Desert Rose and Points West

It’s a strange thing, having to meet with someone on a video link when you’re a couple of hundred miles apart–and the stuff on your end isn’t completely up to snuff and you have to scramble to get your connection working.  It wasn’t important, really:  just me talking to my therapist, whom I was paying for the honor of the chat.  So if I have to bail because my side isn’t connecting right, I get my money back–right?

Fortunately, I fixed things quickly, so there was no need to cry about losing my fifty minutes of chatting.  It was a good chat, too, and I figured out a few things that I need to work on for the next month.

We didn’t chat about my writing, but I’m sure that’s going to come.

I only managed seven hundred and sixty words–of which I blame my therapist, but probably have to blame that I was doing some looking on Google Maps as well, because as I dug into Chapter Thirteen, and began looking at Elektra’s reasons for leaving her home in New Mexico and moving to the wildness of Las Vegas, it became pretty apparent that she grew tired of living the small-time life in the middle of nowhere.

Now, in all honesty, the city of Alamogordo–Elektra’s home–isn’t a small town:  it’s a small city.  It’s suppose to be a great little place–the city motto is “The Friendliest Place on Earth”–but I can imagine the place being a pain in the butt for someone looking to do other things, who’ve had their mind expanded by college in the big city of Albuquerque, and can’t wait to move on to better things.  Or maybe they just want to get away from the goddamn giant ants that pop up now and then . . .

I imagined her taking a job to get away from home, even if it took her to another little shit burg further in the middle of nowhere.  Although that’s not quite correct, because in her new home Elektra is close to two interstate highways, and those lead to better places:  Socorro and Albuquerque to the north, El Paso to the south, and Tucson to the west.  I imagined her having an old college buddy living in Tucson, and she headed out there for a weekend jaunt, spent time looking around, getting a feel for the city, and even visited the remains of an old mining town left decaying in the middle of the Arizona wilderness.

It may not sound like a good time to you, but it opens Elektra’s eyes just a little wider.

Building on a character’s life as you write is a fun thing to do, because you’re taking a blank slate and you start scribbling upon it with washable markers.  Nothing is permanent yet, and it’s possible to go back and change things once I start the first edit.  Though why would I do that?  I’ve got her living her life this way now, and if I change her past, then I make her a completely different character–

If I do that, I can’t write what’s coming next, can I?