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Friday, March 28, 2008


Well, I might as well admit that it doesn't look like I'll be keeping this blog regularly updated for the foreseeable future. The crisis won out over the confidence -- I'm just not that into it when I know so few people are reading it. Internally, I can't find the emotional justification for taking that much time every day.

On the other side of things, I will say that part of the reason why my output for this blog has waned is because I've been allotting most of my creative thinking time (and most of my actual writing time) developing Hard Core Heroes. I've got all of the major characters (i.e. the team) developed, including significant backstory and motivation, as well as part of the general world situation. I've also sketched out a dozen or so scenes in my head, and written 499 words of the first chapter. (To add to that word count, I've also got 1370 words of notes written down.)

So, thanks to anyone who actually read any of this stuff -- sorry to disappoint you if you were expecting more. If you care to check back periodically, there will likely be other posts as inspiration strikes me. Also, if, by some bizarre whim of the Internet, I see my viewing statistic start to rise dramatically, I will definitely be inclined to resume my regular blogging. That's kind of taking the Field of Dreams thing in reverse: "If they come, I will build it."

As a bonus, I will include the first 499 words of Hard Core Heroes, chapter 1 (as they stand right now). Enjoy.


It was cool for spring, but sunny. Ulrich stood in the patch of sunlight beside the desk, ignoring the visitor's chair, his black skin soaking up the warmth. The occupant of this office was absent -- late, in fact -- but Ulrich could wait. He was good at waiting.

At exactly seven minutes after one, Lieutenant Colonel Cowan entered his office, blowing on a mug of coffee. He sat down at his desk, carefully placing his drink away from the folders arrayed on the blotter, and straightened his tie. Only then did he look up at Ulrich, his glance flickering over the open trenchcoat, the grey fedora, and the glossy black leather of size fourteen shoes.

"If you'd care to sit, I can have a better chair brought in."

Ulrich shook his head. "That's alright. I can stand."

The officer held Ulrich's gaze for a moment, trying to penetrate the matte black eyes.

"You may have heard rumours, Captain Stevenson, about-"

"Please. I resigned my commission a long time ago."

Cowan cleared his throat. "Mr. Stevenson, then? Fine. The rumours, then, are true."

Ulrich's voice rumbled through the room. "It's about time."

"My thoughts exactly. And the Senator's also."

The coffee in Cowan's mug quivered with dark rings as Ulrich crossed deliberately over to the window. He stared out at the Sherman tank preserved in the square below. He remembered those big metal beasts. Riding on the back, straight into enemy fire, army greens torn all to hell.

"And you want me on the team." It was a statement, plain and simple -- not a question, not a challenge.

"Actually, we want you to lead the team." Ulrich could hear the smile in the Lieutenant Colonel's voice.

He cocked his head. Sunlight barely glinted off his cheek. Turning to look back over his shoulder, he carefully appraised this desk jockey officer. The guy had probably never seen real combat. Of course, he was probably good at his job, or he wouldn't be an Lt.C. Not reporting to the Senator, anyway.

"What's the catch."

Cowan opened a folder on his desk. He tapped at the papers for a moment, and then slid across the blotter toward Ulrich.

"We reinstate you. With a promotion."

"Major Stevenson, hmmm? What if I say no?"

Ulrich watched Cowan's smile grow wider, and a sly twinkle grew in his eye.

"Then you don't get to choose who's on the team...."

* * *

"This is your whole list?"

Ulrich leaned forward across the long steel table, resting his elbows on the painted green surface. With his jacket hung on the tree in the corner, and his sleeves rolled up, the table clanked audibly with the contact. Across from him, Cowan and his aide, a young flunky lieutenant named Washburn, sat uncomfortably on the steel bench that flanked the table.

Comfort and discomfort had long stopped having any meaning to Ulrich. What was important to him was the durability of his furniture, and heavy gauge steel was the way to go.



At 11:24 AM, April 04, 2008 , Blogger Frank said...

Looking forward to more.


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