I close things out at the Hartmann Family Dinner. Henge has a random act of kindness for her new family; Faustina talks war with her father; Gary and Henge make another go or two at a sibling for Aurelia. Wrapping up lose ends, really. After this, Faustina and her legions are on the march!
If there’s one thing I love to write, it’s people talking. And there’s no better place to talk than around the dinner table. This is, obviously, a calm before the storm of war. Before Faustina leads her legions over the mountains and against a professional military of the world’s last superpower.
Not so much for me, other than I’ve made much progress these two days… even though I am only just now getting to the leading edge of my notes I made at the local Book Fair fail of a week ago. Make haste slowly. No, the good news is below the fold.
For those who’ve not been following along, this is a continuation of yesterday’s post and the latest story of Faustina’s recollections about building her private army. Many things going on… when this becomes a novel it will likely take two chapters to unpack.
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)
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
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.
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…