Tillamook, part 16

Surviving his first talk with the king, Gil finds himself back on a slide under a microscope. Makes sense, really: Teresa’s father was into politics before she was born and that is the environment in which she grew up. Deceit and deals are the water in which she swims.

Y’all enjoy the update I’ve much to write.

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Tillamook, part 15

One of y’all raised the salient point of “why is the king so interested all this?” That gets addressed here. Historically, Russia is either contracting or expanding. Their stasis from 1991-2020 was an aberration. With Thinking Machine Reina calling the shots, they are back in expansion mode; they have to be. With the Maunder Minimum bringing the ice and snow south just as they have turned around their demographic implosion, they need somewhere for their people to live. So, Alaska and now British Columbia are now passing to their hegemony. Rhun is not an idiot and can read a map: his kingdom will be next.

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Tillamook, part 14

Not so much for you sophisticates who follow my blog, but I imagine most would have difficulty imagining post-Breakup monarchy. It would be very personal, a throw-back to the Early Middle Ages. No “constitutional” form and even more direct that the Absolutism of the 18th century. Empress Faustina shot a man through his head, a man who was legally a POW. Rhun has killed with his own hands, as you will read in an installment or two. That makes Gil’s “back talk” surprising to the point of foolhardiness.

Teresa’s candor makes more sense: if caught in a lie her head would be on a pike, too. Thankfully, she comes from a political family.

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Tillamook, part 13

As y’all read when Gil was a guest on the Russian destroyer, the local politics are a little complicated. The city of Portland survived the Breakup (along with San Diego, although they are occupied by Mexico) and kept trade down the Columbia River open, the hydroelectric dams up the river running, and the farmers and ranchers south in the Willamette Valley supplied with POL and fertilizer. Yet, even by the time of “Friend & Ally,” said farmers and ranchers had begun to set up something of a local governor in the old State capitol of Salem, as a counter-balance to Portland.

Then, as you read in “Foes & Rivals,” Mayor Johnson of Portland first makes a deal with the horsemen of the eastern steppe to crush the cannibals in former Washington State’s central valley. But second goes back on that deal and tries to betray his new allies. It didn’t work and many heads ended up on pikes. It was at that time when Nichole took Gil and Mackenzie and fled. Once order was reestablished, the commander of the horsemen, Rhun, set himself up as king – Nichole’s idea – with limited autonomy for Portland and the Willamette Valley. Honestly, it’s an ad hoc muddle, as Gil told one of his Russian hosts.

We’ll learn more over the course of this week.

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Tillamook, part 12

The plot has arrived! Just in time for the weekend. Where, I mentioned yesterday, I have plodding editing work to do for “A Texas Naval Affair.” I hope to have something to post over the next two days and am trying very hard to come up with a short podcast subject (as my throat is still not back to 100%)

While I have seen about the next two reels I just do not have the time to write them down right now. But I’m trying.

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Tillamook, part 11

“In war, everything is simple. But the simple things are hard.” ~ Clausewitz. This was a part of his discussion of the idea of friction in his tome, “On War.” I’ve long been aware of the idea and have run up against my share of friction now and again. And now is again another time. My Lenten commitment was to post something daily, preferably content. Except for the bunny with a pancake on its head I think I’ve been keeping up pretty well.

However, my copyedit of “A Texas Naval Affair” is back and my cover designer is about 60% complete. If I want a proof copy in my hands by Easter, then I must spend time this weekend implementing the edits and inserting maps and family trees for my next book. That means I will not be able to see to “Tillamook” as closely as I want. I do have an idea for another podcast, so perhaps I can toss that out on Sunday.

Having said all that to say this: thanks for reading and following along. All of this friction is one of the reasons I am cutting my DayJob hours. What I need now is time, not their wages.

PS A free, signed hardcopy of any one of my books to the first person in this post’s Comments who identifies the source of Gil’s “three handed logic.”

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Tillamook, part 10

I won’t say “I lied,” because I didn’t. I thought the plot was showing up in this installment. It’s not. In fact, what is happening is redounding to your benefit: at nearly 5800 words, with no end in sight, this is becoming a potential novella, perhaps serving as the core story of a collection, as I did in “Empire’s Agent.”

The reason I decided on this writing project, as I mentioned back in part 1, was to find out what happened to Gil Haven and Mackenzie d’Arcy when Portland fell. Nichole 5 and Mac loved each other as friends (philia) while Nichole 5 and Gil loved each other, often, romantically (eros). This was complicated that Mac was slowly falling for Gil, which Nichole saw, and the android’s fear that she was keeping Gil, someone she loved (agape) from having a family and a future with his own kind. So here at last we get some of that backstory, as well as a little more of their children. That was the entire point of this.

Having said all that to say this: do not worry, I’m still turning it up to eleven, but as long-time readers know, I’m something of a fanatic when it comes to family. We’ll get there. Enjoy dinner until we do.

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Tillamook, part 8

Is this turned up to eleven? No, not yet, but I’ve twisted the knob and know the boil is coming. We glimpse another of Gil’s kids but this is a man in a hurry to get critical information up and out as soon as possible, even in their quiet little coastal village.

Interesting that the mayor was not really surprised by all this. What does he know? And who told him?

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Tillamook, part 7

Not in this installment, and perhaps not the one after, but I found my way out of my plot dilemma. I try to tell, not show, when writing, but having Gil’s family standing around talking is pretty boring. I went to bed last night thinking, “it’s not as if the King Rhun of Columbia would show up just because of this news; that would be stupid.”

One of my few friends left, Will Deonne, Ohio’s best graphic artist, once told me “when it comes to telling a story, turn it up to eleven.” This morning, walking into DayJob around 0620, it hit me that “well, why the fuck not wouldn’t King Rhun show up? He asked Nichole 5 to be one of his wives… moer thanonce. If information is leaked *cough*Reina*cough* to his court, he’d want direct, PERSONAL, intel, immediately. In my mind’s eye I see his plane – one of the only ones left in that corner of the former US – circling for a landing at the Tillamook Air Museum.

Thanks, again, Will. Your genius keeps my head above water.

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