Saturday, November 25, 2017

Year-End Summary

Year Total: 990,115
Increase Over Year Prior: -120,003
Novel Total: 9
Increase Over Year Prior: -2
Longest Novel: Ramifications, 120,027 words, 219 pages
Shortest Novel: Disrupted, 90,002 words, 168 pages
Summary of the Year:
All in all it's seemed like something of a whirlwind year, filled with many good novels, as well as some changes; the most notable being a two-month hiatus taken between June and September — which resulted in the postponement of my first fantasy in the fictitious world of Ureonaiea until next year — during which I had a wonderful time volunteering at a summer camp, which only yielded more story ideas for the future.
Another exciting change was unseen, as I purchased a computer of my own on October 31. This allowed me to be out of the family dining room and off in a more quiet place that definitely benefitted Ramifications quite a bit, not that any of my other novels were any less good.
In fact, they were all wonderful, and I was more than happy with them. Looking back, I don't think any of them were absolute disasters that are in sore need of rewriting (as Ramifications' predecessor was, and so was Disrupted's somewhat). They will probably get a little bit of revising as time goes on, but I doubt you'll see any of them come through as rewrites again.
This was actually probably one of the full-year lineups I was looking the most forward to writing, although next year is pushing a close second, with the rewrite of the first book in the Ureonaiea Sagas  actually coming for real next spring, as well as another historical western rewrite in June.
I will be going back to help out in the camp again next summer because I really enjoyed it, and I do feel like the hiatus was bit of a breath of fresh air in my writing life as a whole, so then will be a break until September, which will feature something of another fairy tale retelling, although it is also a blending of a couple different ones, and then, following that, will be the rewrite of my first-ever book, which I am giving massive overhaul that it deserves.
In November I will be trying my hand at something of a superhero novel that I'm really looking forward to, but to kick off the new year in January I'll be doing my first-ever Christmas novel, which is also highly anticipated, as is the February rewrite of my novel with the fastest turnaround from creation to writing, having been conceived a mere two months before I actually wrote the first words; others, like my first-ever book, have been ten years in the making.
For now, I will admit I'm looking forward to the break that December offers, mostly so that I can 'move in' to my new computer and get the planning work done next year's novels — as well as deciding the roster for the year following — so, for now, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
See you on December 30!

R.A. Millet

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Ramifications: Day 20

Word Total: 120,027

Year to Date: 990,115

Summary of Events:
Dom read an e-mail from his mother talking about how she wanted him to move to Melbourne and vented his frustrations to Bethany a little bit. Lachlan tailed the Golden Shadow to an unknown location and managed to burst in on his attempted sale of the package Lachlan was looking for, which he successfully got away with. Dom got a call from his mother, who told him that she and his father were planning to start a homeless shelter in Melbourne, and wanted him to run it. Lachlan met Harrison and gave him the recovered package.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Dom sighed. "Course, whether or not we have children is beside the point."
"And vhat is the point?" Mama asked.
"I am not leaving Brisbane," Dom replied firmly.
"I vill send you pictures of the varehouse and logo designs," Mama declared. "You vill vant to come to Melbourne vhen you see how nice and fashionable ve make your homeless shelter here."
"I have no care or desire to have a fashionable homeless shelter," Dom said, measured and forceful. "The one I have is working just fine, and will be working even better once we've made use of the million dollars you've so graciously gifted us. I will not leave it; not because I consider my fellow volunteers inept and incapable of managing it without me — they've proved more than capable in these recent months for a variety of reasons — but because this is where I want to be. More importantly, this is where, I believe, God wants me to be. I will only leave if it is Him leading me."
"It is important to be close to family!" Mama protested. "It says in the Bible."
"No," Dom replied. "It says both that man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and that we are, as believers, to go out into all the world and make disciples of all nations. Now, certainly, I have not left Australia, but I am somewhere else in the world making disciples of Jesus, and I'm staying here until He tells me to move on."
"You are so selfish Dominik," Mama pouted.
"Selfish?" Dom asked. "You really think I'm selfish?"
"Yes," Mama replied.
"I am not Mama," Dom said quietly. "If you were to come here, to Brisbane, and talk to to all the people I know, they would never tell you that I'm selfish. The only one who's being selfish here is you."
"I vould never be selfish Dominik," Mama replied, aghast.
"You and Father need to spend some serious time in thought about your relationship with me," Dom said. "That's the only way you'll find out which one of us is right. And, so you know, I have no interest in hearing from you until you have thoroughly thought on the matter."
He set the receiver down without bothering to listen for whatever rejoinder Mama might have to that comment and shoved to his feet.
Running his fingers through his hair, Dom sighed. He could hardly believe it. His parents were going to literally start a homeless shelter in Melbourne in efforts to lure him down there."

Unsurprisingly, I am, again, a
Check back for the Year-End Summary on November 25.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ramifications: Day 19

Word Count: 114,031

Summary of Events:
Lachlan woke up in Angelo's impressive — and very white — suite, where he was fed breakfast before being given a new motorcycle that looked exactly like his old one, except better. Dom read the article Mr. Abbott wrote about him and was pleased with it before receiving a call from a contractor who gave him a quote of no less than five million to redo the roof, which was far more than they had at their disposal; he soon found out that they were a rather disreputable company. Lachlan, enthralled by his new bike, decided to take it out for an evening drive out on the highway . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"He turned his focus back to the road, however, and kept driving, enjoying the bliss of riding his magnificent bike on the rather open highway, as not all that many people were out and about; in fact, even for a winter's night the traffic seemed low.
Lachlan checked his rearview mirrors and saw only a single headlight some ways behind him. His guess was a fellow biker was the owner, being as it looked too centred to be a car with one light out.
Ahead of him there wasn't a single red taillight.
Glancing up at the sky, Lachlan spotted a few stars finally shining out now that the daylight had faded enough, although the stars looked feeble and weak compared to Brisbane's streetlights.
He heard the sound of the motorcycle catching up to him, and as he glanced in his rearview mirror he saw that, indeed, it was catching up to him, and fast.
The next moment the bike had shot past him.
Lachlan could've sworn he'd seen red and chrome, which would mean the bike of the Golden Shadow.
The only way to find out was to get faster.
His bike could now do that easily, so Lachlan squeezed the accelerator.
It didn't take long before the bike — which had quickly become a rather distant red taillight — started to get closer.
Lachlan glanced down at the speedometer. He was going a hundred and eighty kilometres an hour.
He kept accelerating until he reached two hundred and seventy — fifty kilometres faster than his old bike had been able to go, and yet still a hundred slower than this one could go.
This sort of speed, however, was almost panic-inducing, and Lachlan was grateful when he could slow down by seventy kilometres once he got closer to the bike.
Carefully he manoeuvred into the same lane as the bike, giving him a clear shot of the rear fender of the bike in his headlight: shiny metallic red.
The exhaust pipes were shining chrome. He was right on the tail of the Golden Shadow.
Lachlan read the sequence of numbers and letters on the plate and repeated it to himself until he could look elsewhere and easily recite it correctly. He was not going to lose the Golden Shadow this time.
In fact, as soon as the Golden Shadow dared stop — or run our of petrol, which Lachlan still had three quarters of a tank of — he was going to get that package back, and absolutely nothing was going to stop him.
He was going to get his paycheque back, he was going to get the threat of being killed by Harrison off his head, he was going to remain the last one standing.
The Golden Shadow started to slow, so Lachlan did the same, following him as he merged onto the exit ramp and around the wide, arcing circle up onto the overpass, and straight into the artificial starlight that illuminated the city of Brisbane."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ramifications: Day 18

Word Count: 108,107

Summary of Events:
Lachlan arrived at Dom and Bethany's house and was surprised to find Bethany mixing cookie dough, which he watched before heading to his room. Dom got called by a newspaper reporter who seemed nicer than the rest and agreed to do an interview with him the next morning before learning that Bethany's brother and his wife had welcomed their third child, which made Bethany quite sad. Lachlan went to the police impound to rescue his bike, but got found out by the police and eventually was forced to destroy his bike before being grabbed and knocked unconscious. Dom was called by the reporter and gave the interview, including listing all the ways in which the media had bothered him and other Shelter people to that point . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""That's quite a lot of bother," Mr. Abbott said. "Why does this bother you?"
"Because part of the reason I left Melbourne was to get out of the media spotlight because it was taking away the attention I needed," Dom replied. "I refuse to be a member of Australian High Society, regardless of who my parents are. I am Dom O'Shea, your average Australian citizen, and I want to be nothing more."
"You're content to live the simple life then?" Mr. Abbot asked.
"Indubitably," Dom replied.
"You've chosen to forsake the life you were born into and minister to the lowest of the low," Mr. Abbott said.
"Yes," Dom replied. "And I chose to do so because that high society life turned me into one of the lowest of the low by what it took from me. I became one of the people I now serve, and it was through the people who served me that I came to be in a position of offering that same service to people who are just like I was once. I couldn't be happier if I could be left alone to live my life the way I've chosen to live it."
"Now, you say that the high society life took things from you," Mr. Abbott said. "I'd like to know what it took from you, if you don't mind?"
"It took my parents from me," Dom replied quietly.
"And that's how they wronged you?" Mr. Abbott asked.
"Yes," Dom replied.
"I see," Mr. Abbott said quietly.
"I'd rather, though, if you would, kindly, leave out the bits about my parents, if it's possible," Dom said. "I'd much rather they figure it out on their own than be told, if they're capable of such."
"I'll do my best Mr. O'Shea," Mr. Abbott replied. "Just, one more question: if people want to know more about the Shelter, what's the best way they can do so?"
"They can come and volunteer," Dom replied. "We have a very up-to-date website where they can sign up according to their schedule and they can come serve a meal or do any number of other things detailed on the website."
"Which is?" Mr. Abbott asked.
"Theshelter.au*," Dom replied.
"Thank you for your time Mr. O'Shea," Mr. Abbott said.
"Thank you for your courtesy," Dom replied. "If you would like to do another article on the Shelter I'd be more than willing to both let and help you."
"I'll remember that," Mr. Abbott said.
The call ended, Dom set the receiver down and sighed. He could only hope that this article would satisfy everyone's appetites and get them to realise that he just wanted to be left well enough alone."

*not an actual website; or, if it is, it is completely unrelated to this story.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ramifications: Day 17

Word Count: 102,301

Summary of Events:
Lachlan managed to figure out the address of the gangster he was looking for from the papers he stole. Dom and Elijah got talking about Lachlan, with Elijah suggesting that Dom should inform the police about him without knowing what he was up to specifically. Lachlan and another gang grunt searched the apartment belonging to the gangster in hopes of finding the package the gangster had stolen . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Lachlan continued searching the apartment ruthlessly, but to no avail. Both the main and master bathrooms' drains in the sinks and the showers ran freely, it wasn't hidden in the toilet tanks or just under the rim of the bowls.
In fact, they effectively ransacked the entire apartment and found absolutely no sign of it.
"Bastard has it on him," Lachlan swore.
"So what do we do now?" Ricky asked.
"Take what food you want," Lachlan replied. "If you want to save your things before I light it all up you may want to do that, and take the esky* down if you would. But if I find anything missing I'll knife you."
Ricky said nothing. Lachlan looked over his shoulder and saw Ricky rummaging around in the esky.
On silent feet Lachlan crossed the floor to be behind Ricky. He managed to draw out his knife and hold it between his palms before plunging it down into Ricky's back, which elicited a shout.
"Told you I'd knife you," Lachlan said. "Even with buggered hands."
Ricky returned the sweets he'd taken and Lachlan drew the knife out before using its bloodied blade to close the esky. He pushed the esky out into the hallway with his foot.
"Take what food you want and make yourself scarce," Lachlan warned.
Ricky nodded silently, getting to his feet and leaning against the wall as he made his way to the fridge, which he took several things out of Lachlan hadn't wanted, doing the same with the freezer — including taking the ice creams Lachlan hadn't been interested in.
Once Ricky had taken all he wanted and left silently Lachlan went back into the apartment and lit one of the stove burners. He then took a ravaged pillow from the living room and held it over the burner until it lit. He finally tossed the flaming pillow into the living room and turned off the burner.
He watched silently for a few moments as the flames spread rather rapidly before hurrying out the door, taking up the esky carefully, taking the stairs down to the basement, and exiting out of the man-door beside the overhead door into the underground park.
Silently he made his way along the footpath. He'd not gotten too far when he heard an explosion and shattering glass. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the flames licking up the side wall of the building and smoke billowing out of the window. The vinyl siding melted helplessly as the flames licked it.
Lachlan turned his gaze ahead and kept walking away. As much as fire fascinated him and he loved to watch it, he was sure that a man with bandaged hands and an esky would be far too peculiar a sight to go unnoticed."

*Esky is colloquial Australian for a cooler or an ice box.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ramifications: Day 16

Word Count: 96,251

Summary of Events:
A regular serving group arrived and one of its members showed Dom some rather depressing tweets about the Shelter, but Elijah encouraged him and he went on to discuss the idea of a hamburger night with one of the other members of the group. Lachlan watched his paycheque get burned — the chosen punishment — and then went to the Shelter looking for a sandwich, which was about all he could eat due to the injuries to his fingers. Dom was invited up to share about the Shelter at the banquet, where he gave the attendees a brief history of the Shelter . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""The Shelter hasn't necessarily experienced a miracle quite like that one, but we have seen a few in our time," Dom continued. "But more on that later. The Shelter was founded about thirty years ago, when the aging, dwindling congregation of St. Hilda's Anglican Church decided to merge with another, younger congregation, putting their building up for sale. It was purchased by a wonderful woman by the name of Margaret Quinton — affectionately known to all as Mags."
Dom did half wish he had a glass of water, but he forged on.
"Mags had been born into a military family in Townsville and had suffered the heartbreaking death of her father, Second Lieutenant Arthur Quinton, in the Battle of Coral-Balmoral in Vietnam as a child," Dom went on. "With her mother being forced to work, Mags and her siblings were left unattended, and Mags quickly became a handful for her mother before running away from home at seventeen to join the hippie movement here in Brisbane, taking drugs and partying little different from what teenagers do today."
Turning away from the microphone, Dom cleared his throat.
"During the flood of nineteen seventy four Mags was rescued by a young man whom she considered quite fetching," Dom continued. "He rebuffed her romantic advances, however, telling her he wasn't into free love. He shared the Gospel with her and she soon became a Christian. They were engaged to be married when he died helping rescue people from a sinking pleasure craft. This devastated Mags, but his parents encouraged her and she soon decided that she was going to remain unmarried for the rest of her days and do whatever God wanted her to do. It was then that she heard about the selling of the St. Hilda's building and bought it."
Mr. Arnold set a glass of water on the podium. Dom nodded gratefully and took a sip.
"Much better, thank you," Dom said. "Anyways. Mags was somewhat a whimsical person, but she did have a plan in mind when she purchased the building, and had it renovated to largely how it exists today. She then opened the doors and started serving food. She had full intention of coming up with a name for the place, but it never happened, so it has become known simply as the Shelter. This, all, was before my time, both in the sense that I wasn't born, and I wasn't in Brisbane.""

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ramifications: Day 15

Word Count: 90,364

Summary of Events:
Dom was informed that a TV news crew had invaded the kitchen and had to call the police to get them to go away. Lachlan was brought before the Associates to face punishment because the fire he started had caused Club Brisbane to burn one of the Associate's clubs down in revenge — and he ended up finding that the police had picked up his motorcycle. Dom unlocked the front door of the Shelter for the day and ended up witnessing a police officer preventing a news crew from bothering the Shelter by telling the crew the Shelter was cooking with limburger cheese. Lachlan went to another Club Brisbane location to see if he could find more information and ended up having to hide under a desk when someone came into the room, although he got found, and that person summoned another . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Feet sounded across the floor and another face peeked under the desk, startling.
"Who are you?" the man asked.
"No one," Lachlan replied.
"Oh you're someone alright," the man replied, reaching in.
Lachlan tried to draw his knife out to stab the man, but only succeeded in jabbing himself in the ribcage, which allowed the man to seize him by the throat and drag him out from under the desk.
"You look an awful lot like somebody I know," the man said, looking at him critically.
Lachlan struggled against the man's grip.
"But you're not him," the man growled, bringing Lachlan's face close to his. "You're that Devil rat."
Still Lachlan struggled, trying to pry the fingers free.
"You want to know what we do with rats round here?" the man asked.
Lachlan shook his head, he couldn't hardly breathe.
"We chuck 'em out the window," the man said, smiling.
The man whirled around, swinging Lachlan off his feet, through the window and the blinds, releasing his neck.
Lachlan reached for the window frame and grabbed hold, grimacing at the stabbing pain of the broken glass biting into his fingers.
He looked down only to see that there were a few lines of fragile glass tubing between him and the footpath below. He was hanging directly off the front of Club Brisbane, and he didn't want to know how much distance was between him and that footpath.
"Let go Rat!" the man shouted, slamming his fists against Lachlan's fingertips.
Lachlan grimaced, but didn't let go. He didn't know what to do, but letting go seemed like a pretty bad idea at the moment.
If anything, his best chance was to go up.
He released one hand slowly and gingerly.
"That's it," the man said, smiling sinisterly. "Let me help you."
Lachlan drew out his knife slowly, holding on obstinately with his right hand while he put is feet against the wall.
Using the grip afforded by the textured stucco wall, Lachlan surged upward, driving his knife deep into the man's chest before pulling himself back into the room, which left scratches on his jacket.
He jerked the knife free and sheathed it before climbing onto the windowsill, steadying himself with a hand against the vertical frame.
Another gangster appeared in the door just as Lachlan reached up with his other hand and grabbed around the roof edge.
Reaching his other hand up, Lachlan then leaned out the window as he straightened and pulled himself up onto the roof. He hoped he'd find a fire escape to get himself down somewhere, but for now he was out of Club Brisbane and not by dying."