Category: cavern of babel

Minecrafting on YouTube

I’ve fallen off the Minecraft bandwagon lately. Just too many other things going on in my life for me to keep it up. But Tomas is still going strong. He and a friend have even started a YouTube channel, posting some of their exploits online. And after repeated requests, I figured today is a good day to give them a plug. If you’re looking to see how a couple of 12 year olds approach the game these days, look no further than The Awesomepole Gaming.

Tomas is m34ndr. (Funny aside. Since I picked that name as a leet spelling of Meander (from Cavern of Babel), Tomas sort of fell into it by accident. He was using my account, which had the name, and so he got the name. But because of that, he’s a big Meander fan now. And my mom has a bunch of Meander t-shirts still kicking around, so he proudly got to wear a new one for his first day of school. I certainly didn’t picture that scenario back when I was writing the character ten years ago or whatever.) He’s not in all the videos, but he’s working on being in more.

I think this is step one of their plan of eventual global domination. Making boatloads of money off the videos is involved in there somewhere, and to that I wish them the best of luck. What will be really fun is when he’s a few years older. I wonder what his thoughts on the channel will be then?

In any case, give it a gander and leave a comment on it, if you’re so inclined. Like the video. Subscribe to the channel and really make their day.

Third Draft of THE MEMORY THIEF is Finished

That’s right–it’s done. I cut abut 6,000 words from the draft. Tweaked a few characters, but it was mainly a tightening pass through. For those of you who are interested, I updated the chart for the book. I don’t know if these are interesting to anyone but me, but the charts are *dang* interesting to me, and so I inflict them on you periodically. It’s just fun for me to see how the book clipped along (or didn’t, as the case may be).

So the next question is “What does Bryce work on next?”

As I posted a few days ago, I have some ideas on how to fix GET CUPID, and I ran those ideas past friends and agents alike, and they think they’re pretty solid fixes, too. (Or at the very least worth giving a whirl and seeing what happens.)


As I looked over the novel, I started thinking it was all too familiar to me. Too fresh still. Ideally, I’d like some more space between me and it before I go back to revise it once more. Since I (hopefully) have a different book that’s almost ready for submission (cross your fingers for MEMORY THIEF), I’m not in any real rush to get a second one ready to go out the same month or anything. So I think I have some time, and I’ll let the book mull a while longer.

So what else do I have on tap? I’ve sent my agents a number of ideas, and we’ll see what they think sounds most intriguing. I had a concept for a dystopia a while ago, but I’m kind of thinking those are played out at the moment. I’ve got an idea for a horror story that might be fun. (More horror than MEMORY THIEF, which turned out to not be that horrific, after all.) Then there are some other revisions I could look at, or some older ideas I’ve had for a while.

While I mull that over, I’ll likely work on this year’s Christmas short story that I send out to family members as part of my yearly Christmas gift. Not sure what I’ll do this time. I’ve had talking mice, talking groundhogs, a Christmas trap, Buttersby saving Christmas . . . part of me would really love doing a VODNIK Christmas, and it’s early enough in the season that I might be able to have enough time to pull it off. Tomas sees some of the Slovak Christmas traditions, and a few of them get more up close and personal than he’d really like them to get. Something on the short side, and fun. But can I write it, plot it, and revise it in time? (I don’t think I could publish it online for all of you faithful readers, alas. That might tromp on some contract’s toes. Maybe first I’ll see how it turns out, and if I stick with that idea at all. One of these days I’d like to lump all the Christmas short stories I’ve done and sell ’em as ebooks or something fun. In an ideal world, I’d commission a Buttersby Christmas illustration to go with it all. Because nothing says yuletide cheer like an alpaca in a Santa suit.

Anyway–that’s all I’ve got for you today. Catch ya next week!

Buy My E-Book! (Or at least review it)

Cavern of Babel (The Buttersby Chronicles)Hello all! It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have successfully created an eBook. For those of you who don’t know, I wrote what is likely the world’s only alpaca fantasy novel about four years ago. Filled with adventure, talking alpacas, prophetic mice and caverns of doom. A book that Kirkus Discoveries called “a cute, well-written and suspenseful animal-adventure story” and “a charming, enjoyable read.”

What in the world would inspire me to write an alpaca fantasy novel? Well, the short story is that my mother wanted to publish a book about alpacas. I write books, so I volunteered to write it for her, with the stipulation that, since I pretty much only write fantasy, it had to be a fantasy book. She agreed. I wrote it (under the pen name Albert Packard–Al Packard writing about alpacas. Get it?), a friend did the book design, and his friend (the illustrious Shawn Boyles) did the cover illustration and 25 interior illustrations. It was buckets of fun to do, and I really look back at the process fondly.

Up until this point, you could only buy it in print, but as I looked at all the eBook craziness happening right now, I thought it would be fun to make an eBook myself. I mean, I had the rights to the eBook, so it was only a matter of a bit of effort to get it online. Of course, I thought it would be a quick little process, but it turned out to be quite complex. 16 hours of work later, I now have a book written by yours truly, available in two places right now: Amazon (in Kindle format) and Smashwords (in pretty much any other format you might want). In a few weeks, it should be in the iBookstore on the iPad and in Sony Reader’s bookstore. But for now, it’s just a click away. I’ve made half of it available to view online for free, and the whole book is priced at $4.99.

If you don’t have a Kindle or iPad, you can also read it on your computer screen. The pdf version is perfect for that sort of thing. Anyway–please check it out. Buy it for a friend. Heck–buy it for your 5,000 closest friends. Buy one for every alpaca you know. 🙂

Oh–and if you’ve already read it, I really wouldn’t mind a few reviews up there, too. I know–I’m being so demanding. I’ll shut up now. Enjoy!


A cute, well-written and suspenseful animal-adventure story

The heroine, Buttersby, is a dominant alpaca who reigns over her Virginia ranch. Since she has won many championship ribbons, she has become, simply put, a self-centered snob. After being kidnapped along with Meander, a male alpaca whom Buttersby scorns no matter how often he helps her, she arrives in Peru among alpacas who refuse to acknowledge her superiority. As such, the outraged Buttersby finds herself at the bottom of the social system, and she’s sent into the jungle with a quest: to find the legendary cave of the alpaca ancestors, aided by a prophetic mouse, ancient Vicunas and the trusty Meander. Told entirely from the alpacas’ point of view, the story zips along in short chapters adorned with illustrations as whimsical as the narrative, and young readers will recognize Buttersby‘s failings in her well-drawn character. Most memorable, though, is the confident, wise-cracking Meander, who sticks by Buttersby despite her disdain. Packard displays a good feel for both comedy and suspense. Though the kidnapping is never fully explained, and though it may be difficult to understand why the conceited Buttersby would be the chosen one, Cavern of Babel is a charming, enjoyable read.

Readers will have fun and learn a great deal about alpacas. Well-done. (Fiction. 8-12)

Jindal Comparison

Perhaps no piece has summed up for me my feelings about the Republican Rebuttal like this one. The resemblance is uncanny.

And because I haven’t given a Buttersby update in like forever, I had an epiphany yesterday out of the blue for the sequel (if I ever write one). Let’s just say take Buttersby and add a good dose of Temple of Doom, with extra mysticism. And maybe Nazis, because they make any plot better, right? Not human Nazis, though. No–we’re talking vampire bat Nazis. Who worship the Chupacabra. Oh yeah. 🙂

Cavern of Babel Review

It’s been over a month since I posted anything new on my website. Things have just been too busy. But I’m happy to say I received another review of Cavern of Babel, and I have posted it here for all to read. It was done by a site directed at home schoolers, and it was interesting for me to see how my book reads for an audience I hadn’t specifically thought of while writing it. The reviewer also posted on the book’s Amazon page, something I’d encourage any and all to do. Anyway–that’s the writing news for today.

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