Happy Halloween! Well, it’s Oct 31st for the Pacific Rim already. I’ll just be real busy for the next few weeks, so I wanted to get this in while I could. Book sales were brisk, then dropped off. That was to be expected. If you liked my book, PLEASE RECOMMEND IT! Every little bit counts: tell your friends, neighbors, lovers, other artists, and anyone. I don’t have much of an ad budget at this point as my publisher is moving.

Good luck to my NaNoWriMo friends! With everything going on, I can’t participate this year. Although I am writing like gangbusters. More on that in a bit. But I am busy with writing, Katsucon, and Katsucon, and more Katsucon. If you’re going to be at Nekocon and Anime USA in November, come find me. I’ll be at the Katsucon table, schmoozing.

I am eight chapters into my next work, currently untitled, but along the lines of “Mothership.” It’s a kind of dark comedy full of violence and swearing about a psychotic space captain and her crew. About 30k words in the last 2 weeks. Go me! Here’s a small snippet, but I warn you, it’s pretty violent and has bad words. Eliza is a psychotic and abusive ship’s captain, Sarah is her newly assigned first mate, Jen is her engineer and a member of a religious cult of perky goths, and Tyler is their navigator, who is useless because he cheated on all his navigational exams, thinking it would be an easy thing to fake in the real world.

As Eliza reported, Sarah found Jen’s small pudgy body crammed into a uniform locker. “Hiya!” was the first thing she said when exposed to the interior lighting for the first time in hours. “You must be Sarah!” she said, pausing her escape to pump Sarah’s hand enthusiastically. “I am Engineering Officer Jennifer Koipack from the Pergoth system. I am a fully competent mechanic, the second security officer, and I am an excellent dancer and cook. Here, let me get myself out of here so I can meet my clone mechanical division. I apologize for my lateness as I was unable to extract myself from this small space! Please, call me Jen! It’s shorter and easier to say when you want my attention.”

Jen wasn’t even upset they had no clones. “Life is full of surprises,” she said, a mantra she repeated often to everyone’s annoyance. Like most Pergoths, she was not allowed to swear or even get upset. And they believed in absolute truth, thus they often spoke far too much to prevent miscommunication.

So, when Sarah heard commotion from the ship’s galley, she was not surprised to find Eliza beating Jen’s head on the table.

“You like that? That make you happy?” Eliza was saying as Sarah came into the room.

“Life is full of surprises,” Jen said. Her face was bleeding.

“I like surprises, don’t you?” Eliza said, grinning in sadistic pleasure.

“I find it difficult to answer with your continued vibrant actions,” Jen said. Her face was smashed into the table again.

“Stop it!” Sarah shouted.

Eliza let go of Jen’s hair and slapped her. “You’re a stain, you religious cunt!” She said to Jen’s bleeding face before she looked at Sarah. “Tyler seems to be unable to tell me where we’re headed. You have any idea–”

“We are two days away from Verdes Alpha. Right on schedule.” Sarah noticed Tyler was lying on the floor, not moving. “What has happened to Tyler?”

“I seem to be bleeding,” Jen said looking at her hand that had just touched her face. “I am not leaving because you offend me, but I must take care of this so I do not stain the decor. I shall return.”

“Please don’t,” Eliza said as Jen quickly left. She turned back to Sarah. “She’s a riot, isn’t she? I wonder what it will take to make her break that vow of swearing? I could have done that all day!”

“We need a ship’s engineer, Eliza. Please don’t–”

“And what’s this please and thank you shit? Am I on some kind of fucking cruise ship?”

“What happened to Tyler?”

“Fuck if I know,” Eliza said. “What’s our fuel ration?”

“Why is he on the floor?” Sarah bent down to see if Tyler was still alive. He was breathing and not bleeding. “And 2.0, we’re good with fuel for the next few hops.”

“I told Tyler if he got in my way, I’d skull fuck him while I choked him with a garrote made from the skin of his own dick. Then he just fainted.”

“Get me some smelling salts…” Sarah said, but sighed when Eliza left the galley to go back to the bridge instead. “…or not.” She went to the small medic kit, and after a few attempts, Tyler woke up in a groggy daze. “Please get me out of here!” he begged.

Sarah just sighed. “Where’s Patrick?”

“I liked it better when Eliza was holed up in her room,” Tyler said.

“I know, I started to wonder if she was ever going to come out. Is Patrick back in his quarters?”

“I want to go home,” Tyler said, and the scent of fear trickled Sarah’s nostrils as she realized Tyler must have soiled himself.

“Go get cleaned up, Tyler. I’ll find Patrick.” Sarah suddenly thought she felt the ship lurch slightly. This was not an uncommon even while traveling at an interstellar speed, but given the fact she didn’t know where Eliza was worried her.

Jen bounced back into the room, her pigtails swinging. She was holding a bloody cloth to her face. “I am back, fellas. I apologize for my excursion–”

“Jen, you don’t have to be polite to us. We know Eliza is a lot to handle.”

“Her spirit is inspiring,” Jen agreed, pressing on a deep cut above her lip.

Sarah didn’t know who was crazier.