Writer’s Fear… and cheese

Being Spring, I was cleaning up things in the backyard. Gave ‘The Dog with the Golden Nose’ a haircut.  Finally made some coffee, added bourbon, and got Maya to cross paths with Debbie & her Rottweiler, Daisy.

Ran away to make dinner for family.  After that, was itchy enough to take bi-weekly oatmeal bath.  No! I’m not avoiding…

Grabbed notepad and pen (I’m a lazy writer, not a stupid one) and jotted down Maya’s break-in to Chris & Cat’s place.  Then:  blank.

Got more red-piss (the cheap wine I drink; told my wife to cut me back once ‘CH’ is finished) and a hunk of cheese for dessert.  Saw more:  Maya’s  discovery of Cat’s condition, her escape – after killing Anton (and thus knowing his plan) – as Maya races towards the guarded hangar at Miramar Air Station.

Five months ago, I saw everyone dead in a subterranean parking garage.  Perhaps that was in error.  I don’t yet know: does the fight start in the hangar, and C&C retreat?

“Ask again later.”

PS Yesterday was also a local author fair at the county public library.  Meh.  Not much, but I’d brought bourbon, so there was that.

Writer’s Fear

I’ve never had writer’s block.  Nope, not even once.  I sit down, usually at a computer, but still, occasionally with pen and paper, and write.

What I do have, is Writer’s Fear.  If several days go by without said ‘sitting down,’ I am afraid that once I do, nothing will happen, that I’ll just sit there.  So what do I do?  Everything else:  clean house, walk the dogs, run for food and booze, get drunk early and watch anime… anything to keep me from facing my fear.

I’d put off writing for five days this week.  I’d a great weekend of several thousand words, even into Monday and Tuesday, I’d figured out Maya’s time-lapse, inadvertently introduced Emma Miller… and did everything I could to not touch Nichole (the laptop I do 99% of my writing on) until this (Saturday) afternoon.  Finally, fearfully, with only one partial scene in mind, I began.  That was four and a half hours ago; 3k works ago.  Chris, Cat, and Anton are in a small armored column on their way to Miramar Air Station, and Maya finally killed someone in San Diego.  It was so easy!  I’m over 60k words, and not even to the Big End… which just makes the Fear worse.

Will I be able to do this tomorrow?  My family’s coming back from vacation, so I should wash our bedding.  The weather’s getting better, and I need to paint the trim of the entire front of the house.  After Mass tomorrow morning, I should stay for Adoration for at least an hour….  I should… I should…

Fear.  It’s a horrible, corrosive disease.

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

Continue reading “Writer’s Fear”

“Stupid humans.”

I’d just now put those words onto Maya’s lips.  And that’s how I feel:  at 57k words… why not introduce a new character!  Eff me, why not?!  What I needed was a victim to satisfy Maya’s cravings after being held captive by [person] in the machine’s home for one of our weeks, so, thinking about the sacrificial secretary at the start of Elfin Lied (06:41-07:24; subs don’t matter, this is just what I had in mind at the time), I came up with Emma Miller.

“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!”

All Maya has to do after running into her is grab her and steal her life… but, there’s a CCTV camera; if Gordon’s watching, he’ll know that what she told him about just wanting to meet her brother is a lie, and will alert Chris… so Maya hesitates.  In that moment, Emma starts talking.  I learn she’s a Masters in Computer Engineering, working on her PhD and is a better programmer than anyone at UCSD-SCS.  But, since she’s low-man on the totem pole, she’s the one to bring coffee and donuts.

Until Maya literally runs into her.

And when Maya lets slip that Gordon is self-aware – an impossibility to Emma – the dialog started.  Last I saw, they were on a bench on the north side of Giesel Library eating brats for breakfast.  I couldn’t take it, so I vacuumed two floors of my house and did two loads of laundry.  I’d the hook by the time I got back:  Emma is a friend of Cat’s and has heard the name ‘Chris’ already.  Maya’s already mentioned that, so Emma is running confused. She gets a text from Cat about lunch, and excuses herself from Maya… who can read a lying human like a book.  She follows.

When Can I Kill These People?!?!?  It’s as if I’m fond of them and –

Oh.

Krep.

Sidelined

At long, long last, I’ve my three main characters (Chris, Cat, Maya) in proximity, at UC San Diego.  I also came face-to-face with a problem I’d known, but chose to ignore:  they are almost exactly one week out of synch.

For Chris & Cat, just two weeks have passed; an eventful two weeks!  However, for Maya, it’s closer to three – if not a day or two more.  Once I start editing, I’ll have all my notes and glosses to tally everything up.  But:  a week apart.

Last night, came home from day-job, made coffee (1/2 and 1/2 reg and decaf so I don’t kill myself), added some brandy, and was able to finish C&C’s trip home from the Newman Center and their dinner (just what was Cat alluding to when she whispered her embarrassing desire to Chris?).  After that, I got Maya from the SD airport to the NE side of campus, where the Supercomputing Center (and thus, Gordon) is; what an UGLY building!  Maya uses a bit of future-tech to talk to Gordon – with a cameo by Dorina – and she leaves, hunting for her brother and his intended.

A week out of synch.

I stared and the screen all the way through the second coffee/brandy.  Nothing.  Metaphorically tossed everything into my unconscious mind and descended to the basement to watch some animes with my wife.

Woke up.  Nothing.

Just before lunch, I saw something:  while Maya was in the machine’s home – ‘cyberspace’ if you will – who’s so say the passage of time was 1:1 with ours… especially with that very odd incident with the male figure, whom she couldn’t see, at the end, who called her ‘my daughter’?  What if Gordon had kept the room with the sensorium locked for – oh, I don’t know, let’s say, a week?  That gives me two things:

A solution to my temporal decoherence and a very, very hungry Maya.

Back in the game!

Baton

Over 50k words, he said!  Just another 8-10k to finish the book, he said!

Annnnd then, Dorina showed up.  To quote from Band of Brothers:  “…well, hello 2nd Armored!”

Look, it’s NOT exposition and I AM NOT LECTURING!  I can prove it, below the fold!  These people just keep showing up… this just keeps happening…!

Seriously:  I need to start killing everyone.  No!  I mean it!  Don’t you dare click on Continue reading “Baton”

Xenophon’s brother

Just over another 10k words this weekend!  As I said to a friend of mine, I feel like a wrung-out dish rag.  But, once I’d the key – the sight – from late Friday, it was so easy!  Part of my last post was just that:  Chris and Cat closing the gap between them.  What I wrote since then was the 3+1 times they made love (slightly different than having sex), although I only covered #1 and #+1 in detail.  That, plus another one of Chris’ recall-dreams of his time at Neuroi Corporation, this time, talking with his kid sister, Maya, made for a fantastic weekend!

Anton is sleeping with Chris & Cat’s next door neighbor; that’s complicated!  And he’ll be giving them a tour of the northern ‘no-go’ zones around Camp Pendleton.  The civilians of San Diego think the Mexican Army killed about 100k coming south from the 19MM in the LA Basin.  Truth is hard, sometimes.

After what he sees, it finally occurs to Chris to reach out to experts beyond him:  even machines suffer from the “if I’m good at this, I’m good at everything!” mental illness.  The moment he does, he’s going to realize just what he’s overlooked, and how close he and his beloved are to an horrible, violent death.

This is SO COOL!

PS It was pointed out to me by someone in RealLife that my ‘below the folds’ are all banal (my word, not theirs), not ‘the good stuff!’  Well, duh!  I welcome everyone into the world I’m making, but this is work, and I want to be paid for it.  ‘Defiant’ was, and is, for free.  Intellectual property is worth at least, if not more, than physical property.  Example:  a water pump is worth money; learning how to make a water pump, one or two orders of magnitude more.   To continue the analogy, my snippets, in and of themselves, are slightly entertaining.  I hope, once complete and edited, y’all think that they plus the other 45k words are worth US$7.

Thank you so much for reading!

Continue reading “Xenophon’s brother”

Dinner.

I’d announced to my family yesterday that there were leftovers in the fridge.  I told my wife I’d not be watching anything in the basement, thus not turning on the pellet stove.  To all and sundry:  leave daddy the eff alone:  he’s writing.

It’s 2245 now, past an old man’s bed time, but I’ve 3.2k words for today.  MUCH more importantly are the milestones:  I’ve radically changed Chris & Cat’s relationship with a pivotal secondary character, and got Chris baptized.  Hey, when you consider yourself a writer of nominally Catholic stories, things like that matter.

So:  I got the cousins from UCSD to the Hotel del Coronado.  Pre-dinner politics.  It wasn’t until Cat excused herself to the bathroom that I saw that Anton has lost his mother when he was a boy; that allowed me to radically change the dynamic between these three.  This is going to echo through the rest of the novel; probably upping the death-toll, too.

Below the fold is another example of why creative writing sometimes scares me:  as recently as two hours ago, not a single idea of any of this existed anywhere inside my head.  Sometimes it seems for me that prayer is an ‘SDI’ project.

Continue reading “Dinner.”