Scrivener

Andrew Millbourne’s big secret -TMM2

The inspiration image

Obviously I got a bit carried away the other day, when I wrote “Being another you”. Andrew Millbourne keeps on knocking on my mind, and wants his story to be told. So here is the continuing – or rather the “Pre-story”. And of course it’s still inspired by Diana’s Speculative Fiction Prompt at “The Myths of the Mirror”


The Mechanical Man 2 – Andrew Millbourne’s big secret

Andrew Millbourne has a secret. He isn’t quite as human as he seems to be and claims he is. Oh, he was born human 35 years earlier on the planet Earth, all right. And in his heart and soul, he is still totally human. It’s just that his body has undergone some changes during the last decade.

Already as a child, he was not only intelligent but also very technically skilled. So it didn’t come as a surprise, that he after finishing University chose to study to be a Technical Engineer. He also took extra classes in Mathematics, Astrophysics, IT and Computer programming.

Andrew had hardly got around to finish his education and get his diplomas, when this huge establishment had been noticed about his achievements and wanted to hire him. He was offered a huge salary, and a lot of various benefits, but he had to move away from home.

He said yes without hesitating even a second. For one thing, he was thrilled about the job offer and could hardly wait for the day he was about to begin. He had also for a long time wanted to move away from his parent’s house, but so far he hadn’t been able to do so.
He couldn’t stand their insolent remarks any longer. Especially his father was abasing him. ’Andrew has become so posh and haughty,’ he snarled at him. And ’now he would only look down on his struggling parents’, the father continued, and kept on coming with demeaning remarks as often as he had the opportunity.

Andrew was sick and tired of all that. Was it really that bad to get a good education? Yes! Due to his father, it was. Due to his father, a son should follow in his father’s footprints and thus honour him. In this case, Andrew should therefore rather stay on the small family farm, marry, raise a family of his own, and then take care of his parents at their old age; rather than ’go around with a stiff-upper-lip because he considers himself superior to us’.
That’s what his father thought, but Andrew had a totally different opinion of what to do with his life.
So he left!

If he had thought he only had to move to one of the bigger cities on Earth, he soon realised – so was not the case. He had fancied London or New York, or somewhere in Asia. Tokyo or Hongkong, maybe. But soon enough he realised he was about to move much further away.

The journey took him to a small but highly, technologically developed planet called Technos in the Suntarian system.
He had never before heard of neither that planet nor that system.

”Technos? That’s only four lightyears away,” said a prudent space ship hostess while the company’s representatives kept on talking and laughing behind Andrew.
”Four years?”
”Oh! You’ll be sleeping all the time. Don’t worry about that.”
”FOUR YEARS?”
”I said four lightyears AWAY. The travel won’t take that long.”
”Four… Years…”
”Try a year. The Ultra-Ultra-ship is unfortunately unavailable now. Otherwise, it would only had taken a month. Some trouble with the fuel-system or something… sorry! You don’t have to be asleep all the time, though. You can read books and watch movies. But I would recommend you to take the sleeping pill. It will make this whole thing so much easier for you.”
F o u r …… y e a r s ……. …….
”Hey! Mister! Can I get you a glass of water or something?”

That was ten years ago, and he had landed right on time after watching an endless amount of movies and TV-series, reading hundreds of books, eating thousands of dreadful meals and with thousands of hours behind him with one single thought: ”What have I gotten myself into?”

All the representatives had chosen the sleep, and not until the day before landing, Andrew began to meet them in the corridors. They looked weary as if they all had a severe hangover. The next day though, they all seemed to have recovered, but Andrew heard no laughter and they were not even talking to each other, other than some occasional remarks.


To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.

 

Being another you – TMM1

It’s May, finally, and lovely Diana at “Myths of the Mirror” has launched a new Speculative Fiction Prompt – #writingprompt – and this is my take!


The Mechanical Man 1 – Being another you!

The inspiration image – from Pixabay, image by Brigitte Werner

Over the years he had lived here, he had always struggled with love and intimacy. No wonder. Every woman he met either shrugged of disgust or treated him like dirt. He had got used to that! He knew he wasn’t much to look at, he was the meek, silent type, and he wasn’t rich. The fact that he was a kind, honest and reliable young man, didn’t seem to be enough.

After the last disappointing blind date, he decided to give up. Furthermore, he also decided to travel back home. Here, in this city, on this planet, he finally had to admit – he didn’t belong. He was too different.

With a deep sigh, he actually didn’t like changes very much, he went to the spaceport to buy a no return ticket home. Earlier that day he had resigned from his job. His boss had seemed relieved, he had noticed. He had also sold his apartment and most of his belongings. His decision was final, and he wanted to travel light.

On his way through the terminal, he suddenly senses that someone is watching him. He tries to pretend like nothing and keeps on walking towards the ticket counter. He gets a bit uneasy, though, and stumbles slightly.
”Can I help you?” a soft female voice says.
He turns around and sees the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen.
”I beg your pardon,” he says.
”I’m sorry if I intrude, but I saw you stumbled over there.”
’Pity, this time’, he thinks and a flicker of sorrow dances tango in his heart. Out loud he says: ”Oh, it was nothing. Just the shoe-lace.”
The woman looks down at his loafers and smiles. But it is a kind smile, he notices.
”I’ve seen you before,” she says.
”Everyone has seen me before,” he mutters.
”Probably,” she smiles. ”I’m Kaila, by the way. What’s your name?”

He can’t even imagine why she would bother to be interested in his name or in anything of his. But polite and well brought up as he is, he answers shortly, ”Millbourne, Andrew Millbourne, nice to meet you.”
He doesn’t know whether he actually thinks it is nice or not, but old habits are old habits, and it seems to be something nice about this after all. He tries to shake that good feeling off his chest but doesn’t succeed.

”So hello, ‘Millbourne, Andrew Millbourne’. Nice to meet you too! Can I call you Andy?” Her smile is big, warm and generous, and Andy – he accepts Andy with a nod – experiences some kind of warmth inside. The small thought that she might had been mocking him, melts away as quickly as butter on a sun-flooded plate.
”What are you doing here?” she continues. ”Going somewhere?”
”I’m going home.” Dark clouds enter his mind.
”Where is that, your home?”
”On Earth.”
”Ah! Earth! I know about Earth, I’ve been there!”

During this little chat, she has managed to move him away from the ticket counter to the spaceport cafeteria, and without any further ado, she orders two big coffees in glasses, Toffee-Taste with whipped cream on the top, and two long straws in each.
”That’s my favorite,” she says. ”How about you?”
”How about me, what?”
”Toffee-tasting coffee?”
”Oh, that! That’s okay.”
She laughs, and in Andy’s ears, it sounds like ocean waves at the beach, seagulls and warm cuddly sand. He sighs deeply and his shoulders slack off.
”So Andy! Where are you going, and why?”
Her voice reminds him of the rippling brook in the wood back home. He closes his eyes for a couple of seconds, sighs, this time even deeper, and then opens them again.
”I’m going home to my parents since I don’t fit in here.”
”You don’t fit in here, you say. Do you fit in at your parents?”

He looks down at the table. He can’t understand this. Why is she bothering him with all these personal questions, and why is it so impossible for him to say ’Thank you’ and ’Good Bye’ and then leave? But he can’t deny he feels more relaxed now, here, at this coffee table, with her, this strange woman, than he has been in a very long time.
”No,” he admits. ”I don’t. But in another way. Not like this.” He stretches out his arms and looks at the people around them.
”The appearance, you mean. You don’t look like them.”
He shakes his head. No, obviously not.

”Look at me!” she says.
He raises his head and before his very eyes, she begins to change. In like a smooth blur, her appearance turns into his. Not into him precisely, but into a female of his sort, with his kind of appearance! Then she turns back again, back to look like – them.
”What you just saw, is the real me.”
”Di… d..d..d..did…”
”Yes, I changed, but they didn’t see it. Only you.”
”M…m..m…m….mag…”
”Yes, magic. I know magic. I know a lot of different things. And I can help you to look the same as – them.” She nods toward the ever-growing crowd. ”If you want to, or….” .
”Or what?” He is so tempted to look like all the others that he actually believes her.
”Or! We can go somewhere together, and be ourselves…”
”But….”
”Shush. I’ll ask you something. But before you answer, consider deeply what to choose. Do you, deep inside you, really want to look like – them?”

She looks deep into his eyes, and calmly awaits his answer, while he doesn’t need to look around or think even for a second.
”Where are we going?” he says eagerly.
”I know a very nice place. The planet is a bit rough, mostly hot, some deserts, two suns – and I have friends there. By the way! Among others, there is this special girl I want you to meet. She is called Jaycee…

In peaceful silence, they finish their coffee, then rise and leave the spaceport. Behind them resonates the murmur of mechanical voices, and the metallic clinks, clanks, and jingles from metal against metal.

”Cybernetics!” Kaila scornfully snorts while they are pacing towards her vehicle. ”Sometimes these Cyborg civilizations really go too far.”


To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.

 

A three days long vacation

Or is it technically four? A added the last day’s achievement of writing for the Camp WriMo early in the morning that last day, so in a way, it is four. I realize though, I have to start writing again as soon as possible, since I know, the longer I wait, it has a tendency to be harder to begin writing again. So get going, Thêa! Whether writing or not writing this evening is not an option, it is a Must Do!

What have I learned during this month of Camp-Writing? First of all! I can still do it! I still have it in me! The words, the stories, the lust, the wanting. The NEED – to write, to live in writing-mode!

I guess I’ve been scared in a way, after the burn-out. Have been afraid I would discover that I had totally lost the ability, so I didn’t even dare to try. I have told myself: ” I can’t!” And:  “I have no imagination!” And other stuff like that.
And – admit – besides the burn-out-fatigue, I’,m most certainly also a lazy-butt. Have to be pushed, sometimes, to start doing things…
(hmmm… adhd…)

I discovered I can write in a different way from how I wrote earlier. That I can sit there and just write, don’t edit, don’t aim for writing the story chronologically, from page One to page Whatever! But every day just start writing something and then let the inspiration flow! Don’t think too much, don’t try to control everything, just let it comes whatever will come, and don’t stop to check or correct or anything.
Some smaller editing I had to do along the way, though. Correct spelling, for example, couldn’t go on when I saw I spelled something wrong. And each day’s session when finished, I added to Grammarly to see what it had in mind for me. But the next day – new writing.

Sometimes I read a little bit here and a little bit there, just to remind where the characters were and what they were doing, and when there was about a week remaining, I read all of it. And added 1056 words while doing that.

I found…a lot of telling, to change into showing…..
a lot of seeds to saw…
a lot of questions, to be answered…
And all those …MATTERS… that will stay where they are for the time being.
There is so much more to be written before I start the real editing work. I don’t have even half of a novel yet. Ten percent???
But I have ideas… and hunches… and have been presented to a couple of surprises while writing. It’s amazing when a new character shows up, just out of the blue.

COLD FEET!
Yes! I feel that too. Will I really be able to not only continue writing pieces and scenes to this story but also managed to mix all this into a good, readable story? With living characters, exciting events, a bit of humor here and there – on the whole – create a story that can catch the reader? (That is – Me!  HAHAHAHA!)

Never mind…Okay!!!!!
The answer to the question: “Will I ever…” is: “No, you won’t if you don’t try.”
NO! STOP! Change that! – Change it to: “Just do it!

A cool note: I checked how many words I wrote now... 551

Camp WriMo finished!

And I feel sooooo good!!!

Wrote 400+ words late yesterday evening, finished only a few minutes before midnight, but decided to wait until today until adding the word account on the Camp WriMo site.

This morning I read the text through, changed a couple of word choices and added a couple of sentences. Then I added the last scene to the manuscript, counted all of it, and validated it on the Camp.

Winner? Am I a winner? Of course, I am! I reached my goal and even wrote a bit more!

Have been pondering earlier… before I entered this camp…
… in that sense, everyone that reaches his or her goal – is a winner!
It can’t be any other way, can it?

I’ve read sometimes, that “I am the winner of NaNoWriMo in year 20XX!” Like if there were only one winner. How much difference is there between the NaNo and the Camp? If there could be only one winner – what would the criteria for that be then?

It can’t be because it’s an excellent text, or a fantastic idea – no one over there will ever know since they don’t read it, other than – maybe – what we might have published on the Project info and Camper info pages. Even more stupid if the winner would be the one that finishes first… That would be totally rubbish! This is not a contest to see who finishes first.

Anyhow! I’m the winner in my own world, and I’m very proud of myself. Never thought I could write every day about something I didn’t even have a clue about in the beginning; and reach the goal of 24 000 words; and finish four days before the deadline.

Even though I got very tired in the end, I have also had so much fun exploring this story. And there is a lot more to come to this. So many more questions to be answered. So many more seeds to crop.
So much more work to do… 😀

What is the number of words then, that I’m bragging about, now when finished these 24 000 + ones. Due to myself – Scrivener and also a graph in an Excel-file – I have written 24 159 words.
Validated on Camp WriMo – it’s very odd – it says I’ve written 24 226 words! I really wonder, where those 67 words have come from!
Maybe Camp counts words like “long-legged” as two words, while Scrivener and Grammarly count them as one?

Anyhow! I don’t mind! 67 words in a novel are merely more than a handful of sand in Sahara.

Now it will be great to relax a bit, and write something else but contributions to that story, like a blog post or two. But I guess it won’t be long until I sit here again with Jaycee, Bill, the Judge, and the others.

The Judge, by the way, is the character in focus in this scene I wrote late yesterday evening. It’s fun when you discover other sides of a personality, especially when it also reviles he/she too are manipulated and threatened by “The Tribe”, like several others in this story. And I have yet no idea who or what this “Tribe” is!
Must find out! 😀

 

And now I’m awaiting Diana’s writing prompt for May… 😀

Friday evening

Not that late though. Only 6.30PM… and it will probably be at least 7.30 before I’ve finished writing this post. Or 8.30… or…

Only 4 days left

Oooops! As if I haven’t done enough writing lately! I’m really good at my Camp-story. Earlier today I wrote like circa 1000 words or so of really lousy writing. A lot of Telling, and almost no Showing. Mostly babbling. Like now. On the other hand – I’m about to know my characters very well! Not all seemingly evil beings, are only evil. Except for the Judge, maybe… But he might surprise me as well! Who knows? (Me?)

(the image here is just for fun, and more like a placeholder)

Then I kept on writing. I just couldn’t stop there I thought, when I have so little left writing to do. And what do you know!!! The last 150 – 200 words or so, there I just got it, and I finished the last sentence in a kind of chock!

No! I didn’t finish the number of words that was my April goal! (But almost though) It was that last paragraph that revealed something I certainly hadn’t expected. It was sooooo gooooood!!!
I’m pondering now, whether I shall write more today or not, but I think not. Today’s work did render me 1275 words, which means I now in total have written 23745 words, which in turn means I have only 255 words left to write!

Am I good or am I good!!!

Some of what I’ve written came out really good almost at the first try. Some are good. Some are really lousy, and the rest – are more or less bla bla bla. Telling, not showing. But I think I can use most of it, maybe everything in some way or another – after some earnest rewriting.
What is fun, really a turn-on actually, is that there are so many clues in the story that I just have to explore. And almost every one of them just popped up, by themselves as it seemed!

But for now, I’m really tired. Not of the story itself, but especially the last week have felt that I have nothing more in me. Have had no idea at all what to write, and have really wanted a couple of days off. But I have been writing anyway, and got really amazed when it actually came words out from me!

Okay! It’s been tiring to have to write every day, but to be honest – that wasn’t the major cause of the recent fatigue. The week before Easter I had a lot to do, more than usual. One – I was driving my grandson three mornings out of four – AND – fetched him in the afternoons all four days. (His mom, the hairdresser, had a lot lot lot to do that week.)

Anyway! I. Don't. Do. MORNINGS! 

So now you know. Bad sleeping. Tired tired tired! And on top of that, I’ve been very sloppy with my eating habits for a couple of weeks now. Too little greens and too big portions of pasta, bread and such. But worst of all – I’ve been eating cheese! And been buying those delicious Café Lattes. AND I tried eating the real goat cheese stuff – the brown one – since I read somewhere that if you can’t eat products made of cow milk, you might be able to eat products made of goat milk. And I LOVE that brown cheese!  Have always!

It’s just that I shouldn’t have…. eaten… all that… PLUS what I stuffed myself with on Easter Sunday when we were visiting my youngest daughter and her family for Easter lunch (et cetera). Lots of eggs, and sausages, and that awful Swedish specialty made of raw fish. And I don’t mean Sushi…

Today I’ve begun feeling better again, not that deadly tired any longer – and I really do hope I’ve learned the lesson now. This isn’t the first time, you know…

And now it’s 7:30 PM – seems to be a personal record in “fast writing in English”…. Is that due to all the Camp writing where you have to ignore what you have been writing to be able to keep on writing… ?)

At 7:35 today, April 26, 2019 – Quite a graph, aha…

 

Panicking!

Not that long ago, I wrote a short story. (Haven’t we all…) Well! This particular one has come to my mind several times lately. It would probably do very well as a kind of Post Scriptum, or epilogue, to my “Eclipse”-story. It’s not particularly long, only 719 words –
But written in Swedish..
So I’ll have to translate it…

Okay! Let’s do it! I thought and tried to find it among my other short stories.

Couldn’t find it!!  – iiiooooiiiiiooooooiiiii – panic PANIC!!!!

Where is it???
I searched everywhere. I couldn’t remember the title I had given it, you see. So I searched for pages-documents, pdf-documents, scrivener-documents…The only thing I was sure of – it couldn’t be written in a word-document.

PANIC PANIC!!!

Then it hit me! The external hard drives! I have several, and among those, there are two quite big ones. The first one, a 2 TB (Terabytes), mostly movies, but it has also a folder with images/photos. Didn’t check that folder out, though. Wonder how many images/photos I can find there, and how old they are?
I thought it also should have been a folder with my writings there – but no. I’m sure it has been, though not any longer.
The other one then! The one with room for the Time machine! Oh, you who have a Mac must know what I mean by that. It’s for BACK-UPS!!!! (Which I don’t do often enough)

Okay! In there it is room for 3 TB, so I thought there would be more than just the backups! There wasn’t, but okay okay! Back-ups are good!!!
Two main folders. One from the iMac I don’t have any longer, and in there was nothing available. It wasn’t possible to open “Documents” and there was no “User”. Doesn’t matter – could very well delete the iMac folder anyway.

The MacBook folder then? OH yes! Oh yes! There were folders alright!!! But in which one was the biggest chance to find the file I was looking for? When did I write this in the first place? Probably in 2015. Remember the circumstances and where I was at that time.

Nothing in the first folder I opened – too new. Nothing in the second – too old. But in the third, or if it was the forth, THERE IT WAS!!!!

Oh my god oh my god THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

It is a good one, you see, this story. And it would so much fit in to “The Solar Eclipse”, and why on earth have I deleted it sometime? Must have been a mistake!

I also found other short stories that I had missed and wondered about. Where are they! And why have they been missing? What did I do when I did it???

I just say this, and I’ll only say it once (at least for now):
MAKE SURE YOU DO BACKUPS ON YOUR IMPORTANT STUFF!!
And preferably to more than one place.

So, now I’m working on translating this short story, and you surely know by now what I think about that kind of job. (I hate dislike it very much)

But it is as it is! All for the good of writing!

Also today, my friends!

Today, I didn’t reach 1000 words, but close enough! 967 of them. It’s okay! Though I didn’t think it was a particular good scene. And not until circa 500 words along the path, it started to feel like a flow again.

Though everything doesn’t have to be tip-top at the first draft. It seldom is anyway – or more or less. Some texts are good almost immediately.

Yesterday I wrote 1165 words. Thought the whole thing was lousy. But when I read that scene today, it wasn’t that bad after all. Need of course some editing, deleting unnecessary words, and so on. Can do! But not know.

Todays? Well, the second half is okay – and can be of good use as well as yesterday’s “failure”.

On the whole – I’m still satisfied, pleased and happy. And eager to continue writing tomorrow. Have nothing booked for tomorrow – other that I really should clean up a bit here.

Where do I get it from?

Let’s say a month ago, that anyone had told me that I soon, very soon, would be writing every day – I wouldn’t have believed it.

If I also would have been told, that I not only would write daily, but also that I would be writing on a dystopic fantasy story – I for sure wouldn’t have believed it! And increase the amount I write every day!!!!????!!!! Oh gosh!

But now, a month later, that is just what I’m doing!
It started with the prompt that led me to write “The Solar Eclipse”. It was very inspiring. Then, on April 1st, I joined Camp NaNoWriMo. I set my goal low. Only 15 000 words, which would require 500 words per day on average. It went well! Better then I thought it would, and I decided two things. To count in the words I wrote for blog posts, and raise my goal to 21 000 words. Which would require an average of 700 words per day.

It looked really good on the stats. Felt proud and happy and satisfied.

Two days later I regretted adding the blog posts words, so I skipped them – and recounted each days achievement. But kept the 21 000 word goal.

So the curve dipped a bit on the scale, but that was temporary. Yesterday I wrote no less than 1289 words!

And today – first I finished with 962 words, but then I got an idea for one of the other characters and that idea ended up with 397 words. So in all today – 1359 words!!!

MY GOD!!! THANK YOU FOR ALL THE INSPIRATION!

I realized I work a bit different now than I did way back then, years ago. I don’t edit each scene equally much now – just what I have to do to be able to move on. I can’t let a misspelled word be misspelled. I have to correct it. I also have to check, control, look for the “right” word I need to get it all right. As I want it to be.

Hey! I write in English, not in my native language Swedish, remember!
So, of course, I have to search for the right word now and then. 
Quite often actually... HAHAHAHAHA

Instead, I keep on pushing the story forward in a much better way than I did way back then. I got to keep writing, every day, don’t I? If this enhancement in how I work when I write, is due to the Camp WriMo or if I have matured as a writer – well! I must say – it’s a little bit of both!

I have to keep the story going, new text each day – and I have more confidence in myself that I actually have a story inside me that wants to be born.

But I didn’t know, nor realized, that at its full intent a month ago. I thought: how do I know what to write? How – was never a problem. Just, what. And it showed it wasn’t a problem after all.

So, guess what? It happens all the time! Even though it takes 100 words or 300 sometimes before I really get going.

And I love the story, and I love being in the middle of it.

And do you know what more?
I wing it all the time! Have absolutely no idea what will happen next. It’s me and my inner self who cooperates. And we do it very well.

Very well, indeed!