Cave Etchings: Spring 2023

Lifeis+ 2023 has come to an end.

This month almost all of the writing I’ve released has been about resilience — that small part of each of us that tells us to keep fighting even when everything is bleak. That part of me has been so much louder this year than in previous years. I wanted to highlight all of the things that make resilience beautiful to me, and on the way, tell a few fun stories.

A lot of the writing this month was written off the cuff, with a short editing pass for some errors and quickly published, so it wasn’t the most polished work I’ve ever put out. That being said, I’m still trying to find my voice in all of this. I used to fight to make my writing absolutely perfect, with zero grammar errors and perfect plot lines, which is fine, but I’m the only one on my team here and trying to make things categorically perfect like that meant I never got to release anything officially. What I did put out I was unimpressed by and wanted to take down. I’ve started and neglected more stories than you could imagine and I did it because I was afraid my writing wasn’t going to be “perfect.”

We like to chase perfection, and that’s fine for some of us. By no means do I ever intent to give you bad writing, but this, even a decade into the craft, still involves a lot of learning and a lot of practice. I figured, why not release as much as I can on the way. Then, in the future, I can make a lesson of myself.

In the meantime, I wanted to break down some of the projects I’ve got going on and give you a little insight into the future of the Grimoire + what you’ll be seeing from me this year, but especially over the next couple of months.


Sisters of Westwinter

Sisters of Westwinter is an episodic fantasy series taking place in a world torn apart by the greed of mortals. Dragons, which populate the world, are considered a pest to be exterminated and harvested for the valuable pearls within their bodies. These pearls power grand machines used by the Merchant Guilds to continue to build up their own empires.

When a young woman named Emry discovers her valley was protected by a great silver dragon, she promises him on his deathbed she will flee from the valley to elude those who wish to seek her harm. She does not know how, or why she matters to the dragon, but she obeys. On her escape with another of the dragons, she is shot down and imprisoned, branded a “witch” for her bond with Balshenai, a fearsome golden scaled dragon.

Locked in prison, she can only think of her family, killed by mysterious men in the night, and Balshenai’s final words to her.

“Seek Westwinter”

  • Progress Update: Previously, I gave out the total word count vs. the expected word count, but those numbers mean relatively little to anyone who doesn’t write, and it adds a lot of unnecessary math for me. I don’t exactly how long this series will be, but I’m through the first “arc” of sorts with the completion of chapter five. I would estimate I’m around 20% of the way through the first book. Though, that may change as I continue fleshing out the characters and their path through the story.
  • Interludes: With the completion of Chapter Five, I want to take some time to dig in and build up the next leg of the novel. I’ve got a plan prepared, but I want to make sure I give the best I can. In order to do that, I’m going to be taking a short break from main chapter releases. While I’m building up the next steps of the novel in preparation, I’ll be dropping some interludes to bide the time between main releases. These Interludes will feature other characters who are relevant to the world of Atla.
  • Release Titles: Another facet of Westwinter I wanted to touch on is the naming scheme of the posts. On here, I’ve been separating them by chapter and part, which if you were to be reading them in a novel, would make sense but I haven’t been writing them as concise cut-offs between chapters. I’ve been writing until it feels like the chapter is finished. Going forward (and repairing retroactively) I’ll be renaming them “Episodes” with no Chapter or Part notation, to make that side of planning a bit easier on me.
    • Vocal Releases: I haven’t been releasing the completed chapters on Vocal for a couple of months now, because I’ve been taking time to go through heavier editing sequences, which naturally takes more of my time to complete. I want the finished product to be the best I can make it without sweating myself into the ground worrying about the quality. In essence, the Vocal Full Chapter releases are coming! (In time.)
  • Audio Format: I’m still planning on releasing an Audio Format of Sisters of Westwinter. I’ve been putting it off for the time being for a couple of reasons, listed below:
    • 1. I want to have more of the story released before I begin recording audio for it. Currently my writing time is tangled up, and occasionally I will have to finish drafting a day before release, coupling that with an audio release would be a complete fun-killer and I’d rather not steal the joy from this project which I love so dearly.
    • 2. Getting a makeshift studio put together is a time sink, and currently I don’t have a lot of time to devote to it. When I am capable of getting a space built to record the audio version well I will be jumping into it and getting it out as soon as I can.
  • TTRPG Content: I spoke a lot when I began the release of Westwinter about the TTRPG content which would be coming alongside the weekly releases. While I was organizing the documents and building the adventure for D&D, Wizards of the Coast pulled some shady actions in regard to home-made D&D content which threw a hefty wrench into my plan. I’ve since been looking at other systems to build the content with, and am still planning on doing so. It’s just taking some more research which also takes time. I’m fairly unversed in the realm of Tabletop that isn’t D&D or Pathfinder, and if I do write a system agnostic guidebook I want it to be well planned and easily playable, as much as I can manage that, at least.
"Sisters of Westwinter" weekly episodic content will resume in mid-April! Keep an eye on Facebook & Twitter for release notifications!


Sunkiller is a supernatural thriller following a group of students in Tempe, Arizona attempting to survive a series of unexplainable attacks.

Jericho Sullivan, a student at ASU and True Crime hobbyist is performing a balancing act between untangling her own romantic life and keeping her parents stable through a messy divorce when a classmate is killed, the scene of the crime scorched by flames of unknown origin.

When footage of the attack begins showing up online, she and her friends are bewildered to see the attacker, whose face is obscured by a ball of flame while his target is burnt to a crisp. What began as an unsettling event becomes a wholesale nightmare as the killer shows up for Jericho’s friends, one by one.

Unable to stop herself, she digs into the attacks and discovers they aren’t random. All of the victims share a secret, one that she realizes, she shares with them too.

  • Progress Update: Sunkiller has been an experience to write, progress came to a pretty abrupt halt in January thanks to life getting busy and complicated, but now that Lifeis+ is over, I’ll be back to working on it in the background. I’ll be posting some snippets of the writing as I go along. I’m maybe 15% of the way through the first draft and will be working to have the entire first draft finished within the year for sure, maybe within the next couple of months. Sunkiller is intended to be released traditionally, but as the completion date gets closer we will see if I still want to go that route.
I will be updating on Twitter & Facebook monthly in regard to the draft progress of "Sunkiller"

Horse With Human Hands

  • Previous Releases: The releases from this series in March were a sort of “precursor” to the official Horse With Human Hands series. When I began this, I wasn’t anticipating turning it into a long form series, but similarly to Nightfall in Brahmir I’ve had too much fun to leave it alone. I’ll be taking this to the workshop and planning out a full series release schedule & storyline from the information provided in the series already released. From this, there will be THREE pieces of content coming out.
    • Horse With Human Hands (Series): The official Horse With Human Hands series (Name TBD) will be planned and prepared over the course of the next month or so. I’m aiming for a release starting in May or June of 2023.
    • Creating a Cult: From the creation process of HWHH, I wanted to ALSO release a “tutorial” of sorts on the method I use to World Build. Far and away my favorite part of writing, the creation of worlds is something I’ve wanted to talk about for a long time. Creating a Cult is going to be the first series of non-fiction “how-to” projects I’ll be working on over the course of the year, teaching others the methods I use to build these worlds and these things. I’ll have tips, references and links to other authors and storytellers to help you build the world you’ve always wanted to see come to life.
    • HWHH Expanded Universe: I have plans for an “expansion” (How I’ll refer to it for now) of the HWHH universe. I want to keep this mostly under wraps, but I’m excited to get to the point where I can talk about it more. I’ve got plans upon plans. As we get closer to the release of Creating a Cult, and Horse With Human Hands (Series) I’ll have more information about this Expanded Universe to reveal.
The "Horse With Human Hands" Series continuation is slated to begin release in May (Tentatively! There may be some delays.)


Nightfall in Brahmir is an episodic fantasy fiction story taking place in the world of Brahmir, where the lines between dead and alive are not simply blurred, they are almost nonexistent. In this place, horrors of every kind plague the denizens from returned corpses, trickster spirits, to killers stalking the daylight.

Detective Olem Kane is no stranger to the horrors of the five moons. Horrors which become much more real after the disappearance of his daughter Mayeli.

As Olem searches for his only child, he finds himself twisted into a knot that threatens not only his family, but the entirety of their world. With a handful of companions to aid him, and the growing threat of permanent darkness, Olem must fight to bring safety back to the city and, if he can, get Mayeli back to him.

  • Continuing Brahmir: The Brahmir story isn’t quite finished yet. Over the following months, one of my projects is going to be to take a second look at Brahmir as a whole, expand some parts of the story and fill in some details I missed due to the short deadlines I had myself on for the original. The narrative will remain much the same, but there will be some small changes from the original. After which, I’ll be re-publishing it (one chapter at a time) on Vocal Media & on the Grimoire under its own page for you to have the entirety of Brahmir in once place.
  • TTRPG Content: Speaking of “all” of Brahmir, I’m developing some short “one-shot” style adventures for this setting as well. Due to the nature of Brahmir, and how much of it is based on previously established characters, I have to be careful what is used and how it will be distributed, despite that, I will be releasing all of the adventures for 100% FREE on my own website and in other places in the future, with some expanded options for those interested.
Keep an eye out through April for more "Nightfall in Brahmir" short stories!


  • Releases: I want to focus on writing more poetry, and playing with new styles while I do so which means; there will be lots more content coming to Instagram, although it is somewhat neglected as of right now. I will be trying to spend some more time bringing more poetry and writing content to there as well. I don’t have any firm deadlines for this like I do some of the above content, but it is on my list of things to do this year.


Grimoire of Finality

  • Housekeeping: The Grimoire of Finality was made, originally, when I had next to no experience with blogging and then it sat in a box in the corner of my brain for a lot of years until I dusted it off in 2019 to start using, due to that, I’ve got a lot of housekeeping to do. Over the course of the year it will be taking on some new shapes and will be outfitted with some new pages.
    • New Pages: The new pages for the Grimoire will be pages dedicated to each of the series I’m writing for a couple of reasons, primarily so that you can easily navigate to them and see exactly what you’re looking for, since in a few months Westwinter won’t be the only content coming out regularly on here. Secondly, it will be an easier page to link to for new folks who haven’t read any of a given series to have a concise place to find their information.
    • Grimoire Pages: A somewhat forgotten part of the Grimoire is the “Grimoire Pages” page, which was originally used as a place to put some fun little pieces of lore and history of the universe into. I want to get back to that this year, and am in the process of building it up but I have a lot of work to do before it will be useable. Until then, I’ll be hiding the page. When it’s ready to come back to the light of day it’ll come back.
    • Mailing List: In the coming months, I will also be setting up a little Mailing List for folks to subscribe to and get new posts from me directly in their inbox! No more waiting for me to link it on Social Media or anything else, it will come straight to you. More info TBD.

A.T. Baines Social Media

I’ve got a lot of plans for Social Media, and while most of it is stuff I need to think about on my end, I wanted to run down some of my plans and goals for the year here (because it’s better I get it out than to pretend I had the plan all along.)

  • Twitter: I have had a twitter for my businesses for quite a while, and am planning on reformatting it for A.T. Baines, so that I can begin outreach there. Given how things have been with the recent takeover of Twitter we will see how it does, but it’s on the list.
  • Reddit: Alongside Vocal, In a few months I will be creating my own Subreddit for A.T. Baines, where I will be publishing nearly everything I publish to Vocal as well as setting up some other writing and various projects. There will be quite a bit of content coming there by the end of the year, and when it goes live you’ll see links to follow it (if you’re a fan of reddit)
  • Youtube: Long ago, (2019) I had a YouTube Channel, and I have plans to resurrect it one day, but today isn’t that day. I may use it here and there for something but it will be infrequent.

Annual Projects

Meter May

This May, I’m planning on doing a project similar to Inktober, but instead of drawing it will be poetry. I’ve been working on a list of prompts for each day in May and will be participating myself, obviously, but over the course of April, I want to inspire you to join in as well. If you’re a poetry kind of person.


I will be participating in NaNaWriMo this year, and unlike last year where my goal was simply to hit the word count, I will be writing a singular, concise novel over the course of the month which I plan on editing and releasing over the course of 2024. All of the names and plans and ideas are tentative right now, but as it draws closer, I’ll be posting more information about it.

Mean For the Holidays 2023

I will always be here for Mean for the Holidays. This year will be another continuous storyline, similar to Brahmir from last year, but that information will all come in time.

With all of that out of the way, I’m going to go enjoy my 30th Birthday with a great big thank you to every single person who took the time to read this, to follow me on Facebook and to hang out with me while I told all these stories. In thirty years, I’ve learned myself pretty well. I know that I can’t live without this writing. It is in my bones like nothing I could compare it to. It’s a part of me, deep down, and I won’t be stopping.

I’ve also learned in that time that I need my rest, so I’ll be taking a week or so off from writing and posting and doing all of that to give me some time to recharge my batteries. I need it, I’m running on empty here.

Until I see you again, bring a sword, light your torch, and remember…

Life is not meant to be awful.


If you’d like to support what I’m doing here, you can click either of the links below to be taken to ways you can help you (if you feel so inclined!)


I’ve recently started a Ko-fi Shop online where, if you would like to help support me as I continue to work on my various writing projects here and over on Vocal, I would be so, so appreciative.

As of the publication of this post, it’s a little barebones but I’m working on getting it spruced up! I’ll be linking it at the end of each of my posts going forward if you are interested in helping me keep my eyes open at all. Anything offered through Ko-fi will go directly back into the blog, or toward other projects I can’t afford at the time.

Regardless of your decision, thank you for being here. 🔺

A.T. Baines Ko-Fi

Mental Health Support

Consider donating to a charity with the intention of aiding those struggling with thoughts of Suicide, Self Harm or Depression.

Below I’ve listed a few charities and non-profit organizations you can donate to. if you’d like to support groups trying to make the world a little bit less sad.

If you don’t see your preferred charity here, pick one! Or go give someone’s dog a treat. Anything kind will work. ❤️




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