My visitors got away at a decent hour. It's time for me to walk the talk. I jumped in the tiny gyro-copter and headed for the writing cabin.
Lisa* called me almost immediately. “I didn't expect you to come out today.”
“I need to get some things done. If you made other plans, it's okay. I'm sure I can manage for a day.”
“It'll all be fine. I'll put your coffee on.”
The snow was gone from the landing strip. Weather this year has been crazy. Thank God everything was frozen, and landing was smooth. I pulled onto the elevator and went into the basement. I had to wait for the army ants to march past. They were featured in Panama, and relegated to the basement like most other story elements.
I tromped up the stairs and headed for the paranormal office. When I threw the switch the bone chandalier lit up the room. Lisa had placed sheets over the furniture. I hung my old fedora on the stone gargoyle and pulled the sheets away. This was quite the room, and I'd done some of my best writing here.
I opened the roll top desk and sat out the bell jar containing the Will O' the Wisp. I set it free once more and watched it careen around the room like a glowing green Pong ball.
“What's the plan today?” Lisa startled me. She was dressed in her best Jessica Rabbit outfit.
“Look, you obviously had plans today. You can take off, I'll be fine.”
“My only plan was to spend the afternoon watching the red carpet shows with Bunny. I wasn't going anywhere.”
“Oh, um, well, I'm just going to make the international version of Will O' the Wisp. Then I need to do one more pass over it all.”
“That's editing, right?”
“Be right back then.”
I opened the file and copied it into another document I simply called International. This is because I have a license to quote specific song lyrics, but only in North America. It shouldn't be hard to fix, and I decided that surf music was appropriate to the era for the international version.
“Don't forget your friend,” Lisa said. “You never edit without Doubt.”
The Raven of Doubt was a gift from my Muse. He's supposed to help me, but mostly he's annoying.
Doubt leapt from Lisa's arm and flew into the open mouth of the huge hippo head on the wall. Cobwebs caught my eye as his wing beats stirred the air.
“Looks like I'd better take a toothbrush to the hippo.” She went around the room and took inventory of chores. Finally, she turned on the glass alchemy set of retorts and tubes that served as art. It gave off a pleasant odor of Hoppes #9.
I worked backwards and forwards through the section that had to change. Doubt croaked at me more than a few times as I changed some repetitive words. For a stupid bird he sure has a lot of opinions.
“If I promise to do a complete read through will you get off my ass?”
Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.
Stupid bird. Then it dawned on me. If I had done the final pass first, then copied the international version, I would have saved myself some work.
Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Quoth the raven, etc.
I batted the Wisp and it rattled around inside the fireplace before careening across the room into the gargoyle.
I'm counting today as progress. I probably could have been more efficient, but it's still progress. Right???
*Lisa Burton is the main character in Wild Concept, and is a robot. Since her story ended she helps me around the writing cabin.