Trying to get everything done

Determination

I have a confession to make – I’m not totally focused on writing right now.

There’s a lot going on in my life, and it’s taking time from my ability to write. I have been often driving several hours a day, and overall there’s just a lot going on.

I’m still writing, and I’m getting back to doing it at a faster pace since the Qeequinox is coming up very soon. Also, I have my web dev contract that’s on the edge of completion, and that’s taking up time.

There’s other stuff, some of which is very intense and very time-consuming.

I’m a bit exhausted. Okay, I’m a lot exhausted. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s hard to maintain long-term.

Doesn’t matter though, I’m launching three new books at the Spring Geequinox, and they will be ready in time. The fourth one I was thinking of seems too ambitious. I mean, it’s sixty-three days away.

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Dreams

A Highway With No One On It

Well, I’m working on getting everything ready for the show in April. I have one book on the market, but I will hopefully be launching three (three!) more at the Geequinox, two of which will be the first two books of the Jenny Dark series.

This is ambitious but possible. I have an editor selected, and I have the writing mostly done. The second draft of A Long Walk is well on its way and the first draft of book two of Jenny Dark is complete. The first draft of Jenny Dark book one is more than halfway – although I did lose my place a little bit, which slowed me down. I’m back to speed on that one, I know where I left off and I’m catching up.

Anyway, the point is that I will have four books with me at the Geequinox, sitting on my table (I might have a fifth, but probably not).

I don’t know if I will sell all my books or even most of my books. I’m going to take a risk on it, dream big and hope people like my little stories.

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Adaptation Review – Altered Carbon – Halfway Point

Dog on a Path

Altered Carbon is not my favourite book, but it’s damned close. The whole Takeshi Kovacs series in fact. So far the tv series is quite good. They did tone down the sex and violence quite a bit, still might be the most violent thing on TV, and the sex is medium high on the explicitness, but it’s nothing compared to the books.

It’s odd watching what might just be the most violent and sex filled thing on television and be disappointed because it’s so tame compared to the source material.

The whole thing is noir and post-humanist and cyberpunk all rolled into one. It’s also the closest thing to live action Anime that exists – and I’m including live-action adaptations of Anime.

I’m slightly disappointed in a few specifics as well, but overall I am enjoying it a great deal.

If you like your entertainment violent and psychotic, watch it.

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Research and Oddness

A body by a stove

The last few weeks have got me thinking about character development. I can’t go into the details too much, but it’s been intense and strange. I think one thing I’ve been reflecting on is how people don’t react to stress consistently. One time someone might be a rock solid person, and the other time goes to pieces (this isn’t one of those times and things are good with me, just intense).

It’s also interesting to note how not all stress is the result of bad things in life. Sometimes something really good can cause a lot of stress as well. Just because it is a cause for celebration doesn’t mean it comes without stress and panic. We tend to think of stress as being the result of negatives, but imagine getting a dream job – for most people that would involve a great deal more responsibility and hard work… there are many things like this in life, and it’s hard to know which ones they are.

I like to test my characters, to try and break them, but one of my books actually has a character come into a great deal of money, and it almost kills him. It’s not the main stressor of the book, but it’s a big one.

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A Long Hiatus

Water and Rocks

Things happened in my life. Good things, but they kept me very, very busy. I haven’t been able to write at all, something had to give, and it was writing for a little bit. Now things have calmed down a tiny bit – not a lot, just a tiny bit. Writing is coming back.

I no longer have chapters of A Long Walk to fall back on, and the rest of my stuff isn’t edited to that point. I have continuity errors still for example. So, that means I will have to write new stuff every day. Wow, that’s a lot to take on right now.

Okay, I will do it anyway.

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Afterward

If you are reading this, hopefully, you read A Long Walk. If not, the index page has all the chapters on it, or you can get it for Kindle (or in dead tree edition) on Amazon. If you want to go for the dead tree edition it will cost you money, but the other methods are free.

I wrote A Long Walk as a NaNoWriMo Project, and it was my first finished novel. Before that, I think the longest story I had ever finished was in the five thousand word range. A Long Walk was a ten-fold increase over my next longest piece. It was a bitch, and the finished product had a lot of issues. I added viewpoints and moved characters around. When I wrote it there were some major plot points I had planned to turn out differently, but the story made more sense this way.

After I finished I was going to take it easy, I was going to slowly accumulate some books, with a plan to make a living as a writer in about ten years.

Life had different plans. I ended up in a position where I had the time and resources to give this writing stuff a serious try, and I really wanted to make it happen. I’m still on that journey, trying to make the writing thing my living.

If you liked A Long Walk please join my mailing list. I send a message a week, and the occasional one when I publish a new story. There’s also a free ebook copy of Almost Like Wearing Nothing at All in it for you!

Feel free to leave a review if you liked it or not. Also, if you download the kindle version before you leave a review you get a free Kindle version and Amazon gives the review more weight by marking you as a verified purchaser. This makes me very, very happy.

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Chapter 32 – Barbarians at the Gate

Lisbon

The Index Page for the Book (all chapters will be there as they are published)
Previous
Jasper got up, trying to process what he had seen. He grabbed his sword from where Robert had dropped it, and turned, ready to keep fighting if he had to. He could barely breathe. The lot seemed nearly empty, with all the zombies down. Robert was already down, a nice neat bullet hole in his forehead. Mona was just getting up, her eyes white and full of hunger. Where the hell had she come from? Jasper swung the sword, taking her head off. He cried a little as he did it. The pain in his side was beyond anything he could imagine. He didn’t know how he was able to stand.

Jasper started looking for Taylor, scanning the faces around him. Naomi came running, grabbed him under the shoulder, apparently she could see that he was in too much pain to stand on his own.

“Taylor, she jumped in the dumpster. She’s alright. Let’s go get your girl.”

Naomi supported him as they made their across the parking lot. Amazing how small it actually was, space for a couple dozen cars at most. So much had happened, a war, in a few thousand square feet. Jasper thought his monstrous house in Bedford was larger.

Jasper said, “I have to stand on my own, I have to make sure Taylor sees me standing strong.”

“Kay jackass. All good, but you sure you ain’t gonna drop soon as I let you go though?”

“Yep. Well, maybe sure is pushing it. How about let’s try it and if I fall down we go another route?”

Naomi let go, and Jasper didn’t fall down. It was a close thing though. He let Naomi take care of opening the dumpster lid, he didn’t think he could manage it on his own.

Taylor looked up at him, tears streaming down her face. She reached out her arms, and he grabbed her, lifting her into an embrace. He almost faltered, almost dropped her, but he didn’t. No amount of pain was going to make him let Taylor down now.

They mopped up the zombies pretty quickly from there. As soon as no more could come in it was a matter of time. Jasper sat that part out, his injuries were bad enough that in the old world he would have been in the hospital by now. The building had a doctor of sorts, really a paramedic, but he was the closest thing they had. He patched Jasper up, bound his chest, told him to stay off of his feet. Including Karen, the building lost ten people. Robert and Mona made it an even dozen. Jasper was never sure who put down Robert after he turned, but he didn’t really care. He hated the man, of course, but he never developed the same kind of fixation that Robert had on him. Instead, he moved his focus to cleaning up, to making things better for his daughter.

The next few days were hard. They had to repair the damage to the fence, building a new gateway. Naomi spent most of her days pouring over maps, figuring out where supplies might be. There was an intense flurry of activity. Jasper spent a lot of time outside despite the protests of the medic, and of Naomi, but he made sure to spend as much time as possible with Taylor.

They were able to find the supplies, not only to fix the gate but to finally add the extra gates to the ends of the street. They lost three more people during that operation. Construction was hard, always. It was Taylor that came up with the portable building zones. Vehicle mounted temporary fencing that could be interlinked to keep zombies away from the work crews, something they adopted much later on.

As winter progressed the building dug in, hardened their perimeter. They maintained their commitment to allowing new people in, however. More people meant survival.

That’s the end of book 1.

Afterward
The Index Page for the Book

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Chapter 31 – Into the Fire

A Half Albino Chimera Peacock

The Index Page for the Book (all chapters will be there as they are published)
Previous
For a long time, Mona just lay there. Trevor was watching to make sure the zombies didn’t come in, and maybe to make sure she didn’t go out, she wasn’t sure. She was curled up on the floor again. Finally, something in her head snapped. If Robert won, if he managed to do whatever mad thing he was trying to do this time, this was the rest of her life. Better to die than that.

She got up and walked to the bathroom. She opened the door, half thinking she was going to get cleaned up, maybe try to look like a human again, when the smell of chemicals hit her. The bathroom wasn’t going to work. She closed the door and went downstairs. Trevor looked at her, his eyes dead and empty, then looked back outside. She didn’t know if he would let her go or not, or if he would even care at this point. He was already dead, but his body hadn’t figured it out yet.

She walked into the kitchen and grabbed a knife. A large chef’s knife. It was a high-end blade, she didn’t know that, if she had she wouldn’t have cared. She just knew that it felt heavy and solid in her hand, something she could use.

Trevor barely looked at her as she approached him. As she walked out the door he said, “Planning to kill him?”

“Yep”.

“Good luck”.

At that moment there was an explosion, a second later a couple of gunshots. Mona walked down the front stairs. Much to her surprise, Trevor covered her, firing round after round into the zombies. Their attention was split, a bunch headed towards the explosion, but some started swarming the house. Mona saw Trevor take his handgun and place the barrel in his mouth. He pulled the trigger just as the first zombies made it through the door. His body had finally caught up to his spirit.

Mona walked through the zombies. They seemed to ignore her. One or two turned their heads to her, but they turned away without touching her. As she walked the zombies became denser, but she was able to slip through them. Finally, she slipped into the parking lot. Humans were fighting off the zombies, and thankfully they seemed to be winning. Mona had known that Robert had lost it, but to purposefully try to sacrifice humans to the zombies was far, far worse than she had believed even he was capable of. Sure, he was a sadistic brute, but this was monstrous evil, almost cartoonish evil.

She scanned the crowd, looking for Robert. Finally, she spotted him, beating someone who lay on the ground. Robert seemed to share whatever it was that was making the zombies ignore her. Maybe they were both dead inside. One or two seemed to notice him, briefly, but most were oblivious to his presence, almost as if he was one of them. Nobody else had that advantage. The guy on the ground was dodging the zombies, moving aside as they lunged at him. He was in trouble. It took her a minute to realize that it was Jasper. Robert’s obsession had driven him to this.

She skirted through the combat, moving purposefully. One of the zombies did pay attention to her, finally, reaching for her. She responded the way she usually did to physical threats, Robert notwithstanding, and slammed her blade into the creature’s temple. It fell, instantly.

Mona had always been good in a fight. A combination of fast reflexes and having no limits. Robert was different of course, he was so much larger than her, and even more savage than she was, he took her strength away. Against most people and things though, she was a killer.

Finally, she got near, as Robert pulled a handgun. He was aiming it at Jasper. There were almost no zombies left, the last few were being mopped up. Jasper was unconscious on the pavement. Robert’s first shot went wide, slamming into the pavement. His hand was trembling, body shaking with rage and adrenaline.

Robert lined up the shot again. Mona struck. She slammed the kitchen knife into his side, below his rib cage. He grunted in surprise and turned. They locked eyes and Mona could see the madness, the rage, the fire. Robert dropped his gun and grabbed her throat. She stabbed him again, in the stomach, and again, and again. The world started to go dark around the edges… she could see that the zombies were noticing them, and then that Robert was one of the zombies, the colour draining from his eyes. Her last thought before he tore her apart was “I got you motherfucker. I win”.
Next
The Index Page for the Book

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