I have finally finished and submitted The Death of Love in Morristown! For those of you who have been waiting and e-mailing me and praying to my muse that I would eventually finish it, I apologize. My muse is a rather capricious and sadistic bitch who decided to whack me upside the head with ideas for many, many other things over the last two years. As I wrote when I first posted it, Death and Love in Marjah came to me as the first sentence of the story and it was almost a rush to fill it in from there. The Death of Love in Morristown was prompted by some of you readers who read the first story and wanted loose ends tied up. That is not how I write, generally, and so the inspiration was lacking. Or maybe my muse was just sulking at having her job usurped. Whatever the case, I got to the first two paragraphs of Part III of TDoLiM and then the ideas dried up. Last week I decided to grind it out and finish it, if only to make that yellow line in my story list go away. The end result is something more along the lines of a trip down a painful memory lane for Maeve and some insight into Con for Shameera. Either way, I hope those of you who have been longing for the completed story are happy with the end result. Please, please, PLEASE don't ask for another one. This one was almost painful to write and I don't like writing when stories get like that.
As for the other two new stories, I want to thank those of you who have responded to them; it has been overwhelmingly positive. Aside from one person who decided to use the story as an opportunity to blame the Fall of Man and everything that preceded it on George W. Bush, the e-mails have been supportive, even from those who felt I went a little heavy on the political tones of it. I usually try my hardest to keep the overt politics out of stories, if only so I don't get mail like that, but A Match Made in the Hindu Kush was about a soldier in Afghanistan and nobody who talks to guys serving in that mess can be 100% neutral. I have too many people in my life who are associated with the military to keep that from coloring my thoughts on that subject. And anyone who spends any amount of time with military personnel and their families would have trouble, too.
On The Arrogance of Empire, I have gotten positive responses as well but one reader sent me an e-mail that made me think about what I was thinking on that story when I wrote it. He seemed to want to know why Kallath did what he did and how Sieti-Kha went so bad so fast as an Empire. Suffice it to say the e-mail and my response were much longer than that but that will do for a summary. For those of you with similar questions I will repost the e-mail and my response to it on my external blog at http://jmfhildebrandt.livejournal.com/ so I don't have to retype it all from memory (the name withheld, of course). It was an interesting and thought provoking e-mail and I tried to make my response worthy of the effort he put into it.
That is all for now. I will hopefully get back to work on your favorite unfinished story soon and my muse will no doubt hit me with new stuff (the sadist). Until then, enjoy the new postings and revisiting the older stuff.