Tag Archives: The Midnight Rambler

Content with progress

Today is my flex day, and it’s nice when they tie into the weekends. I’ll start on my long change when I return to the office tomorrow. Since I work ten-hour shifts, four in a row gets kind of brutal. It’s my back mostly. Not a lot of nice recliners at the office.

During my vacation I had three goals, but only accomplished one and a half. This weekend I finished up that other half, then did a complete read-through of Midnight Rambler. I had a few things to fix, but it’s a fun story.

The hat has to face one of his enemies, and Lizzie finds a boyfriend of sorts. It all goes down during a major storm event that becomes almost a character in its own right.

Those who read all the stories will get hints of something that plays into my next project, but I’m still not abandoning the idea that each story stands alone.

My next move will be to send an email for a cover, internal graphics, and a couple of Lisa Burton posters. I just need to figure out what those might involve.

There were errands and such, too. We went from freezing to 86º in three days. I uncovered the air conditioner and got it running. I still haven’t set up the sprinkler system, but it’s been raining.

I also had to take my truck in for service. That cost me Saturday afternoon, since nothing is just around the corner here.

Old What’s Her Face signed up for a service called Peacock. It’s the NBC version of a streaming thing. I discovered one of my all-time favorite series on there and have been binge watching it. Crime Story is set in 1963. There’s a lot of neon, chrome, old cars, and a wonderful playlist involved. There’s also lots of murders and hits, the rise of a Mafioso, and the cop who’s trying to stop him. Who knows, maybe the Muse will bring me some fresh inspiration from all this.

Hope all of you enjoyed your weekends.

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Switching stories again

Percy, the Space Chimp, leaped off the couch at the writing cabin as I entered. He regaled me with a recap of his visit to the warehouse and Ray Dongas who rules the place. He paused at the entrance to the paranormal office.

Lisa Burton, my robot PA waited inside. She wore a rain slicker and a sou’wester hat, but insisted on heels to go with them. Not so much the strawberry-blonde bombshell today as just cute.

“Wait a minute. What’s happening here?” Percy asked.

The hat atop Lisa’s head spoke. “Not your turn today, slick.”

I put a hand on Percy’s shoulder. “That’s how it works around here. Sometimes I need to give a story some time. You guys are gallivanting around the secret space city, but I need to figure out how much exploration is entertaining, and when to send you on the next leg of your adventure. Science fiction needs a bit of world building, but there’s a limit to it. This city will come back around in your tale, so I could get away with a bit more.”

“Come on, dude. I got a new shuttle I need to try out.”

“And, you will. Today isn’t the day. I need to ponder your next moves. Today is all about The Midnight Rambler.”

The hat said, “Take a break, kid. I’ve been through this a lot of times. You get used to it eventually. The Olympics are on somewhere. Maybe you can check those out.”

Lisa found a place on the couch, then crossed her legs. “What’s with all the rain in this story?”

“Couple of reasons. It’s big enough to be an obstacle to Lizzie’s success, and I have a secret plot to ruin her car.”

“She loves that car. Why would you do that to her?”

“Maybe she’s in line for a different car someday. Besides, it’s true to life. Lizzie struggles with her meaningless jobs, bills that never end, and trying to perform with her band. A paranormal tale needs some level of reality so people can relate. Then there’s the fact that some cool rain type songs have been made. Those can make it into her playlist.”

The hat spoke up. “She’s my partner, so I’m telling her. What are you going to do about her boyfriend?”

“I’m not telling you anything after that last comment. I’m still trying to make this a series of stand-alone noveloids. Anything that drifts across the titles has to be something the next book doesn’t have to explain.”

“Come on, you can tell me. I’m the hat.”

“No. I don’t think so. Success has been sparse on this caper. She can’t count on Kevin the vampire, and the Rambler is dug in to make her crazy. We’re going to initiate a few clues today that will nudge the end game forward.”

“It’s about time. She’s already crazy enough. This monster has to have an army at his disposal by now, and we’re going to have to slug our way through them to get to him. Maybe we can figure out a way to draw him out.”

“Maybe, but I don’t see it working that way. In fact, you’re going to have a little talk with her about how that last second victory only happens in the movies. Sometimes things don’t work out in the real world.”

“Well, I don’t like the sound of it. Is this going to be the Greek tragedy you’re always talking about?”

“That would be cool. Maybe I’ll give that some thought.”

The hat groaned.

Lisa took him off and placed him on the end table. “Relax. He’s already told you about his plan for a new car. If everyone dies, there’s no need for that.”

“Maybe, just the boyfriend dies. That could work.” The hat wobbled to look at my reaction.

“What do you think of this song?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“That reminds me. I need to see what kind of help disaster areas really offer. Lizzie can’t work anywhere except where her band plays. The diner’s flooded and landscaping is at a standstill. Even her basement apartment has water inside.”

“Does this mean the Research Sirens are coming back here?” Lisa asked.

“Could happen.”

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Return to the Writing Cabin

I got an early start today, and flew to the writing cabin in the dark. It’s been snowing like crazy in Idaho, but we have a lull today. It’s the first of six days off I have, and intend to make the pixels fly.

Snow covered the landing strip, but I managed without too much of a problem.

Lisa my robotic assistant met me at the back door. “Glad you made it. What are we working on today?”

“I looked at her ‘Lizzie and the Pythons’ tee shirt. “Cute, but it looks like you already know.”

“I knew you’ve been dabbling from home, and took a WAG.”

“Good guess. Let’s get started.”

“There are some people in your paranormal office.”

I wound my way inside to find a chimpanzee in a space suit, sitting beside a man whose head had been replaced by a flaming jack o’ lantern.

The pumpkin guy wore a black tuxedo. “I know I’m going to finish my part today, but I could wear other outfits, maybe cover some different roles in the story.”

“Make sure Lisa has your contact information. I may need a cop with a pumpkin head later on. Can you change your head out? It should look a little different.”

“They can do it down at the union hall. Thanks for your consideration.”

The chimp spoke up. “What about me, dude. You’ve left us floating in the yellow zone for a month.”

“That’s not completely true. You passed through the yellow zone and are floating in enemy territory. You guys were always a side project for when I run into rough patches. The Midnight Rambler will hit one, then I’ll move you to your spy project.”

“When might that be?”

“I have a nice stretch of writing time. Might be in the next few days. Besides, you’re earmarked for a trilogy, so chew on that.”

“Lucky monkey,” the pumpkin head said.

“Don’t call me a monkey. I’m a Space Chimp. An ape, not a monkey.”

“Calm down. I need to finish up with him today, then Lisa can cashier him and send him home.”

“And then it’s back to the space opera?”

“Maybe. I have a couple of gods I need to work with. Twins from the Gemini constellation.”

“I’ll see your twins and raise you twenty-six identical clone chicks.”

“How did I get stuck with you, anyway. The Cicis are hot.”

“All Humans seem to feel that way, but I couldn’t care less. I think it’s because I’m becoming the main character right now.”

“Be a good… Chimp, and let me work on Midnight Rambler. I need three complimentary titles for your trilogy. Work on that. I’m thinking of ones that read, ‘Of X andY,’ where the variables change per volume in the series.”

“Fine.”

“And can you do it in the other office? This is where paranormal stuff happens.” I settled in to work, and it turned into a banner day. It came to around six-thousand words on Midnight Rambler.

It’s kind of dialog heavy, but The Hat books always seem that way. Still, there was some good stuff happening. Lizzie might have found a boyfriend, we drove a magical car, and a major storm event is keeping her from any real success. Then there was a major shootout at Eat The Worm, one of the Pythons’ main venues.

Lizzie’s boyfriend needs life sustaining drugs, and the only person who can make them is missing. Boyfriend is on a clock now, and the storm isn’t helping.

That’s where I decided to call it a day. I picked up the Space Chimp and we walked into the lobby.

Lisa counted out cash for the pumpkin head. “I love your tux.”

“Thanks, your author gave it to me. I love your tee.”

“I had to steal it. I’m not in this story, but one of my old calendars is.”

“Do you get a residual for that?”

Lisa glared at me. “Doesn’t look that way.”

“Bummer. If you need me again, just call.”

The extra left, then Lisa turned to us. “What happens next?”

“I’m going home. This is Percy, and you can hang out with him.”

“He’s been here a week. I know his name. We finished the originals, do you want to start on the remake Planet of the Apes movies?”

“Eh, why not. Gives us something to do while the mighty author plays with his paranormal stories.”

I’ll make you some popcorn.”

***

That was my day. We’ve had so many leftovers from Christmas, but we’re finally getting down to the end. Turns out goat cheese dip makes for a fair lunch, and chocolate eggnog is good in coffee. I’ll take up the keyboard tomorrow, but Percy is likely to be disappointed for a few more days.

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