Today, I’m doing something a little different. I’ll start with the update because it’s all quite relevant to what’s been happening, but then go ahead with this little bit of something extra.
I haven’t been as active on the blog over the past two weeks, which is because I’ve been:
Working on the rewrite. It’s slow-going at the moment. Some of that’s because life is getting busy, with a baby girl due to be born within a month. Some of it is laziness, the way I’m captivated by shiny things, or other things I’m trying to do (see below). I’ve also been doing a lot of research on the various cities and technologies referred to in the story. Some I might not use, but I want to know, in case there’s anything pressing.
I have one blog post on the horizon that I want to do, concerned with all things digital, authorship, and sharing. Letting the ideas ferment first. Still trying to decipher the point I want to make, whether or not its the one that’s eventually made.
I’ve submitted my returning ML form for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which means I’ll once again be one of the handlers, planners and such for the Sydney Australia region. It’s my second year of doing it, and has been one of the highlights of my calendar for a few years now. It’s where my current work-in-progress became its own entity, and where I first learned to publicly embrace my love of writing. If you want to write a novel and don’t know where to start (and for some reason MY writing hasn’t made it clear 😉 I kid, I kid), go there. Sign up. Try it. It’ll change your something. Life, November, Day.
The other thing I’m looking into, is plagiarising my blog to make a clearer, one-stop spot for writing advice on all the things I’ve posted about. That means ugh, reading my blog posts and summarising the statements or ideas. That includes taking bits and pieces from The Plan Plan. Everything already here will stay here, but new things will also be here. Or somewhere.
The last bitsy is today, she is my birthday. So because it’s a special-ish day, I’m going to close with something that is special to me. The following is the first draft of a prologue written for For More Than Earthly Ends. It wasn’t in the original draft that I started in November, but is something that (based on feedback from readers of that first draft) I felt was necessary to set the tone. I’ve mentioned before (I think) that a lot of what happens in FMTEE is because of an incident that happened in the past. Sure, the world was going to crap anyway, just like the one we live in. The difference was with the lives of these characters. The prologue concerns that incident. It’s the aftermath of something that won’t run its course for another 26 years.
For better or worse, it’s not about the protagonist. She’s affected by what FMTEE’s Earth is doing, by what the characters here are doing and have done, and of course, by what she herself does. As a first draft, there’s a lot of work required for it. Even a cursory glance reveals things I want to change now, but I’m not showing it to be perfect. After the next draft (when this bit is readdressed), I’ll post that too, with reasons for what was done, and thoughts on other aspects. Might even hack it to pieces on the blog, to really expose what’s happening in my head (warning: it won’t be pretty)
Here we go.
Ronald forced himself to not look at the clock. It would only repeat the misery that he already suspected – that he was hours away from a real pillow, and the dashboard was the best he’d get until the coffee came. The knock was first; a double-tap against the glass, soon followed by the rusted whine of the car door opening.
“You’re lucky the lieutenant isn’t around,” said Ken. He had a low-barrelled growl to his voice that tumbled out of the pit of his throat. There were far worse sounds to wake to.
Ronald forced his eyes to open and leaned back. He opened his hand and held it up toward Ken, and then closed his grip around a warm cup as it touched his palm. A sip made it real. “You’re a bloody saint,” he told his partner. Silence was the only response at first, and just enough to tell Ronald that the shot in the dark was more than a favour.
“Moving…” He yowled out a yawn, and turned his eyes toward Ken. “Are we?”
There was a nod. “Over to the Steam Plant, assisting ERT. All services.”
Ken nodded again, “And fire.”
Ronald reached for the radio, “Dispatch, Three-David Twenty-Two, responding to reported 926 at 1201 Eastlake. En-route.”
“Copy, David Twenty-Two. Report to 213,” said the synthesized voice of the dispatcher.
They felt the movement as the car drove, but they ignored the journey for the sake of running over background. Neither of them noticed the change in their surroundings until the car windows lightened, revealing their destination. The car came to a stop at the entry to the loading dock, where a cordon separated the premises from the street. Ronald guessed that half of the precinct’s watch had shown up for whatever the emergency was, all reflected off the glass of the long, arch-top windows.
“We better find Gaines,” said Ken.
The roll of Ronald’s eyes was automatic, an involuntary reaction that he wasn’t able to keep in. The tip of Ken’s cheek lifted with a smirk, “You know that’s why he rides of you. All of that.”
They got out of the car, and looked over the scene. The air had that deep chill that came from being close to a body of water, but it was nothing Ronald’s coat couldn’t keep at bay.
“Come on. He doesn’t need an excuse.”
“No, you don’t understand. The man is gone,” Robinson made the motions of a plane taking off with his hands. “So while you stand around asking a whole lot of nothing, the good doctor is fleeing.”
Robinson pinched the bridge of his nose and grunted, then spat out the name “Weller” as if it was the most profane word he knew. Ken scrawled the name into an electronic notepad, and tapped Ronald on the shoulder. “I’ll cover this guy- you go ahead to the lieutenant. That’s an odd kind of birthmark you got there.”
Ronald paused for a moment, glanced at the other man, and then continued on toward the building’s entrance. He caught the interview subject’s cry of “Are you even listening to what I’m telling you?”
Gaines beckoned him closer with a hand.
The double doors inside the building were held open by two of the attending officers, then another four figures walked out. There was a man and a woman, huddled together beneath a light blanket, while a pair of EMs held oxygen masks over them.
“Your majesty,” whispered Gaines to Ronald.
“White’s talking to one of the witnesses. The hell happened?”
The lieutenant shook his head, “Get them settled and find out. Good American coffee, none of your-”
“I got it, Lieutenant.”
They held together for the entire time they were there, and while they booth took a hot Americano in one hand, their other hands stayed within each other’s grip for every moment Ronald spoke to them. He tried to smile at them, but it was too hard to hold forever. “I’m Detective Eastman, with the West precinct. We’re going to look after you both.”
“Yvonne,” replied the woman.
The tall, gangly man tried to smile back, but it was a mirror to Ronald, cut from the same material as his own unconvincing smile.
“I’m with the agency. Space. Robert.” He paused, rolling over the sound of his own name. “Robert Carroway.”