Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chapter 29 Is Up

Chapter 29 of Magician's Merger is up. Thank Bog.

Caught typos, misspellings, and homonym mistakes are always appreciated. Spreading the word is always appreciated. Blogs, forums, and social bookmarking sites are all good places to spread the word. My sincere thanks to those who do so.

If you are coming from Storiesonline when you read this and are worried about linking to a site that has (gasp!) erotica, I do mirror the story from here. I think the story itself is worksafe, at least in my estimation, and I don't accept pornographic ads on the Blogger site.

Actually, linking to the Blogger site is slightly more advantageous for me. The small amount of revenue I make from Project Wonderful ads has been been paying for the ads I use to promote the story.

(At one point in today's installment, I so wanted to write "consummate Vs". If you don't get the reference, Google it. I doubt you'll be sorry.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Over the next several days, I'm going to be revising Magician's Merger. I'll be doing some polishing, fixing typos I happen to catch, and italicizing the inner dialog in the earlier chapters. I don't foresee any changes in the storyline, so there is no need to reread anything.

Mana vs. Manna

This issue just came up in an email.

Mana vs. manna: I figured either word works for what I wanted to convey. I believe Larry Niven, within the fantasy genre, was the first writer to use the first word to mean magical energy, but I think the term actually comes from the magical practices of some culture that I can't recall. The second specifically refers to food given by God, but metaphorically refers to something that is there for the taking,

In the end, it's just a handle for the stuff that powers magic. I wanted to be clear that it is different stuff from everyday physical energy and doesn't necessarily follow our laws of physics. As far as I'm concerned, it can be called anything. That's why I had Ursus say that it has lots of names and we might just as well call it manna.

Of course, now I have people thinking I'm making a homonym mistake. I guess I should have just made up a word.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chapter 28 Is Up

Chapter 28 of Magician's Merger is up.

Getting this one finished was hard. It wasn't because the writing was difficult, but I've been sleepy lately. I'm not sure if it's blood sugar issues or medication issues or something else. It isn't lack of rest, because I've been sleeping a lot. In any case, I would go to write and want to dose off at the computer, which is not good for production.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chapter 27 Is Up

Chapter 27 of Magician's Merger is up.

I had wanted to have a new chapter ready for yesterday, but I had a fantasy of writing something like, "And then the asteroid struck, and they all died." This let me know that the next chapter was going to have to wait.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chapter 26 Is Up

Chapter 26 of Magician's Merger is up. Winter break draws ever closer with its precious two weeks free from school.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chapter 25 Is Up

Chapter 25 of Magician's Merger is up.

I actually knew someone who believed it was legal to kick children but not hit them with one's hand.

If you like the story, please consider spreading the word.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chapter 24 Is Up

Chapter 24 of Magician's Merger is up. Getting this one done was rough going. I had two days in a row of a headache combined with an overall lousy feeling. I had hoped to get the chapter done for Wednesday, but I've been finding out that feeling bad tends to sap my creativity, so it wasn't to be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I read and enjoyed the first twenty-six chapters of Superstition.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chapter 23 Is Up

Chapter 23 of Magician's Merger is up. This one was fun to write.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Three Minds

There have been a few questions about the three minds in Arthur's head. One is Arthur, one is Ursus, and one is the resultant of their continuing merger. The resultant is the primary narrator, but Ursus and Arthur sometimes do the job.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Kids Appear Older Than They Are

One of the things I'd like to accomplish with Magician's Merger, in terms of learning craft, is portraying believable characters. Especially, I want the kids in the story to be acting their ages. They don't have to be typical for their ages, but I want them to be believable for their ages. For anyone who feels like providing feedback, please use the comments section to tell me where I'm most badly screwing it up. I am not looking for compliments. I know I'm making mistakes, and I'm looking for places where you said, "There is no way a kid that age would ever act like that." Arthur, of course, doesn't count.

For a quick review, these are the grades of most of the characters:

Grade 1--Charlie Powyr

Grade 2--Jenny Lukowski

Grade 3--Rich Powyr

Grade 5--Mary Powyr

Grade 6

Terry Prestor
Al Gallo
Sean MacDougle
Kirsten Kennedy
Pam Derbyshire
Debbie Taylor
Carol Flagler
Pat Hughes
Donald Beauchamp (old enough to be in grade 7)

Grade 7--Brian Onken (one of the four who attacked Arthur)

Grade 8

Danny Lukowski
Mike Prestor

I don't have kids, so by necessity I've been relying on my memories of the people I knew and of myself. I also recalled my nieces and nephews when they were that age, but I know that kids act differently among themselves than when adults are present. One of the things I try to keep in mind as I write is that girls around the ages of my characters can be more verbally fluent than most boys, and they tend to behave a year or two more maturely.

Chapter 22 Is Up

Chapter 22 of Magician's Merger is now up.

I'm experimenting with using italics to indicate internal dialog this chapter. Do you prefer the italics? Or do you prefer the way I've been doing it with standard type? Please let me know in the comments.

Review Comment

Magician's Merger just received a nice review over on Pages Unbound. One remark, though, made me wish the site had comment buttons:

The kids appear older than they are. For Arthur it's ok, since he kind of is, but the rest of the bunch act nothing like 6th graders do. If I were fed no info about their age, I would guess 8th grade, minimum.
Two of the important characters, Danny and Mike, are in the eighth grade.

To the reviewer, if he reads this, thank you for the kind review. It's just that one part that struck me as strange. Has the spelling been getting any better in the later chapters?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Chapter 21 Is Up

Chapter 21 of Magician's Merger is up.

Where is This All Going?

I've had a few readers in their feedback wonder where Magician's Merger is going. As background, let me say that Ursus Enlil is an old character of mine. He is the protagonist of an unfinished novel of which I've written a substantial chunk, a major supporting character of an unfinished novel of which I've written a much smaller chunk, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about his back story without ever writing it down. The events in Magician's Merger are just a small piece of his very long life.

That all said, I had a strong idea of the beginning of Magician's Merger, that is, poor Ursus gets reborn as a kid. I have a strong idea of the necessary ending--or at least a major event that must take place near the end of the story.

What I don't really know are all the events between the beginning and the end. Many of them I only know a couple of chapters ahead. Some of them I only discover when I write the chapter. I don't know about my readers, but doing it that way certainly helps keep me entertained. In effect, I'm telling myself a story as I go along.

Thus, Magician's Merger is most definitely designed to be a Web serial, not a tightly plotted novel. Readers who read stories to get to the end will be disappointed. I hope that I'm entertaining readers who read for the trip.

Web serials are a revival of a form of text story that died out for a while. It never did die out in television or comic strips. Think story arcs rather than plot. As I said, though, I do at least have an ultimate goal I keep in the back of my mind.

I hope I haven't just disappointed too many people. In my defense, I plead that I don't really know what I'm doing as a writer. This whole experiment in writing Web fiction for me is an exercise in immediate gratification, which I hope will keep me writing.

Gloria Fidelis

I read and enjoyed the first 23 chapters of Gloria Fidelis.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Chapter 20 Is Up

Chapter 20 of Magician's Merger is up.

Fliskus is the brand name of a flying disk on Arthur's node.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dead End Streets

I've read and enjoyed the first seventeen chapters of Dead End Streets

Chapter 19 Is Up

Chapter 19 of Magician's Merger is up. I started this one and had trouble, but then I slept on it and it went a lot easier. It was pretty fun to write.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


I encourage readers who like Magician's Merger to link to it and tell their friends. Those who might feel uneasy about linking to a story on SOL can link to the mirror on Blogspot.

Part of what has kept me writing this tale is a desire not to disappoint all the people who are reading it. Therefore, the more people who are reading, the more likely I am to keep going--caught in a trap I've set for myself.

The main thing that has prevented me from finishing what I write is self-doubt. It creeps in and I find myself thinking: This stuff is utter crap. Who would ever read this? Seeing that a few thousand people actually are reading it and waiting for more helps me bury the doubt for another chapter.

To those who like the story, thank you.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Chapter 18 Is Up

Chapter 18 of Magician's Merger is up. Given it's relatively short length, this one took a long time to write.

I suspect the difficulty was caused by my doctor doubling my dose of two medications. I felt rather spacey since Tuesday and only started feeling mostly normal this morning. Poor health just ain't any fun.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Chapter 17 Is Up

Chapter 17 of Magician's Merger is up. I personally think this chapter is a bit of a letdown after fifteen and sixteen. I certainly didn't have as much fun writing it. I hope that there is at least a chuckle or two in it.