A new book, maybe

After slightly more than a week – and trust me, it was awful – of no writing, I may have settled on a new idea I can turn into another novel. Being me, contrarian, what with anyone stupid enough to pay attention to the MSM, they would think the Russians are the modern Hitler; every last man, woman, and child. Of course, the idiots who listen to the MSM also thought covid-19 was a pandemic.

So, being said contrarian, my next book, if it takes hold in my mind, will be about Russians. Specifically, the Russian Empire moving into what is left of former US and Canada after the Change in my future history of Machine Civilization.

I’ve mentioned often enough that while there are some legacy Romanovs on the throne in St. Petersburg, all real power is held by the Prime Minister, Reina. Reina is also an AI made by the Mendrovovitch Company, hence their tribe name. Like kudzu, this person runs through all of my recent stories and there seems no way to get rid of her. Admittedly, she is very interesting: unlike tribe Tohsaka with their Four Laws, Reina kills easily.

In my second-to-last novel, Obligations of Rank, Part Two has a Canadian Officer Cadet, Eloise Patel, telling “undercover” Crown Prince Robert about the Canadian’s two military engagements with the Imperial Russian Army. I wondered: the Russians have Alaska, British Columbia, and are about to take the Kingdom of Columbia… why push over the Rocky Mountains against someone who can still shoot back?

Once I asked the question, they started to give me answers. Let’s see how this unfolds, friends.

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Lenten Writing

I’ve seen something for what might be my third and last installment for this Season. I didn’t like looking at it and I don’t like talking about it. But it is canonical to Machine Civilization, so there it is. This is not something I’ve written in Word and run through Grammarly; this is what I just saw and and posting. Expect errors.

My Lenten commitment was daily posting. But I hate what I’ve just seen.

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Tillamook, part 25. End.

Yes, you just missed another bunny with a pancake on its head.

There’s a lot going on here but this is a writing exercise, not a proper short story in an anthology. Someday, it likely shall be. I try to resolve the Russian-Nation political dilemma with Nichole, as Togame’s friend, placing herself and her ship – literally – in the middle. Rhun is dealt with off-screen then we have a lovely little domestic scene.

Fifty bucks says Nichole sleeps with Gil’s son in the next six months. Japanese morals are different. Machine morals? Good luck with that.

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Continue reading “Tillamook, part 25. End.”

Tillamook, part 24

The rest of the Haven’s backstory followed by a declaration three of them were off before dawn the next day on Nichole’s flying saucer. The last Part, #25, might be on the long side…

A fan on Gab once asked how do I balance or control “high-powered” characters such as Nichole 5. My reply was to write up some kind of foil – a person or group – who can oppose them. With nothing like that here, Model Five just proposed to take Gil and Mac’s first child.

I’ll admit, compared to the last time I saw Mackenzie d’Arcy in the last chapter of “Foes and Rivals,” she’s matured quite a bit.

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Tillamook, part 22

As I now have a pretty good idea how to wrap up this “short” story – hopefully this weekend – I do no want to let Nichole’s last line, below, turn into a huge drag of exposition. I’m thinking to paint with words; that is, just as you can cover a lot of ground in a montage in a movie or visual episode, I’ll talk about Gil and Mac talking about what happened to them after they escaped Portland.

This still leaves me about three weeks of Lenten content I’ll need to generate. Another short story? Something else? The world wonders.

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Tillamook, part 21

Thanks be to God: now I know why Nichole 5 is there. And that means I see the ending. This is a little exposition for those who are familiar with my other works, but as Gil points out, in a low-tech world, local news travels no faster than a man on horseback and international news not at all, unless you are a part of the ruling class.

I think I can write a little more after this post. I also have done the preliminary formatting and uploading of “A Texas Naval Affair,” only to find a surprising flaw with the spine of the cover. I’ve copied that to my designer and she should have it resolved later today. I just might make that Easter deadline!

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“A Texas Naval Affair,” final cover

Barring one of you sharp-eyed readers finding something my drunk eyes through bifocals did not, this shall be the cover for my next novel (at 47,200 words, I’d call it a novella, but that’s me).

Yes, I am fully aware the back blurb is long. Per something I discussed in someone else’s podcast (which shows how lazy I am to not ferret out the link) is that a writer has about 0.25 seconds to catch and hold a potential reader’s attention as they scroll down on their phone. That is what the front is for. The back is me pulling up on the line once the hook is in their mouth. Given that this is a romance, girls and women will be expecting to know more about the cute couple on the front (not kidding: I’ve had two women say that to me already). If this were another military story, I’d write, “the character does cool stuff and shit blows up” and there’s my male reader base.

[Still working on “Tillamook” with Gil, Nichole, and Teresa. I bet Mackenzie is a little less than pleased that her husband’s former lover, who has not aged a day in twenty years, just showed up as she’s entering menopause.]

Tillamook, part 18

What? You really thought having King Rhun show up was a key plot point? My future history is called Machine Civilization for a reason.

Off to co-celebrate my daughters’ 19th and 21st birthdays in a bit. I’m hoping to get one more scene typed today then see what they can show me before Mass tomorrow.

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“A Texas Naval Affair” rough ideas

Getting close to the release of my next, 14th, book. This is a romance with some scifi elements set about sixteen years before “Obligations of Rank.” In that book, Allen and Ryland’s daughter, Livia, plays a role in Part One. I was curious about Livia’s parents. So, here’s a rough draft of the backcover blurb and how the front cover is shaping up.

At eighteen, Allen Rupert’s criminal past has caught up with him and he is given the choice of the military or jail.  To get as far from central Texas as possible, he joins the new navy, but spends half of his time in the brig.

Recognizing Allen’s mechanical skill, he’s trained as a machinist and assigned to the small corvette Liberty, patrolling the Gulf of Mexico.  During an ASW drill, Allen defuses a torpedo which went live in its tube, and his summoned to the bridge.  There, Acting Captain Ryland Rigó commends him for his good work.

For the first time in his life, Allen sees someone look at him with respect.  Weeks later, ashore, he invites her to lunch.  To his utter shock, she accepts.

Thinking her just another girl, Allen is shook to his core to find himself swept into a maelstrom of domestic politics, international intrigue, and the plots and plans of Demi-humans and Machines.  All while trying to fix his broken life and attain the only thing he wants:  Ryland.

Tillamook, part 10

I won’t say “I lied,” because I didn’t. I thought the plot was showing up in this installment. It’s not. In fact, what is happening is redounding to your benefit: at nearly 5800 words, with no end in sight, this is becoming a potential novella, perhaps serving as the core story of a collection, as I did in “Empire’s Agent.”

The reason I decided on this writing project, as I mentioned back in part 1, was to find out what happened to Gil Haven and Mackenzie d’Arcy when Portland fell. Nichole 5 and Mac loved each other as friends (philia) while Nichole 5 and Gil loved each other, often, romantically (eros). This was complicated that Mac was slowly falling for Gil, which Nichole saw, and the android’s fear that she was keeping Gil, someone she loved (agape) from having a family and a future with his own kind. So here at last we get some of that backstory, as well as a little more of their children. That was the entire point of this.

Having said all that to say this: do not worry, I’m still turning it up to eleven, but as long-time readers know, I’m something of a fanatic when it comes to family. We’ll get there. Enjoy dinner until we do.

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