• Fiction

    Drabble: It’s Full of Drones

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    It’s a drone-filled world.

    Military drones. Expensive, solid, better all the time.

    Commercial drones. Delivery models beat the media drones to market by a few months.

    Toy drones. Cheap, crappy things with minutes-long battery life. Proliferation led to better quality, better batteries, better cameras. Easy, high tech voyeurism.

    Privacy concerns fought back. Legislation, protests, and, eventually, tiny hunters. A quick electric shock knocks most over-the-counter pre-fabs out of the sky. Scratch one spy.

    But my hunter didn’t come home last night.

    The last frame of video catches a hazy image of something bigger, darker, menacing.

    Begun, the drone wars have.

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  • Writing

    Green Man’s Revenge

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    So I’ve been working on a story for submission to the Urban Green Man anthology and I don’t think I’m going to make it for the November 30th deadline. Well, I’m going to have it finished, but it’s not going to work out. No, this isn’t me doing the editors’ job for them. If I can conform to the guidelines, I’ll send it, but…

    The story is a good one, I think, the characters work, I’m hitting all of the points I wanted, and things are really coming together.

    Yes, I left starting the story late, but that’s because I actually threw away three complete plots and tossed half a dozen more ideas for various reasons rather than writing the first thing that popped into my head. When the story I really want to write finally crystallized, I should still have had plenty of time.

    Yes, I’ve actually missed a couple of days writing due to real world stuff going on lately and playing too much with my new website, but on the days I’ve worked on it, I’m averaging 750 words per day which isn’t a bad pace. If I were done the first draft right now, I’d have time for all of the editing and polishing I’d want to do—I have two days alone in the house before the deadline, but it would be nice to have the ‘fix what’s broken’ draft done by then so I could concentrate on spit and polish.

    The problem is that I’m looking down the throat of the 5,000 word maximum allowed under the submission guidelines and I’m seeing the ¾ mark of the story. Things suck for the hero(s) and bad stuff is happening. The POV has what he needs, but hasn’t figured that out yet, and I have to crush his spirit just a little more before the big climax. It’s going to demolish the 6k barrier before I’m done.

    Dude, you say, you only need to carve out a thousand words (or so) to squeak by. Yes, that’s true, or it would be if there weren’t notes sprinkled through the story that read something like {put this here} so I could fill in some details on the second draft. And I have layers to layer in so they’re not obvious. And then I have to erase my tracks and make it pretty. And then I have to read it out loud to make sure I haven’t missed anything stupid.

    5,000 words? Not bloody likely. “With shorter stories preferred”? Yeah, I’m screwed.

    But it’s a good story and I’m going to make it the best one I can, shooting for the deadline. If it’s not under budget, well, that’s okay. It’ll still be a good story.

    For now, it’s well after midnight, but maybe I can squeeze a few more words in before the caffeine wears off.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Writing

    The Green Struggle

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    “Carlos woke blindfolded, gagged, wrists and ankles wrapped in duct tape, and with the taste of dryer sheets in his mouth.”

    It’s an awesome opening line, isn’t it? At least I think so, and I got a compliment on Twitter plus a DM that said it was attention getting. So yeah, it’s an awesome opening line.

    The problem is that it leads into a story that’s going to be very linear and predictable if I write it as I’ve rough plotted it out. It’s supposed to be an idea for a story submission to the upcoming “Urban Green Man” anthology, but I’m not feeling a lot of originality in the story I’ve worked out.

    My second attempt at a story for this anthology was going to be near future fantasy and include a robot and a swarm of invasive wasps. Has some promise, but the guidelines specifically say no SF, which doesn’t necessarily leave out the robot, but why take the chances. Never mind that I could see several ways to resolve the immediate problem without resorting to any fantastic elements, much less some version of the Green Man.

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