Departing Friends

I am, by many measures, a failure as a human.  I have no empathy, no sympathy.  I am not emotionally expressive.  This past weekend we saw Daughter #1 formally off to college.  My wife was a wreck.  I gave my girl a hug and said “call or text if you’ve problems; later.”

It’s not that I don’t have and express emotions, it’s that I choose where to do it and even then can get blind-sided.  I thought the short story of “Old Friends” was going to be a harmless reunion.  Until I was more than halfway into the project did they show me that John Brunelli was unwell.  Nichole’s reaction to that was so severe that I was unable to write.  Yes, you read that correctly:  a character’s reaction to a revelation in my own head was so strong I couldn’t function properly.

I was finally able to sneak up on it in pieces.  I could split it, but why make y’all any more miserable than I was?  Here’s the last part of “Old Friends.”  I so need to write something light and fluffy next…

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Old Friends

I’m aware the raw manuscript of C&DC needs attention.  Screw that.  I know I need a few more shorts for my short story collexion that will be three books hence.  As a result, I saw something from having re-read a line from “Foes and Rivals,” where sergeant John Brunelli makes a promise to Nichole 5.

How long would that take?  What sort or world would these people be living in by then?  I made some notes (mostly questions to myself), sat down, and got this.  About 1700 word; and this story is just beginning.  I wonder where it will go?

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Turning and turning

Took Daughter #1 off to college yesterday.  A mere two hours away.  Still:  someone who has been in my home everyday (yes, yes… field trips, sleep-overs…) for the past seventeen years suddenly… isn’t.

It’s a hollow silence; a fake peace.  Much of her stuff is still in her room and bathroom.  Her dog – who is now de facto our dog – goes from window to window with sighs.  This, coming on the heels of the raw close of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” was enough to make a special trip to the liquor store for some summer gin.  I drink a little to write; I drink a lot to make this world go away.

As I always quote:  “you can get used to hanging if you hang long enough,” so too will the ache of her relocation pass.  Time, after all, wounds all heals.  In the interim, unable to write, I took some assessment of my collexion of short stories from MachCiv.  Of those I can use (not in someone else’s sandbox), there are six, totaling 20.6k words.  One of them, the story of how Arpad and Lily meet, fell in love, get married, is currently 11k but I need to add at least 8k to complete it.  Emma’s story will need to be doubled or cut.  And, there is at least one if not two more in mind:  when sergeant John Brunelli from both of Nichole 5’s books comes to Japan as an old man to fulfill his promise to see her again; that, and a short about the machine Ninon, who you will meet in “C&DC”… who loves to fly to the stars.

That gives me one book that’s – hopefully! – less than a month from publication.  Another raw manuscript complete that should be out by Thanksgiving or Christmas.  And a collexion of Machine Civilization shorts (with commentary before each!) sometime mid to late winter 2020.

“Doin’s better than thinkin’.”

Death Ship

As this is a novella, and the main character is now dead, it is time to wrap this up.  Aside:  my cover designer showed me his idea of Faustina from “Worlds Without End;” while she might be a little rough around the edges and holding two rifles, he did include a “cute” feature I’d not seen.  I ret-conned it into the manuscript.  But this was the important thing:  unlike “CDC,” for just a flash of light, I was back in a happy book with relatively pleasant people; not this miasma of political terror and betrayal.

There is an epilogue to this; Barrett’s resurrection, as it were.  I have seen it and it’s even shorter.  Looks as if the entire novella will be about 35-36k words.  I don’t care.  While there is much editing to do, I am leaving this and not coming back.  I’m also off DayJob tomorrow so should have the last piece complete then.  If my next novel consists of nothing but unicorns shitting Skittles, so be it.

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