Author: Bubbasrelm

I won a young authors award at 10, so of course I haven't put anything up to be reviewed since then. Now it's time to see if this can happen.

Something i posted on accordingtohoyt.com

Was engaged in some light blogging over at accordingtohoyt.com and posted this little guy.  Since this is suppose to be a repository of me telling stories, figured i’d toss it up here too.
“Hell, just be friendly and nice to some of the more socially inept ones and that should do the trick.

Here is an example of one such instance of this very tactic. (Trigger warning: long winded, whimsical, largely irrelevant)

One fair day i received a phone call from an extremely sad woman telling me the woes of having lost all her business information on her home computer. And when i say all, I mean all. The year was 1998. That’s right. No smart phones, no tablets, and laptops were still something only IT nerds had.

She had been directed to me by Frank, her neighbor across the street, and my DM. She tells me she doesn’t have a lot of spare cash, but she is willing to work out an exchange of favors (nothing dirty, drag em outta the gutter folks) if i help her. I being in essence a knight out of the digital age had no choice but to gather my ESD and tiny screwdrivers and ride forth to rescue fair damsel from the evils of data loss.

When I arrive I began to gently interrogate the haggard lady of the particulars of this disaster. She spun a tale of how the computer had shut down unexpectedly and then after words would power on only to the dreaded “Non-system disk or disk error, Replace and strike any key when ready” error.

This in itself was not the main issue however. It seems the jester she had entrusted the repair of this computer had poked around inside the bios and fiddled with some settings. At which point I may have stated that one does not “fiddle” with the bios, however she assured me that this is in fact what said jester had done. He had fiddled.

Unsurprisingly his fiddling had been unsuccessful. At this point a smarter man would have admitted defeat and walked away. Well to be honest, a smarter man would have ejected the floppy disk from the floppy disk drive and then sat back and gloated as the owner had shown open amazement for the smarter mans supposed computer prowess as the computer returned to a working state.

But, alas, this man was not a smarter man, but instead a damnable fool. His solution was to mash the power button repeatedly 20 or 30 times in frustration at the infernal machines uncooperative nature. This particular event had two immediate effects. The first was to bring forth the owners anger in the form of shrieking like a deranged mad woman at the jester and shooing him away from the keyboard, and indeed, from her entire house.

The second effect was a little more insidious. It had reset the bios completely to factory default. Now to explain, factory default is a mythical set of settings that assumes that if everything in the universe was to align perfectly, then these settings would work. However as this particular event never occurs they are about as useful for computers as a bucket of boiling water is.

The upside is that as a knight of the just blossoming digital age I was conversant in the ways of the BIOS, and I understood the secret of battling the dreaded non system disk error. And after issuing a few words of gentle encouragement I managed to get the lady fair to let me set about the task of restoring her computer to its proper working conditions.

After a mere matter of several tense moments of changing settings in the Labyrinth of the BIOS world, and making sure to eject the offending disk from the floppy drive I then powered on the machine.

It was during the inevitable lengthy boot up that i finally managed to ask the lady fair what it was she did as business. She then informed me that she was in fact the only officially licensed piercer artist in Oklahoma. This meant she was the only person allowed to pierce a person in any place other than the earlobe.

During explaining to me that she had in fact just performed her first piercing ever of a male’s unmentionables she stopped and issued what I learned later was the first squee of joy I had ever heard. After disentangling myself from her exuberant congratulatory hug I realized the source of her joy was in fact that the computer had chugged its way into a windows desktop.

Upon further verification it was confirmed she had in fact lost the data she was working on at the time. However all else was present and accounted for. At this point I begin to speak to the merits of digital tape backups (as was and still is my wont for small business owners who need to make sure data stays safe). She then proposed how she could fulfill what she felt was an obligation to me for saving her from her dire situation.

She offered to give unto me, any body piercing that I may so desire in exchange for services rendered. To be fair I may have considered it, however her very graphic description of her previous encounter earlier in the day with the afore mentioned gentlemen’s bits had turned me off from any such idea.

In the end I said to her that as the work itself was only a mere few minutes of work to me that her happiness was enough for myself and that I should be bidding her farewell as I was late in taking my dwarven fighter and leading a group of surface dwellers through the terrors of the underdark at the house across the street.

So with a fond farewell, a final congratulatory hug, and promises of tasty treats to be delivered to next week’s game session I took my leave.

I never took her up on the offer of a free body piercing as I came to the conclusion that I was not meant to be perforated. However, the batch of brownies she delivered the following week were, IMHO, the epitome of all that is amazing, gooey, and righteous in the realm of chocolaty goodness.

-Fin-

P.S. Thanks for making it this far. Was gonna write a short simply reply, but somehow… something took me over and said… go flowery ”

Advertisements

Baen Writing Contest

Holy Crap,

I know I’ve been Wanting to get into writing, and getting published is definitely my plan, but timing.  Wow.  This is so quick after my return to the joys and frustrations of getting stories into prose.

I’m excited as hell at tossing my hat in the ring for this one.  I have no illusions as to my chances.  The folks I’ve been following and occasionally chatting with on other blogs are a serious group of people with some strong talent. John C. Wright in particular makes me shiver a little bit in fear.

But hell, running isn’t gonna make this work.

If wordsmiths like John want to come out then that means I will just have to work that much harder.

So be it.

I can tell a hell of a story.  It’s not modesty that has kept me from pushing writing, it has always been that “I need to just wait until things settle.” or “Hey I can attack this as soon as I finish building this world.”   But the truth is those have always just been excuses.  It’s hard for me to bear scrutiny.  To be critically reviewed. Not because I can fail. I can take failure, that’s easy.   Learn and move on.  It’s how you grow.

I’m just worried of nothing.  Here’s my story folks.  Here’s me swinging and seeing if I can do this. Then I get a form letter back, or even worse nothing.  No criticism to help me improve, no growth, just stagnation.  When I ask how am I doing and all I get is “Meh”, That’s what I fear.  Nothing.

But, as my old man said go big or go home, and even if nothing comes of this contest then I’m going to keep swinging.  I will hit that damn ball, and I will make first base.

-Chris

The Rise of Garth

***Advisory***  

This is very rough first draft stuff.  This is so I can get the idea out and onto some form of medium. It should improve as I flesh out and work on it.   If your looking for novel quality work right out of the box, boy did you come to the wrong spot, just saying.

Anything in [] is me musing, and not part of the story.

***Advisory***

Feeling the last of his power ebb, Garth collapsed against the railing.  He stared across the river as the Alien battle ship slammed nose first into the mockery that was once triumph square.  The alien ship seemed to impact in slow motion, the tail end slowly folding in onto it self as it lost the war between mass and gravity.

That was it, the last dangerous group of them.  All that remained was the cleanup.  A few Chucker squads here and there, one small Chucker base in the midwest, and a couple of colony ships full of frozen Chucker settlers were all that was left.  The last remains of the mighty Chucker armada that had arrived just 5 long years ago.  The same Chucker fleet that had destroyed their entire global militarily in mere days.  It now lay in smoking scattered ruins across most of the planet.

There had been 100 of them, supermen the propaganda leaflets had called them.  Lab rats the scientists had dubbed them. Last hope the politicians believed them. They were one and all volunteers to try a radical idea to save them from total extinction.  Radical it was, and damn effective too.  100 were made, now as far as Garth could tell only 3 were left, him and his 2 remaining companions. Most had died from the last 2 years worth of brutal guerrila warfare.  100 were made, 7 left for this last battle.

Of course the 93 had not gone easy, they took far more with them.  Millions of Chucker soldiers had been slain.  So to had millions of people.  The intial deaths as the chuckers established their rule.  The Uncounted tolls that died in the labor camps.  And the  unfortunate bystanders as the Supers fought, and died, for their freedom.  All gone.  All that was left were emaciated, battered, and hardened survivors[rewrite this paragraph, clunky].

Garth looked around at the aftermath of their triumph.  They had won, but looking at the carnage that was left of the city it was hard to imagine this as victory. Once proud towers of steel, glass, and concrete now lay intermingled with the twisted alien wreckage of the last of the Chucker Fleet. The dead were everywhere.  The peace after the final ship had fallen had lasted for only a scant few minutes before the wailing and moaning of both the dead and those who had lost began.

He took stock of his companions.  Of the remaining 7 that left for this final battle he could only see Flint and Beth.  They seemed as dazed as him, worn, beaten and shoulders slumped in exhaustion. Nowhere was there an air of triumph, a sense of accomplishment.  Just weariness.

“Flint.  Where are the others?” Garth asked, knowing, but refusing to believe, the answer.

“Jenny and George got hit with that disintegration beam, well most of them did anyways.”, Flint replied slowly. “Last I saw of Jack he was trying to get people into the subway.”

“He’s dead.”, Beth added.  “I saw him go down fighting a squad of Chucker Heavies….  then the all I heard was the screaming from underground as the last one went below.”

Garth let out a heavy breath.  “What about Caroline?”

Beth and Flint looked at each other uncomfortably.  Garth could see their hesitation.  “What? About? Caroline?”, his voice dropped lower, growing heavy with the stirrings of power.

Flint flinched from the look Garth gave them, but Beth squared her shoulders and looked Garth in the eyes.  “She went back into the prison camp to get the ones who couldn’t walk. That was just before you dropped the Cruiser.”

“Which Cruiser?” Garth said, his voice dangerously low.

“Oh Garth, I’m so sorry.” she said, her eyes softening for the first time in months. “It was the one that hit the prison camp.”

100 were made, 3 were left.

It started small.  A small tightening of his chest.  It spread, moving further and further out from his chest.   just this strange tingle.  Then the pain began.  Like the chest it was just a little thing.  Then as the reality of what had happened, what he had done, sunk in it grew.  Soon it dwarfed his heart, then his chest, then his whole body.

“Why am I on my knees?”, he thought.  “Who is wailing so damn loud?”. then the grief consumed thought and reason, and just became.  For a moment, all he could see was her eyes.  Her gorgeous, inviting, loving eyes.[I’m not happy with this one, need a better way to describe him on his knees and wailing anguish.]

And then faster then it had begun, the pain, simply stopped.

[If this is to be the Garth Section i need to flesh it out some.  Need more insight to him as a person.  also need to really up the sympathy level.  he is a man who just sacraficed everything to save the world, and i mean everything. and he knows it so we need to build the sense of lose more. ]

*****************

[A word on the ‘Beth” Section.  this will be my first ever female perspective.  I’m hoping that a few of my female friends will be willing to gently correct me on were she may wrong.  Not wrong in message or belief, but more wr0ng in just how she would arrive to these beliefs or feelings.  I am usually fairly empathic with people, and I can get a read for people fairly well, let’s see if this means I can get the Female voice to be believable. Also, not spell checked yet so apologies for the speeling mushtakes.]

Beth could see the anguish in Garth, could feel the panic rising in his voice when he said, “Which Cruiser?”.

The fall to his knees, and the pure agony in his voice was far to familiar.  It was like having an external view to her own reaction when she had found out that her husband Richard had been killed during one of the first waves of attacks from the chucker.

She new the pain well. It, and the following need for revenge, was what had driven her to the program.  The need for revenge and the greif of lose had coalesed into hatred.  The Chucker had to suffer.   The had to pay.

He had stopped screaming.  She looked at him.  She hadn’t stopped, not this fast.

He stood up, queit now.  He just started off into the smoking ruins of the city.  She could guess whta he saw.  Visions of caroline, was her guess, of the time they had together.  Like her visions of Richard… and his strong hands.

When he turned and looked at her, she knew he was wrong.  She had seen that look, that calm, cold, and emotionless look in eyes before, in her own.  It was that look she saw in the mirror every morning after comming back from killing Chuckers, It was the same cold emotionless state that had enabled her to commit terrible attrocities to her own people.

Accetable losses she had called.  The people were slaves, serfs, or collabirators.  They had been nothing in her need for revenge.  Merely peices of chaff as she conducted here righteous cleansing of the world from the vile invaders. Untill one morning she had woken up and in the mirror were not the cold eyes of a mass murder, they wore the eyes of a greiving widow who realised what selling her soul for revenge had cost her.

That was the moment Richard whispered to her, “What have you done?”

From that moment on she had changed.  She forced herself to stop. to think of the consequences, and to strip the term accetable losses from her lexicon.

When she looked at Garth, she could see nothing of the kind nuturing man that was once there.  All she saw was the devil. The same devil she had seen in those mirrors, not so long ago.

But she had been there.  She needed to talk him down.

“Garth?” she began, “Are you okay?”

He turned that cold stare on her, his eyes judging, weighing, calculating. “I’m fine.”  he said, “I know what needs to be done now.” His voice was a cold as his eyes.

“What’s that?” She felt herself tensing up, her power trying to gather.  She willed herself calm.  Garth was unstable, she could see it in him, but he was a friend.  No need to feel threatened, but she did.

“To save them of course.” he waved a hand lazily back towards the city.  “To prevent this from every happening again.”

His eyes bored into her’s she could see him tense.  He was coiled tightly.  He just felt wrong.  Another of the 100, Jorge, had mention about serial killers he had helped to Guard before the war.  He said sometimes you could feel it comming.  The dangerous ones, the scary ones, weren’t loud or animated.  It was the quite intense ones who just gave off this impending violence vibe that unnerved him the most.  He had said, “You could feel it, Like being watched by some big ass hungry cat.”.  He had seen the violence they were capable of, and they way they just shrugged of the ramifications of their actions with nor more trouble than someone sheds the guild of killing a spider in the house.

She had never understood what that meant, until now.

“Garth, talk to me.  tell me whats going on in there.”, she pointed at his head.

His eyes fixated her, they were so cold, so familiar.  she barely noticed as he stepped foward.  “This will not happen again, they will work to save themselves,  they will work, or answer to me.” He took another step towards her.  Somewhere in her brain an alarm bell was ringing madly, but it seemed so far, so muted.

“You mean us?”, her brain was fuzzy, working only the last thing he had said.  Of course he meant us, we are a team after all, all 100 of us together, working to make the world safer, working to a better tomorrow, a better future.

Yes, we would be better off, better able to defend ourselves, better able to Thrive without the petty bickering that had preceeded the war.

Through the heavy haze now drifting through her head she realized Garth was right next to her, his arm around her shoulder.  He was whispering into her ear.

“”I’m sorry beth. But I mean to me, you are to decent for what must be done.” It wouldn’t have been so creepy, if he hadn’t had sounded so sad.

Creepy…  Creepers… that’s what the group had called those who could  sneak into your head, creep around, shift your way of thinking…

Shift your way of thinking.

SHIFT YOUR THINKING!

Her mind shreiked the last as the alarm claxons final hit full volume in the oh shit center of her brain.  Reality snapped back into focus hard.

Time slowed as she took stock, he was to close.  She was good in hand to hand, but he was better. He had grace and speed, all she had was brute raw strength.  He had his arm almost completely around her neck.  She could see the flash of silver from the blade in his hand.  it would be sharpend to a molecular level, had to be to cut the skin of the chucker.  Unfortunatly that was sharp enough to cut her too.

But Beth had not survived the last 2 years without being able to evaluate fast and think quicker.

She threw her head back and flung back her left elbow, hard.  She felt the blade scarp her jawbone, but more importantly she felt him leave her back, propeled by the hard jab from her strike.

“Garth, what in the hell are you doing!” she said, feeling the blood begin to flow down her neck.  “Have you lost your mind, were on the same fucking side!”

He turned, “Are we?” his voice was almost mocking.  “Will we be on the same “side” as I kill innocents to make the others fall in line?  We will still be on the same side when I use mankind as slaves, as i beat and whip them into submission so i can save them?” he looked at her again, same dead eyes, “Will you really be on my side when i kill thousands, so i can save millions?”

Beth was speechless. This was Garth, always quick on the joke, first to mediate, and according to Caroline as tender as a man came.  And here he was, about to enslave all of mankind.  The scary part was, she could see he believed he could do it.  Not believed, but knew he could do it.   And no one could stop him, no one had the ability to stop him.

The project was dead.  In as far as she knew it had been wiped out when the chucker had found them.  all the devices, all the doctors, all the research had gone up when the orbital bombardment had ended.  Only 7 had escaped.

No one in the world had the kind of power he did at his disposal, inhumanly fast, Graceful beyond measure and strong.  And now he was also a creeper.  that alone was dangerous.  there was a reason the creepers had never been sent out.

NO one could face him and win…  except her and flint.  They were the last 2.

To bad Flint was busy weeping like a baby…  Great timing.

Sigh.

[begin fight scene, going to block it out then write]

[final dialog, Compound and firm Garth’s Resolve.]

*****************

He could feel a warmth spreading across his side. It was the first time he had actually felt Warm in a long time.  The warmth had started, oddly enough, at his shoulder and had spread down his arm and his side at the same time. [Damnit, i made it this far and then the idea for the bean contest took over my head.]

 

[This is the Flint Section.  this is the Long term effects of Garth’s Break, and what it means for the future, maybe a sequence of story jumps, every decade or so.]

[On reflection i’m thinking a 3 part Prolouge as it were, one from each POV, Garth Beth and Flint.  each one can carry the story to a major transistion and then end it.  Thinking Flint last. Do Beth Next.  Need to set up for the real story.]

 

Week 2, Describe an event

This week I will be picking one event from the last 7 days and writing about it.

 

The real challenge will be in how I write it.  I will pick one tone for the piece (humorous, dramatic, romantic, actiony, etc) and then i will rewrite it after i publish the first one, but this time in a completely different tone.

 

This should be a test for fleshing out ambience, tone, and descriptions.

 

*umm so i had a pimp ass idea hit me.  So screw this assignment, lets see if i can get this idea out into a short story 🙂

Week 1, Setting a scene (or how to describe a world without boring the reader).

From what I’ve read in various works,non fiction or fiction, the lessons I’ve been taught about describing the world  is that it should usually be there but unobtrusive, unless of course the scene calls for it to be interacted with.  Then, like characters, you flesh in what is appropriate.  the more the scenery interacts, the more detailed it should become.

To this end, I want to try and write 3 items,

1. The first one is were the scenery should be mentioned, but will largely just be setting pieces and not really meaningful.

2. The second the scenery should be like a backdrop.  not necessarily interacted with, but the location itself will have a noticeable effect on the how the events feel.  (Arabian nights pieces are a good example of this.)  It’s not a character itself, but has more pull than just saying “they were in the Desert.”

3. This will be the longest one, as it should be, since in this one the setting should be a character unto itself.  This is were the background is so pervasive it will effect every action of the protagonist (fist fight vs fist fight on a zero g space station).

All 3 of these are just explorations of successfully setting a scene, and should be self contained.  however it’s not a story so it should feel like a glimpse into a window if i do it right.  we shall see.

 

Who the hell am I

So this first post is very simple.  I am going to outline the questions i hope to answer.

1. Who am I?

2. What is the blog for?

3. when am i gonna post to it.

4. Why am i blogging?

I would add how, but i can’t really think of a good how (how will it type on my keyboard, or how will i stare at the screen in thought…)

 

1. Who i am is Chris.  that is a very short name to describe who I a really am.  If i describe my self as a pedestrian in a scene then i would be the fat middle aged white guy in the corner.

If I go deeper and promote myself to Buddy, sidekick, or love interest who loses to main love interest then i would either be the Smart, Dry Sarcastic Buddy who offers words of encouragement(usually by calling someone a dumbass) when it’s needed and a swift kick when it’s needed more.

Or the Smart good friend who has always listened to your tales of relationship woes, passed good advice, and taking care of your emotional needs at every turn, but gets passed over because he just isn’t as hot as Channing Tatum.

However If i was a sidekick, I would be Jayne from firefly… cause the interwebs said so.

2. This bog is simply because I want to see if I have the chops to make writing a career.  I know the odds, I am not blindly walking in thinking that a magic bullet book will pour from my brain, through my fingers, and into the hearts of the pre-teen community (which the really stupid amounts of money seem to be, just ask Meyers, Rowling’, and Collins, if you can find them behind their gigantic piles of money.). Partly because i think i’m going to try and write more towards were i like to read, which is a bit of an older market than that, and partly because twilight actually makes my flesh crawl.

It’s at this point i should probably mention i’m racist against elves and vampires.   I was the only person in the theater who cheered when dobby died, and the idea of emo whinny little vampire douche bags running around on fire in daylight brings a warm feeling to the cockles of my heart. Just saying…

3.  As for frequency of posts that depends on how well I can start to train myself to write.  Every author who’s advice I have read all say the same thing. Practice, practice, practice.   As such the more frequently I post, the more practicing I am engaging in, therefore the more frequently I post the better I get and the closer I get to actually writing something.  So the goal is once a day, but we shall see how that goes.

4. The reason why is simply, practice, practice, practice.  If I don’t practice then publishers will not want to throw money at me to do it.   I’m not necessarily expecting to Scrooge McDuck my money in a giant vault, but getting paid to publish anything would mean I made it.  The goal is simply to make it.

Course if I make it and people actually like it enough to pay me well… then goals will change, and I’ll start construction on my giant tower in Duckberg.

 

EDIT- Figure since this is public might as well lay down my rules for comments.  I will allow anything constructive.  This includes discussion (this is why your character is the man), Arguing (dude your character  was totally not the man because…), constructive feedback (dude, you your character is weak, check this out to make it better.), advice (when talking about settings you totally forgot a character within a settings within a setting… mind blown), etc, etc.

What I will not allow is asshatistry.  This includes being insulting for no reason (your a poo poo head), Unconstructive critizism (your a newb, i pwnd u), and douche baggery (I know this is a writing forum, but your mom was amazing in bed last night.)

Just keep it mostly civil and I’m cool with it.  Be an ass hat and I will delete your ass.  Nuff said.