This has been a fun and interesting forty days. I’d no firm plan as to what I’d write, only that I would. With a few exceptions of illness or exhaustion, I think I did not do too badly:
I began with the otherwise untitled MCD1: a look at a minor character from “Cursed Hearts” and taking place just a few days after that book’s close. Lots of interesting things going on, but I was, at the time, eager to move on.
MCD2 later became ‘Worlds Without End,’ so we’ll look to it later.
From my never-completed novel, “Crosses & Doublecrosses,” came what was essentially its first chapter. Ironically, about three weeks later I’d write the last chapter in ‘Death Ship.’ I wonder if I’ll ever write the middle?
MCD4 was based on notes from a short I wrote last year. It was my first time playing in another’s sandbox and later developed into the multi-part ‘Abandoned Factory.’
At this point I was hitting my stride and that stride was getting longer. I let go any pretention of one-shots and turned to a episodic format. The first of those was ‘Pine Bluff,’ so named for the town in Arkansas. This was a chapter I cut from “Echoes of Family Lost” as it didn’t advance the plot, only giving some closure to an event from “The Fourth Law.”
Following a day off, I let loose with ‘Abandoned Factory.’ This was just a little too much fun, playing in someone else’s place. Had I not reined myself in, this would have been the rest of Lent. The main character is one of the leads from “Cursed Hearts.” She had a moment of grace in the final scene of that book and so goes to Purgatory rather than placing herself into Hell. A secondary character, Nike, has a mysterious role to place in my soon to released new novel, formerly known as “Defiant.”
It was Lent and supposedly being Catholic I wanted a bit more faith in the mix, so I decided to check in on Gary and Henge (from “Echoes of Family Lost”) but nine years after that book closes. I was happy to find those two still in love and – now that Gary’s a teen and Henge ‘updates’ her form – them beginning to show that physically. More interestingly was Faustina, Gary’s little sister. A wonderfully headstrong but very flawed girl. I know we’ll be seeing more of her in the future! Also: a guest appearance by Pope Pius XIII!
From almost ten years in my world’s future to just before the opening of “The Fourth Law:” a story about creation. Of Ai and her family. A sense of wonder and potential suffuse this short story.
With pre-history on my mind, I moved from Tohsaka Corporation to Somi Company, in Osaka. Just before leaving her homeland on a potentially one-way mission, Nichole 5 Clarke ditches her handler and wants to be a Tokyo Girl for a day! She ends the night with a very special friend.
Hearkening back to MCD3 and “C&DC”‘s beginning. I wrote what I saw about the end: how Clive Barrett – with subtle help from Ai’s older brother – tries to clean up the awful mess he created that is The Extraordinary Commission for the Preservation of the Republic; also known as ExComm.
After that carnage, with the end of Lent in sight, I wanted to do something that, if not exactly ‘happy-fun!’ at least wasn’t dark and depressing. I moved forward in time again… about three years after “Echoes…” The government of the central European Empire wants to know more about Ai and her family. They dispatch one of their men to central Texas to see who this Barrett woman is and why is she so important. Told from his point of view, the last part of the final installment was a surprise to me, too: I didn’t see what would happen to Lily at all. They amaze me.
One thing I didn’t consciously do was to place every story in my future history of Machine Civilization; I don’t always: ‘Pirate Twins,’ for instance. As it turned out, I’ve created ten new windows into that world, making it broader and deeper. Pulling up the word count, MC is broader and deeper by 36,023 words. Wow. I’d guesstimated at just over 22k. Not bad, if I do say so, myself.
I hope y’all had at least as much reading them as I have making them! Glory to God in the highest! Happy Easter, everyone! He Is Risen!