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 . . .

 

Dawn’s Early Ideaing

Things hit us in the most usual way.  Get five and a half hours of sleep, wake up feeling relaxed and semi-aware, and that’s no telling what’s going to happen next.

In my case, I have an idea what might happen next, but at the moment it’s only in the formative stage . . .

I wake up as I also do, early, because I can’t seem to sleep in to save my life.  I went to bed about midnight, which I didn’t expect as I’d been wake for almost twenty hours, and a few hours before I felt as if I was going to collapse.  Have a good dinner, though, and get to chatting with someone, and you find your second wind coming on strong.

Nothing special going on, nothing out of the ordinary happening.  No sudden flashes of inspiration that make you go, “Hum.”  Off to bed and into dreamland . . . which, I must say, was not that great a thing.  Last night’s dreams sucked, and I could do without the nonsense that filled my mind.  There was nothing there that I wanted, and less I’d want coming true.  So no inspiration what so ever, move along.

Up I was, lying in bed, and considering what I was going to do today, and . . . it hit me.  I started thinking about something that, at first, didn’t have a name.  It didn’t even have a character, but there was a scene that stuck with me, and the more I thought about it, the clearer that scene became–

Within five minutes I knew who the main character was, and what other main character would join her, and why the scene I imagined was happening.  I got up and started getting ready so I could run over to Panera and begin blogging while I enjoyed a tasty breakfast with coffee, and my mind ran with the idea.  By the time I was finished with all the little things I do to get the day started, I knew most everything about the story, and by the time I had my makeup in place, I had my title.

I’m rather proud of myself, ’cause I came up with something new in about twenty minutes, and I really do know this idea is a short story–probably the shortest I’ve ever written.  I have some editing to finish up today, and I want there to be the possibility that I’m going to write this sucker today.  I keep saying that it shouldn’t take long–a few hours, maybe?  It’s just doing it.  And I have felt like “doing it” since finishing my last story edits.

This will be too small to sell online, so I’m considering posting it on the blog for all to read, and perhaps linking it to another blog for the people who go there.  It’d be a nice little experiment:  a quick story, put together on the spur of the moment, and written in Fast and Furious mode.  Not to mention it allows me to show a couple of my favorite characters being–well, themselves.

Hey, sometimes it’s all about those little moments that move us forward . . .

Never Small and Simple

I fool myself a lot, I really do.  I do what I can, I work hard, and I strive to get ahead.  I set goals for myself that some say are ambitious, others says may be a little foolish, but they are my goals, and I do my best to get them done.

There are some thing, though, I just can’t do.  I’m not talking about being able to read minds:  I do believe I’ll get that talent licked one of these days.  No, I’m talking about something else–

I’m talking about being able to write a short story.

When I set out doing Fantasies in Harmonie, I told people, a few people, a number of people, that I was going to “keep it short”.  It’s fantasy erotica, and if you want people to be interested, you gotta get right to the sex.  Most of the stuff out there–by which I mean, “The tentacle sex stories on Smashwords“–seem to be between five thousand and eight thousand words, so if you’re doing it sexy, you’re doing it short.

I’ve mentioned that writing short can sometimes be a problem for me.  The shortest thing I’ve published is just short of ten thousand words–the maximum for what most people consider a short story–and the longest . . . well, it was so long I decided to cut it into three novels.  As my ex would say of Stephen King, “He’s too wordy,” and I seem to have the same problem.  Not that I consider it a problem, but there are some who have told me I’m a good writer if I can’t do a short story. (To which I had a rather choice reply, but that’s another story . . .)

Therefor, when writing Fantasies in Harmonie, I knew I was going to keep it short, keep it simple, make it all about the smut and put a fake name on the sucker–

Yeah, right.

I finished my eight hundred words last night–I was feeling down, didn’t really feel like writing, but I got it in–and I looked at where I am in the tale.  I’m eight hundred and twenty-three words into the current scene–which happens to be the second scene of the second part, which is–lemme see . . . sixty-two hundred words into the story.

And no sex at all.  Hell, I just now got to the fantasy transformations!

Issac Asimov once said that short stories were probably the hardest thing to write.  Yeah, I know:  he wrote like two hundred of them, so how hard can it be?  If you look at that another way, he knew how hard it was, because he’d taught himself to become good in that form, and that took a lot of work to develop that talent.  There are a lot of reasons why shorts are not that prevalent today, number one of which seems to be a lack of markets for writers to peddle their wares.

Back in the day of the Golden Age of Science Fiction there were hundreds of markets for shorts, and not only could one sell a three thousand word story for a penny a word, but actually live on that, writers went for that gold.  Today, you want to do a short story, you’ll probably post it to an internet board and not see a dime for you effort–you’ll be lucky to get one comment.

This isn’t about markets with me, however:  this is about what I do.  And I do novelettes, novellas, and novels.  I don’t have a problem with that–

I do hope people like my long form erotica, though.

I’m telling you, it’s gonna be hot.