That moment when it starts to come together…..

So Choices of Honor has let me know that it is a combination of plotter and pantser this time around. I sat down earlier in March to fill out my traditional plotting matrix, along with noodling in Scrivener to do some worldbuilding and character stuff. Well. The darn book cooperated with me for the first third of its planning, and then thumbed its nose at me and said, “Read the damn notes, woman. I don’t want to be tied down scene-by-scene like you did with the Netwalk Sequence novels. I’m not gonna work with you that way.”

Okay. Fine. Whatever. Part of the issue is that I’m engaging into some major new worldbuilding in this Goddess’s Honor world. I ended up writing more of a synopsis-type outline focusing on the three main beats for the next two-thirds, and then decided I’d work more on it as I reached that point. It was becoming clear that the book had its own ideas about where it was going, and the subconscious was doing stuff I wasn’t aware of.

Well, here I am with the first third more-or-less done. The next third is going to incorporate two significant battles going on simultaneously and may require fast cuts between points of view to make it work. Plus I’m now aware of the parameters of what I need to be creating. Eeek.

That said, today we drove back to Enterprise from Portland. This time around we took the Tundra so that we could haul stuff at hubby’s sister’s house–the Subaru has better gas mileage and hauls a lot of stuff, but gravel and yard debris are somewhat out of its reach. For whatever reason, I can’t ride in the Subaru’s passenger seat without having vertigo issues. Something about the pillar and the curvature of the windshield.

It’s not an issue in the Tundra, though, and while the Tundra is a more expensive drive, it’s also quite comfortable. I drove the first part, and then while hubby drove across the desert I did some major worldbuilding work as well as promotion planning, ideas for future essays, and wildlife spotting (the Tundra is taller and better for spotting wildlife).

I still don’t have the last third of the book together. And writing this next third is going to give me gray hairs because I think there will end up being a LOT of cutting and pasting and moving around of the various POV characters. But at least I have a road map of where I’m going with it…which is more than I have had. Just-In-Time creation…book style.

All goes to show that every book is its own creation.

And then there’s the wildlife. But I think that should be its own blog, because OMG it was a great day to see critters and raptors and other birds, oh my.

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And now, CHOICES OF HONOR

When you’re working on a series and have started worldbuilding for the next book, there’s always that moment when you realize that this world has come to life. Doesn’t matter that you’ve already written several books and short stories in the series, what’s required is that sudden moment when the work twists in your hands and you realize that it’s gone from Writer Manipulating Characters to Characters taking Agency.

So I’ve been doing the deep dive into worldbuilding for the final installment of the main Goddess’s Honor trilogy, Choices of Honor. Right now what that looks like is noodling around in Scrivener and Word, writing entire installments based on my main viewpoint characters, their motivations, as well as poking around at secondary characters, settings, and etc to the tune of 1000-2000 words a day (and yes, I’m counting those words, just like I’m counting these words. It’s my newest form of writing discipline.

The story for Choices has been coming closer and closer as I’ve been writing around it. And today it suddenly sprung into life–along with the impetus for a successor trilogy set in this world.

It’s not what I would have imagined for this story forty-some years ago, when I had the first concept of the descendants of an exiled ruler, Alicira, struggling to regain their glory. Hoo boy, has that story ever changed from that first concept.

But if Choices plays out the way I hope it does in the writing, it’s going to be kickass.

And I need to revise my long term publishing schedule to accommodate this next trilogy, because I have a feeling that Yitlisk’s dealings with the Divine Confederation aren’t going to politely wait around for me to work on Oregon Country, Federation Cowboy, and some other projects before I write what’s going on there.

Plus Bess and Alex have been telling me that the Netwalk Sequence post-setup of the Nest solar system defense system is not all love and kisses.

Yep, stuff is happening. It’s probably a good thing I’ve forced myself back into a disciplinary word-tracking structure, because otherwise…I don’t know if I’d get to write it all.

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Notes on Piketty’s CAPITAL IN THE 21ST CENTURY-INTRODUCTION

As promised, I’m going to journal my rather slow progress through Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, at least from my perspective. Today I’m taking a look at the introduction.

First off, I’m impressed. Either the writer or the translator has a rather smooth writing style–not something you necessarily expect from an economist. I’m also impressed by an economist who openly says that his answers are imperfect and incomplete.

Piketty leaps right away into his argument–that we have avoided the Marxist apocalypse but not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality. He looks at the historical analysis, going through Malthus to Ricardo, Marx, and Kuznets. After explaining why he does not agree with the Kuznets curve–i.e., inequality decreases as industrialization and economic development increases, he goes on to discuss his sources. He is also careful to point out that the modern theorist can more easily deal with massive amounts of historical data than their predecessors. He flat out says “It is much easier to study the history of the distribution of wealth today than in the past. This book is heavily indebted to recent improvements in the technology of research.”

Thank you computers. I guess.

He sums up his conclusions as follows: first, “one should be wary of any economic determinism in regard to inequalities of wealth and income.” Extrapolating from data gathered during the 1910-1950 time period is affected by both World Wars and policy decisions taken in reaction to those conflicts.

Second–which Piketty identifies as the heart of the book–“is that the dynamics of wealth distribution reveal powerful mechanisms pushing alternately toward convergence and divergence. Furthermore, there is no natural, spontaneous process to prevent destabilizing, inegalitarian forces from prevailing permanently.”

He spends some time discussing the forces of convergence and divergence, sounding a worried call that the forces of divergence leading to greater income inequalities may be getting stronger, though he considers his conclusions to be less dire than Marx’s.

Then he outlines the geographic and historical boundaries of his study. Historically, he’s looking at the dynamics of wealth distribution on national and international levels since the eighteenth century, with a caution that there is not always adequate historical data. Primary foci are the United States, Japan, Germany, France, and Great Britain, identifying France and Great Britain as having the most complete historical sources. He considers France to be particularly important because first, as a result of the French Revolution, there was a systematic method established to record wealth in land, buildings, and financial assets. Secondly, France’s rate of population growth is a more reliable and consistent means of measuring the impact of such growth than say the United States due to stability of territory and population increase.

This particular point struck me as something I hadn’t considered before. Piketty comments that “the dynamics and structure of inequality look very different in a country whose population increases by a factor of 100 compared with a country whose population merely doubles.” As an American and non-economist I really hadn’t sat down and considered this factor. He goes on to stress that this rate of growth reduces the strength of the inheritance factor in the US, but that we can’t necessarily generalize to the whole world from the US. He considers France to be a more accurate source for anticipating future developments.

Piketty goes on to discuss the theoretical frameworks of this work, getting in a zinger about the problematic dominance of math in economic theory while downplaying historical research and collaboration with the social sciences.

Overall, it’s an interesting introduction to this work and a heck of a lot more readable than a lot of other economists I’ve read. It’s clear I’m going to be learning a lot about things that never popped up in my studies of political science, and it’s going to be useful not just in further development of my political understanding but in potential science fiction worldbuilding work.

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RadCon 2019

Some days you just gotta love how fandom pulls itself together. One recent example was the last RadCon, located in the Tri-Cities.

Now RadCon has always been somewhat of an interesting science fiction convention. Because it’s located near Hanford there’s been a bit of a draw toward panels based on science topics and a heavy number of attendees with science and engineering backgrounds. There’s a regular core of gamers. Cosplayers. Writers. Its attendance pulls as much from the Portland, Seattle, BC, and Spokane areas as it does from the Tri-Cities.

So when a bad winter storm hits the week before RadCon, that’s going to be problematic, right? Six inches or so of snow at the Pasco Red Lion and even locals snowed in. Ice all over the place. Around 500 attendees canceled due to weather–including panelists, presenters, and dealers. Eeek. A conrunner’s nightmare, right?

Well, that’s not accounting for the dual nature of the Pacific Northwest. West of the Cascades, snow is rare. People just don’t have the tools to manage large amounts of snow, much less deal with driving in questionable weather. Even those from elsewhere who do have experience with snow get frustrated with what they see as inadequate preparation for the rare heavy snow event (when you are talking about something that maybe happens 2-3 times in ten years, city budgets aren’t inclined to include snow removal equipment as a regular budget and training expense. BTDT, ever since experiencing my first big snow event in the 60s). But there’s just not a lot of incentive to dedicate much attention to something that goes away within a couple of days, which is the usual state of affairs when a big snow dump hits Portland or Seattle.

Those of us who’ve lived here all our lives know and accept this reality with a shrug. Some West-siders learn how to handle snow and do so well. Or they grew up in snow country and they adapt to the West-side freakouts.

But east of the Cascades, especially for those populations who live in and around mountains? No big deal for most of us, just like it is for the minority of West-siders with snow experience. And that got reflected in RadCon attendance. Both the Columbia River Gorge and Snoqualmie Pass had a small window opening up for safe traffic to reach RadCon. The experienced and the bold in Portland and Seattle went for it. And then there were the Canadians…..

The question still remained…was anyone going to show up? And what was going to happen with the holes in the schedule because people couldn’t travel safely?

Attendance got answered pretty quickly on Friday, when the registration lines were as long as they ever were–only perhaps for not as long as in years when the weather behaves. Granted, there were still fewer people there than in past years, but nearly every panel I attended had at least a partial audience, and others were standing room only. We panelists marveled at the number of people who showed up for 9 AM panels on both Saturday and Sunday.

Programming told panelists to feel free to jump into panels that had less than four panelists (while checking with the other panelists, of course). So we rose to the occasion, filling in so that most panels had a full range of presenters.

It was fun. The con had a more intimate, collaborative feel to it. I was able to visit with people I don’t normally get to talk to, and relax at the same time. I missed seeing some people who didn’t make the drive, but then again, not everyone is cut out for winter driving. It wasn’t overwhelming, and even though we drove home in a little bit of weather, it still wasn’t bad.

I’ll probably remember this RadCon as the Yaktrak con, since I ended up wearing my Yaks every day to hike over the icy path from the Best Western to the Red Lion. But I’ll also remember the new people I met, and others that I got to know better. We all pulled together to make things work, and they did. Gotta love it.

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Snow, winter, writing, CAPITAL

Well, hello there. I guess maybe I need to spend a bit more time blogging these days. Instead of composing lovely blogs in my mind while Doing Stuff, then not following through when I finally get to a computer because I forgot the brilliant post…I’m going to dance through with just the plain stuff and if it turns out to be brilliant, great. And if not…such is life.

In any case, we’ve finally got some decent snow amounts that aren’t ice here in NE Oregon. I’ve been really annoyed by the Wallowa winter this year because it’s been light on the snow front but with just enough (and temps hovering right around freezing) to cause ice. Lots and lots of ice. There’s been times when I’ve gone out to see Mocha where I needed to hang onto her to keep from falling when I bring her in for grooming and attention. She has extra-big nail heads on her front shoes which help with traction…if anything, she’s more likely to slip on her hinds right now. And four feet are often more stable than two. At least the two of us aren’t slipping at the same time!

Currently we have temperatures in the teens and six inches of snow, with rumors of The Big Dump coming soon. Nonetheless, today was the first time in several weeks that Mocha and I could caper in the snow. She was eager to trot and then lope, but I kept her under wraps because we’ve just not been able to get as much work in this winter. But we both enjoyed a short, brisk lope in the snow. It’s similar but not the same experience as skiing–wind in my face, flying along, snow swishing along her feet. I’m hoping the conditions hold for a few more snow rides, at least.

I’m ditzing around with writing right now because I have stuff going on–all writing-related but it’s also all not the novel. I’m putting the final touches on a self-publishing class I’ll be teaching in two weeks, and working on a short nonfiction project that I managed to land a few weeks ago. I’m wanting to get it off my plate and sent to the editor before we leave for Radcon. And then there’s other things I’m doing as well.

And today I finally got my hands on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in a particularly Wallowa County way. Last night I saw a notice on the local Facebook marketplace that someone was selling books. I clicked through, noticing philosophy, logic, and Greek classic titles I either already own or have read and don’t feel the need to own. Then Capital popped up. Since I’m flush after a successful sales weekend at the Grange’s Sweetheart Sale, I asked if it was gone–no. So I set up a meeting with the seller at the local chocolate and coffee shop. When I got there (after spotting the horde of hungry quail working through the birdseed underneath the feeder and prepping for the Mocha ride), I paid him for Capital, chatted for a few minutes about writing (he had a Moleskin he had been writing in), bought a chocolate, then headed out for Mocha time. He was tucked in for a cozy afternoon staring out at the snow, writing, and reading yet another thick philosophy book. Can’t blame him…but I had a hot date with a chestnut mare.

In any case, we might get dumped on tonight and tomorrow, we might not. We’re right at the edge of this storm. Nonetheless, between projects and Piketty, I’m ready for it.

Oh, and planning the next quilting project. Gotta do that too.

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Well. That was 2018.

This is going to be one of those yearly summary posts–some good, some bad, some whatever. 2018 has been another one of Those Years. You know, the sort where you’re flailing about at everything, trying to get things going and stuff just keeps happening…and happening…and happening. I made some book sales, found some cool new fans as well as kept up contacts with old fans, did stuff with the horse, and etc.

Not that it’s been a particularly bad year…it’s just been one of Those Years. Crappy moments and shining moments, all wrapped up together.

Part of the reason (besides politics which is absolutely horrific, horrible, crappy, ick, and I’m totally back in fretting about apocalyptic scenarios–well hey! I’m writing an apocalyptic book right now and the next fantasy book will also be apocalyptic in tone so I’m right on track here!) is that I think I really started kind of feeling my age this year. The area that has suffered the most has been this blog. Writing-wise, I’ve been chugging along, though not as faithfully as I would like. I think the sales of Pledges of Honor are finally slowing down…but I’m not going to gripe, because it has been selling steadily over the past three years, ever since I published it back in 2015. Sales still occasionally pop up for the Netwalk Sequence series, though no one really seems to go too far with it. I…have plans to do something about that.

Pledges did earn itself a Semifinalist position in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. I had hopes for higher, but c’est la vie. A review is supposed to come out for it next week from one of the reviewers.

So let’s look at Joyce’s Year in Writing, Horses, and Health.

Writing:

I published two books and edited an anthology, for starters.

Challenges of Honor, the second book in the Goddess’s Honor series, came out in the spring. It hasn’t sold as well as the first book, but you know, things can change.

Blurb and linkage for Amazon here.

Linkage for Books2Read here. (Apple, Nook, Kobo, etc)

Klone’s Stronghold, a contemporary fantasy featuring a mix of supernaturals, cryptids, and family issues in the isolated Bucket Mountains of NE Oregon, came out in the summer. It’s not done as well as I had hoped; nonetheless I’ve got some ideas for a sequel to it.

Blurb and linkage for Amazon here.

Linkage for Books2Read (Apple, Nook, Kobo, etc) here.

I’m currently working on a rewrite of a previously published novella, Seeking Shelter at the End of the World. The new title is Beating the Apocalypse. It’s not going to look much like the original. I’ve added two viewpoint characters, eliminated at least one and maybe two deaths in the course of the book (though I do kill others), am at about 20k additional words, and am making it a MUCH more complex book.

I also edited a themed anthology, Pulling Up Stakes, (includes my Oregon Country story “To Plant or Pull Up Stakes”) and am working on a second one, Whimsical Beasts (which will include my story “The Wisdom of Robins”).

Pulling Up Stakes Amazon details here.

Short stories also happened this year. I wrote the following Goddess’s Honor tie-in shorts:

Return to Wickmasa (post-Pledges of Honor) B2R (includes Amazon), Cleaning House (post Challenges of Honor) B2R (includes Amazon), and Unexpected Alliances, B2R (includes Amazon). I’ve decided not to mess with loading short stories directly to Kindle but will load them into Kindle via Draft2Digital.

I wrote Going Gently for the Netwalk Sequence universe. B2R (includes Amazon).

“The Cow at the End of the World” came out in Well, It’s Your Cow, edited by Frog Jones. Amazon.

I have two new stories in circulation (“A Quilter’s Stellar Sandwich” and “My Woman Left Me, My Dog Hates Me, and There Goes My Truck”). I’m also marketing a novella, Bearing Witness, which is a weird alt-Western set in a universe I’m now calling the Vortex Worlds. I was originally going to self-publish it but decided to try my luck with the trad pub market so far. I’m underwhelmed, so it may go on the publishing schedule this spring.

Then I started playing around with Medium. I’m not very diligent about posting essays there yet, but I do have a few up. I’m also toying with writing a poem a week and posting it on a separate blog page. I plan to switch hosts in this coming year, and have temporarily set up a site on wordpress.com. I’ll be transferring the whole domain at some point here. Just works better for me than what I’ve been doing.

Horse:

Mocha turned 18 this year, and is fully a mature, opinionated mare. But we achieved a bucket list goal by winning a show series buckle in the local show series in the Ranch Horse division. So I now sport a genuine, honestly-won, silver belt buckle.

She was pastured up by the east moraine of Wallowa Lake this summer, so we spent some time riding the moraine and doing Real Trail Horse stuff. She loves it. One day she was edgy and energetic so I sent her straight up the side of the moraine (actually a fairly steep climb), with plans to sidehill it if she encountered problems. She didn’t.

She went into the winter looking the best I’ve seen her in a long time, her back completely filled out around the spine and minimal sign of rib. Nonetheless, she’s getting up there in years so I’m not pushing her. She’s let me know that she really, really likes the idea of gaming as opposed to rail classes but OKAY WE WILL DEAL WITH STUPID RAIL STUFF IF THERE’S GAMING (keyhole and barrels are her favorites). As long as she enjoys the notion of “turn and burn” we’ll keep doing it. We did our first winter lope under saddle a couple of days ago (it’s been a not-so-good winter for riding outside) and she was full of energy, ready to go, and everything you want to feel with a mature horse living outside 24/7.

Health and Other Stuff:

This is the year that the teaching stuff has pretty much gone away. I substitute occasionally, and will be teaching a writing class in February, but otherwise–my long-term substitute gig abruptly ended at the end of the semester in January, and I’ve not been actively drumming up anything other than writing coaching business. I think it’s time to move away from K-12 teaching–I’m ready.

This year I feel like I’m really starting to get with it in quilting. I’ve made two small quilts and a bigger one as well as several small wall hangings. I think I will start working toward art quilt wall hangings for the science fiction and fantasy market. Other craft work is “meh”. I do have a few fans of my jewelry but not enough to put much energy into it outside of the occasional bazaar. Well…I might start trying the science fiction art show circuit again.

Health-wise, I had a real wakeup call in the fall of 2017 when I had problems hiking because my hips were too tight and I had issues. Plus I was having leg spasms bad enough that I could watch them go in waves down my right leg at their worst. Things were not good. I hurt a lot. Not the earth-shaking, major pain-killer pain, but that dragging soft-tissue coupled with arthritic pain that no traditional doctor takes seriously in a woman, especially if you can’t/won’t handle muscle-relaxants for the soft tissue stuff. And then there was the persistent shoulder issues.

Then I discovered a shiatsu massage pillow. That led to acupuncture and chiropractic work in addition to my regular massages because I realized part of the relief I was feeling came from adhesions getting broken loose. I also got smart about living in the world of ice/snow and bought hiking sticks and Yaktrak shoe chains to reduce the risk of falling (still happens but not as much). I started using a neck pillow for any drives over two hours. Additionally, I started using CBD and THC topicals, as well as oral CBD. Things aren’t perfect, but I can move again. There’s one troublesome spot in my right hip which has plagued me for thirty-eight-some years, thanks to a fall while jogging, but it’s much improved from what it’s been over the last ten years. What’s even more encouraging is that I have the urge to move again. I want to work out. My muscles are tight on a three-day cycle, but it is absolutely not the same sort of thing as I was experiencing before.

I’ve also gone back to using moisturizer and makeup. Part of it is that I have an excellent source of mineral-based makeup here in Enterprise–Wild Carrot Herbals has their company store here (as well as their warehouse/manufacturing headquarters) and they carry a nice line of makeup. I went back to my favorite Elizabeth Arden Ceramide-based moisturizers and foundation. It really does make a difference, and the moisturizer holds up to a lot of winter weather. I do need to find something different for hot summer days, though….

In any case, it’s been a year. I’m hoping to be more energized in 2019–if anything, that’s my goal for the year ahead. I want to advance my writing, perhaps expand my craft work into art shows, and otherwise.

I’ll probably put up another post about 2019 goals tomorrow. We’ll see.

 

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That moment when you realize…

…that dang, you have been working.

One of the things that happened today was work on a couple of press releases, one for a book reading/signing/informal Q and A about self-publishing at JaxDogCafe in LaGrande in December, and the other for a three-hour self-publishing workshop I’m doing with Fishtrap in February. I decided that perhaps for the bio I should mention how many anthologies I’ve been in, how many books I’ve published, and how many short stories I’ve published (some of which are anthology repeats).

The numbers startled me.

Twelve books. Doesn’t count the one I pulled from eTreasures publishing.

At least twelve anthologies (I think I missed a couple that aren’t on Amazon).

And at least twenty self-published short stories…many of which are either series world-building stories or anthology reprints. That doesn’t count the ones that I’ve published in various magazines–so add at least ten-twelve more that don’t show up in my Amazon page.

Um. Okay. Wow. Does this mean I’m at the point of accumulating a sufficiently significant body of work that I might someday become an…overnight success? Dare I hope?

We shall see.

Meanwhile, even though I’m not officially doing Nanowrimo, I’ve been productive. As in I’ve blocked out a full story, written an essay, written a story, and am getting ready to write that blocked-out story (and wrote a story in October). I think I’ll be starting Beating the Apocalypse in December…somehow I just couldn’t do it in the heat of summer.

I think things are getting back on track writing-wise. Yay.

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“Going Gently” is pretty much finished

Or so it seems. It’s a rough draft finish, of course, and I think that I’ll probably polish it and release the polished version for sale in December.

Meanwhile, I’m going to make it available to my newsletter subscribers in rough draft form, with a cover that reflects that status. In some ways, this was a tough story to write while also being compelling. It was about death, and transition, and aging. Not sure I’m completely satisfied with the ending–I never am, especially in the roughs–but it did come to an end.

Will this be the final Netwalk Sequence work? To be honest, I’m not sure. I left some loose ends hanging because they’re relevant to the backstory in Star Shepherds (which is not going to be started until I get some other projects out of the way and do some necessary research). I may go back and tweak a few of those because one new character (who will be very relevant to Star Shepherds) doesn’t get enough foundation. But I couldn’t do that until I finished the story, and, well, gotta have time to format it into reading form and get it ready to go on BookFunnel.

But make no mistake, this is a transition story between Netwalk Sequence and Star Shepherds. I may write a few more stories set in this time period as world building for Star Shepherds. I just don’t know yet. There’s other writing I need to get done, which also includes some work on getting spec stories out instead of self-pub stories. And then there’s Beating the Apocalypse, which I’ve delayed starting because I thought I was going to have some conflicts that have now gone away.

I may still put off starting up Apocalypse until later in the month so I can get some short writing done. We shall see.

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A snippet from “Going Gently”

Um. Complications are happening today…here’s a little teaser. I swear, I didn’t know this was going to happen….

************

“That’s a relief.” Bess’s eyes narrowed and she stared at the globe. “Sarah. You’re worried about Kylee. Why?”

“If I could feel her so intensely before birth, what are these aliens going to think if they’re at all engaged in the virtual world? She’s got power in virtual. Untrained, unfocused, but she’s strong enough to get the attention of potential predators. We know the Nest claims that Earth’s early transmissions and virtual presence attracted them. What if Kylee is drawing these new aliens? What if they want to use her like the Nest wanted to do to you and Alex?”

Bess’s brown face went ash-gray. “I thought this was the kind of thing the Nest protected us from.”

“So did I.” Sarah’s form flickered and jagged flashes of green pixels pulsed from the top to the bottom of the hologlobe. “What’s up with the globe?”

Something slugged Melanie’s thoughts in virtual, an oppressive and hard blow almost as strong as her stroke had initially felt. She flailed back against the pressure and it eased. Her panic ebbed as the heaviness faded and she realized it wasn’t another stroke. Her head still throbbed but now she could identify the weight as a strong virtual presence.

*********

So yeah. I’m going to make the rough draft version of this available to my newsletter subscribers on September 5th. It may not be finished, or I may decide that I’ve reached the end for now (I do plan on coming to a stopping place), then come back and revisit it in October/November to have it out as a full release in December.

Yummy. This story is getting to be very interesting…..

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Going Gently…the new Netwalk Sequence story

Like I said yesterday, I had no real intention of opening the Netwalk Sequence again.

But this story, I tell you…it’s at 4300 words and growing. At this point, I’m looking at a probable novelette length. I don’t think it’s a novella, but I’ve been putting down a lot of breadcrumbs that could sustain a longer story than just 5000 words.

In this story, we’re seeing Melanie after a stroke, with her brother Andrew near death from cancer, and…one more crisis is thrown at them, at the end of their lifespan. I started moving past the basic mechanism of that original story concept to deal with these characters who are facing the question of “do I upload into digital life and why”–where the why may affect the long-term survival of humanity.

The question of aging, in a world where digital life is possible. It’s…interesting.

In any case, I expect to have it ready in rough form for a newsletter giveaway. Actual publication will be probably in November or December. Totally unplanned, but…worth it, I think.

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