To Camp NaNo or Not to Camp Nano in July – That is the Question

Every year since 2008, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month and every year since 2009, I’ve completed 50,000 words in November. However, although I’ve tried to enter Camp Nano and do 50,000 words in other months, I’ve never succeeded.

I’ve been going back and forth on whether to try this year for July. I could use a good spark to my writing, and while I’ve had fun going to shows and I’ve done lots of editing, I really need to get back to writing. I can’t think of much that would help more than a forced 50,000 words in July.

I’m curious if anyone else has tried it and what they think. Am I crazy?

The one thing that I want to do differently from November is this: Instead of starting a new novel, I want to finish some of my old ones. I’m going to start with my epic fantasy, The Lantern, and see what transpires from there. The Hawks would certainly like their second book as well.

I’ll see if I can post on July 1st and let everyone know what’s going on.

I hope everyone’s had a great June!

CMON Expo 2015


After winning at Zombicide

I’ve been fortunate to be visiting the CMON Expo in Atlanta, GA. It’s been a break from real life and a chance for me to play games for a weekend. My thanks to Cool Mini or Not for the invite and my wife and daughter for being great about my attending. Read the rest of this entry


Longtime visitors may know that I’m the grandson of Captain Harry Heckel, the oldest man to circumnavigate the globe. Recently, I’ve had a number of visitors from France who are looking for information about my grandfather. I apologize as my French is rather poor, but the best place to find information on him is his book. It’s only available in English and I’m putting the link here.

There’s further information about him on the Captain Heckel page, which can be clicked above. He passed away last year, and I was fortunate to visit him that day. In our final conversation, I was able to tell him that I had received a book deal from Harper Voyager for my series, The Charming Tales.

Please feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to answer any questions. Je ne parle pas Francais, mais mon epouse peux traduire. :) Here’s a picture of Dr. Heckel himself.

Harry L. Heckel Jr.


Au revoir!

New York Comic Con Journal

Harry Heckel:

Bishop O’Connell’s trip to New York Comic Con last year, which includes video of my panel with him. I had to figure out how to be Jack Heckel. :)

Originally posted on A Quiet Pint:

I was invited to attend this year’s New York Comic Con, and be on the “Not Your Mother’s Fairytale” panel, along with Harry Heckel, another Impulse author (half of Jack Heckel) I’d met previously and gotten along famously with. Now that I’ve caught my breath, here is a journal of my adventure and experiences. Spoiler alert: it was utterly mind blowing.

Harper had events lined up for those of us attending the Con, starting with a get together on Thursday night. Readers and buyers from some bookstores would be in attendance, so I wanted to be there. Since I still have a day job, I couldn’t fly until Thursday night, but I was assured arriving a little late wouldn’t be a problem. I’d never been fashionably late to anything, so I was looking forward to it. I’d managed to get a direct flight, but of course the plane…

View original 1,287 more words

Fear and Writing

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Frank Herbert, Dune

Recently (March and April), I had the unfortunate experience of suffering from some side effects of allergy medication. Basically, they began causing fear and anxiety as they built up in my system. It got to a point where my blood pressure spiked to a new high, and I started having panic attacks about rather mundane things. Oh, and there were lots of fun nightmares. Read the rest of this entry

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

Okay, sometimes it’s just your duty to the superheroes of the world to post a link. This time it’s my duty. If you like Arrow or The Flash on CW, click here. Enjoy.

Sothis Ascends

On April 1st, Onyx Path published Sothis Ascends for Mummy: The Curse. I can honestly say that it was one of the most enjoyable projects that I’ve done. So, fair warning, I’m going to be a bad author and gush about my own product. I can’t help it. I’m very proud.

First of all, I love the cover.

Sothis Cover

In Mummy: The Curse, characters endure cycles where they wake with little memory and great power, but over time as they recover their memories, their power wanes. It’s an analogy for life. As we gain wisdom and experience over time, we eventually have to face that our abilities decline.

Sothis Ascends allowed me to reach back to my days at American University and draw on some of my ancient history studies. I was able to write about ancient Egypt and spend time perusing all sorts of wonderful history books in the process. The interesting and frustrating thing about ancient history is how much we really don’t know. Archaeology helps immensely, but even those discoveries leave us wondering and speculating about their meaning. Nonetheless, I was able to spend time rediscovering the Phoenicians, visiting Canaan and of course, exploring Egypt.

My favorite section to write was on Storytelling. With immortal characters in Mummy: The Curse, Storytellers can run sessions with flashbacks or even set entire sessions in the past. I was able to unleash my inner Gallifreyian (a Doctor Who reference for any non-Whovians out there), and give guidelines for telling stories and setting chronicles that warp time where events of the present impact the past and struggles in ancient times could determine the fate of the future. It was invigorating to draw on techniques that I had used running my own games in fantasy worlds with rich histories and with the past lives of werewolves and the dim memories of vampires.

There are twisted new antagonists for mummies in the book from each of the different eras. Without ruining anything, they are creative and interesting. Even though they may be assumed to be gone in the present, I can come up with dozens of reasons for their return. All of the authors did a great job, and a special thanks to Colin Suleiman for his development work and inspiration. So far, it has two five star reviews and four five star ratings. There is material in this book that could be useful for any World of Darkness game.

Again, it was a fun project.

Sothis Ascends is available in pdf format (print coming soon) at DriveThruRPG. Here’s the link.

May the Fourth be with you!

Happy Star Wars Day!

When I talk to muggle sorts about my roleplaying game writing, I often get this sort of reaction. “White Wolf? What’s that?” However, when I mention that I wrote some aliens for a Star Wars book, I usually get “Wow! You wrote for Star Wars?”

Ah, the power of the Force is strong.

GG12 Aliens

I had a great time writing up backgrounds for among others, the Ranth, the Draedans, the Anamin, the Khil and the Gran (the three-eyed goat aliens, I’ve included a picture below).










Here’s a link to my wookiepedia entry. Full disclosure: I updated it last (but it was there before I was).

All sorts of things have been going on in my life recently, including some health concerns and a great time at RavenCon. I owe you all several updates and articles. However, since it’s Star Wars Day, I thought I’d do some sharing.

When I was six years old, my father took me, without my mom or brother or sister, to go see Star Wars (A New Hope) in the theatre. It was my first non-cartoon movie, and the first time I had ever gone to a movie with just my Dad. To say I was excited is an understatement. It wouldn’t have mattered what movie it was – I was with Dad and feeling like a grownup.

But it wasn’t just a movie. It was Star Wars.

I had never seen anything like it, and I’m not sure I ever will again. The Force burned its way into my brain. I still get chills when Luke turns off his targeting computer while in the trench of the Death Star, and I long ago lost count of how many times I’ve seen the movie.

We get Episode VII this year.

Happy Star Wars Day!

RavenCon 2015

Hi everyone,

I’ve been away from the blog for too long between writing and allergy season (which deserves a blog post all its own). I wanted to let everyone know that I will be a guest at RavenCon in Richmond, VA over the weekend. Check out for details of the event. I’m looking forward to getting to meet lots of people and seeing some old friends.

All the best,


The Quest for the Pitchfork of Destiny

Harry Heckel:

An update from the world of Jack Heckel. Thanks for continuing to check my site and being patient as I work on the Charming Tales.

Originally posted on Jack Heckel:

Happy March!

I’m pleased to announce to the world that Pitchfork of Destiny (available for pre-order on Amazon), Book 3 of the Charming Tales, has made it into the hands of our editors. We fell quiet during the first part of the year because we’ve been heads down dealing with what happens when the Great Dragon of the North, Volthraxus, soars down into the Kingdom of Royaume to discover that Magdela, the Great Wyrm of the South, has been vanquished.

There’s a lot to catch up with, so hopefully, everyone will see more posts in the days and weeks to come. The word count for Pitchfork of Destiny came in around 98,000 words, but it will likely end up around 80,000 once it’s been properly edited.

I want to thank everyone who participated in and commented on the Voyager Valentine contest. I’ve heard back from everyone (and…

View original 640 more words


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 609 other followers

%d bloggers like this: