This is a first rendering of the cover for Loop Vacation. Lots of thanks to my wife Eva for visual help and for the photo itself.
I have an editor (Thanks Carolyn) and amd waiting on tenter hooks for the edited version. I am hoping to publish at the beginning of March, although there seems to be enough steps to get to that point it might take a little longer. I am keeping my finger crossed. I bought a Kindle Fire to test my publishing skills and I am currently thinking of going with Amazon initially. I have ideas for some cover photos – and my wife is a great photographer. We will see if it works. (If it does not, the fault will be mine, not hers).
I am also re-writing Assassin, and I think it is better. I added a pair of detectives as the assassin’s protagonist.
And while taking my kids sledding in the woods of My Hood, I came up with a great idea for a Sasquatch story – but I did not tell them there. In the woods, and snow. In the failing light…
So here is a little expert on how my heros from Loop Vacation meet. Enjoy.
Mark was in the Czech Republic with some fellow NATO soldiers on a 4 day leave. At the time we was stationed at the huge sprawling Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. Beth was taking the summer off between University classes in Indiana and was traveling Europe on a shoe string budget with two girl friends and a Canadian guy that was interested in her but so far had been much too polite for his own good.
They had been aware of each other in the bar. Mark was openly watching her. She was openly ignoring him, but not in a bad way. When she went to the bar to get more drinks for her table, Mark practically sprinted to get in line behind her. Uncharacteristically, he had not one idea what he might say to her. But he was spared the embarrassment of mumbling like a love-struck school boy. As he got to the bar, she accepted her change for her tables drinks and turned away. And at the last second, maybe dropped a wink that he maybe saw and maybe did not see. For years she called him a liar when he suggested she had winked at him. But not in a bad way.
Twenty minutes later, noticing her friends drinks were low, he gambled and went for drinks for his own table. The troops were drinking American beer from a pitcher that the waitress would be only too happy to serve, but he insisted. And got his timing off. Now, in the history of every action planned by Mark Multon, he had never fucked up the timing before or since. But that evening he totally missed it. It was a good thing no one from his unit noticed his arrival at the bar a full twenty seconds early. Lieutenant Scott would for sure make some joke about “Premature JackDanielation” or something similar. In any event, Beth got in line behind him. And stood very close behind him. He could almost feel her warm breath on his neck, but when he turned to talk, she was turned away as well, yelling at her table about drink orders. There was something in the air.
The third time she went for drinks, a mite early, he just walked up to her and said in a voice for her only “Hey guys, we been looking all over Iraq for Weapons of Mass Destruction and we have not found anything. But here before me is a Biological Weapon if I every saw one.” And without missing a beat, and talking in voice that was meant for him only she replied “Hey girls, these guys are looking for the weapons of old men. I am not sure if they can even find their own weapons.” But her eyes were sparkling when she said it and there was a half smile that Mark would come to love.
Everything else in the bar ceased to exist for Mark. He was drawn to at physical level, but even in the few exchanged words, he could sense an intelligence and humour. Everything changed for the young officer. For ever.
I am thinking I need an editor to help me get my #NaNoWriMo into shape for publication.
The novel is about 200 double spaced pages long when compiled for .pdf. I am looking for two activitied from the editor – i) basic editing – sentence structure, spelling, ii) plot review – look for holes in the plot. I would like to publish by the end of March, 2012.
Email me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions or are interested. This is a paying position.
Twenty seven days to complete the novel. Our time traveling young couple’s story has been told. Their future has been decided.
And now? Now I will let the story perculate. Age a bit in drawer (folder) for a couple of months. I will then re-read it and find an editor. I plan on having it published before the end of March, 2012.
In the meantime, I will be performing reconstructive surgery on the story of an assassin being pursued by one of the smartest cops of all time.
Last excerpt from my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel. This was a fun chapter to write.
Getting from the Northwestern part of Uganda to Europe is tricky. This is especially true for a 32 year old American traveling alone. This is all the more difficult for an American whose appearance screams of military/CIA/Some-other-agency. And if such a person is only in possession of a valid US passport and some cash, in Euros, South African Rands and US dollars, then the task becomes even more difficult.
Mark headed into town. What he needed first was traveling cloths. He was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of hiking shorts. His footwear was ok. He had a decent pair of comfortable hiking boots on and socks designed by the military to support 250 pounds of men and backpack on day long march. He found a clothing shop and picked up a traditional mens body covering and a face scarf. These would go quite a long way to hiding his whiteness in this land of black people and brown people. He haggled over the price, and managed to over pay using some of his South African Rands. Mark thought going through Sudan was a pretty bad idea. Too dangerous. Kenya was safer. Kenya also had a US consulate if he needed one. He walked further into the small town. He was looking for what appeared to be a serviceable four wheel drive truck. The best he saw was what looked like a 10 or 12 year old Toyota 1/4 ton.
I am actually thinking there is enough good material here to make a novel. Fingers crossed.
Unusually, I just dumped about 400 words of the November novel. The reason? I am not entire sure. The chapter is an alternate future and I have to kill off the male lead and horrible maim the female lead (you will have to read the book to understand why this make sense).
Since our male lead is an active member of the US Marines, I conveniently had him redeploy and he was leading an expedition on a recon mission and headed straight for a hidden IED …
And I stopped writing. To me, it did not seem the correct way. I mean it would have worked easily, but it was not the scene for me.
It seemed to me that using the Marines or any armed force that was actively deployed to kill off a character, well that seemed to me to lessen just a little the deaths of those that really did die in Afghanistan. It seemed a little disrespectful. I know that using the scenario in Iraq and Ahfhanistan is acceptable – I have seen it sued effectively in cop shows – it was not the way for me to go. My chapter notes said “Kill off Mark”.. Too trivial. I am aware that we say we are fighting for freedom and democracy, and that obviously includes the freedom to write whatever fiction I want to. But I served in the Canadian Navy for a summer in the reserves, and I have a deep respect for those who agree to carry out whatever orders come down from above. And I just felt uneasy about using their bravery and their loss as a convenient backdrop to a chapter described by only one sentence.
So I am rewriting the chapter. I think he gets killed in an armed robbery before he deploys. We will see what happens.
As an aside, I am a little surprised that I feel the way I do….
Nov 19, 2011
Our hero Mark is in Egypt trying to get to Nairobi, Kenya. He is boarding a small 10 passenger plane that is so small it does not have the range to get there. It is all a little sketchy.
The pilot was a black man from Somalia that spoke good, but heavily accented English. “We are short one passenger. Are we waiting?”
Mark answered “We are short one passenger. There is no need to wait.”
“OK. We must go over some safety precautions before we board the plane. I will need the heaviest two passengers in the two seats under the wing. Empty seats in the back. Please place all of your luggage on this scale.”
The pilot weighed the passengers individually. Mark was assigned a seat under the wing. “OK. We are about two hundred pounds over my estimated weight. That would not normally be a problem, but we have some very active winds today and we will have to land one time or maybe two times for fuel. This is normal. We have agreements with fuel suppliers at a couple of different airports along the way.”
The pilot consulted some charts. “We will stop in Sudan and if necessary Uganda. Folks, the flight will be very bumpy on the way up to altitude and the way down, but it will be only choppy at altitude, which today will be 17,000 feet.”
“A word of caution. When we land in Sudan for fuel, we will not be getting off the plane. There is little security in that country and there is no customs readily available. We land, we refuel, we take off. Nothing more. If we have to land in Uganda, we will be landing a Arua. We will be met by armed security forces and we will need to clear customs. There is a fee for clearing custom in Uganda. Please have the fee ready with your passport when we land. Yes? You have a question?”
A petite woman with what was a French or Belgian accent asked “Well then, how much is the fee?”
The Somalian pilot answered with absolutely no emphasis or extra spin “What ever you think is necessary for you to clear customs for the 20 minutes we will be on the ground. I should point out that the customs facilities at Arua airport are rather informal. The terminal does have a coffee shop and facilities to refresh yourselves. Uganda is safer than Sudan, somewhat, but we will not be hanging around very long. Kenya is much safer than either Sudan or Uganda.” He smiled “Relatively safer of course.”
Second excerpt the from my #NaNoWriMo novel. The young time travelling couple have just met themselves in the past. Drinking Tequila, getting a little drunk, hanging out with themselves.
Beth-the-younger said “Well, at least I know something about the future. Something concrete. I am getting a tattoo that says “World Tour 2014” and a picture of you and me.” A thoughtful pause. “You know, it is very weird that I am now planning on getting this tattoo based on on the fact that I already have it. Its almost like a closed loop of information. No inspiration for it originally.”
Beth-the-older took back about half of her drink and concurred “You are right. I got this a week ago from Eva and I already had the image of it in my mind from this discussion. The is wery, wery transcendental. I have Buddha guru that would be interested in this.“
Mark-the-younger quipped “Well, at least you did not decide to have my johnson tattooed on your arm. Ha Ha”
Both Beths looked at each other. “Lets do it. Lets get that instead of bon voyage.” Everyone looked at the older Beths ankle, but the tattoo was the same. Beth-the-younger quipped “Well, I would not have done that anyway.”
The pitcher of Margaritas was getting low when Mark-the -younger said “Well, Make it “World Tour 2014, North America, Africa, India, Europe. Put the places underneath the globe. Like, curved around the globe.”
This delighted both Beths “Lets really do it that way!!” And low and behold, the ankle tattoo was changed. Beth the younger squealed in delight. But Beth-the-older said “But that is exactly what I got – World tour 2014 with the continents we plan to visit!!”
And so it was that the first truth of time travel was demonstrated. Alas, the students were pickled on Tequila and not really paying attention.
I know it is early in the game, but I thought I would provide an excerpt from the prologue to mi NaNoWrimo effort. What follows is from the point of view of the scientist that finally really invented time travel – which is needed for the reset of the novel.
Argus looked at the crowd. He knew most of the people here were not really listening to him. They were, for the most part, looking at the machine beside the lectern that he had erected. Either that, or thinking about how to ignore the heat. It did not matter. He was about to change society forever. Every aspect of humanity was about to change for the better – medicine, travel, shopping, education – and the press was not paying attention. It really did not matter. The demonstration would be unequivocal. Time to hit them with the news. No point in building it up.
“In about 42 minutes, I will be demonstrating an exploitation of a singularity in point-time space. Ok – I had to say it that way. The scientist gild made me. Ha Ha. That machine down there, with the massive amount of power cables, and impressively raised platform, and copper looking rings is a time machine. And I will be using it today.” That had them. Argus was positively giddy.
What follows is my description of a location for my novel. Two of the 16 chapters will be set in a bar in Prague. Now I have never been to Prague (but my wife has – lucky!), so I made one up in my imagination. Well, not entirely in my imagination. it is influenced by a pub I spent an evening in in Limerick, Ireland. I add enough detail to the description so that I have the place firmly planted in my mind. i am pretty certain the width of the bar will not come out in the story, but as I write, hopefully have the picture in my head will contribute the continuity of the story.
300 years old – pub style, popular with a certain knowledgeable class of tourists. Blue collar. Skinny and deep. Like 15 feet wide and 40 50 feet deep. Its old, but modern. Plays 80s rock and roll in the back ground. Dark wood. Not popular with tourists. One of those places where only this in the “know” frequent. Lots of beer options – including Sam Adams!
What I am imagining is a place where some friends could meet and have a beer and some lunch and confidently discuss some illegal activities with some measure of privacy.