Another quick update this week– mostly to announce that I’m going to be switching my usual update day to Wednesdays. With my current work schedule my “weekend” falls on Tuesday/Wednesday, which, in addition to leaving me perpetually confused as to which day of the week it actually is, leaves the timing of the Friday updates a little awkward. Plus! It means the first update on the new schedule will be on July 31, which will let me give you a final update on my Camp NaNo results!
It’s so nice to feel like the bones of a story are decently solid. Most of what I’ve been doing so far this month is “editing”/fleshing out some sections that I’d already done some scribblings on, and the result has been very encouraging, if still moving slower than I’d like it to be, ideally. I’m proud of a couple turns of phrase in particular, actually, so by way of showing off, I’m including a quick excerpt below. Those of you who have been following me for a while might recognize this as very similar to the beginning of The Verdant Wildlife, which is because I’m in the process of completely reworking it so that it can take its place as the first story in the upcoming novel.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the promised snippet.
Our client had arranged to meet up with us at a small mining outpost near the drone’s last known coordinates and had offered to transport us out there on one of her company’s atmo-sprinters. It was a welcome gesture that cut our travel time down to a fraction of what it would have been otherwise. I spent the half-hour ride alternately teasing my brother and staring out the window as semi-developed plains gave way to wild cliffs and canyons.
Even before the sprinter’s pilot started edging the craft down between a couple of jagged cliffs, there was little doubt in my mind that our destination was less a spur of civilization than a small collection of humans trying to do without it. In Coville, I’d gotten the impression that the occasional showdown at high noon was a distinct possibility. Looking down at the approaching outpost, I would have been more surprised to find that such confrontations didn’t happen there with some regularity.
I leaned towards my brother. “I thought you said we weren’t going to get shot at. This looks like the sort of place that gets us shot at.”
“What, the mining camp?” He looked out his own window. “Good thing we won’t be spending much time there.”
I scowled. Now that our hike was more imminent, I found myself less excited about the prospect of tramping around the wilds of a new planet than I had been the day before. And given that I hadn’t been all that enthusiastic about it in the first place, that was saying something.
Tanner winked at me. “It’ll be fun. Like those trips we took growing up.”
I grunted, non-committal. “I hadn’t spent the last eight months crossing the galaxy when we hiked the Sierras.”
“We won’t be moving too fast. There’s a ton of nooks and crannies out here, and that drone could have crashed in any of them. You’ll be fine.” The look on his face was the same one he’d worn when he’d suckered me into exploring an old “haunted” warehouse with him. At night. About three weeks after I’d pranked him in front of all his buddies. But bringing that up wasn’t going to do me any good.
“Congratulations,” I said. “You just managed to make me feel better and worse at the same time.”
He winked. “I aim to please.”
Lucky for him and despite my complaining, I did still enjoy a good hike, if not under these exact circumstances. Not that I’d be caught dead admitting that to him just now.
Not much to report, so far, save that I am definitely running behind for Camp, but I’m optimistic! Reaching my 75K word goal will be a… challenge. But I like a good challenge– and I have a couple of days coming up that I plan to use for writing and pretty much nothing else. Check back next week to see how it goes!
In the meantime, anyone else doing Camp this July? How are your projects doing? How are you doing?
It’s July, also known in some circles as one of two Camp NaNoWriMo events. Personally, I’ve always had great success in November, with all its official 30-days-50,000-words madness, but every time I’ve attempted to do a smaller project (or at least one with less ambitious goals) for one of the Camps, I forget that I’m participating half a week in and don’t make much progress at all. So this month, I’m trying something different.
Based on the theory that it doesn’t go well for me because it’s too small a goal, I went the other way and am going to attempt 75,000 words in the month of July. On Tanner and Miranda, of course.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Best case scenario? I finally finish that draft I’ve been poking with a stick since last November!
This is going to completely out me as a small town girl, but the sheer size and the huge number of people who live in LA is… overwhelming. Amazing, too. And humbling. There’s around four million people in the city itself. There’s more than ten million in LA county. And there’s a few million more in Orange County right next door. That’s around seventeen million people, each with their own lives, their own families, their own friends, their own joys, their own sorrows.
And this huge number of people is just a fraction of the population of the whole United States (327,000,000). And that’s just a fraction of the roughly seven billion human beings who inhabit the whole planet.
That’s a lot of neighbors to love. That’s a lot of people who would be affected by anyone trying to make the world a better place. And that’s overwhelming too. But we’re not responsible for the whole world on our own– that burden is on bigger shoulders. We’re “just” responsible for our own actions and the way we treat others*. It’s what God does with that that’s going to change the world.
* Even typing that out, I realize that that’s a distinctly Western/individualistic view. I think it’s true as far as it goes, but there’s more to it that I haven’t figured out how to articulate.
I forgot to check my wordcount before I left the house– so if you happen to be curious, check back later tonight.
Not much to report on this week– save that I’m finally getting back into the habit of writing every day. It’s lovely! Slow, of course, and my brain and my fingers feel so very rusty, but the creakiness is getting knocked loose and, if all keeps going well, it shouldn’t be long before I’m back to my old pace.
In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy even a few dozen words each day!
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount: 5093 Weekly Wordcount: 438
Miranda doesn’t like horses. I don’t remember when I decided that– or, perhaps more accurately, when I discovered that. But my snarky, feisty, pugnacious little freelancer really doesn’t care for the big animals. Which I find amusing. Mostly because I personally never outgrew the horse-nut phase that most(?) girls seem to go through.
So, here’s a snippet of our fearless narrator being not quite so fearless. Because I think it’s funny.
Knickers was a sturdy gelding, colored chestnut and with a bald face— which I found out when I referred to him as “the brown one”. The other, Jitterbug, was a rangy pinto who looked calm enough, except that I swear I saw her giving me and Tanner a sly look as if she knew that one of us would be riding her. I expected her to start trouble before Tanner could even mount up. She didn’t, and honestly, that was worse. It meant she was going to wait until it would cause the most problems, and then she would do it. And she would think it was funny. And she’d probably bring Knickers in on it as well.
Whatever it was.
It crossed my mind that I might be being paranoid, but that was ridiculous. I just remembered the horses on Auntie Heather’s ranch a little too well.
Whatever the big animals’ intentions for us down the road, though, they didn’t act on any devious compulsions just then. Knickers stood perfectly still as I climbed into the saddle. Jitterbug pawed the ground once or twice as Tanner settled in, but that was all. In less than five minutes, we were on our way.
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount: 4655 Weekly Wordcount: 211
I don’t usually write by hand. Probably by long practice, the words usually come easier when I’m typing, and my thought process seems a little more streamlined. Usually, at any rate. This week, though, was an exception to the rule– thanks in no small part to the fact that I had a lot of downtime at work, forgot my book, but did have paper and pen.
And I might have to try to do it more often. Because the stuff I scribbled down was rough and jumbled, but when I typed it up and cleaned it up a little, I’m actually pretty happy with it.
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount: 4444 Weekly Wordcount: 729
So! While I don’t have my official day-to-day/week-to-week schedule yet, as I’m still doing training, what I do have is a whole bunch of free time desperately in need of structure. I also have the skeleton of the whole volume of Tanner and Miranda stories, which is just as desperately in need of actually being fleshed out and, you know, finished.
It’s a perfect match.
From here on out, with “out” being the completion of the project, is to give you guys weekly updates during these Friday blog posts. Some weeks I’ll probably end up musing about one thing or another and just tacking on my updated word count at the end. Some weeks I’ll probably have an excerpt or two– we’ll see! With any luck, I should be able to finally get back into the habit of daily writing that I wasn’t able to keep up this last year, and with that I should also be able to finally make progress on actually finishing this story!
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount*: 3715
Can I just go on record saying that 24-hour shifts are weird? It’s like you enter a different world… a pocket universe of sorts inside the rest of your life. It’s more than a little disorienting, and to tell you the truth, the only reason I know what day it is has to do with the calendar on the wall and the handy little date that my phone displays. Go figure.
And, I’m afraid that’s all for this week, between the sleep deprivation (yes, I did get some sleep during the shift. Just not as much as usual, and that is, unfortunately, saying something) and everything else, my brain is pretty well fried. That being said, my available free time has just increased by several orders of magnitude, so look forward to seeing some more news on Tanner and Miranda’s continuing adventures soon!