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Deep Delivery by Ocean Express (WIP Excerpt)

Have you had a productive weekend? Mine was spent working on my third novel and now I have a draft of the first chapter. The working title is How to be rich by Hurricane Nisto. And here is a scene from that first chapter.

As usual, for details about everyday things, I spend a lot of time making notes and researching ideas. In this scene, the company names, ad copy, blurbs, timetables, and rates for “Deep Delivery by Ocean Express” and “EcoPicks” were generated by AI chat model ChatGPT.

And because I love concept art, I designed some graphics for this post. I hope they pull you deep into the scene. Thank you for reading.

Hurricane woke up from a nap in her room and checked her smartwatch. She was expecting to see the time but her eyes widened when she saw an ad pop up on the screen. The ad read, “Are you tired of waiting weeks or even months for essential supplies to arrive? Get quick and reliable deliveries in the Southern Ocean area.”

With a flick of her wrist, she sent their website’s URL to a browser on her tablet. She rolled over and sat up to take a closer look. She could see that the company, Deep Delivery by Ocean Express, was headquartered in North Island, Aotearoa. On the services page, she could hardly believe the prices for delivery to Skartøya. At only $1.25 in local currency, she would only need to pay $375 or 2435 kroner to have nearly half a metric ton of products delivered. Hurricane had spent twice that amount on cosmetics alone. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the delivery time: Three days. Three days?!

Hurricane grabbed her tablet and hurried into the common area. Kai, Luca, and Lars were sitting on the floor, around the low table. For an awkward moment, she stopped as she remembered she was supposed to avoid Luca. He looked relaxed wearing a thick, red puffer coat in a shrug around his shoulders. Underneath, he was wearing all black: a fitted polo neck sweater, stretchy jeans, and wool socks.

The men were huddled around a large tablet, playing with a 3D simulator app. Luca must have been happy or distracted because he was not complaining at all. Hurricane looked around for Maya, then she checked a wall panel for her colleague’s bio signature. Her avatar was not glowing red, which meant that she was probably outside.

“Submarine delivery in three days? I can’t believe we didn’t know about this service earlier,” Kai said. He was tapping the screen of Hurricane’s tablet excitedly.

“It’s a new service,” replied Hurricane. “I think they are just launching. Their ad was designed for this weather station. They found me through my Map app. Let’s be their first customers and try them out.”

“Are they aware of the potential increase in the carbon footprint they are creating with a submarine delivery service?” Lars asked. He sounded frightened. “The ocean’s ecosystem is already so fragile.”

Kai was still looking at Hurricane’s tablet. He scrolled down a web page. “They definitely care about that, Lars. Their submarines are powered by ocean wave technology. No wonder the service is so cheap. They use only biodegradable packaging. And they have a recycling program. It looks like EcoPicks is a partner with them for that.”

“Nice,” said Lars. He seemed happy. “Nice.”

Luca groaned. “Why do people always go on and on about sustainability? Not everything has to be about … that.”

Kai interjected, “If I had my way, there would be fewer humans living in the Southern Ocean area. Humans produce too much waste, and rarely consider the long term impact on our ecosystems. We already had record high temperatures this week. Believe it or not, the environment here is affected by what people have been doing in other areas of the world.”

Luca shrugged his shoulders and pulled his coat around him. “I get it, you’re all about saving the world. But it’s not going to kill the planet if it’s only the five of us. H, maybe order a pizza or get an espresso machine? I will pay for it.”

Lars said, “We cannot get you an espresso machine by Sunday, and that’s the day you’re expected to leave. Unless you’re planning to stay? In which case we watch the energy we use here because it is generated by wind or biogas. We already have a coffee maker so it’s not necessary to install another one, even if we are happy to be gifted one. And Kai is saying that we look for ways to enjoy everything this island has to offer without adding unnecessary waste to it.”

Hurricane smiled and interjected, “Actually, pizza is a good idea, Luca. We have a lot of designer grain flours here. We have teff, freekeh, barley, farro, and amaranth. We can make a gourmet pizza with a combo of those. We have vegetables from the greenhouse, and processed cheese and canned meats in the pantry. Besides, who wants to eat food with three days of bacterial growth on it?”

Luca rolled his eyes. “I kind of meant frozen pizza but fine, whatever.”

Kai and Lars fell into a comfortable silence, leaving Hurricane and Luca to look at each other awkwardly. Presently, the door opened, and Maya entered the habitat. With her arrival came a gust of fresh, frosty air. It filled the space with a reminder of how lucky they were to be warm and comfortable indoors. Kai greeted Maya and gave her an update about the new submarine delivery service. Hurricane frowned and headed to the pantry to fetch the ingredients for their gourmet pizza. Lars followed closely behind.

art Earth

Wood Love

An open sack of charcoal; the opening is in the shape of a heart
Charcoal Heart

strips of wood, interlaced

Captured in a forest reserve. The torches below were for our evening bonfire. The chopped wood for the bonfire is shown in the second to last photo.

In other news, I managed to make curry, over a coal fire, for ten hungry colleagues. No idea what I was doing and there was lots of improvising. So, it felt like an episode of MacGyver. The ingredients (curry powder, streaky bacon, potatoes, carrots and onions) were already prepped by the research facility that hosted us. Everyone was nervous about the potatoes but I Gordon Ramsayed them and they came out just right.

Torches for a campfire on the ground

Logs on a log shelf processed in black and white

wood for a fire, in an iron grill
Wood Burn

Thank you for viewing.

art poetry


Thrust in spells, fire irons were cast
Wild minds centre, great hands are clasped
Feathers fret round von Hoven’s draft
There’s much to fear where Rosen’s in craft

Plated in sheaths, impressions wrought steel
Thorn’s tender roses are flocking in teams
Verita’s lapels shall bind at the mast
What burdens we’ll bear if Rosen’s this craft

Swimming with roses by Stephen Day via Iconophile

Special thanks go to the spectacularly talented artist and photographer, Stephen Day. I found an inspiring story in his photograph, Swimming with Roses, and my poem practically wrote itself. Stephen blogs with the equally fabulous Jennifer Day at The Iconophile.


Maximum Dolōr

Maximum Dolor

and dark as dawn
there sleeps Narcissus
wrapped up in flor

In that greener garden
were Venus rests
Piaget found us
romping with Faun

cloaked in silky feathers
bound tightly did she
his powder dreams
in her life long tethers

We feel his screams
and harken
In silence we uproar
No, not again
Maximum dolōr


As icy ponds
where pelts the rain
how crushed we are
to hear his pain

May marvels end
no subtle cue
or she’ll come here
to look for you

Here Vera grins
in peace she reigns
on wine filled sacks
o’er toasted grain

she beams
but silver tears will flow
and while Narcissus sleeps
her music belts
the streams
as they go