Saturday was our fiftieth day here in the big city, and I am definitely beginning to have a sense of things having settled. The apartment is squared away and I’m finding some satisfying routines. I’m starting to feel, for Downward Dog, the first wisps of the deep affection I felt for Open Door Yoga in Vancouver.
The landscapes are still incredibly new, of course. There is no place I can go where I’ve seen and noticed everything. By chance we spent both this past Saturday and the one before walking north up Bathhurst Street . . . and on the most recent jaunt, I saw this, which I’d totally missed the first time.
I’m building up my mental maps of the neighborhood, but there’s an enormous novelty factor. It’s exciting, because there’s always something new to see. Touristy, you know? But it also means there’s rarely a moment where I can lapse into walking on auto-pilot.
In other news, my latest session of Creating Universes, Building Worlds has opened up at the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program. (I didn’t announce registration this time simply because class filled so quickly.) I’m looking forward to meeting a new crop of writers and seeing what they write this summer.
Finally, and on a related topic, I’m not doing the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. I love this event, but the things I need to accomplish right now don’t lend themselves well to a Thon.
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.
I’m a bit squeezed at the moment, which is why no writing essay yesterday. But here is a link to the latest Buffy rewatch, on Dopplegangland. Go join the fray!
For those of you still considering whether to enter the Stormwrack Name-An-Island contest, which is my giveaway for the Clarion West Write-a-thon, you can walk away with the naming rights to an island nation for a cool $35. Here’s a snippet about Isle of Gold.
“Here we go,” she said. “Isle of Gold.”
“What’s it say?” Bram asked. He had picked up her videocamera and was using it to shoot all the opened books he’d set out.
She read: “Isle of Gold is one of five nations formerly known as the Piracy–”
“Of course. They would have pirates here.”
“A barren rock unfit for agriculture and without much of a fishery, its difficult-to-navigate coastal waters and dense military fortifications led to its becoming the treasury of a shifting alliance of thieves, smugglers and raiders during the decades of warfare that plagued the seas… okay, from the looks of it, a bunch of countries put together a fleet–”
“The Fleet, presumably.”
Latest Clarion West Write-a-Thon word counts (Sponsor me here! Win intangible things!):
July 24 1,150 for a total of 54,054
July 23 1,260 for a total of 52,904
July 22 411 for a total of 51,644
July 21 899 for a total of 51,233
July 20 777 for a total of 50,324
July 19 898 for a total of 49,547
July 18 1,192 for a total of 48,649
Full disclosure: I am about two thirds of the way through the book… I’ll hit 60,000 words before the Write-a-Thon is over, but I won’t have it quite drafted. I’m still pleased with how it’s gone, and planning to hold the same pace until I’ve got the draft done.
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.”