Lily 5

I had a moment of panic–one of many this week on a variety of topics–when I looked at this non-book and thought, “There’s no there there!” Some of you may remember I had a similar moment with Nita. Several in fact. One of the hardest parts of doing a discovery draft is that you’re dancing on air. Remember Wile E. Coyote running off the cliff, doing just fine until he looked down, and then he fell like a rock and usually got run over by a truck when he hit the ground? That’s why you never look down during a discovery draft. If the fall doesn’t kill you, the truck will.

However, five weeks into this I do have to do some cautious looking down.

I mean some of this has to make sense or I can’t go on. So while I can wait to find out what the hell Seb is up to and why there are so damn many Vikings in this, I need to get some of the chronology straight here so I can keep writing. And I want to know more about Lily’s relationships with Van and Cheryl, especially Cheryl for some reason. Okay, it’s because Cheryl’s a Virgo with Scorpio Rising, essentially very practical with a large side order of batshit. Cheryl’s the kind of character who would make a terrible protagonist but makes a great foil (see also Auntie Mame, Jay Gatsby, and Ahab). I’ll figure out the cat later.

Big AhHa moment from the Girls: Lily only has six weeks of therapy left on her insurance so she has to figure everything out in six weeks or she’s on her own. That’s why she sees Nadia six times. STRUCTURE!!!!! (Sorry, I’m very excited about that.)

So instead of putting the new scene here, I’m giving you a link to the first chunk of Act One. It starts with the Meeting Nadia scene that’s been rewritten but not enough that you have to read it again. Then it goes to the new stuff. Then there’s Lily’s scenes with Van and Fin and Bjorn, and then the Fin scene out on the street with some minimal rewriting. So you can skip the first scene and then read until you hit the stuff you’ve already read, but it’s in chronological order now. I’m very proud.

Start of Lily’s First Act, April 20, 2020. (Thatsa lotta 20s.)

48 thoughts on “Lily 5

  1. I’m a Virgo with Scorpio rising. Totally stealing “very practical with a large side order of batshit” as my new personal tag line.🤣

  2. I just read that small bit of Pratchett from the weekend that you posted. I still haven’t read him (aside from “Good Omens”) because I just picked up the wrong one, but this is the one I’m going to start with.

    But man, that snippet made be quite emotional. S

    I think it’s brilliant.

    I love the structure and yay- time lock! Good for you! And honestly, with so many of our lives in this weird limbo, a time lock is not only exciting, it’s also weirdly comforting.
    Off to read the piece.

    1. Oh WOW! I loved this! I see the stuff I wasn’t able to find before. And Dr. Ferris definitely has something going on, even if she isn’t the main antagonist. She reminds me of a raven or magpie.

      And, Pangur is the cat I asked about from the tread from last week. Love him.

      And this: ““How’s therapy going? How’s therapy going?” If I had an ax right now . . .

      “Because we just got a report that you’ve left another therapist. Uncle Louis was concerned–””

      Uh oh. That’s some basic HIPPA violation going on, depending on when this was set. Either way, how intrusive.

  3. Totally of the record.
    Congratulations to New Zealand for their sticking to all the tough restrictions their Health Authority laid down. Just heard from my daughter in Auckland that the P. M. Is easing back to stage 3 for a month. I hope this is the just the start. Maybe more countries will be able to follow.

  4. That was a wonderful read. I know I’ve seen parts of it before, but everything really flowed.

    One nit – most calicos are female. It’s a genetic thing. If Pangur is male AND calico, he’ll be pretty special. (But then of course….)

    1. I was actually going with that, Pangur is one of the very few males, but I kind of like GCB’s ginger idea. I had a ginger once. George. He was a sweetheart.

      1. When I brought my first ginger to the vet, she exclaimed “you know what they say about orange boys! They’re lovers!” She was not wrong.

      2. My cat is a female tortoiseshell, as most are female. My vet told me that her mother could have been any type of cat, but that her father has to have been an orange tabby.

  5. Oh, the cat. I read somewhere that Vikings liked ginger cats. Apparently nobody is sure if this is a myth or not.

    But you could make the cat a ginger tabby.

    (I also read that Vikings wore cat fur, but would suggest you don’t put this in the not-book…)

    1. If the Viking is Norwegian, Pangur could be a Norwegian Forest Cat. Also a Maine Coon Cat since there is a belief that Maine Coon cats descended from Norwegian Forest cats. And Maine Coon’s are big; also sweet.

      1. Wow. I just googled. 22 pounds?
        I think Pangur is a Norwegian Forest Cat.
        A ginger Norwegian Forest Cat.

    2. I find it funny if Vikings are supposed to have liked ginger cats and Lily is a redhead.

      Redheads, we go there.

        1. You know that there is some evidence that red hair came from our (minimal) Neanderthal genes…?

  6. I thought Lily seemed much less wimpy in this version (although I did not mind her level of wimpiness before).

    Reading all the scenes in made my brain latch onto the similar shape of the names Sedelius and Sebastian. So maybe that’s another thing being sent up (or set up) by the girls.

    Man, I hope this not-a-book grows up into a book someday 😁.

    1. It does have to be a book, it can just be a not-vella.

      The only thing that bothers me is that how come the brothers are meeting Lily for the first time if they have been having lunch at that diner every day for a week?

      1. THey’ve been coming in for lunch. Lily works 4 to midnight. She hates mornings, remember? The eight to four shift would be hell for her.

    2. I got Sebastian and Louis from Sedelius, but I have no idea what to do with it.
      Discovery draft: We have no idea what we’re doing.

  7. Thanks for this. So lovely to break up my Monday.

    Some random thoughts:

    Why is Ferris concerned for the first time when Lily wants to leave? If she is reporting back to Uncle Lewis, this makes sense. Bad therapist.

    Is Panguar a different color each time he reincarnates? Or is he always the same?

    Uncle Lewis made me think of Clea Lewis and the art museum. That’s all.

    Oh, and I especially like the line about wearing pink ironically and Cheryl with the cleaver. Lovely moments. 🙂

    1. I think she sees it as a reflection on her, but it may have something to do with Uncle Louis.
      You know. Discovery draft.

  8. Off topic!
    Tor is giving away the first four Murderbot books – you just need to (say you) live in the US or Canada and sign up for their newsletter.

    If you haven’t read them, this is your chance, book five is coming out in May. And they’re unusually expensive for novellas normally.

    Sorry about the ridiculously long link.

  9. This is nothing to do with anything – and I’m off to go read the link in a second! – but I just heard about a Viking game, Tafl, and they just found (archealogically) some pieces and so I was thinking about Fin and Bjorn playing this game.

    That’s very random. 🙂

  10. I love having structure in my life. I loved reading this.I didn’t think football team this time around.

  11. Yay structure! Also, as someone trying to cram in ordering more contacts before I switch from good health insurance to less-good-because-unemployed health insurance at the end of the month, I 100% endorse upcoming loss of insurance as a motivation.

  12. This is good, any one else play Stuck in the Middle with you, while reading the rest of this? Love that song.

    As for Vanessa, that cat already owns her, you feed a cat and you belong to it. My friend’s mum dropped some biscuits in the garden and the grumpy cat from down the road that doesn’t like people or show affection, ate them and moved in. Now it spends it’s time sleeping on top of the airing cupboard and deigning to eat the food they give it.

  13. I am deeply fond of the proposed incarnation of Pangur as a marmalade Norwegian Forest Cat – those guys are eNORmous and delightful and also have tufted ears that slay me.

  14. A long time reader, infrequent commenter. I love this not-a-book. Some random thoughts….

    As the owner of a large bulldog who avoids going upstairs as much as possible, I think it would be funny for Lily is to have to carry Pangur up the three flights of stairs. At 22 lbs, I suspect he would not love the climb.

    Uncle Idiot is using the museum to smuggle something. Probably antiquities disguised as reproductions or maybe jewels hidden in the reproductions. And Seb is in on it. That could be why he lunged at Lily. He had not had time to switch the real one for a fake or remove whatever was hidden in it. Lily hates the uncle because he forces her to source from certain places when she has better ideas.

  15. Still rereading Lily but each time I’ve been struck by this:

    “There was this big blond guy on the path, pretty clearly a Viking come ashore early to scope the place out. This has turned out to be a pattern in my life. For some reason, I always get the early Viking. I backed up to run, and the path was rough, and I tripped, and he grabbed for me, and I fell over the cliff edge onto the rocks below with Pangur.”

    Perhaps it’s just me, but the phrasing there is so delightfully ambiguous that it makes me think perhaps–just perhaps–this “early Viking” might, perhaps, have been a defector trying to warn the village (sick of plundering? Altruistic? Idk) and his grab for Lily might have been an attempt to save her from falling off the cliff…

    Perhaps her lesson is not to assume, and Fin’s lesson is that you have to communicate with people, not just try to save them whether they like it or not? 😆

    Anyway back to reading Act I instead of grading. 😉

    1. I think it’s definitely ambiguous, and both Bjorn and Lily are going to push back on his rescuing.
      One thing that’s come up in some of the non-scenes (pieces I’ve written) is that being a fixer actually created more distance between people because it assumes a hierarchy. “I’m here to take care of you” is not the same as “I’ll help you through this, what can I do?” I’m thinking Fin’s fairly cheery description of their father is hiding a lot of childhood pain, emotional abuse that was balanced by a good mom, and Fin processed that by protecting and fixing and Bjorn processed it by making jokes and drinking and the opioids. Bjorn’s on top of his problem, Fin sees his as a plus until both Bjorn and Lily tell him to back off.
      I think.

  16. Thank you for letting us see this work-in-progress–that’s brave. This is a much improved draft, and I am loving the story line. All the things I love about a Jenny Crusie work–humor, an animal, romance, quirkiness, issues!

  17. Oh gosh. Just discovered there’s a parallel universe with WIPs. And community brainstorming. So, I went back in time and read the first take + 203 comments.

    If I’d been there then, I’d have agreed with the “I don’t feel as though the 21st c Viking is the reincarnated Rape & Pillage Viking.” I kind of see him as a newcomer to the game, or the reincarnation of someone else completely. (See Thomas Costain’s Below the Salt, for example).

    Or maybe that’s already in the works…. Bjorn or Seb being possible Viking candidates, and Fin being the reincarnation of someone who illuminates manuscripts. Oh, wait. Right….

    Well, I fell for Fin immediately. And who wouldn’t? Glasses, laid back, “She did….”

    Just one little thing…. what about Phineas T. Tucker? Will he mind?

    1. Nah, I reuse the name “Nick” all the time. I think I’ve used it three times now.

  18. I’m late to the party because it’s been a crazy week here in Michigan and I’ve been reading act one in bits and pieces. Thank you for sharing I love you so much. Your writing inspires me to do better. And it’s so much fun.
    I am social distancing from my sanity and not getting a lot of writing done. Reading your posts on your process And seeing the results is a gift. Thank you.

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