You don’t have to tell me what day it is today: I live a few blocks from several bars and I’m sure I’ll hear yelling and screaming a-plenty tonight. For a while in Chicago, some of us called 17 March “Drunk Teenager Day” ’cause the suburban kids would take the trains into the city and get totally blind due to the taverns and beer gardens not giving a single shit who got served, and while walking through The Loop it was not unusual to find teenagers passed out, face down, on a sidewalk.
Ah, yes: St. Patrick’s Day. A good day for boozin’ and losin’, for letting out whatever demons you had hidden inside after downing a dozen pints.
“This is our eighth pint, so after this whaddya say we go get mani-pedis and then engage in a bit of the ‘ol ultra violence, lasses?”
As for me, I’m French-German, so I spend all my time hating myself, and I never needed a special day to get stiff. But now my character Kerry Malibey, he’s Welsh-Irish with an abusive, alcoholic paternal grandfather he’s only met once, and as he will say at one point in my current novel, if he only had some Scottish blood in his family everyone in England could hate him . . . well, he doesn’t get into the day, either. Though it is the day is likes to run around yelling, “Erin Go Braless!”, so that’ll probably pop up in the story at some point.
That hasn’t happened yet, because where I last left things in my novel it was 11 September and Annie was leading his sleepy butt home. No, March was some time off in the distance, but in a little while Kerry’s gonna start thinking about Ostara and playing a song, not to mention dealing with a whole lotta other things that have happened, and will.
Yesterday I got back into the story. I pulled up Part One and looked over the first three scenes I had already revised, gave them a second pass, then looked at Chapter One and Two and said, “Hey, it’s not like I got anything else to do today.”
That’s why this happened:
You leave a writer alone with their thoughts and a story, and stuff happens–
That’s quite a lot of scenes with “Revised” next to them. I didn’t do a formal word check, but it’s probably close to seventeen thousand words, and all of the–the first and second passes–was done yesterday.
I’ll tell you: I liked what I read.
It takes its time, it lays things out–and yet, the scenes go a lot faster than I remember writing them. That’s probably due to having to think about what went into them, so some of those seven hundred word scenes took over an hour to write. But the read-throughs were fantastic, and I didn’t need to change a lot. Found the misspelled words and the lines that didn’t make sense, and even caught a continuity error or two–like when the kids are aboard the 747 that’s going to take them to Boston, and Annie remembers Kerry saying there was an upstairs to the plane, only in the scene before, when he was telling her about this 747-400, he never tells her that, so split the screen, bring up the scene, and in goes a quick line. Done.
And I relived some nice moments I hadn’t seen since the beginning of November. Like this from when the kids are heading to Amsterdam by train and they’re nearing The Chunnel:
(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
Kerry sat in the aisle chair with Collin to his left. Annie sat across from Kerry, with Alica to her right. Collin didn’t seem to care about what was happening outside the window; he was lost in the football magazine he’d picked up at the station before they boarded. Alica watched the scenery flash by, alternating between looking bored and angry.
She sat quietly, hand folded in her lap, ankles crossed. Every so often she’d glance out the window, but for the most part she sat looking straight ahead.
Kerry knew she was looking at him.
Turning away from the window, he finally looked back. “What?”
Annie smiled. “Nothing.” Her tone came out like a soft coo around her accent. “I’m only sitting.”
“Yeah, but you’re looking at me.”
He shook his head. “You use a lot of questions to get around not giving answers.”
“Do I?” Annie chuckled at her own cleverness.
Alica rolled her eyes. “Oi, you two.”
Kerry snorted at Alica. “Oi, yourself.”
“She’s playing with you, Malibey.”
Kerry stifled a yawn. “And you know this how?”
“You’re a bit of a thick git, aren’t you?” She drew one leg up and set her foot upon the chair. “You may have noticed I’m a girl, so I know a bit about this stuff, ‘kay?”
Annie turned towards Alica, her eyes no longer sparkling with mischief. “You may know about being a girl, but you don’t know me.”
Alica giggled dryly. “I’m not into girls, hon, so I don’t really want to know you.” She smiled as she shot a look in Kerry’s direction. “I got interests elsewhere.”
Annie’s jaw tightened: Kerry couldn’t see her eyes, but he saw her brow slip down towards her eyes. He thought about what Alica said, then realized what she getting at. “Oh. Oh.”
“Oh what, Welsh boy?” Alica chuckled again. “You know, you’re cute when you’re actin’ simple.”
This finally elicited a comment from Annie. “He’s not simple.”
“Oh, what do you care, Kirilova?” She ignored Annie and remained focused on Kerry. “You know, I may just let you be my friend.”
There was no chuckling or snorting this time: Kerry laughed aloud. “I feel honored.”
Yes, this is the way you become indoctrinated in the way of girls, young man. But if you think this is bad, kid, just wait until you land and it’s late Thursday night . . .
With me heading back to The Real Home at the end of the week, I’ll have time to give the novel a pass through, maybe get half of it edited before I start on Act Two. That will certainly speed up editing. when it comes time to getting this sucker ready for publishing.
But I enjoyed what I’ve written. Maybe the story will get bogged down by what comes next, because shit does get heavy the moment they walk through the doors. That’s what editing is for: to unbog things and make them pretty. If so, bring it on, because I’m certainly in love with my novel once again.
All Hail the Writin’ Lass.