We got a call last night that our granddaughter was screaming, bloated, and projectile vomiting. Her mother ran her to the emergency room.
We never heard anything until this morning, when they called to tell us they were still there. The guesses were a severe urinary tract infection, and possible appendicitis. She's not even in pre-school yet. My wife got dressed and went straight down to the hospital. There isn't much to do except get in the way, so I stayed here. They did some kind of expensive scan and confirmed the UTI. They're back home now.
I decided to grab my hat, and head for the writing cabin. I have to say, I was in a great mindset to write a tortured little girl.
Lisa, my robotic assistant, put on her Chloe outfit and tried to help. I'm afraid my mood discouraged her. She busied herself cleaning Bunny's litter box.
I finished The Playground at about ten o'clock. Doubt, the raven started demanding attention almost immediately. I've fallen for this one before, and decided to leave.
I believe endings should be short. I don't like to go on and on about things. Now I wonder if I have enough in this ending. Chloe will need a lot of healing. She's lost her doll/friend, (who was the embodiment of evil). What she has is the love of her mother and father… and a good therapist.
I could have done a better job on the doll's death scene. I thought of a heart monitor doing the whole flatline thing, but don't think I pulled it completely off. Probably needs some work.
I could have had Chloe freak out, have a relapse or do something else, but I wasn't feeling it. Her mother freaked out well enough.
The ending is making me think chapter one needs a little something. It probably does.
What I need to do is put it away to ferment. Leave it completely alone for a month. Stop letting Doubt get into my head. My critique group will have some input in a week or so. Then I can change the font and pitch, re-read it and make those assessments.
So what happens next? Last week I took an effort to promote Will O' the Wisp. This is my best one so far, and I'm not willing to let it be, not just yet. I made an additional effort to promote myself today. Something will land in blog land very soon. These are positive things I can do while The Playground settles.
I still have some short stories in mind. I'll fiddle around with those, and may release a book of them in the fall or winter. I'm not going to start another novel right away. I will, but not for some months.
There are fish to catch, and mushrooms to gather up in the forest. Those projects really take me away, and reboot the senses.
I've got four good ideas for my next novel too. This time, I'm going to try something different. I'm going to start outlining all of them. The Playground came in at about 70K words. I don't know if people will expect a bit more, or if modern humans will be grateful for a faster story. Outlining my next cluster of ideas should give me a better idea of what will deliver a novel length work.
All writers have dozens of ideas. I'm not afraid to share them with you, they are:
- I wrote a character vignette about a year ago involving two people in Africa. Add in some witch doctors, and some man eaters and this could be a story. It probably needs evil redcoats too. Historical paranormal.
- I wrote a vignette about a guy who wakes up in the desert and gets rescued by a talking yak. This one has an appealing personal challenge of using The Fool's Journey as a story structure. What category would it be? I have no idea, maybe dystopian/fantasy/paranormal.
- The idea of bio-hackers and grinders appeals to me. It would take some serious research, but I see it as a science fiction piece with some Frankenstein spice.
- The Wargler would be a fantasy about a guy who starts wars using covert methods and manipulations. He needs to be forced into doing this by some kind of bad guy. Is the world ready for a fantasy with less sword and sorcery, but more theft, manipulation, and deceit?
I'm thinking about making a few posts about my outlining process. I think my way is different than many others, and you may find it interesting. I can even include a few screenshots from past outlines. I don't have them all, but some are still around. Does this sound boring, or interesting? I always like to read about another writer's process, maybe some of you would too.
My reading has suffered, and I need to remedy that. I'm about to go on a book buying spree. I'll post about that when the time comes.
Then there is the research. I got some great alchemy suggestions from you guys a couple months ago, and those might help with one project. I have a ton of African adventure books too. I even have a copy of Frankenstein.
Right now, our granddaughter is on the mend, The Playground is a complete first draft, and I have some ongoing plans for promotion. I'm looking forward to Summer without any arbitrary deadlines. I'm sure to have more company, and won't feel like I lost valuable writing time when they come for a visit.