Skip to content

Knives Posts

Episode 35 Published

“We shall always be.” It’s a compelling slogan, a good chorus to a song, as long as you don’t think too hard about “Who is we?” and “Be what?” Elena, perhaps, answers those questions differently than the rest of the group.

But we shall always be.

Behind the scenes, this chapter is special in a couple of ways: It’s long overdue, and it has been published from the steps of a residence hall in Lawrence, Kansas. I arrived this afternoon and for the next two weeks I will be devoting myself entirely to the written word. I plan to write two more episodes (along with other stuff), but I’ll probably not publish them both while I’m here.

It’s kind of funny; I have a lot of stuff going on, but when I sit down to write this story it flows. Just gotta do that more. I like the four people in this group, and I vow to devote myself to reinforcing their individuality. As a tease: who ever heard of an even-numbered party of heroes?

Episode 34 Published


Knives Episode 34 is out! A bit of travel, a campfire, and a look at the thing from the well.

I was sorely tempted to put a stinger on the end of this episode, but boy would that have messed with my plans. You can’t just put every shiny idea you get into a story, no matter how well it would have rounded out this episode. So, no fireworks this time.

On the writing side, I’ve discovered that the way to make money on Patreon as a writer is to write porn. I’m just going to stick with hoping my patrons see fit to spread the word about Knives, however.

In other news, the chicken that lives next door just laid an egg. Life in a trailer park is nothing if not glamorous.

Anyway, enjoy Episode 34: The Prize!

Episode 33 Published

We rarely outrun our pursuit, we outlast it.

Knives Episode 33: The Hardest Lesson has been published! Things happen, but they’re small things. Things that might or might not develop into large things.

Over there on Muddled Ramblings I talked for a bit about a character quirk of Martin’s I reveal in this episode, that to actually make sense I’d have to go back and tweak a lot of previous episodes. I left that quirk in for now, and perhaps you can spot it. In the next few days I’ll have to decide what to do about that quirk. Either erase it from this episode, or go back and do some rewritin’.

It is taking me much longer to get to looking at the goddam thing from the well than I thought it would. That’s because there are more important things going on. Or at least that’s my story now.

Behind the scenes, things are going pretty well. I’d like to welcome a new patron, and send out special thanks, while respecting privacy. Thanks, new patron! I’ll have your special access set up real soon. All y’all feel free to spread the good word.

Episode 32 Published

This is a gentler episode than we’ve had lately; if this were a heavyweight boxing match this would be one of the rounds where both boxers’ ears are ringing from blows in the previous rounds. Martin is not one to stand toe-to-toe with an opponent, so perhaps this is for the best. He is also not a team player, and that may show a bit this time around. Elena and Katherine have an accord, but how deep does it run?

From a writerly viewpoint, in this episode I’m working more on the connective tissue of the story than on the meat or the bone. But the best stories have great ligaments — the connections between characters and events that turn a travelogue into a story. So I’d best pay careful attention to this stuff. I wasn’t feeling terribly creative this afternoon, but I had a great time going back over the draft and adding another layer of detail to the descriptions. You learn a lot about a character by what they observe.

Some stuff I thought I’d cover in this episode has been pushed back; I’m not trying to be coy about The Thing From The Well, but there are more immediate problems to solve first.

Behind the scenes, progress on the next two episodes was, it turns out, greatly exaggerated. But the good news is that I had an idea today that totally ties the room together, but I hadn’t included in my plan.

So please enjoy Episode 32: What Needs to be Done

Episode 31 Published!

Knives Episode 31 is available for your reading pleasure. Important Things happen. There is negotiation that leans dangerously toward banter at the end, but then people start putting sharp things into each other and all is well. Now perhaps there will be a time of quiet for our little band. They certainly need it; they’re getting pretty banged up.

But life isn’t alway accommodating. We do have an Object of Great Importance right now, something you might call an Important Thing I might have mentioned before. But relax, kids; it’s not like that.

Behind the scenes, the next chapter is shaping up nicely, and the two beyond are coalescing out of the mists. The generous contributions from the Patreon faithful for the last milestone episode have now reached my bank account, and have been used to justify beer several times over. You guys rock.

Enjoy Episode 31: She is Family Now.

Episode 30, Almost Known as “Hekka’s Middle Bunghole”

This is one of the big ones, so it’s a time to thank all my patrons for their continued support. Thanks! You guys put the iron to my backside.

The title of this episode is “An Ethical Foundation”, which is a central idea in the story as it develops, but I toyed with calling it “Hekka’s Middle Bunghole”.

I was searching for the perfect profanity for the moment after someone explodes, and I never found it. What I came up with might have been perfect, with the proper setup: Hekka is a God known in the south, who has three heads and who gave birth to heaven, hell, and our world. Elena, apparently, stopped to consider what three heads might imply on the other end.

There was no way to fit that bit of information into the narrative without breaking the flow of the story; perhaps a future “bonus content” project could be a series of short legends about the deities I pull out of my (only) bunghole when I need a good profanity.

Speaking of bonus content, my fake user accounts with the same settings as my loyal patrons can all see the bonus content properly. Patrons, please let me know if any of you are still having trouble. If it’s working for you, I’ll start loading up Kat’s backstory.

Meanwhile, on the writing front, the curse of the serial novel is starting to bite me. I’m deviating from my plan as I come up with ideas during the flow of the writing. I like the direction I’m heading, but some of the big-picture stuff is starting to drift. But you know, I’m just going to run with it for a bit, and focus on the relationships that will drive the story. What could possibly go wrong?

Enjoy An Ethical Foundation

Episode 29 Published!

A quiet murder, followed by a confrontation. Martin doing what Martin does best. But this time, his best may not be enough.

This episode went well, writing-wise; there were some details I had to work out for realism but the overall chain of events was pretty set. The rest was a matter of the small things. If there’s one thing I regret about the serial format, it’s that when I read an episode long since published I often wish I spent more time on the small things. It’s a lesson the Kansas Bunch has been trying to pound into my head for years now: The life of the story is in the little details.

We have in the narrative an honest-to-god MacGuffin now, and I have mixed emotions about that. It’s a time-honored device that appears in some of the best stories ever, but it also serves as a crutch in some pretty bad writing (see, “The Quest for the Important Thing to Defeat the Evil Guy”). I had intended to resolve this particular item fairly quickly, making it more a clue to the mystery rather than an object of great contention, but… well. I might not.

Please enjoy Episode 29.

Episode 28 released!

It’s been a while, for which I apologize. This episode was more difficult than I anticipated; on the surface it’s just a series of actions, but adding the nuances of Martin’s voice to narrative was trickier than it should have been.

Next episode has killing in it, so it should be easier.

Behind the scenes, my new health regimen has been a little at odds with my writing routine; so I’ve made the command decision to allow health rule breakage in cases where writing benefits directly. This might be the time to buy shares in Scottish distilleries.

Please enjoy Episode 28: Down the Hole.

Working out the Patreon Kinks

The code provided by the very nice people over at Patreon that was supposed to help my faithful patrons get access to special content turned out to be broken beyond redemption. Sorry about that, folks. We’re moving on from that now.

The new process is much more manual on my part, but I don’t see the day coming soon that it becomes a burden for me to maintain patron’s accounts (though we can always hope…). So here’s what happens now: I get notified when I get a new patron over at patreon.com. I then create an account on this site using the same name and email that is on the Patreon registration. I create a wacky password and send it via email, along with a welcome text and login and password-changing instructions.

To those patrons who already have accounts here, please contact me if you need me to reset your password. I suspect that is most of you; one of the things the old plugin seemed to have a hard time with was sending out the email with new account information.

At this time the new setup is untested (even a manual method was not as simple to set up as one might expect). Current patrons, please let me know if you have any difficulties.