I landed at the writing cabin early this morning. I had the little gyrocopter buzz a mammoth and her calf to clear the runway, but it was a piece of cake after that. Frozen ground is almost as good as asphalt.
Lisa met me coming up the stairs. She wore a green, knee-length, Christmas dress with furry white trimming. “What are you doing here? Thought you were done for the year.”
“Not by a long shot. I stepped back to do promo, but never intended to take a longer break. How’s the coffee situation?”
“I can make some. I have the cabin wired as a smart home, so all I have to do is send a signal to the coffee maker.”
“Very efficient. I’d expect nothing less from you.”
“Go into the lobby and check out my Christmas tree. I’ll bring you a cup when it’s ready.”
The tree was one of those artificial pencil trees that are so popular now. Lisa always was on top of trends, but she decorated it with shapes she’d cut out from old compact disks and circuit boards. She had stars and reindeer, there was even a pair of high-heels in shiny compact disk silver. “What’s with these ornaments?”
“Those are things robot girls like. I didn’t think you were coming out until next year.” She opened a large box with bubble-gum pink baubles. “Do you want to help me finish decorating it?”
“Tough to pass up, but I need to start writing again.” I left her to it, then went to my office.
The first step was to reread a few chapters of HMS Lanternfish. This helped to get back into the swing of things. When I finished that, Lisa came back.
“I’ll go get my pirate outfit. Didn’t know that’s where you were working. Do you want the root monsters?”
“Where are they? I assumed they went home.”
“They’re in the vegetable crisper drawer.”
“Oh-my-God. Are they okay in there?”
“Oh yeah. It slows them down and keeps them fresh. They drank all your beer the other day, though.”
“No, then. I don’t need their mischief just yet. My pirates have so many problems I don’t know how they’re going to deal with them all. I’m going to have to address a bit here and there. I’m going to deal with this treasure galleon on the horizon, then address some of it in the cool down phase.”
She placed a steaming mug on my desk. “Holler if you need anything. I’m going to work on my tree.”
My crew took the galleon, and it posed yet another problem. Throughout their adventures, they’ve never had enough. They didn’t have enough cannon, they needed munitions, they needed crew. This time they have all of those things. Sailcloth, food, whatever they need. The galleon provided them with too much.
Gold is heavy, despite what the movies show us. You don’t just toss gold bars around like potatoes. A bellyful of gold will make Lanternfish draft lower in the sea, and limit her mobility in a fight. They even have to distribute it correctly to keep the ship running true.
There’s also the question of how to cashier the crew when there’s too much. They can’t pile it under cots and hammocks. They also lose motivation to continue on with the war effort. The crew is tasked with warfare, but could easily retire to a nice island or villa somewhere with this much gold.
Most of my time was spent in the cool down phase while James speculated on the logistics. He’s a worrier, and that suits his character.
Lisa returned with fresh coffee, and an outfit change.
“What’s with the little guys?”
“I only got a couple of them out for inspiration. There are another dozen in the fridge. They think my tree has weird fruit growing on it.”
“Your ensemble is inspiring, too. You make a picturesque pirate.”
“Darned straight. Let me know if you need my Serang outfit for a chapter or two.”
“Not today. I’m about done. I have a couple of other projects to get to. 2100 words is a good day after being away for so long. We’ll pick it back up tomorrow.”
It feels good to get back to new material after my break. I want HMS Lanternfish to hit the shelves in 2020, and it would be best if it were in the Spring to spread things around a bit. Guess I’d better keep chipping away at it.