Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Signor Ugarte is Dead

I've had a good writing streak – four chapters in three days. Any day I get to write is a successful day, and here I've written three days in a row.

On Monday I wrote a tricky scene between two politicians who are former lovers: a man (Zodiac) and a woman (Percy). They've bickered through the whole book about how to apprehend a dangerous criminal.

So it'’s Chapter 25 and they'’re at it again, squabbling about security measures and killer assassin robots. Looks like the criminal might actually be dead this time, which would solve all of Zodiac'’s problems.

Then suddenly Zodiac asks Percy why she left him so long ago. Percy blames Zodiac, saying he turned ruthless and obsessed with power. Zodiac doesn'’t buy it -- he doesn'’t think you can turn feelings on and off like a faucet whenever it'’s convenient. He says she never loved him, that there was somebody else first. "Where is that man?" Zodiac asks. "Is he dead?"”

Percy won'’t talk, but Zodiac has puzzled it out: that other man is the wanted criminal, and Percy has been trying to protect him for the whole book. So now Percy is traveling to identify the body of the man she once knew. And Zodiac is now her enemy and can cause all kinds of trouble.

Meanwhile, Percy'’s sister is still trapped on the space station. And since Humphrey Bogart probably won'’t turn up with letters of transit, she'll have to think of a way out. Maybe she'’ll get arrested.

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