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.