On The Road Again

On the road, heading to Colorado. Very long day. Should be there late tonight.

We are okay, and depending on what can be done about the one major issue, nothing unexpected about the house, and we might yet be moving. Updates on that later.

Meanwhile, the trip has been good or something. Being in lower altitude seems to help my concentration, and I did, wait for it, FINISH THE CURSED NOVEL.

I’ve sent it to my primary alpha reader to hunt for typos and tell me how many times I changed a name. For some reason Luzend had a habit of becoming Lucenzio and Lucendio. In my defense, I do the same with real people’s last names. And first names. And brand names. And pet’s names, and … well occasionally my kids’ names and my own name. (Though admittedly for that I need to be very tired or totally immersed in a novel. Rumor has it (coff) when writing full tilt I behave a bit like Star in Glory Road when she was taking personality impressions of her predecessors. My food tastes, clothes tastes, and sometimes my awareness of my own surrounding change. My husband — thank heavens — finds this amusing.)

But anyway, when a book drags on this long, I tend to get more confused about names, or places, or of course world details. So my alpha reader will also have the job of figuring out if the solution makes any sense whatsoever.

I am now working on the #3 script for Barbarella. My editor has been very patient, but I’d like to get it out of the way, in case we do need to go all hands on deck to get moved within a month (and get the current house on the market ASAP.)

Anyway, I’m going to get back to designing panels and dialogue so I can close this by the time we get home.

I’m glad you guys have promised not to set the place on fire (right? You have, right?)

And now, give me some paragraphs of the story for which this would make a good cover. (And yes, I’ve displayed this before.) (If this were the cover of a novel, I swear I’d call it Bait. And yes, it amuses me immensely.))

52 thoughts on “On The Road Again

  1. I believe the specific terminology in the agreement agreed to was “Not burn the place down.”

    The burning bush over beside the bar is technically on fire and in the place. Just sayin’.

    1. Not burn the /blog/ down.

      5/21/2021 “Maybe putting an offer in today”.

      And, I’m reasonably certain this counts as an invitation to continue the youtube vid posting of that day. So, an extension on the deadline!

      1. Yes, it referenced the blog. If it were her house – well, I could promise to not burn it down, but not to disassemble it piece by piece and cart it away. (The plan to renovate the office space in the fall is fast receding into the distance of lumber inflation. Sigh…)

    2. The aardvark said that the last pallet-load of fire extinguishers have been recharged and they are ready to hang in place. A box of air fresheners came in. Oops, I have that wrong. A box *truck*.

      Nothing to be alarmed of, folks. Just be careful in the Druid’s lounge.

  2. “My lovely Sirena Bot should lure some human low-lives toward my car and my children will be fed. It’s so hard being a single father with twelve hungry children in this human city. The human authorities are so unreasonable about me and family eating low-lives.”

  3. Callie didn’t hold with the new fashion for “pressure suit” apparel. I mean, yes, starships are exciting and pressure suits are visually interesting and even flattering on the right sort of man. But what kind of a pressure suit shows cleavage? And sexy poses with Visitors is just stupid–they’re not even… biologically compatible… with humans. But, the agency says these are the available gigs for a model with her physical attributes, and they do pay well.

    And then, it started to snow. Sort of.

  4. Gary wondered if he was getting old because he didn’t recognize the car the dark-haired woman was perched on. Meh; some sort of Chevrolet, he guessed. The driver looked a little weird, but who lets people sit on their car anyway.

  5. “Come to mama, Sugar.”

    She saw the giant marshmallow man waddling down the street, but she was not afraid. She knew she was the sweetest thing in the Canyon.

  6. Yeah, I fly in every couple of months, park my ship in a garage that charges way too much. Then I go see a movie, a play, go dancing and get it all out of my system for another couple months; and them go fly back to my home world.

    Dystopian alien worlds really are the armpits of the universe. Dark ugly cities, usually run by autarchs who don’t give a damn about the people who try to live there. Rampant crime. Cops, if any, usually on the take. About the only thing you can say is all the metal, permacrete, and glass makes it near impossible to burn the place down. Well, that and bookstores, cinema, and good places to eat.

    I did mention crime, didn’t I? It was Thursday evening, about 9 o’clock local. I’m sitting at an outside table at my favorite cafe when this skinny, pasty-faced, pencil-neck Yurvan pulls up in a ground car with some awesome dark noir bait sitting, not in the seat next to him, but on the damn top of the car. I say bait, because even though the shape is human, she most definitely isn’t.

    You know, the too perfect skin, the proportions just an eensy bit off; and the eyes aren’t right. Obviously a shape shifter.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like aliens. Even shifters. Heck, I’ve even gone to bed with a couple. But you do have to keep your wits about you. Because shifters evolved to either be apex predators, or protective coloration as prey. You don’t want to mix them up.

    This one on the car, predator. Knew it even before she said anything.

    *You. Come with me.*

    There’s only one predatory shifter race that has telepathy. Looked like I was in for one heck of an interesting evening.

  7. Promised? That’s a pretty strict interpretation, I think. It was more of a, “we’ll try really hard to limit the damage to just a few local spots…”

    1. I was under the impression that it was more “if the damage is fixed good enough she can’t tell when she comes back it never happened.” I mean, we did totally replace Northeast wing #33 the oncet, and far as I know nobody noticed anything different. The plant pots weren’t *sentient* after all, so they couldn’t tattle.

  8. Panhandlers have often been a problem on New Earth, but this one threatened to clean the car’s windshield with her posterior unless she received some money. So I told her to go ahead, it’s your butt. The threat to torch the car came next.

  9. “For the last time, will you GET IN THE CAR!? It’s next to impossible to drive with you sitting in front of the windshield!”

    On another note, I had a problem with names in my novel. I kept mentally changing a Chinese name to a similarly spelled Japanese name. Eventually, I started doing periodic Find/Replace searches to make sure I hadn’t accidentally left any examples of the wrong name in there.

  10. Hope everything works out! As for the lovely picture…

    “Finally! What took you so long, Reaper Man?!”

    If the beautiful woman lounging on the roof of his car without a care in the galaxy wasn’t enough cause for alarm the driver the man who just pulled up on a custom motorcycle was. Though not especially large or intimidating by appearance and his outfit wasn’t all that different from hobby cyclists the aura of dread that surrounded him was almost palpable. He peeled out of his parking space in a hurry, horns blaring as he narrowly avoided several vehicles on his way out.

    “Dumbass,” the man groused, watching the driver go. “He’d better not make more work for me while I’m here.”

    “Nah, I don’t think so,” the woman replied with a smirk. “And you never answered my question.”

    “Charon didn’t like the form he had to take for this mission.” the man grumbled, giving his motorcycle a sour look. The cycle revved unhappily in response.

    “It’s OK, Charon,” the woman said sweetly, petting the front of the machine. “Mama Nissa’s gonna give you a treat when it’s all over!”

    The man simply shook his head before turning his gaze on his companion, his eyes lingering over the cut of her jumpsuit appreciatively. “I didn’t think the Boss approved of outfits like those.”

    “The Boss doesn’t give a shit how I dress, as long as the job gets done!” Nissa snapped, though her face retained her playful expression. “Now, we gonna keep those punks waiting?”

    “Not at all.” he said, sitting down on Charon and motioning for Nissa to sit behind him. He’d love to have her holding on to him like this all evening but business always came first. They’d have to paint the town red one way before painting it red another.

  11. Xihli’Byk’uat knew that a nice car was a way to get a woman’s attention, but he had hoped it would be for more than a place to pose.

    And he wasn’t looking for a human woman!

        1. Just do not sign any Promissory notes.

          * Passes over a full bottle of Mellow Corn, 100 (US) Proof. * “This might be of some use. Bit sweet.”

  12. Jerry thought to himself, “Usually it is just bugs, bird leavings, or worse of all dragon leavings ending up an my car. How did an adult female human get there that obviously hadn’t been through a dragon’s digestive tract?”
    As he continued to ponder the issue it also occurred to him. “I can’t remove this with a trip to the car wash I’ll have to get out and shoo it away”
    As he got out she looked straight at him leaving him with the slightly disturbing impression she was simultaneously looking straight through him and asked. “Are you the Private Detective Sam Shovel? I need to hire you to find my missing husband.”

  13. “A bug just landed on your windshield? Just hit the washer.”
    “No. It is not a bug. It is a butt.”
    “A pair of human buttocks, connected to what almost appears to be yet is not a human female. I also discern my disguise field has been penetrated and deactivated. You asserted this time period would not offer technical challenges to Krell personal cloak technology. I assert that you were mistaken. I require extraction immediately.”
    “OK, maintain your course and speed, I’ll be right…”

    Static. How quaint.

  14. “Now, we’re not going to kill you, we just want to talk to you about your FTL drive. And your form of government and how best to have a friendly little talk with them. And no, I’m not going to get off the car. Those infuriating safety features won’t let you go anywhere while I’m up here. Does your ship have infuriating things like that built into it?” She sighed. “Really? Why not at least tell me you name? Do you guys have names?”

    She kept talking until the goon squad showed up to net him and haul him, her, it, whatever away. “Took you long enough. And really, I can’t believe Dr. Nik was right about them being irresistibly attracted to human females, and terminally terrified of us. Poor thing was just frozen there.”

    The tall dark and handsome head Goon looked her up and down and shook his head. “Yeah, they’re going to want you to stand by and maybe sit in on the questioning. C’mon, before the newsies get here and Mom sees you on the screen in that outfit.”

  15. Are you going to put in a “Comet Scientist Shirt” shout-out? I want to see a Comet Scientist Shirt shout-out.

  16. Overhead Ariadne could see at least three separate levels of aircar traffic. At least she wasn’t getting vertigo any more, but even after three months here at Vesta, the sheer volume of open area was still unsettling. But then the Kuiper Belt didn’t have that many solid bodies that could be melted and inflated to make this sort of habitat, and Hadeans were still poor compared to Belters.

    Right now she needed to focus on the mission. Not that it was easy with this outfit that looked like it came straight out of an old flatvid. What had it been called, the one with the race, back when cars still went on wheels, when humanity still lived on the outer skin of a planet with nothing but gravity to hold the atmosphere in place? There’d been two women dressed in outfits about this tight–

    Wait, that guy over there, coming out of that shop? Ariadne called up the image, let her implant paint it across her field of vision? Could it be him?

  17. Half done with my first pass, main focus is on continuity and any speed bumps in the flow.
    Will definitely need a full copy edit after that.
    Should have first pass notes back to you by the end of today.
    Primary alpha reader? You say the nicest things sweetie.

  18. Slightly OT but a link was provided for “First we have the naming of the names” article. Not sure how those are chosen, but there it was and the title echoed in my mind, forcing me to click and read. Brought up something that’s been on my mind, and that is the little things that annoy in a story or series thereof.

    I just picked up Modessit’s latest Recluse novel and for the first time ever, couldn’t get through it. His naming of the names has become tedious when it comes to food and drink. There is the hard yellow cheese and the soft white cheese. There is the redberry drink and the sour greenberry drink (IIRC on those two). There is the ale, wine, and lager. They eat roast fowl and spicy burkha. The pork chops are always dry and should be avoided. Book after book, the food names (which he insists on telling us in detail and at every opportunity) are oversimplified and stay the same. I did a quick search to see if I was remembering correctly and found an amusing article that suggested that his books were starting to read like the plot summary was a MadLibs page.

  19. How can you hold a BBQ without a fire?

    Seriously tho’, just stay safe and reasonably sane. I’ve read the end of the book. The Heroes win.

    1. Fluffy does it.

      I mean, a dragon can’t put out his fire nonlethally, so he never lights it.

  20. Laura Ingraham had a segment yesterday about an expensive private school in New York and a disturbing sex-education cartoon targeted at 4 to 6 year olds without their parents’ consent.

    What really got me was the closing shot — a huge banner hung over the front doors that read:

    CLASS OF 2021

    …and right in the middle, a big image of a tiger WEARING A FACE DIAPER.

    Sorry, folks, my face-palm is plumb wore out. It seems they have no self-awareness at all.

    In other news, according to Tucker Carlson the appropriate response to any Karen demanding ‘proof of vaccination’ is “Up yours!”

  21. Meanwhile, the trip has been good or something. Being in lower altitude seems to help my concentration, and I did, wait for it, FINISH THE CURSED NOVEL.


  22. One of my grandmothers never could spell my name right, including on the beautiful crocheted name piece she made for me one year.

  23. “Calm down Eddie, you know the Boss said to lure them in quietly!”
    “That doesn’t include you getting humanoid butt-prints on my scooter windscreen! It takes forever to clean! Blast you, get off the damn scooter!”
    “Oh Eddie honey” she purred “Do shut up. Here they come. I have to pose just so….oh look, we got both sexes!! The Boss’ll be sooo pleased. And I promise the windshield will clean up just fine. It’s only a mess when they explode inside the scooter. The exterior repels everything!”

  24. “They’re getting away,” fumed Inspector Aubrey Kincade softly from behind the manual-control wheel. In a mild tone half of wonder, half of amazement, half of fury (totals may exceed 100% due to overlap and rounding). “These locals won’t give us any backup, and with this comms-fritzing we couldn’t call it in if they would. Six months, chasing this one pack of smugglers over fifteen light-years of tramlines, and now they’re about to get back to the port and get away clean. Just because the big fad is for a theme of Megalopolis 2100 and hyper-privacy combined, right now.” He shook his head as the molasses-slow ooze of ground traffic slammed to a quick halt again. “If only we could get us a straight-up traffic jam, and get out and run to their car. But now, if we did that we’d all get run over, soon as the next scoot came along…”

    “Stop the car and let me out. Now.” Beeta McDaniel almost never asserted herself, not without hedging and conditionalizing everything, which made her matter-of-fact tone of command all the more jarring. “If we need a traffic jam, I can get you one in about a half-minute. Really. Stop the car and let me jump up on the roof. You three can settle who goes and who stays with the car, but I have to do this.”

    Roger Chu and Pam Martinelli looked at her like she’d grown horns and a tail, or maybe turned into a llama. “What..?”

    “Six months,” Beeta almost hissed in her London-Glasgow accent. “All down the tubes, if you don’t let me do this! Projective telepath, remember? Visual, auditory, olfactory hallucinations on command? Even pheromones if I really crank up the mojo? Do I have to draw you a bloody picture? No time!” The car’s archaic gas-turbine engine whined sharply as Aubrey’s angrily exact skill shot their car forward into the next opening gap, just in time to prevent a limousine on the left from blocking their path. And then its friction brakes squealed as the “stop” in “stop and go” traffic came on just as swift.

    “But that’s illegal,” said Roger in a remarkably prim and by-the-numbers voice for someone who was obviously getting seriously overspun too. “You could get in such trouble, Beeta, as a registered Class IV…”

    “That’s why you need to say the words, Aubrey, say the words NOW and STOP THE RUTTING CAR AND LET ME DO THIS.”

    And just that fast, Aubrey Kincade got what over two dozen years’ worth of subordinates and colleagues had always called The Look. “I declare this a Category R emergency, by virtue of the seriousness of the crimes suspected and the possible further damage to society, warranting appropriate action.” And swerved the car almost to the curb, as metal crashed behind them and curses began to salt the air. “Go, Beeta, do what’s needful, my authority.”

    “Just promise me you’ll all still respect me in an hour.” Beeta, short dark hair and trim ordinary figure, yanked open the door, climbed over the trunk, and perched herself on the roof about as fast as that. “Okay, guys, I’ll stay here and you go. Just remember, what you’ll see isn’t Beeta, it’s the next best thing to the old Faerie Glamour stuff out of the old legends. Don’t look back, either, especially you, Roger — it won’t turn you into a pillar of salt but you’ll never be glad you did if you do. Trust me on it.”

    But what’s that saying about not thinking of pink elephants? And since he had enough sub-detectable psi-sensitivity to feel something radiate from the roof of the car he was already leaving behind, it was really just about inevitable he would, briefly, turn around… and nearly crash into the sporty chromed baitmobile in front of him.

    Take the distilled essence of every 1940s pinup poster ever printed, the sultry vixenishness of every noir-fatale ever — and boost it to about 50 megawatts of effective radiated power. Roger Chu was quite happily married to the most wonderful woman in all the worlds, but in that moment…

    But what truly filled his mind was what the smugglers had been selling, and what it did to its users and victims. And that, for him, was enough. He ran.

  25. Congratulations to Our Esteemed Blogmistress on the new book being “in the can” at last. And may the Affair of the House reach the best possible conclusion for you and yours — even if you don’t know what that is yet.

Comments are closed.