Archive for June, 2009

I did write last week, I just didn’t blog for the week because I was mostly blocked. Yes got through 3500 words sometime on Wednesday and couldn’t think of what next to write. Then I finished the scene and projected to the next. I had already started a little of chapter two, so I had a scene to write in between. Well our hero is the son of a peer, so he has to have gone to Eton. We know that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, or not since it may have been attributed to Wellington three years after he died. And though he had been at Eton also, as had his brothers, he did not stay for the entire six years.

But looking further into the time period, Beau Brummel was also at Eton, a year ahead of my hero. In the form of my hero, William Lamb, later a prime minister. Of what riches to pull from. And I was off again. Now by the end of Sunday I had 10K words finished for the week. Now on monday. I have finished all my parents slides. All three thousand. I can take a break

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So the week has started and I started up again for the week. Achieving my daily goals.

I am doing my research so the early part of the story doesn’t have as much research, but focuses on back story to a certain In the meantime since starting the weblogs in earnest I have finished 2 books bringing my total to 9. I found that Tranquility HIlton does not exist in digital form in my files, so I am scanning that into the computer, along with digitizing my parents slides, I have done 500+ in the last 2 days.

I also edited some more of Graces, now finished four chapters and entering that into the computer.

Here is the first few words of the new story.

Young Jack

The boys were well dressed in their rugged clothes. A groomsman followed but he was more interested in making time with the young nurse who had their charge then actually ensuring that the boys did not get too messy. From past discovery, the boys could get into all sorts of scrapes, come back with their hair full of leaves, faces besmirched with mud, and their breeches town and shredded, but a half hour in the kitchen, and they would be as good as if they were newborns.
Michael George Bartholomew Pennington, was the older by two years, just seven. His brother Jack, John St. John Pennington, was the real troublesome one. He was only an inch shorter than his elder brother, who looked just a little corpulent. Tall and wiry at five and able to have two maids repair his clothing at least once each week, was sure signs that the lad was on the road to trouble. The grooms father had achieved his post and that of his sons by serving with the Earl in the Colonial fiasco. The nurse was the daughter of a rector somewhere in the east part of the country, but she liked his looks at the boys seemed to get further along.
All new the area of this part of the estate well. Their was a quiet patch as the river widened here, surrounded by trees on this side, but with a path that led to a small jetty. The Earl had put a small rowboat there, and given the boys rods. There were no fish, too speak of just there so at times when he took his sons in the boat, the earl would have a couple of the hands put fish into the river a little out of sight so the boys might catch something. In other parts of the estate there was good fishing, but that was too far for the boys to adventure.
“Jack… I’m stuck.”
The younger boy sighed. Michael was never able to get over the branch at that one yew tree. Never. He always needed help.
“Very well, I don’t know why you just can’t crawl under.” Jack had no problem climbing over the branch. He never got stuck.
“Rosie says not to dirty my knees so…” Rosie was the maid who washed them when they came back to the house with mud, unless their mother did. Everyone said the Countess shouldn’t be doing that, but she said she loved her two dirty boys. Unless she called them her two little potatoes. Jack thought that was because Nurse said Potatoes grew in the mud.
“Here when I get under, you push…” Jack maneuvered to behind his brother and put his shoulder under his brothers bottom. Then heaved.
“Oof.” Michael said as he slid through the branches. “Better, thank you Jack.”
“Sure. But next time, crawl under.” Neither of the boys thought that they could go around, that would not have been as much fun. It also wasn’t the most direct route to their boat. They went to their boat often. It was the most fun that they thought they had. Though they had many other adventures. Their grandmother was at the house, though she called the house a castle, and it was best to avoid her. She wanted them to be studying in the nursery and asked them all sorts of nonsense questions, like where was Africa? Or how many Peers there were.

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There has been progress and today should be the wrap up of Space Mine’s first draft. I just did a page count check and it comes in at 319 pages, 96K words. So far in four days this week we are just over 10K words. 26.5 K for the month so way ahead of goal.

Space Mine finishes the first draft at 97,915. Finished 1800+ today. Uploaded videos to YouTube for Time Commanders Have written 12K for the week, 28K for the month

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Opened the mail and the first Unemployment check is in. Yahoo!

Went to the mall yesterday, it was quite, to get my watches repaired, I have 3 that needed batteries, and my eye pad in my glasses fixed. Very successful. Got to eat a nice healthy salad then fried up (in olive oil) some Tilapia for dinner.

Worked some more the last few days on the Time Commanders site. And have been writing in Space Mine. So where am I… The Last chapter which has six scenes. Finished scenes 1 and 2 already today. (4 more to go)

As of today, the numbers, 90K plus for the book, last week 16295, Monday, 2184 and Tuesday so far 2138. So ahead of my daily 1500 word goal, over halfway for the month (2/3rds) already and the month has lots more days in it.

Digitizing photos for the parents…

Just wished mom had me in better clothes, but I guess the sixties were like this for everyone.

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Searched for my OmniPage licenses today so I could install version 12 on the Windows emulation side of the computer. Since I have the scanner attached for digitizing, which I now have done 14 boxes of slides for my folks, I can digitize Tranquillity Hilton. I finished the edit of chapter 3 in Graces and now have to type it into the computer copy. I am on Chaper 15 now of Space Mine. My intention is that this is the penultimate chapter. I think I may be able to hold to that.

Today, the 5th day since Brea Borders, I am at 12.8K The goal of 1500 words a day was to be at 7500 so beyond that. I did 3000 yesterday and nearly 1700 today. We’ll see how much ground I cover over the weekend,

Also loaded my Corel which again involved a hunt for licenses. I use to be anal about this writing the license# on the CD jacket. I have to get back into the habit of that.

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I did write yesterday and job hunted and all sorts of things. I even started reading the first Ruth Downie book, Medicus51liSttumSL._SL500_AA240_.jgzpCk1zs46k.jpg
In writing, on monday i did over 2500 words in Space Mine and the same amount yesterday. I am faced with some of the political maneuvering. Our hero is focused on getting the job done. Our nemesis who is his boss, wants to be sure that once the job is done, he the boss gets credit, and gets the next bigger job.

The back drop of invitations to the balls at the inauguration of a second term president is a good way of showing this. And that is where I am right now.

I did work on my Time Commanders site, battles five and six are almost complete as is downloading all videos so I have a record of the first series. In the first three days of the week, I have sent out about 50 resumes looking for work. Had my interview with the EDD about money and today will do shopping for food. Also waiting for the handyman to help with the rat issue.

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Watching the feeds live on the Apple WWDC, then gave up. I like Leo Laporte. Even more now that my cousin is the president of Twit. (Go Dane!) But it was talking heads. Even on another feed that promised live coverage it was talking heads.

So back to MacWorld where the coverage is typed in, you have to refresh the screen, but it is good. The talking heads will be doing this for days after the event on what they hear today. Apple could solve this problem by just publishing the live video feed, but that is too much to ask.

This weekend we had another meeting of the Brea Borders group and I read the beginning to chapter 12 of Space Mine, where the President arrives for an impromptu visit. It is one thing to think about how hard space will be, when we actually really start to work in it. But I put it in perspective a bit. The president of course wants the project finished so he looks good. But as he interacts in the environment he will see just how hard it is to say that the project only needs three months. What about eating breakfast. We are trained to lift that glass of juice. Use our hand to spread the butter with the knife in just such a way. On the moon, that goes out the window because the gravity is less. What about cooking those eggs. Cracking an egg will need to be retrained.

We had a new member join us and hope she comes back. Adding a whole new dimension to our group.

In any event for today I have already done 1600 words, this month the goal for weekday writing is 1500 words. Finished the editing of Chapter 2 of Graces and now have to type them into the computer. Finally got all caught up on the backlog of Forbes.

I spent some of my weekend time on Time Commanders and my new website. I now have 4 of the first 16 battles up on line. That is there are 25 battles total to be placed online, and the first 4 of the first season have their pages all done. There are several pages that go with each battle, and a lot of video, including support video from other sources, not just Time Commanders


I also spent a great deal of time, digitizing for my parents.

Here I am during my one season as a Jock. We played TBall, and I was on the pilots. I sucked…


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I have written every day this week actually. With the new month we wanted to do at least 1250 words a day, upped to 1500, which had been my semi-goal at the beginning of April when I planned out the rest of the year of writing. The intention at that time was to create a realistic plan to finish up Space Mine and Graces with about 30,000 words a month, 1500 words each weekday.

So as of this week, it is 10,000 words for the week. 76,694 words since last months meeting of the Brea Borders Writing Group. Graces is finished at 110,650 and I edited in the changes to Chapter 1, went and had coffee with Tom/Evron on Tuesday and started on chapter 2. Space mine has reached 69.5K in length and I am nearing the end of Chapter 12. Another scene and then on to the last 3 chapters, though with the scene I show below, things have taken a little divergence.


I am working on my Time Commanders Website, my homage to Rome Total War.


And I have done a bunch more slides for my parents. Found pictures of the 40th wedding anniversary of my grandparents. They had an accordion player which prompted me to learn the accordion for about a year

Here is some of what I have been working on, the premise in Space Mine being what if the President of the US makes a surprise stop at the moon, a center piece to his economic recovery:

Chapter Twelve
“What we have found surprising by all the hoopla around the festivities here at UseEm, is the announcement moments ago…” The camera jerked, clearly being carried as the reporter, Amber Dawson, fought her way forward, amidst a crowd of people. “Sorry for that. You can only imagine the excitement everyone is feeling at the surprise visit of the President. We are almost in position here at the airlock docking facility.”
“Yes Amber, we can see you.”
“As you can imagine Stan, security is tight. Very tight. The Space Marines are out in force and have created a cordon around the airlock. We only were notified ten minutes ago, when the space shuttle carrying the President and his staff were on final approach.”
“Can you tell us Amber, what the president will be doing while at UseEm?”
Hector watched the vid screen. He had turned it on a few minutes before when a staffer burst in to his office and told him what was happening. Hector had talked the prior day to McCallister and Senator Goldman who was up at UseEm preparing to receive the Titanic into its parking orbit and then gentle descent to the moon. The catcher team was to leave for the rock in a few hours. Senator Goldman had not mentioned one word that led Hector to believe that the personnel on the Vandenburg shuttle were anyone other than military bigwigs.
“As I am sure you and everyone on earth knows, tomorrow we expect to see the docking of the rock Titanic. A historic first for UseEm and the project here to start extracting mineral wealth for the nations of earth form the asteroid belt. I spent the morning with the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, and also Mr. Pak Leung who is the newest appointee to the Politburo and we discussed how vital UseEm is to the worlds industrial efforts. I am sure that the President will wish to use this opportunity to cement that role.”
Hector was sure also. What a great press coup. It would have taken too many days right before the election, and now after, he had plenty of time to venture up to the moon. The man was going to look like a hero, and Hector was completely out of the news cycle.
“Here comes Commander Bryce McCallister. Commander, commander McCallister a moment please,” McCallister was wandering with an escort to get to the airlock door. There was a countdown clock over the door, so all could see that there were a few more minutes before the shuttle coupling would be completed and the President would emerge.
“Amber, well isn’t this a great day for UseEm and the OSO project.”
“Yes commander. This is Amber Dawson with Commander Bryce McCallister, the top man of the United States mission to the moon. About to greet his boss, the President of the United States. A historic moment to be sure. Commander, any comments?”
Bryce smiled, and Hector realized he was standing and had been since he had flipped a vidchannel open. “As you might imagine, I was able to speak to the President a few minutes ago as the shuttle he is on, which is designated, Space Ship One, another first, Amber, began to make docking connections. The President will no doubt tell you he had a great voyage and is looking forward to his first moon steps. I think I speak for every member of the UseEm team and OSO project that it is a great honor to have President Mariner here.”
“Can you share with us his reasoning for the visit?”
Bryce paused and looked at the camera. The CNN crew had joined her and clearly a second light was shinning on McCallister. “I can’t tell you for certain what the president has in mind, but I can take an educated guess.” The perky blonde nodded, “Well, with two representatives of China here at the moment, and such trading partners as Saudi Arabia, Ukrania, Georgia that’s the country, the UK and Germany on hand for the event tomorrow, having our elected leader, as the vote showed just last tuesday, here to host, clearly says that the US is back in business.”
He was working the media. Bryce had never worked the media. That was one reason Hector liked him in charge of UseEm. That the man could be relied on to be low key. The two news services had reporters on the moon for over a month and Bryce had given them one interview. Then the election night sound bite. Now this. Hector had provided more than fifty interviews since the bomb blast on the moon. There had been no photo op with the president, only the secretary of commerce. “Vivian, I want to be at Vandenburg when the president returns to earth. Let space command know.” He toggled his intercom while he continued to listen to the impromptu interview.
“Are you suggesting that the President might be considering high level trade talks while he is here?”
“Let’s not jump to conclusions. I understand that a press secretary and two other news services are on the shuttle with President Mariner. There will be a formal press conference later today, after the President has a chance to settle and we go over his itinerary. Remember, I only found out that the president was arriving a few minutes before you did.” Bryce obviously was finished with the reporter. The countdown clock above the airlock gate showing that it was time for McCallister to position himself to greet those arriving. It looked like all but one of the department heads had gathered and Colonel Evans had his senior people with him. Senator Goldman and those politicians and diplomats that he had taken to the moon a few days before also were clustered close. A couple of low level people were getting everyone in some order.
McCallister was talking to someone in a suit and the Colonel, and the voice of Amber droned on with nonsense, and speculation. She was right that the third man was security, but not secret service. Hector knew that the man was CIA. Former secret service so obviously the treasury boys had pre-planed this well. Hector sat in silence as the door cycled open and Mariner hopped into the entry room.

Gratitude Log

  1. Rome Total War
  2. VisualHub (Gone now, but it converts the AVI format that FRAPs records in to mpeg 4 so I can use iLife)
  3. FRAPs (very useful to record games, in fact here is one I made of my Rome Total War victory at Trebia)
  4. Pinch Scotch (Spritzed this on last nights Salmon)
  5. Amaretto (Also spritzed this on the Salmon)

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I actually did write on Sunday and Monday. Just over 1500 words on monday, and over 1300 on Sunday. The three day total from the weekend thru monday was over 4000. In looking at the big picture of Space Mine, things may be a little out of sequence, and I am going to have to go and document my scenes I guess so I can double check that. I also got the edits in for the first chapter of Graces over that period.

Sunday and Monday I did a lot of work on the website for Time Commanders, pretty much have the layout for each episode planned, color choices and type choices picked. But then started working with Rome Total War and tried to get the game to work and to take screen shots. No luck there.

Was able to crop a couple pictures on the Mac side of things. Still working on the other.


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