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.
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.]
Having covered politics and sex it was time to turn my attention to the last of the “not to be discussed” triumvirate of religion. More specifically Christianity and ever more so, Roman Catholicism. Only two of the machines are believers and I’d guess about half, barely, of the human characters who get a speaking role in my twelve books are. I and my characters are never preachy but it is a very important matter for many of them.
A whole thirty minutes! And this is just the barest overview! We begin with Lily & Callie, broaden to their parents and families, then off to the surviving city-states of the former US, and finally a quick look at the rest of humans on Earth.
Very ambitious, but also a good start. I could spend thirty minutes on each main character, so was pleased to keep things under control as well as I did. Machine or human, any story is about people. For reference, a stemma, or family tree, is just below.
A riff on Lucretius. You’ll see why when Nichole 5 shows up.
This again slightly longer installment marks the end of Part 3 of the MS for “Empress’ Crusade.” I want to wrap the whole thing up in no more than 40-60 more pages. I’ve reams of notes and images in my head but, honestly, am not sure which way to jump right now. I know Faustina moves due east but not with how many of her four legions in Vicksburg. I see the huge old Army base of Fort Benning. I see what’s left of Atlanta and those in it a generation on. I also understand her operational desire to secure the rest of the Deep South and a land route to Savannah.
This weekend will be spent in note-taking and, very likely, a series of micro-stories to try to muddle my way through this. I don’t want to inflict that kind of “blue skying” on anyone, so it is likely that my updates will dwindle to nothing for June.
I am still looking forward to playing about with creating audiobooks over the summer. Once I have the rest of EC in the can, so to speak, I might just post my prototype voice efforts on you, my poor, unsuspecting readers… and listeners.
Below, Faustina once again reaches out to her extended family to make a point to President Dysart of the Gulf Shore States: the world is a much, much smaller place than he thought it was.
After not formally writing for a week and half, I feel as if I should be entering rehab; I have (looks about) five pages of notes from downtime at DayJob and quiet times about my house but when I just didn’t the time to sit down in front of the laptop.
That came to an end today. Daughter #2 off on a cancer fun-raiser, wife doing something about the house somewhere… I’d no more excuses. I fired up the pellet stove in the basement and came down thirty minutes later to write. So far, it’s working. 3k words of Faustina’s recover in the Knoxville hospital flowed right out. There’s much there: her physical condition, the reaction of her family to her injuries, and her fervent desire to return to “her boys” as soon as she is able. It will be a balancing act for her, in, I think, three parts. Here’s part one.
I close things out at the Hartmann Family Dinner. Henge has a random act of kindness for her new family; Faustina talks war with her father; Gary and Henge make another go or two at a sibling for Aurelia. Wrapping up lose ends, really. After this, Faustina and her legions are on the march!
Battles are still very difficult for me. I do jaw-jaw better than war-war. This 12k word prologue should wrap up in the next installment as they fly home. Then we will learn how Fussy scaled one cohort up to two legions and led her first crusade, to Savannah.
Not so much for me, other than I’ve made much progress these two days… even though I am only just now getting to the leading edge of my notes I made at the local Book Fair fail of a week ago. Make haste slowly. No, the good news is below the fold.
For those who’ve not been following along, this is a continuation of yesterday’s post and the latest story of Faustina’s recollections about building her private army. Many things going on… when this becomes a novel it will likely take two chapters to unpack.