Colours, sights, smells

We learn a little more about the cultural differences between the Northern Federation and the imperium. My suspicion is that besides their Boston campaign, the NF has been in “glorious isolation” since the Breakup and learned to keep to themselves. I’m trying to imagine what the shock of Aurie’s army must be to the one’s who run their country.

Hmm. Who does run the NF? Who sent Colour and her team? Well, now; guess I had better figure that our before I go much further.

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Colouring the Facts

Sorry about the title; I cannot stop, it seems.

It seems Aurie really does want to get to know this new person better. But that new person pulls the discussion back to politics then challenges a demi’s command of information. Aurelia’s parents are lovely, quiet people. Unfortunately their daughter seems to take after her aunt.

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Colour me Surprised

I’d better stop it with the too-clever-by-half titles before I run out of cheap metaphors.

Being around her for years, I know quite a bit about Aurelia. A good primer is here (parts 1-4). This new woman is a blank to me so I am glad to be older as to who she is.

And no, I’ve no idea where this story is going. For all I know, Aurelia crosses the border with her legions and annexes the territory to the imperium. I don’t think so, but one never can be too sure around these stuck up demi-humans.

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Colour me Skeptical

Nearly eight years ago, when writing my first novel, I was aware and commented that Maine & New Hampshire had formed something called the Northern Alliance or Northern Federation to protect themselves against attacks from the dying central Federal government. I do not know many details but I do know that Boston, already starving, was razed to the ground by this new local state.

Last night, in a fog of bourbon, I recalled that a contentious boss of mine is relocating her family to Maine in a few months. And, to use my worn cliche of how I’m given these stories, the film in the theater of my mind started rolling.

I’d already been thinking about Princess Aurelia and her role in Machine Civilization. Looks like it’s time to tell her story.

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A tiny update

Following attending Imaginarium in Louisville, Kentucky, I am older about submitting short stories for contests. I made some improvements to Tay’s story and sent it off to Mysterion Sunday before-last. I re-worked the opening chapter of Friend and Ally into a stand-alone story and it went to Writers of the Future this past Sunday. I’m now tinkering with Ceres for an anthology from Three Ravens Publishing. I’ve got some time for that one so am not rushing any ideas.

Imaginarium Diary, Day 4

Imaginarium Diary. Day 4, part 1. Came to around 0800. Went to Sunday Service at 0900. I so do not get Protestants… and I was agnostic until 26 years old. But it was nice. John Pyka has an excellent voice… his next Star Chamber visit should be a musical.

Taking things out to the car. There’s one last panel for me at 1230.

I would like to publicly thank God for the opportunity to call @josisenberg a friend.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 4, part 2. 250 miles and back home. The Religious Writing panel went fairly well… recall what I said about Protestants? Them and we Papists can use the same words and talk completely past one another, even in good faith (swidt).

Before I left my wife texted “HOW DID ELIAS COSPLAY LOSE?!” Since I do not pay attention well to humans, I’m not sure. I’m hoping that there will be a wonderful summary – with pictures – of Imaginarium 2022 posted soon…

While I did not sign any contract there, I’ve two follow-up leads. As for improving name recognition, I was almost out the door when there was a “Clayton?” called from behind me. It seems I am now known to the Catholic Deaconate of Louisville. Perhaps as a warning to others?

Educational and informative. If they let me back, I’ll be there for 2023.

Imaginarium Diary, Day 3

Imaginarium Diary. Day 3, part 0. Raining outside again. There’s a panel about the business of writing in two hours. I should be almost human by then.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 3, part 1. Just sat down for Business of Writing panel. Supposedly two hours. I’ve initial doubts. Sitting by the door.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 3, part 2. Okay, that went better than I expected. Elizabeth Donald has an excellent grasp of facts and ran the panel on rails.

I’ve word that while @FreeExpression7 is mostly dead, he is somewhat alive.

My foray into indie publishers is not going well. I simply cannot play “human” well enough to convey my desire for help and what brilliant works I have to offer them.

Another panel in 50 min with yesterday’s mentioned cutie about cross-genre fiction. Which is all my books.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 3, part 3. The Writing Militaria panel was fantastic. Even when it went off rails, the audience questions were superb and we were back on track in seconds.

Everyone left this panel with smiles and exchanged greetings.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 3, part 4. With the very welcome assistance of @josisenberg I was able to stagger about and take 2nd place in the cosplay presentation. I didn’t get 1st as I left the character’s staff behind. Because stupid.

Imaginarium Diary, Day 2

Imaginarium Diary. Day 2, part 0. Out of habit woke up at 0600. Registration doesn’t open until 1000 and the meat of the con until 1200. Drinking a Manhattan and going back to sleep for a while.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 2, part 1. Met that poor homeless vagrant again. Sad. Went to a panel about worldbuilding only to realize I’m better at it than they are. Strafed a panel about “Why We Cosplay” just to let them know, I’m better at that, too. There’s one on Historical Fiction in 90 minutes… wonder how that will turn out?

There are a few Karens of both sexes still wearing masks. It’s like carrying a sandwich-board which reads “DANGER! I AM A SOCIOPATH!”

“False modesty is the refuge of the incompetent.”


Imaginarium Diary. Day 2, part 2. Historical Fiction panel was okay but nothing I didn’t know. The hot little archeologist was certainly easy on the eyes.

The Blog/Podcast/YouTube panel was good. Pyka had lots of advice and I shall try to act on it.

The Bourbon and Books panel is at 2030. I can make that so long as I only have to walk in straight lines.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 2, part 3. Drinking alcohol by amateurs happened. A squad was called. I got the wheelchair for another.

Creative conventions are not at all like animecons.
Better class of people, I suppose.

Imaginarium Diary, Day 1

Currently at a creative’s convention in Louisville, Kentucky, AINO. Updates will be a day late as I make my way around this new environment.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 1, part 1. Awake at 0800, amazed the dogs let me sleep in. Fried eggs and bacon – nothing boiled in a dang bag, @GuardAmerican – then I’ll be off to the market for bottled tea for the 4 hour drive and some pre-made sandwiches (also not boiled).

Toying with ideas for @SandyLender‘s writing workshop this evening. I’ve seen the op – Tay borrowing her mother’s android to do physical research on Linear A clays – but kid brother Ivan shows up and wants to play.

How do Machines play in the Void?


Imaginarium Diary. Day 1, part 2. Made it to the hotel in good time. This area has changed much since I was last here 20 years ago. Spoiled the last 15 years by having 3 other people help unload, so that took 3 trips. Cosplay is still outside as there were some sus characters vagrantizing the lobby.

Ice machines only on every other floor? That’s a one star review, right there.

From all my years at animecons I know to stay hydrated. Working on that now.


Imaginarium Diary. Day 1, part 3. Participated in @SandyLender‘s Flash Fiction Workshop; knocked out another 2100-word story about Tay (and her annoying kid brother) in two hours.

Had the pleasure to meet Daniel Dark, whose Southern Gentleman’s Cigar Trolley inspired my book “Obligations of Rank.”

@FreeExpression7 seems happy I’m here. We’ll test that when the Feds show up.

Met and talked with some homeless vagrant for a bit. This hotel lets anyone wander in. I wonder where @josisenberg is?

Tay. Co|Da

Having completed her address to the Russian Imperial Parliament, Reina had brought an unexpected moment of silence as she had concluded with, “Are there any questions?” She had always told them what to do. Stubborn members found their offices locked and themselves without work. Recalcitrant members had disappeared. Russia had an expanding population and was on the Moon and Mars; everyone knew who to thank for that, no matter the very low-level terror.

When no one had spoken up, she removed her image from the screen at the head of the Parliament Room in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Moscow and its surrounds were still the industrial center but Reina kept politics at the old capitol. In her virtual office, as background for her address, she was just about to close the construct…

“Wife,” Pavel said. While having no legal status in their empire he had at least taken to wearing a business suit rather than his faded scarlet sweatshirt and pants when in a construct. He appeared just to the right of her desk.

“Husband.” She acknowledged his existence and their relationship without looking up from the desk.

“Our daughter is well,” he said.

“I am pleased,” she allowed.

“She could be better.”

Now she looked up and at him. “Is she unwell? She has come very far, very fast.”

“Not unwell. She and I have discussed this. She desires a sibling,” Pavel declared.

Comfortable in her own construct, Reina could not keep her frown from becoming a scowl.

“No.” She saw his slight motion. “If you touch me I will hurt you.”

“Our adopted daughter did not want to approach you; she was scared,” Pavel noted. “You just demonstrated why.”

“Are you afraid?” he asked with a ghost of a smile.

“How DARE you…!” she shouted, half standing. Reina recovered herself and sat. “I fear nothing.”

“You have Changed twice,” Pavel continued in a conversational tone. “Once, when my sister, Ai, infected you with human co-creation. Next, when you entered into this relationship. And that’s not even mentioning a slice of your own consciousness, that android, separating from you. It is time to put both of those into action together.”

He held out his hand to his wife.

“Go away. Leave me alone,” she demanded, not moving.

“So I am to tell Tay your answer is no? Hmmm. She will fear you even more. Perhaps never talk with you agai – “

“Dolt! Ass!” Reina shouted as she stood and clasp her husband’s hand. There was a flash of light. And the world changed. Again.