Milestone and millstones

Today, Saturday, was the semi halfway point between both my girl’s birthdays.  We all, plus my mother-in-law (we sat far apart) went to a nominally Japanese steakhouse.  I bet I spoke more anime-Japanese than the staff.  Still and all, good time, good food.  Eldest Daughter is now Sweet Sixteen.  She said there’s a boy she’s fond of.  I said I have rifles about which I feel the same.  We have one another’s measure.

I’ve broken 50k words.  In and of itself, that means nothing, but recall I was raised on NaNoWriMo’s “50k words in November!” so it kind of sticks.  What’s happening at that word mark is below the fold.  I’d guess another 8-12k to kill everyone, er, wrap things up.  Following that, as I said in a previous post, editing will consist of adding material to make the modules I’ve written, over so much time, link to one another.

Will Deonne in two sentences completely changed how I write horror (it works, now), but I know I still suck at action/fighting.  Anyone have any ideas as I head into the final Act?

Continue reading “Milestone and millstones”


I’d announced to my family yesterday that there were leftovers in the fridge.  I told my wife I’d not be watching anything in the basement, thus not turning on the pellet stove.  To all and sundry:  leave daddy the eff alone:  he’s writing.

It’s 2245 now, past an old man’s bed time, but I’ve 3.2k words for today.  MUCH more importantly are the milestones:  I’ve radically changed Chris & Cat’s relationship with a pivotal secondary character, and got Chris baptized.  Hey, when you consider yourself a writer of nominally Catholic stories, things like that matter.

So:  I got the cousins from UCSD to the Hotel del Coronado.  Pre-dinner politics.  It wasn’t until Cat excused herself to the bathroom that I saw that Anton has lost his mother when he was a boy; that allowed me to radically change the dynamic between these three.  This is going to echo through the rest of the novel; probably upping the death-toll, too.

Below the fold is another example of why creative writing sometimes scares me:  as recently as two hours ago, not a single idea of any of this existed anywhere inside my head.  Sometimes it seems for me that prayer is an ‘SDI’ project.

Continue reading “Dinner.”

Dogging My Steps

Good news:  second biopsy on dog came back as a polyp.  No cancer.  Bad news:  second biopsy on dog came back as a polyp; so it might regrow like some tanjed weed if the surgeon didn’t get it all, branch-and-root.  *sigh* Time will tell.  Otherwise, Lucky Star is doing fine.

Accepting the fail of another NNWM is relaxing:  my pacing of writing is much more like what I was doing over the summer with Defiant… about 500 words a night with the occasional ~1200 word burst.  The story is much less forced and much more like my usual pedestrian* style.  I’m happier about that.  Not that I don’t have an hard deadline:  I finally got round to seeing the longer trailer for Ghost in the Shell.  Never read the manga, never saw any of the animated movies.  So, a show about machines and what it means to be a person.  Nope, I got nothing on that.  Better have Cursed Hearts published before that comes out!

*No, really.  I actually have Chris and Cat wandering around UCSD campus… Continue reading “Dogging My Steps”

Brothers in Arms

Seven days.  What an awful host I am.

This one was a little odd:  I wrote the first few paragraphs about five days ago, then stopped.  RealLife(TM) got a bit busy with the wife and kids getting ready for yet another vacation (without me), but even so, I saw nothing of the story.  So, I waited.

Yesterday, I gave up waiting and went full-on coffee and bourbon.  Wrote all but the meal scene, below.  Just did that now.

This almost seems like a tangent to the plot (I’ve a plot?) but knowing now how “Defiant” ultimately ends – I think – what’s here is germane.  I’ll do better tomorrow.  Promise.

Continue reading “Brothers in Arms”

Under Wrap

At Bowling Green State University in NW Ohio for eldest daughter’s last swim meet of the season.  Wrote the first half of this a couple of days ago.  Shifting about on my butt-pad on the bleachers in the natatorium, I’d a few hours to see the rest.  And well into, if not all of Ep30, as well.  There’s one more idea I plan to unveil, then I hope to get everyone that belongs there back to Portland.

Two days ago, while typing the first bit of this episode, my wife was catching up to Ep 28.  It was late in the evening, and getting dark outside, both of us on the couch.  After awhile, she sighed.  I looked up and right to see where she was; ah, she’d just finished.  She turned to me with an odd look on her face.

“About how many words is this?”

“I think Part Three is about 16,000…”

“No.  I mean the whole thing, up until this.”  She gestured at what she’d been reading on her screen.

“Ummm.  I’d guess maybe 36-38 thousand words?”

“Thirty eight thousands words, and just now we have a kiss with feeling behind it.  Just WTF kind of ‘romance story’ is this?!”

“Uhhh…?  A really slowly paced  one?”

Continue reading “Under Wrap”

Book Tour – October

Apologies all around:  my awful “day job” – which takes place at night – has me to the point where I see my children for four freaking minutes each evening before I go to work.  Not happy about that.

Anyhoo.  I’ve been a tick busy getting questionnaires answered and blog-posts typed for an upcoming Virtual Book Tour for “The Fourth Law.”  Sure, I’m almost a year late doing this… I’m old, dammit.

Some of the questions are straightforward; a few have been very thought provoking.  Much more dangerous are the requested blog entries.  For example, the one I’m working on now said ‘topic:  author’s choice.’  Ooo!  What trouble I can get into!  In fact, that’s exactly what I want to do.  So, I’m writing a little (~600 word) entry about Lily’s Catholic faith.  Honestly, it’s something you really don’t see in current science fiction much, and I had some early reviewers tell me that “it will turn off some readers.”


Politics is downstream from culture.  I want my daughters to have a better life than I have, and, honestly, that looks iffy these days.  If I can nudge WestCiv culture in a way that I think might help them – even if it costs me readers and sales – I’ll do that.  In “T4L” I have Lily freely admit that although she grew up Catholic, her faith meant little to her, until she was on her own at the hospital and orphanage.  Much of how she thinks and acts towards God and the Church now are heavily drawn from Niven and Pournelle’s two books about the Inferno.  A sharp eyed reader of “T4L” will see that every time Lily cries  “…God!  Help me…!” things suddenly change for her, but not in a way she expects.  Getting your prayers answered is like that.

Lily’s witness to her Catholic faith is so important, that by the end of the first book of Machine Civilization, one of Ai’s family is well on her way to a conversion… which will be played out when my 20-page children’s book is completed in a couple of months (go Claudia go!).  It is also something that sustains her on her trek across the former southern States of the US in “Echoes of Family Lost.”  In both books, her faith, and her charitas towards her friends, define who she is.

I’m tired and rambling.  Need to get back to that guest-blog entry.  Thanks for reading… and… (grins)… prayers would be welcome!