Welcome to the (un)official site for science-fiction and fantasy writer Bryan R. Durkin!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Kricket Project, Part 4

I finally made it back home, after what amounted to almost a week and a half between school in Texas and Oregon, where I permanently live (for now anyway). There's more news, but first, let me continue the Kricket Project by posting a few more character bios.

The Boostmeister: Kricket's booster tech. The Boostmeister is a rather strange fellow. He's extremely short, almost dwarfish, and seems to be getting well along in years. He's still spry, however. He's fairly crazy, possibly schizophrenic, though it usually doesn't interfere with his job. His sole purpose on the Kricket is to maintain and operate the ship's boosters, which give her a sudden, temporary burst of speed when normal steam power isn't enough to outrun an enemy. The boosters are dangerous devices, and the Boostmeister always wears goggles, gloves, and protective leather clothing to guard him from the showers of sparks and flames the boosters are prone to emit.

Boostmeister's motivations are simple: he lives solely to make Kricket fly like the wind. He spends all his free time working on the boosters, which means sometimes they don't work like they should - or at all. He seems to have deigned that his current location is good enough for one of his talents, though it's uncertain what he's really attached to: the crew, or Kricket and her highly illegal, mind-bogglingly fast boosters.

Ricky-Tick: Kricket's cabin boy. Ricky-Tick was an orphan before Skip picked him up and gave him a job aboard the ship. Like most young boys, he's simultaneously curious, adventurous, friendly, and sometimes rebellious. He regards Skip as something of a mother, much to her chagrin. He's very smart and resourceful; he obsessively eavesdrops and he remembers every thing he hears, even from long conversations.

Ricky-Tick wants to do just about everything. He wants to see the whole world, become and accomplished gunship pilot, blockade runner, smuggler, army commander, president, etc. Skip is trying to train him to be her navigator and cartographer, but Ricky-Tick merely tolerates her efforts to educate him along those lines.

Katerina Kroichev: Jonah's missing fiancee. Katerina was a fellow student of Jonah's at the University in the Capital. She has a penchant for getting into other people's business, and as the daughter of the Vice Minister of Defense, she's got more access to such business than the usual person. Unfortunately, her attempts to expose the Guv's many secret plans has landed her in trouble, and she's gone missing. She fancies herself as something of a revolutionary, and she can be very manipulative on top of that. Her disappearance is what prompts Jonah to get into all sorts of trouble in the first place.

And I'll go ahead and stop there with the characters for now. I'm listing them in order of descending importance to the story, at least as it stands right now. You may have noted there seem to be quite a lot of characters. Honestly, one or two of them (maybe more) may end up being dropped out of the story and saved for other works. I've got three more to list, and those will show up in the next post.

As for other news, I already mentioned that I've returned home after a long trip home from Texas. However, the rest of this month and the first part of June is going to remain extremely busy for me, apart from writing. I've got an Instructor's Course for a possible job to attend starting next weekend, and I probably won't be back home until the following weekend. Getting that job is about 50/50 for me right now; until I know, I can't say for sure what my schedule in the coming months will be. However, I hope to keep writing and keep updating this blog as regularly as possible.

I'm looking forward to word on how "Exequies" has fared in the WOTF contest any day now. Not much else to report in my other writing projects at this time.

Until next time!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Kricket Project, Part 3

Well, here we are again for the continuation of the introductions to the major characters of The Kricket's Song.

I'd just like to say that I appreciate the response to the project so far. Several people seem to have been reading the posts, and some have left a comment, which I always enjoy. Please do comment if you read the post, as it lets me know it's not just bots phishing for information or something. And of course, if you just can't live without the updates from my blog, click the follow button on the left-hand side. Thanks!

But I digress. Characters!

Ayemdhi: Kricket's first mate. Ayemdhi (pronounced ay-em-dee) has been Skip's best friend since before she came to own the ship. Ayemdhi is a silent fellow; he never talks. No one even knows if he can, or if he just doesn't feel the need to. He communicates just fine, though, and the huge automatic mass driver that he carries around as his weapon of choice ensures no one crosses him. He's loyal to Skip and the Kricket's crew, to the death. Despite his silence, he exudes wisdom and experience, and when he does seem to offer an opinion on something (usually through expressions or hand gestures), it's wise to listen to him.

Ayemdhi's motivations are, in large part, Skip's. He often treats her like a daughter, but she's also his boss, and what she says, he does. His job is to keep Kricket flying and her crew as safe as possible. Nothing is out of bounds when it comes to accomplishing that mission.

Blazer (Blaze): Kricket's gunner. Blazer is a bit of an enigmatic fellow. He doesn't share much about his background at all, but his mannerisms and knowledge of weaponry indicate some sort of formal training in the past, possibly with the Guv Navy itself. He was recruited by Skip and Ayemdhi shortly after they got Kricket up and running. He's generally a quiet sort, and despite the fact that he enjoys blowing things up with the biggest weaponry possible, he likes to have a good reason for doing so. He's definitely not the average weapons tech.

Blazer tries to keep out of things that don't pertain to him. His job is to make sure Kricket "has the teeth to fight with the big dogs" if and when it comes to that. He's loyal to Skip and her objectives, but he's been known to voice opposition on rare occasions, usually with good reason.

Shove: Kricket's stoker. Kricket is a steam-powered airship, and that means she needs coal. Shove is the man that makes sure her fires are hot and her full steam capabilities available for Skip's command. Shove is the newest member of the crew, recruited about two years ago. He's outgoing and friendly, and enjoys sharing stories of his life in plying the trade lanes of the skies. His open and carefree demeanor is good at getting people to open up to him.

Although Shove appears to be a loyal member of the crew, he always seems to be missing at certain critical times. Is he everything he claims to be? Or is he even more?

Well that's it on characters for this week. More next week, working our way down from most important to least important, at least as things stand with the story right now. It's always evolving.

In other news, I finally graduated from college today, with a B.A. in English Language and Literature, "Cum Laude." Somehow, a two-hour ceremony seems anti-climatic for four years of work (spread out over nine years with a stint in the Navy in between), but I'm glad to be done. Time to move on and try to get that next awesome job that will not only be fun, but perhaps educate me and inspire me for my writing.

The next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy, as I've mentioned in previous posts. I start my journey on Friday, and it'll take me around a week to get home, as I've got a stop along the way. I'll perhaps try to post before the trip starts, otherwise I'll probably miss posting over the weekend. However, I'll keep writing, and I will update this blog as best I can until things settle down again.

Comments are welcome, and so are followers! Thanks!

Edited to Add: Beta reading on the first draft of The Serenity Solution is complete! Although The Kricket's Song is going to be occupying most of my time for now, I will be starting to brainstorm and plan for the new, rewritten version of TSS. Using what I've learned from the first draft and aborted rewrite, as well as with what I've been learning on my latest projects, I think I can keep the spirit of the story and characters, but make it much more powerful and hard-hitting. And hopefully not take 179K words to do it! Keep watching for new information regarding The Serenity Solution Project soon!