Life Imitating My Art, part… yeah

Let’s start with a graph…

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And end with a quote from my novel, Friend & Ally (emphasis mine):

Hakane took another drag off his cigarette in Somi Corporation’s breakroom, laughing at his colleague’s comment.  It wasn’t so much their company discouraged smoking as that they wished to make sure their products were not contaminated.  Given the delicacy of some of the prototypes, all respected this rule.

“Can you believe it, Atazaki?” he asked, flourishing his newspaper.  “The US economy imploding like this?  I’m an engineer, not at economist, but how in the world…”

“Call it belief; call it faith.  Lose it, and your world ends,” his friend replied, looking at a domestic part of his own newspaper.

“What’s that?”  What Hakane knew of politics could fit into a sake cup.

“Since the war,” for a Japanese, that meant only one thing, “the world economy had the US dollar as its reserve currency, backed, not by gold or silver, but by the faith – mind you – that the US will always be there!”

Atazaki glanced at the clock over the inner door and decided one more cigarette was in order.

“So now we find,” he said, pointing at Hakane’s paper with his lighter, “that as the American President is being removed via extra-Constitutional means, the Russians, Chinese, and Indians are rolling out a new currency… what’s it called?”

“The ria,” Hakane managed.

“Whatever.  Backed by the gold they’ve been buying up for a generation, and indexed to oil.  At that point, US dollars became valueless.”

Hakane was still confused.  But why…

“Why is there rioting in the US?  And getting worse so fast?”

Atazaki blew a blue-grey cloud toward the ceiling’s scrubbers.

“It’s a replay of what almost happened back in 2008:  credit dries up, the velocity of money drops to zero.”

Atazaki realized his friend didn’t get a single word.  He tried again.

“Credit cards stop working; all the zeros and ones in banks are gone, and, for the Americans,” he took another drag, “their food-welfare cards, whatever they’re called, stopped working.”

He exhaled again and sat back.

“All cities in the US are starving right now.  And there is nothing… nothing at all, to stop it.”

Atazaki took another drag while looking out the window at bustling Osaka.

“They’re done for.” Quieter.  “God help us; we’re all alone.”

“First Among Equals”

I went almost two weeks without writing more than a paragraph.  I needed at least one more short story for my January collection and thought to tell a story about Henge and her and Gary’s daughter, Aurelia.  One paragraph and some notes.

And nothing.

Admittedly things were hectic at DayJob and much time was spent formatting “Worlds Without End” into a format acceptable to Smashwords, but I would sit at my laptop and wait to see what they would show me… which was precisely nothing.

A week ago a fellow I work with asked how the writing was coming.  I replied the technical side was fine but I was currently stuck.  Still stuck a few days later, I recalled his question.  I based the coder Dmitri, Reina’s father, on him, I thought.  There are no such things as coincidences… he was meant to ask that question!  And that means…

I saw Reina standing in the snow.  Twelve hours later I heard her talking to a visitor.  I wrote this in four hours.  What these people do with me sometimes…

Continue reading ““First Among Equals””

“Flight”

I wanted a short story that involved Gary Hartmann, the protagonist of my latest novel “Worlds Without End,” piloting an airplane, as I mention that in the story.  I lay down about half of this yesterday but was at a total standstill for most of today.  Finally saw what happened to John Carell and wrote the rest down.

Continue reading ““Flight””

Worlds Without End

Going into a lovely early Fall weekend with little to do?  Need something to while away time with the cool breeze and falling leaves?  If you have not yet, download and read “The Fourth Law” and “Echoes of Family Lost” FOR FREE (while you can!) then go on to read the latest addition to my future history of Machine Civilization just now released!  Cheers!

Worlds Without End 

 

WWE FOR REVIEW - STANDARD 8 SEPT VERS 3

Accelerationism

I have a small, local Author Fair coming up on 9 November.  What if, I wondered, I not only had “Worlds Without End” finished – in less than ten day from now – but what if I also had “Crosses & Doublecrosses,” the third novel I began but set aside over three years ago as 1) I was not old enough to write it, and 2) it is a god-awful story I hated living in, complete?  Is that possible?

I just completed the basic MS.  Grammarly is chewing through it in the the background while I write this.  I have reached out to my current cover designer to sound him on this; that will likely be the determining factor.

Still… I would be something:  a novel and novella, 100k words, all commercially out in less than six weeks.  Irrational deadline drive me; can I make this one?

Below the fold is the last thing I wrote for C&DC:  its Prologue.  There’s closure for you.

Continue reading “Accelerationism”

“We call it DeeKay, for short”

Finally!  After banging my head against the six-month rock that was the discrepancy at the beginning of “Crosses & Doublecrosses” I had an idea as I stumbled, drunk, to bed last night.  Deciphering my scrawl of a note this morning, I got it:  Dunning-Kruger.

Dunning-Kruger is a two-sided coin of fail:  on the obverse is the stupid thinking they are not:  “anybody can do that!” said the idiot about to shoot an apple off of his son’s head.  The converse is just as deadly:  “since I’m a smart [profession], I’m smart at everything!”  You’ve read before about my comments when Doctors of Pharmacy try to hang a picture.  It’s a mess.

So in this case, two things happened:  the DK is that Sylvia, having been the best and brightest in the room her whole life, figured that that what she had heard about the Breakup of the US just couldn’t be that bad for someone like her.  The other, much more subtle thing – right at the end of this rewritten opening – is an allusion to one of the Machines we have never met, Ninon.

With this in mind I can FIX THE NOVELLA!  With the help of a miracle I might have it done by Thanksgiving.  If you like these updates and stories, please keep praying for my liver.

Continue reading ““We call it DeeKay, for short””

Little Details

Submitted WWE for my US Copyright this morning, making it my seventh.  Also did the basics to set things up on KDP.  The outstanding issue remains my copyeditor:  I gave her this project in early June.  She told me it would be in my hands 1 September… then nothing… I write her… snarky note back…

I’ve been very pleased to work with Monica for three years now without a single complaint.  We all have RealLife issues, but after three months I get ghosted?  After three years?  WTF?  In the meantime I re-ran WWE through Grammarly and farmed it out to a couple of proofreaders; that’s what I uploaded to KDP to order a physical proof.  This time it will be a two-step process rather than one to catch most of the mistakes.

Having done all that, I am still faced with the time discrepancy of my novella, “Crosses & Doublecrosses.”  As you can see, I did some basic work to find out where I stand:  an error of what I am calling six months.  Sylvia and Roberta Fernandez land at Dallas/Ft Worth Airport from Manila just as the Breakup is unfolding in the US.  But they can’t; there is  no way.  For the rest of the 32k-word story to work they have to land six months later.  But if they do, the opening, as written, makes no sense.  Okay, I can re-write the opening.  To what?  If they were back in Manila watching the US tear itself to pieces, with easily over a million dead in those first six months, why in the hell would they come back?  Sure, their family lives in Manhattan but just how long do you think that place will last with no food coming in and the lights going out for good after two weeks?

Why did they come back?  I can swing the flight into Texas:  they have two of maybe four functioning airports in the former US.  Sylvia is a brilliant lawyer; does she think she’s going to drive to New York from there?  Is she that stupid?

Questions, questions.  I’m going to ask the wine bottle for answers.

Continue reading “Little Details”