Take Me to the River

My wife wafted through the dining room where I write.  “When did your Breakup stories stop being fiction?” she asked.

I never wanted any of this.  It was just to be a backdrop to the relationships I saw.

Anyway.  Part Two of “Empress’ Crusade” begins!  As is my wont, I skip forward almost three months and put Faustina at her destination:  Vicksburg.  But, as her father pointed out, and her uncle told her brother, “anyone can get into trouble; it’s the professionals who get out alive.”  I think I’m about to see what that looks like.

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Tough Times Demand Tough Talk

A bit of a long-ish addition.  I wanted to wrap up Part One of Empress’ Crusade, at about 18k words, and get on to the campaign itself.  For the historically minded, it will be loosely based on Caesar’s Gallic Wars, always a good read.  In the meantime, I have some research to do about the populations of former Alabama and Mississippi and how that extrapolates one generation on into the Breakup.

Below the fold is a family who loves one another but find it increasingly hard to like one another.  That is probably an odd concept for my younger readers but is something we in our dotage just nod at.  Thanks for everyone’s support!

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Check. Up.

Looked over my notes for a-while this morning (another day off; work the next three) and saw PART 1:  KEEP HUMAN circled.  My handwriting so I guess I was drunk.  Imagine.  Still, per my Lenten oath to not only complete the MS for “Empress’ Crusade” but also to make it more Christian than its predecessor, I’m trying to keep the opening parts of this story in that vein.

My other, more coherent notes, speak to Faustina chatting with MacRae, (check) and Reina.  As she’s the machine who will end up as Acting Prime Minister of the Russian Empire (should I have said *spoiler warning*?  oops) that is not “keeping it human.”  So, instead, I saw Fussy’s nurse drop in at the legionary fort to check up on her.

One of my other scrawled notes was “eugenics.”  That plus Faustina is not something I want to think about right now.

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End. Middle. Begin.

The design contest for the cover of my short story collection, “Empire’s Agent” is complete.  I hope to have a proof copy in my hands in less than a week and a commercial release days after that.

At 57k words I have passed the MS of “American Imperium: Princess’ Crusade” onto one of my new copyeditors.  He’s a little spastic about “?!” punctuation but I like the cut of his jib.  Once “Empire’s Agent” is loose in the wild I shall likely begin another cover design contest.  Tricky:  the main character, 18-year old Faustina, spends half the book in a hospital bed with 2nd degree burns and no hair.  Not the stuff for an eye-catching cover, is it?

And… speaking of Faustina:  if there’s a part one, there better be a part two.  Below the fold is the opening scene of “American Imperium:  Empress’ Crusade.”  Faustina is utterly full of herself and as arrogant “af” – as the kids say.  I wanted to start things slow and humble.  I have tiny, faint glimpses of where she might be going, but I won’t know until she gets there.  Enjoy the ride with me!

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Short End

Been chewing on the legionary awards ceremony for days.  This morning – sober, even! – I saw the answer:  my typical terse style.  Rather than put the reader through the hundred or so men coming forward for awards and promotions, all that happens “off stage” as it were.  What we see is Faustina’s address, where she at last pulls back the curtain on what sort of political arrangement she has in mind for the territory she considers to be her own by right of conquest.  This is going to have ramification back in Knoxville I cannot begin to see.

This marks the end of the raw manuscript that will either be Part One or Book One, at just over 56k words.  Right now I must devote the coming weekend to implementing the copyedit changes proposed by Stephen Zimmer for my short story collection.  And it still needs a cover.  Busy, busy…

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Name and Address

Faustina makes her first speech to her cohort officers.  After that she has a meet-and-greet with the politicians and businessmen from the Savannah area… which I am also finished with.  After her big address to her boys and the world at large the following day, I’m shelving the Crusade MS to work on the copyedit changes to my short story collection, which I am still hoping to have out in six weeks… -ish.

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Seeing with your own eyes

Faustina continues her tour of the POW camp and meets someone unexpected.  Afterward she and her legates head north to take a look at the Port of Savannah but find that to be too dangerous in the evening.  Time for bed.

Over 3000 words this weekend!  And it’s only 1300 on Sunday!  A total of 51k so far!  Where is this story going?  Won’t someone tell me?

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