A personal look back

I am not normally a reflective or sentimental person but ARSH 2019 has been quite the year.  Foes and Rivals went live 366 days ago, so I can call that 2019-ish.  After losing over two months when my copyeditor of five years ghosted me, Worlds Without End came out in October.  “Crosses and Doublecrosses” has been ready since just after Thanksgiving but the H1B’s at Kindle think the cover is flawed (it’s my cover!  Publish the tanjed thing!).  My short story collection is effective ready to go, only lacking a cover and copyediting, which I shall have completed in January.

In meatspace, my eldest daughter went off to college for Aminal Science/Pre-vet and is thriving to the point she’s spending part of May and June of 2020 at a college on Hokkaido.  I changed employers for more pay and – more importantly – more time off to write.

Time which I have been using to write [working title] “Crusade”; 33.5k words since late October and the city of Savannah is only now about to be attacked.  I suck at war stories, it seems.  This shall end up either being a very large, 3-part novel, or I’ll break it into three distinct books.  I’ll know when they show me the scenes.

Thanks to all who follow along.  God willing, I’ve so many more stories to tell in the time I have left.  Happy New Year!

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.”

Departing Friends

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”

Forgetting the Important Things

Is this a personal record?  Going dark 32 days?  Training at Dayjob has been hectic; Daughter #1 is in her last weeks of HS; Daughter #2 passed her Drivers Test; frantic work to get the WWE raw manuscript complete by my 31 May deadline… and I ignore everyone who reads my work here.  Apologies.

Believe it or not, Part One is complete, just shy of 38k words.  I’m already about 7k words into Part Two but this is something of a misnomer:  I’ve bits and pieces of Part Two strung about two HDD all amounting to 16k more words.  There is a lot of ‘bridging’ I have to do to make it all hang together, otherwise those pieces will be rejected by readers and hang separately.

The latter part of Part One surprised me.  A person who’d been a tertiary character was suddenly the key to wrapping up the story.  That sort of thing is fairly typical for my compartmentalized writing style of simply putting down what they show me.  I never know where any of this is going.

Below the fold is a short pause just before a rush of action to the ending.  Humor is involved as well as the star of my last two novels, who’s now a pilot.

Continue reading “Forgetting the Important Things”

‘Perfume’ Travelogue

While I had little to no time off in 2018, I’m trying to change that for this year.  In January, of course, we went to Ohayocon.  Now that it’s April, my wife and I took a trip up to Chicago to see the Japanese performance trio Perfume.  We’ve enjoyed their music for years and as they rarely tour North America – and only a few cities – we jumped at the chance.  What follows is a little story of our trip.

Continue reading “‘Perfume’ Travelogue”