The Two Hundred and Forty-Third Post: The One Where I Patiently Wait for The Artist…Oh, Who Am I Kidding?

I sent the information off for the artist and now I begin the delicate art of stalking my inbox until I get a response. I thought that as you got older you were supposed to get more patient. When I was younger (and yes, my skin crawls at the use of that phrase), I seemed to have infinite patience. Now? I think Twitter takes too long. Maybe it’s because I am surrounded by things that can get me access to my email account: my phone, my PC and my growing family of laptops (and we’re getting an addition today!). Oh – my team is playing tonight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thanks to the lax attitudes concerning listening to music and other devices (otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten SiriusXM), I can catch this game and hope that the Panthers can carry themselves to victory. They had better since the Bucs are floundering this season… then again; the Panthers are at 3-3 and barely hanging on to the hope of a play-off spot.

Anyways – the novel continues along with the group hightailing it out of the village with their newest companion Looks-Afar. It’s time to put them back into peril. I need to get them onwards to the rest of the tale. As much as I am looking forward to getting them to the next point, I know what’s going happen and I’m not really happy about it. But, hey – it’s in the service of the story, and they’ll get over it in time.

Nanowrimo is starting up next week and the first party is on the 27th. I am looking forward to this since I am going to try something new: double duty. I am going to continue working on Tyro’s novel, but when I get home from work, I am going to try to crank out the Nanowrimo novel as well. The idea is to see if I can do such a thing and if it doesn’t liquefy my brain too much, I will try working on two projects on a regular basis so that I can get more going and get more out there to be bought. After all, I need to get as much out there as possible. I know some people have told me that the answer isn’t going to be writing more books, but I would beg to differ on that opinion. As long as I am producing new things – and I don’t have a shortage of ideas right now – and I can use what’s new to point people to what’s older, I can hope to maintain a cycle of discovery. I doubt I am going to get Stephen King levels of production, but I am definitely going to try. Really, it’s either that or I lose my mind.

Oh – I’ve been giving Sleepy Hollow
some thought and I have an idea on what I would do differently. I am going to flesh it out a little bit and post it on Saturday – try to bring that little thing back.

Well, I should go to sleep, since it is going to be a long time before I get any good deep sleep… at least December 1st.

Thanks for reading.



Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Forty-Second Post: The One Where I’m Here… So Let’s Not Get Too Excited…

I just finished watching the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and it’s coming along. There are some little quibbly things I have with it so far (Agent Colson empties his whole clip into a guy on fire. Even I would have stopped after two shots and said ‘plan B – get me a fire extinguisher’, then douse him with CO2 and hit him on the head with the empty extinguisher. Seriously, you’re working with someone who shoots fire and you have electrical equipment. Ever hear of Halon? It’s not like they want him alive for a long time), but it’s a good ‘sit-back-and-watch’ show. This weekend after getting in a few hours of writing, I am going to get caught up on hockey and maybe Sleepy Hollow time permitting. This is going to be the one ‘vacation’ day where I do very little. The actual vacation, I intend on getting something done with the writing job. I’ll also need to get a model for some cover art.

Speaking of writing – I managed to hire an artist for the cover of the novel, and the revisions are being done as we speak. This will be the final pass. After this and when the cover art is ready, I am sending it off, washing my hands of whole matter and looking forward to the celebratory dinner at a nice restaurant across the river. Tyro is coming along (she’s one of the things I am going to work on during the vacation) and Nysa has managed to stammer out that she wants to stay – granted, she picked a bad time to say that she was leaving the group and Marah is not taking this well. Well, that’s not going to be a problem for much longer. Heh-heh-heh…

It’s Wednesday – meaning the half-way point until my vacation. If I can get through today, I can make it to the end. Thankfully, Tuesday wasn’t as arduous as it usually is in the first week of the month. I’ve found a message board for Kindle authors and I’ve been reading it and getting some advice on how to proceed with a lot of things…and it helps to see other people working at this and being successful enough to do it full-time. I’m sure I can get to that level of success. I just need to get something done and get going. Hopefully, I can get the novel out and done before too long. Personally, I will just be happy to have it out and no longer haunting me. It’s becoming like a houseguest who’s overstayed his welcome. It is time to give it a hat, coat and a friendly shove out the door to face the world.

Speaking of Wednesdays – I should get going and shower up for work. I hope everyone here has a good day. Thank you for reading this.



Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Forty-First Post: The One Where I Bounce Up and Down and Clap My Hands…

I got it! Well… not got but I pre-ordered Empowered volume 8! One – I like the character. Empowered is not just a pretty face. She’s someone committed to a cause, even to the point of personal embarrassment (you would be too if your suit was described as ‘wearing a soap bubble’) and she’s a lot more honest and forthright about it. Sure – the OEM has its Cinemax moments, but I can look past that and see a story about a courageous woman trying to defy all the odds. If you like comic books, then I highly recommend Empowered (follow the link to get volume one).

OK – that’s out of the way. Back to Tyro and the babbling. I am having a hard time with Nysa’s dialogue when she’s trying to tell the others that she wants them to go and she’ll remain behind. Writing Nysa is a three step process – a fun process at times, but a process nonetheless. Here’s an example: Nysa wants Tyro to share a milkshake with her (no, I am not thinking about McDonald’s chocolate milkshakes. Not at all… move along…). First, I think about what she wants to say:

“Give me some of your milkshake.”

As we can see, Nysa isn’t one for the subtle social niceties. Now, we fit in the code: Nysa refers to other people with a descriptive word. Tyro, in this instance, is always referred to as a body of water: river, ocean, wave… or a puddle is she’s being insulting. Another thing about Nysa’s speech is that she never refers to something by its name; it will be talked about in reference to the subject. The milkshake in this case will be referred to as sweet seafoam. If she was speaking to Mara, there would be a reference to metal. Nysa always refers to herself as fire – whether it’s a reference based on the fact that she’s a redhead (and in my head this woman portrays her), or that out of the group she’s the most volatile or that she has the most magical potential. Now this:

“Give me some of your milkshake.”

Becomes this after rewording:

“The fire wants to boil away the sweet seafoam and drink the steam from the sky.”

Yes – Nysa refers to herself in the third person. Trust me, this is the least irritating part of her personality. Now, Nysa has an odd syntax – and thanks to the Yoda Speak website I can just type in the dialogue and get it back in the right order. Once that’s done, now we have Nysa speaking in all of her babbling glory:

“To boil away the sweet seafoam and drink the steam from the sky the fire wants.”

So now we don’t know if she wants some of Tyro’s milkshake, or she wants to destroy all the water on the planet for a big steam bath. Isn’t Nysa just silly? With the scene I am trying to write, she wants to say this:

“The Master’s soldiers are coming! You have to run right now! I’m going to stay behind because I can lead them away from here if I have to, and I’m in love with the village elder’s boy. Now, go! Go!”

So, this is going to take me a little time to work around, so I might just focus on the other characters and come back to it during break so I can dedicate some hours to it.

I need to get to work. Nysa can’t babble to herself all day…well, she could, but that would be a boring story.

Thanks for reading.



Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Fortieth Post: The One Where I Begin the Countdown…

… until the birthday vacation! A week and a half of caring less about my job than I do now and catching up on hockey and Sleepy Hollow for me! I was finally able to watch the pilot and I am going to give you my review of what I have seen so far.

This is entertaining but lazy writing. The book of Revelation has been used to death. Same thing with the Four Horseman – while I don’t find it hard to suspend my disbelief and just enjoy the show, there is just the standard fallbacks for the show: religious conspiracy, the Bible, and misrepresented witches. Do I have any better ideas? Give me a minute. Let me watch a little bit more (yeah…poor me) and see what I could do. Some of you are going to say that I should have to see the rest of the series, and I intend to and if I have to eat a serving of crow then hand me my good fork. Just from the first blush – lazy. Don’t get me started on the kung-fu priest…

You may notice that there is no rambling about the nanowrimo project here; I’m still working out some things in my head so they’re not quite ready for the Internet yet. Tyro’s novel has been laying back untouched for the past few days, but I am going to go back to that. Right now, she’s trying to dig out a rock with the help of the hunda Looks-Afar. They are about going to get back on the road with the Master’s agents hot on their heels. They’ve had some good time in the village, and they’re going to be one short, but it’s time for them to go and get along with the rest of the story. I am hoping that the slight break will work out well for the novel. Speaking of novels – the first one has gotten an artist for the cover. I am going to get the money together to pay her and send what she needs. I am hoping for a release in the first of the year. It’s finally coming together!

I haven’t seen any movies in the theatre recently, but when my vacation comes around I am going to go see Gravity and might even see it in 3-D. Mostly, I am looking forward to the time off. The job is hectic and I know it’s going to get more-so with Christmas coming and the tree vendors. My advice? Use cash. Please. I beg you.

As the weather gets colder, I am considering getting some Death Wish coffee and stock up for winter. I need something that’s going to wake me up and keep me warm. Oh, and Borderlands 2 has some new DLC coming out Tuesday and I am going to buy it then and save it until Saturday. I should also get the updates so that I can get the characters up to level 72.

Well, I should get to work on the novel…or get some coffee. Either or. Have a good day and thanks for reading.



Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Thirty-Ninth Post: The One Where I Feel Like I Am Fresh Out Of Ramble

Hello, all. I am trying to get the rest of the outline done for today, maybe even finish up act three on Saturday in between the writer’s group, painting the ceiling tiles, cooking and maybe getting caught up on hockey and Sleepy Hollow. Right now, I’m at the library because the house is getting to be far too distracting. I got up much earlier than usual and I am finding it hard to get any mental purchase on the outline – or any other project really. Today, I am just going to chat openly about the outlining project and see what sticks in my head.


Right now, what’s going on is a bridge between the incident at the travel house and the discovery of either Danny’s hijacker or The Maw. I want to reveal a little bit about Ronda and what is driving her to help Danny. She is Touched, so she knows about the culture of the Rahsaya and one of the bigger taboos is that if you take someone’s body, you ward the spirit you displaced. Ideally, you put the spirit in a pocket dimension (work with me in this one) so that it is not aware of the time that has passed or that anything has happened. Rahsaya want as little attention drawn to them as possible. What the hijacker did was the moral equivalent of carjacking. Ronda is really sensitive about this not only because of her background (her father was a village elder and raised her with a very strict sense of right and wrong), but this was done to her a couple of times – several times by her own mother as a sort of punishment, which is why she’s is warded as heavily as she is. I am also going to try to start stirring the first few romantic notions in this scene, but I am unsure how to go about that. Danny is the squishy type – certainly not the person that we would think that Ronda would fall for. We would assume she would be following Brock around – someone who is strong and self-reliant. Danny certainly has a lot more respect for Ronda after finding out that her mother used that ability to keep her in line. They ride along in silence after that revelation.


Bleh. I didn’t get a lot of sleep. I think I am going to call it a day and let my mind wander about with this while I am at work. Sorry, y’all – I was hoping that getting to the library would help, but I think today is going to be a total wash-out. I did get a little done, but it’s not the massive amount I was hoping for. I will come back to the library later on and use it as an office, but I think I’ll just stick to my usual waking schedule since it’s close to the interstate and I can go from here right to work.

As always, thank you for reading. Next time will be better, I promise.



Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Thirty-Eighth Post: The One Where I Ramble With a Purpose, but I Forgot What It Was…

Where was I? Oh, yeah – tormenting poor Danny going down the stairs.

OK – Danny heads down the hall to the common room where some people are still passed out. He turns the corner, intent on trying to get into someone’s head, and comes upon a pack of wraiths sniffing around the unconscious. Danny ducks back behind a corner and watches what happens. Some of the people who are still conscious don’t pay attention to what’s happening (remember, they can’t see the wraiths) and some of the people who are unconscious are getting shoved out of their bodies by some of the less feral wraiths, while the more feral ones fall upon the separated spirits. Danny turns to run back to Ronda’s room, but he hears growling close to him. He tries to back through the wall to hide – unfortunately, the wall is too thin and he backs right into the common room, where the wraiths have gathered. He turns around to have one wraith land on him and snapping at his neck. Danny fights back, trying to wrestle himself away from the wraith and get to Ronda. He kicks it away and staggers to his feet. Danny rushes to one unconscious man and draws his knife – realizing that the knife is going to be next to useless…then he tries something out of desperation. He grips the knife and tries to mentally touch it, like he’s trying to put himself into it. The knife gets a small glimmer along the edge. The wraith jumps at Danny. Danny throws his arm out and stabs at the wraith half-heartedly. The knife sinks into the wraith – who is just as shocked at Danny and staggers away clutching his stomach. The other wraiths jump on the wounded one, tearing into him and temporarily ignoring Danny. Danny takes this opportunity to run for the room.

Running through the door, Danny reaches out and tries to shake Ronda awake. As he reaches out to touch Ronda, something shocks him. Danny feels pain (a biting) and remembers that Ronda is warded while she is asleep. He looks to the door, hearing the wraiths prowling around right outside. He touches the bed, hoping to get pulled back in like before. This time, he’s still in the room. He hears a scratching and a sniffing at the door. Danny tries to sink into the chair, but the knife stops him from doing so completely. He slides the knife under the bed and gets into the chair as the doorknob turns. While he’s in the chair, he gets limited information – mostly impressions and sounds. One wraith comes close to the chair, sniffing and growling. Danny hears them getting close to Ronda. He wants to yell out some sort of warning, but he’s worried that he would give away his location. He decides that he can get away from them and hide in another horse. He gets ready to hop up and run, but a squeal of pain serves as a reminder that Ronda his been doing this for a while and she can take care of herself. The wraiths sniff around a little bit longer, finally coming to the conclusion that there is nothing there for them to chew on. Danny stays in the chair for a few minutes until the coast is clear. Getting out, he gets the knife from under the bed and walks out into the common room. The room has some spirit remains – which makes Danny a little queasy because one of spirits seems to be conscious and ripped to shreds. Danny goes back to Ronda’s room, closing the door and locking it and bracing the chair against the door. He sits down next to the bed with the knife tightly gripped in his hands. The morning is long in coming for Danny.

Ronda (should we have a perspective change? Should we have a new POV?) finally stirs and looks down at Danny, who is still shivering from fright and still very wired from what happened. She asks what happened overnight. Danny spills everything – the attack, the knife and the attempt to get back into Ronda’s mind. Ronda congratulates him on surviving and figuring out how to make the knife able to wound spirits. She recommends that he should hang onto the knife for the time being. Danny asks about the spirit in the common room that’s been torn up and still conscious. Ronda follows Danny to the common room. She gets some ale and from behind the mug she says there’s nothing that they can really do to heal him. Her best bet is for Danny to try to take that spirit into himself, with that he can gain a little more power. Danny balks (and understandably) at the idea – that’s a man, not a hunk of meat to be cooked and eaten. She tells him that that’s the only way to end his suffering. She’d do it, but it would look odd for her to kneel down and talk while making scooping motions…besides, he needs more power than she does. Danny approaches the spirit and asks how he is going to do that. Ronda holds up her mug and while giving Danny a hard look ‘just pour it in me’. Danny sighs and kneels down before the spirit. The spirit – a teamster – holds up his hand for help. Danny takes it and apologizes. He brings up a memory of his mother pouring him some lemonade. The teamster cries out, begs for release and struggles. Danny holds on to the teamster’s hand, frowning and trying to hold on to the memory – now the teamster’s memories start to intrude…lemonade becomes whiskey and the mother morphs into a serving girl. He fights through both the intrusion of the new memories and his increasing guilt. The cries taper off and become silent. Danny is shaking again. He looks up at Ronda and says that he never wants to do this. Ronda finishes her drink and says that she needs to get going. Danny misunderstands this as that she doesn’t care and flips out. She pays for the drink and leaves, telling the publican that she’s got a long ride ahead of her. Danny continues along, following her to the stables. Ronda looks behind her and finally tells Danny directly that he needs to grow a pair. It is a hard life and if he wants to get back to his own body, he’s going to need to do hard things. What would have been crueler would to leave that spirit laying on the floor until the stars fall out of the sky and not doing anything. She gets on the horse and says either he can come along and do what he’s gotta do to get his body back, or he can stay there and suffer. She doesn’t have time to hold his hand. Danny looks at the travelhouse. She starts to ride out and Danny follows, saying that once he gets his body back, she’s free to do whatever she wants, including leaving. Ronda looked over her shoulder and says that he didn’t need his permission. They continue on, heading for where they think the body is.

OK – this is the end of this chapter. The act is going to continue on for another couple of chapters. Any critiques? Feel free to comment. Thanks for reading.


Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Post: The One Where I Just Ramble on about That Darn Boy…

OK – we last left off which Danny trying to learn how to sit (he succeeds in pretending there is a quilt over what he wants to sit on) and Ronda falling asleep. After a few tries, he manages to sit down without sinking into the chair and learning that it takes a special person to exist in a chair for anything longer than a few minutes. He experiments with stepping into the knives, the pitcher and some other minor things – Danny learns that when he’s inside the object, he’s still cognizant of what is going on around him and if he concentrates long enough, he can feel weaknesses and flaws – Ronda’s knife is developing a crack in the metal, the chair is starting to crack under the weight of the various people who have sat in it. He gets out of the chair and walks to the bed. He reaches down and touches to bed…and gets sucked down into the bed rather than passing into it.

Startled, he looks around – this isn’t the cramped confines of the bed, but he’s standing in a field next to a brook. Sitting on a rocky over hang is Ronda, a fishing line dangling on her hand. She looks up at Danny sits next to her. She is surprised about this – she’s asleep and Danny has managed to get around her mental defenses to get to her little area of peace. She says that Danny managed to do something that no one else has been able to do. She says she’s not mad, but startled and quickly sets some ground rules: don’t do this again unless asked. Don’t take anything – it’s not the principle of theft that she’s adverse to, but the notion that someone has come in and changed her mindscape. She also warns him that it’s a two way street – she knows what’s going on in his head, too. She pulls the line back up and lays on him a painful truth. Village Cutie isn’t interested in him – she’s just using him to get under Brock’s skin when she’s mad at him for whatever. Danny sighs and scratches his head – he doesn’t want to admit it, but deep down he knows she’s right. She also says that he needs to get a backbone and stand up to Brock, Old Man Ebenezer (the old man who runs the counting house) and most of the other people see him as a squishy accountant type. Danny shrugs his shoulders and asks how he’s going to go about it. Ronda smiles and says that by the time they’re done, he’s gonna jack Brock’s jaw just for looking at him funny. She stands up and pulls Danny to his feet. He asks why she’s helping him out. One: she feels sorry for the guy a little – no one deserves to get treated like that. Two: she knows Brock professionally and he deserves to get taken down a peg or three. Danny asks what the first lesson of the day is going to be. She says you’re doing it now – learning to get into someone’s head (literally) and soon he’ll be better able to control someone. He asks what the difference between getting into someone’s body and getting into someone’s head is. Getting into someone’s head will keep them alive, but it’s trickier to control them and make them move around. Getting into their body makes it easier to control them, but will kill them. Danny says he wants to work on that – especially the not killing aspect of it. Ronda tells him that they will start in the morning, right now – out he goes.

And out he is tossed from the bed and onto the floor. It is still late at night and quiet. Danny stands up and decides to poke around. Experimentally, he walks through the door and out into the hallway of the travel house.

Thoughts? Comments? All are welcome. I’ve got to go shower and get ready for work. Thanks for reading.


Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Thirty-Sixth Post: The One Where I Ramble Into The Darkness…and The Darkness Mutters Something and Rolls Over…

I am plunging ahead with the notes for the Nanowrimo novel, which is looking like something that might not be completed in the timeframe – but I will be able to get at least halfway through it when November 30th rolls around. Anyhow, we’re in Act 3, where the stakes are raised a little bit.

When we left our pair, they were riding off in the direction of Danny’s body-hijacker. Ronda tells Danny that he’s going to have to start pulling a little more of his own weight other than killing horses. Danny asks what he can do if he can barely pick up objects. Ronda tells him that when he enters objects he can affect them – not to the great way that such legendary objects like Skein’s-Glow, Wandersfar and Everthirst, but he can do little things…like what he did with Black Bart’s guns. Danny said he did that out of desperation and doesn’t remember how he did that other than wanting Black Bart’s guns to break before he shot Ronda. Ronda tells him to keep that though in mind if he’s grabbing guns or anything else. She’s also slightly impressed that he could do that. Most people at this point would have just given up and resigned themselves to becoming a wraith. Danny says he has little choice on this matter – his body is roaming around doing Prophet’s-know-what. Ronda tells him not to worry – whoever took him isn’t whoring and drinking it up (also she says that doing that might be the first order of business for him when he’s back). If she knew who it was, she’d have a better idea as to what they were going for. Danny asks if she has friends in the Rahsaya. She says she has a few that do what she does and sometimes they’ll help each other out, but as one of the Touched, she runs into polite indifference among the full-on ones. Danny asks if they’re family and Ronda nods and gooses the horse into a canter. Danny comments that’s not how family should treat family. Ronda points out that life isn’t all sunshine and apple tarts outside his village. Danny mentions that he’s discovering that and suggests that he should slip into the horse to help make it travel faster. Ronda says no, the second he pops out of the horse it’ll die and they’re way to far between towns to get a new horse quickly. Ronda also suggests that when they bed down for the night to try to put himself into different things like rocks, the knife anything but the horse or her guns.

They ride through the night and find themselves at a waytown. Ronda gets a room for the evening and they go upstairs. She tells him that the best thing to do is to stay in the room – her natural ward will make it safe for him and there are enough objects around for him to try to practice stepping into them. Without so much of a warning, she starts stripping and pouring the rosewater for a quick bath. Danny blushes and looks away. Ronda catches him blushing and laughs – she’s not as hung up on nudity as most people are (another point of Rahsaya culture – there is no cultural concept of nudity). She tells him that it’s no problem that he looks at her. She’s had worse. Danny continues to blush and looks away, focusing on a chair. He tries to sit down in a chair and finds himself melding into it. He asks how he can prevent himself from melding into everything. Ronda – clad only in undergarments – walks over and pulls him out of the chair. Lesson one: how to keep from sinking into something. The best way to keep from sinking into something is to remind yourself that you and the object are separate. Don’t think of sitting in a chair, imagine that there is something between you and the chair – like a cushion or a blanket, something that you can see clearly in your head. He asks why he doesn’t sink into the horse when he rides it. She responds that you’re thinking that you’re sitting on a saddle when you’re sitting on the horse. If you rode bareback ost of your life, then you’d sink into the horse like the chair. His exercise for tonight is to practice going from sitting in a chair to sitting on the bed and back again until he can sit down without sinking into it, then to try to get up and meld with her knife, then get out and sit in the chair. He asks what she’s going to do in the meantime. She says sleep and pulls the covers up to her and blows out the lantern.

Act Three is going to be a bit long, so settle in. Thanks for reading.


Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Thirty-Fifth Post: The One Where I Ramble Myself Right Into Act 3…

OK – now that we are out of Act Two and stumbling into Act Three, it is time to tip the frying pan towards the fire below. Our duo links up outside the town limits (poor Black Bart, he had such promise…just kidding – he got what he deserved) and Danny asks if Ronda can find his body. Ronda says yes, but it is going to take some time to search them out. What could speed that along is something personal – cloth, or a favorite thing. Danny asks if they have the time to go back to his village. Ronda says more than likely not, but she can let him step into her, and some that she can get a better sense of him. Danny asks how he is going to do that if she’s warded. She says that she’s warded against unwanted intrusion and holds out her hand. “Don’t worry – I’ll be gentle.” She says and Danny takes her hand. She tells him to close his eyes and think about home. Danny closes his eyes and starts to think about home, calling to mind the parlor and the table with his brother Bruce. His mind wanders out of the home and into the square. Village Cutie comes by, looking a little saucy for Danny/Ronda – which Ronda comments on and says ‘yeah, she’s not into you’ with a bit of a brutal language. Danny asks her how this is going to get her closer to his body. She says that he just needs to walk around for a few more minutes in his head. We get a tour of his life: he goes into the counting house and sits down to work on one of the books. Ronda comments that she’s surprised he’s alive – this sort of boring life would kill a lesser being. She now has enough to get a fix on his body and she breaks contact. As she is breaking contact (which Danny likens to a kiss that is awkwardly ended), Danny gets a quick glimpse of Ronda’s life – a rough and tumble existence with a neglectful and somewhat resenting mother on one side and a father who is trying to mold the daughter into the son he wanted. Danny comments on her life and she says that she has little regrets about it. It made her the person that she is and there’s no use for crying about it – it’s in the pass.

Now that she has a good idea of what to look for, she can start searching. She hops on the horse and Danny asks if he needs to get into the horse. She says yes, at least that way they can travel faster. He’s not as squeamish about stepping into the horse as he was earlier, but he still has some reservations about it – mostly about killing the horse when he steps out. He asks if he can step into something else, like a boot or a pistol. Ronda holds out a knife and says he can step into this – it should be easier than getting into the horse since it’s been around her long enough to pick up a trace of her power. He puts his hand on it and thinks about pushing himself in – he almost falls into the knife it’s so easy. She sheathes the knife and Danny wonders if she can hear him think. She says yes, and that he should try to sleep. He asks if he needs sleep since he doesn’t feel tired. She says it’s not to rest, but to give her some quiet for a change. Danny closes his eyes (or at least thinks about it) and tries to sleep. Danny doesn’t sleep per se, he falls into a meditative state that brings him to a location near the mountains and he is watching his body moving around and getting into a fight with a man-like…thing that seems to have more mouth and very, very sharp teeth than face. Danny-in-the-flesh looks over to Danny-in-the-spirit and says if he’s going to bring help, it would be better to catch up with them here and he points to a weathered, twisted tree. As he raises his hand up to point, the thing with the mouth bites through (through!) his arm, breaking it off in a ragged stump. Danny-in-the-flesh looks down at the stump as it is spurting blood and comments that the help had better hurry. If the Maw gets a hold of the Artifice and clay, then there is no saving the world. Danny comes around with Ronda yelling at him to get up – his distress is causing a couple of wraiths to come sniffing around. The horse skitters as one wraith draws uncomfortably close. Danny is a little freaked out, thinking that they’re going to rip up the horse. Ronda tells him to be calm and let her ride on. Danny can’t be calm – those things almost ripped him apart the last time he got this close. Ronda tells him to close his eyes and count coins – anything else to get his mind off of his fear. Danny flips out and the wraiths attack them and the horse…

… and this is where I am going to end it since I need to make lunch, shower, get gas and try to get along with my day. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.


Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Thirty-Fourth Post: The One Where If You’re Not Satisfied with the Rambling, You Get A 300% Refund!

Now – I’m still working on the NanoWrimo novel here and when last I left you, Faithful Reader, Ronda and Danny were about to chase off after Black Bart (and to remind everyone, these are place names – I am going to have much better names for everyone before this goes to press). Danny asks how Ronda knows where Black Bart is and she says that one of her little talents that she got from her mother was that she can leave her body and look around. She uses that to find the people that she’s hunting for. Danny asks why she doesn’t have wraiths trying to get into her when she’s out. She unlaces the top of her shirt and shows another set of scars that trace the top of her chest. To Danny, they sparkle with rainbow light – after he realizes that if his eyes drop down a little lower, he’s going to get the full show, he blushes and looks away. Ronda laughs and says she doesn’t mind the looks – she used to fight in the circuit where all she wore was a bikini top and loin cloth. She tells him that the scars are an old spell that ‘locks’ her body away when she’s not in it. They ride along, with Danny asking some more questions about what he can do when he’s out and about without a body. She says that she can do the obvious and knock other people out of their bodies and take theirs. If he’s willing, he can learn to inhabit other things – making himself into a minor magical relic. The longer he’s out of his body, the more time he is going to have to learn how to do more… but Danny would much rather be back in his body chasing after Village Cutie.

With Danny in the horse, they can run it a lot farther – even through the night, which is what they do. Thanks to Ronda’s being Touched (she’s a lot hardier than the normal person – think of her having 1 dot in Potence and Fortitude for all you V:tM players out there), she doesn’t need sleep often. Thanks to Danny being in the horse he doesn’t need sleep at all. The horse itself? Well, someone had to draw the short end of the straw. They travel at a steady clip for a full day and night until Ronda tells him to slow down. They’re getting close to Black Bart’s camp. She tells Danny to stay in the horse until nightfall – their best time to grab him is when his guard is down. They hatch a plan: at night, Danny will sneak into Black Bart’s body, displacing him (but he’s a bad guy and deserves whatever he gets) and walking back to the nearest town to get the bounty. When all is said and done, Danny can step out of the body and rejoin Ronda out at the town limits. Danny asks why Black Bart should die. He’s a bad guy, sure – but they weren’t hired to be judge, jury and executioner. Ronda says that she’s not here to discuss the merits of rough-and-tumble justice versus the rule of law. She’s there to collect Black Bart and the money he’s going to pull down – he’s there to help get the cash they’re going to need until they can find whoever hijacked his body. He can either be a help or get out of the horse and take his chances. He agrees to help, but wants to give Black Bart a chance to tag along as a spirit so that when Danny pops out, Black Bart can still face the justice he richly deserves. Ronda agrees and tells him to stay in the horse until nightfall. She closes her eyes and falls asleep.

Night falls like and the pair gets ready to assault the camp. Danny makes the horse lie down and he steps out. Ronda (who can still see him) tells him to go to the camp and step inside. If there are any wraiths, give her a whistle and she can fight them off until he can get in. Danny runs for the camp – thankfully there are no wraiths nearby. He gets ready to jump into Black Bart… and skips off of him like a stone skipping off a pond. He shouts to Ronda that he can’t get in. Black Bart stirs and stands up – looking around for Danny who dove into a rock – yelling for whatever ghost is trying to take him on to show himself. Ronda approaches Black Bart and tells him that he’s now bound by the King’s justice. Black Bart refutes her claim by shooting. Ronda takes cover and Danny pops his head up to ask why he couldn’t step into him as easily as a horse. Ronda (in between blasts from her pistol) tells him that he must have some sort of ward on him – look for something sparkling on him like her scars. Danny rushes him, thinking that Black Bart can’t see him. Black Bart sees him and swats at him…and he makes contact, sending Danny sprawling to one side. Ronda curses and tells Danny to look at his wrists – he must have some clay on him. Danny looks at him and spies a pair of white bracelets on him. Ronda curses again and tells Danny that they have to get the bracelets off of him in order for their plan to work. Danny asks how he’s supposed to do that if Black Bart can see him and touch him. Ronda says for him to figure it out on his own – she’s busy dodging bullets. Danny looks around for something to use. He finds a rock and reaches for it. His hand passes through it – then he remembers that he can inhabit or affect inanimate objects. On a hunch, he waits until Black Bart is focused on Ronda. When that happens, he rushes at Black Bart from his flank and grabs one gun. He mentally makes a wish – I just wish you’d break.

Black Bart squeezes the trigger and the hammer makes a breaking sound and the gun fails to go off. Danny grins…and gets a fistful of Bart in his teeth. Ronda takes advantage of his distracted state to come in and hit him hard enough to knock him to the ground. Black Bart tries to swing his good gun up to shoot her, but Ronda breaks his arm with absolutely no mercy. While he’s writhing in pain, Ronda breaks both bracelets with stomps of her booted feet, and then gives him a kick in the stomach just out of principle. Ronda asks if Danny is OK. He says yes, and now he’s ready to take over Black Bart – and he steps into him. The Black Bart spirit popping out of him tries to get back in, but is stopped by Ronda, who tells Danny to pick up one of the larger clay shards and keep it on his person as it will keep him in Black Bart’s body if attacked. Black Bart says that he’s going to follow them and they’d better make sure that he isn’t anywhere around when Danny steps out because he knows how to hurt the both of them badly – and making an insinuation of rape. Danny says that they should get going, as they want to strike out of the town after sundown so that Black Bart has a chance to ‘ripen’ before the judge finds them. Ronda and Danny hop on Black Bart’s horse. They say their farewells and head off to the town to turn in Black Bart, get the money and let him expire with nary a twinge on their conscience.

With the pair riding off into the distance ends the second act. How is it so far? Let me know with a comment.

Thanks for reading.


Seething Apathy