This is the opening of the third Jake Calcutta story. See? I am writing.
It was quiet in the pub. Jake had expected boisterous noisiness, drunkards singing loud at the next table, loose wenches wrestling with the less drunk at another table, music and feasting and all manner of brash and brazen behavior.
But it was quiet. Once he was past the mild surprise, he thought he’d make use of the peace to review his brief.
He didn’t. What he did was sit, drinking a mug of mild ale he found himself quite enjoying, nibbling on a plate of bread and cheese.
“We all know the Bard did the writing; we just need some kind of evidence to wither those Bacon and Marlowe naysayers. So get it.”
Felicity Bruttenholm’s voice in his ear was brisk, even strident. She took this stuff seriously, and when he was on missions she wasn’t shy about giving him a kick in the proverbial (or would it be metaphorical? maybe both) pants if she thought, as she often (okay, always) did that he’d skimmed the mission brief rather than studying, even memorizing it. She’d nagged him for five long minutes as he walked to the village. Every so often she’d say “If you’re nodding, I can’t hear you” and he’d grunt something that she could take to signify agreement, but which he suspected she realized was just a meaningless noise to fill his tiny space in the conversation.
The second Jake Calcutta story is getting a final proofread this week and will be ready for newsletter readers in my March 1st newsletter, he said with an unusual confidence in his communication schedule.
The second Jake Calcutta story, The Illuminating Adventure of Jake Calcutta and the Second Bite, is less adventure, more backstory. It’s the story of his grandmother, Rachel Kolkata, inventing time travel and taking Jake under her wing in the process. You’ll see Jake meeting the triplets in the lab, and the illustrious and ethereal Felicity Bruttenholm. (You are pronouncing that correctly, aren’t you?)
This one will be for newsletter subscribers only. Won’t be selling it at Amazon, at least not this year, and won’t be giving it away anywhere else.
Progress on Love Runs Out
I’m halfway through rewrites. Plan to finish in early March, then have it edited by end of March, proofread and published by end of April, he said once again obliviously confident in his scheduling prowess.
It needs a new cover, though. The story isn’t red-and-black dark, it’s blue-sky green-forest with dark undertones.
In the past 75 days I’ve read 50 books. I’m up to a book a day during the past week.
For the first 6 weeks I was waiting for minor surgery on my right foot, and the past month, healing from it. Reading is a great way to pass the time when you can’t be on your feet, walking, biking, digging in the yard, all that. Better than watching soaps.
I’ve also been writing like mad. Finished the first draft of Love Runs Out. Outlined (and today, started) the second Jake Calcutta story.
More words in has always equaled more words out, for me.
Sign up for my newsletter and read it now, absolutely free.
It’s the story of how time travel was invented (partly) and how Jake got involved (somewhat) and why he’s willing to risk it all to muck about with stuff that seems to be broken (almost entirely.)
Also Felicity. He meets Felicity.
Here it is: the first true Jake Calcutta story. Download the 5,000-word short story right now, absolutely free.
I begged Best Beloved to add an extra week to this trip north.
If I hadn’t done that, we’d have left for home this morning.
I’m having a hard time finding the joy. I made a bunch of changes to my online life the weeks before we left home and I’ve found myself more than bored.
I haven’t been bored in 15 years.
Things are complicated by an injury to my right foot that makes walking excruciating. Otherwise I’d take long walks every day, enjoying the beauty.
There’s always going for a drive. In my socks.
Jake Calcutta’s first story is going well. Fully outlined. I’ve written 1,500 words so far, and that’s just quickdraft. I’m pleased with how it’s coming out, though it’s not the Edgar Rice Burroughs clone I was hoping for. Maybe I’m not Edgar Rice Burroughs. Maybe I’m me.
This short story starring the real Jake Calcutta won’t leave me alone, so it’s getting at least a thorough outline and maybe a quickdraft before I can go back to Love Runs Out.
He looked down the cliff’s face to the water. It wasn’t the distance that concerned him; he’d gone into water from far higher than the 30 feet it looked to be.
No, what concerned him was the dark surface. It might mean deep water.
It might mean shallow water with a dark bottom.
Even deep water could have jagged rocks, old tree trunks, any manner of solid sharp debris.
If you have no choice but to go in, it doesn’t matter whether the water is deep or shallow, or so he told himself. What matters is that you go in feet first. An injury to one or both legs could be survived. Head injuries, out here in the middle of nowhere, probably not.
The first arrow hit the dirt close enough behind him that he heard it, felt a tiny shock in his feet. They would wait until they were close enough before loosing any more.
And as he went over the edge feet first, one foot snagged in the tangle of a tree root sticking out, flipping him completely, holding for less than an instant before he dropped again.
So, there’s this time-travel fantasy I’ve been working on . . .
Round 1: Too Conservative
Years ago I wrote a book titled (at that point) Anodyne. It was going to be the first in a series of connected stories each with a different protagonist, each telling their story under the pseudonym Jake Calcutta.
Long before the book was finished an author friend pointed out that the artsy intellectual guy in the book was nothing like the name would suggest. Jake Calcutta, he said, is a modern day Indiana Jones.
He was right.
I changed the protagonist’s name to Jesse Donovan and the book’s title to That She Is Made of Truth. It may become a series, but not in the way originally intended.
Round 2: Too Cerebral
Continue reading “Introducing Rafe Keyn and the Real Jake Calcutta”