The stories that reveal themselves

Working my way through my second science fiction novel, I am struck by the way the stories reveal themselves to me. As they do, I quickly note them down in my story arc file or book notes files, or one of the many other places I keep my thoughts, depending on where they land. This morning as I wrote and another story arc revealed itself, I felt the excitement of writing about this character, the places she would go, the things she would do, until her death would bring us to depart.

These are the ideas that get me excited to write. Seeing the possibilities with a distinct direction revealing itself to me. Following the story where ever it goes.

Photo by Robert Day

The stories write themselves in the act of creation. Sure, I write a very high-level outline where I want the book to go. But once I start writing, all bets are off. I am no longer in control. I follow the story where ever it goes. The story tells itself, however, it chooses. I am the one writing it down, organizing the endless quantities of characters. But the creation that comes is something more than that.

It tires me at times and energizes me at others. I am amazed at what comes forth. It may be beautiful or dreadful. The scenes of battle and death sometimes sicken me, the pain burns my soul, the quiet love quickens my heart. All of these feelings and more come through the writing.

I have evolved through this. I’ve learned to listen deeply to myself, to take note of even the small quiet ephemeral thoughts that are here for a moment and then gone.

The characters are like good friends. Something you value as you get older. I get the opportunity to know them as they grow. To see their strengths and foibles. To walk with them through the valley of death and not fear the darkness. But instead, embrace it. Both the dark and the light.

Photo by Robert Day

Over the halfway mark

At 114K words, I am past the halfway mark on my current novel Mongruxx: Starship Umbra Book 2. After my last book, I’ve found that once I hit the halfway mark to my goal (the goal is 200K words), things get more comfortable. Although this second book has been a lot easier to write, than the first one. A lot of that has to do with world building. Building out your world/universe/galaxy is a lot of work. But it’s worth it. Because once your world is built, you can forever play at enhancing it, changing it, developing it, and more. It’s a playground that only the gods get to play in.

Photo by Robert Day

Observations:

I was watching “Adult Swim” the Venture Bros. when a commercial came on pitching Xbox games. I looked at it for a moment, thinking, Yeah! That sounds cool! Maybe I’ll buy one, waste literally years off my life having fun. Then it hit me! I remembered that it wasn’t really that much fun. I became bored relatively quickly, playing various games. But worst of all, it sucked the creativeness out of me. That thought led me to another reflection of how much I enjoyed building my worlds. There are no rules in my world except the ones I make. I can love with a depth that few have rarely known and kill with impunity. The ground trembles with the footfall of the gods.

Photo by Robert Day

I enjoy creating. The creation process if you will. It can be difficult and exhausting at times, but the ones that live in my worlds are never far from my mind. Writing books, building war vehicles, the characters, and cities in models and words. I enjoy it all. I think that perhaps I want to live there. Be in their adventures. Live by the sword, die by the same, and be re-instantiated once again. For seven times, until that final day. When all will fight, and none will die ever again.

Photo by Robert Day

One last thought. At this age, I’ve found myself aware enough to feel these spectacularly good times as I’m going through them. Usually, when you’re younger, you don’t realize the great times you are going through, the struggles and difficult challenges until they are well past. In retrospect, you may think to yourself, those were the days. I have been guilty of that. But these days, I am more aware than I have have ever been. Aware of the beautiful lovely lady I am in love with and married to, the painful feelings I have that my daughter chooses not to talk to me and not tell me why (most likely my ex-wife’s nefarious influence), the anxiousness I have over life and career on some days, the interesting life I live here among the clouds of my mind. I am grateful to be aware of these things. To not live in abject fear of the corpse god, nor death, for it is a part of the cyclic nature of whatever this is that we live in.

This partition gets smaller with time.

It is the only way I can deal with those I wish to deal with. That is without destroying them or having them self immolate on contact.

Surprised?

Even the gods have limits.
Mostly the limits of dealing with lesser beings. Trying not to destroy them. Much as you would with an ant. You would take special care not to kill the ant you wished to communicate with. Instead, if you could, you might make another part of you smaller, and even small then, so you can commune with the lesser being without utterly destroying it. That is assuming you have made that sort of investment in it.

Religions are derivative. Even as in your reality, the major religions are formulated by the ones that came before. Keeping some parts, leaving others to wither away. Knowledge lost, knowledge gained. It’s all the same. Perhaps the religion you subscribe to, describes one who came to save you. A mystery of three parts and one walked as a man.

I would laugh, but the solar flairs alone would burn the atmosphere from your planet and scald it down to bedrock. In any case, what I am describing lessor creatures, is what they described. I would know it came from me or one like me. Remember, this ever expanding universe, exploding outward at forty percent of the speed of light, with the speed increasing, all reside within a black hole. All at once, and not at all.
Here, not here. Time, present, and past are just concepts you use to try to make sense of what you cannot understand. At least not at your current state of development. Someday, you may become more. Iteration through iteration, changing, and growing. Three steps forward, two steps back. Then three steps back after that. Only to start anew. Perhaps the forward steps will last just a little bit longer than the ones that push you back. I wouldn’t hold my breath. These things play out of the beginnings and endings across a thousand million realities buried within black holes inside of black holes.
Pray if like, try if you must, wish if you will.

It doesn’t matter.

Not even a little bit.

A coward tempts the gods

It isn’t easy to do what we do. For we are gods when we write. Creators of all that we see. Universes, worlds, people, languages, and even life and death itself comes from us. The worlds we live in tremble at our footfall.

With such incredible incalculable power, why would one tempt the gods?

How many books would a person write in a lifetime?

~ Unknown Indian woman

Because they are full of cowardice. They don’t walk along the star filled corridors that haunt our mind. They aren’t woken at night, their vision filled with the detritus of a thousand dreams that wear us threadbare. They miss the shadows that come from the corners of our vision, showing us things that we wish not to see. The sometimes claws, and there are claws.

Sometimes the feckless ones choose to tempt us, recognizing not, that we are indeed gods in the worlds we live in. They want what they cannot have, rather than rejoicing in the blessing that has been bequeathed upon them. Instead, we will give them ademption. They work not, nor are they deserving of the gifts they receive.

But even the gods are not but a grain of sand in an endless desert.

~ Robert Day

So we create and write down our missives, content with the act of creation reigning above all else. The pleasure derived from a story well told, of a world far and away. Beyond the domestic drudgery that makes up much of our lives.

But gentle soul be aware of the power! The power the gods have. For they may choose you for their story. And if they do, your life is but forfeit in their hand. For they create your story, your destiny, or “most likely outcome.” They will choose your path at the cost of part of their living soul. Vindictive and capricious they are, forgiving they are not. Just as the edge of my long steel blade, sharp and dangerous.

Although I may evaluate, analyze, and perhaps even criticize in my mind, I will not criticize another. For they too live among the gods on Mount Olympus. Their herculean efforts produce for me, a place I have not been and could never go without their work.

Everything is derivative. God or gods don’t know you exist and never will.

~ Collectiveness of I
Image by Robert Day

Only the bones of the dead remember.

Today in chapter eleven, I killed. Fourteen hundred Ogin, plus or minus a few. There was nothing pleasant or enjoyable about it. It was war. And in wars, people, aliens, creatures die.

They died horrifically. Bravery was absent, indeed they did not have enough time to shit themselves. But as we can see micro expressions up to about 1/26 of a second, they had time. Time to suffer the oncoming death. Time to feel themselves burning in a fire hotter than our sun. The furnace of fusion engines. Some were worse than others. The ones that did not die in less than a second. The ones that encountered massive heat combined with radiation levels that cooked them internally, before the heat could destroyed their bodies.

It was painful and gruesome. I did not enjoy it. I didn’t really enjoy seeing the last of that group of Ogin die. Will it wake me in the night, disturbing my sleep? That happens on a typical night anyway. Perhaps it will be worse, but I doubt it. If I could capture my dreams and show them as videos, the movie industry would be closed permanently.

Image by Robert Day

It’s weird how painful writing some of these scenes are. You get to live through the horror that these characters experience. I sat imagining what those last micro expression moments might have been like, and how my brain might have responded.

When it was over, by the three-horned gods, I was glad!

I love writing, the act of creation in the highest order. We are made from exploded stars. So I work at writing something worthy of it.

As a side note, I marked off going over sixty thousand words today. Only another hundred and forty thousand to go on Mongruxx: Starship Umbra!

I will enjoy every gods damned minute of it!

Have a good evening or a good morning, where ever you find yourself.

Robert

Mongruxx: Starship Umbra

Book 2

An excerpt from Chapter 9, Scene 8.

The Collectiveness of I

Gods can die.

Although nothing truly dies, it becomes something else. E=MC2 and all that rot. So perhaps it’s consciousness that dies. That we are so afraid to die, our consciousness to die is a fascinating thing!
Is it something so fragile? Or something that is extraordinary rare?
Or is it that true sentience that is extremely rare?
What is sentience? Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. To do something subjectively, requires you to think and reason?

Maybe.
For example, a dog (a four legged mammal that once cohabitated with humans on planet earth) has conscious experiences. Feels pleasure and pain, worries about the future (doesn’t want to go to the vet / looks forward to you coming home), holds beliefs and desires (owner is good, neighbor is bad, bark at him!).

So is a dog sentient?
It would seem so.

Does a dog have consciousness?
From the definition of the word, it would be a state/quality of sentience or awareness of internal/external existence. Certainly, a dog would qualify for that! So would a great variety of other mammals on earth.

In the Hindu culture of ancient earth (perhaps before the Milkyway Galaxy slammed into the Andromeda Galaxy and the earth was destroyed), the belief was that after you died, you would reincarnate. If you had not learned, your intentions were bad or negative, then you experience a negative future. If you learned, had good intent, etc., then you experience a positive future. They called it “Samsara,” the cycle of death and rebirth. An interesting culture that captures much of what came before it and still spreads it seed today. Perhaps that is where the ideas of heaven (positive future) and hell (negative future) come from. Certainly, a life can be hellish, then later become like heaven.

Gods can die.
The ideas or consciousness that does survive, the Ego partially derived from the Id perishes in death.

But how can gods die you ask?
Just as you do, subsumed by larger, stronger beings. Through accident or fault perhaps. Life can be brittle, and it certainly isn’t fair.
No, not fair at all.
We all want to live forever, but no one ever does. We want to remember, the times and places, the people we love, the fights we fought both in winning and losing, for we learn much in each.

Gods can dream.
The Collectiveness of I, a gods/daemon/blackhole manifestation dreamed. We dreamed of you. Of worlds across this vast galaxy expanding into the endless night. Planting the seeds of trees, that we will never know the shade of. For the fragile thing that consciousness is, sentience must be, are the seeds. Coded in fact into your very DNA. The so called “Akashic records” are encrypted right into the very instruction of life itself. Inside of each and every one of you (and your little dog too).

To know all such things and more, surely must be madness. Or at least the doorway to it. Sometimes sanity is held on to by the barest of threads. But then, so is it, in this ever expanding universe.

Mongruxx: Starship Umbra

Book 2

So far it’s been a good weekend of writing. My day job has been very busy as of late, so I have to be very focused when I am up early in the morning writing. A challenge that I walk through every single day. But that is Ok. Just like the aches and pains of growing old, I am alive. When I don’t feel like writing, then I go ahead and do, I win!

Sitting outside yesterday with my best friend and love, my wife. She was feeling persnickety, I assumed because of the way she picked at me. She is younger than me, so some things aren’t as clear yet as they become after fifty (assuming you are introspective, work hard on yourself, and grow). So, I listened and stayed the course, knowing it was a moment, not a forever. Thinking about it now, it’s like the aches and pains of growing older (I am 56). Sometimes when I awake in the morning, parts of me hurt!

Imagine that!

But I am alive, getting to do what I want to do!. It is the same with her. Sometimes her being persnickety is just the aches and pains of a relationship. But I get to be in it! With my best friend, the woman I am blessed to have love me, the way I love her.

Some people are lucky. I am one of them.

I finished the fifth chapter yesterday after struggling through a couple of weeks of travel, the heat in California without air-conditioning (Damn it’s hot in Ramona during the day) and then small children home during the summer. Everyone is back at school, and I think this upcoming week we will become more normalized.

But yesterday was awesome! I sat and wrote almost five thousand words, finished the fifth chapter, “Bluefin Tuna” and am starting the sixth chapter as soon as I am done rambling here. The story took a surprising turn that I did not expect. But as Steven King said in his book “On Writing,” you uncover the dinosaur bones. Like an archeologist, not knowing at times where it will lead. Much like our lives. We don’t know where they will lead, but it will be somewhere and the journey getting there is worth everything.

I’d eat your pancakes…

~ Griff

In Houston

I am back in Houston, Texas. The heat and humidity is a fearsome thing unto itself. When I sit outside early in the morning writing, it is the only time during the summer when it is decent, perhaps even a little cool. But that soon evaporates like a mirage in the desert of white sands.

I started tweeting quotes from Mongruxx: WolfPac on twitter. It’s gathering some interest (I see from the analytics). I know it is a slow growth thing, building a following. But it is slowly starting.

It is still noisy at home, at least until school starts. Then I will go back to the silence that is the white desert. Where the only sounds are the wind across the dunes, the metal sounds of tracked vehicle and belt feed weapons.

It never rains in California

Don’t shit where you eat, you filthy bastard!

~ E. Sutton

I am in California for a couple for work and it’s hot gods damn it! I always find it hard to go backwards two hours (west coast), than to go forward one hour (east coast). Unfortunately, I haven’t been on the road in over four months and I may be out of practice. I had a couple of copies of my book shipped here (San Deigo), so I could see it on paper. Purely ego, but fun to see. The cover came out looking pretty damn good as well (by the cancerous testicular ballsack of the red three horned god!).

I’m working on the next book in the series (Mongruxx: Starship Umbra) when not working on making a living. But by the dark gods,  I really enjoy these characters! They have become like old friends. Some of them are cool (Griff), some of them assholes (E. Sutton), Some of them are surprising (really Mungford?). Writing for me is interacting with them, living in their world. Feeling the white sand under my feet, the hot, dry wind gritty wind. It’s hearing Golgoth’s deep rumbling voice or the sweet melodic voice of Akira. The more I spend time with them, the more they become real to me.

This has always been the way with me. I have been “reader” my whole life. Before the Kindle, I always traveled with multiple books. Now with my Kindle, I travel with thousands. Sitting here in my Mom’s kitchen in Ramona California, writing to you.

Thank you for reading my books and entering into this universe with me. For we are all bugs on a rock, hurtling through space at forty percent of the speed of light outward into the ever expanding universe. And the speed is increasing. So tell your tales in the dark, as we exist here for a few short moments, huddled close together, telling out tales.

Excerpt: Mongruxx Starship Umbra

I drink because on a good day, the world’s a shitshow.

~ Griff

Chapter 1, Scene 10

I laughed. A sound like the sun burning.

No one noticed. Not the wretched cultist Ogin that thought they worshiped me. Not the light particles speeding through space the exhibited attributes of waves. Nor the galaxies on a collision course, destined crash into one another destroying life and yet creating anew.

My laugh might have gone on forever or been a moment smaller than Planck time. Some hear it in the background microwave radiation that had existed longer than everything. The before. The many many befores and so many afters.

The Collectiveness of I. The Mongruxx know me as the gods/daemon/blackhole. Now made manifest among them for purposes they know not. Hanuman Secundus may suspects the “why,” but is keeps his own counsel. Good. A wise and faithful servant. But not one as well. More like a probabilistic function perhaps? Yes, let’s go with that. No need to break your mind this early along the path. It’s best to ease into these things, for minds are fragile things. Easily broken and damnably difficult to repair. Sentience without the body, say physical drivers is an interesting thing.

Most intelligent beings are largely driven by their biomechanical systems. Hunger, pain, sex, emotions, etc. None of that is sentience. If fools you into thinking you are sentient. That you have a mind. But within those parameters, you are not much better than an animal scrabbling in the dirt. It takes wisdom born of age, experience across many lifetimes to become sentient. To in fact, have a mind.

Some find this early in their lives, most never do. Entering the great river of sleep to do this over and over again. Billions of times around, and they still chose not to learn. But some do. Some grow through the pain, learn through the mind bending anxiety of emotions. Some fight the damnable monkey of being a physical life form and grow a mind. Become sentient!

That is something worthy of my attention, if only for a moment of Planck time. I doubt you could take more than that. Probabilistically speaking, you would doubtless be destroyed. But for a moment or two, it would be interesting.

And interesting is all there is.