Monday, December 30, 2013

Road Trip Chapter 4

(I had hoped to finish posting this series before the new year. Nano got in the way of editing/fixing stuff so the rest will go up in January -- it is already almost all posted on tumblr, so there is that, and is mostly all edited/fixed by now though I suspect I will catch the odd typo/tense error for some time.)

4. Stories & Lies

I leave Jay in the back seat with instructions to rest; he curls up against the door and is out cold moments later. From the look of the fast food containers in the front neatly filled with other bottles and candy wrappers he’s gone through a staggering amount of food but needed no urging to sleep. I try not to worry about it as Charlie taps the wheel carefully and waits.

“Human vision is limited; his vision isn’t human. He can see colours we can’t, probably because a good number of Others use camouflage techniques here, if out where they’re from. It’s kin to how fish see a lot more than people do.”

“So if I had tried to see whatever that man was, I’d have been noticed?”

“Yes. I probably would have as well; for him it’s entirely normal to see such things.” I let out a breath and nudged the bond, but Jay seemed entirely asleep. “He had to use a lot of esses to explain it – or fail to, really, but he hates saying them to anyone except me.”

“He hates being reminded of how weak he is. Fine. I get that.” I say nothing and her gaze flicks over to me. “What? He told me he was worried his binding you meant I’d hate him: I said it wasn’t like that and things are okay, and now you’re going to tell me I’m wrong. Because you are the magician.”

“Which means things aren’t okay?” Charlie says nothing in turn, focusing on the road. “He’s not human. He looks it, yes, and he’s learning to act it, but I imagine he can probably see bindings as easily as we’d see sunlight but we don’t have the language to describe it.”


“That was a weighted grunt,” I say, as seriously as Jay would.

It wins a ghost of a smile. “I’m trying to get this straight in my head. Shadows attack us, and because of that we’re drive across the country with Jay to meet another magician, partially because he’s a weird little shit but mostly because you have some creatures from outside the universe pissed off at you.”

“Broadly, yes.”

“Why the car? You’re a magician.”

“Magic is need and desire, as I’ve said before. Our need to meet Leo in Washington State isn’t great enough to risk bending space and time, not when doing so weakens the walls between the worlds. and allow Others into this world that lack the power to get in alone. Viruses. Plagues.”

“Memes? Never mind,” she says, waving it away. “So magic doesn’t step over science?”

“Not knowingly. A magician who didn’t know of cars and the like could make gateways with almost no cost: it’s about knowledge as much as anything else.”

“Another reason most magicians don’t use the internet?”

“It’s not a question of ignorance being power, but more than knowledge can constrain magic if improperly applied. I think it’s one reason few older people become magicians and why most magicians tend to be limited: a magician who is able to do anything must, in the end, do nothing.”

“Like Mary-Lee,” she says slowly.

“I don’t know. She had someone alter my drink in the bar; I’m certain it wasn’t her, but why she wanted to speak to you and Jay and to what end I’ve no idea. You are a god-eater with a god inside them, Charlie: that isn’t too usual either.”

“And we’ve never ran into one we couldn’t see before. Because we couldn’t see them,” she says before I can say it, “but also because of reasons, right?’“

“You are a god-eater: it only made sense to try and keep you away from gods. For their sake and yours. The man at the automotive shop was probably an avatar, a human imbued with some of the gods power. Any place because care about deeply can manifest a god, which protects and limits it at the same time. Your business won’t expand but neither is it likely to fall victim to weird acts you’ll never explain to insurance or basic threats like recessions. Assuming one manages to call and manifest the right sort of god, of course. I did try and keep us eating in chain restaurants to avoid incidents.”

“And you never told me.”

“That did seem a way to help avoid incidents, yes.” Charlie looks back at the road at that, the god a flash of anger in her eyes for a moment despite an attempt at steadied calm, her anger a wash of warmth that bubbles through the car. “If I had told you, would you haver avoided gods?”

“That’s not the point: it was my choice to make.”

“No. You exist as you are now because of a working I did, Charlie. Magic doesn’t allow me to evade the responsibility of that while we travel together and I’d rather you didn’t leave.” I let out a breath. “I’ve done enough harm in my life without adding more if I can avoid it.”

“Magic as a guilt trip, huh? ’Magic is not power’, and all the stuff?”

“Yes. Consider it like balancing a pendulum. So far you’ve been one for my plus column.”

She snorts at that but does relax a little. “And Jay?”

“No idea at all. I’m trying not to think about that too hard.” I snag a pop and chocolate bar to eat. “To work magic, one must shape reality to one’s will. Become the very thing you change, so that there is no point where it ends and you do not begin. Some magicians never recover from that, from what it means, from what we are. I have seen too much, too clearly, to be wise, but it is easy to mistake wisdom for knowledge when you know more than others do. And magicians often do, in matters that concern us.”

“That’s a marginally better excuse for being an ass than most guys have,” she says, but her smile has less edges to it now. “So I could leave and really screw you up, huh?”

“How can leaving not harm another?” I offer, not meaning to wound, knowing it can’t help but do so. “Sometimes staying harms more, it is true, but it is hard to know which is worse even for a magician. If you can see deeper into someone than they themselves can, knowing what they desire and what they need becomes hard to understand at times.”

Charlie grunts, lights a cigarette and begins driving one-handed. “Tell me a story, then. About you, magic, Others.”

I let out a breath. “I spent some time in a small town on the outer edges of Vegas not long after the great Working Leo and I helped with. As the only survivors, we figured we should best lie low and major centres are a good way to vanish for anyone. Problem was that local drug lords had been vanishing for a good month before I arrived. It made the papers, mostly in a ’well, the police are looking into it, mostly to hand out civic awards’ sense. They’d all been out seeking homes for grow ups, hideaways and the like and vanished without a trace.

I helped myself to another pop. “So I went into Vegas and bent chance in my favour, returned in a suit and with a small fortune to begin renting places I could sublease to others. Wave around money, pay in cash, get cheaper deals. The end result was cheap rent for people and a small profit going back to the casino I’d made a deal with. It took almost five days to find a real estate agent who wasn’t human – it might be easier now, of course. It looked female, had a smile so bright it could only be fake and didn’t fool me.

“I fooled it, enough to be taken to a home on the outskirts of anything that ate people. Another Other, unable to leave the building it had become. The result of some poor banishing or attempted return outside the universe. The weaker one brought it nasty people as food so it didn’t call non-nasty people to it.”

“So they’re still there?” Charlie asks as she finishes her cigarette.

“I banished both, returned the money I’d acquired to the casino and the business itself to a family fallen on hard times. The building has no concern over who it ate, and the weaker Other wanted to return home but couldn’t alone. It turned out better than it could have.”

“They were helping the community, weren’t they?”

“The real estate agent was using the papers and rumours to find evil people to feed to the house: it was only a matter of time before they made a mistake. The house didn’t care who it ate, and it was only a matter of time before the real estate agent was caught.”

“Huh.” She peels open one of the candy bars, eyes on the road. “And you had to make that kind of judgement call alone?”

“One isn’t alive if one doesn’t make judgement calls,” I offer with a smile, “and knowing when to alter them and why is as important as making them. Now I would probably have kept them in the world and bound them: then I did what was basically reflex for a magician, even if it was for the right reasons.”

“Huh.” She drives for a good minute in silence, the back roads mostly empty except for a few trucks passing us that don’t give our car a second look, though one guy does bellow at us to find a satnav.

“What about you?”


“You have stories, I imagine. Everyone does.”

She pauses. “I was at a party once with a guy I knew who slipped LSD into random drinks. Richard was his name: Dick the dick we called him, for a lot of good reasons including that. One kid named Tyrone ended up screaming about mirrors and leapt off the roof of the house. Ended up in the hospital far as I know. Before I met you, I’d have called it the weirdest thing I’d seen, a serious spazz-out.”

I don’t point out Tyrone was probably right about mirrors or that her pause probably meant some buried memory. “I meant about you, Charlie.”

She lights a cigarette and takes a deep drag of it. “I was eight years old when I first brought my mom a steaming pot of coffee to wake her up in the morning. You know functioning alcoholics: fuck that noise. Mom didn’t function at all most of the time, near as I could tell. Dad did sales. Travelled,” she says, giving the word a sharp weight.

I met her dad in a coffee shop. I don’t add to it.

“I think he loved her. Asked myself that a lot, once I figured things out. Why else would a gay man marry a woman if he didn’t love her?”

There is cruelty in telling people truths they know; I don’t point out nothing is that simple.

“By the time I realized what was going on, mom didn’t. Maybe she never wanted to. She’d had to give up drink after DT hit and dad’s money couldn’t cover for something she did at some event. So she fell into valium, stuff like that. Medicate the world to happiness, shit like that. Mom fell apart, dad held the family together. It was normal enough, from what my friends said, though for most of them it was therapists that held their families together.” She lets out a smoke ring. “That and prenups.”

“And yet you smoke,” I say.

“Fuck yeah. Everyone needs a crutch; this is mine. Less expensive than most others. You drink.”

“Not as much as I used to.”

“I don’t smoke as much as I used to either.”

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Result of 2 hours...

A new story in the magician series. I've started a series of stories involving Charlie and her working for CASPER (The Centre for Secure Poltergeist Elimination Research), which basically involves her working with a ghost who is a ghost-eater on a truly ludicrous budget thanks to cutbacks. The stories are set after the magician series, in which Charlie leaves the magician and Jay to pursue her own life and plans.

I do plan to have her life intersect back with the magician and Jay but figured it would be fun to do more stories just about Charlie and also helps broaden up the world a little.

From the story:

I sigh and begin shoving brambles out of my way as I head toward the house. I could rip through them: I have a monster inside me, a thing of claw and shadow, a god forged of fear and flame, but the ghost might notice. And it seems kind of silly to to call up for brambles, but less so as Dyer just wanders through them, his already ripped leather jacket barely touched by them while my winter jacket gets ripped and torn up to match his. I’m in a mood by the time we reach the house.

“I should go first,” Dyer offers in his soft rasp as we reach what the perpetually open drawbridge leading into the old home. I turn and raise one eyebrow; he falls back a couple of steps and licks his lips.“Charlie, no one has lived here for close to a hundred years. The floors could well collapse –”

“They wouldn’t dare.”

Ghost-boy is good at sounding nice; I’m good at sounding like I’m a few seconds from doing something the other person is going to regret. He snaps his mouth shut and says nothing else as I head across the doorway and into the house.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


There are things even a magician cannot avoid forever, powers which even magic cannot bind or loose. I try, but it is me against the world and the world wins out. There are so few places in the world I could escape to with Jay and he would ask questions about why we had gone to them, why we’re just upped and left North America when I have friends and responsibilities I cannot simply abandon. Jay is slowly learning about this universe, being from far outside it, but one thing he understands better than I ever could is bindings.

Which is why, despite my efforts and tricks, he drags me into a mall in a small town two days before Christmas with frantic comments about bindings falling apart. Jay is small and thin, looks to be about ten and can pass for younger. The lisp helps with that, and the fact that he is very young by the standards of creatures from Outside the universe. He is afraid all the time, but you would be too if you’d fled into the universe because every single thing you met wanted to eat you. Fleeing into the universe had damaged him, with the lisp being an outward sign of damage even a magician cannot fix. Jay looks like a little kid, I’m a magician. I don’t look like whatever you expect. Appearing ordinary and unremarkable is a skill few people bother to acquire, magician or not. People just think twenty-something with nephew and never think further about me.



He stops. “Every binding here ith breaking down,” he hisses, practically hopping from foot to foot, gaze darting from person to person frantically. The mall isn’t much to speak of but is still jammed with last minute shoppers with scowls and lists, the Christmas music playing in the background sounding like nothing so much as irony.

“I know.”

“Fix it,” he pleads, because his trust in me has never wavered. I’ve damaged the binding between us at least once, forced him to call up his potential self and damaged him further and he still trusts me.

There are things even magic cannot fix. I reach down, wrap his hand in mine and start walking.

“Honcho?” he says in a small voice. I don’t like using my name in public, he doesn’t like trying to say the word magician. I can feel him pushing at the bindings between us like a sore tooth, trying to understand. “You were hiding thith from me?”

“I’ve hurt you enough the past few weeks.”

“I’m fine!”

“Charlie isn’t travelling with us, and that is my fault.” I don’t say why. Jay forgave me for using him; Charlie couldn’t do that. “This is a bad time of yearn to be a magician,” I add as we wind our way between shoppers. “Magic answers need, bends it to give people what they want. But this time of year there is nothing but needs. Christmas is about making the transient last: gifts of presents are an echof of deeper and older powers, the shifting of the seasons. The war against entropy.”

“I don’t like it,” he mumbles.

“You don’t like entropy?”

“No, the – the other word.”

“Christmas.” He nods. I find a bench and sit. “Read up on it on your phone.”

He does so for a good ten minutes, focused on nothing else, then looks up. “I thought the lightth were to hold back the dark?”

“They are. Everything changes, rituals become traditions but do not lose their power.” He says nothing. “All right, I’ll bite: why don’t you like it?”

“It ith really hard to thay,” he says, and breaks out into a huge grin at whatever he sees on my face.

“I see.” I stand and grin in turn. “We’re doing this, then. Come.”

Jay blinks but follows me through the crowd until we reach Santa’s grotto. It isn’t big, consisting of one styrofoam reindeer, one sour kid in an elf costume and an older man with a false beard who is trying to smile in the face of terror and crying children. All children instinctively fear Santa Claus; so many adults forget to wonder why. Jay trembles slightly, fingers tight in my grip. He can see the threads that bind people together easier than we see colours; I can barely imagine what this might be like. But he says nothing, so I keep silent as we reach the front of the line.

“You’re old,” Jay says. He has no power to put into his voice, but he knows things nothing human can, and the awful certainty of his words causes the costumed man to pause. “All that need, all that power, and humanity turned it into a game. Took the dark and bound it to the light. A gift, a present, a giving: a bargain with the world that is old enough to not be a bargain at all but the way of it.

“They can’t even imagine the awful thing you’ve bound with thethe ritualth,” he adds, softer, his gaze turning to me. “And I think you don’t know either?” For a moment he looks so small and scared I think he’s going to start sucking on his thumband not stop, but Jay pulls himself out of the seeing, back into the world, reaches for strength from me and then for magic.

A magician cannot work magic in this place and not become trapped in the myth of it. There are stories so powerful that no magic can break them, and no way to know why we still tell them. I give him strength and power and wait, feeling the energies of the world twist in unfamiliar ways. I don’t know what Jay is doing; I’m almost certain he doesn’t either.

“All they want,” Jay says, and my power threads through his voice, binding the old man in a costume and the elf, reaching out to other grottos, other places, “is to not be afraid. Because it is cold and dark and the light seems far away in a world that is half-dying in ice. They want family to be family and friends to be friends; you don’t have to be small that the gifts you give no matter at all.” He smiles at the Santa then, and whispers a wish so soft I don’t catch it at all save to know it is entirely in his own voice.

Jay snags my hand a moment later and pulls me away from the grotto. “You can get your family gifth now,” he says proudly.

I pause, stop dead, stare down at him. The crowds seem less frentic, the children in line for Santa more curious than terrified and the world is – I turn then, in a slow circle, and see people and nothing more. “That was all a trick.”

“Yup! I needed your voithe to not thound thilly,” he grumbles, then grins again. “And I helped them and you and it wath a very good binding.”

“Yes.” I can feel my magic, deep and quiet, bound under the power of the season and Jay’s will. To be a magician without magic for one even a few hours was a gift, though not one I imagine Jay would be able to pull off again. “You could have used that moment to say the word Christmas.”

He rolls his eyes and just grins, pulling me toward a store. “It’th your turn to come!”

“Uh huh.” I let go of his hand and walk slowly. “And if I was to ask how much of this was so that I’d get you presents, Jay?”

“I do need a new phone,” he says in a tone so serious it almost throws me until he sticks out his tongue and half-skips into a store.

I shake my head and follow. A small part of me is horrified he bound my power so easily but I take it as a gift of the season along with a desire to never find out what creature Jay is certain humanity bound with Christmas. I buy him gifts, and give him money to buy me a few with, shock my family by calling them on Jay’s phone.

I wait until my magic frees itself from his binding before we have a snow ball fight.

I win.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

In which I figure out plot stuff...

Ah, screenplays. Or, more accurately, entire TV series season. On the plus side, it only took me 11 days to figure out a major plot point. On the downside, it does mean I need to rewrite a chunk of my 10,000 words of notes. I have written out an outline for the first 2 episodes (closing in on 3K words) and will do very short synopsis-bursts for the next ones and then revise the setting/info files.

Which should be done before the new year so I can work on Ghoulish Happenings at that point, then get back into this project and write out an actual treatment for the first episode. With luck it shall work....

OTOH, working on the project is handy for ideas about novels and games in general. I'm having to focus a lot more on the antagonist than I usually do and that is a good thing for any project. On the flip side, I've probably made it too complicated but that can easily be ironed out later on.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

December funmas

Having been bugged into trying my hand at a screenplay I decided to go for broke and create an entire kids tv show, possibly. I've done about 5500 words of background, the setting and character files as if it was being done up for others to add to and improve upon it. I am currently waiting on paypal to transfer monies and then shall buy Scrivener and begin building actual stories in that. This is mostly an experiment for the sheer fun of doing it rather than going 'I will make this and pitch it at people and They Will Buy It' that's also keeping my brain occupied from working on edits on Ghoulish Happenings, since I don't want the holidays to interfere with that and they will definitely do so.

Also reading one book on making screenplays and plan to read another, though I suspect the ambition -- to make an entire tv series -- far oustrips ability at this point. It should still be fun to do and probably fit the idea rummaging in my head rather well. It is very much in the embryonic stage: I have the one one main character and his family figured out but I'm still working on the others and the villains as well. By choice I'm trying to avoid any Chosen One tropes and try and have fun with the concept of hunting monsters and how such people get raised ....

Monday, December 02, 2013

Facebook status updates part XXII (July &- October 2013)

"The world would be so much simpler if I could remember how to lie."

"My life is like."
"Is like?"
"Is like, yes."

Dear Santa:
I know it's late, but can you fix mommy's cough?

One of the interesting things about planned missions to mars: you could make them one-way, with people knowing they'd never make it back, and still never lack for volunteers. Which is all kinds of awesome.

"They say that even Lucifer fell, you know. And if the first of the angels fell, what hope have you of not joining him? What hope do any of us have?"
"We have hope. It counts for something."
"Does it? I wonder, I truly do."

"Magic is what lets us escape from the world. What could be more perfect than a trap so pure?"

The sin in altruism is deeper than that which hides in pride.

Ideas in my head that I will never actually write:
An Opera about trying to fund a musical.

I wish I could find some magic,
Just a little to have and hold:
I'd give a little of everything
To not watch you grow old.

And it seems I’ve made a mess
Of things trying to be kind;
I drop shells on a seashore
I wait for you to find.

Canada: Still including Quebec.

"It's always hard to find home again if you're never sure it was home at all. "
.... I am writing too many short stories lately.

I uses to trust you until I realized you were like all the rest. When you sleep you are as weak as everyone else. The strong know how not to dream.

I wonder if the people who send spam emails realize how horrible a vegetarian must feel on opening one?

She smiles at you from every family portrait, though she never did once when she was alive.


"I used to be a superhero, you know. But the IRS didn't allow me to claim anything for expenses, so here I am. Now please hand over your wallet and I won't have to hurt you."

It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would that he was scared of me. Not when I was scared of me too.

If. So wild a word. So sad a hope.
Random find of the day: someone whose qualifications included 'professional psychedelic'. It took effort to not send a message asking for details on that.

The magician snapped the fingers of his right hand. "Magic, you see, is also about misdirection: while you've been watching me for strings and mirrors, my assistant has been in your office hacking into your computer."

"You made me. Everything that I am, you shaped. I am who I am because of you and if am not to hate myself then how can I hate you?"

My fillings do not have crowns; not because of money, but because I will not support the monarchy.

We are the kind of people no one will write songs about.

What if cats really did have nine lives? Think of how much it would benefit animal testing: there would be mice cheering the world over.

What we desire should terrify others as much as it does us. How can one small world compass our impossible greed?

Despair is finding out what self-help books your guru uses.

I plagiarized so many poets in poems I wrote to you
Trying to feel something that wasn't real at all.

I wrote you a poem.
This is
That poem.

Sometimes I think that you're not real,
Sometimes that I'm not either;
And everything that falls apart
Does so for a reason.

Fun fact #1: there are no fun facts.

Dear brain: It is past midnight. This is not the time to start giving me ideas for short stories.
Thank you, the rest of Josh

He was so tired that he slept through his own death and could not be convinced that the afterlife was more than a poor hallucination.

Fun things to do in a doctors office: add random books to their office shelves.
Twilight and Philosophy: the definitive guide.
Homeopathy & You: medicine with no side-effects to worry abound!

Books for the dentists office --
Truly Alternative Payment Plans: kidnapping nephews in exchange for two free crowns.
Reading Saccharine Love Poetry: a treatise on the potential dangers of cavities.

The magician discovered he could summon anyone in the pentagram by invoking cat videos on YouTube.

"You are a monster!"
"And you think hating me because of that doesn't make you monstrous?" I flashed a grin of sharp teeth. "I may not be able to help what I am; can you?"

"Huh. Lucky."
"No, clever." He smiled tightly. "It's not the same thing at all."

The supervillain enacted Stage 1 of his plan to take over the world by hacking every celebrity twitter feed and starting the mother of all cyberwars.

Things I would do if I had no morals:
Write a self-help book.

Feng Shui II: Feng Harder.

I am making up fake facts for people to claim are true about themselves.
'I own four parrots all named after famous celebrities; I have taught each of them to speak in the voice of their celebrity. ' is the sanest thus far.

This isn't the poem you meant to read.

There are sadder words in English --
Deeper too, that rend and tear,
But: "I used to be a poet"
Holds bleakness all its own.

Your genius is loving me when I don't deserve it.

The Detective's third wife divorced him after he tried to arrest her for eating more calories than her current diet plan had allowed.

"How dare you say that to me?"
"I am dreadfully sorry. You had told me you wanted the truth. I can see how that you were lying when you said that as well."

If we can make it through the failure of our dreams
about ourselves, each other, the world entire –
if we can fall through that but hold together
with fingers, worlds, whispers, promises.
If we can hold together with cracked hearts.
If we can make each other whole
Our dreams won't matter then.

Spoiler alert: we are spoiled for alerts.

On growing up:
there comes a point in every child’s life when they realize that Peter Pan was a monster.

You crossed half a world to tell me
Things Hallmark could instead

I see the Vatican suspended a bishop for insane expenses. They must be livid: imagine the amount of abuse scandals that money could have hushed up.

Bad pick-up line concept: "You are why I don't need feminism."
(Or, "You are why I need feminism." It probably works either way.)

The publisher realized they had a problem when the proof copies of their latest vegan cookbook were leather-bound.

"If I was a dog, you would be my best friend."

My nanowrimo novel is going to include a scene where a creature from outside time and space pesters an elderly couple with relentless logic until they decide to talk to their granddaughter, whom they have shunned for living in sin (aka with a boyfriend and not yet married).
.... this is gonna be a weird novel, even by my standards.

This poem is
Shorter than
It needs to be.

This poem is
Longer than
It needs to be.

Six-word story:
"I loved you, so I forgot."

After the vice principal melted into a puddle of goop, no one ever mocked Jeffy's desire to perform an exorcism at the school talent show again.

"I wished -- ah, but what nightmare does not begin with those words?"  

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The madness. It is over. Day -1.

Huh. Ended up with a shade over 140,000 words this year. Pretty interesting all around: did a lot of write-ins with the local chapter, had two weeks of the month off work and had a lot of fun in the process. A breakdown ...

Curdled Magics: The magician series novel draft went well. It ended up at a shade over 50K when I had figured on, oh, 90K. I cut some parts out as 'not necessary' that were in retrospect necessary yo write. The second draft needs some fixing (the first 6,500 words are in past tense rather than present, for example) and there will be a lot to change, fix and improve in another draft but the framework of the story turned out to be rather solid. I do need to give it more room to breathe, but I can work on that as well.

Ghosting: A novella set after the novel from Charlie's POV. I wrote it for myself alone, so that I'll know how she met Dyer and what CASPER is and the like. Pure backstory. In the middle of a story, but even so.

Rogue Dreams: I don't generally do sci-fi, which is one reason I wrote it for my second nano. I try to do at least one genre or story I never do every year as a kind of crazy challenge. This story almost ate my brain a couple of times given the first 7,500 words were a mess and the story that followed on a new attempt bore no relation to the story I'd wanted to tell. On the plus side, that does mean that I can still tell that story at some future date. It also never lived up to the promise of the first scene, but trying sci-fi without any real worldbuilding or notes at all is a recipe for disaster anyway. A fun disaster, but still that. I will probably re-read it in a few months but likely do nothing else with it.

War & Pieces: A mainstream-attempt at a novel/satire of nanowrimo and thrillers. It started getting far more serious than it should and I borrowed a plot threat from a story I wrote 2 years ago that probably didn't work at all. It is a neat story but probably could never get published for reasons of, well, liability. I will go back to it in a bit, but I'll need to alter a lot of the character and, probably, make his family far less important to the story. I also need to figure out what kind of story it's going to be at all. It was a fun start to a story and should be great fun to tweak later.

All told, this year counts as a success as far as nanowrimo goes. I had to cancel nothing to do it, which is definitely a plus, and am left in that state of: 'Wake up! Wait. No need to write. Sleep?' mental place which is fun. I have in the past generally done one serious draft (sometimes a redo of a nano) from Dec.-Feb. but am mostly taking December off save from short stories. Will begin the edits/revisions on Ghoulish Happenings in January and then the re-do on the sequel to it after that. At which point I will probably begin edits/revisions on Curdled Magics. But we shall see how it all plays out.