I used that opportunity to add a few pages to Apocalyptic Visions and I quite unexpectedly ended up including my first-ever character from this universe in the story.
Way back in 1979, when I was starting seventh grade, it occurred to me one day that I could write my own science fiction story if I wanted to. I don't really remember all the circumstances surrounding it, except that school was just beginning; all I remember is that I took one of my brand-new notebooks and set it aside specifically for writing my story. And one day (or night or evening or afternoon) I began writing that story.
That first story is something like 170 hand-written pages of the most god-awful dreck that ever had the misfortune to exist. Oh, good lord it's awful stuff. But it contains the slightest glimmer, the barest iota of inspiration; and in the course of writing that story I smelted and forged my writing skills. It took many further years of work to refine and hone them; and while I'm never going to be a really great writer I'm conceited enough to think my stuff's good enough to offer for sale.
It's a bit sad that the earliest pages of the story have perished, but it's also probably for the best that the very beginnings do not remain to haunt me. I already have a lot of stuff I can't stand to look at, much less read, without cringing, but what there is of this earliest story is probably sufficient.
...but even though the story is 100% no good, I kept a few of the characters, and in an abortive attempt at writing a good version of the story I found that this could be extremely good.
The main character of this novel ended up in one of the modules of the Alternity campaign I ran, set in this universe; and when I needed an honorable man to be in charge of a strategic asset, my brain simply would not let me use anyone else, nor invent a new character.
I did finish that first novel, eventually; I had other projects that took precedence as I developed my craft, but finally about four years or so after I first put pencil to paper, I put that awful thing to bed...and have not since revisited it. The original has absolutely nothing to offer any piece of decent fiction; the only thing it has going for it is youthful exuberance: I wrote that story with a brain full of wonder and spectacle. I still have some of that, and I'll use it.
Anyway? Having a grand old time with writing, and I want to write more, and since Wednesday is a day off, maybe I can.
* * *
Little Hitler Boy ends up giving Laura Ingraham a ratings boost. Like, a twenty-percent ratings boost, because a lot of the American people are sick and tired of lefty asshats and their boycott horseshit.
* * *
THIS is why you always wear your seat belt when seated aboard an airliner.
Damn, that's an awful, awful story.
* * *
Well, time to get my recreatin' on.