Sweet and Sour

Rather than behaving myself and getting into the basement for raw audio, I wanted to continue to jot down what I had seen while driving Daughter #1 back those 1944 miles last weekend. I think I’ll be caught up tomorrow. With the ship on the move we are now in what I call the Michael Crichton phase of the story: taking a disparate group of people and locking them in until the plot shows up.

Something like Reina tossing my main character out of an airlock for “deviant behavior”…

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Vodka and Caviar

Firstly, an apology: tomorrow’s Podcast will be delayed, likely until late Friday evening. I took notes about what I wanted to talk about and even took the laptop into the quiet corner of my basement to record… and sighed. Covering 4000 miles by plane and car over last weekend, then getting tossed into unexpected tasks at DayJob (a colleague was ill so I had to cover) meant that I’m just not up to what y’all hopefully expect of my weekly banter. Before moving on, I will leave you this: the topic is a question from a listener: “What if the [Machines] had been made in China?” I had a glib answer, but the more I thought about it, the more complicated the subject became, so look forward to my discussion later tomorrow!

In the meantime I introduce some new characters below the fold, as we get ready for this Martian Holiday.

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Along the Neva

After a very short flight, followed by a contested parking spot, Laszlo finds himself walking along the southern branch of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. I’ve never been there but have heard from many that it is a beautiful city. Someday, when my books are optioned into movies, I’ll take a chartered flight; commercial flights are more and more a dry-run for slavery.

As you will shortly see, the PM of Imperial Russia, Reina, stomps onto the stage. First among equals of tribe Mendrovovitch and possibly the most dangerous of all Machines, she also attacks my stories like kudzu: taking over and displacing everything which was already there. And from the last line below the fold, it seems she is in for most of this part of the novel. Oh, well. What can I do?

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Podcast 3: The Machines – everyone else

My shortest installment to date as I didn’t want to wander into the weeds again over what I know about the other two tribes, the androids, and synths. Details such as that, I believe, will be dealt with when I turn my attention to talking about the books and stories themselves.

Even so, I cover a lot of ground in little time. Next week will see us turn to the human sides of Machine Civilization, specifically the human families of the Barretts and the Hartmanns. See everyone then!

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Russian Kudzu

That’s a mixed metaphor to describe Reina, the first among equals of the machines of tribe Mendro. Not constrained by any Laws, she first recreated the Russian Empire then installed herself, seemingly permanently, as Prime Minister. Anytime she wanders into a story, she immediately begins to take it over. Like a very spicy sauce, I have to use her character sparingly, else she take over first a chapter, then later a book.

Still not recording right now (but did some exercises to get Nancy Brunelli’s voice) so wrote some more. Nearly 5000 words this weekend! Below the fold is some talk with Reina and news about Mars which I did not know. Much going on out there and it may have a surprising impact as their new novel unfolds. Cheers!

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Assignments

Things I didn’t know two hours ago: what happened to St. Louis and how easy it is for these people to make work for me. You will see that, by the time you get to the end of the addition to this little story, below the fold, I now have the genesis of three more stories. Turn what I have written into a Prologue and each son becomes Parts One, Two, and Three of another book.

Just like that: another novel. What an odd hobby I have.

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Two-in-one

In which I sneak in two references to Herbert’s Dune in less than 2k words. After showing up at Owens CP, there’s a chapter where Gen’l Hartmann makes her way – with the proper escort – onto Fort Benning to seize her so-called sister, demi-human Alexandra Hood. It’s technical and time consuming and was a pain to write, literally, with my diseased eyelids. Below the fold is an interesting exchange as all of us, including me, are older as to the copy Reina made of Faustina.

PS Hands and eyes are slowly less bad. Had an IM shot of Kenalog-60 into my butt and am applying hydrocortisone cream to all my leprose bits.

PPS Not politics but common sense: for any of my readers in the US, make sure you have full fuel tanks in your vehicles and seven days of food in your home in case of “supply chain disruptions” following the election. This is not the 21st century I was expecting.

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Transitioning

No, no, not like one of those emotionally disturbed who should be looked after and prayed for rather than being pumped full of chemicals and abused by surgeons who were the second-to-last in medical school (last being abortionists, of course).

This transition is having had my moment of clarity mentioned in the last post and moving from the second day of the Battle of Opelika to its immediate aftermath. Rather than recapitulate the entire chapter, below the fold is the last third of it, featuring acting legate Chesney – Faustina’s ‘court jester’ – seguing into… a dream? A vision? Or is it real?

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“Hey, y’all! Watch this!”

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.

“How do you hurt a man with nothing? Give him back something broken.”

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*

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