Friday, March 19, 2021

Sifting through the Blocks


 Happy Friday fellow writers and artists.  I hope you had a great week and the month has been a good one. Tomorrow is the first day of spring. It's been a strange but good winter. So far in book 3 I got to chapter six, then hit a glitch.  Although I have an outline, and going full steam ahead in the story the winter blues can set me into a funk thus creating a creativity block.  Very much like a writer's block, or a case where I would have multiple ideas for scenes come up without a direction for the story.    In this case, I purge.  Change my routine

around.  I read more and take a break.


Priorities also came up that were necessary.   Sent our five year old son back to school two days a week as the covid numbers are better.  I dropped him off Monday morning and he walked into school with his backpack, 

with a head nod of "I've got this." He's going to be ok.

Meanwhile our daughter is at virtual homeschool, and she is good to finishing out the last two months of school that way.  She even went to gifted testing this week so it's been very busy.  She is surprisingly doing well and knows this is temporary. Its been a rough year for everyone. In the fall we send both kids back to full school as we are on the downward trend of this pandemic.

The story is changing things around as scenes that are coming through my mind, so need to freewrite them out.  I've got my main character on his quest, and he's going to pick up four more characters along the way so it's a navigating when/how they appear.  Four man army compared to his track record of leading thousands. I like a challenge, surely.

I know how it's going to end.  His villain will be defeated, but there's some damage he's going to do before all is said and done.  Just like a bridge that has supports, the novel needs its supports to the plot and subplots along the way.  Some things are easier said than done.  Or written.

What are you doing tonight?  I am looking over the printed chapter six and some freewriting is in store tonight to clear up the static. So much creativity, looking forward to a good night tonight.  Are you painting or creating something totally different? Share it with us.

overwork GIF by Carlotta Notaro


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

1313 Beatnik Lane


Previous  Cambris and Queenie accompany a nervous Bigmon into the Munsters sim. 

A bare chamber was suddenly the Munsters living room. It rocked to the Standells performing their song "Do The Ringo", with hipsters dancing or camped out everywhere.

Cambris spoke above the din. "This is your sleep-friendly environ? What feverish musing has the machine picked from your mind?"

"I think I got it!" Bigmon sought the figure he figured responsible, a bearded man in Aristotle garb and sandals. "The poet! I must have been thinking about how you're a slick poet yourself."

Queenie's goldtone face regarded the show's principals, who were just as bewildered by the hubbub. "The Munsters. Will you engage with them?"

A girl wearing a ton of necklaces spotted them. "Hey, everybody, some new cats just blew in! What a wild bunch!" She frowned at Bigmon's button-down look. "Except for you, Mister Man. You look all Establishment, you know?"

"Cambris!" Bigmon cast about for rescue. "Where did she wander off to?"

"To the alcove," Queenie said, "enraptured by the full-length mirror."

Bigmon eased through the crowd. "So what? The Munsters didn't have any trick mirrors she won't reflect in." The way Cambris stared at the glass began to worry him. "She's so gorgeous, she even wows herself!" 

"You will explain this," Cambris demanded. "The Stygian engine cannot see me. How has it created my image in the glass?"

"Analyzing." Which took Queenie a microsecond. "The flooring detects your weight, and pairs with it a corresponding image drawn from the agent man's memory."

Another bearded groover, this one in a peacoat, grinned at Queenie. "Too much! What's your gig, sister?"

Queenie scanned him with laser vision, causing his image to briefly distort. "Your stack register is sub-optimized, causing a deleterious lag in refresh rate."

"Ha ha! Hey, you know I'm into your act, and I can't even follow it! Can't wait to hear you recite!"

By now, the Munsters had spotted the sideshow. Lily came to offer an elegant hand to Bigmon. "J B! It's so good to see you again! I'm sorry about all this going on."

"It's my fault," Herman allowed, stomping over to join them. "I couldn't resist fifteen hundred for renting the place for the evening."

Grandpa scowled. "Herman, ya big dope! Aren't you gonna introduce me?" He ogled Cambris. "I am Count Dracula, my dear."

"You are Count Dracula?" Cambris let slip a view of fang tips. "That is the most spurious--"

Bigmon leaned close. "Don't queer this for us. We're here to find a quiet place to crash, maybe start a lucid dream."

"Such lovely fangs!" Lily enthused. "Who's your dentist?"

As the band finished up, one wag called out: "Quiet, everybody! The Hermit is gonna groove us!"

Twin bongo drums laid down the mood when the Hermit leveled his intense gaze at them. "In that vortex of the future--" Several stanzas later, the crowd applauded with gusto.

Bigmon knew what was coming next. Necklace Girl was going to shout Let's hear from the Jolly Green Giant! But an impish impulse led him to waylay her. "My lady friend here is quite the poet."

"Let's hear from Lady Dracula!" the girl shouted.

Both Lily and Cambris started reluctantly forth.

"No, no," the girl said. "That one!" Meaning Cambris. She looked at Queenie for possible material. "You're awfully quiet, honey. What's your hangup?"

"Hangup," Queenie repeated. "The noun form of the barnyard adjective 'hung up'. I am queen of the Bot Star Empire. As you do not exist, you cannot be bottified."

"I get it! You're into Flash Gordon!" 

Cambris responded to Bigmon putting her on the spot. "Be not smug, Agent Man. I shall make them see the emptiness of their pretend lives." Bongos heralded her taking center stage.

"Know you not," she began, "how this manse illudes us?" A flourish of drum taps picked up on the sinister tone, briefly throwing her. "Licit lenity withheld by infernal machines." A raised arm denoted the outside world. "Even the theme is betrayed. In yon bone yard where glassine wayfarers mist unbidden, nor bromide bugbears hollow menace, sibilline shade lure beckons impotently within."

Wild applause greeted this, and even the Hermit made a respectful bow.

Peacoat guy whistled and cheered. "Man, that's the best indictment of capitalism I ever heard!"

In the ongoing applause, Bigmon steered Cambris toward the Munsters. "I hate to be pushy, Lily, but I was hoping you had a place for us to crash."

"Oh, certainly! Grandpa will show you to the attic. Some of our deceased relatives might be rattling around." The trio followed the old gent upstairs.

Cambris turned slitted eyes on Bigmon. "Curb your urges, Agent Man. If you dream of Lily or Marilyn, they will not be mere computer blips."

"Oh well." Bigmon shrugged. "What a way to go!"

Monday, March 15, 2021

Interview with the Godfather


Dr Berens surveyed the odd trio who insisted on an after-hours interview at his sleep clinic. If he wanted to be facetious, he'd label them the Dracula bride, the Metropolis automaton, and the godfather. The guy even had a pinky ring. 

"Mr Bigmon," Berens began, "I understand you have reservations about the safety of our hologram suites, and feel more at ease with your two. . . .companions."

"You said it, pallie, ever since that Jakers guy got bit on the  neck in the Gilligan's Island gig."

Berens' chest tightened. "May I ask how you came across that privileged information?"

"It is quite simple," said the Bride. "Wicca foresaw these events in her crystal skull."

More suspicious by the moment, this was. Berens didn't even ask about the other woman's cyborg suit. "You understand our price system from the catalog: five thousand per week."

The Bride turned toward Bigmon.  "Can a talent agent afford such frivolity?"

"Oh sure, I guess so." Bigmon hiked broad shoulders. "The feds are throwin' around plenty of monopoly money. I got my share."

"I suspect," the Bride said, "the gold one has a clanking hand in this."

The automation's features never changed. "Of course. When my minions bankrupt the system, they will declare all debt null and void. A digital currency will be put in place, which allows them to decide who eats and who starves." 

"Bogus!" Bigmon tugged at his silk tie. "You've got some imagination, Queenie!"

Berens rose and opened the office door for them. "I'll explain how it works as we head for the Munsters complex." These people were likely industry spies. It wouldn't do them any good, since the quantum code that ran the facility was beyond their reach.

"Can I pick the episode?" Bigmon asked.

"It doesn't work that way. The system scans your synapses to determine your area of interest. A suitable episode is chosen, one conducive to helping your sleep problem."

Along the way, they passed the Gilligan complex. 

"This reminds me," Bigmon said. "I hear that Jakers guy is in the hospital with exhaustion. He must have overdosed on Ginger and Mary Ann. Ha ha! A guy has to know his limits."

Berens made no answer, though the information was once again correct. The spies were well informed. 

"Ginger and Mary Ann indeed," the Bride countered. "They are twin succubi. The same happened to Jakers when one impersonated the Gilligan character."

They had to be playing with him. Berens made a little cough. "That's an amusing theory, Miss Cambris. But the lucid state is a recognized quantity in which dreams take on stark realism.. I suspect Jakers unconsciously inflicted the wounds to his own neck."

"That," Cambris said, "is an amusing theory."

Berens admitted them to the Munsters arrival point, a large space studded with holo-emitters. "When the program starts, you'll be in the living room. Depending on the episode, it may or may not be deserted. The cast is programmed to recognize Mr Bigmon as an old friend. You ladies, I believe, will fit right in."

"Then let's rock," Bigmon said. "There must be plenty of cozy spots to sleep in a mausoleum like that. Cambris--I'm counting on you and Queenie if I get us into a dream situation."

"Trust us," Queenie said, black orbs inscrutable.