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Archive for December, 2013

Progress Report, in which I trend upward

So.  Did some 3300 words’ worth of rewrite on Apocalypse Pictures Presents, so Magic Meter now looks like this:

Hey, it’s better than last week.  A little.  The trend is upward, and that’s the right direction.

Yeah, right.  Whatever ya gotta tell yourself, Rotundo.

Anyway, your snippet:

“Got a message for you, Catherine.”

With no cell phones or land lines still functional, shortwave operators spent much of their time relaying messages.  Granddaddy Telsa was good, and he charged accordingly.

“Who for?  Over.”  She kept her pen at the ready.

“I just said it’s for you, didn’t I?  I thought you had me five and nine, over.”

“For me, personally?”  That was a first.  She tried to think of people she knew in the Bakersfield area, drew a blank.  “From who?  Over.”

“Someone who prefers to be . . . cautious.”

By which he meant anonymous.  Catherine set down her pen, eyed the microphone warily.  “Ah . . . I’m alone here.  But I suppose anyone could be listening in.”

Thought it was unlikely, shortwave radio signals were easily intercepted, and she and Granddaddy Tesla would be none the wiser.  Whoever was trying to contact her apparently knew that, and was concerned about it.  Wariness deepened into suspicion.

No updates for Write Club.

Forging ahead . . .

Current Music: "Tear the Roof Off"--Triumph

Progress Report, in which I request a metronome

Notched another 2300 words on the Apocalypse Pictures Presents rewrite—or, to put it in Magic Meter terms:

That’s not very much, frankly.  Establishing a good rhythm has been challenging.  Maybe I need a metronome.

On the plus side, recasting chapter 3 in a different POV went pretty well.  So there’s that.

Snippet?  Sure, if you insist:

“Say that again,” he said.


He gestured impatiently, his hand fluttering.  “What you just said.  What was it?”

“I said, there might not even be a Manhattan anymore.”

He dug in his pocket, produced a pencil. He flipped to the end of the notebook and began scribbling in the dark.  She watched, baffled, wondering how he could ever hope to read it later, given how fast he was writing.


“Give me a minute.”

He’d gone rigid, except for the scribbling hand, as if someone had hit him with a jolt from a car battery.  He scrawled for a full minute without stopping, filling a page.

Finally, he paused, noticed Susan watching him, her mouth slightly open.  She didn’t know whether to be amazed or concerned.

“Manhattan,” he said.  “That’s the answer.”

No updates for Write Club.

Here’s hoping for better days ahead.


Current Music: "Overture"--The Who

Progress Report, in which I make work for myself

Holiday-related activities cut into productivity, as they are wont to do, but I notched nearly 4K on the Apocalypse Pictures Presents rewrite.  Magic Meter stands thus:

This takes me into chapter 3, which I’m busily recasting in a different POV—an occasionally frustrating endeavor, but one that I’m sure is the right move.  I wouldn’t bother otherwise.  It’s not like I enjoy making work for myself, you know.

Some fruit of my recent labor:

Santiago, Gil, and she dug Johnny Cascio’s grave on the hill’s western slope, beneath the shade of a battered old sequoia, its trunk deeply scarred by some old lightning strike that had wounded but not killed it.  Ferns surrounded its base.  The soil was rich and moist.  The mingled scents of earth and pine filled Susan’s senses as she dug, almost pleasant enough to make her forget the reason for the hole.  She kept an eye on Gil as she worked.  He winced in pain with every shovelful he threw, lingering effects of his injuries from Delano.  He dug steadily, machinelike, his gaze faraway.  If Johnny’s death had plunged him into despair, he gave no sign of it.

The others would be watching Gil, too, she knew, wondering what they would do now that the production’s leading man was dead.

Write Club update:  A tier two bounce from Interzone.  Response time, 6 days.


Current Music: "I Am the Highway"--Audioslave