Tillamook, part 19

One thing about Machines is, whether android or AI, they think faster than humans do. There have been many occasions in my writing when the “normies,” including me, are trying to understand just what someone like Nichole or even a gentle soul like Ai is getting at. So here, having appeared from nowhere, Clarke immediately upends the plans of Teresa.

Teresa is a little harder than I remember her from “Foes and Rivals,” and she was pretty damn hard there. That sudden term of affection, below, was another surprise.

The next few sections will be tricky for me: while Teresa just now knows what Nichole is, I don’t want to cover all that exposition, as I AM SURE everyone has already read her two books and even some of her appearances in my short story collection, so her backstory, nature, and now serving in the Japanese Space Navy is familiar to all you, right? RIGHT?

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Tillamook, part 18

What? You really thought having King Rhun show up was a key plot point? My future history is called Machine Civilization for a reason.

Off to co-celebrate my daughters’ 19th and 21st birthdays in a bit. I’m hoping to get one more scene typed today then see what they can show me before Mass tomorrow.

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Tillamook, part 17

Remember yesterday when I wrote I have more to write? In the IV Room at DayJob today I realized those 1100 words are shit and won’t work in the story flow. I’ll try again this weekend.

That means I’m going to dump what I have on you and hope I can lay down another 2000+ words this weekend. Not likely as I’ve got to pdf format “A Texas Naval Affair” for Createspace. So much to do; so little time. There may be another bunny with a pancake on its head.

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Tillamook, part 16

Surviving his first talk with the king, Gil finds himself back on a slide under a microscope. Makes sense, really: Teresa’s father was into politics before she was born and that is the environment in which she grew up. Deceit and deals are the water in which she swims.

Y’all enjoy the update I’ve much to write.

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Tillamook, part 15

One of y’all raised the salient point of “why is the king so interested all this?” That gets addressed here. Historically, Russia is either contracting or expanding. Their stasis from 1991-2020 was an aberration. With Thinking Machine Reina calling the shots, they are back in expansion mode; they have to be. With the Maunder Minimum bringing the ice and snow south just as they have turned around their demographic implosion, they need somewhere for their people to live. So, Alaska and now British Columbia are now passing to their hegemony. Rhun is not an idiot and can read a map: his kingdom will be next.

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Tillamook, part 14

Not so much for you sophisticates who follow my blog, but I imagine most would have difficulty imagining post-Breakup monarchy. It would be very personal, a throw-back to the Early Middle Ages. No “constitutional” form and even more direct that the Absolutism of the 18th century. Empress Faustina shot a man through his head, a man who was legally a POW. Rhun has killed with his own hands, as you will read in an installment or two. That makes Gil’s “back talk” surprising to the point of foolhardiness.

Teresa’s candor makes more sense: if caught in a lie her head would be on a pike, too. Thankfully, she comes from a political family.

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Tillamook, part 13

As y’all read when Gil was a guest on the Russian destroyer, the local politics are a little complicated. The city of Portland survived the Breakup (along with San Diego, although they are occupied by Mexico) and kept trade down the Columbia River open, the hydroelectric dams up the river running, and the farmers and ranchers south in the Willamette Valley supplied with POL and fertilizer. Yet, even by the time of “Friend & Ally,” said farmers and ranchers had begun to set up something of a local governor in the old State capitol of Salem, as a counter-balance to Portland.

Then, as you read in “Foes & Rivals,” Mayor Johnson of Portland first makes a deal with the horsemen of the eastern steppe to crush the cannibals in former Washington State’s central valley. But second goes back on that deal and tries to betray his new allies. It didn’t work and many heads ended up on pikes. It was at that time when Nichole took Gil and Mackenzie and fled. Once order was reestablished, the commander of the horsemen, Rhun, set himself up as king – Nichole’s idea – with limited autonomy for Portland and the Willamette Valley. Honestly, it’s an ad hoc muddle, as Gil told one of his Russian hosts.

We’ll learn more over the course of this week.

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“A Texas Naval Affair” rough ideas

Getting close to the release of my next, 14th, book. This is a romance with some scifi elements set about sixteen years before “Obligations of Rank.” In that book, Allen and Ryland’s daughter, Livia, plays a role in Part One. I was curious about Livia’s parents. So, here’s a rough draft of the backcover blurb and how the front cover is shaping up.

At eighteen, Allen Rupert’s criminal past has caught up with him and he is given the choice of the military or jail.  To get as far from central Texas as possible, he joins the new navy, but spends half of his time in the brig.

Recognizing Allen’s mechanical skill, he’s trained as a machinist and assigned to the small corvette Liberty, patrolling the Gulf of Mexico.  During an ASW drill, Allen defuses a torpedo which went live in its tube, and his summoned to the bridge.  There, Acting Captain Ryland Rigó commends him for his good work.

For the first time in his life, Allen sees someone look at him with respect.  Weeks later, ashore, he invites her to lunch.  To his utter shock, she accepts.

Thinking her just another girl, Allen is shook to his core to find himself swept into a maelstrom of domestic politics, international intrigue, and the plots and plans of Demi-humans and Machines.  All while trying to fix his broken life and attain the only thing he wants:  Ryland.

Tillamook, part 12

The plot has arrived! Just in time for the weekend. Where, I mentioned yesterday, I have plodding editing work to do for “A Texas Naval Affair.” I hope to have something to post over the next two days and am trying very hard to come up with a short podcast subject (as my throat is still not back to 100%)

While I have seen about the next two reels I just do not have the time to write them down right now. But I’m trying.

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Tillamook, part 11

“In war, everything is simple. But the simple things are hard.” ~ Clausewitz. This was a part of his discussion of the idea of friction in his tome, “On War.” I’ve long been aware of the idea and have run up against my share of friction now and again. And now is again another time. My Lenten commitment was to post something daily, preferably content. Except for the bunny with a pancake on its head I think I’ve been keeping up pretty well.

However, my copyedit of “A Texas Naval Affair” is back and my cover designer is about 60% complete. If I want a proof copy in my hands by Easter, then I must spend time this weekend implementing the edits and inserting maps and family trees for my next book. That means I will not be able to see to “Tillamook” as closely as I want. I do have an idea for another podcast, so perhaps I can toss that out on Sunday.

Having said all that to say this: thanks for reading and following along. All of this friction is one of the reasons I am cutting my DayJob hours. What I need now is time, not their wages.

PS A free, signed hardcopy of any one of my books to the first person in this post’s Comments who identifies the source of Gil’s “three handed logic.”

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