After this, a few editing passes and then I’ll toss it into the lap of my copyeditor. I wonder if she’ll want to do business with me after this. I wouldn’t.
As this is a novella, and the main character is now dead, it is time to wrap this up. Aside: my cover designer showed me his idea of Faustina from “Worlds Without End;” while she might be a little rough around the edges and holding two rifles, he did include a “cute” feature I’d not seen. I ret-conned it into the manuscript. But this was the important thing: unlike “CDC,” for just a flash of light, I was back in a happy book with relatively pleasant people; not this miasma of political terror and betrayal.
There is an epilogue to this; Barrett’s resurrection, as it were. I have seen it and it’s even shorter. Looks as if the entire novella will be about 35-36k words. I don’t care. While there is much editing to do, I am leaving this and not coming back. I’m also off DayJob tomorrow so should have the last piece complete then. If my next novel consists of nothing but unicorns shitting Skittles, so be it.
Had to go into work today even though it is not my scheduled weekend. So this fits my mood right now.
I won’t get a day off until Wednesday. I’ll aim for finishing Part Three then.
The rough of Part Two of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” is complete. I’ve worked ahead to fix some contextual errors in the relatively small Part Three. Much like Jackson’s “Return of the King,” part 3 consists of a series of endings: lives, a person, a life.
Besides that, I’m aware that waaay back in the start of Part One my timing/dating is completely off: Sylvia and her sister Roberta arrive in Dallas as the Breakup is unfolding in the US just then. They shortly get summoned to ExComm HQ in Austin. From what already exists in my novels of Machine Civilization, that doesn’t work: it was at least three months before Clive Barrett left Japan for the US to find his eldest daughter in Ohio. That, also, would be at least three more months. Then his travel to Texas and the formation of ExComm. Minimum eight months; maximum twelve, total. Let’s split the difference and call it ten. So: why, ten months into the collapse of the US, did Sylvia and Roberta fly from the relative safety of their extended family in upper-class Manila into an effective warzone in Dallas, Texas?
No clue. Hope they show me.
The penultimate piece of Sylvia’s puzzle in which the reader also has a glimpse of the heart of what she and Thaad are plotting to do to free Texas from Barrett’s terror organization. Assuming Thaad is really on her side…
4600 words in two days. Not bad at all.
After what I last wrote, I was stuck for once. I thought about Sylvia’s long drive across west Texas (I’ve done it a few times; it takes longer than you think) and how it looks like that odd place where she met the Ninon person. Still, I have already written “road sequences” for this story before… boring! Done and done!
Saturday late morning, just before noon in fact, in the IV Room, having just finished the Batch, it hit me: this is one of Director Barrett’s three chief underlings. She would fly to El Paso to meet with the Mexican diplomats about the coming partition of New Mexico! And the moment I saw her in a small jet, I knew what Ninon’s True Form was…
Into the night, out of the dark, take to the sky chasing the stars
All that we said, all that we are, waiting to fly, this is the start!
That then gave me the “machine dream” sequence I needed. A quick stop at a bridge over the dry Rio Grande and an encounter with a Special Guest from “Cursed Hearts,” and our Deputy Director is off to the National Labs in Los Alamos to continue laying plots for the eventual termination of ExComm.
And, I just broke the 30k word barrier! Woot.
Had today off. A late start (around 1300) but was able to say down about 1700 words: Sylvia in her new position, recruiting allies, and with a sudden, unanticipated visitor. I think she handled herself very well.
I see one more “dream sequence,” which we know now is when she is summoned into the Machine’s world. Then she sets off to New Mexico. Things… things go to shit there, I’m afraid.