>>> Time Warp

The end of 2021… and not a bit of progress on Starshine. I’m coming to the distinct realization that I will need to commit to writing from a place of personal desire for telling a great story – or I’ll never dedicate the time to become a working writer.

The draw to becoming a writer was always the thought of doing something I love and making a living from the doing. The classic combination that equals the best job ever. But I need to rekindle my desire, my love of writing.

A part of me thinks, “It’s not a matter of if, but of when.”

If that’s true, then it’s still truly up to me. Can I do better than System Seven? I’m positive I can… I know what I missed and what it lacks. So when?

I suppose we’ll see.

Letter from Starshine

SATURDAY, 8:25pm – JUNE 19th, 2028 [mission time]

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, mostly because there hasn’t been much to update. Starshine… the forgotten mission? Might as well call it that. Fortunately, in the world of storytelling, there is a thing called literary stasis – where the world in creation freezes in time. Things remain as they are until the observer (me, the author) reappears to continue the work.

And I’ve returned to the world of Starshine.

Almost six thousand words in the past week, a decent growth spurt. Spawned by…? A few things. The largest being UFOs/UAPs being in the mainstream media and being taken ‘seriously’ by the military (publicly). If ever there were a time and place for the world and story of Starshine, it is right exactly now. Funny (read: sad), if I had been taking my writing seriously for the past couple of years, Starshine would be ready to query for. I think I could find an agent wanting to work with it right now.

Another reason for the return is simple life focus – the ‘where do I want to be in ten years’ question resounded with near stadium effect when I turned fifty last year. Now I’m coming up on the five-one and the question is louder, more poignant than ever, demanding a relevant, serious answer.

Lastly, the return is due to curiosity. I want to know what happens to James and Sonya, their fathers, the crews of the Concordia and the Bangor, and what impact GCom’s totalitarian guardian stance has on the future of Earth. Does the military’s black-project funded role of protector know any boundaries? Are they really the best representatives of our species as we prepare to enter the galactic neighborhood? And what do the Others really want for mankind? So many questions, so many possible answers and outcomes.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that my status as a single man by choice does help (going on six months). It is well known among writers that the craft often requires solitude – the bulk of it is a solo endeavor. Without relationship concerns or distractions (blissful or otherwise), a canvas of time reveals itself, waiting only for me to turn my literary brushes and palette and attention to it. I’m using the canvas for my writing but also for self-development, as a rediscovery period for myself. Seems like most of my life has been spent in relationships and this stretch is for me alone to experience. I’m only now beginning to realize what a gift it is.

So it is with renewed gusto that I resume the mission. The numbers? 68.3k words within 200 pages. Story progress? Almost the 3/4 mark, targeting ~100k words. Next milestone is completing the first draft. A small break, then the first rewrite. Then another small break while I share it with one or two willing readers. Then the second rewrite. After that, querying agents. Yes, this story will not be self-published. It will rise on the heat of its own merits or be dashed in the fields of rejection.

So there’s an update. May your story continue to unfold. ☯

Excerpt from ‘Starshine’

From chapter six:

It wasn’t that she was scared, but having James stay the night again felt better than being alone. Finding out about the beams was disturbing beyond what she had imagined. How could anyone use ESSI technology against humans? Questioning authority wasn’t something she was used to, even though her mother had coached her to do just that. Sneaking around with illegal technology and prying at the institute’s computer systems was the furthest from her comfort zone that she’d ever been. If they were going to investigate ESSI, being together felt better, felt right – and less vulnerable.

They stayed up late drinking in the gazebo in the backyard, listening to music and talking about anything other than what they were getting into. James shared that he was impressed with her surfing and her love of riding motorcycles. They commiserated about being children of high-ranking officers, although James’ childhood was a lot more challenging than Sonya’s had been. Out of the blue he asked about Markis.

“So what is it about the Paris guy that’s got you so hooked? I mean, how do you form a crush on someone you’ve never met?”

She laughed, more to offset her discomfort. “I’m not hooked.”

“Puhleez… okay, what drew you in, then?”

She sipped her wine, reflecting. “Why do you want to know?”

“Just curious.”

His interest was interesting. “It’s hard to explain. Sort of weird.”

“Try me.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“What’s it going to hurt?”

She thought, apparently not you. “Fine. It’s his eyes. Flat out dreamy. Like they’re beaming dreams.”

“Beaming dreams?” He swirled the beer in his mug.

She laughed. “I said it’s hard to explain.”

For a moment she saw his own beam and wished she hadn’t told him. She would have sworn his eyes said, How can I compete with that?