Tag Archives: books

Books and Such

Earlier today I was talking to a friend that was half way through my book The Halley Branch. She had picked it up a few years ago, but this was the first time she had gotten a chance to read it. She it was fun listening to her, particularly since she was enjoying it so much.

I often think of the bad side of my books like the Halley Branch. I think I fixed a lot of writing issues when I did my next book, The Old Mill, but even there, looking back I see so many things I feel I did wrong. Looking at how well these books have done 🙄, I am as often as embarrassed by them as proud or anything else. I mean, some, like the two fantasy novels, sold in single digits int the three years since its release, even when I tried to give it away.

I had been working on a new book of short stories. My other two books of short stories are both pretty eclectic and the stories tend to be on the shorter side. For this new book, I had picked only sci-fi stories, and the average length was much more than in the previous two. I had done several editing passes and was pretty close to putting it out.

Last May I sent a beta copy out.


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Random Rambling About (My) Short Stories…

I am in the editing stage of a book of short stories.  This will be different from my other two books of short fiction in a number of ways.  The other two were both pretty eclectic, while this is all science fiction.  Seasons of Imagination had 36 stories and totaled about 71K words.  Embers had 22 stories and totaled about 90K words.  This book will only have 11 stories and be close to 75K words, so the average story length, having jumped for Embers, has jumped again.

I like short stories.  I like to read them, and I like to write them.  Although I like the novels and longer novellas I put out, I think my short stories (and short novellas) as given in these three collections are my best works of fiction.  I know this format is not the best if trying to sell books, but…  Both Seasons of Imagination and Embers have sold better than The Old Mill or The Haley Branch and much, much better than my two fantasy novellas, so…  They also each have almost as many reviews (or at least stars) as those three put together.

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WTF is Up With My WIP? ;) The Old Mill

The story of the story of my Work in Progress (WIP) is a bit of a story. Got that?


OK, back to the beginning.

In late 2016 I wrote a stand alone character sketch of a local oddball (not real! fictional). Later I added a little to it and brought the idea of “the old mill” into the story. In the spring to early summer of 2017, I wrote and posted a serialized novel, The Old Mill, starting with those stories. This was a very rough draft of a story, as I posted each chapter the day that I wrote them. The good news was that I used story ideas that had been kicking around in my skull for years.

At the end of 2018, I decided I wanted to sharpen it up and release it by the summer of 2019. I did a lot of rewriting and drafting, and was pretty much done by late August 2019. I didn’t reach my goal, but having it out in the late fall was very doable.

Through the autumn of 2019 I posted teasers, sketches, and even a big chunk of one of the chapters of the reworked work.

But it was never published.

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Warmth #Haibun #Nonet


Painting by Jim Warren


It is a dark and cold November day. The clouds are dragging grey across the dull sky, faded dead leaves litter the ground. Even the fire doesn’t provide warmth. I need something to spark my flame. I need you.

You beckon, drawing me into the bedroom. Beneath the sheets, you cuddled in my arms, I see lovers in the vibrant clouds. The setting sun glints rainbows on the tropical waters with horses dancing in the waves. A warm breeze over the cool, majestic mountains makes me forget the forecast of snow. Waterfalls near and far pulls me more into your allure.

I search you out on a cold dark day
Your agile tongue speaks in my mind
I follow your elegance
Dreaming with open eyes
Bewitched by your tone
Another land
On your pages
A book


This is a double Challenge.

I decided to participate in Sadje’s What Do You See challenge, which she recently started to host.  She provided the painting at the top (Painted by Jim Warren, found on Google) as this week’s prompt.

This was also written for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge.  This week’s key words are Grace and Style, but only synonyms can be used.  I chose a Haibun with a nonet.

I hope you enjoyed this love poem to books and reading :)

Books to This Point…


My time for writing and blogging disappeared half way through the week, but I wanted to do a post.  Hey, why don’t I talk about my books?! So here is a list of books with their blurbs in order of publication:

Seasons of Imagination

Trent P. McDonald’s Seasons of Imagination contains an eclectic mix of stories covering many places, times and even different genre, yet they all hold one thing in common, they are all about people.

Be they silly, serious or speculative, all of the stories are about us.  What makes us tick?  Why do we say the things we do?  Why do we react as we do?

So whether it seems the stories are exploring outer or inner space, in reality they’re always exploring the human space.

Here is an invitation to open the page and come with me to explore the
Seasons of Imagination Continue reading

An Excuse to Post Two Pictures

I recently took two photos that I want in my “Media” on the blog so I can refer back to them in the future.  What better way to get them up than to just write a post with no reason to exist except to put these photos up? ;)

Here is a new “Weekend Coffee Share”, i.e. “If We Were Having Coffee”, photo to be used when I want coffee outside.  This is the backyard at the new house on Cape Cod.  See the hammock in the background?

The second is a photo of all of my books to date.  I didn’t have any with all of them together sine the two novellas came out.  Now I do.

Need a book to read?  I have a recommendation or five ;)

Seasons of Imagination
The Fireborn
The Halley Branch
Two Novellas: Towards the Light and The Mad Quest


Book in Hand (or at Home, at least ;) )


embers-on-brickI received a copy of Embers yesterday.  Of course the first thing I had to do, after a quick leaf through to ensure my formatting changes worked, was take a photo.

Later I took out a copy of all of my books and did a new coffee share photo.  Here it is:


I will start using it on occasion for New Hampshire.  I’ll have to get a photo of them on th Cape with a coffee mug for my Cape Cod coffee shares ;)

Anyway, just making an excuse to put the photos on line.  And, of course, to plug the book one more time ;)


Meeting at that corner of time where day and night become one, where dreams and reality mix, let’s stir the coals of that fire called ‘imagination’ to discover an eclectic mix of short stories.  Each story is a bit of frozen flame, an ember, that can flare up in your mind.

These embers form a collection of “tales that cover a wide range of genres, moods, and characters, from heartbreaking and heartwarming trials of love and family to thought-provoking journeys into the future. Most importantly, the stories are peopled with richly-drawn characters gifted with unique voices, emotional depth, and the power to capture the imagination. They’re stories that will stick.” – Author D. Wallace Peach

So whether you only have time to warm yourself with a very short work of flash, or you want to get cozy and lost in a novella, there is a story, an ember, in here for you.




If We Were Having Coffee on the 21st of July, 2018

Coffee in NH with Moog

Hello and Welcome!  Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of strong Sumatra Roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage.  We can go out back and and sit on our brick patio and contemplate the hillside.  It is a lovely morning so there is no reason to be cooped up inside.  Oh, were are we with a nice woods view out back?  Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as coming from New Hampshire.


My back yard, looking across the driveway.

This is one of those weeks when I look back and don’t remember anything.  Work was busy.  Some good news there, but also some setbacks.  I did several training courses, which was good. Continue reading

Does Size Matter?


They say size doesn’t matter, but I do have questions.  I want your opinion about the size of books.  What?  Hey!  Get your mind out of the gutter! ;)

Both The Fireborn and Seasons of Imagination are printed at 5 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ (see photo at top of page for how big that is).  It seems to be a great compromise.  But then, I do see a lot of books at 6″ by 9″.  In fact, 6″ x 9″ seems to be the most popular size in self-publishing, though I do have a few tradition published books in that size.  And it isn’t a huge difference.  The smaller size seems to be easier to take with you when going to the beach or whatever, but reading them, I don’t see a lot of difference.  Well, you do get more text per page with the larger, so less page-turning.  But I don’t really notice while reading.

There are actually a lot of smaller sizes.  I have a whole shelf full of traditionally published books that are 5 1/4″ by 8″.  And the old-fashioned paper back is even smaller – 90% of the paperbacks I have that are more than 10 years old are 4 1/4″ by 7″.  That, to me, is too small, but it was a very popular size for a long time.  On the bigger side almost every computer book I have (30 or more) are 7 1/4″ by 9 1/4″.

What are your opinions about the size of books?  Does it make a difference to you?

Cover Reveal – The Halley Branch!

The Halley Branch Cover - front

It is still several months out, but I thought you all might like to see what the cover for The Halley Branch will look like.

What do you think?  Like it?

Here is a rough draft of the front and back together.  This is subject to change.  (I will have a second post with some conversation about the cover later): Continue reading