Saturday, October 28, 2006

More NaNoWriMo Notes

More Rainey History

Gotta keep track of this stuff. Actually, I have a little Notepad file I started a few days ago collecting all of my notes and side thoughts into one place. There's been a hooah of discussion in Ringo's Tavern on the Bar, in particular, on the subject of Rainey's source of obsession with explosives. Aeons ago, I was into fires, firemen and arson/arsonists as a fascinating source for story fodder. Actually, I was into firemen for something else entirely, but getting good story fodder was a sweet secondary perk.

Back then, about 20 years ago, I wrote several little ... pieces, I wouldn't dignify that stuff with the word "story" but they were story ideas, I suppose. My little arsonist collection shall never see the light of day. The writing of them was, however, useful because after two decades of gathering dust, I find I'm now drawing on that long-since-forgotten research.

All of the time I spent getting to know Boston's Finest (arguably in both the FD and PD because I was an EOF--Equal Opportunity Flirter) in the 1980s has finally paid off. The psyche of an arsonist is very, very close to the psyche of a compulsive demo man. I'm talking about the person who does it for the thrill, not the person who does it for a living, necessarily.

There was a large company one of Boston's arson investigators pointed me to way back then and it's not only still in business but has continued to grow and hold either the #1 spot or close to it in the "controlled demolitions" industry worldwide. Given that the company is called Controlled Demolitions, Inc., it was easy to remember. Actually, back then (in the 80s) I recall thinking the guy was yanking my chain, as though there were really a company called Controlled Demolitions, Inc. - like Bombs R Us or something. But no, they are real. They are world-record makers. And Jack Loizeaux, the man, is a world record in and of himself--he's the one who first imploded a building. Ever.

Loizeaux Group International (LGI) seems like a good reality-based place for Rainey to have learned demo work. I'm 99% positive I'll say that Rainey went to work for LGI when he was trying to "go straight" after some kind of soured militaristic situation (either actual military or terrorist assocation).

The problem I have, of course, is that (1) LGI is a real company and (2) they are a family owned-operated business. Yes, there are other people whom they hire on, naturally (there's too much work to keep up the pace between just the handful of family members running the company) but I have to wonder if Rainey would ever have gotten sufficient information on "how they do it" from the family in real life. Well, this is fiction, not real life, so I can decide it will be however I wish it to be, right? Still, I have to wonder. You know I don't want to take the background or setting of this story too, too far outside reality. The story is fiction, but the world is supposed to be realistic.

The major attraction of using LGI for Rainey's "history" is Loizeaux's approach over the years--not just the landmark revolution Jack Loizeaux brought about by using dynamite to implode a building rather than smashing it to bits with a wrecking ball. More than that. CDI/Loizeaux has this database they've been building.

IIRC they were already collecting and archiving data back in the 80s, though computers back then were archaic compared to today's toys. The CDI/LGI approach to either planning ahead of time, or analyzing after the fact (forensics analysis of a terrorist incident, forex) was, in its application, very cutting-edge. They don't skimp on technological tools, from what I understand.

They've been recording their methods and building a braintrust like you cannot believe--or so I've heard. Or did hear 20 years ago...can only be more so now, right? Jack Loizeaux "retired" a decade or so ago, yet he is still contributing--as are his children and grandchildren. They're innovative in how they do the work and had the foresight decades ago to know recording and keeping all the data will eventually (if it hasn't already, in 2006) build a useful historical trend which could be used to predict future work--or guesstimate forensically others' work after the fact.

This database of corporate knowledge appealed to me 20 years ago, still does today, and is definitely congruent with Rainey's personality - it needs to come out to serve the storyline. I think I'm going to have to contact the Loizeaux family and ask for permission to dramatize them in this story. Update: Have contacted them to request permission and a POC for research purposes. Let's see if/what they answer.

Writing Styles - How this story will be written

First of all, this story is going to be written very differently than I've ever written any other before...but that's a good thing, right? Evolving techniques are progress, aren't they? Let's see what happens, as Gregor would say.

Normally, I do not start writing AT ALL until I have clear picture in my mind as to what story precisely I want to tell. Many authors outline, on paper, I mean, but I don't normally. I guess you could say I outline in my head. Once the mental outline is complete, I start writing. And I write a first cut in a stream of consciousness release.

I don't hold myself back for "fact-checking"; I just put in place holders like [check this whatever] or [look up the date when this started] or even [do some research into how to create one of these] (those are actual notes I've been known to write myself in books.) If I stop my stream of consciousness just to go off and research a fact for one little line, I'll never finish the darn thing.

Example. Last winter I spent 5 months reading over a dozen books on genetic engineering simply because I have two characters casually chatting about some gene splicing decision. It's a very "lay term" sounding chit chat and I needed to be so fully versed in order to "casually" speak off the cuff in their voices. And what did I learn or change? Count 'em -- THREE WORDS in TWO places. Five months and only THREE words. But they were an important three words. :) More importantly, I confirmed that the rest of it was still valid supposition in a genetics discussion. And some people wonder why I refrain from sending the 20-years-out-of-date Phoenician Series out? G-d help me if I ever wanted anyone to buy it and had to update all the fact-checking given the creation of the HGP and all that the Gene database implies! Ack!

Back to this story for NaNoWriMo 2006. I'm getting a clearer picture of the emerging plot the more I look into Rainey's past. I'm sure when I really dig into Lacey's past, too, the story arc will flourish like a rainbow, as it always does, and I'll see where to "start" the story.

As of today, however, I have no "starting point" because I haven't got the arc fully-formed yet. I have a vague sense of the Rainey-Lacey relationship arc but not quite how the story/action unfolds. Need to keep looking into details of the personalities and setting.

Different people approach writing in different ways. My personal style is to start with the characters. Always. As I clarify in my mind who they are, how they evolved into that person, and what kind of world they live in--as well as how that world has or might affect them in the story--I see a clear story emerge. Anyone and everyone in the human race has a story to tell at any given point in their life. We are all existing within an environment and affected by that environment, so looking at the people, looking at the setting, and zeroing in on the interactions between the people and their surroundings usually zeroes me in on the story of these people at this snapshot moment in which the instant story takes place.

I'm definitely enjoying getting to know these two people, even if they are a little creepy at times. Killers are creepy people sometimes, you know? And I'm really looking forward to getting started on the NaNoWriMo work, though I can see, I won't be writing in chronological order. I'll be starting with the scenes that are already fully-developed, from all over the book. Will have to collect and reorder them later, after the Nov 30th deadline passes.

Opportunities to Join the Fun - Get out Your Red Shirts

I've gotten a couple of requests or offers--depending on your perspective, me, I'd call them offers ;) -- to redshirt or Tuckerize some Barflies, as follows:
  • Dean Gestner - minor character, Lacey's mentor, whose story will be told through flashback and recounted/discussed between Lacey and Rainey. Gestner had a huge impact on Lacey and her need to deal with that emotionally-traumatic event from her past will come to a head in this book, enabling her character to "transform" on one of many levels.

  • Jason Parnell Long - haven't assigned a character to this name yet, but will use him for either a walk-on or a minor character who'll be redshirted. Guaranteed, Jason will die in this story :) I promise I'll kill you, Jason.

  • Joe Buckley - I really want to do the Baen tradition of killing Joe Buckley, but don't want to overstep my bounds, as I'm not one of Baen's published authors. We have had several unauthorized killings of Joe Buckley--even mass murders of massive numbers of Buckleys, including some FEMALE Buckleys!! Very fun stuff, this killing of Joe Buckley. He's a sweetheart of a guy or how else could it be so fun to kill him off inventively?

    Chief Dragon Lady has courteously provided the humorous introduction for this "must have" redshirt. If I can get the real Joe among the many imposters now running rampant on the Bar to just stand up (and agree), I'd like to replace the Aussie minor character tentatively named "Tommy" with a soon-to-be dead Joe Buckley. As of right now, Tommy does die. He betrays Rainey and hurts Lacey and well, there's two big no-no's so, obviously, he must die!

  • John Hardesty - John has kindly proffered himself up once more but insists he be killed in a gruesome manner. Not sure if I want to kill him off in the big fight scene at the end. I might have to kill Hardesty in the car chase scene when Lacey starts her "run." Killing this Johnny boy needs to be fun, not just gruesome. He's a fun kind o' guy.
I haven't agreed to any other redshirting or Tuckerizing but I am (still) taking requests. Please use the comment link under this thread to send me one. Prefer Barflies but will take Redshirt/Tuckerization requests from outside the Bar community, too.

Should the unthinkable occur and I receive "too many" requests (I need at least 20 or 30 people to kill off in this story), I'll give Barflies preferential treatment on a first come, first serve basis. If you have been monitoring any of the threads where spoilers were offered and saw some "up for grabs" redshirt you'd like to be, please indicate such in your comment and I'll do what I can. Again, on a first come, first serve basis. Remember, all comments are moderated so it won't show up immediately, but check back to see when I've published it and posted my reply.

72 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. Always wanted an E-type Jag, but if you really feel like doing me in, too, feel free. :)

--Steffan (Steve Stewart)

Sat Oct 28, 12:05:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy! Derek Anthony Benner begs to be Tuckerized! Don't know how you could 'feminize' my name but I'd even be willing to let that happen. Make him/her a geeky, technophiliac, kinda like Tom Arnold's character in True Lies.

Sat Oct 28, 12:08:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please feel free to kill me I don't mind. :) Just don't skin me alive thats all I ask. ::is it cold in here or is it just me:: :)

Sean Gartlan, aka The Young Wolf

Sat Oct 28, 12:14:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous NightStalker said...

Sarah,
Most folks don't like my family name, but hey, if you need an Native American-Japanese electrical engineer with sub-specialties in field medicine, explosives, gunsmithing and forensic pathology, have a blast. And if you can work in the fact that I'm now a high school teacher, even better. A couple of my students have made a game out of finding my other character appearences.
And, c'mon, you KNOW Jack has gotta be somewhere in this story...
Live well
Ed stalker

Sat Oct 28, 12:17:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm one of the new bar flies, heck im more of a bar lava at this point. if you want you can use my name in your story. it is brent michael roeder, or an easily feminized version is brenda michelle. have fun killing people off
-brent

p,s, go with the 45 not the 9 mil

Sat Oct 28, 01:10:00 PM CDT  
Blogger -sry said...

Brent, you're lava? Really? So you go with the flow, do you? :-)

Sorry, but when you guys keep feeding me those one-liners, I really can't resist. Brent, I like your name as a guy just fine so Brent it is. What's the origin of Roeder? Country-wise I mean. Got some German in your lineage, perchance?

Steffan, since you were the first to mention the classic E type Jag, you got it. Now, if you can get Lisa S from Seattle to just agree, the two of you can have some happy sex in your his and hers matching Jaguars :-) Otherwise, I'll have to make up your dream lover from scratch, darnit.

Ed, with a last name like Stalker, you KNOW no one's gonna believe your name's not made up but I'll do what I can and no, no Jack--not unless it's Jack Loizeaux and do NOT sully the Loizeaux name by reference to that OTHER Jack-ass ;)

So Derek, you want to be a Tom Arnold dweeb, do you? Hmmmm, I have a SysOp position open - do you mind being isolated for days on end in a control room on a secluded Greek Island? :-) Oddly enough, I *had* already tentatively named that guy Anthony. He does not die, hope that's okay, but he does get into trouble often. You know computer dweebs.

And that leaves Sean. What am I to do with you Sean? Gonna have think up a good one for you. Some kind of *ahem* hairy predicament (heh heh he)

Sat Oct 28, 04:01:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,

Hostage is en route in exchange for promised goods. Please expedite shipment.

:P

Later,

JY

Sat Oct 28, 05:45:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! You don't *have* to use Anthony. You could use just 'Derek' - and my mother called me 'Dar' for the first three years... (Although, how my tucker could be 'feminized', should you choose to do so, using Derek is boggling my mind.) Yep, I'm a photography, computer, trivia/factoid dweeb. Just don't let me near the woodshop! Who knows what mysterious nerligig I'll create!

Did I mention that at one time I worked on re-creating the "I'm a thirty second bomb" (*NOT* explosive, just for Cons.) from Starship Trooper - the book? I always thought that was a perfect terror weapon. Toss one into the crowded room of bad guys and let it start yammering it's count-down. ;-)

Sat Oct 28, 06:30:00 PM CDT  
Blogger -sry said...

Are we writing in code now? :-)

JY - basic elements have combined and are reacting as we speak in a controlled environment. Once optimum temperature has been achieved, shall begin Stage 2 of processing. Anticipate Stage 3 to complete on schedule. Items should pass in transit. Over.

-sry

Sat Oct 28, 06:50:00 PM CDT  
Blogger -sry said...

Derek, I *WANT* to use Anthony. I'd already gotten used to calling this guy Anthony. I *LOVE* that your middle name actually *IS* Anthony.

My only challenge will be to figure out how to get someone to get "you" to admit your "real" name is Derek ;-)

Maybe I'll--ohhh, I have it...neh-verrr mind *smirk*

-sry

Sat Oct 28, 06:52:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert Cruze Jr. would be honored to let you "bust a cap in my... character" in your NaNoWriMo book ;-)

- Bob from the Bar

Sat Oct 28, 07:09:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,
An author should look at his/her characters as tools. The proper phrase used for greeting REDSHIRTS should be "Hello victim!"

Mark Joseph Driscoll reporting for death, destruction, and or dismemberment. Bring it on !!
Slaughter, mayhem and destruction is FUN!

Sat Oct 28, 07:49:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,

Christopher Martin Maddox, at your (ahem) disposal.

Gruesome, funny, heroically, with a stupid grin on my face, face-down in a drink, or black widow style. I'm not picky.


--Your buddy Cadfael

Sat Oct 28, 07:53:00 PM CDT  
Blogger -sry said...

Not sure why this didn't go through before, but my blog didn't seem to want to take MY comment for some reason...grrr...musta been that derogatory remark I made about Blogger 2.0 *smirk*

Bob Cruze, gotcha! Did you want anything specific?

Mark Driscoll, you lurker, you, hey!! You're actually REQUESTING dismemberment? All RIGHT!! Psyched. One dismemberment coming up.

Chris, my dear Cadfael, if I call you that, Lois will have my head ;-) Erego, I shall put you face down in your drink in the handy-dandy bar scene where Joe Buckley (nee Tommy) first clues Rainey into the *drum roll* Big Betrayal Afoot. What's your drink, man? Gotta get the drink right or you're just slushing suds. Then again, this is happening in Amsterdam so them thar suds ain't no laughing matter.

-sry

Sat Oct 28, 08:47:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Jason said...

Sarah,
Kill me however you want, but I just want it to be memorable in some way. Kinda like how Steve McQueen was always trying to steal the scene from Yul Brynner in the Magnificent 7.

Details? Out of shape, early forties, National Guardsman, beginning of a bald spot plus receding hair line, but still just thinning on top!

Feel free to fold, spindle or mutilate these details to suit.

Jason

Sat Oct 28, 10:54:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Ryan Pridgeon said...

I would be more then happy to die for your cause. Please consider me for your red shirt brigade.

Sun Oct 29, 12:01:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anthony, Tony, Antonio, Og... what're a few noms de plume amonst friends? Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Could my online handle be DelphiOg??? Please! Please! Please! (Yes, I went by DelphiOg for a while - the 'Caveman of Delphi'.) And I *did* go by Tony for many years. (Just as soon as I discovered what other kids thought of 'Dar'.)

"I am a 30 second bomb. I am a 30 second bomb. 29. 28. 27..."

Sun Oct 29, 12:51:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool. :)

I like Lisa, but I'd certainly understand if she doesn't want to race for pink slips. Heh.

I don't know if you recall Fritz the Cat, but IIRC he was done in by an insanely jealous girlfriend with an icepick to the back of the head. The comics ain't always comic. But if Joe wants a different way of meeting his doom, you might consider that. :)

--Steffan

Sun Oct 29, 01:11:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous Alex Swavely said...

Just a note about CDI & Loizeaux.... There are several other companies out there doing this (see Discovery's "The Blasters" documentary series), and it's common for authors to create a company out of whole cloth for purposes of backstory anyhow, so why not just go ahead and make up your own?

Sun Oct 29, 01:35:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Emerson said...

I've got three names: Emerson, Clark and Mitchell. Use any or all as you see fit. Kill me or F..k me, whatever.

Finally! :-)

Sun Oct 29, 09:31:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Gotcha, Emerson, added to the Excel list I'm making, but alas, you took your sweet time sauntering over here from the Bar and while you were busy there, Steffan beat you to the good part--the only guy who gets laid, f..ked, screwed or otherwise "lucky" - at least if I and Rainey have anything to say about it.

In fact, I just overheard Rainey explaining to a roomfull of people (most of whom are about to die) the following:

"We're here to work and maybe die, not fuck around." [waves hand around the room] "I realize appearances may suggest otherwise, so let me make this perfectly clear, this is NOT a fucking vacation resort!! It's a fucking job and you're getting paid in fucking money, not..." [pinches bridge of nose] "Fuck."

Oh my! Rainey has such a mouth on him, doesn't he? :-)

Sun Oct 29, 01:43:00 PM CST  
Blogger Mike said...

Hi Sarah,

Another poor Barfly here that would not mind being a shifter between meals snack or whatever else you care to use him for.

I'm about midway through Draw One In The Dark. Hopefully this is a series?

Regards,

Mike Alsobrook

Sun Oct 29, 02:05:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Okay, so counting Emerson and Mike, I now have 15 Tuckerizations, 13 of whom are to be Redshirted. REALLY wouldn't mind having 5 or 10 more, though so tell all your friends ;-)

I have that big fight scene at the end I keep mentioning in the Tavern--just before this, there's a "welcome" where everyone's sitting around for Rainey to announce the team assignments, settle up administrative details (contracts, money, etc.) and every person in that room needs a name and/or identifying factor (preferably both). Many of them will die :)

The point is, besides having your name show up in your "scene of glorious demise" you are guaranteed to be "introduced" in this briefing. Gimme some way of introduction if you like or risk my making up some idiosyncrasy for you.

Sun Oct 29, 03:06:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,

When the wrist is raised, it's Irish all the way. Bushmill's and Killians's Red.


Cadfael

Sun Oct 29, 04:55:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Ahhhh, Killian's. You're a true Irishman, Chris. Face-down in a pint of Killian's it is! :) But you might be awake long enough to hear Rainey arguing with Joe Buckley (who will not have met his demise just yet while you're getting good n' drunk ;-) We need to have a witness--that's why I needed someone to be the redshirt to be sitting in the bar, erm, Bar of Bars, that is, like the Plough & Stars)

Sun Oct 29, 05:01:00 PM CST  
Blogger Mike said...

Hmm.. you want our idiosynchracies? I'm apoor engineer with the low sense of humor. I love to punish those around me horrid pun-fests or a good round of Yoda-speak. It's a terrible thing when something sets me off and I get on a roll.

Claim to anti-fame for me that is. Looks for sure what I do not know but gives you this information I shall.


Mike Alsobrook

Sun Oct 29, 06:11:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Steffan, I don't think I'll kill "my" Joe Buckley with an insane girlfriend taking an ice pick to the back of his head

BUT

That gives me an idea for how Lisa can avenge YOUR death :-) :-) Oh, and the totalling of a perfecting good classic E Type Jag. Someone really has to pay for that. The car was perfectly innocent.

-sry

Sun Oct 29, 08:00:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Jeez, Jason, you don't want MUCH do you?? Well, you were one of the first brave volunteers, so I'll have to think long and hard on how to do you....umm, do you in, I mean - and ignore that long and hard remark, 'kay? Good. ;-)

-sry

Sun Oct 29, 08:01:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Mike,

I can try but I don't know if I can do Yoda speak. Why look at me, I'm actually saying "I can TRY" and we all know there is no try. There is do or not do.

I'll try :) Of course that also means your REDSHIRT doesn't just die, he has to have LINES!! Greedy, greedy Mister Walk On Redshirt. Did any of those phaser weilding sacrificial lambs get lines? Oh wait! I have it. You can tell say to Rainey, "Aye, aye Captain" and be right up there with the best of 'em ;) Three whole words. Well, two words, one of 'em's repeated.

-sry

Sun Oct 29, 08:05:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is brent again the bar la(r)va. roeder is german. it was orignally roederer but it got changed when that branch of the family came to america. roeder itself is regular german surname and is jsut a variant of roederer or the otherway around depending on how you look at it ;) i am mainly italian and english but i have a smattering of jsut about all of western europe in me and of all things i am jsut abrely legally cherokee.

Sun Oct 29, 08:39:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to ad this here. it is me brent again and i sort of forgot to add in quirks for the character *grins sheepishly*

i am a vodka drinking fencer(saber and epee) who is a good pistol shot and enjoys martial arts(brazilian jiu jitsu and kickboxing). im good at physics, math, languages and have a ridiculous ton of random knowledge that for the most part is of no real use except to try to sound witty in conversation. various nicknames i have gone by are squeaker, inigo montoya, bunny fiend, maverick, duke and the most common one i would use Evil Penguin. Usually with a battle cry of "I am THE PENGUIN!" or "FEAR THE PENGUIN!" while my grasp of reality has been called into question many times, it was usually done very politely as while i am only of about average height i am built like an annoyed brick wall. hope this helps with anything =)

Sun Oct 29, 08:51:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Brent, interesting "pedigree" you.

As for all that information in the second comment, do I look like a dating service? Geez. No, it's not just you.

All of you guys seem to be under the mistaken impression that when I said "identifying marks, features or other facets" I wanted to know more about YOU....for some kind of real-life personal reason. NOT the case.

I wanted to know what I can add to your FICTIONAL self (besides your name) to make the redshirting process more enjoyable for you. I don't care what you look like (well, I might lift a look but not likely--see the Tavern post where I replied to Ed Stalker and discussed how I "describe" characters' physical appearance)

I care if you have some fixation I can exploit (that didn't come out right, but does say what I mean I guess ;-)))

I think we need a whole separate post on this for newcomers. And I still need redshirts.

-sry

Mon Oct 30, 06:27:00 AM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiffanie Gray here ready to be redshirted. You can also choose from Tamber, Taneth, Tazer, Tyrnan or Taleria, add Tim and you can kill an entire family!

Mon Oct 30, 10:49:00 AM CST  
Blogger Emerson Clark Mitchell said...

suggested quirk:

defying bosses orders and carying a concealed weapon in the small of my back. where it takes FOREVER to draw.

Mon Oct 30, 01:47:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Tiffanie, gotcha. Do you have any identifying features you'd like addressed? For an identification of what this means *grin* please see the post "Redshirts and Identifying Marks"

Reply back here. I'll respond here, too. Thanks for joining in on the fun!!

-sry

Mon Oct 30, 02:40:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your post was a touch confusing, it sounded like you were asking about quirks we have that might go with a character.

Mon Oct 30, 02:51:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me in. Richard M(ichael) Hartman, software engineer. I have no clue to what you may have in store, but I'm sure it will be interesting.

Mon Oct 30, 03:17:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Uhhh, Anonymous at 02:51 CST (you didn't sign or tell me who you are so I can't address you by name, sorry), I was in fact looking for quirks to go with a character. Exactly.

What I'm NOT looking for is personal or dating-service style descriptions of someone telling me things that (a) won't help others identify them or (b) sound more like a come-on than a character tic.

Favorite phrases are particularly useful since--so far!!--every single one of the Redshirts is a Barfly and we all communicate in writing (usually). If someone's phraseology or pet phrases can be recognized from their Bar posts, all the better. If none such are available, a personally identifying feature or facet that your RL friends and family will recognize no matter how it's buried in the story would suffice nicely, too.

I don't care if there are none at all attached to some of the characters, but as you can see from the comment thread here and some of the ensuing posts, when the Redshirt collaborates with me, we end up with a nice blends of fiction and real life (forex, Steffan and Lisa's little story - half truth, half fiction, maybe not entirely recognizable in Lisa's case. She's gonna end up looking like Peta Wilson's sidekick in La Femme Nikita but that's fun, too. Or so I think.)

Thanks for playing!

-sry

Mon Oct 30, 03:19:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Gotcha, Richard. You go by "Richard" on the Bar. Other than your "...it's the LAW!" :-) which I love to death btw, any identifying marks I can give you?

-sry

Mon Oct 30, 03:59:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,

Our differences on some military issues aside, I really like your views, and your willingness to learn. I would be honored to be killed by you.

George Grosskopf

Mon Oct 30, 06:51:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

OMG.

George, I--I'm...stunned. Honored. Amazed. Intimidated. NOW what do I do? Yikes!!!

Oh-kaaaay but you know I could rend, tear and spindle you unless you make a specific request, sir. What military shall I attach you to - real or imagined? :) You *have* to be ex-military in this story.

-sry

Mon Oct 30, 07:08:00 PM CST  
Blogger Dirty Dingus said...

OK kill me too. Francis Turner - distinguishing marks - English, runner and (if you really want) sales/marketing slimebag - but not telesales I draw the line there

Tue Oct 31, 04:09:00 AM CST  
Blogger TesterScot said...

Ok, so...
having been hit with a clue-by-4, I've dropped in here to add my offer to be red-shirted 8).

As I said elswhere...
"I'm sorry?!? You're looking for _more_ redshirts????

If I haven't done so already; I volunteer 8)

I'm 5'10.5", 195lbs, with red-ish dark-blond hair & gold-flecked
blue/gray eyes (more anger=more gray & less gold)

Al An dea'Bibliomaniac aka Allan MacBain (Dragon & IT Geek in SW Scotland)"

Signed,
Me. ::VBTDG::

Tue Oct 31, 04:41:00 AM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,

Feel free to kill me in what ever manner works best for you. As for military, need you ask? Army, of course! As for traits, I will try to send you a picture of me this evening. Make of it what you will.
:-)
George

Tue Oct 31, 05:24:00 AM CST  
Anonymous Chuck Stewart said...

Ok Sarah

You can kill me... I'm a barfly.... I won't go easily, though... I feel a great need to have a few sideboys pipe me into Valhalla..
oops... my Army classmates would disown me for those words...not the thought, mind you... just the naval image.

I'm a West Point grad who went to med school and the resultant career has been far from the kindly white coated doctor image... I spent lots of time 'downrange'...whatever and whereever that was and understand completely the concept of 'austere' medicine. All hand weapons in the Army inventory and most crew served..Tae Kwon Do, scuba, technical climbing...

The hero's death is the medic protecting his wounded.. up to calling in final fires on position when no hope remains...Valhalla awaits this warrior...even though he's not a 'frontline' elephant hunter... he's not a REMF.

I'm more bookish now...genetics seems to dictate a writer's life for me...Mom taught English and Dad published newspapers...so it's in the blood.

So kill me. I won't go easy.

Chuck Stewart
Pictures on the webpage

Tue Oct 31, 08:52:00 AM CST  
Blogger Andrew said...

Another volunteer - Andrew Ramage

I'm short - 5'4" (maybe my couterpart has a chip on his shoulder) He's a big fanboy of James Bond and carries a Walther PPK. Maybe use my middle name Neil. So Andrew Neil or Andrew O'Neil

Andrew

Tue Oct 31, 09:14:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Chuck - gotcha and well, guess I'm gonna have to blow you up. I'll be sure to blow you into enough itty bitty pieces even your amazing medical finesse cannot put you back together again ;-] There's just no avoiding, Chuck, sorry--not ;)

Andrew, if I use anything other than "Andrew Ramage" how would ANYONE know it's you?!! Don't be shy, you're carrying a Walther PPK :-) Do you want to die or live and suffer?

-sry

Tue Oct 31, 09:18:00 AM CST  
Blogger Mike said...

Sarah,

I wanted to apologize. I mixed my Sarahs from the Bar. So if you want my death to be extremely gruesome I'll understand.

An embarassed Mike A.

Tue Oct 31, 10:37:00 AM CST  
Blogger Andrew said...

Die.

He gets on the wrong side of Rainey once too often and gets his fool head blown off.

Tue Oct 31, 10:54:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Andrew you feind :) Okay, you die.

Mike, you thought I was Sarah Hoyt? hahahhahahaha...you're not kidding? hahahahahahaha. No, no, I'm the OTHER Sarah on the Bar. I usually sign that way specifically whenever I'm haunting one of THE Sarah's hangouts--and I avoid her haunts on purpose. Putting two Sarah's into the same place, my gawwwd, it's almost as terrifying as what might happen should Robin (Chief Dragon Lady) and I come together. Singularity effect comes to mind.

Mike, if you want to retract, feel free. If you still want to be redshirted, you got it. I can not have too many bodies for this story. Barfly bodies anyway. I want it to be all Barfly Bodies Bleeding on my bloody pages. :)

-sry

Tue Oct 31, 11:51:00 AM CST  
Anonymous RES said...

Hurt me, Beat me, Kill me. Whatever.

It ain't as if my life has meaning, so why should my death?

Tue Oct 31, 11:56:00 AM CST  
Anonymous RES said...

Hmmm, first effort not up? Must've missed the magic word.

Try again:

Hurt me, Beat me, Kill me. Whatever.

It ain't as if my life has meaning, why should my (literary) death?

Tue Oct 31, 12:00:00 PM CST  
Anonymous tygertim said...

Hey Sarah, sign me up to red shirt! Just make it glorious . . .
Tim Fay
aka Tygertim

Tue Oct 31, 12:02:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Tim - Gotcha (and I didn't even call you TimC by accident this time! Hey! Be proud ;-)))

Richard, got you, too. Your first comment didn't go up because I'd logged off and didn't moderate it to published status until now (nearly 1600 Central Time) Hmmm, gonna have to think of something "high quality" to do to you, my man. What's your *cough* Goal? ;)

-sry

Tue Oct 31, 03:50:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John said..
I volunteer. 10years USMC; 11 years US Army (retired). I've been both an Army Drill Sgt and a Marine DI & MP. I've guarded everything from warehouses to Nuclear Weapons, and taught MP and SWAT tactics for both US Military and a foreign government, firearms,
etc. In between military service, I've been a civilian police officer, high school teacher (in a juvenile prison) and am currently working as the Head of Information Services in a small public library.
I read several of your Bar posts about security at high value installations with interest.
Tuckerize "John David McDonald" Usually I hang out in the other Sarah's Diner, with my canine friend Nikki.
John

Tue Oct 31, 06:39:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Look, John, I'll redshirt you but clearly, you have the skills to defend me when Sarah--THE Sarah on the Bar--comes hunting my ass for theft. :)

I've just updated the Excel file one last time tonight and am now

SIGNING OFF FOR TONIGHT.

I'll be back after the official start of NaNoWriMo. Right now, my head hurts *pout* Really have to stop reading all these Army Field Manuals. And I haven't even started to read "The Ultimate Sniper" yet!! Yikes.

Back all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and heavily armed with TMI tomorrow morning!!

-sry

Tue Oct 31, 06:57:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah,

Other distinguishing characteristics. I smoke cigars, drink good scotch and good beer, and was getting carded well into my late 30s.

George Grosskopf

Tue Oct 31, 08:38:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Posted on behalf of Mike Barker, who apparently cannot stop his eToys either (suspecting the Popup Blocker prevented his posting this himself)

I wear bolo ties (string ties) quite a bit. Speak Japanese with a strong American accent (except when drinking, when everyone tells me the accent disappears - I think they have had too much to drink). Prefer Guiness or other dark beer. Carry a PDA at all times, along with my trusty Papermate PhD Multi with the stylus, pencil loaded with 2B lead, and ballpoint. Often start statements with "I'm a bit confused" and then proceed to point out the point of misunderstanding, lay out a clear analysis and recommendation (enough so that people who have worked with me for a while often ask what they misunderstood when I say "I'm confused.") I've always thought I would probably get to my funeral late, but I suppose the death will not be overly delayed?

Mike, you're in the Excel file now. That's all that counts. Well, that and my words. Counting, that is. Just under 2000 (rate about 1000/hr as a result of spending so much time procrastinating--like writing HERE instead of in my Word file)

-sry

Wed Nov 01, 06:49:00 AM CST  
Blogger Mike said...

I'm more than happy to let you dissect my carcass still. I'll even look forward to it with trepi... err eagerness.

Mike A.

Wed Nov 01, 12:30:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith Hedger

5'9", 170 Lbs, Brown hair, brown eyes, black t-shirts a must.

Preferred guns: Glock 19, Rock River A4, Remington 870 tactical shotgun.

Wed Nov 01, 11:35:00 PM CST  
Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge said...

Sarah:

        Go ahead, kill me.

        If it isn't inconvenient, mention something about a lot of loose skin around the abdomen, indicating extreme weight loss (I've lost more fat than what I currently weigh).

Thu Nov 02, 02:18:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Stephen I need more girls - can I make you into Stephanie and say you've lost all the baby fat less than a month after the baby? I'm not being sarcastic or trying to be mean or tease--I'm actually SERIOUS!!!

And congrats, that's a great achievement to "lose and remake" yourself that way. Takes a lot of focused effort. I had a very bad time of it grappling with my mother's lack of commitment to overcome her obesity. My LATE mother, I mean. I'm not blaming her obesity for my having been anorexic as a kid, but ... well, it was complicated. As life (and death) always are, aren't they?

If I make you a Stephanie, The New Mother, I'd have to figure out how to kill you tragically, huh?

Hmmm, maybe I'll leave you as a guy after all.

Reply with preference here.

-sry

Thu Nov 02, 02:46:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Keith Hedger wrote:

{quote}
5'9", 170 Lbs, Brown hair, brown eyes, black t-shirts a must.

Preferred guns: Glock 19, Rock River A4, Remington 870 tactical shotgun.
{end quote}

I thought you said you didn't have time for this sort of silliness, Keith ;)

And are you trying to clone Rainey here? Geez, I'm glad I didn't know all this about you when I wrote up this character's profile. You're not "Irish raised in England" right? ;)

I'll update the Excel file shortly....repost after Stephen St Onge replies about his character's gender preferences. Hmmm, that didin't come out right *grin*

-sry

Thu Nov 02, 02:52:00 AM CST  
Blogger Brian said...

Tis I Brian.

What I Look Like
Ok im 27, I wear loose clothing and walk with a slight limp. I have a
red/orange beard, green eyes, and neck length long hazelnut brown hair,
and a crooked smile(but thanks to wonders of modern medicine straight
teeth). My nose is broken in about 3 places, I lost count of how many
times its been busted and straightened, I like to think it gives me a
hawkish profile. Im 5'9" i would describe my build as… squat, a lot of
upper body strength. I work as network and secure systems engineer so im
not really tanned, im an aussie so i have some tan, but im certainly not
brown. I could also stand to loose about 5 kilos.

This may help as well
I have practiced Jujitsu for 11 years and played rugby before that. I talk
with a Australian accent, Occa if that means anything to you. When i get
angry or swear or exclaim im told that i start talking with an Irish
accent. I qualified "average" at the local range with a 9mill, which is to
say that i can hit the broad side of a barn at close range. At long ranges
im not your man.
Im good with my hands though, if it's not to prideful I’ll say very good.
Fists and knifes are where (if i had to) I’d fight given a choice.

For your interest
Used to be a chef, trained for 3 years before giving it up as bad joke. No
money in an apprenticeship.

Thu Nov 02, 06:34:00 PM CST  
Anonymous RES said...

GOAL? I don' got no steenkin' goals! I just wanna survive. The idea of requesting a coward's death, shot in the back while fleeing dumping women and children into harm's way amuses me.

There is a certain charm to the idea of dying in the street, saying "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Ric...?"

I don't even care if you want to transgender me, as you say you need female redshirts. Family legend is I was s'posed to be a girl. All the yentas so advised my mum, and my delivery was so unlike my elder brother's that mum had to be shown the "proof in the pudding" before she decided my name couldn't be Rachel.

I don't expect description is required, but as others have provided such basic elements:

5' 11 + 3/4" (Big disappointment to not get that extra quarter inch, but dislike rounding to get it.)

Hmmm, when I was young, with two knees and unkinked spine weight was about 160 with nice ass & legs (according to those better positioned to appreciate such qualities in me) with reasonably broad shoulders ~ pretty much a runner's or fencer's build (which is what I were.)

Hair mostly black, where it remains on sides of head, with compensatory black (increasingly white) full beard because I a) look like I need a shave right after I shave (pale pale skin) and b) lack chin.

Eyes brown, brows overcast with one over right eye permanently tilted up at temple because of childhood scar through it.

Feel free to rework according to literary need. There are things about which I'm vain but my appearance stopped being one of them even before I realized I was 25% above optimum weight.


sry said...
>[SNIP] Richard, got you, too. Your first comment didn't go up because I'd logged off and didn't moderate it to published status until now (nearly 1600 Central Time) Hmmm, gonna have to think of something "high quality" to do to you, my man. What's your *cough* Goal? ;)


Ummm, again?? This remained after "posting" so I guess I had the magic word wrong. If I'm stuttering just delete redundant postings, bitte schoen.

Thu Nov 02, 10:41:00 PM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

brian, wow, are you writing the scene yourself? :) JK babe, gotcha and am adding you to the Excel sheet as soon as I finish typing this sentence.

There, done. You're in.

-sry

Fri Nov 03, 06:55:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

RES recounted:

Eyes brown, brows overcast with one over right eye permanently tilted up at temple because of childhood scar through it.

So you have a perpetual Mr. Spock impersonation going on, huh? :) I like this identifying feature! Got it ;)

Am updating the Excel file now and it should be there by the time you get your lazy arse out of bed, suh.

-sry

Fri Nov 03, 06:58:00 AM CST  
Anonymous Adam Rocco said...

is always up for a redshirt...though I am one average looking guy, so it might be hard to distinguish

Short (almost buzzed) reddish blonde hair, green/blue/grey eyes (depends on the lighting), about 6'1" 200#

Sat Nov 04, 09:51:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hej! Sarah,
I'm a Bar Fly. Red shirt me! But please let me know where & when you do? Name is Jim Revells: Army Brat; ex-Submariner, Torpedo Fire Control Tech; Jeweler/metalsmith; art gallery/gift store owner in southern VT; Court Baron in the SCA, Viking Age Persona (metalsmith from Birka in 831) metalsmith, cook, autocrat, archer & some times heavy list fighter; SWM, 52yo,6'0", 340lbs & shrinking (from 400lbs, getting out of the Mall was good for me), balding brown/grey hair, blue eyes with brown/gold flecks; Father of 2 girls & Grandpa of 2 girls; no musical talent, can't draw, but I sculpt & make jewelry. I always thought that if I had to go blowing something to atoms would be the way to do it.

Sun Nov 05, 09:34:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Okay, I see two more...starting to think I have TOO MANY redshirts here. Can there BE such a thing as too many redshirts??

Adam Rocco, Jim Revells, will try but no promises at this late stage. I'll add you to the Excel file first chance I get. Will post back here when it's been updated.

At the moment, I'm running towards Bob "Crazy" Cruze's death by stabbing (in the neck) and gotta stay mentally focused on that. Who runs towards a stabbing death? Did I really just say that? :)

Bye!

-sry

Sun Nov 05, 12:39:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah,

well, I haven't died yet in the other Sarah's books, so glad to offer the (impending) corpse.

Ian Clark
clarky
IanC/OZ

178 cm, athletic but fat, computer and home renovation nut. Have paintbrush, will paint.

Mon Nov 06, 04:03:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Ian, have not yet added you but must point out an error here:

Sarah Hoyt is *THE* Sarah on the Bar

I am the OTHER Sarah on the Bar.

Will post here when I have added you (and others before you) and updated the Excel sheet...off busy writing, back soon.

-sry

Mon Nov 06, 07:56:00 AM CST  

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