Lisa met me at the top of the stairs. She had those knee high boots that turn over at the top, and her Captain Barbosa hat on. “What are we working on today, mate?”
“Well, figured to read my last chapter, then move the story ahead as much as possible.”
“Sounds like a plan, but I need you outside first.”
I followed her across the deck, then out to the field before she turned around. A black skull and crossbones flag flew over the writing cabin. “I love it, where’d you get it.”
“I made it, silly. I have a lot of time to myself out here, and did it for you. The logs on the cabin almost look like an old ship, if you use your imagination.”
“It’s perfect for this story. Guess I’d better get started.”
“Not so fast, matey.” She spun me around to face a line of logs she’d placed vertically in the meadow. Each of them held one block of ice. She handed me a flintlock pistol and stepped back.
“Really, for me?”
“You need to have the experience.”
I cocked the hammer, took careful aim, and missed the target. Sulfurous black smoke drifted across my field of vision.
She traded me for a fresh pistol, and started reloading the one I just fired. “Better hurry, they get smaller out in the sun.”
I repeated my motions, but this time the ice exploded into a million pieces. “Hey! Look at that.”
“Very nice, now the next one.” She handed me the freshly charged pistol. “You have two more coming at you.”
We repeated the exercise until all the ice disappeared. “Thanks for doing this. It helps to remember these aren’t semi automatic pistols that can be fired over and over with ease. Pirates would have to save their shot, or take cover to reload.” I handed the pistol back. “Guess I’d better get started.”
“Not so fast.” She pulled two cutlasses from the grass and tossed one my way. “Defend yourself.”
I blocked her strike and stepped back.
“Come on, you’ll never learn if you don’t try.”
“These things are dangerous.”
“I’m a sophisticated high-tech robot. I’m not going to hurt you.” She thrust at me, and I batted her blade away to the side.
“But I’m not. What if I mess up and hurt you?”
“Please. Class three battle chassis inside. You’d need armor piercing ammo to get through, and more firepower than that sword.”
I picked up my pace and returned the fight. We clashed all across the meadow, up and down the steps on the deck, and out onto the airstrip.
I took a step back and held my blade up with both hands in a halt position.
“What’s wrong now?”
“You’re old and fat. This is where you get run through.”
“Besides, I don’t have a cool hat.”
“The hat has nothing to do with it. It’s all about skill, stamina, and experience.”
“I’d like to experience some iced tea about now.”
“I can make some.”
“And some air conditioning would be nice too.”
“It was fun though. Loved the pistols.”
“Gotta admit, that seems more your style.”
We headed inside and Lisa brought tea to my office. I took a sip, and placed the cold glass to my forehead. “I’m surprised you didn’t have cannons for us to fire.”
“I called Red Herring, but they’re all rented out. Seems like all the authors want cannons this weekend.”
“You didn’t really. Did you?”
“I know you don’t like the guy, but he has all the story elements you ever need. Besides, buying one would give you a stroke. Rental is the only way to go.”
I opened my iPad and started writing. Lisa piped some quiet pirate themed music through the building.
By the time I finished for the day, I’d written nearly five thousand new words. We captured a ship, got disappointed in the treasure. Experienced a monster of the deep, and witnessed what can only be described as carrot abuse.
I introduced one new character called Stuttering Lewis. Lest this sound like character soup, it’s fourteen chapters in, so you get one here and there. I’ll have a few more along the way, but they’re mostly color and background now. I can’t write a book and call them pirate #1 and pirate #2.
We also unfurled a new flag, but I won’t describe it because it’s kind of spoilerish.
It feels like an end to Act One. That arguably could have been an earlier section, but I don’t mind being a little vague on that part. Acts are more like guidelines anyway. (Sounds good for a pirate story.)
I’ve struggled over the last couple of books to hit a decent word count. This one is not going to have that problem. It may be the rare story where I have to cut things to make it digestible for readers.
Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend, or will if you didn’t score friday off. I still need to work up some interview pieces, but it’s hard not to keep sailing this ship forward.