I got to the writing cabin around 7:30 this morning. Lisa* was ready with coffee and Cream of Wheat. She had on her pink overall shorts and her legs looked two yards long with her lace up high heeled boots.
“So where’s our guest?” I asked.
Lisa put a finger alongside her temple and looked off into space. “My sensors tell me she’s still asleep.”
“Maybe she thinks this is a vacation.”
“It probably is for her.”
I added some honey to my cereal and sipped my coffee. Lisa reached up to the pot rack and unhooked a large cast iron witch’s cauldron and dropped it on the floor. It clattered across the floor and made a loud racket.
“Oops!” She said, putting a finger to her lips. She looked just like a million old school pinup’s.
The shower started running upstairs. “You’re awful,” I said. I headed for my office and started reading blogs.
Lindsay** yelled down the stairs, “Hey, can I get a little coffee up here. Send the girl, I’m not dressed yet.”
Lisa passed by the door with a cup in her hand. Her lips were pursed and she looked like she was in a foul mood.
It took an hour before they came down.
“…I’m really glad you like my overall shorts,” Lisa said. “Those shoes are adorable.”
“Thanks. Looks like we’re in for a long day,” Lindsay said.
“You look nice today,” I said. Lindsay had on a summer dress with low heeled shoes. “We probably ought to get to work. I want you to look at the section about the projection lab. I want to describe it, but not wear readers out. I don’t need the technical detail you two might like.”
“Okay,” Lindsay said, “but since this is a cabin, shouldn’t we have a fire?” She got up and moved towards the fireplace.
Lisa jumped in front of her. “Oh, that’s my job. Do you want one? It’s going to be 98 degrees today.”
“I suppose we could have a small one, for mood. Make sure you open all the dampers and windows so it doesn’t get too hot,” I said. I opened the Arson manuscript and passed the iPad to Lindsay. I touched the fire extinguisher under my desk with my foot, just to make sure it was there.
Doubt*** the raven left his perch and landed on the back of her chair. Krawk, Krawk.
“I’ve never seen a black raven before,” Lindsay said. “They’re all purple on Quantico II.”
“It means he doesn’t like something,” Lisa leaned forward and said.
“Yeah, there might be too much detail here.”
I opened the document on my Mac while she sipped her coffee. “Some small changes. Try it now.”
“Good. Why do you spend so much time on my big ass and spanks?” Lindsay asked.
“Not all characters are fashion icons. Real people get to have stories too,” I said.
“She is,” Lindsay cocked a thumb at Lisa.
“Maybe, but she has her own demons to overcome. Let’s check out the cover.” I brought up Leon Tukker’s artwork.
“That’s awesome. It looks so real. The flames are perfect.”
“I toned down the adsphault. Do you think I should hit it harder?” I asked.
“Oh God no. Every surface street there wants to sell erectile dysfunction meds or some new action movie. I prefer the skyway, but it just makes it more visible.”
We went on like that for hours. I searched specific words that spellcheck always fixes the wrong way. Lindsay added wood to the fire whenever it burned low. Lisa kept a close eye on her.
The beer horns sent out a baritone blat before we finished. Lisa filled them both and they came running. I opened Amazon and started building all the various pieces into a book. When it said I could move ahead before the manuscript was finished, Lindsay clicked on the button and said, “Live a little.”
I answered all the questions and kept moving forward. I got the message that Amazon was reviewing my book and it could take up to ten hours.
“Oh crap! What happened to the preview?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Lindsay said, “I’ve never done this before. Did it work that way for Panama?”
“No, and Wild Concept let me preview too.”
“It’s probably fine. Let’s just enjoy our drinks.”
“You don’t understand. Now I’ll have to pay for a copy of my own book to see if the formatting is all screwed up. How embarrassing is that?”
“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Lisa said. She lifted the beer horn over to my desk and it strutted around the Mac. “Besides, you’re an old hand at this now.”
I planted my forehead against the desk and the beer horn rubbed against my head. Nothing left to do but drink.
* Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps around the writing cabin these days.
** Lindsay is a supporting character in Arson. She may be the most fun supporting character I’ve ever written.
*** Doubt is a raven. He was a gift from my Muse and is supposed to help me.
I’ve never had Amazon skip the preview before. Does anyone have any ideas?