This week my story, “On the Snark Watch,” appeared in Perihelion SF. I’m thrilled that it’s found a home.
Without breaking certain oaths, I can say that I wrote this story on a short deadline, and I had to follow a writing prompt (Military SF on a space base) and include a toy. That toy was a pen. Its name is “Fuzzy.”
Now, I’d a read a bit of Military SF, but I’d never attempted to write anything like that. Too bad. Here was my chance.
The actual writing process took about 12 hours, and included a panicked late-night visit to my writing instructor (who was himself a vet) to ask, “What do you call that place on the ship where you keep the munitions?” He also suggested I add a lot more cursing (which, sadly, I toned down for various editors).
In the end, I drew upon conversations with friends and family who’d done their time in uniform, stirred in a bit of handwavium, and added a hint of Bug Eyed Monsters.
Our traditional holiday season ends with my daughter’s birthday party (she’s a January baby), and 2018 was no exception. This morning, things are quiet as I recycle paper confetti and wash all the glasses.
The Yule tree branches are composted, and the trunk drying out for firewood.
It’s a cold, clear day, with a weather front developing, so I’ll be covering the outdoor furniture and sweeping up the last few leaves.
I also buried Mr. Lukas’ ashes in the front, under the Emperor Japanese maple. Our neighbor asked for a portion of the cremains for her own yard. As a kitten, Lukas liked to wander into their house and curl up on their couch. Later, when they acquired a Jack Russell terrier, Lukas would roll around on their sidewalk, ensuring the dog could watch from the window.
The ground was damp and cold. I covered him with handfuls of mulch and half-decayed leaves. In the spring, the tree will burst into crimson, and across the street, a frustrated Jack Russell will bark at nothing.
But we know better.