Tonight it went well. I’m get­ting numb-bum from sit­ting in the office chair, but I got clear of 1200 words in an hour and a bit. I’m work­ing on the sto­ry of a woman try­ing to bro­ker a peace treaty among the far-flung descen­dants of the human race, on an Earth lit by a red giant sun, two and a half bil­lion years in the future.

There was a moment when I feared I might have to scrap the whole sto­ry, but then I was lis­ten­ing to a song by Corb Lund and this line gave me some inspiration:

half heard voic­es from the ghosts, from the graves
grand­fa­thers tell us at the mouths of the caves

Can’t tell you yet how it’ll all end, but here’s a scene that I did tonight:

The black plain had been called Pan­tha­las­sa, and it had been called the Pacif­ic Ocean, and the Broad Sea, and the Grey Swamps, and any num­ber of oth­er names, names record­ed or lost to his­to­ry’s sweep­ing indif­fer­ence. Now it was a desert of black glass, a shift­ing sur­face lay­er of fine dark sand blow­ing across a deep bedrock lay­er that had been baked for a bil­lion years by a swollen, mur­dered sun.

Overnight some­one had plant­ed a gar­den. It had to have been one of the AIs, or one of the robots, and they prob­a­bly had used time shapers, some­thing Lady Schrone was cer­tain she’d marked down as pro­scribed. But it was hard to be angry, because the gar­den was beau­ti­ful: flow­ers, flow­ers of all descrip­tions, radi­at­ing away from a cen­tral point like the spokes of a great wheel, and at the wheel’s cen­ter, a tree reached for the heav­ens. Leaves the size of her body unfurled them­selves at the tree’s top, near­ly twen­ty meters from the ground. They were sharp and green against the blue of the sky.

The gar­den was a per­fumery, a green oasis in the glit­ter­ing black desert, and Lady Schrone was ill inclined to hunt down and pun­ish the mech­a­nism or mech­a­nisms that had giv­en it birth.

I almost don’t want to quit writ­ing, but it’s get­ting toward bed­time, and I have com­pa­ny, and I’ve dis­cov­ered that the best place to quit is right before I write some­thing that I’ve been wait­ing to write for a while. That way, I’m eager to go the next time I sit down to write, and the scene has time to per­co­late and dis­till and it tends to come out even bet­ter that way.

Usu­al­ly, anyways.

So: writ­ten any­thing good lately?

2 thoughts on “Writin’

  1. Only prob­lem: if Sol became a red giant, Earth would be swal­lowed in the process, as its orbit is inside the cir­cum­fer­ence that a red giant star would have. Even if it were not, the pho­to­s­phere would come so close to the plan­et that noth­ing rec­og­niz­able would remain on Earth­’s surface.

  2. Well, that’s true, but one of the ref­er­ences I ran across in my search for infor­ma­tion on stel­lar evo­lu­tion (can’t remem­ber right now where it was, but if I find it, I’ll link to it) said that there is a the­o­ry that, due to Sol’s loss of mass over the gigayears, Earth may have moved far enough out that by red giant time, it won’t be swal­lowed. It would be a dan­ger­ous place to be, though.

    Also, the begin­ning of the sto­ry has Earth being re-seed­ed with a tem­po­rary atmos­phere in order for the del­e­gates to be able to sur­vive there for a few months.

    I will prob­a­bly have to re-write some of the sto­ry, though, bear­ing in mind how huge the sun would look from Earth…

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