Ready for Overnight Flight

So, here we are, sitting around waiting.  In my case I’m waiting for my laundry to finish, because I’ve run out of unmentionables to wear, and a girl’s gotta have clean unmentionables.

And I got my nails done yesterday, too.

And I got my nails done yesterday, too.

Once laundry is finished I’ll need to run out and pick up a few things, and I figure I’ll get out about eleven or so.  Once all that’s done, I’ll start on the next scene, which sees Kerry heading off to go camping.  And, believe it or not, I’ve been getting ready for this moment . . .

First off, I’ve worked on the route my group is going to take.  As was sort of mentioned in the prior scene Friday–the day after the camp out–there will be a lot of flying.  The reason for that will get covered another scene, but it’s all over the place.  Love my maps, you know, because it really helps to know where my students are at certain times, and that also means I can check on weather conditions for those areas.  Because, you know, it’s gonna be cold, and there may be snow.

You’ve seen the brooms they’ll fly–everyone’s on Class 1s–and you’re kinda seen the camp site–

Right here.

When it’s not cold and gloomy and dark.

Which is easier to see from above–

North of the mountains and just south of the Allagash.

North of the mountains and just south of the Allagash.

Now, since there is a line heading off the top of the map, it’s pretty much a given that my fliers are heading off in that direction come Friday morning.  More of that will come out as I write not the next scene, but the scene after.

Now, gear.  There are tents, cots, and sleeping bags, not to mention food and hydration systems.  Let’s get this out of the way right now:  these are not TARDIS tents.  They are not bigger on the inside and decked out with all the comforts of home.    Nope, these tents are simple two-person, four season, cabin tents with a vestibule, just like Normal people use.

Though most of overnight tents will be combinations of black and white.

Just like this, though most of overnight tents will be combinations of black and white for tundra conditions.

The reason for having a vestibule is simple:  it’s a place where brooms and backpacks can be stored for the evening and remain out of the elements.  When the vestibule is zipped closed, it makes it easier to get things needed without having to worry about letting in wind and, in the case of these campers, maybe snow.

The cots are ultra light and remain close to the ground.  This way while they fill up the floor of the tent, they’re not so impossibly large that it makes it difficult to move around.  You can be assured that the sleeping bags will be able to handle the cold, either in the middle of Maine in mid-December, or somewhere in Canada in the middle of January.

It looks so cozy in there, doesn't it?

It looks so cozy in there, doesn’t it?

How are they going to carry all this stuff?  Thirty-six liter backpacks, that’s how.

Like these, only without the scenery.

Like these, only without the scenery.

Everything they’re gonna carry–save for their brooms–goes in the packs, and I know what you’re thinking:  how do they get everything in there?  Well, you’re gonna find out about the Compression and Expansion spells soon enough, and for the advanced fliers not in Advanced Spells–*cougheveryonebutonekidcough*–those are two spells they have to know by the end of their B Levels or they’re not gonna be allowed off the school grounds to go camping alone.  Does this mean Kerry knows these spells?  Well . . . you’ll have to see, won’t you?

It should also go without saying that the material is enchanted so it’s stronger, more resistant to cold and wind and rain, even a little lighter.  Now, that doesn’t means that the cold stays out completely–after all, what if you’re stuck with nothing but Normal equipment?  You may just have to rough it, or know how to craft the right spells to keep yourself nice and comfy.

Like I say quite often, writing isn’t always writing.  You want to get little details like these down, then you do your research and get everything together.  This is why getting scenes written don’t always go as smoothly as expected.  Sometimes you really do have to find the things you need to make the things you say sound a little more convincing.

Once More Westward Bound

For once you’re getting me without much to say and not a lot to offer.  It’s almost five forty-five here in The Burg, and the sun is coming up, it looks like a nice day, I’ve got music going in my earbuds, and I’ve just finished a small tub of yogurt for breakfast.

What’s the reason for this?  I’m back on the road in a few hours.

Yes, once again I’m making my westerly trek to Indiana, and this time, rather than come to you from a service plaza in eastern Ohio, I’m still at home in my pajama bottom and cami top, almost all the way packed and ready to go.  I just need to get dressed, do my face, grab my bags, and head for the car.  Then get on the road and spend eleven hours heading back to the Midwest.

And finish this post, too.

I look exactly like this, even though this picture is nine hours old.  Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.

I look exactly like this right now, writing this post, even though this picture is nine hours old. Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.

Now, this doesn’t mean I didn’t write:  I did manage another six hundred and seventy words last night, but it was tough writing due to my head being somewhere else.  What I hope to do is get on the road in the next ninety minutes, arrive back in Indiana somewhere between seven and eight PM, relax, have a little something to eat, then finish the last few hundred words of the scene before going to bed.  This is the first scene I’ve done in a while where I’m just squirting out the words, a few hundred at a time, and it’s slow going getting to seventeen hundred and fifty words, which is where the scene sits right now.  But I am getting here.

One of the things I need to do tomorrow is renumber the rest of the chapters and start adding in scenes I know are needed.  I looked over the novel last night before I got to writing, making a few notes here and there for the future chapters, and I begin seeing where things need adding.  And the Samhain Chapter is one of those.  I guess this means I finally know what I’m doing with this story, ’cause–believe it or not–I don’t always have everything thought out.  Like I said, I plot it out in a meta data sort of way, but that is by no means a guaranty that I have everything figured out.  Like in the last novel with Kansas City:  I was figuring out things days, or hours, before I wrote.  It’s how I am.

The end is almost here, and at the rate I’m going, I believe I’ll be down to the car right about seven AM, which is six back in the ‘Ol Homestead.  I hope for good driving all the way home, but I have a feeling about three hours after I’m into my trip I’m look a little like this–

Otherwise known as "I'm driving through Pittsburgh."

Otherwise known as “I’m driving through Pittsburgh.”

I’ll have excerpts for you tomorrow.  I promise.

Would I lie?

Imaginary Journeys Past and Future

Back to work for a short time yesterday before heading out to get labs and dinner after almost twenty-four hours of fasting–a certainty that I’m back in The Burg and getting into my normal routine once more.  This also means that I’m back to the plotting and  planning and whatnot, and you’re right if you said I was up to something last night.

Most of the evening was taken up getting the last of the tour of Europe I’m sending my kids on in their future finished.  It wasn’t hard, believe me, because there were only three other cities to visit, with a stopover in Brno for a quick early lunch and a fast dart around the track before heading off to Vienna.

Who do you think won that race?  Wanna take bets?

Who do you think won that race? Wanna take bets?

It was a good thing I decided to plan out this trip, because it showed me where I could expand the stay overs to allow them their fifty days on the road.  It also allowed me to figure out where they were going to stay while roaming about Europe, and looking up hotels and imagining them waking up to see a Paris side street, or the historical square of Prague, or the blue Danube flowing past, was part of the entertainment that comes from putting stuff like this together.

Which is how I go from this--

Which is how I go from this–

To this.

To this.

And you should see the Junior Suites at the Hotel de L’Europe.  Oi.  Those kids got taste.

What does the whole trip look like?  A bit like this:

All through Europe, there and back again.

All through Europe, there and back again.

One of the last legs of this journey has them flying from Budapest to Sofia while following the course of the Danube for most of the way.  They end up spending about four hours in the air, their longest leg after the first.  Like with some of the other cities, staying in Sofia allows Annie the chance to show Kerry around the city and the country beyond.  It’ll also be a little comforting to her, to spend a few days in her home country before heading off for that lake house not far from her parent’s house.

And what happens after they arrive there?  I know what happens, but you’ll have to wait until I write the D Level novel to find out what goes down.  I’m just not telling you, at least not now.  All you need to know right now is that Kerry somehow ends up at Annie’s home in Pamporovo, he’s got his Espinoza, and he’s not afraid to use it.

But before I can get to D, I gotta get through B . . .

I checked my blog this morning and notice the countdown timer has changed–

I'm into days now!

I’m into days now!

Thirty days to go, and I wonder if when it gets down to less than a day if it’ll go to hours.  Doesn’t matter:  the time is set and it’s a go.  I will try to, at the least, finish the first scene, and perhaps the second and third as well.  The first scene starts off with Kerry back home, and then it goes from . . . there.  What happens next?

You’ll see in a month.

In the Time of Travel

Well, it’s upon me again:  Travel Day.  In a few hours I’ll need to get going and head out on the road back to Harrisburg, and spend most of the day zooming across the flats of Indiana and Ohio, into the Cuyahoga River valley, and off into the mountains of Pennsylvania.  It’s a long drive, and I don’t expect to reach my apartment until sometime after ten tonight.

What does that look like?  A little like this:

Cue River Deep, Mountain Wide.

Cue River Deep, Mountain Wide.

Six hundred and forty miles one way (or one thousand thirty kilometers, if you prefer), almost thirteen hundred miles round trip, done three times a year.  Including two stops in Ohio that are needed for fuel and food, it’s about an eleven hour drive.

I’m really getting tired of taking this trip, too.

There was a time when I truly looked forward to the trip back to my “real” home, but these days it seems as if the only reason I’m here to do a lot of running around and to get things done that need to be done, but no one else wants to do them.  Get the taxes done; get the cars tested and tagged; put in a new router.  That’s been pretty much everything done while here, and because of problems I had getting my car tested correctly for emissions (which was needed before I could buy new tags), I did a lot of running around and spent a whole lot of money, and never really had the chance to start the paper work on getting my name changed.

But I’m not going to put that last on hold.  I’ll get the research done while I’m in Harrisburg, and, if possible, start the paper work from there.  If nothing else I’ll dip into the 401(k) and hire a lawyer to handle that and the gender marker change, then return to Indiana next when it’s time to appear in court to get all this approved.

I’ve promised to return in July after the project I’m on is delivered and my contact is renewed–though that last is always a “maybe” proposition at best.  I’ll know in a couple of weeks if the State of Pennsylvania wants me for another year.  If so, I’ll probably stay.  If not, I’ll have a couple of months to find something new.

Either way, today more or less reaffirms that my real home is back in Harrisburg, and I’m just visiting Indiana these days.  Where as all I do is run around doing things in Indiana (where the new state motto is “We Won’t Cater Pizza For Your Gay Wedding”), back home in The Burg is where I’m working and being creative and going shopping and meeting people.

It’s where, frankly, I have a life.

Give it about two hours and I’m on the road.  I may stop at Panera before I get to traveling to have breakfast and take a selfie here.  Then it’s onto the toll road and hit the cruise and I’m good until I reach western Ohio, my first fuel stop.  (True fact:  I always stop in Ohio because they have the best service centers on the trip.)

Twist through the mountains tonight, and when I come out of the last one I’m about thirty minutes from parking the car for the night.

Thirty minutes from home.

Yeah, I can’t wait.

After the Turnpike Shuffle

Here I am, more or less safe and sound, back in the old homestead of Indiana.  Let me tell you, it was a wild ride yesterday.

As I may have indicated I started out from Harrisburg about midnight, so by about five in the morning, after only about, oh, no sleep in almost twenty-four hours, I was completely out of it.  I ended up stopping at the service plaza after the one where I posted yesterday’s blog entry, used the bathroom, and slept in the car for a little over an hour.  Outside.  In the cold.  Wrapped up in my jacket.  I’ve done worse, trust me.

Lack of sleep was probably one of the reasons I seemed to get through western Ohio pretty fast, because I wasn’t paying attention to anything but the road before me.  But I made it back to Valparaiso with almost no gas in the car, managed to get unpacked, and napped for almost another hour before taking my shot.

And got the picture in my HRT folder just so I can see how I keep changing.

And got the picture in my HRT folder just so I can see how I keep changing.

I was exhausted though, and was asleep by nine-thirty at night here, or ten-thirty back home, and only woke up once to use the bathroom before crawling out of bed at a little after seven in the morning, or eight back in The Burg.  That’s a good rest for me–

Oh, I should mention, I edited last night.

Really, would you expect anything less?

Really, would you expect anything less?

I did chapters Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three, and started falling asleep as I looked over Chapter Twenty-Four, the penultimate chapter.  It’s because of that last–the falling asleep part–that I decided to call it a night and slink off to bed.

(Just a bit of trivia now:  while Chapter Twenty-Four, the next to last chapter, is known as the penultimate chapter, Chapter Twenty-Three is known as the antepenultimate chapter, Chapter Twenty-Two is the preantepenultimate chapter, and Chapter Twenty-One is the propreantepenultimate chapter.  The Coda is the ultimate chapter, naturally.  Now go forth and amuse your friends.)

I’m happy with how the edit has gone, and I’ll likely do another fast pass through the story before getting to the final draft.  It’s clean, and being as short as it is–just under seventy thousand words–I can give it a read-through in about two weeks.  Bit I will feel far more comfortable with on more pass through the story before I decide it’s ready to upload to Smashwords and ready for publication.

Today I do laundry and a few other things, and I finish Kolor Ijo for sure.  It’s almost ready, and I think it’s a good addition to my tiny catalog of publications.  I’m thinking more about B For Bewitching, and I know I’ll work on the Annie and Kerry Euro Trip time line some, probably this afternoon, because I’m itching to do that.

Oh, and another picture:

Behold the horror of morning without makeup!

Behold the horror of morning without makeup!

Yeah, just to show people I’m alive, I snapped this about forty minutes ago, after a bushed my teeth and shaved.  (Yes, I still do that–bummer.)  No makeup, nothing used to bring out my face, and I’m still in my pajamas.  This is how I look while I’m typing this line . . .

Hope I didn’t scar you with that image.  Haha!