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.

Continue reading “Empire’s Agent – End”

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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Old Friends

I’m aware the raw manuscript of C&DC needs attention.  Screw that.  I know I need a few more shorts for my short story collexion that will be three books hence.  As a result, I saw something from having re-read a line from “Foes and Rivals,” where sergeant John Brunelli makes a promise to Nichole 5.

How long would that take?  What sort or world would these people be living in by then?  I made some notes (mostly questions to myself), sat down, and got this.  About 1700 word; and this story is just beginning.  I wonder where it will go?

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Bad End, 1/2

The rough of Part Two of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” is complete.  I’ve worked ahead to fix some contextual errors in the relatively small Part Three.  Much like Jackson’s “Return of the King,” part 3 consists of a series of endings:  lives, a person, a life.

Besides that, I’m aware that waaay back in the start of Part One my timing/dating is completely off:  Sylvia and her sister Roberta arrive in Dallas as the Breakup is unfolding in the US just then.  They shortly get summoned to ExComm HQ in Austin.  From what already exists in my novels of Machine Civilization, that doesn’t work:  it was at least three months before Clive Barrett left Japan for the US to find his eldest daughter in Ohio.  That, also, would be at least three more months.  Then his travel to Texas and the formation of ExComm.  Minimum eight months; maximum twelve, total.  Let’s split the difference and call it ten.  So:  why, ten months into the collapse of the US, did Sylvia and Roberta fly from the relative safety of their extended family in upper-class Manila into an effective warzone in Dallas, Texas?

No clue.  Hope they show me.

Continue reading “Bad End, 1/2”

Sacraments

This bridges to the last installment of Part 2.  All that’s left is Gary’s visit with Robert, escalating to a meeting of some/several of the Council, and whatever political fallout there is of that.

Then they all go to Mass on Sunday.  Henge has a seizure and Part 2 ends.  After the resolution of the seizure; I’m an ass but not that big of one.

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Inbox/Outbox

Over the past ten days, even with the confusion and uncertainty of new DayJob, I have kept at writing… to the point where I wrote myself to a point I did not want to be:  it was if I was going to have to write some spy-adventure novel that would have 13-year old Gary trying to track late 20’s Ryan Gannt across most of Eurasia…

Eff that.

I waited, thought, and drank.  Yesterday, drunk, I found a way out:  subcontracting.  What’s below the fold is a glimpse of that… the negotiations with tribe Mendrovovitch to find and ‘control’ Ryan Gannt before he genocides the machines.  That will allow me to keep the lens on Gary and Henge, where it belongs.

I think, think, mind you, that the end of Part One of WWE is within my grasp.  If they let me see, I should know more by the weekend.

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Live Eyes. Dead Eyes.

After my 3.5 week hiatus between Dayjobs, I’m back to the grind tomorrow.  In the interim, since Ash Wednesday, I was able to lay down almost 18k words for my next novel.  Today, in fact, after hiding from my netbook for two days, they let me see 3800 words of their story!

Monday and Tuesday are merely HR orientation flak; Wednesday and Thursday begin my 10-hour days.  It will be an utter catastrophe if I allow my fifth day off to lapse into indolence.  I have come to see that “Worlds Without End” is going to be a two part book of somewhat unrelated stories but welded together by the same characters over two years.

My original target of completion of Easter is impossible.  I am to have the WWE manuscript complete by May 31st.

Below the fold, I introduce a new, secondary character.  I am tired and must to bed.

Continue reading “Live Eyes. Dead Eyes.”

Lent’s 2nd Sunday… PLOT!

Saturday was total fail; I had grown tired – no, tired is not the right word – I had grown tired of writing thousands of words about Gary and his family that are just about Gary and his family.  This is a business, after all.

So I bite the bullet and go get some rye whiskey (swidt?) and dark vermut.  Easter is my cutoff time for such, after all, and outside of Ohayocon I’ve been drinking cheap wine.

Thanks be to God and rye:  I lay down about 1800 words, some of which are below the fold, and at long last, the plot has arrived!  PS  If you’re offended by teens making out, skip what’s below… and get the eff off my blog.

Continue reading “Lent’s 2nd Sunday… PLOT!”