Hello, World!

After a huge night last night of 6000-plus words, and a huge morning where I awoke and started writing at 7:30 and added another 6500 words, I have completed my eighth novel. It is likely to be called Hello, World! because I think it is most fitting. It is the story of a missing satellite, a challenging AI personality, and the growth of one woman as she deals with new decisions and experiences in her life.

I had a huge month getting back into this book that I started last year shortly after finishing Flutter. I had high hopes for it, but not very many ideas. I never plot my novels, but I do believe in setting milestones. Like knowing certain things will happen. For instance, an AI built in an inescapable room will find a way to get out. Okay, let’s work with that. But that’s a huge story with tons of room for screwing up. It’s much bigger than me. I have completed eight novels now and I still don’t know if I feel qualified enough to tackle such a monumental tale. I don’t know if I’m good enough.

But I thought I would at least give it a try. There are plenty of other things I can drop Shawn and her friends into that will flesh out the story. I just happened onto the disappearing satellite by accident. It just made sense, because it’s what happened, and I learned about it just the same way you will when you read the novel: by surprise. Shawn comes into the office and is greeted with the news that one of their client’s servers has gone offline. And that server happens to be onboard a satellite in geosynchronous orbit over a spot in West Texas.

I genuinely didn’t know that was going to be in the story until it just was. And I genuinely didn’t know what it had to do with anything until my characters explained it to me. And I genuinely did not know how to fix the issue. But Shawn figured it out. She, of course, drew on my twenty-plus-years’ of experience in server engineering, But I was only a resource for her story. It still amazes me that these stories seem to exist and I am just the vehicle for their delivery. Like Stephen King said: the story is there, you just have to find it. I don’t listen to a lot of other stuff he says, but boy, that one stuck with me. And it amazes me every time I sit down to write when it reveals itself to be true.

I was just as surprised by the ending as you will be, too. And in the end, a small story about a woman and her fun tinkering with an AI personality turned into an epic story with world-ending consequences. Holy cow. And somehow they figured it out. I can take no credit for the resolution. All I did was write what I saw.

I hope to have this one published in the next six months, maybe by December. Stay tuned for it!

Posted on June 24th, 2023 · 513 words
Categories: update, writing
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