Tag Archives: Netwalk’s Children

Netwalk’s Children WIP snippet

So I’m around 66k words today and the pacing is speeding up. Heading for that slow slide over the top and down the other side…..

Presented without context:


“I disagree.” Melanie let her voice drop into softness, so quiet the others had to strain to hear her. “There’s Gizmo trace all over the dataflows Rick rode into the Stellar Reach files. Monique Robillard was head of Security for both Caspian and Stellar Reach, plus she filed that Contract to take custody of both my daughter and Andrew’s children in Troubadour’s name without Montcrief’s approval but with Gupta’s support as a Stellar Reach secondary.” She closed the globe with a contemptuous flick. “This whole report is as Andrew calls it, a piece of sheer, utter dreck meant to absolve Gerard and Ravi from any consequences. Come on, give us at least an apology from the Courts if not Gerard and Ravi!”

“That sounds like a threat.” Her mother glowered at Melanie.

Melanie risked looking away from Diana to glance up at Andrew. He nodded, jaw set tight, anger still flashing in his gray-blue eyes so much like their father’s. Continue, his lips formed soundlessly. Operation Salt. A chill ran through her but yes, this was the path they had decided to take in this contingency. So it may come to war.

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Muddling through everything (writing process)

I’ve hit the 45k word mark on Netwalk’s Children and am well and truly in the infamous “muddle in the middle.” Even with the extensive plotting and prewriting prep, I’m writing pages and pages which feel like overwriting, blathering, and flailing around trying to find the right words. It’s a temptation to go back and rewrite, but discipline and experience tell me no, it’s time to keep pushing on through. By now I realize that this muddle to some extent is a necessary tactic, because I have expository information which needs to get transmitted at some point, and it’s only after the whole book is written that I’ll be able to prune it in an effective manner, extend it into actual scenes, take scenes out, and so on.

Having the outline, the scene tracker, and the scribbled notes helps, though. Because of the moving and life upheaval which is Immanent. Any. Day. Now, I engaged in the extensive plotting practice. It’s more elaborate than anything else I’ve done, and it’s a learning process.

So here’s what I’ve learned about doing the more detailed planning in advance so far:

Lesson # 1. Ambush plot developments still happen. But it’s easier to integrate them into the story flow with a means of tracking scenes and plot developments, especially if you can go back to notes to find exactly when foreshadowing breadcrumbs need to be inserted.

Lesson #2. The actual writing is where you find the holes in your prewriting/plotting. It’s all well and good to say in your outline that “Bess will do x, y, and z,” until you actually write that scene and discover that “y” doesn’t fit with the character interactions within that scene.

Lesson #3. Prewriting/plotting helps you the writer focus on the deeper elements of your story. I’m finding more brainspace to think about how my characters interact with daily elements in their world because I’m not worried about where they are going/what they are doing.

Lesson #4. All that said, prewriting/plotting doesn’t get rid of the need for rewrites and editing. It just provides a means for me to move past the tough parts and notice what I’ll have to go back and rewrite, while not stewing about “what do I do next?” I think it will prove to be a better tool for faster editing and rewriting, which is a very good thing.

Basically, I’m operating from the point of view of getting the words down fast, and focusing on book completion rather than perfection the first time through. Doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about what I’m writing, because I do. While my current daily goal is 1500-3000 words a day, I’m not blithely dashing those words off in an hour or two (except for the coffeeshop morning write with a friend, and that writing is usually scripted/choreographed).

It’s an interesting process. We’ll see what happens in revisions. I’ve completely dropped one icky subplot because the characters didn’t like it (whew, that was a tough one to contemplate creating). A second major subplot is on its way out the door because I really don’t need it for character development across the series arc and I can see where continuing with it will only lead me down the wrong story trails. I’ve gone off the charted path in some arcs because, well, it just works better.

It’s an adventure, for sure.

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Netwalk’s Children: Story Mutations continue

Okay. I’m nearly a quarter of the way through the book; almost done with Page One of a six page matrix outline, and…I’m already veering from the outline. Hugely. Massively. Need to recalibrate things variation.

TL:DR–it’s turning into a family relationship novel. Futuristic family relationship novel with space, fun electronic gadgets, pew-pew moments (oh come on, I even have a pew-pew-pew sound effect in the first few paragraphs, I DARE the Sad Puppies to read it when it comes out!), true. A delicious mashup of two genres I like without some of the stupid stuff that makes my head hurt in both genres (ie, Look Boys, the Girls Are In Charge Here, Don’t Be Idiots).

It’s a good variation, really, because it’s taking some rather dubious threads and breathing them into a reality that is better than the original. This book was always going to be about the transition from one generation to the next one in storytelling focus for the Netwalk Sequence. But to be honest, it’s now clear to me that I hadn’t thought very much about what that really means–and that’s what is fueling the story changes.

Point One: the character of Andrew is changing immensely. He was a bad guy in Netwalk, starts to soften in Netwalker Uprising, and now–is at the point where he and Melanie collaborate against their mother in Netwalk’s Children. I assure you, he was not going to unbend this much in my original conception. He was going to quite happily go out being the bad guy who absolutely hates his sister’s guts up until he dies, just like their uncle did to their mother. Only he was to die for a good reason–okay, then, I guess that happens to his son Richard, with an ill-fated name (no, not gonna tell you why until Netwalking Space).

Yeah, well, Andrew’s pissed off, alienated death not happening now. Why? I gave them kids. A daughter for Melanie, a son and daughter for Andrew. Then I put them into danger, the same danger. From their grandmother, who means oh so well but is being manipulated by a malignant entity, the Gizmo. Melanie’s better set up to defend the kids than Andrew, so of course they’re going to cooperate to protect their kids, especially once they realize that the Gizmo is driving the game. But they have limitations as well. The kids have to come up with something.

Point Two: I’ve dispensed with the clunky use of two devices to access digital/virtual world. In both Netwalk and Netwalker Uprising, I had Dialogue as the primary wireless implant chip and Netwalk for those planning to upload at death/managing the dead personas known as Netwalkers. Now it’s all Netwalk, and the upload is not a given. Fifteen years difference, so yeah, tech has changed. Bess is reviewing the old Netwalk 3 chip development process as part of her training and there’s a Netwalk 5 in prototype.

Point Three: I’ve already thrown in ONE WHOLE NEW PLOT THREAD, OUCH which involves Sneaky Doings That Will Make Everything Worse. Hey, the story needed it. And Richard’s being stupid ends up revealing what the Stupid Sneaky Doings were, though maybe that doesn’t stop them. The fallout from that action is in the next book.

And so on.

Mind you, I don’t regret creating the matrix and I think it has really helped with the development of this story. What I’m discovering is that the use of this planning technique seems to help me get through the fleshing out of some smaller threads that needed more development in first draft rather than leaving this sort of integration into a second draft rewrite. My hope is that this leads to a tighter first draft. I’m already finding it useful for getting my head back into the story during packing, painting, and traveling. April will really put this system to the test.

And. With most of the scenes plotted out, I’m discovering this leaves me free to think more about characters, interactions, and story development.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what this story looks like when I’m done with it.

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Proof that even careful planning doesn’t constrain a novel…

So I created this lovely six page matrix to track the actions of my characters. I thought I had every possible ramification and consideration under control.

Yeah. Right. I just hit 20k words today.

They’re just getting sneakier about introducing whole new plot threads.

Here, just to tease you and out of context, is a snippet from the 3000-some words I wrote today.


“Montcrief, is this true?” Diana demanded. “Zoë, has he filed Contract on Melanie and Andrew?”

“See it for yourself,” Andrew spat out, flipping a hologlobe cube onto the floor in front of them. The hologlobe shimmered open, and a short clip of Troubadour Security confronting Do It Right Security at the first entrance to the compound played.

“We demand entrance to Do It Right under Contract,” the lead Troubadour Security said.

“Entrance disallowed.” The lead Security bristled. “No Contract filing has been released to us.”

“This is a Concealed Filing.”

“No it’s not.” Sarah identified this Security by voice as Angela Garcia, Melanie’s Head of Security. “Or if it is, it’s highly illegal.”

Is that Nik Morley leading the DIR troop? Sarah studied the clip closer. She could have sworn Morley stood behind Melanie–he was the authorized Courts Security representative from Do It Right. But the leader–no, the Second behind him–moved like Morley. Not Morley, though. Too short, shoulders slightly thinner. She couldn’t see faces through the helmets of course, and ventured a small datastring to see if she could tease an ID out of the clip.

Chaos erupted in the vid, ending with the Troubadour Security team under restraint. Several bodies lay strewn around the entrance, but Sarah noticed they were moving slowly. Stun, not kill, thank God. Montcrief. You idiot.

<Holy Mother of God he did do it,> William speeched. <Idiot. Fool.>

She agreed with William. <Montcrief should know better.>

“Then I demand–“ Diana began.

“Mother. Stop.” Melanie raised her left hand again. “We’re the ones offended against.”

“We demand full sanctions for unauthorized Contract actions,” Andrew said. His voice dropped lower, full of menace. “Or has the Executive Council declared war on Do It Right? Because if it has, then I tell you, I will consider any action you take against Do It Right to be an action against Stephens Reclamation as well.”

Go, kids, go, Sarah thought.

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#am writing #Netwalk’s Children

First 1000 words achieved today. May write more later. But for now, here’s the first snippet, as it stands without editing…sound interesting?


“Block it, block it, block it!” Bess Fielding yelled at Alex Jeffreys. “Don’t you dare let Don and Sophie beat us to this one—ah!” As Alex wheeled to lay down a warning fireline behind them, she found the shortcut code she was looking for in her overlays. Tracing the link, she located their target, centered her sights, and fired her blaster, cranking up the volume of both the pew-pew-pew firing sound and the bass-heavy speed death metal music at the same time. The 20th century tank exploded with a satisfying BOOM. Virtual shards spalled past Bess and Alex and faded as they intersected the limits of the hologlobe. Several pieces clattered harmlessly against Bess’s armor, disappearing as they hit.

“Yes!” A rare grin quirked Alex’s lips as he high-fived Bess.

“You slime, you’re cheating!” Sophie Morley-Garcia scolded, pushing back an unusually errant strand of black hair that had worked free from the tight French braid favored by longer-haired Security in Do It Right. “You went into Netwalk, didn’t you, Bess? That tank’s not supposed to be this easy to find and blow.”

Bess shrugged. “In a real fight there’s no rules. Especially in virtual.”

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Netwalk’s Children…and so it begins.


I just texted the above picture to a friend with the note that I needed to break out the notecards…what one does with the third book of a series. Hoo boy, is this ever a writing change. While I’ve never been a complete pantser (oh dear God, after years of lecturing about prewriting to kids, I At Least Do Some Prewriting), at this point I am Officially Tired of having to go back through and tweak everything after the first draft. Or digging through piles of handwritten notes on assorted scraps of paper. I have some significant series threads that need to surface in this volume (one reason I have been procrastinating the writing of this damned book, this Netwalk’s Children, for at least two years). I need to track reveals, clues, and character arcs.

I admit that I was wowed and amazed by the release of J.K. Rowling’s outline for chapters 13-24 of the 5th Harry Potter. Am I likely to go into that much detail? No, probably not, because I don’t think I have that many subplots. What I’m having to track are character arcs, because I have some series-long arcs as well as several-book arcs.

Sigh. It’s late. I’m blathering, but…I’m still working things out.

Over the past few years, too, I’ve written some short stories to help me understand and play with aspects of this universe that I want to develop–not so much the tech but the characters and how they react to the tech. I’m leaving the tech as mostly handwavium until I get to the actual writing, simply because I can’t base the plots too heavily around the tech. It changes too quickly. What I can write about is the implications of what that kind of tech will do to characters and their way of thinking. I’ve spent two book volumes and an omnibus volume of novellas laying the ground for this book (and am developing a short story series along with this book to develop the themes)–and now, we’re in the third generation of the Netwalk/Dialogue tech. It’s time for the kids to react–and carry the wave of tech forward.

Yeah, yeah, vagueblogging. I’m tired, I’m toying with ideas, and this is supposed to be a writing process blog, not blathering about the book itself. But that’s another reason why I am settling in for some serious prewriting and blocking of this book. This damn world gets away from me, more than any other I’ve been playing in so far. I can’t say that Seeking Shelter, Pledges of Honor, or Alien Savvy have demonstrated the ability that the books in this world consistently do in twisting out of loose pantser plotting and creating more complexity which requires elaborate rewrites. I’ve spent too damn many hours going back and doggedly revising because I didn’t think through what the probable answer to a single scribbled sentence would be before I had to write it. Part of that is because I was already detailing lesson plans, IEPs, evaluation plans, etc, etc, etc. But I can’t count on snow days any more to deal with midbook vagueplotting issues.

Well, no more. I’m a working writer, not a teacher-writer, and I have to get into the groove of turning out a good, consistent book on a predictable cycle. I know I do better with a framework–it works for my short stories when I have to purge too many Big Ideas. With this many threads that I want to maintain, I need the help of the structure.

Additionally, this book is going to be written and revised during a moving process. I can’t count on having time to dig continuity out of my brain. I also have a personal hard deadline as I want it out by Worldcon. So…to the grindstone I go.

My hope is that having the reference structure will allow the words to flow, because I also want good words. I really want that good language to dance and sing.

Yeah. Process. Fun.

Seriously, I am enjoying it. Really. It’s nice to be possessed by a story again.

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Valentine Disruptions now live


It’s also free through the 18th, 99 cents after that, at Amazon.

Blurbage: Between work, family, and national security obligations, it’s been years since Diana and Will Landreth have been able to plan a romantic getaway. Now they’re finally escaping…but the Disruption Machine crosses their path. Will they be able to capture the Machine and still have a romantic moment?

There’s a few landmarks in this story. While Diana and Will are the main characters, I’m also showing you a little bit about Sarah Stephens as well.

Valentine Disruptions is part of a new series of short stories, “The Disruption Chronicles,” about the effects of the Disruption Machine and its pursuit/capture on my characters and the world around them. When any place on Earth can be subjected to an unexpected, devastating, attack from a war machine with abilities above any known technologies, including the ability to deliver mutated quick-acting viruses, nerve gases, and radiological poisons, what does that do to attitudes, economies, and governments? I’m rather reluctant to dive full bore into writing a single book about it because every time I think about the idea, I bounce back. It’s a big concept, obviously. But it’s something I need to wrap my brain around because it’s foundational for the Netwalk Sequence books I still have planned–because the Gizmo is the Disruption Machine, captured, and the capture of Gizmo plus subsequent fallout is what broke Sarah, not to be repaired until after her death and Netwalk resurrection.

I first started poking at this idea in a Netwalk Foundations piece, Lucifer Has Fallen. That will come out in a revised version sometime this spring. I also plan to address the creation of the Corporate Courts, the alienation of Diana and Sarah, the death of Anne Whitman, and some other things in these shorts. I just can’t do them as a book. It’s too big, and…too many short arcs. They won’t come out in chronological order, either. However, I do plan to put them together in an omnibus and at that point they’ll be in chronological order.

Oh, and I finally figured out how one goes about creating a plain background in Gimp. This will speed up cover production mightily, especially for these short pieces where I don’t have much of a picture selection to use for the cover. I need to play with graphics more, but where the time will come for that…who knows?

Time to head out for the day. Have fun, folks.

Oh, and I’m beginning the serious outline blocking for Netwalk’s Children today. The Disruption Chronicles are crucial for my understanding of Children, helping me understand why I’ve been blocked for so long on that story. Now…it’s time to write it.

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The time is flying by

Supposedly I’m taking a break from writing. As I figured out this week, what my brain interpreted that as being was a break from fiction writing. I’ve been noodling around on a competition essay for a creative nonfiction contest, and two three other want-to-enters lined up, all with deadlines coming up fast. Stuff’s a roiling but we’ll see if I do it.

Add to that the desire to scribble something in the Disruption Chronicles for Valentine’s Day–something like Diana and Will chasing the Disruption Machine around while trying to have a date night away from the kids. I’ve been thinking about it.

The other thing I’ve done is make out a writing plan, which has been incorporated into a production calendar for the year. Which I then put on the Calendar Wall, which ain’t gonna work.

Oh well. I’ll move it, and pack away the whiteboards. Need to be doing that in four months anyway.

But before I talk about Farpoint, I do want to share this. I’ve decided what I am writing this year. All three books need rough synopses, and I think I’m going to start creating a page for each book, with ongoing pages added. The website needs work, badly, but I’ll get it done.

These are the big projects:

Netwalk’s Children–the third big book in the Netwalk Sequence, about Melanie’s daughter Bess becoming aware of just how much a threat Gizmo can be–while Melanie reconciles with her brother Drew, they become aware that their mother Diana is becoming a threat, and Sarah starts building alliances with Bess and Will.

Welcome to Klone Lane–A contemporary Western scientifical romance, with a tribute to Mary Shelley and Baron Frankenstein.

Bearing Witness–Weird West AU, may or may not be in the same world as my Peter McLoughlin stories (“Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t, Gears and Levers 1, Sky Warrior Press). Missionary in the Oregon Territory breaks an oath to not use mechanical implements on the land by using a horse-drawn sickle bar to harvest hay. Magic happens. All is not as it seems.

Children Left Behind–Memoir of ten years spent teaching middle school special education in a low-income rural school during the time of No Child Left Behind’s rise and fall. I’m not particularly interested in making this one nasty and venomous, which means it probably doesn’t have a lot of commercial interest. Probably a self-pub but I may try to sell parts of it as essays, which may delay the actual publication.

I figure that Children will probably be the biggest project, but even at that it’s going to be a shorter one. Klone Lane and Witness I intend to keep to novella length. I want to have Children ready for Worldcon release, Klone Lane for around Halloween, and Witness early next year. I’m kind of wanting to play around with the mix of spec fic and Westerns because people seem to like that sort of work and well, hey, it’s a good time for it.

Besides that, I plan to write the aforementioned competition essays, plus write some spec short stories. I am also going to aim to have self-published pieces out for Valentines, Mother’s Day, and Solstice. Additionally, I’m writing some further self-pubbed Netwalk Sequence short pieces as part of the Disruption Chronicles.

There’s also going to be two omnibus editions coming out. One is a Netwalk Sequence omnibus which includes the story I’m hopefully going to get my rear together and get thrown up on line in the next two weeks–“Of Archangels and Fuzzy Green Mascots.” In another form, it earned an Honorable Mention in Writers of the Future. I’ll pair it with my WotF SemiFinalist story that no editor wants to buy because it’s too long, “Tranquility Freeriders.” Both are Bess stories and they’ll add to the prep for what I’m now thinking will be the final book in the Sequence, Netwalking Space.

The other omnibus will be at an earlier part of the Sequence, and will be about the Disruptions that I refer to in Netwalk and Netwalker Uprising. Some of the stories for The Disruption Chronicles are already written, but I still need to create a few more.

And none of this even touches the stuff I’m selling that I’m not publishing on my own. I have one story coming out in February, in First Contact Cafe from Sky Warrior Press. I most likely have two more coming out as well, and then supposedly I’m supposed to have a book coming out from a small press. Yeah, right, I’ll believe it when I see it (relations are at that stage right now). I’m hoping to sell some more short stories as well as creative nonfiction works in the coming year, and I’m planning some queries to various small newspapers for clips/exposure/drumming up freelance writing gigs in NE Oregon sort of things.

Dang. Not enough time or space left to write about remodeling at Farpoint. Maybe next time. I promise it won’t be so long. And then Mocha needs a blog and updates for her fans as well.

Need to be more diligent with this. 2015 is going to be an intense year. Come along for the ride.

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Of Writing, Teaching, and An Announcement (at the end)

TL:DR–announcement at the end. I’m evil that way.

So I’m kind of behind on what my writing schedule says I should be doing by now. Some of that has been due to things like, oh, um, work life, other writing projects, reinventing the work life, um, horse rehab life, ski life or rather the lack thereof, real estate craziness, um, reinventing work life yet again, and, and, and…

But most of the delays have been due to the plain and simple fact that I really don’t know what to do with Netwalk’s Children yet. I’m still figuring out why that is, but to a certain degree, the issue comes down to the reality that this book is a crucial point in the Netwalk Sequence. This book hands over the major part of the Sequence to the next generation; from Melanie and Marty to Bess and Alex, Sophie and Don. Plus friends and relatives.

Additionally, it becomes a turning point in the series arc, because Bess ultimately has to directly take on Gizmo. Not only does she defuse an immediate threat but she lays the foundation for further protection against the power that Gizmo represents. She becomes a foundational element in a human-digital fusion which has the potential to affect not just one world but many worlds. Bess transcends worlds…but as of yet, I’ve not gotten a full picture of what that looks like. I have imperfect realizations but they’re far from what I want. Yet.

I do have this image of a young woman with long dark hair, cinnamon skin, and high cheekbones gazing up as golden bytes flow over her, on a blue background. I have some idea of what that event is. But it keeps changing, even as I keep working and writing.

I’ve been ducking this story for nearly a year. There is a completed outline. It’s insufficiently reflective of current canon, and one reason is that I’ve spent the past year writing stories to flesh out the Sequence’s backstory. They’re available for free on the website under the Netwalk Foundations tab. I also have the illustrated trilogy, Dahlia, Winter Shadows, and Andrews Ranch. All but the last one are currently available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Google Play. I’m working on Andrews Ranch right now and having a lot of fun with it.

The whole writing world hasn’t been just Netwalk Sequence, though. I’ve also rewritten a couple of stories and managed copy edits for a short story and a novella. I have two short stories coming out so far this year, one in the inaugural edition of Fantasy Scroll Magazine and the other in Trust and Treachery (Dark Quest Books, April). My novella, Seeking Shelter at the End of the World, comes out from eTreasures Publishing in June. I’ve not exactly been idle.

But I am feeling tired. I do have projects to write. It’s just…getting to them in the face of the Day Jobbe.

Which leads to…Life In General.

I signed the final paperwork today. I am not renewing my teaching contract. After ten years, I’m not going to be going back to school in August.

This isn’t really new news. I’ve mentioned this in comments, and emails, and etc. It’s more of a matter of being tired, and tired of driving 80 miles a day, and tired of having to break off from a story because the clock says it’s time, damn it, and tired of being tired. Teaching, even part-time, is a physically difficult job. You are on your feet constantly, usually on tile-covered cement slabs. As a middle school teacher, you deal daily with the drama and agonies of early adolescence, and have to do so with a measure of equanimity and unflappability.  February and March are their own peculiar hells, and I’ve been experiencing those hells in a rather excruciating slo-mo this year.

I’m done with formal k-12 teaching for the moment. I want to leave while there are moments I still enjoy and savor. But I need to go. There are too many days when I hurt. Too many days when I am angry about what modern education has become. My ten years of teaching manages to span the effect of No Child Left Behind, and the taste is bitter in my mouth. No, better to choose the time, and go when I feel best. This year is a good time, not just for me, but for my memories of the place I have worked in and loved so dearly. I can make good memories with leaving this year–so it is time.

Doesn’t mean I won’t be a teacher of some sort or another. Even thinking about possibilities of some sort of teaching work that doesn’t involve a daily commute perks me up. I like tutorial work, and I’m a darn good remedial writing teacher. Heck, I like teaching writing, period.

But it’s time for me to move on from the daily classroom grind. What that will look like in a couple of years, five more years, ten more years–who knows? I get ideas all the time.

Where I go from here, whether that becomes Portland, Enterprise, or somewhere else–who knows. It’s a new adventure. The Next Adventure.


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Retconning the Netwalk Sequence–Winter Shadows and its impact on the storyline

winter shadows

So all along in the Netwalk Sequence continuity, I’ve held that Will and Diana got together in the face of parental opposition to their relationship–his father and her mother both being passionately opposed to the marriage. As recently as The Daughters Cycle this past summer, I had Diana leaving Stephens Reclamation to found Do It Right when Sarah discovers that Diana is still dating Will (this is a world where corporatism extends into family life and relationship, including the founding of corporate dynasties). I have some lovely emo stuff lying around the hard drive to that effect.

And then I started writing Dahlia, Winter Shadows, and Problems at the Andrews Ranch. All of these stories deal with the early relationship of Diana and Will as well as the foundational period of Do It Right. While there is some estrangement that happens between Diana and Sarah as a result of Diana’s choice of Will, as I’ve been writing Winter Shadows, I have come to realize that it’s not opposition because of who Will’s family is and all that leads to the eventual estrangement; it’s due to other reasons. Diana and Will disagree with Sarah and to some extent she ends up getting co-opted by Gizmo–along with Francis. It’s just that Sarah breaks free while Francis embraces it.

Arrgh. Originally these stories were just filler that I was going to write before plunging into Netwalk’s Children. But now I’m realizing I’m writing crucial backstory that needs to exist before I can start Children. I’m starting to understand just how revolutionary Melanie’s rebellion against Diana was at the end of Netwalker Uprising–and why Sarah condones it–and why Bess ends up being such a huge game changer. Yikes.

Meanwhile, back to work. I’m not getting in a lot of words over winter break because–well, decompressing from the insanity of teaching and other stuff going on, but I am working on slow but steady process. I just need to get today’s scene finished. Which…have a taste, raw writing fresh off of the word processor, warts and all:


“You’re springing my son from the PAZ prison he belongs in. I want him.”

No,” Diana said, before her mother could speak. “You had your chance to help him. We’re not going through all this work just to give him to you.”

“What my daughter said,” her mother added.

“He needs to debrief. He carries Executive classification Corporate secrets.”

Sarah snorted. “If you were truly worried about that level of disclosure he wouldn’t be in a PAZ prison right now!”

“He knew the risks. He was supposed to have died rather than disclose. He had the pill if the sentence didn’t go through.” Parker Landreth’s voice went cold. “He chickened out.”

Her mother straightened up. “I suggest you tell your staff to stand down.” Her voice matched Parker’s for chill.

Parker Landreth stared at her for a moment. “Or what?”

“Or I’ll shoot,” Peter’s voice came from above and behind Diana, to her right.

The click of more weapons being armed resonated from around them. How the–Stealthsuits. That’s right. He’s been researching stealthsuits with Francis.

The question as to how and why Landreth Security hadn’t detected the stealthsuits could be answered later.

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