Dreaming a Bit of Dream

Yesterday was not a writing day–not unless you consider four words writing.  What was it?  Dinner, actually.

Last night I was invited to a special dinner–The Wines of Sicily, which was meant to showcase various wines pared with food.  I don’t get out much, and when the opportunity came I jumped on it because why not?  Damned if I wanna be a shut-in all my life.

What was really nice is that the day before my new black dress came, and meant I had even more of a reason to get up and party.  So I got home from work, hopped in the shower, and changed–

Resting bitch face aside, I clean up nice.

Resting bitch face aside, I clean up nice.

I even broke out the red lipstick:

As I was told by another person, it's what Kate Kane would do.

As I was told by another person, it’s what Kate Kane would do.

And then it was off to eat at Home 231, probably the nicest dining establishment in Harrisburg.

The dinner consisted of five courses with five wines.  Nothing being really knowledgeable in these matters, it looks like an appetizer, two sides, the main entrée, and dessert.  I took a snap of the menu so you can see rather than me tell:

Dining Out 0811201601

Needless to say it was all good.  Here’s the wild boar:

Not so wild now, are you?

Not so wild now, are you?

And the wine that went with it:

Dining Out 0811201602

And last but not least the dessert and the wine:

Dining Out 0811201604

All so totally yummy and wonderful.  What made the evening even nicer was the couple to my left knew their science fiction and Breaking Bad, and we chatted about that and writing most of the night.  Good food, good wine, good company:  you can’t ask for more.

This meant that when I arrived home I was not in the mood to write, but then I didn’t have to as I have stuff from a few days back to share.  And we’re back in the dreamspace with Annie summoning her soul mate–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

In the past she’d fly down the other dream corridor to Kerry’s dreamspace, find him, and pull him back here. She’d brought home from Salem a book on advanced dreamwalking technique and it indicted that if one had a good connection with their person with whom they were going to visit, it was a simple matter of exerting willpower to draw them into whatever space from which one was operating. Given that her connection to Kerry was unquestionably strong, it shouldn’t be difficult to bring him here.

She visualized him in his dreamspace, though she had no idea if what she was seeing was how he looked or whether it was only a wishful thought. It didn’t matter: the impression of him there was what she needed to lock upon. Once she was certain she felt him she reached out with her mind, expended her energy, and willed him to present himself before her…

The fog swirled before Annie and solidify into a form. In seconds the form became human-like in appearance and it wasn’t long before the form became Kerry—but dressed in a way that Annie had never seen.

While he seemed to look around trying to get his bearings she called to him. “Kerry?”

He spun around just a little off-balance. “Annie.” He looked to his left and right. “I thought this was a dream but you didn’t come for me—”

“I summoned you.” She didn’t looked over his attired. “What are you wearing?”

Kerry looked down his body at the military-style utility garment adorning his form and the large weapon held in his left hand. “Oh, this—” He adjusted his heavy combat helmet.  “Um, I watched Aliens last night and, I don’t know—” He smiled as she shrugged. “Must be ‘cause of RDM, guess.”

Annie crossed her arms while fighting the urge to smile as well. RDM—residual dream memory—it what allowed them to enter the dreamspaces appearing to wear what they were wearing before entering REM sleep. Annie wore a lace and silk baby doll top with silk shorts to bed and that was what she “wore” at this moment. In Kerry’s case, however, she was certain he hasn’t worn a military fatigues and armor to bed. “Must have been a strong memory.”

“Well, I always get into that movie.” He chuckled. “This isn’t the first time I’ve shown up in a dream wearing something other than what I crawled into bed wearing.” He slung his weapon and propped his right fist against his check. “Or showed up wearing nothing.”

 

Kerry!  Get your mind out of the gutter.  It was that one time in a dream you guys were naked together–okay, two if you count Annie’s after-wedding vision.  Um, and three and four if you count your shared vision.  Damn, kids:  there isn’t a lot of mystery for you any more, is there?

So we’re hearing about residual dream memory, which is a fancy way of saying what you have on when you go to sleep is what you carry with you to dreamland.  Though it isn’t perfect:  Kerry showing up dressed like a Colonial Marine is a holdover from the movie he watched making a huge impact on him, and a perfect example of how one’s subconscious can effect their entry into a dreamspace.  Though that doesn’t explain why both of them ended up in a dream together without any clothes on–

But that’s another story.

Atlantic Crossing: What’s For Breakfast?

Yesterday I was more in a mood to lay about and watch TV, though after a fashion I wasn’t even into that, as whatever was on I’d seen a dozen times already.  But after resting up and having a late snack, I watched the rain off and on–we did get it–and then started on the next scene.  It wasn’t a lot, mostly because there was research involved, and that always takes up time when I’m putting down words that need to make sense.

It’s almost two hours later and according to my calculations–and measuring things out on a map–they have just passed over Newfoundland and are leaving North America behind and have nothing but water ahead of them for quite a ways.  Since there isn’t much to see–

I checked:  not much out there.

I checked: not much out there.

–that means it’s time to get the kids settled in for the long flight:

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The hostesses were going through the aircraft drawing the window shades, and the light were were at about half of normal illumination. Breakfast trays had been retrieved ten minuets earlier, and Annie suspected it wouldn’t be long before their adjustment mixtures were handed out and they’d likely spend the next four to five hours sleeping as their bodies adjusted to the time zones of their homes.

After the immediate sadness they both felt after taking off from Boston their moods lifted considerably, particularly once breakfast was served. She asked for two printsessi, slices of tomatoes, and a large glass of carrot juice, which she’s continued drinking off and on over her B Levels. Not to her surprise Kerry ordered the nearly identical breakfast, drinking mango juice with his meal.

She’s remarked once about a month after returning from Yule holiday that Kerry’s appetite was more like that of a Bulgarian than a Welsh person, there were several things she’d yet to allow him to discover—but she planed on changing that next school level. She wanted him to try lyutenitsa, a traditional relish of tomatoes and spices, the way she ate it at home: spread on bread and sprinkled with sirene cheese, which he would likely recognize as feta cheese.

There was also musaka, made with potatoes and minced pork, and, in her opinion, one of her mother’s favorite dishes. Annie liked to follow that up with a bowl of tarator, the yogurt soup filled with cucumbers, garlic, dill, and walnuts, but this was also a dish she ate nearly every hot day at home—she could even make it herself, and often did when she was in the mood.

It was Annie’s plan to introduce musaka and tarator to Kerry during his first time visiting her in Bulgaria. While that might not happen this year, she hoped that once they could begin using The Foundation jaunt stations, it might not be long before a visit were possible—

 

And here we go again, with a side tour of Bulgarian Cuisine!  Lyutenitsa is made with peppers, carrots, eggplant, onion, garlic, black pepper, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt, and tomatoes, and that means it’s thick and spicy, and it is apparently a spread that a lot of kids love as a side.  Kerry likes spicy food, though it’s hard to say if he’ll enjoy a chutney like this.  Musaka, or as it is better known, moussaka, and throughout most of the former Ottoman Empire eggplant is used instead of potatoes for layering.  And tarator is made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic, walnut, dill, vegetable oil, and water, and sometimes Bulgarians like to throw in a little vinegar and walnuts, just as Annie indicates she’s had this dish.

It would appear that Annie believes in the old tradition that a way to a boy’s heart is through his stomach, though in Annie’s really cut out the stomach part and just hooked her lifeline into Kerry’s heart and was done with that.  Probably more likely that if she can get him interested in these dishes she’ll never have a problem finding something they can enjoy together.

They aren’t getting any of that now.

It’s about time for lights out.

Hot and Cold Awakenings

I’m back on schedule, more or less.  Got home tired, almost feel asleep in my chair, and did my last Human recap, then I started on the story.  And it didn’t start out the way I expected . . .

Originally this scene, titled Tied at One, was supposed to take place in the afternoon, after lunch and before racing started.  24 November, 2012, is the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend in the US, otherwise why would the scene before happen on Black Friday?  But, you know, books aren’t written in stone, at least not any more, so you can change things around as they suit you.  And the way I started seeing this scene play out, I felt it was more of a breakfast scene than something after lunch.  More of a “Kerry is awake but crabby” scene, which is something started in the first couple of paragraphs.

With that in mind I started, and right away I knew where I was going . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

“So what it is we’re having for breakfast?” Walking towards the Great Hall Kerry tried to keep his mind off the fact that right now, at seven in the morning, it was as warm as it was going to get. It was eight Celsius at the moment, and by race time it was going to be about a degree cooler and a whole lot windier. It didn’t help that he’d been sore throughout most of the Friday Midnight Madness, due to having flown over eight hundred kilometers during the Black Friday Scavenger Flight, and that he hadn’t slept well.

Now he was trying to remember the name of the dish she’d planed for them this morning, and failing miserably . . .

“It’s mekitsa.” Annie looped her arm through Kerry’s and hugged it tight to her body. “It’s deep fried dough made with eggs, flour, and yogurt. We’ll have ours with feta cheese, since we both like that.”

“Uh, huh. And this drink—?”

“Ayran. It’s cold yogurt mixed with salt.” She scrunched her shouldered as she thought of the culinary treats. “The last time I had a breakfast like this was the morning I left for Berlin.”

“Why haven’t you had it since?”

“It’s a bit different than princesses or banitsa, and I was concerned you might not enjoy this.”

Kerry pressed against Annie as they walked, smiling for the first time. “How long have I known you?”

She looked upward as if she were deep in thought. “All my life.”

“Mine, too. Have I ever not wanted to try something you’ve recommended?”

This time Annie did consider the question. “Hum . . . no. Everything I’ve ever recommended you’ve not only tried, but liked.”

He nodded. “Which reminds me, I’d love some teshko—”

“Teleshko vareno.” She began laughing at Kerry’s mispronunciation of the Bulgarian beef soup. “I know: it’s going to be chilly today, and a few bowls of that will be perfect. Maybe a large one at dinner—” She snuggled closer and kissed his check. “—another during the Midnight Madness. I can ask Una if they can start a pot this afternoon.”

“Just the think to take off the creeping winter chill.” He waved open the heavy West Entrance door. “After you, Darling.”

“Thank you, my love.” She giggled as she walked through the open passage. Ever since their garden discussion after the Samhain Dance, Kerry had taken to calling her “Sweetie” less and “Darling” more. She loved both sobriquets, but darling touched her more. He’s saying it to be cute, but— She waited for Kerry to join her inside the West Transept as the heavy door swung shut behind him. I can also hear his affection buried inside the word. It means so much to hear him express his love this way

“What are you thinking?” He swooped up behind her and cradled her in his arms.

She leaned back into him, thankful they were standing near one of the walls. “That you’re becoming as Bulgarian as me. You’re learning the language, your love our food—”

“Love certain girls from there.” He hugged her tight and kissed her.

Annie chuckled. “You most certainly do.” She slipped out of his grasp. “Come, my love—” She pulled him towards the Rotunda. “Breakfast awaits.”

 

Yes, the way to a boy’s heart–if you haven’t already gotten it–is to feed him Bulgarian cuisine.  It’s a good thing Annie’s Bulgarian, huh?  And what are these dishes?

First mekitsa.  It’s like Annie said:  it’s deep fried dough made with eggs, flour, and yogurt.  You put a rising agent in the dough, and as it rises you pluck off balls of it, flatten, and throw it in a fryer.  Then you serve it with jam or feta cheese, and you can even use a little powdered sugar on them as well.

Just like this.  Yummy.

Just like this. Yummy.

Ayran is also like Annie said:  a cold yogurt drink made by mixing it with water.  Some say it’s really nothing more than diluted yogurt, but it’s supposed to be cooling and refreshing.   It’s hugely popular in Turkey, but you can find it in Bulgaria as well.

You can see Annie chugging this down while sitting on the deck of her lake house.

You can see Annie chugging this down while sitting on the deck of her lake house.

This last dish mentioned, teleshko vareno.  It’s a beef soup that’s done up either in a pressure cooker or cooked slow for a long time, because the meat used is usually a shank, and you have to cook the hell out of it to get it nice and tender.  By cooking it for hours in a large pot you get all the right spices into the meat and the good smells throughout the house, and it’ll be nice and flavorful, just like with ox tail soup, which I’ve had and love.

Just the sort of thing you'd want on a chilly, windy day.

Just the sort of thing you’d want on a chilly, windy day.

One could say that the reason Annie’s getting Kerry accustomed to all this Bulgarian cuisine is because it’s what she knows, and what she’ll probably cook.  And if she’s going to cook this for him, it means Annie’s thinking long range–

Like, oh, a hundred years down the road.

But there’s gotta be more to this scene than Bulgarian delicacies, yeah?  Well, of course there is–

And it’s about to change tonight.

Remembrances of a Year Past

The close of business yesterday wasn’t the best.  I had to run out and get a new inflatable bed because my last one sprung a leak, and in the process of doing that my bank thought someone was using my card and disallowed the charge (fortunately I had backup), and I split a nail.  Not chipped, not broke:  split it right down the middle.  It wasn’t a bad one, but this is the first nail issues I’ve had in months, and it totally pissed me off to have to cut and file and watch my manicure become damaged.  I know, First World Girl Problems.

That didn’t put me in the best of moods for writing, not to mention I was fading like crazy after carrying this heavy inflatable bed from car to elevator to underground passage to elevator to apartment and then having to set it up.  But there was work to do, and I got to it.  First, I got Act Two organized so I’ll know how many words I’m into it, and still be able to see how much has been added to the novel as a whole.  I filled out the coven rosters a little bit more, and ended up putting Not-Tanith-Anymore where she belonged, and made a change to the racing team rosters because, oops, I made a mistake in the original setup.

My head was all over the place, but still:  six hundred fifty words in, one thousand eighty total for the scene, and here it is, all for you, because you got to hear about other things yesterday:

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry felt complete calm as Annie and he finally reached the Great Hall. The last Saturday of October was Samhain Celebration, and everyone was already in the mood to hang out, relax, and enjoy the festivities—particularly the last part, with the high point being the costumed Samhain Dance. Kerry realized how lucky Annie and he were to still have their lower level lab to used as a place to practice magic and plan other activities, because Penny, Alex, and Jario were driving them crazy trying to learn about their costumes. As Annie told Penny during last night’s Madness, “You’ll see our costumes when you see them.”

Keeping their outfits for the dance under wraps wasn’t the only thing on Kerry’s mind. Unlike last year, where he and Annie spent most of the time hanging out in the Observatory watching racing before getting ready for the dance, this time he’d run at least one race as a member of the Cernunnos B Team. The B Team heats ran from nine-thirty until eleven-thirty, all of them three lap races with Class 1 PAVs on the Green Line. After the B Teams were finished there would be an ninety minute break, and the A Teams would take over from thirteen until fifteen-thirty. Each coven would complete three times over five heats, flying Class 2 PAVs for six alternating laps starting on the Green Line before moving to the Blue Line, and then moving back to the Green.

This month he’d run two races as a member of the Cernunnos B Team, and had done well in both races. While he’d not won yet, the last race he’d finished forth, just missing a podium, and his first race he’d finished second. The schedule had him in a heat at ten between Cernunnos, Blodeuwedd, and Åsgårdsreia, and depending on the outcome of that race, he would either race Ceridwen and Mórrígan, or Ceridwen and either Blodeuwedd, and Åsgårdsreia again. Before last night’s Madness Professor Semplen told Kerry he had a good chance at another podium finish during the first heat, as he’d gotten his podium finish during a race with Åsgårdsreia.

No matter the outcome of his race or races, Kerry would finish by noon, after which Annie and he could relax in the Dining Hall, watch the afternoon races, and get ready for the dance. It wa going to be a good day for racing, and an even better day to enjoyed the evening’s entertainment.

Not to mention having the opportunity to take another stroll through the garden at midnight with Annie at his side . . .

 

B Team stuff there, and though it’s just two races, Kerry seems to be doing well, with a podium and near-podium finish.  And if you’re not familiar with that, think of when you have first, second, and third standing together on boxes, only the boxes are a podium, and that’s what we’re talking about.  Here they take their racing seriously, and laugh at fictional games on brooms.  I mean, flying around throwing a big ball through a hoop while enchanted cannon balls try to knock you out?  Really?

Kerry has his mind on something else, however . . .

 

There was a tap on the back of his left hand: Annie was doing it to get his attention. “You’re off in thoughts again, my love.”

“Yeah, I know.” He waved open the doors of the West Entrance and waited for Annie to enter ahead of him. “Just running over everything in my head.”

“You mean for today.”

They slowed as they walked through the West Transept. “I’ve got the race on my mind, then just, you know . . .” He shrugged and smiled at her as they walked into the Rotunda and turned right. “The dance tonight.”

Annie gave a slight node. “Um, hum. Are you thinking of anything else tonight?”

“Yeah: the walk between the bonfires.”

“As am I.” She stopped him, swung him around to face her, and moved to within centimeters of his body. “I’m also thinking of something after that, my love.”

“So was I, Sweetie. Maybe—” He smiled. “A walk at night in the Pentagram Garden?”

She ran her fingers lightly along his jaw line. “That would make for a perfect end to a wonderful day. Like you, I want to walk between the bonfires.”

 

Walking between bonfires is a highly symbolic ritual at Salem:  you’re basically cleansing the old you of crap you no longer need, and preparing yourself for the seasons ahead.  The bonfire walk as Samhain prepares you for winter and spring, and those at Beltane prepare you for summer and autumn.  And ritual is huge at Salem:  they have just over three hundred years of school history to draw upon, and centuries more that came before that, so it’s there:  it’s always present.  The way certain events are kept in the memories of the students shows just how much the school still believes in ritual and traditions.

Speaking of memories . . .

 

Kerry remembered their walk after the dance, where they’d slowly walked between two huge bonfires letting the heat wash over them before they walked back to The Pentagram in the cool, misting rain. At the time he’d thought it was as perfect as thing could be: their first school function, where they mingled and chatted and danced, where he’d dedicated a song to Annie and they shared the floor alone, a moment where he’d held her close because he feared she may grow light-headed and faint.

It was an important moment for Kerry, for that night he almost told Annie that he loved her. This was before he’d remembered he’d known her through his dream all his life, and that he’d expressed his love to her years before. Last Samhain all he knew was that Annie loved him, that he’d fallen in love with her, and he was being a horrible person because he’d been afraid to express that love.

He’d wanted to tell her that night, but fear and déjà vu prevented the words from coming out. It was only a few days later, after the school was attacked during the Day of the Dead, after he’d saved people and was almost killed by an Abomination, after a night in the hospital where an old dream finally began breaking through the wall of around his mind and heart that he’d accidentally created causing him forget Annie, that he finally told her he loved her—

“My love?”

 

Kerry knows all this now.  He remembers all the stuff about Annie and him before losing his memory of her, and how he re-developed his love of her over time.  As he’s said, maybe there was something in the back of his mind pushing him to remember, and that’s possible, but there new memories of how he fell in love with her again will never go away, either.  It has to be incredible to know that you did return to loving someone as you had once before, and it would have to mean that you were made for each other, yeah?    Deanna was right when she told Annie, “He fell in love with you twice:  how many girls can say that’s happened to them?”

Not many girls at Salem.  Scratch that:  none of the girls at Salem.  Annie’s the only one.

 

Kerry snapped back to real time, to where they were standing just under the first floor landing on the west side of the Rotunda. “I’m sorry—” He slipped his arm around Annie’s shoulders and hugged her. “I was thinking about last year, Sweetie.” He kissed her forehead. “My little sarmi.”

Annie laughed as she playfully slapped his chest. “I am not stuffed cabbage leaves for you to enjoy.”

He laid his hand over hers. “But you do taste good.” He cocked his head slightly to the right and slowly raised his brows.

For just a quick moment Annie blushed, then placed her fingers over Kerry’s lips. “Shush, you. You’re supposed to keep that to yourself.”

“I will, then.” He nodded towards the dining hall entrance. “Shall we?”

 

In case you’re wondering, sarmi is a Bulgarian dish of cabbage leaves wrapped around a mixture of meat and vegetable–in other words, stuffed cabbage leaves.  And Bulgarians love to cover it in a tomato sauce and serve it with a side of sour cream or yogurt.  First she was his pumpkin, and now she’s Kerry’s savory cabbage roll–

Annie:  tasty and delicious since 2011.

Annie: tasty and delicious since 2011.

With all this talk of food, it’s off to breakfast, yeah?

 

“Yes.” She lightly slapped his chest again. “You need your strength.” Annie took him by the hand and led him towards the Dining Hall and breakfast.

They didn’t go far, however. They were just passing the stairs to the hospital when a voice they knew called out. “Kerry.”

He looked up the stairs; Penny was standing about a quarter of a way from the top. “Hi, Penny.”

“Hi.” Penny seemed ill at ease. “Could you come up? We need to talk.”

 

That certainly sounds serious.  And if I’m not too burned out tonight, you’ll find out just what it is going on.

Penultimate Madness

Number nine, number nine, number nine.  That’s what you get when you bring together the numbers for the post.  Don’t know if it means anything, but there it is in all its glory.

This look nothing like the picau ar y maen I ordered--

This looks nothing like the picau ar y maen I ordered–

Last night I inched over the line into one hundred nineteen thousand words, which adds another nine to this party.  I do mean inch, too:  I think my final word total was 119,007.  I had what I was looking for, but I semi distracted myself looking up marvelous pastry confections cooked in Ireland and Wales.  Didn’t find any in Ireland, but found some for Wales, and that was added to my “Things Kids Talk About When They’re Sitting on a Sofa in the Middle of a Big, Dark Room” list.

Plus, I ended the new scene in a spot that, if I’d gone on, I’d have broken my chain of thought for the scene, and when I’d come back to it tonight I’d probably screw something up in the continuation.  I believe it was Chuck Wendig who said when you’re writing end your time with your characters on something of a cliffhanger moment, so when you sit back down at your story, you’ll see that, you’ll wonder what’s next, and the creative juices get flowing again.  When I see that point in my story, I stop and recharge–

But it’s not as if I don’t know where the story is headed.  I know what comes next, I know what Annie and Kerry say next, and I know who I’m introducing in the story next.  Yes, at nearly one hundred and twenty words into the story, I’m bringing in another character.  And why not?  I’ve already had something like twenty characters speak, so throw in one more.

And just because I’m a bit nuts, the people who have so far had speaking part are:  Annie, Annie’s mom, Annie’s dad, Mr. Mayhew, Kerry’s mom, Kerry’s dad, Kerry, Ms. Rutherford, Collin, Alica, Headmistress Laventure, Deanna, Erywin, Helena, Adric, Isis, Coraline, Madeline, Victoria, Wednesday, Harpreet, Emma, Jessica, Holoč, Bianca, Gretchen, Ramona, Matthias, and finally Una.  Forgive me–twenty-nine speakers.  Now I bring in number thirty–this is a party, people, so let’s rock!

I’ll finish up the current scene by this weekend.  I have something I need to work on tonight, so even if I do get to the novel, I won’t write much.  Maybe I will put in a few hundred words to get it where it’s suppose to be, but if not, there it always Thursday and Friday evenings.  Then just one more chapter and a bit of fanfare, for Act One will be in the books, so to speak.  When?  Maybe another ten days, maybe less, maybe more.  But this project should come to an end within the next two weeks.

I keep saying that, but this project won’t end for a long time.  I know this, and I keep telling myself this, but a part of me cringes whenever I figure out just how much I have left to write.  By the end of May I’ll have spent almost a year prepping and writing, and if I’m lucky I’ll be about half way into Act Two by then.

Oi.  Why do I do these things to myself?

Printsessi and Yoghurt at the Line

Had to hunt around a little for the tunes I wanted, but finally settled on video of The Wall Live, performed in Chicago by Roger Waters, and The Joshua Tree by U2.

I have finally reached that magical place where the official finish line for NaNo is in sight.  I am less than a thousand word from fifty, and I have the end in sight.  Well, this end at least.  There’s another to reach this weekend, and then I gotta finish this novel.  But that’s all to come.  Right now I have the fifty goal to reach, and then the rest is just puttin’ down the words as they come.

You may not have guessed it by the title of the post, but my kids are finally, finally at breakfast in the Great Hall.  Nearly all the students are there, there’s a big buffet table of breakfast foods from all over the world present–but, yeah, my main female character, she’s just gotta ask for her printsessi and yoghurt, and if it means someone’s gotta cook it up for her, then they best get into the kitchen and fire up the stove, ’cause there’s a girl out here and she’s hungry!

It was funny writing this part because now I’m starting to get into the day-to-day, and certain things will be said, certain truths will come out.  There was only a couple of hours for me to write last night, because it was necessary to go out and do some running about, but I got it, and even spent twenty minutes after watching the damnedest thing on American Horror Story to get the story up over eighteen hundred words, and closer to the finish.

What I have for writing tonight is the headmistress comes in and lays a little smackdown on the new students, after which they head out and see the campus.  Then it’s back to real life to get some things going.  I’m going to travel tomorrow and a small amount of packing is required.  As strange as I am, I’m already thinking about where I’ll stop so I can eat and get my blogging done, but I did that on the way out to The Burg, so why not do that on the way back to The Real World?  It’s all about getting the wordage down, right?

That means I will find the time to write tomorrow night.  I might not need to do close to two thousand words, but now that the novel is on, and there’s no stopping.  I’ve made my goals–and, yes, I do want to publish this sucker.  That’s the idea with my writing:  it all get published at some point.  Even the bad stuff–which is probably most of it.

This NaNo hasn’t seemed as bad as that others, probably because I’m not churning out words to finish something in a month.  I’ve planed for this moment as much as I’ve planed the story, and when you stick to this kind of plan, it’s not that bad.  Sure, it may not be spontaneous–

But it gets it done.

Daily word count:  1,815.  Total word count:  49,048.

A Night at Ghost Beach

After fifteen days on the Crazy Train, my spreadsheet tells me I’m 83.6% complete, with 41,801 words banked.  My own stats tell me that, after looking at the average word count per chapter, I’m on pace for a 63,930 word story.

It’s a lot of numbers at the moment, but there’s a story in there.  You gotta trust me.

I knew, based upon what I was planing, that this weekend would be about the point where I’d cross the fifty thousand mark in the NaNo marathon.  When I look at last year’s stats, I cross that particular Rubicon on 14 November, when I finished the day with 51,061 words.  If I look at my numbers for the last ten days, there is a possibility I could end up at fifty thousand on Sunday night.  To do that I’ll need to probably have one three thousand word day–

If not, then I finish on Monday.  No big deal.  I can see the stadium off in the distance, so the race is almost over.

As for finishing the story?  That’s a bit trickier.

The chapter I’m working on today–and the chapter that follows–could get into some wordage.  A couple of the chapters that follow could be pretty short, and by that I mean maybe a thousand words, or so.  All that aside, I could still end up with a sixty-five thousand word story.  With a bit of editing, I could get that up to seventy, but lets get the story finished first.

For a while I’ve had this feeling that I’m not writing with the same speed and urgency as I did with last year’s NaNo.  Well, yes and no.  I had a bit of a heart-to-heart with The Muse last night–she’s still around, looking over my shoulder, rubbing my shoulders when necessary–and I’ve discovered the followed:  I’m not in a mad dash to simply throw words upon the page, but rather, I want to have it go out as a clean first draft, rather than a, “What the hell is this crap?” first draft.

My goal for NaNo was to get two thousand words a day behind me, and I’ve held to that.  There was one day when I just barely made that total, but numbers be met, and I’ll take what I wrote.  But as I told the Muse, this has also been one story where I’ve had to dive into the well and pull up research as I was writing, and unlike last year, that’s slowed me down.

Last year it was all about fantasy; this year it’s still about fantasy, but fantasy that exists in a real world wrapper, and there are names, there are weapons, there are streets, there are locations . . . hell, there’s even having to check what the stars are going to look like next year on a certain night on the other side of the world, and how one would eat pressed grilled bananas covered in sauce when your character are at the beach.

That’s where I was last night:  I have my characters waiting to see someone, they’re standing on a beach front in the city of Makassar, and I wanted to set a mood . . . so I’m looking at how the sky looked at the time, and I knew what they were going to eat, but I wasn’t certain how they’d eat it, or how it would be packaged–and therein is the need to run off and look things up.  Which I did.

So even among the writing, even with all the research, there’s work to be conducted, things to find.

And find them I do . . . that’s why I’m a writer.