Snowy Monday Morning #Haiku191 & #Novel-in-Progress Excerpt

alongside snowfall
chalk acquires a creaminess
hitherto unseen

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I’ve decided to take about a fortnight’s sabbatical to complete the first draft of Twicers,  the futuristic satire I started writing during National Novel Writing Month, 2017.

In January, for Friday Fictioneers, I posted a 100-word excerpt from the viewpoint of my main protagonist, Japeth. Today, you are to meet Blip, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and works as a computer and robot maintenance engineer at the Duffers’ Centre, a futuristic take on the Job Centre.

THE EXCERPT (260 words)

Overtime felt good because it meant starting work after closing time. No people. Just robots and a row of dispensing machines stocked with salt and vinegar crisps and cherry red energy drinks that she would raid when spring arrived.

It was February, with plump snowflakes tumbling through the twilight. The building inside was neither hot nor cold, but warmer than the temperature outside. The toughened glass windows had security blinds. Tonight, a few disgruntled duffers had gathered outside, looking as if they wanted to throw something harder than snowballs at the window, not that it was yet minus one degree Celsius and cold enough to make a decent one.

Blip hurried into the Centre, her graphite earmuffs over the hood of her hoodie and under the hood of her graphite parka. She saw the duffers without meeting any of them in the eye. Not that she was afraid of them. Simply, she wasn’t in the mood for conversation. But then she was never in the mood for conversation. On the rare occasions she had to pretend interest in what someone else was saying, it was agony, unless they were talking about animals, alternative energy, astronomy, chess, or computers, but only if they knew their subject and weren’t spouting bullshit.

She knew ‘bullshit’ was a silly word, as humans did not literally spew bull’s faeces out of their mouths; however, it was an excusable addition to her vocabulary as it had a hard-hitting sound to it and she couldn’t think of a more concise way of describing such idiocy.

Burning the midnight oil versus lunar madness

Yesterday, I had a most touching email from one of my dear blogging friends who asked if I was okay. Apparently, my posts are as regular as clockwork but I hadn’t posted anything for a week: no Monday Morning Haiku and two missed Wordless Wednesdays. Also, I left it too late to invite anyone to fill October’s guest storyteller slot.

Apologies all round, but I’ve been busy absorbing loads of new info about formatting a novel so the result looks professional both in paperback and in eBook form. There’s a huge amount of contradictory information out there, some of it unnecessarily complicated: thus I’m working hard to ascertain the simplest way to achieve the best result.

While I focus on this for the next week, or maybe two, I’m going to leave you with a progressive haiku centred around the phases of the moon. For your information, the names in the poem belong to two Japanese Shinto deities: Tsukuyomi the Moon God, and Amaterasu the Sun Goddess.

MoonlitSky1

lunar haikai

under cutglass stars
she dreams of Tsukuyomi
new moon love potion

nocturnal circus
leg draped over crescent moon
girl hangs upside down

gibbous halfway house
shadow night crickets gossip
she needs sedating

full moon tree-trunk spin
naked dancing on silver
she coruscates dew

blackbird sings her home
waning moon ambushed by dawn
Amaterasu