“Men from the Sky might fall…”

A riff on Lucretius.  You’ll see why when Nichole 5 shows up.

This again slightly longer installment marks the end of Part 3 of the MS for “Empress’ Crusade.”  I want to wrap the whole thing up in no more than 40-60 more pages.  I’ve reams of notes and images in my head but, honestly, am not sure which way to jump right now.  I know Faustina moves due east but not with how many of her four legions in Vicksburg.  I see the huge old Army base of Fort Benning.  I see what’s left of Atlanta and those in it a generation on.  I also understand her operational desire to secure the rest of the Deep South and a land route to Savannah.

This weekend will be spent in note-taking and, very likely, a series of micro-stories to try to muddle my way through this.  I don’t want to inflict that kind of “blue skying” on anyone, so it is likely that my updates will dwindle to nothing for June.

I am still looking forward to playing about with creating audiobooks over the summer.  Once I have the rest of EC in the can, so to speak, I might just post my prototype voice efforts on you, my poor, unsuspecting readers… and listeners.

Below, Faustina once again reaches out to her extended family to make a point to President Dysart of the Gulf Shore States:  the world is a much, much smaller place than he thought it was.

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Life Imitating My Art, part… yeah

Let’s start with a graph…

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And end with a quote from my novel, Friend & Ally (emphasis mine):

Hakane took another drag off his cigarette in Somi Corporation’s breakroom, laughing at his colleague’s comment.  It wasn’t so much their company discouraged smoking as that they wished to make sure their products were not contaminated.  Given the delicacy of some of the prototypes, all respected this rule.

“Can you believe it, Atazaki?” he asked, flourishing his newspaper.  “The US economy imploding like this?  I’m an engineer, not at economist, but how in the world…”

“Call it belief; call it faith.  Lose it, and your world ends,” his friend replied, looking at a domestic part of his own newspaper.

“What’s that?”  What Hakane knew of politics could fit into a sake cup.

“Since the war,” for a Japanese, that meant only one thing, “the world economy had the US dollar as its reserve currency, backed, not by gold or silver, but by the faith – mind you – that the US will always be there!”

Atazaki glanced at the clock over the inner door and decided one more cigarette was in order.

“So now we find,” he said, pointing at Hakane’s paper with his lighter, “that as the American President is being removed via extra-Constitutional means, the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are rolling out a new currency… what’s it called?”

“The ria,” Hakane managed.

“Whatever.  Backed by the gold they’ve been buying up for a generation, and indexed to oil.  At that point, US dollars became valueless.”

Hakane was still confused.  But why…

“Why is there rioting in the US?  And getting worse so fast?”

Atazaki blew a blue-grey cloud toward the ceiling’s scrubbers.

“It’s a replay of what almost happened back in 2008:  credit dries up, the velocity of money drops to zero.”

Atazaki realized his friend didn’t get a single word.  He tried again.

“Credit cards stop working; all the zeros and ones in banks are gone, and, for the Americans,” he took another drag, “their food-welfare cards, whatever they’re called, stopped working.”

He exhaled again and sat back.

“All cities in the US are starving right now.  And there is nothing… nothing at all, to stop it.”

Atazaki took another drag while looking out the window at bustling Osaka.

“They’re done for.” Quieter.  “God help us; we’re all alone.”

“First Among Equals”

I went almost two weeks without writing more than a paragraph.  I needed at least one more short story for my January collection and thought to tell a story about Henge and her and Gary’s daughter, Aurelia.  One paragraph and some notes.

And nothing.

Admittedly things were hectic at DayJob and much time was spent formatting “Worlds Without End” into a format acceptable to Smashwords, but I would sit at my laptop and wait to see what they would show me… which was precisely nothing.

A week ago a fellow I work with asked how the writing was coming.  I replied the technical side was fine but I was currently stuck.  Still stuck a few days later, I recalled his question.  I based the coder Dmitri, Reina’s father, on him, I thought.  There are no such things as coincidences… he was meant to ask that question!  And that means…

I saw Reina standing in the snow.  Twelve hours later I heard her talking to a visitor.  I wrote this in four hours.  What these people do with me sometimes…

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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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Old Friends

I’m aware the raw manuscript of C&DC needs attention.  Screw that.  I know I need a few more shorts for my short story collexion that will be three books hence.  As a result, I saw something from having re-read a line from “Foes and Rivals,” where sergeant John Brunelli makes a promise to Nichole 5.

How long would that take?  What sort or world would these people be living in by then?  I made some notes (mostly questions to myself), sat down, and got this.  About 1700 word; and this story is just beginning.  I wonder where it will go?

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Forgetting the Important Things

Is this a personal record?  Going dark 32 days?  Training at Dayjob has been hectic; Daughter #1 is in her last weeks of HS; Daughter #2 passed her Drivers Test; frantic work to get the WWE raw manuscript complete by my 31 May deadline… and I ignore everyone who reads my work here.  Apologies.

Believe it or not, Part One is complete, just shy of 38k words.  I’m already about 7k words into Part Two but this is something of a misnomer:  I’ve bits and pieces of Part Two strung about two HDD all amounting to 16k more words.  There is a lot of ‘bridging’ I have to do to make it all hang together, otherwise those pieces will be rejected by readers and hang separately.

The latter part of Part One surprised me.  A person who’d been a tertiary character was suddenly the key to wrapping up the story.  That sort of thing is fairly typical for my compartmentalized writing style of simply putting down what they show me.  I never know where any of this is going.

Below the fold is a short pause just before a rush of action to the ending.  Humor is involved as well as the star of my last two novels, who’s now a pilot.

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