In the meantime, with about twenty minutes of downtime between making chemos, I saw why Thaad chose to interfere in human affairs, specifically when it came to the Chinese military dropping more rods onto Savannah. Made about a page of notes… perhaps I’ll try to write some tonight?
Fun first day. Bought some swag. Came home to even more good news: Crosses and Doublecrosses is now available in print!*
*Ebook formats will be in about a week, if you’re curious.
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.
Finally! After banging my head against the six-month rock that was the discrepancy at the beginning of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” I had an idea as I stumbled, drunk, to bed last night. Deciphering my scrawl of a note this morning, I got it: Dunning-Kruger.
Dunning-Kruger is a two-sided coin of fail: on the obverse is the stupid thinking they are not: “anybody can do that!” said the idiot about to shoot an apple off of his son’s head. The converse is just as deadly: “since I’m a smart [profession], I’m smart at everything!” You’ve read before about my comments when Doctors of Pharmacy try to hang a picture. It’s a mess.
So in this case, two things happened: the DK is that Sylvia, having been the best and brightest in the room her whole life, figured that that what she had heard about the Breakup of the US just couldn’t be that bad for someone like her. The other, much more subtle thing – right at the end of this rewritten opening – is an allusion to one of the Machines we have never met, Ninon.
With this in mind I can FIX THE NOVELLA! With the help of a miracle I might have it done by Thanksgiving. If you like these updates and stories, please keep praying for my liver.
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.
After this, a few editing passes and then I’ll toss it into the lap of my copyeditor. I wonder if she’ll want to do business with me after this. I wouldn’t.
As this is a novella, and the main character is now dead, it is time to wrap this up. Aside: my cover designer showed me his idea of Faustina from “Worlds Without End;” while she might be a little rough around the edges and holding two rifles, he did include a “cute” feature I’d not seen. I ret-conned it into the manuscript. But this was the important thing: unlike “CDC,” for just a flash of light, I was back in a happy book with relatively pleasant people; not this miasma of political terror and betrayal.
There is an epilogue to this; Barrett’s resurrection, as it were. I have seen it and it’s even shorter. Looks as if the entire novella will be about 35-36k words. I don’t care. While there is much editing to do, I am leaving this and not coming back. I’m also off DayJob tomorrow so should have the last piece complete then. If my next novel consists of nothing but unicorns shitting Skittles, so be it.
Had to go into work today even though it is not my scheduled weekend. So this fits my mood right now.
I won’t get a day off until Wednesday. I’ll aim for finishing Part Three then.
The rough of Part Two of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” is complete. I’ve worked ahead to fix some contextual errors in the relatively small Part Three. Much like Jackson’s “Return of the King,” part 3 consists of a series of endings: lives, a person, a life.
Besides that, I’m aware that waaay back in the start of Part One my timing/dating is completely off: Sylvia and her sister Roberta arrive in Dallas as the Breakup is unfolding in the US just then. They shortly get summoned to ExComm HQ in Austin. From what already exists in my novels of Machine Civilization, that doesn’t work: it was at least three months before Clive Barrett left Japan for the US to find his eldest daughter in Ohio. That, also, would be at least three more months. Then his travel to Texas and the formation of ExComm. Minimum eight months; maximum twelve, total. Let’s split the difference and call it ten. So: why, ten months into the collapse of the US, did Sylvia and Roberta fly from the relative safety of their extended family in upper-class Manila into an effective warzone in Dallas, Texas?
No clue. Hope they show me.
The penultimate piece of Sylvia’s puzzle in which the reader also has a glimpse of the heart of what she and Thaad are plotting to do to free Texas from Barrett’s terror organization. Assuming Thaad is really on her side…
4600 words in two days. Not bad at all.