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With Tommy in tow, Jonah stepped out into the dusty town of Dayton, the namesake of the Dayton Flats. Folk came to the town in droves for the powder mines long before anyone had bothered to give the place a name, but when the powder ran dry, most moved on to lands where the mines were fresh and the trees were tall, though some stayed for the silver.
The suns rode high in the sky, and Jonah leaned his hat forward to keep the glare from his eyes. Tommy traded in his empty threats for cries of mercy, but the Peacemaker paid him no mind, treading onward down the roads of Dayton with a ringing of spurs. Folk moved through the roads, going about their business slow and lethargic in the noon heat. The town never really came alive until the evening cooled the land.
After a time, Tommy fell silent completely, and awhile after that, a young boy called out to Jonah. “Excuse me! I have a question!”
The Peacemaker looked to the boy, maybe ten years old, clothes crisp and clean. He stood with a yellow-haired girl about his age in a blue dress beneath the awning of the general store. Jonah leaned his head back, brow ruffled. “Ain’t you two supposed to be in school?”
The girl spoke. “We’re not from here.”
“Yeah?” He asked. “Where you from, then?”
“We’re going to Oak Creek,” the boy answered, some excitement on his voice.
“You and everybody else,” Jonah laughed, keeping his grip on Tommy’s chains. “Go on, ask your question. It’s quick, I hope.”
“Why do vultures fly in circles?” The girl asked.
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I’ve set most of my old posts on this blog to private, including the chapters of Neva Cora that were once posted here. I’ve rewritten everything that had been posted, and in my opinion, my style has changed enough that I no longer felt comfortable having them available. My first draft of the full story is now done and it’s in the hands of a pair of beta readers. Before I even attempt publication, I’ll be going through a few stages of that — beta readers, fix issues based on feedback, kick it off to new beta readers until I reach the point where I’m satisfied with the work. In other words, it’s going to be awhile yet before I have a final product, but the first draft is done and I think that’s most of the work. We’ll see if that proves to be true.
I haven’t decided what I want to work on in the meantime. I might move on to drafting the next book in that series, or I might take a break from it and put more work into that Peacemaker concept.
One thing I do need to keep in mind is the fact that if I go the self-publishing route, I need to commission cover art. If you know any artists that do that kind of work, do let me know. I’m not looking to hire someone right now, but I am shopping around well in advance.
Neva Cora is in the middle of its first full editing pass, but I needed to take a bit of a break from looking at it after working on it for so damn long. To work on something wildly different for awhile, I jammed out this passage for a potential Wild West-inspired story in about 10-15 minutes. The idea for the setting is that it’s Not America, much in the way most fantasy is set in Not Europe. The western frontier is effectively America’s equivalent of that era, or as close to it as a country so young can get, so it held some allure for me.
Enjoy it, or don’t! There isn’t much plot here, just me jamming on an idea and seeing if I have the chops to take on such a setting.