I am, by many measures, a failure as a human. I have no empathy, no sympathy. I am not emotionally expressive. This past weekend we saw Daughter #1 formally off to college. My wife was a wreck. I gave my girl a hug and said “call or text if you’ve problems; later.”
It’s not that I don’t have and express emotions, it’s that I choose where to do it and even then can get blind-sided. I thought the short story of “Old Friends” was going to be a harmless reunion. Until I was more than halfway into the project did they show me that John Brunelli was unwell. Nichole’s reaction to that was so severe that I was unable to write. Yes, you read that correctly: a character’s reaction to a revelation in my own head was so strong I couldn’t function properly.
I was finally able to sneak up on it in pieces. I could split it, but why make y’all any more miserable than I was? Here’s the last part of “Old Friends.” I so need to write something light and fluffy next…
Continue reading “Departing Friends”
On fire for this short story, it seems. Wonder what they will show me tomorrow?
PS Spoilers for my novels ahead.
Continue reading “Older Friends”
I’m aware the raw manuscript of C&DC needs attention. Screw that. I know I need a few more shorts for my short story collexion that will be three books hence. As a result, I saw something from having re-read a line from “Foes and Rivals,” where sergeant John Brunelli makes a promise to Nichole 5.
How long would that take? What sort or world would these people be living in by then? I made some notes (mostly questions to myself), sat down, and got this. About 1700 word; and this story is just beginning. I wonder where it will go?
Continue reading “Old Friends”
Took Daughter #1 off to college yesterday. A mere two hours away. Still: someone who has been in my home everyday (yes, yes… field trips, sleep-overs…) for the past seventeen years suddenly… isn’t.
It’s a hollow silence; a fake peace. Much of her stuff is still in her room and bathroom. Her dog – who is now de facto our dog – goes from window to window with sighs. This, coming on the heels of the raw close of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” was enough to make a special trip to the liquor store for some summer gin. I drink a little to write; I drink a lot to make this world go away.
As I always quote: “you can get used to hanging if you hang long enough,” so too will the ache of her relocation pass. Time, after all, wounds all heals. In the interim, unable to write, I took some assessment of my collexion of short stories from MachCiv. Of those I can use (not in someone else’s sandbox), there are six, totaling 20.6k words. One of them, the story of how Arpad and Lily meet, fell in love, get married, is currently 11k but I need to add at least 8k to complete it. Emma’s story will need to be doubled or cut. And, there is at least one if not two more in mind: when sergeant John Brunelli from both of Nichole 5’s books comes to Japan as an old man to fulfill his promise to see her again; that, and a short about the machine Ninon, who you will meet in “C&DC”… who loves to fly to the stars.
That gives me one book that’s – hopefully! – less than a month from publication. Another raw manuscript complete that should be out by Thanksgiving or Christmas. And a collexion of Machine Civilization shorts (with commentary before each!) sometime mid to late winter 2020.
“Doin’s better than thinkin’.”
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.
Continue reading “Crosses & Doublecrosses: Epilogue”
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.
Continue reading “The Hill”
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.
Continue reading “El Paso del Norte”