Another Half-halt

Got the copyedit of “Princess’ Crusade” back with the typical thousand corrections.  As always, a humbling experience.  But this time, also a vital one.

After my little so-called vision as to where my current MS, “Empress’ Crusade” might be leading me, I was increasingly aware that I was having trouble keeping my future history dates in my head.  When the PC edit came back and at three times pointed out and asked “is this date correct?  is her age correct?” I realized that, even though I’ve been shown some very interesting things about Faustina and the young man who is the Mayor of Huntsville, I have to sit myself down and draw up a proper timeline of all primary and secondary characters, what has already happened, and what I think will happen.  “EC” is going to unfold over two in-book years and I cannot have my readers jerked out of the story saying, “that makes no sense… the timing is all wrong!”

Below the fold is what I was able to get down following the triumph.  A little politics, a little romance (maybe?), and a swim across the Tennessee River.  Hope everyone who is sheltering in place has ordered copies of my books to keep them entertained!

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End. Middle. Begin.

The design contest for the cover of my short story collection, “Empire’s Agent” is complete.  I hope to have a proof copy in my hands in less than a week and a commercial release days after that.

At 57k words I have passed the MS of “American Imperium: Princess’ Crusade” onto one of my new copyeditors.  He’s a little spastic about “?!” punctuation but I like the cut of his jib.  Once “Empire’s Agent” is loose in the wild I shall likely begin another cover design contest.  Tricky:  the main character, 18-year old Faustina, spends half the book in a hospital bed with 2nd degree burns and no hair.  Not the stuff for an eye-catching cover, is it?

And… speaking of Faustina:  if there’s a part one, there better be a part two.  Below the fold is the opening scene of “American Imperium:  Empress’ Crusade.”  Faustina is utterly full of herself and as arrogant “af” – as the kids say.  I wanted to start things slow and humble.  I have tiny, faint glimpses of where she might be going, but I won’t know until she gets there.  Enjoy the ride with me!

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Locked out

Finished the segment I began yesterday:  Faustina having a brief chat with the mayor of what’s left of Asheville.  With that in the bag, I went to review some maps about their upcoming troop movements.  Yeah, there are those three dams, but I’m sure the barges and escorts will fit through their locks…  Those dams look a little small… let’s look them up and also check ‘street level view’!

Well, dang.  Having spent a half-dozen of my formative years around the Columbia River, I took it for granted that a great waterway would have locks for barge traffic.  I realized now that the Savannah River is not a “great waterway.”  Important, certainly, but it is a creek compared to something such as the Columbia.

I still think I can get their artillery onto barges in Augusta.  But the legions are going to have to cover the 160 miles from Asheville to there, first.  Then, while the barges – under guard – move down-river, the infantry will march another 125 miles.  I see that a few days of maps, calculations, and re-writes are ahead of me.  Hope to have something by Wednesday.

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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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Declarations

I realized the timing is little off for these.  Instead of “two months prior” and “one month prior” it should be 2-4 weeks later in both cases as these events take place not only after Faustina’s march on Savannah, but also after Gary and Henge come to save her life.  That’s fine:  these very rough manuscript drafts are for that purpose:  for me to see that needs to be changed, revised, expanded, cut for a commercial novel release.

Below the fold Faustina makes her first public speech.  There is A LOT going on in my head about the politics of this that I simply did not want to be bothered with right now.  The important thing was answering the question of “chi l’oro?”  Which I think I did, in a surprising and funny way.

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Crusade, Part 1, Sunset

I kinda/sorta knew where and how to wrap up part 1 but the details eluded me for a couple of days.  I was able to make some notes yesterday and had a final image early this morning to bring my “prologue” to an end.  My 13.8k prologue…

From first meeting her in “Worlds Without End” I knew Faustina was going to be a very interesting person and all this has confirmed my suspicions.  Part 2 will be about her Savannah campaign – what prompted it, how she got involved, the way south, and the battle and aftermath.

Little Aurelia in this installment just handed me the arc of part 3:  a campaign to the lower Mississippi:  not bringing nuclear power and civilization like the early Knoxville Society did in “Echoes of Family Lost,” but a straight-up neo-imperial effort to establish colonies and client-kingdoms between former eastern Tennessee and the Republic of Texas.

Depending on the length of all that, part 4 will either be an epilogue pointing to a sequel or it will make this one of my longest works as Faustina leads an army to St. Louis… and the massive political-military ramifications of such an act.  Yeah… that might best be its own book… The Black Muslim Brotherhood that controls that area; the remnants of central Canadians coming south, fleeing the advancing ice…  Complicated.

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Tales from her Sickbed…

DayJob is nightmarish:  all the of the IV rooms are, politely, “in flux.”  “We’re all screwed” comes closer but we are all trying to KBO.

I was visited with Faustina’s next adventure last night.  What I found entertaining was that when I sat down in front of the computer, I saw this, first.  More Faustina and her legions next time.  I promise!

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Deus Volt, cont’d

I’m enjoying how this is turning out so far.  I think I’ll have Faustina in hospital recollect everything right up until the rod dropped and she was badly injured.  Things will all be real-time after that.  And I have a suspicion where – one of the world’s functioning fusion reactors – she and this story might be headed.  Two parts?  Three?  We shall see; I always knew she would get her own novel!

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