A Room with a View of a Nebula

Posted: April 9, 2014 by writingsprint in Dubrillion Burning, Science fiction
Tags: , , , , , ,

Orion nebula

“Do you know where to find marble conference tables? I’m looking to have a conference…not until I get the table, though.” Kanye West

Post #10 of the “Dubrillion Burning” series

Jeana laughed as they entered the conference room. Unlike the rest of Port Nowhere, this room was clean, elegant, and cooly professional. A state of the art media center dominated the room, surrounded by an oval durasteel conference table. Two service droids stood in the corners, awaiting their chance to help. Raffa was glad they didn’t start yakking away about it like droids usually did. The room had a view of the forward deck, and past that, the Godon nebula. They picked a good day to come to the port.

“Nice, Beryl,” Raffa said.

Beryl smiled. “You approve?” she asked.

Jeana touched the holo display. It reacted, bringing up a menu of options. She dragged the menu to another part of the air, using her fingers. She nodded. “I’ve seen Imperial command posts that weren’t as well equipped,” Jeana said.

“One of the benefits of providing a scarce, high-demand service,” Beryl said. She glanced at Raffa. “And having the right connections.”

“Is there a mini bar?” Raffa asked.

“I didn’t think you were having that kind of meeting.” Beryl tapped commands into a panel by the door. A section of the wall opened and a full bar came out. Raffa clapped his hands.

“We’re not,” Jeana said firmly.

“Says you. I never plan without a drink in my hand,” Raffa said. He could feel her eyes on him as he poured a glass of 24-year-old whiskey from Dantooine. She didn’t like how he worked, but she knew he got the job done, too. Anyway, it was good whiskey! There were fancier labels on the Core Worlds, but people who knew whiskey knew it was better from frontier worlds like Dantooine.

“You won’t be insulted if we sweep the room,” Risha said to Beryl.

“Be my guest.”

Risha took out a device to scan for surveillance equipment. Vette did the same. Raffa wished Cartog were here. He had equipment that would count your nose hairs and tell you whether your family had a history of allergies. Risha checked once and came up negative. She started checking again, to be sure. Finally, she and Vette looked at each other. Both nodded. “It’s clean,” Risha said.

Beryl said, “I’ll leave you, then. The room is yours for three days. You can send the droids for refreshments. Call me if you need anything. Raff, see you later.”

“Thanks, Beryl.”

Once she left the room, Jeana looked at both droids and said, “Droids, your services won’t be required. Power off. We’ll boot you back up if we need you.”

“Yes, mistress,” they said. Both powered down, sagging like marionettes without a puppet master.

“They look sad when they do that,” Risha said. “But at least now we won’t have to wipe their memories on what we talked about.”

Tonight I almost backed up on yesterday’s scene. I considered having Cartog at Port Nowhere, so we could have a dramatic planning meeting with all our heroes in one place. That would make life easier, but I like the awkwardness of someone being missing. One, it’s realistic. If you wanted James Bond, Wonder Woman, and El Mariachi all in one place at one time, more than likely at least one of them would be busy saving the world. Two, it’s dramatically “savory” — it gives the story spice as things start to unfold. Where is he? Doesn’t he know we have a world to save? People are dropping nukes! Finally, I picked that lane and I want to stick with it, damn it. I’m going to turn the “negative” into a “positive” and see what happens. If all goes well, it’ll be much better than doing it the easy way.

I’ll leave you with this treat — Josh Groban sings Kanye West tweets. The quote on conference tables is at about one minute in.

  1. I love the image choice for this. I honestly felt like I was there with the characters. Question, have you ever participated in the “Write a novel in 30 days” adventure? I started doing so in June of 2012 and I have to say my writing pace and my follow through from start to finish has greatly improved. Participating also helped my leap pasted the belief that writer’s block actually exist…it does not. 😉 Just a curious question. I loved doing it so much that I like for others to glean from the experience.


    • Thanks 😀 . It’s the Orion nebula. You’ve gotta love Hubble. (I assume it’s a Hubble photo.)

      I did a Nanowrimo back in… I think it was 2009. It was a fun experience, and I do love wearing that T-shirt. I’d say it proved to me that writing a novel didn’t have to be the Everest-climbing experience it was for the me the first time. If I ever have enough time I’ll do one again. That one was 1600 words a night. This one’s only 400, so it’ll take longer 🙂 .

      I believe writers can get blocked but it’s not the immovable object that we think it is. For me, I get blocked either when I’m shutting down perfectly good ideas that I don’t think are “good enough,” or I’m actually bored with what I’m writing and I won’t admit it. Accepting the ideas and changing gears have helped 🙂 .


      • I often struggle with writing stories that I want to be short, read-me-on-the-weekend-from-start-to-finish, but they are actually larger tomes or in last years case a 3 book series that I was trying to force into 1 stand alone novel. My struggle apart from the length was that my characters seemed to be divas and divos in that they needed a lot more attention than I had thought to give them. In any event I applaud your dedication to get in those 400 words a day. Great stuff!


      • I agree, it’s hard to figure out how big the story “wants to be.” A rule of thumb I’ve come up with is that a short story has to be a problem you could solve in a day, maybe a weekend. A short short, like a 400-word post, is like only writing the climax of the story, or showing one argument from beginning to end. Novels are a whole ‘nother animal. The first one I tried to do was a big, sprawling epic, then I realized that I hate big, sprawling epics, and chopped it down to one family dealing with their own issues.

        That’s an interesting problem to have with your characters! Mine are usually dragged kicked and screaming toward greatness. I guess it’s like having an ensemble piece where all the actors are very talented: you can only have one lead, but that doesn’t mean the others can’t be awesome in their individual, lesser roles.

        And thank you for your compliment 🙂 . Here’s a fun quote on writing short pieces by Blaise Pascal 🙂 , “I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”


      • Wow! That is a fantastic quote! Totally adding that to my arsenal.

        Instant gratification is another enemy of writing a good story. You see everything in your head and can’t write fast enough and can psych yourself out. (I raise my hand on that one.) Its funny how you wanted to write long pieces, I want to at least write one short piece outside of short stories. But as my eldest sister said, “Art is organic and living. You have to let it grow in its way and be what it is meant to be.” I meditate on that when making visual art and the written art as well. Even with painting I struggled with painting small until recently.

        Goodness, I think our thread here can be used as a writer’s guide to help. “How not to shoot yourself in the foot when writing: The mental game’s you will play.”


      • (Raises hand and waves in the air) Ooh! Ooh! I have the answer on that instant gratification one! Or at least “an” answer. When that happens, get it down. Start typing as fast as you can in bits, pieces, chunks, bullets, ideas, phrases, images, whatever it takes to get it all down. You can turn it into prose later.

        I think discussions like this are the best part about blogging 🙂 .


      • LOL Right on! sometimes I think I don’t type fast enough (and I type pretty fast.) to get it all out when the moments are happening.

        And I agree, this is indeed the best part of blogging!


  2. A.D. Everard says:

    This is good. Love the opening description, it puts the reader right there.

    You’re right about someone being missing, too, it adds realism. 🙂


    • Thanks 🙂 . The guy being missing makes this scene bloody awkward, but I do like it. The story’s going to be better for it.


    • Hello there fellow blogger. I wanted to know if you would mind if I used your “copyright” layout as a springboard for mine? I have been doing some thinking and I realize you cannot have a garden unless you sow the seeds. In the coming weeks I intend to write and publish on my blog a full length novel from start to finish. That being said, I want to make it clear that the content is indeed covered by law (even though it technically already is.) I will add my widget and if you have any objections please let me know. I mean yours is brilliantly written and feel like you said everything I want too.


      • A.D. Everard says:

        Hi Candice – your reply (above) popped up in the string of dialogue I started. I figure you are talking to Writingsprint, but wanted to say Hi to you, with apologies for coming back so long after you wrote. I blog daily and visit Writingsprint most days, too, but took a spontaneous break of 10 days (thereabouts) over Easter.

        I like what you said (further up the page) about art being organic and living and to let it grow in its way and be what it is meant to be. That is certainly true and the results are wonderful when an artist or writer lets that happen.

        Cheers to you! 😀


      • 😀 Thank you! I appreciate you writing back and taking a look at the rest of the thread. As Writers/Artist or just plan old creative people, we are in this together, right? 😉


      • A.D. Everard says:

        Totally! 😀 Let’s face it, our extended artistic family in Blogsville (and elsewhere, of course) are the only ones who truly understand the creative urge, inspiration and frustration and all.


      • Oh MY GOODNESS! YES! At the end of my short story called “The Hunt” I touch on that frustration.


      • A.D. Everard says:

        I just read it. Brilliant! If I may be so bold, you have to set more time for yourself to follow your urge to be creative. You’ve got great talent.

        It’s easy to put everyone before yourself on a list of priorities, but sometimes that list should rotate around and sometimes you need to come first. This is not being selfish, it’s recognizing and respecting God’s gift by using and developing it.

        Your writing is gripping.


      • Wow, thank you for that. Thank you for being bold. I am actually taking the time to take some irons out of my fire in order to dedicate more time to writing. Apart from this blog I have written full length novels (They need editing, but I have managed to query one.) The short moments of writing are really just me trying to get the cobwebs out so that I can do a better work on the novels that I work on. But the truth is even those have been neglected this month. “This is not being selfish, it’s recognizing and respecting God’s gift by using and developing it.” I will keep this in mind. I may even write it down and post it at my work station. Thanks for reading.


      • A.D. Everard says:

        You’re welcome, Candice, it’s great talking with you. 🙂


      • Great to meet and talk to you as well. Let’s keep this up 😉


      • A.D. Everard says:

        Sounds good to me! 😀


  3. Clarifying, I will not be using word for word, just utilizing the general ideas and message.


  4. Hi Candice — By the way, as of just yesterday I’ve started being more conscientious about using free-to-use photos, as opposed to just whatever I find laying around on the internet. You’ll see me putting photo credits in the bottom of my posts from now on, and in May I’m thinking of tweaking the copyright language to say, “As of May 2014 this site only uses photos available under free-to-use licenses” or something like that.

    Today’s post (“Becoming Queen”) has a short paragraph about it at the bottom.


  5. Just wanted to say, both of you are awesome and inspiring :D.


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