Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where did that come from?

It's happened again. A few days ago I was scribbling away perfectly content with what I was going to put down. It all made sense; I knew where the story was going. And then up pops this tiny little detail as I wrote. Really, it's such a small thing I should be able to just move past it, but I can't. It has the potential to add a new dimension to the story. I just can't quite weave it in at the moment. I ought to let it lie there on the page and ignore it, but I kind of have a pact with myself. If I have gone to the trouble of bringing the reader's attention to something, I had better make sure that it's relevant. These are not the things that jump off the page and scream PLOT POINT!! I hope they are the kind of thing that when the thread is revealed the reader goes "Ahh! So that's why so-and-so did such-and-such. Darn. I should have seen that coming," and then want to read the book again to pick up on the other clues. Well. That's the hope.
Understand that I haven't stall out. I'm not getting much time to write but I am still moving along as and when I can and I'm interested to see where this rabbit leads me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

I'm back on the road again. It was really lovely being at home for most of December, but needs must when the Devil drives. Can anyone explain that to me? It has to be one of the most convoluted saying we have. I digress. I'm in the frozen North -- well to be honest it's Ohio which probably doesn't quite qualify for the the "frozen" appellation, but it's a lot further North than Charlotte, NC and a darn sight colder too. Anyway to get back to the point again... I picked up my rental car in Dayton (travel tip -- it's a lot cheaper to fly to Dayton than to Columbus) and drove to Columbus yesterday, and overnight it snowed. Not a huge amount, just an inch or so, enough to cover the car with a good layer.
At 7:30 a.m. I stepped out of the hotel.
I said Good Morning to a man and a woman who were standing out in the cold smoking. Addicts must get their fix apparently. My car was right next to theirs, and they'd already cleaned theirs off. I unlocked my door, started the engine and began looking for the scraper that should have been on the back seat and what do you know? It wasn't there. Cursing beneath my breath, I clambered out of the car and began to wipe the snow from the windows with my gloved hand.
"You haven't got a scraper then?" The man said to me.
Brilliant piece of observation I thought. "No. the rental car company must have forgotten to put it in." I quipped back, sharp as the Easterly breeze that was blowing new flakes in my face.
"Min," the man said, "Get the scraper out and clean up the car for her."
And Min -- I have to assume that the woman's name was Min -- immediately opened the trunk of their car, pulled out a scraper and did just that. While I chatted with the man she cleaned every window, and did a far better job of it than I would have.
"Min," the man said,"Don't forget the hood." He then proceeded to tell me that in Connecticut it's an offense to drive a car with snow on the hood.
I thanked them both, especially Min, and as I drove off I thought This is going to be a good day.
And it was.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Crazy days -- crazy nights

Phew! I'm grabbing a few moments to post in the madness that has become my life this week. What day is it? Oh yes. Friday and it's the ninth day of the New Year. I've been beyond busy. Busy is a vaction! Good gravy, people, I just checked my cell phone usage for the month -- that's all nine days of it and I've used over 700 minutes already! And that doesn't even begin to show the hours I've put in when I'm NOT talking on the phone! It's totally ridiculous. And needless to say, I haven't been writing for the last few days. Simply can't find the time. I could have written a few words instead of this (which I'm doing while I apply a patch to one of our instances -- mulitasking is something I do naturally, so that's how busy I've been) but I figured I needed to make by excuses publicly.
The story continues to bubble, the Pulse is glaring balefully at me. I nver knew that an inanimate object could make me feel so guilty.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The eighth dwarf

I've been working all weekend so no additional words added to Project Tevan today. I have thought up some new stuff which I'll write over the next few days, and one name that kept eluding me has consolidated into something better than the placeholder I had for it. The character is minor, but even so it's nice to have a decent name for him.
Apart from that the spouse hasn't been feeling very well. I'm not the tea and sympathy kind of person ( maybe that's why I'm not in the nursing profession?) but I've been doing my best to cluck solictiously as required. Oh well. He knew that when he married me.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Project Tevan Snippet

I thought I'd post a snippet from my WIP which doesn't have a title yet. I'm calling it Project Tevan as a placeholder. The usual rules apply, please don't post it anywhere or reproduce it in any way. This is a first draft, so it's subject to spelling mistakes, gramatical errors, and will likely change before it makes it to the final version. A prize if you can spot the part that sparked my Better than silly Putty post. So whadda ya think?

I walked into the Officers' Mess expecting the place to be nearly empty, but several of the tables were already taken. The one that caught my eye was occupied by a lone man. He had his head in his hands, elbows resting on either side of his plate of untouched food. His fingers massaged his forehead and his eyes were tight shut.


I hesitated. Should I sit somewhere else, or go and sit with him? Damnall. Before the attack there wouldn't have been a problem. Tevan would have eaten in the main Mess Hall. But that had been given over to house the civilian population, what remained of them. Now all the troops used the Officers' Mess for eating and for recreation. I walked over to him. Garick had said that I must act normally around Tevan in case he realized that we knew what his game was. Easy for Garick to say, not so easy for me, though. "What's up with you?" I kicked the leg of the table as I said it.

He let his hands fall and opened his eyes. Sea green eyes. I've never seen eyes like them. The furrows on his brow did not smooth out. "Good morning, Flight Captain Varda." The slight mocking note in his voice that was always there when he did not want to be disturbed.

The mug beside his left hand steamed, giving off the odor of willowbark tea. So. Tevan had a headache, did he? I scraped the chair opposite him out from the table making sure it made as much noise as possible. "Were you drinking last night?" I made it an accusation. It didn't seem possible. Haldur had made a big point of forbidding any of us from taking wine or spirits. Plain water or beer was all that they served at dinner in the Officers' Mess now. The beer was not much stronger than the water. Still, Tevan had been know to break the rules before now, and there was no knowing what he may have stashed in his locker.

He ignored the question and began moving the food around his plate. His hands had a film of grime on them, I noticed. So. He'd been up early then, grooming Walmar for our part in the day's ceremony. Typical Tevan not to bother to wash before coming to eat.

"You need to get out of your roughs in short order." I waved at the orderly at the serving table and pointed to Tevan's plate. The man understood. He began shovelling slop onto a plate. "I don't intend to be late today." The ice in my voice must have got through. Tevan winced.

"I will join you, if I may." Garick's voice sounded behind me. It was not a question. He sat down at the head of our table. He was in full dress uniform, brushed to perfection. I doubted that any mote of dust would dare to settle on his black tunic. The silver rank bars in rows along the sleeve with the two gold stars of the Communication Corp arrayed above them, glittered with his every move. The tiny lightning strike embroidered on his high collar denoted his Watcher status, the shiny black thread in subtle contrasted with the matt black of the woollen serge.

Tevan's expression didn't change. He carried on playing with his food and made no attempt to stand to salute Garick as he should have. I kicked him under the table and jerked my eyebrows upward but he ignored me. I kicked him again. This time he shambled to his feet.

"Excuse me, Staff Officer. I have to prepare for my duty."
"Sit down, Pilot, and eat your meal." Garick growled, then shot a glance at me. 'You too, Flight Captain."

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009

Happy New Year everyone. I hope it's better than 2008, which, all thing considered for me wasn't so bad if you discount the simply awful time I had writing. That' s gone, for which I am extremely grateful.

I wish you all the very best of luck, health, happiness and fortune. For the writers among you, I hope you find inspiration and characters that haunt you through the best and the worst of times. I wish your plot lines to be convoluted and satisfying and above all else, I hope you are happy with what you write no matter if it it gains public recognition. And I hope that the editing process is satisfying, because you know it's making your work better.

Cheers, everyone. Here to a fantastic New Year.