‘Salvaged’ by Madeleine Roux

I’m typing this up on my phone on a plane while a baby the size is for an avocado does flips and bounces on my poor, beat up bladder, so bear with me.

I just finished the second book that features fungus as “the bad guy”, so that seems to be an emerging theme in sci-fi. This fungus is much more exciting, however, as it gradually seizes control of your brain and turns you into a collective, psychic zombie. In space. It turns out about as well as you can imagine, though the story focuses on a small crew who somewhat manages to fight off the voice in their head that turns into their mothers.

While there were some descriptions in this book that I, usually pretty immune to squeamishness, found hard to get through, overall it’s an excellent space who done it horror story. The fascinating part is how hard some fight to stay human, and how easily others give in to groupthink, or being controlled by a fungus.

A good, mildly thought provoking read, but don’t eat with food.

A stumbling start

A super quick post cause the dog and I are waiting in the truck together for the kid to finish his swim lessons.

Behold, hear ye hear ye, read all about it….My start to NaNoWriMo 2017!

The Aliens Are Spying On Us

“Red sky at morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”

I hummed the old ditty to myself as I watched the endless sky light up in every shade of red the human eye can encompass, deepest blood red to faintest pink. The trouble was it was noon, and the weather report had called for a clear day’s sail. The nearest weather of any sort was 100 nautical miles away, not nearly close enough to build such a sky. I pondered the rippling, flowing red sky, noting the shade of pink of my niece’s first birthday dress, the red of the heart shaped love letter I’d had tossed in my face a few weeks ago, the catalyst of this trip.

It was right about the time a booming shock wave knocked me on the ass of the deck of my boat and a huge wave crested and broke over the bow that I decided it was time to rouse my brother from his mid-day cat nap, with the ship’s cat aptly named Dickhead (short for Moby Dick). I needn’t have bothered to have the thought, my twin brother being as much as of a sailor as I. I had barely picked my now dripping self up to eye a suddenly becalmed sea when he burst out of the hatchway stairs, a set of parallel scratches on his bare chest to show where the cat had launched off at him when the ship bucked.

He took in my rather soaked state and the shade of the sky, his wide eyes reflecting the darkest shade of red. I watched his lips form the W sound, when I realized I heard nothing. Not the steady hum of the desalinator, the soft slap of waves on the hull, the faint whir of the wind turbine at the top of the mast, or my twin’s question. Thought what else could it be than “What the fuck?”

I shook my head and turned back to the wide expanse of ocean, which should have been relatively empty in this massive stretch between Hawaii and Tahiti. Instead the near horizon was filled with something massive and dark, sleek with the turquoise water of the Pacific spilling off it’s sides. Our beauty of a ship was not insubstantial, at a sturdy 85 feet long, but we were suddenly, utterly dwarfed by whatever took up the view to the south.

My twin’s hand gripped my shoulder and I jumped, bursting out “They don’t say what red sky at noon means!” At his wince I guessed I’d shouted in his ear, but at least I could distantly hear his response of, “You still haven’t answered my ‘What the fuck’, sis.”

Shaking my head, we looked out over the utterly still ocean to see something detach itself from the impossibly huge dark shape, heading right for us. A million possible courses of actions flitted through my head, and with the ease of the Navy’s long training I decided that waiting was the best course. Anything that appeared in a blaze of fire out of the sky wouldn’t be easily outrun, and since we were the only ship for a few hundred miles as far as we were aware (present company excepting) clearly we’d been targeted. Running away from someone who was gunning right for you was folly without more information.

My twin left my side briefly, only to reappear after a short stint below deck, now fully dressed albeit in his sailor style of board shorts and a blindingly yellow sun shirt. We stood on the starboard side and watched the shape head for us, my short Columbia dress already mostly dry in the high noon sun of the Middle Pacific Ocean.

We couldn’t quite make out the shape, other than to tell there was one, which seemed odd that I couldn’t put a word to it. Rectangular? Not quite, yet not quite round. Somewhere in between, but it had to be sleek based on the zero wake left behind it.

This is Halloween…


Welp, it’s November people, and that means NaNoWriMo is upon us. If you think I don’t blog much normally, November can be…empty. But it’s a good place to ‘report’ on my goals (my blog! me!) so here goes, as I sit on a really squeeky morning train: 

  • Only ran once last week out of the three I was aiming for, trudging around the little dirt track at Kade’s school while he found every puddle he can. Right now I’m at a slightly hard fought 16 minute mile. Ha!
  • My novel for the month is a slightly different version of what I’ve been working on, about ex-military vets and their lives and animals and relationships, despite not being ex-military myself I want to train dogs someday so it’s a good chance to do some deep research into the topic and stretch out of my mommy-work-mommy zone.

  • New job is still going awesome, in the thick of billing and reporting and being part of the ‘Party Planning Committee.’ Also the boss gave me permission to work from home when Kade has a day off, so whew! Since he has 8 days off in November….
  • Halloween was epic! Kade got to trick or treat twice, once with his cousins while Tom and I drove home and once with us just around our awesome neighborhood. Kid’s loaded with candy so now I get to play candy monster and dole it out in no rational or consistant fashion. Life lessons kid.
  • Tom’s home for good for awhile, so I’ve forgotten how to cook again but I don’t sleep alone so that evens out pretty well.
  • Happy writing all!

Pens at the ready!

Last week I took a small but noticeable leap outside my comfort zone & submitted a piece from last years NaNoWriMo to the writing group I’m a part of, People’s Ink, for critique. It went both better & a million times better than I could have hoped! I managed to not freak out at all about it, partly due to the fact that I feel this story & piece of writing is my best chance at *gulp* actually finishing something novel like. Also, now in my current description of myself, I can call myself a novel writer; unpublished certainly, but not a day goes by I haven’t touched this project, at least for the last month or so. That’s pretty good progress for me, & shows more dedication than I was expecting of myself. 

I received several very good bits of constructive critique, as well as more than faint praise & interest in several different ideas/themes I’ve been musing over for this project. One of my favorite thoughts from another member was my command of the language, meaning I can string a few words together in a way that pulled her into the story-just enough to show the bits that were rough, or that I hadn’t chosen a direction or plot point yet. 

I have a lot of work to do, but the group’s recommendation of a story board is what I’m going to be working on for a week or so, & really nail down the who, what, & Big Idea before I really write any more scenes. 

The biggest thing that helped me was just talking about it with other like minds. The kid listens when I read aloud & loves it, & he’s a good cheerleader, & so in the boyfriend, but both in slightly puzzled ways, like they don’t quite understand the woman’s driving need to punch a keyboard & mutter to herself. So now I’m revved up, with a bunch of new or solidified ideas, & itchy fingers!

  
Such is how Kade feels about Legos…and Mom feels about writing! 

Get it out there

  
The world is bursting into crazy spring, cherry blossoms, tulips, rainbows as far as the eye can see. The south wind is blowing hard & of course I’m full tilt crazy. Each spring comes, & that exuberant south wind fairly shouts at me to set loose, make a change, hit the road. This year is no different; I’ve got a long road trip ahead this weekend, the plans & gear & to do list painstakingly obsessed over, the closets are looking a bit bare, & the patient boyfriend has persuaded me not to tear the apartment apart in my quest to make it different.

  
At the same time I’m a little more settled than usual, my job proceeding apace, Kade’s still in preschool though kindergarten looms at the end of the summer, I’m able to work with horses each week & soon, so soon I hope to add riding every week to the list. Included in all this is the writing group I’ve been able to wiggle my way into, & I love every moment of it.

  
The south wind pushed me to do something crazy last week-volunteer a sample of my last NaNo novel I’ve been working on for public consumption & critique. Gulp. Thanks buddy! So now I have to choose what is hopefully a somewhat coherent, sorta polished 10,000 word section of the story I’ve been penning since November…which no one else has read. Well, I’ve read aloud some of it to the five year old, but he thinks everything I do is awesome (unless it involves some form of the word “No.” Then he’s not so keen on it!)

  
Part of me is quietly freaking out over someone reading my writing-well, at least something I’ve put more effort into than, say, my woeful fourth attempt at blogging. The larger part is happily ticking away, mulling over which section to present & what kinds of critique to ask for. 

Between sharing my work, the world’s best (and most patient) boyfriend, my cutest blondie, a short work week and camping in the Horse Haven hills to look forward to, it’s a good time to turn 27 🙂