Category: Writing

Author site now up and running

You can now follow my writing exploits at my pen name web site:


Slogging away

Hey! Just checking in here. I have just started my first editing pass on novel #1, Rasere’s War. In this pass, I’ll clean up sentences that seem awkward to me and rewrite or add more material to make it synch better with the follow-on novel, We Built This City. I can definitely see how much my writing has changed between the first and second novel.

After my edits, I’ll need some beta readers to offer their inputs on story flow, content, and character development.


Oh, I have registered my pen name with Godaddy and have set up a temporary website. I’m not ready to show it yet as I have yet t figure out what format I want the website to be in.

1st draft is done

Finished the first draft of “We Built This City”. 95,000 words! Next, I’ll take a break from writing and then go into edit mode in a few weeks. I am toying with the idea of adding more content, in the form of a field guide as an intro to a few chapters. Kind of like how the Hitch Hikers Guide To the Galaxy used excerpts of the guide in the radio show/ TV show.

The entries will help explain how the world works and help save me writing boring expositions.

A lonely clubber

Progress so Far

I started writing my second novel, We Built This City, back in January of this year. I am pleased to say I am nearing the finishing line and will complete my first draft by the end of this summer. My goal was 90,000 words and my current total is about 77,000.

Story progressThis is a status screen for the writing software I use, Writeway Pro. It’s made my writing process much easier than before because it allows me to properly format it and plan out what happens further into the story. It’s now FREE! Just register the program and they will hook you up with a code to register it.

Writeway Pro

Ultimately it is my goal to self-publish on Amazon as an e-book for Kindle and related devices. I’ll be needing the help of beta readers to help me with any story and character issues, as well as grammatical problems. I’ll also want to make up some appealing covers too.

Anyways, time to get back to writing!

Banging away at the keys

This is the planned opening chapter to the next novel which has the tentative title “We Built This City”. They are featured in one of the three main threads in the novel. They are a married couple who decided to go into cryogenic suspension in the early 21st century after receiving a fatal dose of radiation in an accident. This chapter details their “arrival” and the subsequent revelation of the nature of their reincarnation. Of course, this is subject to change due to editing.


It was a crisp, cool morning for a walk in the countryside. All around were trees brightly colored with red, yellow and orange leaves. Andrew wasn’t quite sure what he was doing here but he knew he had to get to the end of this dirt road. In fact, he didn’t remember much immediately prior to this moment. He had a fuzzy recollection of who he was but he had no idea why he was out for a stroll. He also had no clue as to who the woman just ahead of him was. He just had a compulsion to walk.

“Hi.”, she said. “Do you know where we are?

“No, I don’t. I’m not completely sure of who I am and how I got here. I’m just following the road.”

“Me too. I heard you behind me so I waited until you caught up. My name is Brandy.”

“Hi Brandy, nice to meet you. You seem familiar to me but I can’t quite place your face.”

Brandy was as tall as he was. She was as fair skinned as an Irish girl, blonde hair tied in a ponytail, and emerald green eyes. Brandy could have easily been a model for a magazine cover. Not the sort of woman Andrew would get the chance to meet, yet he felt he knew her somehow.

“You seem familiar to me too. I mean if I ever knew a GQ model of course!”, complimented Brandy.

“You’re kidding me of course.”

“No, seriously. You’re handsome.”

“Come on. I’m 45, fat as hell, and my sideburns are gray.”

“Have you looked in a mirror lately? Stop being silly. You are not fat, your hair is a solid dark brown, and your teeth are perfect.”

Andrew considered rebuking her but he looked down at his belly and saw that it was gone. His hands were different, they seemed stronger and the nails neatly trimmed. He felt his face and noticed his double chin was missing too.

“Well this is strange, I must be dreaming. This sure isn’t my body.”

“Funny you should say that. I don’t feel right either. How do I look?”

“Brandy, you look stunning.”

“Aww thank you, what’s your name?”


“-drew”, she completed for him.

“Damn, I just had a flash of deja vu.”

“Me too.”, she said and then covered her mouth with one hand.

That. The way she said thank you and the way she covered her mouth was so familiar.

“We have to keep moving Brandy. I am feeling a strong urge to keep walking down the road.”

“Same with me. I think we’re going to the same place.”

Continue reading

Below is a selected piece from the second novel I have started to write. I am taking a slightly different tack with this one and am writing out of sequence when the mood strikes. I found that writing from start to finish can often lead to ideas for future events to fall by the wayside. So as I get a great scene in my head I go ahead and write it down. They may be modified or even deleted entirely as I get to them in the story, but I feel it will be a great help overall. This scene depicts Marty Martian on a date 2 years after the events of the first novel.


Marty lay with his back against the trunk of the smooth-barked tree. It was already a few hours past noon and the warmth and humidity of the day was wearing him down. The broad branches of the tree kept him in the cooler shade and allowed him to remove his sunglasses. The modest southerly wind brought moist air up from the gulf where it lifted above the short hills to the south, glided over the broad valley, and then pushed up the tall mountains behind them to the north. Towering clouds began to pile up ominously above the peaks and the bases began turning dark. Soon they’d have to seek the cover of a nearby shelter or at least ride out any storm in their car. Darn convertible, he’d have to get the top pulled up too. He didn’t want to return it to Anthony’s Car Rentals with the insides all wet.

A slight murmur snapped him out of his thoughts. Next to him lay a lovely young woman sleeping on a blanket. “Ahh Marie”, he mused as he smiled to himself. She was the most carefree woman he had ever met. She was also very beautiful. Ivory skin, dark brown eyes, wavy brown hair and crimson colored lips. Her skin glistened from moisture that wasn’t sweat, but the mist of a waterfall that roared nearby. She’s going to need a towel for sure he mused. But knowing her she may just as well opt to go skinny dipping beneath the falls. Her eyes fluttered open and she looked at Marty and smiled.

“Hey Marty, see something you like?”

“Yes. That’s a nice pattern on the blanket.”, he said with a straight face.

“You brat!”, she exclaimed and then she threw a cork at him. She giggled when he managed to swat the cork away.

“You are soaked to the bone Marie, I told you that you were too close to the falls. The wind shifted and the mist fell all over you.”

“Mmmm, it’s OK. The mist is keeping me cool in this torrid weather.”

“This is nothing. Try a tropical jungle while wearing combat gear. Now that’s torrid.”

“You’re such a world traveler Marty. You should take me to a tropical island some day.”

“You should dry off. The clouds are building over the mountains right now and I suspect we may get a storm any time now.”

“I could just jump into the waterfall and rinse of this sweat. I feel a little grungy.”

“I kind of thought you would. I’ll go fetch you some dry clothes from the car.”

“No peeking now!”

“I’ll turn my head. I promise.”

Marty walked to the car that was parked some 30 meters away. The roar of the falls grew softer and he heard what sounded like thunder off in the distance. Better hurry up he thought. His mind drifted back to Marie and he began thinking about his journey of self-discovery over the last few months. It had been a little over 2 years since his break up with GoSpeed. At the time he felt very little pain over it but more recently he felt some regret as to how it all played out. Granted he was essentially born again after the personality upgrade. That upgrade to his programming opened up his ability to feel more deeply but it came with a terrible revelation. To his dismay and he felt little compassion nor deep love for GoSpeed. Worse yet he did have feelings of resentment for her. He felt that GoSpeed had taken advantage of him before his upgrade. It was as if she had treated him as if he was a boy toy or as the used to say in the barracks, a fuck-buddy. Later he came to realize that even though she was more advanced than he was at the time, she too had an awakening of sorts. Sexual intimacy and bonding with a partner was a new experience for her. He was her first man in 40 years and she was making up for lost time. Sadly her needs and his needs did not mesh up well at that moment. He had learned to forgive her but he still wondered if she still hated him.

A rumble of thunder spilled down from the mountainsides. Definitely time to go Marty. Better get this top up now. Continuing his train of thought he mused about himself. Two years later and he still hadn’t figured out what love was about. Heck, he wasn’t sure he had felt the emotion of love yet. After the breakup with GoSpeed, he dated Kona Falconer, the woman who gave him rides to work until he could afford his own car. She was smart, independent, and very confident. She knew exactly where she was going in life. Things ultimately did not pan out for them because his work kept them separated for long stretches at a time. One day he realized they were no longer a thing. When Josie offered him a position at the new facility in Bay City he took advantage of it. Bay City was the new, happening place where anything could happen. Maybe he would find more answers to his questions here. He secured the roof and turned back to the falls. He could see that Marie was topless and dancing in the spray. He scooped up a towel and set of dry clothes from the back seat and slowly walked back to her. If she looked his way he’d make sure his eyes were looking down, lest he earned her melodramatic scorn.

“Just leave it by those rocks and stand behind the tree!”, she said as she submerged herself to her shoulders in the water.

He did as he was told and waited for her to give permission to look.

“OK, ready! Ta-dah!”

“Well aren’t you a sight darlin’”

“Why thank you, sir!”, she said and then promptly followed up with a curtsy.

A loud crack of thunder made her jump.

“Quick, grab the blanket and the basket and let’s go!”, commanded Marty.

They scooped up their belongings and ran down the dirt path to the car.

“Ow! Ow! Marty! I keep stepping on rocks!”

Marty scooped her up in his strong arms and ran with her to the car. She laughed and whooped playfully as the first heavy drops of rain landed all around them. They quickly threw the items in the back seat and got into the front seats of the car right before the heavy rains commenced. They looked at each other, slightly out of breath.

“Well, that was close. I almost got all wet.”, said Marty.

“You spoke too soon handsome.”, said Marie as she pulled him closer and planted a big wet kiss on his lips……


A section from the first novel I recently completed. It details the first day of GoSpeed’s existence on the island of Altis in the Simvie Loko simulation.


GoSpeed’s first day

The light, it was so bright. She squinted hard. Something soft was placed over her eyelids and the light was subdued. There were voices all around but She could only partially understand everything being said. Focusing on the conversation made her feel woozy. Someone took her hand and squeezed it and said,“GoSpeed, take a breath.”

She took in a deep breath and the dizziness passed. The voices continued and GoSpeed began to comprehend all the words….

“So what is her background again? She’s the darkest NPC I’ve seen so far.”, said a woman’s voice.

“The delivery documentation says she’s a mixture of several ethnicities. Four equal parts of English, African, Carib, and Northern Indian. Relative biological age and mental maturity is 16 years old.”, said a male voice

“Aye, she’s a bonnie lass if I say so myself.”, came a male voice.

GoSpeed reflexively smiled at the compliment.

“Oh look! She smiled. You’re such a ladies man Stuart.”, said the woman.

“She should be ready to open her eyes any moment now.”

The cloth mask covering her eyes was removed but GoSpeed kept her eyes closed. She sensed the lights dimming and she opened her eyes slowly. The room came into focus and before her stood three people.

“Hello GoSpeed. I am Doctor Thorvald Arnasson. Welcome to Kavala Hospital on Altis.”

GoSpeed smiled and nodded. She looked at the couple on the other side of the bed and looked back at the doctor again.

“These people are your guardians, Stuart and Suzy. They will take you home today and teach you how to be an adult.”

GoSpeed cleared her throat, “Hello. It’s nice to be here. I am not sure what to say next.”

“No worries dearie. You talk when you have something to say. We have a bedroom set up just for you at the house.”

“You’ll love it lass, the window looks out over the sea.”, added Stuart.

“GoSpeed, we are going to wheel you down to Physical Therapy and go through some movement exercises. Pending a successful completion you can go home with your guardians immediately.”

She nodded and smiled in response to the doctor. The items in the room caught her attention and she lost track of what the three others were saying. There were devices on wheels with tubing, wires, and banks of lights across their faces. She wasn’t sure what they were for but the patterns mesmerized her. A tap on the shoulder got her attention. An orderly had brought the wheelchair and they were waiting to get her in it. She managed to swing out of the bed and take a few steps to the chair. Looking down at herself she saw she was dressed in a one-piece outfit with a big zipper running up the front. Her heads, hands, and feet poked out and were bare, save for the fuzzy slippers the orderly put on her feet.

“You are welcome to come along if you want to.”, Arnasson said to her guardians.

She was rolled down the brightly lit hallways to a room filled with monitoring devices and physical testing gear. The physical therapists hooked up various sensors to her clips on the bodysuit she wore. Helping her stand up the placed her on a platform surrounded by a railing. They then began making her go through a range of movements and then made the floor move beneath her prompting her to walk.She felt a little weak at first and unsteady but she quickly gained her balance and strength. Within 30 minutes she was jogging at a very quick pace and breathing normally. GoSpeed smiled as the techs remarked at how fast she was acclimating to her body.

“She’s passed with flying colors. You can take her home right now.”

The series of events following were a blur to GoSpeed. The walk to the car, riding the car out of the city, and the arrival at her guardian’s’ home. They seemed very relieved at their arrival. Stuart mentioned something about car sickness but GoSpeed felt no illness at all.

“Dearie, please have a seat on the couch. I will make us some tea. Stuart, did you eat all the crisps?”

“Suzy my love. I could not deprive our young…”, he paused a moment and then beamed,”..daughter of such delicious crisps!”

“What. What are crisps?”, asked GoSpeed timidly.

“Thinly cut and fried veggies, like potatoes, lightly coated with salt.”, said Stuart.

GoSpeed licked her lips and smiled.

“Aye, they are mouth watering indeed lass.”

From the kitchen Suzy called out,”Marty, where are the crisps?”

“Top shelf, above the stove.”

“Come get them and set the trays up in the living room. I’ll bring the cups and the kettle.”

Suzy and Stuart bustled about the house setting up the folding table trays, filling bowls with crisps, and placing cups on them. Finally, Suzy brought out the kettle and filled the cups with hot tea. GoSpeed watched them and began eating a few crisps when she saw Stuart eating his.

“Dearie, we wish to welcome to our blessed home. Me and Stuart are so honored to have been selected to be your guardians. We hope to do our best by you and prepare you for life on your own.”

“Thank you.”, she managed to say.

Stuart chimed in, “Do not hesitate to ask any question you have. We’ll do our best to give you a good answer.”

“What time is it?”

Suzy and Stuart blinked and looked at each other.

“Why it’s tea time lassie!”, chuckled Stuart. “If that’s the nature of your questions then you’ll be easy to raise!”

Suzy poked Stuart and gave him a look. “That was a good first question, You’ll have plenty more as time goes by. Let us tell you a bit about ourselves. My name is Suzy Alfa and I have been rezzed for 11 years. Stuart has been rezzed for 11 years also. We both work in the public works department for Altis.”

“What is that?”

“We help maintain the infrastructure on the island. Roads, electricity, plumbing, piers, and what have you.”

“Ditch diggers!”, she said with a smirk.

“It’s not that physical. We have lots of machinery to do most of the work. I work in the office myself.”, said Suzy.

“I can see you’re a cheeky girl GoSpeed.”, Stuart said in a sotto voce manner. He winked and added more light-heartedly,”I am a jack-of-all-trades.” I can do most anything. I have many skills.”

“Except for cooking.”, injected Suzy,

“Yes, except that. Thank goodness I have Suzy or I would starve to death. Now that you know what we do, do you know what you want to be when you’re liberated?”

“I want to be an astronaut.”

Stuart threw up his arms. “Well, anything is possible. We don’t have a space program here but that could change someday. You never know.”

“Are you two married?”

“Um, well… ah….”

Suzy answered,” No we are not. As a general rule NPCs do not get married nor do we share the same bed so to speak. It’s just how we are. Me and Stuart have a formal union that permits us to cohabitate while we raise you to adulthood, your liberation day. NPCs come together in a civil union when our roles indicate it to be necessary. Marriage is for Users only.”

“OK, sorry. I made you uncomfortable I think.”

“No worries Luv, you cannot offend us.”

“You know what?”

“What’s that dearie?”

“I love you both.”

Suzy teared up immediately and grabbed a tissue.

“Oh lass, you are so sweet.”, said Stuart, his voice cracking.”

“It’s hard to describe what’s going on inside me dad. It feels like I am growing taller and taller with each moment, I have so many words now, and feelings, and ideas, and, and….”

Suzy sniffed and said, “The doctor said this would happen. You’re growing up before our eyes. It’s your first day and your mind is fitting into its 16-year-old body like a balloon being inflated.”

“I feel, so, rich.”, GoSpeed said with a smile. She closed her eyes and leaned back into the chair and felt her world expand……

Merry Christmas!


Wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


I’ve completed my first draft of my novel and I expect to begin a self edit very soon.

This short story is set within the current story I am writing featuring Ravishal, GoSpeed, and Abba. The conflict is between an AI that rules the world and the people and NPCS in the virtual world who are fighting for some form of independence. This interview takes place during a brief lull in the fighting. (NPCs ,Non Player Characters are the avatars in the virtual worlds who are not controlled by users and have a form of Artificial Intelligence, an AI).

War Story

A Dispatch from Altis


Private Message : SGT Abba Svenska

DTG : 16:00 May 05, 2540 LST (Local Simulation Time)

SUBJ : War Correspondent Interview

Sergeant Svenska, You are hereby directed to cooperate with civilian war correspondent Dexter Desmoines (A User). He will arrive at your encampment at 1730 LST. He has been instructed to not ask questions about your mission. If he does you are to not answer them and you will inform me. You are cleared to answer any question about your past. This includes aspects of your unique origins. My commanders feel that our cause is under such a severe threat that publicizing our existence in the real world may offer us some hope for the future. (Or a decent obituary.) If he requests to speak to other combatants he may, but they to must only answer non mission related questions.

I know you are tired and exhausted but this shouldn’t be too taxing. I also want to add that if Mr Desmoines show’s any indication of being affiliated with the enemy you are free to dispatch him with extreme prejudice.

Colonel Drumheiser

901st Infantry


Abba laid down her C-Tab and sighed. She had nearly fallen to sleep when the tablet was thrust in her face by Ravishal. Desmoines would be here in less than an hour. She retrieved from the Hunter vehicle a sponge and metal bowl which she filled with cold water. She scrubbed her face and arms and removed most of the dirt she could. A quick swab of her armpits was the best she could manage as she had no deodorant. Untying her hair it spilled down past her shoulders a few inches. She then used a simple comb to straighten it out and then tied it back into a ponytail. Venturing to the other side of the camp she found Ravishal and informed him of the message. He of course knew of the interview but she felt it was proper protocol to inform him of all the particulars. They had dinner together and waited for the correspondent’s arrival.

Continue reading

Pep Talk

So I am sitting here taking a break from writing when I feel a hand on my shoulder.


“Oh, it’s you guys, Hi Go, Rav, Abba, oh, and there is Kona behind you.”


GoSpeed cross her arms. “So taking a break eh? You will finish the story, right?”


“Definitely, I promise. I just have to attend to some real life stuff first. You know, a wedding and visiting family and all that stuff.”


“Sure, that’s understandable. We know you’ll get back to it.” , Rav added with a raised eyebrow.


Abba cleared her throat and added, “We want more character development. Your story is only 67 pages long. That’s hardly a novella. Of the three of us I still feel like an enigma.”


“A lot has been invested in me and Rav over the last 8 or so years. You know us pretty well but I don’t think it’s coming across in print very well. Will you tell the reader what makes us tick? What motivates us, what we feel?”


“Honestly guys I am trying. This is the first real story I’ve ever written. I’m learning this as I do it. Just cut me some slack. OK?”


Kona steps out front and says, “You made me a dog, a freakin’ dog! Don’t tell me that’s gonna be easy. Also this second story you’ve started, why am I not in it?”


“Because it takes place 5,000 years before you were born. But I tell you what. GoSpeed could have a pet dog called Kona.”


“Hmmm, I guess that’s OK, what sort of dog?”


“A Border Collie of course!”


“OK, I’ll let it slide for now.”


(Well she was easy to please. I guess I do know her better than I thought.)


I can clearly see the skepticism on their collective faces and I try again to allay their fears.


“Guys, I promise I will do better by you. I have so many story ideas I want to explore. They always say your first story isn’t your best. MY other stories will be better. You remember Ginger don’t you?”


Go and Rav nod yes.


“She’s offered to help me. She and her boss will offer constructive criticism. This story will be shared. Period. Capice?”


“OK, we’ll trust you. Please don’t let us down.”, said GoSpeed
I smile and turnabout in my seat to face the screen and do a little more writing before bedtime……