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Day Four

8,276 / 50,000

There wasn't much done on Day Three. I was in Maine, as I related in my last post. So there was little writing done. I've managed to correct that for today, which is of course Day Four, and pushed the count up to 8,276/6,664, or about 1 day's buffer's worth. I'll try to stretch that for tomorrow, as I've got at least one overnight business trip coming up I want to be sure I'm covered for.

I'm a busy person. This kind of surprises me. But work keeps busy, and there's all this stuff to do. And stuff that calls out to be snarked. "Snark me, Eric," it says. "You know you want to! Write opinions about me, bitch! Bark like a dog! BARK LIKE A DOG!"

But I refuse to feel guilty about doing Nanowrimo stuff. I know it divides my writing time up, but Jess Christ, I'm writing a novel. That's what writers do. I'll do my best to not let Snarky languish. And you guys have been amazingly great, and that, in turn, is amazingly great.

So, here's a fast 500+ word excerpt from the current output. It's short enough that I won't put it behind a cut. Let me know if that pisses you off.

            So youre being put on a commodores staff?

            Commodore Sortino. That makes a difference. I know him.

            Morita started walking again, pausing long enough to make sure Malcolm was following. You know Sortino?

            Youve heard of him?

            Has anyone whos helped fight their ships in the disputed worlds not heard of him? He led the strike that broke the supply line run from Simpson to Garrity forced them to retreat to Crosbys Folly and fortify. If his successors hadnt fucked it up, we could have held Simpson, taken and fortified Garrity, and started up the ides from Migdal to Abramsuld.

            Yeah. Just like that. Malcolm snorted. You know better, Rita.

            Let me dream. He knows you?

            I didnt think so.

            But you said

            I said I knew him. He shook his head. I was a subleftenant on the Kanamori. He was a captain then. He was everything I think of when I think of captains. Malcolm shook his head. Larger than life. Took control of every situation he was in, just by walking through the door. Nothing seemed to shake him. Nothing seemed to hurt him. And he understood you.

            Sounds like he had an impact.

            Yeah, Malcolm said softly.

            That sounds like theres a story behind it.

            Malcolm took a deep breath. I was on the Kanamori when we got word that Campos had been taken.

            Morita looked away. Im sorry.

            Its okay. Malcolm was walking faster, now. Striding, almost. Like he was trying to put distance between himself and that memory. It devastated me. I had... have family there. Some I havent heard from in years. It was like the Concordians had set a bomb off under my bunk.

            And Sortino understood that?

            He came to see me in my cabin. Just sat there. Let me blubber. Didnt hold it against me. He understood. Malcolm took a deep breath, shaking his head. He was from Aurora.

            Morita stopped in her tracks. Oh, she said in a small voice.

            Yeah. His homeworld, saturation bombed in a surprise attack. The start of the whole fucking war. Hed been on leave at the time. He was there. He got a commendation for organizing a defense of the refugees. But his wife and parents didnt get out. Didnt even survive. Malcolm looked at Morita. It made all the difference to me. He understood. He understood the fear, and the despair, and the anger I was feeling. He didnt hold it against me. He let me express it. He let me exorcise it.

            And youre surprised he remembers you?

            Yeah. Malcolm shrugged. There were dozens of officers and crew on the Kanamori. More than half of us probably had something similar happen. Garrity, Campos and Abramsuld were all heavy feeders for the Imperial Navy. Malcolm chuckled, without humor. Theyre talking about revising posting assignments, you know? Over the next fifty years, set it up so that enlisted and officers are posted at least a sector away from their homeworlds. Makes people a little crazy to be thrown into such a personal war.

            Oh, yeah. Make sure people are twenty-five or thirty transitions from a homeworld thats being bombed. Thatll be good for morale.


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Small note: the livejournal feed isn't working properly, and it says "Owner must fix manually."

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

Already fixed, but it takes until the next update cycle before it'll correct it.

Editor here, and one who's following the novel with interest -- I admire that you're able to do this in your spare time, considering that a lot of my writers can't stay on schedule when that's, you know, their *job.*

Anyway, not to freak you out or anything, but you're almost to the one-fifth mark and you're still scene setting. If you were one of my guys, along about now I'd be dropping you a line saying "When is Malcolm going to get his ass to the front lines already?"

Feel free to ignore me; you're doing an excellent job so far with the characterization, and I truly do think you know what you're doing. This is more in the spirit of a heads-up.

M. Pius:

Thanks for the comment. It's well taken, and it'll be something I work on, no doubt.

On the other hand, you're under the mistaken impression this is a war novel. ;)

I can't get over how natural and evokative your dialogue is.

I wouldn't worry about the length - I realized yesterday that I was a full tenth of the way into the novel and my ship was *just* leaving dock for the first time.

Then I realized that there really wasn't any help for it because all that stuff had to be setup anyway. I also realized that just because the contest is for 50k words doesn't mean that's all I can write - I can write the story as long as it needs to be over that arbitrary cut-off line.

Thus comforted, I didn't give it a second thought.

(btw, thx for the comment, Eric - you're my first non-spam comment.) ;)

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