Category Archive: On Writing Creatively

Snippet

I just wrote this and found it humorous.

“Do you have an internet terminal?”  Ariela all but threw herself off the bar stool and looked over at the desks.

Wolff and von Barronov broke out laughing.  “Here,” von Barronov offered, proffering a small holotablet.  “Just set it on the bar, touch the button, and ask it what you want to know.”

“Seriously?  Cool.”  Ariela reached out and touched the graphical button, fascinated.

“Ready,” the tablet said.

Ariela jerked her arm back, then composed herself.  “Um . . . information on the, um, antithanatic drug, please.”

The tablet made no reply, but threw its big holographic screen up above the bar.  A hierarchical file system containing a number of labeled virtual folders appeared.

“You can touch them, or simply tell the tablet to open them,” explained Wolff.

“Even cooler.  Is this, like, Wikipedia?”

Wolff frowned.  “Never utter that curséd name to a serious researcher.”

“Oh!”  Ariela looked at him, unsure of herself.  “I mean, no academic took it seriously in 2015, either.”

Wolff shook his head.  “You don’t know about the WikiScandal of 2036.”

“Bad?”

“Trust him,” affirmed von Barronov.  “Threw an election.”

“Worse?”

“In favor of the Libertarians,” said Wolff.  “Who then proceeded to try to abrogate the Constitution in the name of rational anarchy.  ‘Libertarian’ is another term you’ll want to avoid using, if you stick around here long enough.”

“What happened?”

“Every known, active Libertarian politician was hunted down and killed.  Only way to be sure.  And Wikipedia went offline.  To this day there are no serious crowd-sourced encyclopedias or dictionaries anywhere on the hypernet.  Everything like that is commercial, requires a subscription, and is rigorously vetted for scholarship.”

“Wow, you guys in the future are harsh.”

Bleargh

The short story I was talking about on May 24, below, ballooned into a novelette.  It clocked in at 12,338 words when I wrote THE END last night.

Worse, I may have seen the way toward turning this into a series of stories, picking and looting from the carcass of another oeuvre of writing I’ve been playing with for the last 30 years.

As noted before, it’s unpublishable in its current state.  Names have been changed (I spent some time thinking about names, then ended up stealing some of them from that other oeuvre) but some situations will be really obvious, and probably painful, to certain people.  And I don’t want to hurt anyone.  God knows I hurt myself enough by facing up to writing a story about…her.  And what might have been.  And what could be, assuming the existence of a Heinlein-esque multiverse and a way to slip between timelines.

Well, speaking of Heinlein.  As the Master said, or had his character L. Long say, “Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”  So you’ll excuse me while I go wash up.

Hmm

Yesterday I wrote a thousand words (for a total of 3,046 so far) on a time-travel story I’ve been thinking about since I woke up from a very vivid dream back in mid-April.  It’s a bit of a romance, too, which is outside of my normal métier.  Wait.  Who am I kidding?  It’s completely outside of my normal métier.

At the moment it’s not something I’d publish; I’d have to go through and make a LOT of changes, or publish it under a psuedonym.  Some of the events are too close to the reality I’ve lived over the past couple of years, and the backstory is too well-known to a number of my associates, some of whom I have no reason or desire to offend (and would, if this went out in its current form).  But it makes an interesting story, I think.  Lots of conversation, not so much action.  And I’ve got three different possibilities for ending it, which also is not normal for me; endings are hard.

If nothing else, at least I’m writing fiction again.