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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Ceres, part 10. End.

And here we all are: 5300 words older. I had one reader ask if it could continue; that’s a two part answer. One, of course: on their way back to Earth I’ve seen where Minerva invades one of Les’ dreams and later where, embarrassed, she asks for him to “feed” her (just attaching her TPN bag, but she’s self-conscious about it). Two, in the broader sense of the word, I could see my next short story collection having one for each son mentioned in “Obligations of Rank.”

While, as I mentioned last time, I am making way into my next short, I’d like to try to make another podcast tomorrow but do not have any subject ideas right now? Anyone?

Otherwise, thanks for reading and I hope y’all enjoyed it. Cheers!

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Ceres, part 9

Following on Laszlo’s idea, the “PR stunt,” our two explorers step carefully out onto the dwarf planet. After Les alleviates a point of concern for him.

The next entry, part 10, shall be the conclusion of this story. I am pleased to know Minerva a little better as she, per se, had only a few lines toward the end of “Obligations of Rank.” And even Les seems to be starting to heal from his emotional damage of coming to terms with and rejecting his past deviant behavior.

Yesterday I began my next short, “Tillamook.” For a moment I considered a working title of “Mac & Cheese” (the main character’s wife is named Mackenzie and Tillamook is famous for its cheese) but that was too trite even for me. Look for that to debut early next week.

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Ceres, part 8

Yes, I actually did basic research about taking a dump in free fall. We’ve not yet solved that issue so given that the Polar Alliance is only just now returning to space, I’m guessing no further development went on during the Breakup/Change. I’d clench and wait for acceleration, too.

In loo of that (swidt), since I cannot assume everyone reading this serialized short story has read the American Imperium trilogy or “Obligations of Rank” – but you will – we get a little background about Laszlo’s family, mentioned only in bits and pieces up until now.

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