Graybyrd: Blog

Progress, of sorts.

March 5, 2017
Posted at 2:15 am

My apologies... and to the several who wrote emails, one in particular very flattering and probably undeserved... which were tragically lost when my email program puked and spewed all my saved messages before I could answer them.

In short, "Masi'shen Resolution" (the third in the series, 'Stranded,' 'Evolution,' 'Resolution') has proven extremely frustrating and although I've written a great deal of material, most of it will need severe pruning and reworking.

Quite frankly, the primary problem is two-fold: 1) the prohibition against killing which, sadly, a great many savagely insane people deserve, and 2) the idiotic concept that it might be possible to prevent humanity from incinerating itself, even with intervention and the threat of a 1,000-year quarantine. It appears that national self-interest precludes any rational thought that turning the planet into a radioactive cinder to force one's will upon others is a bit self-defeating.

I've lain awake struggling with those thoughts and I will--ultimately--resolve the conundrums and finish the story. I have high hopes that it will be a suitable end for the trilogy.

Meanwhile, I've been engaged in a late-winter, early-spring Fiction Writers' Seminar locally, and it has been extraordinarily beneficial. It led to an epiphany of sorts: there's a huge gulf between good writing, and good story-telling. (Yes, Virginia, there IS a difference.) With that project underway, I've been working hard on the second book of my original 'Pasayten Pete' saga, called "Gold Mountain." This will publish on Fine Stories when finished. Never again will I try to write to keep up with an on-going serial posting schedule. The entire story must be crafted, cooled, re-read, edited, reworked, its nose wiped, its little bottom wiped, and made suitably presentable before its public appearance.

I will get back to 'Resolution' in good time, and it will benefit hugely from what I'm currently learning. Thank you for your patience.

Meanwhile: if you're a writer, get a copy of David Morrell's "Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing."

This is a book about how to tell a good story. Lots and lots of happy fools can 'write good' but damned few really know what is involved in telling a good story that a reader won't put down. I wish I'd stumbled on this book years ago. I and a superbly-good new writer friend are devouring this book, and we'll be revising our work to suit.

Thanks for your patience. Please pass the fish.

Oh... David Morrell: his first novel, published in 1972, became a global best-seller. The manuscript of "First Blood" sat in his desk for several years; he almost abandoned it. He reworked it, reshaped it, agonized over the first page to give it a good beginning, and it was finally published.

Perhaps you'll recall the character that book presented to the world: "Rambo." The book is one helluva lot better than the movie.

The story continues...

January 16, 2016
Posted at 1:19 am

Yes, it's been awhile. The story is proceeding nicely, again. Muse returned and it's fun, actually. I sincerely hope as you read about the Masi'shen and their dedication to peace and humanitarian relief, that some thought to working toward the same goals in real life might seem a little more attainable. All it takes, really, is unity of thought and purpose.

Here's a profound 'thank you' to the many kind comments, positive votes of approval, and support you've all shown. And here's a tip of the hat to Tenderloin, our tireless editor and proofreader, and a big welcome to Ian, ilox from the Land of Oz, for his invaluable counsel and advice on 'the rest of the story' which has gotten insanely complex, convoluted, and maybe a touch too ambitious. Thanks, guys. This work would be much less polished without you, and I'd still be stuck in a plot hole somewhere.


The lunar twilight

July 7, 2014
Posted at 10:52 pm

A sharp-witted reader informed me that I have erred!


As my favorite farm folk fondly pointed out, "We grow too soon old and too late smart." Pennsylvania Dutch homily

Okay, so the moon does so have days and nights, as it jogs along in lock-step with our earth. All sides get sunshine and night ... it just takes longer. A lunar 'day' would be our lunar 'month' ... about 27.nnn earth days long. Full moon, new moon, that sort of thing.

So that would make it difficult for a lunar prison to be in perpetual twilight ... so it would seem ... at first blush.


And I did a bit of research, and my prison in the eternal twilight is still feasible. Of the two lunar poles, it seems that the moon's south pole is the more interesting. Quote from Wikipedia:

"The lunar south pole is of special interest to scientists because of the postulated occurrence of ice in permanently shadowed areas. Of the lunar poles, the south pole is of greater interest because the area that remains in shadow is much larger than that at the north pole. The lunar south pole craters are unique in that sunlight does not reach the bottom. "

So, our astute friends put their prison complex at the lunar south pole on the side of a crater, in a permanent shadow zone ... never full sun, never full dark. Perfect!

I'm grateful for feedback. It makes for a better story.


New chapters up for posting

June 21, 2014
Posted at 8:39 pm
Updated: June 21, 2014 - 8:40 pm

I'd like to thank all the kind readers (you know who you are) for the 'welcome back' and other nice feedback. I've answered you all ... and will continue to respond to your comments and questions.

Chapters 33 and 34 are in que to the site moderator; they should be posted right soon.

I think you'll find these hold a bit more action; the Peacemaker Interdictor fleet is up ... and sees action ... in both chapters.

Corrections are being made

June 15, 2014
Posted at 7:13 pm
Updated: June 16, 2014 - 3:32 am

The folks here at Finestories must be some of the nicest and most patient people, ever. As you helpful readers have noticed, and commented, the chapters from Ch.26 onward suffer from blotchy formatting ... italic or bold in the wrong places, or inconsistently placed.

There is a very effective text-based document formatting system called "markdown" ... it uses an enhanced method of the old email or bbs scheme, where plain text was 'formatted' with simple punctuation marks, such as _italic or *italic* or **bold** or # Head1 or ## head2, etc. The finished text document is passed through a simple software program to generate a fully-formatted HTML file, or PDF, or DOC or PDF or ... and so on. One simple document => many outputs.

Something glitched on these last several chapters and the conversion didn't coming out correctly.

And my "cut 'n paste" process went a bit deranged. Chunks of chapters jumped the shark, repeated themselves, or walked the plank and fell into the wrong chapter.

Things are never as simple as they seem ... or, if at first you don't fricasee, fry, fry again.

I've resubmitted Ch26 thru Ch32, and I strongly urge you to reread Ch30 to 32 as some important stuff was put in the proper order and I think it all makes better sense now. And if it doesn't, blame Pres. Stinson and his deranged attack dogs <<grin>>.

Thanks for the nice feedback. It does help.

Oh .. two action chapters are ready to post in a day or two ... Stinson sends an attack flight of six F-18's loaded with air-ground missiles into Canada to take out our guys and gals at Penticton! Yes, it is an act of war ... !