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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Case Files: Crowdsourced

Case # 02-217846930-01-36

Lead Investigator: Agent Cerise

Supervisor: Agent Rosewood (01-03)

Abstract:  After a terrorist bombing at a Haven outdoor cafe earlier this week, unauthorized photos of potential suspects were leaked over the Net by the hacktivist group Noms de Guerre. Before S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. had issued an official description of the suspects, Red units were dispatched to protect those citizens who were falsely accused and to quell any vengeful reprisals.

Status: Closed without incident

Monday, April 22, 2013

SY: 1 - Day 21

It hadn't taken long to settle into the abandoned military base just off of Rt. 119. Less than two weeks here and the place already felt like home. Good thing, too.  We picked up a score and change more survivors after the skirmish with the bandits that broke up our convoy. The old construction tunnel wasn't fit for habitation and provided no refuge for folks who had good reason to mistrust each other. Hutch got into it with one of Rudy's guys over a jug of water; Hutch walked away with a split lip and the jug under one arm while the other guy still couldn't see quite right out of one swollen eye.

Thankfully, the base had plenty of walls to put up between folks with disagreements; it even had a sturdy brig to throw in the worst of the troublemakers if the occasion called for it. While our people were happy to have four walls and a roof over their heads again, we all had an uneasy feeling that the base wasn't quite as abandoned as it first appeared. Turns out, we were right.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Justice & Vengeance: The Boston Bomber

[The following is a fictional representation of the helplessness I felt at the time of the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Another coping method is donating to one of the following relief organizations found here.]

Two men stood perched on the rooftop ledge of Boston Public Library on the warm afternoon of April 15, 2013. Marathon runners had been crossing the finish line in singles, pairs and groups of all sizes for the last couple of hours. The men looked down on the peaceful and celebratory atmosphere of Boylston Street.

"Another minute or so," said one of them. He was wearing a sleek black two-piece suit with a black button-down shirt and a skinny black tie. Black shoes, belt and sunglasses completed his ensemble. Even his hair was a slicked up coal-black. If it weren't for his relatively pale complexion, the man could have been made entirely out of shadow. His brother was just as pale, but his gray eyes, white-blonde hair and all-white tunic, belt, pants and sandals set him apart rather dramatically.

"I absolutely hate this part," the brighter brother remarked. An explosion rocked the street below them, followed by the briefest of inhaled breaths before the screaming started. A second explosion ten seconds later sent waves of chaos smoking up and down Boylston. The shadow brother took a seat on the ledge.

"And now, we wait."

Monday, April 15, 2013

S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Case Files: Daedalus & Icarus

Case # 03-302149875-01-23

Lead Investigator: Agent Saffron

Supervisor: Agent Lemon (01-45)

Abstract: A hacker going by the net alias of Icarus took control of various S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.-controlled programs (transportation, food and medical ration delivery, sewage treatment, etc) resulting in a significant threat to the citizens of Haven. Icarus used modified programs of the infamous hacker known as Daedalus in order to infiltrate the system

Status: Closed 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Case Files, Justice & Vengeance and the Continuing Saga of SY-1

Like the great Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci, I have a helluva time finishing the myriad of projects I start. (Did he just compare himself to da Vinci? Why, yes he did!) I have no shortage of ideas or ambition to follow up on them. I can't even honestly protest that I simply "don't have the time" anymore. The only excuse I have left is that, since my job requires me to write/type on my computer for 7-8 hours a day, the very last thing I want to do in the time on either side of that daily grind is hop back on the laptop and continue writing. However, an excuse - not a reason - is exactly what that is.

So to get back into the swing of things, I'm going to embark on a number of short pieces that I should be able to draft up in less than a day and feel some sense of accomplishment once I post it here. They'll be a mix of revisits to familiar projects and totally new installments. What are they exactly? Crawl on to find out!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Because 3AM Is As Good a Time As Any to Write

When's the last time you had a really terrifying nightmare? I'm talking about the type that wakes you out of a sound sleep, forces you to turn on the lights and check every shadowy nook and cranny of your room before you can even think of going back to sleep. For most people, I'll assume that event was more common in childhood than as a completely rational adult with often boring or unremembered dreams. That's the way it was for me anyway, until tonight. I'd only been asleep for about two hours when a sequence of horrendous and blood-chilling visions snapped my eyes wide awake. I feebly attempted to roll over and head back to sleep but no, no that was not happening. So I did what any writer would do: hopped on the computer and started jotting down notes and details. Not only did this particular nightmare produce a fantastic idea for a story, it spawned its own title as well! Crawl on to find out more.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Gender Divide in Contemporary Fiction

Last week, I was bummed when my two submissions didn't make the cut for Miss Snark's First Victim's 2013 Bakers Dozen Auction. The 60 results (35 YA/MG, 25 Adult) that will be looked over by agents and editors were posted early this morning. So of course I had a look. Expectations were high. I mean, if my loglines and samples weren't good enough to pass muster, that's fine; but I expect to see some really solid stuff up there. For the most part, my expectations were met. There are a few entries that caused me to shake my head in disbelief, but that's the nature of the subjective gate-keeping process. Know what's interesting thought? The selected samples featured an obvious imbalance in protagonists' genders, favoring one much more than the other. The causes behind this range in complexity but I think it's worth taking a look. Crawl on for a breakdown of the entries, the apparent gender divide and possible explanations for it.