Sun Squad – Yuppers

Stuck in a stutter
Fear the fallen utter
Nonsense in senseless death

– The Coming of the Condemned

In the black of space, a ship fell quiet. About fifteen minutes before the sounds of shouting, running, slamming, and gunfire echoed along the hull.

I hid shamelessly. I technically passed basic combat training some ten years before flying into the black to study and never used it since. As a scientist, I didn’t even carry a stun gun.

I’d heard of pirates out in the black. People figure the law won’t find you if you fly far enough. Those people live by plundering vessels and leaving them stranded. I thought we’d been raided, so I’d just lay low until they took all of our supplies and left.

I thought it was pirates before the silence. The silence didn’t make sense.

Then a murmur started. It echoed and vibrated across the hull. It was the sound of a house fly from Earth, circling around. As the sound grew louder, I thought of a hornet’s nest. I moved towards the sound, thinking of investigating, thinking there might be a mechanical failure. I froze when I detected a human quality to the sound. It was like a word being stuttered on the same syllable over and over. Maybe it was a recording the ship’s computer was accidentally playing back, caught in a loop. Maybe there was a system failure. I backed up again, trying to be patient, resigning to wait hidden in my lab.

It wasn’t long before I grew restless again, the unnerving noise echoing around the corridors. What if it everyone was evacuated? What if I’m the only one left here? With the systems failure, heat would deplete along with the oxygen, and I knew I’d freeze before I suffocated. I’d die alone because I was a coward.

I couldn’t sit still. Maybe I could fix it. I turned away from the corridor I’d seriously considered going into and went back into my lab. I sat at a terminal easily, even in the dark I knew my lab, my home.

There was no power. How could the computer system be making those noises without power? Was only this terminal down? What about the backup systems?

I reached under and pulled off a large panel, exposing the wiring. I crawled my way in about a half of a foot to find the connections for power and flipped a switch to manually engage the backup power systems. My terminal switched on.

From the new light I could see vague shapes coming from the corridor I was standing in before. I stood and inched forward. The shapes were moving in the same stutter of the buzzing noise. The shapes looked like human figures, but the movement were jerking and repeating.

As I began to see it clearer it was like a stiff dance, forward a half step, back a half, forward a full two, back another half step… It seemed robotic, but their faces were getting close enough to make out in the dim light.

Their vacant eyes were wide and blinking in the same stuttering cadence. I recognized some of them. It was the crew and not one of them looked alive.

Single file in their eerie march they came forward, not responding to anything I said. Their minds were gone or being controlled. I looked around my lab to hide. That was the only exit. I squeezed myself into the panel with the wires in desperation. Under and inside the terminal, I pulled the panel back on after me. With their vacant stares, unseeing and unintelligent, I was hoping that they wouldn’t be able to pry the panel off.

By some luck I was right, but they didn’t leave. They mill about outside stuttering, day and night without rest. I don’t know how long I’ve been in here any more. The background noise blurs together in a meaningless cacophony. It’s possible I’ve gone mad.

If I’m still sane, someone still might find this terminal I’m tapping into from the inside out. Someone might download this log and make some sense of it.

If I weren’t facing a slow death, madness, or whatever malady has befallen my crew mates, this might have been funny. Sometimes the sound is like “yup yup yup” as if they are agreeing with me.

Doomed, “Yup yup yup,” They agree.

I know the crew is either dead or one of those things outside. I won’t leave. Whatever my fate, I won’t become one of them.

This passage comes from a recording on one of the first ships that were found. It is the first recorded encounter with The Condemned. Though the ship was also found contaminated with Type Two and Type Three Condemned, it appears that in a single case one of the crew was able to avoid immediate detection and transformation.

There was a decomposed body found in the panel below the terminal. The cause of death appeared to be self inflicted electrocution. From the estimated time of death, the woman would have long since died of dehydration, and leaving would have surely resulted in her joining her crew as one of the Type One Condemned.

From here on the Type One were known as Yuppers in reference to her log. Though suspected, this allowed us to discover that Yuppers are attracted to noise and sound, but are unable to reason or perform motor functions other than moving towards its source.


– Compendium of The Condemned

Team IT: Characters: Craig Johnson

Now that you’ve seen some of these characters in action for a couple scenes, let’s get to know them a bit better. You can also find out about characters in the stories posted here by visiting the Characters tab on the top navigation bar. Click here to see all of the Team IT postings.

Craig Johnson
Age: 29
Astrological Sun Sign: Capricorn

Craig has worked for Computer World, your one stop IT service and computer sales shop, for a few years now. Somehow, Craig is still convinced that one day, some day, the work will be finished so that the team will have time to work on other projects. Every time he makes progress with this goal, customers, the big bosses, sales, or marketing throw him a curve ball and they go back to being back logged. Craig figures all they need to do is band together and get a “system in place”. Most of his efforts are thwarted by the bosses that own the company as they have ideas of their own about what those video game playing slackers can do. They love to load on more work, almost as much as sales and marketing likes to try and pass their work off on the IT Team.

Craig is the self-designated liaison between Team IT and the bosses, for more reasons besides no one else wants to do it. When he speaks, they give him some measure of respect. He threatens to quit about once a month and the bosses will usually back down just enough right as Craig is ready to ride off into the sunset. Craig would like to be left to just manage the team, though the Team has other ideas on the subject, especially Sarah who thinks of herself as the team’s muse. Regardless, there is too much work to be done to just be a supervisor to jump in on only tricky cases. He’s a hard worker, but avoids being on the phone as much as he can get away without his teammates getting angry.

Craig used to work “for the government” and that is “all he is allowed to say”. Most of the team suspect he is just embarrassed about his last job which was probably at some big box electronics store. Sometimes they wonder, though, as his knowledge is pretty extensive for someone not yet thirty, especially when it comes to slapping together spare computer parts “just to get the damn thing working already”.

Craig has a fondness for organization. He loves wikis and has a bunch of them set up for team usage. He also adores Excel spreadsheets that list and compare data.

Craig is single and has a hard time with dates though he’s quite good looking. He’s been accused of being boring, controlling, and uptight. He’s extremely logical-minded and likes things to be clear, cut, and dry. Craig worries about his lack of luck in love as thirty is right around the corner, though he’d never admit it to any one on the team.

Team IT: Hello Computer World

The following is a fictitious tale of techies in a basement building and repairing computers. They wish they could do just that, but instead they spend most of their day doing tech support on the phone and through the web for the customers of the store they work for called Computer World. Most of us know that IT is not like BOFH as much as we wish it were. These guys are like most of us who can’t avoid dealing with… PEOPLE! (duh-nuh-naaaah!) Between the sales people on the floor upstairs, who the IT people are convinced are out to get them, and the customers, equally out to get them, it’s a wonder anything ever gets fixed. Maybe you’re on an IT team yourself, work in customer service, have a job where you seem to be doing anything but what you took it for in the first place, or maybe you’re exactly the sort of customer to call up…

Team IT

In a Galaxy Not So Far Away

“Stupid, broken piece of crap Vista! I mean, it works great on my home machine,” Ben said to everyone, but most of all the tower he was working on, “I have no idea what the hell keeps making this machine turn off.”

“Yeah. It’s still not working. Whatever,” Tom decompressed the mute button and continued in frustrated, yet controlled tones, trying to guide another caller through the ins and outs of their own Mac.

“Dude, it’s not even rebooted yet. I didn’t say try it again yet,” Ben plugged it back in and hit the switch, “I’ll get it up. I said I’d get it up and I will.”

“That’s what he said,” Sarah casually threw out as she walked in, plopped down her coat, and flicked on her PC.

“Did he now?” asked Neil from over the cube wall.

“Probably still trying,” answered Sarah logging into the domain, “I didn’t wait to find out.”

“Wha- oh,” Neil finished his own though internally.

“I’ll take a look at it after I get off the phone,” Tom had the mute button compressed and Remote Desktop up on his screen waiting to try to connect to the Vista computer Ben was working on. Tom was working on that computer earlier that morning, but had been on the phone since, “Don’t worry about it.”

“Look, I’ll let you know when it’s up,” Ben growled.

“That’s what she said,” Craig added from the corner where their server rack was.

“Told you,” Sarah told Neil.

“Haaa. Word.” Tom had his hand over mute again.

“Okay. I think it’s fixed,” Ben insisted.

“For now,” answered Tom.

“I believe you,” said Sarah unconvincingly over Ben’s shoulder.

Ben’s phone rang, “That’s me. I wonder if I can get this call to last my entire shift… um, not that I’m trying to. Man, did I say that out loud?”

“Like Sarah, I believe you,” Tom now had a game of Tetris and a blog up on his screen, decompressed mute and continued talking on the phone.

“This lady has gone from knowing nothing about this to being a master. Boo-yeah,” Ben decompressed his mute button, “It only has taken like twelve calls to us. Problem is now she thinks I’m her friend or priest or something… go away. Leave me alone.”

“Nice work,” congratulated Tom, “Teaching n00bs to fish. Now if only you could get the custie’s Vista box up and running. I still can’t log in.”

“Yeah, it looks like it turned itself off again,” confirmed Ben.

The phones continued to ring, and everyone settled into their bluetooth headsets, mostly at some computer or another. A line of yet to be repaired computers snaked around the door, everyone with at least one ‘project’ laid out a neglected due to the afternoon rush of callers.

“I’ve got two questions,” called out Tom.

“And since we’re playing fun time with numbers, I just hit sixty minutes on this call,” called back Ben.

“How the heck do people end up using computers and yet not using them at the same time? Seriously, for all this person can do, he’s using it as an expensive paper weight!” Tom decompressed mute and went back to sweet-as-pie tone on the phone.

“Considering you talk mostly to Mac users, who think of their computers as status symbols or toy poodles, you shouldn’t be so surprised,” Sarah was fast to criticize the Mac versus PC commercials for stereotyping, but surely had stereotypes of her own when it came to that debate.

“I’ll be back on the phones in a moment, I’m trying to see how back logged we are,” Craig typed at a computer in the hall, “And maybe even see if I can make a schedule that will get some of this crap our of the dungeon and back on the floor.”

“And there are now four people in line and yes, I am still on the same call,” Ben updated everyone, “Just in case anyone cares.”

“Only up to nine minutes,” Craig checked, “They can wait on hold if we can wait on the phone with them.”

“No kidding,” agreed Ben, “but I really gotta brb something awful.”

Ben posted on their internal blog:


“People need to hold on holding on,” Sarah complained, “Why do they all call at the same time?”

“Keep your pants on,” sighed Craig, “I’m logging back in.”

“No need to worry, pants were in no danger of assuming an off position,” Sarah replied.

“Thanks, and that’s what she said,” called over Ben, “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Dude stop saying uh.”

“Braaaaaiiiins,” Sarah agreed. She loaded up a game of Brain Chef to play in the background.

“My personal line is ringing,” Ben sighed, “How do people get our numbers? It’s.. so annoying. And silly. Like we’re on the phone, so we’ll answer the other phone?”

“Amen, brother,” Neil agreed, “Preaching to the choir.”

“And what the hell is wrong with our sales people on the floor,” Ben continued the gripe, “What is so hard about following directions? I typed it in an email!”

“What? You mean you didn’t go up there and do it for them?” Tisked Al who was just coming down from the floor.

“Like anyone besides you ever steps foot outside of the dungeon?” Sarah asked pointedly.

“No way I’m going up there,” Neil said in seriousness, “They’ll nab us and make us talk to their customers face to face, and then complain we say the truth and lose their sale.”

They worked in the bottom floor, the basement, of a repair, reseller, and supporter of all computers called Computer World. The sales people didn’t often trudge down, and the support people didn’t often trudge upward. There was some kind of alliance between the two that would break down swiftly if lines were crossed.

“To get our numbers, all they need is to spell our names,” Tom added to Ben’s gripe.

“Beautiful, they’re not smart enough to RTFM, but they can look up our numbers?” Sarah pointed out, “From now on, my name is Neil.”

“As flattered as I am, no. At least your last name isn’t as easy as mine,” Neil answered.

“I want to be removed from that list,” Ben was still holding his need to go to the bathroom, “If people can have their house numbers unlisted, I want my work number unlisted.”

“Alleluia!” shouted Neil.

“I know that is not gonna happen,” conceded Ben, “Sales is getting sick satisfaction from picturing each of us on two calls at once. And wow, I’ve already talked with this guy. I know what his deal is, but this is gonna go like an hour more. Ah. Well. I will put you on hold and brb… while I check on some documentation in the loo.”

Craig laughed, “This guy is watching our instructional video’s while calling IT. Beautiful,” Sarah, with the help of Tom, maintained the company website which is laden with all the tools to help the customers not call in, but they still did.

“So why does he need us?” asked Sarah, always defensive of her brain-child.

“…he’s watching videos on what he’s not using,” Craig continued laughing.

“A for effort?” Tom suggested, happy someone was at least trying to find an answer on their own.

“Haaa.. No,” Neil shot down.

“Is anyone else coming in today?” Craig was eying the line of computers sighing. It never ended and no one knew why Craig seemed to think with a little more effort it would.

“Yeah, everyone else is on the late shift,” Ben announced with disdainful emphasis on the words ‘late shift’. It used to be the most coveted of positions because it meant you came in late, did a few hours on the phones, and then worked on computers and web requests the rest of the night. Then, sales and marketing got it in their heads that since we were there late and being paid to be there late, presumably doing nothing, we could also be taking calls. The big bosses got wind of this, and next thing, they were always back logged and on the phone until past dinner.

When the representatives of the basement complained, it was explained that it was too late to go back. Customers loved having the option and there would be backlash to take it away now. The bosses also would hear nothing of needing to hire additional qualified technicians, suggesting that a couple of guys from sales were ‘pretty good with computers’ and suggesting maybe they could help out downstairs.

“Over my fried motherboard,” said Craig ominously. Everyone on the IT team agreed and dropped the matter for the time being, except Craig who fought a good fight with control and passion. The bosses actually seemed to like him, but it didn’t mean that he liked them or was able to make them see reason.

So the work load remained unreasonable, but the team always found a way to vent, take pride, and survive and even succeed.

Always on the brink of disaster they toiled, “Okay, try the Vista box now,” Ben insisted hitting the power switch.

“Is someone making toast?” Tom sniffed the air and sounded unconvinced that there was food involved.

“Yeah, this box,” Ben sighed, “It’s now toast. Sparks, smoke, and we’re giving them a new PC.”

Craig walked over and pretended to say a little prayer over the PC before taking it and placing it in a very different line of computers that snaked around and out of sight. Unlike the first line, these computers were mostly partially apart and some covered in dust. He slapped a post-it note on there saying: ‘data recovery and scrap’.

“And another one bites the dust,” Tom commented with the customer on mute before resuming his call.

Team IT: O Hai World

To go with my last post where I outlined a system of classes and abilities, I’ve now written a scene where people from normal our every day world find themselves in the world where these abilities exist. I used some characters from a little thing I’ve been working on (but haven’t posted yet) where there is a team of techies who work in the basement of a store and repair shop called Computer World. These techies at Computer World are somehow expected to single-handedly support all of computer technology and operating systems. This is because people who buy computers from here (many of them custom built or fixed by the team) also buy a tech support contract with them. In addition, the sales people in the store above know nothing about computers (like something out of The Website is Down: Sales Guy VS Web Dude) and have little care or respect for the basement dwellers who struggle to keep the customers after the sales people sell them what they don’t want or need. A post with some of their antics, trials, and all will follow at some point.

I wondered what would happen to them when thrust into this other world that is likely in the books they read and video games they play, and here’s what came out of it.

======

“So, people come to this school and… what chose a class like a job?” Ben asked.

“It’s not so much people chose a class as it chooses you… Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that it’s already part of who you are, you just don’t know it yet. The Test just lets you know what your abilities are and what your focuses should be to develop yourselves into skilled soldiers.”

“If we have any abilities at all. You said there were some people who came out of the test with nothing,” Craig pointed out.

“Correct…. and then there are those who come out with less than nothing. The Test is not something people take lightly. It can scar or even kill you. Even if you come out on grid, you may be a different person after. But really, the test brings out who you really were before and shows your potential for success and failure. Some face that better than others… and some cannot face that at all.”

“That explains why not everyone does this. The abilities people have here are amazing…” Angus had earlier watched a class they had passed in absolute awe and more than a little bit of longing.

“So there’s more to it than getting a focus, and getting abilities. People see things and learn things about themselves… How exactly does that work?” Ben asked.

The teacher smiled lightly, as if addressing a novice pupil, “People don’t generally discuss their own test. It’s very personal. And, we’re not entirely sure how or why it works. It’s a ritual handed down that takes twelve of us, a representative of each focus, to perform.”

“So, it’s magic?” Bill asked.

“Not exactly magic, as that only covers the powers of one school. It’s all the powers combined, drawing to the surface the aptitudes of a person. It also draws forth truth and weaknesses as well. People may face their demons. Or… there are people who have claimed remembering nothing at all after wards.”

“…and we have to do this?” Bill asked with a bit more urgency than he meant to.

“If you want to stand a chance of survival, then yes, you do. Even if you reject your role, it won’t stop The Others from finding and killing you. They know you’re in this world now, and that very fact is a threat to them. As it is… you won’t have much time to train. I dare say, the test is the least of your worries, and the greatest of your chances.”

It hung in the air, the unsaid. It was unlikely we’d all survive to see home: our own world again. We were brought here for a common cause tied to the fate of this world and had to follow it whether to help or just to get back to where we belonged. Each of us knew we were more than a little overwhelmed, and by looking at each others’ faces we knew we weren’t alone in that sentiment. We were all plagued by a combination of worry, doubt, and amazement. I doubt we’d all handle it well, thought Sarah, if handled at all any time soon.

“So we should all take the test as soon as possible,” Sarah announced.

“Won’t we be safe here, though? All of these skilled people here… and you and the other teacher pwned them Others, or whatever, pretty good,” Bill was grasping at straws.

“Them?” he chuckled lightly as he pounded his staff on the packed earth, “That was but one of their Masters. They have their own schools, their own soldiers, and many more to send after you. If you stay here too long… we’ll all die. We sent some Masters ahead to prepare the way for when you do get sent off. We sent messages to those we trust to create more than a few red herrings, but I’m afraid even the most optimistic we can be is that you’ll get a few weeks here to prepare.”

“Well, I don’t get it. Why us? What’s so different or special about us? I mean you have to understand, we come from a world where we’re a bunch of lazy asses,” Craig was trying to explain away reality like Bill was, but with a little more confusion than urgency, “We go to work every day and sit in cubes and work on computers. What the hell do we have that these guys, some of who have been training since they were in diapers, don’t?”

“I don’t know,” admitted the Master, “and I know little of your world. All we have are the prophecies. These prophecies were left by the same people who left us the ritual of The Test, so I expect they have some powerful truth to them.”

“There’s a lot of room in these prophecies for us to be offed,” Sarah sighed, “If nothing else, we are smart and we do work well as a team, guys. Don’t be so quick to give up.”

“Another thing I don’t get is why only half of us are here, and why this half,” Craig said as if trying to argue that this was a dream he was waiting to wake from.

“Good point. With the other five of our team here, we might have had a better chance,” Bill paused, “This is not good.”

“I don’t know, would you rather be dealing with customers?” Ben asked, when no one answered, “It was meant to be a joke.”

“How soon can we do the test?” Sarah wanted to see what kind of chance they all had as soon as possible, but without getting that bit out of the way, there was no way to know.

“Wow, you’re in a hurry,” Angus smiled as if this was part of some cosmic joke, “Can’t wait to cast Magic Missile, can you?”

That gave the group a bit of a laugh, except for the Master who furrowed his brow in confusion, but didn’t say anything.

“I want to cast… magic missile,” quoted Ben in a geeky voice. There was a pause and a bit of tension release before the group turned serious again.

“We need to know what our own as well as each others’ strengths and weaknesses are as soon as possible, to work as a team in this,” Sarah pointed out, “Like right now we know to go to Angus for a Linux question or Craig for anything to do with daisy chaining crap together…”

“It’s a good point, we need all the time we can get to train,” admitted Angus, “It’s not like ya’ll are like me, doing martial arts in your spare time.”

Sarah didn’t continue the point as she was mentally beating herself up for not exercising more.

“No, we can’t all be as awesome as you, Angus,” Bill said in his sarcastic, good-natured way, “Some of us were stupid and played sports in our spare time instead. If only we knew our life would turn into a freaking Narnia book.”

“Word,” Angus said with a short chuckle like a hiccup.

The Master continued leading them down a path in what the rest didn’t realize was confused silence. They all seemed to speak a common language, and yet it was times like these the Master had no idea what flowers had to do with chains or what sort of animal a Linux was. He chalked it up to cultural differences and figured that in spite what Craig had said, they were knowledgeable, skilled people who would all have strong focus once they had done The Test. If people were lazy in their world, he figured these people who were brought over were an exception.

It was probably better that he didn’t know a IT tech support team for a computer repair and reseller was their one hope for winning the war and continuing existence as he knew it.

Fantasy Story Ideas


I come up with ideas for writing in a lot of different places. This is something that was kicking in my head from a dream that I expanded on in waking times, in the shower, driving to work, falling asleep. At some point sometimes ideas stop kicking around in the head and I try to put what I’m thinking on paper. Sometimes I start writing the story, and other times I write character sketches, draw places, write scenes, or in this case: figure out mechanics.

One of the most fun things about the Sci-fi and Fantasy genre is the mechanics of how your world works. What makes it full of magic? What are the systems, schools, and conventions by which normal people become adventurers?

In this case I had the idea of four of each type of three categories of adventurers. Where (and if) you fall on this grid is determined by an extensive and even dangerous test, kind of like some sort of spirit journey. By the end of that journey it has been divined what school(s) you fall into.

Here are some of the sketches I did in my Blue Book (on of my journal sketchbooks) to help me figure out this grid. I figured each school next to each other should have abilities in common as well as each school having its own unique focus. There are 3 main schools: Warrior, Wizard, and Toil. Warrior covers the types of fighters. Wizards are the ones who harness magic. Toils are those who use worldly skills to make something otherworldly. If you read the charts the other way, You get the four worlds: Physical World, Natural World, Inner World, and Spiritual World.

To help figure these out, I thought of people I knew and what they might be based on the system I figured out.

Each particular class has a name and color. Each also has one main focus, and four minor focuses (or abilities) that are shared with the surrounding major focuses. Primes are those who only have a single class and those four surrounding abilities. They also usually have a special ability unique to having a strict focus. These abilities vary from person to person and sometimes are not immediately apparent. Most of the time, it s found out by the time a disciple has left their school.

I also left room for mixing classes across the grid: dual, tri, and quad classes. The further divided you are in your classes, the further split your focus.

A dual class gets two main focuses, but only a total of four surrounding abilities. Those four surrounding abilities have to be two from each focus and must be either horizontal or vertical.

A Tri class is also known as a Worlder as they pick a world. They get three focuses, and only the shared abilities from their world (those listed vertical). This gives them three main focuses and three abilities.

A quad class is usually known by the larger class name: Quad Warrior, Quad Wizard, or Quad Toil. They have those four focuses going across, and then the abilities between each. Since the classes have more abilities, it is usually found by the time a disciple graduates that they are weak in a couple of the abilities or lose a couple of the focuses. Those who keep their focuses remain Quads, as the abilities that are weak can be improved upon over time. However, if a focus is lost, the Quad usually will become a Prime or Dual. This is not considered a bad thing or a dishonor to have a more narrowed focus or a more broadened one, it is simply the way things naturally occur in a particular person.

Blog Flakes and Compulsive Editing


So, my blog’s birthday came and went not too long ago. I didn’t mark its passing because I’ve been a flake about writing, which I’m sure makes orphan kittens cry.

If I believed in New Years resolutions, posting more on the blog again would be a good one. I know this is an issue a lot of writers in general struggle with. There are many tricks of the trade to deal with it. Blogging itself is really a trick to get you to write more. So, what’s trick to make you blog? Where will this trickiness all end?

The tricks to get oneself to wake up in the morning, the tricks to make oneself exercise, the tricks to get oneself out the door on time, conserve gas, eat right, get more done at work, stay organized, stay in touch with people, stay working on art…

I have several drafts of posts in my little WordPress CMS thingie. Keeping drafts might be the key to this. I don’t usually have enough time to write a post from beginning to end or edit to where I’m happy. Often I’m not even sure if it’s a post that ‘works’ for me. Being a draft takes the pressure off a bit. It allows random things so when you sit down to post, really all you have to do is sit down to edit something. That’s certainly not something I always feel like jumping up and doing, and sometimes I want to edit a piece of writing 6,000 times before putting it out there.


Compulsive editing is a big issue I have with longer story writing. I tend to want to reread what I’ve written so far before I go on to write more. If I reread I want to edit. This leads to me spending that time reserved for writing doing edits instead.

To work out compulsive editing I’ve been trying to write before rereads. If it doesn’t fit exactly right because I didn’t remember all of the details of the story so far, or what I decided to name a few characters, that can be worked out during editing time. We’re trying to make writing time for writing. What a concept.


It’s easier to write for me right now since I’m on vacation and doubly since I’m traveling. Many of my distractions are at home and in its place are inspirations as I’m exposed to what I don’t normally see every day. I think people tend to block things out as they get used to them. Most of our life then becomes routine, and thus blocked out. How does one maintain wonder and inspiration as their days are a series of blocks one doesn’t remember independently or distinguish from one another? Sometimes when a week of work goes by, and I try to remember the individual days and what happened, I come up pretty scarce.

It’s important to break your routine as uncomfortable as it is. Life churns and bubbles much more brilliantly even if the resulting boiling chaos can throw us off kilter.

So I’ll do my best to throw the kilter off and battle blog flakes, and let me know if any of you out there have the secret key to this business. I’d be interested to hear how other people deal with these things.