Second, unrelated, nib* of the week: while I’m drafting novella number two (Feng Trilogy) I took some advice from a fiction editor. Her opinions were frank and my ears welcomed all.
Her words led to brief, minor, deeds… some final edition monkey business (I’m blaming the springtime optimism of the Lunar Festival). So if you have a copy, you might opt for re-downloading or to sync for new content.
Meanwhile if you would like to check the opening few lines, they should read as follows…
28 minutes were mindfully counted down by Feng. This was his second countdown in succession. Through the vast pane of his 88th floor apartment Feng gazed into the nondescript smog that tarnished downtown Shenzhen, southern China. He pondered if a drone could ever be flown through the mist to pinpoint his window. Could an airborne camera define his stocky silhouette or glimpse the grey in his dark hair or discern in HD his stone cold stare through the miasma?
Feng released a long held breath and massaged his sluggish left cheek. He rotated his shoulder joints, set them back solidly into their sockets, and squeezed his muscular back. The intermittent buzz that haunted his right ear returned. He drew in another long breath and smelled the incense. Squatted on a polished walnut writing bureau was a golden monkey that held a smokeless plum blossom stick.
Two melismatic lines echoed through Feng’s ear canals and collided in his skull. Tap, tap, like the shiny metallic balls of a twee office toy. The soporific beat chimed out the slowness of the moment. Three minutes until the next countdown would begin. Two refrains. One deep truth that drummed at the bark of his core.
‘Is the time up?’
‘Where is she?’
(*) In case you were momentarily puzzled by “nib”: news in brief.