“Pawsgaard” is done, uploaded and available for your reading pleasure

It seems like I’ve been working on Pawsgaard forever. I wrote the first draft back in 2009, and have updated it twice since then. Last year during my great HatKK edit, I realized that I had some major problems in Pawsgaard, and so I took a couple months to fix the plot and reuploaded the story.

Now, six months later, I’ve finally gotten around to giving Pawsgaard the attention it deserves. It’s taken a couple weeks to clean up the text, but now, finally, I’m ready to call this the final draft.

Check out the final draft of Pawsgaard: A Guineawick Tale by Jon Thysell today! It’s free and available for download for the Kindle (mobi) and Nook (epub), as well as in plain text and html. Also, stay tuned for an eventual publication on Smashwords!

Update: Pawsgaard is up on Smashwords!


Unedited excerpts from NaNoWriMo 2011

If you haven’t been following my day by day tweets, I won NaNoWriMo on the 20th, and finished up the final story in the wee hours of the 21st. The total by my count is 51,371 words, by the official count  it’s 51,390.

I’m taking a short writing hiatus (just a tiny one I swear) but in the meantime I thought I’d post a couple of excerpts from this year’s stories. Note these are unedited from draft zero. Okay, I ran spellcheck, but otherwise they’re untouched! It pains me too, cause I can already see problems to fix.

No guarantees anything even remotely like them will appear in the finished works. Anyway, enjoy!


The mouse dodged the awkward blow, as he expected. They were always faster, but he could endure. The swings that looked mighty to them were as the swatting of fleas. Let them think they could outpace him, outthink him, outfight him. He wasn’t just a lump of muscle; this was his life, tip to tail.

Let them play at war.


“You’ve heard the rumors,” Pate said. “What do-”

A small light blipped on the desk, and Tom flicked it with his finger. “Here,” he said.

“We’ve picked up the Notrump’s transponder signal,” a voice said. “They’re requesting permission to dock.” Tom eyed Pate.

“Permission granted,” he said.

“Roger that,” the voice said. “Docking to hangar three, ETA eleven minutes.” The light on the desk winked out.

“Just relax,” Tom said. “Inspectors come and inspectors go. You run a tight operation here.”

“Tell that to the company,” Pate said. Tom shrugged, and Pate returned to his graphs. “You don’t have to deal with those fuckers. You lose an ounce of ore, they’re on you like… shit. Fuck. I don’t know.”

“Eloquent,” Tom said. “You want my advice, just don’t be yourself.”

“Fuck you.”

Sorry for swearing. But after a year and a half of working on Guineawick Tales, I needed the outlet.


Counting down to NaNoWriMo 2011

It’s almost time. Less than an hour until NaNoWriMo hits the west coast with a flurry of keystrokes.

This year I’m tackling two short stories instead of one full-length novel. I’ve taken about three days to outline them both; a close shave, but I think I’m prepared.

  • Aman
    A short adventure of the Guardmouse Aman, set during the events of Hester and the Kookaburra King.
  • Trump
    A bio-tech adaptation of the John Henry folk legend.

Aman is in keeping with my plan to alternate short story, novel, short story, novel, etc for the Guineawick Tales series. I plan for a lot of character growth: the eager upstart Guardmouse will not have it easy. The challenge will be to write a gritty children’s story without going too far.

Trump is a story I outlined in the months before NaNoWriMo last year, after positive feedback and interest on the first few chapters by my former writing group. This year I’ve torn that outline (and those early drafts) apart and have re-envisioned a much tighter story overall.

As with the last two years, both will be written on Cortana, my veteran ASUS netbook. She’s got a 1.6GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD hard drive, and a 12-cell battery.

In layman’s terms that means an ultra portable little monster with a near instant boot time and a fourteen hour battery life. Eight hours with wifi on.

She runs Ubuntu 10.10 like a champ. As with previous years, I’ll be writing in the ever awesome FocusWriter, now using txt2tags for markup. This year I also add bazaar for version control and to sync my work to my personal server (and into my offsite backup system).

I’ll be using Pomodroido on my phone to schedule my time and improve my productivity. I’ll keep track of my daily progress in a spreadsheet.

I’ve been tweaking the whole system for months now. I intend to hit 50,000 words as soon as possible, so that I can get back to editing my other stories and  getting them into readers’ hands.

Best of luck to my fellow writers. NaNoWriMo 2011!


Draft 1 of Hester and the Kookaburra King is complete after 8 months, 6 days

It’s been 8 months and 6 days since I started editing Hester and the Kookaburra King, my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel written in the Guineawick Tales universe.

It’s been a long haul, and there were plenty of distractions along the way. In fact in the middle of editing HatKK I made the decision to revisit Pawsgaard to fix some plot issues. I re-released the story soon after, and in multiple ebook formats.

The original draft of HatKK, Draft 0, was 100,227 words long. I printed it out on 430 double spaced pages, almost a whole ream of paper! It was 2 inches thick!

They say that in your first revision you should cut down your story by 10%. This revision, Draft 1, is 86,746 words, for an overall cut of 13%. Not bad.

The novel is, unfortunately, not yet ready to be shared. It is however, a great improvement over Draft 0. The plot and pacing have been restructured, and most if not all of the inconsistencies have been addressed. All temporary or substitute text is gone. A lot of unpleasant and unnecessarily repetitive themes have been cut out. The complete story is there, readable, and is actually enjoyable.

There will be more work, more revisions. I need to read it through cover to cover and take copious notes. I need to revisit the language and bump up the writing from good to excellent (especially in the first half). I also need to do the same work for Pawsgaard.

I’ve completed a huge leg in what seemed at first like an insurmountable journey. I’ve edited a one hundred thousand word novel, often putting in twenty hours a week on top of my normal job. And now NaNoWriMo is just around the corner; I’ll post my plans for that soon. In the meantime, Hester, the Kookburra King, and I are taking a well-deserved break.

At least until December.