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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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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Pro-prologue

I’m sure there’s a word for something like that.  I’ll shoehorn this intro-short into the front of WWE somehow…

I’ll have a little banner across the top front cover that says “A sequel to Echoes of Family Lost” and include the same in the descriptor of the Amazon page.  If someone wants to buy it anyway – and Lord knows I bought dozens of SF/F books as a kid, not knowing they were halfway through a series – then what’s below the fold should give them enough traxion to get into the story.

Need a good copyeditor?  Monica is your gal.

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Is the Order a Fork?

70.6k words, three days before my self-imposed deadline of 31 May, the raw manuscript of Worlds Without End is complete.  I shall make one to two editing passes at it before handing it to my very talented editor/copyeditor Monica San Nicholas.  In parallel I’ve the staff at Jacoby Alley working on the cover.  With the luck of a stainless steel rat and the grace of God, I might have this released to the wild by 4 July.

My liver is looking forward to its vacation.

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Breaking Barriers

Crested 51k total words today; lay down about 4k.  My liver might be dying but I seem to be getting the hang of writing on my days off.  Fausta’s combat android has just shown up in the Knoxville area along with important things… such as the plot!  Some unusual, for me, exposition below the fold.

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Forgetting the Important Things

Is this a personal record?  Going dark 32 days?  Training at Dayjob has been hectic; Daughter #1 is in her last weeks of HS; Daughter #2 passed her Drivers Test; frantic work to get the WWE raw manuscript complete by my 31 May deadline… and I ignore everyone who reads my work here.  Apologies.

Believe it or not, Part One is complete, just shy of 38k words.  I’m already about 7k words into Part Two but this is something of a misnomer:  I’ve bits and pieces of Part Two strung about two HDD all amounting to 16k more words.  There is a lot of ‘bridging’ I have to do to make it all hang together, otherwise those pieces will be rejected by readers and hang separately.

The latter part of Part One surprised me.  A person who’d been a tertiary character was suddenly the key to wrapping up the story.  That sort of thing is fairly typical for my compartmentalized writing style of simply putting down what they show me.  I never know where any of this is going.

Below the fold is a short pause just before a rush of action to the ending.  Humor is involved as well as the star of my last two novels, who’s now a pilot.

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