“Allen x Ryland,” part 7

At the end of another long week. I’m almost beginning to hope I get let go from my DayJob. Now that my wife has a full-time job with health benefits for when her lymphoma comes back, I’m just working to pay my bar bill.

After upsetting her boyfriend’s mother, Ryland takes a moment to fill in some historical gaps Allen didn’t know, even if it had to do with family. I’ve seen that often in meatspace, esp with Millennials and GenZ who don’t even know who their grandparents are. As someone who can trace my family back over 300 years, it is almost impossible for me to grasp such ignorance. Your family, after Christ, is everything.

And then Ryland gets all nice with Alan. Clever girl. And, as this is the future history of Machine Civilization, it is about time I drop that into the story.

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Fish and Shrimp Radio Waves

The good folks at The Star Chamber were having an open lines night. I was just following along with a few lines to their Chat Room when they foolishly wandered onto a topic I found relatable. After all these months, I would have thought that the host would know to recognize at least my Area Code and block all numbers from there, but no… once again they wagered their reputations on letting go live. The triumph of hope over experience.

I wander in almost exactly at the 1:15:00 mark and babble for about eight minutes. Once off, the hosts try to recover from my verbal Molotov Cocktails. It was fun.

New book, in process

Finally settled on a name: Obligations of Rank. Got the copyedit back and just now finished implementing those changes. Rattled the cage of my cover designer to move things from the back burner to front. All in all, coming together nicely.

Wasn’t sure if I needed to add maps to this one and ended up adding two: one of central Kentucky, as that story moves around a bit and I don’t want the readers to get lost. The other is just to illustrate the progress of the Martian terraforming project. I also had to update the stemma as there are just too many family connexions to keep track of.

If all goes well, it should be out for Thanksgiving in the US; the third week of November.

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Cadets, 4/4

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.

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Cadets, 3/4

As she get older, Faustina is becoming a harder person. Her exploits in the old Deep South had that area fall to her with only limited opposition. While I have only heard rumor of it, her campaign to destroy the forces around the old imperial capital of DC had her angry enough she had to talked out of leveling the city and sowing the ground with salt. It is likely that memory which her son Laszlo and niece Aurelia just ran up against.

I know how this all ends as it is discussed in my forthcoming novel. But, to be in the same room as this decision is made is haunting.

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Cadets, 2/4

We learn the nature of who the imperium is fighting and why. And, I just learned that little Aurie has some ability to see the future. I wonder why God gave her such a terrible gift?

With today off from DayJob, a friend asked me to write a personal primer for one or many – I don’t know – who are about to embark on NaNoWriMo. I sent it to him just before posting this. If he likes it, I’ll add it here, too. If you’ve been following me for any time, it’s mostly old material about the creative writing process.

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Podcast 13: “The Fourth Law,” an introduction

My original intent of these podcasts was to just talk about my novels. That, obviously, went off the rails for the last dozen podcasts. So, at long last, I turn my attention to pulling a few – well, four – excerpts from my first novel, and discussing it.

Perhaps the most important take-away from this is fanatic loyalty. To God, your family, your friends. In that order.

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Epilogue, 2 of 2

The last of about 68 thousand words of my next novel. What began as just a writing experiment to get to know some of the imperial families better once again took on a life of its own. When these people want a story told, I’ve learned over seven years that I’ve little say in the matter.

I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing this story come in being along with me. Recording audiobooks and making a Machine Civilization wiki are my priorities for this fall but it’s not as if I won’t do a little writing. In fact, late last night I saw this scene where Aurelia, now 29-years-old and the leading general of the imperium looks back at her own life. In disgust. I wonder…

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Epilogue, 1 of 2

The raw MS of “Imperium’s Shadow”* is complete. Here’s the first of the two-part conclusion. Toward my ‘trying something different for each book,’ breaking this story into three has allowed to write three novellas which are held together by their familial relations. Didn’t really see that when I began this writing exercise but in hindsight rather clever of me.

* I have conclusively decided that working title will NOT be on the cover. It implies a darkness which simply does not exist in the story. I’m open to suggestions for those who’ve been following along all these months. Faustina’s Packhorses? Empire’s Children? Empress’ Agents?

I really don’t know right now.

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Podcast 12: Changing Themes

Another more technically oriented podcast where I tell the story of how I try to do something different every time I make a book. I do not want to get stuck in ruts of characters or stories or even types of stories so over the years I’ve made romances, horrors, politics, espionage, war, and even children’s books.

I shall not allow myself to become a formulaic writer. This is the most fun I’ve had in years and I intend to keep having it.

Perhaps because I enjoy talking about my stories so much, this one runs a little longer. Cheers!

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