May 25th, 2015


Memorial Day - Part IV - A Story

Memorial Day (Observed)

Memorial Day weekend. Big noisy movies in the cineplexes. War movies on cable, including Kelly’s Heroes and Rambo III. The 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. PBS shows the National Memorial Concert with Joe Montagne and Gary Sinise. Picnics. Beach. A day off. One whole Facebook post which showed a red poppy on a hat. 10pm Sunday night and someone has just set off some fireworks… in the rain.

This morning the Sunday Grand Rapids Press had an article about two little girls who started something in April of 1862. And there is where my story comes from.

“Memorial Day-IV”
by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon

Friday 31 May 2943
West End Cemetery
Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, Nordamericano, Earth (Sol III)
     Wsh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sha.  The eight o’clock superslide from Chicago 
to Detroit passed by on the elevated techcrete track.  It was already slowing 
from 450 kph for Kalamazoo.  
     The old man was eighty-five.  He didn’t move so fast these days, but 
that wasn’t stopping him.  This section of the cemetery had opened in 2880, 
the year the war with the aliens began.  He took his time, pulling the weeds 
from around the black grantex markers.  One, two, three.  He used to count 
them.  Now he just looked to see how many rows were left.
     Wsh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sha.  The nine o’clock superslide from Detroit 
to Chicago passed by accelerating to 450 kph having just left the downtown 
Kalamazoo station.  
     Number 47 was always the hardest.  PAUL J. KUYPER (2858-2883).  They’d 
gone to school together, enlisted in the Fleet Marines together and even both 
shipped out on the cruiser USFS Kalamazoo (CCH-733).  Paul was the only man 
in this cemetery he personally knew.
     Wsh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sha.  The ten o’clock superslide from Chicago was 
arriving in Kalamazoo.  
     The old man had finished the weeding and was walking back to the start.  
He gathered his pack with the flags in it, preparing to cross an American and 
a Michigan flag to the left of each marker, and a Unified flag on the right.  
But on the grantex base of the first marker were a couple of early spring 
wildflowers with their stems twisted together.  And the next.  And the next.  
Five markers in all.  They hadn’t been there before.
     He looked around, but didn’t see anyone at first.  Then he spotted the 
two girls coming from the open fields to the west, bearing whole armloads of 
     Donna, 8, and Theresa, 11, often came to the cemetery park.  They’d ride 
bikes up and down the paved paths or wander through the fields looking for 
bugs or frogs or turtles by the pond.  They’d gathered up bouquets of 
wildflowers this morning to take back to their mom.  But when they spotted 
the old man cleaning the base of the stones, they’d shrugged their shoulders 
and started putting their flowers down.  They quickly ran out and ran back 
for more.
     They stood and watched the old man start to plant the flags.  He didn’t 
touch their flowers.  So they went and did eight more markers.  And when 
they started heading back to the field, the old man wordlessly handed them 
a cloth bag with a handle so they could carry a lot more flowers at a time.
     Wsh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sha.  The eleven o’clock superslide to Chicago 
sped up out of Kalamazoo.  
     Wsh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sha.  The noon superslide arrived in Kalamazoo.  
     The girls’ mother followed the tracking on her own bike, to get them 
to come back for lunch.  She found them quietly placing flowers while the 
old man placed flags.  No one else was about.
     The mother joined the girls in gathering more wildflowers.  The old man 
rested from his labors, waiting for them to come back so he wouldn’t get ahead.
     Wsh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sha.  They paid no attention to the one o’clock 
superslide streaking by the cemetery.
     But they kept on laying flowers and planting flags at the bases of the 
newly weeded markers.

"Memorial Day-II" for Memorial Day 2010 (DW) (LJ).

Dr. Phil
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Crossposted on LiveJournal

Whew... Made It... Finally

Wow. I never expected Version 1.10 of the Great YA Trilogy project to last this long. It was started on 13 March 2015 and I'm closing it out and moving onto Version 1.11 on 25 May 2015. This ends Book 1 Edit Pass 1.
Book 1 Part A Pass 1 Page 368 -- completed ‎04/‎03/‎2015 16:28:59
‎Book 1 Part B Pass 1 Page 750 -- completed 05/‎25/‎2015 16:52:22

In 73 days, Book 1 Part A grew by 30% and Book 1 Part B a whopping 130%. Book 1 total went from 126,444 to 211,544 words or 1165 words/day, plus edits.

As I mentioned before, Book 1 Part B was in "worse" shape than I'd been thinking, with several large sections I had written in my mind, but little on the paper. That happens, not a problem. Until one is trying to finish, of course. (grin) Yes, some things may be cut back or even edited out. But I wanted all the pieces in. I kept on moving the day I was expecting to finish. I'd hoped by Friday, but there was a big scene I really felt I needed to include -- and it took some time. (It'll actually be revised in Edit Pass 2, but I chose not to do the research the other day.)

At this point, what I am calling Book 1 is clearly at least two books. At 70,000 words each, it could easily be three -- I am avoiding doing this because I really like where the break currently is. The bad news is 100,000+ words isn't really typical YA novel length.

I took a little time last night to write a little 540 word short story for Memorial Day (DW) (LJ) -- something I've done before. And then I'm going to take some time working on a novella for submission. Not so bad to take a couple of days away.

No Office Hours last week or this week.

Next up, though, is Book 1 Edit Pass 2, where I finish getting names and place names finalized. This could be painful, too. But I really want to get it done quickly. Pass 2 is NOT a general editing pass, so... maybe a week? For Edit Pass 3, though, I really only have to Book 1 Part A, the first half, in order to come up with something to sent to Lulu for coming up with preliminary books for Beta readers. Would REALLY like that to be the end of June.

We shall see.

New Researches: Forsvarsmuseet, The Armed Forces Museum of Norway, is located at Akershus Castle in Oslo. Oslo founded around 1000 A.D. Oslofjorden is an inlet (not a real fjord) in the south-east of Norway, part of the Skagerrak strait, connecting the North Sea and the Kattegat sea area, which leads to the Baltic Sea. Oslo (OSL) to Copenhagen (CPH) SAS 1469, Boeing 737-800. Seat 17A has extra legroom, since there is no Seat 16A. Copenhagen (CPH) to Chicago (ORD), SAS 943, Airbus A340. Seat 3H, rightside window (2+2+2 seating). Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was in service from 1976 to 2003. The Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim in Germany is the only museum which has both a Concorde and a Tupolev Tu-144 "Concordski" on display. Arnhem, Netherlands. Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden and the largest lake in the European Union. The Daim bar came out of Sweden and Norway as a sort of Heath chocolate bar. Heath wouldn't give them a license but did give them the list of ingredients to the Heath bar. Huh. Société Bic, maker of Bic pens and lighters, is based in Clichy, France. Sankt Olav domkirke is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oslo. Catholics, including 70% immigrants, make up about 5% of the population, making Norway the most Catholic country in Nordic Europe. The northern part of Norway is in the Prelature of Tromsø -- once part of the Apostolic Prefecture of the North Pole. Catholicism was illegal in Norway between 1537 and 1843 -- priests could be executed. Svinesundbrücke/ Svinesundbroen is the bridge on the E6 at the border between Sweden and Norway, spanning the Svinesund sound of the Iddefjord. The old bridge had an arch under the roadway, the new is suspended from an arch over the roadway and is quite lovely. The Svinesund tollkontor on the Norwegian side handles customs controls, since Norway, while a member of NATO, is not a member of the EU.

A surprising amount of research, until one realizes the new sections which had to be written in the past ten days.

All the shiny counters now advance to:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 1)

The Lost Kingdom Project YA Trilogy Version 1.10 (05-25-15 Mo, 1412 pages)

Book 1 Part A (103,792 words, starts page 47) / Part B (107,752 words, starts page 382)

Book 2 Part A (76,905 words, starts page 41) / Part B (50,650. words, starts page 317)

Book 3 (starts page 40)

The Lost Kingdom Fourth-Fifth Novels Version 4.10 (05-25-15 Mo, 68 pages)
Book 4 (4894 words) / Book 5 (11,737 words)

The Lost Kingdom Sixth Novel Version 5.10 (05-25-15 Mo, 16 pages)
Book 6 (1629 words)

I won't kick myself about the length of Book 1 Parts A/B until I get to the point where I can sit down and read it -- and have Beta readers give it a go. I am so pleased to not have to teach until September.

And for those of you who have seen the news that SF author John Scalzi announced a $3.4 million dollar, thirteen book, ten year deal with Tor -- No, this does not mean that my mammoth epic will automagically generate six or seven figure book deals. John is a proven, solid author with an excellent track record for completing things and is a full-time author. Good news for John, congratulations, but these sorts of deals in SF/F are outliers. Not the norms.

I am smarter and more realistic than thinking I'm working towards a deal like that. (evil-grin)

Dr. Phil
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