From Home to Holmes

Late start today, but it’s staying dark outside longer, and I’m sleeping better.  Don’t know why the later is taking place; maybe I’ve got a hell of a lot of stress out of my life, and it’s letting me rest and dream.  Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Soundtrack listing for the writing experience:  Outside and Scary Monsters and Super Freaks, by David Bowie, and Honky Chateau by Elton John.  Yes, I had to go with three album, because writing.  It was taking some time.  Also, I started looking things up, and that took time, too.  But for the most part I stayed away from the outside distractions.  It paid off, believe it.  By the way:  Outside?  Brilliant.  Give it a listen.

Both my main characters are on stage, and I’ve brought in another character with a speaking part.  I’ve moved the action from Bulgaria to Cardiff, Wales, to London, where my characters are now staying in the Park Place Sherlock Holmes, which is a for real place–though if you roll in from the Baker Street side it looks a lot different.  But the kids love it, and I know when one of my characters leaves the hotel to do things he’s been asked to do by his chaperon, he’ll hum a certain tune as he’s winding his way down Baker Street.  Yes, I have to do that.

Even with the prep work i did prior to writing, I still found it necessary to look up a few things for the last scene and a few scenes coming up.  I needed to find the hotel, which paid off nicely.  I need to see tailor shops close to the location of the hotel, and found quite a few–including the shop of Sir Tom Baker, which means the shop is probably far bigger on the inside than the outside.  (And least you think I jest–)  I have my characters running off to buy equipment for their chemistry class–and, yes, they will need The Erlenmeyer Flask–and after that it’s off to order books.  Now, I found the perfect book store, and I’m considering using the real name, but I have a backup just in case.  Maybe I’ll put it in–yeah, hell, put it in.  I can always remove it later when I become well known with this story.

Already I see one scene I’m going to cut, because I don’t need to go into detail at that point.  I’m only considering removing it, because I don’t know if it’ll make any sense or have a need.  The novel is going to be long enough, though a thought is forming for what I could put there should I write it.  I’ll know tomorrow, because I’ll probably reach that point tomorrow.

During a short chat last night I reminded myself why I spent so much time planing this story.  For one, just locations alone keep me hopping about.  And two, a little over six thousand words and three scenes into the novel and I’ve already presented eight characters with speaking parts.  Two more are going to show up in the next few scenes, and in the next chapters there will be three more with significant scenes and three who will have a few words here and there.  There are at least two dozen characters with speaking roles, but don’t worry, I won’t get them mixed up.  Much.

Word count for last night:  2,702.  Count for the novel:  6,733.  Rock me, baby.  It feels like old times.


The Sun On the Trail

So far this morning I’ve woken at four AM, drove through the darkness to arrive at my local Panera for a breakfast sandwich and coffee, and spent ten minutes helping someone get the wireless card in their computer running.  Yes, I’m off and running, and it’s not even seven AM.

Now I have the earphones in and I’m listening to City to City, and Baker Street is playing and the day feels good.  Never mind the fact that my right eye was bothering me again last night, making it difficult to do anything because my left eye was the only one that wasn’t all clouded up with junk and burning.  Still, I worked on, because that’s how it goes, right?  You work thought it, even if it means you feel like lying down and doing nothing but moan.

I managed to finish my school layout last night.  This is something I started back before my Camp Salem AboveNaNo story started, and it was also something I’d need for the novel that follows.  What you see to your right is the school grounds from the air:  all the buildings, all the towers and walls, all the roads and trails, even a couple of lakes and springs and a large meadow.  There are even a few things that, if you squint, you’ll see, like trees, covered stairs leading below, and a couple of graves.  Yes, I said graves, because we have dead people hanging out at this joint.  I know every point on this map, because I’ve pretty much lived with this place for a couple of years.  Some might say I’ve lived in it, but what do they know?

But do I stop at what you can see?  No.  Because there’s always more to the picture than you can see . . .

I also designed the tunnel and basement system that runs under the school.  Salem BelowIt only makes sense:  this place is right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and during the winter you’re gonna get snow and cold and even a Storm of the Century every so often.  When that happens you don’t want your kiddies walking a half mile through ankle-deep snow to their next class–ergo, tunnels.  And basements where dangerous experiments are held, or where control rooms are set up, or where you have a lot of storage because you never know when you’ll need something.

There are only a couple of features that need adding, but I can get to that later.  The Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning is complete.  All that remains is the writing of its tales.

Speaking of tales, I set up the Scrivener project for the short story I’m going to write.  I’m going to start on that today at some point, and I do promise it’ll be a short story–which is why I used the short story template for my project.  This isn’t going to be dragged out:  it’s going to be quick and to the point.  The story is really more about how one character takes to having to do “official” things, and it’s meant to be something of a character-building bridge than anything else.  No great ideas will be developed; no terrors quelled; no threats extinguished.  Just fun.

At some point this morning I’m going to head up north and get pictures of the Appalachia Trail.  I discovered it’s about twenty minutes north of me, so I’ll drive to the point where it crosses the river and walk across.  That way I can say I hiked the Trail.

Maybe I should bring my survival gear.  You never know what dangers are lying in wait for me . . .