“No” or “hell, no!”

Had a co-worker over for cocktails yesterday afternoon.  Ohio allows personal interaction and we’re both “vital medical personnel” *snort* so we do what we want in the Dark Age of BatAIDS.  He’s one of the folks who encouraged me to think seriously about making audiobooks.  We covered that subject and several others.  While mildly lef of center, we discovered that we’re shoulder-to-shoulder on issues such as private property and firearms.  He’s not particularly religious and was surprised to find out I’m Catholic.  I stared at him over the rim of my Martini and asked, “You’ve read three of my books.  Did you think those elements fell in there by accident?”  All in all, an excellent Saturday afternoon.

Below the fold, anxious for her men and wanting to reunite her army, Faustina thinks of ways to bluff her next opponent rather than fighting a battle.  Which is a polite way of saying I don’t want to throw away another week thinking about it.

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Up the Yazoo

Which, for my overseas readers, is an actual river and city in the State of Mississippi.  Faustina has to move fast:  both to prove herself as a legionary commander and to show that she’s better than humans.  In this segment, the first of two before the Battle of Winona (there will finally be shooting, I promise), she schools her distant relations on strategy and tactics in the former US as well as that attacking the enemy’s mind is always more effective than attacking their body.

I am also older that to write a campaign, you have to plan a campaign.  A visual example of that is at the very end of this entry.

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Rehab

After not formally writing for a week and half, I feel as if I should be entering rehab; I have (looks about) five pages of notes from downtime at DayJob and quiet times about my house but when I just didn’t the time to sit down in front of the laptop.

That came to an end today.  Daughter #2 off on a cancer fun-raiser, wife doing something about the house somewhere… I’d no more excuses.  I fired up the pellet stove in the basement and came down thirty minutes later to write.  So far, it’s working.  3k words of Faustina’s recover in the Knoxville hospital flowed right out.  There’s much there:  her physical condition, the reaction of her family to her injuries, and her fervent desire to return to “her boys” as soon as she is able.  It will be a balancing act for her, in, I think, three parts.  Here’s part one.

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Blowing Hot & Cold

It’s officially the winter season at the Barnett Residence:  with this recent cold snap I have un-mothballed our pellet stove in our basement.  It keeps things about 80F down there.  The ground floor is set around 65F and upstairs falls to 61F or lower when the wind howls.

Another busy DayJob week leading to no writing at all for nearly four days.  On the morning of the fourth day I texted my wife that I was becoming morbidly depressed.  She counselled me to hang on a bit longer.  Wisdom:  in the past day and a half I’ve written just over 3000 words about little Fussy and her first battle, the first part of which is just below the fold.

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Worlds Without End

Going into a lovely early Fall weekend with little to do?  Need something to while away time with the cool breeze and falling leaves?  If you have not yet, download and read “The Fourth Law” and “Echoes of Family Lost” FOR FREE (while you can!) then go on to read the latest addition to my future history of Machine Civilization just now released!  Cheers!

Worlds Without End 

 

WWE FOR REVIEW - STANDARD 8 SEPT VERS 3

Lead Balloon (?)

In writing, unlike retail, the reader is usually but not always correct.  The fact that I was sailing serenely on with all the “likes” to the ‘Empire’s Agent’ short story, only to have NONE for the last installment, surprised me.  I reread it and came up with some possibilities… there most certainly might be others (mild spoilers for Empire’s Agent – End)

  1.  Ended too suddenly.  Admittedly, many of my stories do, especially the shorter ones; I’m not Peter Jackson to write and make four endings when one will do.
  2.  Too Catholic.  Arpad and Lily are about to get it on in a pleasant forest clearing when Henge jerks them into her home to stop what she sees as a clear and present danger to her step-mom:  mortal sin.  Perhaps my readers are more secular than I think they are?
  3.  Lily realizes she’s pregnant the day after her wedding.  I’ve hear Millennials generally don’t like kids, so was that a turn-off?

I am seriously puzzled by this one, friends.

Empire’s Agent – End

Finally!  And what a way to end!  This 21k “short story” will be the anchor of my collection of similar for my book in the early months of 2020.  Right now I think the shorts will be arranged chronologically, so this will be pretty much in the middle.  To-date this gives me ~31k words for that book; I’ll try to flesh one of them out a little more and am sure I’ll have one or two come to my mind in the next few months.

This was a lot of fun!  Unfortunately what comes next, besides the final edit of “Worlds Without End” is the last tweaks to the awful “Crosses & Doublecrosses.”  Yuck.

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Satur-Date!

Finally!  Saturday and it’s time for Arpad and Lily’s date!  Here’s the lead in and parts one and two.  I’m hoping to see part three (when they talk together in the park) later today and tomorrow.  My goal is have their last scene – which is going round and round in my head – no later than Tuesday.  After that I will turn my attention to my “Worlds Without End” edit to get it released by 30 September.

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Departing Friends

I am, by many measures, a failure as a human.  I have no empathy, no sympathy.  I am not emotionally expressive.  This past weekend we saw Daughter #1 formally off to college.  My wife was a wreck.  I gave my girl a hug and said “call or text if you’ve problems; later.”

It’s not that I don’t have and express emotions, it’s that I choose where to do it and even then can get blind-sided.  I thought the short story of “Old Friends” was going to be a harmless reunion.  Until I was more than halfway into the project did they show me that John Brunelli was unwell.  Nichole’s reaction to that was so severe that I was unable to write.  Yes, you read that correctly:  a character’s reaction to a revelation in my own head was so strong I couldn’t function properly.

I was finally able to sneak up on it in pieces.  I could split it, but why make y’all any more miserable than I was?  Here’s the last part of “Old Friends.”  I so need to write something light and fluffy next…

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