Someday, I may finish my book.
January 26th, 2016
I'm trying to make myself write every day.
You may have noticed that I've been doing a lot more of that, what with the daily updates that I've been posting up here. I know I've been absolutely horrible about updating the site, what with there being maybe two posts a year since 2011, but I'm trying to be better in that regard. I'm beginning this with daily posts this month, because that seemed a good start.
I'm sure some of my daily gibberings are more than a little inane, and probably relate to some things that are a bit too obscure for the vast majority of people that might inadvertently trip over this site, but that doesn't bother me. This is my site, after all, and though I'm not actually using it solely as a place to vent my pent-up bile these days, I can still ramble on about whatever I like here.
However, I'm not just trying to write here. Sure, doing so is good, and does keep me on my toes, but I do have many nerd projects I'd like to move forward. My current effort is the Technical Reference, one of my game rule thingermabobs, which is actually coming along nicely. Heck, the section I'm currently banging away on seems to have grown beyond my original plan. Which is great!
With me pulling twelve hour days, I don't think I'll get much further on the Reference this week, but I'm often pondering how to make its text flow in between tasks here at work. The hope was to wrap up the current section, one that codifies how many common devices work in the game(s) I build rules for, sometime this week. I just have three or more paragraphs to go there, and it should be golden.
I'm not just writing nerdy nerd stuff, though. Well okay, I am, but I'm not just writing nerdy gaming stuff. I've been attempting to wrap my head around a book for, like, ever, and figured a good mental exercise would be cranking something like that out. After all, that's the kind of thing I can actually sell if I pull it off, so there's a financial motive for working on it.
Like a lot of my fiction, it involves one or more individuals with 'extra' abilities, but I suppose mine are a bit more grounded in that the use of such abilities is particularly brutal - particularly where mere normals are involved. I have always found it odd in comics and movies where people like this are active, when a character who can knock a skyscraper down somehow doesn't splatter others on contact.
Also, I tend to write in a less structured fashion than some authors, in that I make a rough outline from start to finish, and often 'wing it' from point to point, in order to let things evolve a bit more organically. And though I've been mostly stuck on exactly how to proceed since, oh, 2009, I actually wrote a couple thousand words last weekend - even if said words need a bit of polishing.
I suppose, as a special treat, I should give all y'all an excerpt of this work. I've just teased about writing a novel, after all, so that seems only fair. This is a random snippet of the overall story that doesn't really give a whole lot away, so perhaps that's as good as any. I considered sharing the beginning, but then if you know how everything starts, that won't leave all that much suspense!
Anyway, here goes:
As the luxurious black sedan pulled up in front of the somewhat dilapidated old house, Dash took in the sight of it. While everything else in his life had seemingly fallen apart or become completely incomprehensible in just a few days, the home of Old Tea Bags hadn't. It was exactly the same as he remembered, down to the cracked upstairs windows. The man really should get those fixed someday.
The old man, despite being a centenarian, ambled out the front door of his dilapidated domicile with some alacrity. Hugging Dash as he got out of the Fedmobile, Old Tea Bags couldn't help but project excitement.
"Wow, not only did you get out of the pokey, but you got yourself a gub'ment chauffeur out of the deal!"
As his minder rolled her eyes, Dash chuckled, but then got a serious look in his eye. Knowing what this was about even before Dash said anything, Old Tea Bags motioned Dash inside his house.
"C'mon, c'mon, I hid it downstairs after they hauled you away. They still don't know to look out for your rocks, even after all this time. I made it into something special for you this time, I did. Oh yes!"
Looking at the driver, who just shrugged, Dash warily followed his incredibly old buddy into the house. He did so warily because he knew exactly what the geriatric pervert had in his basement, after all, and it wasn't just his workshop, either. Presuming he wasn't about to be violated, however, Dash did indeed let his buddy lead him towards his metallic playground.
Before Dash's eyes adjusted to the dark, Old Tea Bags grabbed something off of a work bench and brandished it at Dash.
Dash took the proffered item from Old Tea Bags, and couldn't help but note that it was a scabbard. A scabbard occupied by what looked like a broad sword. Unsheathing the weapon, Dash held it up into the air, its tip grazing the ceiling of the work shop. Of course, the ceiling was already well scarred by countless lumps of molten metal over the years so this wasn't such a big deal, but Dash nonetheless winced.
Dash's dread of Old Tea Bags' scorn quickly faded as he felt a sort of... rightness with the world pour through his body upon holding his apparent sword for a few seconds. He was flooded with energy, and felt as though he were capable of almost anything.
"That's... that's a wonderful blue sword, all right."
Almost hopping up and down, Old Tea Bags began to excitedly spit out details about the sword.
"It is! I figured out how to combine that blue metal with a bit of iron and a few other top secret ingredients to make it almost unbreakable, though I shaped the stuff first, naturally. You always seem to want some kind of weapon when you bring it to me, so I figured I'd maximize what you had and give you a really big sword this time, instead of those brass knuckles or hand guns or whatever."
Dash looked at the old man quizzically upon hearing that.
Old Tea Bags nodded eagerly.
"Oh yeah, don't you remember? Sometimes you bring me only a little bit of the metal, other times more. This is the first time I've seen so much of it at once! Heck, I had so much that I couldn't use it all. I was wondering... is there any way I can keep just a little bit of what's left? I'm pretty sure just touching it every few years is what's keeping me from dying from something or other..."
This stopped Dash cold.
"Wait, how much did you have left?"
Sheepishly producing a couple small scraps of the mysterious ore from a tiny box, Old Tea Bags warily handed them over.
Dash looked at his old friend and realized that he might be right. Not too many people lived longer than a hundred years, and even less had as much raw energy as Old Tea Bags did. Thinking about it for a few seconds, Dash couldn't help but realize this metal could help others in a pinch, as it had his good friend.
"I tell you what, buddy. Make me two rings out of this stuff, the same way you made this sword for me, and you can keep the rest of the meteor. Consider it a late birthday present, since I was too busy getting the stuffing knocked out of me to attend what I'm sure was a huge party to celebrate the fact that you're still alive, somehow."
His eyes wide with joy and gratitude, Old Tea Bags grabbed the leftover meteor bits back, and hugged Dash tightly.
"You're the best, Dash! I swear, you've gotten a lot less horrible over the years."
Dash smiled at that. Sure, the old codger didn't seem to get that he wasn't the same Dash that had apparently been dropping by now and then to have something made out of a meteor chunk that had previously been lodged in his remains, but that didn't matter. He'd made his old buddy's day, and that almost made up for the horrible couple of days he'd had since that night in the desert. Except for one thing.
"Take your hands off my butt, Tea Bags."
I hope I didn't horrify you or embarrass you for knowing me or anything. If it's not to your taste, hey, that's cool. But remember, this is a work in progress, and I will probably reconfigure bits here and there as time passes. Heck, I just did a bit here, today, upon looking for obvious grammatical failures. Unlike this book, which actually did get published. In print!