Back from South Carolina

Got back from visiting my mom in South Carolina Saturday and I’ve taken the time between then and now to unpack, relax, and recharge. Oh, and go back to work.

What’s up since I’ve been gone? More bailout money for the rich, more bad news for the economy, and more writing.

I only came up with about 10,000 words during this year’s National Novel Writing Month, my third best total in four tries, but that’s OK. 10k a month generates a novel-length work in under a year. The sequel to Iron Dragons (the audio version of which is still hanging on in the PodioBooks.com Top Ten) is maybe 20% through the story. Where it goes after the next 5% or so is anyone’s guess, but that’s good. If I know where it’s heading, then you’ll find it predictable and boring, too.

Although not everyone appreciates a surprise; one commenter at PodioBooks.com liked ID a lot until an astronaut “one red shirt away from being a Starfleet crewman” dropped down in the middle of “a fairly standard AD&D fantasy world”. That snapped his suspension of disbelief faster than a Wall Street investment banker pulling his kids out of a Manhattan prep school.

Oh, well. He has a point, but I’ve never liked fantasy novels. The faux redshirt was the only way I saw to drag the storyline back into the realm of sci-fi. Besides, I’m a sucker for unlikely heroes.

That’s probably why Sharon and I keep watching Heroes on NBC. The character Hiro Nakamura is the heart and soul of the show. If we were force-fed a diet of hunky, brooding tough guys or lethally sexy Bloodrayne/Resident Evil/Underground/Aeon Flux/Kill Bill-type she-warriors (talk about a force-fed stereotype!), we’d have tuned out after the first show. And I have to admit, halfway through its third season, temporary deaths of major characters is becoming a Heroes cliché. (There were two more in tonight’s episode. What is this now, Sylar’s third death?)

But Hiro, the champion of Everyman cube farm drones everywhere, reminds us that there are still a few joyously optimistic regular shlubs out there who value honor above glory, and that makes the show worth watching.

I hope a little of that comes through in the characters of Brother Galthorn, Fosdric, and Commander Orson. I like those guys.

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