Working Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but I think Fate just pulled the ultimate trick on all of us with the virus, so I’m ignoring that. It is the first day of April, so YAY SPRING. Also I just found out there’s something called Viking knitting which does not require knitting needles, so I will obviously be looking into that. Also something called nailbinding which sounds brutal and Nordic. Lucet I already knew about, but still. Evidently there was a lot of crafting between bouts of pillaging. And I may doodle some manuscript illuminations on a specials menu, just to see how that goes.

And in other news, because I’m now obsessing on visuals, I went looking for retro diner fonts that could be used both on as the font for the diner (signs and menu heads) and as a title font, and found this list:

And then lost an hour playing with fonts, which is one of my favorite things to do. (See bottom of post for some possibilities.)

Now I have to find a name for the diner. Something that sounds like a diner name but has some kind of meaning which is going to be hard because I have no idea what this story is really about. I just want the sign and the font for the visuals. And because I love playing with fonts, okay? It’s still work if I enjoy it.

So what are you working on now?

Continue reading

Visual Stuff

When I wrote with Bob, he used to make me walk the terrain. We’d go to wherever the book was set and talk the story through while we walked around. The one I remember best was in the Carolinas, a big white house on a river, because I was saying things like, “Okay the gazebo for the wedding is over here, and there’ll be furniture on the front porch, maybe a swing, for that scene when the bridge goes in . . .” and Bob was saying things like “The bad guys will dock here and the scuba divers will attack the wedding from here . . .” (No, there was no scuba attack; Bob had a learning curve in writing romantic comedy, aka, nobody we like dies.). I dutifully tramped around after him through the Southern low country for Agnes and we spent one memorable October evening at an amusement park in Pennsylvania where people had chain saws for Wild Ride, but I finally had to admit that it was all worth it because he was right: walking the terrain helps a lot. (This may be why I do so many scenes in diners. I can sit the terrain.)

My version of walking the terrain is collage. Continue reading

Lily 2

NOTE: The discovery draft in the middle of this post has been revised as the comments came in. Therefore some of the comments won’t make sense any more because I’ve changed the part they commented on. All of the comments made sense in the beginning.

A word about discovery drafts:

A discovery draft is just getting words down on paper. In my case, it’s usually to see what the Girls are up to, so my first discovery drafts are dreadful, rambling things. Hey, you want to see how the sausage is made, you’re gonna see some ugly stuff. In this case, I tried to get into this story all weekend, and it just wasn’t there. The stuff that really caught me? The manuscript illustration, the diner, and Cheryl. I needed a best friend, or at least a friend for Lily, and of course, the love interest who could no longer be named later. Finally this morning, I googled for Norse names again and found one that seemed like it might work (might not), and then because I was dying to, I googled for “manuscript illumination dragon.” And I ended up with the stuff below. Missing is any kind of decent description (I suck at description) of people or place, and any sense of change. That’ll come as I know more, although I already know Lily is thin and sharp and redheaded and nervous, and Fin is big (Viking) and blunt and blond and calm. And none of that is on the page. Discovery draft. First step in the process. Oh, and this is boring. That’s okay, too. If I ever get to a rewrite, it’ll perk up. Continue reading

Surprise Lily 1

Welcome to the Argh Novel Project, a multi-week exploration of fiction and the process by which . . . okay, it’s just us playing around but that’s good, too. We’re starting with the Surprise Lily first scene because that’s what most of the comments said, although I did some very light editing (took out some unnecessary words and omitted all the “smells bad” stuff because you people kept insisting on historical accuracy). There’s a page under Work In Progress in the blog menu above that I’ll try to keep updated so that all the stuff from this is one place, but that’s about as much organization as I’m capable of. New stuff goes up on Monday, we talk in the comments all week, on Friday I try to synthesize and you can comment on that, I write on Saturday and Sunday, and on Monday we start all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. If this gets boring or it doesn’t work, we’ll do something else. No rules (some guidelines, no Should, no worries. Argh People, start your engines:

Continue reading

The Argh Novel: Here’s the Plan

So the plan is to brainstorm Surprise Lily (overwhelming preference) and then I’ll write whatever comes out of our brainstorming that week, and then we do it all over again until we get tired and wander off. Brainstorming should be as free form as possible, but we are gonna need some guidelines here.

First a schedule. I’m thinking I put up the new stuff on Mondays, we talk about it all week (we’ll have Working Wednesday and Good Book Thursday in there, too), we do some synthesizing on Friday, inspired by that I write over the weekend, and then we start all over. So Monday is the product of the previous week, and Friday is pulling all the talk from the week together so I have some RMoaGs* to work with.

Continue reading

So I Have This Idea . . .

I’m trying to figure out something I can do to put some extra fun in our interactions since we’re all under siege. I mean, that wombat instagram was great, but there’s a limit to what a wombat can do. So I had this vague idea–very vague–about five minutes ago and without thinking it through, I’m going to put it up here so we can brainstorm it because it has to be a community thing or it won’t work. Actually since I haven’t thought it through, it’s probably doomed, I get a dozen brilliant ideas a day that turn to be trash by the time the sun goes down, but I figure if this is an Argh community project, maybe we can do something interesting with it. So . . .

Continue reading

Pulling My Train of Thought

I’ve been reading your comments on the Lily opening, and I’ve realized that you’ve put a lot more thought into this story than I have, probably because I’m not going to write it. But it made me think about how I got to that scene, because the last thing I needed to do was start a new book. Of course, part of it was just a way to avoid cleaning the house and working on Nita, there’s always that. But after that, it pretty much went like this:

Continue reading