Just wanted to post a quick update here before I get to my day's editing.
By the end of the week, Bringing Ragnarok, Book Three (The Second Fimbulwinter) will be 75% complete, with only the third Part left to write.
Manuscript stands at just over 100,000 words, and I'm aiming to bring it in at right around 145,000 words.
So longer than Book One, but a bit shorter than Book Two. And as I mentioned in a previous update, this Book's position in the metastructure lets me tone down the combat a bit, and focus more on lore and understanding the mad broken world the Six Friends have discovered was always lurking beyond sight.
This, of course, setting the stage for the escalation of the action and intensity of the fighting through Book Four, which will echo Book Two but be a little shorter and more focused, the battles less about teaching the characters what war is like and more about advancing their new organization's interests, while learning how to also advance their own.
Now, this being said I am behind schedule, and for that I apologize!
But not that much, because I have a very good excuse: Spouse was recovering from brain surgery. Which went fine and seems to have worked as planned, but still requires a long and slow recovery. Turns out, brain don't like being mucked with or swelling or really anything of a physical nature (this is why Traumatic Brain Injuries are so devastating and probably far more widespread than we all realize, particularly among veterans) - hence why they hide behind a nice thick skull.
And I'm simply unable to function when my spouse or one of our animals is ill. So progress on Book Three slowed considerably for two months, pushing what I'd hoped would be a June release back to August.
Knock on wood and gods willing, life gets back to normal from here. Seeing her come alive again after a year of heavy medication has been a treat in and of itself.
Heh, on normal - anybody seen the news recently? I keep being right about the way things have been and continue to be headed, and I hope very much that I stop being right any day now. But if you want more of my thoughts on those fronts, click on of the other tabs than Bringing Ragnarok. Yes, the Saga is deeply rooted in understanding our contemporary struggles, but I work hard to avoid being too in-your-face about it, and my allergy to rhetoric remains potent, so my style of reflection and understanding is not "political" in the modern American sense. My own rhetoric and philosophy, if you want it, is elsewhere in the site.
And as for updates on how the first two Books in the saga are doing - I continue to attract readers at a steady pace, and if the research I've done is correct, publishing Book Three should tug my growth curve upward substantially. We'll see!
A huge thank so much to the readers willing to take their time to write out their impressions of an author's work! The story isn't really alive until people have read it and felt it resonate in some way. I'm particularly happy that (this holds for private discussion with beta readers) even people who don't usually read this sort of book are finding it interesting and even compelling.
Definitely a boost to my motivation to get Book Three out on schedule!
I may get a pre-order landing page set up on Amazon in July, but I want to get the full manuscript through beta first.
Finally, for those who for whatever reason like to use Twitter, earlier this year I set up an account where I post as "Mimr's Head' - rarely keeping in-character, because I'm no actor. If you happen to use Twitter, feel free to see all the random stuff I post into the aether, hoping some decent ideas find a good home at @mimr_s
I actually don't very much like social media, and got rid of Facebook a couple years ago. But it irritates me that I constantly see Tweets by a certain orange idiot even in the international news, and find it kind of therapeutic to do my own angry shouting at the crowd with my weird Norse-Buddhist take on the world. So, until Twitter finds a way to evade my ad-block software, I figure, why not?
And oddly enough, totally against my expectations... there are actually a couple communities on Twitter that are both not terrible and also kind of cool to be in touch with. Progressive veterans who loathe what is happening in the USA, international scholars talking about cool research, Tulsi Gabbard supporters - basically people I rarely get to interact with in the real world. It's actually helping stimulate some writing ideas, and expanding my reading list.
Welp, think that's all the business I've neglected to cover in the past couple months. For anyone who is interested in the story but wants it in print, I am beginning to send the Book One manuscript to publishers (starting in Canada), in the hope that I can find one willing to handle the print and audiobook side of publishing.
Ideally, I'd get independently big and be able to hire my own staff. But one step at a time - and capital is exceedingly difficult to get hold of when you're an over-educated autistic with no family wealth or connections to leverage.
Thanks for reading, stay safe out there!
Sandra Chavez is one of the Missoula Regiment's primary Commanders, a veteran of the American Forever Wars with deployments to Kuwait 2013 (E2), Iraq 2015 (E3), Afghanistan 2018 (E4, promoted to E5/Sergeant), Syria 2019 (E5), Iraq/Syria 2023 (E6), and Pakistan 2025-2027 (E7).
Initially enlisted as 31B (Military Police), re-classed to 19D (Cavalry Scout) in 2018. Left the Armed Forces as an E8 (Master Sergeant) in 2030 after the Collapse, joining the Missoula Regiment in the same year.
As a result of her experiences and continuing formal education - BA earned in 2017, MS in 2023, ended studies at PhD (all but dissertation) - during a stint at the old National Training Center Chavez established the following "Rules of 21st Century Battlefield Survival," eventually incorporating all thirteen into Missoula Regiment standing doctrine.
Numerous attempts by colleagues to convince Sergeant Chavez to pursue an Officer commission failed.
In her own words: "Why would I take on all that damn paperwork?"
Sandra Chavez and the Thirteen Rules of 21st Century Battlefield Survival
1. What can see you, can kill you - stick to cover.
2. What can't see you can still kill you - always choose the thickest cover.
3. When out of cover, assume you've been seen.
4. When seen, either superior speed or firepower saves you.
5. Training, experience, and good equipment can give you the decisive edge in a hard fight.
6. But the wise warrior seeks any fight only rarely, and a fair fight never.
7. The most deadly weapon is a scout team in a hide with commo links to fire support.
8. Most important combat objectives will boil down to: go there, control that.
9. The warrior who lives to old age is the one who never achieves objectives in the expected way.
10. Armor is backup - taking a hit always ruins your day.
11. All good rules apply equally well at every level but implementation varies with the terrain.
12. Frontal assaults, charges, and anything else traditionally macho is for fools with a death wish.
13. Sometimes fools are the most deadly opponents of all.