August Update

Hello everyone,

Personal Stuff

Wow, July was a rough month. I had planned to work hard on my NaNoWriMo novel during the month of July but the world had other plans. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer on July 1st. Work was going crazy. A couple weeks later I was in the hospital for a week with pancreatitis and had to have surgery to remove my gull bladder. I was in bed for a week after that. My mom is still going through her chemo sessions and has been pretty sick recently. My sister’s birthday didn’t happen because I was in the hospital. I mean wow! What a month…

So, now it’s August…Oh no… Well, so far it’s been a huge improvement. I’m feeling better and will be going back to work soon. My dad got a call from the oncologist and the cancer was misdiagnosed, he is fine! My mom is doing a little better, only has 1 more session of chemo to go! I’ll have to make up for my sister’s birthday party. Knock on wood that everything keeps going up in a good direction.

Novel and other fun stuff

Now while I didn’t finish my Camp NaNoWriMo goal in July, I still plan on working on it. However, I did find some awesome new tool to keep me inspired and motivated to work. There is a new AI system that generates artwork based on text prompts, yes we are living in the future. The main image on this blog post is one I generated by describing a characters in a scene from my novel. How freaking awesome is that?! Now it did take a good 15 tries and lots of refining to get it to generate what I wanted but the end result is stunning.

So, I did what any graphic designer would do… I created cover art for all of my works in progress regardless of their status! So with a little bit of editing, I turned the image above into a 6″ by 9″ novel cover.

The website is called Midjourney and what you do is type in a string of text and hope it gives you what you want. Currently, you have to do everything via a public Discord server. They offer a free trial of about 20 prompts but if you’re like me you are going to blow through that quick. After that they charge $10/month for 200 prompts, $30/month for unlimited. For custom art that is amazingly cheap. I believe with the paid plan they also give you commercial rights to use the artwork however you want. So I could actually use these covers on my published novels!

For me personally, being able to generate visuals/concept art of my novel characters, locations, scenes, adds a completely new dimension of motivation and inspiration to keep writing. I’d highly recommend anyone interested in that to check it out!

I ended up generating artwork/scenes from all of my various works in progress. If you want to see some more just check out my projects page. You’ll get some cool cover art and some minor descriptions on what the novels I’m working on are about.

Well that’s about it for this update! If any of my author buddies are interested in a cover send me an email or a DM on twitter, I’d be happy to make you something! Thanks for reading!

Just as a bonus, here is a scene it generated of the underwater city from my Lies Beneath the Sea novel.



Camp NaNoWriMo!

It’s officially the 1st of July! I mentioned it in my last post but I’ve joined Camp NaNoWriMo thanks to my author buddy Freya Winther. If anyone wants to add me as a friend you can view my profile by Clicking Here or just searching for ebalderson.

This is a busy month, like most months, so I set my goal at 20,000 words. However, I’m hoping I can blow past that if I have the time! It took me a little bit of thought to decide what I wanted to write about this month, so I began scrolling through my archive of old stories and ideas. I found one of the first stories I’d ever written (at least that I still have saved), all the way from 2004.

It was the story of a boy, descended from a sorcerer, trying to save his family from an evil monster. It was born from old Saturday morning cartoons and anime. From what I can recall way back then, I loved making up stories. Both my own and fanfiction of my favorite things to watch. Even though I did a lot of it, I was notoriously bad at grammar, punctuation, and so on. That didn’t stop me from writing things and even sharing them back then! Ah to be young and not care so much.

This was my first big story. I was extremely protective of it. Going as far as password protecting the document way back then. As if someone was going to steal it… It was pretty short by my standards today, roughly 6000 words, and sadly I never finished it. That brings me to July 2022 Camp NaNoWriMo! I’m going to take this old story, characters, and ideas of my kid self and rewrite it with… let’s say more precision and experience. I’m going to try to keep it more light-hearted than most of my other work.

For now I’ll leave you with the ORIGINAL FIRST CHAPTER of Pagefinder (Old title, I may be reworking) in all of its terrible glory.

A long time ago, during The Dark Medieval Ages. In a cabin deep in the woods. There was a sorcerer named Durac who had a book; a book of Magic; a book called “The book of Durac”. Durac used this book To Cast his spells. His greatest challenge was stopping the great evil beast called “Revol” he had not slain it but had locked it in his book. He had his book until the end of his time. He took 5 pages out of the book to make sure no bad could ever get the ultimate power, and gave to Four knights each of them hid it somewhere in the world. Durac hid the fourth page where no one could ever find it. Durac also took the book to a secret underground location where he could hide it forever. Because in the book was the horrible beast he had locked in the book. The place he had hid the book became also his final resting place. For Many Generations the book and its pages stayed hid. 

Yep, that was it! A whole chapter in about 200 words. I had different standards back then. Also, with the way I used to write back then… I can’t help but read it in William Shatner’s voice.

Happy July everyone!

Screenshot of Page saying The End

My Second Novel is Finished

Hi everyone,

It took a little longer than I had hoped but here we are on the 10th of January, 2022 and I have completed my second Novel! Totally at 80,746 words, it took me 70 days to complete. Not too bad for having to work full-time and doing writing sprints in my car every morning. It was quite an adventure!

The story went places I never expected and into spaces I’m happy it ventured. Part of the fun of not outlining is seeing where things develop on their own. I started with a main character, and a rough idea on where I wanted to end. The big surprises were just as surprising to me as they happened in real time while writing. Including a certain throwaway character with one line becoming not only a major player in the story but a main character herself. Within three chapters my tiny outline had been derailed, for the better I think.The characters grew on me. They grew with each other. They pulled themselves through the story no matter how rough things got.

My own personal journey with this story was also quite an adventure. It was the first time I’d committed myself to finishing a new novel in over 10 years. I learned a lot while editing my first novel and decided that I was going to try something different with this one. Instead of staying in my comfort zone of a single person, first-person viewpoint, seeing things, learning things along with the main character, I decided to try multi-POV and third-person. I have to say… It was painful. I struggled so much and it shows. I’m going to have a lot of editing to do just to fix how its voice, let alone the developmental and line editing. However, I’m happy I tried something new and made myself get through it. It’s an experience I won’t forget and hopefully some of the things I learned will help me find better ways to write in the future.

That being said, going forward I think I want to go back to my first-person viewpoint for my next novel. Something about living the story through the point of view of the main character feels so much more natural to me. I’m still looking forward to editing my manuscript after letting it rest for a few months. I’m planning on starting work on my next story idea soon while this one rests.  That way when I come back to it several months from now I can read it with fresh eyes and hopefully gain some perspective on its flaws. At least that is my hope for the process. The last time I let a story rest, it was for 11 years. I’m hoping no more than 6 months for this one.

Well, thank you all for reading my rambling once more. I swear I write these things right before bed and end up going on and on about everything. Please do not take these posts as a quality check for my writing! I write them completely spontaneously without checking or editing them.

Also, this song popped up on my random songs playlist while I was finishing up my novel and it is amazing! I already liked Mandy Harvey’s music but somehow never heard this song. It’s beautiful!



I just thought of an idea… Maybe I should do dream posts. Sometimes my best random ideas come from dreams. I usually write them in my notebook right when I wake up if I think it’s something interesting. My latest scribbles say “A multi-level university for wizards with different belief systems working together.” Okay. Rambling done. Goodnight all!

Work in Progress Update!

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a bit since my last update. I finally hit 75,000 words on my work in progress, Lies Beneath the Sea! I know what you’re thinking… Weren’t you at 73,000 words like 2 weeks ago? Yes… I was. I hurt my back a week before Christmas and was bedridden for almost a week and a half. During that time I could barely move let alone work on my story. So that set me back quite a bit. Luckily, I’m improved quite a bit and have been trying to get back into my writing habit. I can’t let it stop!!!

So this morning, I hit 75,000 words! That was my minimum goal I wanted to meet with my story and it looks like I’m heading passed it. I’m still estimating finishing around 80,000 words for this first draft. I’ve got quite a lot of editing to do on it at some point… It feels like it’s somewhat of a mess right now but I guess that is what first drafts are supposed to feel like. I’m excited and eager to get started on my next project.

This may be my last update of the year but if something drastic changes… Like I pull a few all nighters over the long weekend and finish my story. We’ll see! Happy New Year everyone!!!

Update on my NaNoWriMo Novel

Hi everyone,

I set my new finishing goal for my NaNoWriMo Novel to be around 75,000 maybe 80,000 before the end of the year. I’m still hoping to reach that goal and finish my story. I’m at 66,000 words now which is pretty exciting. That’s less than 10,000 to go until I’ve met my ultimate goal. Depending on how fast the ending creeps up on me I’m fairly certain I am going to land somewhere between 75k and 80k. Though maybe some fun side plots will end up taking me passed 80k. I was worried for a while at where my ending was going, where the plot was going, but after a late night revelation I think I see the path ahead! I’m looking forward to finishing this story and giving it some breathing room really soon.

One of the reasons I’m eager to move on is because I have some really fun ideas in my head that I want to start working on for the next project. There are two projects that are standing out to me the most. One as I may have mentioned previously, taking place in my first novel’s universe. Not a continuation but another story set in the world.

The other idea is completely random and actually sounds like a lot of fun. I want to write a Western Fantasy SciFi Mashup. Western being Old-West. An old-west style setting but with creatures, magic, technology? I don’t know. It sounds completely nuts and that’s why it seems like so much fun to try.

Westerns are something I’ve never been into, unless Back to the Future 3 counts. However, my grandma loved them. There’s only one real western I’ve ever seen, True Grit. My grandma was a fan of the original and was absolutely excited to see the new version. She’s sat through countless hours of every type of movie us kids ever wanted to watch (she loved it though, she was one of the biggest movie lovers I ever knew). Anyways, despite my disinterest in Westerns I went with her to watch it. Holy crap, if it did not become one of my favorite movies.

After recently rewatching the movie, which inspired this newfound interest in writing my own weird pseudo-old-west novel, I also found out that True Grit was in fact a book itself. Who knew?! I haven’t read it yet but I’m working on getting a copy to read through as part of my “Research” before starting this next project.

Look at that, I think I just finished talking myself into making that my next project. Unless I can write two novels at once… Stephen King must be writing at least ten novels at any given moment, right? I can handle two.

Thanks for reading my rambling! Until next time, take care!

LIES beneath the sea chars

I won NaNoWriMo 2021!

I won NaNoWriMo on November 30th at 50,157 words! Just because I won doesn’t mean I’m stopping yet. I’ve revised my goal to 75,000 words(maybe more) and given myself until the end of December to complete my story Lies Beneath the Sea. Oh boy is this story a mess! I have so much revising and editing to do to make the story work once I finish up. Even so, I’m super excited to have completed the goal for November and proven to myself that I can actually still write something new. Then to further my excitement towards finishing this novel, my wonderful and supportive significant other drew my main crew of characters. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful person in my life!

While I feel like I’m comfortably in the final third of this novel, I’m already thinking about what I want to write next! I’ve got a few exciting ideas that I’m really hoping to flesh out once I have some time. One of the ideas is actually a prequel to my Last Angel novel. It’s funny that I’ve never considered writing any sort of multi-book series. I tend to focus want focused, self-contained stories. However, this character has such a vivid back story that I’m really wanting to jump back into it.

Speaking of which, I’m participating in the PitMad event this year for my novel The Last Angel! Which happens to be tomorrow… I’m pretty nervous. I wrote out my short query tweets and scheduled them early so that I can just avoid Twitter all day and try not to send myself into a panic attack.  I really hope that I’m representing my novel well in these few brief sentences and that someone finds them engaging enough to give me a like. I know I’m going to spend all day tomorrow wondering what’s happening…

If for some reason you are an agent visiting my website after seeing my tweets… Hi… I hope we get to chat soon…

Until next time my friends!