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I left for vacation without getting a chapter ready.
I will toss up two chapters next Monday.
Today is a day that I've dreaded for some time.
From 2010 until his death in April 2016, BlackIrish culled through close to 850 chapters that I had written. My standard chapters are normally 10 Word pages. That's 8,500 pages (give or take) of shitty prose, missing words, misnamed characters and forgotten plot points.
He helped me take these pages that sometimes seemed more like a random jumble of words than a coherent train of thought and turn them into stories that I have posted on this site.
BlackIrish kept a running tally of where the plot had moved so he could ensure that I didn't leave too many threads dangling. He kept a list of character traits and personalities to make certain that I kept the players consistent. He would ask questions about the character actions and interactions so I would think about why one of my creations would say or do something - instead of just writing what was expedient at the moment.
He managed to do this while helping out others on the site - including working with G Younger on the starting portions of his Stupid Boy series.
Today's post marks the last of the chapters from my stories that were edited by the late BlackIrish.
The others he worked with seem to have done a better job of keeping current with their postings. I somehow developed a two-and-a-half year backlog.
So I suspect that today might be the last time a chapter edited by BlackIrish will appear on SOL.
If that is true, the site will be a little worse off tomorrow.
Thanks, Bill. You are missed.
First, I wish to offer my sincere appreciation on this Memorial Day in the United States for all who have fallen as part of our military and also to the families they left behind.
Too often we in the U.S. view this holiday as "The Unofficial Start of Summer" or "Indy 500 weekend" or as an excuse for a barbecue and beer bash.
I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on the men and women in uniform who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.
Wars are started by politicians but they are fought by young men and women from small towns and large cities all across the country (and from some other countries, too).
Feel free to say whatever you choose about the politicians. Protest the wars as often you like.
But please always remember that it was the men and women in uniform that gave their lives so you could have the right to free speech and freedom of association.
These men and women deserve to be honored for their sacrifice.
Today is the day in the United States set aside to show appreciation but I would hope that we would extend our condolences to every point on the globe on every day of the year for the brave men and women who stand up when called.
As has been said numerous times: Freedom comes at a high price.
On a story related note, we've reached a point I had hoped we wouldn't.
There are two reasons, the first of which I won't go into right now.
The second reason is one that I was upfront about.
I started posting the The Rise of Azkoval before it was finished.
Well, it still ain't done. And I am rapidly running out of chapters. So I faced two unpalatable choices.
I could a) keep going and then have a huge gap when I finally run out of chapters in a few weeks; or b) slow the postings to buy some time.
I chose the latter.
As I typically do, I wrote the ending before putting together the middle section. The problem is that the ending sucks. I'm not sure where my head was when I wrote it but it obviously wasn't anywhere nice. The original ending is dark and completely in contrast to the tone of the rest of the story.
So I'm redoing it. It will push the story from 80 or so chapters to 90 or so chapters but it will take time to get them together, edited and proofread.
Time in the summer is generally something I don't have a lot of. So I am going to slow down to a single chapter per week until I get a better grasp on the story.
As I noted back in December, I had hoped that starting to post an unfinished story would spur me to writing more.
In a way, it worked. I finished most of a new story but still didn't do much on Azkoval. Still, I hold out hope that I can write the 15 or so chapters to end the story before I have no choice but to leave the readers hanging for weeks or months until I do.
I wish it wasn't this way ... but it is.
Time got away from this week. There will be no post until Monday.
I've always known that SOL is different from the other online story sites.
Lazeez has created a small village here at SOL.
We rally behind each other; we help out those that have fallen on hard times; we offer support and encouragement to people trying to do something different from their everyday lives.
In that, the SOL community greatly resembles the family I am fortunate enough to love.
As I have tried to do with those I am related to, I want to thank the people who populate this section of my life for their kindness and sympathy.
Just like the people I was lucky enough to grow up around, the sense of goodwill and camaraderie from the denizens of the SOL community never ceases to amaze me.
Thank you all.
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