Family Dinner

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.

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“Speak the word…the word is all of us”

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.

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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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