Looked over my notes for a-while this morning (another day off; work the next three) and saw PART 1: KEEP HUMAN circled. My handwriting so I guess I was drunk. Imagine. Still, per my Lenten oath to not only complete the MS for “Empress’ Crusade” but also to make it more Christian than its predecessor, I’m trying to keep the opening parts of this story in that vein.
My other, more coherent notes, speak to Faustina chatting with MacRae, (check) and Reina. As she’s the machine who will end up as Acting Prime Minister of the Russian Empire (should I have said *spoiler warning*? oops) that is not “keeping it human.” So, instead, I saw Fussy’s nurse drop in at the legionary fort to check up on her.
One of my other scrawled notes was “eugenics.” That plus Faustina is not something I want to think about right now.
Continue reading “Check. Up.” →
The design contest for the cover of my short story collection, “Empire’s Agent” is complete. I hope to have a proof copy in my hands in less than a week and a commercial release days after that.
At 57k words I have passed the MS of “American Imperium: Princess’ Crusade” onto one of my new copyeditors. He’s a little spastic about “?!” punctuation but I like the cut of his jib. Once “Empire’s Agent” is loose in the wild I shall likely begin another cover design contest. Tricky: the main character, 18-year old Faustina, spends half the book in a hospital bed with 2nd degree burns and no hair. Not the stuff for an eye-catching cover, is it?
And… speaking of Faustina: if there’s a part one, there better be a part two. Below the fold is the opening scene of “American Imperium: Empress’ Crusade.” Faustina is utterly full of herself and as arrogant “af” – as the kids say. I wanted to start things slow and humble. I have tiny, faint glimpses of where she might be going, but I won’t know until she gets there. Enjoy the ride with me!
Continue reading “End. Middle. Begin.” →
I’ve a book cover design contest up on 99designs. If you are of the artistic vein, submit your ideas!
Been chewing on the legionary awards ceremony for days. This morning – sober, even! – I saw the answer: my typical terse style. Rather than put the reader through the hundred or so men coming forward for awards and promotions, all that happens “off stage” as it were. What we see is Faustina’s address, where she at last pulls back the curtain on what sort of political arrangement she has in mind for the territory she considers to be her own by right of conquest. This is going to have ramification back in Knoxville I cannot begin to see.
This marks the end of the raw manuscript that will either be Part One or Book One, at just over 56k words. Right now I must devote the coming weekend to implementing the copyedit changes proposed by Stephen Zimmer for my short story collection. And it still needs a cover. Busy, busy…
Continue reading “Short End” →
A bit of a turn for the political but I thought it best for Faustina to let the locals know from the get-go how she intends to administer the land and people under her control. And, after something as awful as the Breakup, I’m sure the survivors have been thoroughly disabused of any insane notions of equality of ability or outcomes.
Just one last scene, the awards to her heroes, before I can finally turn to the copyedit of my short story collection. This is an odd week – I’m off Tuesday and Thursday, but I shall try to get it done before the weekend. So much to do! Overwhelming sometimes…
Continue reading ““A place for everyone and everyone in their place”” →
…and none of us can ever really be sure who we are talking to. The cashier we just insulted? Is his sister your heart surgeon? The co-worker you just humiliated at lunch? Is her son the lifeguard at your kids’ pool?
“Perfectly acceptable to insult someone in private: they might even thank you for it later. But when you do it in public they tend to think you are serious.” – Ben Franklin.
Continue reading “Life comes at you fast…” →
Faustina makes her first speech to her cohort officers. After that she has a meet-and-greet with the politicians and businessmen from the Savannah area… which I am also finished with. After her big address to her boys and the world at large the following day, I’m shelving the Crusade MS to work on the copyedit changes to my short story collection, which I am still hoping to have out in six weeks… -ish.
Continue reading “Name and Address” →
Faustina gives Wei a precis about ‘the machines home,’ the virtual world that dates back to the opening pages of my first novel, The Fourth Law. After that, Fussy’s relief is palpable when her godmother finally makes her appearance but as human minds are easily stressed in such an environment, it is soon time to go.
The little bit at the end, about Fuzhou, surprised me. I really do wonder if there’s a blood connexion between them. They’ll let me know if they want to, I guess.
After this – for my two days off this week – I’m going to try two big speeches: the first is Faustina to her senior centurions and the second to her assembled legions. I’m pretty sure about the former but the latter is still in fog. Praying for a clearer sky.
Continue reading “Backtracks” →
Not entirely sure if I’m sneaking up on the ending of what will be at least two books about Faustina or just the end of the first part of the longest novel I’ve ever written. We shall see.
Said part or book conclusion will be Faustina’s award ceremony for her army. I have already heard a few bits of it. “Land and titles” echo around my mind. She is not just conquering land, she plans to colonize it with young men and women from Greater Knoxville. And loyal to her, personally.
But first, she needs a venue. And right after that, to overcome a language barrier, she takes Nurse Wei to her godmother’s home.
Continue reading “A soft voice” →
Faustina continues her tour of the POW camp and meets someone unexpected. Afterward she and her legates head north to take a look at the Port of Savannah but find that to be too dangerous in the evening. Time for bed.
Over 3000 words this weekend! And it’s only 1300 on Sunday! A total of 51k so far! Where is this story going? Won’t someone tell me?
Continue reading “Seeing with your own eyes” →