Monday, October 24, 2005

Still Lives: Freewrite for NanoWriMo

[Trying to get a feeling for the setting of the nano via freewriting in it]

Fluorescent lighting flickers under grime, lighting up the sidewalk to a grey haze. A receiver walks down the street, audio and video equipment protruding from all orifices (plus a few custom ones) to devour the scene for the ‘web. A few people look away, not wanting their faces captured, but the majority of the street ignores the poor fool, no one even bothering to wonder why they told themselves to become that.

It wouldn’t even occur to most of the people to wonder, or even care. Both are just roads to a messy grave half the time. Only in stories do they lead to fame or fortune, and no one in the old town believes in happy endings. In an alleyway three toughs beat a young girl to death with their bare hands, and though she has no arms no one moves to help, the blood of two of the tough’s friends decorating the grey-brown walls with a red smear of brains and blood and giving it colour for the first time in days.

A rusted cyborg leans against another wall, a few readouts on an arm the only sign he’s alive. Motors whine piteously as a hand twitches to shape a fist and failing, blood flecks on rust testimony to some strength left in him. An old scar twists the human half of his pace into a permanent sneer, as if anger could save him from running down and being worthless.

A monkey slips across rooftops, fingers and tails finding handholds as it moves, the joy of freedom from humanity exhibited by thrown feces and monkey screams of derision hiding the ruins of a mind that once knew of light years and the wind between the stars. Bored children take pot shots at it and make crude jokes about evolving down while their parents melt together in bedrooms in an orgy of mutual self destruction.

Prostitutes whisper subliminated desires, offering to become anything their clients desire, for a price. Anything, except real. The real ones, children unable to afford body mods or traits or interesting nanite perfumes, just try to hide their bruises and pretend they want sex, even if most of them came with their parents and want nothing more than to be holding their hands.

Hyperintelligent canines growl warnings to invisible stealthcats ferreting out secrets while bodyguards smile their death-head grins and wait for excitement as their own clients indulge in perversions of sex or charity. At the corner armoured policemen track gene codes and make bets on who will die first tonight. A young unreplicated rookie twitches nervously, not wanting to die even for a few hours.

A hawk scream overhead announces a winged artist plummeting into the ground, a comet trailing fire as he impacts with road, killing three people and forming a small smoking crater. Several arts students in a hovercar clap and a few of the daring ones put up score cars as their professor awards bonus points for real death and never procreating to the work of art.

Several drunken men hose the body down with urine, one throwing up something radioactive that makes the fire burn bright pink for a moment. The professor awards an extra point for encouraging audience participation and sends the marks off to the school, secretly hoping the death bonus leads more of his studies to killing themselves and reducing his work load.

Jaded passerby walk on, eyes dead and empty. Protectives whisper warnings, guarding owners with electrical discharges at those who come to close. A hungry Shaman latches onto one, drawing energy and the owner swears, then stiffens and falls to the ground twitching gently. The Shaman smirks and walks away as the man struggles to stand a few moments later, the infected Protective screaming curse words in place of discharges.

A ghost flits over the scene, only the Shaman noticing and ignoring it, secure in power and pride. Three ‘web junkies give the Shaman wide berth, closing their connections to System warily, eyes filled with hate and jealousy. A bored courier flits overhead, playing tag with something only she can see, showing off her skills.

Two real humans edge through the crowd, protective suits fragile antiques in a modern age and prayers stumbling from their lips, eyes wide in fascinated horror. A freak experiment of a gene doc’s craft smiles at them from several mouths and stumbles into a brothel to find anything willing to make it believe in love without appearances.

The rich laugh among themselves, secure in their physical immortality as everyone else just moves quickly, not pausing in case they look to closely into someone’s eyes and sees only their own emptiness and madness looking back desperately.

We are the future, a song sings through the street, from some band of the minute no one knows the name of, and a few people shudder at the notion it might be true. Everyone else just keeps going, or at least subsisting, and the children play their games without any care of worries, generators making toys and fake weapons and strange clothes and temporary forts to be recycled later, power even gods of old never had being used with careless abandon.

The freak girl without arms dies in the alley, drawing up enough concentration to cause her last attackers to suffer sudden blinding headaches and drop to the ground with blood coming out of their ears. As she dies, something whispers through her mind, voices of people she has never met, promising a revolution.

To the child eating rats made solely to devour children discarded in alleys, she feeds a whole family for almost a week.

Job Hunting

"is seeking an experienced, efficient, reliable pizza guru for evening / delivery shifts." ... Pizza. Guru.

"The offer is currently part time and will be built into a full-time position with interesting compensation" ... like, say, sacrifices to the Great Old Ones....

"I have 18 years of Gardening experience, and I am certified in Horticulture.
My company provides weekly lawn and Garden Maintenance,and Garden design, within the Colwood/ Metchosin area." ... It's BC. Most people are certified in "horticulture",, or know someone who is. Unless, of course, they meant something other than recreational drugs.

"Job Title: PT Packager Primary Skills: Hard working" "Be able to pass Manpower assessment testing Be able to pass drug screen Be fluent in English" ... be able to write periods. Just because you can. I wonder at the drug screening, though.

"Seeking Restaurant Personalle with an enthusiastic, outgoing personality for 24 hr family restaurant. Applicants must be team players, able to work shifts. The ability to clean as they go a must. Applicants 19 yrs old with food safe given priorty." ... no comment.

{essential Skills:(Select all that apply)
Reading textDocument use
Oral communicationWorking with others
Problem solvingDecision making
Critical thinkingJob task planning and organizing
Significant use of memoryFinding information
Computer useContinuous learning

... So, who does NOT have any of these? Explaining Insignificant use of memory would be amusing, at least.

"Other Information: Listen! You have to want to be around the crazy world of baking. It's about PASSION mixed with a desire to learn, integrity, flexibility. Sometimes it's tedious, often it is pressured but it should always be fun! If you have FOODSAFE, a sense of humour and want to learn, send us your resume." .... that rocks :) Applying becauuse a) it's fun and b) that was awesomely honest.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Guardian Monsters Blurb

Since Leshy is finished (85,557K first draft), I begin the insanity of NaNoWriMo now. TO whit, Guardian Monsters/. I'll post bits of things about it here, AND for your reading enjoyment (if anyone DOES read this), the entire novel in progress.


Being the story of STEPHEN and the monster under his bed RALPHIE who, for reasons best left unknown, has fallen in love with Stephen and is determined to safeguard him from all ills. This includes his drunk uncle when he was six and sleeping over at said uncle's house. Then last night, while partying after his thirtieth birthday, a cyborg tried to mug him in the a 'clave, only to be torn into pieces.

One unexplained incident can be dismissed; two warrants a police investigation even if you ARE rich beyond dreams of avarice. The police suspect combat nanos of impressive complexity. Stephen's Parents (Frank & Vaerlie Inc.) suspect drugs or "the wrong crowd." Stephen had no clue WHAT is going on.

Costarring bored AIs running elevators of doom ("I can calculate PI to 3 million decimal places and you want to go to the fifth floor? Hop in, buddy."), Ressurectionists who like to die and come back an hour later as the ultimate thrill, broken down cyborg mercenaries, down on their luck genies, clones looking for souls, and a very suspicious corpocracy [government] agent who wants the new weapon to use on the government accountants and get out of an expense audit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Upon Finishing A Novel

Sleep fails, the brain derailed, empty
abandoned by memories
and ghosts of plots whispering:
she was going to fight the enemy,
drunk, and throw up on him.
Asking: why was it never used;
asking: did you hate her?
To questions; no answer,
only another draft in
the future, errors melting
like wax from flying wings.

The emptiness waits hollow
silent, wishing to be filled,
the cup urging a new drink
in the wash if endorphin ecstasy
it demands to be clothed,
nakedness demanding new
stories to weave in the silence
to be filled with new voices
and laughter edged with
broken dreams and chains
and the wild rush of flight.

Friday, October 07, 2005

So, I'm insane

AKA I plan to do NaNoWriMo this year, even with moving + looking for a job + well, everyything else. Will post a freewrite done in the Guardian Monsters universe plus the blurb/plot. Soon. Off to try and work on finishing Leshy...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Generic Update

Almost at 70K in the novel so things are going well. I hope to finish this draft (#1) before the 15th of October, so it won't be in the way when I move to Victoria on the 20th. Things are going well, so far. Also going short stories for analog's challenge that make for a nice one-two hour break from the novel every few nights, and planning to wrap up the Mortal City campaign before the move as well. And pack. And see Serenity. And work.

It's going to be busy, but a fun kind of busy.

I probably won't do nanowrimo this year, simply due to move and lack of time in November. I may try it anyway just for a 50K novella but it's 70% likely I won't.

And some goals:

Next year is for editing Higher Ground, Waking the Dead, and Leshy. Then they'll be sent off, somewhere. Probably to Tor to moulder in slush pile hell or something. Will also write one (or possibly 2) novels next year:
1) an untitled Fantasy one about a knight, his apprentice, and honour in a land devoid of kings. It begins with the knight blowing up his home, so should be fun.
2) Through The Wilderness, the third novel in the cycle begun with Waking The Dead and Leshy. It'll be about Jared.

No idea which novel I'll do first. Probably the former just to give the muse a break from the Waking The Dead setting. Also have a short story about Jared to do up before the end of this year, and (finally) my Black Peter story, with luck. Aside from that, no idea what I'll do after those. I hope to return to Hunter and finish it and maybe take a second stab at Socks after. Time will tell.