Additions In the Afterthoughts

It’s a bright start to the Summer Solstice here in The Burg, though this morning the humidity was so high when I arrived at my morning breakfast location that the windows were wet with moisture.  It was a strange sight, let me tell you, and one I haven’t seen in some time.  It’s going to be warm and a bit cloudy today, and there may be more rain, though nothing like the downpours we had last night.

There has been a bit of writing–some of it last night after the season finale of Orphan Black, and some this morning.  Since there isn’t a lot to do today, I’ll likely get to writing more this afternoon and evening, at least enough to finish up this scene in which I’m currently involved.  It’s a big day for someone to go flying, and right before I started in on this post I left the scene with Isis getting ready to laying out the plan for Annie’s Friday Morning class, which involves leaving the confines of not only the Aerodrome, but the school itself.

They'll probably fly past Annisquam Lighthouse--no mermaids hanging out today, I'm afraid.

They’ll probably fly past Annisquam Lighthouse.  No mermaids hanging out today, except for those flying overhead.

I’ve hinted over the last few posts that I’ve felt there are additions to this novel that need to be made, and after I finished working on my scene I’ve sat and given the matter some thought.  I’d actually come up with the scenes in question about two weeks ago, so it hasn’t been as if I’ve needed to put a whole lot of thought into what was going to happen as much as it’s when.

The new chapter covers the first overnight camping trip that the Advanced Flight 1 class takes outside the school.  None of this pitching tents somewhere in the woods on the grounds–nope.  The kids are gonna mount up and head off into the gathering darkness of December, proceed to their campsite, and set up their tents.  Wingmates camp together, which means–yes, the flight team of Neilson and Malibey will share a tent.  Don’t worry:  they’ll have their own cots and sleeping bags, and I’m sure Vicky and her minion will be close by to keep an eye . . . anything.

The thing I needed to see was set up this chapter in Scrivener.  That’s not a difficult thing to do:  it’s simply a matter of adding a folder, typing up some metadata, and throwing together a few scenes.  But you know me; I gotta have a bit more information.  Like when does this take place.

It was pretty simple, actually.  Since I know the chapter before ends on the afternoon of 8 December–which is a Saturday–and that the kids are going to leave for Yule Holiday on 21 December–which is a Friday–that leaves only a time period over which the overnight trip can occur:  the night of Thursday, 13 December, with a return on Friday, 14 December.  I can also check that information from Scrivener because I have a link to the Time and Date website, which has all sorts of handy calendar information.

When you absolutly, positivily, need to know a date, just split the screen and bring up the right website.

When you absolutely, positively, need to know a date, just split the screen and bring up the right website.

This is why I get so goofy with dates and times in my scenes, because there are instances when it’s quite necessary to know if something you’re working into a story is going to fit into that story.  In this case, the scene fits, and all I need do now is check the weather for that day along the route they’ll fly–which I already know–so I’ll know what sort of conditions they’ll face along the way.  I also need to rename chapters today, ’cause, you know, everything is off right now.

Oh, and Kerry’s going to do something interesting during the flight.  You just gotta trust me on that one.

Unpitching the Tent

In all the excitement that was yesterday–you know, with work and eating and trying to write–I completely forgot it that it was the start of Camp NaNo for a lot of people.  If you don’t know Camp NaNo, it’s a far more relaxed version of November’s NaNoWriMo, where you can come, relax, set your own goals, and really have a much easier time of writing than one may find during the insanity of writing fifty thousand words in thirty days.  And it’s also held twice a year, which means you can stretch out that story you always wanted to write over a couple of months.

"And when you're finished, it's up to you if you wanna toss that manuscript on this lovely, warming fire . . ."

“And when you’re finished, it’s up to you if you wanna toss that manuscript on this lovely, warming fire . . .”

My first–and so far only Camp–was a year ago, during the July 2013 event.  I ended up in a cabin with two friend I know from Facebook, and a couple of other people who kinda talked about writing but never really did much, and we . . . well, we set out upon our writing adventure.  (I should explain that in order to give one the feeling that they’re out on a camping retreat, you’re placed in a virtual cabin with other people, and the idea is you sit around in your pajamas and eat snacks and drink hot chocolate, and tell everyone about the great story you’re going to write.  Then you go to sleep and do it again the next day.)

If I give this too much thought, I can pin down where I am today with The Foundation Chronicles to this point a year ago, for it was with Camp NaNo that I started on my quest to Salem.  No, I didn’t start on my current novel:  I actually wrote the prequel to it, The Foundation Chronicles:  The Scouring, which ended up becoming the point where I brought to the stage some of the characters that inhabit my current novel–and even more importantly, I brought everyone in the school, the Salem Institute of Greater Education and Learning, and made it a real place.

Don't let the witches fool you, it's really a nice place to send your kid.

Don’t let the witches fool you, it’s really a nice place to send your kid.

That prequel, which was suppose to be a twenty-five thousand word novella, turned into fifty-three thousand word novel by the time the month was over, and that eventually led to where I am now:  continuing to work on a massive novel that just just last night saw me trip over forty-five thousand words for Act Two.  And it’s become something of a real love/hate relationship, because there I time I so want this story over.  I know how it ends, but . . . getting there is taking so much time.

"Just as soon as we get back from my ten mile canoe trip, I'll get my five hundred words in for the day."

“As soon as we get back from my ten mile canoe trip, I’ll get my five hundred words in for the day.”

I’ve run into this with some of my novels in the past.  You start out zooming, full of energy.  Then you slow down a little.  Then you find out that it’s getting hard to start those chapters.  Then you start to feel like there’s no end in sight, and then, when everything is darkest, you realize you’re almost finished, and you don’t really want it to end.

Well, actually, you do.  You can’t wait to slap on “The End” and move on to the next adventure.

Thinking about it last night, this is the first time I’ve stayed involved in a project that’s lasted a year.  It’s really more than a year, though, because I spent most of last June prepping The Scouring, and the work I did there led to the current novel as well.  And I probably spent a good year working on the idea, working out the characters and the location and the story.

And I’m dealing with the understanding that I could find myself dealing with the end of this novel a year from now.

"So you started this during a camping event, and you decides to celebrate finishing the novel by . . . camping?" "Yeah, I'm strange that way."

“So you started this during a camping event, and you decides to celebrate finishing the novel by . . . camping?”
“Yeah, I’m strange that way.”

I will end Act Two and then find the time to start getting another story published before climbing into Act Three.  I also have to consider the possibility of publishing Act One as a stand alone to get interest started in Act Two, which may or may not be a good idea, but it’s a start to something.

Have fun at the camp, guys.  I won’t be joining you because there’s all the stuff I have going on around me–you know, things–and I’ve got a lot of other reasons to keep my tent in my closet this year–

A little over one hundred and ninety-five thousand of them when you think about it . . .

A little over one hundred and ninety-five thousand of them when you think about it . . .

Have fun fighting off the bugs!

Entanglement

The difference in a day or two does wonders for a person.  Because?  Well, sit tight, ’cause I’m going to tell you.

After yesterday’s post my mind was in, what I felt, the right place.  It’s been lovely here in the nether-lands of Chicago, and the windows are open, the sun is shinning, the breeze is lovely, and I got to call the cops on some smart ass kids who think when they tell you, “Go ahead, call the cops,” you won’t act upon their request.  Threat + Internet lookup + mobile phone = cops telling you to drag your crap out of the street, punk.

But that’s beside the point . . . I was writing again yesterday.  Yes, it came slowly, in fifty to one hundred word bursts.  Something I never realized until now, but finding the right words to describe emotions and sensation related to sex is hard work–it’s hard!  It’s one of the things that helps bring my writing to a crawl, because I don’t want to go back over my stuff later and rewrite everything.  I try to get it all right the first time.  Arthur Hailey, the author of Hotel and Airport, used to write five hundred words in an eight hour day, but that was his first, second, final, and polished draft, because he’d go over and over what he wrote until he got it right.  I don’t claim to be him, but I do enjoy getting it as right as possible before I start editing.

I kept at it, though, and by the time I’d reached my just over nine hundred word limit before heading to bed, I had a pretty good scene going.  So good that I’ll finish it up today and make sure I get started on the penultimate section today.  I stopped just short of the border of Novella, so I’ll get my passport ready and head on into the country today.

But something else happened.  Something . . . well, not wonderful, but it made me feel good.

My current Work in Progress, Fantasies in Harmonie, was going to be a Camp NaNo story.  The tale is actually taking place during Camp NaNo July, and I’d taken the idea of writing in virtual cabins into real life, and having a group of lady writers getting together for a week of pajama time fun as only writers can have fun.  Obviously that didn’t happen, because here it is the end of the first week in June, and I’m close to closing this particular cabin.  My intention, therefore, was to pass on the Camp this year.  I’ve never done one, and I figured I’d save my time and energy for the Big One in November.

That was before I ran into someone I know and love–

I was hanging out on Facebook yesterday, and I spied a message from a friend–one who pretty much got me crazy on writing.  She was the one who helped me edit Kuntilanak, she was the one who more or less talked me into doing my first NaNo, which produced Her Demonic Majesty . . . we’re talkin’ Trusty Editortm.  And her message:  “I’m doing Camp NaNo, wish me luck!”

Hold on there.  You’re going to camp and you’re going without . . . me?  I felt great for her, but at the same time my mind is flashing on sitting around in our shorts and take tops tapping away at our computers, and when the night comes we’re going over plot points while doing each other’s nails with mood polish.  (That exists:  I looked.  RESEARCH!)

Since I figured she need to hang out with at least one loser, I went and did it–I signed up for Camp.

What am I going to write?  I have no freakin’ idea.  Maybe I’m polish Couples Dance and get it ready for publication, because camp is looser and you can do that sort of thing.  Or maybe I’ll write something original.  Or maybe I’ll break into the cabin next to ours and do something naughty.

I don’t know.  I’ve never been to camp in my life.

I hear you’re suppose to have a good time . . .