Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 2 - Life Knows When You've Got Goals

My ROW80+ Goal Meter (my goals are listed here):

2509 / 87000 words. 3% done!

Wednesday Check-In Totals

  • Monday, Day 1: 0
  • Tuesday, Day 2: 681

It sure was a good thing I started early, so I'm not actually behind... yet.

On Monday, I woke up with what seemed to be a sinus infection.  I was walking through jello all day.  With the judicious application of caffeine and left-over Chinese food, I was able to put in a two hour session, and hammer out some sticking points in the villainous plot behind The Man Who Ran Away.  But didn't quite break through to the blank spot in the back story, but I did enough that the stuff I worked on this weekend won't have to be trashed -- they actually fit.  (I know this session happened because I wrote it all down. The rest of the day is a blur.)

Tuesday -- today -- was expected to be a busy day full of kerfuffle.  It turned out to be even kerfufflier than expected.  (It started with getting up early to accompany a family member to a doctor's appointment which had, apparently, never been put into the system by the office staff, as well as a long drive through the rain on bad roads, and a "treat" of bad donuts and watery coffee.  While the day didn't get any worse, it didn't get appreciably better -- right down to the newbie waitress at late dinner who kept forgetting things and doing minor things wrong.  Not enough to lose her tip, but enough to make me feel my life was in retrograde today.)

I didn't get started on writing until after midnight -- which was probably fortunate given the general kismet of the day.  I worked on a scene from In Flight -- a new scene I added in because I realized that Angela's reaction to being alone and on the run again wasn't right.  I realized that she had been doing this since she was a child, so she would have a routine for coping with the boredom and emptiness.  And being an artist, of course, she drew pictures.

Here's a clip -- completely raw stuff.  In Flight is about a woman who has been on the run with her step-mother ever since she was a small child, when she pushed her father off a cliff in defense of the step-mother.  Twenty years later, she had almost settled down into a job with a catering company (run by "Chef" who is already turning out to be the detective in this story, and his handsome sidekick, Reef).  But events have set her on the run again.

With every flight, she has to cut all ties, erasing or leaving behind all evidence of each past life. She can't keep pictures ....


SHE FILLED PAGES with scribbling images: streaks of highway flashing through leaves and clouds, fairies, faces, bears, eclairs.  The faces were hidden, disguised with pattern or fanciful costume, half turned away, half covered.  People she wanted to remember. People she couldn't keep pictures of. Chef, his mustache now long and curled, peeking slyly from a cloak, from behind a tree. In the bark of the tree were hidden other chefs, and the tree bore bakery fruit. 

And beneath the tree another face was clear, and light.  A contrasting shape to the tree and it's complications.  That face was serious, almost grim -- but not really grim, the eyes were bemused -- and his white hand parted the high grasses for him to look out directly at the viewer.

It was David Reef.

He looked as he did at dinner, too frank, too sweet, and yet trying too hard not to be either.  She was glad to capture that face, that look, even though she would likely destroy the whole picture later.  Even if she did destroy it, she thought he was not well enough disguised.  She should at least make him a knight, or....  She smiled as she recalled his story about saving the hotel magnate, and about how Chef had been wise enough to stand back.

So she made him a simple guard; dirt on his face and hands, hair spiky and mussed up, covered in chain mail.  And she added his other hand and arm, reaching through the grass to grasp the hand of someone who had fallen into the as yet empty space at the bottom of the picture. 

It was only as she found her fingers cramping up from gripping the pen so hard, that she realised that the dark outline of the hand Reef was grasping was the dark cut-out shape from her dream.

It was her father.

Keep drawing, she told herself.  Draw through it.


See you in the funny papers.


Beth Camp said...

Wow! Even if rough draft, the excerpt is compelling. How drawing reveals what we dream, hope, and fear! And that dynamic combo of caffeine and Chinese food! Write on for a great week.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks! I'm glad it was compelling out of context. (So hard to tell, you know?)

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

I got all caught up in reading the links for your goals - and missed this fantastic excerpt until now!

I love this. I can feel her drawing it, listening to her fancies and her intuition, creating something that answers a deep need and raises questions, at the same time...

I was swept up and into the drawing, and you totally caught me off-guard at the end!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks -- I hope it still might have that effect when it's read in context.