Friday, December 30, 2016

January Novel Essential Information

Novel Title: Everliving
Time Setting: 1583
Genre: Fantasy
Minimum Word Goal: 120,000
Timespan: May 1583–May 1584
Locations: the Continent of Merada; the Ocean to the West; the Isle of Falidor, Utter West; the Kingdom of Ñapesa
Main Characters: Ian "Quique" Ellenwood, Princess Bethania of Ñapesa
Background Information:
There are few things Quique knows for certain about his identity, but he's more than convinced of the truth of what he does know.
Firstly, he knows that his name is not Ian Ellenwood, but he's not sure that his name is really Quique either, it's just the only name he recalls being addressed by before the attack.
Secondly, he knows that he had, at least, two sisters, both of whom died while young children, but neither of whose names he recalls either.
Thirdly, he knows that his family was on a boat, except his father, whom they were going to meet, and they were set upon by pirates, who took him and his sisters captive and murdered everyone else on the ship, including his mother and any other siblings.
These very same pirates are the ones with whom he now sails. Not by choice, mind, but by his having no other alternative, being as he doesn't know where he's from, where he belongs, whether or not his father is alive, or where to find his father.
He's tried to search his father out, or information about the ship he was on, but the pirates won't talk and he can't get any of the captives they have to trust him.
Subconscious knowledge suggests to him that he is from Ñapesa — which is the nations whose gilt galleons laden with gold are the pirates' most frequent target — being as he can understand what the Ñapesan-speaking captives are saying at all times, and yet he never took lessons in the language; but still, that doesn't help him figure much more out.

Considered to be the most eligible — and beautiful — bachelorette in the entire continent of Merada, Bethania is her father's oldest living child, but not his heir, as she has a younger brother — although being as he wasn't the first son his father sired some are concerned about whether he'll successfully outlive his father.
Although she enjoys the royal life, Bethania can't say as much for the quality of the men who seek her hand, being as they're most all rather vain, ugly, ungallant, or effeminate, while some even desire her purely for political purposes.
She is grateful that she doesn't have to have a regnal position such as her father's, but she wishes that her future husband could love her because of who she is, and she would be allowed to reciprocate and not feel like a pawn in a game.
Recently, however, things have gotten worse, as her father has fallen ill. Initially she hoped that would make him more willing to let her choose whom she wanted to marry, but instead her father has decided to offer her up as a prize.
He believes that, somewhere in the Utter West, there is a fountain whose waters restore health and life to the consumer, and he believes a drink from the fountain will save him. She thinks he's delusional, and is also nothing short of furious that he's offered her up as a prize to whomever brings him a drink from that fountain, which deprives her of all choice in her future, essentially selling her off to the highest bidder.
Her pleas for him to let her choose her own husband continue to fall on deaf ears though, so she must resign herself to her fate and hope she gets to marry someone nice, unlike most of her suitors.

Merada: mehrahdah
Falidor: fahlihdohr
Ñapesa(n): n'yahpaysah(n)
Quique: keekay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Year End Summary

Year Total: 1,110,118
Increase Over Year Prior: -29,964
Novel Total: 11
Increase Over Year Prior: 0
Longest Novel: Treacherous Impulses, 120,023 words, 222 pages
Shortest Novel: Unriddling Clues, 90,001 words, 164 pages
Summary of the Year:
Well, the end has been reached once again, and it's been quite the journey in which I only actually had one rewrite project, that being Loveless, which I increased over its previous incarnation by 15,000 words.
Last year I'd said I would also rewrite my first-ever novel — which was itself originally only a little longer than the amount of words I increased Loveless by — however I found too many obstacles for me to overcome with it at the time, including there being a cast of four main characters, two of which were siblings, and so shelved it for now.
Already I've got most of next year planned out — in fact, by the time I begin writing next year I'll only have two books left to plan — and I've added a few more rewrites. This isn't because I'm running out of ideas, though, it's just that most of my ideas are sequels to stories featuring characters I've already used, and I'd like to hold back on writing the sequels until I feel that the first books are more what I'd like them to be.
Some of the revisitations that can be looked forward to are the first-ever thriller I wrote — although you'll have to wait until next November for it — as well as the first of the fantasy Sagas set in the fictitious world of Ureonaiea with Aissure, among others. There's also the first of the western novels, such as the ones set in Wyoming, Idaho, and Texas this year — this one being set in Montana — and, the rewrite I'm looking most forward to at the moment, one set in the world of Thoroughbred horse racing.
New projects will include some settings that I've wanted to do for some time — including a story featuring pirates, and another featuring spies — along with quite a few other projects I'm really excited to write.
This year was a good year, with a lot of new projects, and I was very pleased with a lot of them — especially Treacherous Impulses, which was a lot of fun — but I think it will be fun to go back and revisit some previous stories, making them better yet next year.
Before I close out again for another year, I know it's become predictable — and being as my goal was 70,000 over that of the whole event it really shouldn't be a surprise — but I am, again, a
It was fun, as always, and I encourage anyone else who's interested in writing their own books to check out NaNoWriMo site, or the site for their summer program, Camp NaNoWriMo. They're really awesome programs, and it's really fun to join with a community of writers, it makes things seem not quite so lonely.
Thanks for coming along again for another year, it's been fun, and I'm really looking forward to next year. Hope to see you all on December 30 when I set up my first novel of the new year!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US, Merry Christmas to everyone else!

R.A. Millet

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Quagmire: Day 20

Word Total: 120,004

Year to Date: 1,110,118

Summary of Events:
Jesse went to call the gangsters, lifting a handbill with their number on it off of his neighbour; unfortunately everyone wanted the $6,000 the gangsters were offering for information, packing every phone booth and prompting people chase him as well. He got to the Tribune building and had to try multiple times before he got through to the gangsters and told them to meet him. He then confessed to them that he was Jesse "Hawkeye" Haden all along and it was their own fault that he'd ended up being privy to their secrets and then worked to convince them that he wouldn't publish anything more about them in the newspaper . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""What are you going to give us to assure us that you are not lying?" the boss asked.
"I will not give you anything," Jesse replied. "I will not be bound to you and I will not have you as a millstone about my own neck."
"But we have a right to slaughter you if you don't keep quiet like you've said," the boss said.
"And you really think you're going to be able to catch me?" Jesse asked.
"Yes," the boss replied.
"Surely you've not already forgotten what I've already told you," Jesse said. "I am Hawkeye."
"But what does that even mean?" the boss asked.
"I served during the war — as I think you should have inferred already — and it was noted among the men of my unit that I was a superior marksman," Jesse replied. "My superior officer made note of it as well, likening me to a hawk, which has such keen eyesight that it can see prey as small as a mouse from as much as a mile in the air. My fellow men took his specific wording that I had a hawk's eye, eliminated the S, and compounded it into the moniker Hawkeye."
"How many did you kill?" the boss asked.
"I don't know, and I am grateful that I don't, the fact that I remember anything of those years is not something that I am proud of," Jesse replied. "I should never like to suffer such experiences again, although unfortunately I live in Chicago, and at the rate things are going so far I have a feeling I will be burdened with like instances in the future."
"So then how do they know you were accurate?" the boss asked.
"If you have any questions of my accuracy all you need do is speak to Redmond's uncle or a member of his gang and you will have your answer," Jesse replied firmly.
Redmond's face blazed. "He's still out there?"
"He offered me a handsome sum to kill you," Jesse replied. "But, I'll have you know, I refused it."
"No one can kill me!" Redmond snapped, drawing his gun, lowering it into place, and firing.
Jesse didn't move. To have repeated Redmond's manoeuvre would've been to kill him, however Jesse had no intention of breaching his personal resolve of not killing a man during peacetime — if that was what this could even rightly be called.
Redmond aimed again. "I tell you no one can kill me."
Jesse drew his gun and fired, prompting Redmond to drop his gun when the bullet from Jesse's struck his in the chamber and caused a small explosion that was little more than a flash really.
"I will not kill you," Jesse replied. "But neither will I be killed. Not by you, not by your uncle, not by Miro Gronchi, nor by any other gangster, criminal, hoodlum, or even law-abiding citizen who might deign to bring about my demise.""

Year End Summary to be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quagmire: Day 19

Word Count: 114,041

Summary of Events:
Jesse woke up to find his clothes missing and found Rose was washing them at the boys' behest; she ordered him to have a bath, which he obliged to, only to have his mother intrude on him and embarrass the daylights out of him. He went to the speakeasy again to find it empty before being confronted by the gangsters, who'd been at their man's funeral, and who told him they'd upped their reward for his capture as Jesse Haden to $600,000 for the latest articles he'd written. Jesse was in his room talking with Georgia when Rose came in, frightened about men with guns stopping at the door . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""I'd started down the stairs to answer the door when Mr. Nichols got there," Rose replied. "They left him with a paper and I heard him tell Mrs. Nichols what it said."
"What did it say?" Jesse asked.
"You said you were in danger," Rose said. "But you said you didn't want to tell me what kind of danger until you were safe. I don't care if you're safe. I want to know what the danger is."
"Rose, I asked you a question first," Jesse said.
"It said that there's a six thousand dollar reward for any information on the whereabouts of Jesse Haden," Rose replied. "And Mr. Nichols said he was of a mind to call the number on the paper and tell them your whereabouts are here, upstairs."
"They're getting downright desperate," Jesse muttered.
"This is about that money in your drawer, isn't it?" Rose demanded.
"I told you, that isn't money," Jesse replied.
"And you lied to me!" Rose snapped.
"You looked in the drawer, didn't you," Jesse asked flatly.
"Yes I did," Rose replied.
"You didn't find–" Jesse caught himself before he finished.
Rose tilted her head to the side and raised her eyebrows. "What?"
Jesse dropped his shoulders. "It's my own fault, Rose, all of it."
"What is?" Rose asked, her coyness disappearing at once, replaced by concern.
"I ended up being mistaken as a gangster," Jesse replied. "And I had the ability to tell them about their mistake right away, but I didn't."
Rose looked almost ready to faint.
"I played along, I thought I'd keep it up a bit, and I got secrets and published them, so now they want me — dead or alive — for a million dollars," Jesse said.
Rose's eyes widened.
"They don't even know they want me for that much," Jesse added.
"What do you mean?" Rose asked.
"Very few of them are convinced that I'm a gangster, especially being as I lied that I look a lot like Jesse Haden," Jesse replied. "And they want Jesse Haden for six hundred thousand dollars."
"So what's the four hundred thousand then?" Rose asked.
"That's what they want me for as Hawkeye," Jesse replied.
"Hawkeye?" Rose asked.
"My nickname from the army," Jesse replied. "I used it when I encountered a man in the dark and deliberately shot him to wound him at the back of the head. I later found out he was a gangster from the gang I've been pretending to be a part of."
"Jesse, you said you swore to Da you wouldn't get into the gangs," Rose said.
"I know," Jesse replied. "That's why I should've gotten out of it right away, and I didn't. I'm pretty sure what cover I have is falling to pieces, and I need to keep it from killing me."
"Jesse, why did you do this?" Rose asked, tears in her eyes.
"I don't know Rose," Jesse replied. "But it's all going to end, some way or another.""

Monday, November 21, 2016

Quagmire: Day 18

Word Count: 108,006

Summary of Events:
Jesse arrived home and tried to convince Rose he hadn't consumed any liquor, when he had — although he was unsuccessful. He went to interview policemen about the raid for a bit more of an in-depth feature on the raid, but found out that some gangsters were planning to steal the trucks with the collusion of a police officer instead. He had a discussion with Rose — including confessing that he had, indeed, had liquor the night before — and apologised. He then went to watch the attempted robbery and saw two groups of gangsters try to break in before fighting with each other and the police; in the end three trucks were successfully stolen before the police gained control of the situation, Jesse's mind wandered back to his war experience due to the carnage . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"There was no birdsong, there was no life, no grass, no trees, absolutely nothing other than pure desolation, the air filled with a fear that one could almost taste as they waited for the shout.
Figures surged up out of the trench across the no man's land. He was too numb to put the rifle to his shoulder and fire at them as the men around him were doing, causing bodies to twist in anguish and fall.
A hand grabbed his shoulder and Jesse startled violently. The muted lighting of a cloudy day in France disappeared for the darkness of another night in Chicago. The officer startled slightly.
"Are you alright?" the officer asked.
"As good as I can be," Jesse replied quietly.
"Here's our tally of dead, everything's cleaned up if you want to have a look around," the officer said.
Jesse took the paper and looked at it. He'd just watched the deaths of another half a dozen men: two police officers and four gangsters. He'd been under the impression that there would be a lot more dead, but he was rather grateful that there weren't.
Folding the list, he pocketed it and turned around to see that all of the undertakers' vehicles had left and lights were on in the warehouse.
Jesse went through the open door and found a rather vicious, blood-spattered scene, as well as a lot of broken glass and spilled liquor. He was almost tempted to leave, but he refused to let himself. He noticed some officers holding out glasses and another was doling out liquor from the back of the last truck.
"You want some?" the pouring officer asked Jesse.
Jesse nodded and made his way closer, moving his eyes over the scene of spilled liquor — in some places mingled with blood — and broken bottles, noting places where bullets struck the truck, or bottles in the truck, causing there to be liquor stains down the sides, burst the tire, punctured the door and fender, or even glanced off of the floor.
The officer gave him the bottle and Jesse drained it without taking a breath. He gave it back to the officer, who tossed it to the floor so that it broke.
"Just another casualty," he said.
Jesse nodded as the officer reached back into the truck and grabbed another bottle.
Men eagerly held out their glasses for more. Jesse took an entire bottle for himself and threw it back rather quickly. He needed more to steel himself against the memories this was rekindling for him.
He went to take another bottle, but he stopped himself, he'd seen enough of the scene, he could just go home, write the article, and drink one of the bottles he had there to clear his mind of the horrors before going to bed."

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Quagmire: Day 17

Word Count: 102,024

Summary of Events:
Jesse tried to smuggle Georgia back into the house after their outing, but his mother suspected right away and they got into an argument that prompted Jesse to leave in fury, followed by Georgia; he then ran into the downstairs neighbour, who insulted him and Georgia and prompted Jesse to fight with him. Jesse attended another gangster meeting and learned that they were going to collect four truckloads of liquor north of Chicago. Jesse snuck along in the trunk of one of the gangsters' cars, as he'd tipped off the police and didn't want to be identified as who he really was in front of the gangsters; when the car slowed down he looked to see what was going on and saw two of the gangsters' vehicles heading back the way they'd come . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Jesse quickly slid out of the trunk and crawled for shelter as the third truck roared by. He watched in hiding as all of the vehicles turned around and went back. He then looked up toward where they'd originally been heading.
Flashlights shone in the distance and there was a crowd of cars around four trucks full of crates. Jesse smiled to himself: the police had, likely, initially, sent a few men to check out the validity of the claim, and upon meeting the gangsters who were bringing the illegal liquor into the country, they'd called for backup and were now arresting the couriers.
Quietly Jesse crept toward the scene, where policemen were manhandling gangsters into their cars. He was going to want a ride back in either the trunk of one of the cars, or the back of one of the trucks, and then he'd have to find some way to conveniently appear when they arrived back at the detachment with their booty.
Jesse could soon hear what the officers were saying:
"Those vehicles that turned around there must've been the men coming to pick this up," one said.
"Too bad it was too dark for us to get their plate numbers," another said. "We would've been able to catch them and shut down whatever they're running."
"Exactly," a third one said. "Probably why they turned around so soon."
"Not that it really matters," the first one said. "If these are their sole suppliers then they aren't getting any more liquor and will likely close up shop in short order anyways."
"So what are we going to do with this lot?" a fourth officer asked, walking into the conversation, indicating the trucks full of liquor.
"We'll haul these boys in, get some press to come take pictures of our prizes, dump a little liquor ceremonially, and then give everybody a bottle on the quiet, divide the rest between ourselves, and go home," the first one replied.
"But it's illegal to have liquor!" the fourth one protested.
"Boy, you've got a lot to learn," the third one said. "The only people in this country who wanted that law were the women, especially those of the WCTU, and they're the domineering sort that forced their husbands and sons to vote dry — if they didn't even somehow fill out the mens' ballots for them — we didn't vote for this, but we don't want to paint the picture that we're contravening the government's orders. This is all for show kid."
Jesse raised his eyebrows in surprise. He knew that, in truth, many people — including himself and the editors and owner of the Tribune — didn't support the idea of Prohibition, but had somehow ended up with it forced upon them, but he wouldn't have expected this sort of action or thought."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Quagmire: Day 16

Word Count: 96,034

Summary of Events: 
Jesse found out that Rose had been unkindly treated by a gangster affiliated with the group his fellow reporter had been a part of and so went and tore a strip out of them for doing anything to her before meeting Redmond Fylan's uncle and convincing him to leave him alone. Noting that Georgia seemed bored out of her tree, Jesse snuck her out for a walk and they came upon a woman whose car was on fire; Jesse rescued her child from the car and got them to a neighbour's house while he went to call for help at a nearby phone booth . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"He hung up the phone just as an explosion shook the ground. Jesse turned and saw a more spread out flaming wreckage that looked nothing like a car, and flaming debris sitting all over the place; thankfully the rain was keeping things under control, and being as the ground was already moistened the flames weren't spreading very easily.
Unfortunately, however, many windows were broken as a result of the explosion, including those of the house where Jesse had left the woman, her child, and Georgia.
Jesse turned the phone booth's handle to get out and see how they were faring, but it wouldn't budge. Jesse shoved and kicked at it, but it appeared that the force of the explosion had jammed the door.
Or, at least that was how it appeared until Jesse noticed flames climbing the side of the phone booth, travelling rapidly over the flammable paint.
Jesse turned back to the phone and inserted another coin.
"Operator, how soon are they going to get here?" he asked.
"I don't know, but they're on their way sir," she replied.
"I'm trapped in the phone booth and it's on fire," Jesse said.
"I'll let them know," the operator replied.
Jesse hung up and worked to take deep breaths and keep himself from panicking, despite the fact that flames were crawling the outside, and also starting to lick toward the interior.
He kicked the door again, then paused a moment and drew out his gun. Firing it in such a confined space would do murder on his ears, but he had no choice, if the door was merely jammed by the force of something having struck it, the shot should get him out.
If there was something in front of the door, however, the shot would be wasted. But at least he had to try.
Aiming squarely at where the door pin ought to be located, Jesse fired, cringing at the deafening report of the firearm. He then kicked the door again, but it still didn't give, there was something against the door from which the flames had originated.
Jesse threw himself against the door as the flames started to come even more into the booth, filling up the air with acrid smoke.
He heard sirens and clanging as he pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket and put it over his face. He didn't have time to wet it with anything, and he was sure it would do well enough on his own.
Viciously he threw himself against the door again. He could hear muffled shouts, then thudding and the splintering of wood before there was a rush of cool air and a roar of fire. Hands seized Jesse and hauled him out into the rain again.
Jesse collapsed to the ground and gulped in deep, rain-sodden breaths of fresh air while the firemen rushed around tending to the flames scattered about."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Quagmire: Day 15

Word Count: 90,003

Summary of Events:
Jesse went to the speakeasy, but didn't find Robbie, so he left a message with the waitress. He then attended the funeral of his fellow reporter and got into a discussion with the gangsters that his fellow reporter had been affiliated, which led to them taking him to one of their hideouts. At their hideout Jesse got into a discussion with a higher up who threatened to turn him in for reward money, but he convinced them to let him showcase his aim skills in hopes of convincing them not to . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Jesse walked over to the nearer wall of the warehouse. The leader stepped in front of him, holding out the penny between his fingers.
"You're too close," Jesse said.
"Too close?" the leader asked incredulously. "There's fifteen feet between us!"
"As far back as you can go," Jesse replied.
"There's no way you're going to hit it from there!" the leader protested.
The other gangsters murmured as well.
"That's where I want it," Jesse replied.
Although looking rather unsettled and reticent, the leader backed up all the way until he was against the other wall of the warehouse, holding out the penny between his fingers and as far to the right as his arm could reach.
Jesse fixed his gaze on the penny, which he could just make out — having a silhouette on a light background was a lot easier to pick out than a copper coin on a dark brick wall, although having the light fingers flanking the coin helped.
He drew out his gun and stretched his arm straight out, lining up the sighting notch with the penny. He braced his arm to keep it level and fired.
The leader jumped back after a moment and the assembled gangsters hurried over, one bringing something back to the severe-faced man. Jesse raised his eyebrows.
"Impressive," the severe man said after rolling the penny Jesse could tell from his position was obviously rather damaged in his fingers for some time.
"Based on the incredulity with which you and your men regarded that display I am assured that neither you nor any other man in this building, although he may attempt the feat, would necessarily be successful in accomplishing it," Jesse said.
"No surprise that you're English," he said. "You speak in the same fancy way they do and everything."
"I'm merely fond of utilising the greatest quantity of words contained within the dictionary, as I believe that meanings are well wise to be considered and the words appropriately used," Jesse replied.
"What are you saying?" he asked.
"None of your men are wont to challenge me and see if they have such exceptional aiming abilities as I," Jesse replied.
"I'm wont to," he said. "Get out another penny!"
The leader did so, although he looked even more uncertain than he had when it'd been Jesse's turn. Jesse smiled, but kept his mouth shut.
"And I don't even need to brace my arm to do it," he said.
Jesse leaned casually against the wall and watched as he lined up, although muttering curses under his breath, and then fired.
The leader cried out and clutched his hand to his chest. The other men hurried over, escorting the wounded leader, whose shirt cuff was stained red by the time they'd crossed the building.
"It's in my arm," the leader whispered, looking frightfully pained.
"I aimed for the coin," he said irritably.
"Here it is," one of the other men said, proffering an unscathed penny."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Quagmire: Day 14

Word Count: 84,031

Summary of Events:
Jesse was unable to sleep and pacing about his room when Georgia came in and they talked a bit before going to bed. Jesse was wandering about Chicago looking for his next story when he was kidnapped by Italian gangsters; he managed to escape with the aid of a fellow reporter, but the reporter was killed and Jesse was knocked out by the Italians. When he came to he was at the opulent home of their head man, Jim, to whom he boldly confessed that he'd shot one of Jim's men in the leg, which the man, Miro, eagerly confirmed . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""I will kill him now," Miro said, drawing his gun.
"No!" Jim bellowed.
Miro startled.
"I do not want him dead, I want him alive," Jim said.
"But I want him dead," Miro protested. "He shot me!"
"I don't care if he shot you," Jim said. "I'll shoot you if you don't put away your gun."
"And I would like to know why you were waylaying me and stomping on me in the first place," Jesse said.
"Because I was going to bring you to the boss," Miro snapped.
"Then don't threaten to kill me and try to crush my ribcage," Jesse snapped.
Miro opened his mouth to say something in response, but Jim brandished his gun toward Miro, who quickly closed his mouth.
"Now," Jim said. "What I want is really quite simple Mr. Haden."
Jesse slid his gaze over to Jim.
"I want the information," Jim said.
"It's all published," Jesse replied.
"You cannot lie to me Mr. Haden," Jim said. "If you know that much then you assuredly know more, and I want to know what more you know."
"I don't give information until I get information," Jesse said.
"And what information would you be wanting?" Jim asked.
"Why is a simple shot in the leg worth six hundred grand?" Jesse asked.
"Because he is one of my best men, and the injury has laid him up for some time," Jim replied.
Jesse looked over at Miro, who was resting his weight on crutches that looked barely able to take the load.
"Why did your men have to murder one of my fellow reporters?" Jesse asked.
"Because he was preventing you from being brought to me," Jim replied. "Although I wasn't told he was a reporter. I was told that he was affiliated with one of the Irish gangs here, and all Irishmen are enemies."
"Then why are you trying to wheedle information from one?" Jesse asked.
Jim furrowed his brow and looked at Jesse with consternation. "You don't look Irish."
"Doesn't change the fact that I am," Jesse said.
"Your last name doesn't begin with an O," Jim said.
"Not all Irishmen's surnames do," Jesse replied. "Just like, I'm sure, not all Italian's surnames end with I or O."
Jim looked at Jesse seriously.
"You should have let me kill him," Miro muttered.
"Well," Jim said. "If you give me the information I want I will let you live, but if you do not then I will let Miro do what he wills with you. But you ought to know that it will be only because of your usefulness that I will spare you."
"I published all of the information that I know," Jesse said.
Jim proffered a diamond-encrusted pocket watch and checked the time.
"I will give you ten minutes," Jim said, snapping the watch shut. "If you have not made your decision to give me more information in that time then you are Miro's property, if you do, then you will walk away a free man.""

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quagmire: Day 13

Word Count: 78,021

Summary of Events:
Jesse went to a gangster meeting Robbie told him about after the altercation with the waitress and found that he'd accidentally shot one of the gang's best killers in the dark, and that the Italian gang whose man he'd shot had put a price on his head — the combined total of them all equalling $1.2 million. He heard someone approaching the door and answered it to find the loiterer, who was also a young man that Rose had become friends with, at the door; he fought with him and scared him off, including firing two shots at him, before showing Rose that he hadn't killed the young man . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""Why did you have to shoot at him?" Rose demanded.
"To put a little fear into him," Jesse replied.
"Why did you have to beat him?" Rose asked.
"Because it makes my skin crawl to think that you were courting the fancy of a gangster," Jesse replied.
"And how do you know he's a gangster?" Rose demanded.
"I know," Jesse replied.
"That's not good enough," Rose snapped.
"I chased him into a speakeasy once, he was carrying a gun, and he wasn't afraid to aim it at my head and make threats to kill me, even if they weren't seaworthy threats," Jesse replied. "Not to mention he made statements suggestive of an attempt to kidnap you. No respectable man — churchgoing or not — would or should make threats to kidnap a woman when they are denied the privilege to court her. Besides, I know that Ma, Cathleen, Bridget, Noreen, and Delma wouldn't have approved of him either."
"If you wouldn't have provoked him–"
"Rosalind!" Jesse snapped.
He let the sound of her name dissipate and gazed at her in silence for a few moments before continuing.
"If you dared marry that man it would not be a pleasant existence, I assure you," Jesse said, more calm. "He wouldn't have been faithful to you, although he wouldn't ever have let you know it, he would lay with any woman, you'd just be the woman he'd come home to. But worse than that, Rose, he wouldn't grow old with you. To be a gangster is not to have longevity, and you don't need to look further than Obed to see proof of that. Your days would be filled with worry and uncertainty that you do not deserve. You would never be certain that he would make it home for dinner, you wouldn't even necessarily be certain that gunmen wouldn't come to your home and shoot him before your very eyes — if they weren't even callous enough to shoot you as well."
Tears were streaming down Rose's face, her hand was clinging to the bannister, her other hand was barely holding her gun.
"I don't want that for you Rose," Jesse said. "And I know Da wouldn't want it for you either, much less any of the rest. You don't deserve that sort of life, and I will not stand by and see you snared into it by the handsome face, charming demeanour, and silver tongue of one of those men. I didn't do any of what I did today just because I don't like him. I did it because I love you, and I don't want to see you live the life of suffering which would be all that he could assure you of."
He reached forward and caught her gun as her hold on it loosened entirely. Quickly he then pocketed the firearm and brought Rose close to him in a gentle embrace. A sob finally broke free of her into his shoulder while she sagged against his body."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quagmire: Day 12

Word Count: 72,025

Summary of Events:
Jesse got into an argument with Rose when she discovered that he'd been fighting. He then went and watched the police raid of the speakeasy — keeping hidden so no one would recognise him and ruin his charade. He took his article about the raid — which was unsuccessful — to the Tribune and was then heading away when an Italian gangster waylaid him for no reason; he managed to escape, but found out he'd just gotten on the wrong side of the wrong man. Jesse then went to the speakeasy again, where the waitress brought him a drink he hadn't ordered and Robbie got angry to the point of shooting at the waitress when she disobeyed his order to take the drink away . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Surging to his feet, Jesse seized Robbie's shirtfront and threw him against the wall.
"What do you think you're doing?" Jesse demanded.
"Getting her over here to take that drink away like she was told," Robbie replied, his eyes blazing.
"And what makes you think it's acceptable to shoot a woman?" Jesse demanded.
"She's not listening to me!" Robbie snapped. "She's getting too cocky and needs to be put into her place!"
"That's not how you do it," Jesse said firmly.
"Then how do you do it?" Robbie challenged.
Jesse released Robbie and strode calmly over to the other end of the bar, where the waitress was standing. She turned her back on him when she laid eyes on him.
Going around behind the counter Jesse grabbed her jaw firmly and forced her to look at him.
"You were told to do something, and it's up to you to do it whether you want to or not," Jesse said. "Now go over there and do it."
"No," she replied.
Jesse exhaled heavily.
"I know you like me," Jesse said. "And if you want me to like you in return you need to do what you're told. I don't like people who are disobedient, be they a man or woman."
He could tell his words had struck a chord.
"Now I know I didn't ask you to do it," Jesse said. "But I also didn't ask you to bring me a drink. You ended up behaving rather presumptuously, and I don't like that either. What you should do is come and ask me if I'd like a drink, and then bring me the drink if I say so, and don't if I don't. Now, being as I didn't want a drink, go take that drink, like Robbie told you, and do with it whatever you're supposed to do to it. That will earn you more favour from me than anything else you could ever do."
He let go of her and she started off.
Jesse stepped out from behind the bar as she reached the other end and took the glass away. Jesse walked back over to his seat and sat down beside Robbie, who still looked to be seething.
"How did you do that?" Robbie demanded.
"She likes me, so I told her if she wanted me to like her she needed to do what she's told," Jesse replied. "It's much more effective than shooting at people."
Robbie swore.
"Simply a measure of respect," Jesse said. "Just because you have a gun doesn't mean you need to go brandishing it all the time or shooting at people to intimidate them. A few well-placed words can do far more than brandishing a weapon ever will.""

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Quagmire: Day 11

Word Count: 66,027

Summary of Events:
Due to his unsettlement at the presence of the loiterer — who'd been hanging around for nearly a week — Jesse took Rose and bought her a gun — which she didn't appreciate — as well as taking her to a range to teach her the basics. He tried to track the loiterer and ended up being thwarted by a speakeasy doorman before being alerted by one of the gangsters who knew him to the fact that there was a meeting, due to the gang boss' rage at Jesse's publication of information regarding their speakeasy; the boss then noticed Jesse was unfamiliar and Jesse lied that he was a new recruit, which caused him to be taken aside for questioning and challenged to a fight by the boss to test his fists — a fight which Jesse dominated until the boss called in help . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"The man laughed. "Works every time."
"Should I pick him up boss?" a deep voice asked.
"Nah, let him lay there, see if his wit can figure out a way to get out of this," the man said.
"I'ld better be able to get up again," Jesse said.
"Yeah, in a few minutes," he said.
Rage boiled in Jesse at the complete and utter helpless state he was in. He was at the mercy of these men, and had only his mouth to save him if they planned on killing him or in any way uncovered his guise.
"Now, what are your skills, aside from a baffling wit?" the man asked.
"I'm a sharpshooter," Jesse replied.
"Oh," he said. "And?"
"I'm inconspicuous," Jesse replied.
"And?" he asked.
"I can beat people to a pulp with my fists," Jesse replied.
"And?" he asked.
Jesse left his mouth shut. He had no idea if he had any other skills, and he wasn't going to say he had any skills he didn't possess.
He felt sensation and power coming back to him anyways. He remained still, waiting for the sensation to fully return, instead of struggling to his feet.
"You still say you can beat people up," he chuckled.
"If your men wouldn't have come in to your defence I would've thoroughly walloped you," Jesse said. "You coward."
"Coward?" he asked indignantly. "I am a coward?"
"Yes," Jesse replied. "You are a coward."
"Now just watch what this coward is going to do to you," he said.
Jesse slid his arms back, surged to his feet, and started throwing his fists again, harder than ever, adding in the kicking of the man in the shins. The man backed up rapidly until he was pinned against a wall with Jesse slamming his fist into the man's face repeatedly.
"Men! Help me!" he called.
"See!" Jesse shouted, stopping his volley abruptly to seize the man's face. "You're a coward! Calling in your men to help you instead of offering even token defence against me!"
"Stop please," he said feebly, looking at Jesse with genuine fear in his eyes.
"Not until you say it," Jesse said, leaning into the man's face.
He stared into the man's panic-filled eyes for a few moments before pulling back, striking the man in the head twice more, and then slamming his knee up into the man's groin, which caused him to drop to the floor.
Jesse pinned him face down to the floor, bending both arms around behind him, and held him there.
"Say it!" Jesse ordered.
"No," he replied, his voice pained and almost whimpering.
Jesse drew his gun, cocked it, and drove it into the base of the man's skull. "Say it!"
"They're iron toothpicks," the man whimpered. "Strong, but skinny."
Jesse released his gun, uncocked it, and holstered it before helping the man to his feet.
"You're a hard-fighting kid," the man said, breathless, his face bloodied.
"I have no choice," Jesse replied."

Friday, November 11, 2016

Quagmire: Day 10

Word Count: 60,049

Summary of Events:
Jesse went to the Good Friday Mass and was convinced to go to lunch with the family, although he hadn't wanted to; he left immediately thereafter, pursued by his oldest sister all the way home, where they talked and she apologised to him before leaving without him because he refused to go back with her. He was returning from dropping off his article for the evening edition of the Tribune when he spied something suspicious . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"As he approached the house he slowed. There was a a man in a dark coat and a fedora walking the same way as he was, but on the opposite sidewalk. Jesse stopped and waited, watching as the man stopped after a distance, turned around, and headed back.
The man appeared to be loitering. Jesse hadn't ever seen a loiterer on their street before. But that wasn't really disconcerting. The more disconcerting thing about it was the fact that he was loitering directly across from the house.
Was the man looking for him? Some sort of a gangster or a rival gangster who wanted to talk to him — or shoot him? Jesse shifted his jaw and watched as the man continued to pace.
Finally he started forward again and went inside, pausing in the vestibule to glance out the sidelight window to see the that the man was still pacing. From the glance Jesse got of his face he looked young, and almost vaguely familiar.
Jesse headed upstairs, wondering if maybe the man was out after Mr. Nichols, but he had his doubts that was the case, after all, there was that bit of recognition.
Upstairs he found Georgia was leaning against the window sill, looking outside, not playing with Eugenia and their dolls.
After a few moments she turned away from the window and saw him. A flash of happiness lit her face, but only for a moment. By the time she'd reached him, having hurried across the room, her expression was very worried.
"Come," she said, grabbing his fingers and towing him across the living room.
Jesse followed her to the window, where she released his fingers, looked up at him, and pointed in the general direction of the loiterer.
"Who's that?" she asked.
"I don't know," Jesse replied.
"Why is he standing outside?" Georgia asked.
"Because he's loitering," Jesse replied.
"What is loitering?" Georgia asked.
"Wandering around outside of someplace waiting for something," Jesse replied.
"Why is he loitering?" Georgia asked.
"I don't know," Jesse replied.
Georgia sighed.
"How long has he been there?" Jesse asked.
"All day," Georgia replied.
"I didn't see him when I left this morning," Jesse said.
"He came after that," Georgia replied.
"Oh," Jesse said.
"And he's been there all day, and I don't like him," Georgia said.
Jesse couldn't help but chuckle slightly. "And why is that?"
"Because he won't go away," Georgia replied.
"Well, I don't like him either," Jesse said.
"Cause he won't go away?" Georgia asked.
"Well, yes," Jesse replied. "And because of the fact that he's standing across from our house, which means he's waiting for something to happen here, and I don't know if he's waiting for something to happen with us, or with the Nichols."
"What would he be waiting for?" Georgia asked.
"I don't know," Jesse replied. "But I feel like it might be me.""

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Quagmire: Day 9

Word Count: 54,019

Summary of Events:
Jesse was watching his nieces, nephews, and siblings as they played outside when his youngest brother, Solomon, alerted him to a gangster's presence and he went to see what it was about; Georgia went to follow him and he had to rush to save her from being hit by a car; he then got into an argument with his oldest sister and left the party early. On his way home from dropping off an article for the evening edition of the Tribune Jesse ran into Robbie, who offered to give him a tour of the speakeasy they'd met at before, which featured a labyrinthine passage to throw off the police which was filled with hidden passageways that led to different rooms . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""And here's the second last room," Robbie said, going to the left.
Jesse followed him inside and surveyed the room. It was full of crates and barrels of liquor.
"This is where we go when we're thirsty," Robbie said, chuckling. "It's connected via dumbwaiter with the upstairs. What we usually do is go down the chimney to the delivery room, down the stairs and through that door into here to fill the dumbwaiter."
"So you've got shortcuts between the rooms too?" Jesse asked.
"Yes," Robbie replied. "We don't want to have to count lightbulbs and go around in circles all the time."
"I guess that's true," Jesse said, following Robbie out again.
He counted to the eighty second lightbulb. The passage was to the right, and then down a long set of stairs and through another door to a room full of safes.
"This is the money counting room," Robbie said. "This is where the money from the collection room goes through these different chutes."
Jesse looked up at the ceiling to see different doors, each with a ring mounted under them to which a bag was fixed.
"We bag the money and count it at the end of the day and then stash it in the underground safe," Robbie said.
"If we go any further underground I think we'll reach the centre of the earth," Jesse said.
Robbie laughed. "I don't think we're quite that far."
"Why would you call it the underground safe, though?" Jesse asked.
"Because it's built into the floor," Robbie replied. "Only the money counting crew know exactly where it is."
"Oh," Jesse said, looking at the floor, trying to guess where the hole might be.
"This door leads up to the delivery room," Robbie said.
"And this is the last room, right?" Jesse asked.
"Yeah," Robbie replied. "But there's still a little bit left."
Robbie led the way out of the room and Jesse followed him along to the place where the stairs led up to the door into the main room.
"Because of the way you come up to this you don't see the stairs right away, but you finally see a door," Robbie said. "So a lot of people will go through the door and then up the spiral staircase to the back alley, not seeing a thing and being horribly disoriented."
Jesse nodded and followed Robbie up the straight stairs into the main room.
"That's a lot of stuff down there," Jesse said.
"Well, this is essentially headquarters for us, we like to keep everything together if we can," Robbie said. "Come let's have something."
Jesse followed him across the room and reached in his pocket for some coins. He was grateful to note that a different woman was running the bar, although she looked like she was just as happy to see him as the other girl had been."

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Quagmire: Day 8

Word Count: 48,033

Summary of Events:
Jesse went to take his brothers to visit his oldest brother's grave and Georgia wanted to go along, Jesse didn't let her, but she managed to escape and join them anyways. Jesse woke up early and was getting Maureen's gift out of the drawer he stored the money when Rose surprised him; he managed to convince her she hadn't seen any money, even though she probably had. Jesse went with his family to Mass, where he was bored out of his tree, but not for too long . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"At the sound of giggling Jesse turned to look at the boys beside him. David had his hands clasped together tightly and was smiling mischievously. Jesse shifted his jaw in suspicion, wondering what sort of animal David was hiding — as there was no way it could be anything but an animal.
Jesse watched as David raised the fingers of one hand and peered in. Because of the way he'd clasped his hands Jesse was able to see what he was hiding between them: it was a mouse, whose head he had pinned firmly in place — probably so as to keep the rodent from biting him.
Carefully Jesse raised his arm so it was folded back on itself. He was going to need to startle David into dropping the mouse before it was close enough to anyone to crawl on them.
Slowly he started sliding his hand along the top of the pew behind Solomon's shoulders toward David, who started extending his hands toward the back of the oblivious parishioner's neck in front of him almost at the same time.
Jesse kept his face forward, but his eyes were as far over to his right as he could extend them without it hurting, watching as he slowly reached for David's neck, his hand curled to fit around it.
He snapped his hand closed around David's neck. David startled and released the mouse, which managed to catch a forepaw in the material gathered about the neck of the woman who'd been David's intended victim.
The mouse scrambled up adeptly and within moments the woman was shrieking and flailing and pretty much the entire sanctuary had devolved into chaos. Jesse dug his fingernails hard into David's neck, not only in fury that David had brought the mouse, but in his own frustration that he hadn't gotten to David's neck sooner and caused the mouse to fall the three or so feet to the floor.
He released David as soon as the priest rushed over to see what was the matter as the woman still shrieked and flailed and screamed one word: mouse.
Finally the frightened, traumatised rodent popped out pretty much from whence it'd gone into the woman's attire and rushed across the back of the pew — causing more women to cry out in fright at the sight of it — before scurrying down the side of the pew and racing along the wall out of sight.
Jesse glanced up at the priest, who levied an incredibly condescending look at David before returning to the front of the sanctuary and picking up where he'd left off as if nothing had happened.
Leaning against the back of the pew, Jesse seethed through the remainder of the service before finally being able to get up — nearly depositing Georgia on the floor — and stalking out of the sanctuary with a hand fast around David's upper arm."

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Quagmire: Day 7

Word Count: 42,035

Summary of Events:
Jesse and his mother ended up getting in an argument over her overprotectiveness of Georgia among other things before Jesse finally got frustrated and left. He went to meet with the gangster Three-Finger, but found instructions left that took him to a speakeasy where he met another gangster he'd met when he'd gone to the gangsters' house; after he'd done what he needed to do he stayed for a few drinks and chatted with the gangster about the reasons he wasn't really interested in having a tryst, as well as confessing that he lied about his age to join the army . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
""Lying about one's age to serve one's country is a nobler pursuit than lying about one's activities with those of the opposing gender," Jesse replied. "Besides, if the former comes back to bite you you're not around to see the aftermath."
"What do you mean by that?" Robbie asked.
"In war there's the likelihood that you get killed," Jesse replied. "Getting killed prevents you from seeing what happens when everyone finds out you lied about your age to join the army. In trysts there's the likelihood that you contract VD, you are thus forced to see what happens when everyone finds out you engaged in a tryst. And it's even worse when pregnancy occurs."
"Why?" Robbie asked.
"You're liable to have an infant deposited on your doorstep," Jesse replied.
"What decent mother would drop her child off on the father's doorstep?" Robbie asked.
"My grandmother," Jesse replied.
"What!?" Robbie exclaimed, his eyebrows shooting up.
"My grandfather was a manservant of Irish blood who ended up engaging in a tryst with a young English noblewoman," Jesse replied. "She conceived, carried my father to term, gave birth to him, and sent him to my grandfather, who gave him to my great grandparents to raise until my great uncle and aunt took him in to raise as one of their own."
"And then he met and married your mother?" Robbie asked.
"And they had two of my sisters before coming here, wandering around trying a variety of fruitless agricultural enterprises before eventually landing at Goose Island — where me and my next youngest sister were born — and he discovered his knack for construction," Jesse replied. "He worked in the business until the war broke out. He then jumped to Canada because they were getting involved right away and he wanted to protect England and Ireland from the Germans and was killed in combat four years ago come summer."
"Hm," Robbie said.
"Sired a dozen children of his own," Jesse said. "But all with one woman."
"You're one of a dozen?" Robbie asked.
"Sixth," Jesse replied.
"Wow," Robbie said.
"Oldest is thirty two, youngest is six," Jesse added.
"Are you serious?" Robbie asked.
"Do I look like I'm lying?" Jesse asked.
"No," Robbie replied.
"Then I must be serious," Jesse said.
"And you're the oldest boy?" Robbie asked.
"No, I had an older brother," Jesse replied. He opened his mouth to say more, but caught himself.
As much as there was a possibility that Robbie may've heard of Obed, to tell Robbie Obed's name would cause Robbie to know that he wasn't this Mooner — as he was sure the nickname was related to the real name — that he was mistaken to be.
Of course, how many people in the world were named Obed? Aside from his brother Jesse only knew of one, and he'd lived millennia ago, and was the reason why his brother had been named Obed."

Monday, November 07, 2016

Quagmire: Day 6

Word Count: 36,018

Summary of Events: 
After leaving the gangsters Jesse found a man they'd shot and called the police; along with waiting for them to arrive before going home. The next day Jesse brought home a copy of the Tribune — where his coverage of the murder made the front page — before learning that his brothers hadn't come home from school; he went out to find them and found another friend's older brother searching at the schoolyard, to no avail, but Jesse had another idea . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Jesse led the way to Maurice's house and knocked on the door.
A woman clad in black answered. "May I help you?"
"My brother David and his brother Richard are friends of your son Maurice," Jesse replied. "Our brothers aren't home yet and we were wondering if Maurice is."
"Yes, and he brought all sorts of boys with him, I'm sure your brothers are with them," she said, stepping back of the door.
Jesse rushed inside, quickly shedding his coat and hat to keep the floor dry out of courtesy and hurried to the kitchen stairs, which he hurried up before stopping at the top of the stairs and listening.
After a long silence there was a whisper. "That wasn't Mama."
"Was it your dad?" another voice asked.
"No, he wasn't downstairs," the first voice replied.
Jesse moved on silent feet toward the door into the bedroom where the body had been on his only other visit to the home. He leaned against the door.
"It might be someone looking for us," a third voice said quietly.
"It's not suppertime yet, your mom hasn't called us," the second voice said.
"What do you think we should do?" the third voice asked. It sounded like Solomon.
"Hide," a fourth voice whispered.
Jesse heard voices at the bottom of the stairs. He turned and put his finger to his lips at the sight of Rupert, who startled, but silently padded up the stairs.
"They're in here," Jesse whispered once he'd reached the top, pointing at the door.
"So?" Rupert asked.
"They're hiding," Jesse replied. "I don't think they know I heard them."
"So what are we going to do?" Rupert asked.
"We're going to open the door like we're doing a cursory look, then close it," Jesse replied. "Make them think it's safe to come out. Then we're going to open the door fast and scare them."
"Why?" Rupert asked.
"Pay them back for the fright they've given us," Jesse replied.
Rupert smiled. "That would actually be funny."
Jesse nodded, then shifted and opened the door. He looked inside carefully, he saw several clues as to where some of the boys were hiding in the room. He also noted there was a new carpet on the floor, and the broken window pane had a board in it.
He then closed the door slowly, but held the knob so that the pin didn't go back into place. Gently he leaned against the door and listened.
The sound of boys climbing out from their hiding places reached his ears. He smiled, then looked at Rupert, who smiled back at him and got ready.
"On three," Jesse whispered. "One . . . two . . . three!"
He opened the door and surged in while Rupert jumped after him and shouted. All of the boys jumped and cried out in alarm."

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Quagmire: Day 5

Word Count: 30,024

Summary of Events:
Jesse wrote a long piece for the paper, and so decided to take it in early; the only other person awake was Georgia, whom he brought along — which caused his mother to react angrily, and that led him to get upset in return. Jesse was wandering around looking for a story and decided to check out that house he'd ended up meeting the gangster in front of the first time; he went around to the backyard and had to hide under the stairs when one of the gangsters came outside, but they discovered his hiding place . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Three guns cocked.
"Get out of there, and don't try any tricks," the first voice ordered.
Jesse slowly crawled out from under the stairs and looked at the man to whom the first voice belonged. His face was severe and hard-edged. He had blue eyes almost as light as Ma's and a jagged scar running down his right cheek.
"What is your name?" he demanded.
"Of no consequence to you," Jesse replied.
He smirked. "That's a good one."
Jesse kept his expression set and said nothing.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Standing in the rain staring at you," Jesse replied.
"You're pretty witty aren't you?" he asked.
Jesse said nothing.
"How'd you get in?" he asked.
"How do you think?" Jesse asked.
"You reached over the fence and opened the gate," he said.
"No, I flew over," Jesse replied.
He exhaled almost like a chuckle. "Do you know who I am?"
"No, but I can tell you're Irish," Jesse replied.
"Oh really?" he asked, looking annoyed. "And what do you have to say about that?"
"Nothing," Jesse replied. "No one says anything nice to me about it."
"And what does that mean?" he asked.
"I'm Irish too," Jesse replied. "Mostly."
"And what's the rest of it?" he asked.
"English," Jesse replied.
"I'd like to know how that happened," he said.
"A tryst," Jesse replied.
"That explains why you don't look terribly Irish," he said.
Jesse shifted his jaw and glared at the man, but said nothing. The fact that he didn't have red, or even reddish, hair spared him a lot of prejudice — as did the lack of an O' in front of his surname — and being as the prejudice he suffered was bad enough, he wasn't going to complain.
"But common nationality aside, I am Redmond Fylan," he said.
Jesse waited for him to say more.
"That name doesn't strike fear into your heart," Redmond said.
"Why should it?" Jesse challenged. "I said I don't know you."
"You haven't even heard of me?" Redmond asked.
"Obviously not if your name doesn't frighten me," Jesse replied. "Not to say that I'm easily frightened or anything."
"Well, I am one of the toughest men in the city of Chicago," Redmond said. "I even shot and killed my own father in cold blood."
Jesse said nothing. He felt more reviled by that than frightened.
"I have killed so many men that even I have lost count," Redmond said. "And I don't spare my fellow Irishmen either."
Jesse still said nothing.
"The only men I don't kill are the men that don't cross me," Redmond said. "You have crossed me. However, if you have some legitimate reason for coming down here and hiding behind those stairs I might be inclined to spare you."
Jesse kept his gaze fixed on Redmond's eyes. He really had no idea what to say to get himself out of it."

Friday, November 04, 2016

Quagmire: Day 4

Word Count: 24,010

Summary of Events:
Jesse had gotten up early and had just finished playing one of his morning rounds of cards when his mother screaming at a nightmare woke everyone up and Jesse actually had to fire a shot out the window with his pistol to get her to wake up. Jesse then went and turned in his article for the evening edition of the Tribune before going to meet with the gangster again . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Gathering his lips, Jesse shifted his jaw. The gangster had approached him from the south, so it would probably be best to wait around at the corner where the gangster had taken him anyways.
Making his way there, Jesse found the gangster waiting for him.
"Ah, Mooner, you're here," he said, startling. "How are things going?"
"Good," Jesse replied.
"Did you get the shipment?" he asked.
"Yeah, I did," Jesse lied.
"So what did they have to say?" he asked.
"Not much," Jesse lied. "Mostly just that it was a pleasure doing business with us."
"Nothing about when they'll come around again?" he asked.
"No," Jesse replied. "They didn't."
"You're supposed to ask," he said.
"Oh," Jesse said. "I'm sorry."
"You know for next time kid," he said, reaching into his coat. "For now, here's your share of the profit."
He drew out another bottle and a wad of cash.
"This is mine?" Jesse asked.
"To keep and use however you need," he replied. "What did you think it was?"
"Well, I wasn't sure, so I didn't do anything with it," Jesse replied.
"Oh," he said, then laughed. "I guess I didn't tell you what it was for because I was running late."
Jesse nodded.
"Well you know now, so use it and enjoy it," he said. "Same time next week kid?"
Jesse nodded.
"Aright, I'll see you then kid," he said.
Jesse stayed where he was and watched the gangster hobble away. Once the gangster was gone Jesse looked down at the money and the bottle in his hands.
So this was someone else's share of the profits, but he was getting it because of the mistake.
Pocketing the bills, and the bottle, Jesse started homeward again. He didn't think it would be a good idea to use too much of the money, and he wasn't sure about whether or not he should drink the liquor — more out of fear of getting caught by Ma or Rose than anything else.
Jesse didn't think he'd be able to pull off this charade for terribly long, too; being as apparently the person he was mistaken for was supposed to be in charge of something rather important, and, eventually, his lies were going to be found out for what they were.
Besides, he wasn't sure about what he could make up and get away with; if he just threw dates around then the gangsters would go to places not necessarily at the right time and then get mad at him for throwing around false dates.
Now, as he was thinking about it, Jesse felt like keeping up the charade actually wasn't the smartest of moves; however, being as he'd done it, he really had no other choice than to continue on with it."

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Quagmire: Day 3

Word Count: 18,004

Summary of Events:
Jesse ended up sleeping in late after having gone with the boy — who was a friend of his younger brother David — to his uncle's murder scene where Jesse finally convinced the family to call the police before going home to write the article before going to bed. He managed, however, to get up in time to get the article in for the morning edition — where the editor decided it would be front-page, the first time Jesse's work had ever been there. Jesse then looked at the possibility of actually buying his sister a birthday present after having breakfast . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sliding his wallet out of the inside pocket of his jacket, Jesse opened it and startled.
There was nothing in his wallet.
Jesse checked to make sure and his shoulders sagged. There really was nothing in his wallet. The last bill he'd had was that dollar he'd given to Maurice last night.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out three dimes, a nickel, and about a dozen pennies. He didn't even have a quarter.
There was no way a book would cost only forty seven cents; especially not with how elegant those volumes at the store had looked. They'd have to cost at least one dollar apiece.
Jesse sighed. He wasn't getting paid until the end of the following week, and it would be ridiculous to go to the bank for a dollar. He wasn't going to be able to buy a book for Maureen today.
Unless he used that money.
He looked toward the desk drawer, behind whose front was hidden the wad of hundreds he'd been given.
But it was all hundreds. It would be just as ridiculous to lay a hundred down for the purchase of a book that only cost a dollar as it would be to go to the bank and withdraw a dollar.
Unless he went to the bank and got change from the hundred. But that would be odd too.
Jesse put his fist to his mouth and bit the skin on the back of his forefinger. He slowly shifted his jaw forward and backward. He didn't know what to do.
He could wait until he received his paycheque and the buy the book; after all, it wasn't like Maureen's birthday was the next day. It was the last Sunday of the month.
Sighing, Jesse went to rise from his seat when the bedroom door opened. Rose peeked in, then sighed with relief. "You're still here."
"Why?" Jesse asked.
"We need some beef for supper tonight," Rose replied. "And it'll be cheaper to send you for it than to have the butcher deliver it."
Jesse nodded. It was cheaper that way, but being as he was in charge of the household finances and he had no money in is wallet, he wouldn't be able to buy it.
"I'll need a pot roast," Rose said. "Unless there's any cubed beef available, then I'll take that."
Jesse nodded again and Rose ducked out.
He sighed. He didn't know how much money was left in his account — which was where all the family's money went because he was the one who made it all — and he knew that meat was fairly expensive.
Shifting his jaw, Jesse opened the drawer and peeled a hundred off of the stack. He felt a twinge of guilt as he put the bill in his wallet, but he wasn't sure he had any other choice; for some reason they were short on money, and Jesse hadn't the faintest idea why."

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Quagmire: Day 2

Word Count: 12,018

Summary of Events:
Jesse was canvassing the streets of Chicago looking for another story and found one when a fight broke out between two rather evenly matched men and due to its proximity to a grocery store became a food fight. Arriving home, Jesse accidentally collided with the neighbour who rented the main floor and ended up getting in a fight with the man because the man didn't like Irishmen. Jesse was up late working on an article for the morning edition of the Tribune when he heard a knock at the door . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Shielding the flame carefully, Jesse crossed the room and opened the door. Georgia wasn't there.
He stepped out of the room and listened again. There was silence for a moment before knocking sounded again. It didn't sound angry or urgent, which seemed rather puzzling for this hour. How did they expect to wake anyone with such soft knocking?
Carefully he opened the hall door. No one there either — not that he expected as much, being as he could see both sets of dining room doors beyond, neither of which were open.
Being as the doors between the dining room and the living room had glass panels in them Jesse didn't have to open the door to see if anyone was there, he just made his way through and continued on, opening the door into the upper entrance hall, where there was no one, and the knocking didn't seem to be getting any louder, but it sounded at regular intervals.
Jesse continued down to the lower hall, where he still found no one, nor in the vestibule.
Standing in the vestibule, Jesse listened. If anything, the knocking sounded fainter than it had before.
Still, Jesse unfastened the bolts on the door and opened it to peer outside. No one was on the doorstep. And, thanks to the streetlights, he could see there was no one knocking on any of the other doors of nearby houses.
It unsettled Jesse, as well as puzzled him. He closed the door and relocked it, then wound his way all the way back up, closing all of the doors behind him — and locking the one that led out of the living room into the hall as well — until he reached the hallway that led to the bedrooms.
There was the porch door. And now that he was listening, the knocking sounded louder than it had down by the front door.
Opening the kitchen door caused the sound of the knocking to get louder yet. Jesse crossed the room and unlocked the door onto the porch.
Standing, bundled into a coat and looking as cold as Jesse felt with the bitter, wintry night air biting through his shirtsleeves easily, was a rather young boy. He looked up at Jesse warily. Jesse could tell at once it wasn't David gone on shenanigans because the boy's eyes were brown.
"You are Jesse Haden?" the boy asked.
"Yes," Jesse replied, not sure how the boy would know him.
"Come quickly, there's a good story," the boy said.
"Okay," Jesse said quietly, not sure what to make of it. "Just let me get my coat."
Jesse closed the door and stepped back inside. He went to his room and blew out the candle, as well as the lamp, before putting his jacket on and hurrying around to the hall to get his coat and hat before finally slipping out onto the rear porch where the boy stood.
On quiet feet Jesse followed the boy down the stairs, through the back gate, and down the alley."

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Quagmire: Day 1

Word Count: 6,013

Summary of Events:
Jesse was on his way home from the Tribune office and saw a man who looked suspicious; hoping it was another story, he followed the man, who disappeared into a house. He waited outside and was attacked by a disgruntled civilian who was tired of loiterers and ended up running into a gangster who gave him some $2,500+ and a bottle of now-illegal liquor which he was somewhat forced to take home and hide. After being woken in the night by his youngest sister — who regularly came to him when their mother's restless sleeping bothered her —and having to fall back to sleep, Jesse got up at his usual hour and looked at the items he'd been given the day before . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"Thinking about the fact that the design was supposed to make it difficult for forgers to copy prompted Jesse to wonder if these were even genuine bills.
Gangsters would deal in fake money too, just as much as they dealt in genuine liquor, but he wasn't sure how he would know.
He'd never seen a real hundred dollar bill before; and he was sure he couldn't just walk into a bank and ask them if he could see a hundred dollar bill.
Something made him feel like he was holding a genuine bill in his hand, though. Not that he was fully certain, but he felt like, being as the man had seemed to think he was a gangster, that he would've been handed genuine money.
He startled at the sound of a moan and looked first at Georgia, who hadn't moved, and then at the boys' bed. They looked to be tossing, and being as he had the window open he was sure it wouldn't be long before they were complaining about the cold.
Jesse quickly slid the bill he'd pulled out back in with the rest and closed the drawer as silently as he could. He had no idea what to do with what he'd been given, although he knew Ma would kill him if she found out that he had liquor in his desk.
The only liquor that Ma was fine with was the Communion wine. Otherwise she was on the side of the WCTU — the group that was largely responsible for the Prohibition that had been in effect for all of two months.
And if she found out about the money Ma would surely think it'd come from his work and that he'd been hiding it from the family for selfish purposes, which would lead her to take it from him and probably spend it all.
Being as he didn't know whether the gangster wanted the money back or not he was afraid to spend any of it — besides, people who knew him better than Ma would wonder where in the world he was suddenly getting hundreds from.
Jesse wished that he would be able to see the gangster — as a man who was that suspicious and handing out liquor could be nothing but a gangster — again and rectify the mistake, but he didn't know where or when he'd be able able to do that.
Crushing out the end of his cigarette in the ashtray, Jesse gathered all of the cards together to shuffle them for another round.
But there was also what the gangster had said: same time next week. The gangster was going to meet him — at the same place, he assumed — in a week's time. Hopefully then he'd be able to clear up the mistake and get the gangster to listen to him long enough to explain that he wasn't Mooner. He was Jesse.
Or, if they wanted to go a nicknames basis, he was Hawkeye."

Monday, October 31, 2016

November Novel Essential Information

Novel Title: Quagmire
Time Setting: 1920
Genre: Historical Thriller
Minimum Word Goal: 120,000
Timespan: March–August
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Main Character: Jesse "Hawkeye" Haden
Background Information:
The sixth child of twelve — eleven living — and second son of four, Hawkeye is a first-generation Irish American and the first of his siblings to be born in Chicago.
His father was a skilled carpenter — not that he discovered as much until they moved to Chicago, which was eighteen years later than would have pleased his wife — who was employed by one of Chicago's biggest builders.
His mother is a dedicated housewife and Irishwoman who embraces her Irish heritage as much as her husband endeavoured to hide his; along with being a devout Catholic and scorner of Protestants who religiously attends Mass.
Even though Hawkeye is the middle child and second son, he is the primary breadwinner for his family. This is because his father — being half English — felt a great motivation to go to the defence of his motherland in the First World War, during which he was killed.
Additionally, his older brother, barely a month before the First World War began, was killed, being as he'd gotten involved in the gangs which are proliferate in Chicago.
His four older sisters are married and do provide some aid, however, Hawkeye is a stubborn sort and determines to provide by himself, being as his mother refuses to use her seamstress skills for profit.
Hawkeye provides for his mother and younger siblings by working as a crime and courts reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and is by far the most unorthodox and daring reporter in the entire city, but then again, that comes from playing with fire.

The novel begins on November 1.