March 31, 2004

Wow. Neil Gaiman links to Ghost Town, a photo journey through modern Chernobyl. To quote Gaiman, “Without the photographs it would be like reading a piece of post-apocalyptic 60s or 70s SF. With the photos, it manages to become a journey into hell that I wanted to go on too.” [sic]

All my regular journals haven’t seen an update today (except for Lileks, of course, but even his update is a shockingly brief two pages), so I spent a few minutes browsing Lileks’ photo archives. Jasper is just too cute.

As usual, I’m feeling better today. Mondays and Tuesdays are bad, as I have to deal with the Sunday-Monday marathon of church–parents–writing group–AWANA–work–Monday Group.

But last night I relaxed with another MST3k flick (The Girl in Gold Boots), and primed another book case, and wrote. More of that on my writing journal.

Now, more of the VR story (I’m going to save this, type up the story, and post it).

They slipped through dark alleys and along empty streets to a cheap little motel tucked away from the main roads. Doodlehopper took charge and checked in as Mrs. Alice Konaka and her husband. The mummy of a man behind the counter didn’t even bat an eyelash at them, despite their age difference; he just wanted the room fee up-front. Thomas reflected that this looked like the sort of place that got a lot of older “husbands” and suspiciously young “wives” for the night.

Doodlehopper plopped herself down on the worn comforter of the first bed in the room, threw her arms up, and arched her back. Her vest hung loose from her shoulders and her curves seemed ready to burst through her black pullover. Thomas pointedly looked away and walked past her towards the only chair in the room, a thin, rickety thing of rusty aluminum.

He didn’t bother to sit; he let himself fall into the chair, half-surprised that it held his weight, and massaged his temples for a moment. He opened his eyes to question the girl, only to find her sitting cross-legged with her hands in her lap, staring at him.

“You aren’t gonna try to jump me, are you?” she asked suddenly.


“You know. You’re not gonna try anything, are you?” she persisted.

He arched an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t you break my arm if I tried?”

Her mouth curved into an impish grin, and she relaxed slightly. “I would, actually. But I didn’t know if you knew that.”

His pride made him smile now. “I’m a detective,” he said. “Only in VR, but I’m still a detective. And I can tell that you not only have the muscles of a screeching kung fu star, you move like one.”

His smile faded. “But seriously,” he said, “you said you’d talk. What’s going on?”

She gave him a perfect nonchalant Gallic shrug. “Can’t say much, really. Somebdoy big wants you to die. I’ve been hired to make sure you don’t.”

He arched an eyebrow again. “Hired?”

She nodded “You’re a VR detective, right?” she asked. He nodded, and she grinned. “I’m the real-life thing, baby.” She put a finger to her lips in a Marilyn Monroe parody of thoughtfulness. “Well, that’s not quite right. I do lots of other stuff, too. Like this, which is really more like babysitting when you think about it.” She paused. “No offence.”

Writing Thoughts

Wai wai!

I had a goal for this month’s writing: to beat my past record of words written per month. I’ve only been keeping such records since December, and the most I’d written in one month was 6,800 words.

I am proud to report that, as of yesterday, I wrote 7,300 words in the month of March. And that’s with ten days unable to write after eye surgery.

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