The Final Day
Last day of NaNoWriMo. It has been another crazy round and as the concept for "Dying Embers" turns five years old "Dying Embers"'s little sibling has been born. "Discovery" still has a lot of work to go even before Beta Editing. But they are joined by thee new short stories that will soon begin doing the round of magazine submissions. Remember, the is no way to be an author but to write and submit, rinse and repeat!
“I still can’t believe how quickly you got my dress done,” Myrtle observed once the giggling fit had died down.
She smoothed down the hem of the sheer silver dress that just brushed her knees. The silk like smoothness rippled down her back and caressed her shoulders.
“Oh our artisans are always ready for a challenge,” K’atst said. He skittered around the desk admiring the dress with happy chirps. “It was really quite easy to re-purpose the industrial factors to make a pleasing clothing material.”
“Well it was deucedly convenient,” Myrtle said firmly. She held out her elbow in the traditional human manner. “Now of course since you invited me for a night out on the town it falls to you to escort me.”
“It would be my pleasure,” K’atst said lowering his head down and raising his arms up in a sweeping bow.
He tittered happily, ruining the dignity of the moment, before darting over and leaping into the crook of her arm. Myrtle grinned and slipped her purse onto her shoulder. She slipped into the glimmering slippers also provided by the Trick merchants and strode out of the door of her small apartment. The heavy night air embraced her and she paused a moment drinking in the ambiance of the thriving city around her. Towering silvery buildings stretched two and three stories above her. Of course in reality each building was several dozen Trisk stories high, and many, many more deep. The buildings were clearly woven around frameworks. The struts protruded, wrapped in clinging silver mesh.
“Like a forest of shrink wrapped trees,” Myrtle observed.
“Is that a strictly visible comparison?” K’atst asked.
“All right,” Myrtle said as she started out walking. “No work tonight. We agreed.”
After a long month (okay actually it was a short month but still) of writing this author has in fact produced over 50,000 words in (working title) Discovery, the prequel to "Dying Embers".
How did the McCarty family get involved with a unit of Alien Imperial Guards?
Who the flying flick is Abuelita really?
Will Ama ever loosen up?
What causes the fairy like growth patterns in the strange meadow?
What lurks above the atmosphere?
What lurks below the ground?
These questions and more are explored in "Discovery"
And after three years of writing, mostly in November, the rough draft of "Discovery" is ready for some editing.
However since I have actually formed the habit of actually writing for a few hours each day I am going to finish out the last three days of NaNoWriMo by working on short stories. At least that is my new goal.
Hunting for the Right Words
Finding the correct word or words to express an idea is often a challenge for an author. There is an image, an idea and it needs to be expressed in as few syllables as possible.
A small child pours out the contents of his piggy bank to help his unemployed father.
A grandmother with failing knees crawls up a set of stairs to bring her sick daughter a bowl of chicken soup.
A small puppy lunges to its masters defense against a powerful dog.
There is something in the self-sacrifice of a character lacking in ability that stirs strong emotions in observers. The need to be useful, to serve others despite what their own infirmity might be is inspiring. But what do you call that reaction? The stirring of powerful emotion in the hearts of the observers? How does and author describe that dynamic?
A Good Sad Book
An excerpt from a twenty year old story that hasn't been written yet.
"You are hurting my arm," she protested in the absent tone that she used to comment on the ambient lighting in her lab.
"I believe the proper term is 'ask me if I care'," the blond man snapped back.
He didn't release her but he did alter the angle he held her arm as she led him down the corridor.
"I still don't see what you are so mad about," the woman protested, arranging her long white coat.
"My wife is weeping her eyes out in our apartment because of what you did!" He snarled, his pale Germanic face flushing red. "I have tried everything to sooth her but nothing works. I thought-" he pulled her to a stop and glared down at her. "I had thought that our differences were between us!"
The woman stiffened and glared up at him. "I would never take my issues with your behavior out on your sweet wife." She said fiercely.
"Ah yes," he muttered. "Your American honor. Then why?"
"Look," the woman sighed and shook her head. "I know very well that you don't trust my judgment, let alone my honesty. Let's just get to the lounge. and find an expert you trust on the matter."
"What aspect of the matter?" He demanded.
"Why literature of course," she explained.
He huffed but took the lead, dragging her along the corridor and through the irising doors. There was a brief stir in the officers and enlisted men sitting around the common area. They didn't react much but they did keep a wary eye on the man manhandling the smaller woman. The two approached a man sitting in a large, overstuffed chair reading a sheaf of printouts.
"Heir Muller?" The woman asked.
The old man looked up and smiled uncertainly at her through his wire rim glasses.
"Could you explain to him," she gestured at the man still holding her arm, "about women and sad books?"
"Ah, Fraulein," the man chuckled and eye them speculatively. "Did you give Frau Wagner a good sad book?"
"I did," she confessed.
"Was there perhaps," the old man asked steepling his fingers under his chin, "a dog in this book?"
"There was," the woman admitted.
"And did?" He leaned forward and stared at her intently. "Did the dog die?"
"He did," She said.
"May I take this to mean," the man holding her arm said slowly. "That there was no verifiable malice in the gifting of the book to my wife?"
"Ah my boy," the old man said with true sadness in his face and voice. "You education was sadly negligent."
"Hey," one of the watching soldiers spoke up as the man released the woman's arm. "You didn't seriously give Frau Wagner a copy of "Old Yeller"?"
"Yup," The woman confirmed flexing her arm.
"Man my little sisters cried for days after we read that in school," he said. His face brightened. "Can I borrow it next?"
"You people are all mad," the blond man snapped.
Today will be spent cooking and shopping. Not in that order. There will be pumpkins and turkey and stuffing galore. In explanation Thanksgiving happens this time of year because when it was formed the US was based in a location that experienced the richest portion of the harvest at this time. It was a final feast before winter started. An attempt to fatten up for winter if you will.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?
While this author was typing away at this years NaNoWriMo effort a small (a very small) spider climbed down into the keyboard.
Well, there go my writing goals for this year.
Nope there it is again. It is just scooting out of the keyboard like it was done with some task....If communication stops after this I blame what the tiny spider did in there.
He came back through the door of the doctors office a moment later humming a soft song. The doctor glanced up in surprise from the half written receipt on the desk. The man placed a pair of bills in front of the doctor and smiled.
"There you go! All paid up." The man said.
"That was quick," the doctor noted dryly, speculatively eyeing the device in the man's hand.
"Oh," the man said with a shrug. "I told you I was fast." He set the, apparently, still perfectly formed coat hanger back on the desk and smiled benignly. "I am known for it. I am famous in the Salem school district janitorial staff for being able to brake into any car in under fifteen minutes. It really impressed those pot heads up in the city that I could unlock that rental car with nothing but a stick, a length of twine, and a staple."
The doctor ran a critical eye over the bland and decidedly middle class young man who was practically oozing respectability. There was nothing to suggest that he had any skills outside of a cubicle in an office. The doctor shrugged and finished the receipt. Seeming to think that this required more explanation.
"I lock myself out of my vehicle a lot," the man explained. "I learned to adapt."
The doctor eyed him and shrugged. "I am sorry you had to develop that skill."
The young man laughed and took his receipt.
When writing a character who is sleepy, concussed, or ill an author has to put themselves in an altered state.
How do you write to present a state of confusion or altered sensory state?
Where is the Magma
Being an author is desperately needing to know where the magma is closest to the surface of the earth at 4:00 pm on a Friday. Also what temperature is the lava? What temperature do silica crystals melt at? Questions.
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.