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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!

Just so you don't think I'm a complete slacker, I have been trying to push my complete and polished novels through literary agents lately. My attempts have met with varying degrees of success and failure. But that's the long haul! In the short term, rather than start up another long-form work, I've got it in mind to try out a number of much smaller projects that I'll host here on the blog. Here's what I'm thinking of for starters:

S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Files
Those of you who have read Indigo will be familiar with the dystopian world of Sector One and the corporate government that runs the show. While in the process of shopping the book to lit agents, I found that I rather liked playing around in that world and I'd love to revisit it. I already have sequels in mind for it but I won't be going down that road. Instead, I'll be writing up case files from each of the Agents of S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. from their time before the Indigo Project. Yes, that means new stories for Agents Umber, Saffron, Evergreen and Cerise, along with new insights into Ivory, Slate and Silver himself. This way, I'll be able to explore the grimy depths of Foundation City a bit more, along with the daily goings on in the elite city of Haven. I can't wait to see what new characters are lurking around the corner!

(Fun author fact: In an attempt to give each character's case a bit of distinction, I'm going to try listening to different types of music as I write. If you want to take a guess at who's up first, I'm currently listening to SiriusXM's "Electric Area." Stay tuned!)

I can't believe it's been three years since my last installment of SY: 1, a story that chronicles the world's first alien invasion via the diary of one of the saviors of humanity. This is one of those projects that just sort of fell by the wayside. I'd like to pick it up where we left off! I've always had a fun and original twist in mind for this story and it'd be a shame if it never got written out. Time to restring your bow and sharpen up those arrows!

Justice & Vengeance
This is an entirely new idea I've been toying with for a number of years. Much like people have been crafting stories around natural phenomena for hundreds of years (ie the spirits of fire, wind, water, etc), I've always wanted to see what personifications of somewhat more social concepts of "justice" and "vengeance" would look like. It seems like our world's news stories get more and more horrific every day from atrocities that occur on an extremely personal and individual level up to genocidal actions levied against whole populations. It's easy to get caught up in the injustice of it all and to feel helpless in the face of all this hate; I know I do. This is where Justice & Vengeance come in.

Imagine if, every time one of these awful events was in progress, two personifications of these social constructs were there to do something about it. Justice & Vengeance are all-powerful, God-like manifestations of our need to right wrongs, whether through our idea of justice (fair and reasonable punishment) or vengeance (extreme retribution). They have no weaknesses, no limitations, and answer to no one except each other (oh and their omnipotent creator - me). Each case by case basis will end with one or the other doling out their appropriate level of discipline, depending on the crime. Justice is fond of abiding to humanity's established moral code with a bit of tweaking, Vengeance is more than happy to take an eye for an eye.

The idea here is to take a source incident right out of the headlines and build a story around it, which will hopefully help to bring attention to the event (and give me an outlet for my feeling of helplessness). We'll see how this one works out!

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