I admit I was hoping to break 60K by the end of today, but to do that I’d have to be self-abusive and willing to write what–even by my lax first-draft standards–would be unsalvagable drivel. Pages upon pages of “And then McReporterpants did the thingie with the watchamacallit. Theodolite? Look this up later.”
So – today, words that are better than the above:
July 27 2,308 for a grand total of 58,378 words. Here’s what they looked like before I typed them:
(Sponsor me here! Win Naming Rights to an Island on Stormwrack!)
I had a look at the outline and I’m not as far from the end of the plot as I would have guessed. Maybe another 15,000 words until the thing’s Frankensteined together? I’ve never been good at making these kind of guesstimates.
What I did today to celebrate the end of the Write-A-Thon was go to the Urban Tea Merchant and spend two and a half hours imbibing Royal Darjeerling tea, little sandwiches and luxurious baked goodies while scribbling the above words. It was a very enjoyable wrap-up to the whole Write-A-Thon ritual; I commend it to you all.
I plan to keep up the current pace, of course, until I finish the draft. And then go back and rewrite, and rewrite some more, and then some more.
My UCLA Extension Writers’ Program course, Novel Writing II, is in full swing and I haven’t yet found a book that goes well with fourteen student novels-in-progress.
I am continuing to write about 1200-1500 words a day on my current novel, as part of my Clarion West Write-A-Thon commitment. The naming contest is still on the go for sponsors. Right now, a donation of any size will get you into the draw for a chance to name a landmark, person or animal species. It’ll take at least $35 to be the biggest donor and thereby get the right to name an island nation. Here’s a snippet about another island, Tiladene:
“Perhaps, too, since you’re an outlander . . . ”
What else had she done? “Yes?”
“Lais Dariach . . . he’s from Tiladene.”
Tiladene. That word was on one of Gale’s coins. “You said that. So?”
“They’re somewhat . . . promiscuous.”
The significant look on Dracy’s face made her want to giggle. “You mean sexually promiscuous?”
“They don’t believe in marriage–in faithfulness.”
“Okay, got it. Your other passenger–”
Lais is from Friends with Benefits Island.”
Planet of the Polyamorous Sluts, she thought, lightheaded. Didn’t the Star Trek guys used to go somewhere like that for shore leave?
And then: A little shore leave wouldn’t be the worst idea I ever had. And he is cute.
Over at Tor, I’m up to rewatching “The Zeppo.” How fun is that?
Meanwhile, a recent peek at the Clarion West Write-a-Thon notes (Sponsor me here! Win intangible things!) reveals the following metrics:
July 9th 1,092 words, for a total of 36,155
July 8th 1,017 words
July 7th 1,415 words
July 6th 1,400 words
July 5th 1,147 words
Here’s a snapshot of an island nation you can’t name on Stormwrack, a little place by the name of Tallon:
Home. Royl could make out the drydocks, the riggers, the sailmaker’s quarter. Standing well back from the water was an ugly brick plug of a building where the spellscribes worked, enchanting unbreakable masts, wheels that could hold a course, for a time, without a navigator and figureheads that called out in the fog or the dark, whenever a vessel came within sight of their carved, painted eyes.
The Yards were the one great sight of his birth island, a long stretch of busy industry as far as the eye could see, men and women assembling the bones of cutters like the one he’d been sailing these past thirty years. The ships of the Tall were famous. Many a great ship of the Fleet–Constitution, the seat of the government, came from the Yards, and so did the fastest ship on the Nine Seas, Courser. The poor doomed frigate Gulietta was a Tall’s ship, as was the craft that sank her, the stolen pirateer Bleedlove.
This comes from one of The Gales, a wip currently called “Losing Heart among the Tall.”
As I mentioned in this post, I’m trying to get back into the habit of telling you all a little something, now and then, about my actual life. Part of what makes this tricky, for me, is that this presupposes that there’s a nice clean boundary between my work and some ephemeral rest.
Frex: I’m buoyantly happy with the writing I’ve been doing lately. Happy! Personal thing. Joy of creation. Bubbling thoughts of protagonist angst. Intriguing plot challenges. Delighted . . . with the fiction writing. Which is kind of my main job. And yet it’s a job I perform in a lovely cafe environment, with twelve ounces of latte within easy reach, in the company of people who aren’t quite my friends though I’m awfully fond of many of them.
Or, hey: I want to go to Vancouver Aquarium with Barb sometime soon as a birthday outing. And OMG, they’re charging $27 to let you in the door now, plus I think they get rights to your genetic code. We’ve both agreed it’s worth it, especially as they have penguins, holy crap, peeeeenguins!! now. (If any of you has a 2 for 1 coupon you won’t be using this summer, let’s talk).
So, you know, outing with one’s mother, to a nice tourist attraction, to celebrate her getting older. Personal, definitely. Except you all know I’m going to do the same thing with the experience that I do with things like the California Academy of Sciences trip and the Burke Museum trip, which is to say Learn Science Fakts! Mutate the Life Forms! Write more stories like The Gales! and add funky Stormwrack details to the trilogy-in-progress and write the museum ticket off my taxes!
Plus, also, prettifying my blog with pictures from the exhibits. Is that work? Is that play? Who cares, because look! Fossil!
I could go on. Perhaps I even should go on, because I’ve tried before, quite a few times, to blog about the blur between all the various allegedly separate areas of my life. All of those previous posts have ended up in the bin. Whereas this one seems to be going pretty well.
Want to help? Is there anything you all would actually like to know?
My trip last weekend involved more research than actual words-on-paper but once I’d been home a couple days I was back to the 1K words daily pace. Will that get a draft done by July 27th? I’m not entirely sure I shouldn’t step it up to a daily goal of 1300 or so. What matters is I’m making my way through the plot and I’m happy with how it’s coming together.
I invited the people who came to my readings to pledge support and enter the contest, and I did get some takers. (Folks, I’ll be e-mailing you soon if I haven’t already.) The deal, if you haven’t already heard it, is this: whoever gives the most money gets to name one of the island nations of Stormwrack. Anyone who gives money gets a chance to name a ship, person, city, landmark or plant/animal species… whichever floats your boat.
Here’s a sample, to give you an idea of what the world’s like, from “Among the Silvering Herd.”
Parrish’s voice carried across the plains. “On the island where I grew up, Bendi, we take in those slain by magic. Such murders are doubly tragic, because nothing lasts forever. It is a given that the scrip will be destroyed in time; that the spell will revert and the murdered person will live again. So the victims must be kept safe.”
The pulver was staring at Parrish’s lips.
“There was a young monk once, whose job was to bear corpses from the sea to the monastery of the sleeping dead. But he loved a woman whose farm lay on the route from the port. He’d stopped at her cottage, once, and a grass fire caught near his wagon. The coffin and the woman lying within were burned.”
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Are you in the WriteAThon? How are you doing?