Book 17. Part Two. 6

Filling in some details about who is who and where they are. While I’m a “pantser” not a “plotter,” I do like to know where the pieces are on the board before all the action breaks out.

The line, “Did you just make that up right now?” is precious. And, yes, I run with it. Full credit goes to my wife; when I was musing about where take the story, she said: “they stumbled into a stargate. Happens all the time.”

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Book 17. Part Two. 3

Here I begin to go down a rabbit hole I had no intention of ever – ever – exploring. Time travel stories are not hard science fiction and also very dangerous from a causality standpoint. Time travel into the past is boring and stupid; as Larry Niven once noted, it is just a child’s wish fulfillment of “make it didn’t happen!” Into the future, with a presumed return to the present? Similar “Sound of Thunder” problems.

My work-around is my faith. As a Catholic, I believe God sees everything in His “unbounded now.” Past, present, future, to a mortal mind is just NOW to Him. So long as I keep close track of what I’m writing over the next few installments, I should make it out of this without sounding like a complete idiot.

BTW, “Lest Darkness Fall” is a spectacular book.

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Shorter of Breath and one day…

For Lent, it appears my body has given up “being healthy.” And it is mostly my fault through stress.

Even with my Little Legionary at home for a few months, I discovered that while I think about her when she’s deployed, I don’t worry about her as, what can I do? She is hundreds or thousands of miles away. But when she’s home and out past midnight at Planet Fitness or the gun range, I worry constantly. Then, Daughter #2 is graduating college in five weeks and packing for her internship in Hokkaido, Japan. It is also Tax Season here in the US, and I am increasingly angry about paying taxes to keep Country 404 – Ukraine – afloat as well as having the military and political might of FUSA exist only for the purpose of spreading gay sex.

And, worst of all, was my “three books in three months” personal challenge. I made it with two, “Regent” and “Imperial Entanglements” (which should be out by the end of this week), but could not complete the third. Worse for my health was that I broke the “write drunk, edit sober” rule as I was never not writing, thus I was drinking way too much.

With 3B3M over, I’m reverting to my more traditional format of waiting until they show me a scene I can write down rather than forcing things; some of what I wrote in the last month is pretty ungood. Further, I’ll be posting regular updates here as I have for years past. That will help both me and the pacing of the story.

Starting with that, expect a general summary of Part One of Book #17 shortly. I plan to backtrack and make posts of Part Two as it will allow me to both correct and flesh out the sections I rushed through.

Thank you for your patience.

Colour Screens in Cars

Another rare Saturday update! Perhaps I should tag it as an NFT and sell them? Naah; just buy the edited book when it comes out. As I think I may be sneaking up on a stopping point, along those lines I began thinking about cover designs. Aurie, obviously front and center, eyes bright gold. First I saw her at a table, with Jimmy and Colour behind her but that seemed way too passive. Now I’m thinking having her “berserker scene,” when she killed 27 pirates. More of an action shot. That will push her friend and boyfriend onto the back. Not sure what they will be doing.

I was as stuck as Jimmy in the segment below for two days. I’ve a truck and a minivan, both old enough to buy alcohol, so it didn’t enter my mind what most modern cars have by way of smart screens and telecommunications. Recall: Canada survived the Breakup. Their main problem was interning/shooting refugees from the starving US, so their grid still works. So I sort of wrote myself in when he says, “I am so effing stupid,” as that was how I felt.

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Potential Allies of all Colours

DayJob continues to be a freaking trial this week but I’m seeing lots to write down. Woke up at 0400 this morning, in fact, with an image behind my eyes which will tie this book, “Regent,” to both “Crosses & Doublecrosses” from six years ago as well as the in-process manuscript of “New Russia” I walked away from in the late spring. Future histories, like those past, are webs, not linear.

Below, I think the woman who brought food is legit and knows Ypres or his family. Donegal? He might want to recall that “I was only doing my job” didn’t fly in 1946-48 (not that the Nuremberg Trials had any legitimacy; they didn’t need it. They had guns).

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Colour of a Dream

This concludes the ‘Nova Scotia arc.’ I lay 1:2 odds that when Jimmy walks into his house, the RCMP are waiting on him. Who knows?

Story-wise, I’ll be going dark for a while as I’m blind as to where this is going right now. There’s one conflict on the horizon: Aurie’s huge argument with the Empress. Fussy wants Aurie married now. Fussy is also still seething that Aurie’s demi-human brother married a “normie” of questionable genetics; Jimmy might be a step too far. On the other hand, as Aurelia will throw in her face: “There are less than ten of us! Are we some Semite tribe to marry our cousins?”

Minor conflict. These are great characters on the stage and they deserve great conflict. With Texas edging to the imperium’s side, does Canada sign a defensive agreement with Mexico? Suddenly Faustina is the one surrounded; she would not like that and likely respond kinetically. Does Liz, Fussy’s first child, switch on her listening array on the back of the Moon only to hear, “Humans look tasty. See you soon.”? Maybe old Empress Togame finally dies, provoking a succession crisis in the Japanese Empire while Aurie is there in a diplomatic capacity? A lot to think about.

If anything interesting happens, I’ll toss it onto here. I’ve an author meet’n’greet at the Heath, Ohio, Indian Mound Mall on Saturday. Hope to sell a book.

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Colour: White

Not going to lie, frens, but this is some of my best writing and I am very proud of it.

A salutary example of the raw power of nature is bracing for anyone. Anyone no matter how they were made. I think Aurie will be a little different after this. Interesting to see how it plays out with her men, her legates, and the Empress.

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Reactionless Colour

Yes, it’s short. I’m still writing. I didn’t want anyone thinking Aurie killed her friend. I mean, she’s quite capable of doing it if she thought she had a valid reason. But given how much loyalty is treasured in the imperium, Colour would have to do something like shoot one of the imperial family. If she, say, betrayed Aurie’s secrets to the Canadian government? I imagine the princess would just shrug and end their friendship.

In the next installment, I hope y’all enjoy Aurie’s reaxion when she first sees the ice with her own eyes. It’s a bit like the Grand Canyon; you can look at pictures or even go to an IMAX, but until you stand there and look at the big hole in the ground, you will not “get it.”

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Different Coloured Hats

This brings up to about 4000 words. I an realize that I said yesterday is correct: I do not know the government nor politics of the Northern Federation. It’s core is Maine and New Hampshire, with affiliated territories from Vermont and central and western Massachusetts, making it about the smallest of the entities to survive the Change (which, I saw, is still called the Breakup by them). Until I understand their situation this far along, I cannot see Aurelia’s reaxion.

Saying all that to say this: unless I have a sudden revelation, which has happened, I’m taking the weekend off to study the problem. Aside: I do think, because of the time and the meeting, that Aurie will spend the night in their territory. Possibly at the house of one of Colour’s brothers.

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Colour me Skeptical

Nearly eight years ago, when writing my first novel, I was aware and commented that Maine & New Hampshire had formed something called the Northern Alliance or Northern Federation to protect themselves against attacks from the dying central Federal government. I do not know many details but I do know that Boston, already starving, was razed to the ground by this new local state.

Last night, in a fog of bourbon, I recalled that a contentious boss of mine is relocating her family to Maine in a few months. And, to use my worn cliche of how I’m given these stories, the film in the theater of my mind started rolling.

I’d already been thinking about Princess Aurelia and her role in Machine Civilization. Looks like it’s time to tell her story.

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