; in the holy west, a vicious queen and her self-righteous army of warriors; in the mysterious iron-clad forest of the east, revenge and glory rule the day; and in the southern empires of Calyp and Phanes, maturing dragons, slaves, and a civil war.

To truly fulfill the oracle’s prophecy of peace, both the Kings’ Bane and the Peacemaker, as well as the other fatemarked, will need to overcome those who seek to destroy everything in their pursuit for power.

The first book in an epic saga years in the making, Fatemarked will sweep you away to another land, another time, when magic and dragons, kings and queens, and courage and valor still meant something.

STIGER’S TIGERS, by Marc Alan Edelheit

The empire has endured many centuries but is now threatened by multiple wars and a major rebellion in the South.

A nobleman from an infamous family, imperial legionary officer, and a born fighter… Captain Ben Stiger finds himself reassigned from a crack legion to the rebellion simmering in the South. Placed in command of a truly terrible company, the 85th Imperial Foot, he is unknowingly sent on a suicide mission to resupply an isolated outpost, the garrison of Vrell. Along the way he must rebuild his new company, gain the respect of the men he leads, survive an assassination attempt, fight bandits, rebels, and an agent of an evil god. His companions on this journey of discovery and adventure are one of the few remaining elven rangers and a paladin on a quest for the High Father.

The battle to save the empire and the world begins here in the first book of this exciting new series!

Winner of the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Bronze Award for Fantasy!!!

THE KNIGHTHOOD, by Evan Currie. 

A War was waged.

Humanity lost.

Now it’s time for a rematch.

In the now near forgotten past, civilization spanned the planet and the stars. When the invasion came, it did not start with a bang but with a whimper of sickness. By the time the enemy showed themselves, the war had already been lost. Demons from nightmare, wielding magic and raw physical power, fell upon what was left in a wave of destruction. The warriors of humanity fought, and died, making the invaders pay for every inch of ground they took… but take it they did.

Now the fighting is left to those who survived, and even that has ground to a near stop as final defeat looms.
One last spark in the darkness, one last lesson to teach the enemy before humanity’s sun has set, one last stand. A spark can start a conflagration, and hope is the last, best, weapon any man can wield.

Stand against the dark. Fight in the shadows, that others may one day walk in the light.

FROSTBORN OMNIBUS ONE, by Jonathan Moeller

Combined for the first time in one volume are the first three books of the internationally bestselling FROSTBORN saga – FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT, FROSTBORN: THE EIGHTFOLD KNIFE, FROSTBORN: THE UNDYING WIZARD, and the prequel novel FROSTBORN: THE FIRST QUEST.

RIDMARK ARBAN was once a Swordbearer, a knight of renown. Now he is a branded outcast, stripped of his sword, and despised as a traitor.

But he alone sees the danger to come, and undertakes the dangerous quest to stop the return of the Frostborn.

-JM

progress on FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON

I didn’t get much writing done last week, because most of my time went to Business.

Alas, because of the kind of movies I watched when I was a kid, I assumed that Doing Business would involve sitting around in a pinstripe suit, smoking a cigar in a swanky bar near the Warehouse District and/or the Spaceport, and exchanging veiled threats with private detectives (and possibly with the private detectives’ android sidekicks), all while attractive waitresses carried out tumblers of expensive scotch. And then Batman would show up to engage in fisticuffs.

However, in the many years since I’ve learned that Doing Business usually involves things like this:

-Printing out large numbers of PDF forms.

-Filling out PDF forms.

-Standing in line at the post office to mail the printed PDF forms.

-Navigating phone menus.

-Discussing various types of retirement accounts with polite men in button-down shirts.

-Trying to fix one’s website.

-Attempting to locate discount refrigerator parts.

On the plus side, I didn’t have to fight Batman, so it worked out.

But! Wrapped up all that last week. I’m now on Chapter 15 of 34 of FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON.

I had hoped to finish it by Easter, but that might be unrealistic. FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON will definitely be one of the five longest books I’ve written, and there’s an outside chance it might end up being the longest book I’ve ever written. So instead I will try to be 2/3 of the way through – at Chapter 23 of 34 – by Easter. Let’s see if I can pull that off!

-JM

 

maintenance complete!

I am pleased to report that jonathanmoeller.com is back up and running!

I needed to change web hosts. I’ve had the same hosting provider for so long that I made the first version of my site in FrontPage 2003. However, while website technology has evolved since then, the hosting provider didn’t, and it had an increasingly large number of problems. The final straw was when a server misconfiguration simultaneously broke my site’s comment form while also allowing hundreds of spam comments through at once.

So, I bit the bullet, and spent the last two days moving the site to a new hosting provider. I am looking forward to enjoy modern web hosting features (automated backups! automated backups!) and hopefully less web-crashing weirdness with my site.

-JM