“There’s a Geoff Tate on the line…?”

I thought everything was going to Hell.  No, let me try again:  I remain convinced that everything is going to Hell.  It’s just that somehow – again! – Nichole started talking and is trying to save everyone and everything… including me.  It’s a good speech of hers, and almost convincing… but as the author, I’ve the SMOD Card in my hand, and I’ll be playing it either 1) once this clown-show is coiling back along itself toward Portland; or 2) In the next sentence I write where another rider comes in with preliminary non-com casualty figures… including Rhun’s children…

Continue reading ““There’s a Geoff Tate on the line…?””


In an absurd burst of enthusiasm, I thought I could finish the manuscript this weekend.  My new doctor certainly wants me to:  “you’re drinking too much; your liver numbers are shot to hell.”  Great.  I told her I’ll cut back in a week or so, once finished.

It has been a difficult transitional period in the story.  I did NOT want to write yet another battle, swirling about Nichole, but was uncertain how to write around it.  Last night, after watching a few old music videos, I saw the part of Nichole and Armando having a quiet moment – not a war moment – in the back of the MRAP.  That let’s me tell the story to the point where things fall to shit and she get’s out of there, on a mad dash south, where she’ll encounter Major Muller & his 2nd Detachment of Cavalry as well as Friend Joe, serving in Militia A, holding the supply line between Portland and Longview.

After that?  Into the City with the Nation on their heels.  Rocks fall; everyone dies.  I’m so happy to be writing this…

Continue reading “Rejects”

Gotta love them lampshades!

A good weekend:  no one died, in the story or in RealLife, and I was able to lay down 4k words.  Wish my tanjed DayJob boss would get her shit straight with Madam Clio and find another job!  Not one of any of the other pharmacists I work with have issues such as hers; “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  We’d one dog from southern Indiana; a Westie, so pre-crazy.  Everyone else I’ve known from Indiana seems deranged, just like her.

Anyway.  Show’s over and the Nation is on the move!  A few, short, snapshots to get them over the pass and into the Centralia Valley.  I did get a little sidetracked – still working on it, in fact, but the lead combat force of the horsemen, basically 17,500 dragoons with 2,500 responsible for light to medium artillery, are bearing down on Napaville as we speak.  I allow Rhun a tell about how he plans to run the op against the cannibals, as well as letting you, the pre-readers, know how the turnabout against the City’s Regulars will happen, too.

Those of you that are of the faith, pray for me that I can keep this up all week; I know I cannot do this alone.  Deus Volt!

Continue reading “Gotta love them lampshades!”

Lake Missoula

Wrote about 500 words in the early afternoon and quickly realized I was going B-F-B-F again; it happens when you’re a Pantser:  you’re getting along on a storyline and suddenly realized, crap! I didn’t give that any exposition!  So, I spent an hour polishing the 500 words and inserting them retroactively while making several other editing changes, all the while imaging what it was like in the 20th Century where writers quite literally cut and pasted their manuscripts.

Having said all that to say this:  the first part is what I wrote about Jenkins then spent time retconning it into what you’ve already read.  The rest is getting the Nation moving north and west, ending with Nichole putting on her new Bard hat!  One more gloss to see the military units of the Nation over the Cascades, meeting the City’s Regular Army, then turning north against the cannibal’s main horde, as the civilians on the horse-drawn wagons make their way into the area around Napavine… and then…

Continue reading “Lake Missoula”


Sometimes my writing style confuses even me.  I like to flick around in time… my flashbacks will come to present time and then have an entirely different flashback.  This is not something from the classical SF I’ve read, nor is it particularly a thing in the types of anime we watch (which is mostly ‘cute girls doing cute things’).  As a result, with the exception of about 400 words, everything I’ve posted about Nichole’s Book 2 is a flashback from where she is standing looking out to the northeast at the migration of the Nation before their assault on the cannibals.

For about two sentences you see “real time” below the fold, then, God help me, I do it again and flash back to how they got there.  This is her third trip upriver, so I’ve no reason to dwell on details – and I don’t – and just toss a few mile markers down.

AFTER THIS!  After this, I think I will be entirely in ‘present time,’ with the possible exception of a verbal montage to get the Nation across the Washington Cascades.  While I’d not seen Nichole’s interaction with Rye until my fingers tapped the keys, this is an interesting development… one that I’ve no idea where it will lead.

After talking with my wife and teen daughters, there’s nothing particularly afoot this weekend for us.  God willing, that means I can lay down 4k-6k words and get within striking distance of a conclusion to Book 2.  Anyone have any ideas for a name?  I got nothin’ right now:  no-one knows what Foederati means; Enemies at the Gates is clichéd and taken…  I’d like it to be a perversion, if you will, of the first title, “Friend and Ally.”

Continue reading “Back-flash-back-flash”


Putting aside our visual novel, OTChi Kocchi, it was NaNoWriMo that taught me to be a novelist.  I am utterly wedded to the idea of irrational deadlines; were I not, nothing would ever get finished.  This entry of Nichole5’s second book would put me just over the 50k limit demanded by NNRM, were I playing along.

That’s all well and good, but I need the Nation across the Cascades, beating the cannibals, betrayed by the Special Police, and burning Portland.  In two weeks.  Dang.  The best I can hope for is either a mild heart attack that sidelines me from my DayJob, or a meteor hits the place, with the same affect.

Continue reading “Threshold”