A new beginning …

While making up my mind what to write at the end of Elbert, now at 92,000 words, I've returned to the first chapters, intent on bringing the inciting event closer to the front. This is my first pass; a serving suggestion, if you will. Do you understand the setting? Let me know in the comments. The feature image is a first draft cover treatment. Francine, at the left, is overdue for a visit at the beauty parlor. Watch for a change in that spot.

One morning, in the wee hours before sunrise, Doctor Elbert Holland Harrison dreamed he met a lady Sasquatch — neither abominable, nor a fugitive from snowy climes, foxlike in appearance, having lovely hips and a full bosom.

He woke with her name on his lips, although he couldn’t quite speak it — the strangeness of it troubling him all day.

August, 1928 — The Lazy L Ranch, South Dakota

Francine was tired, her feet hurt, the past week of pregnancy hadn’t been agreeing with her, and it was the fourth time since breakfast that a guest asked what the ‘L’ stood for. “Lemur, as in The Lazy Lemur Ranch.”

The customer was a human from Jivada — Loka AjJivadi — probably descended from South Asians admitted into the Anye interstellar community 12,000 years in the past, thereby rescued from an existential threat she’d soon hear about if not careful. “We tell the locals it means lumberjack.”

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Fun to write

Another first-draft teaser from Elbert, posted because it was fun to write.

Shallow Harbor, Jivada

If Slim’s grandparents were wealthy, one wouldn’t know it from their house — a modest bungalow three blocks off the bay. Their space yacht hovered in the front yard, larger than anything in the neighborhood, patio deck extended below the main entry, awning deployed, aft ramp down and a sub-compact aircar parked halfway out of the garage bay — the latter a feature Charlotte hadn’t expected to see in a boat under 30 meters.

But the 23 Mirage had a wider beam than a 19 Townhouse, yielding enough interior volume to offset the garage bay, and then some. The top deck floor plan was familiar — command compartment in the bow, then airlock, master suite, master bath, triage locker, slow-time cabinet, spacesuit locker, airlock, and storage compartment.

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