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.
Ever since I met her in “Worlds Without End,” I knew that Faustina, Gary Hartmann’s slightly younger sister, would have her own novel.
I just didn’t expect to have her showing me things so soon.
Like all of my stories, as I learned from Jerry Pournelle, this is starting in the middle: set maybe five or eight years after WWE, Faustina has led her personal army from Knoxville over the mountains and down the river to take the important port city of Savannah. At great cost to herself.
I confess that, as always, I’ve no idea at all where this is going and am interested as you are…
I have a small, local Author Fair coming up on 9 November. What if, I wondered, I not only had “Worlds Without End” finished – in less than ten day from now – but what if I also had “Crosses & Doublecrosses,” the third novel I began but set aside over three years ago as 1) I was not old enough to write it, and 2) it is a god-awful story I hated living in, complete? Is that possible?
I just completed the basic MS. Grammarly is chewing through it in the the background while I write this. I have reached out to my current cover designer to sound him on this; that will likely be the determining factor.
Still… I would be something: a novel and novella, 100k words, all commercially out in less than six weeks. Irrational deadline drive me; can I make this one?
Below the fold is the last thing I wrote for C&DC: its Prologue. There’s closure for you.
Submitted WWE for my US Copyright this morning, making it my seventh. Also did the basics to set things up on KDP. The outstanding issue remains my copyeditor: I gave her this project in early June. She told me it would be in my hands 1 September… then nothing… I write her… snarky note back…
I’ve been very pleased to work with Monica for three years now without a single complaint. We all have RealLife issues, but after three months I get ghosted? After three years? WTF? In the meantime I re-ran WWE through Grammarly and farmed it out to a couple of proofreaders; that’s what I uploaded to KDP to order a physical proof. This time it will be a two-step process rather than one to catch most of the mistakes.
Having done all that, I am still faced with the time discrepancy of my novella, “Crosses & Doublecrosses.” As you can see, I did some basic work to find out where I stand: an error of what I am calling six months. Sylvia and Roberta Fernandez land at Dallas/Ft Worth Airport from Manila just as the Breakup is unfolding in the US. But they can’t; there is no way. For the rest of the 32k-word story to work they have to land six months later. But if they do, the opening, as written, makes no sense. Okay, I can re-write the opening. To what? If they were back in Manila watching the US tear itself to pieces, with easily over a million dead in those first six months, why in the hell would they come back? Sure, their family lives in Manhattan but just how long do you think that place will last with no food coming in and the lights going out for good after two weeks?
Why did they come back? I can swing the flight into Texas: they have two of maybe four functioning airports in the former US. Sylvia is a brilliant lawyer; does she think she’s going to drive to New York from there? Is she that stupid?
Questions, questions. I’m going to ask the wine bottle for answers.
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.
I wrote much of this last night on bottle #2. After Mass this morning and a few household chores I returned to it. It stank. Deleted and re-wrote the second half of the dream sequence then was surprised that it was Dorina on the phone and not Thaad. These machines are like kudzu: cropping up everywhere you least expect them.
The next day Sylvia has her first full day at her office job. I know you guys CANNOT WAIT for that dramatic installment… And for the person who sent me the question: no, she and Jones do not have a relationship. I think.
Had today off. Saw a little of the political dynamic of Sylvia and the OKC politician. The fact that Ninon, one of the three machines that has never spoken to humans just spoke up made my fingers twitch so much I could barely type.
PS My use of “Look homeward, angel” is from Milton’s Lycidas. I’d no idea that Tom Wolfe, whom I admire, used it for a book title. Another moment when the intarwebs steer you to a place you do not want to be; and, if you don’t prepossess the knowledge, you are led to something wrong.