Lead Balloon (?)

In writing, unlike retail, the reader is usually but not always correct.  The fact that I was sailing serenely on with all the “likes” to the ‘Empire’s Agent’ short story, only to have NONE for the last installment, surprised me.  I reread it and came up with some possibilities… there most certainly might be others (mild spoilers for Empire’s Agent – End)

  1.  Ended too suddenly.  Admittedly, many of my stories do, especially the shorter ones; I’m not Peter Jackson to write and make four endings when one will do.
  2.  Too Catholic.  Arpad and Lily are about to get it on in a pleasant forest clearing when Henge jerks them into her home to stop what she sees as a clear and present danger to her step-mom:  mortal sin.  Perhaps my readers are more secular than I think they are?
  3.  Lily realizes she’s pregnant the day after her wedding.  I’ve hear Millennials generally don’t like kids, so was that a turn-off?

I am seriously puzzled by this one, friends.

Empire’s Agent – End

Finally!  And what a way to end!  This 21k “short story” will be the anchor of my collection of similar for my book in the early months of 2020.  Right now I think the shorts will be arranged chronologically, so this will be pretty much in the middle.  To-date this gives me ~31k words for that book; I’ll try to flesh one of them out a little more and am sure I’ll have one or two come to my mind in the next few months.

This was a lot of fun!  Unfortunately what comes next, besides the final edit of “Worlds Without End” is the last tweaks to the awful “Crosses & Doublecrosses.”  Yuck.

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Satur-Date!

Finally!  Saturday and it’s time for Arpad and Lily’s date!  Here’s the lead in and parts one and two.  I’m hoping to see part three (when they talk together in the park) later today and tomorrow.  My goal is have their last scene – which is going round and round in my head – no later than Tuesday.  After that I will turn my attention to my “Worlds Without End” edit to get it released by 30 September.

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Meet & Greet

Finally getting back into the hang of things.  Arpad meets Ai and Fausta FTF and then is about to have dinner – unwittingly – with a cousin of Lily’s.  I’ll try to get their little conversation out tonight or early tomorrow (I’m off DayJob tomorrow) as I really want to get to what will be one of the hearts of this short story:  their date in the park.  In don’t know exactly was happens but I have been offered a glimpse into the following Sunday morning…  so much to learn!

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Half-halt

It’s what you do in English Saddle riding to collect your horse.  That is what the last few days for me have been.  In the last ten days we took more supplies to Daughter #1 at college followed by my DayJob becoming evening job for the last week.  That means I wrote nothing for ten days.  In that time my copyeditor informed me she will have the MS for “Worlds Without End” back into my possession by 31 August.  I used that to goad my cover designer to get a-move on and wrap things up.

I was off yesterday, Friday, as well as this weekend.  I made some minor changes to WWE and wrote the back-cover blurb as well.  The stemma I revised and enlarged.  Finally to DO SOMETHING I returned to the Arpad/Lily love story.  It’s coming in fits and starts.  Or complete stops.  That’s where this installment ends:  at the start of a fight.  I know I don’t write those well and will need all my wits about me to flesh it out tomorrow.

It has been a long while since I touched on this short story.  The thread of it is here (https://machciv.com/category/empires-agent/).  The next installment is below the fold.

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Departing Friends

I am, by many measures, a failure as a human.  I have no empathy, no sympathy.  I am not emotionally expressive.  This past weekend we saw Daughter #1 formally off to college.  My wife was a wreck.  I gave my girl a hug and said “call or text if you’ve problems; later.”

It’s not that I don’t have and express emotions, it’s that I choose where to do it and even then can get blind-sided.  I thought the short story of “Old Friends” was going to be a harmless reunion.  Until I was more than halfway into the project did they show me that John Brunelli was unwell.  Nichole’s reaction to that was so severe that I was unable to write.  Yes, you read that correctly:  a character’s reaction to a revelation in my own head was so strong I couldn’t function properly.

I was finally able to sneak up on it in pieces.  I could split it, but why make y’all any more miserable than I was?  Here’s the last part of “Old Friends.”  I so need to write something light and fluffy next…

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