My mistake: not my story

Taking a few days off turned into too many days off.  I made the mistake of knowing – knowing – how I wanted “Empress’ Crusade” to finish.  It was well into day four that I realized that so long as I wasn’t listening to my characters, they had no reason to talk to me.

So, I set aside a few days to make notes, look at maps, and keep my mental mouth shut.  At DayJob over this past weekend, the film in my mental theater started rolling again.  More notes.  Off today and tomorrow, I was up early, caffeinated, and typing by 0930.  Put down over 3000 words today.  Admittedly, it is a little like I think I saw it (the Fort Benning/Atlanta story arc), but Faustina is already off on a huge tangent and we just met her new nephew, Roland.  Henge is nursing him but turned him around for a moment to show his silver eyes.  Yep:  another demi-human.

Things are winding down this afternoon.  I’m to-bed early to make another early start tomorrow.  Lessons in humility are necessary from time to time.

Achievement unlocked! Peace.

This is a little longer, too, but there was no good place to break it up.  Just think of it as a nice read to distract you from all of the stupidity in the news.  Which is mostly propaganda, anyway.

Having made her point and walked-back her over-the-top demands, Faustina gives Dysart time to reach out to the main players in his coalition government.  No one, not even Faustina, I think, sees this as a long-term treaty, but it is a start… a peaceable start.

Looks like we get another “beach episode” in the next scene!

Continue reading “Achievement unlocked! Peace.”

Flashback

In the published novel, this will be the start of chapter two of Part III.  It hearkens back to what happened at the very end of Part II, where, as Arpad and Ryland were about to return to the Texas-controlled side of the Mississippi, he received a note of some kind.  We know is was significant, otherwise, why is Faustina’s young cousin travelling with them into another battle zone?

I’ve seen what happens right after this memory and am writing it now.  This is a very productive weekend!

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Bloodlines

I swear… I SWEAR that there is shooting in the next installment.  I’ve already written it, so trust me.  It’s just that I think it is so much more interesting to listen to them rather than *pew*pew* and *boom*boom*.  It will be impressive once adapted into a visual series but it just takes up space in my mind and in my pages.

We get to know Ryland, a ‘normie’ but genius human, a little bit better.  She’s not the self-centered shit I thought she was last week.  That is one of the reasons I so love this job:  discovery.  Had I never on a whim written “The Fourth Law” five years ago, I’d not have met Lily.  In the next book, her sister, Callie.  Several books on, writing about Callie’s son and girlfriend, I met Faustina.  And now her cousin.  If this is not a miracle then tell me what is.

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Take Me to the River

My wife wafted through the dining room where I write.  “When did your Breakup stories stop being fiction?” she asked.

I never wanted any of this.  It was just to be a backdrop to the relationships I saw.

Anyway.  Part Two of “Empress’ Crusade” begins!  As is my wont, I skip forward almost three months and put Faustina at her destination:  Vicksburg.  But, as her father pointed out, and her uncle told her brother, “anyone can get into trouble; it’s the professionals who get out alive.”  I think I’m about to see what that looks like.

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Tough Times Demand Tough Talk

A bit of a long-ish addition.  I wanted to wrap up Part One of Empress’ Crusade, at about 18k words, and get on to the campaign itself.  For the historically minded, it will be loosely based on Caesar’s Gallic Wars, always a good read.  In the meantime, I have some research to do about the populations of former Alabama and Mississippi and how that extrapolates one generation on into the Breakup.

Below the fold is a family who loves one another but find it increasingly hard to like one another.  That is probably an odd concept for my younger readers but is something we in our dotage just nod at.  Thanks for everyone’s support!

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Council meeting, pt 1

Who doesn’t love a meeting?  Besides, that is, every normal person on Earth?  Still, no matter what form of government you have, consensus among those who actually run things is critical for longevity of the oligarchy.  And all governments, everywhere, are oligarchy.

In this first part we find Faustina’s success in Savannah to already be destabilizing to the powers-that-be of Greater Knoxville.  The issues here are internal.  Part two, this weekend, will be external.  I wasn’t sure where our main character was headed, but out of the mouths of babes, little Aurelia had it right back in the latter parts of “Princess’ Crusade.”

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“Doing nothing is usually best”

That is one of my life-mottoes.  It is derived from Calvin Coolidge saying “If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.”

Strangely, one of my other life-mottoes is from the US Marine Corps:  “Doin’s better than thinkin’,” which I have used in one of my books.  The gripping hand between the two is knowing when to act and when not to.

First Councilman MacRae’s proposal to Faustina was a bolt from the blue for her and me.  Thankfully he gave her time.  She takes a little of that time to place it before the brother she loves so much and her sister-in-law she thinks so mistaken.  They come to the same conclusion:  give it time.  In a month or two, they could be in a hot-war with the PLA, or attacked on another front, or revolution at home, or… or… the horse just might learn to sing.

Tomorrow:  back to Savannah!

Continue reading ““Doing nothing is usually best””