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This popped out today. I had no idea it was imminent. I was taking my break.
(Yes I had to SIT STILL for an hour before continuing to the next job.)
I had the travel computer with me, so I opened Google docs and considered my options...SALTARAE II is the priority right now...
Then I had a vision: a prisoner, bound hand and foot, hooded to blind her. Yes, I know. FTWD probably had something to do with that image.
Still, this story went a different way: How would the Commonwealth military deal with high value (and hence very dangerous) POWs? I've written stuff that hinted at the answer. Here's one possible answer. Exile, in Lines where the tech is too far behind for anyone to find a Gate or build a Shifter...enjoy!


Consciousness returned to her in bits and moments. She sought to return to sleep, to avoid wakefulness. She failed.

She was lost.

‘More than lost,’ she thought: ‘Doomed is more like it.’

The black bag over her head did not help at all. She twisted her arms, seeking some weakness in the bonds that held her wrists behind her back. ‘Futile,’ she realized. Though the rope felt soft, it reacted to every twist and turn of her arms, almost like a live thing.

“I cannot escape,” she muttered.

Her captors went silent, no longer speaking to one another in their babbling tongue. One voice came to her, speaking French: “You cannot.”

Read more )
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Well. That was a long day deep, deep in the Word Mines. I typed ~3000 words into SALTARAE II and finished the first draft of Chapter Ten, Woo Hoo! I can see it now: as soon as I finish the re-run of the first book in that series, I can post the first Chapter of the sequel. I may even have twelve (or more) out of 20 chapters written by then.

I ought to have a title before I start that serial. I'm leaning towards "SALTAROS: Light and Shadow" since this sequel gets more into Mr R's head, and highlights some failures on his part. The story arc is darker, as well; there are still moments of happiness and light, but Ambros has a hard row and it'll get more difficult before his saga is all written.

I got some stuff into "A Separate Reality" as well: also kinda dark stuff, though in a happier version of the USA than ours.

I'd like to have another day like that tomorrow. Days like today make me happy.

For fans of the Eleni/Sarayi series, who knows? At least as I get closer to finishing these serials, I also get closer to the moment when I can concentrate my attention on "SARAYI: a Story of Ambition". (I do seem to have a hard time working on that one if I'm at all distracted. Maybe that's because it takes a lot more energy to travel back in time...) IDK.

Gotta go. See ya!
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Since this little bit makes the tale go over 10,000 words I'll just put the previous and following segments in as well as the addendum. This is per a conversation with Ysuelt at a party. More on the Multiverse, and some revelations about Gretchen, and the future.
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"Are you certain, Clem?"

Clementine Irene Orenhauser raised her eyes from the small calendar book she'd been perusing: "As certain as one can be, I think. It's been six weeks..." She waved the book at Eleanor: their combined calendar, appointment book, and journal. It contained Eleanor’s firm block capitals, in Latin and Greek, and Clementine’s French and English notes and memories.

Eleanor Greenlaw frowned, her unfashionably heavy brows furrowed: "You are never that late. You are never late at all...should have noticed that. I suppose you are correct." Her voice sat just above baritone, with a rumbling quality that had thrilled Clementine from the first time she’d heard it.

Eleanor customarily dressed herself in a severe, nearly masculine fashion. That day she wore a shorter-than-usual skirt, a shirtwaist, and brogans with heavy woolen hose, as they had been considering a walk around the Peripateo.

The sun shone in through the windows of their small room in the Ambassador Hotel. Clementine thought: 'The Ambassador, a fine hotel, and so apt as it turns out. It’s a small room, with a large bed, and lovely romantic views all about. It's been such a fine holiday...' She smoothed the skirt of her dark green walking dress, her full lips drawn in between her teeth.

They sat in silence for a short time, then Eleanor rose and sat beside Clementine, embracing her: "My sweet Clemmy, how could this happen? Was it the twins?" Eleanor had the slightest trace of an English accent, suggesting a native of Britain with long residence in the western United States.

"Horace and Oliver? No, I don't think so..." She paged back through her calendar, musing: "...I think it simply has to be Mr. Crowell."

"Oh, my!" said Eleanor: "Well, Ambassador Crowell was quite an exciting performer. I can definitely see that..."

Clementine opened her shockingly blue eyes wider: "You think I'm pregnant because Nicholas gave me multiple orgasms? That's droll."

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This story went in some disturbing directions. Maybe it could use to be cut a little, but here it is as it is now. BTW, it has naughty words in it.

Three enormous trucks, laden with logs, swept growling around a bend in the highway. The second truck made the turn with its trailer at an alarming angle, but it didn't overturn. They sped down the hill towards him, growling like giant tigers.

"Glad I'm on the other side of the road," he murmured as they went by: "And I'm even gladder that I won't have to walk back down this way.' The wave front of hot deisel-y air washed over him. He grabbed his hat.

'Not that I've really walked that much,' he thought. He'd used his Shifter to geoSaltate big chunks of the road. Whenever he got a straightaway, with no traffic in sight, he'd just Shift to the uphill end.

He hiked around the curve and into a small town. Leaburg was on the map in his head; he was going to pick up some supplies there.

'Leaburg Market,' the sign said. He wiped sweat from his brow with a bandana he had in his hand, then entered.

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The Editor, Miss Freya Cooksey, is especially restless today. She keeps jumping over the keyboard as I try to type. Despite her apparent desire to sabotage my work ethic, I have made significant progress today. I don't yet (not quite) have a story arc for SALTARAE TWO, but I feel it coming on.
When I visited the Word Mines yesterday morning, I found that some fairly large piles of ore had fallen from the ceiling. There were nuggets enough to use immediately, and I got some segments arranged into sentences and paragraphs...

Not all of those are on current projects, though. (I seem to have come unstuck in time.) Nevertheless:

Since yesterday AM I have pounded out at least 3000 words. At least 2K went into SALTARAE TWO. Progress!

Gotta go. See ya!
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In news of a non-SCA nature, I edited and slightly re-wrote Chapter Two Of SALTARAE II, and then worked on Chapter Three. Word says I wrote 802 words, so with the re-writes call it 830. I still don’t have a clear idea of the arc of this story, though. I know from experience that will only come clear after I write enough incidents...so that’s the goal.

SARÁYI is in a state of cryonic torpor. Pretty much know where I’m going with that story, but the characters are being uncharacteristically silent. When I have a story arc on SALTARAE II, I will spend some time concentrating on SARAYI.

The other project, intended to be a ‘short’ novel perhaps suited to YA readers, has a working title: “A SEPARATE REALITY”. Waiting for what’s next, I am. Will Mindy Barrie, teenaged daughter of the US Secretary of Espionage really go hunting for Russian spies in what used to be Alaska? Sorta looks like she’s that kinda girl...

So that’s the latest news from the Word Mines.

Gotta go. See ya!
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"Andrew!" The woman's voice was soft and respectful, though no less insistent.

"Count Andrew," she said: "Your Excellency..."

He opened his eyes slowly and breathed in deeply: "Something important?"

"As per your excellency's orders: a new batch of refugees is approaching." It was one of the few things that justified the interruption of his hour of meditation.

"Hmm. What has been done?"

"Sir Alec has ordered reinforcements to the walls. Lady Gwen has mustered the archers. Viscount Ruslan has taken a patrol away south, to come behind the band unnoticed."

"Oh. A large group, then?"

"At least thirty...by the way, the stranger, Ambros, has disappeared. He may also be behind the newcomers."

Read )
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Yesterday I had a satori as regards one of the books I’m writing right now. That is SALTARAE TWO, as yet untitled, the continuing adventures of a guy who looks a lot like me and gets to travel the Multiverse fighting for Truth, Justice, and the Hellenic Way. (Yes, it’s wish fulfillment; sue me.)

I’d sat down about a year ago and pounded out Chapter One of a possible sequel, trying to hit all the high notes necessary to remind my fans about what already happened and then push the action forward. (FYI, I believe I’m going to serialize this at LJ, like I did the original. (SALTARAE: an Adventure Across Timelines.)
Then I sat on that as I wrote bits and pieces, chunks and whole Chapters from further ahead in the story; I even wrote some stuff that may not appear until a third book. And a short story a couple years ahead in that Timeline, and a Chapter that might start the (possible) fourth book in that series...

Other projects distracted me, as well: such as the other two books that I am allegedly writing...things are a little scattered at the moment, Don’t worry, it will all work out.

But I kept saying: “Ya really oughta post that first chapter, your fans are waiting...”

Something held me back. I wasn’t satisfied, and I didn’t know why.

NOW I do. See, there’s no way in Hades or Eblis that Mr. Rothakis would make any plans for the day after the events at the Mainstage Meadow that didn’t involve getting RIGHT IN MAGISTRI ARRENJI”S FACE and demanding to know what, if anything, she knew about some kind of Hellenic activism or operations in United States Imperial Timeline Number Seventeen in the 20s and 30s of the 20th Century of the Christian Hypothesis.

So I have a chapter to revise: The old bastard is not going to hunt for gold coins in a Quiet Timeline, or infiltrate a homeless camp, or sell the gold in NYC, or avoid being seen by a woman named Andrea Scharffen in that same City, or anything else that might include blah blah...At least, not until Chapter Two.

Gotta go. See ya!
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CHAPTER ONE: "...as we know it, Ursula..."

Jay Hussein Barrie strode silently along. He clutched the handle of his briefcase; he stopped to straighten the portrait of Thomas Paine that hung outside the cafeteria.

A tall lanky man of mixed African and European heritage, he wore his thinning grey hair in a short afro. He was forty-seven years old, but looked somewhat older.

The cafeteria door showed him how much older he looked. His reflection in the tinted glass window appeared tired and stressed, and his usually natty suit rumpled and slept in, the tie askew.

“Nothing I can do about it right now,” he grimaced, glancing at his watch. He thought: ‘There’s about time for a cup of coffee and a bite or two before I’m due in the Oval Office.’

He held the briefcase tight as a member of his staff approached: “Not this morning, Marcia. Just get me a large coffee and a breakfast bar, okay?”

Marcia nodded, concern evident.

His senior staff all sat at the usual table in the corner of the cafeteria. He strode over, putting his thoughts in order. As he settled himself, he said: “Something big has come up. I want everyone to be real short in this briefing; I have news for the President that is for her ears only, for the time being. So I want you all out of there by nine-fifteen.”

Read More )
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A short story by A.M. Brosius.

Mr. Ambros Rothakis walked along the cliff top, stopping occasionally to gaze at the waves crashing against the rocks below.

‘I suppose the fellow could have wound up in the sea,’ he thought. ‘Not likely, though.’

He reached his destination, a spot across the road from a very famous restaurant. He could see the bull logo from that position. ‘I can’t see any other solution to the mystery. Let’s see if my guess is correct.’ He fired up his MPS; the invisible wristband produced a hologram of a Shifter. He pulled the actual Shifter out of the patch pocket on the left thigh of his cargoes. The Shifter bore a striking resemblance to a hockey puck, and weighed only a trifle less.

With both machines activated, he could clearly see the Timeline Gate in the parking lot across the highway. ‘It’s inactive, of course...I wonder how Mr. Jannsen managed to activate it?’

Read More )
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Whiskers has approved this message:

While the women did their check-ins with Megalos, Ambros headed for the men’s room. He pissed and washed up.

He heard a cat yowling, and frowned. He traced the sound, tipping his head from side to side.

“There you are,” he said, as he opened the small door in the garage. “What’s up, buddy?”

“Yowp!” the cat declared. The dead mouse it carried muffled its vocalization.

The cat was a nearly perfect jellicle: yellow eyes, black face, white whiskers and a broad white stripe from chin to crotch, like an upside-down skunk. It also bulked extremely large: ‘Gotta weigh in at eighteen pounds or so,’ Ambros thought.

“Yowp!” The cat repeated.

“Well, we can talk about that,” Ambros replied: “But I don’t need the mouse. You can eat it, if you like.”


“You look pretty stout for a stray cat. You live around here somewhere?”

The beast dropped the mouse into a planter, then buried it lightly, with a few swipes of the paw.

“Mmmm. A lefty, eh?”

“Rrrrrr,” the cat purred. It stepped forward, looking up at him, and rubbed against his leg.

He saw that the animal’s left ear was clipped: “’Save the Ferals’ got to you, huh? I’m gonna guess that you lived somewhere around here, your humans abandoned you, then the feral cat folks nipped your little nubs and released you. You lookin’ to move in with me?”

“Meow,” said the cat, entering the garage bay and looking around. “Urmph?”

“I don’t have any cat kibble or anything. There might be some sausages left in the mini-fridge.”

The cat’s tail waved languidly; clearly it believed things were settled.

“Well, c’mon in, then. I’ll get you some water, at least.”

The creature followed him in to the office. Ambros dug out a flattish bowl from under the printer table, and filled it from the tap. “Thirsty?”

“Mr-r-r-r,” it said. He—it was definitely a he, or had been once—he began to slurp away at the water.

“What about a name?” The cat ignored him. “You look like Sylvester the Cat. I could call you Sly for short.”

The beast looked up and blinked, slowly.

“Okay, Sly it is. Let’s look for some food.”

Marie came out of the bedroom, and stopped short: “Who is this?”

Sly arched his back and got a little sideways.

“Oh, yeah,” said Ambros: “There are other people around here, pretty often. They’re all good folks, though.”

Kim and Luisa came into the office. Sylvester suffered himself to be introduced, and then allowed the women to take turns petting him. He purred audibly during the petting, then turned to Ambros with a “Yowp!”

“Okay, okay, food.” He dug into the fridge and produced some week-old hotdogs: “Best I got for ya, at the moment.” Sly dug in, rending the sausages asunder, and purring and growling at the same time.

“What, did this guy just show up?” said Kim, laughing.

“Yeah. He seems to have won the throw, too. Brought me a mouse as a bribe, which I politely refused. However, I think we could get along. The mouse population out in the nursery area has been getting out of hand. I won’t need traps if this guy can keep the rodents at bay.”

“Well, you’ve given him a name. I guess he’s yours, now,” Marie declared, amused.

“That’s one way to look at it. The way I see it, we’ve agreed to share the space. I’ll put a cat door in the back, by the nursery. He kills mice, I provide supplementary kibble, a water dish, and a warm dry bed. Right, Sly?”

“B-r-r-rrup!” Sly replied.

“You have a pretty large vocabulary for a cat,” said Luisa.

The beast gazed scornfully at her: “Mrrr-ow.”

“Okay, okay,” she said, hands up in surrender: “I won’t mention it again.”


Dec. 16th, 2014 08:34 pm
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I've jumped ahead in "Working.doc", the untitled sequel to SALTARAE. I'm working on a chapter where Mr. Rothakis and company attend an event that is very much like the Egil Skallagrimson Memorial Tournament.
This is fun. Some of the characters they meet are based, vaguely, on real people. Some are entirely made-up.
Anyway, the chapter is 3,355 words so far, with 1985 today; and Viscount Ambros' man-at-arms has a successful first tourney.
I think this chapter happens about halfway through the book, as a kind of 'vacation' from rising tension for the characters.
It may well be that the reader will welcome that vacation by then. We'll see.
Gotta go. See ya.


Dec. 5th, 2014 03:20 pm
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Got about 3500 words into the two books I am working on, over the last two days. This means that the voices in my head are talking, which is better than when they are not.
There are no self-imposed 'deadlines' on my back right now. I finished two books in 2014. The next two, one from each series, can dawdle along at their (my) leisure.
Past experience, limited though it is, suggests that at some point one or the other of the current projects (SARAYI; plus the sequel to SALTARAE) will take over, push the other aside, and demand all of my attention. If you are waiting for one or the other, I confess that I have no clue which will be finished first.
Tonight is Sam Bond's night in Eugene. If you're coming, I'll see ya there!
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I got just over a thousand words into the book today; I also slotted some more events into the ‘outline’. The scare quotes are because I am not really allowed to create a firm outline. For me, that just leads to whole chapters of stuff that is not organically connected to the whole. Chapters that have to be deleted, or at least moved to another document, where they can serve as examples. OR where I can mine them for clever turns of phrase.

I also continued the revision of MEDUSA. For an hour or so I fiddled with the phrasing here and there, or deleted redundancies. I think the final real change will come when I really get into Eleni’s mind and emotions during a crucial stretch near the end: a fight here, a battle there, and then the duel with Dragutin. That’s kind of the point of the book, emotionally; I need to spend a couple days digging that up and dissecting it. That’s gonna be hard. Might have to lock the studio door for a day.

Oh well. Gotta go. See ya.
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I had this idea. I’m gonna write it down, and maybe publish/post it, just so I can say I did it. So I can know that at least I tried.

Get some big boxes and crates. They should be the kind that the military uses to drop ammo and stuff into war zones. Don’t put ammo into the boxes and crates.

Put into the crates: food and drinks and clothes; medicine and small helpful machines (like pedal powered lathes and sewing machines and drill presses and the like); those cook-stoves made by Stove-tec, or butane cookers for areas w/out firewood; cell phones, with batteries, and solar and pedal-powered charging devices; seeds, and tools for farming; and other needful or useful things.

You can think of things I didn’t, I’m sure.

Then, in all the places where the US Government thinks they are making things better by bombing the shit out of “bad guys” (“evildoers?”) airdrop these crates and boxes instead.

Here are a couple of important points:

First, drop a lot of boxes. Drop so many boxes, with so much stuff, that it becomes worthless except for its ‘use-value’. That way, the various government, proto-government, pseudo-government, and bandit organizations will not be able to steal the goods and sell/profit from them.

Next, make sure there are no identifying labels on the boxes, or on the planes and choppers that deliver them. An act of charity that one claims and profits from is not pure. Tricky stuff, like the Peace Corps and USAID? That stuff has to be right out. NO STRINGS ATTACHED!

People like me call that ‘the economy of the gift.’ The only reciprocity we should expect is non-specific. (‘Non-specific reciprocity’ is also a thing. It’s the real answer to that stupid question from Econ 101. You know the one I’m talking about…)

(Yes, of course the people on the ground in these various regions will know it was the US gov’t (or people from the USA) that did the deed. That’s part of the point, after all. But we should learn from the nobility of the European Middle Ages something about noblesse oblige, and not braggin’ on ourselves all the damn time.)

This could be done for a small fraction of the cost of a small number of bombs and war machines. Dropping such needful and helpful things upon the killing fields will do more to undermine the power of the elites in places like Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Syria and Egypt than all the ‘targeted killings’ in our History have ever done.

It wouldn’t be hard to get the stuff, either. After all, the world is in a “permanent crisis of Overproduction” as the old ICC pointed out. Anything we need or want, we can produce in quantities far beyond what anyone would (or could) purchase. Factories and mills all over the States sit idle because no one can find a way to sell their output.

Call me what names you will: hippie, commie, socialist, peacenik, idealist, utopian. I don’t even care anymore. (for the record: an Anarchist-Syndicalist with a strong influence from the Situationists.)

The gov’t can even keep all of the war machine shit, let it sit there quiet and cool. Just in case, y’know.

But I bet my plan would work way better.
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Ah, the Writing Life. At least I’m not dependent on book sales to stay alive; I’d be sleeping in a car and eating out of dumpsters.

MEDUSA is moving along at a crawl, but she’s moving. So many things have interrupted my “Flow”(sarcasm alert) of late, that I have been in the ‘one sentence here, a paragraph there’ mode for a couple weeks. BUT keep that up for a while and in the end you have something.

And since the book itself is done, so to speak, and I’m writing an interweave chapter to tie up some loose ends, I guess I’m not actually in a big hurry. At this point I want it to be good, and I want it to be ready by Orycon, and there is no good reason that I can’t just mosey the thing along and make it happen. It’s a very different feeling from the run-up to publication of SALTARAE.

I will be at Sam Bond’s Garage tonight, and as usual I will have my bad attitude, snarky sense of humor, and copies of all my writings.

To the NSA: Nothing new this week, so you can concentrate on militias and such. Edward Snowden, the drinks are on me if you can make the scene.


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