Creative Journey: No Real Complaints

Creative Journal #6 I need my Creative Juice to Kick In

Hello again, it’s been a week and while I wait for my go juice (coffee) to kick in, I’m going to write up what I worked on yesterday.

Chapter 3 has been finished and I’ve passed the 6k work mark. I find that I am looking for places in my day to add writing and I am also disappointed when things like my laptop running out of battery at work prevent me for keeping my writing jam going during lunch.I had taken my laptop to write in the morning and again at lunch. Fire up the machine, burrito warmed, and “battery critically low”……I was non-plussed.

While I write Chapter 3 yesterday, I will be posting Chapter 2 below. I’m also going to add a link where the whole story will reside as it grows. Feel free to leave your comments in that file 🙂

Lessons I’ve learned in the last week:

1) Don’t take breaks when there are time references being made I will need to reference in the not too distant future.

2) Tell people you’re writing a book (or working on a creative thing)

3) Reward yourself

Expanding on these lessons……

There is a dialogue where I use what the dock owner says to set the timeline for the rest of the chapter. I slogged through the dialogue and called it a night. This was Tuesday…..then I get to Friday, sit down, and it turned into an exercise of re-reading what the characters said in order to write the rest of the chapter. NOW…..I know I could just leave it and edit later. However, I want to form good habits now and since I am sharing this as I go along, I want this to make as much sense as possible for you. I’d hope early readers would be a little forgiving when it came to notes in the text but I don’t want to do a thing where I take you out of the story. As a reader is reader, if there is a timeline or plot hole separated by 2 paragraphs, that doesn’t read well. While the reality is that the separation is a few days for the writing, it is a matter of minutes for the reader. Let’s not be my own worst enemy.

I’ve been telling people I’m writing a book and the reaction is almost universal. “What kind?” and “That’s exciting!” and I have to say, it makes me want to write more. I am pretty sure I said this in my last post (no, I’m not going back to look) but the consistency in the reactions is great. In general terms, I saw the same reaction when I was designing games more regularly, people are usually interested when you are taking on a project. I think the big different between a game and a book is that people know how to engage with a book or the idea of writing a book. With games, people have no ideas games can even be designed. That probably sounds weird but in my experience, people don’t know what to say to “I designed a board game”. On the other side of that, “I’m writing a book” people can immediately reference the books they’ve read, papers they’ve written and they can estimate the effort required to write a book. Not to say the effort to make a game is any less, books are more understandable.

Reward yourself for your efforts. I’m not a fan of dialogue. I don’t have the writing pallet yet to get multiple characters that much…..character. I know this and I don’t expect to be good at dialogue in my first book. With this in mind, I’m going to get through it and because I’m eating my vegetables, I’m going to design a sporting even for the Luxe Universe! I know it will be in the book at some point, I just don’t know when. What I do know is that I’m very much looking forward to adding this sport and it will be a thing built into the story which will keep me going. I suppose you could call it a Quidditch clone mechanics, not the sport (it isn’t designed yet) but the idea of adding a sport to a story that may or may not need it. But sport has a special way of bringing people together and in a world where there are a lot of dudes floating around, they will want competition, so it fits.

Those are my lessons for the week. I am setting a goal……of sorts. I am not a fan of goals as they are too specific for me. I prefer to “work to constantly improve” which may sound like a cop-out but I’m working on so many things at the same time……usually…..that I don’t want to set a goal I know I won’t meet because it is too specific.

I want to be done with the first draft in 16 weeks. I wanted to write that as 4 months but I think 16 weeks has a little more punch. It is July 15th @ 6.52am……first draft will be done Nov 15th.

Below you will find chapter 2, as always, unedited and notes included. Please feel free to leave comments.

Chapter 2

The train was making it’s way out of the station when Daryl got the reply

##add back the message details

::Hey Daryl, good to hear from you. I do have a controller job open. I’ve been really pleased with Darren’s bots and efforts so far [Details Set – Off]::

::Makes me proud to hear that, his cousin is looking for a job and I wanted to ask if I could set up an interview::

::Sure, can you have him apply through the boards?::

::[Encrypt Set – On] There is a reason I wanted to reach out before we took that step::

::[Encrypt Request Confirm – Yes/No] {Yes} I’m intrigued::

::[Encrypt Confirmed] Her name is Sarah::

::[E] Ah……I see. Well you know how I feel about the culture up here. It stinks. And if Sarah is as good a worker as Darren, I would be pleased to have her aboard. What kind of fleet does she operate?::

::[E] [Add Participant : SARAH]::

Sarah’s data pad gave her a new chat notification

“Tarik wants to know about your fleet” Daryl informed her

::[E] Sarah: Hi Tarik, my Uncle says you want to know about my fleet. I run 10 bots. They are all inspector-transport hybrid bots. I am building my first construction bot now. I have tested all my bots in the pool. I also helped Darren build up his fleet when he was recruited::

::[E] Tarik: Hi Sarah, pleasure to meet you. I’m sorry we can’t go through the normal channels on this one. I understand you’re responsible for the interface program Darren has been running::

::[E] Sarah: That’s correct. When Darren and I built bots in the shop, I focused on the programming and got a lot of help from Darren with the bot building. I’ve learned a lot about the building since he’s been on the Trade Moon and I think I am ready to make the jump::

::[E] Tarik: I’m not worried about your skills to be honest. The only question I have for you is, are you prepared for what you will have to do  when you’re up here? It will be easy to “hide” you by giving you off shifts. We can have you working behind the scenes on the programming. I don’t know how much on-site work you’ll be able to do but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Assuming of course, you’re ok with what it will be like while you are here?::

::[E] Sarah: My Uncle has told me what it would be like to work up there as far as the culture is concerned. I just want a chance to work on the Trade Moon::

::[E] Tarik: Excellent, I need to chat with your Uncle about the best way to get you up here::

::[E] Sarah: Thank You! Thank You! You won’t be disappointed!::

::[E] Daryl: Thank you Tarik. Let’s hop on the Verbal Comms when I get home. That work for you?::

::[E] Tarik: Let’s jump on comms tomorrow. Evans is floating around the office the next several shifts::

::[E] Daryl: Understood. Chat tomorrow. Thanks again. She will be a good worker for you::

::[E] Sarah: Thanks Again!

::[E] Tarik: My Pleasure, glad I can make this happen for you, check the job posting when you have a moment::


Sarah pulled up the Trade Moon job board with here data pad. She scrolled to the bottom where Tarik’s name was listed. Bot Controller now showed as [Cancelled]. It felt weird that a word with a negative meaning was the official notice she was going to be working on the Trade Moon but she knew the world she was going to would be small for her and this moment where she knew where she was going with her next step was quietly exhilarating.


A few days later, the plan had been thought out and tickets purchased. Space tourism for the masses was becoming a thing on the planet Luxe. Tourists to the Trade Moon were on a regular schedule and discussions for trips to the [other moon’s name] were happening. The technological jump which made space travel for the masses possible was the space elevator provided by the [AA]. Located on Luxe’s equator, there were regular shuttles from the Hub [reference city Sarah lives near?] going to the elevator. Most of those shuttles were for the contractors on their way to the Trade Moon but tourist travel was increasing over time.


The most popular form of tourism to the Trade Moon was to go for a week. It was a 6 hour trip to the top of The Elevator. [##there is only one elevator right now, hence why it is called “The Elevator”] From there, it was a 2-4 day hopper shuttle to the Trade Moon. Once on the surface, tourists would be assigned a place to stay and taken on a tour. The tour was sparse as there was no commercial presence yet on the Trade Moon. There was an agreement in place among the dock owners that commercial businesses and the expansion of tourism on the Trade Moon would wait for the Space Gov’t to get up and running. After the guided tour, the Trade Moon visitors were left to their own devices, assuming they stayed in the public areas. From the public zones, they could see the trade docks at work and get a good view of the central station of the hook travel network. It was difficult to see the different ships coming into and out of the Moon Hub since bots took care of most of the last mile transportation. This meant the tourists would get to see the different bot fleets working together to move goods from one place to another but they inspection and construction and inspection jobs were much more luck of the draw. Tourists would have 2-3 full days on the Trade Moon then they would make the trip back.


A tourist trip was going to be step one to getting Sarah on the Trade Moon and into her new job. Her Uncle would leave 3 days after Sarah. She was booked on a week long trip to the Trade Moon. She would get to do the tourist thing for a few days, see what sights there were to see, look at how the bot fleets work together and get used to the layout of the Moon Hub, at least from a tourist’s point of view. Her Uncle would depart via direct flight on one of the worker shuttles departing from the Planet Hub. Moon workers were given the faster mode of transport to the moon since there was only one space elevator. Daryl would take her bots with him and if anyone asked, he was there for a visit and to drop off the rest of Darren’s bots.


*   * *

Sarah boarded the space elevator with a group of 15 tourists. A family of 4, both the children between the ages of five and ten sat in the corner of the cable transport gondola. Two college aged who were disappointed they would not get to see how the cable worked with the gondola. A group of 5 folks from the [green nation]. Sarah could not tell who the tour guide was but based on the conversation Sarah could hear, this was not a tech savvy group. They seemed interested and excited in the whole process but it was clear they fit the term “space tourist”. Sitting on the same bench seat as Sarah were two gentlemen who were mostly quiet, kept to themselves and seemed content to close their eyes and let the hours go by until they needed to board the shuttle on the Anchor.

The hours passed, as the gondola went up, so did Sarah’s excitement about what was happening. Around hour 2 she allowed herself to think about how this was the first time she was going to space. She was slightly upset with herself she had never stopped to think she had never been to space before. It was obvious, of course, but the reality of what working in space would mean had never really occurred to her.

The space elevator had the option to use an artificial gravity field, but this option was not made public. The idea being that, as the tourists went higher up, they would ease into the sensation of being in space. There was no way to avoid the jolt of weightlessness once they reached the anchor, but every little bit helped. The shuttle used to get tourists from the Anchor to the Trade Moon was fitted with gravity generator. It was always set to equal the Trade Moon’s gravity except during transfers. It was easier to get passengers into and out of they seats when they could take “normal” steps.

Sarah’s Uncle wanted her to have as much time to herself in the Moon Hub before she started work. He knew that once she got started in her job, she would be consumed by her work and she would also have to stay out of sight more often than not. He didn’t want her to lose sight of the fact she was on the Trade Moon and what we she doing and where she was doing was special and required her thoughts to make it above the ground she would be working under for days at a time. She could do her job, but Daryl didn’t want her to get stuck on the Trade Moon, regardless of the male dominated work environment. The galaxy could literally be hers.

Her room was located 3 levels underground. Food was available all the time in the form of nutrient pastes and flavorings. The children of the group were not pleased but they were plenty distracted watching the bot fleets working to move goods from ships to docks and back again. Sarah was also distracted by the fleets. She wanted to see the formations they flew in. She wanted to count how many were working in pairs or groups. She also wanted to identify potential ways to save time with a bot only fleet. She knew there were a lot of controllers who would work alongside their bots. This was not going to be an option for her, unless the work was in the dock. Inspection and construction jobs were out of the question.

Sarah’s datapad flashed a notification from her Uncle

::[E]Uncle Daryl: leaving in an hour. I’ll send a message once I’ve connected with Tarik::


*   * *

Daryl watched as Sarah’s bots were being loaded into the rockets storage. He sent her an encrypted message and made his way to his seat. There were three other workers on this transport. Daryl didn’t want to talk to anyone during the flight but the pilot recognized him.

“Administrator! What takes you back to the Trade Moon?” the pilot said.

“My son wanted the rest of his and I figured I would see what it was like up there since I had left, so here I am, bots in hold” Daryl answered.

“I think you’re going to be surprised, a lot has changed in the last 2 years”

Daryl was pleased to be noticed but they fewer people who knew he was on the Trade Moon, the better. He needed to be able to get back to the planet and not have people wonder how he got back.

The pilot, now in the cockpit came over the comms, “engines fire in ten minutes, set your belts to soft lock. Belts tighten 2 min to engine start up sequence. Flight time will be 18 hours. Feel free to move around the cabin and if you want to sleep, be sure to secure yourself to the walls. You don’t want to float around and bang your head against the wall. You will hear me again after injection, listen to Doris countdown and take off notifications.”

Doris, a digital voice, gave a 60 second warning to belts, a 30 second warning to engine start up and a 10 second countdown to take off. On the way up she gave answers to what the different noises were as the ascended.

“WHY ARE THEY TELLING US ALL THIS? THIS AIN’T OUR FIRST LAUNCH!” one of the passenger yelled out.

Daryl knew they were testing the comms system for high end space tourism. People would pay to get to the Moons faster, but it was best to keep them informed as they went through the process. The pilot needed to fly the transport, Doris was the solution.


*  * *  

Daryl, Sarah and her bots were on the Trade Moon. Daryl had messaged Sarah he was at the dock with Tarik and her bots were in the workshop waiting for her. At a predetermined location, Daryl and Sarah were going to swap places. While there was no easy way for the tourists to get to the dock section of the Moon Hub, Tarik could get them to a good spot. Sarah had already identified it and was waiting for them when they arrived.

Daryl could not wait too long as the shuttle which was supposed to take Sarah back to Luxe was departing in an hour. They only had a moment to speak.

“Thank you Uncle Daryl”

“Give em hell kiddo”

Daryl said another thank you to Tarik for the risk he was taking for him and his family.

Both parties went their separate ways


Daryl had boarded the shuttle back to the orbital Anchor. He felt a combination of pride and fatherly concern for what was left of his family now working on the Trade Moon. He knew they would be able to hold their own, but space, as he was aware, is an unforgiving place. He wanted to send a message decided to wait until he was back on planet.




2 thoughts on “Creative Journey: No Real Complaints

  1. Congratulations on keeping it up. I have a couple books I work on periodically, but I’ve got the gaming and my part-time coaching/training to do as well.

    • Thanks! Yeah…..I get it. I’ve had to give up the notion pf playing board games anymore these days. I haven’t been to Wednesday group in over a year and even Saturday morning are now about Golf and playing digital games with Aidan & BJ.

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