A Bolshevik I work with at DayJob – so long as we stay off politics we get along fine – is cruising along through “Crosses & Doublecrosses,” calling it “a page-turner.” We had a few minutes before the IV batch ran and I sat down and told him that from my, author’s standpoint, C&DC was harder to write than my romance/horror, “Cursed Hearts.” As I put it, sure: a psychic vampire sucking the life out of some guy until there’s nothing left but flakes of skin and bone powder is awful. But the worse depravities humans accomplish are done in meeting rooms. As said commie, he got that.
In that vein, we have Empress Faustina calming telling two young members of her family about her plan for the next twelve hours. A plan with a six-figure death toll at the end of it.
Of the two most famous Inklings, it was said that Lewis would sketch a scene by saying “The children stood in the forest. A chill wind blew.” Tolkien, on the other hand, would spend the next twenty pages not only telling you the history of the forest, but then go on to describe each and every leaf.
An exaggeration, but to make a point. My writing style can, charitably, be called more Lewisian; not so charitably, “the son-of-bitch-writer never explains anything!” Guilty as charged. I have a story to tell and my characters would be rather miffed at me if I take time to describe the leaves on the trees.
A positive of that, though, is in the million of tiny cracks and folds of my novels, there lurk hundreds of more stories. Back in January, I realized that over the course of five years being in Machine Civilization, I was able to pull together a short story collection. Below the fold is another example. Based upon “real life” – whatever that means – events, I was able to peek in on an interaction between Faustina and a civilian in a far flung corner of her imperium. This takes place about halfway through “Empress Crusade;” it is not in the book, but it is canon. Fodder for my next collection!
That is very typical statement in the US South and parts of the Midwest, followed almost immediately by a call for an Ambulance or a Coroner. It’s usually uttered by males but the worse-than-cancer that is Feminism has made many women just as stupid. Think of it as evolution in action.
In my case, as I mentioned in my last post, I thought I knew what theme I might use for part two of book three of my “American Imperium” trilogy: the Pius XIII quote: “absence is presence.” That was followed by several days of DayJob and being too tired to write, then five days of writing no more than three paragraphs. Total.
On Day Five I realized my mistake. The story in general and Faustina in particular, did not want things to unfold that way and refused to show me anything. I backtracked. Talked to friends and acquaintances about my trainwreck and finally got back to work this morning. The first two chapters of Part Two (and I now wonder… a part three?) are on Faustina’s legates and the physical aftermath of the Battle of Opelika, but the next has my main character back in the limelight: did Reina really rip her soul out of her? How did she subdue or at least disconnect Alexandra Hood? Is she alive or dead? Little Fussy has become Schrodinger’s Cat and I have no choice but to open the box.
Part One of Goddess’ Crusade MS is complete. A hectic excerpt below. Part two is one chapter complete and another started. I’m… thinking about things. For 2.5 books of this soon to be published work, the camera has been fixed on Faustina. Sure, that includes interaction with her army, family, adversaries, and brief lover, but still her.
I’m not sure what to think of this idea, but as Pope Pius XIII said: “absence is presence.” That, coupled with the title of this post, is how I am carefully approaching Part Two. So carefully that I think there might be a Part Three and that “GC” will NOT be ready by 31 December 2020. *sigh*
Work on “Goddess Crusade” is coming along very well. Over the three-day holiday in the US I was able to average 2500 per day. One issue was the little engagement below the fold. I still don’t do combat scenes very well and wanted to try something small before getting into a huge battle in another hundred pages.
I’m actually about 40 pages past where this happens but realized I had not tossed anything out in a while. Bad me. As I’ve hit another temporary stopping point, I thought taking a break on WordPress was in order. I’ll drink a little more and see what trouble I can get Faustina in later this afternoon. Cheers!
PS WP is using a new editor and I have not taken the time to fully understand it. Apologies if this post is chewed.
After taking July and a little of August off to be older about recording and editing audiobooks, I forced myself to sit down and begin the MS for the final installment of this trilogy. I had had bits and pieces of this opening scene – which will be the prologue of Part I (of just two, I think) but was quickly shown some little details I’d not noticed before; writing is like that: it forces you to pay attention.
Wrote most of this out on my deck this afternoon. Had to flee inside with all the electronics for a squall around 1500, but just now (1600) concluded the exchange at the end of what’s below the fold. There is much packed into this: some good news, some bad news. And one point was news to me, too. I love this: writing. I really do.
This is the second-to-last post of my prototype audiobook files. This longer one is chapter two of “Friend & Ally,” wherein Nichole 5 gets her first taste of war. There isn’t much in the way of new character voices but there is a lot of action going on and I wanted to see if my voice could keep up with it all.
The final installment will be chapter three, sometime Saturday. It will slow things down again and introduce one more important character. Following that, I’ll create an ACX account, draw up a recording and editing schedule, and get to submitting chapters for their review; another process I am going to have to learn.
In the meantime, it has been a month since I have written a story, even just playing with ideas. “Goddess’ Crusade” is nominally due at the end of this year and besides a vague vision of one scene in my head, the other 60k+ words won’t write themselves.
So here’s chapter two; longer, I know. I’m still playing with Audacity’s settings and getting older about how to use it. Cheers!
True to her word, Faustina declares herself and accompanying cohort to just be tourists, something not seen in those parts since the Breakup. The spontaneous self-organization of local capitalists is one of the miracles of the free market.
After some autobiography, Dysart takes liberties with the Empress’s head.
In the five days that Faustina ran around former northern State of Mississippi with two legions, her boys from Fourth have not been idle.
I’ve DayJob this weekend and Monday so am not sure about another update. I’ve seen how she gets her army back to Vicksburg and did a little research about what comes next. But that “what comes next” will be another 15k word arc. Before I do that, I must sit down and make a complete re-assessment of the staff of the 4+1 legions she has at her disposal. My clutch of hand-written notes scattered over five pages just is not holding up anymore.
It’s been a big day for Faustina but there are thousands of details to resolve after a battle, as she is discovering. One thing she has learned from history is that speed is an army’s great strength: if you can appear where you opponents never expected you to be, you are inside their OODA and halfway home to winning.