“Empress’ Crusade” MS Complete

Sorry for the silence; been busy.  After my Hey, hey! incident, I tried to work within the new confines of that to find a way to wrap up EC.  I found a way out via Faustina’s fast ride from Vicksburg to Birmingham and onto Huntsville.  We’ve seen from way back that she is attracted to the 32-year-old mayor of that town, so I decided to have her push her feelings to see what happens.  While not completely happy with the end, it is at least an end.  I’ll  be able to think about it better as a make my editing pass before farming it out to a copyeditor.  I’m leaning toward re-using Stephen Zimmer, as he copyedited “Princess’ Crusade” and has knowledge of the characters and plot.

With that being checked, I have spent some money, read, and watched many videos on how to narrate audiobooks.  Once my wife gets the basement un-wrecked from her current project, I’ll carve out a space, hang some blankets, and see what I can do.  However, if that gets delayed, I will have to at least start notes and plans for the final book of this trilogy, “Goddess’ Crusade.”

Below the fold, rather than the entirety of Part IV of EC, is just a snippet from toward the end, showcasing Faustina and Mayor Robert Wade.

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My mistake: not my story

Taking a few days off turned into too many days off.  I made the mistake of knowing – knowing – how I wanted “Empress’ Crusade” to finish.  It was well into day four that I realized that so long as I wasn’t listening to my characters, they had no reason to talk to me.

So, I set aside a few days to make notes, look at maps, and keep my mental mouth shut.  At DayJob over this past weekend, the film in my mental theater started rolling again.  More notes.  Off today and tomorrow, I was up early, caffeinated, and typing by 0930.  Put down over 3000 words today.  Admittedly, it is a little like I think I saw it (the Fort Benning/Atlanta story arc), but Faustina is already off on a huge tangent and we just met her new nephew, Roland.  Henge is nursing him but turned him around for a moment to show his silver eyes.  Yep:  another demi-human.

Things are winding down this afternoon.  I’m to-bed early to make another early start tomorrow.  Lessons in humility are necessary from time to time.

“Men from the Sky might fall…”

A riff on Lucretius.  You’ll see why when Nichole 5 shows up.

This again slightly longer installment marks the end of Part 3 of the MS for “Empress’ Crusade.”  I want to wrap the whole thing up in no more than 40-60 more pages.  I’ve reams of notes and images in my head but, honestly, am not sure which way to jump right now.  I know Faustina moves due east but not with how many of her four legions in Vicksburg.  I see the huge old Army base of Fort Benning.  I see what’s left of Atlanta and those in it a generation on.  I also understand her operational desire to secure the rest of the Deep South and a land route to Savannah.

This weekend will be spent in note-taking and, very likely, a series of micro-stories to try to muddle my way through this.  I don’t want to inflict that kind of “blue skying” on anyone, so it is likely that my updates will dwindle to nothing for June.

I am still looking forward to playing about with creating audiobooks over the summer.  Once I have the rest of EC in the can, so to speak, I might just post my prototype voice efforts on you, my poor, unsuspecting readers… and listeners.

Below, Faustina once again reaches out to her extended family to make a point to President Dysart of the Gulf Shore States:  the world is a much, much smaller place than he thought it was.

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Hoping for a clearer sky

I particularly enjoyed Faustina’s non-denial denial of what happened to the refinery.  And how she uses Alene as a conduit to let Dysart know she is sincere.  As readers, we know, via Thaad, the hole she dug for herself and her army.  The GSS President doesn’t know that.  He only knows this freak led 10,000 soldiers into his backyard.  I find their jockying for position to be very interesting!

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Intelligence

As I suspected, Dysart gets the low-down on Faustina.  The Gulf Shore States may be 90% maritime but that does not mean their landward army cannot have a decent staff.  And it looks like they are blessed with a very capable intel officer in the form of Captain Alene, a careful and thorough man.  He gives his best summary of the empress and the imperium to his commander-and-chief, saving the worst for last.

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Another scolding

From her personal mistake of going on recon nearly by herself in unknown territory, it is now pointed out to our genius that she has done the same thing to her entire command, putting thousands of lives at risk.

Her other family, in the form of her god-mother and her sister-in-law’s father, take Faustina to task on this point to make her older.  At least there is some good news at the end.

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Battle of Winona, second end

It’s been a big day for Faustina but there are thousands of details to resolve after a battle, as she is discovering.  One thing she has learned from history is that speed is an army’s great strength:  if you can appear where you opponents never expected you to be, you are inside their OODA and halfway home to winning.

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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!

Continue reading “Tough Times Demand Tough Talk”