Filling In

God was kind enough to give me two pieces of the puzzle to part 1 of my next book.  Just now I saw the third piece*… right when I have to make dinner** for the family… arrgh!

*Nichole, as hybrid student/teacher in V. Bishop’s coding class, has a discussion after class with Vicki about improvements to the gain of the remote sensors used by the agriculturalists up the Columbia.  If Nichole backtracks on Mackenzie, that yields her:

1. A personal agent in the dictator’s household;

2. An agent with access to financial records;

3. A means of audio eavesdropping.


**Pork medallions in mustard-cream sauce, flambed with apple brandy.

“HBD!” Adding text

Last night was crashing and burning:  came home hopped up on coffee (recall:  I’ve high blood pressure) to get things done on HBD!, only to be confronted with hysterical wife:  “my J-drama torrents won’t work!!”  An hour lost there, then another making dinner, I finally sit down to format some jpg’s to pdf’s . . . forgetting that twice 2700 pixels is not 1350, but, in fact, 5400.  Re-re-formatting everything, I do a trial upload at 2215.  All clear.  Time for bed.

Tonight, adding text.  As this is a book aimed at 2nd graders, I think there’s about 120 words, total.  This issue – ONCE AGAIN – is formatting:  my pages are set to ‘bleed-out’ on the edges, so when making text boxes, I have to guess where my perimeter is.  That’s been three tries so far.  I’d also some issues about ISBN’s, but would rather toss my desktop out my window than even think about discussing it.

Below the fold, a snapshot of page 17.  God bless Claudia Gadotti, my illustrator.  How she could reach into my mind from my poor, bare-bones description of my characters to make what she did . . . well, just wait until I’ve wrapped this all up in a couple of weeks.

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HBD! Update

With only seventeen days left to go in my self-imposed deadline, I just now figured out how to format the pages from jpeg to pdf and upload them properly to CreateSpace.  I’ve been spoiled:  for my traditional novels, I’ve used “Bookwrite” by Blurbb; a fantastic program, so long as you stay within its boundaries.  As this is an illustrated children’s book, I needed those boundaries to be elastic, so after a few days, out that went.

Then it was a matter of re-scaling Claudia’s wonderful drawings.  That took a couple of days to figure out… glad my wife told me to drink less:  I was about ready to throw my computer out the window.  I finally got a test of the cropped, resized, and split, pages successfully uploaded to CreateSpace.  I’ll – hopefully – reformat the remaining images tomorrow, then add the little bit of text (this is a kids book, after all) the day after.  Looks like the wife and daughters will be foraging for dinner the rest of this week!

Provisional cover is below the fold.

In other news, I’ve seen some huge character changes for my NaNoWriMo project this year; I’m quite pleased!  Set in a part of MachCiv I’ve not really been to, yet, and something of a horror novel, this should be fun!

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A Look Back

For the first time in just over two years, I’m on vacation.  Even that’s qualified, as we’re in Houston/Galveston, but the reason we’re here is my wife’s 6 month post cancer-treatment checkup.  Still, better than central Ohio.

Had I been home, I’d be working on “Henge’s Big Day;” I’m not, so I’m not.  I did, however, see a vignette that I alluded to while writing “Defiant.”  Some skinny-dipping at the PSU pool with my main characters.  Was finally able to type it out, today.

This takes place halfway between Act II and Act III.

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‘Defiant’ – End; One.

An experiment, just to keep me writing.  People I’ve never met, places I’ve not seen – and that I don’t recall – for over thirty years.  And here I am, about 60k words later.

Creativity is occasionally creepy:  where does all this come from?

Anyhoo.  There are still flaws in what’s below.  Someday, after I’ve written Part 2, I’ll get this all cleaned up and ‘novel-ized.’

Played with different ‘voices’ in this one; too much gin to get it all right.  Actually excised a couple of paragraphs:  I was lecturing again.  Thanks, Will!

Let’s do this again.  Soon!

Continue reading “‘Defiant’ – End; One.”


Honestly, that last went too fast.  At least, in my opinion.  But, ‘Defiant’ is meant to be a writing exercise, not a true novel.  I do, now, think that I’ll edit it and turn it into one, but that’s in the mists of the future.

Want to type the final third of this rather large episode, but tired.  Good day at Day Job:  just Friend Tracy and me; everything done right and on time with no caterwauling.  Had to come home and push-mow 80% of the backyard, though.  I’ve gotten very used to my girls doing that over these past two years.  The next – and hopefully last – time we move, I want to be in a forest clearing, with no grass, just crops and vegetables.  And bunkers for the MG42’s that our house AI, Continuity, will control.

At last I’ve got Muller’s troop on their way back to Portland, and we all know the reveal about Multnomah Falls; Nike assures me “it’s going to be fabulous, darling!”  We’ll see some people we’ve not in a while.  Then, ‘Defiant’ will go to sleep for at least a month.  My priority will be to get “Henge’s Big Day!” (don’t worry, I’ll start posting about it when we get closer) physically published.  When I do come back to the City, I’m thinking that the fourth section will be a four to three-month flashback, of what happened between Nichole and Joe.  I think a lot happened, but I don’t yet know.

Off to go help Nike set up tables and tents for the party.  It’s late Decemeber in Portland; cold rain!  Of course they need tents!  Oh!  Outdoor propane heaters!  Good idea!

Under Wrap

At Bowling Green State University in NW Ohio for eldest daughter’s last swim meet of the season.  Wrote the first half of this a couple of days ago.  Shifting about on my butt-pad on the bleachers in the natatorium, I’d a few hours to see the rest.  And well into, if not all of Ep30, as well.  There’s one more idea I plan to unveil, then I hope to get everyone that belongs there back to Portland.

Two days ago, while typing the first bit of this episode, my wife was catching up to Ep 28.  It was late in the evening, and getting dark outside, both of us on the couch.  After awhile, she sighed.  I looked up and right to see where she was; ah, she’d just finished.  She turned to me with an odd look on her face.

“About how many words is this?”

“I think Part Three is about 16,000…”

“No.  I mean the whole thing, up until this.”  She gestured at what she’d been reading on her screen.

“Ummm.  I’d guess maybe 36-38 thousand words?”

“Thirty eight thousands words, and just now we have a kiss with feeling behind it.  Just WTF kind of ‘romance story’ is this?!”

“Uhhh…?  A really slowly paced  one?”

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