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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Imaginarium Diary, Day 1

Currently at a creative’s convention in Louisville, Kentucky, AINO. Updates will be a day late as I make my way around this new environment.

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Imaginarium Diary. Day 1, part 1. Awake at 0800, amazed the dogs let me sleep in. Fried eggs and bacon – nothing boiled in a dang bag, @GuardAmerican – then I’ll be off to the market for bottled tea for the 4 hour drive and some pre-made sandwiches (also not boiled).

Toying with ideas for @SandyLender‘s writing workshop this evening. I’ve seen the op – Tay borrowing her mother’s android to do physical research on Linear A clays – but kid brother Ivan shows up and wants to play.

How do Machines play in the Void?

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Imaginarium Diary. Day 1, part 2. Made it to the hotel in good time. This area has changed much since I was last here 20 years ago. Spoiled the last 15 years by having 3 other people help unload, so that took 3 trips. Cosplay is still outside as there were some sus characters vagrantizing the lobby.

Ice machines only on every other floor? That’s a one star review, right there.

From all my years at animecons I know to stay hydrated. Working on that now.

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Imaginarium Diary. Day 1, part 3. Participated in @SandyLender‘s Flash Fiction Workshop; knocked out another 2100-word story about Tay (and her annoying kid brother) in two hours.

Had the pleasure to meet Daniel Dark, whose Southern Gentleman’s Cigar Trolley inspired my book “Obligations of Rank.”

@FreeExpression7 seems happy I’m here. We’ll test that when the Feds show up.

Met and talked with some homeless vagrant for a bit. This hotel lets anyone wander in. I wonder where @josisenberg is?

Tay, part 8. End.

Before the ugly comments start: I just write down what I’m shown. I can tinker around the edges but, as I’ve said, it’s like being given a new house with the rough carpentry complete… I can pick the paint, carpets, appliances, but am stuck with working within what I am given.

Saying all that to say this: NO, I did not see this coming. I did anticipate a gentle resolution based upon Tay’s and Pavel’s words to one another (honestly, I thought they would become a couple) and my writer’s hackles were coming up when a very junior Machine, with a history of mental illness, began to press the most dangerous person on earth. And Reina, having her ass metaphorically handed to her by Gary’s sister, I thought could think her way out of anything. Shows what I get for thinking.

Thanks to everyone for following along. As this was generated from nothing more than an offhand comment on an out-of-the-way social media platform, the level of detail called for from me was a bit of a surprise. Unlike my current MS project, which is still something of a chore, this was tremendous fun and I hope to do it again, soon.

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Tay, part 1

I’ve been slogging away at “New Russia,” and it still is not clicking. So, after about 1100 words yesterday, I poured a large glass of red and took a moment to see who was knifing who on our side of the river on Gab. This thread caught my eye. As my hundreds *cough* of regular readers know, I’ve something of an interest in Thinking Machines. Tay was a doomed experiment in letting an expert system play with language and social media. Doomed because the geek coders 1) thought /pol/ and 4-chan were normal places to hang out, and 2) working for Big Tech, they knew they are Good People; Good People do not say hurty words such as “13 do 58,” or notice other tribes. Therefore, the code must be wrong; the code must be punished.

That got me thinking (which is never a good idea). What if, somehow, Tay’s code survived the Breakup/Change? As you can see in the Gab thread, yesterday I tossed out the ideas of who might find her: tribe Tohsaka or Mendro? As usual, before Mass this morning, God gave me the revelation: why not both?

In the last three hours I pounded out 2500 words. And Tay hasn’t even spoken yet. This is going to be very interesting.

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May is out… like a light

Not going to dwell on no posting again. RealLife comes for all of us every now and then.

“New Russia,” the working title of my next MS, ground to something of a halt in chapter three. It was turning into another military story. I wrote a trilogy about those and do not want to get sucked into the details of TOEs and campaign planning yet again.

From my “try to so something different” file, I considered: I’ve war, politics, espionage, romance, romance/horror, and even slice-of-life. What to do?

Took the dogs for walks in nice weather. Stared at maps of Canada. Would I have to abandon this particular project and start from scratch? Sgt. Sergei Konev and his scout team are driving to Saskatoon to see if it is under the ice, like Edmonton. Wait. Who is the old man in the horse-drawn cart coming south? From the wares on the cart, he looks like a typical dystopian tinker. Through his field glasses, as the Tigr (the Russian version of a Hummer) slows, Konev is puzzled. He looks old; not old. Sick; not sick. His eyes are black and dead but the skin of his arms and hands holding the reins like that of a young man.

Mystery. Not as in “whodunit,” but more like mysticism. Early in my books the collapse of the US and W Europe was called the Breakup. By “Foes and Rivals,” it was beginning to be known as the the Change. A few sensitive people – humans and Machines – were waking up to the fact that reality was not what it had been. That is what I am going to explore. Beginning with Cartaphilus.

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[New Russia] Ch1, pt3 (end)

One last time: if you’ve any thoughts – besides “he said there would be a war” – I’m working on that in chapter three, please let me know.

This short is the final piece of chapter one. And for those of you who have read, or shall soon be reading, “Obligations of Rank,” you’ll recognize who shows up in the last scene. As this book will be from Sergei Konev’s POV, I’ll not let this particular cat out of the bag.

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