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Aphelion Editorial 098

November 2005

by Dan L. Hollifield

The Usual Rant from the Aphelion Senior Editor

Welcome to another of the slightly delayed issues ofAphelion. We're coming into the really busy part of the year for all the staff and myself. We're stretching the last two issues this year so that the wait for issue 100 will seem a bit less.

That's right: Issue # 100 of Aphelion Webzine will be online in February '06. It sort of snuck up on us. I guess we have cause to celebrate. How many Internet Zines make it this long? Very few... Very, very few. I wonder who we should send out announcements to, and when? Ralan? Crow's Nest? Who? Who is in charge of minor historic moments? I'll have to Google that, I suppose. I am continually amazed at how Aphelion just keeps plugging along, year after year. And the stories just keep coming in. Writers come and go, and some hang around for a long time. How many writers have we helped on their way to turning Pro? 30 now? 35 maybe? I'm so proud to have been a part of that. You can all be proud of being part of that. It's a group thing, we've done it together, all of us.

It's a bit late to hold a contest or anything- But I'm sure there's a slot or two left in the February line-up if someone would like to have a story in that issue. I've thought of one myself, but I don't know if there's time. I'm busy now on several different projects, and another new story on top of that might be a bit much. But I'm going to try and pull that rabbit out of my hat. Wish me luck.

Work is proceeding on the Tom Darby novel Pt.3. The plot is coming together, but the bad guys are still a bit vague. The set is coming along nicely, though the set dressing is a bit skimpy at the moment. More reading, more research, so much to do and no place to hide... There were some clues in the dialog I wrote that have been very useful in pinning down parts of the plot. Obviously, my subconscious has been working overtime associating random facts and images into a blend of my research and my imagination. Right now, I'm painting with broad strokes, but soon it'll be time for the smaller brushes to come into play. More sets have to be built for this story and the work has only just begun. As complications, I still have an article for Ripperoo to finish for Nicolas, mounds of offline stuff to finish as I ready the yard and house for winter, and someone has expressed some slight interest in my old music. Everywhere I look, there's more work to do. (Laughs) But there are compensations. Lyn has been here a month and life is good. We're working together on all the domestic stuff. Having a full partner is a wonderful feeling. So is being allowed, encouraged, and sometimes even nagged a little, to write. This is a good way to live. Thank you, Lyn!

Lyn got lost for a little while yesterday. We were off about fifteen miles from home, at a friend's house. He'd borrowed my truck a while back, and it had broken down. I had to put another starter on it. Simple job, two bolts, three wires, plenty of room to work, out with the old one and in with the new one in less than twenty minutes. After I repaired my truck Lyn and I each had a vehicle to drive back to our house. This would be the first time Lyn had ever driven in this area, she doesn't know the roads yet, and we were on the fringes of all the small towns and the big city. The edge of the boonies, in other words. So she followed the balky old pick-up as I alternately coaxed it up hills and coasted down them. Everything was fine until another truck like mine pulled out into traffic behind me while Lyn was still around a curve and out of sight. I turned right at the next stoplight, the other truck went straight- and Lyn dutifully followed what she believed to be me... Right out of sight as I struggled to pull over and wait for traffic to allow me to turn the truck around. I used up nearly half a tank of gas trying to catch up or find her, then going home in case she did remember the way- or pulled over to use a pay phone somewhere. Neither one of us have cell phones. Within minutes of my getting home, Lyn called from a pay phone at a convenience store about a mile from where we got split up. I rolled the truck out again to go meet her, and we managed to stay together all the way home this time. I was more scared about her being lost than she was. She was just worried about me getting worried. She knew I'd go home to wait for her to call. All she had to do was find a phone. She did, and a happy ending ensued. If this were a story, I could have gone into lots of detail about how balky the truck was, how heavy the afternoon weekday traffic was when we got near town, how the sun was blindingly glaring down on the car windshield making it difficult for Lyn to tell one pick-up truck from another. So many bits and pieces of this incident would go quite well as details fleshing out a story. And the same basic set of events can be reworked into different plots and twists, but it's all just a day in the life, to start off with. Like any story. It all starts off with something small, and real, and just a little bit different. Something that makes you think in a different way about something that's otherwise common and everyday. The thing is, you have to look around and take note of these little gems. Life just hands them to you. You're a writer, use them. They're a gift.


I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...


2005 Dan L. Hollifield

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