83. Writers Group Meeting

Last night we had our 2nd writers group. We are all still pretty new at all of this, but the meeting I thought was a great success. As I understand it each and every writers group is run differently, but here is how we run ours.

Each week we start of with one person talking about something to do with writing or reading. This week it was my turn to speak, and I talked about the importance of reading. I don’t think you can be a good writer unless you read. For me reading causes my imagination to work, and gives me ideas for new stories. Reading other peoples work also gives me help when it comes to form, and presentation. I also mentioned how important it is to read what you enjoy. Many people read books they don’t enjoy, and they do so because they think they should read those types of books. People in business do this all the time. They read all sorts of books that talk about how to be a better employee or boss, and hating every word they read. I used to be such an individual, and I found when I stopped caring about what I read, and only read those things I enjoyed reading that my creative energies started flowing again, and my whole experience when it came to reading was much much better.

After that we took turns reading each others work. We read the first chapter of my book, and the second chapter of a book Corinne is writing. Afterward we read the round robin stories that we have going on right now. I thought it would be cool to share our round robin stories with all of you.

This first story is written (so far) by Devin and Eve. The setting is Steampunk.

Flashes of red light and the sound of bullets whizzed past the man’s head. The rain was pouring and and loud explosions rang in his ears. He wasn’t sure whether it was thunder or gunshots, but either way it didn’t really matter. The other airship had come upon them from nowhere. Thousands of feet in the air the battle raged between the two airships. The man raised his bolt action rifle and took another shot at dark silhouettes on the other deck. The spent cartridge flew from the rifle as he pulled the action back and chambered another round.
“Who the hell are these guys!” his companion said as she ran up to him.
Victoria raised her own bolt action rifle and took a shot at the enemy airship.
“I’ve got no idea!” Martin replied over the sound of combat, thundering rain and wind. A ray from the opposing ship along with the thud of two bullets hit the wooden banister Martin and Victoria where hiding behind.
“Come on we have to get out of this spot!” Martin said. “I’ll cover you!”
He raised his rifle and fired the last three shots in his magazine in rapid succession as Victoria got up an ran to better cover near the deck house. Once there, she turned and fired several shoots, allowing Martin to run for cover in the same spot. Once there, Martin entered the deck house and headed toward the bridge, with Victoria following close behind.
“Victoria, find Heinrich and meet me on the bridge” Martin said as they made their way down darkened hallway.
“On it” She said and turned down another hallway.
Martin made his way through the deck house and up the bridge where found the captain and several of his crew issuing orders and running about.
“Captain” Martin said as he entered the bridge. “What is going on?”
“Pirates!” The captain replied curtly. “I need you and your people to get blow deck, we are going to out fly them!”
“Aye” Martin said, then turned hurried back from whence he came. As he was making way down the the lower decks he came across Victoria and Heinrich.
“Come on” he said without stopping “we have to go”
“Go? Go where?” Heinrich replied in confusion
Looking back, Martin caught Victoria’s eye, and sudden realization gripped her.
“You’re kidding” she said. “I can’t fly us out of this!”
“Victoria, you are an accomplished pilot from the Great War. This’ll be nothing. Heinrich and I will gather our equipment, you get the biplane ready.”
Martin and Heinrich left before she could retort. With a curse she made her way to the hanger.
After only a few minutes Martin and Heinrich entered the hanger bay. They were carrying three canvas packs, a couple of suit cases, excavation equipment and each had their trusty rifles; Heinrich had his Gewehr 98 and Martin his old Springfield ’03. They loaded everything into the cargo bays, and each took their seat in the custom made three-seater biplane. Heinrich in the gunner’s seat, Martin in the navigator’s seat and Victoria in pilot’s.
“I hope you know what you are doing Martin” Victoria said as she put on her brass goggles and gave the thumbs of for the airship’s bay doors to open.
“I always do” he replied
“Like that time in French Indochina?” Heinrich asked with a smirk.
“Of course!” Martin replied.
As the doors beneath the plane opened a gust of wind and rain came up and shook the plane. The sounds of battle raged as flashes or red and white lights illuminated the dark rain socked night. Both Martin and Heinrich’s goggle covered eyes watched as Victoria’s gloved hand as it counted down from three. Two. One.
Silence griped the trio as weightlessness took hold. Then, the silence was broken by the rawer of the plane’s engine, the crack of thunder and the sounds of combat. In an instant, though, the dueling airships were left far behind. The Plane soared through the clouds until it broke through the storm. The largest of the two moons beamed down and illuminated the sea of clouds, the stars of the heaven shone down with a brilliance unparalleled and in the distance Heinrich could see the the faint red and white flashes of the battle.
“You see?” Martin’s voice chimed in through the radio “we made it. Nothing to worry–.”
“Uh, I think we’re being followed.” Heinrich said over-top of Martin.
“Shit!” said Victoria “Where are they?”
“Behind us, at six o’clock.” Heinrich said “I’ve got ’em in my sights”
The mysterious biplane came out of the clouds, followed by two more. The planes were coming up fast and before trio knew it the lead plane opened fire on them. Heinrich retaliated with a burst of his own. As the lead plane dived and passed under them the two following opened fire with a relentless volley. Heinrich retaliated in kind and unloaded several hundred rounds. Victoria meanwhile took evasive maneuvers, and in an attempt to lose them, and dove into the clouds. Somehow, though, the planes remained on their tail.
After several minutes of evasive maneuvers the enemy planes remained on their tail. Once close enough all three enemy biplanes opened up a fierce barrage. The bullets riddled the trio’s own plane. Heinrich was hit in the leg and smoke and fire erupted from the engine. The biplane began it’s decent.
“Shit!” Victoria yelled through the radio “we’re going to crash land! Brace yourselves!”
The plane hit the ground with tremendous force and disappeared behind a puff of sand and smoke. The three planes circled above as they watched the trio’s biplane crash into a massive sand dune. After a few minutes the lead plane was content that the plane and it’s crew were dead, it turned and flew off into the east followed by the other two planes. As they did, the first of the sun’s rays peaked over the vast desert horizon and a warm desert wind picked up and graced the cheek of Martin’s unconscious face.


Some many hours later, Martin stirred and surveyed the scene. The smell of smoke lingered in the air and the only sound was a faint drip from the engine’s boiler.
That’s right. They crashed. They escaped the airship battle and were pursued. Shot down. Damn.
“Victoria?” “Heinrich?” He listened.
“Just like French Indochina, huh?” he heard Heinrich’s weak voice through the silence. “Help me out, they got my leg.”
“Sorry, man.” Martin gathered himself and retrieved the first aid kit from the back of the smouldering plane. It was a good thing their fuel was low or there may have been nothing left of them with a landing like that. Victoria would be able to tell how salvagable the rest of the plane was.
Martin located Heinrich and did the honors of removing the bullet scraps and bandaging the wound.
“Have you seen Victoria?” Martin asked as he worked.
“You mean she’s not here?”
“I only just woke up. I was hoping you’d know.”
“No.” Heinrich gave a brief pause. “I can’t imagine she would wander very far. She’ll be fine.”
As Martin finished, he stood and took his first good look at the scene.
The plane itself was in one piece; that was good. They were seemingly in the middle of nowhere as nothing but sand could be seen in all directions. The sun was beating down hard, and he was sure he’d end up burned after his brief reprise.
The fuel tank was shot. That would explain the smoke. The landing must have caused a small explosion which ruined the tank and spread to the boiler. He examined that damage further. It wasn’t anything big, but they’d certainly lost some water and would need to get it mended before they had any prayer of the plane flying again.
To his eyes, the rest of the plane looked not half bad. Wings a little torn from the landing, but nothing major. The wheels were broken off. He’d been told to look for leaking steam from the pipes and saw none, so the rest must be okay.
Why the hell would Victoria have ran off?

This second story is written by (so far Corinne) The setting is there is a war going on between the Zombies and the Machines. Humans find themselves somewhere in the middle.

The air was moist, it always was, with a hanging, clinging
stillness that settled awkwardly over the silent midnight
streets of downtown Olympia. A port town, much of the residual
heat should have disappated across the wide ocean of the
Pacific, but with the Machines constantly running patroles the
muggy night air had no where to go.

Tonight was no different than any other, billowing pockets of
steam leaked from the underground resovaures so scalding they’d
peel the skin off a man stupid enough to be standing over a
grate. The only problem, it wasn’t usually a man, it was
usually a child.

That’s what was being wheeled into to the elevator, a child,
who’d gotten too close to the grates while running for his
life. Or was it her life? With the way the skin was melting
it wouldn’t make much difference.

Morgan stepped onto the elevator behind the moaning child. The
gurney took up most of the space, but he gave the parametics
ample room, he wasn’t up for a shoving match. The steam
hydrolics of the lift engaged after he hit the button for the
third time, and he listened as the doors closed and the child
screamed as the lift gave a violent jolt before it rose at a
sluggish pace.

By the time they hit the fifteenth floor, the minimum safe
hight from the Scourged below, the kid wasn’t moaning anymore,
and he doubted the poor little thing would again.

He didn’t bother to let them out first, just side stepped the
guys in the white coats and headed for the metal doors. They
hissed and heated the air as they opened, but he hardly noticed
up here. Clean air, free from the stench of rot that filled
the Lower Fifteen as they called them now. Fifteen stories
above and fifteen below the surface of the Earth, that was the
battle zone, the drawn line in the proverbal sand. It was
between those thirty stories of empty air and pock marked rock
that the machines and the Scourged did battle for the humans
dumb enough to be drafted as Watchmen. Those poor dumb fools
were enticed by promises of heroic deeds and bardic tales told
by the Song Scripters, but in reality, they were just grunts
who’s life expectancy was tragically short. Death by Scourged
or by Machine, it didn’t much matter, both meant you were
eatten alive.

“Well, don’t you look pensive.” Renna Carmichael, prettiest and
smartest woman between the fifteenth and thirty-second floor,
not to mention the only person trained in medicine for forty
miles in any direction; and there were a lot of directions to
the Earth now a days. She had dirty blonde hair which frizzed
all over the place and was contained only by the thing strip of
wire she’d found somewhere to hold the mess together. Her eyes
were like all the Survivors, pure black irises surrounded by a
wide band of gold. She had a body to die for, round, plump,
curved in generous places. She ate well, which means she
ranked high; she had her pick, whenever she was ready to breed,
and he was hoping she might pick him this year if she was up
for another year of mothering.

“You’ve got a dead one in the lift.” He pointed over his
shoulder just as the Reapers were wheeling out the covered

She looked around him and then sighed, before directing her
energy at something much more productive, the thing he was
carrying. “You actually found one?”

He nodded. “I told you I’d bring it. But nothing’s free,
Renna.” He smiled, and gave her a wink.

Rolling her eyes she looked heaven ward, the only direction
they could continue to go, and gave a chuckle. “I swear,
Morgan, if you want me to consider you for this year’s
Breeding, then you’d better learn to cook.”

“That’s what they all say. You know I heard it was the women
who used to cook, not the men, back before The Storm.”

Renna nodded, “That may be so, but this is a centry after The
Storm, and now it’s the men who cook, so I suggest you learn.
But first, hand it over.” She reached out with greedy hands,
and with a smile, because she really was the prettiest thing in
seventeen floors, he handed her what he’d braved the trip from
Seattle to deliver.”