Giving Up Writing For Lent?

Hi Friends.

Lenten40Days-269x300Is it MARCH already? I can’t really believe that the world has spun so fast and that time has gone by so… quickly. Mardi Gras has come and gone, and the Lenten season is upon us. More about those later…

February was a relatively good month, even if I didn’t live up to my intention of writing every day. But despite losing the first half month to that persistent chest cold, I did manage to write 17,000 words for the month. I am a spider’s web away from finishing ACT II. This makes me happy. I might have wrapped up February behind my personal goal of 20,000 words and writing every day, but 17K is nothing to cough at! (pun intended)

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Moving Forward

Hi Friends.

It is February. Yay.Mark1

January was a lost month, for writing. But I am not too down on myself for it. I was sick for the first two weeks. I still have the dregs of the cough. Additionally, I spent some time focussing on my health issues. I saw my doctor, and he gave me some new meds, including insulin (thanks for the samples!), and it took a bit for my body to adjust to them. I have been sleeping quite a bit, which is not usual for me. Once, I slept for 29 hours, mostly continuous. I am certain my body needed it, and still does. But, with me sleeping more than my usual 4-6 hours at a time, it has impacted the rest of my life. For January, I decided to let my writing take back seat to everything else.

It isn’t January anymore.

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Kestrel Creed Chapter Seven

Happy New Year!

Here is another installment of Kestrel Creed and the Febrile Felon.

Again, it is a draft that has had a feather-pass of editing. I want to get more of the work out here for you, so I am being lax on the editing. Fear not, the whole work will get a strong-arm fix before it is ready for publication.

If you are new to the Kestrel Creed story, don’t forget to start with the Prologue .

I hope you enjoy the story.

Please feel free to comment.



Creed stomped through the bat-wing doors, into Bankleyville’s ‘Woody’s Rustbucket Saloon and Boarding House.’ His upper lip was curled back, exposing teeth. It was not a smile. The odds he’d gotten any news from the local law did not bode well.

Nika thought she heard him utter a curse. Of course, she never knew if he was swearing or not – his people had such colorful panoply of slang.

“Any luck…?” she started, but he interrupted her.

“These louts didn’t mistreat you, did they?” he asked, glaring at both Knife and Roose, each in turn.

She smiled. “No, silly. They were perfect gentlemen.”

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Kestrel Creed Chapter Six

Merry Christmas!

Here is another installment of Kestrel Creed and the Febrile Felon.

I will be finishing up the draft of Part II before the end of the year, and will also finish posting the final chapters of Part I. Look for at least one more chapter before year’s end. [Part I has the prologue and 9 chapters]

If you are new to the Kestrel Creed story, don’t forget to start with the Prologue .

I hope you enjoy the story.

Please feel free to comment.



“Mommy, I’m hot,” whined the boy two tables down. His mother wheedled, “Sebastian, drink your Coca-Cola and stop complaining.”

Those two sat alone at their table, the father no doubt off working. The Midnight restaurant, named after another of the local mines, was indeed sweltering today. It was an oven despite the overhead ceiling fan, and the additional portable fans whizzing and buzzing, positioned at intervals atop the high display case behind the bar. Even combined, the fans did little to ease the afternoon heat.

Creed sleeved his brow and took a long swallow of his water. Only crumbs remained on his plate, now. The sandwich had been tasty, ham and swiss. Nika was still working at her beefburger sandwich, and Knife noisily slurped the dregs of his frosted malted, his ‘Miner’s Hash’ long gone.

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Kestrel Creed Chapter Five

Don’t forget to start with the Prologue .

Hah. Insomnia strikes.

I have enough lucidity to edit, so here is Chapter Five. This was a fun chapter to write, and it didn’t seem to call for much editing. That may be the insomnia talking, I’ve been up for a long time. Again, this is not my last editing pass over the chapter.

I hope you enjoy it.

Please feel free to comment.



The door to the sheriff’s office slammed closed. Nika leaned out the window of the Ford as Creed approached.

“What’s got your knickers in a bunch?” she asked. She couldn’t keep from smiling as she poked at him. Turnabout and all.

The town of Chloride, named after the high-grade silver ore found there, held no luster for Nika. The crudely painted, and poorly spelled sign boasted of the little town, “popyalation 1,000 to 2,000” and declared it was “a centor of mining – fer many miles ‘round.” Nika had laughed aloud as she read.

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Just a little update

Hi Friends.

Wanted to let you know that I performed a little revision on Chapter Four. I added a tasty tidbit about the adversary that I had intended for a later chapter but realized I needed to slip it into Creed’s account of his dreamwalking. Enjoy.

Also, look for Chapter Five within the next few days.


All images and content copyright © 2011-2014 ~ Mark Adam Thomas

Kestrel Creed Chapter Four

Don’t forget to start with the Prologue .

Hey friends, thanks for your patience. I had a very good November, despite being sick. It has taken me up until now to catch up with my normal life, which is why this chapter is so late in getting posted.

I have decided to just let you all read the chapters as drafts, with little editing. Once the draft is complete, I will begin editing in earnest. That may not happen until Mid-January. I hate delaying but things are what they are. I am plodding along as best I can. Thanks again for your patience.

As I stated, these chapters are ROUGH drafts, so keep that in mind when you cringe while reading them.

Thanks again for your interest in my Kestrel Creed novel, and feel free to leave a comment.

EDIT (12/13/13): I added some important information to the latter part of this chapter, and corrected a few typos I had missed on my first pass, as well as performing minor wording changes here and there. Hope it doesn’t throw you off.



Nika stared at the campfire. She started to rise, but sighed heavily and sagged back down onto the dusty fringed Arabian-patterened rug she sat upon.

“Pacing won’t bring him back any sooner,” she said to the empty air.

Creed had left just before dusk, and he wasn’t back yet, damn him. She raised her head again, skyward. The stars told her it was well past midnight. She might have consulted her father’s pocket watch, but Kes had made her promised to use the timepiece only when she could not otherwise divine the time “from nature’s signals,” as he’d said. Creed was strict, sometimes even a hard taskmaster.  But she knew it was for her own good. At least that is what Creed kept telling her.

“How else, Button,” he’d said, “are you going to find your way in the pitch of night?” Nika chuckled. Always Button, but she didn’t mind, it was what her father had called her. It was Creed’s staunch opinion that “timepieces are a crutch.” He was probably right, as usual, the meanie. There was so much to learn, and Creed’s knowledge was so vast. Not just about the stars, but in most all things: bushcraft, weapons, the way of people and their motives, and much, much more. It made her head spin; there was such a wealth of knowledge in that fella’s head, all the things he was teaching her – about being a hunter. A survivor.

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Coming Up For Air – An Update

Hi Friends.

Good news and bad news (well, not really bad news, just not so good news).

The good news is that I am feeling much better and I have come a long ways to catching up on my word count. The bad news is that I am not yet caught up, like I had planned. If I continue at the pace of the last few days, I should catch up by Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday is a dead writing day, turkeys and friends and all. That leaves me Friday and Saturday to zoom ahead and win NaNoWriMo (50K words). The other not good news is that even though I am past the 30,000 word count, I am not yet half-way through the plot of my story. Instead of being 60,000 words as planned, it looks like it will be closer to 90,000. Gulp. This means that I probably won’t finish the first draft until mid to late December.

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Swimming Upstream

Hi Friends.

As you may know, I have been under the weather this last week. It is not serious, just sinus headaches and chest congestion/coughing. As a result, I have not been sleeping, and concentrating on my novel has been difficult.

Consequently, my word count for NaNoWriMo is sadly, pathetically behind. I am currently at 12,000 words, where I should be at 25,000.

No. I am not giving up on NaNo. No way, no how.

But what this means is that I need to focus on speed-writing so I can catch up. Posting chapters here, out of necessity, makes for much slower writing. I am a lot more mindful of my choices. My inner editor keeps hammering at my brain to fix things, knowing that an audience will be reading it (and soon). And, I absolutely must give the chapter at least a cursory edit before posting it. All these things slow me down.

The biggest anchor to my word count speed, however, is research. In order to send this stuff out here, I need to do some preliminary fact-checking, looking up appropriate setting info, and spending time with the lingo, and word choices (i.e. my thesaurus).

During a typical NaNo November, I cast aside all these precautions and simply write, knowing that I will catch all the errors, fix the crud, and look stuff up – during the editing process. That is December’s work.

I type away, inner editor safely boxed up (duct tape works well), and when I hit a snag, I just make a comment or note in the work, and speed on. My manuscripts are rife with little yellow boxes surrounding words or phrases that need work or research.

Yes, you guessed it. Because I need to focus on my word count, because I need to catch up, I can’t afford the time it takes to polish (limited though it may be) the chapters for publication here on my blog.

I am going to speed through, type furiously, and pump out my 50K words before November 30th. If, and only if, I get significantly ahead of my daily word count, will I consider posting more chapters. But on the upside, December is editing month… half a month is not so long to wait and see what happens to Creed and Nika.

I have the whole work plotted, and I know all the twists and turns. I just have to get it into my computer.

Also, because I lost a week of writing (so far – I am still not over this gunk), I have cancelled all my regular DJ shows in Second Life, until December. I’ll kick this cold, and I will catch up.

I care abut my writing. It matters to me. It matters that it is enjoyable. So I don’t want to send out work that I am not completely ready to release.

Thanks for understanding, and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Mark Adam Thomas

All images and content copyright © 2011-2014 ~ Mark Adam Thomas

Kestrel Creed Chapter Three

Don’t forget to start with the Prologue .  Again, this excerpt is in rough draft form.

I have struggled with an annoying cold for 6 days now. Thanks for your patience. Here is the next exciting chapter in the saga of Creed and Nika.

Although very behind in my word count, I have faith that I will catch up and finish this novel before December rolls around. Wish me luck.

Thanks again for your interest in my Kestrel Creed novel, and feel free to leave a comment.


As Creed rounded a narrow, bending dip in the road – if it could be called a road – a shallow muddle of murky smoke wafted into the dim glow of the coupe’s headlights, seeping from the lows like deadly fog.  He pressed his foot on the brake, and as he slowed to a stop, the twin beams illuminated an iron gate.

This was the place. He hadn’t seen any indication of other homesteads for miles around. It wasn’t exactly that he recognized it. He simply felt it, a chill in his bones, like he’d been here before. Creed guessed he’d had at that, in a maddening, uncanny sort of way.

He shifted into neutral and keyed off the engine. The twin head-lamps dimmed, but he left them on. He wanted to see if Nika made it here safe. The gate’s reflection looked foreboding, like it was made of slender, burnt bones.

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