Fiction (Short), Musings

[Short] Miranda and the Derelict Wreck

It wasn’t like Tanner to go it alone. Not usually. Not unless my brother was feeling like a white knight, at any rate, and there was nothing about an old wrecked ship that should have been attracting that particular part of his personality to the fore. Which was why I was confused. And curious. And concerned for Tanner’s wellbeing, of course.

But also kinda hoping that he had gotten himself into the sort of trouble that would give me teasing rights for the next month after saving his butt.

I was still a little surprised we’d been asked to investigate the wreck. Even on a colony as young as Verdant, crashed ships were hardly uncommon. It was a little odd that no one had any idea what ship it was, sure, but between the wildcatters and the outlaws, there were a lot of possibilities for an unregistered ship. The weirdest thing about it was that the flyover scan that turned the thing up had suggested that the ship was old– seventy five years old. Old enough that there was no way it should be on this side of the galaxy.

And that’s when everyone with a ghost story to tell crawled out of the woodwork. Serves me right for talking about it while Tanner and I were goofing off in the big common room at Teddy’s.

“You know they say there was a mutiny aboard an armadillo-class like that one back in ’43. Its last transmission was cut off right after her captain started cursing the traitors with some sort of old world hocus pocus.”

“I heard they’d tried uploading an honest-to-god AI to a private freighter back when all the big corps were still messing around with thinking and feeling computers. Could be a real ghost in the machine, you know?”

“Galaxy’s a big place. Could be aliens.”

And those were the most well-thought-out theories presented by our fellow denizens at Teddy’s: stuff and nonsense everyone one. Which made the fact that I found myself actually a little spooked as I started out for the coordinates of the wreck on my own all the more annoying. When I found Tanner, he was going to get a piece of my mind.

If I’d thought it would be better as soon as I got to the coordinates, I was wrong. Wrecks are always a little creepy, especially once you get to thinking about how they used to be functional, beautiful vessels– some of them, at least. Or, maybe, a home. Or maybe just a place that used to see living, breathing humans every day. Seeing empty ships like that just felt wrong, like a graveyard without the bodies.

I stopped just outside the wreck and gave a disgusted snort. Now I was creeping myself out.

Not that the remains of the ship in front of me were making that hard. Of all the derelicts I’d ever seen, this one might have been the most derelict. The hull was worn through in a dozen different places, and the sand and the sort of scrappy vegetation common on Verdant were sneaking their way inside. The hatch had fallen open what must have been decades ago, and while I suspected I could probably find it in the dirt below my feet if I dug long enough, I wasn’t about to put in the effort. So instead, the hatch just stared at me with a sort of death’s head grin, and I stared back and tried to remind myself that I was a stone-cold badass of a freelancer, and I shouldn’t be scared of some old empty ship.

And I had almost managed to convince myself when I heard someone behind me…


Happy Halloween! Looks like they still celebrate the holiday all the way out on Verdant, much to Miranda’s probable chagrin. Not much else to report, save that I’m equal parts excited and terrified for NaNo to start, since I’m not sure how my personal goal of 100,000 words is going to treat me. We shall see!

Anyway, good luck to everyone participating next month! May your writing be swift and your editing minimal!

Musings

[Blog] NaNo 2019 Prep!

Not a whole lot to report this week, save that I did manage to get some decent prep work done for NaNo next month. This, of course, means “decent” prep work by my own loose standards, which means that it’s still leaning pretty heavily towards pantsing it (as opposed to truly planning it), but hey. You gotta start somewhere!

I am excited, though! Because I have a whiteboard now! Apparently they make adhesive whiteboard material surfaces, which happen to be a bit more affordable and so much easier to mount than a standard whiteboard, so I now have a shiny new plotting surface stuck to one of my closet doors. (This, of course, would be why it’s been easiest to find me cackling and petting my dry erase marker collection of late, but I’m sure that will wear off soon.)

In preparation for next month’s marathon, too, I’ve also jerry-rigged some yarn to create a sort of makeshift timeline, which I’ll be using to organize various scenes/keep all my character sketches easily accessible. It’s so much more than I’ve ever done in the past, so we’ll see how well it sticks. Either way, I’m super excited, and it’s already helped me plan some things out, and at the very least should do a fantastic job of keeping things visible.

Do any of you have any tried and true methods for NaNo prep? Or maybe you’re like me and trying something new this year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Musings

[Blog] Weird Week

It’s been a crazy week in my corner of the world. As evidenced by the fact that I missed writing my weekly post on Wednesday and didn’t notice until tonight (Thursday). Oops?

Most notably, California went and set itself on fire again, closing four major freeways near where I live for about a day, which was about exactly as much fun as you’d imagine– and that was just for everyone not directly impacted by evacuations or worse.

On a more upbeat note, I’ve also started organizing for NaNoWriMo next month, which has so far mostly involved cleaning out the home directory on my computer and doing the digital equivalent of straightening up. It’s funny… I have nice, neat directories for everything, and yet somehow, I still manage to accrue a whole mess of poorly named and homeless documents in places they don’t belong.

… any comments pointing out the similarity between that and what happens in my room when I get particularly busy will be summarily ignored.

Anyway! Check back next week for a sneak peek at my new noveling habitat!

Musings

[Blog] November Plans

One of these days, I’m going to figure out how to get used to what month it is before the darn thing is a third gone. I mean really.

Between work and a mild cold, the draft of the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles is moving slower at the moment, but it’s still moving, and I’m happy with the ideas coming out of the explosion of words on the page. I’m still trying to figure out how the last couple of stories work into the greater arc, but if the last few have been any indication, it’ll sort itself out on its own as I work them onto the page.

I’m also trying to plan out more of the story for November, since it’s going to be a bit longer than the individual Tanner and Miranda stories I’ve written up previously, and the nature of the premise means I’m going to have to have things more planned out than usual if I hope to maintain any sense of continuity. It’s a tall order, particularly during November, I know, but who knows! I’m already trying to figure out how to put up string and flash cards somewhere in my room to make a sort of makeshift and readily changeable timeline. It could work!

Musings

[Blog] Book Plug – Dark Age

This past week, I read a book.

Pierce Brown’s Dark Age to be exact, and if you haven’t heard of/read the Red Rising series before, I would highly recommend it. And if you have, please let me know. I’m desperately in need of people to geek out about it with!

The first book is basically what I had hoped to find in The Hunger Games, but I liked it so much better, and the setting and the tales have just gotten bigger and more epic from there. The series as a whole has made me laugh and cry in equal measure, and Dark Age was no exception, even if it was darker than the previous installments. (But with a title like that, how could it not be?)

I’m still very much in the throes of a good book high, so I apologize for my currently one-track mind. But it’s so rare to find a book that immerses you so completely, that when you do, you just have to revel in it. So, revel I will. The characters are complex and human. The setting is huge and epic and so, so fascinating. The story is engaging and never lets go, and its handling of themes like revolution, rebuilding, friendship, betrayal, and morality kept me thoroughly hooked. If you happen to be the sort of person who would enjoy it and somehow hasn’t heard of it, go look it up. I may be in full fangirl mode, but this is the sort of story that deserves it.