The Bug Finally Bit Again

Took a few weeks off from writing, just rested a little after end of semester — it’s been a particularly exhausting teaching year. I’ve been trying to go easy with myself. No guilt for not writing!

But today, the bug finally bit again, and I found myself writing dialogue in my head while I swam. I’m going to need someone to check my Irish idioms on this particular story, I think — it’s set a few generations out, in space, but the grandfather in the story would’ve either been born on Earth, or born to parents born on Earth, so he’d still mostly speak in Irish language patterns.

Well, I’ll worry about that later — just drafting for now, and if the language isn’t quite right, it can be fixed. I just sketched out a bit of dialogue, haven’t done any description yet; I don’t even know what they’re doing while they’re having this conversation — probably making dinner or working in the garden, so I can interweave a little of that into the argument.

That’s for tomorrow, though. I’m trying to stay on an early schedule for the summer, which means 9:30 p.m. the devices go off, and I retire to bed with a book, aiming to be asleep by 10 and up at 6 the next morning. Ideally, it’ll be something like:

6 – 8 — coffee and meds and breakfast, putter, check internet and e-mail, weed and water, first round of exercise

8 – 12 — writing & gardening, interspersed

12 on: everything else

evening: maybe a little more writing?

We’ll see.

(For those following along in my writing, Peadar O’Brien below used to have a different name; he’s the father of Maya, from Liminal Space.)


“What fool game are you playing? You’d best stop acting the maggot, or you’re going to get yourself into real trouble.” His sister Gráinne’s voice was sharp, but wasn’t it always?

“Acting the maggot, is it?” Peadar laughed. “You’ve been spending time with granddad again, I see.”

She frowned. “And why shouldn’t I? That’s what a dutiful grandchild should do, what you should do, instead of running around after a girl with your tongue hanging out. She’s going to clip it off for you, or her father will.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Peadar said stoutly. “If you’re referring to Ms. Sita, she is purely a workplace acquaintance.”

Gráinne lifted a sceptical eyebrow. “Oh, and what workplace acquaintance has you coming in early and staying late?”

“Don’t I always do that?” he challenged.

She admitted, “Aye…but usually that’s because you’re helping someone out, like when you stepped in for Jimmy so he could get a little more sleep, with his wee bairn fighting the colic…”

“Wasn’t that a good deed?”

“Yes, of course it is, and that’s exactly my point,” Gráinne said, hands on her hips, clearly exasperated. Hands on her hips were a bad sign; she was losing patience with him. “There’s a reason why they named you foreman, why they’re talking about running you for zamindar of the whole taluka. Jimmy needed you, and you stepped up. The community needs you, and you take care of them.”

Peadar started to respond, but she cut him off, her voice going higher, screechy in that banshee way she had – “What no one needs is for you to get laid off, or worse, because you’re messing with the boss’s daughter.” The last words delivered loudly enough that he glanced out the window to be sure no one was in hearing range.

When he turned back to his sister, he let a little of his own annoyance seep into his voice. Normally, Peadar O’Brien was an easygoing man, but Gráinne knew just how to put his back up. Big sisters were terrible that way. “What worse? What horrible thing do you think her father will do to me? This isn’t the Old Country, you know. He’s a respectable businessman.”

Gráinne shook her head. “Don’t you ever listen to granddad? No one gets as rich as that family is without doing something they shouldn’t,” she said, her voice gone solemn and foreboding. “You just watch yourself, boyo.”

“Fine, fine,” he said, tired of the fight. Agreeing with Gráinne had always been the only way to get her to give up an argument; she was like a dog with a bone otherwise. “I’ll watch myself,” Peadar said grudgingly.

In his mind, he thought, “I’d rather be watching her.”


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