NaNoFeed: In the Wreckage of Folly (Excerpt with space archaeology!)

A colleague on Twitter, Lev Mirov (@thelionmachine) mentioned space archaeology. Which my NaNo 2014 project is full of… so here’s another excerpt, behind the cut because it’s lengthy.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 23 November 2014 (NaNo 2014 WIP Romance with Rayguns)

“I hear you proposed to her clan-sister, but I assure you Yasmin is the true prize. You gave her a good run today, and she might just decide that she’ll think about clan-marriage again, or a proper fling amongst our own, though I suspect she’d be a bit rich for your blood after consorting with grubber-girls.”

Romantic interest in Yasmin Saiph yr Astok was the last thing from Hernan’s mind, but if he said so aloud he’d either insult someone or be taken as protesting too much.

“I hear she’s sublime in bed,” Iskandr said, “if a bit … ah, exacting. But so we all should be. Only the best for the best, eh?”

Hernan blinked again, and swallowed against a dry mouth. The Sarronny cadets might be quite forthright about matters of sex and the body generally, but they didn’t gossip about each other’s love lives nor speculate about private matters. Where that line lay between earthy and offensively bawdy, he wasn’t sure, but Iskandr had just plotted a point most decisively on the other side of it.


Excerpt from one of my NaNo 2014 projects: untitled romance with ray guns.

Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from many different writers. For the full selection, see here.

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NaNoFeed: coda to the tour (fog like pea soup)


Outside Blue Moon Coffee Cafe, looking down Lake Street.

We stepped out of the Blue Moon Coffee Cafe to find Lake Street in Minneapolis doing its level best to impersonate the London of Sherlock Holmes. Rising temperatures plus snow on the ground created a blanket of cool, damp fog over the city.

Headed to bed soon … enough excitement for one day.

Also, there’s the Sunday write-in tomorrow 12-5pm at Minneapolis Central Library.


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NaNoFeed: Live from the Traditional Tour (Blue Moon Coffee Cafe and the Purple Bar!)

So I’m on the final leg of my version of the Twin Cities Region Writing Tour (Traditional Route). We’re hanging out at the Blue Moon Coffee Cafe, which is a delightfully atmospheric cafe of the kind enamored of writers, students, revolutionaries, lexicographers, and other dubious characters.

At this point, we’r20141122_180837e all feeling pretty loopy. Currently my status on Google Chat reads “NaNo 2014: Bringing a crossbow to a raygun fight” and the Bacon Torch has been freely offered to all of the comrades who would like an alternative to the Traveling Shovel of Death. (We conjecture that it’s the most delicious weapon that you’ve ever smelled.) I’ve scored my nominal win (50K words) though I will keep on making additional words through to the bitter end. The novel isn’t remotely finished.

20141122_180813The other thing that’s fun is chatting with NaNo pals. The Tour is great because it conjures that slap-happy, final-exam atmosphere in which great ideas can float up through the miasma of caffeine, barely restrained panic, and uncontrolled brainstorming. Or in my case, the Muse of Research can waltz in with techno-whackery that I’d never anticipated. I was thinking “weaponized welding rigs” and what I got was the Bacon Torch. Or its vegetarian option. Let’s not forget the vegetarian option.

And the communiques from various novelists are loads of fun.

  • “I just had some people pop up from Book 1. Wonder what they’re up to.”
  • “I’ve got to kill her soon, but I’m not quite sure how she’s going to die.”
  • “Now my characters have finally found the people with the answers, so I should be getting more words from here on.”
  • “We’re done with the striptease with weapons. Now it’s time for the explicit surgery scene.”


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NaNoFeed: Live from the Traditional Tour! (Warning: Death by Crossbow)


Jackson’s Coffee and Gelato, Minneapolis MN. A lovely place to spend a cold, foggy, snowbound November afternoon on the way to the NaNoWriMo finish line.

Here we are now at Jackson’s Coffee and Gelato, a cozy and writer-friendly location on Minneapolis’s Lake Street, rich in electrical outlets, cozy atmosphere, and yummy eats (I highly recommend the black chocolate gelato, as well as the roasted almond).

However, I ate my food (yogurt parfait, half-and-half serving of the aforementioned gelato flavors) while it was still photogenic, so was only able to document the wreckage.


Yogurt parfait and gelato, after the fact. I assure you that they were both delicious.







Today’s word count is not all it might be, due to a research side-trip on topics such as how to construct an improvised crossbow, and the sound of a crossbow bolt’s flight and impact. There is also the bacon torch discussion (including vegetarian options for those would prefer not to make their thermal lance out of animal products), but that’s an interesting side-light and will only be deployed later in the tale.

However, this resulted in the scene where Hernan and Taryn, my romantic leads, first catch sight of each other, probably the least romantic “meet cute” on record, in which technique trumps technology–with a trigger warning for anatomically specific death by crossbow.  Continue reading

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NaNoFeed: Live from the Writing Tour (Traditional Route), with Excerpt!

Writing now in the spacious back room of Depot Coffee, a coffee place in Hopkins, Minnesota that (as name indicates) used to be a railway station. Thirteen of us are writing around a big table, racking up word count and drinking coffee.


If you’re a Twin Cities WriMo, look for this sign at each of the stops on the Traditional Tour, 14 hours of NaNoWriMo goodness today, Saturday 22 November 2014.


Performance stage at Depot Coffee, Hopkins MN. Last year my bad back required me to use this lovely rug as a recumbent work station.

I’ve reached the point in the novel where my hero is launched on his hopeless mission to eliminate an emissary from the alleged space pirates, who has already potted three or four professionals. Now that I’ve realized that the Romance with Rayguns actually is the same novel as The Fourth Prime, story is bopping along nicely. Excerpt follows (raw and hot off the press). Continue reading

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NaNoFeed: And the Groove Returns, in Force! (with Excerpt!)

This morning I tried out the new walking work station (with my keyboard resting on the tray on the new treadmill in my workout location).

And it went swimmingly. While walking on the treadmill, I wrote approximately 1500 words of fiction in two back-to-back 45-minute bouts, some amount of nonfiction (haven’t counted that yet), and listened to part of the audiobook of Laurence Gonzalez’ Everyday Survival. Then I took a walk in the 11-degree weather to go do my errands.

The groove is back, my friends, the groove is back. The root canal two days ago worked its magic, and I am no longer sick. Which is pretty damned wonderful, except I just lost 5-6 months of high quality production.

I am not going to think about that now, because I have another NaNo excerpt hot off the press! Continue reading

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