Write Right

Had a conversation with a day-job co-worker yesterday.  She’d asked if I’d finished my fourth novel, Crosses & Doublecrosses, in time for NaNoWriMo.  Nope, I replied:  that whole “wife diagnosed with cancer” thing was a bit of a spanner in my plans.

However, after some reflexion, I wondered if I would have finished in time if that had not happened.  Outside of a handful of Robert Ludlum books as a late teenager, I really have no experience with espionage and political fiction.  There were many times I stared at the monitor, unable to see anything of a story to write down.  Was I losing the ability to make up stories?

A week ago, completely out of left field, came this:  a writing and drawing contest from a Japanese/American company called Voltage.  It wasn’t the US$5000 prize that caught my eye – no, really – but the facts that, one, this is for a visual novel (something I do know something about), two, they give you the characters and scenes (all I need to do is create dialog; breath life into the characters, as it were), and three, it’s a cute little story.

Cute.  I can do cute.

So, last Tuesday, while my wife was getting a port installed in her chest for her chemotherapy (which started in-patient on Thursday), in the two hours or so I was waiting, I hand-wrote about 2200 words for the three scenes.  Just like that.  So easy!  Apparently I didn’t lose the ability to see stories.

I’ve since typed it up and done some basic editing.  I was concerned that what I wrote for Scene 3 was not in-line for romance stories directed at women; I read part of the scene to my wife last night at the hospital.  “You’re suspiciously good at writing make-out scenes,” she quipped with a slight glare in her eyes.  Hey:  I grew up a geek and later became an engineer; people like me never had many girlfriends, but that didn’t mean we didn’t think about it… A LOT.

And, me being me, all of what I do hangs together in one way or another.  You might catch a glimpse of that in the teaser below the fold.

Dammit!  I won’t let you ruin that, too!”  Joshua lunged at Derek, but at least opened his fists as he did.  Derek was knocked sharply off of his feet.

Jamie was too late.  She turned first to glare at Joshua.

“What the hell are you doing?!  Yes, this team has some problems, but we can work them out—”


In an instant she pivoted to Derek, on the ground; not writhing in pain, but holding his right ankle with both of his hands.  She dropped and gently moved his hands away, feeling for damage… as only she could.

“It’s a sprain… a bad one.”  She said, her voice flat.  “You’ll be out for ten days, minimum….  I’ve got to get you to the infirmary!”

“It’s fine… I can—”  Derek started, but stopped when he saw Jamie’s eyes flash.

“You will do no such thing, hu… er, Derek!”  She shouted.  “I will help you!”

“Uh…guys?”  Both Jamie and Derek looked up.  Joshua had his hand behind his head.  He was looking away, then turned towards them.

“I… I’m sorry.”  He said.  Jamie could tell he meant it.  “That was stupid of me; if the team fails, well, that all on me, the captain.  Hey…!”

He extended his hand to Derek.

“Let me help?”

[Jamie choice:

A.  “You’ve done enough already!”

B.  She pauses to glance at Derek.]

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