A shift is needed…

My First Publication!

I always told myself that I was bad at writing short stories because I’m a long-winded writer.  I tried a few times, but always gave up in the end and stuck what I thought I could do, which was long fiction only.  But thanks to my writing and critique group, I had to force myself to try it.  Really try it.  I struggled at first, but with their help, knowledge, encouragement, and constructive criticism, I started to get better at writing short form.

Now, all that has paid off.  I am pleased to announce that I received an email yesterday that my first published short story was released!  Yes, that means I am officially a published author, a dream come true.  It’s the first stepping stone towards the publication of novels.

My short story, Etched in Steel, can be found in Michigan’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Fiction, by Z Publishing. 

Here’s a link to Amazon where you can purchase a paperback copy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725001144/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534115166&sr=8-1&keywords=michigan%27s+emerging+writers

On to the next stepping stone.  Thank you for the encouragement and support!

Also, my author website is back up and running: www.andrewronzino.com


NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

This was a very hard year for me.  On top of doing NaNoWriMo, I was also directing a Christmas play.  But now NaNo is over, and my play is next week.  There have been many long nights and rough days.  But that’s behind me now.  I can relax–well, in a week I can relax.

On November 1st, 2017, I started to write a novel that I needed to complete in just 30 days.  This year I didn’t think I would make it, to be honest.  50,000 words were met and surpassed.  And today, on November 30th, I wrote “The End”!  Readers of The Paradigm, I have written a novel in 30 days!

It was hard.  I wanted to cry and scream several times.  But I made it though.  I did it.  It’s over.

Now, The Wayward Witch may be finished, but it’s still only a vomit draft, the roughest of rough drafts.  It’s dirty and ugly; it needs some love.  It needs a scalpel and recovery time.  It needs to be rewritten and edited, worked and reworked.  It needs to become more than it is now.   I’m sure I’ll do that at some point.  But for now, I just need to finish my play and get some rest.

I would like to take a moment to thank some people.  I want to thank God for giving me the strength I needed for this year.  I want to thank my family, friends, and my readers.  Thank you for all the encouragement, advice, and sticking with me to the end.  But most of all, I want to thank Tara, my co-director for “A Christmas Carol”.  She’s been so understanding and helpful as I balanced both this and the play.

Here is this year’s winner’s certificate:

NaNoWriMo Winner's Certificate 2017I am still pursuing publication for other projects.  In fact, I’m going to focus more on short stories and really working on my name as an author.  I’m very excited for what the future holds.

The Stats for The Wayward Witch

Here are the final stats on my 2017 NaNoWriMo project:

Title: The Wayward Witch

Genre: Fantasy

Words: 67,123

Chapters: 33 (32 regular, 1 interlude)

Pages: 271 (that’s in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, 12 point New Times Roman font)

What I learned this year: I learned that it’s hard to balance many different large projects on your own.  One ends up suffering a little.  It was the novel for me.  I felt like it could be better.  I like the story, but I think it needs a good rewrite to make it something readable.  It’s probably my roughest NaNoWriMo project to date.

I want to say thank you to everyone who stuck with me and encouraged me this month!  I couldn’t do it without you!

Until next time,

Andrew Ronzino, A Man Who Wrote a Novel in 30 Days


NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

One day left.  I’m so close to the end I can taste it.  But today, I have the third and final excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel for you to read.  Normally I have four by the end of NaNo, but this year, due to how busy I’ve been, I only have three.

You may stone me if you wish, but I warn you, I’m rock proof.

If you would like to go back and read any of the previous excerpts, you can do so here:

Excerpt one and excerpt two.

This scene is between Symon and Rachel.  Symon is talking to Rachel about his former bride-to-be, Beth, who had been killed at the start of the first book, The Priest of Tears.

Once again, like all the other excerpts, please remember that this is a vomit draft, and thus may have a lot of problems.  The only editing I did was just enough to make sure it’s readable for you.  Please enjoy!

Symon saddled up Stormcloud and got the horse ready for a hard ride.  He mounted the steed and offered Rachel a hand up.  She accepted it and after she was hoisted, she put her arms around his waist.  He rode to the stables and helped her down so she could get her own horse out.

As she was doing that, Symon ran to the tavern and paid the tab he owed Haynk, which was a considerable amount of chils.  Symon said goodbye to Small Sal, the only one of his friends who was in the tavern at the time.

“Tell Culder I said thank you,” Symon said.

Sal promised, gave Symon a big hug, and then went back to drinking his ale.

By the time Symon returned to the stables, Rachel was ready to go.

He nodded to her then they rode away, veering onto the Crown’s Road.  They started off on a hard ride but slowed down for the horses’ sake.  Symon was sure to stop for meals, especially since he was traveling with someone.  At dinner time, as he was setting up camp and Rachel was cooking the rations he had bought from the Green Sky, Symon looked over at her.

“I never thanked you for coming here.”

“I don’t think thanks is necessary,” she said.

“I do.”

“I just stepped in for one of your knights because I wanted a small adventure.”

Somehow Symon didn’t think that was completely true.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said since I woke up.  “I think it’s what I needed to hear.”

Rachel smiled.  “Sometimes people need to be reminded of what’s important.  Tell me about her.  Beth.”

Symon sat down next to the fire and smiled at the memory of her.  “She was beautiful.  And I don’t mean for a common girl.   She could have put some of the nobles to shame.  She was funny; she always made me laugh.  She was strong-willed.  She knew how to handle my nonsense.  She’s the only woman I ever met who could drink me under the table.  She was kind and charitable, though she didn’t have much money.  She loved to help people.  She loved to work.  She liked my friends, which was a deal breaker if I ever knew of one.”

“How did you meet her?” Rachel said.

Symon’s smile never went away.  “I knew of her my whole life.  Everyone in Tiddleway did, it’s a small village.  But we only started speaking when her mother got ill and she needed to do the shopping for her.  We became friends through our chats in my store.  I didn’t fall in love with her instantly.  It grew over a few years.  When I couldn’t deny it any longer, I asked to go out with her.  She told me she had been waiting for a year for me to ask.  We were engaged to be married a year later.  Due to her mother’s illness, which she recovered from, we put the wedding off for about a year.  You know the rest, she was killed by the Priest of Tears on the eve of our wedding.”

“She sounded like a wonderful woman.  A perfect fit for you.”

“Perfect is the wrong word.  She had her flaws, Rachel.  She could annoy me at times.  She wasn’t perfect, she was complete.  A complete woman.  She was happy all the time.  I loved her for that.”

There was a long silence, the crickets chirped their song.

“That’s what you need to remember about Beth, Sy.  Who she was.  Don’t regret what didn’t happen, remember her life.  Never forget her.  Just move on from the tragedy.  Live how she would want you to live.”

Symon watched the fire dance, the light cast shadows on the surrounding trees and the horses.  He didn’t want to admit that she was right.  “It’s not easy.  I wish every day I could bring her back.”

Rachel nodded.  “Yes, that’s loss for you.  You grieve, you remember, then you live.”

Symon poked a stick into the fire, letting hundreds of ember fireflies loose into the air.  “Maybe.”

They ate, then they crawled into their separate tents and fell asleep.  It had been a warm day, but the night was chilly, so he he got up, walked over to her tent, and gave her his spare blanket.  She was fast asleep, so he just laid it on her.  He didn’t need it.  He could feel the chill in the air, but by being a Mythic Cleric he was able to ignore it and it didn’t bother him.

-Excerpt from The Wayward Witch; Chapter 13, by Andrew Ronzino

That will be the last excerpt this year.  I like this scene very much and Rachel’s words, “You grieve, you remember, then you live,” come into play later in the story and has a profound impact on Symon.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 65,256/50,000!


Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, X-Files Fan

NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

The climax of the story is finished.

I got through it.

I survived!

I was struggling with whether or not to keep the Wayward Witch alive.  I decided that for this story it was better if she lived.  She’s been captured and will be spending the rest of her life in a prison.

But let me tell you, it was tough to write.  I’m just about worn out because of it.  In the words of Will Ferrell on SNL as that crazy doctor, “That was rough!”

It was a lot of fun to write.  I got in well over 3,000 words today.  I feel accomplished.  Now all I need to do is close up the story, and I have two days left to do so.  I think I got this.  I was worried I might be not able to finish this novel in 30 days, but I think I’ll be okay.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 62,057/50,000!

Until the end,

Andrew Ronzino, Bongoman

NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

Hello, readers!  I am back in Michigan and had some time to write today.  The climax of the story is shaping up and I’m excited to see how the end result looks.

Today I would like to tell you a bit about the antagonist of my story.  So far, I’ve shared the plot, introduced you to Symon DeMyn and Rachel Daylyn, and gave you the first and second excerpts, but now it’s time to introduce you to the villain of year’s NaNoWriMo novel!

Meet the Wayward Witch, the primary antagonist of The Wayward Witch.

Meet The Wayward Witch

Name: Jessyca Domawel

Nickname: The Wayward Witch

Age: 23

Hair: Long, black, with a yellow stripe on the right side

Skin: Caucasian

Favorite color: Yellow

Favorite Music: Opera

Food: Eggs

Likes: Acting, music, tall grass, her family, dogs, fishing, making costumes, theatric trickery

Dislikes: Symon DeMyn, crying in public, cats, overly religious people

Most prized possession: Her dead sister’s Crown Paladin Sword

Why?: Her father gave it to her as a reminder

Personality flaws: Her emotional outbursts, her desire for revenge whenever anything bad happens to her

Personality strengths: Her tenacity and desire to accomplish her goals

Growing up the daughter of the legendary Crown Commander of the Crown Paladin, Ezrya Domawel, Jessyca Domawel had a bright future ahead of her.  When she was old enough to hold a sword, she was expected to follow her father’s footsteps and train to become a Crown Paladin herself.  But she never wanted this for herself.  Her younger sister, Ynza, showed more love for the ways of the Order of Honor.  Jessyca expected her father to respect her wishes to become a theater actress rather than a warrior and accept Ynza for training when she was old enough.  But Ezrya insisted that Jessyca was to train to become a Crown Paladin and Ynza to learn the ways of making clothing like their mother.  But Jessyca continued to refuse.  Eventually, her mother convinced her father to give up.  He did, and she left to train to be an actress and Ynza started her knightly training.

Years later, after Ynza was knighted and accepted as a Crown Paladin, and after Jessyca had become a professional actress working for one of the best theater troupes in the country, word had reached her that her sister had been killed in the line of duty.  She didn’t make it home in time for Ynza’s funeral, but when she arrived home, she grieved with her family and visited her memorial.  She grieved for a long time and when she learned how Ynza had died at the hand of the Priest of Tears because she was on a fool’s errand to collect the Mythic Blades, Jessyca grew bitter and began to blame her death on her commander at the time, Symon DeMyn, who became the Mythic Commander of the Order of Faith and Honor.

Her bitterness grew deeper over the three years following her sister’s death and she decided that she wanted to humiliate and kill DeMyn in revenge.  Over the centuries there had been several women who sought revenge or social change under the guise of Wayward Witch, who claimed to have magical powers.  Jessyca used her knowledge of acting, theatrics, and cosmetics to become the next Wayward Witch, and to look like she knows real magic.  She has focused her attention on DeMyn, in hopes of luring him out and finding her time to strike him so hard that he is at his lowest point when he dies.

* * *

The information provided hasn’t even been revealed in the story yet but will be very soon.  She’s been a fun villain to use.  It’s nice to use someone affected by Symon’s choices in the previous novel as the antagonist of this novel.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 58,220/50,000!

Until the fight ends,

Andrew Ronzino, The Man Who Read 10,000 Books (I Wish…)

NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

I didn’t do as much writing as I wanted to do today, which seems to be the story of this whole year.  But what I did write, I liked.   I started to write the buildup to the climax of the novel.  The beginning of the end.

I was having some trouble with trying to figure out how exactly I wanted it to go.  It took some thought, and I finally have it mapped out in my mind.  Now I just need to get it down on the page.  I’m looking forward to it.

I leave Nashville tomorrow morning, then I get back in Michigan just in time for a rehearsal for A Christmas Carol.  So, I may not get time to write tomorrow.  I’m going to try, but if I can’t at least there’s a good reason.   I’ll do the best I can, and if not, I’ll make up for it in my remaining days.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 56,444/50,000!

Until I’m back in Michigan,

Andrew Ronzino, The Prince of Awesome


NaNoWriMo Journal 2017

I’m so sorry that I haven’t been as active as I usually am in November.  I’ve been very busy.  The last couple of days has been all kinds of fun.  Yesterday my sister took us all around Nashville.  It’s been a blast, but really bad for writing and blogging.

I have been writing though, I promise.  My word count proves it.  I’m nearing the end of the story and things are starting to shape up.  I’m excited to see how this will end.  Sometimes the story flows the way you want it to, and sometimes it decides that it wants to do its own thing regardless of what you have in mind.  That’s can be very good thing.

On a fun note, my siblings and I have convinced my mother to watch Stranger Things.  She started watching it last night and kept saying one more episode.  Then today, while we were out, she stayed at the house to rest, and when we got back, she told us she watched another episode.  She’s hooked and I call that a victory.

Current word count for The Wayward Witch: 55,179/50,000!

Until things slow down,

Andrew Ronzino, Did I Mention Busy?

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