Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oops. . . .it's Monday again already?

Well now.  It was a nice weekend.  I took a needed break from writing (I hit 50,000 words on Friday, satisfying the NaNo "winner" requirements, but only about 2/3 of the way through the novel) and did some hiking and biking.  The weather in San Francisco was beautiful, not to be ignored.  Besides, even writers should probably think hard about working 7 days a week. 

And somewhere along the way I forgot to create a post for today. 

So.  . . no book review this morning.  Or afternoon, for my fans in distant places who are already thinking about tea when I'm still digesting my breakfast.  Instead, you get some random musings on life and writing.

It's fall, a season I love in part because our incessant coastal summer fog blows away and we have sunny days, eventually (if we are lucky) giving way to the rainy season.  I've lived here for 19 years now and have almost gotten used to the idea that for many months, it just doesn't rain.  For a girl from Seattle, this is a difficult concept to grasp.  When you live on the wet side of the Pacific Northwest, you expect rain at any time.  In most of California (or at least in coastal California), you can go out unprepared for rain with complete confidence about 7 or 8 months out of the year.  Weird.

As a result, we get all excited when the rains resume.  Go stomp in the gutters and run in the rain.  If they resume.  That's the other side of the idyllic California climate (a bit of marketing delusion if ever I heard any!) . . constant worry about drought.  You know, when I lived up Seattle way, we very seldom worried about drought.

And now to tie this back to my writing. . . my current book (and the preceding book, in final edits) is set on an island in Puget Sound, not totally unlike the one where I grew up.  And I keep having trouble remembering to make it rain!  I'm headed north for Christmas with my Mom, and maybe spending a week or so up there in the dead of winter will help remind me what the climate is really like.  Writing about a place, even a fictional place, where you haven't lived for years can be tricky.  Weather is very much a part of setting.

And how is the writing going, you ask?  Like I say, I took a break over the weekend.  I needed to regroup a bit, try to either see my way out of the slow middle of the story or just decide to go ahead and leap forward to the exciting parts and keep going.  I've ended up somewhere in between those options.  I figured out a bit more of how we get  from Point D to Point H, and will do what I can to move on.  I can come back later and flesh things out, obfuscate the puzzle a bit (as the Car Talk guys say).  I always have to, anyway.  It's true you can write a novel in a month.  But it's good to remember that it's not really a novel at that point.  If you're lucky (or skilled, or well-practiced) it's a draft.  If you're more scatterbrained, like me, it's a really, really fleshy outline. 

I suppose "National Novel Outlining Month" just doesn't have the same ring to it.  And "National Novel Fleshy Outline Month" is even worse.  So to all of you NaNers out there, keep writing!  And get yourself a really fat, fleshy outline by the end of the month.

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