This morning dawned clear and unseasonably warm; the sky at six, when I headed off to the cafe to work, was aglimmer with stars. I look for raccoon activity on Cotton and Second now–having had one sighting, I consider this my due–but the bandits failed to show so I puttered off to the cafe.
My first browse through the slenderly-drafted THE RAIN GARDEN is moving quickly and producing a long list of scenes to add, things to research, and stuff to do. I will need to reverse-engineer an outline in the not too distant, if only to figure out where the scenes to be added should go, and to check that the clues to the mystery emerge in a sensible order.
Today I cruised through what looked suspiciously like the book’s thematic heart, and thereby hit upon a working title that is more fitting, at least in the limited sense that it has something to do with the actual story I’m telling. So, for now, the book is morphing into THE AFTERPEOPLE. Since the first book set in this universe has a similar title (THE WINTERGIRLS) this rather hints that the third book, whenever it happens, might end up being THE (something)BOYS.
(If you’re me, these are the sort of thoughts you don’t want to be having when you’re trying to focus on the Book at Hand.)
I think it can be safely argued that THE RAIN GARDEN is a prettier title, and AFTERPEEPS may not be a keeper. But THE RAIN GARDEN didn’t fit, at all… it sounded poetic, and I had a good reason to call the novel something poetic before I sent its ultrasound off to Certain Somebodies for review.
This evening I was briefly tempted to adopt THE RAIN GARDEN moniker for all my unfinished works in progress. This would have the entertaining side effect of confusing the hell out of everyone, probably me included, while perhaps creating a blog tag that spanned multiple books. But hey, that’s what “Works in Progress” and “Process” are for, right?
Besides, I have for years used a perfectly good acronym for such projects: AFNA. This stands for Another Fucking Novel Attempt, and dates back to the days when I was fourteen and couldn’t write my way past the first fifty pages of a full-length book. Even at five characters, it was short enough to use in the days of DOS files. AFNA.DOC. AFNA, incidentally, can be prefaced with other letters: J for Just, Y for Yet, B for Bollocks… well, you get the idea.
Anyway, the book’s out and renamed and blinking groggily. I worked on it until after dawn, and walked home in the sunny morning. After breakfast and a coffee date with my beloved, I caught a walk in the last of the bright, even as the clouds were moving in. I made it to Hastings Park and back before the skies opened. I didn’t get any horse pictures, as I arrived too late for the morning practice laps and too early for the actual races.
In lieu, here’s a RAIN GARDEN picture for you, from the universe of things that are not yet, and might never be:
Tuesday’s words on THE RAIN GARDEN came to 1,454, bringing me to a total of 38K and change, and to the last scene. One or two more writing sessions should do it, and then what I’ll have is this skeletal draft in need of a new title, some research, and much overall fleshing. In the meantime, I’m very pleased with the bones.
I’ve been madly chasing a number of projects and events this week. TOR.COM is hosting a series of Quantum Leap rewatch posts, by me–the first of them is on the pilot, Genesis, and can be found here. Meanwhile, the Tor/Forge newsletter is crowing about Indigo Springs winning the Sunburst Award. All of the books on the short list were TOR books, so they have extra cause to be proud.
Every now and then I will be at a wine event with Kelly and someone will look down to the region below my chin, and say, “I know you, don’t I?” Or, perhaps, in a sort of questioning voice, they’ll go: “I’ve seen those, um, spots… before?”
To which I reply, “Oh, yes, they’ve been the guest cleavage on the Full Bodied Wine Blog a few times.” Because by they, you understand, the other party doesn’t actually mean the spots.
Anyway. My Sunburst Award arrived in the mail on Friday, to much excitement. I promptly threw on a nice top and went out on the deck for a photo shoot. Here’s me, unpacking the beautiful medallion with my usual ladylike delicacy, and then posing with it and the spots, in a more SFnal and less wine-soaked context.
I think you all know I live in a beautiful city, but here’s proof in the form of False Creek on a sunny fall afternoon:
After a marathon transcribing session, I’ve gone and dug up the 4K words (ish) I’d written on THE RAIN GARDEN before starting the most recent push, and integrated the files. Total verbiage now comes to 29,555. Words for Tuesday, Monday, and Sunday, working backwards: 955, 1082, 1108.