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So the head cold has mostly gone away, but I’m still hacking crap up out of my lungs a week later. Not bad, but just generally ick. The last two weeks haven’t helped.

Best friend’s divorce was finalized on Friday. He discovered he was getting divorced in early August.

Then Saturday, we held the service for Pastor Mike, another of my dear friends. When you meet Brother Cormac in a couple of months, you’ll meet Pastor Mike, because I wrote every word he said as though it came from Mike’s mouth. And Mike really was like that. Sorry for those of you who never got a chance to meet him.

Service went well. Two of his daughters were there, with the oldest and his son not. (Not that anyone was surprised.) Saw a couple of folks that I haven’t in years. Parts of various old and no longer functioning gaming groups, because those things evolve over time. Personalities clash. Priorities change. Life happens.

Afterwards, the current gaming group moved to a nearby restaurant and had our own semi-private wake. The old farts. Mike’s gaming group.

Both of his daughters went out of their ways to let me know how much I and the others had meant in his life. And my wife points out that we kept him mentally sharp, at a time when his health was in decline and it might have been easier to slide with it.

He was an amazing man, and I’ll miss him. September officially sucks.

August was supposed to be the low point. Fabulous Publisher Babe™ points out that Piper and I will both probably have our low points this last weekend, and aim for bouncing more or less back by October 1. Worthy goal. We’ll see when I get there.

About 35k on Gator’s story. Major firefight at the end going on. Full automatic and lots of explosions, so it’s going to be a bloody mess when I finish it. Lots of corpses, which is unlike what I normally write, but more appropriate for thriller, which this is. Will finish it this week and move on.

Next up is the fifth Marrakesh novel. Having fun with this one.

For the Cole Braddock “Commander Machesky” stories, I sat down with TOS and mined it for story ideas. For Marrakesh, I started off with Star Fleet Battles (the old table top tactical simulator) and then dug pretty deep into TNG. One thing that struck me was how much Star Trek is Space Fantasy, with magic, gods, time travel, and whatever other silliness comes up.

I try to write a more sober and less-fantasy space adventure. Marrakesh has no aliens, no gods, and no time travel. No Q-level beings wandering around like Gandalf handing out quests. No ancient evil prophesied to be defeated by whoever.

Just exploration and adventure.

But I sat down with the episode list of TNG’s middle seasons (once they had found their footing) and started looking for ideas that would be fun. Found several, but only writing one immediately. Maybe I’ll write several more as I go. Actually, I’m planning that, but everything slots into a writing schedule somewhere. More Corsac Fox. More Chace Haig. More Gator. More Beckett Fernsby.

Busy time. Good busy. Not depressed so much as mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted by it all and ready to move forward. 11 hours of sleep two nights in a row have helped. Fall slowly arriving around here (rained like hell last night) also improves things.

And I started fulfillment of the Kickstarter campaign for Corsac Fox #2: Mistaken Identity. Look in your bookfunnel library if you backed it. Postcards and paper going out soon, too.

Not much past that. Writing. Planning. Publishing. Will finish off Season One of Last Stand in December, along with Science Officer #13. Marrakesh will fill the first chunk of 2024, then more Corsac, then Air Pirates of Cyrenaica.

Hope your Monday is good. Mine is moving along nice enough.

shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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