I like writing more than bacon.
Because I love my blog harem, yes I do. I bring you an unedited little slice from near the end of Your Little Sister. I got your conflict here, Baby. I got it down, you know what I’m saying? We’re talking conflict Big Love style, only, with nanotech—and spankings.
I step out of the garage into the rain. I make my way to the nearest vine maple bordering the woods and hike my dress up. I draw my combat knife and cut myself a nice switch. I carve the nubs off it and smack it against a cedar tree trunk to get a feel for it.
I head back into the garage to the door there, I am not too sure the front door is going to open for me. I enter the mudroom, and my borrowed cotton dress is soaked.
Percy, our dog, barks at me and not to kindly. In rushes the other dog. They growl.
I raise my switch. “Bad dogs! Bad! Now get!” I take a step towards them.
I emerge from the mudroom and there is the Toulouse family household, minus the new Wife.
“Oh fuck,” says Vash. He turns to Bill. “I thought you were joking!”
“Shit,” says Juan.
“Oh no!” says Cazandra.
“Oh, this is bad,” says Mitch.
“Where. Is. She.”
Bill points up the stairs. “Guest bedroom.”
I was trying to describe Your Little Sister from a thematic standpoint, and came up with this: “A character-driven smutty sci-fi story with a strong female lead that isn’t a sociopathic bimbo with an IQ of 36D.”
IQ of 36D. Oh man, I crack myself up, really, I do.
16.2K on Your Little Sister since the elusive chapter fifteen. Over the weekend.
Oh so grim.
Oh so sexy.
Oh so sad.
Oh so fun.
Your Little Sister may be a lot of things. Boring is not one of them! The part where—never mind.
I have just finished Chapter Fifteen of YOUR LITTLE SISTER.
I rewrote it seven times.
I am sure if I had not gotten to know all my online writer friends, I would have become very frustrated at about rewrite three. Now, after determining that the rewrite was CRAP, I would simply mentally shrug and start anew.
I admit, part of this was self-defense against my Blog Harem(TM). But, mostly, I am inspired by all the positive energy for writing. So I just kept at it until it made sense in context with the rest of the story and was, in the end, NOT CRAP, not even transitional. In the end, I really like Chapter Fifteen. It is creepy and disturbing and oh so filled with tension.
Thus, I love you all. I give you literary smooches.
So, um, who wants to read it?
A day in the life of a writer.
Had an itch to write sci-fi separate from the YOUR LITTLE SISTER manuscript. So I decided to do some more world-building and see where it took me. Since I have been accused (by more than one person, I should add) of having a fascination with kissing, here’s a sci-fi kiss. We have the return of Major Hackett, and a new character, Dex. After writing this, Dex seems really fascinating. I don’t know why.
I’m digging the expanded Major Hackett though. Big time.
“Leftenant Landau, the Space Marshal wants to talk to you,” said the Major in a neutral, flat voice. The short, sharp-featured woman looked him up and down, as if was a fresh piece of meat. Considering he was just off an orbiter, he was. He could almost see her mentally smirking through the thin veneer of her professional blankness.
Dex froze in place. He had not been on Space Station Mitachi more than five minutes. It was his first time in space. It was his first time in uniform. Hell, he did not even know where the head is, and he had to pee.
But he wasn’t stupid. He saluted the woman, remembering his training.
Training he received only yesterday.
She saluted back, and then stuck out her hand. “Jill Hackett,” she said, her voice warming up. “I am the Marshal’s attaché and all-around gopher girl.”
Dex took her hand and instead of shaking it, she clasped his wrist and pulled him close. She actually stood on her toes and kissed him on each cheek. He hoped his surprise did not wash across his face.
His cheeks felt warm as if he was blushing, and he realized the warmth was not from embarrassment. She was a wælcyrie! He had heard of them, but never had met one until now. His brain raced with the cultural meaning of having one kiss him. It was a social greeting, but also more. They were marking you with nano riders carried on their lips. No one knew why, or if anyone did, they were not telling. Eventually, his internal nano regulator would neutralize the benign foreign nano tech.
Theoretically, at least. It was some small comfort that if the nano was malignant, his regulator would go into full neutralization mode.
He pushed this from his brain as he realized she was now smiling at him. “This way, Leftenant.”
He followed dutifully. He tried to memorize the route but gave up after five minutes. She was probably following a trail displayed in her contact lens HUD, avoiding crowds and construction in real-time, both of which seemed abundant.
Dex decided being shy was stupid. He may be still wet behind the ears, but he was a commissioned officer, newb status notwithstanding. He was being silly.
“Could we take a detour to the head, Major?”
“Of course. This way.”
Soon they were in a unisex bathroom. He made a beeline for a urinal while she disappeared into a stall.
As they were both peeing, she got chatty.
“I saw you have a combat record, Leftenant. Did you see a lot of action?”
“No ma’am. In the war, my family operated a Whisper Net Repeater in the Northern Territories. We got hit with a drop. That was the extent of my contact with the enemy.”
“I glanced at your file, personal details are sparse. You have sisters, yes?”
“Yes. Four. Three older ones and one younger one.”
She came out from the stall and they washed up next to each other.
“Four! Goodness, Landau, how did you survive? And I guess that’s why you’re not shy with having a conversation with a female while peeing.”
“I learned to hide really well,” he said grinning.
“I bet the younger one has you wrapped around her pinky.”
Dex felt the grin freeze on his face. His mother used to say to him “You be careful, Dex, that sister of yours has you wrapped around her pinky!”
Concern played across Hackett’s face. She reached across and moved his hands away from the faucet, and the water turned off. He had spaced out to the point he did not realize his hands were still under the running water.
Now Dex was embarrassed. He didn’t know much about space stations, but he knew wasting water was rude. It had to be re-filtered.
“I’m sorry, Dex. I did not mean to bring up bad memories.”
Dex sighed. “Not so much bad as—bittersweet. Is it that obvious?” Sometimes he felt he was wearing his grief from losing his parents in the war like a cloak. He dried his hands quickly, still embarrassed.
“No, no. The war has been over for only three years, you’ll spot it yourself here soon enough. We all have the odd thing that reminds us of those who are no longer with us.” Suddenly her eyes grew large and luminous. “Sometimes, the hurt just sneaks up on you and wham; it’s like a punch in the gut.”
A single tear slid down her face.
Dex felt a pang of sympathy so strong, it nearly made him shudder. Almost against his will, he reached down to her pixie-like face and brushed the tear away. Suddenly, arms were around his neck and she kissed him, a desperate kiss of mouth and tongue, and he kissed her back, just as desperately.
The door to the head opened and they suddenly looked at the entering man and woman, Corporals. The two stopped in their tracks and stared, the Major still had her arms around his neck and he realized he had a hand on her shapely butt.
The enlisted quickly recovered and snapped smart salutes. Dex just as quickly separated from Hackett and they returned the salutes.
“Major,” said the man.
“Corporal, at ease.” The Major smoothed out her uniform.
“Leftenant,” said the woman. She bit her lip and her eyes were dancing.
“Corporal,” Dex said. Suddenly he felt very foolish. He gave her a nod and left, quickly followed by the Major. As the door closed behind them, Dex did not hear laughter but he was positive that is what was going on.
“This way, Leftenant.” He could swear she was blushing.
As he followed the mysterious woman, no, the wælcyrie, Dex had to remind himself—he wondered what the Space Marshal wanted of him. In the span of three days, he advertised his availability for work, received a commission, took a 12-hour orientation corpse, was deep scanned and re-assigned to Orbital and Space because of his genetic predisposition to neural implant acclimation coupled with high scores in AI interfacing. In moments, he will be meeting with the Commander of Orbital and Space. Tomorrow he will undergo surgery and then tanked for regen therapy for a month to finish growing the cyber tech and then acclimate his body to the implants.
Somehow, in the midst of all of this, he kissed the Space Marshall’s intelligence officer—a genetically engineered soldier from the war times who, technically, was not human.
Dex had to admit to himself that his future, if the present was any indication, was a big unknown to him, very different from his carefully sister-arranged life. This both terrified and elated him. Whatever tomorrow holds, it would not be boring!
Spring is here and I am crying.
Not because I’m sad, but because allergies suck, my eyes water. So consider this the Crying Blog. Only, um, I’m not dressed as a woman. Because that would make you laugh and I am already funny looking as it is.
Yesterday, as I was brushing my teeth before bed (mmm, mint), I was thinking of a scene where two people are talking while brushing their teeth. How would the dialog actually go? After all, these two have toothbrushes stuffed in their mouths. Why are they brushing their teeth together? Are they lovers? Married lovers? Comfortable roommates? Sisters? And what type of dialog would be important enough to have someone brush their teeth and talk at the same time? Are these sisters talking about their boyfriends? What would be the conflict? Obviously, brushing together has some type of familiarity, otherwise…
And that is when it hits me.
I am a man obsessed: obsessed by writing, by telling a story through writing.
Writing invades my thoughts constantly. Even when I talk to The Wife Unit, God help me. For example, today, there is some roof guy coming out to look at our roof. We think one of the skylights may be leaking. Because that is what skylights do in the Pacific Northwest, other than letting in cloud-filtered light in the winter.
Anyway, she’s talking to me about the roof. This is serious business. If you own your own home, the roof has to be good. Or you are screwed. But I digress. One ear is listening to The Wife Unit. But I am also thinking about a different roof problem. What if the roof guy, just minding his own business, discovers the leak is caused by a hole. A rock sized hole. And there, in the attic, is a rock.
From space. But he doesn’t know that.
He picks it up. There is a symbol on this rock. He shrugs, puts it in his pocket, and fixes the roof with a patch, some felt and three new shingles. That will be $300 ma’am, have a nice day. You sure are cute, but I see the gun safe so the husband has the potential to take any flirty banter the wrong way, so I’ll just be polite. Man I love an hour-and-a half of work for $300.
The roof guy leaves. He puts the rock in his toolkit; he assumes it came from one of the windstorms. He forgets about the rock.
But the rock hasn’t forgotten about him!
My entire day goes like this.
In a way, I feel I am blessed. For one, The Wife Unit has yet to hit me on the head with a heavy steel cooking pan (one wonders if she has thought about this, however). I could also have worse obsessions, like 17-22 year old baristas at the coffee shop. Er, wait. I could have worse obsessions, but sometimes I wish writing was less like a sneeze. Once the sneeze starts, you just gotta let it out. Otherwise, it comes across as a chocking snort that doesn’t feel good, rattles your head, and gives you a headache.
Thank you, I am. I really really am, and I smile everyday my fingers touch the keyboard.
From my world-building notebook for Your Little Sister. I’ve gotten in a habit of creating back-story for people who don’t make an appearance, but live, in the world.
When world-building, I start with a general idea and just start expounding. As I progress, I shift from exposition to direct storytelling. This type of world building works well for me. In no way is this a short story. More of a definition of a theme than anything else.
The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room sits surrounded by boys vying for her attention, at a table by the window. She wears a gun. She has been contemplating getting rid of it all day.
High school in Year 3. Only, no one calls it high school anymore. It’s finishing school. Let’s get it done, school. You need to become an adult school. Pre-vocational training school. It would be a decade before a new cultural name would emerge: prevoc. Very swanky sounding, prevoc. Prevoc is what you did before moving up to advanced training, or research. General education, well, they just called it “General”.
Half the seats in the lunchroom are empty. The prior government built the school in an earlier age, where every child could get a public education. Now school cost money, no taxes are collected to fund education,a child’s family had to fund it 100%. Some parents could not afford it, but the gist of it all was, smaller schools were more attractive. Schools like this one were going out of style in a slow, gradual death spiral of market corrections.
This one catered to military families, so it was still seeped with macro sized learning techniques. It was, after all, only three years since the war ended. Both the mother and father of the most beautiful girl in the room both served. By all accounts, they were outstanding soldiers.
They were, by the same accounts, lousy parents.
The next table over, going clockwise, is the Math Squad. This group keeps their numbers even, three boys, three girls, not in some mathematical formula of balance, but simply because they were all in relationships. Only couples obtain admittance to the Math Squad.
Two of the couples are actually doing it. The first, the founders of the club, engage in desperate sex, as if each night could be their last. As far as they know, it could. Both are war orphans. They are happy they had relatives to take them in and pay for school. These two, well, these two are broken. Perhaps being together will make one productive adult out of them.
The other two, the youngest of the group, actually, are simply fucking like mad weasels because it feels good. In twenty minutes, they will sneak to an unused classroom, and have sex right on the old teacher’s desk. Their hedonistic streak does not end there. After the last period, they go to the girls home for dinner, bringing home stacks of impressive books, pilfered from the empty class room. After dinner, they go to the girl’s room and close the door.
Her parents think she is studying. In actuality, she is engaged in more enthusiastic sex. They do it for hours.
The Math Squad only has a mild social interest in the most beautiful girl in the room. Most of it is either a small attraction, or envy. Sometimes, she has the highest senior math score.
Continuing our clockwise stroll around the immediate tables surrounding the most beautiful girl in the room, we come to another couple, sitting alone. She is very pregnant, this young woman. In three weeks, she will give birth to a baby boy, at a whopping nine pounds, three ounces. The young man sitting at the table is both her husband and the baby’s father. Legally adults, they have pre-paid for all four years of finishing school with the money they inherited from their parents’ estates.
They are the last of their line. Their parents, of course, are dead from the war. This baby matters more than most. He is a new beginning to a bad end. They will have six children in total, and eventually adopt three more.
The pregnant woman thinks the most beautiful girl in the room is quite beautiful, and she is also envious. The most beautiful girl in the room thinks the same of her. The husband carries no thoughts of the most beautiful girl in the room, other than a base attraction when they were swimming together one year.
The next table over is a teacher and three of her students. She teaches pre-war history, and these three students are very fascinated by both her age (old), and her willingness to speak frankly about many subjects, subjects now taboo to their parents. She is a good orator, and likes to talk. It is a good combination, these four. She only eats half her lunch, but by the end of the break, one student will volunteer to mow her lawn, the other to fetch groceries and the third to have the accumulator serviced on her small e-car.
None of these four have any interest in the most beautiful girl in the room. She is, quite simply, a person of no historical interest, nor one interested in history. She might as well be invisible.
Our circle of tables is almost complete. At the last table surrounding the most beautiful girl in the room, sit two boys. Rumor has it they are gay. They are not gay, they are collaborating on a software project, and it is all consuming. This project will turn into one of the very first civilian released overlays for a quantum computer, and finds classification as an AI Level 3. In only three years, they will have accumulated nearly a million Nuevo Credits. They refuse all VC money tossed in their direction, and start a computing empire stretching for hundreds of years.
These two are watching the most beautiful girl in the room. When they go home, they share fantasies about her. Sometimes silly, sometimes nasty. Right now, they are contemplating how they can get her to go to the Spring Formal with one of them.
They are too late, unfortunately. It is a lesson each will remember well. All they had to do was ask, they found out later. The most beautiful girl in the room always said yes, because hardly anyone ever asked her to dance. You could even kiss the most beautiful girl in the room, all one had to do was make a play for her rosy lips. Each would remember this lesson, and socially, they sprouted wings and flew. They never were shy again.
Back to the most beautiful girl in the room’s table. The boys at it are of no consequence. Each is flirtatious, in his own way; most are charming and even mature. But they are competing with her thoughts. She can’t help but think of her gun, and what it would mean to give it up.
Lunch is over. The most beautiful girl in the room leaves, but does not go to class. Today she has been excused post lunch. She sighs, knowing she is the faculty’s disappointment, and heads to the Principal’s Office.
Principal Vernon is expecting her. Inside the small office with him is a short woman dressed in a distinctive, but unrecognizable, uniform. The most beautiful girl in the room sighs again, and sits without asking.
“Sandra, I want you to meet Major Hackett of O&S.”
Sandy raises an eyebrow, and shakes the woman’s hand to be polite. Whatever Vernon is doing, however, she does not want to be a part of, no sir. She frowns, unfastens her holster, and slides it across the desk.
“No,” she says simply.
His eyes flash with anger, actual anger. He pushes the holster back.
“Don’t give me this bullshit, Sandra. It’s your pistol now. You’ve worn it for a month now, it’s yours.”
“Mr. Vernon! Don’t you cuss at me!”
“Ha! See Sandra, you’re an adult. You have been for an entire year. You haven’t Declared because you’re saddled with the apathy from your fucking parents and you’ve been wearing it like some kind of mantle. Hell, I’ve been more of a parent to you for the last four years then either one of those two sloths, and I am here to tell you to knock this shit off. We’re all tired of it.”
Sandy could not believe what she had heard. Vernon never cussed. Until now, she had never even heard him say “darn”. She slumped in her chair. She contemplated crying, but couldn’t muster the tears. Maybe he was right; maybe she wasn’t a girl anymore if being cussed at by the Principal did not make her cry.
“But what would I do?” The words are out of her mouth before she realizes perhaps this is why Major Hackett is here. She looks at the woman.
“If you Declare, I have a job for you. Briefly: you fit a profile for our advanced piloting program; you’ll start right after a month of space acclamation, followed by on the job training and formal instruction, which will last two years. It will be a very intense two years, but Day One you will be an officer with a commission. “
“Piloting?” Sandra was confused. She did not even have a car. She narrowed her eyes. “Profile? Who gave you a profile of me?” She put her jumbled thoughts together and turned to face Vernon. “You had no right to violate my privacy!”
“Right? Right? Adults have rights. You, Sandra, are merely a child.”
Oh well played, sir, well played. She felt as if the Principal had just slapped her across the face. She slumped further in her chair. By rights, she should call her father and have him give the Principal what for.
If he wasn’t drunk.
And fucking the neighbor girl.
Her mother of course, was more useless. Sandy should have been the daughter. Instead, to her mother, she was simply sister to the brother who died when she was merely one month old. Slain by the enemy. In a bad way.
“And what does my profile say?” she asked the Major. It came out bitter.
“It says many things. But the gist is: institutions to you are familiar, you have above average marks, you test well under stress, you are attractive and your nervous system is well suited to implants for the neural interfaces.”
Sandra’s mind whirled. She wanted to ask what being attractive had to do with anything, but this is not what came to the front of her mind. “Would I be anywhere near my parents’ chain of command?”
“Absolutely not. If you say yes, in twenty minutes you will actually outrank your parents.”
A chill went down Sandra’s spine. Oh they had her. They had her now.
She looked at Vernon. He started smiling. She contemplated punching him in the nose. She stood up, and put her pistol back on.
“Do I get a starting bonus?”
The Major actually paused. “Yes. Yes, you do.”
She looked at Vernon again. “I want it to be the same as his finding fee.”
Now the Major flinched. It was small, but noticeable.
“Ah, yes. Yes, I can authorize that.”
The grin threatened to split Vernon’s face.
It took ten minutes to walk to County Safety. They were expecting her (damn them all), and in three more minutes, she was an Adult. Her very first contract was accepting an Officer’s Commission for Orbital and Space. It took eight minutes to receive verification and for the major to swear her in.
The Major was driving her to her parents’ house, no longer her house, in a rental e-car.
“Major, what does being attractive have to do with anything?”
“Good question, Leftenant. You’ve been matched to an AI. Level 1. She was very specific. She said, and I quote, ‘If I’m going to Uplink with a stinky human, make it a woman with some brains and nice, perky boobs’.”
Sandra burst out laughing. The Major gave her a side-glance.
“You are not offended?”
“Are you kidding? That’s funny as hell.” Sandy was still getting used her ‘Uplink to an AI’ future, but it was funny. Everything seemed almost like a dream, and she would wake up only to find her same apathetic life with her same apathetic family.
Major Hackett grinned. “Damn it all if the profile matchup actually worked.”
They pulled up to Sandra’s house. Suddenly she was nervous. But something again was nagging at her brain.
“Ma’am, is this a ship left over from the war?”
“Negative, Leftenant. This is not an orbiter. It is an armed corvette, with a landing shuttle and everything. It can go planet side, but it is built for space duties.”
“Space? Why do we need armed space ships?”
“Well now, you’re smarter than you look, Leftenant,” said Hackett as she got out of the car.
Whoa. All thoughts about a stressful meeting with her parents were now gone.
What’s going on, and what did I get myself into? thought the most beautiful girl in the room.