I actually enjoy ironing. It’s something to do when I’ve got my music on, and I have a quite decent wardrobe and want it to look smart. During my brief spell in military service 9 years ago, I was good at passing uniform inspections because I already knew how to do creases (thanks Mum!) Anyone read Fighter’s Mark yet? Remember that scene in the fleet training chapters where Alissandra says to Oscar ‘What are you still standing there for? Go get your iron.’ Yep, they still do that in any future I imagine. Nanonics and robots just can’t compete.

Anyway, why did I get into this? Because I decided last night I didn’t want to do my ironing sober. While driving back from the bottle shop I turned on the CD player and decided to settle for whatever music I’d stuffed in there last.  A few minutes later I had this line in my head: ‘We listened to Don’t Fear the Reaper as we drove between the lights. She shot me two blocks later.’

I don’t know where it came from, or why that song made me think of that, but I do have a story and a character it might fit into. The trouble is, it’s not Deception Crossing.

So it’s time I set a working goal: I want the second draft of DC finished by November so I can do NaNoWriMo with this other idea that’s been burning a hole in me for months.

Anyone remember this post from a while back where I played with an idea that I tentatively called Citizen Erased? (Yep, another pilfered song title to go next to Ghost of the Navigator) I’m going to give that a try. My ‘Fear the Reaper’ scene might even open it.

Or maybe I’ll plug in another idea I tweeted about a year ago, which for me seems like a refreshingly simple story starter:


‘Authorities: We’re impounding your ship and there aint nothin’ your sorry ass can do about it.

Protagonist: Oh really?’


The ship belongs to a smuggler, I’m thinking. The ‘Reaper Scene’ is the end of a heist that looked like it was going so well until a femme fatal decided differently. Thinking of that scene I wrote with Cade Cantrell, maybe my smuggler’s going to get his ship back because he has the answers to the memory-erasing problem, and is ready to sell them to high society. Maybe even, this guy’s been through the same military service but unknown to the authorities, the memory wipe didn’t work on him…

I’ve promised myself no more thinking until November, because if I start pantsing this one now I’m going to de-rail a story I already admit I’m having to force myself to write. I’m a little bit tired of Deception Crossing, but that’s no cause for concern. I hit this wall with GoTN as well, and last time it was a harder one to climb.

Let’s add another thing in for good measure: by the end of November, I want to have a cover reveal for you all.

Stay tuned.