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Mann Ramblings

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Everything posted by Mann Ramblings

  1. Mann Ramblings

    Chapter 1

    Thank you! I hope I can keep up with everyone's expectations. See you next Wednesday!
  2. Mann Ramblings

    Chapter 1

    With my crazy schedule, the short, weekly format is a good way to keep me on task. Otherwise, I don't know when I'd have something new to share. Glad to see you on board!
  3. Mann Ramblings

    Chapter 1

    I'm glad to have something new to share too! I've been looking at the same stories/manuscripts for way too long for my liking.
  4. Mann Ramblings

    Chapter 1

    I'm not revealing anything. You'll have to read each Wednesday's installment like the rest of them.
  5. Mann Ramblings


    Arad Ansari is a homeless street slug in the Grey District A-5 colony. Work is hard to come by and he has to compete with the animal/human hybrids called DemiShou and forces him to make his way in less than savory methods. Getting off-planet sounds like a godsend, but fate has a way of complicating the best opportunities of a man with little luck.
  6. Mann Ramblings

    Chapter 1

    Traffic beacons swept the corporate work zone as a shuddering transport dumped off another load of hopeful men and women. The stench of mustard tinged exhaust choked the air in its wake. Arad Ansari shivered in the claustrophobic queue leading to the Grey District A-5 techyard. He’d camped overnight after visiting the bathhouse using the token he’d lifted off a wayward tourist to be sure he was clean and ready to work. Manufacturing was automated, leaving tech jobs scarce among the self-made engineers in the factory slums. There was no way he could risk this chance getting away from him. Boots clunked along the steel causeway in unison as the mass of people shuffled forward, invading Arad’s personal space in all directions. Whether intentional or not, he kept a tight grip on his shoulder bag even though it was latched tight, keeping his few possessions safe. The crowd funneled into a line aimed at the guard wall entrance, but the man big enough to be DemiShou blocked Arad’s view to see how much further he had to travel. The pace was cautious in spite of the anticipation present amongst the workers. Security drones hovered over the area scanning everyone present with their unnatural eyes maintaining order. No sane person would be willing to lose wages spending the day dealing with District Authority. The crowd inched along as a sluggish wave. Stretching around the human wall before him, Arad could see the attendant reading his handheld against the scan results, passing some through the gate and sending others on their way. With too many people and not enough work, the whole labor force was built around a lottery system. A flawed and dysfunctional method, but all the slugs—poor bottom feeders like himself—could hope for. He’d arrived early, but there were still so many in need and not enough work to go around. Finally reaching his turn, Arad pressed his finger to the attendant’s screen and waited for the gruff man to verify his details. “Not authorized. Next.” Arad’s chest threatened to collapse. “What do you mean not authorized?” The man gave a frustrated sigh, but never raised his eyes to Arad. “You’re not on the work list.” “No, no, that’s not right. Davis confirmed this yesterday.” Using the scanner, he impatiently pointed at the milling group standing alongside the wall. “Then take it up with him. Next.” Before he could protest further, Arad was shoved out of the way by the next hopeful slug. He managed to catch himself as the waiting crowd filled the space. Panic fed his outrage. It was a done deal. How could this happen? He needed to know. The attendant was useless. Arad would need to hunt down his source and there he was taking a drag off a cigar, waiting for the shift to start. When he caught sight of Arad approaching, Davis cursed to himself as he carefully stubbed out the smoke to salvage his precious vice. “Davis, they kicked me out of line. What happened?” The scruffy foreman hesitated, pocketing his dead cigar in his stained coveralls and avoiding Arad’s piercing stare. “Sorry, kid. Management went a different way. Management gave the spot to a wolf DemiShou this morning.” “Why? You said the job was mine.” “He’s got a wife and kids to feed.” “So because the wolf-human hybrid is married and has kids he can’t afford, he gets first dibs?” Shaking his head, Davis shrugged. “It’s a quota thing. Politics. Way above my pay scale.” “Maybe I should let someone experiment on me and then maybe I wouldn’t have to slave for wages.” With a firm clamp on Arad’s arm, Davis pulled him aside. “Don’t say stuff like that. Someone might hear you.” “I know.” Dirty steam billowed out of a nearby service vent and Arad deflated. “I really needed this, Davis.” “I know, kid. I’m sorry. I tried. Really.” Releasing Arad, regret colored every inch of Davis. It helped soothe the rolling frustration, but didn’t extinguish it. “Yeah. Thanks. I have to figure what to do now.” Brow arched, Davis looked around and lowered his voice. “I know it’s not much, but you could stop by after shift end. It’ll be another week before I can get home. I could use the company.” “You’re not serious?” Opportunistic prick. Even if it wasn’t the first time he’d exchanged funds for favors with Davis, Arad wanted to tell the man to go to hell. But he’d just lost the job he needed. He didn’t have any wolf Demi welfare to rely on, and those wages could have fed him for a month. “Come on. We have a little fun, let off some stress, and you get some credits in your pocket. Everyone wins.” Davis smiled, which gave his smudged and unshaven face a certain charm. He wasn’t a slug like Arad on the bottom of the food chain. While not an elite, Davis didn’t need to scrounge to feed and had a real roof over his head. “You’ve got some balls on you, Davis.” “One of my best features according to you. You were right gentle with them even. What do you say?” Rowdy noise behind them drew their attention. Furious shouts on all sides rang out as a man tried to push back into the job line. Probably a reject like Arad. Tempers flared as he refused to quit. Screaming and shoving escalated between everyone involved, tensions already strung tight threatening to break. A security drone swooped in and shocked the man to the ground. The stunned crowd quieted and went back to its dreary routine. Right then Arad’s stomach growled, gnawing at him with its ceaseless hunger and anxiety. “I’ll think about it.” The money always became more intriguing when reminded about how little he had and how few options he had to acquire it. Davis patted Arad’s shoulder and walked off. “You know where to find me.” “Yeah. I always know where to find you.”
  7. Mann Ramblings

    GA's Newest Promising Author: Dodger

    I'd love to take credit, but I didn't do this one! Congratulations, Dodger!!
  8. Mann Ramblings

    Happy Birthday, Baby J! Renee's baby is here!

    The fleshy doorstop has arrived! Congratulations!!! 😍😍😍😍😍
  9. Mann Ramblings

    Ask an Author 2.0 - #8

    It's not that soft...
  10. Mann Ramblings

    Aceinthehole: Our Newest Promising Author

    My pleasure! And now... the ritual spanking may begin!!!
  11. I love knowing what comes next! (I miss the dancing smiley emote - it was far more taunting lol)
  12. Mann Ramblings

    Artist and Parties

    When I first started posting, I barely understood how the GA community functioned and it took me a while to realize I should respond in some way to most reviews. On older stories when I get a random comment out of the blue—especially when I'm not actively posting—I sometimes miss them. Thanks for enjoying LM. It has it's issues for being a first story, but it means a lot to me.
  13. Merry Christmahanakwanzakah to all!!!

    1. Valkyrie


      Right back at ya!  :glomp: 

    2. Carlos Hazday

      Carlos Hazday

      Happy belated Festivus!


      May the wrestling involve lots of muscle bears.

    3. Caz Pedroso

      Caz Pedroso

      Merry Christmas :hug: 

  14. Mann Ramblings

    Salvaging Claus Day!!!

    Want to know what I've been up to recently? My first offering with Dreamspinner Press under my new publishing pen name J. Alan Veerkamp is now available! Welcome to my sci-fi holiday short story, Salvaging Claus Day, part of the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Stocking Stuffer Holiday Anthology! Blurb: For three years, Filo has reveled in silence and solitude as the sole occupant of a space station, where he maintains the communication satellite. Everything changes with the appearance of Luz Espina’s lifepod. Filo shares many interests with the flirtatious Luz, though Filo’s isolation has strained his communication skills. Still, Luz pushes all his buttons… and reminds him of the last man he was attracted to—an attraction that ended in disaster because the man was straight. When Luz learns Filo has never celebrated a holiday, he vows to cobble together a Claus Day celebration for them to share. But is it merely a friendly gesture… or something more? This story is sold exclusively on my J. Alan Veerkamp author page via Dreamspinner Press. Click this link and get your copy at Dreamspinner Press here!
  15. Mann Ramblings

    Salvaging Claus Day!!!

    I came up with Filo out of the blue as a variation of Milo and Luz's name came out of a Spanish name generator I found online. Who knew I'd found names that fit my characters' roles so well?
  16. Mann Ramblings

    Salvaging Claus Day!!!

    I know! I wish I could take the credit. The lovely artists at Dreamspinner cooked this up for all the authors involved in the advent calendar. I'm so thrilled to be part of it.
  17. Mann Ramblings

    Headstall - GA's Newest Signature Author

    Congratulations, Headstall! It's nice to see you joining the ranks after all your hard work. Well done!
  18. I just spent the entire evening roaming on social media doing nothing after I forgot what I got online for in the first place. **headdesk**

    It may be time for bed...

    1. Dr. John NYC

      Dr. John NYC

      Just did something similar except it was Amazon. 😤

  19. Ok my peeps! Pick your brains time: I need a conservative, sensible car for a character to drive who is an assistant bank manager. (In other words, not rich.) Nothing too flashy. He would choose a vehicle for function. Something a truck driving guy would be embarrassed to be in, but nothing too effeminate. (He's athletic and straight-laced, but no nonsense.)

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. Daddydavek


      Honda Accord


      Image result for 2017 Honda Accord

    3. Dr. John NYC

      Dr. John NYC

      I would go with Honda Accord, too, or Toyota Camry or Corolla. If he is one who would only "buy American", the Ford equivalent (I can never keep the names straight). 

    4. Mann Ramblings

      Mann Ramblings

      The Honda Accord wins by a slight margin over the Ford Focus with bonus points given over it not being an "American" car. It was close. Sensible and conservative with a reasonable price tag. Thank you all for your input! :D 

  20. Mann Ramblings

    GA's Newest Promising Author: Parker Owens

    It was my pleasure
  21. Mann Ramblings

    GA's Newest Promising Author: Parker Owens

    Congratulations, Parker! A well deserved promotion!
  22. Mann Ramblings

    July C S R Feature: Reece's Choice by Renee Stevens

    Great choice! Renee deserves the attention!
  23. Mann Ramblings

    Ask An Author #50

    I love these features, especially when I'm in them. Not to nitpick, but the cover I designed was for Renee Stevens rather than Cia, although I'd be happy to make something up for her in the future if she needed.
  24. Mann Ramblings

    New Contract

    Yay! My sci-fi series including: The Luxorian Fugitive, A Cook's Tale, and Priest & Pariahs is getting a new home with NineStar Press! Details to come soon...
  25. If I ever write fanfiction, it will be how Star Lord's crush on Gamora was actually a ploy to gain the attention of Drak through jealousy.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. JayT


      we are Groot-best line of the first movie 

    3. Carlos Hazday

      Carlos Hazday


      Every solstice, my father recounted the story of impregnating my mother....

    4. Mann Ramblings

      Mann Ramblings

      it was a beautiful thing...


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