Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Project Report 7: Water/Stone/Light

I haven't written a proper a report on this novel lately, but I have been working on the story.  The first draft is almost up to 40k already (and probably will cross that line tonight -- yes, I was right.  Crossed the 40k mark).  The story revolves around the arrival of a new prince heir who is absolutely not suited to the position.  His grandmother, the queen, is desperate enough to call on unusual help, including her sister's son, Sefu.  Sefu left the palace four years earlier when the Queen threatened to exile him after he bloodied the former Prince in a fight.  Now she's going to put him back in the same position as Companion, and he's wondering just how far she wants him to go to get this spoiled prince in shape.

Meanwhile, far to the north at the Barbarian Gate, the king is dealing with the death of his son (the former prince heir), invasions, magic and thousand year old legends.

I started the novel on January 1, even though I didn't have the outline done.  In fact, I still don't have it completed, though I am close.  I have come to believe this book is really going to be at least two volumes, and there is a major change in direction right at the point where I've stopped outlining.  I was having trouble moving forward, and I realize now that the next step should be a major one in time and feel.  There are a few matters to cover here at the end, but the next part of the story would be better told if a few months pass and matters have well and truly changed.

Now, it may be when I get to that point, I'll just make the leap and continue in this same novel after all, but this depends on how long the book is by that point.  Right now it looks as though it could be longer than I would like in a single book.  100k to 120k seems long enough in most cases.  And, as I said, this one has a major change in storyline at that point, and starting new a few months into the next set of problems might be a lot of fun.

I am happy to report that the novel is now longer than the outline and world building material, at least.  The characters are working out very well with some lovely little quirks.

I don't know how long it will take me to write the novel . . . or novels.  If it keeps moving at the 2 to 3k a day it's been doing lately, I could be done with the first draft of the first book in a few more weeks.  I will then start the outline of the second book, which I would hope to write for NaNo this year.

We'll see.  Right now it looks as though the novel will move along nicely, but you never know what problems might suddenly leap up.

Oh, but that's part of the fun of writing, isn't it?  If everything went without any little twists and turns, it would be far too predictable.  People often think that those of us who do outlines write them to avoid those twists, but it's not true.  We do the outline to work out the big, major steps in the story so that when we do find something unusual, we can see how to fit it into the story we want to tell.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Welcome to Z Command Center: Merry-Go-Round Tour # 9

Hi there!  I'm Zette's Muse, and I thought I'd take a few minutes away from tormenting . . . inspiring Zette to show you her work area.  So, welcome to the spot where Zette spends the majority of her time.  We'll tour the various controls and additions to this location.  Please also note that while most assume the 'Z' in Z Command Center stands stands for Zette, people should realize that Zaphod (present in the photo) disagrees. Though he has accepted the title of 'Second in Command' this may be a misnomer since Zette doesn't appear to be in charge of anything at all.

Let's take a tour of the location!

Note on the left upper edge of the desk is a desk calendar.  This calendar will never be on the proper date and is only there to look at cute cat pictures.  Pay no attention to it.  The larger calendar on the wall (with cute cat drawings) is most likely to be on the proper month sometime after the second Monday.

At the front edge of the desk and beneath the cat you can see several notes, carefully placed under a plastic covering.  The notes will, at any time they are really needed, be covered by at least one large cat (note Zaphod's position).  If Zaphod is not available for the duty, he will call in his brother Edmond,  or on occasion bring Wind in to sit the desk for a short time.  If there is absolutely no other choice, he will call in The Demon Cat from Hell (aka Buffy Fluffy Bear), but this is a dangerous ploy since she might not be willing to give the spot back.  At least once a day three to four cats will take the position in order to drive Zette into the kitchen and the food containers.  One of them will be back at the desk before Zette returns, so the 'ploy' to lure them away rarely works.

The window to the left looks out on the bird feeders which allows for interesting photography most days.  The box below the window contains several hundred bags of tea in 52 different flavors,   As long as she can keep cats off it, Zette can choose any of the wonderful teas . . . of course, then she has to keep the cats from drinking them.  Zaphod, in particular, has a fondness for fruit tisanes.

To the right of the monitor are several indispensable books: Character-Naming Sourcebook, Dictionary of Costume and Fashion, Super Thesaurus, Flip Dictionary, Grammatically Correct, Random House Dictionary, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region).  These books never leave the desk.  To the far right of the desk you can see one of the 17 bookcases that have places throughout the rest of the dwelling.  This particular case has various history books along with several program-related books and the Cambridge Ancient History collection which has now grown to four books.

On the right corner of the desk is the printer/scanner,  which at all times is carefully protected by several stuffed teddy bears.  Important notice:  Despite some suggestions to the contrary, the bears are not cleverly designed listening devices, recording and archiving anything heard.  It is perfectly safe to talk to the bears about anything, including your darkest secrets.  You can trust them.  (I'd worry about the stuffed moose in the back, though.)

Also note that the printer/scanner is rarely used.  The small laser printer to the right and below the desk proper is the printer-of-choice for most quick work.  This proves that the bears are doing an outstanding job of protection, since even Zette rarely gets to use the device.

At the curve of the desk you will see three weather stations.  None of them have ever agreed on data, which has led to the likely theory that at least two are linked to alternate realities. Behind them is a cat-decorated covering cleverly concealing cords from Buffy.  Well, until she takes the covering off, which happens at least two or three times a week.  (Below the desk are several boxes, carefully places to keep Buffy away from the plugs.  This has never worked.)

Visible is one of the three external hard drives to the system.  This is the oldest and smallest of the hard drives, so of course Zette decided it would be best for cataloguing her extensive photo collection.  At some point in the future (near future, actually) the folly of this choice will be apparent.

Next to the hard drive is The Observation Deck: A Tool Kit for Writers.  Mostly this consists of a deck of cards with various odd things written on them, which can occasionally spark an idea for a scene.  Beside that is a plastic container with all the things Zette doesn't want the cats to play with. This only works when she actually puts those things in the container.

The heart of the station is the computer, monitor and keyboard.  It is here that Zette writes (and writes and writes), communicates with others, catalogues photos, creates art work and occasionally plays with music creation programs.  Zette eats at the desk (without cats, if possible).  She can be found here at almost any time, busily typing away or fighting with the sometimes recalcitrant mouse (I think the cats scare him).  The computer, which considers himself much abused, has lately taken to trying out future career changes, such as giant useless paperweight and Random Annoyance Generator.  (You really don't want that file, do you?  This one is so much better.  No really.  Not that file.  Oh, what do you care about deadlines?  That's why you're an Indie Author.  Get a grip, Zette.)

While some might think spending so much time in this one spot creates a rather limited world (and possibly an interesting form of insanity), the truth is that Zette is connected with more people via the Internet than in real life, and the computer allows her such a wide variety of creative choices that she's never bored and needs more time to do all the things she truly wants to accomplish in a day, let alone write all the stories building up as a backlog in her brain.

So, time to get back to work!  Well, as soon as we can get Zaphod off the notes.

If you want to get to read about nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Be sure to read tomorrow's post by Sharon Kemmerer

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me


So, here I am celebrating another year.  I've started a new book (right now called Elves in Space, but I hope to find something better.  Really.) and I wrote 1000 words on it before I went to bed last night.  I always start a new book on my birthday as a way to have fun doing what I love to do.  Today I've also  done bits and pieces of stuff for work, but I'm about to go write again.  Just write and have fun.

The release of The Servant Girl a few days ago was my real present to me.  I had intended to put it and my other novels on sale, but hey -- it fell in the 'read an ebook' week celebration, so I just put everything on sale for the whole week.  Yay!

So, would you like to help me celebrate?  Go buy one of my novels for $1.50 from Smashwords.  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/zetteG Even if you don't have an ebook reader, you can download a PDF version!  The great thing about Smashwords is the variety of reading devices the site supports, including Kindle and Nook.

And me?  I'm going to go write some more and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Why I love Russ

This is an exchange of emails between Russ and me today:

Zette --

Little package came today!  I'm setting it aside for a couple days (until my birthday on the 8th).

Russ --

Oh, I think it MUST be opened now!!!!

Small, white odd shaped? Making funny sounds?

If so, open it quickly!!

Zette --

No funny sounds.  LOL.

It's the 2012 Love Stamp box?

Russ --

That's the one!

Open it quick!!

Zette --

Ah!  He's CUTE!  Thank you!

Russ --

Whew! It was STUFFY in there!

When I put him in, I told him I’d get him out as soon as possible! It was a tough sell, but he was the LAST BEAR LEFT! We KNEW he had to come home with me!

Zette --

Oh my!  He gets to sit right by Aristotle!

Thank you

Russ --

Yep – he was alone for TWO WHOLE WEEKS! And in a box for 3 entire days!

Zette --

Bertie the Birthday Bear

Monday, March 05, 2012

New Release: The Servant Girl (and book sale!)

I am very happy to announce that my latest fantasy novel, The Servant Girl, is now available:

Eliza lived with Princess Sondra as her trusted companion until civil war tore her from her friend's side.  Now she must learn to live in a world filled with intrigue and danger, where the use of her magic might get her killed . . . and where it is getting increasingly difficult to tell friend from foe.

The book is currently only released on Smashwords so you can get it at the 'Read an ebook' sale price of $1.50!  The sale only lasts until March 10th, so don't wait.  The code is on the left side of the page (REW50). 

I have all of my novels on sale for $1.50 on Smashwords:

Kat Among the Pigeons 

Katlyn is a member of a fae clan whose job is to stand the line between human and magical lands, a secret she has trouble hiding from her new human boyfriend even before she unexpectedly finds the fate of the world in her hands.

She isn't magically strong, and unlike other fae who understand all animals, she only caught birds and cats -- not a good combination. However, when she isn't able to reach other fae for help, Kat and her boyfriend frantically fight the enemy with the aid of a lazy tom cat, an African gray parrot who only speaks in verse, and a wise-cracking cockatiel with a bad attitude.

She's trying very hard not to think the world is doomed.


"Exciting, complex and richly textured, with a world you'll believe and a protagonist you have to cheer for -- Silky is wonderful."

Holly Lisle (Quote from original 1998 Embiid Publishing release.)

Captured as a child and sold into heartless slavery, life has robbed Silky of his magical abilities and left him with no expectations of a better life -- until his own act of bravery delivers him into the hands of a powerful Lord of the Land.

His troubles are far from over since Lord Reed is out of favor with the King and danger threatens at any mischance. Working with Lord Reed starts him along a path that will lead to power, danger and heartbreak -- and a future the young slave boy could never have imagined.

Silky 2: Lord of the Land 

Silkation, Lord of Haven, helped to bring Queen Maris to the throne of Anthica and has become her trusted friend and advisor. However, riches, power and magic cannot buy safety for Silky and trouble lurks at every turn. Old enemies will not easily accept such a position of power for the Tassanian-born former slave, and their continued attacks spark changes even they could not have foreseen.

However, Anthica faces far graver danger as news of enemies in other lands reaches them, and they must prepare again for war. Can the Lords of the Land put aside their differences and work together in the face of this new danger?

Silky 3: The Queen's Champion 

In the final book of the Silky trilogy, Silky must face all his worst fears -- and a few new ones. With Anthica under siege, Silky, Magellan and Queen Maris take a perilous sea voyage to find allies they hope will help win the embattled country from the Jainta and their dark magic. During the journey Silky will battle his personal demons and new enemies . . . and find a lost piece of his soul. 

Ada Nish Pura: 

Fighter Pilot Marcus Trevor is the only survivor of a treacherous attack against the star ship on which he served. Injured and alone, he must take refuge on the world of Kailani, a place of vast stretches of water and where a large portion of the population is genetically adapted to living in the sea.

With the enemy taking over this mineral rich world, Marcus must work with the locals while waiting for help to return. And it is here that he learns the true meaning of civilization and honor.

Ada = Decision

Nish = No

Pura = Return

Sometimes there is no going back.

Joey Mousekin's Tale (on sale for $0.99) 

What happens when a young boy is accidentally turned into a mouse? He has the adventure of a lifetime!

Joey always wanted an adventure it looked as though working at Wizard Eldorn's Keep was going to be fun -- right until things went a bit wrong!

Interior black and whilte illustrations were created with DAZ Studio, Carrara Pro, Poser, Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop.

Most of the short stories are free this week as well! Go and enjoy!  You can find all my Smashwords titles here:

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A sneak peek at Devlin 1: Welcome to Forest

This is the next novel in the queue, which should be out in April or May.  I thought I would share a bit of the story.  This is a science fiction tale from my Inner Worlds Council universe.

Chapter One

Devlin stood beneath the high wooden benches and tried not to wince every time she heard a creak or groan from the wood. The last set of bleachers collapsed ten years ago, killing more than fifty people and maiming others. Safer now people assured her, but she didn't believe them. Devlin didn't trust low tech work on backwater worlds.

And she didn't think much of Forest anyway.

Devlin's plans hadn't included coming to see the show today. She'd watched one Bear Dance and found the show a disgusting display of brutality.  Pitting a human against a local animal was barbaric, and she didn't know how these people could watch.

Devlin couldn't decide why anyone would send someone of her rank and tech abilities to such a low tech world. Someone from the office could have filed these reports. She'd enjoyed working on Caliente better than here and she'd despised that world. Forest might be a lovely planet, but she hated the people. Hated them all and knew she'd lost her objectivity.

The reason she came today stepped out into the ring.  The locals rated Dancer as the best Bear Dancer ever to enter the ring, which was apparently why he held the name rather than Wind, Silk, Cloud or the like.  She thought he must be the oldest of the elite group, though he couldn't be more than in his early twenties.  He wore close fitting brown pants with his bare chest showing a couple scars, which meant he'd survived at least one dance gone bad.  His dark hair curled around his face, but she could see his calm, almost serene expression.  Unlike the last dancer she'd watched, this one didn't acknowledge the crowd.  She suspected he didn't care if they watched or not.

The bear stepped from a tunnel at the far side of the ring: a tall, golden-furred biped with arms held down, and head moving from side-to-side as the creature watched the people. He came closer and towered over the human, whose hand didn't even move towards the powerblade at his belt. 

The crowd began shouting his name:  Dancer, Dancer, Dancer.

The bear began to sway.  Dancer lifted his head and mimicked the move and within a couple heartbeats they seemed to be fully in sync with one another.  Devlin watched in awe, almost hypnotized by the movements as they swayed and swayed.  Both turned, leapt and swayed and turned once more.

Enthralled, Devlin moved closer to the open area.  The crowd fell silent, breath held for this amazing show.  She saw nothing barbaric in this performance.  Devlin felt all her convictions drop away. . . .

A change in sound swept through the benches. At first she thought the crowd showed signs of growing restless, as though the spectacle wasn't enough for them.  Then she saw the real trouble as two more bears rushed into the arena.

A shout went up from the crowd and for a moment Devlin saw desperation on Dancer's face, though he never missed a beat.  Sway, turn, leap and never slow.  He did what she thought would have been impossible, and caught the attention of the other two bears until all three of the creatures danced.

But the people shouted louder, startling the bears.  Dancer lost them from one sway to the next, and she saw a clawed hand draw bloody furrows across his arm and side.  The other two leapt in to attack as well, and he barely moved out of the way as he drew his powerblade to defend himself.

Devlin reached for her laser pistol and damn the local regulations which stated she couldn't carry such a weapon in town. However, Dancer reacted faster than she could get a clear shot.  He killed two bears, leapt out of the way of two bears, and finally killed the last.  Quick kills, despite his own serious injuries. 

He went to his knees.  She expected someone to go help him.  She expected --

Anything but the sounds of displeasure from the crowd.

"Walk away!" 

The words rose in a chorus by others, punctuated by other shouts of anger.  Part of the show.  A dancer had to walk away from the ring.

Dancer bled from deep wounds and the longer he knelt there, the more she feared he wouldn't ever get back up.  He shivered and his hand brushed very gently, across the fur of a dead bear.

She shoved her pistol away and lifted her wrist, ready to call in the port medic and everyone be damned again, but she saw someone going out to Dancer.  People in the bleachers booed and stamped their feet while some headed her way to leave the arena.   She heard people talking about disgrace, which was a local form of ostracism. 

Finding an Inner Words Council soldier dressed in the usual white uniform did not improve their mood.  She didn't want to be the start of a riot -- well, not unless she thought she could beat some sense into these fools.  Devlin stepped aside, bowed ever so politely (so they couldn't see the anger in her face) and let the groups pass while she worked her way, step-by-step, into a shadowed recess where they could not see her.

By the time the crowd cleared out, Dancer had disappeared and she hoped to get care.  The locals knew the IWC threatened intervention if they left anyone to die from wounds which could have easily been healed. Even the Founders, with their perpetual battle of wills with the IWC, didn't take the warning lightly.

With everyone gone, Devlin slipped out of the shadows and slid along the edge of the arena, glancing at the dead bears with regret she must have borrowed from Dancer, remembering how he had so gently touched the one dead animal. 

Devlin made her towards the area where the bears entered the ring, walking down the dark incline of the tunnel until she came close enough to spot the cages.  Blue light cubes lit the area which she hadn't expected.  Tech.

A man stepped out of a room to the side, anger in his face.  "Not allowed here, porter."

"I have questions," she replied.  "How did they get loose?"

"Not your concern."  He out bulked her, but Devlin knew she could take him.  She didn't want a fight though.  Well, actually she did, but knew it wouldn't help.

"If you don't tell me, you'll have to deal with the port commander.  Do you want me to send him here to ask questions?"

He scowled.  "They got the locks open."

She glanced past him.  Palm locks on the cages.  High tech for Forest. 

She nodded and said nothing.

The man lied, of course.

She head back out, intending to return to the port and write a report:  A non-judgmental, even-handed report on how these barbarian bastards would have let the boy bleed to death for their damned show and lied to her about what had happened.

No, this wasn't going to be easy.


Devlin still felt as annoyed the next day and knew she dared not go near the locals.  In late afternoon she took an aircar and headed off into the wilds.  She couldn't land the aircar anywhere on the soft, unstable ground but she could make lazy circles over a river without worrying about anyone else in the air.  There were a total of four aircars on the entire world, and three of them belonged to the IWC troops stationed at the port. The last belonged to the people at the Bear Camp.

Her assignment had been very specific: Learn what she could about bear dancing and about the bears in particular.  The people who ran the Bear Camp wouldn't let her see the animals.  The Bear Dance was as close as she came to seeing a bear.

She couldn't do this job.  She spent the day thinking through her few options.  Devlin hadn't walked away from many assignments in her career, even when she went against some surprising odds.

As though a sign from the heavens, she saw the odd, tell-tale contrail of a shuttle coming in.  This one wasn't on the usual schedule, but she didn't care. The shuttle meant she could leave this world.

She turned the aircar towards the port although she needn't hurry.  Regulations said the shuttle must remain grounded at least ten hours while crews went over the craft.  She had time to return, pack her few belongings and tell Commander West she intended to leave.

A glance towards the ground showed a group of bears at the edge of the water.  Devlin wished them well.  Wished it more to them than she could to the humans at this point.  She couldn't stand by and watch another kid get mangled in the ring for the pleasure of these fools.  Knowing so might make her wise in many ways.

Heading to the port brought her close to the Bear Camp.  After a moment's hesitation, she turned and flew over the scattered buildings.  The aircar's vid system would record the scene below, and she could add the scene to her report.

Devlin had gained more cooperation from rebelling port rats in the midst of war than from these people.  Hell, she'd had more cooperation from the Lindy Pirates when they settled on Caliente.

She passed the camp and saw the tiny town of Woodvine to the right.  On the higher ground sat Founders Hall, a huge gothic structure and out of place here.  The people who ruled the world lived there.  The Founders held strict power.  The last few of the second generation Founders were old, though, and Forest would be a mess when they died.  They'd ruled too long.  Someone should have stepped in before now.

Not her job.  Not even her assignment.  She swept past Founder's Hall and on the port, which lay far off behind the Hall and hidden from view, so no one thought about the outside universe.

She went over the tall trees growing at the edge of the port and landed in the small, cleared area near the shuttle.  A fortune in those plants, but the Founders controlled all exports.

"Lt. Devlin!" someone shouted.

That couldn't be good.  The Bear Camp must have already sent a complaint. 

"Commander West wants to see you, Lieutenant." The young man looked her over with a little frown.  Everyone knew she couldn't be a regular soldier with the way she came and went at will.  "As soon as possible, if it's no problem, he said."

He didn't use the commlink to contact her.  Interesting.  Something he didn't want the people at the Bear Camp to know, since they were the only people with the ability to hear.  Ten minutes later, she took a seat in his office.  West was an older man, his hair a bit gray along the edges, his dark face showing creases of worry.  She regretted flying over the Bear Camp and making more work for him.

"I shouldn’t have flown over," she admitted with sigh.  Admitting to mistakes wasn't one of her better skills.

He waved a hand, dismissing the words.  "They complained.  I told them to file a report with the Inner World Council."

Good.  She could imagine who much those word would have annoyed Governor Spring.  Then she realized he must have called her here for another reason. "There's something else?  The shuttle?"

"The shuttle brought an Etech, Cha Hao Chan.  He's one of the IWC's top ecoscientists."

"Damn.  I know the name, though I've never met him.  What the hell is he doing here?"

"He's come for the 50 year ecology check.  Forest is about due for one.  But I get the feeling there's more going on.  He's too high ranking for a scut job on this world."

She nodded.  "I need to talk to him and as soon as possible."

"He headed straight out to see the Founders," West replied and gave a surprising little smile.

"He got an invitation?"

"No, he did not."  The smile widened as he tapped his comp and turned the screen to her.  She saw the face of an oriental man who appeared to have some prodigious credits. Not many of pure oriental blood showed up in the IWC, even a century after the Bio Plague decimated much of Earth's oriental population.  A true rarity, in fact.  "He met Governor Spring within half an hour of landing, and she took him to the hall after he threatened to have the guards take him in instead.  And he has the ability to order it, too.  He got in."

"Hell.  Now I am impressed," she admitted, sitting back and rethinking her plans. 

"They'll cooperate rather than have the science board send in a full team, and perhaps station people on world.  I would like you to go and pick him up and stick with him.  He obviously doesn't understand the dynamics of the world, and he could set things off.  He could use a guard and an official liaison.  His position isn't going to protect him from most of the people."

"Why not one of your own people?"

"Two reasons.  You've spent more time outside the port than any of them, and I thought you might find this useful to work with someone who is also looking at the world."

Good points.  But damn.  She wanted off this world.  The regular ship would be here in two weeks.  She could give this a try and see if working with him helped.

"I'll watch over him."  Devlin tried to sound professional and not annoyed to find her wonderful plan to escape come to such an abrupt end.

"Good.  Thank you.  Take your aircar to the Founders Hall and collect him.  When I was taken there, they left me to walk back to the port, at night and through the woods.  Damned lucky a treedog didn't get me.  Oh, and he plans to stay in town.  I've already arrange for him to have house 7 out in the new sector and sent his equipment on with a guard."

"Equipment?  Tech stuff?  In Woodvine?"

"They have to allow his equipment for the official IWC study of the world and I think this is another reason why he needs you, Devlin."

Devlin agreed.  She thought this might even be interesting.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Welcome to March!

The big news this month is "Read an e-book week" which runs from March 4 through March 10.  Smashwords is doing a nice promo and I'll have my novels there on sale for $1.50 each (and some of the shorter pieces for free!)  This includes The Servant Girl which I hope to release on the 6th or so!

Eliza lived with Princess Sondra as her trusted companion until civil war tore her from her friend's side.  Now she must learn to live in a world filled with intrigue and danger, where the use of her magic might get her killed . . . and where it is getting increasingly difficult to tell friend from foe.

Last year I released Kat Among the Pigeons right around my birthday so I decided to do the same with this book.  It's a different sort of fantasy tale for me since there is very little magic in the book.  I'm looking forward to seeing what people think of the story and the characters. 

Water/Stone/Light is moving along at a slow but steady pace.  I think it's turning out well, too.  I like the characters and I'm going to have so much fun making their lives hell.  Writers are such odd people. 

I have started the outline for my Elves in Space story.  No, that won't be the title (I hope!), but I needed a placeholder while I got the idea moving.  I think it's going to be fun to write, and I will start that one on my birthday.  That's something I do every year -- start a new story as a present to me.  Normally I would be rushing to get the current one done first, but that's just not going to happen.  It's okay.  I often have more than one project going.  That really helps when the brain gets a little stuck.  It's really good when the projects aren't anything alike too, which makes it easy to move from one to another. 

I have also decided on my next edit project, which is the first Devlin book.  I've been over it a few times already and the plot is in place, but I'm still not happy with some of the wording.  That means I'll be really going over the pages, but I don't think this one will take too long.  The problem is getting the feel of Devlin into the book.  Her voice is harder to capture than I expected.  She's an interesting character, but it's hard to make that final contact with her sometimes. 

Devlin is a top agent for the Inner Worlds Council Security force -- a spy in common terms -- and she's not very happy with an assignment to the backwater world of Forest.  Settled by the Work for Man fanatics, the government has restricted not only the use of tech equipment but also regulate nearly every aspect of life for the small population.  The settlement is boring and the people don't like outsiders. 

There is one anomaly, though: The brutal show known as Bear Dancing pits a human against a native life form.  Devlin's work is to learn about the show and report what she can about the bears themselves because there is suddenly outside interest 

The people involved in the bear dance are secretive.  She's gathered all the information she thinks she can, and she's ready to move on.  However, when a top-ranking scientist arrives on world, Devlin thinks she might be able to pick up a little bit more information. 

And that's something the locals fear.

So there we are!  I have plenty to do for March.  I'm looking forward to the work!