Since posting the final chapters of "Second Time Through - Book Two," I have received hundreds of e-mails. And over two thirds of them have asked or hinted at the same three basic questions. So I thought I would try to answer them for everyone.
First, you WILL have to wait to find out which of the twenty-three girls that had a special connection to Michael will stay connected to Michael, now that the danger has passed. I am not telling.
Second, as to what happened to all the stuff the Omugi salvaged from the landing craft? It is currently in the warehouse where they stored it yesterday (story time). Your real question should have been, "What kind of ship sank, causing the Protector to be washed ashore on Tapato, so long ago?"
Third, as to why I am re-editing Book One before/instead of writing and posting Book Three, I'll try to explain.
When I wrote Book One, I had no training, education, or experience in writing. I received over a thousand e-mails on the story. And while the vast majority were positive, more than half of them politely pointed out errors. Like how I used the wrong tense (begin instead of began, etc.) or the wrong word (balling instead of bawling) to cite a few.
Take Chapter 2 (of Book One). Did you know that there are over 40 grammar and punctuation errors alone? While I am proud of the story, I am not happy with the all errors. I don't plan on making any major changes to the plot or the storyline. It really is just a cleanup.
Also, I am buying time. The pace of writing every single day for the last nine months, has taken a toll. And while I don't want to stop writing completely, re-editing takes considerably less brain power (compared to writing), little or no creativity, and gives me the opportunity to go back and refresh myself on the story as I flesh out the outline for book 3.
Now before you think I said 'editing is easy', go back and re-read what I wrote. I said re-editing something I wrote (and tried to edit by myself) is easier. ESPECIALLY when you have a team like I've got behind me. I just give it a once over, catch the ones I can spot, then send it on to the real experts.
Anyway, I was talking about buying time to finish the outline for Book Three.
Something I ran across while re-editing Book One was the Prologue that starts with Michael/Phil in his office on the anniversary of his first time through life where he killed himself. The rest of Book One is Michael remembering and relating his story.
While Book Two's Prologue was basically just a recap of what had happened so far. I was never happy with it.
While working on correcting the errors, I got the idea, why not create a Prologue for Book Three, just like the Prologue in Book One. Sort of re-visiting the Prologue in Book One, and continuing the 'story within the story'.
So I wrote out a draft of my idea for my editors and they all liked the idea. (It's posted below, if you'd like to check it out. Just remember, it is a ROUGH draft). Of course, the next chapter, Chapter One of Book Three, will then pick right up with Michael and family, still on the train, going to visit Hanna's parents (where Book Two left off). Feel free to let me know what you think of it.
Now, this presents a major challenge. In order to keep continuity, I will probably need to go back and add a similar Prologue to Book Two.
This technique was used very well by Nick Scipio, in his "Summer Camp" series with Paul preparing to attend a funeral at the beginning of each book.
(We STILL don't know who died!)
Hopefully, this helps you understand my situation a little better.
I will tell you that even if I weren't re-doing Book One, I still wouldn't be writing Book Three yet. I'm not ready. There is much to do to finish the outline, and then I have to start doing the research.
And just so you know, I have actually begun the outline of Book Four as well. It will be focused around Michael's search for his 'holy grail', or the remaining two pieces of armor to go with the sword and the gauntlets.
By now, you're probably like the little boy who asked his dad what "sex" was. When his dad told him he should go ask his mom, he replied, "But DAD...I didn't want to know that much!"
Well, now you know. So, it's back to work for me. I can't really say how fast I can pull this all together, but the last time, after I posted Book One, it took me about six weeks to start posting Book Two. That's not a commitment, just an observation.
As always, thanks for reading my story. And now, the tentative Prelude to "Second Time Through - Book III":
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - The Second Time
The sound of Narvenia at the door brought me out of my reverie. I knew why she was here.
I looked at my left wrist to check the time.
"Shit," I thought to myself. "I forgot to put on my watch!"
I heard Narvenia's giggle from the other office.
"It's ten minutes after," she called out happily.
So, the midnight hour had passed. It was now Tuesday morning, and nothing had happened yet. I wasn't surprised. When they said they would return in forty years, I had assumed midnight as the arrival hour, but I guess that even Narvenia's people could not accurately predict a time warp to the minute some forty years in advance.
"I tried to explain that to you," Narvenia said. I was used to her hearing my thoughts by now. "You'll have to be patient. Space/Time warps are difficult to predict."
"I know," I said tiredly. "It's just that some human traits never seem to go away, regardless of all we learn."
"I can't wait to see my mother!" she giggled. "She and Father will be amazed when they find out they're great-grandparents!"
"Is Philly coming with the kids?" I asked. Philly was our daughter.
"I wasn't sure when we'd make contact. I told her I'd see her later today. Stephen has soccer after school, and Jamie is going somewhere with her boyfriend."
This was my second time living this day. In fact, every day for the last forty years had been my second time. But tonight was different. Tonight marked the 40th anniversary of the end of my first trip through life. The fortieth anniversary of my awakening after killing myself.
Narvenia and I had discussed this many times. She was from a world that was literally in another dimension. And every forty years, a naturally occurring time warp allowed the two worlds to overlap, as she described it.
During this brief window, usually about four weeks as we measure time, the two worlds could interact. But in all their history, they had never interfered with our world until they perceived a danger from a distant universe, headed our way.
Forty years ago tonight, Narvenia and her sister, Spiro, using a technology that she had never explained, had taken me back forty years in our time, placing my mind and soul in the brain dead body of a sixteen year old accident victim. Then they had helped prepare me for the threat to our planet, in an effort to save our world with only minimal intervention.
The funny part was, this whole thing was the equivalent of a class homework assignment for Narvenia and Spiro. A science project that had little or no effect on their world, but far reaching and permanent impact on ours. This was also only the second time that the technology had ever been used, and the first person they had tried it on, didn't survive for them to find out what would happen. Narvenia, having been out of touch with her world for forty years now, had no idea what would happen to me past this point in time.
So while Narvenia was excited about seeing her parents and sister again, she was also apprehensive for me, as I prepared for the worst.
"I felt you deep in thought when I arrived," she said conversationally, trying to take my mind off worrying about what was to come. "What were you thinking about?"
I smiled as I nodded to my journal that was still lying open to the first page.
"I was remembering..." I told her.