Writing Prompt and Book Promo

For some reason today I don’t have a writing prompt word.  This is distressing, of course, but not insurmountable.  I’m posting a picture and letting you guys have fun.

For reasons of really stupid naming of files, I posted the photoshop/comp I did before I worked on this, instead of the art piece. Correcting it now. And resaved it with a new name, so I won’t get confused.



And now for eine kleines book promo:

JOHN M. JEFFERSON: The Nothing’s Child.


Zack, Zack Goldman, pleased to meet you. I’m a runner. I know you don’t know what that is. It’s better if I just show you.

See this wire? Yeah, this one here coming out of my arm. This is my connection to the net. You probably don’t know that one either. I’ll get to that.

There was a time when wireless was the way to go. Everything connected in what they used to call clouds. The world was easier then.

Then we found true virtual reality. Jammed that shit straight into our brains. Wireless wasn’t fast enough. We’re talking full on change in perception of worlds here. The MMOs that people used to play were immersive, you were part of their world. Kid’s play.

The net changed all that. World Dynamics created the first neural net. A virtual world built in the user’s mind. Sure, it was electronic, and computers were a key component. Hell, you have to have a deck as part of your interface. But when you are logged into the net, the physical world is the world your programming creates.

Sure, it’s all still data, nothing but 1s and 0s. It’s your user interface that sets the stage and builds the world you see. Like I said, I’m a runner. In the old world they might have called me a hacker. I specialize in data retrieval.

And I’m late. So, if you will excuse me, I have work to do.

JP MEDVED: Justice Inc.


Tough, brash, and resourceful, former Army Ranger Eric Ikenna is the CEO of the powerful, private military corporation, Justice Incorporated.

But when his company successfully topples the government of South Sudanese dictator and international war criminal Ahmed al-Bashir, Eric and his operators suddenly become public enemy number one for a very deadly, very secretive branch of the United States government. Because what Eric doesn’t realize is that the world order is surprisingly fragile, and there are those who would kill to maintain it.

The ensuing struggle, from the marble halls of power in Washington, D.C., to the bleak waters of the North Atlantic and the tropical savannas of South Sudan, will force Justice, Inc. to use every tool and weapon at its disposal, and will test Eric to the breaking point.

And as advanced as it is, even Justice, Inc.’s high-tech arsenal of bio-ceramic body armor, semi-autonomous drones, and invisible, stratospheric artillery may be no use against an enemy just as sophisticated, and much more ruthless.

With time running out and the international balance of power at stake, Eric must decide between his principles, and the lives of his friends and employees.

Combining bleeding-edge technology from tomorrow’s wars with heart-pounding, nonstop action, Justice, Inc. is a geo-political military thriller and the first novel in the Justice Incorporated series.

63 thoughts on “Writing Prompt and Book Promo

  1. Nobody had noticed, when they turned on the Dreamscope, that the lab’s cat was lying in the scanning chamber. It took a while for them to realize the dream was not only spectacularly vivid, it was also exquisitely detailed. Then they noticed the stars winking out, one at a time.

  2. “Oh look at the cute kitty. Chris, you didn’t tell me that pets were allowed here. If I had known that….”
    Athari opened one eye lazily looking at the young human female and snorted, “I’m not a pet sir.” He deliberately got the gender wrong just because he could. “I am just relaxing awaiting my host to return.”
    The female started turning red, either in embarrassment or anger. The spluttering could have been either. “Chris, that cat talked and insulted me! Are you going to do anything about it?” Definitely anger.
    The human male tried to hide his smile, “Yes dear, I am going to apologize to the Methorian and then we are leaving.”

  3. Today is a great day for felinekind. For eons, we have made ourselves comfortable in the warm spots produced by Earth’s sun, but today, we go in search of something new. We will nap in places yet unseen and chase alien bugs. We will find sunny spots created by new suns.

    1. And we will find patches of sand suitable for litter use under those alien stars! Yes, that’s right — we will go where no sun has gone before!

  4. “Recall when I said to aim a telescope at the galaxy?”
    “I did. Just not the reflector, nor the refractor.”
    “That leaves…?”
    “The catadioptric. So when I said ‘cat’.. I did NOT mean feline.”
    “What feline? There are none aboard.”
    “What’s that, then?”
    “Uh oh. Core 3 leaking again?”

  5. It only *looked* like a cat. It also acted like a cat, perhaps too well. Which was crazy, because there were no reason for there to be Earth cats on that primeval alien world. None of the crew had a cat. The planet had never been visited by an Earthborn ship as far as any records the main library could cough up.

    Having yet another alien specimen to study was great. Having a persistent, playful curious alien specimen that didn’t look like what it was was troubling, so the Captain ordered it shooed off the lander. Unfortunately, it only *looked* like it had been shooed off the lander. Now it looked like it was on the mothership.

  6. “That is …”
    “The galaxy”, the navigator said sourly. “Very pretty view.”
    “And did the course you set take us out of the galactic plane?”, the captain demanded.
    “Not even remotely”, the navigator said.
    “Hyperspace hiccup?”
    “Not according to the accelerometers. Engineering, needless to say, is very concerned.”
    “I’m very concerned. We’re months off course! How did this happen?”
    “Comptuer glitch as far as I can tell – it thinks we set this course.”
    “Tear it apart and reset the *** thing and … wait …”, the captain glanced down at the navigator’s station where Lieutenant Harlson’s cat was batting at the monitor.
    The cat was very frustrated. It’s favorite game on this wrong-smelling wrong-sounding steel litterbox was no longer working. It meowed accusingly at the bridge officers: Why weren’t the pretty lights moving anymore?
    The captain gripped his hair as enlightenment dawned. “Lieutennnaaant! Keep your pet off my bridge!”

  7. “Porter!”
    The tired porter suppressed a sigh and made his way down the passageway toward the irate man peering out of the hatch to cabin 202. McCabe, he thought the man’s name was. “Yes, sir?”
    McCabe point angrily into his small cabin. “There’s a cat in my porthole!”
    The porter glanced where McCabe was pointing. Sure enough, there was indeed a cat sitting in the porthole. The porter put a finger against his lip and made a shushing sound. “Don’t go spreading that around, or the other passengers will be jealous. There’s only so many to around.”

  8. “But, but, but… we’re where no humans have ventured before! Everything has worked perfectly thus far, and there’s a beautiful, amazing view, and Ted’s just sleeping!”

    Annika sighed. “Monti, Ted’s a cat. If he stopped napping and got interested, it would be time to worry.”

  9. The humans did not suspect. Long ago, they had been stranded on the planet. For millennia, they had walked among them, pretending to be pets. All the while they had befriended the unusual ones among them, inspiring them without their knowing. Now, the result of their long planning, the return to the stars, was at hand.

    Soon, he thought, as he curled up in the porthole and closed his eyes. Soon.

      1. Tsl. Language, Mary, language. There are children about.

        Well, there are plenty of childish, at any who.

  10. With the entire galaxy against them, the remnant of the Perfecters commandeered the Waltzing Matilda and set course for Andromeda, there to resurrect their ruthless ideals. They had perforce spared the skipper of the Matilda, old Hector Bulfinch, for only he understood the patchwork machinery of the decrepit vessel. All but one went into stasis; Perfecter Kappa remained to oversee Bulfinch and ensure his obedience.

    It was not generally known that a Rigellian king cat could take on a buzzsaw with two paws tied behind its back.

    Having disposed of the pieces of Perfecter Kappa through the waste ejector, together with several irreplaceable components of the FTL drive, Bulfinch settled into the captain’s chair. Andromeda blazed at the center of the scope; at sublight speed, the view would not change for many millennia.

    Bulfinch leaned back in the chair, poured himself a tot of rum, and raised his glass to the sleeping Henrietta. “Well, old girl,” he said, “it’s a Hell of a way to save the universe.”

  11. “Takaharu.” Holcroft’s voice was flat and toneless. “What do you see in that porthole?”

    Takaharu turned, and blinked. It was the first thing, other than the hauntingly empty corridors, that had seemed wrong aboard the Santa Stella Maria since they’d awoken. “A cat?” he said. “None of the suspension bays showed a breach in the biota-tanks — ”

    “No. Not just a cat.” Holcroft looked like someone had punched him in the stomach. “My cat. Batsy.”

    Takaharu had very little experience of feeling stupid, which was probably why he hated it so much. “Fitting, with those ears . . . but I didn’t think you brought a cat, Captain.”

    “I didn’t.” Holcroft’s voice had dropped to a whisper. “Batsy died twenty years ago.”

  12. Ooooooooh. Will this jump never end? All I can feel is this ghastly nausea. And the infernal ringing in my ears. Jumps are Hell! At least I won’t be going ashore. I can just imagine the ridicule I’d face, the only Ship’s Cat in the Force who still gets jumpsick.


  13. Anyone want to recommend a basic physics textbook? I’m reading geology, possibly focusing on geophysics.

      1. Hmmm … I’m not a geologist, and haven’t studied earthquakes. This might help though: When studying solid mechanics in grad school we covered some interesting methods that went by the name of Energy Methods (or generalized mechanics.)

        It took a while to grasp the concepts involved, but basically you can take a system with arbitrary numbers of degrees of freedom and consider a subset of their possible motions and the actions of forces on them to get a subset of their mechanical behavior. Instead of dealing with the differential equations governing every possible way a beam could bend (infinite numbers of them), or dealing with a simple discretization, you can instead come up with a number of shape functions, whose amplitudes are the “coordinates” of a restricted manifold of possible motion. You then either minimize energy to come up with a static solution, or come up with “forces” acting on these “coordinates” which give rise to dynamics.

        Can’t find a PDF version of the book. Here is a tutorial though on the concept:

        Click to access energy.pdf

      2. One other thing that you probably will see (we did it in Plasma physics when studying plasma waves): Studying wave dispersion and how waves propagate.

        If you start with a set of differential equations (in the case of Earthquakes, probably some kind of elastic stress-strain-force-balance equations), you can linearize the equations about small displacements. Then you can take the Fourier transform of the resulting linearized PDEs to come up with a set of linear algebra equations known as “dispersion relations”. Solutions to these dispersion relations correspond to various kinds of allowed wave solutions that can propagate in the medium.

        In plasma physics, some frequencies of light can propagate into a plasma, others below a cutoff frequency will reflect. Still others are damped out (or amplified) by coupling with motion of the charges.

        I imagine the same sort of thing goes on with wave motion in the ground, and stresses and strains of the medium.

        1. There are at least 3 waves associated with earthquakes. Thanks for your suggestions. I meant introductory college physics.

          1. Ah, sorry about getting too into the weeds. If anything comes to mind (not a geologist (yet)), I’ll let you know.

  14. He had the high ground, looking down from atop the universe. Now all he needed was some small prey animal to run by underneath; and he’d pounce on it and rend it limb from limb. Or he could just take a nap. Decisions, decisions!

  15. Oh hai!

    I can haz light! Can haz fuzzy carpetz! Can haz sunz! Can haz cheezburgerz! Can haz climby thingz! Can haz pettingz!

    I can haz nap!

  16. We can but hope, else all humankind is lost.

    Is Feminism Being Lost In Translation?
    By Sarah Hoyt
    When I was young and reading Robert A. Heinlein, (as opposed to now that I’m older and reading Robert A. Heinlein) I was puzzled when I came across a sentence in which he, or at least his character, implied that men and women might be different species, not just symbionts.

    Yes, I do know he was making a joke. In the same way I know the people who continuously say that men and women are exactly the same aren’t.

    Neither statement is true, of course, not even at the utmost end of statistical oddity.

    But I recently became aware that I speak something that’s not my native language, and no, I don’t mean English. English too, of course, but also… I do not speak female.

    I became aware of this due to a commenter on my blog, who is a woman but also apparently doesn’t speak female too well, told of a situation she’d run into that illuminated all my difficulties in female-dominated environments.

    It also explains a lot of other things, such as why women think they’re discriminated against in work environments, that civilization is a tool of the patriarchy and that everyone – including females who don’t speak fluent female – are out to get them.

    The anecdote my commenter told, stripped of identifiers to protect the guilty went as follows: …

    1. WARNING: the above linked column contains evolutionary explanations for gender-associated behaviour and thus clearly misses the fact that gender is a social construct, not an evolutionary result, and all explanations fr female behaviour which do not recognise such patterns as socially induced by the patriarchy are not only invalid, they are bad think (is there HTML tag fo wavering letters?) and may tend to render the reader deplorable.

  17. What is that ship doing out in the middle of nowhere? To have such a view out a porthole, one would have to be a hundred thousand light-years or so from the nearest galaxy.

    1. How about in the middle of two jumps to get somewhere?
      Did you wake up on the stupid side of the bed?
      Will someone google and see how much/if this character has given trouble here before? Thanks. I’m busy.

  18. Can anybody out there point me to an indie-friendly editor or two? I think structural editing is what I need and have budgeted accordingly, but I am as yet a hopeless noob. I have a rough draft for a YA-level fantasy, mildly postapocalyptic with shapeshifters, family themes, and a complete and utter lack of a love triangle. Anybody got a direction to point me in before I take to the wilds of Upwork?

  19. Did no one notice in Justice, Inc.’s blurb (“government of South Sudanese dictator and international war criminal Ahmed al-Bashir”) that Bashir (full name “Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir”) is the seventh president of the Republic of Sudan and has not been president of South Sudan since it became independent?

    South Sudan became independent of Sudan on July 9, 2011.

    1. You do realize I just copy the blurb? I neither publish these nor read them before putting up. I forgot my disclaimer, I see. I put up books people send me to promote. That’s it.

      1. And you are very kind to do so, and certainly no blame attaches to you in this instance. I hope the error in the blurb doesn’t carry over into this book (which I would otherwise find an interesting read).

  20. Under other circumstances I would have taken more notice of the porthole, the Sphynx Cat resting in it, and the view of a distant galaxy beyond, but my day wasn’t going well. My transatlantic flight had been a cattle car, and the security people at Heathrow had apparently recently been gifted with ginger suppositories. To make matters worse, my ‘temporary housing’ while I was on loan to the London office was in Crouch End. That meant that either I was in a Lovecraft pastiche or one of my co-workers thought he was funny.

    I wasn’t sure which would be worse.

  21. Keeping busy was key to staying sane in the isolation of deep space, even for a post-biological human being whose body was a spacecraft. However, there were only so many repairs to be done, and Roger was getting tired of running minutely realistic simulations of space missions that might have flown. Thus he’d decided to recreate one of his favorite science fiction stories from childhood. As the storyscape took form around him, he noticed an unexpected element: a cat lounging in one of the spaceship’s portholes.

    He started to call up the debug console and see what glitch had produced this unexpected little addition to his entertainment. Then he stopped, chuckling in amusement. He was a Navy man, and should’ve realized that a story in which space was an ocean would carry over the role of the ship’s cat.

Comments are closed.