Summer’s reached the Washington coast and it came in with a vengeance. An Excessive Heat Warning by the National Weather Service, temperatures in excess of 80 degrees F (I know that sounds like a lovely temp for most folks, but it’s miserably hot here, when we have no A/C or breeze, and our usual temps are closer to 60), and the big, local summer kickoff event, Pirate Daze. Shuttling Teen and Friend to Aberdeen, about twenty miles away, every morning for school means getting up far earlier than I like, and a second trip in the evening to pick them up. The shifting back and forth between roles is brain-bending at best.
Last week, I turned 45 and we celebrated Father’s Day. Nothing went as planned. So, what does a Jeep-driving, off-road loving momma do when she’s got her whole family on board and all the usual Father’s Day spots are crammed with tourists trying to escape the inland heat? Yup. I took a different off-ramp and we disappeared into the woods.
Hubby and I tried this trail weeks ago, and I got my butt kicked by a pile of snow in the middle of the trail. Between the incline and the slush and my tires (I’m not running off-road tires on Momma Jeep yet), I just couldn’t get past one bend in the trail. Last weekend, I not only conquered that particular spot – the snow’s all gone – we found our way to the top of the mountain.
Plenty of spots in the trail were so overgrown, the trail disappeared entirely, and I had to drive on faith that somewhere beyond the thicket of blackberry and fern, the trail picked back up. Teen learned the hard way not to try to perch their elbow on the window frame while Mom’s off road – some potholes are unavoidable. Hubby is still learning the value of not telling me that I may not be up to a particular trail… Only makes me want to beat the trail that much more.
An hour of hill climbing later, we hit the top of the trail – a remote campsite that’s sat unused for months, based on the condition of the trail, but the perfect place to get away from the crowds for some peace and quiet. We spent a solid twenty minutes up there, breathing clean air, listening to the wind in the trees, while Teen wandered the site, clicking photos for their summer photography course.
The trees are so thick, you can’t see the blue sky beyond them, but that’s all that lays beyond the branches.
I’m back to working on Ian & Jill’s story, Finding Home. Camp NaNo didn’t go well, as I realized somewhere around April 20 that the story was still too big for a single book. And yes, I’ve got an outline for a second book. Except… Ian and Jill both do some growing as a couple in between the two parts to this tale, and that would leave you, the reader, lost. So, their story has expanded.
Currently, I’m too far into yet another first draft of Finding Home. Building Home, book 2, is outlined in detail, with some potential tweaks, depending on how book 1 goes. Coming Home, the 3rd and final book is in the outlining phase and needs a little work yet.
This painful place, in between knowing exactly how I want a story to come out and watching it take shape in the editing process is where all the magic begins. Secrets come out in dialogue. A random trip into the woods for my birthday yields solutions to plot holes. I would like to say that my first full-length release won’t be this massive beast of a story. I have numerous other stories in various stages of development that require only one novel-length tale to tell. But, since Ian and Jill currently own the most real estate in my brain, and since the events in Charity Bay all start here, their deep story will come first.
This week’s progress:
- Roughly 9,000 words written. I’m nearing the midpoint of Finding Home
- Refined more of the outline for Coming Home
- This blog!
Targets for next week:
- Create and publish a landing page for The Theater of Nok-Mondu
- Write another blog post for the Mondu Theater project
- Write another 10-15,000 words on Finding Home
- Get my newsletter in order.