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It’s been a while since I’ve had an update on Book 1, A SENSE OF MAGICK. That’s because I’ve been busy revising, fixing, correct, tweaking, and hopefully improving it based on feedback from a very nice agent who helped point out some of the flaws, both in the text and in my query. I have addressed those flaws (hopefully addressed them well…) and I am officially now looking for an agent for The Other Realms series.

So any well wishes and happy thoughts you want to send my way on this strange and tumultuous endeavor are appreciated.



The Other Realms Book 3 – Untitled Progress Update

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I just made progress on The Other Realms Book 3 – Untitled! So far I’m 85% complete on the Outlining phase.
[mybookprogress progress=”0.85″ phase_name=”Outlining” book=”1″ book_title=”The Other Realms Book 3 – Untitled” bar_color=”CB3301″ mbt_book=”140″]

The good news is that I’ve made enough progress outline to support starting NaNoWriMo in just 27 hours and 32 minutes!


Bleeding from the eyes…

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So I’m not a huge horror movie fan but I don’t actively avoid them either. As such, I’ve seen a few zombie movies and some hack and slash gory movies in my time. You would think that the goal of these movies would be to prepare you for real life. You want to be ready when the zombie apocalypse happens, right?

Well…I can tell you that the opposite is true at least in one case.

This weekend, my son got a nosebleed. No big deal. He gets them from time to time. His older sister got them when she was younger, not so much now. My wife and I both got them when we were kids.

We were hanging out, having a quiet Saturday evening watching a movie. Nothing active. My son had played in a soccer game earlier in the day, but he didn’t get hit in the face or have any falls. So his nosebleed was surprising. Not in the fact that he had one, but in its fervency.

This was a gusher.

So he was sitting on the floor in the living room holding a Kleenex to his face and I was on the couch. He turned to say something and then turned back. Slowly, my brain processed what it had seen, but it was refusing to believe it. Blood had welled up in his left eye and had just started to overflow his lower lid, spilling onto his cheek.

We pulled the Kleenex away for a moment to look and it just gushed. This wasn’t a trickle. Not a “one little tear at the end of a sad movie” type of thing. It was gushing blood almost as fast as his nose was.

So we put the New Kittens away and bundled my son away to the ER at the local Pediatric hospital.

It was surprising how busy the pediatric ER was at 9:00 on a Saturday night. Apparently, there are a lot of hard-partying children in our area. We waited for about 90 minutes in the waiting room, during which we finished off half a box of Kleenex as his eye and eventually his nose slowly stopped bleeding.

We were finally shown to a room and pulled the last Kleenex away from his nose literally less than a minute before the doctor came in. At this point, it was 11:30 at night and his nosebleed had lasted just over three hours. And there was basically nothing left to show the doctor. Fortunately (and I never thought I would utter these words prefaced with “Fortunately…”), there was some residual blood on his eyelashes to prove to the doctor that it had happened. Also, three of the intake nurses had seen it. Neither the doctor nor any of the nurses had ever seen that happen before.

But none of them were terribly worried about it, either. The tear ducts are connected to the nasal passages so it stands to reason that if you block an excess of blood from coming out of the nose, it would try to find some other way out. A lot of it went down his throat. And what was left found its way out of his eye.

So they sent us home with a nice pat on the head and a follow-up visit with an ENT this week. We got home and got the kids to bed.

And as they were sleeping peacefully in their rooms, I lay awake in my own bed with every image of a eye-bleeding zombie I’d ever seen in a movie flashing through my head…with my son’s face. ‘Twas a fitful night’s sleep to say the least.


New Kittens

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I mean, seriously…is there anything better in the entire world than kittens?

Their playful curiosity, unabashed enthusiasm, and overload of cuteness. What could possibly be better?

Yesterday, we stopped at the pet store to pick up a new fish for my son. We walked out of the store 2 hours later with a fish…and two new kittens. We’re still working out the names, but we’re closing in on them as a family. And this morning, when the black one stretched out across my chest and fell asleep for nearly an hour…everything else just sort of melted away. Thoughts of mowing the lawn and cleaning the house and my son bleeding out of his eye (that’s for a different post)…they all just sort of floated away. And for that hour, I couldn’t have been happier.

Here’s a pic of the newest additions to the family:



The kittens purr when I hold them and all is right with the world…


Redemption comes in the form of…a soccer ball.

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Yesterday, my son’s soccer team suffered their first loss of the season. It was a 3-1 thrashing that wasn’t nearly that close.

The problem wasn’t the skill of the other team; it was the lethargy of a hot, late afternoon game and the inability to overcome adversity. The other team was definitely a good team. Good skill and good coaching. They jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first minute because we just kinda watched the first couple plays of the game. It was like we weren’t quite ready to start yet, so we just watched as the other team played without us.

The biggest problem, I think, was that we never recovered from the mental goal they had scored on us. No matter what I did, I couldn’t motivate the boys to run faster, pay better attention, move off the ball. All the same things we’ve been practicing for the last 5 weeks.

In the second half, I shook things up and pulled one of my players aside. I told him that if we were going to get back into the game, it was going to be up to him. He responded, scoring our first (and only) goal less than 2 minutes later.

But alas, it wasn’t enough. The other team (they were red dragons compared with my team’s Emerald Dragons) scored again, immediately eliminating our momentum.

I stewed over it all night and couldn’t sleep…not because we lost (we’ve lost lots of games in previous seasons)…but because of how we lost. And I prepare my speech. I put on my best Coach’s voice and warned them of the Wrath of Coach.

Today, we played the same team. But today, we played. Hard.

Each and every boy — including the sick one who probably should have stayed home and the one who took a ball to the face during warmups before the game and played with a swollen eye — played with intensity for the full 50 minutes.

Walking away with a 3-0 victory, I think I did some of my best coaching today. And I hope that this is a lesson the boys will remember as they grow…when someone knocks you down and takes advantage of you having an off day…the only way to respond is to get back up and show them who you really are the next day.

Tonight, I will sleep soundly.


Call for Beta Readers!!!

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A Sense of Magick is ready for beta readers! Again!

After another year of adding text, cleaning up scenes, and editing text, I’m finally ready to share the first book in The Other Realms series with my beta readers again.

Let me thank you in advance for reading for me. It means a lot to me that you would take time to read for me and give me feedback. Your feedback really does make the books better and makes me a better writer.

If you’d like to read the (hopefully) final version of A Sense of Magick, please send me an email at Jordan@JordanDuff.com. I’ll reply with details of how to access the file.

Thanks again. I hope you enjoy the final version of A Sense of Magick.




Writing Ideas

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How do I know I’m a writer? How do you figure out if you’re a writer? What makes a real writer?

I think there are probably a hundred ways to define a writer and people will disagree on how you define it. But there’s one that makes the most sense to me…and that’s a need to write. When I’m in the zone of a book, whether that’s architecting it or editing it or anywhere in between, I have this overwhelming need to get it out there. It’s not that I want to get the story out…it’s that I have to. I feel like I might explode if I don’t get the story out of my own head and heart and into the eyes and ears of others.

That, to me, is being a writer.

One of the side effects of that is that I am constantly coming up with ideas that may be the next zone story for me. Ideas that appear, sometimes bidden through objective reality triggers, but usually, they come from somewhere in my subjective universe and the trigger is unknown. Possibly unknowable.

Do you get these ideas, too? You must write them down! Get them in a TO DO type list on some website?Keep a Word document of all of the ideas and keep it somewhere safe? Wherever and however you keep them, just keep them safe!

One of the interesting things that comes from that for me is that occasionally I’ll post an idea to my list (I use TaDaList.com, but need to find a new one since that one is mostly defunct now) only to realize that I’ve already posted a similar or identical idea in the past. That’s usually a trigger for me to realize that my subconscious, subjective-universe mind really wants me to write that story. That helps move the story idea to the top of the list for me.

So track all of those ideas. Write them down the instant they come to you. If you don’t, they’ll be lost forever. And when you find yourself writing the same idea down repeatedly…make it into a book!


A Sense of Magick

Revision Five!

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With lots of excellent feedback from my beta readers and a first pass at proofreading…and knowledge of the future, I’m started Revision 5 of A Sense of Magick.

First, you may notice a new title…I was never pleased with the old title and I think the new one fits so much better. Yes, Robynn, you’re welcome. Now if I could just come up with a title for Book II…

Second…about that bit of knowledge from the future. This gets into what kind of writer I am. Am I an architect? Or a gardner? (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out the first post on this link for more info: http://www.youngwritersonline.net/showthread.php?t=7180) So those of you who know me (the other me) will likely say, “Duh, you’re an architect.” True dat. And as such, I like to plan out as much of a book ahead of time as I can. This makes sense because my favorite part of any book is when you get to the end and say, “Oh! I realize now that was set up from the beginning!” So you’d think I’d want to fully architect my stories so my readers can have the same moment.

However, I’m not a good enough architect yet to fully plan out everything. Maybe I never will be. Maybe it’s impossible. Or maybe, when I can dedicate all of my time to writing, I’ll be able to bring more focus to my outline and get it right the first time. In the meantime, my typitcal writing style goes like this: I design out everything…and then I realize when I’m writing what was left out of “everything.” And there’s usually quite a bit.

Which brings me to The Other Realms series. I’ve figured out I can’t fully architect a single novel, so it should come as no surprise that I definitely can’t architect out 7 full novels upfront. So as Book 2 developed and the organic growth just sorta happened, I realized that a lot of the stuff that needs to happen in Book 2 has to be set up in Book 1.

So the organic growth of Book 2 actually crept backward in time and caused grew into Book 1. That’s great news because Book 1 is now much more complete and feels comfortable as a whole. What I had to add to Book 1 to set up Book 2…was really needed in Book 1 all along.

So the good news for you, my loyal beta readers, is about 40% more content in Book 1, a more complete story, and a new title that hopefully Robynn won’t hate!

The bad news is that I just need…a little more time. But rest assured, my faithful Allyians (like that?), it will be coming soon for your reading enjoyment.



Book 2 (Untitled) is coming along nicely!

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Just wanted to drop a note to let everyone know that Book 2 of The Other Realms series is coming along nicely. It is significantly longer than Book 1, which I think is okay. I’ve got a lot to say, but I think it’s all necessary. (When we get to Beta Reading, I’m sure you’ll all let me know if I’m wrong…)

Here’s some teasers about what’s happening in Book 2:

  • Ally gets a new power, of course, but she thinks it’s one that can’t actually help her.
  • Raymund knows a lot more about the portal and The Book then he lets on…and we find out why.
  • The idea of stealing children from this world and taking them into The Other Realm that was just touched on in Book 1 is greatly expanded on here. The new beast from TOR is, I think, a bit scarier than the one from Book 1…but also a lot more interesting.
  • And what’s going on with the townspeople of Ouverture?

I hope you’re as excited about Book 2 as I am. Maybe next time I post about it, I’ll have a title. (Robynn — I believe that’s your job! 😉 )