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  • Voting has started for the Podcastle Flash Fiction contest. Anyone who has made at least one post should be able to see the stories down in the Arcade.

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News

Voting has started for the Podcastle Flash Fiction contest. Anyone who has made at least one post should be able to see the stories down in the Arcade.

New groups are posted every two days through the end of April.

Author Topic: Progress sometimes means walking backwards  (Read 68967 times)

jrderego

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on: January 05, 2007, 06:44:56 AM
Here's what's on the current slate for me.

In the can and ready for submission (or in active submission mode already)

Novel -

Tears of Amaterasu

Union Dues (shorts) -

Union Dues: A Handshake, A Gold Watch, A Candle
Union Dues: All That We Leave Behind
Union Dues: Send in the Clowns
Union Dues: All About the Sponsors (with special guest star Pat Boone!)

Hotel Nocturne (shorts) -


The Hunting Party
Employee of the Year

Burden of Bushido -

Ronin on the High Seas
The Five-Body Sword
Emerald Treasure of the Thuggee Assassins

Stories currently in production (i.e. second draft)

Union Dues (Shorts) -

Union Dues: Freedom's Burden
Union Dues: The Time of our Lives
Union Dues: She who Laughs Last

Other Shorts (Shorts) -

Tout Bagay Enfom
Citizen X
The Henchman Diaries
The Boy in the Well
Uthan

Union Dues: The Novel (Novel)

Stuff in first draft or currently incomplete first draft -

Doughboys (short novel)
Unnammed Zatoichi knockoff (short novel)





"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Jim

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Reply #1 on: January 05, 2007, 01:50:53 PM
Well, ain't you just the writing machine.

Looking forward to it, all of it!

My imaginary omnipotent friend is more real that your imaginary omnipotent friend.


Bdoomed

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Reply #2 on: January 05, 2007, 03:23:00 PM
oooh send in a union dues story again, i LOVE those!

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Russell Nash

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Reply #3 on: January 06, 2007, 11:14:31 PM
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!
More Union Dues!!!



Jim

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Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 03:26:47 PM
There, see?

The mob, all three of us, has spoken.

My imaginary omnipotent friend is more real that your imaginary omnipotent friend.


Russell Nash

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Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 07:00:50 PM
Three moderators are cheering for more Union Dues. I hope Steve is reading this.



jrderego

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Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 07:06:05 PM
Three moderators are cheering for more Union Dues. I hope Steve is reading this.

Nice to know I have the full measure of the Escape Pod forum admin at my back. LOL!


"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
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madjo

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Reply #7 on: January 11, 2007, 02:10:51 PM
I'd also like to hear more Union Dues. :)



VBurn

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Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007, 04:30:11 PM
I really enjoyed the latest Union Dues and would love to hear more like that.



Bdoomed

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Reply #9 on: January 12, 2007, 02:27:06 AM
while i love union dues, i would also love to hear those other shorts, maybe Ronin on the High Seas, that sounds interesting.  Tho before you submitt any other shorts ya really should send out a little Union Dues.  They are very fun to listen to

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


jrderego

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Reply #10 on: January 12, 2007, 03:52:26 AM
while i love union dues, i would also love to hear those other shorts, maybe Ronin on the High Seas, that sounds interesting.  Tho before you submitt any other shorts ya really should send out a little Union Dues.  They are very fun to listen to

The problem with the Burden of Bushido series is that the market I'd written them for dried up. They are fun historical fiction action adventure stories with one toe in fantasy, sort of, I guess. The tales follow disgraced samurai Kintaro Koboyashi from task to deliver a priceless sword, through his exile into obscurity among Japan's fisherman, to his journeys through India. The stories are set right in the year following Commodore Perry's forced opening of Japan's ports to American vessels. But, since I don't do wizards, or dragons, or elves, orcs, gnoles, gnomes, or other fantasy mechanics, they will probably never find a home.

:(

 

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


SFEley

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Reply #11 on: January 12, 2007, 04:15:55 AM
But, since I don't do wizards, or dragons, or elves, orcs, gnoles, gnomes, or other fantasy mechanics, they will probably never find a home.

Au contraire.  You're not familiar with Lian Hearn's "Tales of the Otori" series?  That's the first example I could think of off the top of my head,(*) but Asian-inspired fantasy is a big seller right now.

And hell, if you can't sell it in prose, adapt it to manga.  Dark Horse and other publishers are getting into American manga in a huge way.



(*Actually, the first example I thought of was Barry Hughart's "Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox," of which the first book, Bridge of Birds, is one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read.  But it's much older, and didn't sell well at all.  I suspect he was too far ahead of his time.)

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


jrderego

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Reply #12 on: January 12, 2007, 06:45:33 AM
But, since I don't do wizards, or dragons, or elves, orcs, gnoles, gnomes, or other fantasy mechanics, they will probably never find a home.

Au contraire.  You're not familiar with Lian Hearn's "Tales of the Otori" series?  That's the first example I could think of off the top of my head,(*) but Asian-inspired fantasy is a big seller right now.

And hell, if you can't sell it in prose, adapt it to manga.  Dark Horse and other publishers are getting into American manga in a huge way.



(*Actually, the first example I thought of was Barry Hughart's "Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox," of which the first book, Bridge of Birds, is one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read.  But it's much older, and didn't sell well at all.  I suspect he was too far ahead of his time.)

I will check out both titles. That said, the BOB stories are as much fantasy stories as The Hidden Fortress or The Seven Samurai are fantasy movies. I am intrigued by culture as Magic, for example, in the third story Emerald Treasure of the Thuggee Assassins, Kintaro finds himself paired with a Sikh for the vast majority of the story, and their different cosmologies (Kintaro is, by his own admission, antagonistic towards the gods but is willing to fight to the death to retreive a stolen emerald for the Untouchables who took him in after he washed ashore. Rajveer Singh is devout.) provide all of the mystical elements of the tale. But none of them are "fantasy" elements.

The different cultures, Hindu, Samurai, Sikh, British, Sepoy (Indian soldiers serving the British), and the evolving technology provide the "magic" in the story.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


SFEley

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Reply #13 on: January 12, 2007, 06:57:11 AM
I will check out both titles. That said, the BOB stories are as much fantasy stories as The Hidden Fortress or The Seven Samurai are fantasy movies. I am intrigued by culture as Magic, for example, in the third story [...]

Ah, okay, I misunderstood.  So it's more historical adventure?  (Or what used to be called a "romance" before the term evolved to its present definition.)

I still say you could sell this, if the plots and characters are as good as your passion in summarizing them.  Heck, it still sounds to me like kickass comics or manga material.

ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


madjo

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Reply #14 on: January 12, 2007, 10:17:06 AM
Quote from: jrderego
The problem with the Burden of Bushido series is that the market I'd written them for dried up.
What exactly do you mean with dried up?
Do you mean that it couldn't be published in an audio form?
Forgive me if these seem silly questions, I was just curious what you meant.



jrderego

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Reply #15 on: January 12, 2007, 01:53:56 PM
Quote from: jrderego
The problem with the Burden of Bushido series is that the market I'd written them for dried up.
What exactly do you mean with dried up?
Do you mean that it couldn't be published in an audio form?
Forgive me if these seem silly questions, I was just curious what you meant.

There were three or four magazines, both print and online that bought historical/adventure fiction but over the last few months they have all either gone to a no-pay for fiction model, gone out of business, or realigned themselves to publish only traditional quest fantasy.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Jim

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Reply #16 on: January 12, 2007, 02:22:03 PM
Was Egon correct in his terse reply to Janine when she supposes out loud that he reads a lot?

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jrderego

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Reply #17 on: January 12, 2007, 03:08:03 PM
Was Egon correct in his terse reply to Janine when she supposes out loud that he reads a lot?

While I don't agree that "Print is dead", it's much less expensive to set up and publish via the web than deal with the costs of print and layout and distribution. One of the reasons there are so many markets out there for Speculative Fiction is that the web has made publishing much less rigorous to get involved with. The web also allows for insane specialization of genre and subgenre... for example, I have the Hotel Nocturne stories which are sort of traditional vampire tales, all centered around a grand hotel built very high up in the Arctic Circle. Because of the six-months of darkness/semidarkness the hotel caters to vampires. So far so good, right? I go looking for markets for these stories and so many horror markets say "no traditional monsters, or no vampire stories", but I find one, a good one, it even pays, I get all ready to final edit and format one of the tales and start to pour over the guidelines again.

Oops, they only take stories about extraterrestrial vampires.

Hmmm... okay, I find another market, same routine, they only want lesbian vampires.

Darn it!

I find another market, same routine, they want vampire stories set in the far future only.

And the fleeting nature of web publishing is such that a market can be there today and gone tomorrow. I wrote a story specifically for the online magazine "Dead Letters", they took only Romero inspired zombie stories. I thought, how many times can someone read about people trapped in a mall/supermarket/farmhouse by legions of hungry undead? I thought about Voodoo, and zombies, and wrote Tout Bagay Enfom, a zombie story that uses Voodoo as a control mechanism for Romero-type undead and put the whole shebang on an asteroid based starship fuel mine in space. Or, as I like to type it "in space!"

As soon as I finished the third edit and formatted the thing, Dead Letters took the proverbial shot to the head and ceased to exist. Now I've got a story that doesn't really fit anywhere, and to make it fit I have to rework several of the angles to make it palatable to other markets, which in and of itself is fine, but there's no guarantee that market will be there when I get gone with this series of edits either...

Sometimes I think Sisyphus was a writer.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


madjo

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Reply #18 on: January 12, 2007, 09:49:03 PM
Perhaps it's time for a less specialized storymarket? (No, sadly I don't have the time nor the money to set up such a thing)
I'm sure more writers encounter this problem?



jrderego

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Reply #19 on: January 19, 2007, 07:03:01 AM
Progress report -

The Ballad of Kitty Momoiro - second draft complete. 5200 words.

First paragraph -

Union Dues:
The Ballad of Kitty Momoiro


     So, we're like in this mall in Wisconsin or Michigan or some other place I can't find on a map, roped off and on a little stage. And, all I can concentrate on is how good an Orange Frosty from the food court would taste right now. Do I notice that a couple of hundred kids, mostly girls around between five and fifteen are screaming questions and snapping pictures? Sure, but that isn't anywhere near as interesting as how they mix orange juice, coconut milk, and soda water with a chopped banana.
     I don't focus real good without my ADD meds.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Laieanna

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Reply #20 on: January 24, 2007, 05:25:33 PM
Was Egon correct in his terse reply to Janine when she supposes out loud that he reads a lot?

While I don't agree that "Print is dead", it's much less expensive to set up and publish via the web than deal with the costs of print and layout and distribution. One of the reasons there are so many markets out there for Speculative Fiction is that the web has made publishing much less rigorous to get involved with. The web also allows for insane specialization of genre and subgenre... for example, I have the Hotel Nocturne stories which are sort of traditional vampire tales, all centered around a grand hotel built very high up in the Arctic Circle. Because of the six-months of darkness/semidarkness the hotel caters to vampires. So far so good, right? I go looking for markets for these stories and so many horror markets say "no traditional monsters, or no vampire stories", but I find one, a good one, it even pays, I get all ready to final edit and format one of the tales and start to pour over the guidelines again.

Man, when is the golden Star Trek age going to come when we don't need money and everyone spends their days doing what they love, not what they need to survive.  Then we could all read/listen to the fascinating tales you and others have created because you can offer them up freely.  Will these works get lost and forgotten if you can't find a market for them? 

Err...did I get oddly poetic with that?  Sorry.

The vampire stories sound so interesting.  And I am also a Union Dues fan. 

Working on my comeback


jrderego

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Reply #21 on: January 24, 2007, 05:55:48 PM
Was Egon correct in his terse reply to Janine when she supposes out loud that he reads a lot?

While I don't agree that "Print is dead", it's much less expensive to set up and publish via the web than deal with the costs of print and layout and distribution. One of the reasons there are so many markets out there for Speculative Fiction is that the web has made publishing much less rigorous to get involved with. The web also allows for insane specialization of genre and subgenre... for example, I have the Hotel Nocturne stories which are sort of traditional vampire tales, all centered around a grand hotel built very high up in the Arctic Circle. Because of the six-months of darkness/semidarkness the hotel caters to vampires. So far so good, right? I go looking for markets for these stories and so many horror markets say "no traditional monsters, or no vampire stories", but I find one, a good one, it even pays, I get all ready to final edit and format one of the tales and start to pour over the guidelines again.

Man, when is the golden Star Trek age going to come when we don't need money and everyone spends their days doing what they love, not what they need to survive.  Then we could all read/listen to the fascinating tales you and others have created because you can offer them up freely.  Will these works get lost and forgotten if you can't find a market for them? 

Err...did I get oddly poetic with that?  Sorry.

The vampire stories sound so interesting.  And I am also a Union Dues fan. 


I like to think that if the Union Dues stories stay popular and Escape Pod continues to buy them, I will be able to interest other editors in these stories via name recognition/publishing history alone. My stories never die, I have them all right here. I am banking on the markets being cyclical and that the need for or love of traditional monster stories, or historical adventure fiction, prompts the market to respond.

Just for fun though, here are the opening scenes to "Hotel Nocturne: Employee of the Year"

1   

Marguerite dragged a sweat-dampened sleeve across her forehead before attacking the king-sized bed. She tore the ornate green quilt and top sheet off the gigantic mattress and flung them to the floor then stripped and fluffed the goose down pillows.

Redressing the room would take at least another half hour. She glanced at her silver pocket watch and grimaced. “Five more after this,” she mumbled. The mantle clock struck 2, its soft chimes died in the heavy red velvet drapes slung around the gigantic canopy bed.
   
Marguerite instinctively glanced at the window then silently cursed her inability to adjust to the perpetual darkness of the Arctic winter.
   
The room was complete now, she checked the small dish beside the basin and ewer, and retrieved two Hotel Coins. Smiling, she dropped them into a small leather bag slung at the hip. The coin sack offered a noticeable weight and pleasant jingle as she made a final check of the room. Satisfied that all waited in perfect order for the occupant she pushed the cart into the wide hallway and pulled the door closed while crossing the threshold.

2
   
Bright light escaped the staff building through heavy slotted shutters and flickered across the drifting snow beside the path to the door. Marguerite listened to the shallow ruckus from the other day-shifters settling in to their late evening routine of gossip and inquiry. She lingered at the door and braced for the cacophony inside.
   
It was then that the eyes made themselves visible in the otherwise impenetrable darkness.
   
Marguerite froze. The entire staff knew the dangers of the path between the rooming house and the hotel. Warned of the wolves prowling the night the rule was never to stray from the lamplight, and above all else, never linger. But, these were not wolf eyes, unless wolves somehow learned to walk upright. “Hello?” she called softly.
   
“Hello,” came the answer.
   
“You shouldn’t be in the darkness...” Marguerite saw the owner of the voice then, tall, impossibly skinny, and draped in a black muslin cloak that hung as if it were tied to a scarecrow. The owner’s visage lay hidden behind a red velvet scarf and wide-brimmed hat.
   
He stepped forward through the snow on nearly silent footsteps. “Room 317,” he said quietly. The words floated through the scarf garbled and nearly indecipherable, “you are the chambermaid?”
   
“I... I am,” she said as the figure stopped a few inches from her. The guest’s breath reeked of some otherworldly night soil and Marguerite struggled not to turn away from the fetid stench.
   
He extended a bony and long finger nailed hand wrapped around a clutch of Hotel Coins, “You do good work,” he slurred.
   
“Thank you sir,” she answered and accepted the heavy coins.
   
The man bowed slowly and backed into the darkness.
   
Marguerite shuddered and dropped the Hotel Coins into the sack before opening the door. She stamped the snow from her boots and rushed to the fireplace to warm as she stripped the parka, hood, and mittens that only kept the ambient cold at bay long enough to walk from the grounds to the dormitory.
   
“How did you do Margie?” Sarah Benevedez jiggled a swollen coin purse before Marguerite’s face.
   
“I always thought it impolite to brag Sarah, or didn’t you learn that as a child?” Marguerite hung her parka and mittens beside the fireplace and dropped to a long wooden bench beside the coal stove.
   
“Ha! I knew she was lacking.”
   
Marguerite slid her boots beneath the bench. “I don’t see what the big deal is anyway. No one even knows what the prize is.”
   
“You don’t think the guests giving us these gold coins means anything? I think the employee of the year prize is a fortune, and I want it.” Sarah dropped to the bench. “I have thirty three coins, and we still have a few weeks before the final counting.” Sarah again rattled the coins in their pouch.
   
Marguerite rolled her eyes.
   
“Come on Margie... Lay yours out. We all did before you got here and I lead the rest of the girls by at least eight.”
   
“I just want to sleep Sarah.” Marguerite padded past the fireplace to her bunk within the long racks of sleeping spaces. The other girls crowded around and refused to let Marguerite relax. “Go away,” she sighed.
   
“Come on Margie. Everyone else did...”

Marguerite rubbed her eyes and sat up. “Fine,” she said then dumped her pouch across the quilt and slowly counted out twenty-seven coins.

Sarah’s face lit up with the delighted smugness that Marguerite found especially annoying. “I knew it!”

“Now please, everyone, let me sleep.” Marguerite scooped the coins back into the pouch and tied it lightly around her wrist. The other girls dissipated quickly and Marguerite rolled over and dropped into an exhausted slumber.

And here is the opening scene from:

Burden of Bushido: The Emerald Treasure of the Thuggee Assassins


Amid the great I have traveled
And amid the refuse and forgotten
Many a year and month and day
From the shores of Edo Harbor to the pirate temples of Ankor
Now I lay a stranger in India
Untouchable
With vengeance as my protector
And the Gods as my foe
I rise


Kintaro Koboyashi - 1859

1
   
Senajit peered out of the new moon darkness at the small groups of pilgrims spread out around the bonfire. He knew better than to sleep on Pilgrimage Road during the darkest of nights of the month. The tales of The Thuggee were not mere stories told to frighten unruly children, but sinister men who strangled and robbed unwary pilgrims to please the goddess Kali. Even though the British hung four thousand Thuggee and drove them from all but the darkest recesses of the countryside their legacy had not died.

Senjit knew the assassins were nearby because that day he had robbed them.
   
He scrambled up the low hill to the base of a great mango tree and dug a deep and narrow hole into which he placed the fist-sized emerald, wrapped in sheepskin and tied with a length of silver chain, before covering the hole with the soft earth.
   
Senajit then strung his remaining meager valuables, a single gold chain and a small purse of rupees, around his waist beneath the folds of his white shirt before slipping back down the hillside to side of Pilgrimage Road.
   
He stayed in the shadows on the periphery of the bonfire and lay back. He struggled to remain alert to every sound in the deep forest that protected Srisailam Temple. But, the relentless heat of the coming Monsoon season sapped his strength more than the long walk from his village outside Pondicherri.

Senajit's eyes soon fluttered and the sound of distant prayers faded into ghostly echoes.

He awoke breathless; a garrote twisted tight around his neck and strange, cold hands tearing through his clothes.

Senajit struggled for a second then slumped dead.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 05:59:19 PM by jrderego »

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


Jonathan C. Gillespie

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Reply #22 on: January 24, 2007, 11:53:10 PM
JR, do you intend to do all the Union Dues tales in first-person POV?  (not that I mind)

Published genre fiction author with stories in print and upcoming.

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jrderego

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Reply #23 on: January 25, 2007, 03:11:01 AM
JR, do you intend to do all the Union Dues tales in first-person POV?  (not that I mind)

I didn't actually intend to, but it seems to have worked out that way :)

All 10 of the stories are first person POV.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2007, 03:16:31 AM by jrderego »

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html


jrderego

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Reply #24 on: January 29, 2007, 01:44:11 PM
Progress report -

Complete
The Henchman Diaries: Project Giant Arachnid (5600 words) finished and submitted.
Union Dues: All That We Leave Behind (5600 words) Final draft complete.

First draft Work
Union Dues: Freedom's Burden (5000 words) First Draft torn down and rewrite started.

"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html