Dirty World Station

I have been reading The Republic of Pirates: B eing the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down by Colin Woodard which discusses such pirates as Edward “Blackbeard” Teach and “Black Sam” Bellamy. The book uses original sources to relate pirate activity and more import for this post, the reasons why sailors of the late 17th and 18th centuries turned to piracy along the eastern seaboard of colonial America and the Caribbean to the Spanish Main.

Sailors lived a physically harsh life with little or no monetary rewards. Their working conditions were dangerous and often deadly. Discipline aboard ship was brutal. Disease and infection was common. They either were paid poorly or not at all.

In the face of all of these degradations, some men (and they were mostly all men) turned to piracy. In so doing, they developed a society which was largely democratic and used the Bahamas as their bases of operations. Basically, they drove the colonial government out and lived as they pleased. Anarchy suited them. Merchants who were not pirates themselves fenced their goods and established taverns for drinking, prostitution and eating when the pirates came ashore. There were bakers and other tradespeople, too, making up small communities.

It occurs to me that this state of affairs would work very well to form a basis for Dirty World Station, Captain Star Runner’s home port.

Dirty World Station started out being the gateway to a planetary colony of human settlers. The corporation supporting them failed. It failed in large part because the colony itself failed. I’m not sure it is necessary for me to think a great deal about the reasons for its demise except to say that its survivors developed a strong distrust and dislike for any government or business eminating from Coalition space.

They evacuated to Dirty World Station but were never given paid passage home. The creditors of the corporation insisted (and the courts backed them up) that the settlers had not fulfilled their contracts and so were not owed anything. In fact, they owed the corporation’s creditors.

The settlers, now marooned on the space station, set about letting everyone on the Northern Frontier (space outside Coalition borders) that they were open for business. Anyone could dock there with any sort of cargo., no questions asked. They brought on the best repair equipment they could lay hands on and provided a good communications network. A spacefarer’s basic needs could be met. If the spacefarer didn’t cause any trouble, they were welcome and could ply their trade whatever it might be.

Over time, Dirty World Station developed its own democracy for those who chose to stay aboard the station and they fortified it in case of attack. It becomes a hotbed for discussions about creating an alliance with other discontented settlements throughout the Northern Frontier.

There are three notable exceptions:

  • The Sacred Worlds
  • Queen’s World
  • The Republic of Space

These entities want to be independent states with their own governments and rules. Efforts will be made to form non-aggression pacts with them.

It further occurs to me that this reimagining of Dirty World Station and its history and place on the Northern Frontier will make it unnecessary for Star to go to Pirate’s Cove. All that I have written about this space station can be transferred aboard Dirty World Station and thus a more in depth look at DWS is possible.

Lots of rewriting to do but a tighter and more coherent story will emerge.


Introducing Star Runner

Author’s Note

In digging through my files about my novella, I came across this piece. Our protagonist introduces themself.

I Introduce Myself

I am Star Runner, a fuchsia-colored Pantheran, an independent carrier on the Northern Frontier. I am working out of Dirty World Station. I do not put together the cargoes I transport. I simply take them from one place to another. Being a star runner, that is what I know how to do: operate my ride. I know many of my cargoes contain illegal or stolen goods. That is not my concern. Operating as I do on the Northern Frontier and working out of Dirty Worlzd Station, it is not the concern of anybody else here either. My responsibility is to transport the good safely and quickly and receive payment for my work. I have built up a reputation for doing just this on the Northern Frontier in a very short space of time. This is due largely to two very important factors:

  1. As a star runner, I can withstand very high G-forces and so I can travel very quickly in normal space.
  2. As a star runner, I can also determine for myself when and where to enter Mother Space and I can find my way out of Mother Space near my intended destination. This is partially a result of my genetic engineering. It is also an ability I have developed.

But I think I have told you enough about myself for the time-being. I think you will want to hear the story I have to tell in this, my first recorded adventure.

Definitions Are in Order

  1. Star runner
  2. Pantheran
  3. Northern Frontier
  4. Dirty World Station
  5. Mother Space

All of this needs to be worked into the narrative. For now I will work on short descriptions which I will post here and see how I can use them.


Recipe for Disaster

I am doing two things at once which is always a recipe for disaster. Nevertheless I will do it anyway.

  1. Learn how to use Ulysses. I have been jumping from my Mac to my iPhone and back again while mixing in my iPad.
  2. Revise my novel using Ulysses.

It is becoming clear to me that I need to stick with one form factor until I feel more comfortable with Ulysses.

  • I am more comfortable with iOS than I am with my Mac.
  • I have a smart keyboard with my iPad so I can type just as well on it as I can on my Macbook’s first generation butterfly keyboard. (Why did I think that would be a better choice than the Air when I purchased that machine in early 2016? I think it was how it looked. The Air even then looked clunky.)
  • My iPad is always available to me and never gets put away.
  • Although all my machines are portable enough, the iPad folds up with its keyboard.
  • There is sufficient support on the iPad for VoiceOver. I just need to know when to use the keyboard and when to touch the screen.
  • And did I mention, I need to learn how to use the app?

Finally, I need to learn how to think about my novella as scenes rather than as a total conglomeration of words in one file. I hope this will make it easier for me to think about the action as representing beats and their accompanying word counts.


Novella Length

Unless I am mistaken, my novel is really a novella. Nanowrimohas decreed that the novella will be 50,000 words long. As I am writing in the speculative fiction field, novellas appear to run between 17500-40000 words. So I have set myself the goal of 39999 words.

At present, my novella is north of 43000 words. This means I will not only need to trim 3000 words (which shouldn’t be difficult) but I will also need to think carefully as I reshape it.

Given that this is not likely to be a block buster and may only appear as an ebook, the word count is not nearly as critical as all that, but I am using it as an opportunity to work on my craft within these restraints. “Rules” sometimes have their place in suggesting what is necessary and what is simply fluff.


Still Breaking the Novel Apart

Still breaking the novel apart. I am certain there are many weaknesses in it and that it is far too chatty with not enough action. That said, I can see where I need to reshape the narrative to include a recurring character from the beginning though I am totally unsure how this will affect the narrative itself.

When I get the scenes finally broken apart, I will need to see how they line up with the beat sheet outline.


Starting Scene Breakage

Lord, you have searched me out and known me be

kanow my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

2 You trace my journeys and my resting-places

and are acquainted with all my ways.



and are acquainted with all my ways.

Fsalm 139 can be read as negative: “There’s no getting away from God.” or as a positive: “God can never lose me.” The New Testament supports the positive reading. Luke 15 offers 3 parables.

  1. The lost sheep.
  2. The lost coin.
  3. The lost (prodigal) child. CNN


7 Praise the Lord from the earth,

you sea-monsters and all deeps;

8 Fire and hail, snow and fog,

tempestuous wind, doing his will;

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,

and their tongue speaks what is right.

The law of their God is in their heart,

and their footsteps shall not falter.

Psalm 37:32-33

I like the idea that the righteous’s footsteps are firm and strong. I often worry about my own physical stability when I am walking. Earlier today I went down four steps and one knee felt weak. I always say I am taking Pilates to avoid a walker later on.

Here, in this wisdom psalm, the writer

is probably not thinking about actual walking, but the assurance those who follow Jesus have as they go through life. It isn’t that I am always right. My confidence resides in Jesus and I can trust him to show me the way I should live as one of his followers.

I started breaking my draft of my novel apart into scenes. The divisions are not as clean as I would like them. I did find a chapter with two scenes in it and a big mess near the beginning which is where the narrative needs a lot of work. It is fairly tedious so I only went through about a third of the chapter headings. More work tomorrow.

When using a braille display with VoiceOver on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, your braille display may support the following commands to help with navigation.

To ensure that your braille display is using the correct table, make sure that you have the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. If you want to customize your braille commands on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, follow these steps:

Go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Braille > connected braille display name > More Info > Braille Commands.


VoiceOver action Display key

Move to previous item Dot 1 + Space bar

Move to next item Dot 4 + Space bar

Go to first item Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Space bar

Go to last item Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Item chooser Dot 2 + Dot 4 + Space Bar

Go to Status bar Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Space bar

Go to Notification Center Dot 4 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Go to Control Center Dot 2 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Escape current context Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Space bar

Move to Left Split View App (iPad only) Dot 3 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Move to Right Split View App (iPad only) Dot 2 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Move to previous container (iPad only) Dot 1 + Dot 7 + Space bar

Move to next container (iPad only) Dot 4 + Dot 7 + Space bar


VoiceOver action Display key

Scroll left one page Dot 2 + Dot 4 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Scroll right one page Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Scroll up one page Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Scroll down one page Dot 1 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Speak page number or rows being displayed Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Space bar


VoiceOver action Display key

Move to previous item using rotor setting Dot 3 + Space bar

Move to next item using rotor setting Dot 6 + Space bar

Select previous rotor setting Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Space bar

Select next rotor setting Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar


VoiceOver action Display key

Perform simple tap Dot 3 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Activates the Home button Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Activates the Volume Up button Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Activates the Volume Down button Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Show/Hide the keyboard Dot 1 + Dot 4 + Dot 6 + Space bar

3D Touch on selected item Dot 3 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar


VoiceOver action Display key

Read page starting at selected item Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Read page starting at the top Dot 2 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar


VoiceOver action Display key

Select all Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Select left Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Select right Dot 2 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Tab Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Shift Tab Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Cut Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Copy Dot 1 + Dot 4 + Space bar

Paste Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Activates the Delete key Space bar or Dot 1 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Activates the Return key Space bar or Dot 1 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Undo Typing Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Redo Typing Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Text search Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 4 + Space bar

Output text style Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Start dictation when in text field Dot 1 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar


VoiceOver action Display key

Toggle Screen Curtain on and off Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Pause or continue speech Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Space bar

Toggle speech on or off Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Space bar

App Switcher Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 5 + Space bar (twice)

Help Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Space bar

Change an item’s label Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Toggle QuickNav Dot 1+ Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Play/Pause Music Dot 1 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Space bar


VoiceOver action Dislay key

Pan braille to the left Dot 2 + Space bar

Pan braille to the right Dot 5 + Space bar

Toggle announcement history Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Translate Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Next output mode Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Next input mode Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 6 + Space bar

Switch between contracted and uncontracted braille Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Space bar

Input and output mode correspond to 6-dot, 6-dot contracted, and 8-dot braille models.


VoiceOver action Display key

Previous container Dot 1 + Dot 7 + Space bar

Next container Dot 4 + Dot 7 + Space bar

Delete Dot 7 + Space bar

Return Dot 8 + Space bar

Toggle mute Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 7 + Space bar

Start help Dot 1 + Dot 3 + Dot 7 + Space bar

Scroll up page Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Dot 8 + Space bar

Scroll down page Dot 1 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 6 + Dot 8 + Space bar

Simulated long press Dot 3 + Dot 6 + Dot 7 + Dot 8 + Space bar

Single letter quick nav Dot 1 + Dot 2 + Dot 3 + Dot 4 + Dot 5 + Dot 7 + Space bar

He has established peace on your borders;

Psalm 147:15a

I hadn’t realized how focused the psalms I have been reading lately are on national concerns. Nor had I thought much about living with insecure borders despite all the attention on our border with Mexico. Thinking about warfare and sovereign borders of late changes this. It is good to give thanks for personal security. I have not given thanks for my own safety much which says I don’t encounter danger hardly at all and I give thanks for that.

The Lord has heard my supplication;

the Lord accepts my prayer.

Psalm 6:9

In the end, this is all I can ask for.

Psalm 119:1-24

No particular quotation today.

Psalm 119 is an acrostic, that is, it is an alphabetical piece. Each stanza consists of all lines beginning with the same letter. Acrostics denotes completeness.

Psalm 119 talks a great deal about the law, decrees, commands and statutes. It can get quite tedious and each line does not really connect with the next. But if you think about it always having to begin each line with a particular character, it makes sense there is a stilted quality to it.

Thinking about the psalm’s focus on the law today reminded me that Torah, law, can also be translated teaching or revelation. I am coming to think of the psalm as less legalistic and more about gettingaligned with God’s way of thinking and doing. If I take it one step further and say getting behind Jesus’ commandments, there really is only one: Love the Lord you’re God. Jesus follows this up with love your neighbor as yourself. If the double love commandment is the “law” to meditate on, Psalm 119 becomes far more palatable.

I will call upon the Lord,

and so shall I be saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:3

The imagery in this psalm is ancient and other worldly. Perhaps this is a volcanic eruption and a thunderstorm with God clothed in fire. It reminds me of the tragic eruption in New Zealand last month.

Looking at this verse, a song lyric came to mind but I had no idea which song. It turns out to be “The Lord Liveth.” I had to work through “Shout to the Lord” and “Ten Thousand Reasons” (both good songs) before I found the right one.*/1llRmRvsehnJ7adL25KS_zbVQtxXHzXf2?e=download

My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law;

in your paths my feet shall not stumble.

Psalm 17:5

The way of Jesus continues. It is not so much that I can accomplish this on my own but that Jesus strengthens me in my walk of faith.

Be joyful in God, all you lands;

sing the glory of his Name;

sing the glory of his praise.

Psalm 66:1

The thought of everyone singing together in praise of God delights me.2


Praise God in his holy temple;

praise him in the firmament of his power.

Praise him for his mighty acts;

praise him for his excellent greatness.

Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn;

Praise him with lyre and harp.

Praise him with timbrel and dance;

praise him with strings and pipe.

Praise him with resounding cymbals;

praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.

Let everything that has breath

praise the Lord.


I have always imagined this as a great orchestral with chorus event and a conductor gesturing to each group in turn—up to the balconies for the heavens and to the people for all living things and, oh, the cymbals!

In the name of Jesus. AMen.

In preparing for today I read the first chapter of Rowen Wiliiams’ book Being Christian on Baptism. Williams describes an icon of Jesus standing up to his neck in the water of the Jordan River. At his feet are the river gods representing chaos. The waters of chaos, Genesis tells us, were at the beginning. I thought about the year Camp Marcella, New Jersey’s camp for blind children, decided to get rid of the algy in the lake where we swam twice a day. It was much nicer not to run into a clump of slimy algy, but the fish nipped at your heels if you stood on the bottom of the lake. They were hungry. When I became an advanced swimmer, I could go into an area where the bottom of the lake was not covered with sand and stone. It was soft and did not support my weight. We called it the gunge.

A more serious form of worldly chaos was the situation in Isaiah’s time. The areas of Zebulon and Naftali, far away from Jerusalem in northern Israel were being invaded by the Assyrians from Neveveh, modern day Mosel in Iraq. They came into the territory via the Domascus Road. ILsaiah calls this a land of darkness and gloom which is understandable given its struggle with warfare, opression and final defeat. But there is a moment of victory in this decline, a light that comes upon the land.

Matthew remembers this prophecy and says, with the coming of Jesus, this light now shines on the land. darkness and gloom of Chaos has been beaten back.

Now if you are not all that familiar with Jesus’ story, you might think that after his Baptism in the Jordan—a filthy smelly experience I understand at today’s Jordan River and maybe not that wonderful long ago. Naaman complains in Elisha’s time some 2800 years ago about how unmajestic the Jrodan is—you might think Jesus just came up out of the Jordan and, moved back to Nazareth and then set up shop in Capernaum. But, in a few weeks, you will hear how he spent time in the wilderness and was tested by hunger, the allure of temporal power and irrespnsibility.

Coming out of his own encounter with darkness and goom and the chaos of evil itself, Jesus invites everyone to turn themselves around and follow him.

I read this webpage today. Holy Name Without a doubt, the hearer of these texts are to concentrate on the name of Jesus and of all the ways we might engage God’s name. But being a more perverse person, that is not where my mind went. In Philippians,Paul says “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (2:5).

What does this mean? I have read these words many times and have often wondered but never stopped to think about them separately. Yes. Yes. Every knee should bow and all that, but what would it mean to have the same mind as Jesus?

The point is Jesus’ servanthood, Jesus’ willingness to do God’s will, to be God with us rather than God apart from us.

And so I begin the year thinking I might have a goal this year to come back to these readings and be Christ to those I meet. It’s been a Christian practice forever, but I forget it all the time.

People get nervous around other people when they start spouting religion or say things like, “Jesus loves you.” I am not that sort of person. But I can channel it and act as if I had said it.

I want to be mindful of having the mind of Jesus this year. Who knows. It might even become habitual. And isn’t that the point of resolutions anyway?)

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There is so much happening it is hard to know what to do:

  1. There is a strong probability I will get a letter in the next two weeks telling me a apartment is available for me at Lincoln Court.

    A. What paperwork is needed?

    B. How soon will I be able to move?

    C. What if I receive my inheritance?

    D. What is the apartment like?

    E. I have to pack.

  • I need to go back and work through the pier amid lecture and copy down the pier amid. It seems as if the pier amid would be a way of thinking about editing. The first draft would be the bottom row of the pyramid. Just get the story down. After that, I can go back and add all of the fancy stuff and coloring and all of that.
    I have a baseball game this afternoon.
  • I need to check out Highway writer to see if it does many of the things you Leisy stars. No sense getting into a subscription if it is unnecessary.
  • this ordered list, actually it’s not ordered list, is very interesting.

now I am back to a regular paragraph.

The bigges problem of editing in iOS is the fact that VoiceOver doesn’t focus so much on where you are but starts at the beginning of your edit area. I wonder if typing mode takes care of this. Let’s see.

Pyramid of Writing

The Fancy Stuff



Voice, Mood

Senses Evoked

Meaning, Sense and Clarity

I had never seen an elderly Tigerfu before. The alien’s hair wasn’t just white all over the way it was inCUB PICTUREcub picture books. It was so thin and almost dirty-looking as if all the newness of it was gone. I could see through it to his skin. It was supposed to be a dark blue, but even his skin was faded into a sickly gray. Most surprising, the elderly Tigerfu was wearing a cloak of some kind. I realized that without a full compliment of hair, the cloak must keep him warm.

I read this webpage today. Holy Name Without a doubt, the hearer of these texts are tao concentrate on the name of Jesus and of all the ways we might engage God’s name. But bearing a more perverse person, that is not where my mind went. Philippians, parta

The Holy Name

15 Turn to me and have pity on me, *

for I am left alone and in misery.

16 The sorrows of my heart have increased; *

bring me out of my troubles.


be not far from me, O my God.


First Chapters Now on to Scenes

I found a copy of my novel from 2014. This is not the last time I touched it,but I don’t think I did anything significant with all my fooling around. Anyway,it is the way I remember it.

I marked the chapters to make it a markdown file. When I wrote it originally,I did not know about markdown or maybe it wasn’t created yet.

With a little reading,I have learned that scenes are the way to go. My next task is to break the novel into scenes so that I know what is actually happening in each scene and where to go from here. A list of characters will also be helpful.


Star Runner’s First Appearance

In November, 2006 I wanted to participate in [Nanowrimo] but I was leaving for the [Seeing Eye] at the end of the. Month and I knew I would be busy at the most critical time. I was disappointed. During the winter I decided to write the novel as if I were in a Nanowrimo style setting. I got much farther than I would have expected, but I never finished the novel. When Nanorimo rolled around again, I was ready to participate and I wrote the second novel in the series. Whenever I have participated, I have continued the series in one way or another but repeated attempts to finish the first novel have failed. I haven’t figured out how to edit and revamp future writing with the first book unfinished and not even ready for sharing on the web.

In his Rumpole series, John Mortimer always referred back to a particular case which Rumpole solved at the beginning of his career when he was an up and coming barrister. Before he died, Mortimer published Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders to tell us what exactly happened. The book was a disappointment. This could be attributed to Mortimer, but I think it is more about my imagination and Rumpole’s exaggeration of his brilliance. I have taken this experience of reading as a cautionary tale.

And so I am considering revisiting my first Star Runner book. I have done this several times in the past 14 (Can it really be 14 years ago that I started this project?) but I have never gotten much further than the first chapter or two. But I am thinking that if I don’t get it done soon, it will never be done and nor will any of my other writing ever get a second look. The happy thought is that the digital era means a certain number of words is not required. The book will be as long as it needs to be and no longer.

In thinking back on the story, I am amazed that I even managed a subplot. There is a main story line about Star’s involvement with the FRONT and then there is Star’s friendship with Tamara. It is Tamara, I think, who makes another draft worthwhile.