“Stupid humans.”

I’d just now put those words onto Maya’s lips.  And that’s how I feel:  at 57k words… why not introduce a new character!  Eff me, why not?!  What I needed was a victim to satisfy Maya’s cravings after being held captive by [person] in the machine’s home for one of our weeks, so, thinking about the sacrificial secretary at the start of Elfin Lied (06:41-07:24; subs don’t matter, this is just what I had in mind at the time), I came up with Emma Miller.

“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!”

All Maya has to do after running into her is grab her and steal her life… but, there’s a CCTV camera; if Gordon’s watching, he’ll know that what she told him about just wanting to meet her brother is a lie, and will alert Chris… so Maya hesitates.  In that moment, Emma starts talking.  I learn she’s a Masters in Computer Engineering, working on her PhD and is a better programmer than anyone at UCSD-SCS.  But, since she’s low-man on the totem pole, she’s the one to bring coffee and donuts.

Until Maya literally runs into her.

And when Maya lets slip that Gordon is self-aware – an impossibility to Emma – the dialog started.  Last I saw, they were on a bench on the north side of Giesel Library eating brats for breakfast.  I couldn’t take it, so I vacuumed two floors of my house and did two loads of laundry.  I’d the hook by the time I got back:  Emma is a friend of Cat’s and has heard the name ‘Chris’ already.  Maya’s already mentioned that, so Emma is running confused. She gets a text from Cat about lunch, and excuses herself from Maya… who can read a lying human like a book.  She follows.

When Can I Kill These People?!?!?  It’s as if I’m fond of them and –

Oh.

Krep.

Sidelined

At long, long last, I’ve my three main characters (Chris, Cat, Maya) in proximity, at UC San Diego.  I also came face-to-face with a problem I’d known, but chose to ignore:  they are almost exactly one week out of synch.

For Chris & Cat, just two weeks have passed; an eventful two weeks!  However, for Maya, it’s closer to three – if not a day or two more.  Once I start editing, I’ll have all my notes and glosses to tally everything up.  But:  a week apart.

Last night, came home from day-job, made coffee (1/2 and 1/2 reg and decaf so I don’t kill myself), added some brandy, and was able to finish C&C’s trip home from the Newman Center and their dinner (just what was Cat alluding to when she whispered her embarrassing desire to Chris?).  After that, I got Maya from the SD airport to the NE side of campus, where the Supercomputing Center (and thus, Gordon) is; what an UGLY building!  Maya uses a bit of future-tech to talk to Gordon – with a cameo by Dorina – and she leaves, hunting for her brother and his intended.

A week out of synch.

I stared and the screen all the way through the second coffee/brandy.  Nothing.  Metaphorically tossed everything into my unconscious mind and descended to the basement to watch some animes with my wife.

Woke up.  Nothing.

Just before lunch, I saw something:  while Maya was in the machine’s home – ‘cyberspace’ if you will – who’s so say the passage of time was 1:1 with ours… especially with that very odd incident with the male figure, whom she couldn’t see, at the end, who called her ‘my daughter’?  What if Gordon had kept the room with the sensorium locked for – oh, I don’t know, let’s say, a week?  That gives me two things:

A solution to my temporal decoherence and a very, very hungry Maya.

Back in the game!

Baton

Over 50k words, he said!  Just another 8-10k to finish the book, he said!

Annnnd then, Dorina showed up.  To quote from Band of Brothers:  “…well, hello 2nd Armored!”

Look, it’s NOT exposition and I AM NOT LECTURING!  I can prove it, below the fold!  These people just keep showing up… this just keeps happening…!

Seriously:  I need to start killing everyone.  No!  I mean it!  Don’t you dare click on Continue reading “Baton”

Milestone and millstones

Today, Saturday, was the semi halfway point between both my girl’s birthdays.  We all, plus my mother-in-law (we sat far apart) went to a nominally Japanese steakhouse.  I bet I spoke more anime-Japanese than the staff.  Still and all, good time, good food.  Eldest Daughter is now Sweet Sixteen.  She said there’s a boy she’s fond of.  I said I have rifles about which I feel the same.  We have one another’s measure.

I’ve broken 50k words.  In and of itself, that means nothing, but recall I was raised on NaNoWriMo’s “50k words in November!” so it kind of sticks.  What’s happening at that word mark is below the fold.  I’d guess another 8-12k to kill everyone, er, wrap things up.  Following that, as I said in a previous post, editing will consist of adding material to make the modules I’ve written, over so much time, link to one another.

Will Deonne in two sentences completely changed how I write horror (it works, now), but I know I still suck at action/fighting.  Anyone have any ideas as I head into the final Act?

Continue reading “Milestone and millstones”

Abuse.

Over the 45k word threshold.  I realize that for the first time, ever, when I go back to edit this, I’ll actually be adding words rather than taking away, as I did for my last two books.

The difference, of course, is time:  T4L and EFL were both written in about 30 days.  As such, transition from scene to scene was clear in my mind.  Now, with CH started on November 1, and it now being March 7, things are a little disjointed.  I’ve been having my wife and kids proof parts of the story, and over the weekend, my wife commented “that  was rather jarring!”  Yeah:  additional editing.

So.  I’ve got Maya in the air.  Her life just keeps getting worse and worse; her willingness to subsume everything to find her brother is breaking what’s left of her stable mind.  It’s going to be a photo-finish as to who wins:  Maya, Hanako, LEGION.

I wish I could save her.

Continue reading “Abuse.”

Xenophon’s brother

Just over another 10k words this weekend!  As I said to a friend of mine, I feel like a wrung-out dish rag.  But, once I’d the key – the sight – from late Friday, it was so easy!  Part of my last post was just that:  Chris and Cat closing the gap between them.  What I wrote since then was the 3+1 times they made love (slightly different than having sex), although I only covered #1 and #+1 in detail.  That, plus another one of Chris’ recall-dreams of his time at Neuroi Corporation, this time, talking with his kid sister, Maya, made for a fantastic weekend!

Anton is sleeping with Chris & Cat’s next door neighbor; that’s complicated!  And he’ll be giving them a tour of the northern ‘no-go’ zones around Camp Pendleton.  The civilians of San Diego think the Mexican Army killed about 100k coming south from the 19MM in the LA Basin.  Truth is hard, sometimes.

After what he sees, it finally occurs to Chris to reach out to experts beyond him:  even machines suffer from the “if I’m good at this, I’m good at everything!” mental illness.  The moment he does, he’s going to realize just what he’s overlooked, and how close he and his beloved are to an horrible, violent death.

This is SO COOL!

PS It was pointed out to me by someone in RealLife that my ‘below the folds’ are all banal (my word, not theirs), not ‘the good stuff!’  Well, duh!  I welcome everyone into the world I’m making, but this is work, and I want to be paid for it.  ‘Defiant’ was, and is, for free.  Intellectual property is worth at least, if not more, than physical property.  Example:  a water pump is worth money; learning how to make a water pump, one or two orders of magnitude more.   To continue the analogy, my snippets, in and of themselves, are slightly entertaining.  I hope, once complete and edited, y’all think that they plus the other 45k words are worth US$7.

Thank you so much for reading!

Continue reading “Xenophon’s brother”

“I ship it!”*

Chris’ transfiguration scene done (backhanded compliment from a valued friend over that one), Maya busted out of the hospital – and boy, does that scene need editing! – to a character focus on her as she passes nine days at sea on the way to North America.  Did you know that travel by freighter is about US$100/day?  Pricy, but better than an entertainment-cruise line.  I’d love something like that:  nothing to do but write, drink, and – if she came with me – be with my wife.  Who, as we’ve been married for so long, would not even entertain the idea of what’s below the fold.  *sigh*

As they say at Instapundit, classic reference* in the headline.

I’ve already written the scene after this:  Maya talking to the two Americans on the way back to Portland, Oregon, Former US.  The world of ‘Machine Civilization’ is increasingly complete.  Still, this needs editing with a jackhammer.

Without being too much of voyeur, I need to see the next Act where Chris and Cat stop acting stupid around one another.  I think Anton might take them up to the killing fields of Camp Pendleton, where the Mexican Army killed 100,000+ starving Los Angeles refugees… why take them there?  Exposition, duh.  After that, Maya shows up in town and BANG.

And by BANG, I mean I start on the sequel.  You really think that the powers that be could stop a horror/romance of mine by death?  Will Deonne taught me.  Bring it.

Continue reading ““I ship it!”*”