Twenty years before Star of Justice was a blip on my imaginary writing screen, I wrote Past Ties. We're talking college here and the beginning of my million word journey.
Past Ties would technically be the first story I ever "finished." Today I would call it a 27K word sci-fi romance novella with a cliff-hanger ending, i.e., an unfinished story, but, hey, back then I finished nothing. To quote Sam Elliott in Roadhouse, I was "fast out of the gate, but not much on stamina."
However, I had plans. Past Ties would lead to Present Tense (time travel from future to our 1991 following a robot assassin, thank you very much) would lead to Future Perfect, wherein the two main characters from Past Ties finally give in to love after tracking down a serial killer.
Yeah, I've always been like this.
I also had plans for a crossover book in which the robot and one of the characters from 1991 Manhattan, KS accidentally slip between worlds while testing the time machine and end up "elsewhere" for a few adventures. The adventures would revolve around the spoiled princess of a country that eventually became Golor, and the book that would launch that series would be Royal Pain. The title of the crossover book, to stay with the grammar theme of the other three, was Misplaced Modifiers.
Upon reflection, Misplaced Modifiers didn't have enough punch, so I changed it to Dangling Participles. Yes, I believe the phrase is actually "dangling gerund," but participle not only sounded better to my ear, it played to the idea of "action out of place."
Then I upset the apple cart and wrote Star of Justice out of literally nowhere. That character and story sprang into my brain fully formed almost as I wrote the book, but I knew this would be part of that Royal Pain series, and thus, at some point, Dangling Participles would have to be part of the lineup.
Which brings us to today, when I've modified the title of my crossover to Dangling Justice to emphasize both its connection to Ah'rahk and its crossover nature. The truth is Past Ties may never see the light of literary day (it might also be published posthumously and become my most popular work) but it does exist in the mythology of Ah'rahk and I will acknowledge it.
So, on days like yesterday when I wrote the wrong title, I did it because in my brain it's been Dangling Participles for about 20 years, and Dangling Justice for about 20 days. It'll take a little while to retrain the fingers.
Happy Thursday, dear readers. More than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure.