Worldbuilding: Space and the Sky

No one knows how this world came to be.  Every culture has a different account of its creation, from a great cosmic dance to a single sculptor.  However, I will endeavor to keep matters simple, and only discuss the world that all can agree was created.

In the Deru* language, it is called Uhezuote (/uhɛzə’otɛ/)**, a name which means “the great sky and land.”  In this first post, we will discuss what exists in that “great sky.”  If you stood anywhere on this planet and looked up, what would you see?

If you looked up during the day, you might not even realize you weren’t still on Earth.  The sky would be just as blue as any Terran sky, the clouds just as fluffy and white.  The sun would be just as yellow, though that big yellow ball in the sky would be called Zuepa (/zə’ɛpa/) instead.

If you looked up at the sky during the night, you would notice some differences.  The first and most obvious would be the addition of a second moon.  The larger of the two moons, Uzuope (/uzə’opɛ/), is roughly the size of Earth’s moon.  The smaller moon, Izuope (/izə’opɛ/), is much smaller, only about ⅙ the mass of its twin.  Many cultures use Uzuope to keep track of time.  It orbits once around the planet every 27.3 days, meaning it makes 13.5 rotations each 370-day year.  Izuope is less useful for time because its orbit is almost twice as long as Uzuope’s. However, the nights when it lines up with its larger cousin are venerated in some cultures.

Looking past the twin moons, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the planets, called zuipeni dahopemosi (/zəi’peɪni dahopɛ’mosi/) or “walking stars” by the Deru.  There are only three that can be easily seen with the naked eye.  The brightest is Zuigadhon (/zə’igaðon/), “the morning star”.  The other visible planets are Tezuepatho (/tɛzəeɪ’paθo/), “the light-giving one,” and Zuishuuto (/zəiʃə’uto/), “the green star.”  Together with the two moons and one sun, these six celestial objects are a sign of the harmony of the cosmos to the Deru, whose religion places heavy symbolic value on that number.

But what if you weren’t on land and looking up at the sky?  What if you were somewhere out at sea and trying to navigate your way to shore?  Well, you would look past the moons and planets and set your gaze toward the stars.  Following the “unchanging star,” Zuidedesuo (/zəidɛdeɪ’suo/), will help orient yourself, as this star always points toward the north.

The brightest stars in the night sky (in the northern hemisphere) are:

  • Suderenu (/sədɛ’ɾɛnu/) in the constellation “The Songbird”
  • Izuegonuo (/izəɛgo’nuo/) in the constellation “The Warrior”
  • Irufemu (/iɾu’fɛmu/) in the constellation “The Dancer”
  • Dikabedu (/dika’beɪdu/) in the constellation “The Wolf”
  • Lizhuerenu (/liʒueɪ’ɾenu/) in the constellation “The Whale”

The brightest of these stars, Suderenu, is 2 orders of magnitude (6.3 times) brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the Terran sky.  This makes it about as bright as Jupiter or Mars at their brightest.  Irufemu is the closest star to Zuope.

Now that you are well acquainted with the sky above the planet, it is time to turn our gaze downward.  What kind of world is Uhezuote?  In the next installment, we will learn more about the geography of this world and what you can expect to find on your journeys.

*The term Deru (/’dɛɾu/) refers to the people, culture, and language of Deralan (/’dɛɾalan/), the nation which is the focus of Birth by Flame.  Any proper names or general terms will be discussed using the Deru terminology.  Other languages will be used where appropriate, (i.e. when discussing a specific culture other than Deru.)
**All terms will be followed by its pronunciation as described using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).  This is intended to help those not well-versed in the languages of Uhezuote to better pronounce them.

Return of the Blog


Hello everyone.

It has been some time since I last posted on here.  Like, eight months ago.

These past eight months have been really crazy.  In that time, I have:

  • Graduated from high school
  • Moved down to college and started taking classes
  • Gone through the whole process of performing an awesome production of Les Mis
  • Dealt with a lot of academic stress (AP tests and finals are not fun, y’all)

Throughout that time, I’ve tried to keep active with my writing.  I’ve developed some ideas, started writing some, abandoned others, and tried to keep to a good habit of writing.

That didn’t really work, unfortunately, mainly because I didn’t have a really strong idea to latch onto.  To top that off, Birth by Flame has sort of fallen off the radar in terms of sales.  I’ll admit some of the blame, it’s hard to market a book yourself when you’re focusing on schoolwork.

But, as I was reflecting on what to do about that book this summer, it occurred to me that I had a lot of problems with it, ranging from small details in phrasing to larger story and character problems.

I think a lot of that has to do with who I am as a person.  I pushed to get my novel published before college applications, so I was “done” with it before my senior year really started.  The problem with that is I matured a lot more during my senior year than I had throughout any previous year.  I am a much different person than I was in September when I published.

So, this July, during Camp NaNoWriMo, I decided to take a crack at rewriting Birth by Flame.  My main idea was, in a sense, “zooming in” on the world I’d created.  This meant keeping the scope of the adventure smaller, but making the world and characters more detailed.

I like where this draft is going.  It already feels a lot stronger than the published draft, and I want to run with it and see where it goes.  But, that leaves the question: what do I do with the published version?

Here’s what I plan to do.  The version of the novel on Smashwords will be not be unpublished.  It will still be available for purchase, but I recommend you don’t go out and buy it just yet.  Maybe just download the sample if you really want to.  The old posts about Birth by Flame on this blog will remain, but they’ll be clearly tagged as “Old.”

In addition to this, and partially because this new version is nowhere near being complete, I’m also going to start posting content on this blog about the world of Birth by Flame, similar to the character portraits I posted last summer.  Hopefully, you guys will find these interesting, and they’ll allow me to share more of this amazing world that I’ve created.  Expect the first of these in the coming weeks!

It feels good to be back.  I hope you guys enjoy what’s to come.  Until then!

Writing Update

As part of my writing goal for this year, I will also be trying to write more for the blog.  I could just focus on writing updates (and as you might guess, this post will also be an update), but I also want to branch out.  If you guys have any suggestions as to what you want to see, let me know in the comments.

I’ve been going along steadily with my daily writing goals.  One of the nice things about the 100 word goal is that it’s very easy to reach.  It’s just long enough to get me into the swing of writing while still being short enough to be done quickly.

As for what I’ve been doing, I’ve been toying with a lot of different ideas and starting to flesh some out.  A lot of them involve superheroes, which may be a sign I need to watch more Marvel movies.

Well, there’s a quick update for you.  Hope you all are doing well with your resolutions!

Happy New Year!

To everyone who reads this blog, happy new year!  2015 is now entirely in the past and we are now moving into the brand-new 2016, filled with all the promise of the future.

This means it’s the time for New Year’s resolutions; those wonderful plans we make to better ourselves that, with strong will and determination, can help make this year our best.  The majority are abandoned before February, but that’s beside the point.

Well, one of my 2016 resolutions is to get into a daily writing routine.  Write at least 100 words every day, and stuff I have to for school doesn’t count.  I’m hoping that this will help increase my productivity and also help develop some discipline.  I’m posting this here because  I know that a great way to get motivated is to let other people know what you’re doing.

For all of you lovely people who read this blog, I just want to say thank you and you can expect a larger amount of content here over the coming year.  2016 is going to be a very exciting one for me, and I hope it’s great for you all as well.

Winter Writing Update

Hey everyone!

First off, I want to apologize for letting this blog go dormant for a while.  As a high school senior, my life for the past semester was pretty hectic.  In the past month, I’ve opened and closed our school’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone (which was phenomenal and tons of fun to be a part of), recieved my first few acceptance letters from colleges, and dealt with the ever-fun prospect of finals.

But, now the semester’s over and I finally have some time to write.  I have a lot of ideas floating around, so my goal is to finalize them, get a few outlines and some research going and maybe even start writing again!

Here’s hoping everyone has a nice, relaxing holiday season.  If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift, or just want to curl up by the fire with a hot drink and a good book, be sure to remember Birth by Flame.  You can find it available for all formats by searching for it at  If you prefer reading on an Apple device or a Nook, I have been able to find it on the iBooks store and the Barnes & Noble Nook Store.  Be sure to leave a comment if you see it on any other distribution sites.

Happy holidays everyone!

Update: Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day (if you’re American) and are getting into the holiday spirit.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted.  Life has become a bit crazy recently with college applications and other senior year things.  Everything’s going great, though, but I regret not having the time to write.

Speaking of writing, if you haven’t had the chance to purchase a copy of my novel, Birth by Flame, why not give yourself an early Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/other winter holiday gift?  The book can be found on the iTunes store and the Nook store, if you prefer reading on one of those devices.  If you don’t, it can be found in all formats at

Thank you for taking the time to read this and my book, Birth by Flame.  Please be sure to leave a review wherever you buy it as well.  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Birth by Flame Cover and Release Date



Hello everyone!

I’m really excited to announce that I do have a release date for my novel Birth by Flame.  Everyone interested in reading should be sure to check it out on their favorite e-reader on September 30.

Be sure to look for this cover when you look for the book!

Birth By Flame Cover

The cover was designed by my amazing little sister and I honestly think it looks amazing.  I hope you all like it and pick it up with Birth by Flame September 30!

Welcome to Uhezote



It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Well, school started back up and senior year is pretty crazy.  Birth by Flame is still on track to be released this fall, so keep looking forward to that.

Before Birth by Flame is released this fall, I’ll be giving you a sneak peek into the world of the book.  Today, learn more about Uhezote, the world in which Birth By Flame takes place.

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