El Paso del Norte

After what I last wrote, I was stuck for once.  I thought about Sylvia’s long drive across west Texas (I’ve done it a few times; it takes longer than you think) and how it looks like that odd place where she met the Ninon person.  Still, I have already written “road sequences” for this story before… boring!  Done and done!

Saturday late morning, just before noon in fact, in the IV Room, having just finished the Batch, it hit me:  this is one of Director Barrett’s three chief underlings.  She would fly to El Paso to meet with the Mexican diplomats about the coming partition of New Mexico!  And the moment I saw her in a small jet, I knew what Ninon’s True Form was…

Into the night, out of the dark, take to the sky chasing the stars

All that we said, all that we are, waiting to fly, this is the start!

That then gave me the “machine dream” sequence I needed.  A quick stop at a bridge over the dry Rio Grande and an encounter with a Special Guest from “Cursed Hearts,” and our Deputy Director is off to the National Labs in Los Alamos to continue laying plots for the eventual termination of ExComm.

And, I just broke the 30k word barrier!  Woot.

Continue reading “El Paso del Norte”

The World Imitates my Stories, really

From the news, today.

From Chapter 13, page 207 of Cursed Hearts:

They walked quickly, generally to the southeast. Emma had told her new acquaintance that the Geisel Library was at the center of campus, so it was easy to find local food vendors set up around it all through the day. As Miss Barrett’s stomach continued to growl – embarrassing her for some reason – the sooner they got there, the better.

“…came here after getting my BS at Portland State.” Emma sighed. “The Breakup began just afterward. Most people left, but there was nowhere for me to go… so, like some friends of mine, we stuck it out here.”

“I do not understand how the world’s superpower could have been so stupid as to walk into that trap.”

“T… trap?” Taller, Emma worked to keep pace with the young woman. “But I thought just a coin-”

“Idiot.” Emma was learning quickly that her new acquaintance lacked manners. “Your President removed via extra-Constitutional means just as Russia, China, India roll out a new currency?” She stopped and turned so quickly, Emma almost ran into her.

“Look at you.” The scowl was there, but Emma hoped it was a spark of mirth she saw in those odd eyes. “You’re a walking cliché: blue jeans and blue eyes; blonde hair and an unnecessarily large chest! All the while knowing nothing about how this world really works! Bismarck was right!”

“Bi… Bismarck?” Maya shook her head and turned back around, looking at the Library.

“They should crucify this architect, too.”

Life Imitates My Art; again

From chapter six (beginning page 90) of Cursed Hearts.  Christopher, Cat, and Anton are finishing dinner at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego:

“Brother,” Chris ventured, liking the sound of it, “does not the sea look odd to you, this night?”

In Anton’s exhale before turning left to look, Chris guestimated their host’s level of drunkenness.

“Hmmm!” Anton narrowed his eyes. “For the security of the state, I shall investigate this!”

He stood, not at all unsteady, and began walking purposefully toward the beach. With a glance at one another, Chris and Cat did, too. They wound their way through the few outbuildings of the hotel, catching up with him just at the sand. Leaning on a lamp post, Anton shucked his shoes and peeled off his socks.

“Follow me!” He called.

They did similarly. Not knowing if Cat saw, Chris did note the driver about eight paces behind them. They trotted to catch up with Anton. The tide was in, so he was only a dozen yards ahead.

“What… what’s with the surf?” Cat asked.

Each small breaker that came in was foaming in an odd, almost electric blue. Lines of the same blue were flashing up and down the strand, as if parts of the sea were sending messages to itself.

“Amazing!” Cat breathed. “What’s going on? Anton! Wait!”

He was rolling up his slacks to his knees. Was he thinking of going out in that?!

“Bioluminescence,” Chris said.

“What?”

“This is a rare event: a type of algae-bloom that emits light.” He pointed right to where a wave seemed to crackle in with blue fire. “Wait for that to withdraw, then run and jump hard on that spot!”

“Jump…?”

“Now, Cat!”

With enough wine in her to follow anyone’s orders, she sprinted the fifteen feet then jumped into the air. Her feet came down hard onto the wet, compacted sand.

A bright pulse of light blue light surged up and down the beach.

“Oh my God!” Cat cried. “That was sooo cool!”

Bioluminescence in the sea off San Diego.  Who would write about such a thing?

MachCiv Dreams 1

Yeah, it’s not the best title, but it captures what these are:  micro (micro, tanjit! no 18k light novels!) stories from my world of Machine Civilization.  It keep me writing and sane, at least one of which is a good thing.

Below the fold is after “Cursed Hearts.”  A friend of Cat’s begins to get her life back together, just to see that interrupted.  Spoilers.

Continue reading “MachCiv Dreams 1”

“Cursed Hearts” – published!

At long last, I am very pleased to announce the release of my fourth book – and third novel – of Machine Civilization:  “Cursed Hearts.”  The paperback is available via Amazon and Goodreads.

To make it easier for y’all to celebrate along with me, all three novels, in their ebook form, are available at Smashwords for only US$0.99 each! (note:  you might need to toggle Adult Content: On in the upper right to see CH)

Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement!

Amazon link!

Goodreads link!

Smashwords link!

Smashwords_eBook

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent Cover?!”

Apologies to Henry II Plantagenet.  I’ve eleven days to decide a book cover between my two finalist.  I’ve been stumped for two days and want to be done by this weekend to get published, soonest!  A link to where you can take a look and vote is below.  Opinions welcome.

They’re both so tanjed good!  How to decide…?

https://99designs.com/contests/poll/2nc3oq

 

The Problem…

…with the dictum of “write drunk, edit sober” is finding the time.  To be sober.  Still, I’ve made the time and had three editing passes at CH.  The third and last – of mine – was tonight.  Just after, I sent it off to a copyeditor I hired from Upwork.com, recommended to me by someone I trust.  I wrote up a story summary, what I wanted, and what I was willing to pay.

A week later (sober!), I reviewed the list of about thirty applicants for my job.  Most of the replies were reasonable.  A few were laughable:  “While no editing experience, I’ve a Masters in English from [insert liberal arts college here] and plenty of time to work on your manuscript while working as a barrista!”  I’ve never grasped why we import Central Americans to mow our lawns when someone from Kenyon can do it; and they’re just up the road.

What’s one of my sig lines, kids?  That’s right:  there are no such things as coincidences.  One of the applicants – with lots of experience – also went to UC San Diego.  I didn’t ask if she was Catholic, but with a surname of San Nicolas, I bet she knows where the Neuman Center is, which looms so large in the lives of Cat and Chris.  After a brief exchange to make sure she was okay with sex and violence, I clicked “Hire.”

I look forward to her telling me how awful CH is.  And, how to fix it.

Now:  where to find designers for the cover…