That’s a wrap. We had a lovely small Thanksgiving. It was great visiting, and I even enjoyed having Jackson around. My daughter cut my hair while she was here.
She picked up supplies, then headed for home. I loaded my truck and went to the office to exchange projects for next week, since I’m still being quarantined. Old What’s Her Face has been cleared to return to work, but I have to stay home for two more weeks.
I’ve been writing along in the early hours while everyone else sleeps. I did the wrap up of Serang’s last battle and pointed her on the trail to her ultimate goal. I kind of want to write a chapter of my con-men, but it only amounts to about a page. That seems kind of short for a chapter. All this while Lanternfish is still in dry dock an ocean away. I need to launch that ship and get her into action soon.
There’s been another “murder” in the hat story. I have a theory how Lizzie is going to hunt this monster, but it conflicts with narrowing down its hunting area. It looks like I’m going to have to give them another month to start putting the more important pieces together.
I carried my coffee into the bedroom, closed the door, then sat down beside the bed. “I’m having some problems.”
A sound like rustling leaves came from under the bed. Dried cornstalks grabbed onto the frame and pulled something heavy closer. “Well, well, well. Look who’s back.”
“I know it’s been a long time. Work, family, the Muse keeps me hopping.”
“And now you’re stumped again. Is that it?”
“Yeah. I need monsters. Since you’re the resident expert, I thought I’d come to you. The cornstalks are a nice touch.”
“Yeah. I like to change things up. It’s Autumn.”
“How’s Missing-Sock monster?”
“She left me. Remember the “It” movies?”
“She became a roadie for him.”
“So what kind of monsters do you need?”
“Still? Haven’t you been writing that one for years?”
“It’s a trilogy. Kind of yes, and kind of no. It’s just that I’ve spent so much time with sea monsters, I’m having a hard time adjusting to dry land again.”
“Why not stick with what you’re good at?”
“I will. I want to reuse the tortugators in at least one scene. It stitches the books together to a degree, but a lot of this story will occur on dry land. It’s a fantasy world, so I need to keep it similar, but fresh.”
“But these books aren’t about conquering the monster, are they?”
“No. It’s more of a global war kind of thing.”
“I might posit that you don’t want monsters. What you’re looking for are fantasy creatures to pepper your landscape with.”
“That’s exactly it. Why didn’t I think of it myself? I mean, I have the snubhorns. They’re horselike creatures, but they scavenge a bit of flesh to keep everyone uncomfortable.”
“I think you’re too close to it. Hunt your werewolf for a few chapters in the other story, then come back to it. What would the area look like in reality? You might have birds, bugs, a herd of grazing animals. Now redesign everything. You need something that flys, something that herds together, that kind of thing. They aren’t really monsters.”
“Thanks, Under-the-Bed monster. That really helps. Do you have any prospects lined up since your girl left?”
“Not so much. That little dog makes me play Nylabones when you’re gone. The big guy sleeps until you come back.”
“Yeah, Frankie is a little intense with her bones.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I kind of enjoy it.”
“Good for you. Just don’t become like a crazy cat lady. There’s a nice culvert across the park about thirty feet from here.”
“Yeah? Maybe I’ll check it out.”
“Get yourself out there. You never know who, or what, you’ll meet.”
“I think I will, and Craig?”
“Don’t be a stranger. I enjoy our little conversations.”
“You’ve got it.”