From Fiction

Searching Desperately Through the Ruins and Trying Not to Panic

NaNoWriMo excerpt, there’s a bunch of jargon building up in this, and I’m wary of such things. But it’s a first draft, judgment should wait:

Long abandoned by the corporate enclave founders, there were scattered opportunists who’d barricades themselves a few independent co-ops and communities, but they liked to stay isolated and wouldn’t exactly be open to a stranger and his bear, boosted or no. He knew of a small group somewhere south of the bridge that Manola had friends among, but that was it. He’d have to try to feel them out with his chatbit and see if he could get the message through a friendly wavelane.

A Bridge and Abandoned Buildings Over the River

A NaNoWriMo excerpt:

Ahead of them, jumbled walls and the few buildings that still stood, open-eyed with glassless windows. Bluesong imagined hordes of people waiting for them, hidden behind the walls and burned out columns of temporary shelters. It was probably unlikely, he knew, but he couldn’t stop his imagination conjuring. But they were at the middle with no movement or sound from the other side. Only the slow rush of the river below them made a sound above their own feet, so he pressed on. They were just about to the other side, and Bluesong about to tell Ya-Ya he needed an access point, when the alarm sirens started pulsing behind the walls of Pearl City

You Know What They Say, Out of the Frying Pan, Etc.

NaNoWriMo excerpt:

But here they were. Bluesong was panting heavily and feeling a little dizzy—his weekly workouts weren’t very rigorous—but the bridge loomed just ahead through the trees, which had thinned a little as they rounded the inside river bend turning south. A few hundred yards and they’d be safe. Well, that was being laughably optimistic. East of the river was slicer territory, and he didn’t really have a good working knowledge of their range

A Path Forged in Real Time, a Ford to Come

NaNoWriMo excerpt, and this is slow going, folks:

Somehow, he’d need to get within range of an open localnet node and send a message to Manola. She’d know what to do, and maybe she could help find out what had happened to his life since this morning, when he’d thought everything was still normal. He tried not to think about the growing possibility it would never be so again.

Another Fine Mess Still In

Another NaNoWriMo excerpt:

They couldn’t stay in view of the city, couldn’t count on roving eyes not looking for them, and needed distance as fast as possible. One of the bridges was heavily trafficked. The other only by rail, still the best way to move large amounts of goods across long kilometers of wilderness between cities and territories, but maybe they could get across and head for dense forest and some valid cover. It didn’t seem to Bluesong any madder than hanging out with a talking bear in a copse next to Pearl City.

A Realization and a Decision in the Middle of a Crisis (excerpt)

NaNoWriMo excerpt:

“Well, we can’t stay here, they’ll find you, they’ll capture us and take us back to Pearl City. We have to find a place to stay hidden, at least for a while.”

He felt his stomach drop a little, as his panic rose again. What if he never got back to the city, to his life? He had a momentary thought that his life didn’t amount to much, at the moment. But he was on something of a career path at work, a supervisor. It was a typical qualifying job, one that allowed him significant down time for personal pursuits.

Stuck in the Middle of a Seemingly Inescapable Position

NaNoWriMo excerpt from today’s work:

His father and mother had both been musicians, as well as his grandfather, who he’d only know through vague memories and family images in cloud storage. His parents had insisted he learn keyboards of both type: computer and piano. This let him work out song paths on either physical or virtual instruments whenever he felt like it, and it was a freedom that fed his soul, the practice and art he longed to do whenever he was working his job, or traveling there and then home, afterward. The fact that they’d named him Bluesong was as hopeful as it now seemed inevitable.

Into the Wilds, an Excerpt

Today’s excerpt:

Questions started to rise, rapidly, as the immediate crisis—being escorted by corporate security goons—faded and bigger ones loomed. They were outside the city walls. They were in the wilds. There’d be others coming soon, right? Drones flying out in waves, looking in all spectra, they’d surely be caught immediately.

This Month May Prove Challenging, Writing-Wise

I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year, National Novel Writing Month, where participants try to finish 50,000 words as or of a novel by November 30th. I’ve done it once before, but had no real plan and petered out around 12,000 words. But since I have to keep up so much, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the day’s work here as a placeholder to keep up the daily routine. We’ll see how that goes, eh?

But maybe, he thought, he didn’t really know anyone. Maybe Manola was bad news, and his two guardians wanted information on her. Maybe they weren’t after him at all. He didn’t understand this train of thought, but when nothing made sense, everything seemed possible.

Excerpt from Over the River and Through the Woods and Also a Bear (working title)

No Easy Answers

She was tired. And tired she would remain for the rest of the day.

It was the same most days, but she supposed it was partly her obsession with getting 6 hours of solid labor clocked before she broke for a late lunch, some time after the sun had angled the shadows more or less 45 degrees.

Hakim had been playing on the couch, but he stopped, rested his palm on the strings and watched her.

“You okay?” She looked over and smiled, a grim one without teeth.

“Yep. Fine,” she said.

“Uh huh.” He waited, she turned back to stare out the window in front of her computer. “All right, I mean . . . okay.” She looked at him out of the corner of her eye. He was still staring at her. She faced him again.

“I’m fine,” she said. “Really. This is what I wanted, I’m doing it. This is good.”

He nodded, carefully. “Right. Are you sure it’s good for you?”

She opened her mouth to dismiss him, of course it was good—then shut it again. Was it? She’d never considered the question before. It was what every artist wanted: to do their art full time. To make it their job, their career. To fill their waking life with making, and not have the drudgery of a meaningless livelihood. But she was becoming perpetually exhausted.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that. Art was supposed to energize you, lift you up and give you wings, set your soul on fire. But she was doing it, and she just felt burnt out.

But then, she also felt free. She felt a deep satisfaction with her life and herself. Maybe it was just something else that was off. The scales had to shift.

“I think we should walk over to the lake,” she said. Hakim stood up and reached for her hand.