Month long books tour over. Lent begins. Daily Rosary plus trying for 500-1000 words per day for my next novel. That fell apart immediately: for Ash Wednesday I re-read a short/writing exercise called ‘Empire’s Agent’, wherein Hungarian former special ops now diplomat Arpad Rigo visits Lily Barrett in central Texas. That got me re-thinking enough that the next day I put down 1800 words about how Mr Rigo is in Knoxville on some shady diplo-business, but staying with the Hartmanns. Since then I’ve got 5,000 words, but the plot hasn’t shown up yet!
So I took another break today… thinking plot-like. I know the theme of this new novel, with a title such as “Worlds Without End” you know is will embrace both our world, the machine’s world, and the life of the world to come.
I just don’t see how. Yet. Some breadcrumbs under the fold: Rigo has his first dinner at the Hartmann’s place… and is intrigued by Gary and his sister. Perhaps more later…
Continue reading “Yippie-kai-yea” →
From the news, today.
From Chapter 13, page 207 of Cursed Hearts:
They walked quickly, generally to the southeast. Emma had told her new acquaintance that the Geisel Library was at the center of campus, so it was easy to find local food vendors set up around it all through the day. As Miss Barrett’s stomach continued to growl – embarrassing her for some reason – the sooner they got there, the better.
“…came here after getting my BS at Portland State.” Emma sighed. “The Breakup began just afterward. Most people left, but there was nowhere for me to go… so, like some friends of mine, we stuck it out here.”
“I do not understand how the world’s superpower could have been so stupid as to walk into that trap.”
“T… trap?” Taller, Emma worked to keep pace with the young woman. “But I thought just a coin-”
“Idiot.” Emma was learning quickly that her new acquaintance lacked manners. “Your President removed via extra-Constitutional means just as Russia, China, India roll out a new currency?” She stopped and turned so quickly, Emma almost ran into her.
“Look at you.” The scowl was there, but Emma hoped it was a spark of mirth she saw in those odd eyes. “You’re a walking cliché: blue jeans and blue eyes; blonde hair and an unnecessarily large chest! All the while knowing nothing about how this world really works! Bismarck was right!”
“Bi… Bismarck?” Maya shook her head and turned back around, looking at the Library.
“They should crucify this architect, too.”
I’ve left plenty of lampshades hanging, time to turn on the lights. Should be no surprises for anyone following along; I don’t like surprising readers… I’d much rather have them get to the end of chapter (or entire book), put it down, and mutter, “never thought of it that way!”
Also: when Teresa stood and said, “mess me up!” I broke out laughing. I’ve no idea where that came from! Hilarious!
Continue reading “A Nasty Outbreak… of Plot!” →
What do you get when you take CS Lewis’s ‘That Hideous Strength’ and cross it with… well… me?
You get Shadowlands. Where quasi-human janissaries serve those dithering-fallen angels who could not make up their damned minds.
What happens if one of your overpowered agents wakes up… and turns on you?
Again, this is all here and there… take the walk to the pharmacy door of OTChi Kocchi.
Continue reading “Retro 4/4” →
From chapter six (beginning page 90) of Cursed Hearts. Christopher, Cat, and Anton are finishing dinner at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego:
“Brother,” Chris ventured, liking the sound of it, “does not the sea look odd to you, this night?”
In Anton’s exhale before turning left to look, Chris guestimated their host’s level of drunkenness.
“Hmmm!” Anton narrowed his eyes. “For the security of the state, I shall investigate this!”
He stood, not at all unsteady, and began walking purposefully toward the beach. With a glance at one another, Chris and Cat did, too. They wound their way through the few outbuildings of the hotel, catching up with him just at the sand. Leaning on a lamp post, Anton shucked his shoes and peeled off his socks.
“Follow me!” He called.
They did similarly. Not knowing if Cat saw, Chris did note the driver about eight paces behind them. They trotted to catch up with Anton. The tide was in, so he was only a dozen yards ahead.
“What… what’s with the surf?” Cat asked.
Each small breaker that came in was foaming in an odd, almost electric blue. Lines of the same blue were flashing up and down the strand, as if parts of the sea were sending messages to itself.
“Amazing!” Cat breathed. “What’s going on? Anton! Wait!”
He was rolling up his slacks to his knees. Was he thinking of going out in that?!
“Bioluminescence,” Chris said.
“This is a rare event: a type of algae-bloom that emits light.” He pointed right to where a wave seemed to crackle in with blue fire. “Wait for that to withdraw, then run and jump hard on that spot!”
With enough wine in her to follow anyone’s orders, she sprinted the fifteen feet then jumped into the air. Her feet came down hard onto the wet, compacted sand.
A bright pulse of light blue light surged up and down the beach.
“Oh my God!” Cat cried. “That was sooo cool!”
Bioluminescence in the sea off San Diego. Who would write about such a thing?
At long last, I am very pleased to announce the release of my fourth book – and third novel – of Machine Civilization: “Cursed Hearts.” The paperback is available via Amazon and Goodreads.
To make it easier for y’all to celebrate along with me, all three novels, in their ebook form, are available at Smashwords for only US$0.99 each! (note: you might need to toggle Adult Content: On in the upper right to see CH)
Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement!
Having recently published my flash-fiction that was the genesis of Cursed Hearts, the folks at Uprising Review were kind enough to follow on and request I submit to an interview. They seem a sound lot, so I do not think I’m violating Vox Day’s dictum about aiding the enemy.
The interview is here. After that, please look over the rest of their site: lots of good stories and commentary; bookmark them and come back often. I do.
I really would like an answer to the question I posited: what is it about horror, specifically, the notion of being eaten, that so fascinates people?
Self-publishing is a fantastic byproduct of our modern age. But, when someone approaches you and says, “hey, your stuff’s pretty good; can we publish it?” that’s wonderfully gratifying to a writer’s ego.
A year ago I came up with a short story called “It’s Just Business.” Today, it was published by Uprising Review.
That short was the genesis of the idea behind “Cursed Hearts.” Is it a coincidence that a week to the day when I finished writing CH, someone wants to publish the source material? Of course not:
There are no such things as coincidences!
Coming to around 1000 at my day-job, I had a moment of clarity: for the last seven months, all my waking moments had been filled with Chris, Cat, and Maya somewhere in my mind.
For the past 36 hours: all quiet.
The mental moment was this: I was in a darkened – but not dark – older church, alone. A place that was just recently host to a hundred, and soon will be again, but now preternatuary still.
At the end of T4L, I’d already seen the sequel. The close of EFL was a ‘LOL’ moment, as kids would type.
Alone, looking at three graves of those that have been, not a part of me, but me… well… it’s very quiet, now.
Don’t like it.
I’d really like to say that RealLife(TM) has been really busy. And, I’ve been working hard on finishing ‘Cursed Hearts.’ Plus, there’s this new story idea I’ve been playing with….
It’s all a lie: I’ve been a lazy drunk for a month. I come home from my day job, make dinner for the family, drink shitty wine and watch anime. My wife noticed immediately (my ‘jerk’ factor goes up rather quickly when I don’t write – my girls think it’s funny: ‘daddy’s on another alt-right rant again!’). So, in a moment of clarity (and a quiet house with no-one to bother me) I braved Writer’s Fear and sat down with Nichole and…
Wrote a way to get Maya onto Miramar Air Station…
Wrote Chris and Cat taking a tour of a C-130H… but, God help me…
I STILL HAVEN’T STARTED KILLING MY MAIN CHARACTERS!
Continue reading “Lies, tanjed lies, and blog posts.” →